The Greensheet Issue #45-20 (Full)

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

Hella Automotive Sales has honored Stan Padover Associates as its 2020 Manufacturers’ Rep of the Year. Through Hella, the firm represents the Hella, Pagid and Pierburg brands. Stan Padover Associates has won the award five times in the last six years.

• UAP Inc. has presented its 2019 NAPA Supplier Excellence Award to Winhere Brake Parts for delivering consistently high levels of service and performance in support of a strong year of sales growth. In addition, Winhere is a Club 95 winner, which recognizes NAPA Canada suppliers that deliver a 95% or higher fill rate.

• Turn 14 Distribution has recognized AMS Performance with its inaugural New Supplier Award for the company’s product innovation, product quality, order fulfillment and accommodation to Turn 14’s unique distribution program, among other factors. Turn 14 also has awarded K&N Engineering with its inaugural Collaborative Supplier Award, which recognizes growth, depth of collaboration, support and relationship strength.

• The ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC) has honored the following companies with National Excellence in Training Awards: Motor Coach Industries for its “High Voltage Safety Program” (grand award winner), Subaru of America for “Continuously Variable Transmission Diagnosis” and Allison Transmission for the “Allison 3000/4000 Maintenance and Overhaul ILT.”

GB Remanufacturing received the 2020 Rematec News Remanufacturer of the Year Special Recognition Award for providing ventilator parts during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Obituary: Dick DeLoach, Renowned Aftermarket Journalist And Photographer

Dick DeLoach, a prolific and renowned aftermarket journalist and photographer who spent 44 years covering the industry for a variety of publications, died Nov. 9 after a brief illness. He was 76.

His resume includes several years as editor of Truckin’ Magazine, technical editor for Lowrider Magazine for nearly 16 years and a long list of aftermarket publications to which he contributed.

DeLoach’s lifelong passion was automobiles, and his love for the California car culture took him from his native Colorado to the West Coast to pursue his dream of becoming an automotive journalist.

According to a bio of DeLoach on hotrodhotline.com, his writing career began by covering the early days of lead sleds and custom vans, mini trucks, street rods, lowriders and sport compacts. He was published in more than 30 national and international consumer and trade magazines, among them DUB Magazine, Street Low, Speed Style, Street Trucks and King of the Street.

Most recently, DeLoach was a contributor to Aftermarket Matters. Editor Rob Merwin remembered him with a written tribute and fondly recalled his first encounter with the veteran journalist.

“My first memory of Dick was when I had just been hired by Parts & People as managing editor in Denver more than a decade ago, having come from a community news background back East,” Merwin recalled. “I knew nothing about the automotive aftermarket.

“I was in the saddle for less than a week when the phone rang and it was Dick, who was one of the contract writers I was told we had, on the other end. We spoke for about 45 minutes, much of which was Dick telling me about the industry and how great Parts & People was. From that point on, I could always rely on Dick to educate me in his own easygoing, amicable way about the industry in the years that followed during many winding phone calls in which we also shared stories about our families and a galaxy of other non-related topics. We had become friends.”

Merwin recalled that DeLoach’s passion for automobiles was rivaled by his love for food, and he shared many great meals with the writer when he was in town on business.

“Dick’s appetite for getting ‘the story’ was only matched by his appetite for dining out and good food,” Merwin said. “Many times, when I would call, he would be having a big breakfast at a diner or enjoying a mountain of sushi — he never waved me off despite my insistence on calling him later — and we would talk about upcoming editorial for the next issues. (When I visited Southern California on business, we would dine out together at his favorite spots).”

Myles Kovacs, aftermarket entrepreneur and co-founder of DUB Magazine, was most impressed by DeLoach’s passion for and knowledge of a market that traditionally appealed to a minority demographic.

“The most unique thing about him was that magazines like Low Rider and DUB — they are all minority markets — and seeing this tall, white guy come in and be able to invade these cultures and be accepted was testimony to his spirit and who he was as a human being,” Kovacs said.

“Everyone loved him, and he had this larger-than-life personality,” Kovacs said. “He was always happy and super over-the-top. He was masterful in the way he infiltrated these cultures and became an integral part of them. How the hell did he do that? How did he do all the things he has done? He was so in tune with what was going on.”

Kovacs also looked up to DeLoach for his ability to connect with people and to be himself.

“Working with him inspired me to start DUB,” Kovacs said. “He’s an icon. I learned a lot from him, and I especially admired how he was just himself and that’s what made him successful. He had a great sense of humor, and people liked him. I thought, if this guy can just be himself, then maybe I can be successful, too, just being myself. I definitely learned from him and used that to my advantage in my work.”

