Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)
• AASA reports that there has been no significant damage to the event location in Boca Raton, FL; therefore, the 2019 AASA Technology Conference will continue, unaffected by Hurricane Dorian. Click here for more information about the Technology Conference, which will take place Sep. 29 to Oct. 1.
• AASA reports that President and Chief Operating Officer Paul McCarthy and representatives from seven member companies on Aug. 29 met with officials from the Federal Trade Commission to discuss repair restrictions, motor vehicle data ownership and consumers’ right to choose their own repair facilities. Of the meeting, McCarthy said: “The FTC must step in to protect consumers and lead a response to a national problem and to ensure that consumers have access to reliable and reasonably priced services.”
• SEM Products is now the exclusive distribution partner for Mothers professional products in the United States and Canada. The partnership calls for SEM to oversee distribution to its network of collision repair and PBE industry customers.
From Service Executive …
• Meineke Expanding In North Carolina
• Valvoline Establishes First Company-Owned Shops In Canada
• Car Repair Startup RepairSmith, Backed By Daimler AG, Launches
• Diagnostic Network Now Supports Student Memberships
• CCAR Offers AGM Battery Safety Course
• ADAS Forum Planned For AAPEX 2019
• Study: Annoying Alerts Threaten Customer Demand For Safety Tech
Jefferies Notes ‘More Consistently Positive’ Q3 Through August
Channel feedback suggests that automotive aftermarket service demand is still outperforming DIY, according to the September 2019 Monthly Tune-Up from Jefferies LLC.
“Commentary in early September suggests Q3 trends through August are more consistently positive versus weather-related volatility seen in Q2,” analysts Bret Jordan, Mark Jordan and Ethan Huntley wrote. “Although, some regional disruption was noted in the Southeast in early September, given uncertainly regarding Hurricane Dorian’s path.”
The Jefferies team also stated that heat appears to be a meaningful contributor, noting that warmer-than-average summer temperatures appear to be driving strength in such categories as temperature control, which underperformed during a historically cold and wet spring.
BBB Industries Is Now A University Of The Aftermarket Foundation Lifetime Trustee
The University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) has announced that BBB Industries is now a lifetime trustee, following the company’s support in honor of its founder, Don Bigler. A scholarship in Bigler’s name will be awarded annually to a deserving student pursuing a career in the aftermarket.
“We are proud to support the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and award a scholarship in Don’s honor,” CEO Duncan Gillis said in an announcement dated Sept. 10. “We are fortunate to be a part of this industry, and, as it continues to grow, it is important that we continue to support the foundation’s efforts to provide scholarships, education and training to the talented individuals who are pursuing a career in the aftermarket.”
Gillis will serve as BBB’s representative on the UAF board of trustees.
ProMax Adds Sales Director To U.S. Sales Team
ProMax Auto Parts Depot (Brampton, Ontario) has added Chris Ewing to its U.S. sales team as sales director. According to ProMax, Ewing will play a significant role in the company’s market share growth, as well as assist with all U.S. company goals, sales and marketing initiatives.
Ewing brings 25 years of automotive aftermarket experience to the position, most recently with Best Brakes USA, where he has been global director of sales and marketing and eastern divisional director of sales. His background also includes time with AutoPartSource, Brembo North America and AMS Automotive.
ProMax is a brake rotor, brake drum, brake pad, brake shoe and chassis parts product supplier to the North American aftermarket and to the world. Its products include RotoMax coated rotors and drums, Ceramic Plus brake pads and EuroMax brake pads.
Continental Names Western Sales Manager
Continental has named Gary Mercer as its western sales manager. Mercer is tasked with managing the company’s aftermarket program for the traditional WD network. He will work with all of Continental’s aftermarket product lines, including TPMS sensors and service parts, fan assemblies, OE replacement parts, and brake system parts.
Mercer has worked in the automotive aftermarket for more than three decades. This includes time as the western divisional sales director for ProMax Auto Parts Depot, director of sales and marketing for Best Brakes, and executive vice president of ABC Brakes.
Livingston Now Leads Alltrade Tools
Greg Livingston now is president and CEO of Alltrade Tools, a position he assumed Sept. 4 after serving as executive vice president since 2017.
He replaces Don Hart, who now is vice president of merchandising.
“Alltrade is known for innovation and quality,” Livingston said. “We will continue that legacy and also continue to expand into other categories besides tools and equipment. We’ve spent the last few years building the team that will be the future of Alltrade.”
