The Parts Alliance

NEXUS unveils ambitious blueprint to grow as aftermarket champion

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NEXUS Automotive International (N!) has unveiled an ambitious ‘blueprint’ for the future, targeting double-digit growth and becoming a leader in digitalisation of the aftermarket.

Speaking at the 4th annual N! Business Forum, leaders of the global alliance also pledged to ramp up training through its successful N! Academy, helping unlock significant business potential in fast growing markets.

CEO Gael Escribe said NEXUS was working to a model whereby challenges facing the N! Community would be resolved by, and with support, from the community itself.

He said: “Over the past four years NEXUS has grown hugely as we have brought together like-minded people and businesses who share our dynamic vision for the aftermarket. Now is the time to leverage that collective strength, expert knowledge and drive to maximise all the opportunities before us, for both members and suppliers.”

In a bold pledge to the more than 420 delegates attending the Forum in Abu Dhabi, Gael said NEXUS would be aiming to achieve double-digit business growth in 2018.

He also announced the launch of Marketparts.com, a global B2B e-commerce platform for automotive distributors and suppliers. Initially for NEXUS members in Europe, it will be extended to other regions in the future.

Gael added: “It is our aspiration to be a leader in B2B digital transformation within the aftermarket, to be a benchmark of best practice for consolidation, and the absolute champion for fast growing markets, where education is the key to make that happen.

“We want to lead change and not be affected by it. All this shows we live by our expression ‘wherever you run your aftermarket business in the world, NEXUS is there to support you’.”

The Forum also saw the presentation of five awards. The Worldwide Automotive Group (WAG) of South Africa was named NEXUS Member of the Year, while MANN-FILTER was elected as NEXUS Supplier of the Year.  NEXUS Awards of Honour were made to INTERLAND, of Poland, and SK Automotive, of Brazil, for their remarkable progress and work as NEXUS Members. A NEXUS Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Fergus Reid, from the UK’s The Parts Alliance, who is retiring after 40 years’ service to the aftermarket. The award also recognised his contribution as a founding partner and Board Member of NEXUS.

The Parts Alliance Group acquired by new investor Uni-Select Inc

"This new investment into the UK by a Canadian company underlines the increasingly global nature of the market the progressive  N!   Community  operates in."  Gael Escribe, NEXUS CEO

"This new investment into the UK by a Canadian company underlines the increasingly global nature of the market the progressive N! Community operates in."

Gael Escribe, NEXUS CEO

The Parts Alliance Group, one of the leading autoparts distributors in the UK, has been acquired from its private equity owner HgCapital by Uni-Select Inc., a Canadian publicly listed North American automotive aftermarket distributor. 
 
New owners Uni-Select operate as a market leader in the USA and Canada, distributing automotive aftermarket parts, equipment and refinish products through a network of 14 distribution centres, 270 corporate stores and over 1,100 independent wholesalers with 3,000 employees generating sales of $1.2 billion USD per annum. 
 
The Parts Alliance, a founder member of NEXUS Automotive International SA, has grown quickly to be No. 2 in the UK market through a series of 10 acquisitions since 2012. The Group employs 2,900 colleagues. 
 
NEXUS CEO Gael Escribe said: “We congratulate The Parts Alliance on its new investor. The aftermarket continues to consolidate, and this new investment into the UK by a Canadian company underlines the increasingly global nature of the market the progressive N! Community operates in.”

The Parts Alliance continues strategic growth with acquisition of Waterloo (Motor Trade)

The Parts Alliance has continued its strategic growth with the acquisition of motor factor Waterloo (Motor Trade) Ltd.

Waterloo, which has branches in Hull, Beverley and Bridlington, was founded in 1928 by current Managing Director Jim Munday’s grandfather. It becomes a wholly-owned business within the HgCapital-owned Parts Alliance Group but will continue to trade under its own name, serving customers in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Jim Munday said: “As a three-generation family business, building long term relationships and providing quality local service are in our DNA. We look forward to working with Peter Sephton (The Parts Alliance CEO) and the rest of the management team to accelerate our growth in what are very exciting times for our trade.”

Peter Sephton said: “I’m delighted Jim Munday has agreed to work with us to facilitate the integration into The Parts Alliance and the transition of leadership to David Brooks, founder of SAS Autoparts, as we seek to extend our branch footprint and optimise our distribution and reach into the region. Jim will continue to advise us on development projects and we are delighted to have Jim and his colleagues at Waterloo as part of our Group.”