Throughout his career, DeLoach supported Automotive Service Council of California (ASCCA) and was a known “cheerleader” for the organization, as well as a trustee of the ASC Educational Foundation (ASCEF), according to a recent article in AutoBody News.

To honor DeLoach’s years of dedication and service, ASCEF recently created the Dick DeLoach Memorial Fund, which will award scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 to California high school seniors who plan to enroll in post-high school technical and academic training, and to California college undergraduates in the automotive service field.

“Dick was a leader in the automotive community and an integral part of the ASCEF board of trustees. He will be missed,” said ASCEF Chairman John Eppstein. “I’m proud to have a scholarship that will not only honor his commitment but also continue to support young professionals through this fund.”

ASCEF’s goal is to reach $10,500 to fund the scholarship by Dec. 31. At $10,500, ASCEF will be able to award a $500 scholarship every year. All donations are tax-deductible.

Checks can be made mailed to …
ASC Educational Foundation
1 Capitol Mall, Suite 800
Sacramento, CA 95814

 

 

Automakers Sue Massachusetts Over New ‘Right To Repair’ Law

Automakers, in the form of their industry group, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (Auto Innovators), have filed suit against Massachusetts, challenging the constitutionality of the state’s recently passed “Right to Repair” data access law. Auto Innovators contends that the law poses grave dangers including, but not limited to, political assassinations and the exposure of people’s sexual dalliances.

In a civil suit filed Nov. 20, Auto Innovators argues that the Massachusetts ballot initiative — which passed by a wide margin — violates several federal laws. “It is preempted under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution because it conflicts with federal law and policy regarding a host of consumer safety and intellectual property protections,” the automakers’ complaint states. “It also takes auto manufacturers’ private property without providing just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment as incorporated by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Auto Innovators have asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to declare the state’s new data law unenforceable and to permanently stop enforcement of the law.

The Auto Care Association, one of the main proponents of Massachusetts’ new data law, issued a statement Nov. 23 in response to Auto Innovators’ suit. “On Nov. 3, the citizens of Massachusetts made their voices loud and clear on the issue of vehicle data access, with an overwhelming 75% of voters supporting ballot Question 1. Unfortunately, the vehicle manufacturers are once again ignoring the will of the people and have instead chosen to pursue legal action against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in an effort to halt the implementation of Question 1,” President and CEO Bill Hanvey stated. “The Auto Care Association is very disappointed to see this pattern of behavior from the vehicle manufacturers against the American people, who want the right to control their vehicle mechanical data and to share it with their independent repair shops.”

“Over the last several years, the Auto Care Association has joined with cybersecurity experts to develop international standards that could be readily implemented and will permit the cyber-secure sharing of data. Further, we have offered to work with the manufacturers to adopt these standards in order to ensure competition for their customers,” Hanvey added. “However, instead of working to find common ground, the manufacturers have continued to engage in a scare campaign regarding access to wireless mechanical data, aimed first at voters and now the courts. Just like Massachusetts voters, we trust that the courts will see through the manufacturers’ scare tactics and will throw out this baseless lawsuit.”

Auto Innovators’ argument relies heavily upon written testimony given by NHTSA in July raising cybersecurity concerns regarding access to data by vehicle owners. The Auto Care Association has called NHTSA’s concerns regarding access to bi-directional capabilities unfounded.

Automakers claim that the data made available by the new law “could, in the wrong hands, spell disaster.” Their complaint includes allegations that data could …
• “easily find its way into the hands of bad actors who could track and monitor consumers or target public officials”
• lead to hackers being able to “cause the vehicle to accelerate without application of the accelerator pedal or prevent the brakes from working when the vehicle exceeds a certain speed”
• could expose consumers’ familial, professional, religious and sexual associations.

Auto Innovators also argues that Massachusetts’ 2013 “Right to Repair” law gives repair shops and vehicle owners access to any vehicle mechanical data necessary to make repairs. “There is no evidence that members of Auto Innovators have blocked independent auto repair shops from accessing data necessary to assess vehicle performance and conduct maintenance and repair,” the complaint states.

Automakers further allege that big-box auto parts retailers and others want access to more data in order to profile people and increase sales. “The data law facilitates this data grab, in part, through capacious new definitions that make nearly all vehicle data accessible by third parties,” Auto Innovators’ complaint states.

Additionally, Auto Innovators asserts that the “radical changes” brought about by Massachusetts’ new data law includes a compressed, unrealistic timeframe that is not necessary to allow car buyers to choose to have their vehicles serviced at the facility of their choice

“Consumers across the country have been able to do that for decades,” the automakers’ complaint states, adding that the state’s 2013 “Right to Repair” law reflects “a balance between ensuring consumer and independent auto repair shop access while still protecting consumer data and safety as well as manufacturers’ intellectual property.”

