Driven Brands Acquires Automotive Training Institute
Nov. 19, 2019—The Automotive Training Institute (ATI), a coaching and consulting company for the automotive industry, has been acquired by Driven Brands, according to an email the company sent to its vendors, obtained by FenderBender.
A message from Richard Menneg, president of ATI, to vendor partners, states the following:
ATI’s lifelong focus has always been to help our members realize their profits and dreams with the best coaching and training available. Providing a high-value member experience has been our top priority. But for years we have also believed that in order to take ATI to our next level we needed and wanted help. Our choices were to partner with either a strategic company that could leverage what we have accomplished in consulting and training or a private equity firm that could infuse capital to help us grow organically. We chose strategic.
We are very excited to share with all our preferred suppliers that we have been acquired by the largest aftermarket strategic company in the automotive and collision industry, Driven Brands in Charlotte, N.C.. Driven Brands is the franchisor for 2700 family-owned collision and repair/maintenance centers in the US and Canada. They are branded as CARSTAR, Meineke, Take 5 Quick Lube Centers, ABRA, Merlin, MAACO, Econo Lube N’ Tune. They also own 1-800 Radiator who many of our members already do business with.
With Driven Brands as our new partner, ATI is positioned for unbelievable growth. All of us at ATI are excited and positive about the future with our new partner.
We see this as a significant opportunity which provides ATI with resources, global buying power and industry reach, positioning us to even better serve our members and preferred suppliers.
ATI will continue to operate under the ATI name, with the existing management team, with headquarters in Linthicum, MD.
Our Preferred Supplies are as important as ever to the success of ATI and our membership. We look forward to partnering together in an even bigger way in the months and years to come.
A few hours after the email was obtained, Menneg reached out to FenderBender to comment.
"This is a plan that was years in the making for us. We have 1700 members that are a part of our program, we've got 141 associates here. We do really great work coaching and training for members of independent repair shops and collision centers in the U.S. and Canada. We wanted to be able to continue to grow and continue to be able to offer increased services for our members to be able to develop more content and grow," Menneg says.
Driven Brands and it's reach will allow ATI to do that, Menneg explains.
"They have lots of brands and lots of reach and lots of buying power," Menneg says of Driven Brands. "They acquired us for what we do and how we do it and we were interested in the way they could help our members grow even more and we could provide a better service for them."
"There is no change in our management team," Menneg continued. "We're still ATI out of Baltimore, Maryland. We'll still going to get up every single day and do exactly what we do but with greater resources to be able to offer more value to our members."
The following statement from Driven Brands was sent the day after the news broke:
“We are excited to add ATI to the Driven Brands family and to support their focus on helping members realize their profits and dreams with the best coaching available. Driven Brands is committed to doing what it can to assist ATI in their pursuit of this vision by looking for ways to support their efforts while maintaining ATI’s independence as an operating entity. To that end, no changes are planned with respect to ATI’s mission, strategies, or management teams at this time.”