Suppliers and customers Spring into action for new Leeds Trade Show

The Parts Alliance has successfully hosted its first major trade show of 2019.

On Wednesday 27th March over 500 customers attended the event, which ran from 5pm at the Centenary Pavilion of Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, taking the opportunity to discuss the latest products, technology, market developments and profit opportunities with more than 50 of the trading group’s key supplier partners.

“We thought we should come for a wander around and see because we’ve never had the chance to get to anything like this before,” said David Gilfeather, owner of DG Autos in Rodley, Leeds. “It’s really great to see so much here and was well worth us coming.”

Branches of BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts and Waterloo Motor Trade all invited customers who took the opportunity to not only do business but also listen to interviews with special guests.

Fuzz Townshend from Car SOS talked about highlights from his TV shows whilst three-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal discussed improvements to his car and hopes for the upcoming season.

Fuzz said: “For The Parts Alliance to put on an event where garage owners can meet fantastic suppliers and get a better understanding of their products is so valuable.”

Technical talks were given by Comma Oil on how changes in engine technology are impacting the choice of engine lubricants, Schaeffler discussed DMF technology whilst Delphi provided numerous insights on keeping up with developing VM digital service record technology.

“We were delighted by the turnout on our first visit to Leeds with a show of this scale,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “We had some great comments from the garages and lots of the suppliers seem to have had some really good discussions and done brisk business; our thanks go to everyone who supported the show.”

Nick Nafahran of Vehicle Repairs UK in Leeds was interested in a Tecalemit tyre changer and said: “I’ve got to see it and got all the information that I need, so it’s been useful.”

The evening ran until nearly 10pm with an extensive prize draw seeing around 20 prizes, generously donated by suppliers, given away to garages on the night.

Andrew Wood of APW Cars in Otley, Leeds added: “I’m here to see new technology.

“I’ve just been inside the REPXPERT van, it’s a real eye opener to see where the industry is going I’d definitely recommend others to try to get to one of these events if they have the chance.

“I’ve only got a little garage and I’m usually in the workshop until late but I’m glad I made the time for this, free food and drink too – so what’s not to like!”

Customers are advised to look out for more events in 2019 says The Parts Alliance.

The Parts Alliance hosts first-ever National Conference

Around 300 managers from across The Parts Alliance converged in Manchester last week for the trading group’s first national conference.

The event was held in the Concorde Conference Centre underneath the iconic supersonic plane on Friday 22nd March. The day was packed with engaging and interactive content, all designed to build a sense of community among the sprawling nationwide network and communicate a future strategy with staff at its heart.

Senior management speeches opened proceedings in the morning, tracing the rapid evolution of The Parts Alliance. Outgoing CEO Peter Sephton, who announced his retirement on Wednesday 20th March following six years with The Parts Alliance, opened the event before handing over to new President and COO Neil Croxson.

Neil emphasised the importance of continuity in the care and quality of service The Parts Alliance network offers customers, citing the family origins of the group and reiterating a commitment to put the people of The Parts Alliance at the heart of that journey.

He said: “The National Conference was a fantastic opportunity to have all of our managers together for the first time and it’s an important milestone for us. We have a strong, diverse and passionate network of teams across the UK who work incredibly hard to deliver the best possible service to our customers.

“Our business is on an exciting journey of growth and we’re in a unique position where we’re able to offer our customers the strength of a national brand alongside the fantastic local service and support they’ve come to expect from our branches.

“From a leadership perspective, it was hugely gratifying to see so many of my colleagues meeting for the first time at the national conference, building new bridges and sharing best practice.”

Managing Director Jonny West and Divisional Directors Steve Gray and Emma Tiernan also provided updates on key projects and business targets, outlining plans for network optimisation, distribution investment, operational improvements and commercial strategy developments.

Managers broke into teams for a series of break-out sessions in the afternoon, featuring sessions from suppliers Brembo, Comma and Schaeffler. They also had the chance meet colleagues from the business’ functional support teams in an exhibition area where each team manned a stand.

Neil added: “We knew the exhibition area would be a valuable addition to the conference, but the fantastic feedback we’ve had from both those who visited the stands and those who manned them has surpassed our expectations.”

