The automotive aftermarket continues to keep a close watch on the status of the Detroit Three, and in our top story this week, we learn more about the trickle-down effect the closure of OE dealerships across the country is having on the repair industry. In the article “Repairers Say Detroit Three’s Troubles Could Affect Parts Pricing, Availability” BodyShop Business Managing Editor Hannah Schiffman writes that the closing of hundreds of dealerships across the country and cutbacks at those that remain open have affected parts supply. Two collision repair shops chime in about their own experiences sourcing parts today.
Another popular item in our round-up of the week’s top news was the announcement of new members to the Automotive Aftermarket Supplier Association’s (AASA) 2009 board of governors. Three aftermarket supplier industry executives have been elected to the AASA board with a new slate of officers at the helm, headed by 2009 Chairman Peter Morse, president of Morse Automotive Corp. The three new officers are: Michael McGrath, president, SKF, Vehicle Service Market, North America; Richard Mezadurian, president, Falcon Steering Systems Inc.; and Keith Wilson, president, Affinia Global Filtration.
In other personnel news, TRICO Products has hired Leslie Cibor as its new director of retail sales. Cibor will assume responsibility for TRICO key accounts in recognized automotive stores nationwide. She brings with her more than a decade of automotive aftermarket experience, most recently having served as retail sales manager for large retail accounts in North America for Federal-Mogul.
Within the distribution segment, East Penn is the big winner when it comes to supplier excellence awards. The company was recognized for its outstanding service as a supplier winning both the “Spirit of NAPA” award, as well as sweeping the Automotive Parts Headquarters (APH) Outstanding Supplier Awards. East Penn was recognized in each of the four categories in which APH honors its vendors.
The final item in our round-up of the most popular news of the week comes from industry friend and colleague Dave Caracci, who shares in a special guest commentary what he’s learned about good business after surviving four recessions in this industry. In his column, Caracci writes, “For the smart, hard-working business person a recession is the best time to grow your business.”