By on October 26, 2015

PepBoysLogo_PressRelease

Japanese tire giant Bridgestone agreed Monday to buy Pep Boys for $835 million and potentially create the largest chain of U.S. automotive service centers, the companies announced.

The deal would create a chain of more than 3,000 auto care stores — 2,200 Bridgestone-owned centers including Tires Plus, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works, and more than 800 company-owned Pep Boys stores.

According to the companies the deal will finalize in early 2016. 

Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reported that the deal would create one of the largest players in a growing market of automotive service centers.

In July, IHS Automotive reported that the average age for a car in the U.S. was 11.5 years. In its report, IHS said the repair businesses should consider older vehicles as a growing market opportunity.

“I believe we need to begin thinking about that ‘sweet spot’ differently. Now that the average age is 11.5 years, the key repair opportunities must include vehicles older than 11 years, which hasn’t been considered by many in the marketplace up to now,” Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive, said in a July statement.

It’s also a good time to invest in the auto parts business, apparently. According to Bloomberg, AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts and O’Reilly Automotive stock has gained around 20 percent this year. Pep Boys stock surged 23 percent Monday on the acquisition news.

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33 Comments on “Bridgestone Offers $835M to Buy Pep Boys Chain...”


  • avatar

    PEP BOYS need to be run more efficiently. They need considerable staff development and I’d be happy if they were 24/7 in some areas for some services.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “I’d be happy if they were 24/7 in some areas for some services”

      Do Dodge Magnum owners really need fake vents at 3 AM?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Clearly you don’t understand Dodge Magnum owners.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          They get their fake vents in the middle of the night and buy Triangle tires, or strangely named Chinese brand (Fierce Comfort Loyalty Dragon tires?), when they get their SSI and state disability checks on the first of the month.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          Not eight hours ago I’d say this is a silly joke, but earlier I saw a chrome-beladen third-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse with a vestigial Rolls-Royce-style grille so yeah, some people could apparently use this.

          EDIT: Ok, so I Google searched “mitsubishi eclipse rolls royce grill” because how could I not, and I swear up and down, the first result is the actual car I saw while leaving work today. I’m sorry about the narrator, but I can’t say I disagree with the sentiment:

          youtu DOT be/laDqS3ar4xg?t=47s

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      BTSR

      I love your game, but you are off base here. Who buys autoparts or gets new tires at 3am?

      What sort of service do you want them to offer 24/7?

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Maintenance and emergency services are probably the big ones but an overnight mechanic is not unknown. There is/was a local BP that had a mechanic on staff 24/7.

        Major repairs presented a problem as auto parts stores were closed but if it was something that could be repaired using duct tape, spit and bailing wire you were in business.

        a 24/7 Pep Boys would have the advantage of having a larger parts inventory to fix stuff with.

        As always the issue is if there is enough business to warrant running a place 24/7.

        • 0 avatar
          afedaken

          I’ve got a buddy who’s shopping a 24/7 repair joint concept to some investors. Has a place lined up near the Jersey Turnpike, figuring he can get contracts on some of the shippers doing while-you-sleep maintenance on the trucks, plus convenient overnight service for nearby residents.

          When I was a service writer years ago, I didn’t see much of a case for after-hours work in our shop, but we were based in a residential area, not near a major highway. The only time we were there much past 5PM was when something went horribly wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Availability of parts in the middle of the night seems like a critical problem. You’d need a 24/7 warehouse.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Actually in many locations with the drop off service a slight increase in service costs would be worthwhile to operate a 3-shift mechanic shop simply to get rid of backlog. People that do ‘overnight drop off’ will then have their car ready at 7-8am rather than sometime the next day. It’s pretty ingenuous in many ways but the cost of putting mechanics on 3rd shift is what keeps most companies shying away from it (short-sighted…but they own the capital…).

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      For those of you mocking the idea, as I write this it is 1:45 AM. There are two regular grocery stores and three Walmarts open within five miles of me. Someone is shopping.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Different business structure. It doesn’t actually cost a grocery store very much more percentage-wise to stay open all night as compared to an auto repair shop. Most auto repair shops just don’t have the business to drive it but more importantly don’t have the staff that is willing. The exceptions are the fleet heavy shops where they have customers who will pay whatever cost to have minimal down time or schedule off-shift maintenance so everyone is guaranteed a fat paycheck.

  • avatar
    JimothyLite

    I always thought it was neat that Bridgestone was named after founder Shojiro Ishibashi, whose last name means stone bridge. Anyone know how Pep Boys came up with theirs?

