Every other week, aftermarketNews.com offers an interview with a high-profile individual in the automotive aftermarket. We give executives free rein to express their views on anything from the state of their corporations to recent legislative news to future trends in their niche markets. Here you see what matters to the newsmakers themselves.
Our latest edition of “Executive Interview” features Terry McCormack, president of Dana Automotive Aftermarket Group (AAG). McCormack talked to aftermarketNews.com about the recent news that Dana will divest its aftermarket group. He shared details of the announcement as well as his insights on what this major change means for the company and the division.
Terry McCormack began his Dana career in 1973 as a sales trainee. In 1974, he became inventory control manager of engine and chassis products at the Hagerstown Distribution Center. He worked as inventory control manager of import products at the Hagerstown facility in 1976. In 1977, he moved to the distribution services division’s Waco, TX, depot as inventory control manager. He became an area manager of inventory control at the Waco depot in 1978 and later, area manager of operations. In 1980, he served as the area manager responsible for inventory, receiving, order-filling and packaging at the Weatherhead distribution center in Fort Wayne, IN.
McCormack was appointed customer service/systems manager for the Churubusco, IN, distribution center in 1982 and division inventory control manager of warehouse operations in 1983. He became plant manager of the aftermarket production division’s Barmatic products plant in 1985 and was made plant manager of the Weatherhead division’s Antwerp, OH, plant in 1990. He was named general manager of the distribution services division in 1995, and promoted to vice president and general manager of the division in 1996, with the added responsibility of DTF, Dana’s subsidiary trucking and logistics operation.
In January 1998, he became vice president and general manager of Dana’s Wix filtration products division – North America. He was promoted to president of Wix worldwide filtration in January 2000. He was named president of Dana’s Automotive Aftermarket Group in July 2000.
In addition to a bachelor of science degree in Psychology from Ball State University, McCormack has completed the Harvard Advanced Management Program and is also a Dana Certified Supervisor. He serves on the board of directors of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Belk College School of Business. He is also a member of the Automotive Presidents’ Group, and serves on the Dana University Board of Regents.
Q: Please distinguish exactly which brands are up for sale and which are remaining at Dana. The press release specifically named Raybestos and WIX (and unnamed undercar brands) as brands that are for sale, while naming only Clevite as a brand that will remain. What about Spicer, Perfect Circle, Beck/Arnley, etc.
A: Dana has put the entire Automotive Aftermarket Group up for sale, except for the Clevite Operations. Those operations will more than likely stay with the parent manufacturing group within the company. Dana will continue to fully support the marketing and sales of Victor Reinz gaskets, Clevite 77 engine bearings and Perfect Circle piston rings. The intent of the sale is to divest the entire AAG organization in one transaction.
Q: Please describe how you envision the structure of the Dana Automotive Aftermarket Group of the immediate future – or will it exist at all?
This is an exciting time for the Dana Automotive Aftermarket Group. We have talked to our customers and they see the Automotive Aftermarket Group being sold as a definite positive. The Dana Automotive Aftermarket Group has successfully restructured and the results have been very positive. The customers, our brands and our people are the best in the business and will provide a positive platform for future growth with the new owners. Everyone agrees that separating the aftermarket group from the OE businesses is a very positive move. That will provide focus for both segments.”
Q: What is the future of those brands that will remain with Dana? What is the future of Dana as a player in the aftermarket?
A: Both Dana Corporation and the Automotive Aftermarket Group have great futures. This sale will be a positive for both Dana and the new owners of the aftermarket group. Following the sale, Dana will be able to focus on OEM technologies and related activities and customers. The aftermarket group and its new owners will be able to dedicate 100 percent of their efforts to their customers and brands.
Q: Traditionally, the aftermarket has been viewed as a more profitable market than the OE. This decision seems to indicate that the OE market is a more profitable arena. Do you agree with that assessment?
Not exactly. Both segments have profit potential. This sale is all about focus and future success. After the sale, both Dana and the new owners will be able to concentrate on their core businesses, which should make both companies even more successful than they already are.
Q: What role did Wall Street play in your decision? Why were investors so immediately excited by this announcement?
A: I think Wall Street and investors are excited because of what we have been talking about. It’s all about the ability to focus and to be able to invest capital for expansion of each segment. With this move, each company will be able to concentrate on their strengths and that should result in growth for Dana and the new owners of the aftermarket group.
Q: Please pinpoint which external conditions in the aftermarket made you come to this decision.
A: In the end, this sale is all about what is best for the customers and how to best serve them. We know that by separating the two companies, we will see positive growth for both entities in the future because we will be able to focus 100 percent of our energies on the aftermarket customers.
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