The aftermarket is now facing competition from Lyft.
The ride-sharing company recently opened its first auto repair shop in San Francisco with plans to expand to major cities across the United States later this year hinted at plans to do the same in Canada in the future.
It’s part of its new Lyft Driver Services program to attract and retain more drivers to its platform where they can take advantage of discounts of up to half off on brake jobs, oil changes and flat tire fixes. The program also offers banking services.
In an interview with CNN, Lyft chief operating officer Jon McNeil acknowledged the high costs of vehicle servicing, especially for those who drive for a living.
“We want to address that head on. By helping them save up to 50 per cent on the repair and get their car back in half the time, we’re going to have a significant impact on driver take-home pay,” he said.
McNeil is no stranger to the aftermarket. He co-founded Sterling Collision Center, which has two locations in Southern California.
While the service will only be available for Lyft drivers, McNeil noted that its repair shops may one day be available to anyone in need of vehicle repair.
Lyft’s centres won’t be like your typical shop. The company believes it can be more efficient by using more modern techniques. McNeil compared it to a NASCAR pit stop where an assembly line will be set up, staffed by Lyft employees, as many repairs don’t require a lift and no dedicated bay is needed.
The company also noted plans for an on-demand repair service that would see a Lyft technician drive to the vehicle in need of service.
The plans are all ahead of its expected initial public offering where the company is hoping to convince investors it’s profitable despite losses of more than $900 million last year.