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    • By Counterman
      The 
      link hidden, please login to view community recently united in Grapevine, TX, for its Annual Meeting to celebrate a successful year, marked by substantial member expansion and engagement with the addition of over 130 new locations across North America. It also served as a platform for collaboration and fostering positive change for the rest of the year ahead, according to HDA Truck Pride. link hidden, please login to view The week commenced with a charitable “Toss Up For Love and Hope” Cornhole Tournament to raise funds for Kids Matter International, an organization committed to empowering children in the Grapevine area by providing essential items like clothing, shoes, books, and backpacks, along with educational initiatives, fostering hope for a brighter tomorrow.
      Tina Hubbard, president & CEO of HDA Truck Pride, set the tone for the meeting with an inspiring anecdote, “The Story of the Baby Elephant and the Rope.” The narrative illustrates how past experiences or perceived limitations can sometimes hinder progress, emphasizing the importance of breaking free from self-imposed constraints to achieve greater success, Hubbard emphasized.
      “Together, we can ‘Be The Change’ needed to help each other break the ropes that are holding us back. And that is why HDA Truck Pride is committed to transforming the commercial vehicle aftermarket into a community that inspires people and businesses to realize their full potential,” Hubbard said.
      HDA Truck Pride said it “remains at the forefront, launching new resources and programs that not only bolster the network’s competitiveness and expansion within the market but also enhance accessibility and prominence among national fleets. Additionally, this plays a pivotal role in the recruitment and retention of talent across all facets of the business.”
      As the week progressed, enthusiasm for the “Be The Change” mantra prompted action and collaboration between members and suppliers throughout engagement sessions that “delved into critical issues vital to our industry fostering valuable exchange on challenges such as supply chain disruptions, regulatory shifts, the evolving dynamics of talent acquisition and retention, the expansion of online sales channels and effective strategies for digital commerce,” HDA Truck Pride said.
      “With the generous backing of HDA Truck Pride supplier partners, notably platinum supporters – Grote, Bendix, and DriV – alongside the unwavering commitment of the entire HDA Truck Pride member network and industry attendees,” HDA Truck Pride said they rallied together for several philanthropic opportunities over the course of the week. As a result, the HDA Truck Pride community raised $35,000 in support of Kids Matter International, protecting future generations to come.
      “2023 was a pivotal year for our community, full of new engagement opportunities and growth,” said Hubbard, “As we gaze ahead at the evolving landscape of the trucking industry and its challenges, the HDA Truck Pride network stands poised, ready to ‘Be The Change.’ What barriers will we break next?!”
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    • By Counterman
      During HDA Truck Pride’s recent Annual Meeting, attendees raised $35,000 for Kids Matter International.
      link hidden, please login to view Kicking off its 2024 Annual Meeting, HDA Truck Pride hosted a Cornhole Tournament & Welcome Dinner, where teams competed in a friendly yet spirited competition, with all proceeds being donated to Kids Matter International. Throughout the week there were additional opportunities for attendees to contribute to the charity partner and make an impact.  
      “We are honored to partner with Kids Matter International and incredibly proud of our network for their passionate efforts in being able to raise $35,000 for kids in need. The Kids Matter commitment to the Grapevine community deeply resonates with the values we hold within our HDA Truck Pride network. We’re all about communities coming together to help each other and protect future generations. What better way to do that than through some friendly competition?” said HDA Truck Pride President & CEO, Tina Hubbard.
      Founded in 2006, Kids Matter International has been instrumental in providing essential resources and educational opportunities to children in need in the Grapevine, Texas, area. From providing new clothing, shoes, books, and backpacks, to offering educational programs, Kids Matter International empowers children and instills hope for a brighter future, HDA Truck Pride explained.
      For a child who lives in poverty, wearing tattered, worn-out clothes and shoes can negatively impact their self-esteem and confidence. It can also negatively impact their ability to learn when not appropriately dressed for weather conditions. With a donation of $100, Kids Matter International provides up to $350 worth of new clothes and shoes to a child in need, the organization said.
