The Greensheet Issue #44-20 (Full)


No Issue Next Week!

We will not publish next week. Our offices will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 24 through Monday, Nov. 30. The next issue of The Greensheet will be dated Dec. 7.


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

• Two Auto Care Association communities, the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) and HDDA: Heavy Duty, are merging to form the Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA). “Many, if not most, distributors serving the motor vehicle aftermarket offer products that are used to service light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles,” said AWDA Chairman Mauro Cifello. “This name change brings AWDA into alignment with that reality.”

Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association, and Paul McCarthy, president and COO of AASA, have received the 2020 AWDA Jack Creamer Outstanding Leadership Award for their efforts on “Right to Repair” in Massachusetts, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the cancellation of AAPEX as an in-person event and more.

• The Merrill Company/Arnold Motor Supply has received the 2020 AWDA Pursuit of Excellence Award, which recognizes special achievement in areas of business management, marketing advocacy or service. Arnold Motor Supply is an Auto Value member of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.

Bobby Bassett, retired national training manager – North America for Gates Corp., has received the 2020 AWDA Art Fisher Excellence in Education Award for his commitment to education and training.

E. Fletcher Lord Jr., chairman of Replacement Parts Inc., has received the 2020 AWDA Martin Fromm Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to, and high level of performance within, the motor vehicle aftermarket industry. Replacement Parts Inc. of Little Rock, AR — which goes to market as Parts Warehouse Inc. and Crow-Burlingame — is a shareholder owner of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.

AIA Canada has announced its support for the “Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice” campaign, an Auto Care Association and AASA initiative designed to engages vehicle owners, policymakers and other stakeholders on issues related to car data and consumer choice. The AIA Canada campaign website will help raise awareness among industry and consumers, as well as encourage people to sign a petition asking the Canadian government to give consumers control of their vehicle data.


Fewer Expected To Travel For Thanksgiving

AAA expects as many as 50 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving this year — a 10% drop compared to 2019, attributable to coronavirus-related health concerns and high unemployment. And while road trips are expected to be the dominant form of travel this Thanksgiving, travel by automobile is projected to decrease 4.3% year-over-year. Additionally, people who will drive are likely to travel shorter distances and reduce the number of days they are away, according to AAA’s research.

AAA forecasts that it will rescue more than 413,000 Americans stranded on the roadside this Thanksgiving.


Uni-Select Sees Sales Bounce Back Sequentially From Q2 Lows

Uni-Select Inc.’s net earnings fell 81.9% to $4.45 million, and its consolidated sales declined 12.3% to $395.35 million in the third quarter of 2020. Additionally, the company’s consolidated gross margin declined 18.5% to $114.96 million. As a percent of sales, gross margin slipped from 31.3% a year ago to 29.1% for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2020

Consolidated organic sales decreased 12.6%, attributable to a slower recovery in the company’s paint business and to a lesser extent, The Parts Alliance U.K. segment, which were partially compensated by the performance of its Canadian segment. Furthermore, sales were affected by an expected erosion resulting from company‐owned stores integrated over the last 12 months as part of management’s Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP), although sales benefitted from favorable fluctuations in foreign currency and the contribution of business acquisitions.

According to management, the company’s sales have consistently improved month‐over‐month since April. As a result, negative consolidated organic growth for the third quarter 2020 (-12.6%) was significantly better than the negative organic growth reported for the second quarter of 2020 (-31.9%).

“Our third-quarter results improved significantly from the second quarter, mirroring the bounce-back in the market,” said Brent Windom, president and CEO of Uni-Select. “As expected, the auto parts businesses rebounded more rapidly than the paint business, with the Canadian Automotive Group generating positive organic growth in the quarter.

“While our consolidated sales have not returned to normalized levels, we managed to maintain our adjusted EBITDA margin at 8.4%, in line with the same period last year, and returned to profitability with net income of $4.50 million.”

In Summary, Uni-Select’s overall third-quarter results were better than expected — the magnitude of which varied by business unit.

UNITED STATES … Sales from Uni-Select’s FinishMaster U.S. segment decreased 24.2% to $163.49 million. Organic sales were down 24.1% on a year-over-year basis but improved sequentially compared to the 36.6% organic sales decline the segment reported for the second quarter of 2020. According to management, while sales are showing signs of growth, the refinish sector is somewhat more discretionary and, therefore, not expected to recover at the same pace as the automotive parts business.

FinishMaster U.S. EBITDA came in at $6.50 million — down 68.0% from a year ago, while EBITA margin declined from 9.4% to 4.0% on a year-over-year basis.

Segment adjusted EBITDA fell 62.9% to $7.94 million, while adjusted EBITDA margin decreased from 9.9% to 4.9% mainly attributable to lower sales volume and gross profit, as well as a reduction in fixed costs absorption. Further, FinishMaster U.S. earned lower rebates in relation to the optimization of inventory, while being affected by an unfavorable evolving customer mix following a faster recovery from national accounts compared to traditional accounts. Additionally, the segment benefitted from price increases a year ago that did not occur in the 2020 quarter.

This was all partially offset by savings in relation to CIP from workforce reductions, the integration of 30 company‐owned stores during the quarter and a reduction in discretionary expenses.

