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MONRO, SPEEDY MUFFLER STORES MAY UNITE UNDER NEW NAME

Buffalo-area Speedy Muffler King customers may not realize it, but their vehicles are now being serviced by Monro Muffler Brake Inc.

Rochester-based Monro purchased 205 Speedy auto service outlets from the Toronto-based company earlier this year, including seven in the Buffalo market.

Monro operates 18 self-named stores in the Buffalo market. The company has no plans to close any of its original or newly-acquired stores, officials said.

While long-term plans call for an identity change for the newly-acquired stores, for the time being the ownership shift is being kept "transparent by design," according to Mike Cox, Monro's executive vice president.

"Absolutely nothing is changed from a service standpoint. When customers come in they are getting the same great treatment and services by the name they were used to," Cox said.

But if customers are extra observant, they'll notice invoices now carry both the Speedy and Monro logos, Monro parts delivery trucks are now pulling up to the Speedy stores, and Speedy's phone greeting includes a "by Monro" tagline.

Monro is also transferring ownership of the local Speedy properties to its company name. In the past week, four Speedy sites were officially transferred to Monro ownership.

Long-term, Monro is considering an entirely new identity for its stable of 350 muffler shops and the 205 Monro locations, according to Cox.

"We have the right to use the Speedy name for 10 years, but I think we'll make a decision to switch to one common name long before that. Maybe we'll go with Monro, but maybe we'll go with something brand new," he added.

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