Seller Embarks on Exciting New Aftermarket Career
Newbury Park, CA…August 26, 2019… California Tire Co., a well-established Ventura County, CA independent tire and automotive service center owned and operated by Dean and Chris Pellegrino, a husband and wife team, was recently sold to another married team, Joe & Holly Shaw, from nearby Thousand Oaks, CA. Joe has almost 40 years of automotive experience as a service writer at a local independent shop and Holly, the “car girl,” has 30+ years of administrative experience.
Leveraging over 40 years of experience as both an aftermarket business owner and technology executive to become an automotive aftermarket-specific business broker, Art Blumenthal, LLC managed the marketing and ultimate sale of the tire business.
Notably, former owner Dean Pellegrino is proud that California Tire Co., which he and his wife Chris founded in 1989, has consistently thrived in competition with several Southern California tire chains due to 5-star ratings from a loyal customer base that values honest, personalized, and efficient customer service. In addition, a specialized service of the business is restoration work on classic muscle cars, for which it has an excellent reputation.
The well-maintained and equipped 3,500 square foot shop has eight service bays with six lifts and is located in an auto service mall that also includes a foreign car repair specialist and a detailing shop. Seasoned automotive service professional Joe Shaw and his wife Holly had long contemplated a desire to own their own business and focused their attention on California Tire upon initially seeing Art Blumenthal’s on-line listing and “Be Your Own Boss” campaign for the business. The Pellegrino’s have confidence in the long-term success of the business, concern for the needs of long-time customers and employees, and the desire that the stellar reputation will endure under new ownership. With those factors in mind, they had previously dismissed other potential new owners who they did not view as good fits, but immediately hit it off with Joe and Holly Shaw and, once the details of the acquisition were finalized, committed to providing maximum assistance in the transition process.
Seller Dean Pellegrino said, “Art Blumenthal knows his stuff when it comes to automotive service businesses and did a very professional job of marketing California Tire and introducing potential buyers so that I could decide who would be the best fit for taking the business my wife and I built into the future. I was hoping for someone as a buyer with deep automotive experience with a personality conducive to getting along well with both customers and employees. After almost thirty years, I couldn’t just walk away without leaving the business in good hands. Joe Shaw and I get along very well and I am confident he was the best choice. I credit Art with that success and learned during the process that I needed an experienced professional broker such as him because there is so much to know to get it right. My advice to other sellers would be to not try to go it alone.”
Unlike many Baby Boomers contemplating a no-work retirement after a long career, Dean Pellegrino has switched his focus to a jump-start the marketing of an automotive equipment product that he has been passionate about for years. Seeing a need and providing a solution, Dean invented and patented an adaptor system for alignment called Tru Align, which turns difficult wheel alignments into a simple, intuitive, scratch-free process. A complete description of Tru Align Automotive Adapter is available on Amazon.com, where it is currently being sold. Dean will be formally demonstrating the product to the industry at SEMA 2019 in Booth #49237 in the South Hall.
Joe Shaw said, “My wife Holly and I had been looking at various aftermarket businesses for quite some time…on and off for the past ten or fifteen years…and were, quite frankly, disillusioned by the P & L statements we saw where the owners were just draining the business dry and didn’t seem to understand the effect that was having on the marketability of a shop. Finally, California Tire came along at the right time in the right place with all the attributes we had hoped for. The business has all the right criteria…it’s well-established, successful, financially sound, and as an added bonus, is located right in my own hometown. A lot of good people work for the business in a friendly neighborhood environment and I am highly motivated to keep that going into the future as well as leaving my own mark on the business…bringing innovation to the table which may even raise the bar. I’ve already invested in some new equipment that I think will improve things even more. All of the employees are staying under my new ownership. Art Blumenthal was extremely helpful throughout the purchase process, being instrumental in required communications and knowledgeable in all the aspects of the various steps. Now that I am the owner, I’m very glad I took the step.”