Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)
• The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is offering Goodyear Blimp rides during Industry Week to raise funds for aftermarket families in need. A 30-minute trip for six people is available for a tax-deductible donation of $6,000, and a 60-minute trip for six people is available for a donation of $10,000. Rides will occur between 10:30 am and 5:00 pm, Tuesday, Oct. 30 (weather permitting). Open flight times are first come, first served. The deadline to reserve flights is Oct. 23. Click here for more information.
• Brake Parts Inc. (BPI) says it has made a donation to the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) to support the foundation’s efforts to help auto care industry members affected by Hurricane Florence. With its donation, BPI has reached the AACF diamond supporter level. To make a donation to the foundation or to seek assistance for someone in need, visit aacfi.org.
• Memphis-based TruckPro LLC has acquired the assets of Hobbs Spring & Suspension (Hobbs, NM), which specializes in heavy-duty truck and trailer parts and accessories, as well as complete suspension and brake services.
• Keystone Automotive Operations is now the exclusive supplier for SSBC 8 Piston Brake Calipers.
Massachusetts Bill Aims To Amend ‘Right To Repair’ Law; Fix Loophole
A bill has been introduced in Massachusetts seeking to update the state’s “Right to Repair” law to include telematics. Without the amendment, supporters fear, independent repair shops will eventually have limited or no access to diagnostic and repair information from wireless technology in vehicles.
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition — a group of independent repair shops, local auto parts stores, consumers, and drivers supporting the bill — argues that, if these shops can’t get direct access to information from cars, then car owners will be steered toward more expensive automaker-authorized repair options.
“Massachusetts voters voted 86 percent in 2012 to require car companies to give access to repair information and diagnostics,” said coalition member Barry Steinberg, owner of Direct Tire in Watertown. “But now, ‘Big Auto’ is using the next generation of wireless technology to get around our law, shut out independent repair shops and cost car owners more money. That’s not what we voted for.”
Data from telematics was excluded from the state’s 2013 law and related nationwide memorandum of understanding, yet a growing amount of data is being generated through this method, pointed out Aaron Lowe, senior vice president of government affairs for the Auto Care Association.
“More and more, the manufacturer is going to become the gatekeeper for the vehicle,” Lowe said. “They’re all looking at different ways to restrict data, which would be a nightmare for our industry. We want the car owner to be the gatekeeper.”
Model 2018 Chryslers are already requiring authorization for some information once a scan tool is attached, he said.
By 2020, more than 90 percent of new cars will be equipped to transmit real-time diagnostic and repair information wirelessly to vehicle manufacturers, according to the coalition.
“We’ve know this is looming,” said Bill Long, AASA president and executive vice president of MEMA government affairs.
The aftermarket has been busy creating a Secure Vehicle Interface (SVI) to addresses cyber security and data privacy. Motorists and technicians would be able to access a vehicle’s information via a laptop, mobile phone or diagnostic scan tool.
Democratic Reps. Paul McMurtry, Joan Meschino and John Lawn introduced the legislation in Massachusetts, called “An Act to Enhance, Update, and Protect the 2013 Right to Repair Law and Consumer Rights.”
Legislators likely won’t take action on the issue until next year, Lowe said. — Sarah Hollander
Secure Vehicle Interface To Be Demoed At AAPEX
The Auto Care Association — in partnership with Q-Free, Concepts & Services Solutions (CSC), OnBoard Security, Green Hills Software/Integrity Security Services (GHS/ISS) and CarMD/Innova — plans to showcase the Secure Vehicle Interface (SVI) at AAPEX this year. SVI is billed as providing the automotive aftermarket and vehicle owners with secure and standardized access to In-Vehicle Networks (IVN) for operational, maintenance and driver behavioral data access.
This comes at a time of debate over who has access to, and control of, vehicle data and diagnostics. Case in point: proposed legislation in Massachusetts to update the state’s Right to Repair law to include telematics.
“SVI is a collection of technical design standards that ensure vehicle data interfaces always enable safe, secure, and standardized consumer access and control of the data their car generates,” Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association, said in an announcement dated Oct. 9. “If a car owner is unable to directly access and control the data their car produces, then they can’t determine where or how they have their vehicle serviced.”
At AAPEX, attendees will be able to see SVI design features in action, including …
• A demonstration of how SVI provides secured and standardized access to sensor and control networks for typical Data Trouble Codes (DTCs) or repair codes. Using the Open Driving Platform (ODP) as an implementation of SVI standards, attendees can see the secure connection to the IVN of a 2018 Dodge Charger while it monitors and diagnoses the vehicle. Using the SVI-enabled interface, the system can measure and report vehicle roadworthiness, diagnostics, and generate emergency notifications — like an automated crash notification, punctured tire or engine alert — all while in motion.