Peter Sephton went on to say: “As a unified multi-brand operation, it’s important to us when we bring in new businesses that we maintain that local brand and management as they bring their unique local knowledge while we add national strength. It’s a powerful combination.”

Fab four take on the Three Peaks for Diamond Challenge

The Parts Alliance’s Andy Hurst has been on the fundraising trail again, this time completing the mountainous Three Peaks Challenge.

He was joined by partner Jackie Fowler and her brother and sister, Hugh Allen and Lis Gardner, yomping up and down Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in just under 24 hours.

The fab four took on Britain’s highest peaks as part of celebrations for 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Together they have raised more than £300 for disadvantaged and vulnerable young people supported by the scheme.

They have also each earned a Diamond Challenge pin, specially created for the 60th anniversary and awarded to individuals who raise a minimum of £60.

Andy, Pricing and Management Information manager at The Parts Alliance’s Central Facilities in Solihull, said it was the group’s children who had inspired them to tackle the climb. “Either through lack of opportunity or lack of enthusiasm, as kids none of us had taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award yet all of our children have achieved it,” he said.

Fitness was not an issue as all four were into their sport – running or cycling or both, he said. The team began the epic trek at the foot of Ben Nevis at 4pm, reaching the summit at 6.20pm, then travelled to Scafell Pike for a 2am start, hitting the top at 4am, before going on to Snowdon for 11.30am, conquering it at 1.30pm and finishing at 3.22pm.

Andy said: “In all it took us 23 hours and 22 minutes. It was tough physically and mentally. The three climbs are hard in themselves, but there is no opportunity for a rest. We had two 10 minute breaks on the motorway on the whole journey and ate and slept on the move.

“The worst part was the top of Scafell Pike. It’s an inhospitable place even in daylight, the majority of it is uneven and covered in rocks and stones. But couple this with the pitch black of night and it was not the most welcoming place.

“We spent only two or three minutes at the top of each climb before descending, finishing with only 40 minutes to spare. It’s clear that if you stop any longer than absolutely necessary it will take more than 24 hours. So far we have raised over £300 and we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed,” said Andy.

In May last year Andy took part in the London to Paris bike ride, raising funds for BEN, the Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund, while in 2013 he cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats for the Air Ambulance Service.

The Parts Alliance strengthens its position as an aftermarket leader as SAS Autoparts joins the Group

The Parts Alliance has strengthened its position as an aftermarket leader with SAS Autoparts joining the Group.

SAS was founded in 1960 and has branches in Harrogate, Otley, Skipton, Bradford, Castleford and Northallerton.

The Parts Alliance’s Chief Executive Peter Sephton said he was excited to be welcoming new colleagues from SAS to the HgCapital backed The Parts Alliance Group.

He said: ‘’SAS Autoparts is a great business with outstanding customer and staff loyalty providing local service in the Yorkshire area and adds to our national strength.’’

HgCapital continues to support The Parts Alliance with the acquisition of SAS, which will be a wholly owned business within The Parts Alliance Group but will continue to trade locally under its own brand name and will continue under Managing Director David Brooks and his current management team.

Peter Sephton added: “This is a great acquisition which strengthens our presence in the north while encouraging a common vision and culture, but retaining local brands, entrepreneurial spirit and customer focus.”

David Brooks said: “We are looking forward to working with Peter Sephton and the rest of the management team and developing and growing SAS into an even better business.”

Delphi and The Parts Alliance partner up to sponsor three times BTCC champion Matt Neal

Delphi Product and Service Solutions has partnered with The Parts Alliance to sponsor Matt Neal, three times winner of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Neal, crowned champion in 2005, 2006 and 2011, finished third last year but hopes to achieve a record-equaling fourth title in 2016. He will again be driving a Honda Civic Type R in the Honda Yuasa Racing team.

Neil made his BTCC debut at Silverstone in 1991, with 2015 marking his 25th year contesting Britain’s biggest motorsport series. In that time he has participated in 583 races, winning 56 from 15 pole positions. He has finished on the podium 155 times and set 47 fastest laps.

Delphi’s marketing director EMEA Simone Strimber said: “Our commitment to performance, quality, drive and determination has culminated in the joint sponsorship of one of the country’s most successful drivers.”