Under his tenure as executive vice president, Alltrade secured a license with CAT to build a large assortment of items, such as tool bags, cargo control products, knives, multi tools, jacks and more.
Livingston has been with Alltrade since 2012, when he was named vice president of the automotive division. Prior to his time with Alltrade, he was a divisional vice president with Carquest.
“We recently entered into a strategic partnership with Ingersoll-Rand,” Livingston added of new initiatives at Alltrade. “Alltrade is designing and manufacturing the new Ingersoll-Rand Hand & Specialty tool line. The first 100 items in the assortment will be debuted at SEMA 2019.”
Transtar Acquires Assets Of Seatac Parts Warehouse
Aftermarket transmission parts distributor Transtar Industries (Walton Hills, OH) has acquired the assets of SeaTac Parts Warehouse, a distributor of transmission and driveline parts headquartered in Kent, WA. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. SeaTac’s Kent operation will be merged into Transtar’s location in Kent.
“The acquisition of SeaTac complements our operations in the Pacific Northwest, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with [SeaTac president Mike Ott] and his family on this acquisition,” said Transtar CEO Neil Sethi. “We are very pleased that they chose Transtar for the transition of their business and welcome SeaTac customers to the Transtar family.”
Transtar Announces Long-Term Agreement With Sonnax, Rostra
Transtar Industries (Walton Hills, OH) has announced a long-term agreement with Sonnax and Rostra Powertrain Controls, two companies that constitute the Marmon Transmission Group. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Sonnax focuses on drivetrain components for the automotive aftermarket. Rostra is a manufacturer and distributor of OE and aftermarket automotive products, specializing in powertrain electronics.
“The combined expertise of both companies will benefit transmission rebuilders for years to come,” said Transtar Vice President of Supply Chain Kevin Rozsa. “We recognize the importance of offering the highest-quality drivetrain parts to our customers, and, in continuing our partnership with Sonnax and Rostra, we are achieving that.”
In other Transtar news, the company has made upgrades to its e-commerce system, Transend. This includes Transend Connect, a feature that allows sales associates to assist in the ordering process, and a live chat option that provides users with answers from industry experts. For more information, visit transend.us.
Additionally, Transtar has announced a partnership with Bosch, which offers a variety of components for both partially and fully automated transmissions of all types and all vehicle class applications (up to 6 tons). Customers can order Bosch parts via transend.us or by contacting their Transtar sales representative.
Behr Hella Service Transferring To Mahle Aftermarket On Jan. 1
Following Mahle Aftermarket’s acquisition of all outstanding shares of Behr Hella Service (BHS), all existing activities of BHS will be integrated into Mahle Aftermarket on Jan. 1. The move will give Mahle customers access to a variety of thermal management products for passenger cars and trucks, as well as agricultural vehicles and construction machinery.
“As an OEM, Mahle has enormous expertise in the area of thermal management,” Jon Douglas, president of Mahle Aftermarket North America, said in an announcement dated Sept. 5. “And now, our customers in the aftermarket will benefit from this extensive product line. Also, the increasing numbers of electric vehicles on the road will be presenting challenges and opportunities to the automotive aftermarket. Mahle can now help our customers serve this growing market with expert support, quality replacement components and technical training.”
Current BHS customers can order products using existing part numbers, even after Jan. 1. Part numbers will remain in place throughout a transition period, while Mahle part numbers are implemented in parallel. In the future, products will be offered under the Behr sales brand, and new products will be introduced on an ongoing basis, according to Mahle.
ATEQ TPMS Tools Adds Sales Manager
ATEQ TPMS Tools (Livonia, MI) has brought Dennis Flanery onboard as sales manager. Flanery is responsible for managing TPMS sales, accounts, support and training, as well as attending trade shows in the United States. He is located in Kansas City.
Flanery has been in the automotive aftermarket for almost 30 years, most recently with Bartec USA, where he has been national sales manager – south, and American Tire Distributors (ATD), where he was a regional supply sales manager.
Icahn Enterprises Closes On $500-Million Senior Notes Offering
Icahn Enterprises Finance Corp. and Icahn Enterprises L.P. — a master limited partnership and a diversified holding company that is parent company to Pep Boys, Auto Plus, AAMCO and Precision Tune, among others — together have consummated an offering of $500 million in aggregate principal amount of 4.75% senior notes due 2024 via a private placement.