The event concluded with an evening meal where guests were treated to a surprise awards ceremony celebrating the success of the branch network from the past year.

GSF Banbury was crowned ‘Branch of the Year’, while SCMF Croydon was awarded ‘New Branch of the Year’. Both branches had performed excellently against an extensive set of KPIs judged by a panel of senior leaders.

Neil Croxson becomes President and COO of The Parts Alliance

The Parts Alliance has announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Neil Croxson, has been appointed to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Neil succeeds Peter Sephton who will be retiring after ensuring an orderly transition over a three-month period.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues in The Parts Alliance, Uni-Select, suppliers and other industry professionals who have helped our journey to build a market leader, and I wish Neil and the team the best of luck in what will be a great onward journey,” said Peter Sephton.

Neil Croxson joined The Parts Alliance as CFO in 2015 and has been playing a pivotal role in the expansion of the network through selected acquisitions and the opening of 15 company-owned stores. He has worked in close collaboration with Peter Sephton to deliver the group’s financial strategy and increase market coverage in the U.K. and Ireland.

“Neil Croxson has already demonstrated great leadership capabilities and we are delighted to see him progress into such a strategic role,” said André Courville, Interim President and CEO of parent company Uni-Select. “I also wish to thank Peter for building The Parts Alliance into a formidable force and market leader in the U.K. autoparts distribution industry and help us grow the business further after Uni-Select acquired it in 2017. We are glad that Peter will continue to work with us as a special advisor and represent our interests in associated trade bodies, such as Nexus International.”

“I am honoured to be taking on this new role,” said Neil Croxson, President and COO of The Parts Alliance. “We had an excellent performance during our first full-year under the Uni-Select umbrella, and under Peter’s leadership, we implemented strong foundations to enable us to capture future market opportunities. I look forward to building on this momentum.”

An Interim CFO at The Parts Alliance will be named for the transition period and until the conclusion of the executive search for this position.

Uni-Select Inc. reports Q4 and full year 2018 results

New GSF Andover branch opens to show trade ‘what good looks like’

The Parts Alliance has opened GSF Car Parts Andover on 8th October 2018. The group’s programme has so far seen eleven branch openings since the start of the year.

The site, located on the north side of the Hampshire town, will build on the existing M3 corridor trade coverage offered by Basingstoke and Southampton North, extending it westwards along the A303.

At over 9,000 square feet, GSF Car Parts Andover adds capacity to significantly boost and extend The Parts Alliance’s capability, ensuring its product offering is easily accessible to more local independent garages and key accounts.

The new branch is sited within modern surrounds on Glenmore Trade Park, amongst a mix of retail and commercial units.

“Adding our Andover branch has created eighteen new job roles within The Parts Alliance,” said Emma Tiernan, Divisional Director of GSF Car Parts.

“Trade response has been great; we’ve found lots of garages wanting to buy more from us already who can now gain from improved delivery and service from a GSF Car Parts branch on their doorstep”.

“We’re eager to get out and show more garages that this branch really is what good supply looks like in 2018.”

The Parts Alliance is expected to continue to open branches under its portfolio of trusted motor factor brands in parallel with exploring growth opportunities that may arise from new membership enquiries or acquisitions.

Uni-Select reports double-digit increases for sales, EBITDA (1) and EPS (compared to the same quarter last year), driven by The Parts Alliance contribution

New Sales leadership and Branch opening at FinishMaster Additional branch openings for The Parts Alliance

Boucherville (Québec), July 16, 2018 – Uni-Select Inc. (“Uni-Select”, TSX: UNS), is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Adams as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing at FinishMaster and the opening of new branches at FinishMaster and The Parts Alliance.

Chris is responsible for all US branches and is leading all sales and marketing efforts in the United States. He joins FinishMaster from ABRA Auto Body & Glass LP, a major multi-shop operator in the collision repair industry. Prior, he was in senior executive roles at Pep Boys and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

FinishMaster has also opened a second location in Oregon. Located in Eugene, this new branch supports FinishMaster’s strategic expansion plan in the Northwest region and follows the opening of the Portland branch in January 2017.

