Midas Inc. has brought the well-known Northern California SpeeDee Oil Change name to San Diego by adding SpeeDee quick-lube services to 11 company-owned Midas shops in the San Diego market.
Midas invested more than $1 million in shop upgrades and renovations and hired nearly 50 new service employees as part of this co-branding project. Total employment at company-owned Midas shops in the San Diego area now is 103.
Renovations at the shops include the installation of platform lifts in the oil change bays that enable one technician to ride up with the vehicle to work under the hood while a second technician works under the car. New interior and exterior signs identify and explain the addition of the SpeeDee oil change service.
With the new SpeeDee dedicated oil change bays, customers can drive in without appointments and have their oil changed in about 20 minutes, complete with a 17-point inspection of brakes, tires, belts, hoses, fluids and lights, as well as interior vacuuming and topping off of fluids.
“Midas has performed oil changes for many years, but at many shops in the past customers were asked to make appointments or leave their cars and we would perform the oil change when we had an open bay,” said William M. Guzik, Midas’ executive vice president.
Five of the Midas-SpeeDee co-branded shops are in San Diego and others are in Chula Vista, El Cajon, La Mesa, Oceanside, Poway and San Clemente.
The local Midas-SpeeDee shops celebrated the new co-branding efforts with grand opening activities on Saturday, Aug. 29. There were free hot dogs, soft drinks and promotional giveaways available between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. For each oil change purchased on Saturday, Midas-SpeeDee contributed $5 to the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation. Midas-SpeeDee shops have teamed up with the foundation and are distributing safety literature and DVDs on protecting homes and families against wildfires.
Midas is also promoting the new SpeeDee oil change service through direct mail coupons sent to area customers, offering oil changes at a grand opening special price of $19.99.
In April 2008, Midas acquired the franchisor of the New Orleans-based SpeeDee system, which has 116 quick-lube and maintenance outlets in the U.S. and 57 in Mexico.
At the time of the acquisition, Midas officials announced the company’s plan for the eventual co-branding of Midas and SpeeDee outlets in locations nationwide where there is not overlap of existing shops. Midas has nearly 1,650 shops in the U.S. and Canada, and 800 in 13 other countries. SpeeDee’s U.S. shops are located in 13 states primarily in the northeast, mid-Atlantic, southern coastal states and the far west.
“This co-branding strategy is extremely exciting because it enables both Midas and SpeeDee to benefit from the strengths of the two brands’ respective service offerings to provide the three most frequent vehicle maintenance services — oil changes, brakes and tires,” Guzik said.
Midas services were added to four SpeeDee franchised shops in central California in the second half of 2008 as part of a co-branding test in SpeeDee shops. Four company-owned Chicago-area Midas shops are currently testing the addition of SpeeDee oil changes.
For the second quarter ended July 4, Midas reported that comparable shop sales increased by 17 percent at the co-branded SpeeDee-Midas shops in central California and by 9.5 percent in the Midas-SpeeDee co-branded shops in the Chicago area.
“We are encouraged by significant increases in both sales and car counts at these co-branded shops in California and Illinois,” Guzik said. “And, daily traffic has doubled in each of the Midas shops in San Diego as we began adding SpeeDee oil change services during the second quarter.”
Guzik said the company is taking what it has learned in the California and Chicago area co-brands and is developing a co-brand operating and marketing strategy. The company expects to begin a gradual rollout throughout both the Midas and SpeeDee networks in the U.S. in 2010. The company expects to have approximately 25 co-branded locations in place by the end of 2009.