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Enter Guess The Car, Page 16 ● Meet The 2013 Counter Professional Of The Year

November 2013

Selling Oil And Air Filters

Plus, we look at: • Coolant • Brake Rotors • Batteries • Hoses • Fuel Pumps for reader service for reader service


November Volume 31, No. 11

features Tech Features

By Larry Carley

40 Brake rotors should be replaced in pairs. ............................ 42 Today’s electronics place high loads on batteries. .............. 44 Oil and air filter change intervals depend on use. .............. 46 Coolant doesn’t last forever...................................................

Mechanic Connection

By Gary Goms

50 .................................................. 52

Tips for selling hoses. ............................................................ Fuel pumps have changed.




COUNTERMAN (ISSN 0739-3695) (November 2013 Volume 31, Number 11): Copyright 2013 Babcox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved: Published monthly by Babcox, 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333 U.S.A. Phone (330) 670-1234, Fax (330) 6700874. Periodical postage paid at Akron, OH 44333 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COUNTERMAN, 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333-8318. A limited number of complimentary subscriptions are available to individuals who meet the qualification requirements. Call (330) 670-1234, Ext. 275, to speak to a subscription services representative or FAX us at (330) 670-5335. Paid Subscriptions are available for non-qualified subscribers at the following rates: U.S.: $69. Samples and back issues - Domestic - $10, International/via air mail - $15. Canada: $89 for one year, $149 for two years. Canadian rates include GST. Ohio residents add 5.75% sales tax. Other foreign rates/via air mail: $129 for one year. Payable in advance in U.S. funds. Mail payment to COUNTERMAN, P.O. Box 75692, Cleveland, OH 44101-4755. Visa, MasterCard or American Express accepted.


November 2013 | Counterman for reader service for reader service

columns Editor’s Ink


By Mark Phillips ..................................................................................

Meet the 2013 Counter Professional of the Year.

Keeping It Simple


By Gerald Wheelus ......................................................

ACHIEVE: Can you do it?



By Mandy Aguilar......................................................................

The advent of fan-tastical tech.

From The Publisher

Mark Phillips, Editor 330-670-1234, Ext. 299

38 64

Larry Carley, Technical Editor

By S. Scott Shriber ....................................................

By Richard Schwartz ..................................................

The Advance Auto Parts acquisition of GPI may not be the last deal that will take place this year in our industry.

departments 10

NASCAR Performance ............................................................................

This monthly special section takes you behind the scenes of this fast-growing sport.


Aftermarket News ......................................................................................

Aftermarket News presents news, views and analysis of current trends and events in aftermarket distribution.


MarketPlace ....................................................................................................

Every month, MarketPlace showcases the newest automotive product and service innovations your customers are asking about!



Amy Antenora, Editor, aftermarketNews Managing Editor, Counterman 330-670-1234, Ext. 220

Let’s have a plan.

Guest commentary


S. Scott Shriber 330-670-1234, ext. 229




Mandy Aguilar, Columnist Gary Goms, Commercial Accounts Gerald Wheelus, Columnist Allen Markowitz, Columnist Allan Gerber, Columnist Jerry King, Cartoonist GRAPHIC DESIGN

Lisa DiPaolo, Graphic Designer 330-670-1234 , Ext. 281 ADVERTISING SERVICES

Tina Purnell Advertising Services Manager 330-670-1234 , Ext. 243 CIRCULATION SERVICES Brad Mitchell, Director of eMedia & Audience Development 330-670-1234 , Ext. 277 Pat Robinson, Circulation Manager 330-670-1234, Ext. 276 Ellen Mays, Circulation Specialist 330-670-1234, Ext. 275


CORPORATE Bill Babcox, President Greg Cira, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Stankard, Vice President Beth Scheetz, Controller



3550 Embassy Parkway Akron, OH 44333-8318 330-670-1234 FAX 330-670-0874

S. Scott Shriber 330-670-1234, ext. 229 SALES REPRESENTATIVES:

Bill Babcox 330-670-1234, ext. 217


Dean Martin 330-670-1234, ext. 225

November 2013 | Counterman

Jim Merle 330-670-1234, ext. 280

Sean Donohue 330-670-1234, ext. 206

Roberto Almenar 330-670-1234, ext. 233

John Zick 949-756-8835

Glenn Warner 330-670-1234, ext. 212


Tom Staab 330-670-1234, ext. 224

Edward S. Babcox (1885-1970) Founder Tom B. Babcox (1919-1995) Chairman Founded 1983. Copyright 2013 Babcox Media, Inc., All Rights Reserved COUNTERMAN (ISSN-0739-3695) is published monthly by Babcox Media, 3550 Embassy Pkwy., Akron, OH 44333. Periodical postage paid at Akron, OH and additional mailing offices. Member, BPA International for reader service


DITOR’S INK By Mark Phillips

Meet Raymond Guffey III Counterman’s 2013 Counter Professional of the Year, Sponsored By Affinia Group Inc., Raybestos Chassis And WIX Filters aymond Guffey III, customer service manager for The Parts House, in Jacksonville, Fla., a member of the Automotive Distribution Network, under the Parts Plus program, is the 2013 Counterman Counter Professional of the Year, sponsored by Affinia Group Inc., Raybestos Chassis And WIX Filters. This is the 28th year Babcox Media’s Counterman magazine has recognized a parts professional who goes above and beyond the call of duty and continually seeks out training and educational opportunities. As part of the award, Guffey and his wife received an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to attend the AAPEX show. He was also honored during the AWDA and Northwood University of the Aftermarket luncheons, as well as a special recognition dinner, hosted by Babcox Media. Guffey was chosen from more than 70 nominations received by a selection committee at Babcox Media. Guffey stood out because of skills, knowledge and treatment of both customers and colleagues. “Guffey is a selfless, compassionate individual; TPH opened up a new store location, and he was

R Raymond Guffey III, 2013 Counter Professional of the Year

one of the first to volunteer with helping set up the warehouse and customer service department,” his nomination states. “He has never refused a request to help with any project. He exemplifies what it means to be in the customer service industry.” Guffey was instrumental in the development and implementation of The Parts House’s new Sales Order Entry (SOE) program. His extensive knowledge was vital in the creation of an effective and comprehensive auto parts lookup and ordering system. He continues to extend his knowledge to employees across the company. TPH recently acquired a new company, and Guffey took it upon himself to help train the counter professionals of the former company on the inner workings of TPH’s SOE system, according to the nomination. When top management discusses TPH counter professionals, Guffey’s name always comes up as the “go-to” guy, according to the nomination. “Our regional vice president recently stated that, ‘If I was starting a counter professional team and could draft any player, Guffey would be my No. 1 pick.’ This feeling is consistent with customer preference; oftentimes, a customer will call TPH for a part and specifically request to be helped by Guffey, even if it means they have to wait until he is available.” Counterman recently spoke to a TPH vice president, who has this to say about Guffey: “He is clearly one of our mostbeloved guys who works with our customers. We often send him to store locations to problem-solve. Anytime we send him anywhere to work with a team, that team gets better.” Read more about Raymond in the December issue of Counterman. CM ■ ■ ■

For more information: for reader service

Track Talk Electronic Fuel Injection Marks Millionth Milestone Ever think about 1 million miles of racing? That equates to more than two round trips from the Earth to the moon and 40 trips around the Earth. In every NASCAR race, spark plugs and fuel injectors fire about 3.6 million times in each race car. One million miles of racing? That’s more than 10 billion times. When Dale Earnhardt Jr. crossed the start/finish line at Charlotte Motor Speedway to lead lap 34 in October’s Bank of America 500, he logged the one-millionth mile of electronic fuel injection (EFI) in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition since the transition from traditional carburetors to EFI in 2012. It should come as no surprise that the milestone was under the radar, given that the switch to EFI itself has been smooth, almost seamless and virtually invisible.

Reliability in race cars, just as in passenger cars, has improved considerably over the past several decades. But, the old adage remains true – racing is the ultimate test of a machine. If you want to find out what’ll break, take a car to a racetrack and push it to the absolute limit for a few hundred miles. Then do that every week for 36 weeks. When Freescale entered NSCS competition as the solesource supplier of automotive semiconductors, there was certainly enough concern to go around. Not just taking out carburetors, which have been used reliably for decades, but installing an entirely new system that included an engine computer, sensors, injectors and wiring. Yet, not once in a million miles has the brain of the EFI system, the electronic control unit (ECU), failed, from the

A game-changer: EFI has provided NASCAR teams with a new way to gather information to win races via an electronic control unit that records a wealth of data. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Leading lap 34 in last month’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. logged the one-millionth mile of EFI in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. Photo Credit: Getty Images

electronics supplied by McLaren to the computing power supplied by chip maker Freescale. “The good news is, when it’s a non-event, we tip our hat to it, because that means that it’s done its job,” NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton said of the successful transition to EFI. “A million racing miles is one thing, but it’s probably almost equaled in test miles, and to my knowledge, we haven’t had any failures.” With its frequency and length of races, NSCS racing arguably puts more stress on the engine and the EFI system than any other competitive series. “Our short races are 250 miles, which is what other series run as their big races,” continued Pemberton. “With the full-bodied cars, with the minimal tires that we have, the brake heat and the (engine) heat that’s generated, we put everything to the test.” As a NSCS driver puts a race car through its paces, the ECU records a wealth of data

Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook ■

that can be downloaded and analyzed via the banks of laptop computers teams have in their garage stalls. “I think the big benefit has really been for the teams, because they’ve been able to pinpoint times when there’s been a failure (in the engine) and understand that,” said Steve Nelson, director of marketing for Freescale. “And it’s helped them when they go back and look at data to build engines that are more reliable. They can identify over-revs, missed shifts, all types of things.” Interestingly, the computer chips Freescale supplies for the EFI systems aren’t custommade for the highest level of racing. You’ll find the exact same thing in your street car. “The little chips we put into those engine computers are the exact same ones we put into passenger cars,” Nelson explained. “We don't specialtest them. They come right off the shelf. To do a million miles with zero failures with non-racing-specified parts is a really nice story for us.” for reader service


Advance Auto Parts To Acquire General Parts International for reader service

ROANOKE, Va. – Advance Auto Parts has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire General Parts International Inc. (GPI), a leading privately held distributor and supplier of original equipment and aftermarket replacement products for commercial markets operating under the CARQUEST and WORLDPAC brands. The business is being acquired in an all-cash transaction with an enterprise value of $2.04 billion. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors for both companies.