It’s important to note that the 2013 law does not address telematics, which is a key reason why “Right to Repair” proponents advocated in favor of Massachusetts’ new data access law.

 

 

First Brands Group Buys Centric Parts

The Cleveland-based First Brands Group — parent company to a number of global auto parts brands, including Raybestos — has acquired Centric Parts, a manufacturer and supplier of replacement brake components whose labels include Centric, C-TEK, Posi Quiet and StopTech.

“The addition of Centric Parts significantly expands our caliper capacity and breadth of catalog, and it positions us as the clear market leader in aftermarket braking,” Guy Andrysick, president of aftermarket for First Brands, said in an announcement dated Dec. 2. “The acquisition has strengthened our supplier position to support all customers with one of the most comprehensive portfolios of replacement products in the North American automotive aftermarket.”

The acquisition is believed to allow First Brands to provide a more robust offering of calipers, particularly in the medium-duty class, as well as specialty calipers.

Centric had been a part of APC Automotive Technologies, which arose from the 2017 merger of AP Emissions Technologies and Centric Parts.

As you may recall, APC went through a debt restructuring earlier this year, with a Chapter 11 filing in June followed by a restructuring support agreement a month later. APC then sold AP Emissions to the APACE Holding Company LLC, which is owned by former AP Exhaust Owner, CEO and Executive Chairman Vange Proimos.

Now, Centric has a new owner.

“With its highly recognized brand, quality products and established reputation, I am confident that Centric will succeed as part of a larger, global organization with deep expertise and valued relationships across the industry,” said Tribby Warfield, CEO of APC.

Aside from Raybestos, First Brands’ portfolio also includes Fram filtration products, LuberFiner filtration products, Trico wiper blades, Anco wiper blades, Carter fuel and water pumps, Autolite spark plugs, and StrongArm lift supports.

 

APH Expands In Wisconsin

Mark and Mary Weaver have sold their business, Sauk City, WI-based Weaver Auto Parts, to Automotive Parts Headquarters Inc. (APH), a third-generation, family owned auto parts distributor and store group based in St. Cloud, MN. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Weaver’s 17 locations will be rebranded as Weaver Auto Value. Their acquisition brings APH’s corporate store count to 149.

 

Recochem Purchases KOST USA

Less than a year after expanding its operations into the United States with the acquisition of Adam’s Polishes and B&B Blending, Montreal-based Recochem is augmenting its U.S. presence with the purchase of KOST USA Inc. Financial terms of the KOST transaction have not been disclosed.

Recochem is a manufacturer and marketer of branded, private-label, and bulk automotive aftermarket and household fluids for consumers and industrial customers worldwide. The company operates a global platform, with a network across North America, Europe, Australia, China, India and the Asia/Pacific region. Its transportation market offerings include automotive coolant, heavy-duty coolant, diesel exhaust fluid, windshield wash, fuel additives and performance fluids.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, KOST is billed as the third-largest manufacturer and marketer of coolants in the United States, selling light- and heavy-duty coolants and other functional fluids to customers across the automotive aftermarket and industrial channels.

Recochem President and CEO Rick Boudreaux called the acquisition of KOST strategically important for Recochem as it significantly increases the company’s presence in the United States.

“The combined business is a leading manufacturer and distributor and one of the few scaled players in automotive aftermarket consumable fluids across North America,” Boudreaux said. “KOST has a loyal customer following and an excellent reputation for quality products and outstanding service. We are very excited about partnering with the team at KOST to support the company’s continued expansion.”

Tom Overdeck, the founder of KOST, said management sees tremendous commercial opportunity in the combined platform. “We look forward to partnering with Rick and his team to continue serving our customers and expanding our offering across North America,” Overdeck added.

Keval Patel, managing director at H.I.G. Capital, called KOST a significant player in the U.S. coolant market with a complementary suite of products and a strong customer base. Patel added that the transaction fits into Recochem’s strategy of further expanding into the United States and acquiring “best-in-class companies that produce automotive aftermarket consumable fluids with significant value creation opportunities.”

KOST marks Recochem’s fourth acquisition since H.I.G. acquired the company in 2018.

H.I.G. is a global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with $42 billion in equity capital under management. The firm is based in Miami.

 

Activist Shareholder Pressures Monro To Make Changes

Ides Capital is demanding that Monro Inc. make a series of changes the activist investor believes will improve the repair shop chain’s performance, according to a Nov. 24 Reuters news report. This reportedly includes diversifying its workforce and board room.

“As part of our efforts to drive sound corporate governance, Monro has a long history of regular and substantive engagement with our shareholders, and we have always appreciated their feedback and input,” Monro stated when asked to comment by The Greensheet. “Promoting a diverse organization is a key pillar of our company and a priority for our board of directors. Our diversity and inclusion efforts are ongoing and will be an important factor as we formalize our environmental, social and governance program to better inform our shareholders of our initiatives.”

