Pep Boys is a familiar name for many automotive supply customers. Like many other chain establishments, a parent company owns them.
While you may have visited one of their many locations, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of its owner.
Today, we’re digging and peeking behind the curtain at the owners of Pep Boys. We’ll share the origins and most of what you need to know about this large auto parts retailer.
Let’s get started!
Who Are the Pep Boys?
Pep Boys launched in 1921 as Pep Auto Supply. Their first store was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A group of four friends, Emmanuel “Manny” Rosenfeld, Maurice “Moe” Strauss, Graham “Jack” Jackson, and Moe Radavitz, each gave $200 towards the venture.
The group couldn’t have anticipated what the brand would ultimately become. Unfortunately, within a few years, Manny Rosenfeld and Moe Strauss were the only founders left running the business.
Their devotion to their employees ran deep. Reports reveal they didn’t cut salaries or lay off any workers during the high unemployment rates of the Great Depression. A short time later, they experienced tremendous growth despite World War II. Then, between 1946 and 1969, the chain tripled its locations and grew to include service centers.
The remaining founders stayed as owners until going public in 1945. Manny Rosenfeld took the lead as the first corporate president. He held the position for 14 years until he passed in 1959.
The first non-founding family member to serve as president occurred in 1986. As late as the early 1990s, the Rosenfeld and Strauss families owned roughly a fifth of the company’s stock.
They’ve since undergone several leadership transitions. After all, Stuart Rosenfeld is the only management team member directly tied to one of the founding families. While the leadership and number of stores may have transformed, their dedication to customers has remained unchanged.
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About Pep Boys
You may know it as Pep Boys, but that wasn’t always their name. As mentioned, the original name was Pep Auto Supply. However, a local police officer often encouraged drivers needing parts or repairs to see “the boys at Pep.”
In 1923, they adopted the name as what we know today. Their logo included caricature images of the three friends. You can find their likeness in logos and advertisements to this day.
The brand continued to grow over the next several decades. As vehicles became more complex, car owners began adjusting their “do it yourself” mindsets. Instead, they’d rather pay someone to do it for them.
Managers noticed this shift and began including express services like oil changes, tire rotation, and preventative maintenance. Their trained technicians can also do repairs and performance enhancements.
Today, you can find over 900 locations employing more than 8,000 team members. Overall, they’ve worked on more than seven million cars. Despite their vast growth, they continue to strive to have the backs of their customers. They like to help drivers get where they want to go.
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So, Who Owns Pep Boys?
Icahn Enterprises LP closed its deal to acquire Pep Boys in February 2016. They purchased it in a cash transaction for $18.50 per share. This results in a total purchase of around $1.03 billion. Considering each founder contributed $200, that’s a pretty impressive return on investment.
After purchasing the company, Icahn Enterprises LP created Icahn Automotive to handle its portfolio investments in the aftermarket parts and service industries. Other brands in this portfolio include Auto Plus, Precision Tune Auto Care, and AAMCO Total Auto Care. They have an estimated 22,000 employees and 2,000 locations between these them.
What Is the Race to 2026 Initiative?
Race to 2026 is a program created by Icahn Automotive. It aims to equip the next generation of men and women desiring to pursue a career in the vehicle service industry. It includes partnerships with schools, providing scholarships, and tuition reimbursement.
Participants will have access to apprentice and training programs, job placement, and continuing education opportunities.
Ultimately, they hope to develop some of the most skilled and prepared technicians the industry has ever seen.
Those completing the program will have a variety of career paths available to them. They’ll work their way up from doing essential maintenance to complex repairs. At the same time, they hope to find leaders for future franchise opportunities.
Experts are expecting an incredible need in the future for technicians. The conglomerate wants to help fill that gap to avoid any consumer issues down the road.
Does Pep Boys Service Electric Vehicles?
A company must learn to adapt to change to reach the century mark. Luckily, Pep Boys has adapted to previous market shifts, and they’re doing the same with electric vehicles (EVs).
Stores offer many of the same services for EVs as those with gas engines. Make an appointment for tire rotation, brake replacement, and firmware or software updates. Just because you’re driving a car of tomorrow doesn’t mean they can’t fix it today.
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No Matter Who’s In Charge, Pep Boys Is Here To Stay!
Now you know a bit more about the Pep Boys brand and organization. They’re a large company in the auto industry that takes pride in serving its customers. Their ability to adjust and establish their Race to 2026 movement can be good news for consumers. It’s a sign they’re likely not going anywhere any time soon.
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