The company’s relationships between its long term, dedicated employees and its long term, satisfied customers are the key to its success. Over five generations of employees and customers have kept Auto Tire and Parts the #1 auto parts provider in the Heartland for over 100 years.
Auto Tire and Parts got its start in 1909 in response to a customer’s need for model T parts. There were only 12 horseless carriages in Cape County in 1909. That is why the original store stocked wagon parts as well as auto parts and tires. In the 1920’s and 30’s, as cars became more popular, Auto Tire and Parts focused more on auto parts and even stopped selling tires. Even though the company no longer sold tires, the owners kept the name and to this day it remains a symbol of product quality, service excellence, and commitment to hometown values.
In 1948, Mr. Tlapek bought the business and laid the foundation for its future success by building a team of talented and dedicated employees to help grow the business. As word spread about Auto Tire and Parts’ quality parts, excellent service, and knowledgeable employees, the store’s customer base increased significantly and other communities began to ask for a store in their town. A major step was taken in 1950 with the opening of the second location in Sikeston, MO. In 1954, a third location was added in Charleston, MO and then Perryville, MO in 1959. The trend of growth and expanding locations continued during the 60’s and 70’s and with additional stores across Southeast Missouri. In 1973, the warehouse was moved to a brand new, much larger facility at its present location.
In the 1980’s, John Tlapek bought the business from his dad and continued to add new stores and grow the business. By 1990, Auto Tire and Parts had 13 locations. The pace of growth accelerated in the 1990’s with 12 new store locations. Auto Tire and Parts celebrated it 90th anniversary in 1999 with the opening of its 25th location. In 2002, Auto Tire and Parts changed to NAPA as its main auto parts supplier. NAPA national marketing and dealer support programs have helped Auto Tire and Parts offer industry leading programs to its customers. In 2009, Auto Tire and Parts celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Today, Auto Tire and Parts NAPA has over 50 locations and continues to distinguish itself from competitors by focusing on its hometown roots and longstanding personal relationships with customers. The future is bright as the employees of Auto Tire and Parts work diligently to build on their tradition of quality products, knowledgeable people, and hometown personal service.