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The Greensheet Issue #28-19 (Full)

No Issue Next Week!

We will NOT publish next week. We will be closed Monday, Aug. 12 through Friday, Aug. 16, and will reopen Monday, Aug. 19. The next issue of The Greensheet is scheduled for Aug. 22.

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Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)

• Just prior to publication, we learned of the passing of Dunbar Abston Jr., who was the president and CEO of Ozburn-Abston/Parts Inc. for some three decades. He died July 9. Look for additional coverage of Abston’s life and legacy in the next issue of The Greensheet. If you would like to share any thoughts for possible inclusion in our coverage, contact Managing Editor Sarah Hollander at sarah@autocareweek.com.

• The Auto Care Association reports that the Change.org petition “Demand Access to and Control of Your Car’s Data” now has more than 5,600 signatures.

MEMA has issued a statement on the imposition of additional tariffs on goods from China. Click here to read the association’s announcement.

• MEMA has responded to a call by the U.S. Department of Commerce to address ways to prevent counterfeit motor parts from being sold in online markets. Click here to read the association’s letter.

 

Jefferies: More Talk Of Price Competition

The August ‘19 Monthly Tune-Up from Jefferies LLC cited “more talk of price competition” in recent channel feedback, noting that tariff inflation creates opportunity for share gain to retailers and distributors willing to sacrifice margin. “Recent channel feedback has consistently noted an increased level of price competition from distributors who appear willing to sacrifice margin for market share versus peers that are attempting to fully offset increased import costs via pricing,” analysts Bret Jordan, Mark Jordan and Ethan Huntley wrote in the Aug. 5 report.

“Commentary noted lower prices seen in the independent distributor channel, as well as an increased focus on volume rebate programs for commercial customers among retailers,” the report states. “Notably, the discounting appears focused on the DIFM channel, as gaining commercial market share becomes increasingly important given slower recent DIY growth.”

 

OEConnection’s New Majority Owner To ‘Aggressively’ ID Key Acquisitions, Opportunities

Genstar Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, is acquiring a majority stake in OEConnection LLC (OEC) from funds advised by Providence Equity Partners, a global asset management firm located in Providence, RI. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.

Current investors the Ford Motor Co. and General Motors will each retain their minority investments in OEC.

Richfield, OH-based OEC started in 2000 as a partnership between several OEMs — including Ford and GM — to facilitate the sale of OE replacement parts between automakers, franchised dealers and their wholesale customers.

Since its founding, OEC has expanded to also provide software and technology in the data, supply chain and service segments of OEMs’ businesses. Now, OEC is a leading provider of software and data to the OE parts industry, serving more than 30,000 auto dealers globally, 36 global OEM brands and more than 135,000 global auto repairers.

OEC Chairman and CEO Chuck Rotuno said the addition of Genstar allows OEC to further expand its product and service offerings. “We look forward to the benefit of Genstar’s industry expertise and strategic insights from their many years of investing in the software sector,” Rotuno stated.

Geoff Miller, director at Genstar, noted that the firm will provide additional investment capital and resources to support the realization of OEC’s growth strategies.

Eli Weiss, managing director at Genstar, added: “Our investment focus in the software sector is to identify companies operating in dynamic markets with opportunities to accelerate growth. We will aggressively identify key acquisitions and opportunities to broaden OEC’s product mix, expand its geographic footprint, and enter adjacent market segments. We look forward to helping build OEC’s future.”

Genstar is no stranger to the auto care industry. Among its current holdings is BBB Industries; Ohio Transmission Corp., a Tier-1 parts supplier; and Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), a marketer, administrator and underwriter of vehicle protection products and related services sold through auto dealers.

 

 

LKQ To Close Roughly 40 Underperforming Locations

On its July 25 quarterly report conference call, the management of LKQ Corp. announced a restructuring program designed to enhance the company’s competitiveness in the current macroeconomic environment. “The restructuring program covers all three of our reportable segments [North America, Europe and Specialty] and advances our efforts to eliminate underperforming assets and cost inefficiencies,” Executive Vice President and CFO Varun Laroyia told analysts on the call.

