Meineke Car Care Centers, the automotive repair chain, is looking to open as many as 15 new locations in Alabama over the next few years.
Dennis Elliott, vice president of franchising for the company, said Meineke hopes to expand not only in Birmingham and Huntsville, but also in the Auburn and Montgomery areas.
"We've been making heavy investments in priority markets, and we think we have the ability to nearly double in size," Elliott said. "Expanding in Huntsville and Birmingham makes a ton of sense."
Meineke, based in Charlotte, N.C., has more than 900 locations. It currently has centers in Bessemer, Florence, Mobile, Montgomery and Vestavia Hills.
Elliott said the company would like to open up to five locations in the Huntsville and Birmingham areas, and up to five in the Auburn-Montgomery corridor along Interstate 85.
Alabama's low-cost, business-friendly reputation is one reason, Elliott said.
"There's a lot of positive factors," he said. "There's a lot of economic growth in the Southeast, and we're looking to find the people who are interested in growing with us."
Elliott said a new Huntsville location will open within the next year, following land acquisition. The company is currently looking for those interested in franchise development.
"Meineke is a 45-year-old brand, very stable, with an aggressive growth plan," he said. "It has a broad awareness with high levels of interest."
This story, by William Thornton, first appeared on al.com