The notes were issued under an indenture by and among the issuers; Icahn Enterprises Holdings L.P., as guarantor; and Wilmington Trust, National Association, as trustee. They are guaranteed by Icahn Enterprises Holdings. Proceeds from the notes offering are to be used for general limited partnership purposes.
Dana Amends Credit Agreement
Dana Inc. has announced an amendment to its existing senior secured credit facility, which includes an amended and extended revolving credit facility that increases the aggregate amount available from $750 million to $1 billion and extends the maturity to 2024. The amendment also extends the maturity of Dana’s existing “Term Loan A” tranche by two years to 2024.
As a result of the amendment, pricing of both the revolving facility and “Term Loan A” were reduced by 25 basis points.
“We are quite pleased with this amendment, as it affords the company increased liquidity matching the growth our business has achieved over the last few years while lowering overall borrowing costs,” Jonathan Collins, Dana’s executive vice president and CFO, said in an announcement dated Sept. 4. “We expect strong free cash flow generation of approximately $2 billion over the next five years, which will further enhance our already strong balance sheet as we move toward our long-term leverage target.”
Citi was administrative agent, joint lead arranger and joint bookrunner for the transaction.
Garrett Motion CFO Departing
Garrett Motion has announced that Alessandro Gili, its senior vice president and CFO, will leave the company, effective Sept. 30 “to pursue other interests.” No additional information on Gili’s exit has been disclosed.
Garrett has tapped Peter Bracke to be its interim CFO. Bracke has held various CFO roles with Honeywell International and has been the CFO of the business through the completion of the Garrett Motion spinoff.
Keystone To Supply Cap-it Stores
Keystone Automotive Operations is now a designated supplier of automotive parts and accessories to Cap-it International’s 29 Cap-it Genuine Truckware locations across Canada and the United States. Cap-it Genuine Truckware is a retailer of truck accessories and camping products. Previously, Cap-it locations were serviced by Western Warehouse, a wholesale distributor of light-truck accessories based in western Canada.
LC Power Tools Hires Global Sales Director
LC Power Tools (Oconomowoc, WI), a professional power tool manufacturer with a concentration on the professional detailing market, has hired Bob Eichelberg as its global sales director. As such, he will oversee sales and marketing for the company. Eichelberg has more than 40 years of experience in the power tool market, most recently as the president of Flex North America, a position he has held since 2001.
Original One Partners With A&P And NEATR
Original One Parts has partnered with A&P Auto Parts and New England Auto & Truck Recyclers (NEATR), allowing both companies to stock, distribute and sell Original One’s Certified Original reconditioned parts as well as Original One’s newly launched Recycled Plus line.
Both A&P Auto Parts and NEATR will stock a complete range of product categories. Parts will be available for purchase on all major collision repair platforms, as well as directly through the partners.
The Recycled Plus product line includes hoods, fenders, panels, grilles, mirrors, lighting, impact bars, bumper absorbers, and additional mechanical and collision parts. This line is not currently being sold on Original One’s own platforms.
SEMA Seeking Five New High School Build Partners
SEMA is seeking new high school auto shops to join in the third round of its custom vehicle build program. The association would like to add five new schools to the five that participated last year.
“SEMA is really making an investment in our future,” Zane Clark, SEMA’s senior director of education, said. “Our mission as an association is to help our member companies succeed and prosper, and one way is to get young people excited about our industry.”
The program started with the 2016-’17 term with one school and one vehicle.
Last school year, SEMA partnered with five high school auto-shop classes across the country to accessorize five Jeep Wrangler TJs. Using aftermarket products donated by 33 sponsoring companies, students customized the Jeeps concentrating on wheels and tires, suspension, and interior and exterior accessories.
In doing so, about 200 students were introduced to automotive customization as a hobby, learned new skills and concepts, and gained insight for a career path in the aftermarket.
Auction proceeds are invested back into the program, allowing it to grow, Clark said. “We want to plant seeds in these schools where they continue working with the automotive aftermarket,” he said.
AASA Technology Conference To Highlight Heavy-Duty Business Tech.
The AASA Technology Council (ATC) board of governors has increased the amount of heavy-duty content at this year’s AASA Technology Conference, which will take place Sep. 29 to Oct. 1 in Boca Raton, FL.
