Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)
• R&R Marketing Consultants Inc. (RRMCI) will represent PowerStop throughout the United States and Canada. The Kansas City-based firm provides a variety of business services, including prospecting, market strategy and planning, sales calls, and pipeline inventory management.
• The Chick Capoli Sales Company is adding Chris Sumrell to its sales team, effective Oct. 1. Sumrell, who resides in Georgia, was with ZF Aftermarket and Bendix/Honeywell as a regional sales representative.
• U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Innovation, Data & Commerce will hold a hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 27 about proposals to enhance product safety and transparency. The Right to Equitable & Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act is one of the bills that will be discussed.
2023 Impact Award: Four Under 40 Recipients
The Auto Care Association and Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) have honored the following people with its 2023 Impact Awards …
• Cindy Talamantes, marketing and communications manager for Global Parts Distributors.
• Chelsea Scally, associate director – global mobility at S&P Global.
• Shawn Senior, president of Eastern Warehouse Distributors.
• Joseph DeLorme, SBU director at Dorman Products.
Auto Care Association Introduces New Online Learning Resource
The Auto Care Association has launched Auto Care Academy, a self-paced online professional development resource for auto care industry professionals at all stages of their careers, from new industry entrants to seasoned veterans. “Our goal for Auto Care Academy is to empower professionals and to ensure their continued success in the ever-evolving automotive aftermarket,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association.
Professionals can access the platform by visiting academy.autocare.org and logging in using their autocare.org credentials. Once logged in, learners can select and purchase preferred courses as well as gain access to training modules and related exams. Purchasers are granted lifetime access to course content and related documents to encourage continuous learning and skill development.
Additionally, Auto Care Academy is collaborating with Northwood University to further extend the educational opportunities available to learners. Through this collaboration, participants can access the Northwood University of the Aftermarket online course catalog, unlocking a range of additional resources and knowledge.
“The Auto Care Academy is an innovative platform that will provide educational experiences to industry professionals who otherwise may not have the opportunity to participate,” said Thomas Litzinger, executive director of the University of the Aftermarket. “Northwood is committed to developing the future leaders of our global aftermarket and to creating immersive learning opportunities for everyone everywhere.”
In related news, the academy has introduced “Aftermarket Essentials,” a forthcoming course being developed to onboard and educate new employees about the auto care ecosystem, including industry workings and best practices. Successful completion of “Aftermarket Essentials” will be a prerequisite for the University of the Aftermarket’s program, “Aftermarket 101.”
Also, the academy’s development team is working on a third data standards course, “PIES for Heavy Duty,” to complement its existing courses “ACES and PIES” and “Intermediate ACES and PIES.” The new, pending course is being designed to help the heavy duty aftermarket increase efficiency for suppliers and distributors while creating a better experience for customers.
Click here to stay updated with course offerings and announcements.
Suggestions for new course content can be submitted here.
Parts Authority Expands University Of The Aftermarket Foundation Support To Diamond Level
Parts Authority has expanded its support of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) by two levels to Diamond Lifetime Trustee.
“To anyone striving to build a successful career within the aftermarket, UAF is here to help. Take advantage of their AutomotiveScholarships.com resource,” said Randy Buller, president and CEO of Parts Authority. “UAF is a collective effort, a support network within the industry. It is an honor to be part of it and contribute to shaping the future of the aftermarket.”
UAF Chairman Bob Egan: “On behalf of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, we sincerely thank Randy and the Parts Authority team for ascending not one, but two levels. Their impressive contribution helps expand UAF’s scholarship program and makes aftermarket education more accessible, both crucial for attracting and retaining talent in the industry. Parts Authority’s generous support is a testament to their commitment to the betterment of the industry, and we enthusiastically welcome them to their new designation of Diamond Lifetime Trustee.”
The University of the Aftermarket Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. To learn more about the foundation, apply for a scholarship or grant, or make a donation, visit www.uofa-foundation.org.
AutoZone Reports 1.7% Increase In Domestic Same-Store Sales
AutoZone Inc. reported $864.84 million in net income for the fiscal fourth quarter (16 weeks) ended Aug. 26, 2023 — an increase of 6.8% compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, gross profit rose 8.8% to just under $3.00 billion, and gross margin increased 118 basis points to 52.7%, attributable to a non-cash LIFO benefit and merchandise margins.