CANADA … Uni-Select’s Canadian Automotive Group reported essentially flat sales ($137.24 million for the third quarter of 2020 compared to $137.23 million for the third quarter of 2019), yet organic sales increased 0.2% on a year-over-year basis.

According to management, segment sales grew steadily month‐over‐month from April to September. As a result, third-quarter 2020 organic sales were significantly improved compared to the second quarter of 2020, where organic growth was -18.0%.

Canadian Automotive Group EBITDA declined 39.9% to $18.98 million in the third quarter, while segment EBITDA margin decreased from 23.0% to 13.8% on a year-over-year basis

However, adjusted EBTIDA rose 51.4% to $19.06, and segment adjusted EBTIDA margin grew from 9.2% to 13.9%, benefitting from government payroll subsidies partially offset by additional bad debt expense, savings in relation to CIP-related workforce alignments and reduced spending, and foreign exchange gains recorded during the 2020 third quarter. This was partially offset by the loss of income from the ProColor program, which was sold during the third quarter of 2019, as well as volume rebates and incentives in 2019 that did not occur in 2020.

UNITED KINGDOM … The Parts Alliance U.K. saw its sales decrease 3.2% to $94.62 million, with organic sales down 5.3%, attributable to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and erosion in sales from the integration of company‐owned stores over the last 12 months, partially offset by a strengthening of the British pound against the U.S. dollar.

According to management, segment sales grew steadily month‐over‐month from April to September. As a result, organic sales for the third quarter of 2020 were significantly improved when compared to the 41.7% decrease in segment sales recorded during the second quarter of 2020.

The Parts Alliance U.K. EBITDA rose 156.5% to $8.74 million, while segment EBITDA margin climbed from 3.5% to 9.2% year-over-year. Adjusted EBITDA increased 33.7% to $8.74 million, while The Parts Alliance U.K.’s adjusted EBITDA margin rose from 6.7% to 9.2%, attributable to CIP-related savings, mostly from workforce adjustments and reduced spending, as well as governmental occupancy subsidies.

OUTLOOK … In light of the unknowns brought about by the pandemic, Uni-Select is preparing for “a gradual return to the new normal,” according to an outlook statement provided in the company’s Nov. 13 regulatory filings. This includes an acceleration of CIP, as well as a step‐up in consolidation opportunities. The goal is to allow Uni-Select to promptly emerge when the crisis abates and market conditions improve, as well as to pursue plans for growth and value creation.

“Looking forward, we expect the fourth quarter to be softer, given normal seasonality patterns; volatile market conditions brought on by the onset of the second wave of COVID-19 and in particular, with the re-confinement in the United Kingdom; as well as a slower recovery in the paint business in the U.S.,” Windom said. “We continue to be confident in the sustainability of our business and our ability to maintain our market position in this challenging period.”

Thus far, the company has already experienced some pullback in all three of its markets in October. Windom advised analysts on Uni-Select’s Nov. 13 earnings call that any second-wave-related contraction is not expected to be as severe as the one the company experienced in the second quarter of 2020.          — Marc Vincent



BBB Industries Announces Senior Leadership Changes

Jeff Bigler, co-founder of BBB Industries, has joined BBB’s board of directors where he will sponsor a number of longer-term operational projects as well as provide guidance and counseling, according to the company. Bigler will continue to work out of BBB’s headquarters in Daphne, AL on a part-time basis.

“Adding Jeff Bigler to our board continues the company’s long relationship with the Bigler family,” said Rob Rutledge, chairman. “Given Jeff’s deep history with the company, it was an easy decision, and I thank Jeff for accepting the invitation.”

BBB also has announced the additions of Tim Garner as executive vice president and CFO and Tom Sheppard as executive vice president and chief information officer (CIO).

Garner replaces Mike Hansen, who is leaving the company, BBB reported. Garner comes to BBB following the sale of IXS Holdings, where he held the same role.

Sheppard replaces Ken Jatczak, who has elected to retire, according to BBB. Sheppard was CIO of Brake Parts Inc.

In related news, BBB has announced the grand opening of a new, 20,000-square-foot technology center in the Detroit area. The facility will provide ongoing support for existing products and customers, as well as help the company develop remanufactured solutions for battery electric vehicles and other electronic technology.


AutoZone CIO To Retire In Early 2021

AutoZone Inc. on Nov. 16 announced that Ron Griffin, a member of its executive committee, will retire in early 2021. Griffin is senior vice president and chief information officer, a post he has held since 2012. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of global information technology at Hewlett-Packard. Griffin also spent more than 12 years with Home Depot, the last eight years as chief information officer.


Motorcar Parts Appoints Marketing VP

Motorcar Parts of America (MPA) has promoted Mario Garza from assistant vice president of marketing to vice president of marketing. Prior to joining MPA in 2019, Garza was the vice president of merchandising for XL Parts. Before that, he spent 16 years with AutoZone Inc., including time as a senior category manager and a commercial project manager.


Plews & Edelmann Hires Biz. Development Director

Plews Inc., which does business as Plews & Edelmann, has hired Evan Bauer as its new director of business development. He is primarily responsible for overseeing the launch and growth of Edelmann Elite hard parts, as well as all of Plews & Edelmann’s products, including power steering hoses, automotive fittings and filters.

