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The Greensheet Issue #45-18 (Full)

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

SKF has recognized SRS Marketing as its 2018 “Manufacturer’s Representative of the Year.” An SKF partner for nearly 40 years, SRS Marketing had a significant increase in its sales of SKF products in 2018, according to the company.

Elgin Industries will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a variety of activities set to begin this week in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show in Indianapolis. This includes sponsoring the AERA Engine Builders Association’s cocktail reception at PRI, as well as a video documenting the company’s first century.

• Registration is now open for an Auto Care Association trade mission to Colombia taking place June 5-6. The trip will include a visit the Expopartes auto parts fair. For more information, visit autocare.org/trade-missions.


Obituary: Jim Quinten, Longtime APSA President

Jim Quinten, former leader of the Automotive Parts & Services Association (APSA), died Nov. 6. He was 80. Quentin worked in the automotive aftermarket for more than 50 years, owning parts stores, managing parts stores for Straus-Frank and Parts Plus, and serving as president of the Automotive Wholesalers of Texas (AWOT) and APSA.

“Jim will be remembered as a great friend of the automotive aftermarket,” Skip Potter, former executive director of the Chesapeake Automotive Business Association and retired executive director of the National Automotive Business Association, said. “And, by those of us who worked with him the last 21 years in ASAAA (the Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations), he’ll be remembered as a member of the family. He was an industry leader and challenged us to always make better decisions. He’ll be missed.”

AWOT became APSA after nine more state groups joined the association.

Rob Bolin — owner of Bolin Auto & Truck Parts in St. Joseph, MO and a former member of one of those state groups, the Midwest Automotive Industry Association (MAIA) — described Quinten as a true leader.

“He was absolutely the main reason the merger of AWOT and MAIA came together and worked,” Bolin said. “There was a lot of work to do with the merger, and he was the catalyst. He had a genuine concern for all members.”

He will be missed, CAWA president and CEO Rodney Pierini said. “Jim Quinten was an old-school pro, and that is a compliment because of his engaging demeanor, cooperative spirit and commitment to the industry that gave him so much.”

Freddy Warner worked as a lobbyist for AWOT/APSA and considered Quinten one of his greatest mentors.

Quentin was instrumental in getting legislation passed in Texas that created the opportunity for high schoolers to work in shops and contribute to a trust fund to support their education and training, Warner said.

He was passionate and tenacious when it came to reframing the concept of vocational education to career and technical education, taking into account that not all high school students move on to college and that college doesn’t necessarily teach employable skills, Warner said.

“He completely changed the mindset of our state legislators and regulatory agencies on this topic,” Warner said. “Our industry benefited from that, but so did others, from trucking to steel manufacturing and the concrete business.”

Quentin was a fixture in the Texas and Midwest automotive aftermarket, Randy Lisk, executive vice president of the Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Mid-South, said.

“He always shared his knowledge and wisdom of his aftermarket experiences,” Lisk said.  “Jim will be missed, and the industry lost a good representative.”

Part of Quinten’s success came from his eagerness to learn, said former APSA vice president Melanie Norman, who worked with Quinten for 20 years. “He embraced change and was always willing to try something new,” she said.

APSA closed in 2017 because of the growing number of  independent jobbers being bought out by larger companies or closing their stores, Norman said. After the association closed, Quinten continued to work, selling commercial insurance.

Survivors include Quinten’s wife, Marilyn, and sons Bobby, David, Jerry and Mike.



Obituary: Bob Raff, Former Parts Warehouse Inc. President

Industry veteran Bob Raff — former president of Parts Warehouse Inc. and All Pro/Bumper to Bumper and a key player in the creation of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance — died Nov. 26. He was 82.

Raff also made his mark as a stalwart supporter of AWDA and, later, the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. He served as chairman of both organizations.

“He cast a long shadow within the distribution industry,” Larry Northup, senior director of community engagement for the Auto Care Association, said. “Over the years, he earned every major award offered by AWDA.”