AutoZone’s net sales grew 6.4% to $5.69 billion. According to management, sales started the quarter slowly but improved in the back half of the 16-week period.
Total company same-store increased 4.5% year over year (up 2.8% in constant currency) on top of 7.1% growth a year ago for a two-year stack of +11.6% (or +10.0% in constant currency).
A closer look shows that international same-store sales rose 34.1% (up 14.9% in constant currency) on top of 18.0% growth a year ago for a two-year stack of +52.1% (or +33.9% in constant currency). Meanwhile, domestic same-store sales increased 1.7% on top of 6.2% growth a year ago for a two-year stack of +7.9%.
SALES TRENDS … “Our performance in retail was respectable and generally in line with our expectations,” Chairman, President and CEO Bill Rhodes told analysts on AutoZone’s Sept. 19 earnings call. “But, as was well documented last quarter, our commercial sales performance in the second half of our fiscal year declined meaningfully and, to us, unacceptably. We ended with 3.9% growth in domestic commercial sales.
“Our performance in both retail and commercial in the first half of the quarter was disappointing. But, during this period, we experienced very mild weather. As we reached the second half of the quarter and the temperature escalated materially, so did our sales. Specifically, for the first eight weeks of the quarter, our retail comps were flat but increased 3.4% in the second half. [Commercial sales] experienced a similar trajectory, ending particularly strong in the last four weeks of the quarter — up over 7%.”
It’s worth stating that AutoZone’s domestic commercial sales increased 3.9% to a record $1.50 billion for the quarter on top of 22.0% growth last year for a two-year stack of +25.9%.
Average sales per program per week came in at $16,700, which was down 1.8% compared to last year. However, on a two-year stack, average sales per program per week were +16.3%.
“It’s important to point out that our sales per program productivity was impacted materially by the late-in-quarter openings of approximately 120 new programs,” CFO Jamere Jackson told analysts on the call. “While these openings depress the point-in-time productivity metric, we’re encouraged by the growth prospects of these programs and their early contribution to our commercial business. These openings are part of our efforts to open more stores with commercial in response to the tremendous opportunity to grow our market share.”
Despite lower-than-anticipated domestic commercial sales, CEO-Elect Phil Daniele told analysts that management believes AutoZone grew its share.
Additionally, Rhodes told analysts that AutoZone recently completed a strategic review of its commercial business, stating: “We have validated our direction and have some exciting new enhancements that we will be testing over the next few quarters.”
Same-store domestic DIY sales increased 1.4% for the quarter on top of 1.1% growth a year ago for a two-year stack of +2.5.%
On a regional basis, AutoZone experienced a material performance gap between the Northeast and Midwest markets compared to the rest of the country. The total comp difference was well over 300 basis points and more than 450 basis points for commercial. Management attributed this to the lack of winter weather and snowfall in the latter part of the winter in the Midwest and Northeast, which led to lower growth trends in undercar categories.
Management anticipates that summer heat will provide positive momentum heading into fall.
Retail traffic was down 0.8% for the quarter, and ticket was up only 2%. Being up only 2% was the weakest quarterly increase AutoZone has reported since fiscal year 2000, as it laps significantly higher inflation a year ago where ticket was up 8%.
Regarding merchandise categories, sales floor categories outperformed hard parts categories, with the hard parts business coming in essentially flat for the quarter.
On the commercial side, the company continued to report traffic and ticket growth; however, AutoZone’s commercial ticket growth, just like retail, experienced a deceleration tied to abating hyperinflation. “For perspective, our ticket growth was 11% in Q4 last year versus roughly 2% this year,” Daniele said on the call. “As expected, some of our commercial customers are experiencing trade down and lower car counts as the consumer comes under economic pressure.”
INFLATION & PRICING … AutoZone reported low-single-digit inflation for the fiscal fourth quarter, and Daniele stated that the company expects inflation for the fiscal first quarter to be similar “as the industry is migrating back to pre-pandemic inflation levels and lapping high inflation from a year ago.”