Bauer most recently was director of retail sales at APC Automotive Technologies. His background includes leading chassis category management at APC and Qualis Automotive, as well as several positions at Federal-Mogul on the Moog chassis team.

“We are excited to have Evan join our team,” said Tony Edwards, vice president of business development. “His automotive aftermarket knowledge and experience will be a huge benefit as we launch and grow new programs, allowing Plews & Edelmann to be the exclusive provider of all things power steering, including power steering hoses, filters, racks, gears and pumps.”


NGK Promotes Brian Norko To SVP

NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) Inc. has promoted Brian Norko to senior vice president of commercial business, responsible for all sales, product development and marketing strategies for the NGK commercial business, including the automotive aftermarket, OEM and OES channels. Prior to this promotion, Norko was aftermarket vice president.

NGK also has promoted Lesley Skinner to vice president of culture, communication and people, a newly created role. Skinner was senior director of human resources and administration.


ProMax Retains Sales Agency

ProMax Auto Parts Depot has added JOSCO – Nation Sales Team to service North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and southern Illinois. Additionally, JOSCO International is now the company’s representative of record for select target Mexico customers.


Permatex Appoints Marketing Director For Its Engine Repair Business

Permatex has appointed Dan Clarke as director of marketing for its engine repair division, responsible for driving the development and execution of all marketing activities for the business, as well as meeting strategic objectives and delivering financial goals. He will be based out of Permatex’s Solon, OH headquarters.

Clarke, who has been with Permatex since 2015, was sales director for the U.S. traditional channel.



Energizer Holdings Reports 19.5% Growth In Auto Care Sales

Energizer Holdings generated $142.70 million in auto care sales for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, 2020 — an increase of $23.30 million (or 19.5%) compared to the same period a year ago as it rebounded from the lockdown period in the spring.

Organic sales growth for auto care was 18.6%.

CEO Alan Hoskins told analysts on the company’s Nov. 12 earnings call that over the last three months, Energizer has seen strong category growth and share gains across its auto care businesses.

For fiscal 2021 (the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2021), management is calling for Energizer to post 2% to 4% consolidated net sales growth, with auto care expected to come in at the high end of that range.


Energizer Holdings Announces CEO Succession

Alan Hoskins will retire as CEO of Energizer Holdings on Jan. 1. He has been with Energizer since 1983, serving in a variety of senior leadership roles throughout the business. Hoskins will continue to serve as a director upon election at the 2021 annual shareholders meeting and as an adviser to the company until Sept. 30, 2021.

President and COO Mark LaVigne will succeed Hoskins as CEO. LaVigne has been Energizer’s COO since 2015. The board also intends to nominate LaVigne to stand for election as a director at the 2021 annual shareholders meeting.

Energizer is the 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.


Turtle Wax, Shell Collaborate On New Vehicle Hygiene Business

Shell Lubricants has partnered with Turtle Wax Inc. on the launch of a new company, Move Clean, focused on vehicle hygiene products and equipment.

Led by Shell Senior Commercial Adviser Nathan Fink, Move Clean has created products designed for use in vehicle interiors and on-premises where vehicles are sold, serviced and shared.

The company’s initial offerings — disinfectants, deodorizers and equipment — are anchored by Turtle Wax’s propriety surface cleaner Defend-X. Move Clean is piloting its solutions in select U.S. markets, targeting the following business …
• Repair shops.
• Quick lubes.
• Dealerships.
• Gas stations.
• Carwashes.
• Online vehicle retailers.
• Taxi, limo and rideshare operators.
• Leasing and commercial fleet companies.

The management of Move Clean expects to have its offering available through various partners, including Shell gas stations, in the coming months.


EnerSys Reports Strong Automotive Aftermarket Business

For the fiscal second quarter ended Oct. 4, 2020, the specialty business of EnerSys generated $103.84 million in net sales to unaffiliated customers — an increase of $19.95 million (or 23.8%) compared to the same period a year ago. The upturn in sales came primarily from a 17% increase attributable to the NorthStar Battery acquisition and a 9% rise in organic volume. Foreign currency translation had a slightly positive impact on sales, while pricing had a negative impact of 3%.

By market, aftermarket retail and distribution drove increased demand, and the truck OEM market recovered from what management called a normal business cycle decline. Defense activity remained steady. “The automotive aftermarket business was very strong in the quarter following several recent contract wins, along with continued success in retail channels with distributors such as NAPA,” President and CEO Dave Shaffer said on EnerSys’ Nov. 12 earnings call.

Specialty segment operating earnings rose 13.8% to $11.39 million, yet its operating margin decreased 90 basis points. The company reported that, while increased demand from new aftermarket customers in the automotive battery market generated significant improvement in revenue, unfavorable manufacturing variances arising from the NorthStar plants as they transition to EnerSys premium products had a negative impact on operating earnings.

In related news, the EnerSys board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.175 per share of common stock payable Dec. 31 to holders of record as of Dec. 18.


ISN Canada Gets New President

The Integrated Supply Network (ISN) has announced Miguel Angers as the president of ISN Canada. Angers comes to ISN with 15 years of experience in the global automotive industry, most recently with Uni-Select, where he was vice president of merchandising until June. Prior to joining Uni-Select in 2011, Angers spent nearly five years with Federal-Mogul, including time as global aftermarket director for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.


