UCI International takes the lead in this week’s recap of top aftermarket industry news. On Monday, it was announced that UCI has entered into an agreement and plan of merger with Rank Group Limited and a newly formed affiliate of Rank Group. The affiliate will be merged with and into UCI, with UCI continuing as the surviving corporation and an affiliate of Rank Group.
Rank Group is a New Zealand-based private company that invests across a variety of industries and aims to build and grow leading global businesses, including Reynolds Group Holdings, one of the largest packaging companies in the world. Rank also recently closed on the acquisition of Pactiv Corp., parent company to well-known bag brand, Hefty.
UCI International, through its subsidiary United Components Inc., is a supplier to the light- and heavy-duty vehicle aftermarket for replacement parts. It sells into multiple sales channels, including retailers, wholesale distributors, dealers and the heavy-duty vehicle aftermarket. Its principal end-markets include light vehicles, commercial vehicles and construction, mining, agricultural, marine and other industrial equipment. Rank is acquiring the business for approximately $375 million.
In other news from the manufacturing sector, international tool maker Ingersoll Rand has announced a new partnership with Paul Jr. Designs to feature Ingersoll Rand tools on the hit TLC reality show “American Chopper.” The reality series will feature Ingersoll Rand tools and equipment throughout the season. Paul Jr. Designs will utilize an array of Ingersoll Rand pneumatic and cordless tools and a Rotary Screw Compressor throughout the show to build each custom motorcycle.
This week, AMN introduced a new regular feature titled “Five Minutes with,” which aims to present some of the industry’s top talent in a more personal light. We kick off this new series by getting to know a bit more about Corey Bartlett, president of Automotive Parts Headquarters in Saint Cloud, Minn. Corey is one of the four inaugural winners of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association’s new Aftermarket Impact Awards, which recognize outstanding aftermarket leaders under the age of 45. Click here to learn more about Corey’s history in the aftermarket and the secret to his favorite winter chili recipe.
AMN readers were also interested in learning more about the 100 new SKUs that Dorman Products recently released. According to the company, the new products include more than 50 formerly "Dealer Only" parts previously unavailable in the aftermarket. Professional technicians and vehicle owners can now source items such as column shift repair kits; snap-in, plastic-backed mirror glass; body mount kits and suspension track bars from Dorman. The company says it has introduced nearly 2,000 new products in 2010.
Last in our round-up of the week’s top news, we take a moment to remember Jimmy Bishop, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 80. Bishop, a well-known Dallas businessman and the founder of Bishop International Inc., is credited as one of the early pioneers of the automotive aftermarket industry. He started his career in 1949 from the bed of a Chevrolet pickup truck. At the age of 19, he drove from one salvage yard to another across the country buying automotive engines, parts and components. He would then return to his small facility in Dallas, Texas, where a few employees would strip down the engines and sell them back to automotive parts rebuilders. That humble business model, over time, gave rise to what is now known as the automotive aftermarket industry. Bishop created and sold more than 50 companies in the same industry and was the first to manufacture many of the aftermarket auto parts that now supply automotive retail stores and rebuilders across the nation.