 

 

FullSpeed Automotive Gets New Owner;
Industry Veteran Marc Graham Joins Board

MidOcean Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, has acquired FullSpeed Automotive from CenterOak Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

FullSpeed is an auto care services platform whose brands include Grease Monkey, SpeeDee, American Lubefast and Uncle Ed’s Oil Shoppe. FullSpeed’s retail operations division operates Havoline Xpress Lube locations. The company has nearly 600 franchised and company-owned shops across the United States and in international markets.

MidOcean executive board member Marc Graham, an aftermarket veteran of more than 35 years, now serves as FullSpeed’s chairman. He joined MidOcean as an executive board member earlier this year to assist the firm’s efforts in the auto care industry.

Graham’s resume includes time as the president and CEO of Take 5 Oil Change, chairman and CEO of American Driveline Systems (parent company to AAMCO and Cottman Transmissions), president and CEO of InstallerEdge, president and CEO of Jiffy Lube International, and vice president and general manager of the Grand Auto and Al’s auto parts store chains, which were a part of PACCAR.

In an announcement dated Nov. 30, MidOcean stated that it plans to grow FullSpeed via organic initiatives in addition to strategic mergers and acquisitions.

“We believe FullSpeed will continue to experience strong growth from its existing locations with industry-leading customer service and robust performance metrics,” MidOcean Managing Director Daniel Penn is quoted as saying. “We also plan to support the company’s existing aggressive M&A strategy, as well as to drive franchise development in new and existing markets.”

Honigman LLP was MidOcean’s legal adviser. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP was the legal adviser to FullSpeed.

Harris Williams, a global investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisition advisory services, advised FullSpeed on the sale. The transaction was led by Joe Conner, Frank Mountcastle, Jeff Burkett, Jonathan Meredith, Elliott Yousefian and Michael Meyer of the Harris Williams Transportation & Logistics Group.

 

Valvoline Adding 27 Service Centers Via Acquisition

Valvoline Inc. has signed a definitive agreement with Car Wash Partners Inc. to purchase 27 Mister Oil Change Express locations in seven states. The shops will be rebranded as Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) centers. Of the 27 locations, 15 will be company-owned and operated shops, and 12 will be franchise-owned and operated centers.

The purchase does not include any car wash-related assets or operations. This acquisition is expected to close before the end of 2020. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“A core element of Valvoline’s business strategy is to continue to grow our industry-leading quick-lube network in both existing and new markets,” Tony Puckett, Valvoline senior vice president and president of Valvoline’s Quick Lubes unit. “Mister Oil Change Express presented both of our companies with an opportunity to play to our collective service strengths. Valvoline will purchase their quick-lube centers, while they will continue to operate the car wash portion of their business.

“The footprint of these 27 centers, located in diverse markets across the country, also allows Valvoline to support our franchise partners to expand their existing store base much quicker than if they chose to build.”

Valvoline operates and franchises nearly 1,500 quick-lube shops, making it the No. 2 chain by number of locations in the United States and the No. 3 chain by number of locations in Canada.

 

Carolina-Based Jiffy Lube Group Joins Mighty System

Mighty Distributing System has announced South Carolina-based Bronco Lube as the most recent Jiffy Lube group to join the Mighty network, becoming the 10th Jiffy Lube operation to do so.

The two new Mighty franchises, doing business as Mighty of the Upstate and Mighty of the Low Country, will be the exclusive distributors of Mighty automotive and PPE products throughout South Carolina and parts of western North Carolina.

Chad Weisbeck, a previous Jiffy Lube Franchisee of the Year, leads Bronco Lubes, which is made up of seven Jiffy Lube locations. Through his new Mighty franchises, Weisbeck and his team will centrally distribute Mighty’s preventive maintenance products to the Bronco Lube locations and implement Mighty’s inventory management programs, support and training. In addition, the Mighty franchises will sell to non-affiliated business-to-business customers in their exclusive territories.

 

 

Plews & Edelmann Appoints CEO

Plews & Edelmann has appointed Dan Billie as its CEO. He was the company’s chief commercial officer. A 25-year aftermarket veteran, Billie joined Plews & Edelmann in 2019 after serving as an executive vice president at APC Automotive Technologies and a senior vice president at Cardone Industries.

 

Goodyear Belts Line Launches

Adventry, a corporation based in Miami Lakes, FL, has announced Dec. 1 as the launch for its Goodyear Belts line of power transmission belts for the transportation and industrial markets. The products are being sold under a license agreement with The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. For more information about the launch, visit goodyearbelts.com.

