Federated’s Sue Godschalk: ‘One Year Equals 365 Opportunities’

Sue Godschalk: ‘One Year Equals 365 Opportunities’

Godschalk, president of Federated Auto Parts, is optimistic about the back half of 2023.

In the July 2023 issue of AMN/Counterman, we gave leaders from the major distribution groups and trade associations an opportunity to reflect on the most critical issues affecting the automotive aftermarket. For the second year in a row, we let distribution leaders “riff” on these topics in their own words.

Here’s what Sue Godschalk, president of Federated Auto Parts, had to say about Federated’s accomplishments thus far in 2023.

Federated Auto Parts got off to an exciting start at the beginning of the year with the announcement of our newly formed joint venture with the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. Both groups immediately set to work as The Federated Alliance by evaluating areas where the combined membership could benefit through the elimination of duplication in areas such as data management, communication, education and training, and other important initiatives.

In March, we were excited to have our new co-venturers join us for the annual Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group) membership meeting, along with our partners from The Pronto Network, for an exciting four days at the Gaylord National Harbor in Maryland just outside of the nation’s capital. Having The Federated Alliance members and The Pronto Network members in attendance, as well as representatives from our best APSG supplier partners, the meeting attendance was well over 1,000 and by far our largest meeting ever. The meeting theme of “E Pluribus Unum” (Latin for “out of many, one”) fit the location and best describes The Federated Alliance and The Pronto Network coming together with many new and exciting initiatives for the coming year.

On March 1, the Federated Auto Parts marketing team kicked off the Federated “Suite-Stakes” program, which has become an exciting annual program for our members and their service-provider customers. Suite-Stakes ran through June 30 and is always a fun way for Federated members to grow sales with existing customers and gain new business. In the past two years, Federated awarded more than 9,000 prizes, and this year is no different with a long prize list featuring new prizes, including sales team and member rewards and customer training events, such as a trip to Florida for a three-day hybrid/EV training workshop held at the new Group Training Academy Training & Research Center. With new automotive technologies and stricter regulations for environmental compliance on the horizon, education and training will continue to be a priority for Federated in the long term.

Another exciting addition to the Federated marketing program is our new sponsorship of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car racing series. The work area for each race is now known as the “Federated Car Care Work Zone” and receives a lot of visibility as the professional crew members work on the cars during the 87-race season that can be viewed on DIRTVision. This sponsorship ties in perfectly with the very popular “Get Dirty with Kenny” dirt-track racing experience we have conducted year after year for lucky Federated customers.

As the saying goes, one year equals 365 opportunities, and as new-vehicle sales continue to be low and the existing vehicle age high, I am optimistic that the second half of 2023 will be strong and full of opportunities for our industry and our membership.

Federated Auto Parts

  • Founded: 1985
  • Headquarters: Staunton, Virginia
  • Number of members/shareholders: 51
  • Number of distribution centers: 155
  • Number of parts stores: 1,500+
  • Number of suppliers: 200
  • Website: www.federatedautoparts.com

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