Autogeek.net has been a leading source of auto detailing products, accessories, and expert knowledge for more than 15 years. What started as a mail order, catalog based company known as PBMA-FL.net in 1997 quickly grew into the multi-website based ecommerce business that it is today.
Palm Beach Motoring Accessories, the original parent company of Autogeek, struggled in its first year of business. Former owner and operator, Bob McKee, was forced to downsize to a 400 square ft. space in the back of a brick and mortar Driver’s Seat store in Boynton Beach. It was there that Jason, Autogeek’s current Chief Information Officer, joined the PBMA team and the online website took off.
In just a few short years, the internet eclipsed paper catalogs and Autogeek officially became a strictly online experience. Autogeek.net wanted to combine the ease of purchasing online with a brick-and-mortar store level of customer service. If Autogeek.net could offer the best of both worlds, the growth potential could be limitless.
In 2002, Autogeek.net was moved to a 1,000 square ft. building in Stuart, Florida. As most of Autogeek’s inventory was online, order turnaround was fast. Jason was busy pinpointing ways to expand the site’s presence online and was growing the Autogeek name as a recognizable brand. In 2003 Meghan, Autogeek’s current Chief Operating Officer, was hired on as a photographer and Autogeek’s first customer service representative.
Thanks to Autogeek’s growing presence online, it was soon time to expand into an even larger warehouse, and the space next door was purchased to form a 2,000 square ft. office and warehouse. Four small rooms in the front housed all the administrative, creative, and customer service departments. The back was entirely dedicated to order fulfillment and shipping. At that time, Autogeek.net was operating fully with just 5 staff members.
By the end of 2004, Autogeek.net was in full swing. A designated order fulfillment staff had been hired, as well as a bookkeeper, a copywriter, marketing director, graphic artist, and more customer service representatives. The company philosophy was to build a talented in- house staff to foster a spirit of teamwork and maintain a high level of quality in everything we do.
Autogeek.net continued a steady pace of building inventory and developing its position on the web as are source for car enthusiasts. The original idea of more information and exceptional customer service was proving to be quite successful. Along the way, PBMA’s umbrella was expanded to include import, export, wholesale, and manufacturing divisions.
During that time, PBMA’s brands include Pinnacle Natural Brilliance, Wolfgang Concours Series, Detailer’s Pro Series, Diamondite Glass & Plastic Care Systems, and Cobra imported microfiber. In 2006, Autogeek undertook two projects that would define the company for years to come. AutogeekOnline.net, Autogeek’s own car detailing forum, was launched in March 2006. It was a new way to answer customers’ questions about our products and facilitate conversations between people who share a common hobby. With Meghan moderating, AGO became a thriving online community.
The other first in 2006 was Detail Fest. Autogeek’s first Detail Fest drew 12 people, mostly longtime customers and forum members. Pizza was ordered and the first Detail Fest attendants spent the afternoon detailing their cars. It gave little indication of what Detail Fest would become.
In late 2006, Autogeek.net moved to a 5,000 square ft. warehouse on Ellipse Way in Stuart, just down the street from the site of Autogeek’s current home. For the next year and a half, Autogeek’s new building was constructed while the company grew into, and then out of, the temporary space. An additional 3,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space had to be rented while construction was delayed. Finally, in 2008, Autogeek took ownership of its new 15,000 sq. ft. building just in time for the 3rd Annual Detail Fest. The empty building housed all the vendors and displays while the car show took place outside. Detail Fest had turned a corner.
2009 was another year of growth for Autogeek.net. Mike Phillips, formerly of Meguiars, joined the Autogeek team. Mike’s talent for teaching played a key role in expanding Autogeek’s detailing library to include detailing how-to videos. Autogeek.net now offers customers a full multi-media experience with online videos, articles, the Autogeek iPhone application, the AutogeekOnline.net forum, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Mike’s skills were quickly put to work, with detailing classes held 4 times a year in the Autogeek Show Car Garage. Mike’s classes were aptly named the “Detailing Boot Camp,” where students get 3 days of hands-on training using every tool Autogeek carries. Mike Phillips’ Detailing Boot Camp was renamed to the Mike Phillips’ Competition Ready Detailing Classes in 2016, in honor of his new show Competition Ready on the Velocity network. Mike Phillips’ Competition Ready Detailing Classes caters to both enthusiasts and professionals looking to improve their skills so they can either detail for a living, or simply learn how to care for their own cars.
Autogeek’s Show Car Garage how-to segments and commercials that air on Velocity channel are filmed in Autogeek’s fully equipped detailing garage. Beyond Autogeek’s extensive how-to articles and hands-on detailing classes, Autogeek took on another big endeavor in 2010 with production of the television show, Autogeek’s What’s In The Garage? hosted by Mike Phillips. The show saw a successful two-season run on the FOX Sports Network.
In 2011, Autogeek’s parent company, PBMA, became Palm Beach Motoring Group after it acquired Autopia-carcare.com from David Ostroff. In August of 2011, Autogeek acquired the 9,000 sq.ft. space next door. This area is used for additional inventory, receiving, and wholesale. The same year, PBMG acquired BLACKFIRE Car Care Products and the remaining assets of Classic Motoring in Tampa, Florida. The BLACKFIRE line was re- launched in 2012 with innovative new formulas and packaging. Palm Beach Motoring Group was now the distributor and manufacturer of Blackfire Car Care, Pinnacle Natural Brilliance, Detailer’s Pro Series (later redesigned and rebranded to McKee’s 37), Wolfgang Concours-Series Car Care, Pinnacle Black Label Collection, and Marine 31 Boat Care.