November 2013 | Counterman

The deal creates the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, with annual sales of more than $9.2 billion and more than 70,000 employees. Advance says the strong combined financial profile allows for an all-cash transaction and supports its commitment to maintain its investment grade rating. The acquisition of GPI will accelerate Advance’s growth strategy and enhance shareholder value through the following strategic benefits: ● Creates Market Leader – (1)

No. 1 automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America with a balanced platform for growth between Do-It-yourself (DIY) and Commercial, (2) No. 1 distributor of import automotive parts and (3) the largest automotive aftermarket business-to-business e-commerce platform in North America. ● Delivers Scale – Provides Advance with complete coast-to-coast coverage across North America, creating a company with scale, reach and expanded growth opportunities benefiting shareholders, customers and team members. This presence in new markets allows Advance the ability to expand its geographic footprint in an efficient manner. Continued on page 55 for reader service


MAM Software Launches Cloud-Based Version Of Autopart Online In The U.S. ALLENTOWN, Pa. – MAM Software Inc., a provider of automotive business management solutions, has announced the introduction of its Autopart Online Software as a Service (SaaS) solution available for use in the United States. Autopart Online is a cloud-hosted version of MAM’s established Windows-based application for distributors, jobbers and retailers. It offers the same point-of-sale, stock control and accounting functionality as its on-premise counterpart, but comes without the costly purchase and upkeep of in-house server infrastructure, the company says. Rather than buying and installing software upfront, MAM’s Software as a Service (SaaS) approach allows users to rent their business management systems on a flexible per-user

basis. Instead of purchasing and maintaining expensive servers on their own premises, users connect to a state-of-the-art data center by means of a robust, enterprise-grade network. Autopart Online is a fully managed service. MAM Software will update users’ software when necessary, maintain the server hardware and ensure that customers’ data is securely stored and backedup. Thanks to its scalable infrastructure, implementation processes are streamlined and new users can be added with the minimum of fuss, according to MAM. The result is tailored software with potentially significant savings over locally installed alternatives. Autopart Online already is widely used in the U.K., MAM adds.

International Distributors USA Receives National PRONTO Association Supplier Award for reader service

NEW YORK, N.Y. – International Distributors USA Inc. (IDUSA), a global supply network of automotive replacement parts, has received the 2013 Private Brand Supplier of the Year award from the National PRONTO Association, one of the country’s largest auto parts buying groups. The award was presented to International Distributors USA Inc. during PRONTO’s recent shareholder’s conference in San Antonio, Texas. (left to right) Anan Bishara, IDUSA CEO, Bill Maggs, president of National Mike Mohler, AAP vice president, and PRONTO, and Mike Mohler, VP and Denise Burrell, senior account manager, product manager of National PRONIDUSA, at the 2013 PRONTO Private Brand TO, presented the award to IDUSA Supplier of the Year Award presentation. for delivering quality Pronto-branded packaging, products and support. Anan Bishara, CEO of IDUSA, and Denise Burrell, senior account manager, accepted the award on behalf of the company. “We are very excited about this prestigious award,” said Bishara. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Pronto. When you are recognized by a very successful organization such as PRONTO, it says a lot about you and the way you do business.”


November 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Federated Toys For Tots Campaign In Full Swing STAUNTON, Va. – Federated has begun collecting toys and donations, as well as holding special events, on behalf of the 2013 U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign. “We are thrilled that so many Federated members

are participating in the Toys for Tots campaign. What is really impressive is their commitment throughout the year to this worthy cause,” said Mike Schultz of Federated Auto Parts. Earlier this year, Federated members and suppliers

raised $135,000 for Toys for Tots during the annual Federated Toys for Tots auction held during the group’s annual awards dinner. Participating Federated Auto Parts stores will accept toy donations at their locations. Visit and click on “Toys for Tots” to make a financial donation.

Guess the Car Win $100! This Month’s Puzzle


“I’m still waiting for him!” for reader service

What vehicle does this picture represent? If you think you know the answer, go to and click “Guess the Car” on the nav bar. Submit your answer and contact information. A winner will be randomly selected by the Counterman staff from all correct answers. The deadline to enter is Dec. 3. The winner’s name will appear in the next issue. Stay tuned!

Last Month’s Correct Answer:

#69 Delta 88 Congrats to Thomas Daniels, Pana, Ill. 16

November 2013 | Counterman for reader service


AASA Launches Hub Bearings Quality Awareness Campaign RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) has launched a new marketing campaign as a part of its “Know Your Parts” program. The new campaign focuses on the hub bearing category. The hub bearing campaign is the first in a series of category-specific campaigns designed to educate technicians, shop owners, service writers and other industry repair professionals on the value of installing only quality premium parts. The campaign is funded and sponsored by AASA and member hub bearing suppliers SKF, Timken, NTN, Federal-Mogul (Moog), Schaeffler (FAG) and Brake Parts Inc. (Raybestos). The new campaign, created by Montgomery Advertising, will run for three months. It will be a multi-channel campaign with a dedicated micro website, print ads in targeted trade publications, digital banner ads, a mobile-optimized site, a strong social component and major presence at AAPEX, according to AASA. The site — at — features unique articles, graphics and videos as well as informative content from sponsor companies. All of the content educates the repair professional audience on the benefits of installing only quality hub bearings. Those benefits include durability, proper ABS function and elimination of noise and vibration in vehicle operation. for reader service

Over the Counter By Jerry King


November 2013 | Counterman


Bond Auto Parts Believes In The Power Of A Wish BARRE, Vt. – On Sept. 15, Make-AWish Vermont celebrated past, present and future wish children at the 10th Annual Walk for Wishes in South Burlington, sponsored by Bond Auto Parts. Hundreds of people joined together, including more than 65 Bond Auto employees, to help raise awareness and funds to grant the wishes of Vermont children living with life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish Vermont grants wishes to Vermont children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since its inception in 1989, Make-AWish-Vermont has granted the wish of every medically eligible child, more than 650 wishes to date.

The Walk for Wishes is a short 3mile loop that focuses on the Celebration of Hope. After the Walk, wish stories are shared and new friendships are made. Thanks to the dedication and support of Bond Auto, volunteers, in-kind donors, sponsors and fundraisers, this year’s walk raised the funds needed to grant more than 10 wishes this coming year, for a total of more than $100,000.

Dorman Launches New Website For Keyless Remote Product Line for reader service

COLMAR, Pa. — Dorman Products has announced the launch of a new website in support of its Keyless Remote product line. The new site,, provides customers with an easy-tonavigate information hub for all things related to Dorman’s growing offering of consumer-oriented keyless remote solutions. Researching the right keyless solution is easy on, according to Dorman. Searches can be conducted using either make/model/year or OE part number formats. Search results quickly connect consumers with results linked to Dorman’s two timeand money-saving options: ● Keyless Remote Repair Cases – Perfect for remotes that have been broken, scratched or damaged. This solution saves money by allowing for the replacement of only the outer case, not the expensive electronics. This expanding program now offers more than 20 SKUs with coverage for more than 50 million vehicles on the road today, including popular GM and Ford cars, trucks and SUVs. ● Programmable Keyless Remotes – Perfect for non-functioning, or lost remotes. These replacement remotes look and function just like the original, and can be easily synced to vehicles in less than five minutes. This program has expanded quickly since Dorman first introduced it, and now offers more than 20 SKUs that combine to cover more than 55 million of the most popular domestic and import vehicles on the road today.


November 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Network Announces 2015 National Convention In New Orleans GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – The Automotive Distribution Network will be returning to New Orleans for its 2015 national convention. The 13th Network National Convention will be held Feb. 26 – March 1, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency

New Orleans, according to Mike Lambert, president of the Network. “For me personally, this is a triumphant return not only for the Network but also my hometown of New Orleans,” said Lambert. “The 2015 gathering will mark the first

time the Network has hosted a convention in New Orleans since 2005 — months before Hurricane Katrina. The city’s resurgence since that time is a testament to the incredible hard work and dedication in restoring New Orleans to its rightful place as one of the country’s most colorful, exciting cities. All I can say is, ‘Laissez les bons temps rouler!’”

