After weeks of disconcerting headlines concerning bankruptcies, plant closures and layoffs in the auto industry, AMN readers gravitated toward more positive news this week. Our top story of the week gave details on the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance annual winter meeting held earlier this month in Boca Raton, Fla. During the meeting, numerous suppliers were recognized during a vendor award ceremony. WIX Filters was named Alliance Supplier of the Year. “Our vendors work hard to meet and exceed our members’ needs and their efforts are rewarded with this recognition," said Richard Morgan, president and CEO of Alliance. "They represent the entire company and all of the employees who each play an important role in their success, and our own.”
Capitalizing on the tumultuous economic landscape, three former Johnson Controls executives this week announced the formation of a new business with a mission to identify, acquire and implement successful turnaround strategies for troubled manufacturing companies. Called Newnorth LLC, the company was founded in September. Newnorth is looking for mid-size U.S. based manufacturing companies in the transportation, institutional and residential interior markets with $25 million to $250 million in annual revenue.
Another popular news item this week was our exclusive Executive Interview with Michael Cardone, Jr., who founded CARDONE Industries with his late father, Michael Cardone, Sr., in 1970. In our interview, Cardone addresses the key issues of parts proliferation, the impact of high fuel prices, the high cost of health benefits and the reman industry as the original “green” industry. “Green was in reman before green was ‘in’,” said Cardone. “Reman is fundamentally a recycling industry.”
In other news, Missouri-based O’Reilly Auto Parts has been added to the NASDAQ-100 Index. The NASDAQ-100 is based on market capitalization and represents 100 of the largest domestic and international, non-financial companies that are listed on the National Market tier of The NASDAQ Stock Market. According to Greg Henslee, co-president and CEO of O’Reilly, "Becoming part of the NASDAQ-100 reflects the strength and position our company holds in the automotive aftermarket industry and our future growth opportunities as we continue to integrate CSK Auto and expand the presence of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Brand."
The final item in our round-up of the week’s top news comes from IMC and Automotive Parts Associates (APA), which have teamed up to develop a single source purchasing program of auto parts for foreign brand nameplate vehicles. This program was designed to keep APA shareholders competitive and grow the import portion of their wholesale and retail businesses. This program, which was tailored to the APA members, will include many special benefits, such as electronic cataloging in Activant and WHI, counterman training, dealer sales calls and inventory management.