“I want to reiterate that our industry has been very disciplined about pricing for decades, and we expect that to continue,” Daniele said. “Historically, as costs have increased, the industry has increased pricing commensurately to maintain margins. It is also notable that, following periods of higher inflation, our industry historically has not reduced pricing to reflect lower cost, and we believe we have entered one of those periods.”
MISCELLANEOUS … Other items of interest from AutoZone’s quarterly report and earnings call …
• The company now has 5,682 domestic stores with commercial programs — up from 5,342 a year ago. This marks the first time AutoZone has exceeded 90% domestic penetration for its commercial program.
• The company opened 14 mega-hubs during the quarter, giving AutoZone a total of 98 such locations.
• According to Rhodes, the company is nearing the halfway point of management’s goal of having 200 mega-hubs and 300 hubs.
• AutoZone’s “all other sales (including Alldata)” grew 9.8% to $101.19 million in the quarter on top of 10.6% sales growth a year ago for a two-year stack of +20.4.
• The company’s inventory increased 2.2% to $5.76 billion, attributable to new store growth. This came as net sales increased 6.4%.
• Inventory per store decreased from $812,000 to $807,000 on a year-over-year basis.
• Inventory turns held steady at 1.5x.
• AutoZone’s accounts payable/inventory ratio decreased slightly, going from 129.5% to 124.9% year over year.
• Under its share repurchase program, the company repurchased 403,000 shares of its common stock during the quarter at an average price per share of $2,502 for a total investment of $1.00 billion.
• Since the inception of the share repurchase program, AutoZone has repurchased a total of 154 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $219 for a total investment of $33.8 billion.
• At the fiscal year’s end, the company had $1.80 billion remaining under its current share repurchase authorization. — Reporting by Marc Vincent, editor
AutoZone To Accelerate Domestic, International Store Openings
During the fiscal fourth quarter ended Aug. 26, 2023, AutoZone Inc. opened 53 new stores and closed one in the United States, opened 27 stores in Mexico, and opened 17 stores in Brazil for a total of 96 net new stores.
For the fiscal year, the company opened 197 net new stores.
As of Aug. 26, 2023, AutoZone had 6,300 stores in the United States, 740 in Mexico and 100 in Brazil for a total store count of 7,140.
Chairman, President and CEO Bill Rhodes told analysts on AutoZone’s Sept. 19 earnings call that a strategic review of the ultimate number of locations AutoZone can have in the Americas has resulted in plans to be much more aggressive in terms of store development.
“Over the last five years, we have averaged 140 domestic store openings and 50 international openings for a total of roughly 190 new stores a year in the Americas,” Rhodes said. “We plan on accelerating this pace and aspire to open as many as 500 stores five years from now. So, by [fiscal year 2028], we are modeling 500 store openings with the split being 300 in the U.S. and 200 internationally. [Fiscal year 2024] will remain around 200, but we will ramp from there.”
He told analysts on the call: “You may be asking why this change of strategy, and why now? The answer is our profitability per store is materially higher since the beginning of the pandemic. We continue to find new trade areas, even in our more mature U.S. markets. Our growth in commercial has materially changed the economics on a per-store basis. We believe this is just the beginning on commercial, and our ROIC, one of the most important metrics we track, is over 50%. Also, our international markets are immature, so we continue to see expansion opportunities in Mexico and Brazil, along with putting a toehold at some point in other new markets.”
It’s worth pointing out that roughly 12% of AutoZone’s total store base is now outside of the United States. — Reporting by Marc Vincent, editor
AutoZone Announces Additional Top-Level Executive Changes
AutoZone Inc. has announced a second round of senior leadership changes following the “leadership transition plan” it announced in June that included news of Bill Rhodes’ pending transition to executive chairman and Phil Daniele’s appointment as CEO-elect. (Our coverage of that announcement can be found here).
Now, we have news that Tom Newbern, a 38-year veteran of the company, has been promoted from executive vice president of operations, sales and technology to COO. And, Jamere Jackson — who has been AutoZone’s CFO and executive vice president of finance and store development — has been appointed CFO, where he will continue to lead the finance and store development teams.