In the 2012 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) racing season, the Autogeek.net car was piloted to World Championship victory by the one and only Bruno Massel. This made Bruno a two-time NHRA world champion! Bruno also added the Autogeek.net Detailer’s Pro Series dragster to his racing arsenal in 2012. Autogeek is proud to sponsor Bruno, but despite the rumors, Bruno was not the model for the Ivan Karstuff bobble head!
After seven years of research and development, 2013 marked the launch of the much anticipated Marine 31 product line. Marine 31 provides boaters with a full range of products developed and manufactured by PBMG that have been designed specifically to meet the needs of marine vessels. Marine 31 is regularly featured on Ship Shape TV with boating expert John Greviskis. Also launched in 2013 was Mike Phillips’ second book, The Complete Guide to a Show Car Shine . The perfect follow-up to The Art of Detailing , Mike’s second book includes topics on rotary polishing, clay bar alternatives, and in-depth how-to’s on most aspects of auto detailing.
Expansion continued into 2014 with renovations to the Show Car Garage and the acquisition of an additional 20,000 square ft. of warehouse space. The Show Car Garage was more than doubled in size, with the grand total equaling 2,700 sq. ft. The extra size allows larger classes along with enough room to host a boat detailing class featuring Marine 31 products. The additional 20,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space was purchased from the Patron Race Team next door. The new space will allow PBMG’s manufacturing division more room for growth, while the space it previously occupied will be used for product inventory.
More exciting news happened in 2014: PBMG acquired Autopia.org from 3D International. The acquisition allowed PBMG to merge Autopiaforums.com and Autopia.org, creating one of the largest online car care discussion forums. In addition to Autopia.org, PBMG acquired Autogeek.com to make Autogeek even easier to find!
Starting in April of 2014 Autogeek began hosting their own Cars & Coffee event at their headquarters in Stuart. Cars & Coffee is the perfect opportunity to hang out with other car guys (and car gals!), enjoy freshly brewed coffee, and talk about cars with other enthusiasts. Autogeek has taken the Cars & Coffee concept and put their own spin on it. Each Cars & Coffee held at Autogeek on the 2nd Saturday of every month features a tech session hosted by Mike Phillips covering different topics about car care and detailing. If you live in Florida, be sure to visit Autogeek’s Cars & Coffee on the 2nd Saturday of every month. The coffee starts flowing at 8 am sharp!
On September 12th, 2015 it was announced that Autogeek’s very own Mike Phillips would be hosting a brand new show on the Velocity network. From the producers of some of our favorite car shows such as Car Crazy Central, Overhaulin', and the "Extreme" series, comes the next big Velocity TV hit. Competition Ready follows Mike Phillips and Overhaulin' star Adrienne “AJ” Janic around the country as they meet and work with some of the nation’s best vehicle builders to get their cars Competition Ready.
On November 4th, 2016 Vision Investments LLC, owned by the founder of the Indy Racing League, Tony George, acquired Palm Beach Motoring Group, making PBMG a subsidiary of Vision Investments. Tony George had first met PBMG’s former owner, Bob McKee, at a SEMA show in 2009 and their relationship strengthened throughout the years, especially after Autogeek’s involvement with Ed Carpenter racing in the 2016 season.
Tony was looking to grow his auto-related portfolio, (Vision Investments is the exclusive US importer of German based SONAX Car Care) and Bob was looking to transition out of his role as a business owner. The timing could not have been more perfect.
Bob has remained in the car care industry, furthering his work on the McKee’s 37 and McKee’s RV brand. Terry Angstadt, who’s background includes tenure at the Indianapolis Speedway as Vice President and President of INDYCAR (commercial division) was appointed Autogeek’s new General Manger, along with Meghan Poirier as the Chief Operations Officer, and Jason Sierra as the Chief Information Officer.
In a few short years, Autogeek.net has grown into the online leader in car care products and know-how. We continue to seek out the finest car care products in the world and make them available to our customers. The distribution side of PBMG continues to flourish with new distributors being added all over the world.
For the first time in Autogeek history, Autogeek’s Detail Fest will not be held at Autogeek headquarters in Stuart, Florida. Detail Fest 2017 is being held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. With over 100,000 square feet reserved for vendor area and several class rooms for the event, this new event will take Detail Fest to the next level and offer a unique opportunity for car enthusiasts from around the globe to gather and celebrate their shared passion for cars! Each year, awareness of Detail Fest grows and AutoGeek anticipates a record number of participants and attendees this year.
Among the celebrities in attendance this year will be Dennis Gage, Bruno Massel, Barry Meguiar, Chris Jacobs, Ray Evernham, Von Hot Rod, Cristy Lee, Adrienne “AJ” Janic, and Autogeek’s own Mike Phillips. Competition Ready, starring Mike Phillips and AJ Janic will be filming an episode at Detail Fest this year.
Autogeek’s 12th Annual Detail Fest will also be hosting the 2nd annual Detail Fest Custom Car Builders Challenge! Renowned car builders Kyle Tucker with Detroit Speed, Phil and Jeremy Gerber with Roadster Shop, Jeremy Miranda with Miranda Built, Jesse Greening with Greening Auto Company, and John B. Granger will be bringing their cars to Detail Fest to compete for the Detail Fest Custom Car Builders Challenge Detailer's Cup with the winner being featured on Competition Ready.
This year, our 12th Annual Detail Fest & Car Show will provide you with access to industry insiders, vendors and other car enthusiasts. Thank you for joining us for what promises to be our best event yet. Welcome to Autogeek and have a great weekend!