By Mark Boada, Executive Editor
In what is possibly a sure sign that mobile fleet vehicle maintenance is here to stay, YourMechanic announced today that tire giant Goodyear has added the company to its distribution network for consumers and fleets.
Under the arrangement, YourMechanic technicians will inspect the tires of vehicles they service and, using Goodyear’s predictive analysis capability, determine when the tires need to be replaced and where Goodyear can replace them.
Paul Scola, YourMechanic’s chief revenue officer, said that if the tires need to be replaced right away, the buyer will also be given a price quote and the ability to schedule installation, either at a nearby Goodyear service center, by Goodyear’s mobile tire service, or at fleet yards.
The arrangement marks the first time that YourMechanic is able to offer tire replacement services. Founded in 2012, YourMechanic operates a network of independent auto mechanics in 65 major metropolitan areas, and provides more than 500 preventive maintenance services that touch everything from the battery, belts and brakes to fluids, lights, the exhaust system, and diagnostics.
The difference between outfits like YourMechanic and brick-and-mortar service stations is that the company brings those services to the car, rather than having the driver bring the car to the service station. What mobile providers are selling is convenience, but in the fleet market, the key selling point for mobile service providers is the time, productivity and money that they save the driver and his or her employer. Another is that YourMechanic captures and can relay to fleets data and qualitative information about vehicles that fleet managers rarely or never see.
Scola said his company’s services are available 24/7, meaning that fleets that operate out of depots can have YourMechanic technicians service a large number of their vehicles when they’re not in use, overnight or on weekends. Scola said that at any one time, the company has close to 700 certified and insured mechanics on call across the nation, with whom it communicates by a mobile app.
In its printed statement, the company said “Drivers want efficiency and convenience as they seek optimal vehicle performance, and YourMechanic, with its technology-enabled service model, delivers on those consumer demands. Working with YourMechanic is an extension of Goodyear’s 120-year heritage of innovation.”
A global brand, Goodyear operates some 1,000 tire and service centers. Last October, it also announced the creation of its own mobile tire replacement service, Roll by Goodyear. The company is the leading tire replacement firm in the U.S., accounting for 12 percent of the 203 million tires sold in 2017, according to Modern Tire Dealer.
Scola said YourMechanic’s fleet business is still in its infancy, but is expected to account for almost 30 percent of the company’s revenue by the end of this year. He said that the company has regional service agreements with several rental car companies, ride-hailing fleets and fleet management companies.
Mobile routine and preventive maintenance providers offer a compelling value proposition, even when they charge rates that are comparable to a brick-and-mortar service station for the same job, because of what they save in driver time and opportunity costs alone. But as the ranks of qualified technicians continues to thin out, and with the higher incomes that mobile providers can afford to pay, more and more fleets may turn to them as a matter of necessity. With Fortune 500 companies like Goodyear in the game, it appears that mobile maintenance is a proven concept that’s destined to grow.