“Phil Daniele, our chief executive officer-elect (CEO-elect), is positioning Tom and Jamere as equivalents and the senior-most leaders of his leadership team,” the company stated in an announcement dated Sept. 18.
Newbern was named executive vice president of store operations – commercial, international, information technology, loss prevention and Alldata in March. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of international, information technology and Alldata.
Jackson assumed the role of executive vice president and CFO in 2021. His career prior to AutoZone includes time as executive vice president and CFO of Hertz Global Holdings and CFO of Nielsen Holdings.
“With Jamere Jackson leading the finance and store development teams and Tom Newbern now serving as our chief operating officer — in addition to the balance of our talented executive team — our company is in terrific hands,” Rhodes said on AutoZone’s Sept. 19 earnings call.
AutoZone also has promoted Bill Hackney, a 38-year veteran of the company, from senior vice president of merchandising to executive vice president of merchandising, marketing and supply chain, replacing Daniele, who previously held the role.
Rhodes said Hackney knows this business exceptionally well and has always been a top performer.
Hackney rejoined AutoZone as senior vice president of merchandising in 2022 after a brief retirement. His initial career with AutoZone began in 1983. Hackney has held various key management roles with the company, including vice president of store operations support and vice president of merchandising.
Additionally, the company disclosed that three of its other executive committee members will be retiring around the end of the year, which AutoZone stated is consistent with its long-standing succession plan. The pending retirees are Grant McGee, senior vice president of commercial; Charlie Pleas, senior vice president of finance and accounting; and Al Saltiel, senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce.
McGee was named senior vice president of commercial in 2021. From 2007-‘21, he was a divisional vice president of store operations. And, from 2004-‘07, McGee was vice president – commercial.
Pleas was elected senior vice president of finance and accounting in 2021. Prior to that, he was senior vice president and controller. Pleas began his AutoZone career in 1996 as director of general accounting.
Saltiel was named senior vice president of marketing in 2013. From 2011-‘13, he was chief marketing officer of Navistar International Corp.
“I thank and congratulate Grant McGee, Charlie Pleas and Al Saltiel for their partnership, leadership and friendship for all these years,” Rhodes said on the Sept. 19 call. “They leave AutoZone a massively better organization than they found it many years ago.”
AutoZone has active searches under way for McGee and Saltiel’s replacements, which will include internal and external candidates. Pleas’ role is to be restructured. — Reporting by Marc Vincent, editor
JOSCO Adds Director For NAPA/GPC Business In Atlanta
Taylor Meyer is joining JOSCO as a director for the NAPA/Genuine Parts Company (GPC) business in Atlanta, effective Oct. 2. Meyer’s professional experience includes nine years as a category manager at NAPA, managing the heating and cooling, underhood and undercar categories. Most recently, Meyer was the national accounts manager for Clarios batteries at AutoZone.
Meyer Distributing Grows In Louisiana
Meyer Distributing has added a cross-dock in Alexandria, LA that will have a direct feed from Meyer’s distribution hub in Arlington, TX.
CEO Jeff Braun noted that the Alexandria cross-dock will significantly improve deliveries to Central Louisiana. “We continue to expand our offerings organically and via acquisition in adjacent industries that allow us to grow and logistically better serve our customers,” Braun said.
“Meyer has expanded inventory significantly in 4×4, off-road, overland and Jeep/Bronco parts,” stated Jamin Hochgesang, 4×4 and off-road sales manager. “Having larger inventory available next day now throughout the South has been very well received by our customers.
4Plastic Repair Picks Kent Automotive
Kent Automotive is now the exclusive distributor of 4Plastic supplies and tools in the United States and Canada. According to Kent, the 4Plastic repair system provides automotive plastic repair products for the collision industry that are engineered for today’s OEM plastic parts and deliver high surface coverage that can replicate most textured finishes. It also allows body shops to repair damaged textured surfaces that formerly had to be replaced.
Wheel Pros Completes Lender Transaction
Wheel Pros on Sept. 22 announced that it closed its previously announced lender transaction designed to provide the company with enhanced liquidity, reduced total debt and more.