Neotek Hires Heavy-Duty Sales Director

Neotek Automotive has hired Shawn Shumaker as director of heavy-duty sales. Shumaker brings with him nearly 30 years of experience in heavy-duty product and customer management. In addition, he has owned and operated his own heavy-duty shop.

Shumaker was director of purchasing for Eastern Truck & Trailer. Prior to that, he was general manager of Skinner Diesel Service. Shumaker’s background also includes time as vice president of program management for HDA Truck Pride and manager of national accounts with Haldex.

He is now responsible for Neotek HD sales team leadership, driving revenue, and contributing in the areas of marketing and business strategy. “Shawn’s experience and knowledge of sales operations and leveraging Neotek’s position as a primary manufacturer will be greatly beneficial in helping expand market share while increasing customer satisfaction,” the company wrote in an announcement dated Nov. 15.

Neotek manufactures brake rotors for light- and heavy-duty applications.



KSI Auto Parts Hires Director Of Content, Catalog Management

Kevin Taddeo has joined KSI Auto Parts as its director of content and catalog management. Taddeo was director of catalog and content management for AutoNation Collision Parts. Prior to that, he was a senior product manager for AddOnAuto. Taddeo’s background also includes seven years with 4 Wheel Parts, including time as internet manager.


SMP’s Automotive Education Program Surpasses 1,000 Participants

Since its launch in early September, more than 1,000 automotive technology students have participated in Level One of Standard Motor Products’ Automotive Education Program (AEP), the company announced on Nov. 17. The AEP initiative is designed to assist instructors and help auto tech students develop professional skills.

Level One of the program features a series of videos on ignition coil issues, testing and tips. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive certificates and gift packages, and instructors receive posters, counter mats and other items for their classrooms.

Standard plans to expand its AEP initiative with new topics and a Level Two course. Click here for more information on the program.


Five Automotive Series From Brenton Productions Renewed For 2021

Five automotive series from Brenton ProductionsTwo Guys Garage, Truck U, All Girls Garage, FourWheeler and Car Fix — have been renewed for both MotorTrend TV and the MotorTrend App subscription streaming service.

Two Guys Garage will be celebrating its 20th season on the air. The series — in which Kevin Byrd and Willie B share DIY tips, demonstrations and deep dives into various aftermarket innovations — traces its roots back to Shadetree Mechanic, which is believed to be the first automotive “how to” TV program with products and brands integrated into the storyline.

All Girls Garage will return for its 10th season with Bogi Lateiner and Faye Hadley, accomplished automotive technicians who break down complex projects into DIY-friendly steps. Car Fix also will enter its 10th season with award-winning builders Bryan Fuller and Jeremy Bumpus, who will continue to take on classic restorations, power and performance upgrades, high-end fabrication, and more.


ATD Rolling Out 90-Minute On-Demand Delivery Nationwide

American Tire Distributors is expanding its ATD Express expedited tire delivery program nationwide via a partnership with the delivery orchestration platform OneRail. The ATD Express program is designed to provide access to inventory from regional distribution centers in 90 minutes or less.

Dennis Hatchett, senior vice president of supply chain operations at ATD, called phase one of the rollout a success. “OneRail provided the dependability, speed, service and unit economics required to begin offering this program to our customers nationally,” Hatchett said. “OneRail’s unique approach — merging an aggregated pool of couriers with delivery automation technology and logistics management services — supports ATD’s mission to develop a more cost-effective and flexible supply chain ecosystem.”

Express delivery orders are routed from ATD’s system to OneRail, where orders are automatically created and matched with one of the more than 100 delivery companies in OneRail’s network. Each courier is integrated with OneRail, providing real-time tracking for all deliveries, with predictive modeling for exceptions, such as late deliveries.


Counterfeit Wheels Seized

TSW Alloy Wheels of Brea, CA reports that agents of the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation seized more than 600 counterfeit Black Rhino Wheels valued at around $140,000 during raids of stores and warehouses in the country last month. Similar raids to seize counterfeit Black Rhino wheels were conducted in South Africa as well, according to TSW.


Meritor Reports 21.8% Decrease In Aftermarket, Industrial Sales

The Aftermarket & Industrial segment of Meritor Inc. generated $226 million in sales for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, 2020 — a decrease of 21.8% compared to the same period a year ago, attributable to lower volumes across the segment. According to management, aftermarket sales decreased because of lower customer demand as well as the termination of a distribution arrangement with WABCO Holdings.

Aftermarket & Industrial adjusted EBITDA declined 17.1% to $34 million; however, segment adjusted EBITDA margin grew from 14.2% to 15.0% on a year-over-year basis. The decrease in adjusted EBITDA came primarily from lower volumes and the impact of the WABCO distribution deal termination, partially offset by cost-reduction actions, reduced incentive compensation costs and operational performance. Segment adjusted EBITDA margin increased because of cost-reduction actions, which more than offset volume reductions and the impact of the WABCO termination.



Premier Truck Group Partners With UTI On Training U.S. Service Members

The Premier Truck Group is partnering with the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) on a diesel-commercial vehicle technician career skills program for service members at Fort Bliss, a U.S. Army post in El Paso, TX. The 12-week program will provide hands-on training designed to lead to careers for veterans transitioning from military service to civilian life.