According to the announcement, Adventry was founded by a group of entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize belts under a license agreement with Goodyear. Its CEO is Tara Cevallos, former executive director and general manager of SAP USA Truck & Auto Parts, a parts supplier to the automotive and heavy-duty aftermarket. Cevallos also was the CEO of T&J New Pumps/Miami World Parts.

Goodyear Belts is billed as the first of many products for Adventry.

 

OSC Cooling Expands Partnership With Chick Capoli Sales Company

OSC Cooling (radiators, condensers and heaters) has expanded its representation partnership with the Chick Capoli Sales Company to include the Southeast states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia. Chick Capoli Sales already represents OSC Cooling in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

 

Tech Tire Repairs’ Online Store Expands To Service Canadian Market

Tech Tire Repairs, a wholly owned company of the Technical Rubber Company (TRC), is expanding its e-commerce presence globally, starting with Canada. Automotive, commercial truck and agriculture repair shop customers in Canada — those not supported by Tech distributors — will be able to access the company’s tire and wheel service products at products.techtirerepairs.com.

The company’s U.S. e-commerce site launched in 2019.

“Our U.S. e-commerce site has been a great proof of concept and steady source of new customers,” said Joe Cole, TRC’s vice president of global marketing. “We’ve handed off 100% of the leads to our distribution network, and many of those leads have turned into big accounts.”

 

The Alliance Bolsters Its I.T. Team

Lance Brierley has joined the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance as its senior manager of technology solutions, reporting directly to Chief Information Officer and Vice President Dale Hopkins. Brierley most recently was director of product management – automotive for Epicor Software. Prior to that, he was general manager – North America for MAM Software. Both companies are information technology partners of The Alliance.

 

Nexus Adds Japanese Suppliers Partnerships Manager

Nexus Automotive International has added Masashi Ogawa as its Japanese suppliers partnerships manager. Ogawa is tasked with promoting leading Japanese manufacturers around the world. His addition follows the establishment of a hub in Osaka, Japan to accelerate and support Nexus’ partners at a global and local level.

 

IHS Markit, Federal-Mogul Veteran Mark Seng Joins Predii Advisory Board

Mark Seng has joined the advisory board of Predii, a company that handles automotive aftermarket and OES data processing using artificial intelligence.

Seng was the global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Markit and, before that, the company’s aftermarket and commercial vehicle vice president. Prior to IHS Markit, Seng spent more than 20 years with Federal-Mogul in various content management, product management, marketing, sales and distribution capacities.

 

 

Goodyear Air Springs Business Sells For $39.50 Million

EnPro Industries has completed the sale of STEMCO Air Springs/Goodyear Air Springs to an affiliate of the private equity group Turnspire Capital Partners for $39.50 million.

The purchase price is subject to adjustment based on the amount of cash and working capital on the closing date, consisting of $25 million in cash at closing, a long-term promissory note with a face value of $7.50 million that will be stated at fair value and the retention of accounts receivable of approximately $7.00 million.

Goodyear Air Springs is the first acquisition of Infinity Engineered Products, a new platform formed by Turnspire.

“Through our new company, Infinity Engineered Products, we look forward to building on the Goodyear Air Springs legacy by increasing the business’ already substantial investment in research and development, technology and new product development, and other initiatives,” Turnspire Partner Abel Osorio said in an announcement dated Nov. 23. “We are incredibly excited to support the Infinity team as it pursues attractive growth opportunities and strategic acquisitions.”

Headquartered in Fairlawn, OH, Goodyear Air Springs is a provider of premium air springs for trucks, trailers, buses and specialty vehicles, and a preferred partner to OEMs and trucking fleets globally. Infinity’s acquisition includes …
• Full brand licensing rights.
• The technical, research and design center in Fairlawn.
• All manufacturing facilities.
• All intellectual property.
• All real estate in the United States and Mexico.
• All personnel.

David Brinkman, who was general manager of Goodyear Air Springs for EnPro, is now the CEO of Infinity Engineered Products.

Goodyear Air Springs will continue to go to market under a global and exclusive license from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, which founded the business in 1957.

Backcast Partners Management, a provider of capital for both middle-market private equity and non-private equity-owned companies, made an investment supporting the acquisition. Backcast’s investment consisted of senior secured debt and an equity co-investment.

Turnspire has experience in the automotive, truck and trailer industries. Its portfolio includes the Crane Carrier Company of New Philadelphia, OH, which makes purpose-built truck chassis and specialty engineered vehicles, and MPI Products of Rochester Hills, MI, which manufactures high-precision, fine-blanked metal components for automotive and industrial applications.