According to the company, 99.7% of existing term loan lenders participated in the transaction by providing Wheel Pros with $235 million in “new money” term loans and exchanging, at a discount, nearly all of the $1.15 billion existing term loans for new term loans.
The transaction also included an exchange of existing unsecured notes into new subordinated notes and a maturity extension of its asset-based loan (ABL) facility.
1847 Engages Investment Bank To Explore Options
1847 Holdings, parent company to Wolo Mfg. and others, has engaged the U.S. investment bank Spartan Capital Securities to assist the company in exploring a range of strategic alternatives, including potentially going private.
There can be no assurance that this process will result in 1847 completing a strategic transaction or other privatization. The company has not set a timetable for completion of this process. It does not intend to disclose further developments unless, and until, it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or necessary.
CEO Ellery Roberts said engaging Spartan Capital underscores 1847’s commitment to delivering maximum value for its shareholders.
“While we are proud of our accomplishments as a public entity, we do not believe the market reflects the intrinsic value we have created. Specifically, we expect to achieve $90 million in sales this year, which would represent over 80% growth compared to the prior year, and believe the company is on track to generate significant cash flow,” Roberts stated. “We have assembled tremendous businesses within our portfolio, each of whose combined values we believe are many multiples greater than our current market cap.
“Importantly, any privatization would require a tender offer for, or other purchase of, the outstanding shares of the company, at a premium to the market price, which would then require approval by the board and the company’s shareholders. Engaging Spartan Capital, with their depth of experience and market insight, will help ensure we explore every avenue to unlock maximum value.”
Burke Porter Group Rebrands As Ascential Technologies
The Burke Porter Group has rebranded as Ascential Technologies. The company, which has been in operation for 70 years, designs, develops and automates complex diagnostics, inspections and test processes for various markets, including the automotive aftermarket (ADAS calibration).
As part of the rebranding, Ascential is consolidating its brand portfolio and organizing into three divisions.
Building on its history in the automotive industry, the transportation division of Ascential will be Burke Porter, An Ascential Technologies Company. The other divisions are Ascential Medical & Life Sciences and Ascential Industrial.
Ascential is a AEA Investors portfolio company.
Study: Specialty Equipment Industry Supports Over 1.30 Million U.S. Jobs
According to the SEMA 2023 Economic Impact Report, the specialty-equipment industry supports more than 1.30 million U.S. jobs, and more than $104 billion worth of wages and benefits earned by U.S. workers are supported by the industry.
Additionally, the report shows that the industry accounts for more than $40 billion in taxes ($24 billion in federal taxes and $16 billion in state and local taxes) and that the industry contributes over $336 billion to the U.S. economy annually.
SEMA commissioned the Economic Impact Report, and John Dunham & Associates conducted the research based on 2023 U.S. economy data.
SEMA Launches Best Engineered Vehicle Of The Year Award
SEMA has announced a new award to recognize a featured vehicle at the SEMA Show that showcases exceptional engineering. The SEMA Best Engineered Vehicle of the Year recognition will honor and celebrate a build that demonstrates quality engineering throughout the entire vehicle or an aspect of the vehicle that goes beyond just physical appearance.
The goal is to inspire more engineers to enter the automotive aftermarket by highlighting their impact on the automotive specialty-equipment industry as well as spotlighting the symbiotic relationship between a vehicle’s design and engineering.
Entries will be accepted until Oct. 25 at this link.
NASTF Elects Board Of Directors
NASTF has elected the following board of directors officers and members …
• Chair: Bob Stewart of General Motors.
• Vice Chair: Chris Gardner of MEMA.
• Treasurer/Secretary: Greg Potter of the Equipment & Tool Institute (ETI).
• OEM: Craig Jeffries of Subaru.
• OEM: David Stovall of Toyota.
• At-Large: Travis Taylor of Volkswagen.
• At Large: Keith Perkins, L1 automotive training/technician.
• Information Service Provider: Carl Evered of MOTOR Information Systems.
• Tool Company: Greg Potter of ETI
• Shop Owner/Technician: Craig Johnson of Craig Johnson Automotive
• Dealer: Daniel Ingber of NADA*
• Technician: Scott Brown of Connie & Dick’s/Diagnostic Network.