LKQ intends to close branches and warehouses that are not supporting a sufficient return on investment. “Our current plan includes approximately 40 locations across the business, both in North America and Europe,” Laroyia said. “We intend to migrate as much of the revenue as possible from these locations to other facilities in the LKQ network, but there will likely be some low-margin revenue loss as a result of the closures.”

Laroyia also noted that there will be select personnel reductions.

“We estimate that the restructuring program will cost approximately $25 million to $30 million over the next year to implement and will generate savings of a similar amount on a run rate basis,” he stated. “While this program represents a significant move forward in our plans to improve our competitiveness, we will continue to evaluate our businesses and cost structure to identify further opportunities for simplification and cost efficiency.”

In a related move, LKQ has engaged with a third-party consulting firm to assist with management’s review of the company’s various businesses in Europe. “Once complete, we will likely settle on an even broader and deeper array of initiatives than those highlighted a year ago,” President and CEO Nick Zarcone said on the call. “To be clear, the primary focus of this optimization project is to create an even stronger enterprise and to enhance our already leading competitive position in the markets in which we operate by providing a best-in-class customer experience. To do that across our European platform, we intend to transform and more fully integrate our European businesses to operate more as a single entity.

“The transformation will be designed to allow LKQ Europe to take advantage of its scale and be a more efficient entity. We anticipate most of this analysis will be completed in the next two months, and we are currently targeting a call with the investment community in the second week of September so we can share some of the key highlights of the project, including the anticipated long-term benefits of the optimization initiatives as well as the related cost required to complete the transition.”      — Marc Vincent

 

LKQ’s North America Organic Revenue Declined,
Yet Gross Margin, EBITDA Increased

The second quarter of 2019 presented a mixed bag of sorts for Chicago-based LKQ Corp. Consolidated revenue rose 7.2% to $3.25 billion mainly due to acquisitions made. Organic total revenue declined 2.4%.

Gross margin grew 7.3% to $1.25 billion, while gross margin (as a percentage of revenue) increased slightly, going from 38.3% to 38.4% on a year-over-year basis. Net income declined 3.6% to $152.11 million; however, on an adjusted basis, net income increased 6% to $204 million.

President and CEO Nick Zarcone told analysts on the company’s July 25 earnings call that the second quarter played out largely as management anticipated. “There were both some clear positive movements and some disappointments, but we’re encouraged by the overall result,” Zarcone said. “On the plus side, our North American segment experienced a significant uptick in both gross margin and EBITDA margin, which gives us confidence that our disciplined approach to the market and keen focus on controlling our costs are creating positive outcomes.”

“On the flip side, we knew we had very difficult year-over-year revenue growth comparisons with respect to both our North American and European segments. The organic revenue growth came in below our tempered expectations,” Zarcone noted.

He also stated: “There is no doubt that the soft macroeconomic conditions across Europe are weighing on our industry and our revenue comparisons. We are performing better than many of our peers, but organic revenue in Europe was down, and that softness bled through the operating margins.”

NORTH AMERICA … North American third-party revenue of $1.17 billion was essentially unchanged when compared to the second quarter of 2018. Organic revenue declined 0.4%, as the PGW Glass business and the airplane recycling operation exhibited a decline in same-day growth, while the largest part of LKQ’s North American segment (the automotive salvage and aftermarket parts operations) came through with 0.7% same-day growth.

“We continue to perform well in North America — especially when you consider that, according to CCC, collision and liability-related auto claims were again down 2.6% year-over-year in the second quarter. This softness was nationwide, with 40 of the 50 states recording a decline in repairable claims,” Zarcone pointed out. “Additionally, miles driven has slowed, with the lower growth coming from increased vehicles in operation versus miles driven per vehicle, and an increase in the number of people working from home and the shift toward online shopping.”

Despite some challenges on the top line and a tough comparison against the second quarter of 2018, the company’s North America team reported year-over-year margin improvements. Segment gross margins were 44.1% (up 100 basis points) and EBITDA margins were 14.4% (up 130 basis points), representing some of the highest levels in LKQ’s history.

EUROPE … European third-party revenue rose 18.0% to $1.51 billion, primarily due to the acquisition of Stahlgruber. Organic revenue decreased 4.3% (down 2.8% on a same-day basis), attributable to a soft macroeconomic environment in Europe.