 

Peterson Manufacturing Names Marketing, Business Development Director

Peterson Manufacturing has announced Jeff Geoffroy as its director of marketing and business development, responsible for increasing brand awareness, expanding customer engagement, leading all go-to-market activities, and working with larger OEM customers on strategies to expand Peterson’s solutions to help solve lighting and harness issues.

Geoffroy was senior global product marketing manager for IBM’s Watson Commerce Group and director of product marketing for ZoomInfo. He also spent 15 years with Bose Corp.

 

HDAW One-On-One Meetings Adapting To Suit New Virtual Format

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week 2021 (HDAW ‘21) conference organizers have announced expanded opportunities for distributors and suppliers to engage in private, virtual business meetings Jan. 27-28. There will be a total of 20 one-on-one meeting opportunities available over the two days. Meeting times will be stretched over the full day to accommodate time zones.

Participation in these private meeting opportunities are limited to distributor companies and supplier manufacturers that are members of a sponsoring or affiliated organization. For additional information, including FAQs, click here.

 

ASA To Host Virtual Expo, Training Event This Spring

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) will host a virtual conference and expo April 30 to May 1. The event, titled ASA X50, will include a variety of training opportunities along with a virtual expo geared toward shops owners, technicians, service writers and managers in the automotive repair and collision sectors.

According to ASA, the virtual expo will include a “walk-around” feature that allows attendees to explore new products and services, get informational material, visit vendor representatives and watch videos. Attendees also will have one-on-one opportunities to discuss ASA member specials or schedule appointments.

“Our virtual platform will provide attendees opportunities to learn from and interact with instructors, sponsors and their peers in a way that uses the latest technology to strengthen their networks and build their industry knowledge,” said Ray Fisher, president and executive director of ASA.

Content will remain online and available to registrants on demand for 30 days following the event. Attendee registration will open Feb. 1. Click here for more information about ASA X50.

 

ASE Expands Spanish-Language Test Options

ASE has added Spanish translations to select certification tests to better serve the increasing number of Spanish-speaking professional service providers. No special registration procedure is needed to access the Spanish translations, which are built into the ASE test delivery screen.

Service technicians taking ASE automobile certification tests today in the subject areas of suspension and steering (A4), brakes (A5), electrical/electronic systems (A6) or auto maintenance and light repair (G1) have the option to see each question in a split-screen, Spanish/English format.

Starting in January, maintenance and light repair (G1) and all automobile tests (A1-A8) — with the exception of light-duty diesel (A9) — will be available with a Spanish translation.

All ASE tests will continue to have a searchable English-to-Spanish glossary of technical terms to help resolve dialectal differences. And anyone for whom English is a second language may bring a standard, published English-to-foreign language dictionary to use at the test center.

Click here for information in Spanish about the new translation option.

 

ASE Now Part Of Ford Training Equivalencies

The Ford Customer Service Division now offers the Ford Accepted Service Training (FAST) program, which gives technicians with professional-level ASE certifications a shorter path to obtaining course equivalency credit toward Ford Service Technician Specialty Training (STST). This includes credit for professional-level ASE certifications that are aligned to the STST curriculum.

It requires a minimum of two years of technician experience and successful completion of the professional-level ASE tests (A1 to A9). This gives technicians equivalency credits of as much as 30% of the STST curriculum with potential credit of as much as 27 e-learning courses. For more information on Ford’s FAST program, click here.

 

 

Techs Think They’re Not Getting Enough Training

According to the 2020 ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC) Training Benchmarks Survey, technicians believe they need 38 hours of structured training on average per year. Yet the survey indicates that OE dealership technicians average 28 hours of structured training per year, and techs working in independent shops average 14 hours of structured training per year. Techs employed by fleets average 16 hours of training per year.

ATMC’s 2020 Training Benchmarks Survey also shows that technicians’ perception of their access to training has become increasingly negative over the past four years. More than half of technicians surveyed perceive their areas of greatest training needs are electrical and electronic, as well as hybrid and electric vehicle systems.

The average age of the service professional workforce is now 47. For more information on the survey, visit atmc.org.

 

Wrench Teams Up With Openbay

Openbay is partnering with the vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair platform Wrench, which provides on-location, contactless automotive services to owners of private and commercial vehicles. Wrench’s pre-purchase car inspection program is available across the United States, while its mobile maintenance and repair work is available in more than 25 metro areas. Wrench also provides disinfecting services.

For Wrench, the alliance is seen as introducing more vehicle owners to its suite of contactless inspection, maintenance and repair services. For Openbay, Wrench’s on-location services augment the options available to motorists on Openbay’s auto repair and maintenance services marketplace.

