Valvoline Inks Another DIFM Deal


On the heels of its agreement with Sears, Valvoline will now be the featured lubricant at U.S. dealerships of Houston-based auto retailer Group 1 Automotive Inc., under a partnership that was made public last week.

Valvoline products are now being phased into all of Group 1s dealerships, according to Valvoline spokesman Barry Bronson. Valvoline premium lubricants and transmission fluids will be offered to those who have their cars serviced at the dealerships, he explained.

One of the top five dealership groups in the U.S. according to Valvoline, Group 1 owns and operates 99 automotive dealerships, 136 franchises and 28 collision service centers nationally.

The trend from DIY [do-it-yourself oil changes] to DIFM [do-it-for-me] is a steady one, John Scanlon, director of national accounts at Valvolines parent company, Ashland Inc., told Lube Report. Valvoline has emphasized major accounts and dealer groups for volume growth.

The marketing and supply agreement is only the latest announcement related to the Valvolines increasing emphasis on North Americas do-it-for-me oil change business.

Earlier this month, there was news that Sears would offer Valvoline as its primary brand for motor oil changes at more than 850 of its auto center locations. In July, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, the nations second largest oil change chain, announced that franchisee Great Lakes Quick Lube LLC had acquired 18 new quick lubes in St. Louis, Des Moines and Northern Indiana.

With the trend toward consumers having their oil changed for them accelerating, it makes sense to emphasize that side of the business, said Scanlon. Efficiency dictates we go after the larger accounts such as dealer groups, and national repair chains such as Sears Auto Centers and Monro Muffler, Brake & Service.

Consumers make their own choices on where to have their vehicles serviced, Scanlon continued. Some opt for the convenience of quick lubes, others want an oil change as part of the services offered by their favorite car dealer or tire store. We can show each of these types of installer business – not how to save money by buying cheap motor oil – but how to make money offering consumers premium products based on their vehicle needs and driving habits. Its called bringing premium solutions to Valvolines partners.

And apparently Valvoline has not inked its last deal and looks to grow its presence in the DIFM market. That comes straight from Valvoline President Sam Mitchell, who in a press release posted on the companys corporate website said, watch for more of these premium partnerships on the DIFM side.

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