“The ATC board elected to add these elements because much of the technology used for supply chain, ordering, cataloging, and transactions translates to both the automotive and heavy-duty markets. In addition, many of the solution providers are the same for both channels,” ATC stated in an announcement dated Sept. 6. “The expanded heavy-duty content will be presented alongside other topics of interest in the aftermarket, such as digital marketing, e-commerce, IT, and vehicle and parts data.”
Elements on the agenda with a commercial vehicle aftermarket technology focus include …
• Keynote presentation by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems.
• Heavy-duty technology track sponsored by OptiCat.
• Heavy-duty standards meeting with Pricedex Software.
• Sponsored luncheon and announcement by TieKinetix and HDA Truck Pride.
For more information about the conference, click here.
Hubbard To Succeed Reimondo Atop HDA Truck Pride
The HDA Truck Pride board of directors has selected Chief Operating Officer Tina Hubbard to succeed Don Reimondo. Hubbard will assume the role of president Jan. 1. Reimondo will remain CEO through April.
Hubbard has been with HDA Truck Pride for nine years as director of marketing, vice president of sales and marketing, and vice president of marketing and program management. Prior to HDA Truck Pride, Hubbard worked for Federal-Mogul and AxleTech.
HDA Truck Pride is billed as North America’s largest independent provider of parts and services to the commercial vehicle aftermarket. It has over 750 distribution locations and more than 400 service facilities.
Minimizer Hires Territory Managers
Minimizer LLC has added three new territory managers: Chris Johnson, handling the Mid-South; Bill Burdette, handling the West; and Rick Burleson, handling the Northwest.
Johnson’s territory is Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee. He is based in Tennessee and spent the last six years covering eight states as a Balkamp district sales manager.
Burdette covers California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. He is based in California, and has been a branch manager and regional operations manager for FleetPride Inc., one of Minimizer’s biggest customers.
Burleson’s territory is Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Alaska. He lives in Idaho and comes to Minimizer from MGM Brakes. Before that, he was Powerstroke Diesel Engine’s part sales manager and technical training manager for the West region.
Bendix Expanding Kentucky Plant
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB) earlier this month broke ground on a 130,000-square-foot expansion of its wheel-end manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, KY. The $65-million addition to the BSFB plant will increase air disc brake production capacity. Completion of the upgraded plant is expected by the end of 2020.
All Star Auto Lights Gets Recapitalized
Atlantic Street Capital, a private equity firm, has announced a “majority recapitalization” of All Star Auto Lights, a specialty distributor of automotive lighting parts. Atlantic Street reports that it’s partnering with All Star Auto’s CEO and other, undisclosed investors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Based in Orlando, All Star has a nationwide distribution network. It sells “like, kind and quality” recycled and refurbished OEM parts, as well as certified aftermarket products, including headlamps, tail lamps, park lamps, and fog lamps for import and domestic vehicles.
Phil Druce, an Atlantic Street Capital partner, expressed excitement about All Star’s ability to serve as a cost-effective and quality alternative to higher-priced new OEM products. “Working with [CEO Matt Immerfall], we will capitalize on opportunities to expand the company’s footprint, further penetrate existing customers and evaluate potential expansion into new product categories,” Druce said in an announcement dated Sept. 10.
Immerfall will continue as the CEO of All Star. “We recognized the need for a strategic partner to help All Star grow by investing in and supporting the company’s organic growth plan and executing on acquisition opportunities,” Immerfall stated. “We believe Atlantic Street has the right team of professionals to help us achieve our aggressive growth goals.”
Atlantic Street Capital invests in lower-middle-market companies with between $4 million and $15 million in EBITDA.
P.E. Firm Buys Big Bolt Corp.
Tenex Capital Management, a private equity firm that invests in lower- and middle-market companies, has acquired Bloomingdale, IL-based Big Bolt Corp., a manufacturer of specialty fasteners used in various end markets, including transportation, aerospace and agriculture. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This is the fifth aftermarket-related transaction for Tenex in the past two years, following…
• The January 2018 acquisition of Auveco, a purveyor of specialty fasteners and body hardware used in the automotive aftermarket.
• The June 2018 purchase of Marli Manufacturing, a provider of automotive aftermarket mechanical components, including engine head bolts, intake manifold bolts, oil drain plugs, oil drain gaskets, and other specialty fasteners and fittings, adding it to Auveco.