Epicor Introduces Low-Cost eCommerce Store Development Service For Parts Distributors, Jobbers for reader service

DUBLIN, Calif. – Epicor Software Corp. has announced the availability of Epicor eCommerce Store Development Service, a low-cost, turnkey e-commerce website service that helps automotive replacement parts distributors and jobbers sell directly to consumers via the Internet. The new e-commerce service supports wholesalers with the launch of consumer-oriented ecommerce sites – in English, Spanish or French languages – in as little as two weeks. An estimated $3.7 billion in automotive parts and related products were sold via e-commerce in 2012, and online sales to consumers are expected to grow at a 15 percent compounded annual rate through 2018, according to a study commissioned by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). Epicor says its new ecommerce service helps distributors and jobbers compete for these consumer sales through functionally rich, custom-branded e-commerce sites that can be integrated with many existing business management software solutions. For more information regarding the new Epicor eCommerce Store Development Service, contact your Epicor representative, call Epicor toll-free at (888) 463-4700 or email 22

November 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Centric Parts Releases New 2014 Brake Systems Catalog INDUSTRY, Calif. – Centric Parts has released the latest addition to its award-winning library of brake system catalogs – the Centric Parts 2014 Brake Systems Catalog (2010-2014). This up-to-the-minute catalog details Centric’s complete range of brake, wheel bearing, hub and seal components for passenger car and light truck applications from 2010 through 2014. Among the many categories of products featured in this latest catalog are Centric’s High Carbon Alloy 125-series rotors, PosiQuiet and Fleet Performance brake pads with hardware included, PosiQuiet Loaded calipers, StopTech highperformance rotors, hydraulics and more.

“We pride ourselves on having one of the best programs for sourcing, identifying and cataloging new brake components,” said Centric Parts President Dan Lelchuk. “That is why Centric continually leads the market in having the most up-to-date product offerings for our customers – and why our catalogs continue to win awards in the industry. This 2014 catalog follows that tradition and keeps us one step ahead of the competition.” The printed Centric Parts 2014 Brake Systems catalog is being made available to customers today. Centric says the online catalog will be fully updated with these new applications by Nov. 1 and will be released to the e-catalog providers at that time. All of the parts offered in the 2014 Centric Parts Brake Systems catalog are available to order today, according to the company.

Dorman Products Announces Acquisition Of ReInvolt Technologies And Launch Of New OE Solutions Hybrid Drive Battery Program COLMAR, Pa. — Dorman Products has announced its recent acquisition of Re-Involt Technologies and the subsequent introduction of its new line of Dorman OE Solutions remanufactured hybrid drive batteries. This acquisition and the resulting product offering of direct replacement batteries positions aftermarket service providers to capture their share of this rapidly growing 24

November 2013 | Counterman

market opportunity, according to Dorman. Based in Sanford, N.C., ReInvolt Technologies is an aftermarket leader in hybrid battery remanufacturing technology. With the acquisition of Re-Involt, Dorman says it is now positioned to refine the process of remanufacturing hybrid drive batteries while working toward the development and introduction of new hybrid products to the aftermarket. for reader service


Entries Taken For 2014 ‘Search For A Champion’ Racing Sponsorship Contest SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Federal-Mogul’s Champion spark plug, wipers and chemical additives brand has begun the 2014 “Search for a Champion” racing sponsorship contest. This annual contest, which enables grassroots racers to compete for $125,000 in Champion sponsorship packages, is open for entries at the brand’s website. To enter the contest, racers simply need to submit two-minute videos that describe their commitment to winning a racing title with the help of Champion spark plugs. At stake are 15 $5,000 sponsorships as well as one $50,000 Search for a Champion grand prize sponsorship for the 2014 racing season. “Throughout its history, the Champion brand has been a catalyst for thousands of talented racers in virtually every form of competition,” said Jessica Wynn, digital marketing manager for Federal-Mogul. “Search for a

Champion is an investment in the next generation of racing superstars and an opportunity for any racer or team to compete for a chance to display the iconic Champion bow tie logo next year.” The contest is open to grassroots racers in three broad categories of competition – asphalt, dirt and water/snow – covering everything from junior dragster, go-kart and motorcycle racing to snocross and personal watercraft competition. Video entries must be submitted to the website between Nov. 1, 2013, and Jan. 3, 2014. The Champion community will vote for 15 finalists between Jan. 6 and Feb. 2, 2014. Voting for the $50,000 Search for a Champion grand prize will take place Feb. 21 through March 23, 2014. The first 250 racers to enter the contest will receive a free Champion “swag” bag featuring a contest decal and Champion hat and T-shirt.

Wayside Auto And Truck Parts

Celebrates 30 Years for reader service

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – HDA Truck Pride member Wayside Auto and Truck Parts in Houston, Texas, celebrated its 30th anniversary last month. Wayside specializes in heavy-duty truck and equipment parts in the greater Houston area. The company’s reach also extends into the global truck and equipment parts markets. Wayside’s success has come from its focus on solving its customers’ issues with premium brand products. The partnerships it has formed with vendors has enhanced its product and technical knowledge and strengthened its market presence over the past 30 years. Wayside Auto and Truck Parts celebrated its 30th Anniversary on Oct. 15 with an open house at its Houston, Texas, location.


November 2013 | Counterman for reader service


CARDONE Kicks Off ‘Lunch On Us’ Promo PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – CARDONE Industries has announced the launch of its “Enjoy Lunch on Us” promotion. Now through Dec. 31, service dealers and consumers can earn a $10 gift card to their choice of several popular restaurant chains with the purchase of one eligible A1 CARDONE Remanufactured Electronic Component. Up to five purchases

per shop or household are permitted for a total of $50 in gift cards. Eligible parts include: mass air flow sensors, transfer case control modules, electronic throttle bodies, fuel injector control modules and electronic automatic transmission control (EATX) modules. Visit for details, restaurant options and participating distributors.

National Pronto Association Presents OE Supplier Of The Year Award To DENSO Products And Services Americas for reader service

LONG BEACH, Calif. – The National Pronto Association has selected DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc. for its OE Supplier of the Year award. This is the seventh time in the past eight years DENSO has received the honor. Pronto members rate suppliers on criteria such as product quality, profitability, delivery performance, service, support and marketing programs in order to determine the winner each year. DENSO also was awarded the 2013 Mexico Supplier of the Year Award. This was the first time the Pronto Association has bestowed this award, which was presented Sept. 17, during the Pronto Group’s Fall Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The award states, “In grate28

November 2013 | Counterman

ful appreciation of quality people, quality products and extraordinary service provided to the members of the National Pronto Association.” National Pronto Association President Bill Maggs and Vice President Mike Mohler presented the awards to DENSO’s Frank Cisek, Carlos Gomez, Leonardo Castrejon, Brian Casey and David Arriaga. “We are truly honored to be recognized for our relationships with Pronto’s members in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America,” said Fran Labun, vice president sales group, DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc. “All of us at DENSO are looking forward to continued success with Pronto and their members in the years ahead.” for reader service


Automotive Distribution Network Appoints New Chairman GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – The Automotive Distribution Network formally introduced Ken Maurer, owner of New York-based Big City Automotive, as the new chairman of the association during the group’s recent membership meeting in Denver. “Since joining the Network in 2003 as a Parts Plus warehouse distributor, Kenny Maurer and his business partners at Big City Automotive have proven to be one of our fastest-growing members,” said Mike Lambert, president of the Network. “Kenny’s experience and personable approach to leadership make him the ideal new chairman to help lead the Network to unprecedented growth.” Maurer replaces outgoing chairman Danny Ward, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Southeastern Automotive Warehouse. In his first order of business as chairman, Maurer saluted Ward for a job well done in front of their peers at the membership meeting. “Danny’s common-sense approach to problems and his decisiveness served the group well the past three years,” said Maurer, a longtime member of the Network’s executive committee. “I will try to maintain those traits going forward as I focus on the Network’s growth.” Maurer will work closely with the Network’s committees to develop innovative product, marketing and IT strategies that will help the association grow at every level of distribution.

VIP Tires And Service Holds Annual Managers Conference for reader service

LEWISTON, Maine – VIP Tires & Service recently held its Annual Managers Conference, where managers from all 56 locations met to discuss business issues and receive valuable training from more than a dozen key suppliers. In addition, awards were presented to the managers who achieved “Top 10” status for sales growth during VIP’s 2013 fiscal year. According to VIP, these annual meetings reflect the company’s commitment to continuing education and investment in the leadership skills of its people. Training was held from Bangor, Maine, to Concord, N.H., and each manager spent a full day engaged in learning how to further develop the knowledge and skills of their teams. The goal of this training was to showcase the past year’s success stories and focus on the goals ahead. 30

November 2013 | Counterman

“I’m really proud of all that our people have accomplished this past year. They had a lot thrown at them, but they found a way to win despite the hurdles. Their passion for helping customers is evident in their desire to create strong, winning teams,” said John Quirk, VIP’s president and CEO. These sessions helped VIP’s store-level leaders keep focus on the company vision after a year of change. With the sale of VIP’s parts division at the end of 2012, all 56 stores underwent a complete remodeling. “Through it all, the staff has remained committed to being the resource their customers can turn to for all their automotive needs,” said Quirk. “By focusing all of our energy on tires and service, we can make a real difference for our customers.” for reader service


Polk Launches Global Aftermarket Solutions Platform for reader service

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – To address the needs of the expanding dynamic global automotive aftermarket, Polk, the global automotive market intelligence firm recently acquired by IHS, has launched what it claims to be the world’s largest and most complete resource for vehicles in operation and original equipment parts intelligence. Polk says the new “WorldView” platform is the industry’s first comprehensive solution of this nature, and integrates several previously independent products from Polk into one global solution. It is now available to customers in the commercial and light vehicle aftermarket, providing comprehensive global business planning support. The WorldView platform integrates Polk’s Vehicles in Operation (VIO) data from 50 countries, forecasted vehicle population information and European original equipment (OE) parts research to enable clients to access a host of decision support information. The complete offering includes: ● Vehicles in Operation (VIO) – Vehicle population figures for 50 markets around the world, togeth-


November 2013 | Counterman

er with a wide range of attributes to support filtering and appending detail in query output. ● Global Make/Model – Vehicles in disparate markets are linked using a core set of relevant characteristics, facilitating identification and

analysis of part fitment opportunities around the world. ● Global Catalog Merge – The ability to integrate aftermarket or OE catalogs with vehicles in operation counts using ACES and TecDoc standards.

Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Releases Free MyPlaceForParts VIN Scan Application SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper parts stores have added a vehicle identification number (VIN) barcode scanning app for mobile devices to help professional technicians find and acquire repair parts faster and more efficiently. The app offers seamless integration with MyPlaceForParts, a premier online e-commerce site available exclusively through Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper affiliates. The new MyPlaceForParts VIN Scan App is free to download for both Android and Apple devices. According to the Alliance, the app’s simple design is easy to use, and acts as the interface to a powerful scan engine that provides access to all VIN details. VIN data uploads to with just one push of a button, enabling quick, accurate parts lookup to help increase bay productivity and lookup accuracy, the group says. “The MyPlaceForParts VIN Scan Application simplifies the vehicle decoding process and allows users to look up parts quickly and accurately,” says Dan Williford, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance marketing director. “It’s a great complement to our e-commerce efforts with professional technician customers.” MyPlaceForParts mobile products also include features that make it easy to find and purchase supplies, accessories and tools as well as applicationspecific hard parts. for reader service


EEPING IT SIMPLE By Gerald Wheelus

ACHIEVE: Can You Do It? recent reassignment has allowed me some new adventures and time to consider life, at least while I'm driving. Many things come to mind as I travel from location to location. I've been thinking a lot about these three management concepts: one-minute goal setting, one-minute praise and one-minute reprimand. Which got me to thinking: How much do we really know about our jobs and the real goals and objectives of the day, week, month and year? Do we ever try to catch someone doing something right? Do our reprimands go so far that they are like a beat-down of sorts? The fact is, goals, praise and reprimand should be a part of our everyday lives, not just in our business lives but our home lives as well. The question is: how do we put all that to work? In the book “Putting the One Minute Manager to Work,” authors Kenneth H. Blanchard and Robert Lorber discuss utilizing the “ACHIEVE” method to accomplish our goals. The “ACHIEVE” model is this: Ability: Does the person have the skills and abilities required to do what you are asking him to do? If not, you must train them before you give them goals. Clarity: Make sure expectations are clear and know exactly what is expected of them.

A Our industry will struggle if we are unable to adequately reward our people. for reader service

Gerald Wheelus is general manager of Edgewood Auto Parts, Edgewood, Texas.


November 2013 | Counterman

Help: Am I giving the support, training and resources they need to do an excellent job? Incentive: What’s in it for the person to reach the goal and perform at the required standard? Environment: Am I providing the environment they need to perform at peak levels? Validity: Do you know why you are asking them to do what you are asking them to do? Evaluation: Do they know how they are going to be evaluated? In order to get the best from people we have to give them goals to “ACHIEVE.” However, the goal has to be realistic and measurable. Although evaluation is the last thing in the model, it actually has to occur up-front as well because you have to know if the skills are in place and if they are not, a training “goal” will be necessary to accomplish the overall goal being considered. Clarity is something that is often very blurry to those who work for us. We say this week’s goals and objectives are “blah, blah, blah” and there is no real clarity. There’s a saying, “If it is not written down, it did not happen.” That holds very true with goals and objectives as well, as without recording the goal, there is no way to track it. Also, when it is written the employee will take it more seriously because it is documented. “Heeelllllp!” is what most people are screaming. If you are in a management position it is your job to help. We have to help those around us with those clear-cut goals, while understanding the ability of those individuals in our tutelage. Our industry will struggle if we are unable to adequately reward our people. But, still what is the incentive for them to work toward the future and work hard and sacrifice if there is no incentive? The incentive has to be more than just the mere hourly wage or salary being earned; our customers expect more and so should our employees. CM for reader service

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service MAHLE Original Turbochargers Reduce Fuel Consumption, Lower Exhaust Emissions

AMSOIL Announces Reformulated Silicone Spray

MAHLE Clevite offers a complete line of MAHLE Original turbochargers specifically for the aftermarket, available in a range of sizes and types. MAHLE Original turbochargers are available for highperformance and high fuel-economy diesel and gasoline engines. MAHLE Original turbochargers reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 percent compared to similar gasoline engines with duct injection. With a wide range of different sizes and types with power outputs from 75 through 1000 KW, MAHLE Original turbochargers guarantee optimized compatibility with the most diverse requirements of cars, trucks, construction and agricultural engines.

AMSOIL Silicone Spray has undergone a reformulation and packaging redesign. AMSOIL Silicone Spray provides outstanding protection where light-duty or silicone lubricants are recommended, including rubber, plastic, nylon, upholstery, vinyl, wood, cardboard and other non-metal surfaces. It leaves a clear, odorless film and locks out water while keeping applications contaminant free. AMSOIL Silicone Spray now comes with new packaging and a quantity increase when ordering by the case. The product is available in convenient 10-oz spray cans.

Delphi Product & Service Solutions Announces 12 Ignition Coils For Almost 7 Million Vehicles

New Penray Plus Glass Cleaner Cuts Road Grime, Leaves Streak-Free Finish

Delphi Product & Service Solutions has added 12 new ignition coils to its engine management portfolio, covering nearly 7 million GM, Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota, Chrysler and Volkswagen applications from 1986 to 2012. Part numbers include: GN10265, GN10304, GN10305, GN10341, GN10345, GN10345, GN10348, GN10349, GN103050, GN10351, GN10352 and GN10333. Delphi ignition coils are backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.


November 2013 | Counterman

Penray Plus professional-grade glass cleaner is designed specifically for vehicle windows. Most glasscleaning products on the market are ammonia-based, and are designed either for household use or as multi-purpose cleaners. This new ammonia-free product from Penray is designed specifically for use on vehicle windows, which accumulate debris that’s not common to household windows. Bugs, tar, road film, car wash residue, evaporated haze from vinyls used in dash boards and upholstery, tree sap – all of these substances collect on vehicle windows, and all tend to be resistant to general-purpose cleaners. Penray Plus Glass Cleaner is safe to use on tinted windows and even, gently, on windows with defroster/defogger grids. for reader service



It’s Human Nature To Worry About Change ver since the recent announcement of Advance Auto Parts’ acquisition of GPI, we’ve gotten comments on the Counterman website and some emails from parts professionals concerned about repercussions of the deal. Much of this is driven by fear and the lack of overall information about what is being planned. It is human nature to worry when we hear about change. How will it affect us — and will it be positive or negative? Over my years in the automotive sector, I have experienced a lot of change. Some at the macro level and some at the close-to-home perspective. In the long run, most of it has been positive. Of course, life would dictate that some of it was not. That’s what makes us stronger, right? That’s what they tell us anyway. As I reflect back on those changes, I

E for reader service

It is human nature to worry when we hear about change.


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can be objective enough to admit when I navigated the changes well and when I did not. The key was to leave the emotion and speculation out of my navigation and focus on the known facts. When I tried to anticipate or stay ahead of the information, my batting average was well, let’s say, less than 50 percent. And that’s probably being generous. Over on the collision repair side, we have been dealt much change and uncertainty as of late. Consolidation, regulations and insurance rules have caused great upheaval and highly emotional behavior. But there’s a way to mitigate the fear and uncertainty that inevitably comes with change: I remind myself that it’s critical to have a plan. The next important thing is to stick to that plan until some information is valiContinued on page 56


Magnum Gaskets by MSI Makes Bold Moves imes Change. It’s Time for Magnum Gaskets” has been the introductory slogan for Magnum Gaskets for the past two years. While this slogan is still very true, it has taken on a new meaning as Magnum Gaskets has become an established aftermarket brand from Modern Silicone Technologies (MSI). The focus is now on growth of its product line and supporting its distribution partners. For almost 20 years, MSI (Modern Silicone Technologies Inc.) has been a USA-based supplier of high-tech molded gaskets to major aftermarket brands and OEMs. The introduction of Magnum Gaskets linked MSI directly with the automotive aftermarket. In 2013, Magnum Gaskets’ product portfolio has grown to nearly 1,000 SKUs as part of its continued growth initiative. World-class head gaskets, head sets and head bolts have joined Magnum’s line of premium quality valve cover, oil pan and manifold gaskets. “It’s been a great year,” said Derek Data, Magnum vice president. “We’ve made major inroads in the distribution channel. People recognize our longstanding commitment to quality from our lineage to MSI.” • Under Magnum’s “USA FIRST” policy, more than 90 percent of Magnum Gaskets are designed, manufactured and packaged in the USA. • A new manufacturing plant in Pinellas Park, Fla., more than doubles Magnum’s design, manufacturing and packaging space. • New distribution centers were opened in Azusa, Calif., and Mississauga, Canada. • Ongoing online training programs are tailored for both installers and counter people. Certificates


and Magnum gear are awarded to graduates through • Magnum has addressed the diesel market by adding 99 new individually boxed heavy-duty gaskets and seals for popular Class 4 to Class 8 diesel trucks. Coverage includes Dodge/Ram Cummins, Ford Powerstroke, GM Duramax, Navistar DT466, Cat C7 & C9, Detroit Diesel Series 60 and Cummins ISX. • New Magnum Performance Gaskets are now available in branded skin packs, featuring advanced materials and designs for Chevy SB, BB and GM LS motors plus popular Ford and Chrysler applications. 39


