FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. From a sumptuous black tie affair to a classic and colorful car show, National Performance Warehouse's (NPW) fourth annual FAST Expo this past weekend had it all. Held at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., the NPW Fast Expo brought together vendors, retailers, technicians and automotive enthusiasts, all of whom came out to see the latest products and innovations from aftermarket vendors, as well as a comprehensive collection of new and historical customized vehicles.
Vic Edelbrock, AAM Group's Tim Odom and Larry Pacey strike a pose at the NPW Million Dollar Club Dinner.
The event kicked off on Friday, Jan. 25, at the Tower Club in Ft. Lauderdale, where NPW hosted a black tie dinner for its "Million Dollar" vendors. Among the esteemed guests were VIPs from Autometer, Centric, Dorman Products, Edelbrock, Federal-Mogul, Holley, MSD Ignition, NGK Spark Plugs, Standard Motor Products, as well as Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance and The AAM Group. The NPW family of companies is a member of The AAM Group as well as a Bumper to Bumper shareholder of The Alliance.
NPW President and CEO Larry Pacey presented awards to the Million Dollar Vendors, and also asked both John Washbish, president and CEO of Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, and Tim Odom, president of AAM, to say a few words.
"We couldn't let the evening end without some words of wisdom from Mr. John Washbish," joked Pacey. "I know he usually doesn't have much to say, but perhaps if we ask nicely he'll share some thoughts with us."
"It's a great treat for us all to be here," said Washbish. "And I want to congratulate each and every one of the vendor channel partners that are here. This is a great idea that Larry came up with to recognize you and the significance of your volume in NPW's purchases. Because, as he says, if he's buying a million from you, hopefully when we push it out the door, it's a little more. And so, we look forward to growing the group."
NPW became a shareholder member of The Alliance in 2011.
"On behalf of the Alliance, we're delighted to have the National Performance Warehouse family as part of our team," said Washbish. "Larry has done a spectacular job for us, not only here in Florida but also in Southern California, in promoting the Bumper to Bumper brand at the jobber level, but more importantly at the installer level, because let's not forget, that is the point of impact where the product comes out of the box. That's what we have to focus on. I think NPW does that expertly. Another big advantage for Larry and his family is that word, 'family.' I was delighted to know that both of his sons, Chris and John, have moved into the business. We look for that next generation coming through. At Alliance headquarters, we're not looking for shareholders who are looking to sell in the next five or six years. We'd like people to continue and we see that growth and the new people coming through, you get encouraged and you get excited that this business is going some place. It's got some roots and it's going to make some things happen," Washbish said.
NPW's Chris Pacey presented customer appreciation awards on Saturday night.
Tim Odom, president of AAM, praised Larry Pacey, a shareholder and board director of AAM, for his involvement as an active member of the group. "I very much appreciate what he's doing in supporting AAM," Odom said, "And of course, as he goes about growing his business and making acquisitions we're excited about seeing what is yet to come. "
In recent months, NPW has acquired three new businesses, including Karbelt in Canada, Motor Warehouse in Sacramento, Calif., and CMA Warehouse in Vernon, Calif. The company also announced that it is in negotiations for three new acquisitions in 2013.
On Saturday evening, roughly 200 guests attended a vendor appreciation and customer awards dinner at the Broward County Convention Center. A number of awards were presented, including:
Vendor of the Year Centric Parts
Rep of the Year Jim Hollingsworth (Standard Motor Parts) Hard Parts Rep
Jim Miller (All Midwest Sales) Performance Parts Rep
Customer awards included:
Platinum Award Johnny’s Auto Parts
Gold Award Congress Auto Parts
Gold Award National Sunshine Auto Parts
Gold Award International Auto Parts
Silver Award Save On Auto Parts
Silver Award Margate Auto Parts
Silver Award Westside Auto Parts
Bronze Award Jim's Auto Parts
Bronze Award Sixty Seven Auto Parts
Bronze Award JAC Auto Parts
More than 200 vehicles were on display at the FAST Expo Car Show, set against the backdrop of the Ruby Princess Cruiseline, docked at the Port of Ft. Lauderdale.
At the awards dinner, Jon Owens, vice president of sales and market development, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, spoke the crowd on behalf of program group.
"We couldn't be happier with NPW and the opportunity that came about for NPW to join our club, so to speak," said Owens. "I just really want to give a round of applause not only to NPW but to all of the independent stores that stayed with our Bumper to Bumper program through that transition. We strive to keep the independent jobber competitive and strong, and to enable them to sell more auto parts."
The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance goes to market under two brands: Bumper to Bumper and AutoValue. There are 53 Bumper to Bumper and Auto Value shareholders across North America, with close to $3 billion in sales, combined, and approximately 2,200 store locations branded either Bumper to Bumper or Auto Value across the U.S. and Canada, as well as some 3,000 affiliated branded shops across North America, Owens pointed out. "So you're part of a very big family," he said. "We want you to feel that.
"We're not playing tiddlywinks at Alliance headquarters, nor are our shareholder members. We are serious about selling a lot of auto parts. We could not do it without the tremendous support of our members and our vendor community as well. Rest assured, we're working on your behalf. We're doing everything we can to put you in a position to stay completely competitive and able to thrive as you compete in the marketplace."
Chris Pacey, who presented the customer appreciation awards on Saturday evening, told the group, "I want to thank our channel partners. That's exactly what we are partners. This show wouldn't go on if it wasn't for you."
Roughly 3,000 visitors attended the FAST Expo and Car Show, which took place on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Broward County Convention Center. Attendees were treated to a visit from the Miami Heat cheerleaders, the opportunity to try out a race simulator at the Mobil1 booth, as well as try their luck at winning several hundred door prizes, including flatscreen TVs, promotional items from expo vendors and even the chance at a Caribbean cruise. A golf outing at the exclusive Emeral Hill Country Club in Hollywood, Fla., also was held during the weekend of activities.
The next CARS Expo will be held on April 14, in San Jose, Calif.