• Technician: Seth Thorson of Eurotech Auto Repair.
• Trainer: Chris Chesney of Repairify.
• Locksmith: Claude Hensley of Lockman Locksmith.
• Tool and Equipment: Bob Augustine of OPUS IVS.
* Ingber was approved by the board to finish the remainder of Brad Miller’s term.
MACS Partners With MAACA For Mutual Member Benefits
The Mobile Air Climate Systems Association (MACS) and the Mid-Atlantic Auto Care Alliance (MAACA) have announced a partnership to promote training and mutual association benefits.
Through Dec. 31, 2023, MACS members will receive a 15% ($60) discount on a MACCA membership for the first year, and MAACA members who join MACS will receive a 15% ($35) discount on the first year of MACS membership dues.
And, by being members of both MACS and MAACA, shops will receive benefits offered by both associations, including discounted training events, webinars and professional development.
Midwest Auto Care Alliance Announces New Executive Board
The Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA) installed a new executive board during its Fall Leadership Summit held Sept. 8-10 in Lake of the Ozarks, MO. The newly elected officers are …
• President: Summer Guerrero of Affinity Automotive Services (Wichita, KS).
• Vice President: Travis Troy of Honest Wrenches Automotive Repair (Des Moines, IA).
• Treasurer: James Copeland of Midwest Autoworx (Columbia, MO).
• Secretary: Kim Auernheimer of CS Automotive (Brentwood, TN).
• Past President: Jerry Holcom of S&S Service Center (Kansas City).
“MWACA is at a defining moment in its history with installing the first female president of the association,” said Sheri Hamilton, MWACA’s executive director. “Summer Guerrero brings a passion and innovation that will help propel the organization to new heights.”
The association also extended its appreciation to outgoing president Tim Davison of Chumbley’s Auto Service (Indianola, IA), who recently retired following the sale of his business.
“Tim’s leadership and vision have been a guiding light for MWACA during the past four years as we went through organizational growth and established the MWACA and Auto Care Alliance brands,” Hamilton stated. “He will always be a part of our family, and we wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
Todd Westerlund Joins AutoOps
Todd Westerlund is joining AutoOps as its head of sales strategy. AutoOps is a provider of online scheduling software designed to streamline appointment booking for auto repair shops.
Westerlund has been the director of market expansion for Tekmetric. His background also includes time as the CEO of Kukui Corp. and chief revenue officer for Facepay.
Classic Collision Expands To Virginia
Classic Collision, a national multi-site collision repair operator based in Atlanta, has acquired the Elite Auto Body Group in Virginia. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Elite Auto Body, which is billed as one of the largest independently owned groups in the Tidewater area, marks Classic’s entry into Virginia. “We look forward to developing a vigorous Virginia market with these six new locations,” stated Toan Nguyen, CEO of Classic.
Classic has 236 repair facilities across 16 states.
Power Heavy Duty Grows In Texas
B Truck & Trailer of Texarkana, TX is now a member of the Power Heavy Duty network. B Truck & Trailer offers truck and trailer parts and service as well as welding and fabrication. The company also has a driveline shop. It does business in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
B Truck & Trailer also took the next step to be a manufacturer, launching Tuffhaul Trailer Manufacturing earlier this year, specializing in custom-built logging and oilfield trailers.
CVSN Hires Marketing, Member Services Coordinator
The Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN) has hired Jessica Dibble as marketing and communications coordinator. Dibble is tasked with developing a marketing strategy that will highlight the CVSN brand and engage members within the community. She also leads CVSN’s industry awareness committee, focused on promoting the industry to the next generation of trucking industry professionals.
Prior to this position, Dibble spent 10 years at SAF-HOLLAND in event planning, specializing in trade shows.
J.D. Power Touts Deal To Expand Its Auto Data, Analytics Portfolio
J.D. Power has announced a definitive agreement to acquire the Autovista Group — a pan-European and Australian automotive data, analytics and industry insights provider — from Hayfin Capital Management. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move is seen as complementing J.D. Power’s strengths in vehicle valuation and detailed vehicle specification data and analytics while also broadening its footprint in the European and Australian markets.
