Sixty years ago this spring, an army of ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators banded together to form a new idea: Midas. The brand’s founding franchisees say they were responding to the needs of a changing market, delivering what consumers demanded, but often couldn’t get fast-and-efficient, while-you-wait muffler service.
The company was launched on April 20, 1956, by Nate H. Sherman, an Omaha farm boy who dreamed of becoming a journalist but instead went into business. Sherman called his company the Muffler Installation Dealers Associated Service — ever since known as Midas. The muffler his franchisees installed back then was described as “a brass-speckled beauty” that came with a warranty “for as long as you own your car.”
The first store opened in Macon, Georgia. Within a year, there were 100 nationwide. In subsequent years, Midas expanded into a range of services, such as brakes, tires, oil changes and ride control. Today, nearly 1,300 Midas locations in the U.S. and Canada service almost all of the typical car’s needs.
In May 2012, Midas became the newest member of an expanding family of auto service brands owned by the Florida-based TBC Corp. Under TBC management, Midas introduced 10 “Service Absolutes” and then successfully executed a brand relaunch featuring a new image, a return to TV advertising (after a five-year absence) and a series of national promotions enhanced by a strategic media schedule and a “For brakes, tires, oil, everything, Trust the Midas Touch” tag line.
Under TBC’s stewardship, Midas’ North American sales increased for 29 straight months through November 2015, and the brand opened 21 locations in the U.S. and Canada last year, including several formerly independent stores that converted to Midas franchises.
Building on this, the company has set its sights on the launch of a tire sales initiative, geared toward making Midas a full-service tire and auto service destination. The pilot will launch in April in the Philadelphia market and then roll out across North America in the rest of 2016 and 2017.
“The future of our brand is in tires and auto service,” said Midas Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Gould. “It’s a major change, and we are confident about it because change is in our DNA: Midas started out as a muffler specialist and then graduated into brakes, followed by maintenance. Two years from now, we will be a full-service tire and auto-service company, and a significant player in the tire business.”