Auto Service World
News   February 12, 2021   by Christine Hogg

Plews & Edelmann CEO is taking power steering in a whole new direction


In early December 2020, Plews & Edelmann appointed Dan Billie to the position of chief executive officer.

A 25-year veteran of the automotive aftermarket, Billie first joined Plews & Edelmann in September 2019, bringing a wealth of commercial experience and executive leadership to the company. He previously served as executive vice president of APC Automotive Technologies and as senior vice president of Cardone Industries.

“I had the opportunity to work with the executive team for well over a year both as a consultant and the CCO, so the transition wasn’t as daunting as it may have been for someone coming in cold,” Billie said.

As North America’s singular source for offering a wide array of power steering components, including hard parts, hoses, and a multi-application filter, Billie says his main focus has squarely been on growing the application parts side of the business in ways that add value to the aftermarket and the company at large.

Under Billie’s executive leadership, Plews & Edelmann has recently gone through a significant business transformation. After divesting its retail business unit and directing its focus on application parts, Plews & Edelmann recently announced a new power steering component program under the Edelmann Elite brand that complements its power steering hose business.

Divesting the retail business

Plews & Edelmann previously operated two unique business units.

“While there was some customer overlap, the vast majority of customers who purchased from one category, didn’t purchase from the other,” Billie said. “Based on this lack of true synergy, we made a collective decision to divest our non-automotive application parts unit in order to concentrate our efforts on the application parts business for which the Edelmann brand is best known.”

Launched in late October under the Edelman Elite brand, the new high quality power steering hard parts program includes power steering rack and pinion assemblies, power steering pumps, and power steering gear boxes.

Designed to outperform remanufactured parts in both quality and reliability, it delivers application coverage not available in a new product in the aftermarket and is priced to provide a competitive option for WDs and independent repair shops over OE dealer sourced parts.

“We’re excited about this future focus. The Edelmann brand is a 100-year-old legacy franchise known throughout North America for its quality and value,” Billie said. “We plan on continuing the proud heritage of the brand as we expand in other categories moving forward.”

Plews & Edelmann had originally intended to launch the hard parts program at Industry Week in 2020, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, had to instead deploy a virtual launch with product in-house and ready to ship. Since then, the feedback on the company’s fresh take on power steering from the North American aftermarket has been exceptional.

“We’ve thought about this category in ways that others haven’t, and we’re setting a course that’s unique,” Billie said. “Distributors are excited about our entry into the hard parts category.”

Built with 100% brand new parts

Edelmann Elite power steering racks, pumps, and gear boxes are 100 percent new parts, built on Plews & Edelmann’s proprietary tooling platform. No reused, renewed, or remanufactured components are used in any of the assemblies, and every part is 100 percent tested. “We chose to provide new parts because we wanted to dispel the myth that you have to go to the OE dealer to get quality product,” Billie said.

“Because we’re not just sourcing and redistributing product, we are in a strong position to provide the top 80 percent plus application demand in the industry,” Billie continued. “If there is a WD or another distributor that wants to say ‘yes’ to his customer when they ask for new power steering components, we can deliver because we are the only supplier that provides this level of coverage.”

The company’s engineers have also identified and studied the fail modes on the highest warranty SKUs. “Because we own our tooling, we can take steps to eliminate problems that plague repairs,” Billie added. “We’ve enhanced our product portfolio to overcome design flaws made by the OE and copied by aftermarket remanufacturers of power steering components.”

The new Edelmann Elite Power Steering program also features a filter that uses advanced dual filtration technology to prevent contamination and deliver high-capacity flow. It features a patent pending design that covers more than 99 percent of vehicles in operation with just one SKU.

“We were able to do this by incorporating interchangeable connectors into the design that allow service technicians to select the right size they need to match the internal diameter of the return line.

Every filter comes with easily interchangeable 3/8”, 1/2”, and 5/8” connectors providing the size needed for a proper fit in almost any application. This also helps reduce inventory requirements and parts returns due to incorrect sizing. The new filter will be available for shipment starting in March 2021.

In total, Plews & Edelmann currently has more than 60 top moving rack and pinion SKUs that cannot be found anywhere else in the industry, providing a key advantage for the company, and enhancing its unique brand identity.

Looking ahead, Billie says Plews & Edelmann will make several exciting announcements in the months to follow that will continue to complement the company’s brand-new power steering total solution program. “We will continue to focus on aftermarket parts solutions where there is an opportunity to overcome current shortfalls in the quality and consistency offered today,” Billie said. “Our goal is focused 100 percent on keeping every technician satisfied with the reliability and performance of the aftermarket parts we provide. We don’t want them going back to the OE dealer because of any negative perceptions about our quality, form, or fitment,” he concluded.

 


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