JUSTIN, TEXAS — Two of the aftermarket’s programmed distribution groups — National Pronto Association and The RPM Group — today announced plans to merge. This is the second merger among program groups in as many months. In mid-January 2005, Parts Plus and IAPA announced their plans to join forces.
Pronto, based in Justin, Texas, has been on an aggressive growth streak this past year, adding 11 new members, bringing its total membership to more than 50. In announcing the merger, Bill Maggs, president of Pronto, said, “This move is in line with the Pronto growth strategy of adding quality entrepreneurial businesses.”
Based in Vinton, Va., RPM Group represents hundreds of stores throughout the U.S. Mike Mitchell, executive director of the RPM Group, said the move was unanimously approved by the group’s members.
The combined group will fly the Pronto banner and operate out of the National Pronto Association office in Justin. Mitchell will relocate to Texas as the director of supply chain management. He will lead Pronto’s e-commerce initiatives which include Corcentric, MISG and CTS data warehouse.
Maggs and Mitchell said they both agree the synergies between the two groups are tremendous. Members of the merged group will enjoy benefits such as promotions, buying programs and the ability to utilize either the “Pronto Smart Choice” or “VIP Tech Center” marketing programs, said Maggs and Mitchell.
Dru Salvo, RPM group president, commented “By combining the groups, we feel that it will strengthen all the members’ positions in the aftermarket industry as we go forward.”
According to John Cousins, National Pronto Association chairman, a new combined board will be structured to provide comprehensive benefits of the new larger group equally to all members of both groups. Cousins added, “I want to welcome the RPM membership to Pronto. Our memberships share a common culture and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Maggs and Mitchell were not available for comment as of press time. Key members of the two groups are currently meeting in Philadelphia. According to a prepared statement, a review of other personnel and merger issues will be complete by April 1.
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