The Greensheet Issue #38-20 (Full)

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

• Automotive aftermarket demand recovery has continued despite stimulus fading, according to the latest Monthly Tune-Up report from Jefferies LLC. “Early fall channel checks continue to note positive year-over-year sales trends despite slowing from the ‘sugar high’ stimulus comps of early Summer,” analysts Bret Jordan, Mark Jordan and Ethan Huntley wrote in the Oct. 6 report. “Notably, results appear surprisingly strong given continued year-over-year contraction in total miles driven, which we believe may be a result of drivers repairing previously ‘underutilized’ vehicles as an alternative to public transit or ride share.”

• Jefferies has provided an update on its predictive vehicles miles traveled (VMT) model, pegging August VMT at 259.80 billion miles (down 10% year-over-year), with an upper limit of 272.30 billion miles and a lower limit of 247.40 billion miles. Jefferies’ model predicts that September VMT was 246.00 billion miles (down 10% year-over-year), with an upper limit of 259.80 billion miles and a lower limit of 232.60 billion miles.

• SUVs have accounted for 50% of all U.S. new vehicle registrations this year through July, according to a new report from IHS Markit Loyalty Principal Tom Libby. If this mix continues for the remainder of 2020, it would be the first time since 1987 that one body style has captured half of the U.S. new vehicle industry. Libby also noted that the market share for mainstream pickups has grown through July, accounting for 19.9% of new vehicle registrations, outpacing sedans for the first time in recent history. Meanwhile, the sedan share of market fell to 19.2% through July, the lowest for this segment since 1987.

 

Obituary: Denis Healy, Turtle Wax President

Denis Healy — former president of Turtle Wax and former chairman of the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association (APAA), now the Auto Care Association — died Oct. 3. He was 87.

Healy was known for the dynamic, important role he played in growing the Turtle Wax brand during his 50-year tenure, as well as his service to the aftermarket and various philanthropic organizations. According to his online obituary, Healy “left an indelible mark on the company” and will be remembered for “his passion for the business, his love of the company and the trust he had in his teams to help carry out his vision.”

Healy, a chemist, married into the Turtle Wax company, after meeting his wife, Sondra, at a Miami chemical conference while standing in a buffet line at the Fontainebleau Hotel. “After a whirlwind romance, the rest, as they say, is history,” according to his obituary.

Founded in 1941 by Sondra’s father, Ben Hirsch, Turtle Wax’s backstory is the stuff of legends. Hindered by the Great Depression, Hirsch was unable to pursue his dream of becoming a chemist, but a love of cars and mixing chemicals fed his invention of a car wax product that he mixed in his bathtub and sold on the streets of Chicago. Then known as Plastone, the wax grew in popularity and was renamed after Hirsch made a sales call in Turtle Creek, WI, and the town name clicked in his mind as the perfect example of what his product offered: a durable shell-like protection to cars.

Hirsch grew the company over the decades, getting Turtle Wax on the shelves of smaller auto parts stores, but Healy’s arrival in the 1970s brought a scientific and business acumen that expanded the company’s product lines and ramped up its market presence to eventually be sold in more than 90 countries.

Throughout its growth, Turtle Wax stayed in the family, with Sondra involved in the business and Healy’s son, Denis John, eventually assuming the role of executive chairman.

“Denis was devoted to his family and successfully carried out the family’s Turtle Wax vision for market share growth and unique product and packaging innovation,” said Jeff Vaughn, former Turtle Wax vice president. “Along with Sondra, they helped turn Turtle Wax into a household name and a worldwide leader in the automotive appearance category.”

Jerry O’Pry, a former vice president of national accounts for Turtle Wax, credits Healy’s vision and business savvy for the company’s unprecedented growth. “He was a visionary and a leader in the industry,” O’Pry said. “Instead of trying to run it as an entrepreneurial business, he ran it as a small corporation. And, we grew the business exponentially over the eight years that I was there. He took Turtle Wax from being a traditional business into auto retail and brought it into the Kmart’s and Wal-Mart’s of the world.”

Michael Schultz, a chemist and former senior vice president of research and development at Turtle Wax, remembered Healy as a mentor, a philanthropist and a slightly intimidating visionary. “I was nervous about being around him at first because he was such an accomplished chemist,” Schultz recalled. “Denis used to come up to me and ask me questions, and I was always nervous because of the deep admiration I had for him. “

Schultz recalled how Healy always bounced things off of his staff, never forcing his ideas on anyone but just asking them to be considered for possible development. “He’d say ‘Look, I have this idea; just consider it.’ He’d say ‘If there is a germ of an idea here, let me know.’ And sometimes things would work, and sometimes they wouldn’t. But he was a great mentor for me. He shared so much of his passion and experiences, and that was so beneficial for me. Over the years, I used to listen to his business stories. He’d tell me ‘Mike, you gotta be on your toes and thinking all the time.’”

Healy’s generosity and family approach to running Turtle Wax also were things Schultz cited as the reason he stayed with the company for 37 years. “I felt I was part of their family, “ Schultz said of the Healys. “They had a lot of trust and belief in us. And, as long as you had that, there wasn’t anything you could not accomplish.”

