An Austin startup born of frustration with the status quo wants to change the way you get an oil change for your car.
My Pit Crew LLC was launched in January 2011 by Artie Chavez and Scott Frowiss.
For a $14.99 “concierge fee,” the business will pick up your car, deliver it to a shop for an oil change and bring it back to you – saving you from the chore. My Pit Crew offers a menu of oil changes as well as maintenance, washing and detailing services, all at additional costs. The company says it obtains “competitive pricing” from service providers.
My Pit Crew says it recommends only needed and manufacturer-suggested services at the appropriate intervals.
Chavez said customers of My Pit Crew “gain free time to do something for themselves rather than waiting in a service center for the work to be done. It is a huge convenience.”
So far, Chavez and Frowiss have invested $12,000 in their business and expect to invest another $6,000 to $8,000 before the company generates enough revenue to cover recurring expenses.
Chavez said the goal of My Pit Crew is to “revolutionize the oil change industry by providing a superior service that blends convenience and peace of mind for car owners and the centers that service them. We will focus on providing excellent customer service while restoring confidence in the automobile maintenance industry.”
This year, My Pit Crew will focus on reaching the level of 2,500 services a month in the Austin area. In 2012, the company envisions expanding to San Antonio, with Houston and Dallas on tap for 2013. Targeted expansion markets for 2014 and beyond are Atlanta, Miami and Orange County, Calif.
“We don’t know yet if the expansion will be through franchising, or hiring managers and crew members in the expansion areas,” Chavez said.
Chavez said he and Frowiss started My Pit Crew partly in response to career situations that were “beckoning for change.” Chavez had worked in the apparel industry, and Frowiss had worked in information technology. Chavez and Frowiss, who are next-door neighbors, discovered their career dilemmas were playing out simultaneously.
Chavez said he and Frowiss, who have known each other since 2007, joined forces “to start a business together, creating the jobs that we both needed and desired, rather than taking other positions that most likely would not have much growth opportunity.”
The product of their teamwork is My Pit Crew. The genesis for the concierge business came about 10 years ago, when Chavez needed to get an oil change for his car but didn’t have time because of long hours at work. The business idea germinated for years yet hadn’t taken root because Chavez felt comfortable in his job.
“Last August, I approached Scott with the general concept, and together we researched and refined the idea to what we have today,” Chavez said.