A small loan from a retired bus driver and the dream of owning his own body shop served as the only fuel Eddie Lennox would need in 1976 as he set out to open the very first Service King Collision Repair Center.
Four decades later, the business has grown to nearly 300 repair centers dotting 23 different states as Service King officially commemorates its 40th anniversary in 2016.
“Eddie’s passion for building a model business that puts customers first still drives our team today,” said Service King President Jeff McFadden, who first joined the company in 1988. “It’s our duty to carry out ‘The Service King Way’ as we continue to evolve into the collision repair operator of choice. That commitment to excellence will ensure our proud heritage of integrity, community and family lives on for years to come.”
In recognition of its 40th anniversary, Service King introduced a secondary limited-edition logo commemorating the milestone. The logo incorporates Service King’s traditional colors and trademark crown while prominently incorporating the company’s 40-year history.
Lennox opened Service King’s very first body shop in the spring of 1976 inside a modest tin building in Dallas. The young entrepreneur served as the location’s body technician, wrote estimates and answered the phones. In the process, “he redefined traditional body shop service through placing the customer at the center of the repair process.”
Soon, he introduced a free loaner car program, providing customers with a transportation option during the repair process. He also worked to establish trusted relationships with local automotive insurance carriers to streamline the estimate process. Lennox served as the CEO of Service King from 1976 to 2010 and chairman of the board until 2012, when it attracted investment from global alternative asset manager, The Carlyle Group. Today, Service King’s majority ownership is managed by global investment group Blackstone, which partnered with the organization in 2014, while Lennox still maintains minority ownership and serves on the Board of Directors.
Lennox’s reputation for providing a superior repair experience spread as Service King grew to multiple locations across the area. By 2008, the business expanded to 22 locations across the Dallas-Fort Worth area and, in 2014, completed the largest merger in industry history through partnering with Sterling Auto Body and its 62 repair centers.
Today, the organization is led by CEO Chris Abraham and McFadden who together combine for 49 years of tenure at the organization, with hands-on experience at nearly every level of the operation.
In 2015, Service King was named the “No. 1 Best Place to Work” by both the Dallas and San Antonio Business Journals. For more information on Service King and to view a full history of the organization, visit www.ServiceKing.com.