Auto Service World
Feature   January 1, 2006   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter January 2006

Midas, Uni-Select Sign Exhaust Parts Deal

Midas Inc. has officially announced that it has agreed to let Uni-Select Inc. supply Tenneco Automotive Inc.’s exhaust products to its stores in Canada.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the agreement, Uni-Select will supply the more than 200 Canadian Midas stores with Walker brand exhaust products. The brand replaces Midas’ own since the company closed its Hartford, Wisc., exhaust products plant in September, marking its exit from the exhaust manufacturing business.

By early 2006, Uni-Select will begin phasing the products into Midas shops. The Midas chain has been in the process of moving out of the manufacturing and distribution business since 2003, having closed 11 of its 12 North American distribution centres.

On the news, announced in mid-December, Midas shares rose 43 cents, or 2.4%, to $18.36, and Tenneco shares fell 13 cents to $18.07 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. All figures in U.S. dollars.

Grandwest Enterprises Receives Award from Lund International

Lund International has presented Grandwest Enterprises with an appreciation award honouring its 25 years of service as a wholesale distributor the company’s pick-up truck, van and car accessories.

Grandwest Enterprises began as a distributor for the Deflecta-Shield brand over two decades ago. Headquartered in Saskatoon, Sask., Grandwest has the largest stock of truck accessories in Canada, with more than 100,000 square feet in warehouse space.

“We go back many years together,” says Eric Medves, sales director for Lund International. “We have seen many changes in the automotive industry and Grandwest has been a staunch supporter of the Lund International brands through those changes. It’s our honour to be able to present them with this award.”

Cardone Industries Opens Distribution Centre in Edmonton

Cardone Industries, a leader in remanufactured and new automotive parts, has opened a new distribution centre in Edmonton, Alta., to complement its warehouse in Toronto, Ont.

This new distribution centre offers Cardone’s customers in Western Canada improved access to the company’s line of A1 Cardone remanufactured and Cardone new products.

“We are very excited to offer this to our Western Canadian customers. Cardone views the entire Canadian market as a growth opportunity. Now with two Canadian warehouse locations, and our Canadian sales force headed by Doug Williams and his organization, we are committed to meeting the needs of the growing Canadian market,” says Mark Cohen, strategic account executive for Canada.

Cardone is a family- and employee-owned and -operated company with additional locations in Philadelphia, Pa.; Ontario, Calif.; Mexico; and Europe. It is a leading supplier of automotive products, including a full line of brakes, drivetrain, electrical, electronics, motors, pumps, and steering components.

NGK Gives and Gets Awards

NGK Spark Plugs Canada Limited has been busy giving away prizes and receiving a few of its own.

Not only was it named as the NAPA Canada Supplier of the Year for 2004 for its outstanding performance in terms of head office support, fill rate, marketing and promotional support, it also received a prestigious Canadian Professional Sales Association’s Corporate Ambassador for Sales Excellence Award.

The award was created to recognize the efforts of a company in developing its salespeople and to increasing professionalism in sales.

The Professional Standards Council of the association used a stringent set of criteria as it deliberated over the list of national finalists, selecting from companies that support the sales certification process by employing at least 50% of their sales team as Certified Sales Professionals and are committed to professionalism and continuous improvement by providing and enforcing the Maintenance of Certification requirement of 20 hours of training per CSP annually.

The award has only been presented to a handful of companies over the years.

NGK also announced the winners of a key promotion. The “Plug In and Learn” Plug Pro Launch Promotion awarded 35 iPod Shuffles, 25 Plug Pro jackets, and a grand prize 60-inch plasma screen television. The promotion combined product knowledge instruction with testing.

The winner of the grand prize was Mike McGrath of Motorcade in Toronto, Ont. Notably, among the winners of the limited-edition Plug Pro jacket was 2005 Jobber News Counterperson of the Year Rob Grabowski of Thunder Bay, who proudly wore it to Toronto for the award ceremony in December.

Tenneco Presents Ride Control Clinics

Tenneco Automotive attracted a full house to two Monroe technical clinics it organized.

The technical clinics focused on ride control and were hosted by Sidney Gay, North American trainer for the company.

