The Michigan Automotive Parts Association is pleased to announce the selection of Fred Bunting, Chairman of Auto-Wares Group of Companies located in Grand Rapids, Michigan as recipient of its 2018 MAPA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Fred Bunting is a third-generation auto parts person and some say he came out of a muffler box. He started working in the family automotive aftermarket business at age 14. He had every job in the family warehouse: as a sweeper, stock boy, unload and load trucks, hi-lo driver, order picker, parts counter, buyer, order taker, truck driver, and salesman. The family business was sold in 1967 while he was in College.
In 1976 he started his own aftermarket company Auto-Wares Group of Companies headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He started, built, and today owns 14 major automotive aftermarket companies and 180-plus retail/wholesale auto parts stores in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. Auto-Wares services daily 500+ auto parts stores. Auto-Wares has 300-plus Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper stores, 700-plus Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Certified Service Centers. Auto-Wares employs 2,100-plus top notch service oriented professional people and over the years created jobs for 10,000-plus people who have worked for Auto-Wares.
Fred has put an overwhelming effort into training, sponsoring Tech Expos training for 20 years has resulted in filling 50,000 tech training seats. Organizing local regional training events in 5 states as resulted in 6,000+ more training seats filled. He has won national award Head of the Class for training his own employees. Fred’s other awards include: Northwood Automotive Aftermarket Education, Auto Value Man of the Year, Art Fisher Scholarship (technician training), Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education, MAAP (Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional), Jack Creamer AWDA Automotive Aftermarket Leader of the Year 2016. He is also involved and supports multiple charities to help others in our community and world.
He has been in Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper national program group for 40 years, and has been on their board of directors for 34 years. He has served on the AWDA board of Governors and a member of AWDA for 40+ years. He has been a proud member of his state jobber association MAPA for 40+ years. Fred has always made independent jobbers success his primary focus. He has helped many independent jobbers get into, stay and get out of this great business. His personal philosophy has been to treat customers, employees, and vendors all like friends. Stay aggressive and build for the long term. He has always enjoyed a strong personal relationship with his customers and employees. He spends a lot of time every year visiting and meeting with jobbers and technicians.He has always believed it happens on the streets and it is very important to stay street smart! Fred has a total passion for the automotive aftermarket business!
The MAPA Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Fred during MAPA Industry Day 2018 being held on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre in Flint, Michigan.
Created in 2010, the MAPA Lifetime Achievement Award is designed to honor the excellence of individuals in the automotive aftermarket industry who have made significant impacts in the industry and/or the association. Qualifying criteria for consideration; recipient must have/had an extensive career in the industry, contributed significantly to the automotive aftermarket industry in Michigan, and made accomplishments within their local community. Previous recipients include; Sam Rogers of Parts Warehouse Company, Bay City, MI, Al Blanchard of Mid-5 Auto Supply, Livonia, MI, Barry Hill of Auto-Wares Group of Companies, Grand Rapids, MI, Roy Rosquin of Marlette Auto Parts, Marlette, MI, Edwin G. Thirlby, Sr., of Thirlby Automotive, Traverse City, MI, and Jerry Biggers of Genuine Parts Company/NAPA, Grand Rapids, MI.