Ziebart International Corp., an automotive appearance and protection service firm based in Troy, announced record-breaking sales and franchise growth to end 2021.
Company executives attribute the growth to a variety of factors, including the automotive chip shortage which has caused some owners to keep their vehicle instead of purchasing a new one.
“The global chip shortage has created ideal opportunities for the automotive aftermarket services industry,” says Thomas E. Wolfe, CEO of Ziebart. “As the lack of inventory for both new and used vehicles continues, consumers now understand the value of investing in their current vehicles to keep them protected and looking like new.”
The company, which opened its first rustproofing store in Detroit in 1959, experienced a year-over-year increase of 40 percent in retail leads in 2021.
For overall franchise development, the number of profiles received more than doubled during the second half of 2021. The company signed seven new franchise agreements for future stores – domestic agreements in Fort Myers, Fla.; Highland, Mich.; Triadelphia, W.Va.; and international agreements in Greece, Iraq, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria.
Additionally, the franchise also opened three new locations this year in Ontario, New York, and South Carolina, and Australia. New franchise locations are owned and operated by existing multi-unit operators, as well as new franchise owners. Additional international master franchises were sold in the Netherlands and Greece.
According to the Auto Care Association, the automotive aftermarket is expected to grow to $477 billion by 2024. Ziebart projects a strong sales performance across its system, as well as continued growth in franchise ownership. To prepare, the company has added to its franchise development, marketing, IT, and operations teams.
“Window tint sales have increased 30 percent over last year in the U.S. with privacy being the primary driver for the service,” says Wolfe. “We expect continued growth in Ziebart’s appearance and protection services including detailing, rust protection, window tint, paint protection films, and ceramic coatings.”