      “This donation will enable us to provide clothing to an additional 350 kids in 2024, resulting in a total value of $122,500 in new merchandise,” expressed Marti Conner, president & CEO of Kids Matter International. “On behalf of the children we serve, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to HDA Truck Pride and the attendees for making a significant difference in the lives of these children.”  
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    • By Dorman Products
      Making your own gaskets? Get a hollow punch set for pro results
    • By Counterman
      or our commercial customers, price and quality are two of the most important considerations when purchasing parts from you (and your competitors). The third is availability, but at least we have some control over what gets stocked in our stores. Barring supply chain issues and material shortages, keeping the right mix of parts available is up to our buyers and inventory specialists. Unless your store’s pricing strategy is out of line with the competition, pricing (and quality) complaints fall squarely on the vendor/manufacturer. 
      This is not to say that if you are experiencing price, quality, or availability issues with a current vendor that you shouldn’t already be looking for alternate sourcing for the affected SKUs or product lines. During the latest UAW strike, GM and Stellantis parts warehouses were crippled by walkouts, leaving their dealer networks scrambling to provide parts for their customers. Many dealerships were forced to bolster their inventories with quality aftermarket-equivalent products just to keep work flowing through their service departments. 
      link hidden, please login to view For the aftermarket, this was a perfect storm of opportunity. There was less competition from the local dealership in terms of parts sales, and those same dealers were calling on aftermarket suppliers more often for parts they could not readily obtain through their OEM channels. Due to the perception that OE parts are the best option for their vehicle brand (and a need to provide the same level of service, warranty coverage, and quality) these requests were often for premium product lines. Dealerships are generally unwilling to risk their reputation by installing bargain-basement parts, and the expectation that dealership parts and service will carry a premium price tag silences many objections well ahead of the sale. Independent shops specializing in repair or resale of luxury and performance brands also enjoy a more quality-conscious clientele willing to pay a premium for their services.
      There is, however, a subset of dealerships (and some general repair shops) for whom price trumps all other considerations. Your local “buy-here-pay-here” used car lot might come to mind, reconditioning and “flipping” (usually lower-end) auction vehicles, while offering very limited warranty terms. For this market, requests will usually gravitate toward the “least expensive” parts option. Even the most quality-conscious shops sometimes need to hit a “price-point” to stay competitive, and we all have that DIY customer who just wants “the cheapest thing that fits” because they are “trading it in soon” (even though they’ve been telling you that each time they’ve been in for the last three years!).
      In an effort to accommodate all types of customer needs, we are likely to offer multiple lines for most of our “commodity” parts. Filters, brakes, chassis parts, belts, lighting, wipers, and fluids are some of the most common categories in which we offer diverse price and quality options. This isn’t necessarily an issue of price versus quality, but rather comparing the value realized from an item’s price and its quality. For maintenance items like filters, an installer might have a “menu” pricing schedule for oil changes, air and cabin filters, and wiper blades. These services generally include labor at no “additional” cost, and the parts already have a recommended service interval. Selling at a fixed price can be tricky when the costs are variable, so shops often use value-line parts for these services. If the shop advertises “any air filter $49.95 installed,” you can bet they will choose your $12 store brand filter over the $25 premium filter whenever they can! These parts will likely provide sufficient service life, and the cost savings to the shop offsets some of the lost labor revenue. On our side of the counter, oil is usually marketed as a loss leader priced to get customers through the front door. Shops treat oil changes the same way, as an opportunity to get the vehicle in the shop to upsell more profitable work. 
      We would never knowingly offer a product that doesn’t meet some sort of minimum quality standards, nor would we recommend a product that won’t meet a customer’s (reasonable) expectations. The use of “features and benefits” as a selling tool helps classify the customer’s needs, explains the differences in pricing and quality, and minimizes disappointment by customers who expected premium performance and extended service life from the bare-bones product they selected based on price alone. 
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    • A-premium Auto Parts:5% OFF with Code GM5.
    • By Dorman Products
      Clean up your chisels and punches (for your own safety!)

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