Auto Service World
Feature   March 1, 2003   by Auto Service World

Over The Counter: March 2003

Standard Motor Products to Acquire Dana Engine Management

Standard Motor Products, Inc. has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of the engine management operations of Dana Corporation’s Automotive Aftermarket Group.

Standard Motor Products, best known in Canada through its Blue Streak-Hygrade subsidiary, is a primary manufacturer of many underhood components including oxygen sensors, and also remanufactures electronic components.

The Dana acquisition includes most plants, equipment, and inventories associated with several brands, along with other assets.

The companies report that the acquisition is for approximately $120 million U.S., in a combination of cash and stock. In 2002, sales of Dana’s Engine Management Division were slightly below $300 million U.S. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2003.

Information from both companies indicates that existing Dana brands will continue under the new ownership.

Hastings’ Canadian Unit to Acquire Canadian Engine Parts Distributor

Hastings, Inc. will expand its Canadian presence with the acquisition of Toronto, Ont., based engine parts distributor Ertel Manufacturing Corp.

Hastings Manufacturing Co. announced its intention to purchase the company with the signing of a definitive agreement. Ertel Manufacturing Corp. of Canada, Ltd. is a leading distributor of internal engine components throughout Canada.

Hastings, based in Michigan, is a piston ring manufacturer and engine-products specialist. The company says the acquisition will allow its Barrie, Ontario-based Hastings Inc. unit to increase market share and significantly expand its Canadian presence. Privately held Ertel Manufacturing, which posted sales of approximately $24 million in 2002, distributes a full line of internal engine parts through 13 distribution centres in Canada.

On completion of the transaction, the company will sell a full range of internal engine components, including piston rings, pistons, gaskets, bearings, camshafts, and other parts. The combined company will be headed by Robert Weatherston, president of Hastings Inc. Hastings said the transaction, which remains subject to certain contingencies, is expected to close in mid-March. Terms were not disclosed.

Federal-Mogul to Acquire Bendix Friction Business

Federal-Mogul Corporation is poised to purchase the Bendix friction materials business from Honeywell.

Information from Federal-Mogul, which already supplies several brands of brake friction to the OE and aftermarket levels including Wagner and Ferodo, says that the company has entered into a letter of intent to acquire the Bendix friction materials business.

Consummation of the acquisition will be conditional upon Honeywell receiving a bankruptcy court-issued permanent injunction shielding it from all current and future asbestos liabilities related to Honeywell’s worldwide friction materials business.

Federal-Mogul is poised to emerge from its current voluntary bankruptcy protection filing to protect it from those ballooning liability cases.

Under terms of the transaction, Federal-Mogul would acquire Bendix’s worldwide friction materials business, with the exception of certain U.S.- based assets. For up to two years following the closing, Honeywell will continue to operate certain of its U.S.-based plants to manufacture friction materials on a contract basis for Federal-Mogul. Federal-Mogul will obtain the rights to the Bendix and Jurid brand names for friction products.

Hair Razing Tale Raises Funds for Charity

Paul Martell, the owner of the NAPA-Tatamagouche, N.S. auto parts store, wanted to raise money for a worthy cause, with nothing going to waste.

The (now formerly) hirsute Martell elected to raise money for Wigs for Kids, a national program run by the Canadian Cancer Society, by sacrificing his own flowing locks. Martell agreed to completely shave his head and an unspecified amount of money was raised as a result. Martell’s shorn locks have also been donated to the cause.

Delphi Strikes Deal with Canadian Battery Distributor

Delphi Product & Service Solutions, part of Delphi Corporation, and Magnacharge Battery Company, a subsidiary of Battery & Wireless Solutions Inc. of Delta, British Columbia, have announced a strategic agreement establishing Magnacharge as one of Delphi’s key battery specialists in North America.

Under the terms of the agreement, Magnacharge will act as a feeder to Delphi national accounts in Canada, as well as to inventory, sell and distribute Delphi products to its client base. The agreement makes Magnacharge responsible for the fulfilment of orders to some of Delphi’s most significant customers in Canada.

Refrigerant Take-Back Program Launched in Ontario

Environment Air has launched a program that will expedite the removal of R-12 and mixed refrigerants from garages in Ontario, where R-12 recharging became illegal last year.

“We’ve come up with a tank that will hold 50 lbs. and the garage will pay $500 when they purchase the use of the cylinder,” says Bill Northam of Environment Air.

“There’s no time limit,” says Northam. “If it takes 30 days or two years to fill it up is okay. We don’t care what goes in it. Everything goes for destruction. It won’t get separated and recycled.”

A licensed hazardous waste disposal facility has been selected to provide the destruction. The cost of this service is included in the program.

Used Oil Update

Under the new Used Oil Control Regulations in Newfoundland, which go into effect April 1, 2003, used oil will be banned from disposal in landfills and must be properly collected for recycling and reuse. The government will not implement a consumer levy on the sale of oil.


Federal-Mogul has relocated its Canadian head office to a new office and distribution facility. The new 85,000-square-foot building is located at 59 Administration Road, Concord, Ont. Main phone and fax numbers remain (905) 761-5400, fax (905) 761-5600, although direct dial numbers for some personnel have changed.


Brake Parts Canada, Inc. has announced that its manufacturing facility in Mississauga, Ont. has achieved certification to the ISO14001 standard requirements for creating an environmental management system. Brake Parts Canada Inc. in Mississauga is one of the largest producers of brake shoe stampings, disc, and drum brake backing plates.

CASCAR Returns to Streets of Toronto, Vancouver

CASCAR has announced its 2003 Super Series race schedule, including races at the 2003 Molson Indy events in Toronto and Vancouver.

In announcing its schedule, CASCAR also announced the signing of a two-year agreement with Molson Sports and Entertainment that will see the series return to the Molson Indy Toronto and Vancouver events as the Saturday feature race.

The series had initially been replaced at these events by the rival International Stockcar Alliance, but that organization went belly-up without turning a wheel in February. The collapse of that series has left a series of lawsuits and claims of misleading information by would-be promoters and drivers.

The CASCAR schedule adds a second date at both Kawartha Speedway, and at Cayuga 2000 Speedway, which will host the final event of the season. The season will open with its traditional date at Delaware Speedway, and the second Super Series event at Delaware will return to its traditional date on Labour Day Weekend.