He was the first recipient of the Martin Fromm Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 and the AWDA Leader of the Year in 1993. He also earned the Art Fisher Award and Pursuit of Excellence Award, along with MEMA’s Triangle Award, the association’s highest honor.

“His contribution to literally hundreds of businesses is impossible to articulate,” David O’Reilly, executive chairman of O’Reilly Automotive, said. “He was always thinking of the other person, and never asked for anything in return. He was a long-time industry friend, colleague and advisor. His departure leaves an incredible void in our industry.”

All that, and he was just a genuinely nice guy, too, O’Reilly said.

Raff left his job as a high school teacher and football coach to become sales manager of independent jobbers for Parts Warehouse Inc. (PWI) around 1964, E. Fletcher Lord. Jr., chairman of the Crow-Burlingame Co., recalled.

“When I started to travel the market with him, everyone who saw him called him coach,” Lord said. “He won a state championship just before he left to join the parts industry.”

Raff became president of the company in 1989 when his boss, Copeland Hughes, retired. Replacement Parts Inc. (RPI) was formed as a holding company in the late 1980s, brining Crow-Burlingame, PWI and several smaller corporations together.

When the president of All Pro/Bumper to Bumper, PWI’s national marketing group, resigned, Raff took over until a successor could be found.

“Bob hired an industry leader and approached another larger group, Auto Value, and helped merge the two groups together to form the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, the largest group of its kind in the country,” Lord said.

Raff was always extremely supportive of the vendor community, John Washbish, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance CEO, said. “He constantly coached up his team to help the suppliers get bigger, better and more professional.”

Eli Futerman, co-president and CEO of Hahn Automotive Warehouse, praised Raff’s work to make sure the industry stayed engaged and relevant. Futerman said he particularly admired Raff’s focus on education and training for all levels of the industry.

Raff served for many years on the University of the Aftermarket Foundation board, donating and raising large amounts of money for scholarships in the aftermarket.

“He was a role model to me and most in our industry,” Futerman said. “He was a giant who was always approachable.”

Survivors include children Kim, Courtney, and Robert, and four grandchildren. Raff was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Margie.


Obituary: Paul Wolford, Kinedyne VP Of Sales & Marketing

Paul W. Wolford, vice president of sales and marketing at Kinedyne LLC, died Nov. 15. He was 61 and had worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 40 years.

“Paul’s courage, strength and dignity through his long battle with cancer are a testament to his dedication and devotion to all who knew him,” Kinedyne President Dan Schlotterbeck said. “He led by example, and his many contributions — as a person and as a leader — touched each of us.”

Born in Lincoln, NE, Wolford attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He joined Kinedyne in 1981 as a salesman at the company’s Iowa branch, later being promoted to manager. In 1997, Wolford was named the company’s vice president of sales and marketing.

He took 10 years off (2002-’12) to work at ANCRA International as director of engineered solutions, then returned to Kinedyne.

Wolford’s efforts helped propel the company’s rapid growth, according to a company statement. In the 1990s, Wolford helped Kinedyne expand its original focus on cargo securement by adding specialized cargo capacity products, such as the Kaptive Beam Double Decking System.

More recently, he promoted Kinedyne’s introduction of the Kin-Slider and Kin-Sider curtain-side cargo access systems, a load-rated curtain-side access system, and an aerial access sliding roof system.

“We believe that — with better cargo securement, greater cargo capacity and faster cargo access technologies — we can make the increasingly complex shipping environment just a little easier for the industry to deal with, today and as the future unfolds,” Wolford said at the time.

Longtime Kinedyne salesman Larry Roberts, now account executive for the Southwest region, remembers Wolford for his integrity, sense of humor and fairness. “The sales force loved working for him,” Roberts said.

Employees used to say a Kinedyne loyalist bled orange, the company’s signature color, Roberts said. “Paul was that way,” he said. “He was proud to work with Kinedyne.”

“If I had a meeting with one of my distributors and Paul was there, that distributor came away feeling he was the most important distributor of Kinedyne,” Roberts said. “I was always impressed with that.”

