Pep Boys Auto Services & Tires : Going Further So You Can Go Farther

Kieron HarveyLauren Kania
Kieron Harvey - Project Manager Lauren Kania - Junior Editor
Automotive suspension test and brake test rolls in a auto repair service.
At A Glance
  • In over a century of auto maintenance and repair, Pep Boys Auto Services & Tires has helped shape the modern automotive aftermarket, with generations of drivers having counted on the business to care for their cars.
  • As US culture has continued to change over time, Pep Boys has kept its ear to the ground in an effort to remain innovative and at the forefront of the automotive supply market.

On a mission to make quality car care simple, convenient, and accessible for everyone, we dive into Pep Boys Auto Services & Tires to learn more about the company’s extensive history and equally ambitious future.

GOING FURTHER SO YOU CAN GO FARTHER

In today’s world, speed is simply not enough.

This is the principle that has been ingrained into the DNA of Pep Boys Auto Services & Tires (Pep Boys) since it was founded in 1921 by a handful of naval friends who all shared a passion for cars.

In over a century of auto maintenance and repair, the company has helped shape the modern automotive aftermarket, with generations of drivers having counted on the business to care for their cars.

With a national network of service and tire centers, millions of vehicles and fleets pass through Pep Boys’ bays each year across the US and Puerto Rico.

Providing a variety of services, including name-brand tires, automotive maintenance and repair, and fleet maintenance and repair, the company has a vision of being who communities depend on to keep them moving safely, comfortably, and in style.

As of 2016, Pep Boys is operating more than 9,000 service bays across 35 states and Puerto Rico, as well as offering automotive maintenance on location via its Pep Boys Mobile Crew service trailer, cementing its title as the leading US automotive service provider.

Car in garage

100+ YEARS OF QUALITY AUTO CARE

In 1921, Maurice (Moe) Strauss was looking to get his auto parts supply shop off the ground but quickly realized he couldn’t do it alone. Despite having a sharp mind for business, he needed people who could focus on the numbers and with more naturally affable dispositions.

That’s where his friends from the Navy came in. Emanuel (Manny) Rosenfield, W. Graham (Jack) Jackson, and Moe Radavitz all chipped in $200 apiece and subsequently opened the first store on North 63rd Street in West Philadelphia.

The storefront’s original name was Pep Auto Supply after observing a shipment of pep valve grinding compound on the shelves. However, much like the nature of business itself, this moniker evolved, shifting due to the influence of a single police officer who, after stopping cars without headlights during the evening, would tell the drivers to go see the boys at Pep. Thus, those at the shop became fondly referred to as Pep Boys.

Business continued to grow remarkably as automobiles came to represent freedom, adventure, and status. People wanted these new symbols of rank to look stylish, and while service wasn’t yet widely available, parts and accessories were.

While Manny, Moe, and Jack are a significant part of Pep Boys’ story, thousands of people across the company’s history have gone further for the customers and communities in which the many Pep Boys stores reside and are to thank for the brand’s success lasting over a century.

Auto car repair service center. Mechanic examining car suspension

EXPERTS IN AUTO SERVICES AND TIRES

As US culture has continued to change over time, Pep Boys has kept its ear to the ground in an effort to remain innovative and at the forefront of the automotive supply market.

Notably, despite the hardships of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the company was one of the few businesses across the country that did not lay off any employees or cut salaries, even opening new stores across the East Coast and California. Pep Boys was focused on ensuring its customers always received the best possible value, no matter the situation – a mindset that continues to this day.

This innovation and ability to remain ahead of market change also played a major role when the Second World War began. Being the son of two Russian immigrants, Moe felt the tides of war picking up before most and knew that rubber would soon become hard to source, meaning customers were going to lose access to necessary replacement parts.

In a defining decision, he began stocking warehouses with any and all tires he could buy. When the war began to have a noticeable impact on the US economy, Pep Boys was the only store that carried and sold rubber tires, further establishing its dominance as a reliable, forward-thinking company.

Pep Boys’ growth did not slow down; as its shops and market expanded, the company realized that it was missing out on a significant customer base – the Spanish-speaking community. Subsequently, in 1992, the first bilingual catalog was published for millions across the country, and before the decade was through, Pep Boys went a step further and opened its first store in Puerto Rico, expanding its presence across the Caribbean Sea.

In 2016, after being pursued by several suitors due to its popularity, the company was acquired by Icahn Enterprises as part of its larger automotive group. The organization then went private as it started to transform its business and reinvent itself as a service-focused provider that only retailed parts in the locations where its customers needed it most.

Pep Boys was founded to fill a consumer need. As a result of the passion and hard work of the many employees who make up the company, it has never stopped evolving. New lessons are always learned, and adaptions are proactively made to every market swing and new technology.

Auto car repair service center. Mechanic examining car suspension

DRIVING TOWARDS THE FUTURE

Currently, Pep Boys offers a variety of services at its storefronts for its many customers, including auto repair, maintenance, performance, towing, auto parts, and batteries.

Additionally, the company offers a mobile crew that works directly on site. With fully equipped mobile service vans and expert technicians who provide routine maintenance and safety-related services, it is the fastest, easiest way to obtain routine auto maintenance and repair services at workplaces or residential complexes. 

For the past 25 years, Pep Boys has also been a preferred partner with some of the US’ largest national fleet companies. Whether that number is five vehicles or 50,000, the company consists of a team of experts who are prepared to get vehicles back on the road, operating efficiently, and driving businesses forward.

Pep Boys’ fleet is backed by national, regional, local, and store-level support, providing each partnering company with a personal Fleet Team Representative. Through these dedicated actions, the company showcases on a daily basis why it’s a preferred partner to some of the largest national fleet companies and a trusted service provider to small and mid-sized businesses all over the US and Puerto Rico.

As Pep Boys looks towards the future, dramatic change is already in action. With more vehicles on the road than ever, especially electric vehicles (EVs) and self-driving cars, technology is of the utmost importance as digital investments are fundamentally changing how businesses connect with customers.

In order to stay on top of all these rapidly changing advancements, Pep Boys has adopted a new motto – ‘We go further to help you go farther’ – fully recognizing where the company has been and how much more there is to do.

The organization is consistently expanding its service footprint with strategic acquisitions in key markets alongside supporting both local and national charities, such as the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and Marine Toys for Tots.

Ultimately, Pep Boys goes the extra step to get you where you want to go. From simply making quality automotive replacement parts available at a fair price, its mission has grown to make expert car care simple, accessible, and convenient for all.

The company has always strived to go further, making Pep Boys the household name and iconic brand it is proud to be today.

PEP BOYS AUTO SERVICES & TIRES PARTNERS

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By Kieron Harvey Project Manager
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Kieron Harvey is a Project Manager for Outlook Publishing. Kieron is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Kieron is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Kieron to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.