The Parts Alliance is the largest distributor of Delphi parts in the UK automotive aftermarket. Its procurement and product management teams work closely with Delphi to select the best quality parts and get them to market as fast as possible.

Simon Moore, Head of Marketing for The Parts Alliance, said: “Just like The Parts Alliance, Matt Neil has been on top of his game year after year. He’s one of the country’s most successful drivers in a sport watched by tens of thousands at trackside and millions around the world on TV.

“The BTCC is extremely demanding. It requires consistent high calibre performance, from driver and car, a quality we look for in the autoparts we sell and which Delphi, as The Parts Alliance’s braking supplier, gives us. We can’t wait for the new season to start and we’ll be backing Matt all the way, hopefully to another championship.”

All smiles for Angry Jester as branded van fleet hits the road

Angry Jester, the rapidly growing automotive tool brand, has rolled out the first of six new liveried vans that will act as mobile product showcases at garages and workshops around the UK.

Each of the Volkswagen Crafters is kitted out with more than 160 tools and time-saving gadgets, including the full Angry Jester programme plus a range from The Parts Alliance's leading tool supply partners.

It will bring the number of vans in the fleet to eight, building up initially to cover 82 of the 151 branches of the owned businesses that form The Parts Alliance Group.

The first of the new vehicles will serve the South West, covering The Parts Alliance branded branches in Barnstable, Chard, Exeter, Frome, Penryn, Plymouth, Taunton and Tiverton.

The rest of the fleet will be introduced in early 2016 to branches of SC Motor Factors, Car Parts & Accessories (CPA) and Allparts Automotive, all in London and the South East, and to those of CES UK, based in Cheshire, and Bromsgrove Motor Factors, in Worcestershire.

Local branches will be able to arrange a visit through the Angry Jester website www.angryjester.co.uk as the vans are introduced.

The first of the new Crafters is manned full-time by Mike Meads of The Parts Alliance, who will highlight the features and benefits of the product ranges. The van includes a monitor on which customers can view offers, instructional slides and product videos.

It had its first outing in South Wales at GMF Motor Factors, another of the owned businesses within The Parts Alliance Group, where the Angry Jester team is based and where the vehicle was kitted out.

Wyn Jones, Director with responsibility for Tools, Garage Equipment and Training within The Parts Alliance Group, said: "This year has seen a huge expansion in the Angry Jester brand. We've doubled the product lines, released a new catalogue and appointed our first Sales and Technical Development Manager.

"Now with six new tool vans being introduced and a network of 11 distributors across the UK, 2016 looks to be even more exciting."

The Parts Alliance named UK’s Most Innovative Automotive Distributor

The Parts Alliance has been named the UK’s Most Innovative Automotive Distributor 2015 in new awards that recognise business excellence.

The Corporate LiveWire Innovation & Excellence Awards look for leaders in a range of industry sectors with the objective of identifying the ‘the most innovative, groundbreaking and client-focused firms, teams and individuals who have transformed the way in which they do business’.

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance, said: “Innovation and excellence are at the heart of our business. They, along with a committed and talented workforce, drive us forward in a hugely competitive and changing market.

“Over the past 12 months, working to our 10-Steps programme, we have strengthened the product choice, service, value and expertise that we offer to our independent and national customers alike.

“We’ve also grown to a national footprint of well over 300 branches, with new businesses integrated and new systems introduced across the Group, so the customer receives consistent, best-in-class service wherever they may be.”

Among the innovations in 2015 are the Parts Alliance Reporting and Compliance tool, PARC, and its world industry first autoparts vending concept PA PartVend.

Sephton added: “Positioning The Parts Alliance as a technology leader is one of our key objectives. Through our unique and proprietary systems we have big data that we can share with our customers to improve their businesses.”

The judging panel reviewed the activities of short-listed companies over the past 12 months looking for ‘a willingness to adapt to the ever changing environment of their respective fields’ while achieving ‘exceptional performance and success’.

Awards Director Leah Jones said: “Each and every winner was chosen on merit and has shown excellence, innovation and strong leadership throughout the past calendar year.”

Corporate LiveWire operates a business news website that focuses on corporate finance activity around the globe.

This year’s award follows one in 2014 for the ‘Best Automotive Transactions’, awarded by Deal Feed international.