Icahn Automotive Group LLC, the owner of Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack, is on a mission to expand its national network, and it's starting with a multi-million dollar investment in Detroit.
Industry veteran Dave Crawford will take on a new role as chief executive officer of The Hybrid Shop LLC (THS) on August 11, 2014.
Crawford will be responsible for THS’ day-to-day operations and management. THS founder and former CEO Matt Curry will continue to oversee THS’ evolution and continued success in his new position as chief visionary officer.
“We are growing very fast and we needed somebody who has experience building franchises and more industry connections than me,” says Curry. “Dave has tons of contacts, is very well respected in the industry and has the experience building franchises. He has the unique skills we need. We feel like we got our number one draft pick.”
Crawford comes to THS from American Tire Distributors Holdings Inc., where he was vice of operations for its Tire Pros dealer network. His 40 years in the industry include 11 years with the defunct American Car Care Centers, where he was director of marketing. He's also served as vice president of marketing for Merchants Tire in Manassas, Va., and owned a retail tire business.
Crawford’s goals for his new position include a continued focus on attracting progressive dealers worldwide to join’s THS global network, as well as ensuring the organization’s foundational structure is consistently up to the task of supporting, maintaining, and driving THS’ ongoing growth in the future.
Says Crawford, “To me, this new role is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the larger industry in the cutting-edge technology in the burgeoning hybrid market.”
There are currently 23 dealers in the THS network servicing hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), with 10 more set to launch in the next two months. “Our goal is 60 dealers by the end of the year,” says Curry. One of his goals as chief visionary officer is to grow international markets, with locations in Canada and possibly Australia opening by the end of 2014 or early 2015.
“We already bring a lot of value to our dealers in terms of added revenue, profits, car counts, marketing and branding,” says Curry. “We want to be the gold standard in the hybrid market franchise and add real value to our dealers, and I think Dave is the next step in doing that.”
Curry founded THS in 2013 after selling his ten-store dealership based in Gainesville, Va., Curry’s Auto Service Inc., to Monro Muffler Brake Inc.
For more information on the THS dealer network and the equipment, technical training and marketing support it provides for dealers servicing hybrid vehicles, visit www.thehybridshop.com.
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