Ultra Tune commenced trading in 1979 with a pilot store in Box Hill, Victoria and rapidly expanded across the country after businessman Bert Smart saw a specialist Fast Tune-Up store in Hawaii whilst traveling home from the USA. Through Smart’s vision a franchise model was established which saw the new business expand rapidly into all Australian states except WA. Using the latest Dyno Tune technology, which enabled vehicles to be tuned whilst on “rolling roads”, Ultra Tune garnered wide public acceptance in the competitive after-market servicing sphere.
By 1983 Smart realized the “tune-up only” offering was not viable in the long term for the network and instead of redeveloping the franchise model to accommodate a wider range of alternative services he decided to sell off the franchise to new owners (predominantly groups of existing Ultra Tune franchisees) in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
In 1988 each of the franchisor entities (with the exception of South Australia) merged and formed a new company Ultra Tune (Systems) Australia Pty Ltd. (UTSA). Within the following 12 months UTSA opened its first franchise store in Perth, WA.
In the early-to-mid 1990’s the network experienced turmoil and faced financial ruin with a number of stores across the network forced to close due high rental lease costs. Current Executive Chairman, Sean Buckley acquired management and then later shareholding control in Ultra Tune sometime after a public auction in 1994 and after receivers had been appointed to UTSA.
Ultra Tune Australia Pty Ltd was born and over the next 22 plus years under Buckley’s stewardship using his own business model – which included the acquisition of competing brands such as Car Care Clinic (1999) and Auto Masters sites in Queensland and NSW during the early 2000’s – grew the organization from around 70 mediocrely operating franchises into a successful national franchise network model.
While Ultra Tune started with a fixed price tune and lube service it now provides both fleet and private motorists with a full range of services, each designed to be performed in a structured series of operating procedures which ensure faster, more efficient and cost effective service.
Ultra Tune has subsequently expanded its range of services to include tyres and all tyre-related servicing needs.
Ultra Tune employs specialist personnel from all relevant disciplines to provide first class back up and support to franchise owners. Key administrative staff are professionals from accounting, financial management and marketing backgrounds. The Franchisor’s technical and training staff are highly qualified; some having previously owned and operated or managed an Ultra Tune franchise. They are constantly being updated and instructed on the latest technical innovations and procedures.
Today, Ultra Tune is considered the industry leader in its technical field.