Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)
• According to SEMA, U.S. consumers in 2018 spent more than ever modifying their vehicles, pushing retail spending on specialty-equipment parts to $44.60 billion. The association expects growth to continue this year, despite ongoing trade uncertainty. Click here for more information from the new 2019 SEMA Market Report.
• 159 NAPA Auto Parts locations across the United States set a Guinness World Record by washing 7,197 cars over an eight-hour period. NAPA was joined by representatives from community organizations for the successful record-breaking attempt. More than $82,000 in donations was raised to support not-for-profit organizations.
• The O’Reilly Automotive board of directors has increased the authorization amount under the company’s share repurchase program by $1 billion, raising the aggregate authorization under the program to $12.75 billion. The additional $1-billion authorization is effective for a three-year period, beginning May 31, 2019. The share repurchase program may be increased, modified, renewed, suspended or terminated by the company at any time, without prior notice.
From Service Executive …
• Monro To Consolidate Its 9 Retail Banners Into 5 Regional ‘Power Brands’
• eBay Motors Expands Tire Installation Initiative
• OE Dealer Techs Receive Nearly Twice As Much Training Per Year
• The Group Training Academy Offers Monthly Live-Stream Training Sessions
• Advance Auto Parts Expands TechNet Program
• Kukui Lands $27-Million Investment
• Autodata Acquires AutoMate
Jefferies: Aftermarket Demand Appears To Have Stabilized
Jefferies LLC reports that aftermarket demand appears to have stabilized in late May and early June, as drier and warmer weather has returned following weather headwinds in late April and much of May tied to record rainfall in 2019 and record heat in May 2018. The story of the 2019 second quarter will be year-over-year weather comps, according to Jefferies’ “June ’19 Monthly Tune-Up” report.
“Notably, there does appear to be some regional dispersion, as a recent Southeast/Southcentral heat wave appears to be driving more significant recovery versus still ‘wet’ trends in Central states,” analysts Bret Jordan, Mark Jordan and Ethan Huntley wrote in their report. “We view the positive correlation to weather as an indicator that underlying service demand remains favorable, rather than recent weakness being an indicator of structural decline.”
Northwood Launches Automotive Aftermarket Executive MBA
Northwood University is now enrolling for its Automotive Aftermarket Executive MBA set to begin Aug. 26. The program is designed to serve a range of light- and heavy-duty aftermarket professionals, including those in manufacturing, retail distribution, wholesale distribution, service and repair, associations, technology, training, and sales.
Northwood’s Automotive Aftermarket Executive MBA program combines a comprehensive business education with the specific needs of industry professionals. Highlights of the program include a curriculum customized to the industry, residencies for enhanced learning and networking opportunities, and a capstone project designed to have a substantial financial impact.
The curriculum is led by academically and professionally qualified faculty with real-world, industry experience. For more information or to apply, contact the DeVos Graduate School at email@example.com or visit northwood.edu/academics/graduate/MBA/aftmkt-emba.
Epicor Purchases MechanicNet
Epicor Software Corp. (Austin, TX) has acquired the MechanicNet Group, a provider of customer relationship management (CRM) and retention products for motor vehicle service businesses and their clients. The transaction closed June 3. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Pleasanton, CA, MechanicNet is known for developing web-based CRM tools and related products to help vehicle service businesses increase sales as well as enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. This includes service reminders, estimate follow-ups, online appointment setting, shop-branded websites, and customer marketing campaigns for repair businesses throughout the United States and Canada. MechanicNet’s offerings are compatible with major service management software platforms, allowing users to integrate marketing and CRM activities into their daily business operations.
“MechanicNet is already playing an impressive role in supporting the growth of thousands of businesses across the U.S. and Canada,” Scott Thompson, senior vice president of automotive and business services at Epicor, said in an announcement dated June 5. “We are confident that, with our ability to innovate and invest, we can make MechanicNet solutions even more valuable and compelling for service providers and their customers.”
The acquisition expands Epicor’s portfolio for the vehicle service market, including …
• The PartExpert database of replacement parts, tires, labor and other information that’s embedded in many popular shop management platforms.