“Our performance on a relative basis appears to be fairly strong, which gives us confidence that we are not losing share,” Zarcone said on the call. “Additionally, the diversification of our geographic footprint in Europe generally reduces the volatility in our segment performance because we are not overly exposed and reliant on any one specific country. While we don’t disclose country-by-country detail, I will note that Italy was the softest in terms of organic revenue growth and the Eastern Bloc was the strongest, albeit still below its historically high levels.

“Europe has seen many of its economies slowing as evidenced by negative or flat GDP growth and lower new vehicle sales. Discussions with our suppliers and other industry participants have confirmed the downward pressure that poor economic growth across the continent is having on the European parts marketplace. The consensus view is that the soft economic conditions have led to an initial deferral of repairs and maintenance. While a near-term headwind, we believe that core automotive maintenance can only be deferred for so long and that demand will eventually rebound. That said, we anticipate the soft industry conditions will continue through the balance of 2019.”

European gross margin of 36% was unchanged year-over-year. Segment EBITDA as a percentage of revenue declined 90 basis points to 7.7%.

During the quarter, LKQ opened three branches in western Europe and one in eastern Europe while closing five underperforming locations (one in western Europe and four in eastern Europe).

SPECIALTY … Specialty segment third-party revenue declined by $1.37 million, or 0.3%, to $410.26 million, as 0.1% organic revenue growth was offset by a negative impact from currencies. “Specialty witnessed particular softness in Canada, which accounts for about 10% of the segment’s revenue, largely related to Canada’s weak economy,” Zarcone said. “Additionally, RV parts sales were off slightly due to lower dealer retail sales across all regions.”

Specialty gross margin declined 130 basis points, while segment EBITDA as a percentage of revenue decreased 90 basis points to 12.7%.

Management expects Specialty to bounce back in the second half of the year.

ADDITIONAL INFO … A few other items of interest from LKQ’s second quarter financial results conference call …
LKQ intends to close branches and warehouses that are not supporting a sufficient return on investment.
The company has retained a consulting firm to assist with management’s review of the company’s various businesses in Europe.
• Management’s guidance for 2019 organic revenue growth for parts and service — previously set at +2.0% to +4.0% — has been reset to +0.5% to +2.0%.
• Adjusted net income is now expected to come in between $718 million and $743 million. Prior guidance called for $732 million to $771 million.
• It was a relatively quiet quarter from a transaction standpoint. The company closed on just three smaller deals, including two companies in the United States and a regional distributor in Belgium for a total net consideration of $38 million.
• LKQ has entered into a definitive agreement to divest an undisclosed “small operation in Europe,” which management expects to close in the third quarter.           — Marc Vincent

 

 

Alliance Promotes Jimmy Golden To E-Commerce Solutions Director

The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance has promoted Jimmy Golden to director of e-commerce solutions, responsible for managing the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of The Alliance’s customer-focused e-commerce offerings like MyPlace4Parts. He reports directly to Vice President and Chief Information Officer Dale Hopkins.

A 29-year automotive aftermarket veteran, Golden joined The Alliance in 2009 and has served in a variety of capacities, including data management and support, as well as project leader for The Alliance’s business-to-business technology. He has been involved in the development of MyPlace4Parts.

Prior to joining The Alliance, Golden worked for Epicor as electronic catalog and service solutions manager and, later, as a product marketing assistant.

 

Auto-Wares Expands In Metro Detroit

The Auto-Wares Group of Companies (Grand Rapids, MI) is expanding its network of company-owned stores in the Detroit area with the addition of Romeo Motor Parts, which has joined Auto-Wares to expand inventory and programs to service customers in Washington, MI and surrounding areas. Romeo Motor Parts, now known as Auto Value Romeo, has been a long-time member of the Auto Value marketing program. Auto-Wares is a member of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.

 

NPW Hires Jeff Nagle To Manage Boaz Facility

National Performance Warehouse/National Auto Parts Warehouse (NPW) — a Bumper to Bumper member of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance — has announced Jeff Nagle as the manager of its Boaz, AL distribution center. Nagle brings 31 years of experience in sales, operations and more to NPW, having worked for MAWDI, Uni-Select, Auto Plus and, most recently, D&W Diesel.

Nagle’s appointment follows the retirement of Sid Dooley.

