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Truck Night in America


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    • By Counterman
      Sunsong North American recently switched from an in-house cataloging solution to ShowMeTheParts.
      Sunsong North America is a technology company specializing in research, development, manufacturing, sales and distribution of automotive fluid transfer hoses and lines.
      Prior to using ShowMeTheParts, Sunsong was using an in-house solution created in 2014 by its IT department.
      “It was an OK catalog, but it had some deficiencies in that it was very simplistic,” said Dan Lewis, director of product management for Sunsong North America. “You would put in year/make/model and it would pull up everything from brake hoses to power-steering hoses. You couldn’t filter on just the part type or front vs. rear. It just brought up everything.”
      Another shortcoming of the existing lookup tool was that users couldn’t select specific attributes such as “with or without ABS brakes” to accurately narrow down their product choice. It also would provide a list of part numbers, but it wouldn’t show the pictures for each part. Each of these limitations combined to make it very time-consuming at times to find parts, according to Lewis.
      While the in-house lookup tool was useful to search for OE interchanges, Lewis and the team at Sunsong felt an improved search tool would be good for business. The in-house solution hadn’t been updated since its launch and alongside the launch of their new website, they began looking for solutions to upgrade their online cataloging.
      Selecting a Replacement Solution
      Sunsong wanted to ensure the new lookup process was easy to use, accurate, and displayed information in an intuitive way. The company also needed to move quickly and had heard that Vertical Development had helped other companies get up and running in a short time period.
      Sunsong offers bulk hose and end fittings in a range of sizes and needed a search tool that would help customers find these products that people might not lookup via application. This feature allows customers to look up by diameter and length to determine the proper number to order.
      Customers also call in frequently for special applications such as a brake-hose assembly that is several inches longer than the original hose because the customer added a lift kit to their truck.
      “ShowMeTheParts came up with an ‘Attribute Search’ feature where you could go in and say ‘I want to select a category such as brake-hoses hose’ and input fitting size, type and overall length,’” resulting in a list of hoses that meets those parameters, Lewis explained. “This gives people an easy way to find parts when everything isn’t by application.”
      By creating a way to quickly find these items using key attributes, customers can quickly find what they need for customized applications. This custom feature puts the tool directly into the customer’s hands vs. having to call customer service or a product manager to manually do research through a series of spreadsheets or diagrams.
      While the “Specialty Application” search upgrade was significant, it’s not the only advantage Sunsong has realized since switching to ShowMeTheParts.
      One new feature that wasn’t possible with the in-house solution is to narrow search by engine size. This is particularly important for power-steering and A/C hose assemblies that can greatly vary by engine size.
      More robust 360-degree images give customers a great way to see all aspects of a part.
      Time Savings
      Since switching to
      link hidden, please login to view, the improved search functionality saves considerable time. Users are able to quickly enter key attributes that narrow down results, eliminating confusion or ordering errors. “Now, you can see pictures of all results in a row,” Lewis shared. “You don’t have to go back and key in other numbers. Simply scroll through and see all the images and options listed for the vehicle and narrow it down by selecting the position to see what options are presented. It’s dramatically faster.”
      Working with Vertical Development
      “I can’t imagine working with someone that doesn’t know the parts business,” Lewis said with a laugh. “That would be a nightmare.
      “You absolutely have to have a company working with you that knows the parts business and knows cataloging. Working with Vertical Development is so much easier because they know what they are doing and they’ve done hundreds of these things.
      “You don’t have to explain a whole lot as they just know how to do it. They ask you key questions and then it’s done. If you see something that isn’t quite right, then you let them know and it gets fixed.
      “It’s very easy working with Vertical Development because of their background experience and how many ShowMeTheParts implementations they’ve done.”
      Vertical Development provided this case study. For more information, visit the Vertical Development link hidden, please login to view.
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    • By Counterman
      FleetPride announced that it has acquired the assets of Nationwide Truck Service of Louisville, Kentucky.
      Founded in 1989 and owned by Eric Adkins, Nationwide Truck Service offers a wide range of repair services from its 21-bay facility and mobile repair units in addition to 24/7 roadside support.
      The Service Center at 355 Farmington Ave. will team up with the existing FleetPride parts branch at 4670 Jennings Lane in Louisville, “creating a complete value proposition for customers,” according to FleetPride. Adkins and his son, Jake, will remain involved in the day-to-day operations.
      “This is an outstanding opportunity for our valued customers and our team,” said Adkins. “Our customers will appreciate the access to a nationwide network of parts and service, and our employees will have the ability to grow and advance in FleetPride’s new service organization.”
      “We are truly excited to welcome Eric and Jake Adkins and the entire Nationwide Truck Service team to the FleetPride family,” said Cory Anderson, general manager and vice president of service at FleetPride. “Over the past three decades, the Nationwide team has become one of the most trusted independent service providers, which customers have come to depend on, in Louisville.”
      “Growth through acquisitions remains a focus for our company,” said Mike Harris, senior vice president of sales and operations at FleetPride. “We believe our value proposition resonates with owners of parts and service companies who are seeking a succession plan, or a partner that can provide a long-term foundation for their employees and customers. We look forward to the partnership with the Nationwide Truck Service team to carry on their tradition of service excellence while expanding service capabilities to our existing customers including large regional and national fleets.”
