The American vehicle service and maintenance chain Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers has opened its first Australian store.
Global CEO John Hanighen, visiting from the United States, said Inside the franchise business the Hoppers Crossing store is just the first of many planned outlets in Australia. He expects the brand’s national presence within five years.
“It might be sooner, but we’re not looking to do it in a year. We will develop from here and go where the best results will be according to the site modeling. We are looking to create individual franchises in different states, we want to take a more individual approach as we have done in other markets.
While Quick Lane is a separate business here, the overall brand is owned by auto giant Ford. This is something that reassures franchisees, Hanighen said.
“The franchisee feels a lot better in the relationship, that we are there for the long haul. We have about 1,100 sites and we have been trading for over 23 years, we have had great success.
The franchisor prefers the field operators as franchisees, but is open to the interest of investors. In Thailand, a business owner has a portfolio of eight service points.
Typical franchisees might be a family looking for a business with a succession plan. Parents could open the first store, and then the tale of the younger generation in a second outlet, Hanighen suggested.
Whether the franchisee is an investor or an individual, they can expect to undergo typical financial checks before signing up for the franchise. It helps for franchisees to be car enthusiasts, and auto maintenance training is a bonus, but the system in place is designed to help franchisees, Hanighen said. Training provided by an academy ensures that the technician and franchisee are properly qualified.
“All coaches come from the aftermarket,” Hanighen said. The support team in Australia consists of eight people; the first store has four technicians, a service advisor and a store manager.
“We expect a lot from the market, it is a very good saving for us to enter into partnership with local customers. “
Typical hot spots
High traffic areas around second-tier malls are typical hot spots for this American brand, as 70 percent of the custom comes from shoppers.
What defines a good location is less demographics – income and age groups – than the age of vehicles in an area. A suburb with cars in the aftermarket category of four to nine years old is a prime hunting ground.
Hanighen identified price transparency and “laser focus” on a menu of 14 specific services as particular benefits for Australian consumers.
Quick Lane offers menu rates for most vehicles and will use a paperless online service that provides instant two-way communication between the service center and customers.
“Our policy is to always let you know what’s going on, jargon-free – and many Quick Lane services are menu-charged, so you know what the maximum cost will be up front,” said Tim Bill, Managing Director. from Quick Lane Australia.
The new service point at Hoppers Crossing, Victoria uses smart technology and a comprehensive diagnostic system that enables its technicians to provide service for all makes and models of vehicles. Smart technology also saves time and all jobs should be completed in 90 minutes or less.