The program will be offered tuition-free to participating service members, featuring a specialized on-base curriculum with hands-on technical training in a workshop setting. Students will receive training on diagnostic paths and service technology unique to the Premier Truck Group.

According to UTI, graduates will earn a Systems Certified Daimler Truck North America credential and will be offered immediate employment.

The Premier Truck Group is a subsidiary of the Penske Automotive Group.

“For more than 20 years, Universal Technical Institute has partnered with Penske Automotive Group to train skilled technicians in the transportation industry. Now, we’re proud to bring this same, state-of-the-industry education directly to Fort Bliss for service members to train for rewarding careers as diesel-commercial vehicle technicians as they transition out of the military,” said Jerome Grant, CEO of UTI. “This exciting new program is an example of our innovation with industry to solve workforce shortages and build talent pipelines, and of our deep and longstanding commitment to serving our nation’s heroes.”

Classes begin Jan. 11, 2021. The Fort Bliss program is expected to train and graduate into employment between 36 and 48 veterans each year.


Mobile Maintenance Providers Merge

Dickinson Fleet Services of Indianapolis has acquired Kansas City-based Interstate Truck Center, which provides emergency mobile services using a fleet of 175 mobile repair units. Dickinson provides mobile maintenance and repair services for light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

Combined, the companies have more than 700 mobile repair units, making it arguably the largest mobile maintenance provider in North America.

Interstate will continue to operate under its founder-led management team, supported by Dickinson.


LubeZone Acquires All Star Truck Services In Houston

LubeZone Inc. has purchased All Star Truck Repair of Houston, a move intended to strengthen LubeZone’s presence in the area, while expanding its offerings for both fleet partners and drive-up customers with heavy-duty trucks.

All Star’s service offerings include mobile mechanical repair and preventive maintenance, full-scale mechanical repair, and parts delivery directly to customer sites. It also operates a heavy-duty truck and trailer parts storefront. All Star Truck Repair will continue to operate under its existing name.

LubeZone plans to expand further in the Houston area over the next several months while it seeks other add-on opportunities across the United States in the mobile truck services space. The company currently has 11 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, California and Georgia.


Lilly Epstein Stotland Appointed CEO Of Vesco Oil

Vesco Oil Corp. has announced the appointment of Lilly Epstein Stotland as CEO in addition to her existing role as president, a title she has held since 2017. Stotland joined the family-owned company in 2004 and served as general manager before her move to president.

Southfield, MI-based Vesco Oil is a third-generation, family-owned and operated business. Stotland’s father, Donald Epstein, has transitioned into the role of honorary CEO emeritus.

Stotland is a co-owner of Vesco Oil and serves on the company’s board of directors alongside her mother, Marjory Winkelman Epstein, and sister, Lena Epstein, who also are co-owners.

The company is a majority women-owned business, receiving certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Vesco Oil is one of the largest distributors of branded automotive and industrial lubricants in the United States, as well as a recycler of used oil and antifreeze. The company also is a full-service provider of automotive appearance products in addition to a provider of bulk windshield washer solvent and antifreeze.


New CEO Named At Cadence Petroleum

The Cadence Petroleum Group has announced Brad Johnson as its new CEO. All division presidents and corporate officers report to Johnson, whose career has included time leading distribution and manufacturing companies, including United Sporting Companies, Crosman Corp. and Reynolds Consumer Products.

Asheboro, NC-based Cadence is one of the largest distributors of lubricants, fuel, antifreeze, diesel exhaust fluid and other ancillary products in the Eastern and Central United States. It includes the companies Apollo Oil, Davison Fuels & Oil, Halco Lubricants, Mid-South Sales, Pugh Lubricants and Veteran’s Oil Inc.



Caliber Taps Mark Sanders As Next CEO

The Lewisville, TX-based automotive service provider Caliber has announced that President and COO Mark Sanders will succeed longtime CEO Steve Grimshaw effective Jan. 1, with Grimshaw moving to full-time executive chairman.

As president and COO, Sanders led a growth strategy that expanded Caliber Collision’s footprint and involved a number of strategic acquisitions. He also led the consolidation and alignment of all brands — Caliber Collision, Caliber Auto Care (formerly Service First Automotive) and Caliber Auto Glass — under a single umbrella.

Founded in 1997, Caliber has more than 1,200 shops nationwide.


Quality Collision Adds CFO, Director

The Quality Collision Group (Bala Cynwyd, PA), a new private-equity-backed collision repair shop chain, has added two executives to its leadership team: Phil Southard as CFO and Scott Krohn as a member of its board of directors.

“Phil Southard and Scott Krohn are pivotal additions to our leadership as we embark on a national growth strategy,” said CEO Jerod Guerin.

Krohn was the executive vice president of operations for ABRA Auto Body & Glass and the president of U.S. operations at asTech.

Southard brings more than 30 years of financial leadership experience, most recently as CFO of Long Island Veterinary Specialists. His background also includes time as the vice president of finance and CFO of GCommerce Inc.

Notably, Southard has prior experience with Susquehanna Private Capital, which owns Quality Collision.


