Behind the Scenes
The idea for what would become AEP² was dreamed up sine I was a kid, and In 2011 this dream started coming to fruition. Having always been an automotive enthusiast and having a passion for all things in the performance and automotive lifestyles, an opportunity was identified in the belief that the automotive enthusiast market’s needs were not being met in St. Louis region. Having the passion and desire to make this dream become reality. It was finally time to do something we were truly passionate about, and AEP² was born. Having found what we thought was a great facility we began planning out how AEP² would eventually take shape. We researched everything that would go in to AEP² from the equipment to the flooring. Designing every aspect ourselves and planning every little detail of our entire facility, we went for a clean modern minimalist look in our office/showroom that looks as much art gallery as it does performance and enhancement shop. In the shop we took just as much time and attention to detail like our bright ample lighting and completely finished shop floor all the way to our racing flag logo on our shop walls that took months to complete. It would take almost a year to build out our entire facility including having equipment installed. While opening AEP² and building out our facility we set out the goal of building the best team in the ST. Louis region in order to provide the best possible customer service experience seen, and what we actually did was put together the foundation of what would become the culture that would allow us to evolve and continually build and improve our team. We finally opened under the AutoExotica brand on
February 4, 2012.
In order to continue our quest to become the best automotive enhancement and performance shop in ST. Louis we have continued to refine our team, to grow our skill set, to find better more talented technicians and artisans that are highly skilled and knowledgeable and have continue to draw from our extensive experiences in all aspects of automotive enhancement and performance that we have accumulated through past experiences working at racecar shops, formal education, certifications, and skills picked up through practical experience enhancing vehicles, building performance vehicles for road and track. This is not just merely a business, but a serious passion for us for everyone at AEP².
What is AEP²
When we opened we started off very well, but we realized very soon after, that many of our potential clients were confused by our name. While we thought it was catchy (AutoExotica) it became confused with Autoerotica, which while it may have been funny, it is is not flattering, and not exactly the market we were in. This also led some people to mistakenly assume we were doing all flash and no substance modifications. There was even another group of the market, that made the assumption we only worked on exotic cars, and we were very, very expensive. While it is true we do work on high end European, luxury, and exotic vehicles, we have never solely worked on exotic or even strictly high end or European vehicles. There are many services and products we offer for all vehicles, and we have always offered tasteful and functional enhancements including high performance enhancements for many vehicles. In 2013 we went through a change in ownership structure that would alter AutoExotica moving forward, and soon after this restructuring we were put through a major personal challenge and loss that would put the business on hold to help take care of family. Family is a big part of our life and we even carry the through our team and employees who have become our family over time.
When we finally began to work on our business we decided to rebrand and remarket our business under a name that kept our history and the original integrity of our business, but better fit what our business was. The new name and brand became AEP², The square is to signify the dual meaning. AEP as in Automotive Enhancement and Performance, and AEP as in, AutoExotica Auto Spa (paying homage to our original name). and another brand to be announced. AEP² has continued to evolve and since then has become the Umbrella Brand for many others automotive enhancement and performance brands that will be announced in the near future. AutoExotica
has become our Luxury Auto Spa and Design brand, AEP² a European and high-end Japanese tuner brand specializing in BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, and some Porsche models, as well as Nissan GTR, Toyota Supra, Acura NSX, and more. Details to come so stay tuned. Our business model has evolved again to reflect these changes, and what you see hear on this website is part of that. Our ever growing embrace and push forward in to new technology, will be changing the auto enthusiast market for the better. New technologies are coming to market everyday, and we vow to be at the forefront of these technologies.
Our story continued
We continued to rebuild AEP and made major strides between the middle of 2014 and 2016. We had begun to have growth and success in many of the services we provide. We were finally becoming what we were always striving to be for so long, and then on March 1st, 2016 We were hit with a major tragedy at AEP². Our car audio and In-Car Technology expert and installer John Castilleja passed away. We were devastated by the loss. We put our car audio and In Car Technology department and services on hold for over a year, and still to this day have not been able to replace him. John was an incredibly Knowledgeable and accomplished installer. In fact he was recognized in the Top 50 in the country by his peers, but more than this he was one of our best friends. Someone I looked forward to spending my days with and building this business with. John is gone, but will never be forgotten and will always be a part of our world class team!
Our story continues and like so many businesses we went through our ups and downs, through our trials and tribulations, and we have learned, gotten stronger, and evolved in ways that have allowed us to continue on with becoming the best automotive enhancement and performance shop and luxury automotive lifestyle brand.
AEP² Vision Statement
To become the premier automotive enhancement & performance facility, design studio, tuning center, and automotive Luxury Lifestyle Company.
To provide our clients with the most amazing products, services, and luxury experience at a fair prices that they are left in awe by what can only be described as Luxury Value For Those Who Want To Make a Statement and Leave an Impression, because at AEP Perfection is Standard!
Our Business Philosophy
We believe that any vehicle, even high-end vehicles are just a facsimile of the production model until they are enhanced, perform better, or are personalized. There are multitudes of these vehicles, and while some are still rare in comparison to the average vehicle, there is still someone else who has the exact same BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Porsche as you. Yes it is true there are very rare and special edition vehicles for a few chosen individuals like Bugatti, however driving a BMW or Mercedes is no longer a status symbol if all of your neighbors are driving one too. Every vehicle can benefit from the five tenets of vehicle enhancement: Wheels, Window Tint, Sound, stance, and if you are a performance enthusiast, then performance enhancement to meet your desired performance level. These are the essentials to enhancing or personalizing your vehicle. However the problem has always been the experience of
The automotive enhancement & performance industry has been in a constant state of chaos with a lack of innovation on consumer centric solutions, and has failed to fully embrace modern technology for sales and customer service ideology and techniques. While there is always plenty of creativity to be found in the industry, this chaos is hurting the industry by not providing automotive enthusiast with solutions to meet their needs and providing them an amazing customer experience that takes the chaos out of the vehicle enhancement and performance building process. It has become a complicated and tedious task for the enthusiast weather they build their vehicle themselves or have it built to their desire by the local shop of their choice. We believe all this needs to change, and the customer experience and experience of the owner/builder needs to be the focus.