In addition to his work as a chemist, Healy served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War, and was involved in local and Illinois state politics. His philanthropic work was well known, and he served on multiple boards, including the USO, 100 Club of Chicago, the American Ireland Fund and Catholic Charities.

He leaves his wife, Sondra; three children; and 11 grandchildren. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Healy family will host a celebration of Healy’s life in late Spring 2021. In the meantime, in lieu of flowers, they welcome donations to any of Healy’s valued organizations, such as the 100 Club of Chicago or USO.

 

 

The Greensheet Q2 2020 Financial Reports Chart

Each quarter, Auto Care Week/The Greensheet tracks key financial data from a number of companies publicly traded in the United States and Canada, and doing business in the North American auto care industry. We compile those top-line and bottom-line results for you to see, at a glance, how these companies fared. The listing is organized by increase/decrease in net sales. Click here to view The Greensheet Q2 2020 Financial Reports Chart.

 

Perspective: We Stand To Learn A Lot Over The Next Few Weeks

Here we go. Brace yourselves. Things are going to get … interesting. The publicly traded companies in our industry are about to begin issuing their third-quarter reports. What these CEOs have to say about summer trends and the current trajectory of their businesses will be almost as important as the numbers themselves.

The tone they set as we begin to gather for the Virtual AAPEX Experience and SEMA360 will go a long way toward setting expectations across the aftermarket. What themes will emerge? What will we be talking about as we gather online?

I expect to hear encouraging news regarding how the auto care industry was able to ride out a spike in coronavirus cases (and subsequent decline in infections) across the Sunbelt this summer. While parts stores and repair shops in these states likely experienced a decrease in business during the outbreak, the decline shouldn’t have been anything close to what many businesses experienced during the peak of stay-at-home mandates in the spring.

Restrictions put in places across Florida, Texas, Arizona and other states in the region were not as all-encompassing as those rolled out nationwide in the spring. The Sunbelt was able to weather its outbreak while keeping many businesses open and placing fewer restrictions on its residents. This should serve as a blueprint for other states in the event of similar outbreaks in the future.

There will probably be a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to macroeconomic factors. Gas prices are low, and consumer confidence is up. And, while unemployment is improving — with a little more than half of the jobs lost during the peak of the pandemic having returned — that still leaves 40% to 50% of those laid off still looking for work, so a lot of road to go there.

Additionally, with enhanced employment running out and no additional stimulus checks coming soon, we may learn that the aftermarket’s recovery has lost some momentum. If so, how much? And, how have hurricanes and wildfires affected the auto care industry?

It will be interesting to hear what the large auto parts sellers and vehicle service chains have to say about trends following Labor Day. With operations across so many geographies, I’m hopeful that we get solid insights into our overall economic comeback. Is there a noticeable difference between areas where schools are open for in-person learning versus those still largely doing distance learning? Has there been a dip in DIY work now that weather has turned colder in many states? Are people still heading out for “one-tank trips” this fall like they did over the summer?

What these business leaders have to say about trends and same-store sales, share of market, pace of new store and shop openings, average ticket, maintenance deferrals, and so many other key metrics will fill in a great deal of the picture regarding the current auto care landscape. Will their comments correspond to what we’re experiencing in our own businesses, or will they give us something new to consider?

This will all be enhanced by the presentations and virtual meetings that will take place during our new online trade shows in a few weeks. (If you’re not signed up to participate, please do. You won’t regret it).

We certainly won’t lack for information, and that can only help as we navigate through the next phase of coronavirus, reopening, the election and so much more. Like I said, brace yourselves. Things are going to get interesting … but also, hopefully, a little more clear. Stay tuned.

— Marc Vincent,
Editor

 

Deal Reached To Buy And Combine Highline Aftermarket, Warren Distribution

Pritzker Private Capital (PPC) has signed definitive agreements to acquire and combine Highline Aftermarket Holdings, which is majority-owned by The Sterling Group, and Warren Distribution, which is majority-owned by Chairman and CEO Bob Schlott.

PPC and co-investors are investing alongside members of the Highline and Warren management teams. Darcy Curran, Highline’s current CEO, would lead the combined business. Schlott, Warren’s chairman and CEO, would remain as a board adviser.

News of the Highline-Warren deal comes shortly on the heels of Highline closing on its purchase of the assets of Plews & Edelmann’s retail segment, which designs and distributes automotive and industrial tools and accessories in such categories as lubrication, air accessories, air hoses and tire repair. This includes the brands Amflo, Lubrimatic and Tru-Flate, adding to Highline’s collection of owned and licensed brands, including Prime Guard, Service Champ, Rain-X, Shout and Windex.

Headquartered in Omaha, NE, Warren is billed as one of the largest private-label blenders and one of the largest independent motor oil, lubricants, and automotive chemicals manufacturers and suppliers in North America. Warren is a private-label supplier for some of the largest retailers, marketers and lubricant distributors in North America. It has customers in over 30 countries and the capacity to produce millions of gallons of bulk and packaged lubricants from more than 1,100,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution facilities in Iowa, West Virginia, Alabama and Texas.

