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Autobarn History

In 1985 nine Victorian specialist automotive parts and accessories retailers joined forces and formed a co-operative named Autobarn, the foundation of today’s franchise system.

The initial concept of the Autobarn group was to develop a strong corporate image and greater brand awareness for members. Their major focus was to combat the growing penetration of large corporate players in the automotive retail market emerging from such diverse quarters as department stores, discounters, service stations and hardware stores.

The platforms for further growth became greater buying power, stronger advertising presence, more marketing opportunities and a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences to benefit all members of the group.

The concept proved so successful that within five years the group had grown to 28 stores all trading under a unified corporate identity and retailing model.

In 1991, the co-operative members decided that success of the Autobarn model could best be further replicated and expanded nationally under a formalised franchise system.

In the ensuing decade, the retail network expanded both organically and through the acquisition of other independent brands.

By 2002 the Autobarn group had opened its first National Distribution Centre in Melbourne and in 2008 expanded this wholesale footprint through the acquisition of the National Parts business and facilities.

In July 2015, the Australian Stock Exchange listed BAPCOR Limited acquired the Metcash Automotive Pty Ltd. business and therefore the Autobarn network.

BAPCOR is Australia’s leading provider of aftermarket parts, accessories and services; the combined group remains Australian owned and has the largest store footprint of any Automotive Aftermarket business in Australia.

With the opening of this new chapter in Autobarn’s history, our customers can continue to enjoy shopping in the best automotive stores in Australia where advice, knowledge and friendly, professional service are paramount.