Had an in-depth conversation with Sam Mitchell, president of Ashland Consumer Markets, the division of that company that includes Valvoline and Valvoline Instant Oil Change. Look for the article in the April 2011 issue of National Oil & Lube News.
One topic of the conversation involved fast lubes in foreign markets. The topic didn’t make the article, but it was worth noting Mitchell’s thoughts on it:
“We’ve experimented with the quick lube business in other markets, like Australia for instance, but there isn’t that same demand for convenience as there is here. People are fine dropping their car off and waiting a half-day for an oil change.”
Don’t think I’ve ever heard a better explanation for why the U.S. quick lube concept hasn’t taken off overseas. Americans are just a lot more impatient than everyone else!
(This post written while listening to “Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. I usually skip it when the iPod spins it up, but I allowed myself the guilty pleasure today. Brings back memories of high school!)