Just six months after it started offering franchise operations, Shell TMO may be up for sale, or at least getting ready to undergo some sort of major changes.
Shell TMO, which stands for Shell Truck Maintenance Operation, was to provide preventive maintenance and inspection services through a nationwide network of dedicated drive-through bays. A nationwide computer network would make your records available anywhere you stop.
Company officials were reluctant to talk about reports that Shell is planning to part company with the service. Katherine Canipelli, vice president of sales and marketing for Shell Fleet Services, told RoadStar Radio News, "We are looking at and evaluating options on how to continue improving the operations. Sale is a possibility, but it's not a commitment at this time."
Canipelli says any changes should not affect Shell TMO customers, and insists that "the business does have a future. We continue to look at market opportunities and alternatives that could involve changes in structure, that could involve different kinds of approaches, but we will support the business to achieve the necessary growth."
One possible buyer for the operation is Truck Care Inc., the company that is actually managing the Shell TMO program under contract to Shell. Truck Care officials have expressed interest in acquiring Shell TMO, and Canipelli admits they are a possible buyer.
The first actual Shell TMO franchise is nearly ready to open, according to Randy Amerine, vice president of marketing for Truck Care Inc., at CMC Fleet Services in Youngstown, OH. (The first location and training facility, located in the Chicago area, has been operating for a year and a half.) During the launch of the service in March, officials said they planned to have more than 500 locations within five years.
Also under the microscope for possible changes is Shell Fleet Services, a network of businesses that focus on commercial fleets, including SpeedCo truck lube and Vehi-Care on-site preventive maintenance and repair.