Memphis-based Highline has 15 distribution centers and eight manufacturing facilities. The combined Highline and Warren organization would have 27 facilities across North America.

“We are thrilled to partner with Darcy, Bob, and the Highline and Warren teams in building this exciting combination for long-term success,” Michael Nelson, head of investing at PPC, said in an announcement dated Oct. 8. “As a leading supplier for the automotive aftermarket, the combined company will have tremendous opportunities for growth, both through organic initiatives and accretive acquisitions.”

PPC partners with middle-market companies based in North America with leading positions in the manufactured products, services and healthcare sectors. PPC has experience in the auto care sector from its current partnership with PLZ Aeroscience, a specialty aerosol product manufacturer that counts the automotive aftermarket as one of its core markets.

The closing of the transaction is expected by December. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

 

 

Former Monro Chief Marketing Officer Joins Icahn Automotive

Icahn Automotive — which is currently composed of Pep Boys, Auto Plus, Precision Tune Auto Care and AAMCO Total Auto Care, to name a few — has appointed Deborah Brundage as chief marketing officer and Elisa Bannon-Jones as chief people officer.

Brundage directs Icahn Automotive’s marketing, communications and customer experience strategies, with a focus on consumer insights and digital engagement. She comes to the group from Monro Inc., where she also was chief marketing officer. At Monro, Brundage led the rebranding strategy and oversaw the marketing and customer service teams.

Bannon-Jones leads Icahn Automotive’s overall human resources strategy, overseeing compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, and performance and development. Most recently, she was the chief human resources officer of Frontier Communications.

Their addition comes at a time when Icahn Automotive is working to separate into two companies: a parts-focused organization and a service-focused business. The service company will include the automotive repair and maintenance businesses of Pep Boys, along with AAMCO, Precision Tune and a number of regional service centers.

“Elisa and Deborah both bring significant executive expertise and unique perspectives that we are confident will strengthen our culture, enhance our customer experience and improve our business,” said Brian Kaner, chief executive of Icahn Automotive’s service business. “As we continue to build a separate service business, Elisa and Deborah complement a strong leadership team that is poised to capture the many opportunities that exist in the industry.”

 

OEConnection Appoints New CEO; Rotuno Named Executive Chairman

Richfield, OH-based OEConnection LLC (OEC) has named Patrick Brown as its new president and CEO, succeeding Chuck Rotuno, who has been appointed executive chairman.

Rotuno has led OEC since its formation in 2000. He was recruited from Bell + Howell to establish and lead OEC. Rotuno was a senior vice president and general manager of Bell + Howell Automotive, which is now Snap-on Business Solutions.

Genstar Capital Director Geoff Miller and Managing Director Eli Weiss thanked Rotuno for his leadership in a statement dated Oct. 8 and said they look forward to continued collaboration with Rotuno in his role as executive chairman. Genstar is the majority investor in OEC.

“Over the past 20 years, Chuck and team have successfully established OEC as the leading provider of technology and data solutions to the automotive replacement parts marketplace,” said Miller and Weiss stated. “As OEC continues its growth trajectory, we are very pleased to welcome Patrick to the team. He is a highly strategic leader who is very well positioned to build on this momentum.”

Brown was the president and CEO of Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), a provider of technology as well as finance and insurance (F&I) offerings to the automotive industry. IAS is billed as one of the largest F&I providers in the United States, serving more than 6,000 dealerships.

 

Chick Capoli Announces New Clients

Chick Capoli Sales of West Berlin, NJ now represents SEG Automotive (formally SEG Bosch) — an OEM and aftermarket manufacturer and supplier of new light- and heavy-duty alternators and starters — in the Mid-Atlantic, New England and Southeast states. Chick Capoli Sales also now represents Goodyear Belts in the Mid-Atlantic and New England markets.

 

Fortive Raises Its Q3 Guidance

Fortive Corp. on Oct. 5 announced that management now expects Fortive’s third-quarter total revenue to increase roughly 2% on a year-over-year basis. This is above the guidance provided Sept. 9 and is based on preliminary financial results for the period.

The company’s Industrial Technologies segment is expected to report a total revenue increase of approximately 4.5%. This compares to management’s previous guidance calling for a low-single-digit increase or better.

Fortive’s Industrial Technologies unit supplies high-tech equipment, components, software and services to the manufacturing, transportation and repair markets worldwide. It includes the franchise distribution businesses Matco and Hennessy.

Additionally, management expects positive year-over-year growth in Fortive’s operating profit and adjusted operating profit for the total company and for both segments in the third quarter 2020.

Everett, WA-based Fortive on Oct. 9 spun off its transportation- and mobility market-focused businesses into a new company, Vontier Corp. The new, publicly-traded Vontier will be comprised mainly of Matco, Hennessy, Gilbarco Veeder-Root and Teletrac Navman.

 

SureWerx Appoints Global COO

SureWerx — a manufacturer of safety products, tools and equipment — has appointed Christian Wiltrout as its global COO. Wiltrout previously was the president of SureWerx USA, where he worked on building out the company’s U.S. business.

