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Schumacher: Ultracaps Jump Starter


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    • By Counterman
      AutoZone reported net sales of $4.1 billion for its fiscal third quarter, a 5.8% year-over-year increase. The quarter ended May 6.
      Domestic same-store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 1.9% for the quarter.
      “I would like to congratulate and thank our entire organization for delivering solid earnings in our third fiscal quarter,” AutoZone CEO Bill Rhodes said. “The hard work of our AutoZoners and their dedication to providing superior customer service, again drove our quarterly performance. While weaker-than-expected sales for the month of March meaningfully affected our results this quarter, we are excited about our initiatives and believe we are well-positioned for future growth.”
      Operating profit increased 9.3% to $858.5 million.
      AutoZone said its inventory increased 7.4% over the same period last year, driven by inflation and its growth initiatives.
      During the quarter, AutoZone opened 22 new stores in the United States, six in Mexico and two in Brazil. As of May 6, the company had 6,248 stores in the United States, 713 in Mexico and 83 in Brazil for a total store count of 7,044.
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    • By NAPA
      A dead battery is never a good way to start the day. Maybe the cold weather got to your weak battery, or maybe an interior light was left on overnight. Regardless of what caused it, the dead battery doesn’t have enough juice to start the engine and something needs to be done. You can reach for a pair of jumper cables, but a car battery jump starter may be more convenient. Let’s take a look at what makes a
      link hidden, please login to view worthy of a spot in your trunk, and how to jump starter a dead battery using one. What Is a Car Battery Booster Pack? link hidden, please login to view
      In its simplest form a battery booster pack (sometimes called a jump starter) is a portable power source with sufficient electrical capability to start a car, truck, or SUV engine. There’s really no difference in booster pack vs jump starter when it comes to the name. Most commonly these units contain an internal jump starter battery connected to a pair of cables with alligator clamps. Just like a normal jumper cables there is a positive and a negative connection. Battery booster packs usually have a 12-volt sealed lead acid (SLA) battery inside, but advancements in technology have led to smaller lightweight units that use
      link hidden, please login to view. A traditional SLA powered booster pack weighs several pounds and takes up almost as much room as a car battery, while the newer link hidden, please login to view can fit in a glovebox or console. When To Use a Booster Pack
      Any time when you would normally use a pair of jumper cables you can use a battery pack jump start. But there are certain situations when a car battery jump start pack shines. The most obvious example is when there is simply no other vehicle around to supply a jumper cable boost. Jumper cables require a second car and if one isn’t around, they are basically useless. This can be true in a home driveway or off in the wilds on an off road adventure. 
      Another handy use is when the dead vehicle is stuck in a parking spot that can be accessed by another vehicle. Maybe the dead vehicle is pulled into a single car garage or stuck in an awkward spot in the parking deck. Yes there are
      link hidden, please login to view, but those aren’t nearly as common as the shorter versions. Having a portable booster pack means you only need to access the dead battery to get back on the road. How To Boost a Car Battery
      The best thing about a portable battery jump starter is ease of use. First off you should read the directions on your booster back before you attempt to jump start a car battery with it. This will help you get familiar with its operation in case it has any special steps. Here is a generic dead battery jump start procedure for most booster packs:
      Turn off all electrical accessories (light, radio, fan, etc.). Locate the battery. Uncover the battery terminals (the positive terminal is usually shielded). Attach the positive and the negative alligator clamps from the booster pack to the corresponding battery terminals. Switch on the booster pack. Wait 30 seconds to allow for a small charge to be transferred to the dead battery. If you have a capacitor powered jump starter, wait the amount of time specified in the user manual. Crank the vehicle. If the vehicle does not crank immediately turn off the ignition key and repeat step #6. Once the vehicle is running, switch off the booster pack and remove the alligator clamps from the battery terminals. With the vehicle now running, drive normally to your destination. Now is a great time to have your battery tested by your
      link hidden, please login to view or link hidden, please login to view. Other Battery Booster Pack Uses
      Most car battery jump start packs have extra features built-in like a 12-volt power source, USB outlets, air compressor, even a light. If you need to recharge your phone on a camping trip or power a light, a booster pack can handle it with ease. It is the ultimate battery bank for the outdoors with as many uses as you need power. Just remember to plug it back in when you get home. The best portable car battery jump starter is one that is fully charged when you need it!