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Coolant Doesn’t Last Forever ost latemodel vehicles specify a certain type of coolant. Most of these are longlife coolants are good for up to five years or 100,000 miles of service. Such coolants use proprietary OAT (organic acid technology) additives to protect the engine and cooling system against rust and corrosion. The condition of the coolant can be checked periodically with test strips that change color in response to chemical changes in the coolant. The color of the test strip tells you if the coolant is still good, borderline or needs to be replaced. Or, the coolant can simply be changed at the recommended service interval for preventive maintenance. Either way, the coolant eventually needs to be changed because it doesn’t last forever. What type of replacement coolant should you recommend? The different coolant types, colors and specifications have created a lot of confusion among motorists as to which type of coolant they should use. The best advice here is to recommend a coolant that meets OEM specifications and is compatible with the type of coolant that is already in the vehicle. “Universal” coolants that are compatible with all makes/all models can be used in any latemodel application. But for cus-



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tomers who want an exact replacement coolant, there are products that are the same or equivalent to the OEM coolants, too. General Motors has specified Dex-Cool orange antifreeze that meets GM spec 6277M since 1996. Chrysler has specified a Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) formula coolant (also called “G05” coolant) that meets their MS9769 specification since 2001. Ford changed over to HOAT coolants in 2002, and

choice. The traditional green formula coolant has fast-acting corrosion inhibitors, but also a much shorter service life (typically 2 to 3 years or 30,000 miles). The green formula coolant is typically less expensive than the long-life coolants, but is not recommended for newer vehicles that require an OAT or OAT hybrid coolant. All of these coolants use ethylene glycol as the main ingredient. When mixed in equal parts with water (50/50 mix), ethylene glycol provides freezing protection down to -34 degrees F, and boilover protection up to 265 degrees in a 15 PSI system. Premixed (50/50) coolant is the

What type of replacement coolant should you recommend? The different coolant types, colors and specifications have created a lot of confusion among motorists as to which type of coolant they should use. requires a coolant that meets their WSS-M97B51A1 spec. On some newer Ford trucks, however, they have switched over to an orange OAT coolant similar to Dex-Cool. The Asian and European car makes also have their own coolant specifications and colors. Some aftermarket coolant suppliers now offer one formula for Asian cars and a different formula for European cars. For 1980s and older domestic cars and trucks with copper/brass radiators, the traditional “green” formula coolant is still a good

easiest for consumers to use because it provides the correct balance of antifreeze and water. It also eliminates the potential for contaminating the cooling system with dissolved salts and minerals that are in ordinary tap water. Customers who are changing their coolant may also need a chemical cleaner to flush their cooling system if the old coolant is full of rust or sediment, a cooling system sealer if the radiator, heater core or head gaskets are leaking coolant and a new thermostat if the engine has overheated (overheating often damages the thermostat). They may also need new radiator and heater hoses (and clamps), too. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Brake Rotors Should Be Replaced In Pairs ike brake pads, rotors are a commonly replaced part when a vehicle gets a brake job. Whether or not the rotors have to be replaced will depend on their condition and thickness. Rotors must be replaced if they are cracked, damaged, worn to minimum thickness specifications or cannot be resurfaced without exceeding the discard or minimum service thickness marked on the rotor. Many late-model rotors are not even designed to be resurfaced. The rotors are thinner to save weight and cost, and once they reach their wear limit they have to be discarded and replaced with new rotors. Rotor thickness should always be measured when brake pads are replaced because rotor wear can affect braking safety. As a rotor wears and becomes thinner, it has less mass. This reduces the rotor’s ability to absorb and dissipate heat, increasing the risk of brake fade when the brakes get hot. Wear also reduces the strength of the rotor and increases the risk of cracking and rotor failure. Worn rotors are dangerous rotors that must be replaced. Rotors should be replaced in pairs, and should be the same type (composite or cast) as the original. New rotors are ready-to-install out of the box and should require no additional resurfacing (doing so only shortens their life and risks creating runout and vibration problems). Rotors also should be replaced if for reader service



November 2013 | Counterman

they have hard spots. These are discolored patches on the rotor surface that result from metallurgical changes in the iron as a result of high braking temperatures. The hard spots create bumps on the surface that can make the brake pads and pedal vibrate when the brakes are applied. Resurfacing the rotors may temporarily restore flatness and smooth braking, but sooner or later the hard spots usually return because the metallurgical changes extend below the surface. Replacement rotors should be the same or better than the original rotors. Automakers use a variety of rotor-cooling fin configurations not only to cool the brakes but to also control noise. Some replacement rotors may use a one-size-fits-all fin configuration to consolidate SKUs, or they use fewer fins between the rotors and/or a larger air gap between the rotor faces to reduce weight and cost — which may lead to noise and cooling issues on some applications. Premium-quality rotors usually follow the OEM fin configuration and design. The quality of the metal in a rotor can also affect its durability and performance. The better the metallurgy in the rotor, the better it will perform on the vehicle. Some premium rotors have special features such as slots or grooves machined into the rotor surface to improve pad venting when the brakes are working hard. They also may have a special anticorrosion coating to retain their like-new appearance longer. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Today’s Electronics Place High Loads On Batteries ost consumers don’t know much about battery technology. If their old battery is weak, won’t accept or hold a charge or has died, they will typically buy a standard replacement battery. By standard, we mean a conventional wet cell lead-acid battery that has the same Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) rating as their original battery. In some cases, they may upgrade to a battery with a higher CCA rating for more cold start cranking power, or they may opt for a replacement battery that has a longer warranty. Lead-acid wet cell (also called “flooded cell”) batteries have been around since the earliest days of the automobile. Improvements that have been made over the years include “Maintenance Free” designs that reduce gassing when they are being charged (so they need no make-up water), and more efficient cell and grid designs that pack a greater punch (more surface area and amp capacity) into the same or smaller-sized case. But even with these changes, average battery life for conventional wet cell lead-acid batteries is still only about 4 to 5 years — and as little as 3 years in really hot climates. Batteries can fail prematurely as a result of undercharging, overcharging, excessive heat or vibration. Today’s electronics-laden vehicles place high loads on the battery, even when the key is off. Though most of the vehicle’s control modules go into a sleep mode to reduce the key off power drain on the battery, others remain active at all



November 2013 | Counterman

times. Consequently, the battery can discharge rather quickly if a vehicle isn’t driven for an extended period of time. Many batteries can lose up to 50 percent or more of their charge after 7 to 10 days of inactivity — which may prevent the vehicle from starting. And even if it does start, a deeply discharged battery will place a heavy load on the charging system until it fully recovers its charge. Over time, this will shorten the life of both the charging system and battery. To improve battery durability and power, a growing number of late-model vehicles are now being factory equipped with Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries. AGM batteries contain no liquid electrolyte, but hold the acid in spongy cell separators. The advantage of this design is that it can’t spill, it reduces gassing (no loss of electrolyte) and it recombines the chemicals within the cells to extend battery life. The average AGM battery will usually last upward of 6 to 7 years, which is significantly longer than a conventional wet cell lead-acid bat-

tery. AGM batteries also can deliver more cranking power even when they have lost some of their charge, making them a good choice for vehicles that have high electrical loads, that are driven infrequently, or that may only be driven for short trips. Special versions of AGM batteries are available for trucks, marine and RV applications. Carmakers also are using AGM batteries in new vehicles that have fuel-saving idle stop-start systems. The higher loads that an idle stopstart system places on the battery and charging system makes AGM batteries a must for these applications. If a vehicle has an original equipment AGM battery, it should only be replaced with an AGM battery — not a conventional battery. According to consumer research by one battery maker, consumers are three times more likely to buy an AGM replacement battery if they are educated about the advantages AGM batteries have over conventional batteries. AGM batteries are more expensive, but the benefits they provide more than pay for the difference in price. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Air And Oil Filter Change Intervals Depend On Use he intervals between filter changes have been increasing: now 5,000 to 7,500 miles (or longer) for most oil filters, and anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 (or longer) for engine air filters. With such long intervals between changes, it’s important to make sure your customers get a quality filter that will go the distance. Back in the day when most motorists changed their oil every 3,000 miles or three months, and engines were equipped with quart-sized filters, some penny pinchers only replaced their oil filters at every other oil change. That would be asking for trouble today because filters have gotten much smaller and oil change intervals are much further apart. The oil filter must be replaced every time the oil is changed. No exceptions. What’s more, the filter should be a premium-quality, long-life (high-capacity) oil filter if a motorist is using extended oil change intervals of 7,500 miles or more. On some vehicles with oil reminder lights, the oil change inter-