According to the company, since joining SureWerx in 2019, Wiltrout has integrated three acquisitions, as well as increased market penetration, new channel developments and new product innovation, including in the automotive aftermarket.

He now leads all aspects of SureWerx’s commercial activities.

Co-headquartered in Elgin IL and Vancouver, British Columbia, SureWerx markets products under a wide range of brands, including Strongarm, American Forge & Foundry, Startech, Jet Equipment & Tools, Jackson Safety and ITC.

 

 

DMA Adds Product Management Director

Brandon Henderson has joined DMA Sales LLC as director of product management. Henderson was with Plews & Edelmann as a senior category manager, responsible for overseeing all category line reviews, competitor analyses, product pricing management, product life cycle management and product marketing, including trade shows and new product launches.

Prior to Plews & Edelmann, Henderson worked for Robert Bosch Tool Corp. as a product category analyst, responsible for preparing product performance reporting, line review preparation, and marketing and promotions preparation.

 

Jasper Relocates Boston Branch

Jasper Engines & Transmissions has relocated its Boston-area branch from its suburban Southboro location to the town of Auburn, which is roughly 25 miles to the southwest. The 12,000-square-foot Auburn branch houses remanufactured gas and diesel engines, transmissions, differentials, and air and fuel components.

“The new location is along the Interstate 90 corridor,” said Kevin Powell, Jasper’s director of branch operations. “This allows Jasper many advantages for servicing Boston, Springfield and several nearby New England cities by giving us more of a central location in the region.”

Jasper has 50 branch offices and distribution centers in 28 states.

 

Global Executive Search Firm Adds Automotive Practices Leader

Tony Papa has joined NGS Global Americas, an executive search firm, as a managing partner. Based in Detroit, Papa leads the firm’s automotive and industrial practices in North America. He most recently was a senior vice president and chief people officer for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. Papa’s career also has included time as vice president of human resources at Gates Corp.

 

SEMA To Use $300,000 Grant To Tackle Counterfeiting, Market Access

SEMA was received a third Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). The support includes financial and technical assistance designed to help U.S. companies compete in international markets. The $300,000 grant, along with funds from SEMA, will be used to address counterfeiting as well as equal market access for U.S. products, according to the association.

Industry groups must pay a minimum of two-thirds of the project cost and sustain the project after the MDCP award period ends.

According to SEMA, its partnership with ITA has made it possible for U.S. manufacturers to participate in SEMA-sponsored overseas trade missions to such markets as the United Arab Emirates, Australia and China.

 

In Lieu Of Trade Show, PRI Embarks On Two-Month Road Tour

With no in-person trade show this year, Performance Racing Industry (PRI) is taking its show on the road with a two-month tour that kicked off last week in Indianapolis. The PRI Road Tour is scheduled to make more than 85 stops across the United States, concluding Dec. 15.

The PRI team plans to conduct on-site interviews to curate content that will be shared on its website, social media platforms and monthly magazine. PRI will visit a variety of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, race teams, racetracks and more during its two months of travel.

The road tour is intended to help companies promote their products and services, as well as connect the racing industry, at a time when gathering in person at the trade show isn’t possible.

“If the industry can’t come to the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis, then PRI is coming to the industry,” quipped PRI President Jamie Meyer.

“The business of racing starts at PRI, and our goal is to support the motorsports industry by helping them spread the word about what they are doing,” Meyer said. “We’ve tapped into the world’s best photographers, videographers and social media experts to develop content that will resonate with the racing world.”

 

Hawk Performance Retains Brand, Marketing Agency

Hawk Performance has retained Jackson, a brand and motorsports marketing agency in Greenville, SC. Jackson is tasked with helping to expand the company’s sales to new automotive audiences, including street cars, trucks and off-road vehicles. Initial priorities for Hawk Performance are marketing communications strategies, a communications plan, new packaging, website updates and collateral material.

Hawk Performance is a high-performance braking systems, parts and fluids company. Hawk is the official brake product of motorsports organizations like the National Auto Sport Association, Ron Fellows Performance Driving School, Allen Berg Racing School, Stadium Super Trucks and the SCCA.

 

 

Participants Announced For G.research Virtual Auto Symposium

G.research, in conjunction with Gabelli Funds, will host its 44th Annual Automotive Symposium — virtually this year — on Monday, Nov. 2 and Tuesday, Nov. 3. The event will feature presentations from senior management at the following companies and organizations …
• AASA and MEMA.
• AutoNation Inc.
• AutoZone Inc.
• Axalta Coating Systems.
• CarParts.com Inc.
• Cerence Inc.
• Cox Automotive/Manheim.
• The Cooper Tire & Rubber Company.
• Dana Inc.
• The Donaldson Company.
• Gentex Corp.
• The Genuine Parts Company.
• Momentum Dynamics.
• Motorcar Parts of America.
• MP Materials.
• Navistar International Corp.
• O’Reilly Automotive.
• The Penske Automotive Group.
• Rush Enterprises Inc.
• Sonic Automotive.
• Snap-on Inc.
• Standard Motor Products.
• Stoneridge Inc.
• Tenneco Inc.
• Valvoline Inc.
• Velodyne Lidar
• Veoneer Inc.
• VNV Global.
• Volta Energy Technologies.

