Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)
• Tenneco Inc. stockholders have approved all of the proposals necessary to complete the acquisition of Federal-Mogul. Management expects the transaction to close Oct. 1. (Next week’s issue of The Greensheet will have more information on the vote).
• The Custom Automotive Network (CAN), formerly the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA), has announced Painless Performance Products president and CEO Adrian Murray as its 2018 “Person of the Year.”
• The Custom Automotive Network has announced Ann Arbor, MI-based Truck Hero as its 2018 “Manufacturer of the Year.”
• The Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) has announced that it will not make any counterproposals for acquiring Essendant Inc. This comes after Essendant declared its intent to terminate an April merger agreement to combine with GPC’s S.P. Richards business products group in favor of a competing acquisition proposal from Staples Inc.
• Lia Zegeye — director of membership for the Auto Care Association since 2016 and an association employee since 2008 — has left for a job as senior director of membership for the American Bus Association in Washington, DC. A successor has not yet been named.
• The 25th edition of the biennial show Automechanika Frankfurt reportedly attracted more than 5,000 exhibitors — a new record.
New Corporate Structure For Groupe Del Vasto
Groupe Del Vasto — an auto parts distributor, store operator and franchisor in Canada that’s a shareholder of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance — has announced a new corporate structure, including senior management roles and responsibilities.
This follows a move earlier this year whereby John Del Vasto stepped down as president of the company (which he founded) and became chairman of the board of directors.
As part of a planned and deliberate transition, Mauro Cifelli became John Del Vasto’s successor as president and CEO. Cifelli, who joined the company in 1994, had been its vice president of sales and marketing.
Now come additional changes.
Joey Miceli is now the company’s chief operating officer, with oversight of all operational functions, including logistics, procurement, customer service, and sales for the distribution and corporate store business units. According to the company, combining sales and supply chain into one team under Miceli’s leadership will accelerate the execution of management’s go-to-market strategy. Prior to this appointment, Miceli was vice president of purchasing and operations, responsible for streamlining distribution and focused on sourcing, procurement, and supply management.
Groupe Del Vasto has appointed Tony Del Vasto as its vice president of marketing and corporate development. In this role, Tony Del Vasto is responsible for leading all merger and acquisition initiatives. He previously was the company’s vice president of human resources and vice president of information technology. Tony Del Vasto has been with the company since 2008. His background also includes various management positions with Canadian Tire Corp.
Martin Lacroix is now vice president of finance and administration, with responsibility for the development of Groupe Del Vasto’s financial management strategy, as well as contributing to the development of its strategic goals. In addition, Lacroix provides analytical support and advises the president and other members of the senior management team on financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities and policy. Martin has more than 25 years of finance experience.
Jo-Anne Constantin is now Groupe Del Vasto’s vice president of human resources, leading HR operations for its distribution and corporate store business units. She is tasked with developing and implementing a plan to align human resource priorities with strategic business initiatives. Constantin has been with the company since 2016.
Groupe Del Vasto has appointed Patrick Laframboise as its vice president of innovation and information technology. In addition to overseeing the management of information technology and information services delivery, Laframboise is responsible for creating and instilling a culture of innovation, continuous improvement, agile project delivery, and change management throughout the organization. Laframboise has worked for over 25 years in various IT, project and change management positions — nearly 15 of which were with Uni-Select.
Daniel Malandruccolo is now the company’s vice president of sales, responsible for implementing the sales plan and overseeing all sales activities. In addition, Malandruccolo oversees the areas of customer service, corporate stores and Ottofran (Groupe Del Vasto’s franchising division). He reports to Miceli, and works closely with the vice president of supply chain to align sales functions and operations. Malandruccolo, who has over 30 years of automotive experience, has been with Vast Auto for the past 18 years.
Groupe Del Vasto has appointed Nelson Estrela as its vice president of supply chain. Estrela had been director of operations. He continues to report to Miceli. In his new capacity, Estrela oversees operations, procurement and product merchandising. He also is responsible for developing and maintaining business relationships with vendor partners, as well as ensuring the optimization of work methods to sustain performance and service levels. Estrela has held various operations management positions with Groupe Del Vasto for over 20 years.
