Auto parts maker ArvinMeritor has followed through on its promise to divest parts of its business and has agreed to sell its Purolator filter unit to The Bosch Group and Mann+Hummel.
The deal is expected to take force April 1, 2006 and will be operated as a 50/50 joint venture for the two German companies.
The acquisition covers all Purolator oil, air, fuel, and cabin air filters. At its site in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Purolator produces filters for both the OE and aftermarket sectors, and at its site in Salt Lake City, Utah, it maintains a small distribution centre.
In Canada, the business is managed out of the same facility that handles ArvinMeritor’s Gabriel and Maremont businesses.
Although there were no details from either company on how this transaction may affect Canadian operations, it was greeted with approval by the head of Robert Bosch’s operations in Canada.
“I am very excited about the opportunities that this acquisition will offer us and our distribution partners in Canada,” says Lou Bauldic, vice-president, Automotive.
In 2005, Purolator recorded sales of $267 million U.S. The acquisition is subject to approval by the relevant authorities.
The divestiture follows an earlier announcement by ArvinMeritor that it would be seeking to sell its Light Vehicle Aftermarket businesses piecemeal over the remainder of 2006.
“Expanding our filter business is an integral part of our growth strategy in the Automotive Aftermarket Division,” says Peter Tyroller, Bosch Board of Management member. “In acquiring the Purolator filter business, we are significantly improving our market position in the NAFTA region.”
“With Purolator, we are closing our strategic gap, as far as filtration facilities in North America are concerned. We have been extending our activities specifically in this region since 1997,” says Dr. Dieter Seipler, CEO of Mann+Hummel. “For Mann+Hummel, Purolator perfectly complements our business in North America in the OE sector and in the independent aftermarket.”
ACDelco Announces Trilingual Electronic Catalogue
ACDelco has announced that its Internet parts catalogue can now be viewed in English, French, and Spanish.
The Web Integrated Service Environment (WISE) and WISE Internet Parts (WIP) tools allow customers to check inventory and order parts online. WIP provides a standalone service option dedicated to comprehensive cataloguing as well as simplifying administration for web-enabled ACDelco distributors.
“When searching for or ordering parts, customers need a clear, easy-to-use, efficient program,” says Steve Sigg, ACDelco e-business manager. “This trilingual option of WIP provides a far more inclusive program, and makes the catalog search and parts ordering process a better fit to the needs of our Hispanic and French Canadian customers.”
ACDelco is also expected to expand WIP in the near future with the addition of collision parts ordering.
Automotive Institute Adds E-Learning
The Canadian Automotive Institute at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario has made the Automotive Aftermarket E-learning Centre Ltd. part of the curriculum in the Fixed Operations Diploma and Aftermarket Degree courses.
The AAEC site will be introduced into the curriculum during the 2006 summer and fall semesters, utilizing a Georgian College Blackboard Academic Suite.
Bob Greenwood, president and CEO of Aftermarket E-Learning Center Ltd., says, “This is exciting news for AAEC because it is another acknowledgement that our aftermarket philosophy and content on the site is very pertinent in today’s successful aftermarket management processes.
“We are looking forward to working very closely and enjoying a long-term, productive relationship with the Georgian College-CAI faculty. The site content will continue to be adjusted to meet the ever-changing business management demands and climate of the Canadian aftermarket sector.”
Zurawel Patton Sample to Rep ContiTech Brand
Zurawel Patton Sample has been appointed to provide sales representation in Canada for CRP Canada Inc.’s ContiTech brand of belts.
CRP is the newly created business segment of CRP Industries Inc., Carteret N.J., and longtime partner with Continental AG as an importer of ContiTech branded belts in North America. The company recently launched its domestic aftermarket belt program.
“CRP is very pleased in welcoming ZPS to our sales representative network, and we are looking forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for our partnership,” says Ken Edwards, CRP Canada’s general manager. “ZPS is a well-respected national sales agency serving the replacement parts distribution channels across Canada, and their team is well known for great service and hard work.”
ZPS will be responsible for all new CRP domestic market accounts, extending CRP Canada’s product offering into that market for the first time. “ZPS has emerged as one of the leading agencies in Canada, with sales professionals in every territory,” says Edwards, “and they will bring the same high level of commitment and service to CRP’s new customers and activities that CRP is known for.”
CarFixWorld Association Support Building
Several automotive organizations have joined in supporting CarFixWorld, Canada’s only national automotive trade event, scheduled for this September.
Now scheduled for three days, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2006 at Toronto’s National Trade Centre, CarFixWorld has added a Friday opening to accommodate students at the request of its 22-member industry advisory committee.
Several organizations, both national and Ontario-based, have indicated their support for the establishment of the show, especially as an annual event to showcase the service profession.
“CarFixWorld is taking a strong step to help position automotive service and repair as an exciting professional choice,” notes John Norris, executive director of the Hamilton District Autobody Repair Association (HARA).
According to John Scissons, executive director of NATA as well as manager of SAAR, the Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers, “CarFixWorld’s commitment to education and recruitment is great for the industry. NATA plans to pitch in and help ensure the show’s success.”
Bill Burkimsher, executive director of the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario, notes that his organization is eager to see CarFixWorld become an annual event.
“We are eager for young people to see the entire industry, so they perceive the automotive aftermarket as an attractive career opportunity. At the same time, technicians already involved can update their knowledge about the latest products and techniques.”
