PHILADELPHIA — Icahn Automotive L.P. is planning a coast-to-coast road trip this summer to celebrate the 100th year in business of its Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack retail automotive service business.
The road trip will underscore and highlight the firm's growth plans for Pep Boys, including visits to more than 20 new locations scheduled to open throughout 2021, Icahn Automotive said.
"Since Pep Boys was founded 100 years ago, our mission has been to make car care more accessible," Pep Boys CEO Brian Kaner said. "For our founders, this meant getting drivers the new auto parts they needed to repair the recently invented automobile.
"As we shift the Pep Boys business model to focus primarily on automotive service and tires, we're doing just what our founders did: adapting to changes in the market and the demands and preferences of our customers," he said. "Our centennial is the perfect time to honor our heritage, celebrate our success, and jump start our future by hitting the road to reconnect with the Team Members and customers to whom we've made a promise for the next 100 years: 'We go further to help you go farther.'"
Over the next several months, Pep Boys executives will travel the country in a Pep Boys-branded bus, affirming along the way the company's commitment to communities it serves. Along the way, Pep Boys will mark the opening of new locations and kick off new business initiatives.
The Pep Boys Centennial Road Trip experience, sponsored by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., will make hundreds of stops in North American cities nationwide. The excursion kicks off June 26 in Orlando, Fla., at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.
The celebration will include a car show — featuring an iconic, fully restored 1964 service truck rebuilt in partnership with Shell and Flat 12 Gallery — giveaways, family activities, music, local food trucks and a live DJ. Pep Boys is encouraging interested parties to bring their hot rod, muscle car or lifted truck/Jeep to participate in a car show. Registration is open at PepBoys.com/Centennial-Celebration.
Pep Boys will post updates on the tour on social media using #PepBoysRoadTrip. Along the way, Pep Boys will also distribute over $100,000 in technician education scholarships and raise funds for its primary philanthropic partner, The Woodruff Foundation, and the Pep Boys Go Further Fund, an employee assistance program that has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to families in need.
"The new Pep Boys Service experience isn't about what happens in our bays, it's about giving people a great experience and getting them back on the road so they can be at the places and with the people that matter most," Mr. Kaner said.
"I can't think of a better way to reintroduce customers to the new Pep Boys than surprising them during their car repair or meeting them at some of the year's most exciting events."
Icahn Automotive plans to open 20-plus Pep Boys locations in key markets across the country in the second half of 2021, as well as remodel nearly a third of its existing 900-plus locations, as part of an "alternative-use" strategy that includes leasing open sales floor space that formerly housed parts and accessories to other leading retailers.
With a new look, a modern tire wall, and a completely digital customer service experience, Pep Boys is also introducing an electric vehicle (EV) service footprint during this pivotal centennial year.
As auto makers globally convert their vehicle portfolios to EV models, commercial fleets set electric conversion milestones, and existing EV vehicles come off warranty, Pep Boys is opening its first Electric Vehicle Service Center to customers in July 2021, after a several-month pilot.
Pep Boys plans to accelerate the expansion of its EV service offering through additional East and West Coast locations that are aligned with both Pep Boys footprint and the densest and fastest-growing U.S. EV markets. Coupled with nearly 30 distribution center openings nationwide, the new Pep Boys locations also will help to create critical new jobs in each of the communities served.
"It's fitting that Pep Boys is celebrating its centennial during one of the most transformative times in history of the automotive industry, and at the same time that customers' purchasing power and preferences are shifting distinctly," Mr. Kaner said.
"Pep Boys may be 100 years old, but our business is more viable than ever, and we're committed to ensuring we're here to serve the customers and communities of the next century."
Founded in 1921 by military veterans Emanuel (Manny) Rosenfeld, Maurice (Moe) Strauss, W. Graham (Jack) Jackson and Moe Radavitz, Pep Boys has serviced generations of drivers with ASE-certified automotive technicians.
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