CenterOak Invests In Regional Collision Repair Chain

CenterOak Partners — a Dallas-based private equity firm and parent company to FullSpeed Automotive — has announced the formation of CollisionRight Inc., a regional multi-shop operator of autobody repair services in the central United States. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

FullSpeed is a large franchisor and operator of automotive service centers, primarily under the Grease Monkey and SpeeDee brands.

CenterOak’s investment in CollisionRight provides capital to support the growth of the newly formed entity.

“This investment, which marks the first time institutional capital has been provided for the company, allows us to leverage our sector expertise and longstanding track record of building stronger companies in large, fragmented and growing industries like collision repair,” said Randall Fojtasek, CEO and a managing partner of CenterOak.

Based in Columbus, CollisionRight operates a network of 20 collision repair facilities in Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan.

The company is led by Rich Harrison, who was the co-founder, president and COO of TruRoad, a former CenterOak portfolio company in the auto glass repair and replacement market. Harrison also was the senior vice president and COO of Safelite AutoGlass.


Settlements Reached With Hoses Makers In Price-Fixing Lawsuit

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division on Nov. 16 announced $8.45 million in proposed class action settlements with Sumitomo Riko and Toyoda Gosei, as well as the proposed distribution of the proceeds of these settlements.

The companies are accused of conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition for automotive hoses by agreeing to raise, fix, maintain and stabilize prices; rig bids; and allocate markets and customers for products sold in the United States, in violation of antitrust laws.

The settlements affect those who purchased automotive hoses in the United States from Feb. 1, 2004 through Nov. 1, 2018 directly from any of the following entities or their subsidiaries or affiliates …
Sumitomo Riko Company Limited.
Sumitomo Riko America Inc.
SumiRiko Tennessee Inc.
Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd.
Toyoda Gosei North America Corp.
TG Missouri Corp.

A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2021 to, among other things, approve the proposed settlements and the proposed plan of distribution of the settlement funds to members of the settlement classes. For more information, visit



AWDA Installs New Officers, Governors

The AWDA board of governors has announced its newest officers and governors. New members joining the ranks of AWDA’s leadership hold their positions for two-year terms. The 2020-’22 AWDA officers are …
• Chairman: Ryan Samuels of Samuels Inc. in Vauxhall, NJ.
• Vice-Chair: Ashlee Arnold of the Arnold Oil Company in Austin, TX.
• Secretary: Dan Hanson Jr. of the Hanson Distributing Company in Azusa, CA.
• Treasurer: Tim Trudnowski of Automotive Jobbers Supply in Spokane, WA.

Samuels succeeds Mauro Cifelli of Vast-Auto Distribution, who led AWDA through the previous two years and remains on the AWDA council as immediate past chairman.

Joining the AWDA board as at-large governors are …
Alex Hortsch of Cost Less Auto Parts in Vancouver, WA.
Esperanza Izquierido of XL Parts Inc. in Jersey Village, TX.
E. Fletcher Lord III of Replacement Parts Inc. in Little Rock, AR.
Trevor Martin of Vaca Valley Auto Parts in Fairfield, CA.
Kelly Peterson of ASAP Automotive Warehouse in Midvale, UT.

With the integration of the AWDA and HDDA communities, two additional governors have been added to the AWDA board: Tina Hubbard of Heavy Duty America/Truck Pride and Jeff Paul of Vipar Heavy Duty.

Joining the AWDA board is the new vice-chairman of AWDA’s Manufacturers’ Advisory Council, Colby Florea of Gates Corp.


AASA Marketing Executives Council Names 2021 Executive Committee

The 2021 executive committee of AASA’s Marketing Executive Council (MEC) includes two new members: Ted Hughes, director of marketing for Mahle Aftermarket, who will serve as chair; and Beth Skove, general manager of marketing at NGK Spark Plugs, who also has joined the committee. They will serve alongside Dan Caciolo, head of project management at Continental, and Dan Muramoto, marketing manager at Denso, who will continue to serve on the committee in 2021.

The MEC is a forum for automotive aftermarket supplier marketing executives to collaborate on issues facing the North American manufacturer base. It works on solving challenges and creating opportunities to improve the image and strength of the North American aftermarket supplier.


University Of The Aftermarket Foundation Announces Officers, Trustees For 2021

The University of the Aftermarket Foundation board of trustees has elected its officers for fiscal year 2021. The new slate of officers are …
• Chairman: Robert Egan of MAAP, Egan & Associates.
• Senior Vice Chairman: John R. Washbish, president and CEO of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.
• Vice Chairman: Larry Pavey, CEO of Federated Auto Parts.
• Treasurer: William Maggs, executive vice president of supply chain at Parts Authority.
• Secretary: Roger McCollum, CEO of the N.A. Williams Company.
• Chairman Emeritus: Rusty Bishop, leadership adviser to Federated Auto Parts.
• Executive Director: Jennifer Tio, president of Maximum Marketing Services.

