Money, and ways to save more of it, is certainly a hot topic these days. So, it comes as no surprise that our top story this week alerted AMN readers to the potential savings they can reap while in Las Vegas next month for Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. Many Las Vegas hotels have reduced their room rates and are offering additional incentives for Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) attendees in light of current economic conditions. To learn more about the deals being offered, click here.
Another popular news story this week comes from auto parts retailer Pep Boys, which announced it has reorganized its field structure, reducing the number of divisions from eight to six. The retailer now has one divisional VP in charge of all aspects of service, retail and commercial operations in each of the six divisions.
The independent aftermarket’s relationship with the OEs isn’t always a friendly one, however Ford, Chrysler and GM this week announced a new collaboration to provide a service hotline for independent repair shops. The Service and Parts Divisions of Ford, Chrysler and GM have launched The Power Line — a nationwide toll-free number that independent repair facilities can call to speak to factory-trained technicians who can provide powertrain technical support and assistance. The Power Line will also provide warranty assistance and sales support for genuine Ford, Mopar and GM gas and diesel engine and transmission assemblies.
On the personnel front, General Parts Inc. (GPI) this week announced the appointment of Dale Ward as its new executive vice president of marketing and merchandising, reporting directly to President Temple Sloan, III. Ward joins GPI from CSK Auto, where he was executive vice president of operations.
Rounding-out our recap of top news stories of the week is the latest on Tenneco’s patent infringement case against Kingdom Auto Parts. Following the Sept. 28 report that Kingdom Auto Parts (KAP) had announced a favorable early ruling in its defense against a lawsuit brought by litigation with Tenneco Inc., aftermarketNews has since learned more details about the case. Tenneco has been granted permission by the court to file a second amended complaint to re-allege its claims that KAP is liable for the unauthorized use of Tenneco’s Monroe Quick-Strut mark, and to cure its since dismissed copyright infringement claim. Tenneco also filed an appeal on the Court’s decision not to award a preliminary injunction. Tenneco filed its second claim on Oct. 2. A mediation hearing is scheduled for Oct. 31.