Jiffy Lube Ventures into China


Jiffy Lube International and Chinese carmaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. announced a joint venture Oct. 29 aimed at building a chain of quick-lube centers across China.

The companies vowed to develop a successful model for providing maintenance services to the worlds fastest-growing automobile market.

We believe there will be strong and growing demand for this kind of convenient service in China with the rapid rise in the number of motorists, said David Pirret, chief executive officer of Jiffy Lubes parent, Shell Lubricants Global. We look forward to working with SAIC to capture this potential.

The agreement forming the joint venture calls for the companies to build several pilot centers in Shanghai during the next year and then branch out to other parts of China. The partners said they will invest $30 million on the project over the next three years.

The Chinese centers will be modeled on the Jiffy Lube chain in the United States, promising to provide oil changes and radiator, transmission and other services in 15 minutes. Officials said the chain will use well-trained staff to provide high-quality services and products.

The chain operation model fits the development trend of the automotive aftermarket needs, said Hu Maoyuan, president of SAIC. Our cooperation with Shell complies with not only the countrys policies in automotive aftermarket, but also SAICs overall corporate development strategies.

SAIC said the partnership with Jiffy Lube is just one prong of its strategy to become the biggest provider of automotive maintenance services in China. The company also has joint ventures with Volkswagen and General Motors.

Automakers in China manufactured 1.4 million vehicles during the first nine months of 2003, an increase of 87 percent over the same period last year.

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