 

GM Opens $65-Million ACDelco Parts Center

General Motors this week held a grand-opening event for its new ACDelco and GM Genuine Parts processing center in Burton, MI. The 1.10-million-square-foot facility is triple the size of the facility in Burton that it’s replacing. The center will employ over 800 hourly and salaried employees — all of which support GM’s Customer Care & Aftersales business.

Construction on the new site began in June 2018, and GM shipped its first outbound delivery in June 2019. An average of 100 inbound deliveries and 55 outbound deliveries are expected each day. The facility has 84 shipping and receiving docks — up from 35 at the previous site.

 

Tenneco Reports 8% Q2 Revenue Decrease For Motorparts Americas

For the second quarter of 2019, Tenneco Inc. generated $4.50 billion in total net sales and operating revenue, which was at the midpoint of the outlook management provided last quarter. On a constant-currency basis, this represented 1% growth year-over-year.

The company’s net income declined 28.6% to $45 million. Adjusted net income, however, decreased 1% to $97 million, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 77.7% to $414 million due, in part, to cost control efforts.

DRiV … Total second quarter 2019 revenue for the DRiV business declined 5% to $1.54 billion. Excluding portfolio changes (the sale of the wiper business and the Ohlins acquisition), DRiV revenue was down 4% year-over-year.

The Motorparts (aftermarket) segment of DRiV saw its revenue decrease 8% to $835 million as higher aftermarket revenues in China and India (mid-single-digit growth) were offset by lower year-over-year sales in North America and Europe.

More specifically, Motorparts’ Americas revenue fell 8% in the second quarter as two significant retail customers reduced inventory positions (down collectively in the high teens). Also affecting the year-over-year comparison was lost business related to channel conflict, which management says Motorparts will lap by the end of 2019.

“In North America, we are beginning to see stabilization in the second half of the year in the aftermarket,” Co-CEO Brian Kesseler said on the company’s Aug. 6 quarterly report conference call. This is related to North American new business wins beginning to offset channel conflict losses and major retail customer year-over-year revenue declines reducing.

Motoparts’ European revenue declined 9% because of overall soft market conditions and distributors reducing their inventory levels. And, DRiV’s Ride Performance (OE) revenue decreased 2% to $709 million.

It’s worth noting that segment adjusted EBITDA came in at $151 million with growth from both the Motorparts and Ride Performance (OE) businesses and that adjusted EBITDA margin grew 110 basis points to 9.8%. Motorparts’ adjusted EBITDA margin increased from 13.4% a year ago to 15.1% for the three months ended June 30, 2019.

GUIDANCE … For the third quarter, management expects Tenneco’s total net sales and operating revenue to come in between $4.30 billion and $4.40 billion, which would represent pro forma year-over-year growth of 3% at the midpoint of that range and in constant currency. DRiV’s third-quarter revenue is expected to be approximately $1.50 billion, or down roughly 3% on a constant-currency basis.

Management anticipates that Tenneco will post total net sales and operating revenue of $17.60 billion to $17.80 billion for the full year — up 1% on a constant currency basis. DRiV’s revenue is expected to come in between $6.00 billion and $6.10 billion in 2019, or down 3% to 4% in constant currency.         — Marc Vincent

 

 

Tenneco/DRiV Spinoff To Be ‘Operationally Ready’
By Year’s End

During Tenneco’s Aug. 6 quarterly report conference call, Co-CEO Brian Kesseler provided analysts with an update on the pending spinoff into two companies: the aftermarket-oriented DRiV and New Tenneco.

Kesseler said the New Tenneco and DRiV teams are operating as distinct divisions in preparation for the spinoff. The businesses already operate out of separate facilities and with separate personnel. The main task to be accomplished in the second half of 2019 is to have them operating on their own IT systems.

“We remain on track to complete the spin of DRiV in mid-2020,” he told analysts on the call. “We are making progress with the physical separation of the two divisions, and have a clear path to separating the internal processes and systems by the end of 2019.”

Co-CEO Roger Wood told analysts that management is planning for the company to be “operationally ready” for the spinoff by the end of 2019. “We are working to put the divisions in the best possible balance sheet position ahead of the spin,” Wood said.