“As Groupe Del Vasto’s family of companies continues to grow, and we look at the opportunities and challenges of the future, it is important to ensure we remain focused strategically and structured appropriately,” Cifelli said in a statement dated Sept. 4. “Organizational changes are the next logical step in supporting our long-term succession plans, and the strong leadership team we have assembled will enable us to accelerate our decision-making and execution.”
Founded in 1986, Groupe Del Vasto is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal. The company services eastern Canada through seven distribution centers in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia doing business as Vast-Auto Distribution. The company also operates the Auto Value, Auto Mecano, Monsieur Muffler, Monsieur Transmission, Mister Muffler and OCTO Auto Service Plus banners.
FCP Euro Expanding Connecticut HQ
FCP Euro, an online auto parts retailer specializing in replacement parts for European vehicles, plans to feature its ongoing expansion during a vendor awards program Sept. 22.
The expansion is in a previously vacant warehouse next to the company’s current Milford, CT offices and distribution center. The space — scheduled to be completed next spring — will feature a new customer pick-up center, a dedicated video production studio, a motorsports shop, additional distribution center space for inventory, and a mezzanine conference area/office expansion able to accommodate 150 people to 200 people.
“The buildout is a necessity due to our continued growth,” Brand Director Michael Hurczyn said. “FCP Euro did $30.40 million in revenue in 2017 and is on pace to do $50 million in 2018, with no signs of slowing down.”
Partnerships with key vendors have been a huge accelerant, he said.
“Not only has our revenue grown, but so has our brand,” Hurczyn said. “For the past three years, we’ve increased our focus on growing our brand and genuinely participating in the automotive community in which we serve.”
Thirty-one vendors are scheduled to attend the awards event, where seven winners will be announced. — Sarah Hollander
Engine Pro Names Bill Cook President
Bill Cook is now the president of the Engine Parts Group Inc./Engine Pro (EPGI). He replaces Don Weber, who died in March.
In his new position, Cook will oversee the growth of EPGI, manage product buying and work with suppliers to expand sales opportunities. He is based in Kansas City, home of the central distribution warehouse for Engine Pro. The business office will remain in Denver.
Most recently, Cook was national sales manager for the Shinn Fu Co. of America, a Kansas City-based distributor of hydraulic lift equipment. Cook also has worked for the Automotive Distribution Network as a business development manager and senior product manager and with Automotive Parts Associates as vice president of program development.
“Bill has in-depth management experience in the worldwide automotive parts distribution industry and is also extremely knowledgeable in the automotive repair and machining fields,” said EPGI chairman Paul Van Woensel of Engine & Performance Warehouse.
CRC Industries Adds New CEO, CFO
CRC Industries (Horsham, PA) has appointed Perry Cozzone as global CEO. Cozzone was formerly president of the Americas for Colorcon Inc., a pharmaceutical company.
“Cozzone’s experience in leading a global organization will help CRC to achieve its tremendous growth potential as it continues to make strategic investments in its core business lines, emerging markets, operational excellence, acquisitions, innovation and infrastructure,” according to a company statement.
Former CEO Scott Grey will transition to CRC’s president, as current president Wayne King retires later this year. Grey joined CRC in 1990 and served as a senior financial analyst, assistant controller, CFO and president – Americas before becoming CEO in 2013.
In other news, Brian Murtaugh has joined CRC as chief financial officer. He was previously vice president of finance for Berwind Corp.
R&R Marketing Consultants Adds Reps
Kansas City-based R&R Marketing Consultants Inc. (RRMCI) has added three new reps: Steve Crandell, Brad Thompson and Greg Horton.
Crandell joins RRMCI with almost three decades of experience in the automotive industry, including inside sales with Reliable Automotive and outside sales with Team Allied. Crandell is now a member of RRMCI’s Midwest team.