The following Lifetime Trustee representatives will serve on the foundation board of trustees in the coming year …
William Babcox of Babcox Media.
Richard Beirne of Richard and Lisa Beirne.
Michael C. Buzzard of The Clay Buzzard Family.
Mike Carr of Cardone Industries.
Mauro Cifelli of AWDA.
Jeff Darby of Dorman Products.
Mark Drennan of ACDelco.
Paul Ferrandino of Brake Parts Inc.
Chris Gardner of AASA.
Duncan Gillis of BBB Industries.
Todd Hack of Mevotech.
Philip Halberg of Federal-Mogul/DRiV Inc.
Bill Hanvey of the Auto Care Association.
Tim Hardin of Epicor Software Corp.
Todd Hertzler of Robert Bosch.
Pete Kornafel.
Jeffrey Koviak of Tenneco Inc./DRiV Inc.
Paul McCarthy of AASA.
Dave McColley of Mann + Hummel MHFT.
David O’Reilly of The O’Reilly and Wooten Families.
Mark Osterman of Gates Corp.
John Parran of PPG Industries.
David Prater of the Automotive Distribution Network.
Heather Preu of the MAM Software Group.
Chris Pruitt of East Penn Manufacturing and Flicker/Langdon/Pruitt.
Robert Roos of National Pronto Association.
Rick Schwartz of The Schwartz Family.
Robert Segal of Sanel NAPA/The Segal Family.
Eric Sills of Standard Motor Products.
Steve Smith of GCommerce Inc.
Danielle Sonnefeld of Women in Auto Care.
Bill Stroupe of the KIAWA Education Foundation.
Tom Tecklenburg of Dayco Products.
Chuck Udell of the Morris/Rupp McCartney Education Trust.

Additional industry professionals will serve as members of the board of trustees in a variety of support roles. They are …
• Comptroller: Nathan Perrine.
• Legal Counsel: George Keeley.
• AWDA Liaison: Larry Northrup.
• Investment Adviser: Ken Marker.
• Investment Adviser: Casey Ventrillo.



Alltech Automotive: Director of Sales – Traditional Market

Alltech Automotive LLC is seeking a Director of Sales for the Traditional and Buying Group segments of the North American Automotive Aftermarket. This position will oversee sales to all Strategic partners from our global manufacturing footprint. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Alltech Automotive: Product Manager

The applicant will be responsible for developing and executing product strategies, objectives, budgets and promotions for a variety of product lines throughout the product lifecycle. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

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.

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.


People Watching 11/23/20

Jack Stack, CEO of SRC Holdings Corp., has received the 2020 Remanufacturing ACE Educate Award from the Remanufacturing Industries Council.

Jeffrey Stukenborg, reman engineering leader with the ZF Group, has received the 2020 Remanufacturing ACE Collaborate Award.

Steven Ng, national WD sales manager for Mando Aftermarket North America, has joined the CAWA Manufacturers’ Advisory Council.

Scott German is now director of information technology for the Genuine Parts Company (GPC). German has been with GPC for more than 15 years. He was a general manager — and, before that, a district manager — in Des Moines, IA.

Mark Conklin, former vice president of sales and administration at Balkamp Inc., is now the senior director of sales and operations planning for Herff Jones, a seller of educational recognition and achievement products and motivational material. Conklin also is a former regional purchasing manager for NAPA Auto Parts.

Myles Kovacs has stepped down as the president of DUB Magazine and its media properties to focus 100% on the TIS Offroad and Dropstars wheel brands, according to a post on LinkedIn. Kovacs was recently honored as the 2020 SEMA Person of the Year.

Dynamat Inc. (Hamilton, OH), an acoustics products company, has announced the retirement of its founder and president, Scott Whitaker, as well as the appointment of Michael Good as its new president. Good comes to Dynamat from FinishMaster Inc., where he was vice president of marketing, pricing and sales effectiveness. Whitaker will remain with the company in a consulting capacity through February 2021.

Polaris Inc. Chairman and CEO Scott Wine is leaving the company to become the CEO of CNH Industrial. Wine will remain in his current role at Polaris through the end of 2020. Wine joined Polaris in 2008 as CEO and was elected chairman of the board in 2013. Polaris is the parent company to Transamerican Auto Parts and 4 Wheel Parts.

Hyundai Mobis, one of the largest global parts suppliers, has hired Axel Maschka to be the head of its global sales division. Maschka was a senior vice president and executive committee member at Valeo in charge of sales and business development. He also has been active with CLEPA, the European automotive supplier association, including serving on its board of directors.

• The Magna has announced President Seetarama “Swamy” Kotagiri as the company’s next CEO, effective Jan. 1. Don Walker — who was Magna’s CEO from 1994 to 2001 and again since 2005 — will retire at the end of 2020. Prior to being named company president earlier this year, Kotagiri was Magna’s chief technology officer.

• Global automotive supplier Inteva Products has appointed Gerard Roose as its next president. Roose — the company’s vice president of sales, marketing and advanced product development — takes over for founder Lon Offenbacher, who has been president and CEO since the launch of Inteva in 2008. Offenbacher plans to retire in the first half of 2021.


News Briefs 11/23/20

Auto Plus is now available as a supplier on PartsTech.

• The NORMA Group has joined the OptiCat network. NORMA is a supplier of clamps, connectors and fluid systems to the automotive and heavy-duty aftermarkets.

• The Automotive Content Professionals Network (ACPN) is now accepting entries for its annual Content Excellence Awards competition. The program recognizes exceptional auto care industry electronic cataloging and content. Click here for additional information on the awards. Entries are due Jan. 25, 2021.

