Kicking off our recap of the week’s top news is the announcement that Motorcar Parts of America (MPA) has made a strategic investment into Toronto-based Fenwick Automotive Products. The $1.9 million investment is structured as a secured loan with an option to acquire substantial ownership of the company. According to MPA Chairman, President and CEO Selwyn Joffe, the transaction represents a potential opportunity to expand beyond Motorcar Parts of America’s alternator and starter business and leverage the company’s existing manufacturing expertise and distribution channels with a broad array of automotive products.
In other news from the supplier sector, ACDelco this week introduced an all-new friction offering. The new ACDelco Advantage friction line is an entry-level portfolio of brake pads and hardware that the company says is designed to provide dealers and distributors with a competitively priced yet quality alternative to other entry-level brake friction products. ACDelco Advantage brake friction products cover about 80 percent of the current U.S. car population and include non-asbestos organic, semi-metallic and ceramic brake pad formulations, depending on the vehicle application. ACDelco Advantage friction products carry a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty. In addition, ACDelco Advantage brake pads come with the installation hardware in the box (when applicable), which can make the job easier for technicians and even help ensure a better fit, according to the company.
Also this week, AMN readers were highly interested in the news that Rick Pizarek has been named vice president, global chassis, reporting to David Overbeeke, president of Affinia Global Brake & Chassis. For the past three years, Pizarek has served as vice president and general manager of Asia Operations for Affinia’s Global Brake & Chassis Group. Based in Shanghai, Pizarek led Affinia’s under vehicle business activities throughout Asia. In his new position, Pizarek is based in McHenry, Ill., and assigned strategic responsibility for Affinia’s Global Chassis business. Primary objectives include Affinia’s rapid growth globally in the chassis market and the continual expansion of product line coverage with a particular emphasis on foreign nameplates.
In legislative news this week, the Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (AMRA/MAP) has reported that the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has officially approved the "Regulation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Vehicles Operating with Under Inflated Tires" (Section 95550 in Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations). Along with other stipulations, this regulation, commonly known as the Tire Pressure Regulation, will require automotive service providers to check and inflate each vehicle’s tires to the recommended tire pressure rating at the time of performing any automotive maintenance or repair service, as well as to indicate on the vehicle service invoice that a tire inflation service was completed. The regulation took effect Sept. 1 and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is currently finalizing a guidance document for public review.
The final item in our weekly round-up of the week’s top news reports that Service Repair Solutions Inc. (SRS) has been named one of the Top 100 fastest-growing software companies by Inc. magazine. SRS serves the automotive service and repair market through its wholly owned operating divisions: Mobile Productivity Inc. (MPi), Identifix Inc., International Automotive Technicians’ Network Inc. (iATN) and Auto Point Inc. SRS, which provides information solutions for the automotive repair industry, experienced a three year sales growth of 214 percent between 2006 and 2009. Inc. magazine has recognized Service Repair Solutions Inc. (SRS) with a rank of 90 among the top 100 fastest growing private software companies. Overall, SRS was ranked number 1,363 on the fourth annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. This is the second year that SRS has qualified to be recognized on the Inc. 5000 list.