Kesseler added: “As we are keenly focused on driving operating performance improvements, we also continue to evaluate additional alternatives to further reduce leverage and accelerate the separation of the businesses. As you saw last quarter with the wipers business, we will consider options for businesses that are not core to our strategic portfolio, and we will continue to look for opportunities to reduce leverage and create value for our shareholders.”      — Marc Vincent

 

MPA Launches Brake Caliper Line

Motorcar Parts of America (MPA) is expanding its automotive aftermarket brake product offerings with the introduction of brake calipers. “We have significant initial customer commitments representing approximately $30 million for the remainder of the current fiscal year,” Selwyn Joffe, chairman, president and CEO, said in an announcement dated Aug. 6. “We are attracting additional strong interest for this product and look forward to fully ramping up production, growing this category and reporting milestones as fiscal 2020 evolves.”

Joffe also stated that the launch of a brake caliper program complements MPA’s current braking system products and is consistent with management’s strategy to leverage the company’s expanding manufacturing footprint in Mexico. He added that “the launch of this product line solidifies our position as a full-line brake supplier, which provides the company with solid growth opportunities and favorable financial metrics.”

 

Exide Promotes Lou Martinez To CFO

Exide Technologies has promoted Lou Martinez to executive vice president and CFO, reporting to Chairman, President and CEO Tim Vargo. Martinez now leads the company’s global finance, accounting, internal audit, investor relations, treasury and risk management functions. He succeeds Tony Genito, who is retiring from Exide.

Martinez has been a key member of Exide’s corporate finance team for the past 14 years, most recently as chief accounting officer and corporate controller.

 

Gantt-Thomas Adds Product Manager Analyst

The manufacturer rep firm Gantt-Thomas & Associates (GTA) has added Jamie Owens as a product manager analyst. Owens’ focus will be on key processes to support the growth and development of product assortments through marketing, product line strategy and analysis, predominately for the GTA O’Reilly Automotive team.

She comes to GTA with over 10 years of customer service and management experience, the last three years with O’Reilly in its merchandise department, working alongside the product management and marketing teams in implementing contracts and agreements.

Earlier in the year, GTA hired Amanda Berry as a sales associate, responsible for accounts in St. Louis and surrounding areas. Berry works under the direction of Vic Bennett, vice president of traditional markets.

 

Siegfried ‘Siggi’ Tigges Starts New Sales Agency, Announces Charter Client

Siegfried “Siggi” Tigges — a career employee of Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. in Germany and Hella Automotive Sales in Peachtree City, GA — has formed his own sales organization and consultancy called S.A.T. Sales & Consulting LLC.

Tigges spent over 40 years with the Hella organization in a variety of marketing and sales roles, and was part of the management team at Hella Automotive Sales for the past 28 years.

S.A.T. Sales & Consulting — which will be serving clients in the automotive, heavy duty, mining and industrial markets — will begin by representing Speed Autoteile in the North American market.

Speed Autoteile is an independent, family-owned and -operated exporter of import parts and accessories. Since 1999, the German company has served WDs, retailers, jobbers, maintenance shops, and service specialists who work on German and European cars. Speed Autoteile provides more than a million genuine and OEM replacement parts for Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Porsche, Seat, Smart and VW vehicles, as well as U.S. Asian imports and heavy duty vehicles.

“The North American market is very important to our growth strategy, and we feel that Siggi is the ideal partner for us,” said Uwe Kuether, president of Speed Autoteile. “He knows our business and our products, and his proven track record in the market speaks for itself.”

 

 

G.R.H. Sales Now Reps ATEQ TPMS Tools

ATEQ TPMS Tools has retained a new sales agency, the G.R.H. Sales Co. of Ashland, VA, including Conrad Haigler, Archie Goodwin and Mike Schvenski as sales representatives. They will provide coverage in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, representing the ATEQ TPMS Tools product line. G.R.H. Sales also reps automotive A/C equipment, shop lights, brake lathes, wheel balancers, tire changers, lifts, lube and alignment machines, and other related products.

 

Fortive: Matco Outperformed In Q2

Sales from Fortive Corp.’s Franchise Distribution business increased 1.3% to $154.20 million in the second quarter of 2019. The company noted increased demand for hardline, specialty and diagnostic tools. This was partially offset by declines in wheel service equipment. More specifically, Matco Tools Corp. came through with mid-single-digit growth, while Hennessy Industries turned in a mid-single-digit decline.