“We are thrilled to have Chris join our team and help us accelerate profitable growth at FinishMaster. Additionally, the opening of our Eugene branch location helps us extend our customer coverage initiative in the Pacific Northwest,” said Steve Arndt, President and Chief Operating Officer, FinishMaster.

The Parts Alliance opened three new branches in the United Kingdom, two at the end of April and one at the end of June. The ongoing programme of openings is built upon continued investment from
The Parts Alliance, demonstrating its commitment to develop their trusted local motor factor brands, thereby marrying local service with national strength. This follows 4 branch openings since the beginning of 2018, for a total of 9 since the acquisition of The Parts Alliance by Uni-Select in August 2017.

The Parts Alliance now operates 176 branch locations.

“We are pleased with the expansion to our branch network as we continue to invest in trusted regional brands. We look forward to reaching new customers with our winning blend of leading automotive brands and industry-leading technology,” noted Peter Sephton, President and Chief Executive Officer, European Automotive Group.

“At Uni-Select, we are committed to extending our leadership positions in all three businesses. Building the best team and extending our customer coverage are key company initiatives,” added Henry Buckley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Uni-Select.

 

ABOUT UNI-SELECT

Uni-Select is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial paint and related products in North America, as well as a leader in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada and in the UK. Uni Select is headquartered in Boucherville, Québec, Canada, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol UNS.

In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops through a growing national network of more than 1,100 independent customers and over 60 company-owned stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select BUMPER TO BUMPER®, AUTO PARTS PLUS® AND FINISHMASTER® store banner programs. It also supports over 3,900 shops and stores through its automotive repair/installer shop banners, as well as through its automotive refinish banners.

In the United States, Uni-Select, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of over 200 automotive refinish company-owned stores under the FINISHMASTER banner which services a network of over 30,000 customers annually, of which it is the primary supplier to over 6,800 collision repair centre customers.

In the UK and Ireland, Uni-Select, through its Parts Alliance group of subsidiaries, is a leading distributor of automotive parts supporting over 23,000 customer accounts with a network of close to 200 locations including over 170 company-owned stores.

 

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

The information provided in this press release may include some forward-looking information, which could include certain risks and uncertainties, which may cause the final results to be significantly different from those listed or implied within this news release. For additional information with respect to risks and uncertainties, refer to the Annual Report filed by Uni-Select with the Canadian securities commissions. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this press release, and Uni‑Select does not undertake to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws.

Summer sizzlers with The Parts Alliance’s Garage Essentials

The Parts Alliance’s Summer Garage Essentials has arrived mid heat-wave with some incredible offers that are guaranteed to keep things hot.

The glossy 68 page A4 publication is available on request from all branches of The Parts Alliance members Allparts, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES, GMF, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors, Waterloo, GSF Car Parts – and now Dingbro too.

For garages looking to maximise the opportunities created by power tool battery technology, the Milwaukee ‘Star Buy’ will appeal. At just £689 + VAT it combines several high-performance impact drives and ratchets with genuine Milwaukee accessories.

Angry Jester, renowned for problem-solver tools exclusively available from The Parts Alliance, has a new air operated professional coil spring compressor for just £1,595 + VAT. Despite the small price, the unit packs a big punch with 2,400 kg maximum force and a patented ‘four claw’ connection, ensuring it’s compatible with all current suspension systems.

Also exclusive to The Parts Alliance, equipment specialists EAE showcase tyre packages alongside their popular range of workshop lifting solutions.

With many garages reporting record levels of interest in air con this summer there are automatic service station packages from Bosch Cooling Edge and Dunlop at lowest ever prices.

Hand tools from Sealey, Laser Tools and Angry Jester feature prominently alongside all the latest diagnostics platforms.

“On the diagnostics side, it’s all about offering garages choice,” said John Wright Head of Garage Equipment and Customer Development at The Parts Alliance. “The Bendix diagnostic unit is proving to be a really popular ‘all rounder’”

Other systems are showcased from Autel, TEXA, VDO, Bosch and Delphi with cost-effective online training available from Our Virtual Academy.

To find out more about everything that’s included, please request your free copy from your local branch of The Parts Alliance.

Network Of Garages Reports Record Growth