Article > Editor’s Note

2011's Top Stories In Review

By Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips
At the beginning of each year, we review the top stories of the previous year in automotive aftermarket parts distribution. We gauge this by reviewing the most-read stories from our sister e-newsletter,

One of the most-read stories of the year came in July when Advance Auto Parts would introduce home delivery in two markets — Fort Myers, Fla., and Houston, Texas. Advance gave the example of a DIYer at home: The car is up on blocks, the DIYer is doing a brake job and they realize they need parts they didn’t anticipate. With a call to Advance stores in those two markets, the DIYer could get delivery “within a few hours,” according to the company. Delivery is free for all orders of more than $100.

In September, Uni-Select announced it had expanded its business in Florida. Uni-Select entered into an agreement with Parts Depot Inc. (PDI) to purchase certain company assets there. Uni-Select will open new stores under its Auto-Plus trademark in those locations where leases have been assumed. Uni-Select expects to add 39 points of sale and five distribution centers, adding a substantial presence to its existing operations in the Florida market.

2011 started off with prospect that Pep Boys might offer itself for sale. The company reportedly hired Bank of America to assist it in the process. As the company improved its earnings, the thought was that a private equity group interested in retail might step up and take the company private. So far, that hasn’t happened.
At its 2011 Supplier Summit, CARQUEST Auto Parts named East Penn Manufacturing as its 2010 Supplier of the Year. The annual award was recently renamed the Larry McCurdy Award, in memory of McCurdy, an industry leader and former board member of General Parts International Inc. McCurdy passed away in 2010.

CARQUEST’s Supplier of the Year Award was created in 1992 to recognize a supplier’s contribution to CARQUEST’s success through quality products and outstanding marketing support.

In April, AutoZone recognized Great Neck Saw as its “Extra Miler: Supplier of the Year” during the annual AutoZone Vendor Summit held in Memphis, Tenn. AutoZone also recognized a group of suppliers with the company’s prestigious Extra Miler Award. They were: Four Seasons, Automotive Innovations, Cardone Industries, Dayco, Dorman, Spectra Premium Industries and Valvoline. AutoZone also recognized several suppliers with its “WITTDTJR” (What It Takes To Do The Job Right) Award. The suppliers were: Airtex Products LP, American Covers Inc. (dba Handstands), FDP Brake Products, Plews & Edelmann and Neotek Corp.

Automotive Parts Headquarters (APH), a Minnesota-based aftermarket auto parts distributor and store group, recognized outstanding supplier achievements from 2010 during its annual Winter Conference held Jan. 17 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd, Minn.

Fisher Auto Parts acquired McLaughlin Automotive Stores. McLaughlin Automotive Stores is a 37-year-old entity providing service to Rhode Island through eight stores and a warehouse. Fisher Auto Parts’ acquisition of McLaughlin Automotive Stores comes on the heels of its 2010 acquisition of the Pat Young Service Co.’s 46 company-owned stores and dozens of independent jobbers in Ohio.

WORLDPAC announced a new, three-year agreement with online marketing and communications company Demandforce Inc.

NAPA Auto Parts launched its new NAPA Filters family of filter brands to meet the needs of all types of drivers, including those with luxury, classic and everyday vehicles.

Automotive Parts Associates’ (APA) held its 30th annual Shareholders’ & Manufacturers’ Conference, March 10-12 in San Diego, Calif., which was attended by 67 shareholder WDs and 76 vendor manufacturers’ reps.

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