U.S. Fast Lube Population Grows


U.S. Fast Lube Population Grows

The top 50 largest fast lube chains in the United States operated 9 percent more facilities than a year ago, according to National Oil & Lube News 2017 Tops in the Industry Rankings, reflecting changes from acquisitions in the fast lube and oil change-plus segments.

NOLN published its annual lists of the largest fast lube chains and other oil change providers in its March 2017 issue. The survey includes fast lube chains as well as oil change-plus facilities that provide oil changes and some other types of auto maintenance services.

The 50 largest fast lube chains on this years list together operate 7,493 facilities, up from 6,872 facilities last year. NOLN noted that part of the increase comes from the SpeeDee stores that appeared on the lube-plus list last year under former parent company TBC Retail. In February, TBC sold SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service to automotive maintenance franchisor Grease Monkey.

In October last year, Roark Capital portfolio company Driven Brands acquired 51 locations of Lube Stop (Ohio), and in December acquired Express Lube, which operates more than 30 quick oil change centers throughout San Antonio and surrounding areas in Texas. Driven also acquired New Orleans-based quick lube chain Take 5 Oil Change in March 2016 from Trivest Partners L.P.

On Feb. 3 Valvoline LLC announced it completed acquisition of the business assets related to 28 quick-lube stores from Time-It Lube LLC and Time-It Lube of Texas, LP in Louisiana and eastern Texas, in a deal expected to be completed in the second quarter of fiscal year 2017.

As of Feb. 28, 2017, Jiffy Lube remained in the lead of fast lube stores with 1,911 stores, down 17 stores from the prior year. Valvoline Instant Oil Change remained second with 1,076 stores, up 116 stores from 2016. The other largest fast lube chains included Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change (1,050 stores, up 350 stores), Quaker State Oil Change (climbing into the top five with 400 stores) and Kwik Kar (remaining at 398 stores).

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According to NOLN, the 61 operating lube-plus chains represented on the list operate 17,102 facilities, down 366 facilities from a year earlier. Part of the decrease was attributed to Wash Depot Holdings Inc./Mobil 1 Lube Express at Simoniz & Sparkling Image Car Washes – the car washes with Mobil 1 Lube Express facilities are now listed on the associated chains list instead. NOLN also pointed out that Sears announced in December last year and January this year it would close 42 retail locations, including 30 auto centers.

Goodyear Tire & Service Network Outlets – considered an oil change-plus chain because activities other than oil changes generate most of its revenues – led the oil change-plus category with 2,594 U.S. stores, unchanged from a year ago.

Following in the category were Wal-Mart Auto Care Centers (2,538 stores, unchanged from 2016), TBC Corp. (2,210 stores, down 5 percent), Firestone Complete Auto Care (1,727 stores, down 27 percent) and Monroe Muffler Brake & Service (1,086 stores, up almost 6 percent). TBC does business as Tire Kingdom, NTB, Merchants, Big O Tires and Midas Auto Service Experts.

Lighthouse Lube of Wisconsin topped NOLNs associated lube chains list of independent operators of branded facilities, with 27 Mobil 1 Lube Express locations. Following were Automasters of Asheboro (25 Valvoline Express locations), Express Automotive Group (24 Havoline Xpress Lube, Texas Oil Express and Kwik Kar locations), Wash Depot Holdings Inc. (20 Mobil 1 Lube Express at Simoniz & Sparkling Image Car Washes locations) and Speed Lube 10-Minute Oil Change (16 Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change locations).

Mobil 1 Centers topped the list of U.S.-based lube chains ranked by number of foreign facilities, with 3,200, unchanged from 2016. Following were Havoline Xpress Lube with 1,432 foreign facilities, TBC Retail (Big O, Midas Auto Service Experts) with 1,000, Wal-Mart Auto Care Centers (266) and Jiffy Lube (170).

To view the 2016 Tops in the Industry Rankings, visit the NOLN web site.

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