 

Goodyear Mobile Installation Service Comes To Chicago, Atlanta Suburbs

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has expanded its mobile tire installation service to metro Chicago and Atlanta. Motorists in these localities now can purchase tires on goodyear.com and opt for Mobile Install at checkout to schedule a date, time and location for installation. Technicians in Goodyear mobile vans will travel to the shopper’s home or workplace and will handle all mounting, balancing and installation on-site for no extra cost beyond standard installation.

 

S&P Reaches Deal To Buy IHS Markit

S&P Global has reached a deal to acquire IHS Markit in an all-stock transaction that values IHS Markit at an enterprise value of $44 billion, including $4.80 billion in net debt. Upon completion of the deal, current S&P Global shareholders will own roughly 67.75% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis, while IHS Markit shareholders will own approximately 32.25%. The transaction agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

 

Women In Auto Care Announces February Virtual Conference

Registration is now open for Women in Auto Care’s inaugural virtual conference, Women in Auto Care Week, which is scheduled for Feb. 22-26. The event will feature daily streaming content offered in small blocks to allow more participation for attendees with busy schedules.

According to conference organizers, the event aims to provide attendees with the opportunity to reunite with industry peers in a new way and to reimagine the road ahead. Women in Auto Care Week will include speakers and workshops, personal and professional skill development sessions, breakout engagement activities, networking opportunities, and updates on the industry trends.

Click here to view registration rates and packages for Women in Auto Care Week.

 

AWDA Manufacturers’ Advisory Council Announces New Officers, Members

The AWDA Manufacturers’ Advisory Council (MAC) has announced AJ Alvarez of Dorman Products as its new chairman. Alvarez has served on the council since 2017 and became its vice-chairman in 2018. He follows Doug Arnold of Highline Aftermarket as MAC chairman. Arnold remains on the council as past chair.

Colby Florea of Gates Corp. is now MAC’s vice chairman. Florea served on the council as an at-large member prior to being selected by his peers to enter the chairs.

New at-large members of the MAC are …
Cal Coburn of NGK Spark Plugs USA.
Mike Harvey of the Mann+Hummel Filtration Technology Group.
Julian Hentze of Global Parts Distributors.
Todd Hertzler of Bosch Automotive Aftermarket.
Tom Rafferty of EnerSys.
Kevin Reamer of DRiV Inc.

Departing at-large members are …
Ron Aparicio of Motorcar Parts of America.
David Castillo of Warren Distribution.
Bill Collins of Standard Motor Products.
Larry Easterlin of the Technical Chemical Company.

Also departing is Jeff Blocher of Mann+Hummel Filtration. Blocher has served on the council since 2011 and was chairman from 2016-‘18.

 

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NEW … Hella Inc.: Product Management Specialist – Lighting – (IAM) V

Expert for the highly complex product portfolio (e.g. competition, trends, user needs, Contact Person for major customers and Work out possible strategic opportunities with them). … (more) … Click here to find out more.

NEW … Hella Inc.: ACES/PIES Catalog Manager – Data and Pricing

Working under the guidance of Director of Product Management will work to assure high level of ACES/PIES data quality, distribution and analysis of data to help company’s business profitably grow. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

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.

 

People Watching 12/7/20

• The Integrated Supply Network (ISN) has added Pete Peterson as its chief commercial officer, responsible for U.S. sales and marketing. Peterson is a former senior vice president of global channel strategy at Xerox and senior vice president of global business development at Tech Data.

• The Transtar Holding Company has announced that Executive Vice President and CFO Joe Levanduski’s role has expanded to include COO. Levanduski came to Transtar in 2017 has been involved in developing and executing the company’s growth strategy. Prior to joining Transtar, Levanduski held executive positions with A. Schulman and Hawk Corp.

Chris Hutchinson from the Italian shareholder Novagroup has been elected chairman of the Temot International supervisory board for the 2020-’23 term.

Andy Procell has joined Axalta as its director of strategic sales – North America. Procell was a regional vice president and general manager with FinishMaster Inc. His background also includes time as vice president of sales and customer service at MEDCO Tool as well as vice president of commercial sales and operations for Pep Boys.

• Dwight “Skip” Wier has retired as central zone manager at Auto Magic, an ITW company. Wier is a former purchasing manager for the Arnold Oil Company and a former corporate purchasing manager for FinishMaster.

 

News Briefs 12/7/20

• Turn 14 Distribution has added high-performance engine dampers from ATI Performance Products, truck bed covers from UnderCover, and truck bed covers and accessories from Truxedo to its line card.

• Auto Parts Authority of Edmonton, Alberta has joined Bestbuy Distributors Limited as a full member shareholder. Scott Strabel and Mark Haner, owners of Auto Parts Authority (formerly Bumper to Bumper South), are experienced auto part store owners who have been serving the Edmonton aftermarket for over 20 years.

