Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

A California-based company that promises to bring limited on-site car maintenance directly to you — from an oil change to a fill-up — has picked Tampa Bay as its next pit stop.

"Anything that your car needs, we’re going to bring to you," said Nick Alexander, CEO of subscription service Yoshi. The company, which is launching its service here today as an app, said it picked St. Petersburg and Tampa because of the high number of people who commute by car.

The company’s name — better associated with a green Nintendo character — comes from a Japanese expression that roughly translates to "let’s go, let’s keep moving," Alexander said.

For $20 per month — plus the cost of the service — the company offers a handful of options that will come directly to where the customer parks: gas, oil changes, car washes, fluid changes, windshield wiper swaps, extra air in tires.

The services, Alexander said, are competitively priced. Gas, for example, is based on AAA The Auto Club Group’s average for the area, which Alexander said could mean cheaper gas than if a customer went to a station with higher prices.

For all customers, the first month is free.

Any major repairs are done through partnerships with local dealerships and mechanics.

"(They) come and service the vehicle there or take it off the property," Alexander said.

Some of the offerings are similar to those touted by roadside assistance services, such as AAA. But Yoshi aims to be more comprehensive by including major repairs, all on the customer’s schedule.

And Yoshi isn’t the only one in this space locally. Your Mechanic, which also has an app, allows customers to schedule a visit from a mechanic in their area. It serves much of Tampa Bay.

All Yoshi drivers, Alexander said, go through a "strict" training process. He would not say how many drivers or service trucks are currently employed in the area.

"We’re starting with a fairly small service region and area to grow from there," he said.

Yoshi operates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Tex., Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta and Chicago. It will launch in Minneapolis Tuesday, the same day as Tampa Bay.

For more information, download Yoshi on Google Play or the App Store, or visit https://www.startyoshi.com/faq.

Contact this reporter at [email protected] or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.

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