• The Integrated Service Estimator web-based estimating product that helps vehicle service locations estimate and source parts and related supplies.
• The Epicor Parts Network aftermarket business-to-business e-commerce channel that connects parts sellers to service location buyers.
“Together, Epicor and MechanicNet will provide a more complete end-to-end automotive aftermarket offering that helps customers manage their back office, shop operations and customer engagement,” Thompson stated.
Fisher Buys Burlington Foreign Car Parts
Fisher Auto Parts (Staunton, VA) has acquired Burlington Foreign Car Parts, which operates nine locations: six in Vermont, two in New Hampshire and one in New York. Adam Glaser will stay on following the acquisition and will continue to help grow the business.
In addition to Burlington, Fisher has added 19 other locations within the past year: 11 in Michigan; three in Vermont; and one each in Illinois, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
A Federated Auto Parts member of the Automotive Parts Services Group, Fisher has approximately 500 company-owned locations and 100 independent jobbers across 18 states.
Schwartz Advisors (La Jolla, CA), an M&A advisory and strategic planning firm for the automotive industry, was the exclusive sell-side advisor to Burlington. Managing Partner Rick Schwartz, Managing Partner Keith Zar and Partner Rick Guirlinger worked on the transaction.
Beirnes Now University Of The Aftermarket Foundation Lifetime Trustee
Dick and Lisa Beirne together are now a new lifetime trustee of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, with Dick serving as their representative on the foundation’s board of trustees.
Dick Beirne has been an industry advocate throughout his career, involved with numerous industry groups, including AWDA, where he was treasurer, a member of its board of governors and chairman. Beirne’s company, United Auto Supply of LaCrosse, WI, got its start in 1958. Following its sale in 2014 to Minnesota-based Automotive Parts Headquarters, Beirne joined the company as vice president of corporate development.
“Our business relies on well-trained people throughout the supply chain who are able to adapt to changing technologies, so industry education is critical to our collective success,” Beirne said. “By supporting the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, we can help ensure that scholarships and educational opportunities are available to those preparing for an aftermarket career.”
The University of the Aftermarket Foundation lifetime trustee designation is reserved for those donating $100,000 to $249,999 to support the foundation’s mission of providing scholarships and educational opportunities to the next generation of industry leaders.
Alliance Automotive Group Completes Benelux Deal
The Alliance Automotive Group (AAG) — a wholly owned European auto parts distribution subsidiary of the Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) — has completed its acquisition of the PartsPoint Group.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, PartsPoint is a distributor of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories in the Benelux region, predominantly to independent garages and wholesalers. PartsPoint operates one national distribution center, six regional warehouses and 147 branches. Management expects the acquired business to generate roughly $330 million in annual revenue.
GPC Chairman and CEO Paul Donahue called PartsPoint an excellent strategic fit for AAG, noting that it expands the company’s European footprint. “The addition of PartsPoint is an important milestone in our growth strategy in Europe, and we are excited for the opportunities we see in the Netherlands and Belgium in the years ahead,” Donahue said in an announcement dated June 5.
SKF President Tom O’Brien Retires
Tom O’Brien has retired as the president of SKF Vehicle Service Market North America, a position he has held since early 2014. O’Brien has been with SKF since 2007. He is an industry veteran of more than 40 years. This includes time as managing sales director for the Siskel Sales Co., senior vice president of sales and marketing at ARI, and senior vice president of marketing for the brake and chassis division of Dana Corp.
New CEO And COO For APC Automotive Technologies
APC Automotive Technologies has added Tribby Warfield as its CEO and James McCoy as its chief operating officer, building out the company’s leadership team following the 2017 merger of AP Emissions and Centric Parts.
Warfield was senior vice president of business development and strategy for Nitta Corp. (industrial belting, tubing and hoses) with responsibilities spanning Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to that, she held dual roles as the senior vice president and general manager of Kaman Fluid Power and Kaman Automation. Warfield’s background also includes over 25 years with Gates Corp., where she served multiple roles, including president of the North American commercial business and president of the North American power transmission business.
