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Program groups consolidate, expand overseas to grow

Friday, January 8, 2016 - 08:00
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Industry consolidation and overseas growth were key elements affecting the 2016 Aftermarket Business World Program Distribution Group report. Click here to see the full report.

Uni-Select Inc.’s sale of its U.S. auto parts distribution business to affiliates of Icahn Enterprises L.P. was the largest deal.

The transaction included these assets and employees: Uni-Select USA activities, Beck/Arnley Worldparts, 38 distribution centers and satellite locations; 240 corporate stores; and approximately 3,500 employees.  The deal, announced on Feb. 9, 2015 at a purchase price of approximately $340 million, was completed in June. The program group previously known as AIM/Uni-Select now goes by AIM Automotive Group. Bill McConnell is the group’s new general manager.

Several program groups also expanded their distribution to include new regions outside of the United States in 2015.  Growth is easier to achieve in some of the underserved and emerging economies, such as China.

For example, The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance announced it expanded its distribution into China in December 2014 and created the China Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. CAAPA consists of five established, well-financed warehouse distributors operating in various regions of the country. The group goes to market there under the Auto Value brand.

Federated Auto Parts and National Pronto Association continued to develop and leverage their new Automotive Parts Services Group, which was announced in December 2014. For example, Federated announced in April 2015 that it joined 1Parts, joining Pronto. Pronto and Autodistribution International (ADI) entered into a joint venture called 1Parts on Sept. 17, 2014.

The Automotive Distribution Network continued to grow its Parts Plus Mexico brand by adding several new members. The Network also joined Nexus Automotive International, which was founded in 2014 to bring an innovative new global approach to the aftermarket. The Network said the deal will help it continue to expand and add new members.

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