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Heartland Automotive Services Acquired, Will Be Renamed

VIP Donates $55,658.12 to Make-A-Wish with Help from Employees and Customers

New President, COO for FullSpeed Automotive

Total and Aston Martin Renew Global Partnership

Oil Changers Recapitalized by Trivest Partners

Hotels Offering Discounted Room Rates for AAPEX 2018

Federated, Pronto to Hold First Combined Member Meeting

Mavis Discount Tire and Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers to Merge

Fram Inks Deal with Racers Edge Motorsports

WIX Filters Awards $51,421.25 to National FFA Chapters

Valvoline Launches Fast Track to Fame Program in Support of Grassroots Racing

Letter to The Editor

SpillVak Joins Team Lucas Oil

Heartland Automotive Services Acquired, Will Be Renamed

Wynnchurch Capital recently acquired Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., the largest operator of Jiffy Lube service centers with about 523 locations. Heartland will be renamed Team Car Care, LLC. The deal was completed in partnership with Mid-Atlantic Lubes, Inc., an existing Jiffy Lube franchisee.

“Heartland is a tremendous addition to our portfolio of service businesses,” said John Hatherly, co-managing partner at Wynnchurch Capital. “We feel very fortunate to be partnering with Jiffy Lube international, Inc. We are also excited to partner with Mid-Atlantic Lubes, Inc. and its 10-year history of outstanding customer service delivery that will continue on with each of Heartland’s guests.”

“We are excited to invest in Heartland and to build on the company’s leadership position in the quick lube retail service market,” said Erin Murphy, managing director at Wynnchurch Capital. “We believe that Heartland’s focus on providing customers with industry-leading quality, availability and service, combined with the experience and leadership of Mid-Atlantic Lubes, Inc., positions Heartland to be a strong platform for growth.” Back to Top


VIP Donates $55,658.12 to Make-A-Wish with Help from Employees and Customers

VIP Tires & Service recently announced it is donating $55,658.12 to Make-A-Wish. The funds were raised during the company’s 10th annual Season of Wishes campaign, which took place during the 2017 holiday season at its 56 stores located in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. VIP encourages employees and customers to make individual contributions and then matches the funds collected.

During the holidays, VIP customers were asked to make a minimum $1 donation and, in turn, received a paper star with their name displayed in their VIP store. Together, the 56 VIP stores raised $27,829.06 through the generosity of their customers and employees. Then, VIP Tires & Service matched that amount to bring the total donation to $55,658.12. Maine VIP stores raised the most ($20,252.80) followed by New Hampshire stores ($6,022.81) and then Massachusetts stores ($1,553.45). The funds raised in each state benefit their local state Make-A-Wish chapters. In the last 10 years, VIP has raised more than $405,000 for Make-A-Wish through its annual program.

“We can all play a part, big and small, in helping kids with life-threatening illnesses get their wish,” said Kate Vickery, executive director of Make-A-Wish Maine. “The team at VIP works tirelessly to talk with their customers about Make-A-Wish and gives them the opportunity to support the organization by buying a paper star. Each year, their donation grows and more kids get wishes. We’re endlessly appreciative and thankful for the VIP team.”

“Helping grant wishes for these children is extremely meaningful because it brings joy and emotional support that anything is possible,” said John Quirk, Chairman and CEO of VIP Tires & Service. “I want to thank our incredible employees and our loyal customers for their generosity. Together, we can play a role in granting multiple wishes that will create cherished moments for New England families.” Back to Top


New President, COO for FullSpeed Automotive

Grease Monkey International, LLC, doing business as FullSpeed Automotive, one of the nation’s largest independent quick lube franchisors and parent company to the Grease Monkey and SpeeDee brands, recently announced that Kevin Kormondy, longtime senior automotive aftermarket industry executive, has assumed the leadership role as president, chief operating officer of Franchising for both brands.

“I have known Kevin for over 30 years and greatly admire his commitment to achieving win-win outcomes for the company and franchisees,” said John B. Adams, who will continue his role as CEO. “This change will allow the FullSpeed Automotive leadership team to focus on business growth goals and to continue to live up to its mission: ‘Driven to perform, so our customers can, too!’”