• A demonstration showing Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) connectivity for estimated arrival time and traffic conditions. The demo will show ITS connectivity with infrastructure using shuttle busses transporting passengers between the AAPEX and SEMA shows. Passengers will be able to access real-time ETA, traffic and vehicle data using their smartphones.
• A demonstration showcasing real-time vehicle data information alongside remote real-time diagnostics. Attendees can explore the city beyond the Las Vegas Strip, and see monitoring and vehicle health data for the 2018 Dodge Charger, using secure ITS stations to display traffic, speed, geolocation and more.
AAPEX attendees can view these demonstrations Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 at the Auto Care SVI Booth #31021 located in the “Technology of Tomorrow” section of the Venetian Ballroom.
“SVI’s internationally standardized design enables a smarter, more efficient global infrastructure where vehicles can ‘talk’ to infrastructure components like roadside controllers, traffic lights, emergency vehicles and more,” said Joe Register, vice president of emerging technologies at the Auto Care Association. “As a result of SVI’s standardized authentication and security specifications, both new and existing vehicles will be able to adapt to an evolving driving environment.”
NPW Expanding In The Northwest
National Performance Warehouse Companies (NPW) is acquiring Performance Warehouse in the Pacific Northwest — a move that would expand NPW’s presence on the West Coast. The deal is expected to close Oct. 15, according to NPW. Both companies are members of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance and The AAM Group.
The transaction would add warehouses in Hillsboro, OR and Tacoma, WA, giving NPW a total of 19 warehouses across the United States and Canada. The deal also includes four stores (three in California and one in Idaho).
Performance Warehouse would continue to operate with J.R. Moore at the helm and Mark Noble overseeing the two warehouse operations and four stores. Additionally, Bonnie Delaney of Performance Warehouse would join the NPW marketing team.
The 22 Baxter Auto Parts stores in Oregon and nine stores in Washington would continue to operate with Ken Moore, Jim Moore and Kim Cham.
“Baxter Auto Parts will continue to operate 35 locations in Oregon, Washington and California,” said a spokesman for Baxter. “The Baxter management team is excited to be partnering with NPW.”
(Note: There are also two Baxter stores in California and two locations of Interstate Auto Parts Warehouse in Oregon).
GPC’s Alliance Automotive Group Acquires Two U.K. Businesses
The Alliance Automotive Group (AAG), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Genuine Parts Co. (GPC), has acquired two U.K. automotive businesses: the Platinum International Group and TMS Motor Spares. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Manchester, England, Platinum is a battery distributor in the automotive, industrial, marine and leisure markets, with nine U.K. locations and one location in the Netherlands. Platinum currently sells to AAG and other trading group customers across the independent aftermarket, OE dealers and other market segments.
According to GPC, the move “significantly expands” AAG’s battery-sourcing platform as well as other distribution, including lubricants. The Platinum transaction is expected to generate $75 million in estimated annual revenue.
TMS, based in Carlisle, England, has 17 parts distribution locations in Scotland and seven locations in England. The acquisition expands AAG’s U.K. footprint and marks its first company-owned stores in Scotland. GPC expects the acquired business to generate roughly $30 million in annual revenue.
Keystone Opens New Warehouse In California
Keystone Automotive Operations (Exeter, PA) has opened a new 450,000-square-foot warehouse in Eastvale, CA — its seventh in the United States. The facility replaces the company’s Corona, CA building, more than doubling its inventory capacity to serve the California, Nevada and Arizona markets, as well as Keystone’s Salt Lake City cross-dock.
“Our growing customer base and new product focus were two of the catalysts for the move,” Keystone president Bill Rogers said in an announcement. “We want to be in the best position possible to serve our RV and automotive aftermarket customers with a broadest range of products available for next-day delivery.”
Eastvale will be home to 48,000 SKUs from more than 700 suppliers, making it the second-largest building in Keystone’s warehouse network.
The addition of Eastvale and the expansion of the company’s Austell, GA warehouse brings Keystone’s operational footprint to 2.40 million square feet across seven locations. Along with the company’s 44 cross-docks and fleet of over 600 vehicles, it can provide next-day delivery service to most locations in North America, according to Keystone.