 

Bridgestone Veteran Chris Karbowiak To Retire At Year’s End

Bridgestone veteran Chris Karbowiak will retire Dec. 31 after more than 28 years with the company. Karbowiak will remain in her current roles of executive vice president, executive officer, chief sustainability officer and member of the global executive committee of Bridgestone Corp., as well as executive vice president, chief administrative officer and a member of the executive committee of Bridgestone Americas until the end of 2020.

She joined the company as senior counsel for Bridgestone Retail Operations in 1992. Karbowiak became chief administrative officer and executive vice president for Bridgestone Americas in 2010.

Karbowiak has played key roles in many facets of Bridgestone’s business, including leading site selection and development efforts for Bridgestone Tower in Nashville. She also helped secure such notable sports partnerships as the Bridgestone Invitational and Bridgestone Senior Players Championship in addition to worldwide Olympics and Paralympics partnerships.

“Chris leaves an indelible mark on our company, past, present and future,” said Paolo Ferrari, executive vice president and executive officer of Bridgestone Corp. and a member of the board, CEO and president of Bridgestone Americas. “To Bridgestone Americas, she is an icon, and her reputation as a fearless and forward-looking leader will be her legacy. I speak for all Bridgestone employees when I say that she will truly be missed.”

 

TBC Opens New Office Building In Florida

TBC Corp. has opened a new Florida office building, allowing employees from its office in Juno Beach to join fellow corporate team members at its headquarters campus in Palm Beach Gardens. The four-story, 61,000-square-foot building, known as TBC South, was completed earlier this month.

According to TBC, employees have begun moving into the building in a phased approach as the company continues to navigate the current environment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

TBC serves wholesale customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico through TBC Brands, National Tire Wholesale (NTW), TBC International and TBC de Mexico. The company also has more than 600 company-operated tire and automotive service centers under the brand’s Tire Kingdom Service Centers and NTB Tire & Service Centers. TBC, through a subsidiary, also owns the Big O Tires and Midas franchise systems.

 

Auto Detailing Supplies Chain Adding Eight Franchise Locations

California-based Detail Garage, a five-year-old automotive detailing chain, expects to open eight franchise locations this fall, expanding the Detail Garage network to 68 total locations across the United States and Canada. Scheduled to open to the public throughout October and November are multiple locations in Texas (Weatherford, Round Rock, Rosenberg and Lake Jackson), as well as single-store debuts in Orange, CA; Plainfield, IN; Fredericksburg, VA; and Buford, GA.

Detail Garage locations offer a variety of premium-quality auto detailing and car care products, as well as training and DIY workshops to assist customers in caring for their vehicles.

 

 

Many Auto Care Brands Ranked In Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List

Entrepreneur magazine has released its 41st Annual Franchise 500 Ranking. Here’s how various auto care brands fared …
• 31 – Snap-on Tools.
• 32 – Matco Tools.
• 47 – Valvoline Instant Oil Change.
• 70 – Jiffy Lube International.
• 75 – Mac Tools.
• 81 – Cornwell Quality Tools.
• 91 – Big O Tires.
• 116 – Novus Glass.
• 120 – Carstar.ires.
• 116 – Novus Glass.
• 120 – Carstar.
• 149 – Ziebart.
• 161 – Grease Monkey Oil Changes & More.
• 199 – Midas International.
• 222 – Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Centers.
• 224 – AAMCO Transmission & Total Car Care.
• 261 – Christian Brothers Automotive.
• 265 – RNR Tire Express.
• 277 – Precision Tune Auto Care.
• 327 – Line-X.
• 334 – Glass Doctor.
• 357 – Maaco.
• 370 – Tint World Automotive Styling Centers.
• 378 – Mighty Auto Parts.
• 415 – SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service.
• 422 – SuperGlass Windshield Repair.
• 426 – Take 5 Oil Change.
• 481 – Milex Complete Auto Care/Mr. Transmission.
• 496 – Meineke Car Care Centers.

 

Moran Honors 2020’s Top Franchisees

The Moran Family of Brands has recognized the following people with its 2020 “Franchisee of the Year” awards …
Al Martin, who has operated a Multistate Transmission store in Naperville, IL for the past 25 years, received Milex “Franchisee of the Year” recognition. He co-branded the shop with Milex Complete Auto Care in 2015. This year is the second time he has won the award.
Tom Layman won in the transmission division of Mr. Transmission, Multistate Transmission and Dr. Nick’s Transmission. His family has owned a Multistate Transmission shop in Waterford, MI since 1977. Tom Layman is a second-generation franchisee, having succeeded his father, Don, in ownership of the business.
Greg Goodman, owner of an Alta Mere store in Oklahoma City, won in the Alta Mere category. It’s the fifth time Goodman has won the award.

The franchisees will be recognized at Moran’s convention, which will be held April 29 to May 1, 2021 in New Orleans.