“Matco outperformed in the quarter, paced by strong growth in diagnostics and hardline tools,” Fortive President and CEO Jim Lico said on the company’s July 25 quarterly report conference call. “High teens growth at diagnostics was due in part to two new additions to Matco’s Maximus family of diagnostic products: the Maximus Flash+, which provides OEM-level live diagnostics expertise; and MaxFlex, a full-featured diagnostic tablet offered with a highly customizable monthly subscription plan.”

 

Stanley Tools & Storage Sales Up 2.3%

Stanley Black & Decker’s Tools & Storage unit reported $2.63 billion in net sales for the second quarter of 2019 — an increase of 2.3% compared to a year ago, as volume (up 3%) and price (up 2%) were partially offset by currency (-3%). North American organic sales growth was 7%, attributable, in part, to the rollout of the Craftsman brand. Segment profit rose 10.4% to $440 million, while segment profit (as a percentage of net sales) climbed from 15.5% to 16.8% on a year-over-year basis.

 

Myers’ Distribution Sales Up 2.4%

Myers Industries’ distribution business (mainly Myers Tire Supply) saw its net sales increase 2.4% to $38.40 million in the second quarter of 2019. It was the third consecutive quarter of topline growth for the segment. The $919,000 year-over-year gain breaks down as roughly $800,000 from higher sales volume and approximately $100,000 from higher pricing. Distribution segment adjusted EBITDA rose 16.3% to $3.59 million on higher sales volume and savings from management’s transformation plan.

 

Key Personnel Changes At Edelbrock

Edelbrock LLC has promoted Cary Redman to vice president of Edelbrock brand sales. As such, Redman is tasked with guiding Edelbrock’s field sales team, expanding customer relationships, and managing the customer and tech service departments. Prior to this promotion, he was Edelbrock’s national sales manager.

Additionally, Steve Whipple is now vice president of Edelbrock foundry and private-label sales. Whipple has been with Edelbrock for 20 years.

 

Borowski Race Engines Hires Sales/Marketing Rep

Heather Dorethy has joined Borowski Race Engines as a sales and marketing representative. An active drag racer raised in a family of drag racers, Dorethy’s professional credits include sales and marketing roles with various automotive aftermarket firms, most recently Precision Turbo & Engine. She has been an active participant and panelist at various trade shows including SEMA, PRI and the Race & Performance Expo.

 

Hennessey Performance Engineering Expanding With New Factory

Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE), a company that modifies vehicles for performance enthusiasts around the world, recently broke ground on a 15,000-square-foot factory in Sealy, TX to keep up with demand and for Venom F5 production.

“Our current 36,000-square-foot facility is maxed out with production at 10 to 12 vehicles per week. Thus, we are expanding our production facility with an additional 15,000 square feet for a total of 51,000 square feet,” said Founder and CEO John Hennessey. “This will allow us to grow to a total production capability of 20 vehicles per week. Up to 1,000 Hennessey-modified vehicles in 2020 is our goal.”

Last year, the company built and delivered over 500 vehicles to clients around the globe — more than 50% of which were trucks and SUVs, according to Hennessey.

Management expects the expansion to be completed and functional in the first quarter of 2020.

 

NEW … Dorman: Business Development Manager Mountain Territory

The Area Sales Manager (ASM) is the primary contact for all assigned warehouse distributors within their area of responsibility, and secondary contact for all assigned jobbers. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

NEW … WAREHOUSING – WEST COAST

Ideal warehouse space available in So. Cal. Importer/Distributor of Automotive Components has 25,000 square feet of excess Racked or bulk storage space available. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

NEW … Valvoline: Division Account Manager – 2 Openings (1 in Denver, 1 in Dallas)

The Division Account Manager will manage and grow the Valvoline business across all Branded & Private Label business by developing, calling on, and servicing Valvoline’s largest customer starting at the Division level. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Advanced Innovative Technology/TrakMotive: LATAM Inside Sales Support/ Customer Service Rep

We are seeking a Bilingual Experienced Inside Sales support / Customer Service specialist with knowledge of Export procedures to support our LATAM team. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Dorman: Business Development Manager Northeast Territory