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vals can vary quite a bit depending on operating conditions. The computer keeps track of hours of engine operation, idle time, vehicle speeds and loads and operating temperatures to estimate oil life. When the oil is nearing the end of its estimated life, the oil reminder light comes on to signal the driver that it’s time for an oil change. Under ideal driving conditions, the oil reminder light may not come on for 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Just remember that these kinds of applications, oil life is an estimated value, not the actual condition of the oil. A few vehicles use an oil-quality monitor sensor that measures the electrical resistance of the oil to determine its condition. But with the indirect systems that only estimate oil life, the calculation is often based on using a premium-quality full synthetic or semi-synthetic motor oil and premium-quality, long-life filter. If conventional motor oil or an economy filter is used in one of these applications, the oil reminder light may not be accurate, and the oil and filter should be changed according to a reasonable time/mileage

schedule (say 5,000 to 7,500 miles). As for air filters, their service life depends on how much dirt and dust they are exposed to. Driving on rural gravel roads can plug up air filters very quickly, requiring the filter to be replaced every couple of months. The condition of the filter can be determined by visually inspecting it after removing it from the air cleaner housing. Most flat panel air filters are fairly easy to inspect, but some cone-shaped and cylindrical filters can be difficult to access. A replacement filter must fit the same as the original so no unfiltered air can leak past the filter. Something else to watch out for are poor-fitting plastic air filter housings that may have warped as a result of heat exposure. If the housing does not seal tight and hold the filter correctly, it must be replaced. There have been reports of some poor-quality filters shedding micro fibers that contaminate the mass airflow (MAF) sensor. This can upset the engine’s air/fuel mixture, which reduces performance and fuel economy, and may cause the Check Engine light to come on. Standard replacement filters should provide the same degree of filtration and service life as the original filter. Premium filters may offer more efficient filtration for better engine protection and/or increased filtering capacity for longer service life. There also are lower restriction performance air filters for customers who want more highspeed power. CM for reader service


OUNTER-TECH By Mandy Aguilar

Fan-tastical Tech I last called Boston my ‘hometown’ close to 30 years ago; but, in a world connected by the Internet, I can follow my team as if I was still there.

Mandy Aguilar is a regional vice president for Jacksonville, Fla.-based The Parts House.


y beloved Red Sox are back in the show! After being dead-last in the 2012 baseball season, the Boston Red Sox climbed out of the American League East division’s basement, all the way to the 2013 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. They are not the first team to have a last-to-first turnaround in just one season; but I personally have enjoyed this particular epic reversal of fortune the most. Last time the Red Sox faced the Cardinals in the World Series, the Bean Town heroes were able to reverse the infamous “Curse of the Bambino.” The Sox held the World Champions Commissioner’s Trophy again, after an eternal 86-year wait, by sweeping the The Red Birds of the midwest in four games. A lot has changed from that season to this one — not only for the team, but for me as a fan. In the most surreal way, technology and social media have made me a more engaged fan than I have ever been. I last called Boston my “hometown” close to 30 years ago; but, in a world connected by the Internet, I can follow my team as if I was still there. Almost like riding the T to Kenmore Square to down a Car Bomb (or two, or three) at Lansdowne Pub, just before the ceremonial march into the Cathedral of Boston: Fenway Park. Wicked awesome! My reality as a fan this season is that I watch the games from my bedroom, recorded on my Tivo, so I instantly rewind the instant-replays. My wife and kids start to watch the games with me; but, by the 7th inning, I am usually stretching out all by my lonesome — wait, except for my newfound buddies online. Instead of being at a bar or the ballpark, I co-mingle with fans (and enrage foes) online using my


November 2013 | Counterman

iPad while watching the game. The level of engagement is amazing. Friends, friend of friends, acquaintances and downright strangers on Facebook and Twitter, watch the games along with me, and the stuff they write about is spot on. Some of these online fans deserve a Pulitzer in sportswriting for the stuff they pen. The in-depth analysis you get, for free, from these dedicated fanatics are hard to find in traditional media. Moreso, the comments left by others who follow the bloggers and posters are just as fascinating, and the conversations that ensue surpass anything you can expect from a water cooler conversation in the real world. The level of information and detail about the game is something the folks at ESPN can only dream of broadcasting. Case in point: when you watch as many Red Sox games as I do, you begin to notice that when they play at home in Fenway, many of the fans who sit behind home plate are the same people game after game. Well, guess what? If you search the Web, you can actually find out that there are many other fans like myself, that not only wonder about these essential aspects of the game, but actually research and write posts about them. By the way, ever notice that one fan sitting behind the plate at Fenway who “refuses to blink at foul balls”? (hint, hint, search for Dennis Drinkwater.) The 2013 World Series has made me realize something I suspected all along: The Internet is about people. What good is a blog without people who read it? An online game without players? An electronic catalog without countermen? An eCommerce platform without customers? All this technology is there to connect us all

with each other, and therein lies its magic. If you really think about it, there’s nothing new to this. Before the Web and before TV, baseball fans everywhere tuned into their radios to catch games halfway across the country. Over the years, I have met many Cardinal fans who never lived in St. Louis. Oh no no, the bulk of the Cardinal fans I know are from Jacksonville, Fla., and radio is to blame for this cross-country phenomenon. I learned this from a dear friend and colleague (who will soon lose a

bottle of Kentucky brown water on a friendly wager against yours truly — respect the beard!) who grew up in Jacksonville and tuned in to the Cardinals via radio starting more than 50 years ago; to this day, they are his favorite team. So, next time you think technology is alienating you from your employees and customers, think again. The power of technology is in creating a better network, a network of human beings (and baseball fans too). CM

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Visit Mandy’s blog:

Get FREE product and service info from the companies featured in this issue of Counterman. It’s fast and easy! and click the company you want info from! Advertiser




Advance Auto Parts Professional Airtex Corp. Amsoil Inc. Autolite Parts Plus Bar’s Leaks Raybestos Brakes Centric Parts Contitech Antriebssysteme GmbH DEA Products/Pioneer Inc. Denso Products & Services America Inc. DMA Goodpoint East Penn Mfg Co. Exide Technologies ExxonMobil Moog Steering & Suspension SmartChoice by Federal-Mogul GDM Bourne Inc. GMB North America

18, 19 52, 53 31 Cover 3 23 32, 58 14, 41 24, 25 51 3 29, 35 16 45 17 Cover 4 4 5, 42-43 56 1

Harbor Freight Tools Interstate Batteries Inc. Mahle Clevite Mevotech NGK Spark Plugs Nissan North America NUCAP Industries Packard Industries Penray Permatex Inc. Schaeffler Group USA SK Hand Tool K-Seal Intermotor Timken TYC/Genera Corp. US Motor Works WIX Filters

13 15 Front Cover, 47 33 30 Cover 2 26, 34 50 27 7 9 12 28 11 38 61 22 20, 21, 59 49


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

When Selling Hoses, Always Consult Cataloging For Recommendations hanks to compact engine compartments, air conditioning, turbocharging, and computercontrolled cooling fans, underhood operating temperatures have risen dramatically. To withstand these extreme temperatures, most modern coolant hoses are now made from ethylene propylene (EPDM rubber, which can endure operating temperatures ranging from -40 to +275 degrees F. Thanks to extremely crowded engine compartments, about 90 percent of all automotive hoses currently produced are curved or molded to fit specific applications of vehicles, including “branched” hoses with three or more molded outlets. Coolant hoses are also manufactured in universal-fit straight lengths that can withstand up to 100 psi working pressures for reader service


encountered in many commercial applications. Industrial applications can also benefit from shorterlength hoses specifically designed to absorb vibration and to correct for connector misalignment. Last, remember that many commercial applications require straight and molded silicone coolant hose that is rated to withstand temperature differentials ranging from -70 to +350 degrees F, which can be encountered on some over-the-road vehicles. Hose Installation Tips As you’ve probably guessed, cooling hose removal and installation techniques also have changed. Since EPDM coolant hoses tend to bond with metal connections like heater core inlet/outlet tubes, it’s always better cut, rather than twist or pull an old hose from its connection. If the hose is to be re-used, the technician should use a hose pick, which slips under the hose to separate it from its connection. Since a petroleum-based grease or oil can be harmful to the cooling system, any new coolant hose should be installed by lubricating with fresh coolant and pushing or twisting it onto its connection. Remember, too, that the original equipment (OE) spring-type clamps currently used by most auto manufacturers are designed to apply a constant, even pressure to the hose. Most aftermarket coolant hose manufacturers have designed replacement clamps that Continued on page 54

Specially designed pliers make the job of removing modern coolant hose clamps much easier.


