Jeff Koviak describes his “master’s degree” in the automotive aftermarket as owning two muffler shops in Port Huron, Michigan, for a few years. He was at the ripe, young age of 24 and this stint came after he served as a Walker Exhaust territory manager with Tenneco in Detroit. Koviak calls that his first official job in the aftermarket, but in reality, his first experience in our industry dates back to his days in vocational auto mechanics class in high school.
At the time, Koviak told his teacher he wanted to be involved in cars but didn’t want to work at a dealership or be a technician. That’s when his teacher reached out to Northwood University, where Koviak found a great fit in their automotive aftermarket management program. Since then, Koviak has spent his career in the aftermarket, navigating the changes Tenneco has experienced throughout the years.
Today, Koviak serves as vice president of sales, customer service and sales operations, the Americas, at DRiV, and in this episode of AMN Drivetime, sponsored by AISIN, he delves into how his role and the company’s strategies have shifted, especially when Tenneco merged with Federal-Mogul in 2018 and formed DRiV, as well as how the company has changed since being bought by private equity in November 2022.
- Koviak’s career trajectory in the automotive aftermarket (0:39);
- Koviak’s thoughts on the “transformational” merger of Tenneco and Federal-Mogul and how he played a role in combining the two businesses (8:01);
- Changes Tenneco/DRiV have experienced since being acquired by private equity and how the company is able to make quicker decisions (11:42)
- DRiV’s plans for 2024- new products and a focus on improved fill rates (15:07)
- Koviak delves into the strategic direction of some of Tenneco’s storied brands and what to expect from them in the future (19:32)
- The importance of giving back to the industry and Koviak’s continued connection to Northwood (25:31)
- Lightening Round questions⚡ (28:57)
Watch more episodes of AMN Drivetime here.