The premier quick-lube service finished out 2019 with new locations, new license agreements, additions to the executive leadership team and a wealth of accolades—and is set to carry this momentum into 2020 and beyond.
Grease Monkey, the premier quick-lube and automotive service center franchise, has established itself as a household name in the oil change and automotive service industry. The brand has grown steadily from its humble beginnings in Denver, Colorado in 1978, expanding to over 330 locations worldwide.
Grease Monkey enjoyed a record year in 2019 in terms of opening new locations, awarding new licenses, making key additions to its executive leadership team and earning a wealth of accolades.
The past year was an exciting one for Grease Monkey—the brand opened 19 franchised locations, 8 retail operations and 1 international location in 2019. According to Ralph Yarusso, Chief Development Officer at FullSpeed Automotive, the parent company of Grease Monkey International, Grease Monkey awarded a total of 35 franchise licenses in 2019 and about 25% of Grease Monkey openings in 2019 were thanks to existing franchisees expanding their businesses into multi-unit operations.
To supplement this growth momentum, FullSpeed Automotive made key additions to its executive leadership team, which oversees Grease Monkey. First, Kevin A. Kormondy was promoted to chief executive officer of FullSpeed Automotive in October 2019. Kormondy is a 30+ year automotive industry veteran who has held several leadership positions in the past, including chief operating officer at FullSpeed Automotive and chief operating officer and executive vice president of Big O Tires, LLC.
Wesley E. Stephenson, FullSpeed’s President and Chief Operating Officer, marks the second addition to the brand’s executive leadership team in 2019. Stephenson, who began his position in October, has a strong professional background in automotive services. Previously, Stephenson served as vice president of operations for Tire Pros Francorp as well as director of business development for Tires Pros’ parent company, American Tire Distributors.
“The promotion of Kormondy and addition of Stephenson to the executive team was a tactical and strategic gain for our company this past year,” Yarusso said. “Both of them hold a wealth of knowledge and experience in the automotive space. Stephenson and I also were multi-unit operators in the automotive industry who have held top positions while franchisees including Chairmen of both Big O and Meineke Franchise Advisory Councils. Being leaders of franchise organizations and now leaders in a franchisor organization puts the FullSpeed executive team in a league of their own with experience, not to mention the ability to speak firsthand on franchise ownership. Kormondy, Stephenson and I, all hold a ton of experience on both sides and this not only gives the company a ton of credibility, but really puts us in a place to succeed.”
Amid the excitement of openings, awarded licenses and additions to the FullSpeed executive team, Grease Monkey received a hefty batch of accolades in 2019. First, Grease Monkey was named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 List, landing the No. 161st spot. The brand was also named to the Franchise Times Top 200+ List for 2019, locking in the 267th spot.
Grease Monkey is thrilled to be ranked No. 3 in the most recent JD Power ranking for automotive franchises and also enjoyed significant industry recognition from Franchise Rankings, including the No. 1 for Best Oil Change Franchises in January 2019; No. 1 in the Best Top Five Oil Change category in September 2019; No. 3 in the Best Automotive Franchises category in September 2019; and No. 6 in Top Overall 100 Franchises in September 2019.
What’s more, Grease Monkey was ranked No. 9 by Entrepreneur Magazinein 2019’s Top Franchises for Veterans, including landing the No. 1 spot in the Quick Lube category for Veterans. Yarusso, a U.S. Air Force veteran, commented on Grease Monkey’s veteran program: “We have a terrific relationship with our franchise vendors on discounts for our veterans. Yes, it’s an attractive program to get them to sign with our company, but it’s also a great way to help veterans transition into civilian life—it gives them a great foundation to start a business with. When they are becoming franchisees with FullSpeed, they are ultimately saving $40,000 to $60,000 in their first two years of business.”
It’s easy to see that Grease Monkey experienced an impressive year in 2019, which is exactly why the brand’s executive leadership is excited to continue to build on that momentum in 2020.
“The future of Grease Monkey—and vehicle maintenance in general—looks incredibly bright,” Yarusso said. “We’ve seen a lot of growth and are very confident about where we are going as a company. We are a recession-resistant business; people will continue to take care of their vehicles and utilize our services in 2020 and beyond.”
The investment level for opening a Grease Monkey center ranges from $156,695 to $347,850 with a $35,000 franchise fee and a 5% royalty. Franchisees who meet the established criteria are eligible for a 10% royalty rebate. Grease Monkey offers veterans and first responders a $10,000 discount on the franchise fee and a more substantial royalty rebate for their first two years of business. Candidates should demonstrate financial capability of a minimum $250,000 net worth and $60,000 to $75,000 in liquid assets, per unit developed. To learn more about franchising opportunities with Grease Monkey, visit http://www.greasemonkeyfranchise.com/.