Longtime Aftermarket Exec. Ron Clair Dies at 79

Longtime Aftermarket Exec. Ron Clair Dies at 79

With a 47-year career in the aftermarket, Clair held various positions with Fram, Bendix and Autolite and Auto Plus.

Ron Clair, a long-time automotive aftermarket executive, passed away May 31 at the Villages in Florida. With a 47-year career in the automotive aftermarket, Clair held various management positions with Fram, Bendix and Autolite. Before retiring, he worked for Auto Plus and supported accounts in its AIM Group.

Clair was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 16, 1943. According to his obituary, Clair “was never late to a party.” He was an eternal prankster and always up for a round of golf. His friends in the aftermarket knew him as a people person who was selfless and humble.

Rick Webster, a sales representative at Pro-Rep Sales who worked for Fram Corporation (which was then under Allied-Signal and is now the Honeywell Corp.), met Clair when he moved to Atlanta in 1985 when Clair was a regional manager with the automotive division of Honeywell International.

“Ron always saw the bright side of things and was the master of compromise,” Webster said. “He was a master motivator who knew how to get the most of his salespeople. Ron moved many times in his career and always was a success wherever he went. He was a very religious person, a great family man and he will be missed by all his family and friends.”

Michael Copps, a retired regional manager with Fram, recalled meeting Clair at a national sales conference as “an inexperienced sales guy who you immediately knew would be successful,”

“He had great personality and was fun to be around with ‘homespun’ Oklahoma accent,” Copps remembers. “He was recruited to Fram by Clay Garrett, a long time zone manager… He was a wonderful golfer. I remember him sitting next to me at breakfast one morning and he showed the group approximately six vitamins he took each morning. Immediately, he converted 6 of us into taking vitamins. Ron was a kind, thoughtful human being that made everyone who knew him into a better person because of his devotion to clean, healthy living and Christianity. He will indeed be missed.”

After retirement, Clair pursued a master’s degree from Liberty University, a Ph.D. in Theology, followed by another doctorate in Ministry.

He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Dorothy Clair. He is survived by his wife, Vicky Clair, of almost 60 years, his son, Chad, and big sister Barbara (Jack) Maynard, along with numerous other relatives.

You May Also Like

SKF Group Announces Leadership Transition

Philipp Herlein, head of the global vehicle aftermarket division, has been appointed managing director of the global SKF lubrication & MPT division, effective October 1.

SKF Group Announces Leadership Transition

SKF Vehicle Aftermarket and Lubrication & MPT business unit announced a leadership transition within the company. Philipp Herlein, head of the global vehicle aftermarket division, has been appointed managing director of the global SKF lubrication & MPT division, effective October 1, 2024. Herlein succeeds Volker Pieschel, who has led the business for the past six years following the acquisitions of Willy Vogel AG, Safematic, Lincoln Industrial and Alemite.

Andrew Grose Named Vice President of Grote Networks

With a background in engineering and strategy, Grose will lead the newly formed Grote Networks Business Division.

Andrew Grose Named Vice President of Grote Networks
Coolidge Appointed to Amotiv Board

David Coolidge BA, MBA, MSA was named a non-executive director of the Company, effective June 25.

David Coolidge
Cruickshank Elected CAWA’s Secretary to the Board of Directors

At the CAWA June Leadership & Educational Forum, Brian Cruickshank of Schwartz Advisors was elected the 2025 Secretary to the Board of Directors.

Northwood University Taps Inaugural Professor of Automotive Strategy 

David Ovethal is Northwood’s first-ever Subaru of New England Professor of Automotive Strategy.

Other Posts
Tint World Strengthens Executive Team

Experienced industry executives J.R. Stocks and Kurt Hurley have joined the company.

Tint-World-Executives
Robert Roos Joins NEXUS International Executive Committee

Roos is the president & CEO of The Pronto Network – APSG and president of NEXUS North America.

Robert-Roos-Pronto-joins-NEXUS-Exec-Committee
Akebono Names New Regional Sales Manager

Erick Kinnunen joins Akebono with more than 40 years of experience in aftermarket sales, training and management.

ERICK-KINNUNEN-Akebono
Niterra North America Appoints VP of Manufacturing Operations

Todd Cullums has been a Niterra associate for over 20 years and held the previous position of director of manufacturing.

Todd-Cullums_Niterra