 

Birmingham, AL Has The Most Repair Shops Per Capita

According to WalletHub’s 2020 “Best & Worst Cities to Drive In” report, Birmingham, AL has the most auto repair shops per capita in the United States. Rounding out the Top 5 are, in order, San Bernardino, CA; Baton Rouge, LA; Buffalo; and Orlando. The five cities with the fewest auto repair shops per capita are, in order, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Houston.

 

Spiffy Partners With Carvana, Gabi, Uproar.car
On ‘Complete Car Care’

On-demand car care provider Get Spiffy Inc. is partnering with Carvana, Gabi and Uproar.car to extend Spiffy’s utility beyond maintenance services into more of a “Complete Car Care” concept.

Gabi adds an online insurance comparison tool. Uproar.car specializes in extended warranties. Carvana offers a trade-in valuation tool to help customers sell their vehicles and find replacements.

Spiffy started out as a mobile car wash and detailing service. In time, it expanded to offer oil changes, tire replacements and most recently, disinfection services. Now, enter “Complete Car Care,” which Spiffy CEO Scot Wingo said has been management’s long-term goal.

“What excites us most about these partnerships is how the combined value elevates the experience of every Spiffy customer,” Wingo said. “Instead of just getting a car wash or oil change, we’re aiming to simplify every step of car ownership, from insurance coverage and warranties to lifetime maintenance and trade-in valuation.”

Spiffy is available in a number of municipalities, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington, DC, to name a few.

 

 

Brandywine Coach Works Acquired; Collision Repair Platform Launched

Susquehanna Private Capital (SPC) has acquired Brandywine Coach Works, a collision repair chain based in Chadds Ford, PA, and formed the Quality Collision Group (QCG), a holding company that will pursue strategic acquisitions of auto repair facilities throughout the United States. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Former Service King Collision Senior Vice President Jerod Guerin is the CEO of QCG. The group employs 90 people across four Pennsylvania locations.

SPC is funded by the founders of the Susquehanna International Group, which is billed as one of the world’s largest privately-held financial services firms. SPC targets U.S. companies in the business, consumer and franchise services, healthcare services, and industrial technology sectors with $3 million to $15 million in EBITDA.

 

Crash Champions Expands Via Acquisition In Southern California

Chicago-based Crash Champions LLC has acquired Fountain Valley Bodyworks, an MSO with two locations in Orange County, CA. The move expands Crash Champions to 25 shops in Southern California and a total of 47 locations across Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri and California.

Fountain Valley founder Dave March will retain a “meaningful ownership stake” in the combined organization, according to Crash Champions, and remain an active member of its leadership team, alongside Director Michael March and General Manager Mike Honrath.

“I look forward to working with our new partners at Crash Champions to enhance our value proposition to our insurance carrier partners and drive meaningful market share gains in Southern California,” Dave March said.

The acquisition of Fountain Valley marks the sixth transaction completed by Crash Champions — and its second in Southern California — this year. As you may recall, Crash Champions acquired Pacific Elite (23 shops) back in March. Additional completed acquisitions this year include five shops in Missouri, three shops in Ohio and one in Wisconsin.

Management expects to rebrand all its shops under the Crash Champions name by the end of 2020.

B. Riley Securities and Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo LLP advised Fountain Valley. Goodwin Procter LLP advised Crash Champions. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

 

Industrial Finishes And Systems Adds California DC

Industrial Finishes and Systems has added a distribution center in Escondido, CA, expanding its coverage south of the company’s current California locations in Rancho Cordova, Fremont, Concord, Fresno, Bakersfield, Oxnard, Pacoima and City of Industry. It marks Industrial Finishes’ 37th distribution center nationwide.

The company is a supplier of paint and associated material to the automotive, recreational vehicle, marine, aerospace and industrial markets.

 

FleetPride Expands In Illinois

FleetPride Inc. has acquired the assets of TransAm Truck & Trailer Parts of Rockford, IL, which is about 90 miles northwest of Chicago and about 20 miles south of the Wisconsin state line. Rockford is a new market for FleetPride. The acquisition gives the company a total of 11 locations in Illinois.

 

AAMP Names New President/CEO, Adds E-Commerce Expert To Board

AAMP Global has promoted Scott Forst to president and CEO and announced previous president and CEO Jamie Fraser as its executive chairman.

Forst has been with AAMP for eight years in various roles, starting as senior vice president of sales and eventually becoming Americas division president. As president and CEO, Forst will focus on the company’s overall growth strategies, both organically and through acquisition, with an emphasis on technology and integrated vehicle-specific products.

In related news, Matthew Siegel has joined AAMP’s board as an independent director. Siegel is the chief commercial officer of Sonos Inc., a developer and manufacturer of wireless home audio products. Prior to that, he was a vice president and general manager of global digital commerce for Nike.

“We look forward to leveraging Matthew’s vast knowledge in e-commerce to further bolster AAMP’s digital strategy,” Forst said. “Utilizing online media will drive awareness and demand across our brands, which will benefit all of our channel partners globally.”

Clearwater, FL-based AAMP specializes in aftermarket audio, safety and infotainment products. Its brands include PAC, Connects2, EchoMaster and Stinger.