November 2013 | Counterman for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

Fuel Pumps Have Changed pressure output of the fuel pump is controlled by the strength of the return spring. Small carbureted import vehicle and industrial engines require about 3.5 pounds per square inch (psi) while standard passenger car engines require about 5 to 7 psi. High-performance engines might This is a typical high-performance rotary fuel pump (L) require as much 8.0 and filter assembly being mocked up on a modern psi, which is generalcarbureted street rod. ly too high for normal applications. iven the variety of appliUnfortunately, “vapor lock” can cations we now have in occur when the fuel begins to perthe automotive service colate in the fuel pump chamber at market, the art and scihigh engine operating temperaence of selling fuel pumps isn’t tures. A low-pressure electric what it used to be. For example, our current fuel pump market con- booster pump can be installed in series with a mechanical pump to sists of gasoline carbureted, fuelcounter fuel vapor lock. The two injected, direct fuel-injected and basic types of electric fuel pumps diesel engine applications. To familiarize our selves with this his- are pulse and rotary. Since electric pulse pumps operate in a reciprotorical mix, let’s start with the cal motion like mechanical pumps, basics by discussing several comthey can vapor lock under extreme mon fuel pump configurations operating conditions. In contrast, a found in carbureted engines. rotary pump delivers fuel in a constant stream. Any electric pump Carbureted Engines During the 1920s, the camshaft-dri- should be installed as low as possible on the vehicle chassis and as ven, reciprocal mechanical fuel close to the fuel tank as possible. If pump appeared on the high-speed required, the fuel pressure regulagasoline engines of the day. The tor should be installed as close to mechanical pump’s rubber diaphragm draws fuel into the pump the carburetor as possible. The recommended oil pressure safety chamber through an inlet valve switches must be installed accordand expels it, via spring pressure, through an outlet check valve. The Continued on page 54 for reader service



November 2013 | Counterman for reader service

MECHANIC CONNECTION Hoses continued from page 50 will secure EPDM and silicone hoses to the connector without cutting or chafing the new hose. During installation, the hose also should be positioned so it doesn’t chafe against sharp metal parts or sheet metal. If OE shielding is used on a hose, it should be reinstalled or replaced with an equivalent material to protect the new hose from chafing and from exhaust heat. When selling any modern coolant hose, always consult your cataloging for recommendations on installation and clamping requirements. It’s also important to recommend the correct coolant for topping up or flushing the cooling system. As the parts professional, you also should become the coolant hose expert. So begin your next workday by reading through your coolant hose supplier’s catalog to familiarize yourself with the product and for the special tooling required to service modern coolant hoses. When To Sell Coolant Hoses Since most coolant hoses are application-specific, a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is often required

Fuel pumps continued from page 52 ing to manufacturer’s recommendations to automatically disable the pump if a collision or vehicle roll-over occurs. Throttle Body Fuel Injection Although similar in appearance to electric high-pressure pumps used in multiport fuel injection systems, fuel pumps used in throttle body fuel systems produce only about 12 to 14 psi of fuel pressure. Since the system’s fuel pressure regulator is generally located in the throttle body assembly itself, a throttle body repair kit is required to restore specified fuel pressures. In general, most throttle-body fuel pumps are very reliable systems. Port Fuel Injection The frame-mounted high-pressure fuel pump found on early Bosch multiport fuel injection systems produces about 90 psi operating pressure and requires a low-pressure in-tank pump to supply it with fuel. As with many current diesel engines, a failed supply pump can ruin the high-pressure 54

November 2013 | Counterman

A hose pick is designed to remove a modern coolant hose without damaging the hose or its connector.

to correctly identify the engine configuration. Next, it’s important to know that most coolant hoses fail due to an invisible force called electrochemical degradation (ECD), which occurs when the hose, coolant and various metals in the engine combine to create a mild electrical current flow through the cooling system. ECD causes small cracks to form inside the hose, which allows coolant to penetrate into the fabric reinforcements. Oil contamination also is a frequent cause of hose deterioration. Any hose should be replaced if it has suffered a long-term exposure to hot engine oil, or if the cooling system hoses have been internally exposed to oil via leaking into the radiator from an internally mounted transmission oil cooler. CM

fuel pump. Some domestic vehicles, including 1980s Ford light trucks, use this same configuration. Later applications use a dual-line system with an in-tank fuel pump supplying high-pressure fuel to a frame-mounted fuel filter. The fuel then flows from the filter through the high-pressure fuel line to the multiport fuel injector “rail.” The fuel pressure regulator, mounted at the end of the injector rail, returns excess fuel to the fuel tank via a low-pressure fuel return line. Occasionally, a stuck-closed fuel pressure regulator or pinched fuel return line can result in a severe over-rich operating condition. Single-line systems, introduced during the 1990s, incorporate the fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator and fuel level gauge into a single module. Since the 2000 model year, manufacturers often control fuel pressure by turning the pump on/off in a series of rapid electrical pulses. In many pulsemodulated systems, the PCM commands a fuel pump module to increase or decrease fuel pump

speed by changing the on/off ratio or duty cycle. If a system specifies a wide operating fuel pressure range of, let’s say from 35 to 65 psi, it’s probably a pulse-modulated system that requires scan toolbased diagnostic procedures. Direct Fuel Injection Direct fuel injection is the most recent innovation in gasoline engines. Because the actual burn rate of the fuel can be controlled in the combustion chamber through direct fuel injection, significant gains can be made in fuel economy, power and exhaust emissions control. In short, direct gasoline fuel injection can require nearly 2,000 psi fuel pressure, which is supplied by a camshaftdriven mechanical fuel pump. With the exception of the high-pressure pump, the low-pressure supply pump used in a direct-injection system is nearly identical to standard pump configurations. Diesel applications use a similar supply pump to deliver fuel to a high-pressure pump built into the engine or fuel injection system. CM


Advance continued from page 12 ● Accelerates Complementary Market Opportunities – Expands Advance’s product and category offerings in both core and new product lines (i.e. paint and heavyduty), creates new sales channel with independent customers and broadens ability to grow with attractive customer segments such as larger bay garages, import specialists, national accounts and fleet and government programs. ● Strengthens Leading Brands and Capabilities – Enhances Advance’s ability to serve customers through the transfer of CARQUEST’s commercial capabilities and team member parts knowledge into Advance stores while expanding DIY into select company operated CARQUEST stores. The combination expands key capabilities in customer service through enhanced daily replenishment and customer loyalty programs to a larger truck fleet and a significantly expanded commercial sales team. According to Advance CEO Darren Jackson, Temple Sloan III, president of General Parts International, will continue as president of GPI, reporting to Jackson and is expected to join the Advance Auto Parts Board of Directors as well. The combined company will be headquartered in Roanoke, Va., and will continue to maintain a presence in Raleigh, N.C. Jackson said, “This transformational transaction provides a compelling strategic opportunity for Advance to expand our geographic presence and commercial capabilities to better serve customers. The addition of 1,246 company operated stores and 1,418 independently owned CARQUEST locations provides us with an immediate platform and scale across North America, full market coverage and the opportunity to position ourselves as the market leader in the commercial business. We believe

the combination of the two companies is a great fit and the synergy of GPI’s assets with our capabilities will allow us to capitalize on market opportunities that will create value for our shareholders and provide even better service to our customers. We welcome and look forward to working with the talented leaders and team members from GPI.” Sloan added, “We are excited to bring together two highly complementary automotive aftermarket companies. The combination with Advance Auto Parts is the next logical step in our company’s evolution. Advance’s retail presence, strong capability infrastructure and acquisition integration experience combined with GPI’s leadership in the commercial, independent and import segments creates a power-

ful platform to drive profitable growth. With a more robust offering and a shared focus on best-inclass customer service, our combined business will continue to deliver value for customers and shareholders.”

Affinia Group has announced it will relocate its Ann Arbor, Mich., headquarters to Gastonia, N.C., home of its Global Filtration group. The transition to the new corporate headquarters will occur in phases during 2014.

Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (Act of August 12, 1970; Section 3685. Title 39. United States Code.) COUNTERMAN is published monthly at 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, Ohio 44333. Headquarters and general business offices are also at 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, Ohio 44333. Publication No. 0739-3695. The publisher of COUNTERMAN is Scott Shriber, the editor is Mark Phillips and the managing editor is Amy Antenora. The staff is located at 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, Ohio 44333. COUNTERMAN is owned by William E. Babcox, Babcox Media, Inc., 3550 Embassy Pkwy., Akron, OH 44333. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None. Issue date for Circulation Data Below: August 2013. Extent and nature of circulation is:

A. Total Number of Copies B. Paid and/or Requested Circulation 1. Paid/Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541 C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation D. Free Distribution Outside the Mail E. Total Free Distribution F. Total Distribution G. Copies not Distributed H. Total I. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation

Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months

Actual no. copies of single issue nearest to filing date





34,850 5,429 5,441 40,291 270 40,561

34,777 5,485 5,485 40,262 270 40,532



I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete. Pat Robinson, Circulation Manager September 23, 2013 55


Let’s keep this great nation of ours moving and on the road. There are 3 trillion miles to travel this year alone.