After a 12-year career in the automotive repair field, Horton has joined RRMCI as a marketing representative for the Midwest. Thompson, an enthusiast of all things racing, has joined the firm’s Southwest team.
DMA Enters Gas Spring Lift Market Via Acquisition
DMA Sales LLC (Tabor City, NC) has acquired all the assets of Apex, NC-based Sentinel Products International (SPI), a supplier of gas spring lifts for automotive, industrial and specialty markets in North America. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. SPI’s products will now be represented under the DMA operations and marketing umbrella.
“The gas spring lift category provides DMA with additional product diversification, while remaining complementary to our other core product programs,” said John Treece, president and CEO of DMA. “The synergies between our off-shore manufacturing operations will bring benefits to our current and prospective customers as well.”
DMA services the OES, retail, wholesale and e-tail sales channels in the automotive aftermarket. The company serves as the North American operating arm for overseas manufacturing facilities, and is responsible for sales, marketing, customer service, logistics and product development. DMA’s brands include SenSen Shocks & Struts, Speedy Struts, TekMaster Automotive Solutions, Road Pro Heavy Duty Shocks and Goodpoint Brake Wear Sensors.
SPI founder and president Greg Dilloian is joining DMA’s senior management team in the role of executive vice president of sales and marketing. Dilloian will be responsible for leading the company’s strategic sales development across all product categories for the aftermarket channels. He also will lead the integration and expansion of the gas spring lift program.
Dilloian is the former executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Crowne Management Group and ex-president of AVM Industries, a global lift support and actuator business.
Meyer Opens Washington Cross-Dock
Meyer Distributing (Jasper, IN) has added a cross-dock in Spokane, WA. The facility has a direct, next-day feed from the company’s Portland, OR distribution hub, which houses automotive accessories and RV parts. “We continue to reinvest in inventory, personnel and equipment in the Northwest,” said CFO Jeff Braun. “We’re way ahead of schedule on our growth plans in the region and have opened two new logistics points in Washington recently to handle the increased volume.”
K&N Fills New Government, Fleet Sales Management Post
K&N Engineering has hired Manny Perez as its government and fleet sales manager, a new role at the company. Perez is responsible for developing sales within the first responder channel, specifically developing filtration sales with police and fire agencies throughout the United States. He has more than 25 years of experience designing vehicles for police and fire departments. Perez also is a reserve firefighter.
Chris Fairless Joins Daystar Products
Industry veteran Chris Fairless is now the sales manager of Phoenix-based Daystar Products International. As such, Fairless works directly with major accounts in the United States and Canada, as well as mentors Daystar’s regional sales manager team.
Fairless comes to Daystar with over 30 years of experience in the retail, wholesale, e-commerce, manufacturer rep and manufacturing sectors. He most recently was a regional sales manager for Bestop Inc. His background also includes time as western regional sales manager at Hypertech, director of sales performance for Magnaflow, and owner and president of Fairless Sales & Marketing.
He also has been an active industry volunteer, serving on several SEMA committees and task forces over the past 25 years. Fairless currently serves on the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) select committee.
In related news, Daystar has acquired UTV suspension manufacturer HCR Racing.
Edelbrock Adds Regional Account Sales Manager
Chris Crecelius has joined Edelbrock LLC as a regional account sales manager. Working out of Memphis, he handles accounts in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and western Tennessee.
A 24-year veteran of the aftermarket performance market, Crecelius comes to Edelbrock following 13 years as the national sales manager for Hypertech Inc., responsible for sales and marketing programs for all sales channels, including retail, wholesale, dealer and specialty markets. Prior to that, he was the Midwest regional sales manager for Holley Performance Products.
Creselius also has been involved with SEMA, serving on the Young Executives Network (YEN) as well as the Emerging Trends & Technology Network.
Keystone Now Exclusive N. America Distributor Of Grid Off-Road Products
Anaheim, CA-based Grid Off-Road — a designer and manufacturer of custom wheels for trucks, Jeeps and SUVs — has announced an exclusive distribution agreement for the United States and Canada with Keystone Automotive Operations. The deal calls for Keystone to assume responsibility for developing and servicing the North American aftermarket for all Grid-branded items. Products will be stocked in all of Keystone’s locations to provide broader, next-day delivery service and improved fill rates.