His engaging style and the role-playing approach helps technicians both understand the technical aspects of ride control and ways to communicate important facts to consumers.

“He spends the entire year putting on training clinics all over North America, so it is a rare treat to get him in Canada as his availability is hard to work around,” says Sandy Kligman, area sales manager for Tenneco Automotive, who organized the clinics. “Sidney has a unique, fun and hugely informative approach to technical training, and almost all who see him feel as if they look at their overall business in a new way.”

ASC Industries Repeats as Alliance Vendor of the Year

ASC Industries, Inc., has been recognized as Outstanding Private Label Supplier of the Year for the second straight year by the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.

ASC also received the Silver Level Supplier Award for Outstanding Shipping Performance from the Alliance for the second year in a row, for order fill rates in excess of 97%.

Richard Morgan, president and CEO of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, presented awards to ASC representatives during the December meeting of Alliance members in Florida, at which vendors and shareholders were present. The Alliance honoured ASC with the same awards in 2004.

“In the short time we have been partnered with ASC, it has proven to be a quality supplier for us,” said Morgan.

“It was quite an honour when ASC was recognized as the Outstanding Private Label Vendor and acknowledged with a Silver Level order fill award last year,” says Jeff Sandt, vice- president of sales and marketing for ASC. “But it is very special for a vendor who has had a fairly new relationship with the Alliance to receive these accolades a second consecutive time.”


Brian Fleming has been appointed to the position of director of marketing, Affinia Canada Corp. In this expanded role, Fleming will be responsible for marketing activities involving all undercar and underhood customers in the Canadian marketplace. Having been with Dana Brake & Chassis, the precursor of Affinia, for a number of years, Fleming has an extensive industry background and brings valuable customer knowledge to this newly created position.

TCS Performance Products has announced the hiring of “Catfish” Potesta as product development manager. With 25 years’ experience in the automotive industry, Catfish was employed with Keystone Performance Warehouse and Dix Performance, honing his skills within the parts, service and racing sectors of the business. For the last 12 years he was employed with Mopac Auto Supply’s Wholesale Division (MPD).

CRP Industries, Inc., a North American supplier of automotive products and longtime partner with Continental AG as exclusive distributor of ContiTech branded belts in North America, has announced the appointment of Kenneth Edwards as general manager, CRP Canada Inc. He will be responsible for the overall management of CRP’s activities in the Canadian market, including direct sales management of current accounts as well as all new account acquisition efforts.

Agri-Cover, Inc. (ACI) has announced that Rick Hermann has accepted the position of national accounts manager. Hermann has been in the automotive aftermarket industry for the past 19 years with companies such as Dee Zee, Steel Horse, and Putco. Hermann is located in Ankeny, Iowa with his wife and two children.

PartSource Acquires Thunder Bay Operations

Canadian Tire’s PartSource chain of auto parts stores has acquired Thunder Bay Best Buy, a two-store auto parts business in Thunder Bay, Ont.

The stores will continue to operate in their current locations in Thunder Bay until the plans for a new PartSource store are finalized. At that time, the North Cumberland Street store will be relocated to the new site, while the North Vickers Street will continue to operate in its current location.

The acquisition represents PartSource’s first entry into Northwestern Ontario.

Uni-Select Purchases U.S. Distributor

Uni-Select USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Uni-Select Inc., announced an agreement to purchase the assets of The Kunz Oil Co.

Kunz Oil operates a distribution centre and three branch locations for automotive replacement parts in Minneapolis, Minn. and adjoining suburbs.

This business development is expected to add annual sales of $10 million U.S. to Uni-Select’s Automotive Group USA.

Annual World Auto

Shad’s Tradition Continues

Each year World Auto in Toronto, Ont., has forgone giving gifts to customers in favour of making a contribution to the Shad’s R&R for Muscular Dystrophy charitable cause.

This year was no different, and members of the warehouse distributor joined with members of Shad’s R&R board to make the contribution and challenge others in the aftermarket to do the same.

Shad’s R&R raises funds to support research into finding a cure for muscular dystrophy. A series of fundraising efforts culminates in an annual golf tournament each June.

This year, the cause expects to surpass the $3 million mark in total contributions since its inception.

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