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LKQ Corporation Announces 10% Increase to its Quarterly Dividend and $1 Billion Increase to its Stock Repurchase Program (aggregate authorization now $3.5 Billion through October 2025)


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    • By Counterman
      Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) reported full-year 2023 sales of $23.1 billion, a 4.5% year-over-year increase.
      Net income was $1.3 billion, or $9.33 per diluted share, an increase of 12.3%.
      Full-year net sales in the Automotive Parts Group, which includes NAPA Auto Parts, were $14.25 billion, up from $13.67 billion in 2022.
      Fourth-quarter automotive sales were up nearly 1% to $3.5 billion.
      While GPC’s international automotive businesses posted positive sales growth in local currency, the U.S. automotive segment saw a dip in sales, GPC President and COO Will Stengel noted during the company’s Feb. 15 conference call.
      “In North America, while results fell short of our expectations, we remain focused on our strategic initiatives and continue to make solid progress,” GPC Chairman and CEO Paul Donahue said during the call. “We’ve undertaken a comprehensive review of the NAPA business to identify key issues, and we have taken action to improve the performance at NAPA. We are confident we are focused on the right initiatives to positively impact our performance in the quarters ahead.”
      Coinciding with the release of its full-year and fourth-quarter 2023 financial results, GPC said the company is launching a global restructuring “to better align the company’s assets and further improve the efficiency of the business.”
      The restructuring includes a voluntary retirement offer in the United States, along with “a rationalization and optimization of certain distribution centers, stores and other facilities,” according to the company.  
      Through the restructuring, GPC said it expects to realize approximately $20 million to $40 million of savings in 2024, and approximately $45 million to $90 million on an annualized basis. The company also expects to incur costs of approximately $100 million to $200 million related to the restructuring efforts in 2024 and will report the restructuring costs as a non-recurring expense.
      “The primary objective of the global program is to continue to simplify and streamline our operations consistent with our overall business strategy,” Stengel explained during the conference call. “When we simplify, we increase the speed of local service, deliver operational productivity, improve the efficiency of our teams and reduce our overall cost to serve.”
      Stengel noted that the restructuring initiative “is a similar playbook to our previous GPC program implemented in fall 2019 that delivered positive results.”
      “Aspects of the restructuring are already in flight, and some will take place in the months ahead,” Stengel added.
      Focus on NAPA
      Stengel talked at length about efforts to revitalize GPC’s NAPA Auto Parts business.
      GPC has identified three areas of improvement for NAPA: improving fill rates in key product categories, “operational rigor in our stores” and capitalizing on commercial growth opportunities, Stengel explained.
      Adjustments to “certain key suppliers to improve fill rates” boosted fourth-quarter “category trends,” Stengel said, adding that “we’re encouraged by the positive momentum.”
      “Second, our in-store service levels measured by on-time delivery to customers have significantly improved as a result of increased focused on last-mile operating disciplines,” Stengel said.
      Stengel noted that efforts to improve commercial sales growth are “ongoing.” GPC recently appointed Tom Skov to the newly created role of executive vice president, sales & store operations, North America.
      “He’s an automotive-parts expert and has a deep understanding of our customers field sales and store operations,” Stengel asserted. “We’re excited for the strong leadership Tom will bring to our sales and store operations field teams.”
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    • By Counterman
      NPW announced the addition of Automotive Installers Warehouse (AIW) to its network.
      AIW, a customer of NPW since 2013, has joined forces with NPW as part of its ongoing growth efforts.
      Under the leadership of owner Omar Mesa, “AIW has consistently delivered exceptional service and expertise to its customers,” NPW said in a news release.  
      Mesa has transitioned to NPW with the move, “bringing his wealth of experience and industry knowledge to the team.”
      “NPW has been a great partner to AIW over the years, and I am excited to continue serving our customers as part of the NPW family,” Mesa said.
      As part of the integration process, AIW’s location was consolidated into NPW’s Miami location, further optimizing operations and enhancing service efficiency, according to NPW.
      “We are thrilled to welcome AIW to NPW and are confident that their expertise and customer-centric approach will enhance our capabilities in serving this market,” NPW CEO Chris Pacey said. “This expansion aligns with our strategic goal of strengthening our presence in South Florida, and we look forward to leveraging AIW’s resources to better serve our customers in this region.”
      The post
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    • By Counterman
      Dayco has become a partner brand for the industry’s eXtra loyalty program.
      eXtra is a multi-brand loyalty offering geared toward automotive repair shop owners that allows them to buy, earn and redeem points without cutting box tops or tracking sales. It currently has 17,000 participating shop owners in the United States and Canada, and is growing rapidly.
      Shops that are registered in the eXtra program now have access to eligible Dayco products and can earn points for purchases that can be redeemed for more than a million items, including everything from high-end merchandise, apparel and electronics from major retailers to travel vouchers, gift certificates and business solutions.
      In addition, there are giveaways and incentives for shops as well as daily promotions and regular communication on new products, training information and educational content from the program’s brand partners. 