The company’s Corona employees moved to the new location, and the company plans to employ 150 additional people there. More than 90,000 parts are now being shipped weekly out of Eastvale, according to Keystone.
MAPA Taps Gary Deuling As Inaugural Honorary Lifetime Director
The Michigan Automotive Parts Association (MAPA) board of directors has created an Honorary Lifetime Director position to honor and give back to board members for their dedication and service to the association. Gary Deuling, president of Hart Automotive Supply (Hart, MI), will be the inaugural Honorary Lifetime Director. Deuling has served as a board member in some capacity for 21 out of the past 24 years.
He will serve as the board’s immediate past chairman through Dec. 31, 2018. Deuling will move over to Honorary Lifetime Director on Jan. 1, 2019.
Omnicraft Comes To FordParts.com
FordParts.com, which relaunched earlier this year, now carries Omnicraft parts for non-Ford and non-Lincoln vehicle repairs. This augments the automaker’s offering of Ford Parts, Motorcraft products, and Ford and Lincoln accessories. The site offers free shipping on orders of $75 or more.
Sangsin Brake America Hires Sales Director
Brake industry veteran Sonny Riddle is now director of sales for Sangsin Brake America, responsible for building relationships with customers and expanding Sangsin’s presence throughout North America. He is based in Texas.
Prior to joining Sangsin, Riddle worked for ABS Friction as its business development manager. He also was national sales manager for the Universal Manufacturing Co.’s Re-tech division, vice president of sales – brakes for BBB Industries, and worked in sales management for KEM Manufacturing and Echlin.
Schrader Promotes Dan Baker, Rob Tinson
Schrader Performance Sensors has appointed Dan Baker to the newly developed role of global sales director, with Rob Tinson moving into Baker’s previous role as director of sales for North America.
According to Schrader, the global sales director role was developed to unite the North American and European sales forces in an attempt to increase productivity and streamline processes.
Baker has nearly 30 years of automotive aftermarket experience — 25 of which have been with the Schrader brand. He played a key role in launching Schrader’s TPMS program into the North American aftermarket in 2004, and has held positions of increasing responsibility in procurement, product management and sales.
Tinson will report directly to Baker. Tinson is now responsible for TPMS aftermarket sales in the United States and Canada. Prior to this promotion, he was senior national sales manager, heading up Schrader’s U.S. TPMS aftermarket business. Tinson has 15 years of automotive aftermarket experience, including roles in sales and marketing with BWP Distributors and five years with the Schrader brand.
Delphi Tech. CEO Leaves For New Opportunity
Delphi Technologies is looking for another new chief executive, as Liam Butterworth is leaving to be the CEO of Melrose plc’s Automotive Division, which is composed of the GKN Driveline and GKN ePowertrain businesses. Butterworth became Delphi Technologies’ president and CEO less than a year ago after Delphi Automotive split into two companies (Delphi Technologies and Aptiv).
Prior to the spin-off of Delphi Technologies, he was a senior vice president of Delphi Automotive and president of its Powertrain Systems unit. Butterworth also was responsible for Delphi Product & Service Solutions.
Hari Nair is now Delphi Technologies’ interim CEO. And, the board of directors has commenced a search process to identify a permanent chief executive.
Nair has also been a director of Delphi Technologies since it became a public company in December. He was Tenneco’s chief operating officer from 2010-‘15.
Delphi Technologies also has lowered its guidance for 2018, citing more challenging industry dynamics, among other factors. Management now expects the company’s full-year revenue will be flat compared to 2017 (adjusting for foreign currency exchange rates). Delphi’s prior guidance called for 2-percent to 4-percent revenue growth.
Lumileds Expands In Mexico
Lighting products company Lumileds has opened a new warehouse and distribution center in Tepotzotlan, Mexico. According to the company, the facility means more SKUs, a wider range of product application coverage and faster delivery for customers in Mexico.
Myers’ Distribution Results Disappoint;
‘Aggressive Actions’ Being Considered
Myers Industries (Akron, OH) — the parent company to, among other things, Myers Tire Supply — has released preliminary financial information for the third quarter of 2018 indicating that net sales will come in around $135 million. This would be flat compared to the third quarter of last year.
“While our third-quarter financial performance reflected the traditional seasonal slowdown in the second half of each year, results were further impacted by lower-than-expected sales in the distribution segment,” Myers Industries president and CEO Dave Banyard said in an announcement dated Oct. 4. “Because of continued disappointing performance in this segment, we are reviewing several more aggressive actions and will communicate those actions in the coming weeks.”