A New Owner For Coolant, Fuel Additives Supplier Recochem
An affiliate of H.I.G. Capital has acquired Montreal-based Recochem Inc. — a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of transportation fluids, household fluids and industrial specialty products — in partnership with Recochem management. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The seller was an affiliate of Swander Pace Capital.
Recochem’s portfolio includes branded, private-label and bulk coolant, windshield wiper fluid, diesel exhaust fluid, fuel additives and performance fluids. The company generates roughly US$380 million in net sales annually, according to H.I.G., serving consumers worldwide. It has operations in Canada, Europe, Australia, China, India and the Asia-Pacific region.
Recochem president and CEO Richard Boudreaux said H.I.G. will support Recochem’s next phase of growth and strengthen its market leadership. “The company continues to have numerous opportunities to expand globally,” Boudreaux stated, “and H.I.G.’s experience in our sector and global presence will help us effectuate our strategic plan.”
Miami-based H.I.G. is a global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with over $25 billion in equity capital under management. Stant Corp. also is an H.I.G. portfolio company.
Redline Hires Senior Account Exec.
Redline Detection, a manufacturer of diagnostic leak detection equipment, has hired David Merendino as a senior account executive for mobile and fixed op tool operations. Merendino comes to Redline from Bosch Service Solutions, where he was a strategic account manager. He brings with him experience as a field technical specialist in automotive diagnostics and as a mobile tool distributor.
Merendino’s addition coincides with the launch of the ReadySmoke ultra-compact smoke machine.
AIT/TrakMotive Adds Latin America Business Development Director
Jorge Hernandez has joined AIT/TrakMotive as its director of business development for Latin America, a newly created position. Hernandez has over 30 years of experience in the automotive and industrial aftermarkets and is a specialist in the Latin American and Caribbean markets. He has held managerial positions with Gates Corp. over the past 20 years, most recently as director of business development for Latin America and the Caribbean.
A native of Venezuela, Hernandez will be based out of AIT/TrakMotive’s new office in Miami Lakes, FL.
Ted Fuller Joins ChannelAdvisor As Strategic Partner/Category Manager
Ted Fuller is now a strategic partner and category manager for e-commerce company ChannelAdvisor. He is responsible for the strategy and growth of the company’s automotive parts and accessories category, and for helping to develop partnerships with third parties. Fuller was previously a parts and accessories e-commerce program manager with eBay Motors.
Founded in 2001 and with its global headquarters in Morrisville, NC, ChannelAdvisor helps retailers and brands connect with customers, optimize operations and grow sales channels (on Amazon, eBay, Google, Facebook, Walmart, etc…).
Services include analytics to improve competitiveness. Automotive partners include Fuse5 Automotive Software, Keystone, Motor State, Premier Performance, the SEMA Data Co-Op, ShowMeTheParts and Transamerican Wholesale.
Auto Care Association Bolsters Government Affairs Department
The Auto Care Association has added Gabrielle “Brielle” Hopkins as its vice president of federal affairs. Hopkins joins the association’s government affairs department, where she will assist in the leadership of the department.
In this new role, Hopkins is tasked with identifying legislative initiatives for the association to pursue and for recommending advocacy efforts on both Capitol Hill and with federal agencies. She also will represent the association’s policies and positions at legislative and policy hearings and meetings, and will monitor and inform staff and board members of legislative, regulatory and other issues of importance to the auto care industry. Additionally, Hopkins will research and coordinate state activities in which the association will participate.
Hopkins was the deputy director for governmental affairs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), where she was a liaison with Congress and with senior officials in the office of the Secretary of Transportation, NHTSA and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
She also has four years of Department of Transportation (DOT) enforcement experience, serving as an attorney investigator in the Office of the Inspector General’s Special Investigations Unit, providing legal expertise and oversight for departmental investigations.
