Ride-share company Lyft recently announced it is planning to open several dozen mechanical and collision repair shops across the nation in order to provide its drivers with discounted and expedited service.
As part of what’s being labeled “Lyft Driver Services,” the first prototype service center opened in San Francisco in March. Also, a test center opened in Philadelphia. The company hopes to have 35 repair centers by the end of the year with a focus on large cities. The end goal is to have these shops provide services such as oil changes, brakes, alternators, auto body repairs, carwashes and other basic service items.
Each center will have 12 to 14 full-time mechanics and technicians who are all Lyft employees. Currently, shops will only be servicing active Lyft drivers, but Lyft CEO Jon McNeill said that in the future, anyone might be able to have their car repaired by Lyft.
“A Lyft shop tailormade for our community is designed to operate twice as fast, at up to half the cost for drivers,” wrote McNeill in a Medium post announcing the service. “Drivers will be served by Lyft team members, including certified mechanics, selected for their expertise and passion for helping our community.”
Lyft believes it can make its service centers more efficient than existing repair shops by using modern manufacturing techniques, according to a CNN article. To achieve this, McNeill said shops will use a system similar to an assembly line or NASCAR pit stop.
“That car can pull in, four people can attack those tires, get them off at the same time and get them replaced,” McNeill told CNN. “What can take a half hour can take less than 10 minutes.”
Prior to Lyft, McNeill worked at Tesla, which also opened its own repair centers during his tenure. Earlier in his career, McNeil co-founded Sterling Collision Centers.