McCoy was the senior vice president of operations at Forterra Inc. His background also includes global executive-level positions with Pentair Corp., Tarkett Inc., Gates and Danaher Corp.
Amalie Oil Acquires Lubricating Specialties Company
The Amalie Oil Co. (Tampa) has acquired the Lubricating Specialties Company (LSC), billed as the largest independent blender on the West Coast, with three production facilities in the Los Angeles area. Financial details were not disclosed.
LSC, which will now operate as AOCUSA, produces over 25 million pounds of grease and other speciality products for the automotive aftermarket and other industrial and specialty markets. The Amalie deal does not include LSC’s Jamaica subsidiary.
“Combining the companies will enhance our ability to service our customers at the highest level,” Amalie President Harry Barkett said in a statement. No major leadership changes are planned.
Founded in 1903, Amalie operates two facilities, one in Port Tampa Bay and another at the Port of North Charleston in South Carolina. (It acquired the South Carolina business from the U.S. division of the Russian oil company Delfin in 2015.)
Full Throttle Inks Brand Ambassador
Full Throttle Products (Lakeland, FL), an automotive maintenance chemicals brand of ITW Professional Automotive Products, has announced Motor Trend TV host Cristy Lee as its brand ambassador. Lee is tasked with promoting Full Throttle’s products and training for quick-lube operators and their professional installer technicians.
This includes raising awareness of Full Throttle’s Tech U Training & Rewards programs for quick-lube service techs, which includes courses covering fuel systems, oil systems, transmissions, cooling systems, power steering systems and wiper blades.
New Regional President – Americas For Chassis Brakes International
Flavio Guacelli is now the regional president for Chassis Brakes International in the Americas. Guacelli’s background includes time as vice president and managing director in the Americas for Aptiv’s electrical distribution systems and connection systems businesses. He also was the vice president and general manager for FCI Automotive before it was acquired by Delphi/Aptiv in 2012.
Jasper Acquires Diesel USA Group
Jasper Holdings Inc., parent company of Jasper Engines & Transmissions, has acquired the Diesel USA Group of Louisville, KY from the Bailey Family, which has owned the company since its inception in 1950. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Diesel USA is a distribution, service and repair company servicing air and fuel products for gas and diesel engines, along with a variety of other complementary products. It has locations in Louisville; Cincinnati; Columbus; Indianapolis; Fort Wayne, IN; Crown Point, IN; and Fontana, CA. Diesel USA will remain a separate company and brand as it becomes part of the Jasper ESOP.
The current leadership team at Diesel USA will continue to lead and operate the company.
“Diesel USA Group is a respected brand with a great team. We are excited about the growth opportunities for the products and services they offer, and feel they will be a great addition to the Jasper ESOP,” Jasper President Zach Bawel said in an announcement dated June 11. “With this acquisition, it enables us to continue to diversify our family of companies while remaining committed to an industry we understand.”
Jasper Recognizes Top Suppliers
Jasper Engines & Transmissions has announced its 2018 “New Part Supplier Award” winners. The “Growth Awards” category is based on the percentage increase in the amount of dollars spent from 2017 to 2018 (with a minimum annual spend of $150,000). The winners are …
• Aisin World Corp. of America.
• Cometic Gasket Inc.
• ElringKlinger AG.
The “Service Awards” recognize such matters as on-time shipping performance, timely response, sense of urgency, problem resolution and overall level of customer service. The winners are …
• BorgWarner Inc.
• Elgin Industries.
• Robert Bosch.
The “Quality Awards” are based on such issues as first piece and incoming inspection results, corrective action request response, vendor scorecard performance, technical expertise, and overall product quality. The winners are …
• Eaton Corp.
• Euroricambi SpA.
• NPR of America.
Jasper also recognized Bill Levy of the U.S. Tool & Manufacturing Co. with the “Partnership Award” for his individual efforts.