• The September 2018 acquisition of Empire Auto Parts, an aftermarket collision parts company with 16 locations across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
• The July 2019 purchase of the W&E Sales Company, a Newark, NJ-based provider of autobody fasteners and specialty hand tools to the automotive aftermarket, adding it to Auveco.
Spectra Premium Industries, a leading North American Auto Parts Manufacturer, is seeking a Sales & Performance Specialist (SPS) for the North American market. The SPS will obtain, interpret, format and report on customer & data weekly. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
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.
Talented Sales Manager to develop product and account strategies to expand distribution within the aftermarket retailers, heavy-duty truck, online retailers, industrial aftermarket, industrial OE, motorcycle aftermarket and marine. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ProGlove Gets $40M In Growth Capital
ProGlove, a provider of industrial wearables, has landed a $40-million investment from the global growth equity firm Summit Partners to expand its international footprint. ProGlove specializes in a scanner glove designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of scanning processes used in manufacturing, logistics, transportation, e-commerce and retail. Its products are integrated into the factory and warehousing operations of such companies as Audi, BMW and Bosch.
Crain, Messe Frankfurt Planning U.S. Motoring Enthusiast Festival
Trade show organizer Messe Frankfurt is joining forces with Crain Communications and Kinrara, Goodwood’s international event consultancy, to launch the Festival of Motoring USA, a mainstream, exotic car, classic car and off-road vehicles event. They state that the show will be anchored by leading automakers along with other industry-related companies.
The inaugural Festival of Motoring USA is scheduled for April 29 to May 2, 2021 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Brasselton, GA. The event will include test drive circuits with professional drivers, technology zones, off-road experiences, new vehicle displays and more.
According to organizers, Festival of Motoring USA is modelled after the Festival of Motoring Johannesburg in South Africa, which is now in its fourth year.
KC Crain, president and chief operating officer of Crain Communications, called Festival of Motoring USA a dynamic event in the consumer automotive space. “Messe Frankfurt’s model of experiential, interactive activities will create a must-attend event each year,” KC Crain said. “Adding the expertise of Kinrara, Goodwood’s event consultancy, will ensure an experience of exceptional quality in North America.”
In the future, organizers expect the Festival of Motoring USA to expand to include additional North American locations.
News Briefs 9/12/19
• Delphi Technologies Aftermarket has launched 987 new part numbers in its North American steering and suspension portfolio and expects to reach full line coverage by end of first quarter 2020.
• Walker Products plans to introduce an ignition wire program at this year’s AWDA and AAPEX events. The fully reconstructed ThunderCore Pro line will be Walker’s new all-makes, all-models offering.
• Turn 14 Distribution has added diesel truck performance parts from Wehrli Custom Fabrication to its line card and will be stocking these products in its distribution centers.
• The Automotive Distribution Network has launched a revamped website, networkhq.org.
• Holley has announced My Garage, an online community for auto enthusiasts, allowing car lovers to share pictures, wish lists and stories, as well as interact with Holley staffers.
• The D-A Lubricant Company is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The Lebanon, IN-based company specializes in engine oil, gear lubricants, hydraulic oils, greases and specialty lubricants under the brands D-A, PennGrade and PennGrade 1.
Event & Trade Show Briefs 9/12/19
• NHRA drag racer Blake Alexander and NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader and Justin Allgaier will be special guests at the Auto Care Legislative Summit taking place Sept. 18-19 in Washington, DC. They will attend a Thursday evening reception on Capitol Hill where they will interact with summit attendees and lawmakers. For more information on the event, click here.
• According to the Auto Care Association’s Insider Weekly News, the Colombian trade agency Procolombia is organizing and hosting a buying delegation to the Automotive Parts & Accessories Business Matchmaking Forum 2019 in Cali, Colombia. The agency is interested in hosting a delegation of prominent U.S. buyers, the Auto Care Association reports. Qualified participants must be buyers, importers, or distributors of automotive or motorcycle parts. For more information, contact Carolina Arregoces, Auto Care Association associate – international affairs, at Carolina.firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 654-6664, ext. 1037.
• Jon Hedges, principal at Hedges & Company, will join Jon Sinclair, vice president of e-commerce for GCommerce, on an Oct. 3 webinar to discuss marketplaces and trends in selling automotive products online. This will be the third in a series of webinars produced by GCommerce to provide insights and education about the digital transformation of the aftermarket. Click here to register for the webinar.