The distribution segment — which is composed mainly of Myers Tire Supply — sells tools, equipment and supplies to the tire, wheel and under vehicle service market.
In related news, management now expects that Myers Industries’ full-year 2018 sales will come in flat to up low-single-digits (on a constant-currency basis) compared with the prior year.
Custom Automotive Network Names 2018 ‘Pioneer Award’ Winners
The Custom Automotive Network (CAN) — formerly the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) — has announced Rick Kovalick and Trent Lowe as its 2018 “Pioneer Award” recipients. The program honors outstanding contributions to the custom automotive distribution system and dedication to the industry. Recipients will be recognized at the CAN General Membership Meeting on Oct. 31 in Las Vegas.
Kovalick, National Performance Warehouse Companies’ CRO and vice president, is being recognized for his impact on purchasing and marketing practices. Kovalick also is a veteran of Keystone Automotive Operations and Keystone Automotive Warehouse.
Lowe, the former president of Time Automotive Distributors, is being honored for his leadership at the company and for his contributions to the CAN/PWA board of directors.
Wheel Pros To Begin Making Its Products Domestically
Wheel Pros — a designer, marketer and distributor of branded aftermarket wheels, performance tires and accessories — has announced plans to establish a U.S. manufacturing and distribution operation in York County, South Carolina. Wheel Pros’ new U.S. footprint will come from the purchase of an existing, 220,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that was owned by Eagle Alloys Inc. and American Eagle Wheel Corp.
According to Wheel Pros, the facility will have the capacity to produce over 750,000 wheels a year. It’s expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2019.
Wheel Pros, which is backed by the private investment firm Clearlake Capital, serves more than 10,000 retailers with a network of 33 distribution centers across North America and Australia. The company offers a portfolio of 12 proprietary brands with over 300 custom wheel styles.
Drive Sales & Marketing Moves To New Office
Drive Sales & Marketing has moved to a new office in downtown Memphis. The space overlooks AutoZone Park and is near the corporate headquarters of AutoZone, Drive’s primary focus, president Patrick O’Leary said.
O’Leary, a member of the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG), started the manufacturer’s rep agency earlier this year. The firm specializes in matching manufacturers with automotive aftermarket retailers, including dollar store chains, WDs and buying groups.
O’Leary plans to hire two new employees by January, and is looking to hire a third immediately.
Cooper Standard Adds M&A, Strategy VP
Gabrielle Corrent, former CFO for Stanley Black & Decker’s global automotive unit, is now the vice president of strategy and M&A for Cooper Standard. Corrent also has joined the company’s global leadership team. In this role, she will lead Cooper Standard’s global business development initiatives, including the identification of opportunities, due diligence, and all deal-related transition and integration activities.
Fuse5 Touts Development Partnership
Fuse5 Automotive Software (Coralville, IA) has announced a development partnership with Launch Deck, a software development firm in nearby Iowa City. Fuse5 chief operating officer John Bunting said the move doubles Fuse5’s developmental capacity.
“Three years ago, we began a search process to find a development company that would share our vision for what Fuse5 Automotive Software will be in the future,” Bunting said. “We needed an organization that would be flexible enough to think creatively while maintaining the integrity of the platform.”
Launch Deck is billed as a full-service software development agency that partners with technology companies to accelerate development and improve end-user experiences. The company transforms legacy applications using an agile development methodology.
“John Bunting and his team have proven to be relentless in improving their customers’ experience,” said Isaac Ingersoll, founder and chief operating officer of Launch Deck. “We look forward to helping them achieve even more business value across the automotive industry in the years to come.”
GCommerce Revamps Website To Highlight Commerce Bridge
GCommerce (Des Moines, IA) has introduced a new website to feature its Commerce Bridge offering. The site now includes product videos and new content explaining Commerce Bridge and how multiple technical services are pieced together to enable e-commerce in distribution. This comes as recent acquisitions and development at GCommerce have added a product content management service, an automotive-focused e-commerce platform, a shipping management and fulfillment product, and a data analytics module.
OptiCat Adds New OnBoard Pro API
A new application programming interface (API) has been added to OptiCat’s OnBoard Pro data delivery and validation system. According to OptiCat, the new API allows seamless delivery of supplier data from third-party or in-house product information management (PIM) systems directly to OptiCat.
“Every manual step of the data delivery process creates opportunities for mistakes and requires additional time,” said OptiCat chief operating officer Bryan Thueson. “This new API will eliminate an entire category of cost and errors from the overall data delivery system, and allow all suppliers using a data management system provided by a third party or using internally built systems to automate the delivery of data to any of OptiCat’s 500-plus data receivers in the aftermarket.”