2018 Impact Award Winners Announced
The Auto Care Association has announced the 2018 recipients of its Impact Award program, which annually recognizes four aftermarket professionals, age 40 or younger, for their industry contributions. The initiative, created in 2010, is administered by the association’s Marketing & Communications Committee with support from the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG).
This year’s award winners are …
• JR Bishop, director of marketing for Federated Auto Parts Distributors;
• James O’Dell, marketing manager for the Motown Automotive Distributing Co.;
• Nathan Shipley, executive director and industry analyst with The NPD Group; and
• John C. Washbish, director of marketing for the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.
The winners were announced at the Auto Care Association’s Fall Leadership Days in Austin, TX. The recipients will be recognized at AAPEX.
Click here to read more about this year’s recipients.
2018 Excellence In Education, ACE Award-Winners Unveiled
The Auto Care Association presented Auto Care Career & Education (ACE) Awards to Ervine’s Auto Repair & Grand Rapids Hybrid in Grand Rapids, MI and the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance at the association’s Fall Leadership Days event last week in Austin, TX. The program honors companies for their employee career development, education and training investments.
Brent Berman, director of training and consumer experience at Federal-Mogul Motorparts, received the Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award for his stewardship of the “Garage Gurus” technical training program. The award honors people, companies and educational institutions that best advance concepts and programs for education or continuing education in the North American auto care industry.
Click here to read more about this year’s recipients.
CRC Partners With NAPA To Support Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
CRC Industries is partnering with NAPA Auto Parts to support the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), a not-for-profit organization that serves U.S. military personnel with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress. Consumers can support IFHF when they purchase select CRC products — including CRC Brakleen Brake Parts Cleaner — at participating NAPA stores. CRC will donate a portion of its sales during September and October to IFHF.
CRC also will donate $100 for each CRC SmartWasher Bioremediating Parts Washing System kit sold through NAPA between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.
Sea Foam Sales Company is looking for a knowledgeable, enthusiastic person to assume responsibility for our Wisconsin territory. Candidates must be a self-motivated, sales driven person with a good working knowledge of gas and diesel engines in a variety of industries and applications. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
EMPI Inc., a leading Automotive Aftermarket Manufacturer/Distributor is seeking a Sales Representative in Latin America. This will be a Commission Based opportunity. Both individuals and Sales Representative Companies may apply. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
EMPI Inc., a leading Automotive Aftermarket Manufacturer/Distributor is seeking a Vice President of Customer and Category Management. This is a promising career opportunity for a result driven professional with at least 5+ years of automotive sales experience at the management level. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
GPC/Essendant Deal Called Off
The Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) has announced that it will not make any counterproposals for acquiring Essendant Inc. This comes after Essendant declared its intent to terminate an April merger agreement to combine with GPC’s S.P. Richards business products group in favor of a competing acquisition proposal from Staples Inc.
“The merger agreement announced on April 12 was the result of a rigorous due diligence and negotiation process that we believe accurately determined fair value for the transaction combining S.P. Richards and Essendant,” GPC wrote in a statement dated Sept. 10. “We believe that the prospects for S.P. Richards remain strong and that there is significant opportunity for S.P. Richards to grow and deepen its relationships with both independent dealers and other customer channels. As such, we are confident in our ability to drive growth and profitability for S.P. Richards and to support value creation for GPC shareholders.”
Upon termination of the merger agreement, Essendant is required to pay a $12-million termination fee to GPC.
Navistar Parts Sales Up, Profit Down
For the fiscal third quarter ended July 31, 2018, Navistar International generated $605 million in total sales and revenue — an increase of 3.2 percent over the previous year, attributable to double-digit growth from its Fleetrite brand, which was partially offset by lower Blue Diamond Parts (BDP) sales.
Parts segment profit declined 8.3 percent to $144 million, as Navistar experienced a shift in revenue mix to more private-label sales from proprietary parts sales, as well as higher freight expenses and higher internal allocation of development and engineering expenses to the parts segment. Additionally, the prior year included income related to the sale of a business.