      Dayco products offered through the eXtra program include serpentine-belt kits, timing-belt water-pump kits, timing-chain kits and water pumps.
      “This program has been well-received in the industry and is growing quickly,” said Tom Tecklenburg, VP of Dayco N.A. sales & marketing. “It’s extremely easy for shops to participate and we love that it offers Dayco a way to reward those repair shops who purchase from us. Plus it gives us an opportunity to educate eXtra shop members on the quality and effectiveness of all of our kits and system solutions and what sets the Dayco brand apart from competitive products.”
      U.S. repair shops interested in the eXtra program can visit 
      link hidden, please login to view, and Canadian shops can visit  link hidden, please login to view. For more information about Dayco’s aftermarket products or access to the company’s full library of technical information and repair videos, visit the 
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    • By Counterman
      Motorcar Parts of America (MPA) has announced the schedule for its Part Smart training program.
      Part Smart provides strategically designed training modules covering vehicle-system design specifications, real-world diagnostic procedures, installation tips and product know-how intended to improve technical knowledge and hands-on skills, according to MPA. Led by ASE-certified Part Smart technicians, the free courses include vehicle starting and charging systems, braking, hubs and turbos.
      Available online, on the phone or in person, Part Smart provides technical instruction, product information and after-sale support geared to deliver the skills, knowledge and training automotive repair professionals demand.
      Class Schedule
      GM Regulated Voltage-Control Charging Systems
      Feb 15 @ 7 p.m. CST
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      link hidden, please login to view. Brake Training Series Module 8 Final Test Drive & “Bedding in the New Brakes”
      March 21 @ 12 p.m CST
      Register
      link hidden, please login to view link hidden, please login to view. Ford Smart Charge Systems
      April 18 @ 7 p.m. CST
      Register
      link hidden, please login to view. Honda Starter Issues
      May 23 @ 12 p.m. CST
      Register
      link hidden, please login to view. Chrysler PCM-Controlled Charging Systems
      June 20 @ 7 p.m. CST
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      link hidden, please login to view. Subaru Misfire Codes – Alternator/Drive Belt Issues
      July 18 @ 12 p.m. CST
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      link hidden, please login to view. Honda Computer-Controlled Charging Systems
      Aug. 22 @ 7 p.m. CST
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      link hidden, please login to view. GM Charging System Fault Code PO621
      Sept. 19 @ 12 p.m. CST
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      link hidden, please login to view. Toyota Charging Systems
      Oct. 24 @ 7 p.m. CST
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      link hidden, please login to view. GM Charging System Fault Code PO622
      Nov. 21 @ 12 p.m. CST
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    • A-premium Auto Parts:5% OFF with Code GM5.
    • By Counterman
      The University of Aftermarket, through Northwood University announced that registration is open for many upcoming professional-development opportunities.
      “Continuous education, or life-long learning as it is referred to by some, is the foundation of employee engagement, retention and life satisfaction,” stated Thomas Litzinger, executive director of the University of the Aftermarket and the aftermarket education industry chair at Northwood University.
      Litzinger noted that Northwood’s University of the Aftermarket coursework helps businesses introduce newer employees to the automotive aftermarket; facilitate their tactical leadership development; and assist them on their journey from tactical leadership into strategic visionary.
      “Northwood faculty, aftermarket industry executives and thought leaders will deliver our coursework,” Litzinger added. “Our sessions will guide your team on how they can achieve better results and create their competitive advantage. Team projects, mutual collaboration, innovation and robust debate are integral features of our coursework.”
      The following University of Aftermarket programming is scheduled through the summer.
      Leadership 2.0/Session 2
      The Leadership 2.0 experience includes a blend of industry research and market analysis, lively discussion and debate on the challenges confronting the light-vehicle and heavy-duty aftermarket; competitive strategies; interpersonal communication skills; contract negotiations; conflict resolution; organizational culture; cybersecurity best practices; insight into supply chain solutions; and other challenging and evolving industry topics and trends.
      This course runs from March 10-14. The deadline to register is Feb. 23, and participants must have previously completed Leadership 2.0 Session 1. 
      Consumer Behavior
      The Consumer Behavior course will explore the consumer behavior theory, including the introduction of behavioral models to investigate the consumer psychology. This includes application of consumer behavior principles to customer satisfaction, market planning and merchandise-mix decisions.
      Ethical, diversity and international issues are also explored.
      The course is scheduled for March 18 through May 12.
      Selling & Sales Management
      The Selling & Sales Management course will develop students’ competencies in professional selling theory and approaches, presentation skills and sales management techniques.
      The course focuses on developing and maintaining relationships with customers and management of the process of finding, converting and keeping customers while achieving the organization’s goals. Communication techniques, career planning, selling strategies and tactics as well as sales duties and responsibilities are included.
      The course is scheduled for March 18 through May 12.