Through its five leading brands — Autovista, Eurotax, Glass’s, Schwacke and Rødboka — the Autovista Group standardizes and categorizes hundreds of technical attributes for virtually every vehicle produced in the European and Australian markets, providing clients with a detailed view of vehicle data for use in valuations, forecasts and repair estimates.
Autovista Group’s senior leadership and its 700 employees would continue with the company and would become J.D. Power’s automotive data and analytics platform for Europe and Australia. Lindsey Roberts would continue to lead the team as president of J.D. Power Europe, reporting to CEO Dave Habiger.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2023 and is subject to customary closing conditions as well as regulatory review and approval.
Sales Manager to work Automotive/HD/Oil and Lube/Farm & Fleet/sales channels directly and with reps depending on accounts. Great opportunity to have a big role in small company, impact growth and build network across all channels. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
Aftermarket automotive brake parts manufacturer (Disc pads, Rotors/Drums) seeks east coast region sales manager. Must have worked with a brake parts company or manufacturer. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
Unlock Mexican Market Success with Our Automotive Sales Agency! Expand your auto parts business in Mexico effortlessly. With 35+ years of industry mastery, we’re your strategic sales partner. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
People Watching 9/25/23
• Juan Thomaz is now vice president and general manager – aftermarket, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Phinia Inc. He was EMEA commercial director.
• Jeff Leonard has announced that The Classic Industries Group has acquired Parts Unlimited Interiors and that he has taken on the role of CEO of Parts Unlimited Interiors. This is in addition to serving as the chief executive of Classic Industries, Original Equipment Reproduction, The Parts Place, JML Commercial Property Leasing, JML Enterprises LLC and General Marketing Capitol Inc.
• Andy Hicks is now chief supply chain officer for EiKO, a lighting manufacturer. Hicks is a former president and COO of Altrom, a division of the Genuine Parts Company; a former chief supply chain officer for Interamerican Motor Corp.; and a former vice president of logistics for XL Parts.
• The Wheel Group (TWG) — an aftermarket wheel, tire and automotive accessories supplier — has announced Dean Rossi as its new CFO. Wade Kawasaki, executive chairman of TWG, called Rossi’s appointment an exciting new chapter for the company. “We’re confident that his expertise will set the stage for unprecedented organic growth and supercharge our acquisition efforts,” Kawasaki said.
• Accuride Corp. has announced Jayne Orr as senior vice president of sales – America, assuming leadership of the company’s sales teams in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Orr heads both OEM and aftermarket sales for all Accuride products.
• BBB Industries has announced Gonzalo Cajade as its executive vice president and chief people officer, replacing Matt Brynildson, who will remain in an advisory role through the transition. Cajade is an experienced industrial sector human resources leader who spent his entire career with the former United Technologies Corp. and Otis Elevator, which spun off from UTC in 2020.
• CarDr.com, a mobile OEM-level vehicle diagnostics and appraisal solutions company, has announced Sanjay Patel as its new CEO. Patel — founder of the business consulting and services firm LV8 | X — has been a growth adviser to CarDr.com since 2020.
News Briefs 9/25/23
• Bumper to Bumper Canada has presented its 2023 The Achiever Application Parts award to Dorman Products for best-in-class category management and sales growth.
• INTEX Auto Parts has honored MAGMA Brakes with its Outstanding Service Award in recognition of its customer support and product delivery.
• Art Fisher Memorial Scholarships have been granted to 13 students for the 2023-‘24 academic year. Administered by the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, the scholarships are awarded in memory of the late founder of Federated Auto Parts.
• Wallbox has announced a nationwide expansion of its Pulsar Plus EV chargers line with Best Buy on BestBuy.com and in select stores. Teaming up with Best Buy allows consumers to find and purchase Pulsar Plus via the consumer electronics retailer as well as get expert advice.
• The U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 14 passed the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act (H.R. 1435), which would prohibit the U.S. EPA from issuing a waiver to California for regulations that would ban the sale of new motor vehicles with internal combustion engines in the state by 2035. The vote was 222-190. The U.S. Senate companion to the H.R. 1435 is (S. 2090). SEMA supports the legislation.