      FleetPride continues to grow its national parts and service operations. If you are interested in learning more about how to become part of the FleetPride network, visit 
      link hidden, please login to view for more details. The post
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    • By Counterman
      In our 2022 Distribution Preview in
      link hidden, please login to view, aftermarket leaders talk about some of the key issues affecting the industry, and discuss their plans, goals and expectations for the year ahead. This year, we added several fun “Lightning Round” questions that you won’t want to miss.
      Here’s our Q&A with JC Washbish, vice president of sales and marketing for the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.
      AMN/CM: What did your organization accomplish in 2021 that you are most proud of?
      JW: 2021 was another fantastic year for Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper! We made a transition from our virtual meetings back to live events. We hosted a Sales & Marketing Forum in September that saw over 150 folks from our warehouse-distributor members and valued channel partners gather in San Antonio. 
      We hosted our Technician of the Year program in October. And, finally, the Alliance Winter Shareholder Meeting in Aventura, Florida, in December was a massive success.  Over 450 Alliance personnel and channel partners rounded out the year with a great week’s worth of meetings, networking, activities and an awards banquet.
      AMN/CM: What do you feel is the greatest threat facing the automotive aftermarket right now?
      JW: Allow me to answer this by quoting two presidents of the 1900s. First, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Why should we fear anything in this industry that we cannot control, change or adapt to that would put us on our heels?
      The greatest threat we face is our own lack of action. That leads me to the second quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”  If we, as individuals, think someone else is going to control, change or adapt for us – then we are blinded by fear. Each individual needs to be active, needs to be an advocate and needs to be a voice for the aftermarket.
      AMN/CM: What do you feel is the greatest opportunity in the automotive aftermarket right now?
      JW: America is moving again! Car count and average age are up. Demand is high. New-vehicle manufacturers are facing some headwinds, which will continue to increase our aftermarket business. AMN
      AMN/CM: What phrase describes your “words to live by?”
      JW: Life is short; tell a joke.
      AMN/CM: What is your best icebreaker at a networking reception?
      JW: Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice.
      AMN/CM: What is your dream car, or favorite vehicle you’ve owned?
      JW: Fully loaded Ford Transit with all the cool features for the wife and six kids!
      The post
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    • By Counterman
      Dana Incorporated showcased its newly customized Jeep Gladiator at the recent Winter X Games Aspen 2022. 
      Featuring an Ultimate Dana 60 front axle and an Ultimate Dana 80 prototype rear axle, along with Spicer performance 1350 driveshafts, “this one-of-a-kind vehicle is destined to be the talk of off-road events across the country,” Dana said in a news release.
      “Our friends at Expedition Vehicle Outfitters did an incredible job building this custom off-road vehicle,” said Bill Nunnery, senior director, sales and marketing, global aftermarket for Dana.  “We are calling this adventure rig ‘The Ultimate Bug Out’ because it is loaded with premium-performing Dana and Spicer parts, along with other accessories to explore the wilderness for long durations of time. Having it on display will show off-road enthusiasts how Dana aftermarket performance parts enhance durability and performance, even in extremely rugged conditions.”
      A unique feature of the Dana-modified Jeep Gladiator truck is that some of the body components – including a majority of the vehicle’s bed – were built using the remnants of a 19th-century steel bridge that was located in Sydney, Ohio. 
      To further enhance overlanding excursions, a snowmobile track system from HellTraxx will provide deep-powder winter access when the vehicle is not traversing rugged trails in the summer.  Top-of-the-line upgrades such as lights, shocks and suspension are added features, and a water-filtration system, stove and tent are included for extended outdoor adventures.
      “We know ‘The Ultimate Bug Out’ will be a show-stopper at off-road events,” said Nunnery.  “We encourage all serious off-roaders and campers to stop by and check out this incredible vehicle and see how Dana can help them upgrade their own off-road vehicles.”
      To learn more about performance products from Dana and to sign up for the newsletter, visit
      link hidden, please login to view link hidden, please login to view link hidden, please login to view.  The post
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    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By Counterman
      Continental has just launched a new website encompassing all of Continental’s OE-quality aftermarket replacement parts, diagnostic equipment and solutions for specialty vehicles.
      The new website at
      link hidden, please login to view serves as a central location for all product information, cataloging, training, news and more. It allows easy access to all of Continental’s brands, including ATE brake systems, REDI-Sensor multi-application TPMS sensors, Autodiagnos automotive diagnostic tools, ClearContact premium beam wiper blades and Continental Special Vehicle Solutions. A major component of the new website is the Continental online parts catalog, which offers an easy and simple-to-use year/make/model look-up along with a VIN search, cross reference, Buyer’s guide, a where-to-buy feature and links to product information and specifications, how-to videos and technical-document downloads.
      In addition to the all-brand online parts catalog, the Continental website also features a “Training Central” section that provides a wide variety of online training programs, webinars and how-to demonstration videos to help users expand their technical knowledge about the products and their specific applications. Aftermarket products currently featured in Training Central include REDI-Sensor TPMS sensors, Autodiagnos Pro and TPMS tools and Continental hybrid-battery cooling fans and coolant inverter pumps.
      The Continental Special Vehicle Solutions section provides valuable insight into the expanding Continental portfolio of innovations designed to provide smart mobility, safety and driver comfort for commercial vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, off-highway and agricultural equipment, as well buses and recreational vehicles.
      For more information, visit:
      link hidden, please login to view or contact [email protected] The post
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