Wolford was an active member of the American Lung Association and was recognized as a Lung Force Hero for his fundraising and advocacy for cancer research.

Survivors include his wife, Kathleen, and daughter, Jennifer.



AutoZone Reports Strongest Commercial Sales Growth Since 2015

AutoZone Inc.’s net income rose 25.1 percent to $351.41 million for the fiscal first quarter ended Nov. 17, 2018, benefitting from a decline in its tax rate, which slid from 34.6 percent to 21.7 percent on a year-over-year basis (or 24.2 percent excluding the exercise of stock options).

Gross profit increased 3.8 percent to $1.42 billion. As a percentage of sales, gross profit grew from 52.8 percent a year ago to 53.7 percent for the 12 weeks ended Nov. 17, 2018. Management attributed the improvement in gross margin to the sale of two businesses and higher merchandise margins.

Net sales increased 2.0 percent to $2.64 billion. Domestic same-store sales rose 2.7 percent on top of a 2.3-percent gain a year ago for a two-year stack of +5.0 percent.

Chairman, President and CEO Bill Rhodes told analysts on the company’s Dec. 4 quarterly report conference call that results were generally consistent throughout the quarter, except for the weeks and markets where AutoZone lapped hurricane events from last year, as well as the last week of the quarter, which was particularly strong as much of the country experienced the first major cold weather, which accelerated sales. “Over time, weather effects normalize,” Rhodes pointed out, “but, in certain weeks, it can have a meaningful impact on our sales.”

On a regional basis, strength was noted in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest markets, while results were improving — but still a bit subdued — in the West, according to Rhodes’ commentary.

Domestic commercial sales increased 11.3 percent to $546.91 million for the strongest growth quarter for commercial since fiscal 2015.

Analysts with Jefferies LLC wrote in a Dec. 4 Company Note that “improved inventory availability and focus on customer engagement appear to be driving share gains from independents, while DIFM growth in general appears robust.”

AutoZone opened 25 net new commercial programs during the fiscal first quarter, and management expects to open roughly 150 net new commercial programs this fiscal year. Currently, approximately 85 percent of the company’s domestic stores have a commercial program.

During the quarter, AutoZone opened 13 new stores and relocated one store in the United States. As of Nov. 17, 2018, the company had 5,631 stores in the United States, including Puerto Rico.

The company also opened three stores in Mexico, ending the quarter with 567 stores in-country. The goal is to open 40 new stores this fiscal year in Mexico.

It’s worth pointing out that this month marks the 20th anniversary of AutoZone’s first store in Mexico.

No new stores were opened in Brazil during the fiscal first quarter; however, management plans to expand its 20-store base by 15 to 20 additional locations by the end of the fiscal year.

During the quarter, AutoZone opened two mega hub locations, giving the company a total of 26 in operation. Combined with the 170 hub stores, the company now has 196 stores with expanded parts assortments. Management plans to open 10 new hub locations this fiscal year, the majority of which will be mega hubs.

AutoZone’s inventory increased 2.0 percent to $4.09 billion in the quarter; however, inventory per location declined from $663,000 to $658,000 on a year-over-year basis. And, for the trailing five quarters, inventory turns are unchanged at 1.3x.

“On our last call, we highlighted that, over the last six months, we had executed a significant amount of changes, including product category changeovers that we felt were disruptive to our company and negatively impacted sales during that time,” Rhodes said. “We are happy to report that the majority of those challenges have been addressed and rectified, and those issues are predominantly behind us. As importantly, we have studied our opportunities for improvement in the future and have improved our planning and processes accordingly.”

He also told analysts: “Overall, our business strengthened in Q1, and we are encouraged as we head into our second fiscal quarter.”         — Marc Vincent


The Alliance Honors Top Vendors

The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance has named Valvoline as its 2018 “Channel Partner of the Year” in recognition of the company’s training, marketing initiatives, fill rate, sales support and dedication to professional technicians. The following Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper partners also were honored at The Alliance’s Winter Shareholder Meeting in Aventura, FL …
• Training Support Award: Standard Motor Products.
• Manpower Award: Wix Filters.
• Technology Support Award: Dorman Products.
• Logistics Support Award: DuraGo.
• Marketing Award: Tenneco Inc.
• Customer Service Award: BBB Industries.
• Exclusive National Brand Award: Perfect Stop Brakes by Robert Bosch.
• Diamond Award: the East Penn Manufacturing Co.
• Lone Star Award: BCA Bearings by NTN.