• AutoZone has donated $50,000 to the TechForce Foundation. The company has been a partner in the foundation’s workforce development campaign.

• The Auto Care Association’s 2021 State of Auto Care report is now available to all members via the Auto Care Digital Hub.

Osram Sylvania has launched a line of Sylvania-branded portable tire inflators: a rapid portable tire inflator, a “pro” portable tire inflator, a “plus” portable tire inflator and a “basic” portable tire inflator. The full line of Sylvania tire inflation units is available on Amazon.

Turtle Wax has announced a long-term licensing agreement with Integrated Resources International for the cleaner and disinfectant Byotrol24. Using the Byotrol24 technology, Turtle Wax has created a new multi-purpose cleaner and disinfectant spray designed to clean and sanitize a vehicle’s interior without damaging its surfaces. The product is available on walmart.com and at select Walmart stores.

Mercedes-Benz USA has approved Car-O-Liner structural repair equipment and tools for use in Mercedes Certified Collision Centers. Recommended products include the BenchRack 5500, 6300, EVO Fixturing and Vision X3 measuring.

• KYB plans to launch a seven-part training series for technicians and service writers starting in January. Topics will include customer satisfaction, electronic crash avoidance systems, road testing and truck upgrade opportunities. Click here for more information.

• Epicor Software Corp. has launched a technology initiative called Epic Results that features free, in-depth business growth consultations to owners and other representatives of vehicle service providers, replacement parts distributors and manufacturers. Visit epicor.com/EPICResults for more information.

• Mitchell 1’s Manager SE shop management system now allows shop owners and managers to access business reports when they are not physically at the shop. This includes such reports as work in progress, sales by service adviser, invoice profit, inventory part sales and outstanding purchase orders.

• Construction has begun on a 30,000 square-foot expansion to Kaeser Compressors’ U.S. headquarters in Virginia. The new space will accommodate an additional 100 employees and allow the company to better support its U.S. distribution network and business. Construction is expected to be complete in November 2021.

• Tyrata Inc., a tire sensor and data management company, has opened an office in Germany to manage sales, distribution and service for its IntelliTread Drive-Over System in Europe.

 

Financial Briefs 12/7/20

• Corporate raider Carl Icahn has sold more than 350,000 shares of Tenneco Inc. common stock for nearly $3.85 million between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2. This reduced Icahn’s stake in Tenneco to 14.37%, according to Seeking Alpha.

• Tenneco has completed its previously announced offering of $500 million in 7.875% senior secured notes due 2029. The company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering together with available cash to redeem all of its outstanding 4.875% senior secured notes due 2022, including the payment of premiums, accrued and unpaid interest, and expenses related to such redemption, which is scheduled to occur Dec. 14, 2020.

• Shop-Ware, which specializes in cloud-based shop management software for independent repair shops, announced Dec. 2 that it has secured $15 million in “Series A” funding led by Insight Partners, a global venture capital and private equity firm. According to Shop-Ware, the investment will be used to expand its engineering, support and sales teams; to ramp up the number of shops adopting the platform; and to speed up their onboarding period.

• Worksport Ltd. has launched a “Regulation A” investment opportunity, which allows securities to be issued to the public. Proceeds will be used to further develop and expedite the launch of its TerraVis tonneau covers with integrated solar panels, along with other projects to be announced.

• Ocean Bio-Chem Inc. — which, among other things, manufactures a line of automotive products under the Star brite and Star Tron brand names — has announced that its board of directors has authorized a program to repurchase as much as $3 million of the company’s common stock in the open market or through negotiated transactions. Ocean Bio-Chem intends to finance the purchases using available working capital.

 

Event & Trade Show Briefs 12/7/20

• Recordings of some of the top SEMA360 Education program sessions are available to all industry professionals on the SEMA Show YouTube channel. Viewers will be able to see the presentations, including questions and answers, that took place during the SEMA360 event.

• Performance Racing Industry (PRI) has announced the education schedule for the virtual 2020 PRI Show taking place Dec. 9-12. Sessions will address a variety of topics, including social media strategy, pricing policies, sponsorship activation and building brand awareness.

NASTF’s second virtual general meeting of 2020 will take place Wednesday, Dec. 9. Visit the events section of nastf.org for more details.

• Cardone Industries President and CEO Mike Carr will join AASA’s Modern Industry eXpertise (MIX) council for a reverse mentoring session on Wednesday, Dec. 9. During the virtual event, MIX members and Carr will discuss issues important to aftermarket emerging leaders. Click here for additional information about the session.

• The Tarsus Group has rescheduled the 2021 Tyrexpo Asia from March to Nov. 17-19 in Singapore. For more information, visit tyrexpoasia.com.

 

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