Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC), one of the largest chains of automotive service providers in the United States, announced it has initiated an effort to increase the level of business coming from fleet vehicles at its service centers. The company plans to boost fleet sales by 30 percent in 2003, according to Valvoline Fleet Services Manager Douglas L. Hurd.“Throughout our 15-year history, VIOC has always been regarded as a valuable resource by a broad diversity of local and national fleets,” says Hurd. “Now we’re undertaking a more formal effort to make fleet owners and drivers better aware of the convenience, cost savings and comprehensive nature of our automotive services.”Hurd says the company will focus on enhancing fleet owners’ awareness of the benefits of outsourcing oil changes and other routine preventive vehicle maintenance to VIOC’s national chain of more than 700 service centers. These include: Convenience for fleet drivers: VIOC has more than 700 service centers, all of which have immediate access to the manufacturer’s service recommendations and the history of VIOC-performed services; service is provided by friendly, informed representatives; a standard, full-service oil change usually takes less than 15 minutes; no appointment is required; and each location offers evening and weekend hours to make having a vehicle serviced even easier for fleet drivers who bring their cars home. VIOC accepts all major credit cards as well as fleet cards including: Wright Express, Voyager, Speedway SuperAmerica SuperFleet, FUELMAN, GE Capital, Wheels/MAP, LeasePlan U.S.A., Consolidated Service Corp., Enterprise Fleet Services, CitiCapital Fleet, Donlen and others. Control for fleet managers: consolidated statements with vehicle-specific billing help managers track VIOC’s service, enforce drain intervals, pinpoint inefficiencies or unauthorized purchases. Fleet customers can maximize cost savings by avoiding processing and card fees and minimum purchase requirements. VIOC also offers the flexibility of cash or charge accounts. Quality products for fleet vehicles: all VIOC service centers feature Valvoline products, including a variety of motor oils designed for specific driving conditions. Among these are: Valvoline’s All-Climate multi-viscosity motor oils formulated for the life of the engine; DuraBlend, a blend of premium synthetic and conventional base oils that provides increased protection for “tough driving conditions”; MaxLife, for vehicles with 75,000 or more miles; and SynPower, a full synthetic product.VIOC’s full-service oil change includes: draining and replacing motor oil; installing a new Valvoline oil filter and gasket; lubricating vehicles according to manufacturer recommendations; and performing preventative maintenance checks of the air filters and breathers, serpentine belts, tensioner alignment, PVC valves and windshield wiper blades. VIOC technicians will also check and top off power steering, transmission, battery, windshield washer, antifreeze/cooling system, differential and transfer case fluids in addition to testing batteries and tire pressure. Additional services available include: cleaning fuel and air-intake systems; draining and replacing transmission fluid; flushing, checking and refilling the cooling system; and replacing worn parts such as windshield wiper blades and serpentine belts. All VIOC service center staff is certified by SuperPro, VIOC’s training program, before being allowed to work independently on any vehicle, and VIOC backs its service with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee, says the company.VIOC service centers also feature Maximum Vehicle Performance (MVP), a computer-based tracking system that provides access to manufacturers’ recommendations for products and service and tracks the service history and mileage of each vehicle serviced by VIOC. The MVP system allows VIOC to provide timely reminders geared to specific driving habits. VIOC customers or fleet managers can also access service histories and update them with information on maintenance performed by other service providers by visiting VIOC online at www.vioc.com.Hurd says a key audience in VIOC’s marketing efforts will be smaller companies with fewer than 200 vehicles, especially utilities, government agencies, regional delivery companies, and floral, construction, plumbing and landscaping/lawncare companies.“Most smaller fleets look to VIOC because they lack in-house facilities. Often their alternative is the corner service garage, which may offer a lower price, but may also mean sacrificing the convenience of immediate service, and thus more downtime for the vehicle, not to mention more time collecting, logging, organizing and analyzing invoices from different drivers or service providers. Our consolidated billing statement puts organized information in the manager’s hands on a schedule he determines.”He adds, however, that VIOC offers solutions for fleets of all sizes. Larger companies, he explains, can outsource more routine preventive maintenance procedures to VIOC and use their internal resources to tackle more complex tasks.“A larger company with an in-house repair facility can achieve greater efficiency and cost savings by outsourcing preventive maintenance and reserving its expensive mechanics for higher cost repairs such as brake, engines or suspension work,” he says. “This, coupled with our hours and no-appointment service, lets companies avoid multiple obstacles to efficiency.”Currently there are VIOC service centers in 38 states. VIOC plans to grow to nearly 1,100 locations by the end of 2007.“Continued development will bring our fleet program to more local businesses and make us even more valuable to large regional and national companies,” says Hurd. “As more companies look for ways to improve efficiency, and as we continue to educate fleet managers about our business, we believe that more of them will realize the value of outsourcing automotive services to a trusted name like Valvoline Instant Oil Change.”About VIOC Fleet Services
The Valvoline Company entered the quick-lube business in 1986 and formally established the Valvoline Instant Oil Change name in 1988. With 711 company-owned and franchise service centers nationwide, VIOC is one of the nation’s largest providers of automotive fluid maintenance services.VIOC Fleet Services offers local and national businesses convenient access to comprehensive service, consolidated billing reports and multiple payment options, and high-quality Valvoline products, all with the objective of helping companies streamline the maintenance process and maximize the return on their investments in capital and labor.VIOC is a division of Ashland Inc., a 79-year-old Fortune 500 company.