Steve Handschuh Receives MEMA Triangle Award

The MEMA board of directors presented President and CEO Steve Handschuh with the association’s highest honor, the MEMA Triangle Award, at its Nov. 28 meeting. Handschuh will retire as MEMA’s top executive Dec. 31.

MEMA and its divisions have presented the Triangle Award since 1974 to people or organizations for selfless contributions to the motor vehicle supplier industry.

Daniel Sceli, chairman of the MEMA board of directors and CEO of Peterson American Corp., said: “While we will miss Steve’s guidance at MEMA, we are proud to add his name to the list of industry legends who have received the MEMA Triangle Award.”

Past Triangle award recipients include …
Marc Fleischaker, chairman emeritus of Arent Fox.
Michael Cardone Jr., director, owner and chief strategy officer of Cardone Industries.
Bob McKenna, retired president and CEO of MEMA.
David O’Reilly of O’Reilly Automotive.
• The late Joseph Magliochetti of Dana.
Tom Gallagher of the Genuine Parts Co. (GPC).
Bill Long, president of AASA, then of Dana/Echlin.
• The late Frederick Mancheski of Echlin Inc.
John Riess, then of The Gates Rubber Co.
• The late Larry McCurdy, then of Moog Automotive.
Jack Reilly, then of Tenneco Automotive.

Handschuh joined MEMA in 2006 as the president and chief operating officer of AASA, and was appointed president and CEO of MEMA in 2013.

Much of Handschuh’s 40-year career has been dedicated to the automotive aftermarket. He worked for NAPA Auto Parts/GPC for 18 years, including serving as NAPA president from 1998 to 2004. He also was senior vice president – commercial for AutoZone Inc.

He began his career in outside sales for Mighty Auto Parts, where he rose to vice president of sales and marketing.



Ex-Autopart International President Now President
Of Express Oil Change

Former Advance Auto Parts executive Jim Durkin is now president at Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers.

“I am excited to be working with (CEO) Ricky Brooks and the entire team at Express Oil Change as we focus on continuing to deliver exceptional service for our customers and growing our business,” Durkin said.

Most recently, Durkin was chief operating officer of MyEyeDr, a national optometry practice management organization. Before that, he served in several roles for Advance, including president of the northern division, senior vice president of sales and operations, and senior vice president of commercial business. He was also president of Autopart International.

Hoover, AL-based Express Oil Change has 249 corporate and franchise locations across 15 states. The private equity firm Golden Gate Capital purchased the company in 2017.


Permatex’s Andy Robinson Retires;
Lee Burtelson Now VP/GM

Permatex has announced organizational changes in its Automotive Aftermarket (AAM) group.

Andy Robinson has retired after a nearly 20-year career with parent company Illinois Tool Works (ITW). Robinson played a key role in the integration process when ITW first acquired the Permatex business in 2005, and was an instrumental leader in the acquisitions of Spray Nine, Slime and Car Care. He has been the vice president and general manager of Permatex since 2008.

Lee Burtelson is now the vice president and general manager for engine repair, responsible for all activities of the AAM group. Prior to his appointment, Burtelson was vice president of strategic marketing for the ITW Fluids platform. He has been with ITW since 2015.

Dan Clarke has been promoted to sales director for the U.S. traditional aftermarket. Clarke has been with Permatex since 2015 and has served as its senior product manager.


Lubrication Specialties Inc. Names Two New VPs

Mt. Gilead, OH-based Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), parent company to the Hot Shot’s Secret brand, has promoted Kevin Adams to vice president of research and development, and Brett Tennar to vice president of operations. Adams was the company’s director of product development. He joined LSI in 2015. Tennar came to the company in 2016 as plant manager. As vice president of operations, Tennar will be more involved in human resources, retail orders, collections, accounts payable and accounts receivable.


