Standard Motor Products’ (SMP) board of directors has voted to suspend quarterly dividends. The announcement became the most-viewed news item on aftermarketNews this week. According to SMP Chairman and CEO Lawrence Sills, suspending the dividend is part of a plan to retire the balance of approximately $45 million outstanding of the company’s original $90 million convertible debentures, due in July 2009.
Another highly read news item on aftermarketNews this week shared how two industry associations are branching out into the world of social networking. The Car Care Council has set up a Facebook profile in order to reach younger motorists who regularly communicate through social networking sites. And, the Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide now has a group page on the professional networking website Linkedin.com to help its members find employment in these tough economic times.
And speaking of employment, Advance Auto Parts has hired Kevin Dempsey to serve as the retailer’s new as vice president, Global Sourcing. In this role, Dempsey, previously a senior vice president with Test Rite International Co., will be responsible for developing the company’s global sourcing capability and private brand strategy. He will be based in Roanoke, Va.
Also in this week’s round-up of top news items comes word of the new “Global Pro” program from Best Brakes. Best Brakes, a California-based supplier of Chinese-made drums and rotors, this week launched the “Global Pro” brake rotor and drum program, which features 1,400 SKUs. Global Pro Rotors are currently distributed across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The final item in our top five stories this week comes from Federated member KOI Auto Parts, which recently held its Cavalcade of Customs and Training Expo and Trade Show at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. According to KOI President Dave Wesselman, the show, which is open to both trade and the general public, was a resounding success. The Cavalcade of Customs and Training Expo and Trade Show is an annual event focusing on two separate components. The Cavalcade of Customs features a large number of custom vehicles and is open to the general public. The Training Expo and Trade Show targets the aftermarket industry, featuring training classes conducted by various Federated suppliers, including ACDelco, Denso, Raybestos and Standard Motor Products.