Auto Service World
News   April 26, 2022   by Adam Malik

New NAPA brand to service EVs, hybrids

NAPA has officially launched its new banner in Canada to specifically service and repair electric and hybrid vehicles.

The NexDrive banner is a network of automotive service centers for next-generation vehicles. As Canadians report greater interest in electric vehicles and manufacturer after manufacturer announces electrification plans, NAPA said it’s the right time for the company to move into the segment and be a market leader.

The announcement was made at the Montreal Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Show on April 22.

NexDrive is already operating in Europe in Benelux, a region covering Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. It operates under the Alliance Automotive Group, a fellow subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company.

Since its launch in 2020, there are 100 service centres. In Canada, NAPA will support the banner through its network of stores and distribution centres.

NAPA announced NexDrive at the Montreal Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Show in April 2022.

“We are very proud to be the first to offer owners of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles a network of certified shops that will be able to meet their maintenance and repair needs,” said Alain Masse, president of UAP. “The growing consumer interest in such vehicles, as well as government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, are helping to accelerate the shift to these new technologies, and we believe that our position as Canada’s aftermarket leader will allow us to offer a quality alternative to original equipment dealerships.”

To be a technician in a NexDrive shop, certification is required. Techs will have to meet a specific set of criteria, including accredited technical training, specialized equipment and tools, adherence to strict safety standards, regular audits and sourcing parts from a certified NAPA store.

Right now, 11 shops in the NAPA network are NexDrive-certified in Quebec and 13 others are in the process of obtaining certification. The company said new shops will be added to the banner in the coming weeks and months.

According to NAPA’s announcement, the NexDrive program builds on the Mécanique Haute Tension (MHT) program launched in 2020 by Alain and Mathieu Côté, owners of several NAPA Auto Parts stores in the Quebec City area.

“Our goal is to offer the best network of specialty service centers for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle repair and maintenance with the full support of the NAPA Auto Parts network,” said John O’Dowd, vice president of marketing at NAPA.

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