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ICYMI: The 2020 AMN Year In Review



Top 10 Newsmakers


Top 10 Branded Content Posts


Top 10 Distribution Stories Of 2020




Top 10 Manufacturing Stories Of 2020

Sponsored by Goodyear Belts, the 2020 AMN Year In Review includes 5 videos recapping the year’s top industry news.

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This is an article from December 2019 that still got a lot of page views in 2020.  And we know that automated driving is one of the major storylines in this industry that I’m sure will continue to pique people’s interest as the technology progresses.  

Number nine is “NTB To Sell 112 Locations To Mavis Discount Tire.” 

The 112 stores are located in the greater Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta and Chicago markets.

Number eight is “Hyliion Inc. And Tortoise Acquisition Corp. Announce Merger.”  

Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined entity will be named Hyliion Holdings Corp. and will remain on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “HYLN.”

Number seven is “Has ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Returned?”  

In June, the Automotive Service Association asked repair shops to write their U.S. representatives and senators urging them to oppose a “Cash for Clunkers” program in the next phase of COVID-19 stimulus legislation.

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Number six is “First Brands Group (formerly TRICO Group) Makes 2 Acquisitions.”  

In July, First Brands Group announced its acquisitions of Brake Parts Inc and Champion Laboratories Inc.

Number five is “Shell Lubricants Acquires American Chemical Technologies.”  

As we mentioned in some of the other videos this week, M&A stories always tend to get a lot of attention from AMN readers. 

Number four is “Chicago Passes New Electric Vehicle Ordinance.” 

In April, Chicago’s city council passed an ordinance that opens the door to cost-effective expansion of charging equipment in residential and commercial buildings. 

Number three is “National Pronto Association, Automotive Distribution Network Announce Merger.”  

As 2020 comes to a close, we got some major, late-breaking news.  On December 9, longtime program groups National Pronto Association and the Automotive Distribution Network announced plans to merge. The newly combined 

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group will be known as Pronto Automotive Distribution Network.

Number two is “VA Gov. Signs Vehicle Safety Inspection Program Legislation.”  

In April, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill that INCLUDED the state’s periodic motor-vehicle safety inspection program, despite unveiling plans to eliminate the program earlier in the year. 

Our top NEWS STORY of 2020 is “House of Representatives Passes 5th Stimulus Package.”  

This was back in May, when the Democrat-controlled House passed the first iteration of the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion COVID relief bill that came on the heels of the CARES Act and other stimulus packages.  This one hasn’t fared as well as the others, though.

Top 10 Newsmakers

Number 10 is “Federated Auto Parts Names New President.”  

Following the retirement of longtime CEO Rusty Bishop, Federated in January promoted Sue Godschalk to president, and Larry Pavey assumed the role of CEO. 

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Number nine is “Transtar Industries Names Anna Gluck Human Resources VP.”

Gluck is responsible for human resources across all Transtar Holding Companies.

Number eight is “APH Announces New Leadership Structure.” 

Corey Bartlett, president and CEO of Automotive Parts Headquarters, announced a new leadership structure in July, including new senior management roles and responsibilities.

Number seven is “5 Minutes With BBB’s Daryl Torgerson.” 

In this Q&A with Daryl Torgerson, director of sales for BBB Industries, he reveals that his favorite quote is “Improvise, Overcome, Adapt” from the movie “Heartbreak Ridge.” He has excellent taste in movies. 

Number six is “AMN Q&A With Dana’s Dan Griffin.” 

In this June interview with longtime Dana executive Dan Griffin, Griffin talked about his new expanded role with the Toledo, Ohio-based aftermarket supplier. 

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Number five is “5 Minutes With Akebono’s Edward Gerhardt.” 

This installment of AMN’s “Five Minutes With” Q&A series featured Akebono’s marketing and data services manager. 

Number four is “Five Minutes With Junior Word, President, Carquest NA.”  

In this Q&A, Word describes himself as a “passionate” person who truly enjoys life, and thrives on seeing others succeed. 

Number three is “Genuine Parts Company Announces New Corporate Officer.”  

As executive VP and chief transformation officer, William Stengel II has responsibility for the effective management of GPC’s short- and long-term transformation.

Number two is “Dayco Appoints Laura Kowalchik As CFO.”  

This article from November 2019 was still getting traction in 2020.  Dayco CEO Joel Wiegert described Kowalchik as “a highly regarded operational finance leader with significant experience in automotive industries, data analytics and steel.” 

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The top newsmaker story of 2020 is “Q&A With Cardone CEO Mike Carr.” 

This interview really struck a chord with our readers.  In the Q&A, Carr talks about CARDONE’s future growth plans and the change in the company’s ownership structure, after three generations as a family-run business.

Top 10 Branded Content Posts

Number 10 is “Why Trucks Are The Future Of The Aftermarket Sweet Spot.”  

This article by GMB North America makes a strong case for trucks as the biggest opportunity in the automotive aftermarket. 

Number nine is “How to Talk to Customers About Aftermarket Spark Plugs.”  

This Autolite article provides some helpful tips for counter pros and even service writers and techs whenever a customer asks, “Why should I upgrade to a better spark plug?” Good stuff. 

Number eight is “How Cabin Air Factors into Vehicle Cleanliness.”  

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Our breathing air has really been top of mind for many of us in 2020, and this very timely article from FRAM explains the important role that CABIN AIR FILTERS play in vehicle cleanliness.  

Number seven is “Spotting (and Fixing) Common Causes of Engine Misfires.”  

This Autolite article explains that engine misfires don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution.

Number six is “Spotless Spark Plug Sockets Protect Engine Performance.”  

