From the big blue sign at the front of our shop, to the logos on our business cards, lots of clients are starting to notice the NAPA Autopro branding going up around our business. Customers who already know the Autopro brand have been really pumped about this, which is great! But for people who don’t know the Autopro name, this has generated a lot of questions. “Are you a parts store now, too?” and “Is there a NAPA store opening up next door?” are two of the most common queries. With this post, we’d like to explain just what the NAPA Autopro program is, and why we wanted to be a part of it.
What is NAPA Autopro?
NAPA Autopro is a group of over 600 independent automotive service centres across Canada. While offering many of the benefits of a franchise, Autopro is actually a banner program, similar to the Auto Select brand from Uniselect/Bumper to Bumper. Because Autopro isn’t a franchise, members don’t pay franchise fees and we have the freedom to run our businesses the way we choose.
As a NAPA Autopro, we are in elite company: Autopro is consistently ranked the #1 independent automotive service provider in the country by JD Power almost every year. NAPA Autopro was even ranked the #1 service provider period within 4 of the last 8 years, losing only to the Lexus dealerships the past couple years. While we can’t compete with Lexus’ in-store spas and coffee shops, we know certain things are more important to our customers and we look forward to helping get the Autopro brand back on top!
A decision not taken lightly: Choosing to join NAPA Autopro
We have actually been looking into the Autopro program for about three years now. NAPA Autopro is widely considered the top automotive shop banner program in the country, so the decision for us wasn’t so much about which program to join, but if we wanted to join a banner program at all.
In our beautiful new facility, we have a great team of people with a common goal: We will settle for nothing less than to operate the best auto service business in Airdrie, and one of the best in Alberta. Fiercely independent, we worried about a banner program diluting or weakening our own individual brand. We know we’d be able to earn an amazing reputation in the community. Would flying the same banner as hundreds of other shops affect that? It took months of consideration and meetings with dozens of different people make the decision. Weighing the pros and cons, we knew that any changes we made had to have a net benefit to our business and – most importantly – to our customers.
Ultimately, we decided to join the program. Being a NAPA Autopro lets us run the special business that we want to, while being able to offer our clients some benefits that normally only the “big name” franchises can. We feel the Autopro program is being run extremely well by some great people who, like us, are passionate about staying at the forefront of the industry. Over the past years, some of the innovations and new ideas we’ve brought to Airdrie were inspired by people within the Autopro program. Behind the scenes, Autopro offers a lot of support and training to help us keep running our shop at the highest level. For our customers, being a NAPA Autopro shop offers a ton of pluses as well – some of which we’ll discuss below!
NAPA Autopro: The benefits to our customers
Being part of the Autopro program allows us to offer a whole host of services and programs that we couldn’t before. While we don’t have enough space to list them all here, these are a few of our favourites!
Nationwide Peace of Mind Warranty:
We already offer Airdrie’s best workmanship warranty of 3 years or 100,000 km on all of our repairs. Now, we also offer 2 years or 40,000 km of coverage right across Canada! If you’re traveling and experience a problem with a repair we’ve performed, any other NAPA Autopro shop will be happy to help – at no charge. New customers can rest assured that our work isn’t just backed by our business, but by the biggest name in automotive parts & service as well.
10 Year/400,000 km Powertrain Warranty:
As a progressive shop, our focus is on maintenance and repair of late model (newer) vehicles. Now we have yet another reason to perform all your newer vehicle maintenance with us: If we sign you up before your car reaches 4 years old or or 60,000 km, we can offer you a 10 year or 400,000 km warranty on your engine, transmission, differentials and other powertrain parts.
Sounds too good to be true, huh? We were definitely skeptical at first, and had to find out more. Unlike some similar programs being offered by dealerships, which only seem to cover parts that will never actually fail, the NAPA 10/400 Warranty is the real deal.
Here’s how it works: Once we sign you up, all you have to do is have your scheduled maintenance performed on time at any NAPA Autopro shop to maintain coverage. That’s it! You’ll receive this extra coverage just for doing something that your vehicle needs anyway. You’ll be happy to know that we also haven’t cooked up a pushy or overly aggressive “in house” service schedule like some other businesses, either. All our maintenance recommendations are in accordance with your vehicle manufacturer’s service schedule; the same one found in your owner’s manual. The only extra service required is to replace your transmission/transfer case/differential fluids every 100,000 km – something we’ve always advocated for anyway*. Find out more here!
* (Some vehicles – such as new Ford trucks, for example – don’t call for a differental fluid change until 240,000 km. We have found this just isn’t realistic, as the differentials usually fail by around 190,000 km if the fluid is never replaced.)
Within the next month, we will be fully on-boarded into the NAPA Autopro program. At that time, we will be able to offer a fantastic roadside assistance plan to our customers. The plan offers very similar coverage to the AMA plans that many of your friends and neighbors may have, but costs about $60/year less.
Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels, as we’ll be sharing more Autopro-related goodies over the next few months.
So, do we only use NAPA parts now?
This is a question that we’ve been asked dozens to times already. The answer is no – and this is one of the reasons we were attracted to the Autopro program. Unlike other banner programs were you are forced to purchase a certain percentage of parts from one supplier, we have total freedom to choose the parts that we think will perform best for you, every time.
That being said, we do use a lot of NAPA parts because of their quality, which in our experience is the best in the aftermarket. We also install a large percentage of genuine OEM (factory) parts; more than most independent shops. As a NAPA Autopro, we always source the best parts based on quality, availability and cost.
Do you have any questions?
Do you have any questions about NAPA Autopro, or our business in general? Please leave a comment below; call us; or send us an email!