David Harrison in Peebles, Scotland, and Allams of Dorking have both taken on a HiQ fast-fit franchise in an industry first.
HiQ is hoping the deal will lead to more dealers joining the 140-strong fast-fit network, eventually helping to boost franchisee numbers with a mixture of dealers and existing franchisees to 300 in the UK.
Peter Tye, HiQ’s franchise development manager, believes all manufacturer brands will be compatible with adding the franchise and is confident they won’t face problems when dealers reveal they are putting HiQ signs up.
Fast-fit bays are usually hidden at the back of the dealership but, in Allams’ case, it’s very much at the forefront of the business.
Tye told AM: “We’ve taken care that our franchising standards don’t inhibit the standards of other manufacturers.
“It’s also not essential the HiQ franchise is added on to the dealership. We’re happy for dealers to open a fast-fit garage separate to the showroom.”
Tye is confident the HiQ franchise will enhance dealers’ existing fast-fit facilities and make them profitable arms of the business.
He said: “This is a massive coup for us. Businesses are looking to diversify and if they are only dealing with one brand, then they are limiting themselves.
“Becoming a HiQ franchisee allows them to open themselves up to a multitude of car brands, which allows them to expand their customer base and increase turnover.”
The deal to become a franchisee is the same for dealers as it is for standard franchisees and Tye said dealers found set-up costs reasonable because they were already used to manufacturer costs.
Tye said: “It’s a five-year agreement and set-up costs depend on how much equipment or space a dealer already has.”