M&D Acquires Long-Time West Texas Service Dealer
Humble, TX-based M&D Distributors, an independent aftermarket distributor of diesel engine parts and components, has acquired the assets of Diesel Testers Inc., which provides diesel engine parts and repair services through a retail location in Odessa, TX. Diesel Testers becomes M&D’s ninth branch location in Texas and Louisiana. It will serve as the company’s first branch servicing customers in west Texas and the Permian Basin area.
M&D will continue to serve Diesel Testers’ customers at its existing location on Steven Road, with the ability to deliver more than 100,000 new and remanufactured fuel injection, turbocharger, engine part, and filtration products from OEMs and aftermarket suppliers.
Diesel Testers is M&D’s first acquisition since Warren Equity Partners acquired a majority interest in M&D back in December. Financial terms of the Diesel Testers deal were not disclosed.
Bestop Buys Softopper
Bestop Inc., a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, has acquired Boulder, CO-based Softopper LLC, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of convertible soft tops for light-duty pickup trucks and SUVs. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“With the ability to outfit over 95% of trucks on the road with quality product, Softopper is a perfect addition to the Bestop family,” Bestop CEO John Larson said. “Bestop has placed an emphasis on growing in the light-duty pickup truck space, and Softopper will be a great complement to Bestop’s Supertop for Truck product line.”
Based in Louisville, CO, Bestop is a manufacturer of soft tops and fabric accessories for Jeep and UTV vehicles; the sole supplier of factory soft tops on all Jeep Wranglers since 1986; and a supplier of tonneaus, lock boxes, lighting and fabric caps to the pickup truck market.
Tom Tuttle, managing director of Kinderhook, called the acquisition of Softopper a continuation of Bestop’s “buy-and-build” strategy of acquiring premium brand names in niche categories.
Antares Capital provided financing for the transaction.
Arbitration Ends Long-Running Horizon/Let’s Go Aero Dispute
A long-running patent and trade secret dispute between Cequent Performance Products (now known as Horizon Global Americas) and its former business partner Let’s Go Aero (LGA) has come to an end. An arbitrator has awarded some monetary damages to Let’s Go Aero but also denied several claims of infringement, labeling four of LGA’s design patents invalid.
“With this favorable judgment, Horizon can continue to sell its SportWing and NV-2 bike racks without further interference from LGA, and it exonerates Horizon’s retailers, who had either been threatened or sued by LGA over their resale of Horizon’s bike racks,” according to a statement from Horizon’s legal team at McDonald Hopkins in Cleveland.
A manufacturer of branded towing and trailering equipment, Cequent entered into a license agreement with LGA, a Colorado outdoor lifestyle products company for gear transport, storage, and recreation, in 2008. The agreement allowed Cequent to make and sell products — including cargo bins, a bike rack, and a pin that connects a vehicle to a towed object — involving technology for which LGA had patent rights.
In 2010, Cequent sued LGA for breach of the license, asserting, among other things, that LGA had let its patents and applications expire or go abandoned. LGA counterclaimed, alleging that Cequent breached the licensing agreement by not paying required royalties and infringing on patents.
The companies settled in 2012. Part of the settlement called for Cequent to pay $17,500 to LGA in exchange for letting it sell nearly 26,000 hitch pin units still in Cequent’s inventory.
LGA sued Cequent in Colorado federal court in 2014, claiming that Horizon’s post-termination sales infringed LGA patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Cequent countered, claiming legal rights to sell the products.
The case worked its way through the courts and ultimately was heard by an arbitrator in Chicago, who issued a 156-page decision that was confirmed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The arbitrator ruled that Cequent/Horizon’s bike racks were not infringing and that there was no trade secret misappropriation or copyright infringement. He did, however, rule that Cequent/Horizon oversold hitch pins beyond the license termination and that some LGA instruction sheets should have been removed from Cequent/Horizon boxes sooner.
Money was awarded to both sides. After offsetting those awards, LGA received a portion of what it had sought in damages. The amount awarded was redacted from American Arbitration Association (AAA) records.
Marty Williams, founder and CEO of LGA, issued the following comment: “We are pleased that the recent arbitration decision dealing with the sales that happened after the license was terminated did find infringement of LGA’s property rights and awarded LGA damages. We look forward to continuing our culture of product development and customer service and look forward to serving the cargo management needs of our customers.”
