Quick Lube Q&A: Arnold Gacita of Petra Automotive Products

Jan. 2, 2024
Arnold Gacita, president of Petra Automotive Products, gives his input on strategies for setting effective goals.

Goals are a big part of running a business. Whether you're setting goals for yourself, your shop, or your teama good strategy goes a long way. And what better time is it to talk about goals than at the beginning of a brand new year? 

For this Quick Lube Q&A, NOLN connected with Arnold Gacita, president of Petra Automotive Products. Keep reading to learn how Gacita inspires achievement and supports his team. 

NOLN: Thanks for participating in this Q&A, Arnold! Let's start by giving the NOLN audience a brief introduction as to who you are and what Petra Automotive Products is.

Arnold Gacita: I’m the President of Petra Automotive Products. We are a worldwide company. We manufacture about 376 products for your vehicle. We are in over 4,200 dealers, have about 1,000 people selling Petra worldwide, (and) we manufacture for several OEMs. I have been in the industry for 32 years. I’m skinny and tall! 😉

NOLN: It's the beginning of a new year, which is always an exciting time of opportunity. But before we look ahead, let's take a look back on 2023. What are some accomplishments, professionally or personally, that you are most proud of achieving in the last year?  

Arnold Gacita: We started our charity arm Petra Cares and thanks to God and our team and donors we changed the (lives) of 19 young adults. These are teenagers exiting the foster care program or were homeless and we took them in, taught them how to be a Level 1 Technician, and our dealers gave them a job. Generations have been changed by this program. Next, the incredible team we have builtthe best in every position hands down. We also partnered with Mopar on 14 products. It’s been a busy year.

NOLN: As a leader, how do you go about setting goals for your team and your company as a whole? What's your strategy?  

Arnold Gacita: I (ask) them what they are going to do next. What are they going to do (and) accomplish next year? What’s their short-term goal and long-term goal? Then, we start refining. It starts with the team.

NOLN: Goal setting often goes beyond leaders—it stretches across and entire team. How do you support and encourage employees to set their own goals?

Arnold Gacita: As mentioned above. It starts with them and quite frankly ends with them. They need to be part of the process all the way through.

NOLN: In quick lube shops, as well as the greater automotive aftermarket, key performance indicators play a role in tracking productivity. Are there any KPIs that you like to track in particular?  

Anold Gacita: Cases or bottles sold. Prices can be affected by price increases and inflation, but bottles moved are bottles moved.

NOLN: What are some leadership habits that you like to incorporate in your daily work?  

Anold Gacita: First of the day, I try to say hello to everyone (everyone). Then I look at where we are at on our sales and financials indicators and then send emails as to such. Then work my way through emails.

NOLN: What are some of your strategies for staying on top of automotive industry trends and challenges? 

Anold Gacita:  Embrace change. Always be changing. Look at new opportunities.

NOLN: What are you most looking forward to in 2024 for Petra?  

Arnold Gacita: Our theme for 2024 is "Unstoppable." That should tell you all.

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