Anthony Martino


Anthony Martino 1950s--Owner of a small Philadelphia automotive garage, Anthony A. Martino perceives the need and demand for automatic transmission repairs.

1962--After opening several transmission repair shops, Mr. Martino conceives the idea of franchising transmission repair centers. His brainchild becomes AAMCO Transmissions (an acronym for his name). Between 1962 and 1967, AAMCO becomes the largest retail chain of its kind, growing to more than 500 franchises, coast-to-coast.

1967-- Citing a need to explore opportunities in other entrepreneurial fields, Mr. Martino sells his interest in AAMCO to his partner.

1972-- Seeking other areas of need in the market place, Mr. Martino identifies another niche in the automotive aftermarket--auto painting and body repair. The industry is fragmented. At one end of the spectrum are inexpensive, low quality local auto paint chains; at the other end are expensive, independently owned custom paint shops. Franchise experts say auto paint shops "can't be franchised." Ever the maverick, Mr. Martino opens the pilot MAACO center in Wilmington, Delaware.

1977-- In the first five years, MAACO grows to nearly 200 production auto painting and body repair centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. New commercials star Charo and bring increased name recognition.

1981 "Uh, oh...better get MAACO!" is heard for the first time as MAACO's advertising slogan. The popular phrase will be brought back again and again in future campaigns.

1982-- With over 325 centers and grosses over $130 million, Mr. Martino has established MAACO as the premier, low cost auto painting chain in the industry. Gradually, MAACO begins to gain a reputation for auto body repair as well as painting. In the early 1980s Mr. Martino recognizes a need in the marketplace and launches yet another franchise, SPARKS Tune-Up, specializing in tune-ups, lubes and oil changes.

1987-- MAACO surpasses 400 franchise centers. The SPARKS chain of over 150 centers is sold to GKN/PIC, the parent company of Meineke Mufflers.

1989-- Recognizing the growing need for child care in the United States, Mr. Martino franchises The Goddard Schools for Early Childhood Development. The schools offer quality child care and developmental training for children six weeks to six years old.

1990-- To raise its public image, MAACO employs a high profile spokesperson to build on the highly successful "Uh, Oh...Better Get MAACO" advertising campaign. Robert Stack, Elliott Ness of "The Untouchables" and host of the popular "Unsolved Mysteries", is chosen for a series of high image television ads.

1991-- Mr. Martino is honored as the 1990 Entrepreneur of the Year by the International Franchise Association. He becomes the eighth franchisor chosen, and the first with a chain of less than 800 franchise units.

1995-- MAACO now numbers 450 centers. The weekly sales averages have risen for five consecutive years. MAACO's new spokesperson Craig T. Nelson, the star of the television series "Coach," appears in a series of print and television ads.

1996-- To concentrate on building the MAACO and Goddard chains, Mr. Martino becomes CEO and Chairman of the Board. Vice President Mark Martino is promoted to President of MAACO Enterprises. The year is a record for MAACO, with $260 million in sales.

1997-- The chain paints and repairs its 10 millionth vehicle and opens its 500th franchise center. MAACO Enterprises grosses more than $360 million. Because of the overwhelming success of the "Uh, Oh...Better Get MAACO" commercials, MAACO launches a new version of the popular advertising campaign.

1998-- The MAACO chain reaches 535 centers by mid-1998. The Goddard Schools number 50.

2000-- MAACO continues to lead the world in automotive repainting and body repair. MAACO's 530 centers, in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico, paint about 750,000 vehicles each year.

2002 Mr. Martino sells the 130-franchise Goddard School chain to King of Prussia, Pa., based American Manufacturing Corp., operator of various manufacturing, consumer products, franchising and service businesses. He reassumes the title of MAACO president and day-to-day operating responsibility for the company. A new series of "Uh, ohs" star actor Burt Reynolds. MAACO centers have now delivered great quality at a reasonable price to the owners of more than 13 million vehicles.