The Area Sales Manager (ASM) is the primary contact for all assigned warehouse distributors within their area of responsibility, and secondary contact for all assigned jobbers. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Seeking Director of Distribution

The Director of Distribution is responsible for providing value to our customer. This is accomplished by working with a team to develop and implement measured standards at all company locations. This position requires the exercise of independent judgment and discretion. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

DC Battery Hub Seeks Rep Agencies

DC Battery Hub is a remanufacturer of hybrid batteries located in Holland, MI with shipping hubs in Dallas, TX and Los Angeles, CA is seeking aggressive rep agencies for many territories across the U.S. and Canada. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

 

Mahle Adding New Business Unit For Electronics, Mechatronics

The Mahle Group is adding a new business unit for electronics and mechatronics, further developing its strategic orientation toward alternative powertrain technology.

The company has concentrated all its electrics and electronics activities in its mechatronics division, which has grown in the last few years. “By transferring these activities into a business unit and combining it with the product areas of compressors and pumps for strategic purposes, we are focusing all our efforts on further growth and the ongoing development of our product portfolio for the mobility of the future,” CEO Jorg Stratmann said in an announcement dated July 30.

Corresponding changes to Mahle’s management board will be made, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Wilhelm Emperhoff has been appointed to head the new business unit. He is currently responsible for the filtration and engine peripherals business unit, the mechatronics division, and the pumps profit center on the management board. The new business segment will include the present mechatronics division, as well as the compressors and the pumps profit centers.

Martin Weidlich will succeed Emperhoff as the head of the filtration and engine peripherals business unit and as a new member of the Mahle management board. Weidlich is currently the company’s executive vice president for western Europe.

 

Job Mart 8/8/19

Russell “Russ” Stebbins, most recently director, Aftermarket Business Unit at Akebono Brake Corp., is seeking a new opportunity. He can be reached at Russell.Stebbins@gmail.com.

 

People Watching 8/8/19

Paul McCarthy, the new president and chief operating officer of AASA, is now a board trustee of the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF), replacing Bill Long, the president and CEO of MEMA.

David Young, vice president of Valvoline Inc., also has been named as an AACF trustee, replacing Dean Doza. Young oversees the U.S. light duty national account, heavy duty and Canadian businesses.

• The Auto Care Association has announced Bert Hogeman as its general counsel. As such, Hogeman will advise executives, senior management and the board of directors on all legal matters, including legal rights, potential liabilities, and the potential impact of new or existing laws and regulations. He also will participate with and advise the association’s government relations team.

XPEL Inc. President and CEO Ryan Pape — along with members of the company’s management team and guests — rang the Nasdaq closing bell on July 31 in celebration of XPEL’s recent listing on the exchange.

Josh McFarlin is now vice president of strategic business operations at Jacksonville, FL-based AirPro Diagnostics. McFarlin was the director of curriculum and product development for I-CAR. His background also includes time as a curriculum manager with the Raytheon Technical Services Co.

Merritt Gaunt is now the president of SRG Global, a Guardian Industries company that manufactures chrome-plated plastic parts for the automotive and commercial truck industries. Gaunt takes over for Dave Prater, who is retiring. Gaunt was vice president of Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia (AMEIA) for Guardian Glass, another Guardian company.

Babcox Media (Akron, OH) has hired Scott Ghedine as the associate publisher of AutoSuccess, its new car and light truck dealership publication. Ghedine comes to Babcox from Automotive News, where he was a regional sales manager.

Tint World Automotive Styling Centers (Boca Raton, FL) has announced Deja Holley as its social media manager and creative designer. She has served as a marketing assistant, graphic designer and creative director with various agencies in the south Florida area.

 

News Briefs 8/8/19

• The “Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice” campaign was a sponsor of the Blake Alexander-driven Funny Car at the NHRA Northwest Nationals held Aug. 2-4 in Seattle. The campaign was a co-sponsor with the National Pronto Association.

Fenix Parts, a recycler and reseller of automotive products, has completed its acquisition of the assets of Cox Truck & Van. This marks the first acquisition completed to the Fenix platform since Stellex Capital Management bought the company in 2018.

• Meyer Distributing has added a location in Twin Falls, ID.

• Liqui Moly’s line of oils, lubricants, cleaners and chemical products are now available through Horsham, PA-based Turn 14 Distribution.