 

Help-Wanted-450_256

NEW … Alltech Automotive: Catalog Manager

Alltech Automotive LLC, a dynamic global automotive supplier, is seeking an experienced Catalog Manager from the automotive industry. This individual will be responsible for researching and updating data for all hard parts product lines and maintaining both a print version and online database that is compatible with Activant, Wrench Head and ACES/PIES formats … (more) … Click here to find out more.

NEW … Alltech Automotive: Regional Sales Manager

Alltech Automotive LLC, a dynamic global automotive supplier, is seeking a Regional Sales Manager to represent products it sells into the Automotive Aftermarket. The Regional Sales Manager is responsible for the execution of the corporate sales and marketing plan. As a sales manager, you will direct all sales-related activities within the assigned region. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

NEW … GSP North America: Aftermarket Product/Catalog Manager Loaded Struts & Shocks

We are currently seeking to hire an Aftermarket Product/Catalog Manager to join our team and improve customer support, covering current and new product introduction of aftermarket products. This individual will be an important part of developing GSP North America strategies … (more) … Click here to find out more.

NEW … Seeking Inside Sales, Telemarketing, Customer Support

Looking to augment Inside sales/telemarketing/customer support for group approved programs. Make calls to jobber level accounts from home. Great for a retired factory or independent rep looking to supplement income by working 20 to 25 hours/wk. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Sea Foam: Vice President of National Sales

We are looking for an accomplished Vice President of National Sales to join our growing team to expand distribution and sales of Sea Foam products throughout various channels to include aftermarket retailers, heavy-duty truck, marine, farm, hardware, C-store, motor sports and small engine. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Seeking Direct Sales Representative (USA) – Brake / Friction Products

As a leading North America Manufacturer & Brake Product Supplier, we are seeking an experienced individual to become a valuable addition to our growing and expanding team. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

 

People Watching 10/12/20

Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO) has appointed Carquest Canada President Steve Gushie to its 2020-’21 board of directors.

Patrick Egan, a veteran marketing and branding executive, has left Kukui Corp. to become the president of Spark Interactive, a video marketing agency. For the last three years, Egan has served as the vice president of marketing for Kukui. Prior to that, he was digital marketing director for AutoServe1, a software provider to repair shops and dealership service departments.

• Mike Christensen, formerly director of sales enablement for Solera Inc., has joined Interstate Batteries as a regional sales manager. Christensen also is a former senior manager of sales effectiveness and development and a director of national accounts for Alldata.

• Holman Enterprises, a global automotive services organization headquartered in Mount Laurel, NJ, has appointed Pete Dondlinger as its president of manufacturing and distribution. Dondlinger now oversees Holman Parts Distribution, a national distributor of OEM powertrain products as well as a logistics provider, in addition to the Auto Truck Group and Kargo Master, Holman’s work truck upfitting and manufacturing businesses.

AIA Canada’s Quebec division has announced Elisabeth Lambert as first vice president and Mario Comtois as second vice president on its steering committee. Lambert is the first woman to hold this position. She is the vice president, general manager and co-owner of Pieces d’Auto Joliette. Comtois is the general manager of Carrus, a division of Mediagrif. On the committee, he is responsible for the banner directors committee.

• Honda Performance Development (HPD), which leads all Honda and Acura high-performance racing programs in North America, has announced David Salters as its next president, succeeding Ted Klaus, who will retire from HPD effective Dec. 1 after a 30-year career with Honda. Salters joined HPD in 2015 as a chief engineer and engine technical leader, serving as technical director since 2019. As president, he will be responsible for overseeing Honda’s racing and engineering activities and working directly with the company’s racing teams and sponsors.

Wil James Jr., a retired executive of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, has joined the Piston Group’s board of directors. The Piston Group — which is composed of Piston Automotive, Irvin Automotive Products, Detroit Thermal Systems and AIREA — is headquartered in Southfield, MI. The company designs, engineers, assembles and manufactures a variety of automotive parts and systems.

 

News Briefs 10/12/20

• In September, PartsTech welcomed ACDelco to its product catalog.

VIP Tires & Service has opened a new store in Rutland, VT. It marks the company’s second store in the state and its 60th in New England.

Turn 14 Distribution has added high-performance lighting products from AlphaRex and automotive and truck accessories from Putco to its line card.

Recaro Automotive, a manufacturer of performance car seating, on Oct. 6 hosted a grand-opening event for its new North American hub in Clinton Township, MI. The new facility is responsible for OEM, commercial vehicle and aftermarket seats, as well as processing international shipments of seating material and products.

Wolverine Advanced Materials, an ITT Inc. company, is launching a new value line of Quietpath aftermarket brake shim and abutment clip materials designed for high noise attenuation across a range of environmental conditions. The initial introduction includes two exclusive brake shim materials and one new abutment clip material for the “good” and “better” segment of the independent automotive brake friction aftermarket.

Nominations for Rematec News’ 2020 Remanufacturer of the Year competition are due Monday, Oct. 19. The awards seek to honor people and organizations for their special contributions to the remanufacturing industry.

