HiQ to Franchise Off Equity Outlets
HiQ has unveiled plans to “accelerate” the company’s franchise offer by transferring existing company-owned stores into 15 regional zones where Goodyear Dunlop are looking for larger franchise partners to invest in HiQ regionally as well as nationally. The news came in parallel with the launch of HiQ’s sponsorship of this year’s British Touring Car Championship. Company representatives told Tyres & Accessories that the seven figure motorsport investment represents the single largest marketing investment Goodyear Dunlop has committed to the HiQ brand.
In a further twist, HiQ managing director Neil Burrows announced that he and “three members of the management group” are interested in investing into a “significant part” of the network themselves, demonstrating they really are willing to put there money where their mouths are regarding the franchise’s development. Therefore, in the interests of transparency, Neil Burrows and the other three as yet unamed managers will be assigned to special projects (such as managing the BTCC sponsorship deal) within the Goodyear Dunlop group. Following the recent announcement that Robin Sharpe stepped down as Goodyear Dunlop Commercial Director, it now appears that he will manage the HiQ team until the final announcement regarding the franchising of the HiQ equity branches has been announced.
Goodyear Dunlop representatives told T&A the company will be unveiling details of its nationwide franchising programme on 31 March, with the definitive structure following in the summer.
Goodyear Dunlop Managing Director Mark Brickhill stated: “The fact that Neil and his team wish to invest in HiQ is a signal of the confidence that management have in the future success of HiQ. However, it is vital that we have complete independence and transparency during the franchise application period, which is why we have appointed Robin to lead the HiQ team during the next few weeks.”
“The HiQ business is a core part of Goodyear Dunlop’s plan for profitable growth and [the] HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship launch is evidence that we are continuing to invest to build HiQ as a vital channel to market for us. The HiQ network growth will be through franchising. Our existing franchises have been tremendously successful and there is significant interest from existing and potential new franchisees in joining us to invest in HiQ,” Brickhill continued, adding:
“There are huge opportunities in the vehicle servicing market due to the lifting of restrictions on who can carry out servicing work on vehicles without affecting warranties. This, coupled with aggressive new product development plans from Goodyear and Dunlop, means that HiQ is in a strong position to grow significantly over the coming years.”