Outside of developing, manufacturing, selling, and supporting Ford and Lincoln vehicles, the Ford Motor Company has a related but less-known aspect to its business. Officially called Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center (Quick Lane for short), the Ford-owned brand provides routine vehicle maintenance such as oil and filter changes as well as light repair services, such as brake repair and tire replacements on all vehicle makes and models. Each Quick Lane location is set up similar to a Ford/Lincoln dealership, and is thus franchised by Ford/Quick Lane to an independent owner/operator. And recently, the Ford subsidiary celebrated the opening of the 700th U.S. location. The hept-centennial location is located at Grapevine Ford Lincoln in Grapevine, Texas.
According to a Ford news release, Quick Lane is one of the fastest-growing service brands in the industry, selling a record 1.4 million tires in 2013 — up 12 percent compared to an industry average of 1.1 percent. In addition, Quick Lane posted record sales of roughly $800 million in 2013.
Thanks to the brand’s success in the U.S., Ford is now beginning to offer Quick Lane globally, opening over 100 additional locations outside the U.S.
The Motrolix Take
Seven hundred (franchised) locations is definitely a noteworthy milestone on its own. But there is a business angle that may not be readily apparent here. Specifically, most Quick Lane facilities are located in, near, or adjacent to a Ford, Lincoln, or a Ford-Lincoln dealership. Couple that with the fact that Quick Lane is seeing an increase in maintenance work from non-Ford Motor Company vehicles (in 2013, services to competitive vehicles made up around 25 percent of the Quick Lane business), and the unique opportunity that involves getting Quick Lane customers to try a Ford/Lincoln product becomes obvious.
Hence, not only can Quick Lane provide automotive maintenance service to Ford, Lincoln, and non-Ford/Lincoln customers (thereby creating value for the The Blue Oval, its dealers, and Quick Lane service customers), but it can also generate consideration and sales of new Ford and Lincoln vehicles, as well.
All that gives Ford a noticeable competitive advantage and a fairly well-rounded business strategy, both of which deserve much more than a slow clap.