A statement from Horizon’s legal team asserts that: “While the AAA did find, as Horizon had conceded, that there was a slight oversell of hitch pins beyond what the license termination allowed and that some LGA instruction sheets should have been removed from Horizon boxes sooner after the license ended, it refused to award the millions sought by LGA’s financial expert. Instead, the AAA relied upon the testimony of Horizon’s financial expert, who calculated a small damage figure that was orders of magnitude less than what LGA sought.”
LGA and Horizon were ordered to split arbitration fees, compensation and expenses, totaling about $239,000, in half.
The ruling described the arbitration as “hotly contested.”
“Claimant’s complaint and respondent’s answer and counterclaims raised numerous issues, leading to lengthy party and non-party discovery. Throughout, the parties engaged in seemingly constant disputes regarding discovery, deposition scheduling, motions to compel, and claimant’s motion for the appointment of an independent auditor seeking to have respondent’s electronic documents audited. All of this resulted in significant time spent by the parties and the arbitrator, twenty-six separate orders issued by the arbitrator before this one, and numerous telephonic hearings.” — Sarah Hollander
Horizon Global To Explore Sale Of Asia-Pacific Unit
Horizon Global Corp. — manufacturer of branded towing and trailering equipment, including Draw-Tite, Reese and Bulldog products — has engaged Jefferies LLC to explore the sale of its Asia-Pacific (APAC) business segment.
There is no assurance that the process will result in any transaction or the adoption of any other strategic alternative. The company does not intend to comment further regarding the process “unless or until a definitive transaction agreement is reached, another strategic alternative is approved by Horizon Global’s board of directors, or the board determines to conclude the process.”
Expected proceeds from the sale of APAC would result in a significant reduction of Horizon Global’s debt, according to management, and allow it to focus on the core Americas segment as well as business improvement initiatives underway in the Europe-Africa segment.
Horizon Global President and CEO Carl Bizon called APAC “an exceptional business” that operates as a nearly stand-alone business. “While we think the business has attractive growth prospects, we are laser-focused on reducing our current debt burden, and a potential sale of APAC is one of a variety of initiatives we are considering to achieve this objective,” Bizon explained. “We also believe the business would continue to thrive and serve its customers very well under new ownership.”
He added: “With a stronger balance sheet and a deep focus on our remaining segments, we expect to restore the profitability of Horizon Global to historical levels and maximize value for our shareholders.”
New Finance Chief For Horizon Global
Horizon Global Corp. has named Jamie Pierson as its CFO, replacing Barry Steele, who had been serving as CFO of Horizon Global since February. Steele is leaving the company “for personal reasons,” according to Horizon.
Pierson is responsible for the company’s global finance functions, including financial reporting, tax, treasury, and financial planning and analysis. Pierson was CFO of PrimeSource Building Products.
Total Seal Piston Rings Sold
Phoenix-based Total Seal Piston Rings has a new owner: an investment group led by Promus Equity Partners, Jon Vesely, and Total Seal President and CEO Matt Hartford. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In an announcement dated June 10, Joey Moriarty, son of Total Seal founder Joe Moriarty, said his dad would be pleased that Hartford is carrying on Total Seal. Hartford has been the vice president of Total Seal since joining the company in 1998.
“We’re grateful to partner with Total Seal’s Matt Hartford to position the company for its next chapter, with a plan to make ongoing investments in the company to serve our valued customers all over the globe for years into the future,” Vesely and Promus Equity Partners are quoted as saying in the announcement. “Total Seal has a reputation of leading the industry in all the markets it serves, and we are very excited about the future for the company, building on their strengths and expanding their reach.”
Vesely, a private investor, will be the chairman of Total Seal.
Promus Equity Partners is a private investment firm affiliated with Promus Holdings, a multi-family office located in Chicago that provides access to direct private equity investments in lower middle-market companies.
New SEMA Directors Elected
James Lawrence of Power Automedia is now chairman-elect of the SEMA board of directors, filling a position held for the past two years by Tim Martin of Aftermarket Advisors. Martin will begin his term as chairman in July.