    • 0 avatar
      IndigoCoyote

      According to our friends at Wikipedia: “They (the four original partners) dubbed it Pep Auto Supplies after noticing a shipment of Pep Valve grinding compound on the shelves.” Not too sexy a story, but it IS just auto parts!

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Shojiro Ishibashi was also a big fan of Firestone and thought that “Stone Bridge” tires would sound funny hence the “Bridgestone” moniker.

      While it burnt them in the arse I thought it was interesting Bridgestone acquired Firestone.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Ummmmmmm… is this still subject to regulator approval or is this a done deal?

    Just asking because I’m in a area with both a Pep Boys and a Firestone Auto Care service center.

    (Although I’ve found my local independent tire dealer to be superior to either one.)

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I got dibs on the Pep Boy on the left’s glasses!

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Firestone Complete Auto Care used to the highest customer satisfaction rating year after year for the big chain shops where I live; then they all vanished.

      Now there’s just one big national chain, the odd muffler chain shop, and whole lot of small back-street hole-in-the-wall independents – some of those are good, but some are nasty, very nasty.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Will these mean you can only get Bridgestone tires at Pep Boys? I guess not since I shop at Tires Plus (my local shop is very honest) and can get pretty much any brand. While the local Goodyear repair/tire place only carries Goodyear tires.

    Pep Boys has a ton a crap like tacky stickers and fake chrome bits, but they also have a good selection of odd ball items that Autozone, Discount Auto and NAPA don’t carry. For example just this weekend I broke several of those stupid plastic clips that hold various interior panels in place (while running a new satellite radio wire) and Pep Boys had a Nissan Kit as well as individual fasteners. So I got a box of 4 and it saved me from ordering multiple $0.50 parts from the dealer that I’m sure would have been marked up to $2.00 each.

  • avatar
    50merc

    The Pep Boys…Manny, Moe, Jack and Shojiro.

    Hope this deal doesn’t change things at Hibdon Tires Plus. I’ve had many dealings with them, and always was satisfied with price and service.

  • avatar
    rpm773

    Bridgestone initially thought the deal stunk, but Pep Boys threw in some Christmas tree-shaped air freshenera, and before long the ink was on the contract

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Pep Boys made me get a background check and a piss test for a job they didn’t end up hiring me for, so they can get f*cked.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      Seeing as how the last time I went to Pep Boys to get a state inspection done, all the workers seemed quite baked, I can’t understand this. All of the work they did (thanks for GLUING my leaky oil pan guys) just reeked of stoners passing the time and they just happened to have tools nearby.
      Oh well, now there is a huge corporation that can flog mechanics into half-assing work in order to beat the clock instead of just several smaller ones.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    But the question on everyone’s mind:

    How will this impact the status of the Elio Motors service centers?

    On maybe that was slightly sarcastic, but it is a valid question.

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    The board room meeting went something like this:

    “Mata oai dekite ureshii desu. Most of us, honor the board members have the opportunity to buy a boy of PEZ.”

    “PEZ Boys? Are you sure?”

    “Yup!”

    “Ooooo. We must have. How much?”

    “100638375000 yen.”

    “What think you Masaaki?”

    “Look in my upper left hand desk drawer. Yen. Plenty.”

    They’re going to be very disappointed when they discover they didn’t corner the market on PEZ dispensers.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Clearly, Bridgestone sees the immense value in the Elio service agreement and couldn’t help themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      “Ladies and Gentlemen! The opening act for Ronnie James Dio is none other than THE quintessential automotive power trio –

      MANNY, MOE AND JACK! – THE PEP BOYS!”

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    The Firestone here is horrible. I was out of town and my wife took our Suburban in for loose steering. They quoted ball-joints for $1500. I got home, jacked it up and found the pitman arm going out. Ball joints were rock solid. Several of my coworkers have had similar issues. I quit going to Hibdons several years ago because their work quality kept going down while their prices kept going up. I’ve avoided Pep-Boys since having to rework one of their horrible repairs. I guess this merger means most of the crappy work by entry-level technicians will be done under the management of one giant chain. I hope they put together an effective tech training/mentoring program.

    • 0 avatar
      WhiskeyRiver

      Pep Boys just as bad.

      A few years ago my daughter was living 800 miles away in a Chicago suburb. She started smelling antifreeze and called me wanting to know where to take it. I suggested she not drive it far and there was a Pep Boys a few blocks away.

      They did an estimate for the repair. New radiator, new hoses, new heater core and a new thermostat.

      I drove to Chicago, examined the car and found a pinhole leak in a heater hose.

      After replacing the heater hoses the car ran another 50k miles until she hydroplaned it into a stand of trees.

      I’m thinking Firestone and Pep Boys will compliment each other nicely.


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