Business-Building and Branding Options for Independent Installers

Chevron’s xpress lube program may be right for you

Chevron xpress lube Chevron xpress lube

Experienced automotive installers often get the urge to launch their own business. The industry also attracts people who don’t have direct experience, but who have entrepreneurial instincts and access to investment capital to acquire a business. And many long-time owner operators may have arrived at a crossroads where they feel the need to reinvigorate their business in a big way. Perhaps that means giving the business a whole new identity – a rebrand – while taking steps to upgrade operations and build more customer appeal.


In any of these scenarios – launching, acquiring or restaging a business – you essentially have three choices:


  • You can commit to making it on your own as an independent. That means making all the decisions on your own. You have a lot of freedom, but you have a lot of responsibility, too. Even if you can draw on your experience and supplier relationships, the ramp-up can take a long time.
  • Another alternative is to become a franchisee with a chain operation. That takes some of the burden off your shoulders and simplifies much of the launch or relaunch process. You get the benefit of a recognized brand name and advertising support. However, you will pay a franchise fee or royalty percentage that takes a sizeable portion of your revenues, and you will give up control over certain aspects of your business.
  • The third way is to enter into a sales and licensing agreement that gives you the best of both business options. You get the branding benefits and marketing support of a national operation, but without having to pay a franchise fee or royalties. And you retain full independent control of your business.


Hundreds of independent operators have opted for this type of arrangement with our two nationally recognized brands: Chevron xpress lube® and Havoline® xpress lube®. These programs offer a number of benefits, including assistance with site selection, facility design, branded signage, and staff training covering the technical, service and marketing aspects of the business. You also have access to preferred vendors and pricing, which greatly simplifies the process of selecting a vendor for equipment or other business needs. In addition, we can provide financial assistance to help with some of the start-up or conversion costs.


The xpress lube brand enables you to leverage the power of a nationally recognized brand to attract customers. Both programs include business and marketing consultation to help build strategic plans customized to your local market. You have access to brand assets to use in your local marketing and advertising, as well as opportunities to participate in national promotions. We also have a national shopper program to help ensure that all operators are delivering the high-quality customer experience associated with our brands, which in turn helps drive customer loyalty, repeat business and higher car counts.


Unlike a franchise, there are no fees or royalties for these services. The agreement is based on sales of Chevron Havoline, Techron® and Delo® products, all of which are backed by Chevron’s limited warranty.


We are always looking to partner with qualified, committed installers, business owners or investors with a retail business background. During the application process, we’ll look at a number of factors to help determine which program, Chevron or Havoline, is right for the applicant.


Whether you’re launching a new venture or re-staging an existing business, branding makes a big difference. It sets the customer expectation and instills confidence in your products and service. It can take years to build your own brand and the trust that goes with it. Alternatively, you can come under the umbrella of a known and trusted brand like Chevron or Havoline with a proven support program, which eliminates much of your risk and accelerates your time to market. If the agreement allows you to keep more of your earnings and retain your independence, so much the better.


Barbara Nelson
Barbara Nelson, currently the automotive installed marketing manager has been in the Consumer business for over 30 years. Barbara’s previous roles span: brand management, channel marketing, package innovation, marketing research, c-store and fuels retail marketing, strategy and planning, category management, and trade marketing. In her current role, Barbara is responsible for the Chevron xpress lube ® and Havoline xpress lube ® image programs, and all automotive installed programs and promotions.

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