In the 1980s, Colley Stowell (President & CEO) was operating Gas Stations for Exxon USA and decided to open his first independent Station (Beauclerc EXXon). The next year the Chevron station across the street approached him to run it. Soon partners, Colley and Gary Ledford, were operating multiple locations…geographically stretching from the Beaches to Baldwin. Colley’s inspiration of Car Care with Integrity was first shared with the team assembled to run these locations, Gus Shage, John Morin, and Bobby Thomas, were motivated to create something more.
In the 1990s and the 2000s, the operation’s focus and efforts seemed to depend too much on the fuel side of the business, and the pressure from major fuel brands to convert repair facilities into twenty-four hour convenience stores. As the years went on, Gus and John launched out to a standalone repair shop. While the Service stations were still a great community business. The dream of an automotive repair shop with the facilities, technology, and service of a dealership, combined with the neighborhood trust and familiar service staff started to emanate in Colley’s thoughts. At the end of the 90s, Colley had an idea for a way to break through this barrier by creating an automotive repair business that would offer the highest technology available, with the best technicians, serving the community with integrity. This was the vision.
In 2001, this vision came to light. The original team was re-united by the motivation to deliver “Car Care with Integrity”. The first location was built on Phillips Highway, and the founding team saw their doors open to the Jacksonville community as RPM Automotive for the first time. Most of the team figured their goal had been achieved, but Colley saw the need and potential for more. Recognizing how large Jacksonville and the surrounding areas were, the next shop built was San Marco RPM on Emerson & Old St Augustine Rd. Strategically identifying areas of town, the quest was on to expand RPM Automotive throughout Northeast Florida. It was at this time Gary Schumacher (a former customer) joined the organization, with similar desires and life philosophies; the team was fulfilled and the business model was established.
In 16 short years, RPM Automotive, has expanded to 10 locations. Strategically located throughout the city, in the pursuit to conveniently serve the entirety of Northeast Florida.
These ten facilities embody RPM Automotive’s dreams, goals and standards. Each location provides comfortable waiting areas, Wi-Fi enabled lounges, ASE certified technicians, a high caliber leadership team and state of the art computer diagnosis which enable the servicing of all makes and models…a true alternative to the dealerships. The locations are convenient, AAA approved, factory trained, and offer inhouse rental cars when needed.
By the grace of God, the founding team established 10 locations delivering “Car Care With Integrity”. They have expanded the business honestly and to the best of their abilities. They have a wonderful group of partners that are like family and they protect the business like a family. The desire to be a Shelter in the Storm to their customers, employees, and suppliers is evident in their operations.
Integral to RPM Automotive’s mission is giving back to the community. RPM Automotive was the original presenting sponsor for the Wolfson Children’s Hospital Ultra Marathon and continues to be involved today. This event has raised millions of dollars for equipment and technology specifically for pediatric applications. RPM Automotive currently partners with various other nonprofits …always having the goal of giving back to the community in mind.
RPM Automotive has managed to create a unique brand that customers and employees value through a simple, yet powerful thing known as “integrity”, something RPM refuses to ever lose.