Hellwig Adds To Sales & Marketing And Customer Service Teams

Brett Kinsfather has joined Hellwig Suspension Products as director of sales and marketing. Kinsfather brings 17 years of aftermarket experience to Hellwig, including time as vice president of sales and marketing for Motovicity Distribution and sales and marketing program manager at K&N Engineering.

In addition, Karen Grassel has joined Hellwig as its new customer service manager. Grassel’s 15-year career in customer service includes time in the food service industry.

Hellwig (Visalia, CA) specializes in American-made towing, hauling and performance suspension products.


Matco Returned To Mid-Single-Digit Growth In Q3

Fortive Corp. (Everett, WA) reported that sales from existing businesses in its Franchise Distribution segment increased 3.6 percent to $160.90 million in the third quarter of 2018. The Franchise Distribution unit manufactures and distributes professional tools and wheel service equipment.

According to management, Matco returned to mid-single-digit growth, reflecting mid-teens growth in hard lines and high-single-digit growth in both tool storage and power tools, attributable to new product launches and market share gains.

Sales specifically to the vehicle repair end market rose 4.3 percent to $146.40 million.


4 Wheel Parts Debuts New Ad Campaign

4 Wheel Parts (4WP), the retail arm of Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP), is launching a new ad campaign titled “Do Your Rig Right” that emphasizes 4WP’s role as a leading off-road automotive supplier. The campaign highlights a variety of in-store services, such as product research, purchasing and installation. The 15-second and 30-second spots will air on national TV, regional sports networks and collegiate sports channels through Dec. 17. The broadcast commercials are part of a larger campaign — billed as the biggest in 4WP’s history — that includes targeted radio spots, emails, digital advertising and social media.



Ray Evernham Buys JRI Shocks

NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham has acquired JRI Shocks. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Evernham will serve as president and CEO of the Mooresville, NC-based company. He will be involved in all areas of the business, including marketing and sales strategy, new product design, and operations. JRI Shocks founder Jeff Ryan will continue to play a leading role as a partner and vice president of engineering.

“I have worked with Jeff Ryan for more than 30 years and have always known he was one of the most innovative shock designers in the motorsports industry,” Evernham said. “But, what really drew me to JRI is the work Jeff and his team are doing outside of racing. From street performance to off-road, they are creating some of the most functional, highest-quality shocks on the market.”

Under Evernham’s ownership, JRI will focus on serving existing customers, expanding its product offerings in current markets and gaining market share in the shock aftermarket.


Edelbrock Partners With Pat Musi On New Crate Engine Program

Edelbrock LLC is expanding its nearly two-decade-old partnership with Pat Musi Racing Engines (Mooresville, NC). At the center of the partnership is a new crate engine program created specifically for drag racers that features the Musi 632 Top Sportsman/Top Dragster engine, which is equipped with Edelbrock Big Victor 12-degree cylinder heads customized by Musi.

Aside from the complete engine available from Pat Musi Racing Engines, individual components also are available directly from both Edelbrock and Musi as part of the program.

Edelbrock also is continuing its support of Musi’s 27-year-old daughter, Lizzy Musi, in the Professional Drag Racers Association Pro Nitrous ranks as a primary sponsor of Musi and her Pro Nitrous 2018 Dodge Dart.


Record Q3 Sales For Fox’s Powered Vehicles Group

Fox Factory Holding Corp. saw its Powered Vehicles segment generate a record $94.89 million in sales for the third quarter of 2018 — a 56.7-percent surge compared to the year-ago period. Management attributed the increase to the inclusion of Tuscany (a designer, manufacturer and distributor of premium aftermarket powered vehicle performance packages that Fox acquired on Nov. 30, 2017), as well as high demand for on- and off-road suspension products.

Management noted high growth in side-by-side vehicle and aftermarket truck categories, as well as off-road capable, on-road suspension products for OEMs.


