Iconic transmission franchise welcomes Kim Robinson as Director of Franchise Development as AAMCO rolls into a bright new year
More than half a century after AAMCO launched one of the nation’s first franchise systems, the iconic transmission franchise continues to rapidly expand across the United States. In 2016, AAMCO reported a record number of existing franchise owners reinvesting in the brand, signing franchise agreements to open more AAMCO centers. The wave of momentum is expected to continue in the New Year and beyond, and to facilitate that growth, AAMCO has named Kim Robinson as its new Director of Franchise Development.
Kim has been with the world’s largest transmission franchise for a period of 18 months, coming to AAMCO after several years in franchise development with Chem-Dry, the world’s largest carpet cleaning franchise. Unlike other franchise systems, Kim’s role will not only include franchise development, but also ongoing support of new franchise owners as they navigate the process of preparing to open the doors of their new centers. The duality of her role is a testament to the importance AAMCO places in training and overall preparedness for new franchise owners.
“I couldn’t be more excited about AAMCO as we enter 2017,” Kim says. “The executive team, led by CEO and President Brett Ponton, has made significant investments in our technology platform, training and education to simplify the business model and to increase the level of profitability AAMCO franchise owners experience in their centers. The team believes with the roll-out of a new point of sale system, our suite of integrated technology products will be recognized as one of the best in our industry. The success of these efforts are evident in the fact that we have more existing AAMCO franchise owners opening more centers than ever before, as well as the increase in system wide sales across the board. This is a bright new era for AAMCO, and both our executive team and our franchise owners have a shared sense of earned enthusiasm for the future.”
AAMCO franchise owners are supported from the get-go
From the moment an entrepreneur signs the franchise agreement to open a new AAMCO Center, Kim will be there guiding the way. While opening a new business can be complicated, new AAMCO franchise owners are supported every step of the process: from site selection, to buildout, to hiring technicians, to marketing, to grand opening and beyond.
“I hold the hands of our new franchise owners immediately after the franchise agreement is signed, and continue to be their main point of contact through their grand opening ceremony,” Kim says. “There are several milestones that a franchise owner will face: making the first deposit, securing financing, negotiating a lease, training, coaching, developing a business plan, and so much more. AAMCO has a huge network of support for every single milestone, I facilitate the connections between the new franchisee and the corporate team members in the appropriate departments. By the time a franchise owner has opened the doors to their business, they have been through several weeks of training at AAMCO University, where every single facet of the business has been covered. When the doors are open, they get five weeks of in-store training from a field representative. We don’t stop there, we support our franchise owners, working with them and on their behalf for the entirety of their time in the AAMCO franchise network.”
Why the AAMCO franchise is stronger than ever before
While AAMCO has been a renowned franchise system for over 50 years, the iconic transmission franchise continues to make significant strides to increase system-wide profitability and simplify its proven business model. Under the leadership of Brett Ponton, AAMCO is halfway through a five-year strategic plan that began in 2014 and has led to some of the best years in its storied history as a franchise system. Today, running and scaling an AAMCO franchise is easier than ever before.
“AAMCO used to be a brand that attracted only those with experience in the auto repair industry to become franchise owners,” Kim says. “Now, the folks who are signing up to become franchise owners are business-minded entrepreneurs, who are attracted to the resources that AAMCO provides to make the business easy to run and accessible to those without prior experience in the auto repair industry.
The fact that AAMCO has invested significantly in ongoing training platforms allows our new franchise owners to hire and retain the best and brightest in the industry. If you’re an experienced technician or mechanic, you’re going to have a successful career in an AAMCO center.”
The executive team made significant investments in initial and ongoing training, education and technology to establish AAMCO as highly competitive in the 21st Century. Beginning in 2014, AAMCO simplified the business model by opening a transmission remanufacturing facility and expanded the level of services offered to help franchise owners get a bigger slice of the general automotive repair market, which generates $62 billion a year in sales according to IBISWorld research and in 2015, opened the world class education center, AAMCO University. These investments have also driven profitability for franchisees and helped them earn trust by enhancing the in-store customer experience with initiatives such as consumer financing.
“The fact that we have so many deposits for new centers from existing franchise owners is proof that all of our hard work and investments are paying off,” Kim says. “When an entrepreneur is interested in opening a new center, they always ask about the existing franchise network. The fact that I can tell them our existing owners are opening new centers in record numbers speaks volumes about how healthy the AAMCO franchise system really is, and is a signal to them that AAMCO is a wise investment.”
Bring the iconic auto repair franchise to your community
With nearly 650 auto repair franchise locations across the country, AAMCO has remained a dynamic part of American car culture — as well as a vibrant part of hundreds of local economies — since the brand began franchising in 1963.
AAMCO is actively seeking single- and multi-unit operators who are passionate about the brand and committed to providing the highest-quality service. Interested candidates should have a minimum net worth of $250,000 and liquid assets of at least $65,000 per unit. Depending on the real estate selected, franchisees can expect the total investment to be approximately $227,400-$333,000, with a $39,500 initial franchise fee. Reduced franchise fees are available for honorably discharged veterans. Since the auto repair franchise began offering a discounted pathway to veterans through its VetFran program in 2012, seven US veterans have joined the AAMCO franchise owner network.