Steve Leal, president of Canada-based Fix Auto World, announced yesterday his plans to regain the rights to the Fix Auto trademark in the United States from Fix Auto USA, with intentions to directly enter the U.S. market by the end of 2017.
Fix Auto World has more than 450 collision repair centers throughout eight countries outside of the U.S. However, with its recent acquisition of Novus Glass and Speedy Auto Glass USA, the company has a combined total of 230 locations in the U.S.
“By regaining the rights to our trademark, we are asserting our commitment to the U.S. market,” Leal said in a statement. “We look forward to growing the Fix Auto brand in the U.S. by directly pursuing aggressive new strategies that leverage our global track record of elevating the brand and developing insurance channels.”
Leal is owner of the Quebec-based Mondofix Inc., which currently owns the rights to the Auto Fix trademark.
The news came as a surprise to Fix Auto USA, which has had a license to use the trademark since 1997. According to a press release, Fix Auto USA has every intention of fighting to keep the trademark.
“We were extremely disappointed to read the Mondofix press release today concerning U.S. operations since it has no basis in fact,” said Erick Bickett, chairman of Fix Auto USA, in a press release. “Mondofix has made its intent clear to usurp the hard-earned equity and loyalty we have built in the United States for nearly 20 years. We will vigorously defend and protect our business relationships from any activity that would affect or injure those business relations.”
Fix Auto USA currently operates 116 franchises throughout the U.S., and, according to its president and CEO Paul Gange, the company has grown by 135-percent over the past five years, with annual revenue near $300 million.
“Disregarding contracts and assuming that business relationships may be simply bought and sold in the United States may be the impression of foreign business executives like those at Mondofix,” the release states. “We believe otherwise. We have worked diligently for many years to not only establish our brand and reputation in the market place, but to deliver on the promises we have made. We still value integrity and fair business practices. We will fight to protect our business and the values we have stood on for so many years.”
According to the statement, Fix Auto USA’s legal counsel has notified Mondofix that it will continue to operate under the existing licensing agreement it has with them. It further states that it will hold Monodifx “accountable and liable for any damages incurred by Fix Auto USA or its franchisees as a result of Mondofix’s actions involving the existing License Agreement.”