2015 in Review, Customer Rides Style

These days time seems to breeze by especially fast. However, 2015 seemed like it came and went so quickly that it had me checking to make sure it didn’t leave my face in a state of looking permanently surprised.

In the office, we received Customer Rides throughout the year and our archives stayed full (for the most part) with everything from classic to muscle cars. Every month we stayed true to tradition, awarding one of your cars the title of Ride of the Month and publishing it in the magazine. If you missed an issue or just want to see them all in one place, it’s your lucky day. Here’s 2015 in review as illustrated by our Ride of the Month winners:

JANUARY 2015 RIDE OF THE MONTH: This 2012 Fisker Karma came in to The Duke of Oil in Hobert, Indiana, for a synthetic oil change — only 2,450 have been built worldwide.
January: This 2012 Fisker Karma came in to The Duke of Oil in Hobert, Indiana, for a synthetic oil change — only 2,450 have been built worldwide.

JANUARY offered us all a fresh start and in the first 2015 issue of NOLN we accepted the challenge to better ourselves, our content and continue to focus on what you, our readers wanted to read about. We started into the future by taking a look at the past. Industry pioneers Scotti Lee and Joe Haggard offered up some of their best advice yet and told their personal stories in an article titled, “Moments with Legends.”

February 2015 Ride of the Month: This 2006 Lotus was serviced at Lube Depot in Boardman, Ohio.
February: This 2006 Lotus was serviced at Lube Depot in Boardman, Ohio.

FEBRUARY brought with it buzz about the upcoming trade show season. This issue of NOLN highlighted the next generation of automotive professionals gave an inside look at what it’s like to train them. We also took a stab at explaining infamous “cloud” storage and unpacked how you can use it in your shop.

March 2015 Ride of the Month: This car is proud to wear a reflective badge so everyone knows what oil he uses. The car is serviced at Master Lube in Eden, North Carolina.
March: This car is proud to wear a reflective badge so everyone knows what oil he uses. The car is serviced at Master Lube in Eden, North Carolina.

MARCH ushered in the new Tops in the Industry rankings. Jiffy Lube held on to their No. 1 spot while Valvoline Express Care moved up one place to No. 5 and Havoline xpress lube followed suit moving from No. 7 to No. 6. Mobil 1 Lube Express fell two places moving from No. 5 in 2014 to No. 7 in 2015.

April 2015 Ride of the Month: This Lamborghini Aventador LL 700 was brought into Jiffy Lube in Winter Garden, Florida, to have the tire pressure checked.
April: This Lamborghini Aventador LL 700 was brought into Jiffy Lube in Winter Garden, Florida, to have the tire pressure checked.

APRIL got sudsy as we dove into the carwash issue where we covered everything from a carwash with a not-so-secret trade secret to the need-to-know numbers on the carwash/fast lube survey: Fast lube/carwash facilities were servicing more vehicles per day (43.0 vs. 35.1) and their bay times were faster (12.8 minutes vs. 19.1 minutes). Ticket averages were higher at fast lube only facilities — $71.05 vs. $70.85 for combo facilities and customers visited fast lube only facilities more often than fast lube/carwash combo facilities — every 4,563 miles for combo facilities.

Ride of the Month: A Noble M400 came in for service at Valvoline Instant Oil Change in Pasadena, California. The engine is a twin-turbo V6, cranking out 430 horsepower to propel the vehicle's curb weight of 2,300 pounds.
May: A Noble M400 came in for service at Valvoline Instant Oil Change in Pasadena, California. The engine is a twin-turbo V6, cranking out 430 horsepower to propel the vehicle’s curb weight of 2,300 pounds.

MAY came around and with it came the annual Additives and Cleaners guide to help operators decipher what products were on the market and if they wanted to add any to their service offerings.

June 2015 Ride of the Month: This 1968 Dodge Charger, with 39,242 miles, was serviced at Speed Lube in Newton, North Carolina.
June: This 1968 Dodge Charger, with 39,242 miles, was serviced at Speed Lube in Newton, North Carolina.

JUNE busted the biggest myth of the 21st century. Upon investigating the Fast Lube Operator Survey, oil change customers drove an average of 4,445 miles between oil changes in 1999. In 2014, you told us your customers drove an average of 4,597 miles between oil changes — only a 152-mile increase. Contrary to popular belief, it didn’t appear that extended drain intervals are having much of an impact on the miles customers drive between oil changes.

July 2015 Ride of the Month: This 2014 ZL1 supercharged Camaro came in for service at Oil Can Henry's store #75 in Windsor, Colorado.
July: This 2014 ZL1 supercharged Camaro came in for service at Oil Can Henry’s store #75 in Windsor, Colorado.

JULY kept tradition alive with the 2015 Specialty Motor Oil guide, an exclusive list of available specialty motor oils. Also on everybody’s minds was the PC-11 and GF-6 motor oil update as everybody wondered if newer oils would be 100-percent backward compatible or not.

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August: This 1967 Chevy Camaro, swapped with a 350 crate motor, rolled in for service to the Valvoline Instant Oil Change in Mooresville, North Carolina.

AUGUST roared onto the scene in a shiny, red Corvette Stingray. The Corvette issue of NOLN covered everything from the evolution of the iconic sports car to the restoration of the Peter Max Corvette collection. The ride of the month however, was snagged by a Camaro (pictured above).

September 2015 Ride of the Month: This 1957 all-original Fairlane was serviced at Oil Masters in Bartlett, Illinois.
September: This 1957 all-original Fairlane was serviced at Oil Masters in Bartlett, Illinois.

SEPTEMBER made everybody flip to pg. 24 and read the highlights of the 2015 Fast Lube Operator Survey. The cost of goods for a standard, full-service LOF was $12.91; The total number of cars serviced per day (including inspections, repair work, etc.) was 30.6 cars; The break-even car count was 19.1 cars; The average bay time was 18.4 minutes.