On a clear day, you can see Pep Boys, Jiffy Lube and Firestone service shops from Planet Ford-Lincoln in Spring, Texas.
With all that nearby competition, why are dealer Randall Reed and his partner, General Manager Shawn Burns, spending $7 million to build a huge Quick Lane oil-change shop?
When Planet Ford-Lincoln's Quick Lane shop in the Houston suburb opens in December, it will be the largest Ford Motor Co. Quick Lane operation, with 28 lanes. That's right: 28 lanes.
While oil change intervals may be getting longer, Reed and Burns firmly believe fast oil changes can be the key to retaining service customers.
Reed and Burns believe they have a secret weapon in their battle against the nearby fast-lube shops: At the center of the Quick Lane operation will be a huge car wash capable of washing 1,000 vehicles per day.
"With the car wash we put in, our goal is too overachieve over Jiffy Lube and Walmart," Burns says.
Reed says: "We'll be offering something no other fast oil service does: a free car wash with your package. It's seamless to the consumer."
The new car wash will be branded Ford Rotunda for the Ford unit that sells auto service tools and equipment to dealers.
Burns believes the free car wash will help his store achieve something all dealerships struggle with: keeping customers in the service department after their warranties expire.