National Oil & Lube News

March 2017

Digital issues of National Oil & Lube News, the trade magazine for the preventive maintenance industry

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Page 31 of 67

32 NOLN | MOVING SOUTH: Grease Monkey Expands to South America by David Burbach rowing companies are usually seen as successful ones, and innovative companies often think outside their "borders" to achieve this growth. Grease Monkey is a Denver, Colorado-based quick lube chain, but has been looking to expand its market share internationally. With lo- cations already in Mexico, China and Saudi Arabia, the company was looking to expand into South America — opening its first store in Medellín, Colombia, on November 1, 2016. With a population of nearly 2.5 million, Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia, mak- ing it an ideal location to pioneer a new automotive service business. In Colombia, as in much of South America, cars are considered serious investments, second only to purchasing houses. In addition, people tend to keep their vehicles for much longer periods of time than is typical in the United States. e average lifespan of a car in Colombia is around 20 years, compared to about 11 years in the U.S. at means Colombians take their auto maintenance very seriously. e quick lube business model is a somewhat novel concept in Colombia. Small, independent shops still handle most automotive servicing and maintenance in the country. In fact, the automotive maintenance in- dustry has seen virtually no change for at least the last 20 years. Colombian society, however, has undergone substantial upheaval and advancement during that same time. Once dubbed the "most dangerous city in the world," Medellín has undergone a renaissance in recent years. It is now a vibrant and thriving Latin American city with the drug violence and guerilla warfare that plagued its past now fading from memory. is new, prosperous chapter in the city's history has shifted the demo- graphics of auto service consumers. e female market share, especially, has expanded dramatically. ese changes have created a market ripe with opportunity for entrepreneurs willing to rise to the occasion. G:

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