Dave Crawford has rejoined The Hybrid Shop as the company's president and chief operating officer.
Martin Kruszelnicki took ownership of The Hybrid Shop in 2017 and serves as the company's CEO. He says The Hybrid Shop program has been simplified and restructured to make it more affordable for participating dealers.
In 2014 Crawford joined The Hybrid Shop and served as CEO under founder and previous owner Matt Curry.
“Dave Crawford was an integral part of the original franchise program and built strong relationships with the original dealers,” says Kruszelnicki. “As the new program started coming together, we knew that we needed someone with Dave’s experience to manage the business and franchise efforts. We had formed a solid relationship when I owned my hybrid dealership in Santa Monica, so I reached out to see if there was still interest. I was thrilled when he agreed to rejoin the company.”
Crawford most recently had worked as an independent business consultant and trainer for retail tire businesses. His previous stint at The Hybrid Shop was preceded by his service as vice president of Tire Pros for American Tire Distributors Inc. He also had worked as national marketing director with American Car Care Centers.
In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations and management, Crawford will focus on expanding The Hybrid Shop network of franchise locations servicing hybrid and electric vehicles.
“Servicing hybrids is a great opportunity for dealers to add on to their existing business. This is a program that nobody else in the industry offers”, says Crawford. “A franchise (with The Hybrid Shop) is a chance to get in on the ground floor of a market trend that is expected to continue to expand. I see big opportunities for everyone who’s involved with The Hybrid Shop. To me, this new role is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help lead the larger industry in the cutting-edge technology in the burgeoning hybrid market. It’s exciting to be back.
“The automotive industry is certainly moving towards fuel economy. Dealers need to embrace the future and new technology," says Crawford. "This was an opportunity I had to embrace.”
Working with GTK Instruments in Poland, The Hybrid Shop has developed a new process for remanufacturing high voltage hybrid batteries that the company says is far more advanced than previous processes. Remanufactured batteries are only a small part of the program.
The company says, "The real value of the program comes from having a trained technical staff that has confidence to diagnose and repair hybrid and electric vehicles safely and profitably. The biggest challenge for dealers is the learning curve and letting your market know you specialize in servicing hybrids."
The Hybrid Shop provides both dealer and technician training at its education center in Los Angeles. The company also provides marketing support to assist with building the awareness that will distinguish The Hybrid Shop dealer and drive new business.
The company says it is investing in research and development of new products, especially replacement high voltage batteries, because they reduce costs for vehicle owners while increasing profits for franchisees.
The Hybrid Shop franchisees serviced more than 30,000 electric and hybrid vehicles in 2017. The company wants to expand its dealer network to more than 400 locations worldwide.