“The Grease Monkey and SpeeDee brands offer a terrific platform for growth,” said Kormondy, who spent more than 20 years with Big O Tires in various positions, including executive vice president/COO. “I am excited about the opportunity and eager to work with the support center team and franchisees to increase each brand’s annual unit volume and to drive franchisee profitability.” Back to Top


Total and Aston Martin Renew Global Partnership

Total and sports car manufacturer Aston Martin and its racing team, Aston Martin Racing, recently announced the renewal of their partnership to 2019.

Two years of working side by side in the FIA World Endurance Championship enabled Aston Martin Racing to win the GTE Pro 2016 and GTE AM 2017 drivers’ title, along with a prestigious victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2017 in the GTE Pro class. Total thus extended its technical contribution by becoming involved in developing the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE. The new car will compete in the World Endurance Championship 2018-2019 Super Season, which will kick off with the 2018 WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and culminate in the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, both races being run twice over the course of the season.

Total Lubrifants delivers its technical expertise through a trackside engineer and oil analysis laboratory at each World Endurance Championship race event. Also, Total and Aston Martin work together closely to develop lubricants specific to the British carmaker’s engines.

“Total Quartz engine oil played a decisive role in Aston Martin Racing’s success, improving the performances and reliability of our FIA WEC race results. We’re very pleased to see the partnership extended to our coupes and roadsters and our aftermarket services, so that Aston Martin customers continue to benefit from the technical advances we make on the track with our partner Total,” said Simon Sproule, vice president and chief marketing officer Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.

“We’re very pleased to renew our partnership with Aston Martin. We have worked together over the last two years to successfully meet the challenges of participating in one of the most demanding FIA World Championships, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Today, we continue to put our expertise and R&D know-how to work to supply lubricants and fuel perfectly suited to Aston Martin engines,” said Mathieu Soulas, vice president Total Lubrifants. Back to Top


Oil Changers Recapitalized by Trivest Partners

Trivest Partners recently announced it has recapitalized Oil Changers Inc., with 34 locations in California. The Oil Changers transaction represents the 16th platform company investment in Trivest Fund V, a $415 million fund dedicated to investing in founder/family-owned businesses.

The first Oil Changer facility was opened in Northern California in September 1986 and has grown to include facilities in the regions of San Francisco, San Diego and Fresno. With a strong leadership team, all of whom will remain with the company, Oil Changers has achieved record growth over the prior five years and has identified specific initiatives to further accelerate the company’s expansion. Trivest’s support will allow Oil Changers to make additional investment in existing facilities and grow into new markets organically and through complementary add-on acquisitions. Importantly, Oil Changers will continue its laser focus on providing outstanding customer service.

“The partnership with Trivest will allow Oil Changers to accelerate our growth plans and strengthen the company’s leading position in key California markets,” said Eric Frankenberger. “Our team felt Trivest’s culture and deep experience in the quick lube space lined up very well with our goals and objectives. We are excited to align ourselves with a partner that shares our enthusiasm for the company’s future.”

Forest Wester, partner with Trivest, commented, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Oil Changers. The company has a long track record of growth and has built an incredible reputation for outstanding customer service. We believe Oil Changers is a great platform from which to expand and will support the company in its active pursuit of growth and regional expansion.” Back to Top


Hotels Offering Discounted Room Rates for AAPEX 2018

Attendees can book their rooms now on the AAPEX website — aapexshow.com/bookaroom — to receive discounted rates at Las Vegas hotels during AAPEX 2018. The event represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and will take place Tuesday, October 30 through Thursday, November 1, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

Attendees are encouraged to use the AAPEX website where onPeak, the official housing vendor of AAPEX 2018, will provide the lowest rate assurance, no booking or service fees, a guaranteed hotel confirmation number for smooth check-in, exclusive hotel perks and personal service from real people before, during and after the show.

onPeak is the only official housing company associated with AAPEX. While other hotel resellers may offer housing for AAPEX, they are not endorsed by or affiliated with AAPEX, and entering into financial agreements with such companies can have costly consequences.

Online registration will be available this month. Buyers who would like to be notified when registration for AAPEX opens can sign up on the AAPEX 2018 website: www.aapexshow.com/regopen Back to Top


Federated, Pronto to Hold First Combined Member Meeting

The 2018 combined Pronto/Federated spring member meeting will be held April 9-12 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

“Following two previously contracted meetings held in separate locations, we are looking forward to having members of The Group together under one roof for what promises to be a very informative and productive series of meetings and events,” said Larry Pavey, CEO of the Automotive Parts Services Group. “We continue to see how the power of collaboration has had a positive impact on business for both members and suppliers. This meeting will provide an excellent opportunity for attendees to learn from each other, strengthen relationships and identify ways to prosper together.”