Yokohama Tire Corp. plans to implement a price increase of as much as 5% on its consumer replacement tires sold in the United States, effective Nov. 1. This includes high-performance, light truck and passenger car tires.

• ASE is offering a free version of its Introduction to Automobile Service E-Learning program to instructors and students affiliated with ASE-accredited programs. The program consists of four training modules and a quiz. Student who pass the quiz receive certificates of completion. For more information on the offer, click here.

• Generational Equity, a mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately-held businesses, advised Express Lube of Tennessee (ELT) on its recent sale to Strickland Brothers 10 Minute Oil Change. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ELT is based in Shelbyville, TN, with additional locations in Lawrenceburg and Tullahoma.

Strickland Brothers 10 Minute Oil Change has announced its first franchise partnership in Pennsylvania: four service centers planned for the Pittsburgh area.

Collision Kings has more than doubled the number of collision repair centers in its portfolio with the acquisition of seven Carstar shops in the Calgary area.

 

Financial Briefs 10/12/20

• An analyst with JPMorgan has raised his recommendation on Advance Auto Parts from “neutral” to “overweight.” According to an Oct. 6 Barron’s report, the rationale is that Advance’s performance since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has been held back by having a greater presence in hard-hit Atlantic and Northeast markets than its peers, leading JPMorgan to believe that Advance could outperform the competition once the pandemic subsides.

Fortive Corp. has completed the separation of its industrial technologies segment through the spin-off of Vontier Corp., which began “regular way” trading on the New York Stock Exchange Oct. 9 under the symbol “VNT.” In connection with the separation, Fortive shareholders received two shares of Vontier common stock for every five shares of Fortive common stock held at the close of business Sept. 25.

• Vontier has been added to the S&P 500. Vontier is mainly comprised mainly of Matco ToolsHennessy IndustriesGilbarco Veeder-Root and Teletrac Navman.

Energizer Holdings — parent company to the auto care brands Refresh Your Car!, California Scents, Driven, Bahama & Co., Lexol, Eagle One, Armor All, STP and A/C Pro — has completed a private offering of $800 million in 4.375% senior notes due 2029. The company plans to use the net proceeds, together with cash on hand, to fully redeem $750 million outstanding on its 6.375% senior notes due 2026.

Group 1 Automotive on Oct. 6 announced a new $200-million share repurchase authorization. Management also expects the company to reinstate a quarterly cash dividend following a board meeting in mid-November. Such a dividend would be payable in mid-December. Group 1 owns and operates 186 automotive dealerships, 242 franchises, and 49 collision repair centers in the United States, United Kingdom and Brazil.

 

Event & Trade Show Briefs 10/12/20

• A record $4,175 in donations to the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) was raised through the annual “Loonie-Toonie” game at this year’s AASA Technology Conference.

• Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week 2021 (HDAW 2021) will be held virtually Jan. 25-28 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The online event will include one-on-one meetings between distributor and supplier executives, the traditional opening sessions with HDAW 2021 co-chairs, and workshops like Service Opportunities & Learning Day (SOLD), which is designed for distributors with service and repair technicians.

Temot International reports that nearly 800 participants from across the world took part in its Sept. 28-30 online gathering titled “Let’s Glocalize: Temot’s First Digital Event Experience.” The event included nearly 2,000 face-to-face meetings.

• AASA and Pricedex Software will host a webinar Tuesday, Oct. 13 on avoiding an “e-tastrophe” when planning an e-commerce site for the automotive or heavy-duty aftermarket. The presentation will focus on putting a product information management infrastructure in place to support and sustain a viable e-commerce strategy. Click here for more information on the webinar.

• AAPEX organizers are hosting a webinar Tuesday, Oct. 13 on the digitization of supply chain and manufacturing strategies. The presentation will address how companies can use vehicle lifecycle data and smart factories to optimize their manufacturing processes, as well as use prognostics and artificial intelligence to identify failures before they occur. Aneesh Padalkar and Nikhil Nayak of Ricardo Strategic Consulting will present. Click here for more information on the webinar.

• Robyn Davis of Exhibitors WINH will host free training sessions this month for Virtual AAPEX Experience attendees on how to make the most of one-on-one meetings. The 30-minute live presentations are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 14; Tuesday, Oct. 20; and Thursday, Oct. 29. Participants must be registered for the Virtual AAPEX Experience to take part in the training. Registration also is required for the sessions. Davis’ presentations will be recorded and available on the AAPEX website for those who are registered but unable to attend. Click here for additional information.

• The Automotive Communications Council (ACC) will host a virtual event on Thursday, Oct. 15. It will address the council’s 2021 conference, virtual spring events and more. Click here to register.

• Unlike the in-person SEMA Show, where vehicle space is limited and vehicle applications must be submitted by a participating manufacturer, the SEMA360 builder showcase will allow vehicle builders the opportunity to enter vehicles directly into the program. All entries in the builder showcase also may participate in the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition.

• As part of its inaugural The Event virtual new product trade show, The AAM Group is calling for submissions to the Masterpieces of Metal vehicle-build contest. Builders can submit entries online through Nov. 15. Click here for additional information.

 

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