For more information, visit CarFixWorld.com.
Radiator Specialty Celebrates 75 Years
Radiator Specialty Company of Canada is pleased to announce that 2006 marks the rare milestone of doing business in Canada for 75 years.
“This celebration is a remarkable achievement, especially for a privately-held company in this merger mania climate. This stability has enabled the company to remain loyal to its core values of quality products and excellent customer service,” says Richard Navin, national sales manager.
I.D. Blumenthal of Charlotte, N.C. founded the company in Toronto, Ont. in 1931, and control remains with the Blumenthal family today. Now located in Mississauga, Ont., Radiator Specialty has over 300 products, two divisions (automotive and plumbing), and created many established brands including Gunk, Solder Seal, Liquid Wrench, Tite-Seal, and Puncture Seal.
Tenneco Expands Training Efforts
Tenneco Automotive’s automotive training road show is being expanded for 2006.
The Monroe Ride & Drive training experience, which has helped thousands of automotive professionals explore the advantages of premium ride control technologies for domestic and import vehicles, will return in an expanded format this year as the Tenneco Technology Tour.
The Technology Tour will visit 38 major North American cities and is expected to attract more than 8,000 professional technicians for ride control and brake system test drives, in-depth diagnostic and sales training, and a preview of innovative new technologies from Tenneco’s global original equipment portfolio.
The Tour team will also provide on-site ride control and brake training for an estimated 5,000 additional technicians through shop visits and distributor-sponsored clinics throughout 2006.
Spectra Premium Wins Pep Boys Business
Spectra Premium Industries Inc. of Boucherville, Que. has announced that it will supply the U.S. chain Pep Boys with radiators and heater cores.
Pep Boys has 593 stores and more than 6,000 service bays in 36 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its vehicle repair and maintenance capabilities, the company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market and is one of the leading sellers of replacement tires in the United States.
“This award fulfills one of the primary objectives we had for the year, which was to sign a first supply agreement on radiators with a leading U.S. parts store chain. We are very pleased to expand our customer base with the addition of Pep Boys, the U.S leading full-service automotive aftermarket retail and service chain,” says Jacques Mombleau, president and chief executive officer of Spectra Premium.
Right to Repair Meeting Seeks Support
The Automotive Industries Association of Canada recently met in Toronto with three dozen representatives from other automotive associations and businesses to discuss the Right to Repair issue.
At the meeting, chair Michael Reiss, president of Carquest Canada, said, “To me, what this is about is the freedom to make choices.” At issue is the ability of consumers to receive effective and efficient service for their vehicles, which is threatened by the blocking of repair information and tools by many automakers from the independent service sector. “What keeps me awake at night is the channel shift [to the car dealer] that has occurred in the aftermarket.” If the current trend continues, estimates put this to be as much as $2 billion in service business lost to the dealer by 2010.
Key goals of the meeting were to initiate discussions on strategies for advancing the issue in Canada, and to seek support from other associations for doing so.
The battle for Right to Repair and access to information has been waging for years in the U.S. A voluntary agreement between the Automotive Service Association and automakers gave rise to the National Automotive Service Task Force, which acts as a conduit for repair information. Concurrently, an ongoing struggle has waged to have the access mandated through legislation.
“It is absolutely essential that we be in lockstep agreement with [the U.S.],” for the overall goal, says Ray Datt, AIA president.
Beck/Arnley Opens New Canadian Warehouse
Beck/Arnley Worldparts Corporation has announced the opening of a new warehouse in Mississauga, Ont.
The facility is located at 3620B Laird Road, Units 10 & 11, Mississauga, Ont.
“We’re really excited about this new facility. This is a great opportunity for Beck/Arnley and the Canadian aftermarket,” says Vince McMahon, vice-president, operations. “Sales are growing rapidly and this will enable us to service our Canadian customers more quickly and efficiently.”
Beck/Arnley products were previously distributed out of a facility in Ayr, Ont. Along with 11,000 square feet of distribution space, the new Mississauga, Ont. location will contain a return and warranty processing centre and the Canadian sales offices.
Hans McCorriston, aftermarket veteran and dedicated supporter of the automotive machinist trade, passed away in January at the age of 80.
A member of the Centennial College faculty, he retired in 1989 after 21 years at the college.
He had also worked tirelessly with the Automotive Machine & Parts Association. When that association folded, the Hans McCorriston Motive Power Machinist Grant was created by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s Engine Rebuilders Council in his honour.
It was named in recognition of McCorriston’s contributions to the motive power industry over the years, and for his inspiration in ensuring that future motive power machinists will receive assistance as they pursue their dream of becoming a vital member of the automotive aftermarket industry.
NGK Spark Plugs Canada has announced that Jeff W. Sauv has joined the company as district manager for the Central and Northern Ontario markets. Sauv has more than 15 years of automotive aftermarket experience, having worked at the jobber store level as well as in a manufacturer’s representative role. Sauv has also held positions within the original equipment market and is returning to the traditional aftermarket.
Wakefield Canada has announced the appointment of Mark Pagnanelli to the position of heavy duty marketing manager. Pagnanelli joins Wakefield after eight years with the commercial marketing division of Goodyear Canada Inc., where he was responsible for the G3 product portfolio of commercial truck tires. A Toronto native, he is an avid power boater and snowmobiler who enjoys outdoor recreation in Northern Ontario. Wakefield Canada is the exclusive distributor and marketer of Castrol lubricants in Canada.