      The Culture of Leadership
      The Culture of Leadership course consists of an analysis of organizational factors that influence leadership and management skills. Key aspects include formal and informal groups, norms, sanctions, organizational change, morale, function of committees and teams, role of unilateral decisions, team work, empowerment, and ethical philosophy. It also includes a self-appraisal of leadership and management strengths and areas for development. 
      The course is scheduled for March 18 through May 12.
      Aftermarket Field Sales Management
      The Aftermarket Field Sales Management course examines the field sales manager’s job activities. Subjects include selling skills, expense management, time management, merchandising/advertising plans, sales-report writing/sales-forecast plans, tradeshow management and human resource skills.
      The course is scheduled for March 18 through May 12.
      The deadline to register for any of the above four courses (Consumer Behavior; Selling & Sales Management; the Culture of Leadership; and Aftermarket Field Sales Management) is March 4.
      Aftermarket 101
      Aftermarket 101 is an introduction to the motor-vehicle aftermarket.
      Students who attend this class will develop a firm knowledge of the breadth, depth and scope of the automotive aftermarket including channels of retail, e-commerce and traditional distribution; sales development skills and opportunities; current and future industry trends; a brief introduction to the heavy-duty segment; and the opportunities and challenges facing our service dealers.
      This two-day course will be held May 20-21. The deadline to register for the course is May 6.
      Heavy-Duty 101
      Through Heavy-Duty 101, students will develop a solid understanding of the scope of the HD/CV motor-vehicle aftermarket.
      Students will be able to diagram and illustrate the channels of retail, e-commerce and traditional distribution; differentiate and interpret how key industry players contribute to the industry; discuss key initiatives and market strategies within the heavy-duty market; examine challenges and opportunities facing the professional service dealer; demonstrate an understanding the benefits associated with developing a professional sales network; and learn to distinguish themselves from the competition and dominate the marketplace.
      The two-day course is scheduled for May 22-23. The deadline to register is May 8.
      INFUSION 2024
      INFUSION is a high-level executive development series designed to assist leaders transition into strategic visionaries by formulating strategies to prepare them to become much more efficient and proficient at leading their organization. Participants will discuss how to demonstrate knowledge in creating innovative tactics to achieve better results for their organization. 
      The course is constructed to analyze varying approaches to critical topics; design clear outcomes; appraise better results; develop ground-breaking strategic visionary skills; create dynamic organization cultures; measure the adverse impacts of organizational isolation; diagram state-of-the-art cybersecurity stratagems; compare best practices in supply chain management; express knowledge in mergers and acquisitions; evaluate their corporate strategy; and differentiate their competitive advantage from their competition.
      The five-day course is scheduled for June 2-6. The deadline to register is May 10.
      Aftermarket Data Standards
      This program was developed for aftermarket catalog managers and product-information professionals who would like to sharpen their knowledge and management of the industry data standards – ACES and PIES. Learners will become familiar with the Auto Care databases and how to effectively use them in their day-to-day work.
      To take this class, attendees must have already taken Introduction to ACES and PIES 101.
      This is a two-day class, and the registration deadline is June 4.
      Heavy-Duty Leadership 2.0
      This five-day course is a cornerstone of the industry’s efforts to foster the development of a new generation of tactical leaders who will help drive the HD/CV aftermarket to new heights of excellence in leadership and performance.  
      HD/CV Leadership 2.0 is an intense and intellectually stimulating leadership development program that is specifically designed for the heavy-duty motor-vehicle aftermarket professional.
      The course will be facilitated by top heavy-duty industry leaders, coveted thought leaders and Northwood University’s faculty. This unique collaboration allows for an intensive course that is specifically focused on advancing tactical leaders who are motivated to purposely perform at achieving key organizational outcomes and objectives across all levels of the HD/CV motor-vehicle aftermarket.
      Heavy Duty Leadership 2.0 is scheduled to take place July 14-18. The deadline to register is June 28.
      Leadership 2.0/Session 1
      Leadership 2.0 is comprised of two five-day sessions. Session I will be facilitated at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.
      The course consists of robust discussion and learning related to the challenges and opportunities confronting the automotive and heavy-duty aftermarket.
      The Leadership 2.0 experience includes a blend of industry research and market analysis; lively discussion and debate on the challenges confronting the light vehicle and heavy-duty aftermarket; competitive strategies; interpersonal communication skills; contract negotiations; conflict resolution; organizational culture; cybersecurity best practices; insight into supply chain solutions; and other challenging and evolving industry topics and trends.
      Session 1 is scheduled to take place Aug. 11-15.
      Session II will be held March 11-16, 2025, at a location that is still to be determined.
      The deadline to register for Session 1 is July 26.
      James O’Dell, assistant director of aftermarket education at Northwood University, explained the University of Aftermarket has five pillars: introduction to the motor-vehicle aftermarket; data; tactical leadership development; executive development; and organizational development. 
      “The courses being offered this year fit within these pillars to best serve the automotive aftermarket industry,” O’Dell added.
      Registration links, as well as full descriptions of all University of Aftermarket courses, are online here: 
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