SEMA Accepting 2019 Scholarship Applications

SEMA is now accepting applications for 2019 Memorial Scholarship Fund awards at sema.org/scholarships. The scholarships go to students preparing for careers in the automotive or auto parts industries. The program offers as much as $5,000 in financial assistance to help foster the next generation of aftermarket industry leaders and innovators.

The deadline to apply is March 1. Scholarships are available in a variety of categories, such as accounting, sales and marketing, and engineering.

The program also includes a loan forgiveness initiative that offers financial awards to employees of SEMA member-companies who have completed and are paying off a loan for a program of study at an accredited university, college or vocational/technical program within the United States. For more information, contact SEMA’s manager of student programs, Juliet Marshall, at (909) 978-6655 or julietm@sema.org.


Entries Being Accepted For New Channel Excellence Award

Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2019 for AASA’s new industry recognition initiative, the Channel Excellence Award, which will be presented by Epicor at the 2019 AASA Vision Conference on April 3 in Dearborn, MI.

Programs or initiatives launched in the past 18 months are eligible for the award. Entries should detail a collaborative effort between an aftermarket supplier and a down-channel partner, including retailers, distributors, e-tailers and repair facilities. In addition, the program should be innovative and use technology, such as data analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence or digital business processes.

“The AASA Channel Excellence Award’s goal is to both recognize innovation and to encourage collaboration between suppliers and valued channel partners to drive aftermarket growth,” said Bill Long, AASA president and chief operating officer. “Suppliers are innovators and the drivers of new technologies, but greater achievements are possible when suppliers and channel partners develop new products and new ways of getting the right part to the right place at the right time.”


PartsHub Adds 1,000 Resellers Since Launching Receiver Login

More than 1,000 new resellers have joined PartsHub since the launch of a receiver login in August, according to PartsHub.com. Designed to simplify access to supplier product catalogs, the login is free and allows receivers to request supplier data, track pending approvals and download the latest catalogs in their preferred file format.

“Any supplier can now host catalogs, find new partners and extend their market reach by searching our library of more than 11,000 businesses,” Founder and CEO Michael Chapin said.

Brands such as Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach and COMP Cams have subscribed to PartsHub’s software-as-a-service to create PIES and ACES product data, then syndicate content to aftermarket distributors and retailers.

PartsHub allows receivers to establish content scorecards to help suppliers prepare content prior to distribution and avoid returned files or extended lead times when releasing new products or pricing.


Seeking Catalog Manager

A well respected leading automotive aftermarket manufacturer of Brake products is seeking a Catalog Manager to become a member of our Marketing team. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Spectra Premium Industries: Business Development Manager – Western U.S.

Spectra Premium Industries, a leading North American Auto Parts Manufacturer, is seeking a highly qualified Business Development Manager to manage aftermarket parts sales throughout the Western United States. … (more) … Click here to find out more.


Double-Digit Sales, Income Growth For PACCAR Parts

For the third quarter of 2018, PACCAR Parts reported $188.50 million in income before taxes — an increase of 24.2 percent over the previous year. Gross margins expanded from 26.3 percent to 27.0 percent, while net sales and revenues rose 14.3 percent to $960.10 million. U.S. and Canadian parts sales grew 17.3 percent to $642 million.

“PACCAR Parts’ outstanding sales and profit growth have been driven by investments in new parts distribution centers (PDCs); innovative programs, such as national fleet services and PACCAR Genuine and TRP all-makes parts; and a larger PACCAR MX engine parc,” David Danforth, PACCAR Parts general manager and PACCAR Inc. vice president, said in a statement.

PACCAR Parts opened its new 160,000-square-foot PDC in Toronto last month. The facility provides enhanced aftermarket support for dealers and customers in central and eastern Canada.

For 2018, management expects PACCAR Parts sales to increase 14 percent to 16 percent. In 2019, PACCAR Parts sales are expected to rise 5 percent to 8 percent.