• The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has proposed an Advanced Clean Cars rule that would direct vehicle manufacturers to deliver more zero-emission light-duty cars and trucks to the state, starting with model year 2027, as well as ensure that over 80% of new cars and trucks delivered to New Mexico for sale are electric by 2032. Comments regarding the proposed rulemaking can be submitted here. SEMA has stated that New Mexicans, not the government, should decide what vehicles are best for them and their families and that the government should allow the market to continue to innovate all forms of technology that significantly reduce vehicle emissions.
• Litens Aftermarket has introduced “Reset to OE” as campaign messaging, noting that the market share for Overrunning Alternator Decoupler(OAD) pulleys is growing and the need to educate technicians about this component is increasing.
• Hofmann has introduced a video showcasing its line of wheel service products and including testimonials from Hofmann employees who explain manufacturing and assembly processes and more.
• The Snap-on fall software release is available Oct. 2. Jason Gabrenas, diagnostic expert and national field sales trainer for Snap-on, will host free webinars Sept. 28, Oct. 4 and Oct. 9 to highlight new features and coverage as well as walk through some demonstrations live.
• Shop Boss, a shop management technology provider for independent auto repair shops, has introduced a revamped user interface (UI) under the slogan “outlaw the ordinary.” The interface focuses on multi-device capability, understanding that shops require multiple tech touchpoints to operate on the go.
• Todd Hayes, the man behind the rise of Adams Automotive, has launched a new training company, Auto Shop Answers, that offers an in-depth course called “Key to Key to Callbacks.” The course is designed to demystify the strategies that turned around Adams Automotive. Registration for “Key to Key to Callbacks” is now open. The course will take place Oct. 28-30 in Houston. Click here for more details.
• Wix Filters is again partnering with O’Reilly Auto Parts as title sponsors for the Tomorrow’s Technician 2023 School of the Year competition, a national contest to recognize the best technician training school in the United States. The winning school will receive a visit from Tomorrow’s Tech staff and program sponsors, a $10,000 Wix Filters donation to the school’s program, Wix Filters gear and an appearance by the Wix mobile marketing unit.
• Mahle Aftermarket has renewed its contract with Midnight Motorsports of Sidney, IL for a second consecutive year. The agreement includes brand support for Jeremy Nelson’s Midnight Gambler Dodge, Jared Nelson’s Midnight Revenger Chevy, Misty Nelson’s After Midnight Chevy and Bethany Nelson’s Sweet Revenge Chevy. All four family members have been competing in the Super Modified 2WD Truck division of the Pro Pulling League Nationals for the 2023 season.
• Continental Tire will become the presenting partner and official tire of USF Pro Championships and its three ladder series (US Pro 2000, USF2000 and USF Juniors) with a five-year agreement beginning in 2024. Hoosier Racing Tire in Plymouth, IN will manufacture the tires.
• Standard Motor Products has selected Scandia to redesign its website, smpcorp.com.
Event & Trade Show Briefs 9/25/23
• Kaivan Karimi — global partner strategy and OT cybersecurity lead – automotive, mobility and transportation at Microsoft — will present at the 2023 Aftermarket Technology Conference presented by MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers. Karimi’s talk, titled “Using Responsible AI to Benefit Society vs. The Wild, Wild West,” will cover differences between highly curated and guard-railed “responsible AI” and the “wild, wild west” versions of AI available in the early days of this technology. The conference will take place Oct. 9-11 at the Genuine Parts Company’s headquarters in Atlanta. Click here for event information.
• Troy Campbell, director of RLC operations at The Home Depot, will share best practices and discuss how the company maximizes value in its reverse logistics operations during a fireside chat-style session at the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ Remanufacturing Annual Conference taking place Oct. 11-12 in Atlanta. Cathy Roberson, research manager at the Reverse Logistics Association, will facilitate Campbell’s session. Click here for conference information.
• The MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Women in Remanufacturing Network virtual meeting on Dec. 14 will feature a presentation from Tina Hubbard, CEO of HDA Truck Pride, who will discuss her career journey as well as insights on building confidence and relationships.