Melanie White of Hellwig Products and Kathryn Reinhardt of Pilot Automotive have been voted onto the board of directors, while Chris Douglas of COMP Performance Group and Les Rudd of Bob Cook Sales were re-elected.
Preliminary Schedule Of AAPEXedu Sessions Now Available
This year’s AAPEXedu program will include a mix of classroom, hands-on and underhood sessions designed for automotive repair professionals, auto parts retailers and WD personnel. The 2019 offerings will feature a forum on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS); a Service Professionals Summit; sessions on trends, market outlook, technology, tariffs and more; Mobility Garage training; and Let’s Tech presentations.
To make it more convenient for attendees, AAPEXedu classroom sessions will move to the Bellini Ballroom at The Venetian. Mobility Garage will be located in the adjacent Titian Ballroom of The Venetian, and will feature underhood training and two sections: Shop Equipment & Technology and Electric Car & Alternative Fuel/Energy. The Let’s Tech stage will be nearby in the Sands Expo Level 2 Upper Lobby.
A preliminary schedule of AAPEXedu sessions is available. A schedule of training in Mobility Garage and Let’s Tech presentations will be available in July.
All AAPEXedu sessions, Mobility Garage training and Let’s Tech presentations are included in the AAPEX 2019 registration. To register, visit aapexshow.com/attendee. AAPEX will take place Nov. 5-7 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
Entries Being Accepted For 2019 Automotive Communications Awards
Women in Auto Care is now accepting entries for the 2019 Automotive Communications Awards competition. The annual awards program recognizes companies and agencies that provide automotive information to consumers and trade professionals through outstanding advertising, marketing, merchandising and public relations. New categories this year include “Trade Show Booth” and “Consumer/Community Events.”
Entries are due by Aug. 23. Award winners will be notified in October and will be honored at Women in Auto Care’s annual press conference and reception Nov. 5 during AAPEX in Las Vegas.
New EDI Trading Platform Coming For HDA Truck Pride
HDA Truck Pride has tapped TIE Kinetix to implement a new EDI trading platform for the commercial vehicle sales and marketing organization. FLOW Partner Automation by TIE Kinetix will provide HDA Truck Pride and its business partners with a standardized global platform to consolidate and improve current trading processes for order and invoice data and to expand the use of its online EDI trading platform throughout its distributor and manufacturer network.
The goal with the new platform is to boost adoption, simplify collaboration and enhance efficiencies in the process.
HDA Truck Pride has more than 750 distribution locations and over 400 service facilities across North America.
Truck-Lite Buys TrackPoint Systems
The Truck-Lite Co. (Falconer, NY) — a heavy-duty and off-road lighting, telematics, engine protection, safety and visibility systems company — has acquired Nashville-based TrackPoint Systems, a supplier of asset management products to the transportation, utility, construction, oilfield and government sectors. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
TrackPoint is a developer of wireless, location-based asset monitoring products for local, state and federal government agencies in addition to privately owned fleets. Truck-Lite has been in a joint-development project with TrackPoint since 2017 with the goal of communicating information from Truck-Lite’s Light-Out Detection System to a fleet’s back office.
TrackPoint’s solar-powered and wireless capabilities complement the Road Ready by Truck-Lite technology, according to the company. Road Ready by Truck-Lite is now an independent business unit that provides smart-trailer network services tied to telematics.
Entering an agreement with TrackPoint was a key factor in Truck-Lite’s emergence as a telematics systems provider, according to Truck-Lite CEO Brian Kupchella.
People Watching 6/13/19
• The 15 semifinalists in the 2019 SEMA Launch Pad competition have been unveiled. The public will vote from July 29 to Sept. 8 to determine the finalists, who will go on to pitch industry experts in front of a live audience at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. One winner will be selected to win the top prize, which includes $10,000 and exhibit space at the show.
