Frank Frederick joined APC Automotive Technologies in April, serving as executive vice president of sales for the supplier of automotive, light truck and heavy-duty replacement parts.
Frederick has more than 23 years of executive and sales management experience in the automotive aftermarket and a proven record of leadership with several of the industry’s leading parts manufacturers. Before joining APC, Frederick was general manager of Schrader Performance Sensors (part of Sensata Technologies) and helped grow the Schrader’s TPMS aftermarket channel up from its early growth stages to the significant leadership position it currently possesses in the aftermarket. Prior to Schrader, he was vice president, North American Light Duty Aftermarket for Remy International. Frederick also served ROL Manufacturing of America for 15 years as executive vice president, sales and marketing, where he managed all OEM and aftermarket activities.
In today’s interview, Frederick brings us up to speed on the May 2017 merger of Centric and AP Emissions and shares the company’s ultimate goals as a unified business. He also shares details about some new products hitting the market.
AMN: Can you give us a quick update on the status of the company following the merger of Centric and AP Emissions Technologies just over a year ago (May 2017)?
Frederick: So far, we have made a great deal of progress, but there is still more positive work to do. For an example of where we are today, all you have to do is look at the full line of AP Emissions, CARB-certified catalytic converters we currently stock in our primary Centric Parts distribution center in Southern California. With this inventory, we can now give all of the valued customers in California easy access to combine AP and Centric orders for freight and general convenience.
Our marketing team just rolled out a unified look, feel and messaging for APC and with a fresh set of brand standards to bring consistency and clarity in how we present ourselves to the aftermarket. All of this will fall neatly in place with the launch of our new and exciting unified website, which customers can start using to their advantage in early September.
Our DuraFit aftertreatment acquisition, which added diesel particulate filters and diesel oxidation catalysts to our emissions portfolio is blending in nicely and steadily growing along with our new commercial vehicle program, which also includes a wide range of high-quality manufactured components from our DieselTech exhaust and emissions and Centric Parts brake systems product lines. We also just launched the industry’s most complete air disc brake program for Class 7 and 8 commercial vehicles and can now offer our heavy-duty customers a wide range of air disc brake pads, rotors and repair kits for all-makes.
AMN: What is APC’s ultimate goal in the marketplace going forward? Can you please give us a brief overview of some of the initiatives the company is focusing on now, post-merger?
Frederick: Our ultimate goal is to be the market-leading supplier of undercar parts across the light-, medium- and heavy-duty channels. Every one of our recently combined businesses and brands bring unique value propositions of brand equity, quality, service, catalog, global sourcing/logistics, coverage and technology. We are learning and leveraging the best practices across the APC Automotive Technologies organization to truly be the best that we can be.
AMN: There have been a few other key executive appointments lately as the company starts to build momentum post-merger. Can you please give AMN readers an update?
Frederick: To be the best that we can be and to support our strategic growth plan we have to look for and attract top talent to all levels of our organization in order to get there. Ken Selinger recently joined as our vice president of Centric Parts Product Management.
Ken has extensive and valuable executive level experience in the brake business, both in product management and sales. He will build on Centric’s leadership position in aftermarket brake systems, new part introduction and coverage as well as new product launches.
Chris Cole is another example of top-level talent that has recently joined APC. As our new VP of global sourcing, Chris brings over a decade of supply chain and operations management experience and will work with our sourcing teams at AP Emissions and Centric Parts to develop our best-cost global sourcing programs as well as drive further operational efficiencies. We have also added Barbara Hicks as VP of Human Resources (HR) to lead our unified HR competency, including building up our overall talent pool.
AMN: We understand the company is getting ready to introduce another friction line, following the big launch of the StopTech GCX rotors and TACTICAL police pads at AAPEX last fall. What can you tell us about this new launch?
Frederick: The line is branded PQ Pro Disc Brake Pads and it’s our newest, full-line premium friction category. PQ Pro is an advanced, ultra-premium solution with all of the performance characteristics of our Posi Quiet line that the market loves, but with advanced features designed to address key service issues that plagues many of today’s professional service technicians and their customers, such as time-consuming bed-in requirements, weak initial braking response and excessive noise. We scientifically applied our proprietary Mu500 additive to improve bed-in right out to the box and we enhanced our friction formulations to match or exceed original performance specifications and ensure reliable stopping power. We also added advanced, multi-layer shims to ensure positively quiet, noise-free operation.
To increase technician and customer confidence, every set of PQ PRO brake pads is backed by a One-Year Centric Assured Roadside Assistance Guarantee, which provides the customer added peace of mind and a free ride back to the shop for any brake-related issue.
The new PQ PRO brake pad line offers industry-leading application coverage for a wide range of passenger cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs. The PQ PRO line features over 1,200 SKUs, covering 108 vehicles makes and 2,393 models from 1957-2019. Centric will continue to be the brand and innovator of choice and will continue to lead in new product and coverage introductions.
AMN: Speaking of AAPEX, what does APC have up its sleeve for this year’s show?
Frederick: For starters, everyone will get a good look at our powerful new unified brand appearance and messaging thanks to a graphic refresh of our AAPEX booth by our marketing team. Talking about PQ Pro will be a priority on our agenda, and we also will be proudly showing our complete, all-makes heavy-duty air disc brake program, which I mentioned earlier.
In addition, we will be discussing our entire portfolio of brakes, chassis and exhaust and the cross-sell opportunities this represents for our customers. We also will have a significant presence on the performance side with an exhibit for our StopTech and Cherry Bomb brands at the SEMA show. APC Automotive Technologies continues to push the envelope as the leading undercar supplier to the aftermarket.