Say that five times fast!   You know, a clean spark plug is one of the most essential elements of a healthy engine, and clean SOCKETS are one of the many keys to clean-firing spark plugs, as Autolite points out in this article.  

Number five is “Aftermarket Supply Chain Challenges Present Untapped Cash Potential.”  

This article by ToolsGroup North America talks about the remarkable transformations that take place following investments in supply chain planning.

Number four is “How Quality Service Shops Build Customer Trust.”  

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This article by CARFAX talks about some very specific things that shops can do to provide quality service to their customers. 

Number three is “Finding the Right Oil Filter Based on the Driver.” 

This article from FRAM offers some tips on how to categorize the different TYPES of driving and how that can help counter pros and others recommend the right oil filter for their customers. 

Number two is “Taiwan Excellence Product Launch.”

TAITRA, the foreign trade promotion council in Taiwan, recently held a live-stream event on YouTube that focused on newly launched products that are designed to improve vehicle safety. 

Our top branded post of 2020 is “Know Your Engine When Determining Spark Plug Service Intervals.” 

This article by FRAM looks at four different vehicle models to illustrate that a “one-size-fits-all” approach will never be an option when identifying the proper service interval for the vehicle’s spark plugs.

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Top 10 Distribution Stories of 2020

Number 10 is “Kohlberg & Co. To Acquire Majority Stake In Parts Authority.”

The automotive aftermarket has always been an attractive investment for private equity, and this was an announcement that Kohlberg & Company would take a majority stake in Parts Authority, a national parts distributor with more than 200 locations across the U.S. 

Number nine is “Parts Authority Adds 5 New Locations.”

Parts Authority expanded its footprint to New England and Utah with two acquisitions in July and August. 

Number eight is “NPW Companies Acquires All Products Automotive.”

Miami-based NPW acquired Chicago-based All Products Automotive, giving NPW an expanded presence in the Upper Midwest. 

Number seven is “NPW Acquires Stores From Icahn Automotive Group.”

NPW acquired 13 Auto Plus stores and two Pep Boys stores from Icahn Automotive Group in Oregon and Washington state. 

Number six is “Turn 14 Distribution To Acquire Motovicity Distribution.”

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This transaction marked Turn 14 Distribution’s first asset purchase agreement since it was formed in 2007.

Number five is “Parts Warehouse Inc., Tri-States Automotive Warehouse To Merge.”

Combined, these two multi-generational family-owned businesses will serve nine states.  

Number four is “Parts Authority Acquires Total Automotive Warehouse.”

These two companies share the same commitment to EXCELLENT customer service, Parts Authority CEO Randy Buller noted in the article.

Number three is “National Pronto Association, Automotive Distribution Network Announce Merger

There was some major late-breaking news for the aftermarket as 2020 came to a close. Longtime program groups National Pronto Association and Automotive Distribution Network announced on Dec. 9 plans to merge. The newly combined group will be known as Pronto Automotive Distribution Network.

Number two is “The Parts House Acquires Cold Air Distributors.”

This acquisition included 19 Cold Air Distributors locations in Florida as well as a distribution center. 

Our top distribution story of 2020 is “Auto-Wares To Acquire Select Retail Parts Stores.”

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The Auto-Wares Group of Companies entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a select group of retail parts stores in Michigan from Icahn Automotive Group. 

TOP 10 Manufacturing Stories Of 2020

Number 10 is: “HELLA, Oculii Establish Strategic Partnership.”  

With the partnership, the two companies aim to deliver high-performance radar sensing and perception solutions for ADAS and automated driving applications. 

Number nine is: “Transtar Industries Acquires Assets Of Dean Transmission Parts.”  

This strategic acquisition announced in December 2019 was expected to boost Transtar’s coverage in the New England market. 

Number eight is “Highline Aftermarket, Warren Distribution Acquired By PPC.”  

The combined company will have 27 facilities across North America and more than 22,000 SKUs, including windshield washer fluid, engine lubricants and a wide variety of consumable automotive aftermarket products.

Number seven is: “Update On BorgWarner’s Delphi Acquisition.”

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The BorgWarner-Delphi deal was first announced in January, and this particular story was an update on the deal in April.  BorgWarner officially completed its acquisition of Delphi Technologies in October, capping off a busy year of dealmaking in the automotive aftermarket.

Number six is: “Pennzoil Offers ILSAC GF-6 Compliant Motor Oils.”  

GF-6 is the latest in a line of more stringent performance standards for engine oils in today’s gasoline-powered cars and trucks. 

Number five is: “Dana Introduces Aftermarket Drivetrain Upgrades For Jeep Gladiator.”  

The line of axle upgrades includes Ultimate Dana 60 front- and rear-axles, as well as Ultimate Dana 44 AdvanTEK front axles.

Number four is: “Shiloh Industries To Power 3 Michigan Facilities With 100% Renewable Energy.”

Shiloh Industries is an environmentally focused global supplier of lightweighting, noise and vibration solutions.

Number three is: “Metalsa Sells Its Structural Components For Passenger Cars Division To Martinrea International.”

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The division that was sold includes six production facilities in Germany, the United States, Mexico, South Africa and China. 

Number two is: “Edelbrock Owner Acquires COMP Performance Group.” 

Edelbrock, the COMP Performance Group and their respective management teams will operate as independent organizations, as they explore opportunities to drive increased product and customer offerings.

Our top manufacturing story of 2020 is: “Romeo Power Technology To Merge With RMG Acquisition Corp.”  

Upon closing of the deal, the combined company will be named Romeo Power Inc., and is expected to remain listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “RMO.”

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