Castrol invest in Autino to drive world-class aftermarket experiences

The innovation and investment group of Castrol has made a further undisclosed investment in Autino, the Reading based software company which enables online consumer portals, part suppliers and independent garages to deliver enhanced customer aftermarket experiences.
“Today’s consumer expects world-class experiences when it comes to the servicing, maintenance and repair of their cars.” says Jonathan Tudor, Ventures Director, Castrol innoVentures. “Helping our customers in the automotive industry serve these discerning consumers more efficiently is an important part of Castrol’s future and we are delighted to make the additional investment in Autino to drive this strategy forward.”

Autino provides the software which allows independent garages to publish their repair slot availability online in real-time on their website, in their emails or through social media. The consumer can book directly from any device and can be offered relevant in-context upsells along the way. The entire consumer’s experience from booking, through to workshop arrival, in-job communication and follow-up can be managed and enhanced.

“The big challenge for the automotive aftermarket industry is to blend online and offline experiences together to deliver consumer grade experiences.” said Geoffrey Finlay, Chairman of Autino. “The standards have been set by digital shopping, banking, travel and other service industries. However, in most cases today’s consumer has more insight and information about their pizza delivery than they do about their vehicle repair. The additional investment from Castrol will help us transform this market and enable independents to provide the experience the consumers are demanding.”

Digital transformation and consumer experience are both key aspects of the strategy for Castrol and Autino and a fundamental reason for the additional investment. Castrol’s Global Marketing Director, Digital and Marketing Transformation, Des Johnston explained “The automotive market is going through massive change. There are so many incredible innovations converging and transforming every aspect of the industry. The constant factor however is that vehicles will still need servicing and repair and the consumers are demanding a high-quality experience. We believe Autino can provide a very important part of that solution for the future.”

Enhancing digital experiences for both the consumer and the aftermarket industry has been something Autino has been doing in various forms since 2003. Today its CustomerVue, CarVue and BayConnect products serve the franchised and independent automotive repair industry around the world. With new products, new markets, new opportunities and new investment from Castrol, the strategy continues to gain traction in the aftermarket.