Revamped MeritorPartsXpress.com Debuts

Meritor Inc. has revamped MeritorPartsXpress.com with new tools to help users configure, search and identify specific parts, as well as check the inventory status of products at the company’s four North America distribution facilities. Additionally, a new online forms process permits customers to return products without contacting customer service.

Customized user account settings include tools to create a personalized default landing page with a choice of price options and to build Meritor-centric advertising containing their pricing. WDs also can use a tool to monitor their spending.


Safe Fleet Buys Roll-Rite

Belton, MO-based Safe Fleet, a global provider of safety and productivity products for fleet vehicles, has acquired the Roll-Rite group of companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Roll-Rite is a provider of OEM and aftermarket safety products to protect cargo, reduce risks to drivers and roadways, and improve fleet efficiency. Under the Roll-Rite and Pulltarps brands, Roll-Rite manufactures automated and semi-automated tarping systems, motors, controls, and tarps for open-body dump trucks, open-top trailers and detachable containers.

Safe Fleet’s products serve a wide range of markets, including bus, recreational vehicle, truck and trailer, work truck, and law enforcement, to name a few.

Safe Fleet chairman, president and CEO John Knox called the companies’ products and technology highly complementary. “Additionally, both Roll-Rite and Safe Fleet are committed to establishing a national footprint of product install and aftermarket service locations to better service all of our customers,” Knox said. “With the addition of Roll-Rite’s service and install centers in Henderson, CO; Council Bluffs, IA; and Torrington, CT, Safe Fleet now has six field locations across the U.S.”

The current management of Roll-Rite will continue with the business and operate as a separate entity within Safe Fleet.

Safe Fleet is a portfolio company of Oak Hill Capital Partners.


Dutch Parts Distributors Combine

The PartsPoint Group has acquired Dabeko, an auto parts and tires wholesaler that operates in the northeastern region of the Netherlands. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. All subsidiaries of Dabeko — namely locations in Dalfsen, Coevorden, Drachten, Groningen and Assen — will operate independently and under their own name within the PartsPoint Group. All Dabeko employees have been retained, including management.

Netherlands-based PartsPoint is a distributor of auto parts and accessories. It owns, among others, AD Nederland and the wholesale chains Brezan, Staadegaard Automotive and Technische Centrale. PartsPoint is a part of the AutoBinck Group.


News Briefs 12/6/18

Turn 14 Distribution has added ProTEKt skid plates to its line card.

Global Parts Distributors (Macon, GA) raised $4,650 for the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) by donating $5 for each compressor and compressor kit shipped between August and September using $35 UPS Next Day Air.

Covercraft (Pauls Valley, OK) has announced a title sponsorship of Major League Fishing professional angler Bradley Roy, who is a three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier.

• Cookeville, TN-based American Powertrain won the 2018 Elite Performer Award from TREMEC Transmissions. The award recognizes the authorized dealer with the No.-1 sales volume of TREMEC-brand performance products for the year.

Pomona Truck & Auto Supply (Pomona, CA), a Power Heavy Duty member, has joined the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN). Pomona Truck serves commercial-based accounts in the Class 3 to 8 vehicle market, along with trailer parts.


Event & Trade Show Briefs 12/6/18

• Nearly 500 people — shareholders from across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America, along with more than 200 channel partners — are attending the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance’s 2018 Winter Shareholder Meeting this week in Aventura, FL, according to The Alliance.

• The Auto Care Association will host a Category Management Vendor Spotlight Series webinar Dec. 11 titled “Gain a Competitive Advantage by Measuring and Managing the Weather’s Impact.” The webinar will address using weather analytics to “put a number” on weather’s impacts, better understanding performance, adjusting plans, and aligning inventories and resources with weather-based opportunities and risks. Click here to learn more and register.

MEMA and OESA will host an informational briefing about the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Laurel Manor in Livonia, MI. Ann Wilson, MEMA’s senior vice president of government affairs, will review the agreement’s history and development. David Hamill of Arent Fox will answer supplier questions about the agreement, while Armando Beteta and Javier Quijano of EY Global Trade will discuss preparing for USMCA. Click here for more information about the USMCA briefing.


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