Members from both groups will attend one-on-one supplier meetings, a combined vendor booth show and informational breakout sessions where they will be updated on data and information systems, national account programs, new supplier programs and other business process improvements. It is anticipated that this meeting will be well-attended by members and suppliers due to combined opportunities and the convenient central location. Back to Top


Mavis Discount Tire and Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers to Merge

Mavis Discount Tire recently announced it has signed a definitive agreement to merge with Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers, a Golden Gate Capital portfolio company, creating one of the largest independent automotive service platforms in the U.S. Upon closing, the combined company will be led by Mavis’ current co-chief executive officers, David and Stephen Sorbaro, and Express’ CEO, Ricky Brooks, will be named executive chairman. ONCAP is selling its stake in Mavis to Golden Gate Capital, which, along with the Sorbaros, will be significant shareholders in the combined company.

The merger of Mavis and Express unites two of the leading operators in the automotive service sector with a history of strong organic sales and service center growth. The combined company will operate more than 830 locations in 24 states across the East Coast, South and Midwest. Golden Gate Capital expects to continue to invest behind this scale platform to accelerate new unit development and to acquire additional automotive service providers in the combined company’s core and contiguous markets.

“This exciting transaction unites two customer-driven companies with a deep-rooted service ethic. Mavis has long been a leader in providing cost-effective and quality tires and service, and we are delighted for the opportunity to partner with them and benefit from each other’s expertise,” said Ricky Brooks, CEO of Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers. “I am confident that together, Mavis and Express will create an entirely new standard of auto care in the U.S.”

Josh Cohen, a managing director at Golden Gate Capital, said, “For years, we have observed both Mavis’ and Express’ tireless dedication to their customers and operational excellence, and we’re elated to have the opportunity to partner with the Sorbaros and Ricky. Uniting these strong, recognized brands will combine the best practices and result in an acceleration of their current industry-leading growth.” Back to Top


Fram Inks Deal with Racers Edge Motorsports

Fram recently signed a partnership with Racers Edge Motorsports and its team of elite racers. The partnership offers the latest filtration product engineering, support and technology to the team. Fram will deliver the ultimate Ultra protection for Racers Edge Motorsports racing engines, enhancing the speed and reliability needed to win races.

“It’s a rush to see world-class race cars running Fram XG2 Ultra Synthetic oil filters and is a real proof of quality,” said Jay Buckley, Fram Technical Training Director. “Racers Edge Motorsports has 28 years of racing experience, and we are proud to be the newest member of their team.” Over the past two years, Racers Edge Motorsports has captured eight wins in Pirelli World Challenge competition. A full-service organization, Racers Edge Motorsports has expertise in all areas of race team operations including race strategy, driver development and mechanical preparation.

“Racing tests every component of the car in the toughest way possible,” said Jon Mirachi, Racers Edge owner and team manager. “Ensuring we have the best filters and spark plugs guarantees that our components offer the reliability and performance needed to win races. That’s what we receive with Fram and Autolite’s premium products.”

The new partnership also reignites Fram’s presence on a world-class racing team in the form of an official partnership.

“This partnership shows our consumers that we race what we build for their passenger cars, which is the toughest test on the planet,” Buckley added. Back to Top


WIX Filters Awards $51,421.25 to National FFA Chapters

WIX Filters has awarded $51,421.25 to national FFA chapters through a box top redemption program in partnership with the National FFA Organization. The total 2017 box top submissions increased by 58 percent from 2016.

“The FFA initiative has always been a special one for me. I participated in FFA, and it helped shape the person I am today,” said Jennifer Gibson, brand manager for WIX Filters. “I couldn’t be more proud that WIX has continued to build on the annual success of this program, and we thank every auto parts store, shop and local agribusiness purchasing WIX Filters. This program benefits the future leaders of our industry, and we hope to see continual growth.”

Between February 1 and April 15, 2017, students in participating FFA chapters redeemed 185,685 WIX box tops for a donation from WIX of $46,421.25 or 25 cents per box top. In addition, five FFA chapters across the country each received a $1,000 bonus from WIX, bringing the total donation to $51,421.25.