      At-Home Jump Starter
      There are also car battery charger jump starter units which can be used at home. These
      link hidden, please login to view plug into a 110-volt outlet and can not only recharge a car battery but they can also provide a car battery jump start kick. Operation is the same as cordless battery pack but without the need to recharge itself after use. Check out all the
      link hidden, please login to view available on link hidden, please login to view, or trust one of our 17,000 link hidden, please login to view for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to choose the best battery jump starter, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your link hidden, please login to view. Photo courtesy of
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    • By Counterman
      The automotive aftermarket continues to demonstrate its market strength with higher-than-expected sales in 2021 in the wake of a slow economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
      Total U.S. light duty automotive aftermarket sales are forecasted to increase 8.5% in 2022, totaling $356.5 billion, according to the 2022 Joint Channel Forecast Model produced jointly by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).
      This data will be examined in a joint,
      link hidden, please login to view led by Shane Norton of S&P Global Mobility at 1 p.m. EDT on June 9.  An additional 5% growth is expected for 2023 and growth will average more than 3% in 2024, bringing the light-duty aftermarket to $401.5 billion by 2025, according to the forecast.
      The compound average annual growth rate from 2019 to 2022 will be 5.7%, more than making up for losses seen in 2020 due to the pandemic. 
      “Year after year, the auto care industry continues to show its strength and reliability,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “In the midst of the highest gas prices on record and an inflation rate at a 40-year high, coupled with persistent supply chain disruptions and war in Eastern Europe, vehicle miles driven, vehicles in operation and consumer spending all increased in 2021 and are projected to increase into the coming years as well.” 
      “The automotive aftermarket once again shows its resiliency with a stronger than expected recovery from the pandemic,” commented Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of AASA. “In fact, the automotive aftermarket rose nearly 25% in the past two years despite ongoing headwinds, and we are excited to see the landmark market size of $400 billion in 2025. But as the industry advances to that landmark number, look for a new challenge to emerge as we may shift from a market supported by high demand and availability to a battle for market share. With that, we’ll see one more strength of the aftermarket emerge, collaboration with the right partners to ensure the same pace of success in this next phase of industry dynamics.” 
      Key data in the joint channel forecast model include:
      Market trends influencing the aftermarket  A 2021-2025 review of industry growth and forecasts Industry sales by channel including history and forecasts  Industry sales by distribution channel  And more The market sizing and forecast are conducted on behalf of the Auto Care Association and AASA by S&P Global Mobility (formerly the automotive team at IHS Markit), a leading business intelligence firm. The forecast is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census; IMR Inc.; and proprietary data, economic analysis and forecasting models from S&P Global Mobility. 
      The Joint Channel Forecast Model is available in the Auto Care Association’s
      link hidden, please login to view and in AASA’s link hidden, please login to view. The post
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    • By Counterman
      Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) reported first-quarter sales of $5.3 billion, an 18.6% year-over-year increase.
      A 12.3% year-over-year increase in comparable sales and an 8.1% benefit from acquisitions contributed to the strong quarter.
      “We are pleased with the continued strength in our results to start the year, and we could not be prouder of the hard work by all our 52,000 teammates,” said Paul Donahue, chairman and CEO. “The first quarter was highlighted by new sales records for GPC and our Automotive and Industrial segments, margin expansion and our seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth. The GPC team successfully navigated through ongoing supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures at levels we haven’t seen in 40 years.”
      Sales in the Automotive Parts Group, which includes NAPA Auto Parts, were $3.3 billion, up 10.9% from the first quarter of 2021. Automotive sales represented 62% of total company revenues.
      “”The continued strength in Automotive reflects solid growth across our operations, with 12% and 13% comparable-sales increases in the U.S. and Canada, respectively, and high-single digit comps in Europe and Australasia,” Donahue said. “Additionally, Industrial posted its fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales comps, driven by strengthening sales trends throughout the quarter.”
      GPC updated its full-year guidance with a more bullish outlook for the year.
      GPC now expects overall 2022 sales to grow between 10% and 12%, up from its previous full-year guidance of 9% to 11%. The company expects Automotive sales to grow between 5% and 7%, up from its previous outlook of 4% to %6.
      “The increase in our sales and earnings outlook reflects the confidence in our plans for accelerated growth and profitability as we build on the positive momentum in our Automotive and Industrial businesses,” Donahue said. “While cognizant of the many uncertainties in the global economy, we believe GPC is well-positioned with the financial strength and flexibility to support our growth plans and provide for disciplined, value-creating capital allocation while enhancing shareholder value.”
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    • By Counterman
      AutoZone reported net sales of $3.7 billion for its first quarter of fiscal-year 2022, a year-over-year increase of 16.3%.
      Domestic same-store sales for the quarter, which ended Nov. 20, were up 13.6%.