Continued from page 38 dated that requires an alteration to the plan. This activity will keep you and your organization focused on moving forward and not waste time on hearsay or speculation. Is there uncertainty in the distribution world currently? Of course. But having a plan to follow and adjusting it along the way will take much of that uncer-

tainty away. Whether you are a supplier manager, distribution owner or retail counterperson, you need to stay focused on what we know and need to do. There are 240 million vehicles out there. And they need parts and need repairs. Let’s keep this great nation of ours moving and on the road. There are 3 trillion miles to travel this year alone. CM

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November 2013 | Counterman

Multi Parts Supply Donates $25,000 Scholarship To GAAS Scholarship Fund RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Multi Parts Supply (MPS), a developer and manufacturer of aftermarket auto parts for full line manufacturers and their leading global brands, announced it made a $25,000 scholarship donation to the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS). The donation commemorates MPS’ 25th anniversary, which the company celebrates this year. MPS President Brian Cohn stated, “For 25 years, our mindset has remained always create opportunity for our customers and our employees. Our company has now reached a point where we can make an impact industry wide. Helping future generations find their own unique opportunity in and on behalf of our industry is both meaningful and necessary.” The MPS $25,000 scholarship donation is the largest single pledge made by a privately held company to the GAAS scholarship fund. A ceremonial check presentation took place Nov. 4 at the 2013 AAPEX Show in Las Vegas. Accepting the check was Mort Schwartz, Automotive Hall of Fame member and GAAS founder, and Pete Kornafel, chairman of the GAAS Scholarship Selection Committee. MPS Chairman Barry Cohn commented, “It’s personally very special to also have Mort on-hand to receive the donation. It was Mort’s passion for the GAAS Scholarship fund that first motivated MPS to think seriously about becoming a donor.” “We congratulate MPS on its 25th year in the aftermarket and are very pleased Brian and his organization are marking the anniversary in this way,” said Kornafel. for reader service


By Amy Antenora

Executive Interview With Roger McCollum President And CEO, N.A. Williams Co. In this Executive Interview from Counterman’s sister publication aftermarketNews, McCollum talks about the growth of his company, the role of technology in business today, and also offers up his thoughts on the changing aftermarket sales landscape. oger McCollum has been involved in the automotive aftermarket dating back to his first job at a local jobbing store as a college student. Upon graduation from The University of Akron, McCollum began his career at Ken Tool Co., where he


served in a variety of sales and management positions, advancing to national sales manager. In 1984, McCollum joined N.A. Williams Co., where over the years, he has held various management positions. He has served as the company’s president since 1997

and CEO since 2007. In this role, he has directed and integrated several mergers and acquisitions, which have greatly expanded, diversified and strengthened the company’s business. McCollum currently serves on the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) Board of Directors and its Show Committee and is a member of the Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS) Board of Directors. He has a long history of industry service, including active roles on the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Board of Governors, Manufacturers Advisory Council and Government Affairs Committee. McCollum has earned his Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) designation from the University of the Aftermarket and has received the Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award. for reader service

Earlier this year, N.A. Williams launched a new website for the company’s DataLink Services division. Tell us a little about the division, which was established in 2008. DataLink is a contact center operation that we started to provide outsourced sales and customer service solutions. Activities conducted include inbound and outbound customer service, lead generation and qualifying, market research and analytics, inside sales, technical support and online customer sales interaction. DataLink supports our existing representative business … that is, our manufacturers and customers as well as a


November 2013 | Counterman for reader service


variety of other clients, some nonautomotive, who may retain us for specific services or projects. Was this division created as an outgrowth of the services N.A. Williams already offers its clients? What needs weren’t being met that this division now fulfills? To some degree, yes. Like a lot of companies, we performed customer service and inside sales activities but not with the scale, efficiency and impact we needed. More often than not, the burden fell to our field sales people, which limited their selling time. The genesis of DataLink as a separate team was actually to provide

competitive, and if so, in what ways? No news here. The world is more competitive. Consolidation continues. Customers are bigger and smarter, and manufacturers more efficient. Products are better and last longer. Technology wins. Our industry provides solid organic growth, but everybody wants more, so increasing market share becomes critical and that can strain margins. Some of what we’re trying to do with DataLink is supplement our field sales so our in-field account executives can focus on more high-touch customer activity. Increased customer contacts, faster

No news here. The world is more competitive. Consolidation continues. Customers are bigger and smarter, and manufacturers more efficient. Products are better and last longer. Technology wins. Our industry provides solid organic growth, but everybody wants more, so increasing market share becomes critical and that can strain margins. a solution to an existing manufacturer that needed to quickly ramp up a full-time customer technical support line. It was something we hadn’t tried before, but we got it done and learned a lot from the experience. We determined that with an investment in quality people experienced in call center operations along with improved technology, we could develop a separate team that could provide better support to manufacturers and customers and help our field salespeople become more efficient and effective. At the same time, we’ve been able to attract new clients who provide both new revenue growth and help fund our core support initiative. What are your thoughts on the sales and marketing landscape in the automotive aftermarket today? Do you see things becoming more 60

November 2013 | Counterman

response times and better pull through are all performed with the goal of helping manufacturers sell more to and through their channel partners. We last chatted in this Executive Interview forum in 2006. A lot has changed in the automotive aftermarket since then. What do you feel are some of the most significant changes that have taken place that have impacted the role N.A. Williams and other manufacturers’ rep firms play in the marketplace today?’ Fact-based selling using market, industry and consumer data has become much more prevalent. Product features and benefits remain important but are far from the only thing we talk about. We have to understand both our own products and their place in the category and market overall. Salespeople

must have strong analytical skills and a deep understanding of channel partner financial considerations. We’re investing quite a bit in continuing education and training. Principals and customers expect sales people to possess business acumen and bring problem-solving skills and new ideas. We’ve had to develop new competencies as consultative sellers and add analysts and category managers where applicable. We have to create and prove substantial value. At the same time, much is unchanged. Sales remain the single most important function in business. You can’t have profits without sales. Sales are human and based on relationships, likability and trust. Face-to-face contact is as important as ever. How has the rep agency/manufacturer relationship changed during this time, due to evolving market conditions? I think they’re closer and more collaborative. More partnershipbased and transparent. Both parties are critical to each other’s success, or should be, and both should have a good understanding of the other’s costs. Reps strive to be trusted advisers to their principals and the overwhelming majority of our relationships are consultative versus transactional. As such, we are much more engaged in strategy and planning than ever before. What influence has technology had on what you do? We’re more efficient, productive and able to be more accountable. Taking the lead from some of our principals and customers, we recently deployed a CRM program that allows our team to gather real time sales and market data, and provide insights back to our stakeholders. By mining this data, we’re able to collaborate more as a team and share best practices. CM for reader service


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Automotive Aftermarket M&A Update For Q4 And 2014 The Advance Auto Parts acquisition of GPI may not be the last deal that will take place this year in our industry. Looking ahead, we expect 2014 to offer plenty of opportunities to implement strategic growth initiatives that include acquisitions. Make sure you are prepared — even if you choose not to aggressively look at acquisitions. By Richard Schwartz, Managing Partner, Schwartz Advisors LLC

arlier this year, Schwartz Advisors wrote an article in aftermarketNews where we speculated that the M&A market in the automotive aftermarket would continue to be strong in 2013. In April of this year, we wrote, “We expect to see M&A activity this year in distribution and some supplier segments of the aftermarket, which will be driven by opportunities to consolidate and gain efficiencies.” As expected, there have been some acquisitions across different segments of the aftermarket this year. Late last month came the blockbuster announcement that Advance Auto Parts (AAP), a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of automotive parts and accessories is going to acquire General Parts Inc. (GPI), the parent of CARQUEST and WORLDPAC. The GPI acquisition will create the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America and has the potential to change the automotive aftermarket landscape for retailers, distributors and suppliers. More specifically, this acquisition will have an impact on the retail, traditional parts distribution and import parts distribution segments. Are you prepared for what is coming next?



November 2013 | Counterman

While we may not know exactly what is in store in the future, most of us would probably agree that a crystal ball is not needed to come to the conclusion that aftermarket merger activity will continue. At Schwartz Advisors, we expect to see further M&A activity as suppliers and distributors look for competitive advantages and strategic benefits from consolidation. Increased efficiency, improved sourcing and supply chain capabilities and market share gains are common reasons for making acquisitions. The press release announcing the GPI acquisition cited several strategic reasons including: ● Create a market leadership position for both the retail and commercial segments ● Create scale in terms of growth and ability to leverage supply chain efficiencies ● Leverage brand leadership capabilities Near-term merger activity in the next six to 18 months will be driven by favorable trends that will attract interest from both private equity and strategic investors. Macroeconomic trends, including stable interest rates and access to debt, will help buyers finance acquisitions. Industry factors, including the size of the vehicle fleet in the United States and the aging fleet, correlate to the need for

replacement parts along with opportunities in all repair and service segments. M&A activity is not the only answer to growing your business, but it can be an important tactic in your strategic growth plan arsenal. Aftermarket executives need to be vigilant in staying abreast of how acquisitions can help companies achieve strategic objectives more efficiently. If you don’t have an M&A strategy, we highly recommend that you develop a thoughtful plan for how your company might grow and how to improve performance through acquisitions. Some of the more successful aftermarket businesses have avoided M&A activity and focused instead on running their businesses. However, as we look ahead even companies that have track records for profitability and efficiency will need to anticipate the future and determine if now is the time to start considering implementation of an M&A “game plan.” Remember, acquisitions almost never happen immediately and most acquisitions take time to nurture before coming to fruition. Therefore, it is better to start sooner rather than later. The Advance Auto Parts acquisition of GPI may not be the last deal that will take place this year in our industry. Looking ahead, we expect 2014 to offer plenty of opportunities to implement strategic growth initiatives that include acquisitions. Richard Schwartz is Managing Partner for Schwartz Advisors, a merger and acquisition adviser and consulting firm to companies in the automotive aftermarket. For information, visit, email: or call (858) 768-2623. CM for reader service

Counterman, November 2013  
Counterman, November 2013  

Counterman provides professionals at every level of the parts distribution channel (jobbers, retailers and WDs) with the technical and busin...