People Watching 9/13/18
• Phil Armbruster has joined Original One Parts as its OEM business development director. He is a former product engineering manager for the Ford Motor Co. His background also includes time as a powertrain marketing manager and powertrain remanufactured products manager at Ford.
• Joanna Szkudlapska-Wlodarczyk is now managing Mahle Aftermarket’s business activities in Europe. A 17-year Mahle Group veteran, she has been the head of Mahle Aftermarket for Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states since 2006. In her new role, Szkudlapska-Wlodarczyk reports to Olaf Henning, corporate executive vice president and general manager – aftermarket at Mahle.
• Babcox Media (Akron, OH) has announced that Group Publisher Scott Shriber will assume responsibility for Engine Builder effective Oct. 1. Doug Kaufman will remain publisher and editor. Randy Loeser, who has been group publisher of Engine Builder and Tire Review, will lead a new business unit at Babcox “focused on providing creative and custom content strategies and services for clients,” according to a Sept. 11 posting on aftermarketnews.com.
News Briefs 9/13/18
• The AAM Group (Piney Flats, TN) has changed the name of its jobber website-building service from Digital Marketplace to Aftermarket Websites. The program, executed in-house by AAM, builds search engine-optimized websites designed to get jobbers found in their local markets for the products and categories they sell. For more information, visit upin15.com.
• SEMA has launched the Export Networking Group, a private online Facebook group that’s open to association members that are experienced exporters and those new to selling to customers outside the United States.
• German oil and additive specialist Liqui Moly is launching its first global ad campaign using the Google network, Facebook and Instagram. The ads will be available in 50 languages and visible in 128 countries. The message will be that Liqui Moly has been voted the best oil brand by readers of numerous German car magazines.
• Retrac — a manufacturer of OEM and aftermarket mirrors and front-end protection for heavy-duty and medium-duty trucks — has unveiled a new logo. This coincides with a variety of other brand updates, such as website, collateral and display signage. Retrac is a Curt Group brand.
• Brake & Equipment Warehouse, a Federated Auto Parts member based in Minneapolis, is upgrading from Epicor Ultimate business management software to the Epicor Vision distribution management system.
• UWS, a manufacturer and designer of truck tool boxes and accessories, has revamped its website, uwsta.com, upgrading to a mobile-responsive platform and adding a vehicle lookup function.
• E3 Spark Plugs (Ponte Vedra, FL) has launched a new e-commerce website.
• Amsoil has added an engine degreaser and a glass cleaner to its product lineup.
• SounDigital USA and Epsilon Electronics have retained Southwest Sales & Marketing to rep their brands and product lines in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
• QA1 Precision Products (Lakeville, MN) is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Event & Trade Show Briefs 9/13/18
• UAP Inc. reports that its NAPA XPO Sale 2018 drew nearly 5,000 visitors to the Palais des congres de Montreal Sept. 5-6. More than 100 exhibitors took part in the event.
• Federated Auto Parts vice president of data services and e-commerce Marc Pappas will be the featured speaker in the “Channel Partner Spotlight” at the 2018 AASA Technology Conference taking place Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 in Clearwater, FL. Pappas will discuss technology initiatives and the outlook for advanced technology developments from the perspective of the program group. Click here for more information about the conference.
• SEMA Show badges will be mailed to international buyers who register for the annual trade show on or before Sept 14.
• This year, the SEMA Awards (previously called the Hottest Vehicles awards) will be presented, for the first time, the day before the SEMA Show officially opens. In past years, the awards were presented on the first day of the show, during the SEMA New Products Breakfast.
• The Automotive Content Professionals Network (ACPN) is now accepting applications for scholarships that will allow three content pros to attend the 2019 ACPN Knowledge Exchange conference. The scholarships include conference entry fees and the cost of hotel stays. Click here for more information or to apply.
• Messe Frankfurt has announced a new show, Automechanika Astana, which will take place March 27-29, 2019 in Kazakhstan. The event is targeting trade visitors from across Central Asia.