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WLR Automotive Group recently celebrated 35 years in business. Randall Simpson and his then-business partner bought their first quick lube center, on Frederick’s Route 40 in 1987. The business model, which applied quick oil changes, where no appointments are necessary and allows customers to remain in their vehicles during service, appealed to Simpson. During the ensuing 35 years, the company expanded to include additional businesses – lube centers, auto spas, auto spa expresses, and auto repairs. In 2012, Simpson bought out his partner, and became the company’s president and chief executive officer.

For the past decade, WLR has pursued an aggressive growth pattern, starting with 12 employees to now boasting more than 450. Additionally, the company has serviced more than 9.5 million vehicles. WLR has 32 locations located throughout Maryland and
Pennsylvania. Frederick is the base of the company, comprising seven of the locations and the corporate office.

The key to WLR’s longevity, Simpson observed, is making sure the customer’s experience is every employee’s top priority. When visiting the various locations, he often sees both customers and staff smiling and engaged in the service experience. “There is a lot of passion for what we do,” he said.

With the current inflation and supply chain issues making both new and used car buying more expensive, Simpson understands people would like to maintain their current vehicles. “If you put a little bit of money into the preventative maintenance of your car, you will save thousands of dollars down the road, because you don’t have to buy a new car or do major repairs on your existing car,” he said.

WLR celebrated its anniversary in three special ways that benefitted employees, vendors, and customers. “Our community is the heart of who we are, and we strive to always make it better,” Simson explained. All WLR locations were closed for two days during Labor Day weekend, allowing employees to attend festivities in Ocean City. “This gives us a chance to get to know each other a little better while having a great time,” Simpson said. WLR also hosted its first “WLR Open Tournament” last fall for valued vendors at the Maryland National Golf Club.

“The third and most important event is our 35K Giving for Good,” said Simpson, during which WLR gave $35,000 to local charitable organizations. “We could not think of a better way to show our appreciation to our customers than to give back to our communities,” Simpson said.

Simpson hopes customers share their feelings about WLR’s high-quality service by word of mouth, as well as online. “If we’ve done our job right, then successfully, if customers would be willing to take a moment to say, ‘that was a really good experience,” he said, “that is our goal.”

More about WLR Automotive Group’s 35th Anniversary

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