We believe by offering the most technologically advanced, well equipped, and luxurious facility for complete automotive enhancement and performance, as well, as having a highly skilled, motivated, and qualified team we are able to provide our clients with the foundation for any service they desire to enhance, personalize, restyle, or increase the performance of their vehicle.
We at AEP have created product and service solutions that simplify the process of vehicle enhancement and performance for enthusiast, and those just looking to personalize their vehicles that will forever change the way the customer buys the products and services to enhance their vehicle by taking the research and guess work out of finding the best products with the highest quality to benefit ratio for vehicle enhancement and performance by educating our customers to the best options in all categories at all price points and for all potential stages within the category allowing our customers experience to be simple by not offering our customers inferior parts at any price point and only offering reliable vehicle enhancements that just work and are tested and proven! We embrace technology to create our vehicle tuning programs utilizing interaction through social media and feedback from our customers and vehicle enthusiast to understand their needs and desires, along with research and development from our own team and collaboration with the finest manufacturers in the world to create and refine our product solutions for each vehicle we choose to develop a vehicle enhancement and performance program. We even offer product and service solutions for vehicles we do not have a tuning program for in a traditional sense. Making a solution that works for the DIY builder and the Enthusiast who prefers professional installation both, being able to ship to the DIY’er and provide installation instructions and support, or having products and set up installation scheduled online through our website when you purchase, meeting all potential customer needs with consumer and owner/builder focused solutions that remove the long established perceptions about vehicle enhancement and personalization held by the mainstream public taking the stigma away from vehicle enhancement. Our solutions and processes will allow the enthusiast to enhance and the individual to personalize their vehicle by providing known quantities of cost and labor. The price we give you will be the price you pay! (need to define the perameters for unknowns and rusty parts etc.) Inspections etc. By providing a workmanship and craftsmanship guarantee, and a warranty on all products we sell or install.
To provide Luxury Value: A term coined by the owner of AEP and facilitated every day with every client. Defined as an experience accompanied by products and services that exceed every expectation at a fair price, which is not cheap, nor overly expensive without cause! It is only true value that will bring joy through balance of quality, service, and a fair price. The fleeting pleasure of a low cost deal will soon be replaced by long lasting bitterness of a bad experience and poor quality.
Finally that perfection is standard and through proper design and project management we can give our clients the ability to fulfill their desire to make a statement and leave an impression with their vehicles!
VIDEO TOUR OF OUR FACILITY
My story and passion for the automotive lifestyle and culture began with my Mother and Father taking me to car shows to see the classic and muscle cars. My passion and interest continued to grow and I began working on cars long before I could even drive. Family and friends teaching me including a race car builder that I spent a lot of time with as a teen ager cleaning his shop and helping him as he taught me. I purchased my first car when I was 14, a 1965 AMC Rambler American. The motor ended up being locked up so I purchased a Chevrolet 327 small block and began building it for motor swap. My second vehicle was a 1951 Chevy deluxe coupe when I was 15. My first running vehicle I purchased and drove when I was 16 was a 1963 Ford Falcon. When I was 17 1992 GMC Sonoma became my first new vehicle. I embraced the very popular mini truck scene. The truck was lowered, with a shell and full bed build out, custom paint, mural on shell, Full audio system, exhaust, and more.... It was in this same period that my desire for sports cars and performance vehicles added to my enthusiasm and passion. My first sports car I purchased was a 1991 Alfa Romeo spider. I absolutely loved that car, and it stoked the love affair I would have for European performance vehicles. Not long after I also sold my mini truck and bought my first Jeep Cherokee new, and my second love was kindled. My love for great off-road vehicles, especially Jeeps and the freedom they represent still exist. Many other vehicles followed over the time including several BMW's and other Jeeps.
As I began my business career I owned several businesses, and most of them were opportunities that I took as they present themselves, but eventually my passion found it's way to the surface and once I was in the position I opened the one business I was passionate about. It came with more challenges and tribulations than I would have ever imagined, and yet I am still passionate about it every day. I just want to support the car community and help other enthusiast, help others, and participate daily in the lifestyle and culture. I want to help make the world a better place and I am determined to find a way to do that through this business and passion for the automotive lifestyle and culture.
Thank You for reading, Anthony (AEP) Bommarito
Office and Operations Manager, Co-Builder,
Detailing Department Manager
Special projects detailer
Tai has been with us since 2020 in the midst of the Pandemic and has steadily been growing in to an integral part of our team starting off in an entry level position and continually learning and make himself a valuable team member.
Tim has been detailing for decades, and is quickly become one of our go to pros with his experience and knowledge.
Car Audio Specialist and Fabricator
Will is an audio gu through and through! Not only is he a musician as he is a drummer, but he is also a recording specialist and live music engineer and pro-audio. set-up and design specialist. Will also turned his expertise to the car audio world. So not only is he an audio expert, but he is also a genuine positive person that brings an infectious energy to our team that shows through his work and the way he serves our customers.
Operational Support Staff
Operational Support Coordinator
Joe has worked in the design and fabrication world for over 30 years designing and building displays for our very own St. Louis Science Museum. Joe has always been an automotive enthusiast and finally decided to bring his passion and work in it as well.
WELCOME TO AEP²
Automotive Enhancement & Performance for the worlds finest automobiles!