Executive Interview: Dave Shadduck, President Of Autolite And FRAM

Executive Interview: Dave Shadduck, President Of Autolite And FRAM

In the Executive Interview, Shadduck shares that strong supplier relationships are one of the keys to the brands’ continued success. He also talks about the value of consumer outreach through motorsports, social media and more.

In today’s AMN Executive Interview we sit down with Dave Shadduck, president of the well-known Autolite and FRAM brands. In the interview, Shadduck shares that strong supplier relationships are one of the keys to the brands’ continued success. He also talks about the value of consumer outreach through motorsports, social media and more.

Autolite has done a lot of creative outreach for technicians and customers in recent years – mobile tours, motorsports promotions, and trainings. What do you have up your sleeve for this year in terms of customer outreach? Anything fun planned?

We are proud to support grassroots motorsport sponsorships.  We have really great teams out there who continue to show how well our products work in the performance world. In addition to these sponsorships, our mobile tour is excited about celebrating its fifth year. This year, we are focused on attending youth-oriented automotive and power sports events as we continue our mission to cultivate a new generation of DIYers. We also plan to continue to expand our outreach to technical schools. Our training team recently presented to the North American Council of Automotive Teachers and performed training at a number of automotive schools as well as serving as judges at Skills USA.

Our tech team will be conducting Autolite clinics in 12 major cities over the coming year. The clinics will be sponsored by Autolite and open to all interested. Clinics will cover ignition systems, drivability and more for technicians and focus on product knowledge and sales skills for parts professionals.

Being such a well-known brand name, how does Autolite tap in to social media to communicate with brand followers and fans?

We know our followers are looking for technical advice about our products and general automotive maintenance, so we provide weekly tech tips for both the technician and the DIYer. We also use social media to promote our grassroots sponsorships and to let our social communities know about our participation in industry events.

Autolite has been around for more than a century, and has certainly evolved through a number of innovations over the years. Futurists predict that the rate of innovation will speed up exponentially over the next few years. How do you see the rate of innovation affecting your business and the automotive aftermarket overall?

Autolite is in a position where we have established good OE relationships. We are well-positioned to be a key supplier for any innovations on the horizons. We’ve been meeting the changing needs of engines since we produced our first spark plug in 1936, and we will continue to evolve. For example, we are creating thinner and longer spark plug designs as engine designs continue to shrink and focus on creating efficiency. In addition, the preference of precious metal types like Iridium fine wire will continue to increase as they offer greater performance and longevity versus traditional metals such as copper.

The automotive aftermarket will continue to be challenged by increasing pressures from online retailers, such as Amazon, that continue to expand into the automotive parts segment. Reaching consumers who are looking for our products online will help Autolite meet the needs of this growing demographic and remain competitive.

The company was recently honored by Federated Auto Parts with the Co Man Vendor of the Year award for Order Fill. What are some of the company’s key principals that help it meet high standards such as these?

We were pleased to receive this award for consistently filling orders in a timely and efficient manner. There are several principals that help us understand the customers’ requirements and meeting demand, including:

  • Forecasting monthly to help manage demand
  • Scheduling replenishment orders and meeting demand for each model
  • Providing adequate lead time for all finished goods and safety stock requirements

Where do you see your segment of the industry headed over the next few years? What do you anticipate will be your biggest challenges, and biggest advantages in the marketplace?

With improving spark plug technology we are seeing longer-lasting fine wire plugs. Autolite is focused on selling higher-end technologies like Iridium XP spark plug to continue to provide high-level performance, improved efficiency and is backed by our limited lifetime warranty; which is one of its kind in the industry.

You May Also Like

AMN Q&A With Dan Billie, CEO at Plews & Edelmann

Following the purchase of Blissfield Manufacturing Co., AMN sits down with Plews & Edelmann CEO Dan Billie for an update.

Why did Plews & Edelmann decide to purchase Blissfield Manufacturing Co.?

At Plews & Edelmann, we are constantly looking for inorganic ways to grow our steering portfolio beyond our base business. We met Blissfield’s owner, Pat Farver, through an OE contact and began a discussion that led to the purchase. We were very appreciative for the confidence that our OE friends had in us because the addition of the Blissfield cooler business fits our vision for aftermarket steering component growth perfectly.

AMN Executive Interview With MANN+HUMMEL’s Daryl Benton

Benton discusses the latest Purolator brand activations, and creating a better experience for people inside the vehicle.

AMN Q&A With YANG Chair Jacki Lutz

Sensata Technologies’ Jacki Lutz, current YANG Chair, talks about proudest moments and what’s ahead for YANG in 2022.

AMN Executive Interview With Continental’s Dave Maclay

Maclay talks about the complexity of servicing TPMS, and what’s next in other high-tech segments like ADAS and EVs.

AMN Executive Interview With Lumileds’ Vincent Ranic

Ranic talks about the company’s extensive R&D capabilities, LED lighting innovations and its new GoPure product.

Other Posts

First Brands Group Announces Race Team Award Winners

Sponsored drivers and teams across multiple series were recognized for successes on the track and in the community in 2022.

First Brands Opens 2023 Spring/Summer Racing Sponsorship

StopTech, Autolite, Raybestos and FRAM will provide support to teams that are selected for racing sponsorships.

Updating Your Shop’s Approach to Vehicle Filtration 

Customers may wonder what the biggest threats are to their engines.  Heat is one for sure. But the other are tiny – often microscopic – particles. If these aren’t filtered thoroughly, they will accumulate inside the engine, which will increase friction, heat and lead to significant damage to internal engine components. In time, it will

Marco Andretti, FRAM Take SRX Crown

FRAM was a partner sponsor of the SRX series for the second consecutive season.