The Maaco auto paint and collision repair company is looking to expand into the Birmingham-Hoover metro area and considers Hoover a priority market, a company official said.
Maaco, based in Charlotte, currently has 513 repair and paint shops in 52 states and Canadian provinces. There are only eight in Alabama, none of which are in the Birmingham-Hoover metro area, said Dennis Elliott, the company’s vice president of development and franchising.
But the company wants to be in the Birmingham area and in Hoover specifically, Elliott said.
Maaco thrives in suburbs, where people tend to be more dependent on cars to get to work, and Hoover has all the characteristics that Maaco is seeking, he said. Elliott said the city appears to be a business-friendly community experiencing a lot of growth, both in housing and business.
Maaco would like to open about six locations in the Birmingham-Hoover area over the next three to five years, probably mostly south of Birmingham, Elliott said. The company also may add more shops in Huntsville, Florence, Jacksonville, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Mobile, he said.
Currently, Maaco has two shops in Mobile and one each in Auburn, Decatur, Dothan, Huntsville, Montgomery and Saraland, according to the company’s website. Each Maaco repair and paint shop typically employs five to 10 people, Elliott said.
Maaco has not yet identified specific locations for shops in the metro area, he said. The company typically looks for the right person to be a franchise partner first, he said.
“We have zero corporate-owned stores,” he said.
Maaco is not necessarily looking for someone with experience in the auto repair and paint business, but more so someone who can be a good business manager, he said.
“We’ve got a proven playbook. We’ve been around for 45 years and continue to grow every year,” he said.
Last year, Maaco signed 45 new franchise licenses, Elliott said. About 70 percent of those were new shops, and about 30 percent were existing shops acquired by Maaco, he said.
This year, the company hopes to have a substantially higher number of new licenses than last year, he said. The company recently hired a new chief development officer with experience at McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, he said.