The AAM Group has released an online Sales Flyer Builder tool that lets affiliated jobber resellers create personalized sales pieces for their customers, sharable in print or via email. The configurator is available at no charge to resellers that are signed up with any of AAM’s three marketing programs: Total Truck Centers, Parts Pro or Performance Corner.

Autohaus Arizona, an online parts provider, now offers flat rate one- and two-day shipping options. Any order under 10 lbs. qualifies for $17.99 two-day and $21.99 overnight delivery. This marks AutohausAZ’s initial foray into shrinking its lead time below the two-day window.

Gunk has launched a new line of degreasing wipes. The wipes are currently available on Amazon and at Walmart and AutoZone stores nationwide.

FleetPride Inc. has opened new locations in the Deer Valley area of Phoenix and in La Porte, TX, which is southeast of Houston. Grand-opening events will be held at both new branches at a later date.

 

Financial Briefs 8/8/19

• For the second quarter of 2019, Delphi Technologies’ aftermarket segment sales decreased 0.5% to $214 million. This breaks down as $159 million in sales to independent aftermarket customers (unchanged from a year ago) and $55 million in sales to OES customers (down 1.8%). Segment gross margin declined from 23.3% to 20.6% on a year-over-year basis, and operating income decreased 23.5% to $13 million.

Dover Corp. reported 2.4% growth from its vehicle service business for the second quarter of 2019. Dover’s Vehicle Service Group (VSG) is composed of 13 vehicle lifting, wheel service, diagnostic and collision repair brands, including Rotary Lift, Chief, Forward, Direct-Lift, Ravaglioli, Elektron and Blitz.

Illinois Tool Works (ITW) reported an 0.3% rise in organic revenue for its automotive aftermarket business in the second quarter, which management attributed to an increase in the car care businesses in North America, partially offset by decreases in the additives businesses in Europe and the tire repair businesses in North America. Year-to-date, organic revenue has declined 1.7%, primarily due to lower demand in the tire repair businesses in North America and the additives businesses in Europe, partially offset by stronger demand in the car care businesses in North America.

Garrett Motion’s second quarter 2019 total aftermarket sales declined 6%. Organic sales were down 3%. Nonetheless, U.S. aftermarket sales increased 8.9% to $49 million.

ITT Inc.’s Motion Technologies segment saw its second quarter 2019 friction sales increase 1%, attributable to market share gains in North America, Europe and China, which helped to offset contraction in the global auto market and lower aftermarket activity. Wolverine sales decreased 16% because of weakness in global auto markets and customer share loss.

• The Aftermarket, Industrial & Trailer (AIT) segment of Meritor Inc. reported $340 million in sales for the three months ended June 30, 2019 — an increase of 6.6% compared to the prior year. Management attributed the growth to increased industrial volume and pricing actions within the aftermarket business. Segment adjusted EBITDA rose 42.1% to $54 million, also attributable to pricing.

PACCAR Parts came through with record revenue of $1.03 billion (up 5.9%) and record pre-tax profit of $210.60 million (up 8.3%) for the second quarter of 2019. Sales increased primarily because of higher aftermarket demand in the United States and Canada.

Polaris Inc. reported that Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP) sales were essentially flat in the second quarter of 2019.

• Fox Factory Holding Corp.’s second quarter 2019 Powered Vehicle product sales rose 40.1% to $115.25 million, due to the high demand for on- and off-road suspension products and higher OEM sales.

Lawson Products reported 2.9% growth for its Kent Automotive business in the second quarter of 2019.

 

Event & Trade Show Briefs 8/8/19

• The next University of the Aftermarket “Aftermarket 101” class will take place Oct. 8-9 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southfield, MI. The seminar is geared toward people who are new to the automotive aftermarket or are new to a position that requires a more complete understanding of the market, its channels, challenges and trends. For more information or to register, visit the online course calendar.

• SEMA Launch Pad voting is now open. This year’s young entrepreneur competition is down to 15 semi-finalists.

• The Association of Diesel Specialists (ADS) will incorporate its annual convention and trade show into Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW), beginning in 2020. ADS has been a sponsor organization since the initial HDAW in 2006. With the move to Grapevine, TX for 2020, there is enough space for ADS to exhibit and hold meetings in conjunction with HDAW.

 

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