• Meineke Car Care Centers has joined the Openbay marketplace for automotive service and repair. Meineke has approximately 800 shops across the United States.

• RoadStar Services, an extended vehicle service contract company, has announced a partnership with RepairPal that connects its customers with RepairPal’s network of certified repair shops nationwide.

• The Automotive Parts Services Group has launched is 2020 Toys for Tots campaign. As in years past, participating members of The Group are collecting donations and toys at their respective locations. Additionally, people can make financial contributions at Since partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program in 2012, The Group, its members and vendor partners have raised more than $3 million for the organization.

Pep Boys is partnering with RecruitMilitary to help connect veterans seeking employment with opportunities within the Pep Boys organization. Inc. has launched its first live-shot national advertising campaign featuring the company’s new brand identity and mobile shopping experience. The ad is airing on various networks and on YouTube.

Pylon Manufacturing Corp. is introducing a line of BFGoodrich off-road wiper blades designed for trucks, Jeeps, SUVs and 4x4s.

TI Automotive has launched a “Pick Your Horsepower” digital search tool on its aftermarket website. It allows users to search for the right high-performance fuel pumps and pump kits based on such specifications as horsepower, flow rate, maximum pressure and fuel type.

ITW Permatex has started to roll out newly designed packaging for some of its product lines. According to Permatex, it undertook the update to create a bolder look that also allows consumers to quickly identify the exact product needed for their application. To date, Permatex has introduced new packaging for its epoxy, gasket maker and threadlocker product ranges.

• Bosal has announced plans to rebuild its tow bar division to serve aftermarket and OE customers globally. This comes about three years after the company sold its European tow bar unit to Towerbrook Capital Partners.

• Lucas Oil Products has discontinued its ownership and operation of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and the Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Series. In an announcement dated Nov. 12, Director of Race Operations Ritchie Lewis indicated that “there are too many variables that could impact the financial commitment and overall health of the series going forward, which necessitated this difficult course of action.”

CRC Industries offers free online training modules focused on its GDI IVD intake valve and turbo cleaner. The interactive, self-paced e-learning platform uses video, 3D animations, and knowledge checks to educate users on the maintenance issue of carbon deposits in GDI engines. Click here to view one of the training sessions.

• The Hunter Engineering Company has released HunterNet 2, a portal that shows shops how much they are earning from alignment and balancing services, how often they are performing this work, and if they are meeting their goals. Click here for additional information.

• The upcoming release of Mitchell 1’s ProDemand auto repair information software will consolidate labor times, OEM parts pricing and part diagrams on a single page. It also will include streamlined navigation designed to reduce clicks as well as speed lookups and estimates.

• To market the 20th anniversary of its partnership, ASE and Kasey Kahne are teaming up to provide an exclusive Zoom dinner with Kahne for five service professionals. Sign up for any ASE test on the new web portal through Dec. 31, 2020 to be eligible. One entry is earned for each test registration.


Financial Briefs 11/23/20

• P&F Industries’ Florida Pneumatic segment reported $3.53 million in automotive revenue for the third quarter of 2020 — an increase of $237,000 (or 7.2%) compared to the same period a year ago, as Aircat-brand sales increased, offsetting the loss of a major distributor earlier this year and a slight decline in sales in the United Kingdom.

• The Valvoline Inc. board of directors has increased the quarterly cash dividend on the company’s common stock by nearly 11% to $0.125 per share. The board also has authorized Valvoline to repurchase as much as $100 million of its common stock. The term of the new share repurchase authorization extends through Sept. 30, 2021.

Meritor Inc. intends to offer $275 million in 4.50% unsecured senior notes due 2028 via a private placement to qualified institutional buyers and to non-U.S. persons in offshore transactions outside the United States. Each of Meritor’s wholly-owned subsidiaries will guarantee the notes on a senior unsecured basis. The notes sale is expected to close Dec. 1. Management expects to use the net proceeds from the offering to redeem roughly $275 million of the $450 million outstanding on its 6.25% senior notes due 2024.


Event & Trade Show Briefs 11/23/20

• The Virtual AAPEX Experience drew 4,167 buyers, according to event organizers. Buyers had access to approximately 200 exhibiting companies. Event attendees included 135 students pursuing careers in the automotive aftermarket.

AAPEX 2021 is scheduled to return to the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas, running Nov. 2-4.

• The Auto Care Association will host a webinar Dec. 8 featuring futurist Jason Schenker discussing key economic and technology trends. Click here for more information on the presentation.

AASA will host an OES Special Summit on Dec. 17. The online event will include legislative updates, as well as information on Wall Street performance, supply chain challenges and a dealer’s outlook on the business landscape. Click here for more information on the virtual summit.

• Meyer Distributing will host its RV Mega Show online Jan. 11-25 because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions. The company plans to return to a physical parts and accessory buying event in 2022.

• Messe Frankfurt is moving its Hypermotion future mobility and logistics event to September 2021 so that it can run in conjunction with Automechanika Frankfurt. Hypermotion will take place Sept. 14-16, while Automechanika Frankfurt will run Sept. 14-18. Click here to find out more about Hypermotion.



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