Named by Motor Age Magazine as the “2010 Top Shop,” Curry’s Auto Service in the Washington, D.C. area has partnered with Automotive Research and Design (AR&D) to form a new joint venture for hybrid vehicles called The Hybrid Shop (THS).
The company is currently assembling a nationwide aftermarket dealer network. CEO and President Matt Curry recently answered a series of questions about the program:
Q: What are the basics of your Hybrid Shop battery repair program?
A: We are offering The Hybrid Shop as a “fractional franchise,” meaning it’s a business within a business. We are establishing a network of top-end auto repair shops across North America with professionally trained and educated technicians to perform diagnostics, maintenance and repair of all hybrid vehicles. We offer a proprietary training program provided by AR&D and by Dr. Mark Quarto, a PhD, EE with 28 years of hybrid vehicle experience working as a lead technologist for GM. We also offer proprietary equipment that allows our dealers to “condition” hybrid batteries as an alternative to replacing them, saving our customers $1000’s and our system is much better for the environment as it produces no waste. Through our exclusive system we can restore up to 95 percent of a battery’s original power, energy and capacity.
Q: How did you decide to offer this program?
A: I met Dr. Mark and Chris Quarto at SEMA. Afterwards, Mark came out and trained us and demoed his equipment – we were blown away. His instructional ability, his passion and knowledge of all things hybrid and his training on how to condition the batteries was crazy cool. My techs, managers and I were all super excited about our new capabilities. After servicing over 20 cars and seeing how the technology works and the improvements we were seeing in MPG and in the overall performance we dove in with both feet.
Q: Who else is participating in this?
A: We have six dealers in the U.S. so far; we just kicked it off April 29:
- Lloyds Tire and Auto; Santa Cruz, Calif.
- Good Works Auto Repair; Tempe, Ariz.
- 5Th Gear Automotive; Lewisville, Texas.
- First Landing Auto Care; Virginia Beach, Va.
- Toole’s Garage; San Carlos, Calif.
- Baldwin’s German Autowerks; Novato, Calif.
Q: What types of expertise does your team bring to this initiative?
A: Dr. Mark Quarto is a PhD, EE and worked for GM for 28 years in their Hybrid/Alternative Fuel division. Mark is one of the country’s foremost experts on hybrid vehicle technology. Chris Quarto is CEO of AR&D and has a MS degree and worked in corporate America and internationally for over 30 years in M&A, operations and other areas. My CMO, Judi Curry and I are serial entrepreneurs, have 10 auto repair shops in the Northern Virginia, D.C. area. We were named top shop by Motor Age Magazine in 2010 and Best of Northern Virginia by the readers of Northern Virginia Magazine. Curry’s Auto Service made the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row and the Washington Business Journal’s Fastest 50 DC companies two years in a row. Judi and I deliver the branding and marketing expertise to The Hybrid Shop.