Presto! Merlin Muffler & Brake Changes Their Name

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Maintenance and Repair Outlets will now be called Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops

Twenty years ago, not even a magician like Merlin could help cars reach the 200,000 mile mark. But modern cars, minivans, SUV's, and light trucks have been built to last longer, and with regular maintenance (and proper driving habits by their owners) these everyday vehicles can reasonably reach that mythical plateau. In order to reflect this evolution and emphasize a company-wide commitment to helping their customers get the most from their vehicles, Merlin Muffler & Brake shops across the country are changing their name effective May 1 to Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops.

The name change is meant to better communicate the chain's long-term strategy of dominating a poorly served market within the auto maintenance and repair industry and capitalize on a major consumer trend, according to Frank Smola, President of Merlin's Franchising, Inc..

"We believe our new name explains our commitment to long-term customer relationships yet it does not confine us to specific automotive technologies. It quantifies what we are trying to do for our customers, which is to help them receive the full life of their automobile," Smola said. For too long, car and light truck owners have been prematurely trading out of their cars and taking on unnecessary debt because they have had little idea that their vehicles will last and perform well beyond 100,000 miles. But Merlin shop franchisees and managers, like Don Miller of the Merlin 200,000 Mile Shop in Waukegan, Illinois, understand the true mileage potential of today's passenger vehicles and facilitate this quest for longevity during the course of every business day.

"We see cars almost every day with 150,000 or even 200,000 miles on them," Miller said. "What we are telling our other customers is that you can go farther and that there is a better place for your money than more car payments." A 200,000 Mile Shop provides both repair and prevention services as well as tires -almost anything automotive a consumer would need during the first 200,000 miles of their car's life (except car washes, major engine, transmission, and collision repair).

What makes Merlin excel is their proprietary maintenance product - "The Drive for 200,000" � which is a comprehensive program of regular inspections, scheduled maintenance and preemptive replacement that is far more cost effective for the consumer than many car dealer's maintenance programs. Merlin�s "Drive for 200,000" eliminates certain unnecessary services that may characterize competitors' programs. Its purpose is to help vehicles last beyond 300,000 miles. One of the fastest growing groups of automobile owners are those keeping their cars beyond 125,000 miles. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study released earlier this year reported that typical passenger cars are now lasting 150,000 miles or more, while pickups and SUV's are lasting 180,000 miles or more. The report noted that 79 percent of 10 year old passenger cars are still on the road, an increase of 7 percentage points over the same statistic from NHTSA's 1995 study.

"Following "The Drive for 200,000" and delaying another 60-month round of car payments can mean a better life. Based on an average car payment of $400 a month or $4,800 each year, minus $750 a year in regular maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations etc.) and $900 a year in routine repairs (brakes, mufflers etc.), we estimate a customer can save over $3,000 a year by keeping their car, extending its life, and avoiding new car payments. And just think of what you could do with that extra money," said Miller.

"We've been helping our customers win the battle against premature car payments for years," Smola said. "Our new name and "The Drive" program will equip us to deliver on that promise in a much better way. And while we are helping the motoring public go farther, we will also be assisting our franchisees and shop employees to also go farther and maximize their full potentials." For more information, contact Penny McDowell at 800-652-9900 or [email protected].

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Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops
3815 E Main St. Unit D
St. Charles, IL

Phone: (630)208-9907 ext. 122
Toll Free: (800)652-9900
Fax: (630)208-8601

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