Earl Scheib

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Earl Scheib on Central Avenue
in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Earl Scheib was a company which specialized in repainting and collision repair of automobiles, with locations in 23 states in the US. It ceased operations nationwide on July 16, 2010.

Company history[edit]

Founded by Earl Scheib (February 28, 1908 – February 29, 1992) in Los Angeles in 1937 the company grew quickly following World War II and by 1975 had branches in Germany and England, all company owned, with Scheib manufacturing his own paint through a wholly owned subsidiary.

Earl Scheib's paint-coating systems were used by its company-owned paint and collision repair shops. The paint also was sold to original equipment manufacturers and architectural construction firms.

Scheib's policy of one-day service and production line techniques flew directly into the face of state-of-the-art professional Auto Body standards and caused the company to become a national joke at the time.

Scheib was plagued with a high employee turnover rate due to the demands of attempting to paint up to five cars a day. The company's main criterion in hiring and promoting management trainees was based on sales skills only. Knowledge of auto body repair or painting techniques was not required. Trainees underwent a short training period and were then assigned to their own shops. Managers who failed to increase sales for three successive months were fired, regardless of seniority.

Advertising[edit]

In the 1950s, Earl Scheib expanded his company with locations across the nation and started a national ad campaign. Earl wrote the commercials and became the company spokesman. He became famous for his slogan, "I'm Earl Scheib, and I'll paint any car, any color for $29.95. No ups, no extras." This campaign and slogan was maintained until Earl died. However, the price was slowly increased over the years. By 1970 it was $99.95, still a very low price for 1 day service.

Fast Track Management[edit]

In 1997 the company devised a "Fast Track" Management training program and recruited college and business school graduates for immediate placement in upper middle management positions, requiring relocation to another state upon completion of the program. Scheibs' corporate office and shareholders were dismayed to find that 85% of those participating in the program resigned upon relocation. After Scheib's death, the company was sold to former college basketball champion Chris Bement and Dan Siegal, who made his fortune in Las Vegas winnings, and other investors. Improvements were made in the quality of paint and a corporate restructuring.

Restructuring[edit]

In 1999, the company began closing branches and selling company owned properties to show a profit to shareholders. The organization reduced the number of its shops as a result of this practice, with most of its remaining centers in the western States, where rust and corrosion is less likely to be a problem.[1]

On February 18, 2009, Earl Scheib and Kelly Capital LLC, a private equity firm, announced the signing of the merger agreement. Kelly Capital LLC acquired the company in the second quarter of 2009 following shareholder approval of a merger agreement.

Earl Scheib ceased operations nationwide on July 16, 2010. The corporation can no longer honor its customer warranties. The company allowed many of its shop managers to become small business owners by allowing them to purchase the equipment and fixtures in their shops, and to use the Earl Scheib name for their business. Many shop managers became business owners under this model. The majority of shops were closed; leased locations were turned back over to the Landlords, and if the real estate was owned by Scheib, then those locations were sold.

External references[edit]