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Earl Scheib shop on Central Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico
|Industry||Automotive painting, automotive repair|
|Founded||1937 in Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Defunct||July 16, 2010|
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 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.
In the 1950s, Earl Scheib expanded his company with locations across the nation and started a national advertising campaign. Sheib wrote the commercials and became the company's spokesman. He became famous for his slogan, "I'm Earl Scheib, and I'll paint any car, any color for $89.95. No ups, no extras." This campaign and slogan were maintained until Scheib died. However, the price was slowly increased over the years. There was also controversy early on during the advertising campaign because a number of factory colors were not available. Some clients also protested that they were charged more to paint two tone cars. Earl maintained throughout that the reason he couldn't offer the factory colors was due to Ford and GM refusing to give him paint codes. He refused to respond in regards to the two tone complaints.
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 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.
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 are less likely to be a problem.
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.
Beginning in July 2010, the company closed certain locations and franchised off the remaining locations to shop managers, giving them the opportunity to become small business owners. Specifically, the company offered them the rights to purchase all the equipment and fixtures in their shops and to use the Earl Scheib name for their own business. Many managers took advantage and agreed to the terms, resulting in today's independent Earl Scheib paint centers. These modern Earl Scheib centers now offer paint jobs and most of today's Scheib shops also offer custom painting, collision repair and pinstriping.