The new OnBoard Pro API is free and open to approved systems providers.
DC Battery Hub is looking for Rep Agencies across the U.S. and Canada. We have a complete line of Remanufactured and New Hybrid batteries. We offer 12, 36, and 60 (New) month warranty programs. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
The worldwide leader in circuit protection products and solutions, is seeking automotive aftermarket representation on the west coast (AZ, NV, CA). … (more) … Click here to find out more.
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 Sales Representatives in Mexico, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. 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.
AASA Technology Council Elects New Governors
Patrick Enniss, product development manager for Mann+Hummell, has been elected 2019 chairman of the AASA Technology Council (ATC) board of governors. Dave Haun, director of product data services at Gates Corp., has joined the board as its newest governor.
Also serving as ATC governors will be Marylou Hournung, director of sales operations at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, and Kevin Pentecost, information security manager for Standard Motor Products. Brent Berman, director of training and consumer experience at Federal-Mogul, serves on the board as an ex-officio member.
People Watching 10/11/18
• Motovicity Distribution has hired Theresa Evens as its marketing manager. She most recently was a marketing and trade show manager for Kroll International, a Michigan-based wholesale-only distributor of law enforcement, public safety, military, homeland security and shooting sports products.
• Ryan Bachman — former business intelligence and portal tools manager for the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance — is now the director of product and data services for United Motor Products. He also is a former product manager for Undercar Express. Bachman is an alumnus of Northwood University’s aftermarket management program.
• Advanced Fuel Dynamics (Troy, TX), a manufacturer of performance flex fuel systems, has hired Gray Fredrick as its director of sales and marketing. In addition to sales and marketing efforts, he is responsible for growing the company’s brand presence and for consumer education. Fredrick was the co-founder of American Powertrain.
• Spectra Premium Industries (Boucherville, Quebec) has appointed Nicolas Beugnot as senior vice president – OEM division, corporate and legal affairs, secretary. Beugnot is now responsible for leading the OEM division’s operations, as well as directing the legal and corporate affairs of the company. He was vice president of legal affairs.
News Briefs 10/11/18
• Airtex-ASC has launched a redesigned website, airtexasc.com, featuring increased product information, detailed technical support and a comprehensive online parts finder.
• VP Racing Fuels has launched a new mobile app that helps consumers find VP products available nearby. It also includes push notifications for new offers, as well as brand and product updates.
• ATEQ TPMS Tools has added several languages to its TPMS diagnostic tool technology, giving it the capacity to handle 25 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian.
• The Cummins Inc. board of directors has authorized the repurchase of as much as $2 billion in shares of common stock upon completion of its 2016 $1-billion share repurchase program.
Event & Trade Show Briefs 10/11/18
• Starting Monday, Oct. 15, AAPEX 2018 pre-registered buyers can begin voting for their favorite products in the AAPEX New Product Showcase. Entries with the largest number of votes in each of nine categories will be awarded “Best New Product” status. Buyers have until Friday, Oct. 19 to vote. The winning entries will be announced at AAPEX.
• This year’s AAPEXedu Technology track has grown to include 18 sessions on such topics as trends in emerging technology, radar sensors in modern chassis systems and battery tester innovations.
• The Automotive Communications Council (ACC) will hold a regional “Go Local” event during Industry Week in Las Vegas. The event — a breakfast from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on Wednesday, Oct. 31 — is open to all marketing and communications professionals in the automotive aftermarket. RSVP by Oct. 30 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration space is limited.
• MEMA will host representatives from the office of the U.S. Trade Representative for a members-only briefing on the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Monday, Oct. 15 at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, MI. Click here for more information on the event.
• The Auto Care Association’s Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) will hold a Regional Meet-Up at 6:00 pm, Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Detroit Axe, a competitive ax-throwing venue in Ferndale, MI. While the event is being held in conjunction with the University of the Aftermarket’s “Aftermarket 101” course, the Regional Meet-Up is open to all YANG members and any guests under the age of 40. Click here for more information.
• The Automotive Service Association (ASA) will host a webinar Oct. 17 on modern chassis technology. The presenter will be Francisco Moreno from ZF. Click here to register.
• Former NFL and college football coach Jimmy Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 Vipar Heavy Duty Annual Business Conference taking place Oct. 14-19 in Marco Island, FL. His address will focus on the importance of building relationships in order to create a successful team.