• Tyler Leefers has returned to Area Diesel Service, joining management in overseeing daily business operations for the Carlinville, IL-based diesel products and services company. Tyler joins his grandfather (Val Leefers, president) and his father (Von Leefers, vice president) in a family business that spans 46 years and three generations. Tyler was a part-time employee of ADS in his early years.
• Tom Ogaz of the Parts Authority has joined the CAWA board of directors. Ogaz is general manager for the California Inland Empire Parts Authority automotive stores.
• Vince McMahon of Advanced Innovative Technologies USA (AIT) has joined the CAWA Manufacturers Advisory Council. McMahon is the president of AIT, which is the parent company of Trakmotive.
• Helene Svahn is now the CEO of Haldex. Svahn has been a board member of Haldex and head of research and innovation at Permobil. She replaces Ake Bengtsson, who has been CEO since 2017.
• Covercraft Industries has announced Liz White as its new ADCO national sales manager. (Valencia, CA-based ADCO is a Covercraft company). White works with dealers and distributors to strengthen ADCO’s position in the recreational vehicle protective cover market. She also manages ADCO’s Premier Dealer network.
News Briefs 6/13/19
• CAWA is providing $14,500 in scholarships this year to 14 people pursuing their education and careers in the auto care industry.
• Advance Auto Parts is raising funds for the American Heart Association at more than 5,900 Advance and independently owned Carquest stores in the United States throughout June. Customers are being asked to donate $1, $5 or $10 at checkout as part of the American Heart Association’s “Life is Why We Give” campaign.
• Quadratec Essentials customers can now purchase products from Rough Country Suspension Systems (Dyersburg, TN) through Quadratec’s catalog or online. West Chester, PA-based Quadratec will carry Rough Country suspension, driveline, steering and wheel products for all Wrangler models, as well as CJ, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and the new Gladiator truck.
• CRP Automotive (Cranbury, NJ) has launched a new brand identity campaign, including an updated logo, for its AAE Steering System Components brand. This is part of a complete branding update for AAE products intended to further associate the brand as a part of the CRP Automotive family.
• FleetPride Inc. has acquired the assets of Albert’s Truck Service & Supply in Weatherford, OK. Austin Seibold will remain on board to manage day-to-day operations moving forward. Albert’s is now one of FleetPride’s largest service centers.
• Joplin, MO-based 4 State Trucks Inc. is now a Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN) member. Family-owned 4 State Trucks has been providing new and used parts for heavy-duty trucks since 1979.
• Keystone Automotive Operations has added products from the Drake Wheel division of the Drake Automotive Group to its wheel and tire category, as well as fuel management products from Piusi USA to its truck and off-road category.
• Turn 14 Distribution has added products from Nextbase Dash Cameras to its assortment and is now the exclusive U.S. warehouse distributor for Mountune products.
• The “Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice.” campaign will be a major sponsor of the Clay Millican-driven Top Fuel Dragster for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals taking place June 14-16 in Bristol, TN. The campaign is a co-sponsor with Parts Plus for the Straightline Strategy Group dragster.
Financial Briefs 6/13/19
• Motorcar Parts of America has entered into an amended credit facility agreement led by PNC Bank, National Association, resulting in a new increased aggregate facility of roughly $269 million. It consists of a $238.62-million revolver line and a $30-million term loan.
• The Florida Pneumatic segment of P&F Industries saw its automotive sales decline 1.8% to $3.87 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. Management attributed the decrease to efforts to “greatly” curtail lower-margin promotional sales.
Event & Trade Show Briefs 6/13/19
• More than 140 Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper shareholder representatives, along with about 250 channel partners, attended the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance’s annual Summer Shareholder Meeting this month in New Orleans, according to The Alliance.
• SEMA will hold a Town Hall Meeting from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, June 26 at Brembo North America in Plymouth, MI. All SEMA members are invited to attend. Seats are limited. Click here for more information or to register for the event.
• The ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC) is reporting record attendance for its 45th annual conference held April 9-11 in Dallas. About a third of those attending were from the OE segment, with another third from the aftermarket. The remaining third came from training vendors, software developers, publishers, industry organizations and others who serve the training industry. Summaries of conference presentations are available at atmc.org.