In this Executive Interview from Counterman’s sister publication, aftermarketNews, Jason Best discusses Spectra’s recent acquisition of Richporter Technologies and other areas of growth for the company.
Earlier this year, Spectra acquired Richporter Technologies, based in Montreal with manufacturing in Taiwan. Talk to us about what this acquisition provides for Spectra in terms of benefits.
Entry into the engine management sector of the automotive aftermarket was a key initiative for Spectra Premium as it provides us increased overall vehicle replacement coverage, adding to our existing fuel and cooling system product categories. We are currently in the process of leveraging those lines through the brand conversion of all Richporter products to the Spectra Premium brand, which will be available to the market in November of 2014. The future of the key products lines in this acquisition such as mass air flow sensors, ignition coils and throttle body sensors gives us penetration into some of the fastest-growing product categories currently in replacement.
What is Spectra’s global footprint like now, with the acquisition of Richporter?
One key within the acquisition was the solidification of a physical Spectra Premium presence in Asia. Our office now located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, will serve as the main support to the development of the engine management program. The manufacturing process within this facility ensures proper ceramic board technology is utilized within our mass air flow product line. Spectra Premium Taiwan will also house our long-life durability testing for all engine management products, supported by our extensive engineering and development located in Boucherville, Quebec, thus ensuring the similar type of quality that is found in all our product lines.
Do you have plans for more growth in the coming year, whether organically or through acquisition?
We continue to expand our platform and customer outreach in North America through the ongoing development of our product categories. Our main focus is to continue to offer Premium products and service solutions that are adaptable to our individual customer needs. Recognizing the changing trends in repair and replacement market along with vehicle technology is one thing, but being able to adapt your service solutions to that for each channel partner is what sets us apart in the industry. Similar to many other companies, we are always looking at potential growth opportunities, whether that be through new lines or synergies in the market and we will pursue the best option that fits the needs of our customer base.
Tell us about the engine management customer satisfaction warranty that became effective in July.
The market expectation of customers and end-users thru online visibility of brand positioning has pushed the service level expectations to new levels. Included within these expectations is the service provided for a part that did not perform to the vehicle needs. It is our intention to protect the needs of the vehicle owner and offer them peace of mind when buying a Spectra Premium ignition or engine management component, that if something goes in the operating performance of that part, they will be covered. This goes in line with our Premium Choice commitment to all our customers.
In May, you were promoted to Senior VP of Sales and Business Development. Congrats! How have your roles and responsibilities changed with this promotion?
Thank you very much. The main change to my responsibilities is assuming the global product strategy and strategic development as it relates to all our lines and new potential categories. Within this change from the sales standpoint, Mr. Max Carter steps into the role of VP sales USA and Kerry
Best Jr. assumes the position of corporate director of sales – Canada, thus resuming the day-to-day sales support functions. From a category perspective, Collin Francis, Eric Renaud and Aaron Athey step in as corporate directors of product development and category management for their respective product lines.
Will Spectra be exhibiting at AAPEX this year? If so, what do you have planned for the show?
Yes, we will be attending and our booth will be located at No. 1238. We will be focusing on exciting new product categories that include: full line fan assemblies, turbos, throttle body sensors and new development of our engine management lines. The Premium Choice and Know What you Buy campaigns will be on full display for our existing categories that includes our cooling and fuel system groups. We look forward to seeing you all there and wish everyone a great AAPEX 2014.