U.S. Fast Lube Population Edges Down


The 50 largest fast lube chains in the United States operated 2 percent fewer facilities than last year, according to National Oil & Lube News 2018 Tops in the Industry Rankings, released on Monday.

Compared to 2017, the list of the largest fast lube chains saw one new entry in the top five, and two companies climbed into the oil change-plus category top five. The 50 largest fast lube chains on this years list together operated 7,354 facilities, down from 7,493 facilities last year.

Employees service cars at a Jiffy Lube facility in Miami, Florida. Jiffy Lube remained the largest fast lube chain in the United States with 1,922 stores as of April 30, 2018, according to National Oil and Lubes News’ 2018 Tops in the Industry Rankings.

Lubbock, Texas-based NOLN defines a fast lube facility as any business deriving the majority of its sales from quick, convenient oil changes and other automotive preventive maintenance services that can be performed in less than 30 minutes. The publication classifies shops that have dual profit centers – like a car wash/fast lube, co-branded facilities, tire stores or dealerships with quick service lanes – as lube-plus shops. Muffler shops, auto repair shops, and mass merchant retailers are also classified in this category.

As of April 30, 2018, Jiffy Lube remained in the lead of fast lube stores with 1,922 stores, down 11 from the prior year. Valvoline Instant Oil Change remained second with 1,141 stores, up 65 from 2016. The other largest fast lube chains included Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change (1,050 stores, unchanged from 2017); FullSpeed Automotive (ascending to the top five with 432 stores); and Quaker State Oil Change (400 stores, unchanged from the prior year).

Valvoline had signed an agreement to acquire the business assets of Great Canadian Oil Change, which franchises 73 quick-lube stores in five Canadian provinces, primarily in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, the company announced May 17. That acquisition was expected to be completed within 60 days and was to boost Valvolines existing quick-lube network to more than 1,200 company-owned and franchised locations, including those in Canada.

NOLN found that the top 50 operating lube-plus chains represented on the list operated 18,554 facilities. The year earlier survey estimated 60 lube-plus chains operated 17,102 facilities.

Goodyear Tire & Service Network Outlets led the oil change-plus category this year with an estimated 2,594 U.S. stores, unchanged from a year ago.

Following in the category were Wal-Mart Auto Care Centers (estimated 2,500 stores, down 38 facilities from 2017); TBC Corp. (2,248 stores, up 38 from the prior year); Bridgestone Retail Operations (climbing into the top five with 2,200 stores); and Express Lane (Mopar), which landed in the top five with 1,200 stores. TBC does business as Tire Kingdom, NTB, Merchants, Big O Tires and Midas Auto Service Experts. Bridgestone Retail Operations operates as Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tire Works and Wheelworks.

Mobile 1 Centers topped the list of U.S.-based lube chains ranked by number of foreign facilities, with 3,200, unchanged from 2017. Following were TBC Retail (Big O, Midas Auto Service Experts) with 1,030 facilities; Express Lane (Mopar) with 650 locations; Wal-Mart Auto Care Centers with 266 stores;and Jiffy Lube with 174 facilities.

For more information on the 2017 Fast Lube Operator Survey, visit theNOLN website.

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