      AutoZone’s DIFM sales in the United States grew by a whopping 29.4% to $900 million – a first-quarter record for the company, according to CEO Bill Rhodes. Over the past four quarters, DIFM sales totaled $3.5 billion, a 27% increase compared to $2.8 billion over the four quarters before that.
      During a Dec. 7 conference call with analysts, Rhodes attributed AutoZone’s DIFM strength to a number of factors, including the company’s addition of hub and megahub stores with expanded product assortments, technology investments, competitive pricing and improved delivery times.
      “Many people want to understand what’s driving our tremendous sales growth in commercial,” Rhodes said during the call. “In short, it’s not one thing. It’s a whole host of key initiatives we’ve been working on for several years.”
      DIFM revenue represented 25% of AutoZone’s total sales in the first quarter. Weekly domestic DIFM sales per store were up 25% to $14,400 – a company record – compared to $11,500 in the first quarter of fiscal-year 2021. According to CFO Jamere Jackson, AutoZone launched 32 new net commercial programs in its U.S. stores in the first quarter, bringing the total to 5,211 programs.
      “The disciplined investments we’re making are helping us grow [market] share, and we’re making tremendous progress in growing our business in this highly fragmented portion of the market,” Jackson said during the call. “We now have a commercial program in approximately 86% of our domestic stores, and we’re focused on building our business with national, regional and local accounts.”
      Jackson reiterated that AutoZone is “doubling down” on its megahub strategy. Megahub stores typically carry around 100,000 SKUs, and “drive tremendous sales lift inside the store box as well as serve as a fulfillment source for other stores,” Jackson said.
      Currently, AutoZone has 62 megahub stores, and expects to open approximately 16 additional megahubs in fiscal-year 2022.
      “The expansion of coverage and parts availability continues to deliver a meaningful sales lift to both our commercial and DIY businesses,” Jackson said. “And we’re testing greater density of megahubs to drive even stronger sales results. By leveraging sophisticated predictive analytics and machine learning, we’re expanding our market reach, driving closer proximity to our customers and improving our product availability and delivery times.”
      During the conference call, Rhodes pointed out that the megahubs “continued to exceed our expectations.” While the company has publicly stated that its near-term goal is to establish 100 to 110 megahubs, senior executives believe “once we’re finished, we’ll be closer to 200 megahubs,” Rhodes added.
      Still, Rhodes emphasized that megahubs are just one important element in AutoZone’s overall growth strategy.  
      “A lot of people think that this success that we’re seeing in commercial is either driven by the megahubs or driven by pricing. And frankly, that’s not what we believe,” Rhodes explained. “We talked about it about four years ago that we were developing a new strategic plan for our commercial business, and it has a whole host of elements. Megahubs is a critical part of it. But don’t forget, we also refreshed the assortments in every single AutoZone store in the United States and put those assortments commercial-leaning forward.
      “The megahubs are helping us a tremendous amount, but so is the Duralast brand. So is our sales floor. So is the engagement of our store managers and district managers.”
      DIY Sales Up 9%
      On the DIY side of the business, domestic sales were up 9% compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021.
      “The business has been remarkably resilient as we have gained and maintained over three points of market share since the start of the pandemic,” Jackson asserted during the conference call.
      Jackson attributed the increase in DIY sales to a number of factors, including competitive pricing, improved product assortments and expanded product availability via the company’s growing network of hub and megahub stores.
      “These dynamics, along with favorable macro trends and miles driven, a growing car parc and a challenging new- and used-car sales market for our customers, have continued to fuel sales momentum in DIY,” Jackson said. “And the execution of our AutoZoners who are taking care of our customers gives us a key competitive advantage.”
      Regarding the widespread supply chain challenges in the automotive aftermarket and many other industries, Jackson noted that AutoZone’s in-stock positions are “still below where we would like them to be.” However, he company’s supply chain and merchandising teams “have made great progress in a challenging supply chain environment.”
      “We’ve been able to navigate supply and logistics constraints, and have product available to meet our customer’s needs,” he added. “DIY has been a strong contributor to the growth of our company, and while comps are difficult because of our strong past performance, the fundamentals of our business remain strong.”
      Rhodes touched on another potential challenge for the automotive aftermarket: inflation. In the first quarter, AutoZone saw a 4% year-over-year sales boost from inflation, while the company’s cost of goods was up around 2%.
      “We believe both numbers will be higher in the second quarter as cost increases in many key merchandise categories continue to work their way through the system,” Rhodes added. “We could see mid-single-digit inflation in retails as rising raw-material pricing, labor and transportation costs are all impacting us and our suppliers. We have no way to say how long this will last, but our industry has been disciplined about pricing for decades and we expect that to continue.”
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