As part of the program’s incentives, FFA chapters competed for five $1,000 bonuses in different categories, including most box tops redeemed overall and most increase in tops redeemed from the previous year. The five FFA chapters that earned a $1,000 bonus are:

  • Pendleton FFA, Oregon
  • Moses Lake FFA, Washington
  • Spud Growers FFA, Pennsylvania
  • Mount Vernon FFA, Washington
  • Smyer FFA, Texas
(Editor’s note: Special shout out to my hometown Smyer FFA and their FFA advisor Donald Gillit. Keep up the great work!)

The 2018 program will run from February 1 to April 15, and students in participating FFA chapters across the United States can redeem WIX Filters box tops for a donation from WIX. All FFA chapters can complete a digital claim form online. Back to Top


Valvoline Launches Fast Track to Fame Program in Support of Grassroots Racing

Valvoline Inc. recently announced the launch of its Fast Track to Fame contest celebrating the grassroots racing community by providing sponsorship opportunities for amateur racers.

“Amateur racers demonstrate their passion and pursuit of excellence every time they race, and Valvoline wants to celebrate those values through Fast Track to Fame,” said Heidi Matheys, Valvoline chief marketing officer. “We believe in the ‘Never Idle’ spirit, and we are looking for someone who lives it.” Valvoline has been engrained in professional racing since its North American inception in 1895 and further cemented itself in the culture, introducing the world’s first racing oil in 1965. The brand continues its support today with involvement in IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, Formula Drift and several other major national touring series.

Valvoline invites grassroots racers from asphalt, dirt, motorcycle, snow and a variety of other classifications to enter for the chance to win the grand prize package valued at up to $50,000 in cash and prizes. The contest will operate in two rounds driven by public voting and judged criteria on the website: teamvalvoline.com/fasttrack In round one, driver entrants are encouraged to share their entries with their friends and family to gain votes. In order to qualify for finalist consideration, each driver entrant must receive a minimum of 50 votes from 50 unique voters. The top four finalists will be chosen by a combination of public vote and a judging panel to move to the next round. Finalists may be featured in a video series, filmed at the finalists’ hometown tracks, to give voters an up-close-and-personal look at the finalists’ racing dream, struggles and successes. The driver with the most fan votes at the conclusion of round two wins the contest and will be announced July 10 on: teamvalvoline.com/fasttrack

The three runners-up will receive incremental prizes including cash and Valvoline product. This opportunity is made possible by sponsors including Speedway Motors, One on One Brand, TSMGI and iRacing. Back to Top


Letter to The Editor

My views on Larry Read will differ from the people that only know the name. Larry and I have been friends for a long, long time. I always try to write nice things about my elders.

Larry sold Oil Changers February 6, 2018. This, as far as I am concerned, is the end of an era. What do I mean by this?

I will give you some background. Larry and I worked on several projects for AOCA. We fought ILSAC on changing oil labeling and use. Larry started the California Coalition early in the fast lube industry history. In the last few years, he has fought the California BAR, spending millions of his own money.

What he has done over the years is try to get California BAR to be fair to businesses and consumers. They, of course, were more interested in building their own kingdoms. There are thousands of fast lubes in all the United States. Most of the states watched what California did, and then passed similar laws. Larry fought not only for Oil Changers, but for all the fast lubes, too. It was his time and money that saved us all the pain he went through.

On more of a personal note, I’d like to thank him for his friendship and the great times we had in the Great Race. We all need to say a great big thank you to Mr. Read.

Best wishes, Dr. R. Scotti Lee Back to Top


SpillVak Joins Team Lucas Oil

SpillVak, a fluid absorbent company, has reached an agreement with Lucas Oil to become a part of Team Lucas, a marketing partnership by Lucas Oil aimed at aligning marketing efforts with closely-related brands.

“We are excited to be a part of Team Lucas Oil and to work with such an amazing group of professionals,” said Trent Whatcott, director of Marketing for SpillVak. “From the beginning, we felt Lucas Oil’s brand, product line, vision and, most importantly, team aligned perfectly with ours. There could not be a more natural fit for us.”

As part of this partnership, SpillVak will sponsor various race series and will be lead sponsor for motorcycle drag racer Anthony Vanetti for the 2018 drag racing season.

“SpillVak is a perfect addition to Team Lucas,” said Alex Striler, director of Team Lucas Marketing. “We’re fortunate to have them join our marketing program because Lucas Oil and SpillVak share a core customer. Whenever someone changes a vehicle’s oil, or flushes out a radiator, he also needs to be prepared to clean up the inevitable mess that’s going to happen.”

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