The Parts Alliance Group purchased by Uni-Select Inc.

The Parts Alliance Group 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, through a series of 10 acquisitions since 2012 has grown to become a market-leader by investing in people and technology and putting their customers first.

“This has been a fantastic journey, building a market leader in just over 4 years through 10 acquisitions and consistently strong organic growth,” said Peter Sephton. “I and our management team would like to thank HgCapital for all their support as our 2,900 colleagues look forward to continuing that journey with Uni-Select, helping build a great international autoparts business together with the Uni-Select leadership team.”

The Parts Alliance emphasise that for customers it’s very much ‘business as usual’ and look forward to working under trade owners with a deep understanding of the automotive aftermarket. The existing management team will continue to operate the business and Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance, will join Uni-Select’s executive team while continuing his leadership role in the UK as President and CEO of the European business segment.

Uni-Select’s origins are similar to those of The Parts Alliance; Uni-Select was founded in 1968 by 12 Québec businessmen who joined forces to form a purchasing group for aftermarket parts. The business now trade as a listed company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: UNS).

“We are excited to establish a third growth pillar in the large UK parts aftermarket that is expected to be immediately accretive in a market with great upside potential from future consolidation opportunities. Parts Alliance is a great organization, with a market leadership position and national scale, a proven growth platform and an experienced management team that has demonstrated its ability to drive profitable growth both organically and through acquisitions,” said Henry Buckley, President and CEO of Uni-Select. “Our two companies are a perfect fit in terms of business profile, customer focus, entrepreneurial culture and commitment to people development.”

Martin Block, Partner, HgCapital, said: “We are delighted with the sale of this very special business to Uni-Select. They will be a fantastic partner for the next phase of Parts Alliance’s continued growth and development. As a buy and build in a fragmented and dynamic sector, our management team were able to create a business of scale and real capability through their drive, professionalism and determination. The Parts Alliance brings together a high-quality group of distinct brands with a common culture and local identity. We wish both the team and the new owners every success for the future”.

 


ABOUT PARTS ALLIANCE
The Parts Alliance is one of the leading groups of automotive parts distributors throughout the UK and Ireland. The group has a network of close to 200 locations including 161 corporate stores and supports over 23,000 customer accounts.

ABOUT UNI-SELECT
Uni-Select is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial paint and related products in Canada and the United States, as well as in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada. In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 3,900 shops and stores through a growing national network of more than 1,150 independent customers, many of which operating under Uni-Select store banner programs, and corporate stores. In the United States, Uni-Select, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of automotive refinish corporate stores under the FinishMaster banner and supports more than 6,000 collision repair centre customers.

For additional information, please contact: media@thepartsalliance.com

The Parts Alliance looks forward to Automechanika

The Parts Alliance is looking forward to returning to Automechanika on 6th to 8th June having also supported last year’s UK debut of the world-leading supply chain trade event.

The Parts Alliance will be at stand 18D10. They believe that for a trading group of their scale, Automechanika offers a unique opportunity to meet a number of different objectives through a single initiative.

Last year’s show saw The Parts Alliance welcoming many prospective international suppliers onto their stand. Additional to these valuable supply chain networking opportunities, Marketing Manager David Bowen highlights the chance to meet with garage owners too.

“We’d like to invite all garage owners and technicians to come and see us on the stand to find out about what we can offer to help boost their business,” said David. “We are confident that we have a solution for garages, workshops and national organisations and would like to meet on the stand.”

The foundation is a full range of parts from leading OE and matching quality brands to support garages with a complete parts and consumables solution.

Beyond that, there’s a class-leading service proposition too. This includes the GS Onestop Garage Management and Allicat online electronic catalogue and parts ordering systems. Both platforms can ‘seriously streamline’ business management and help to eliminate issues around wrong parts ordering according to David.

Representative from Servicesure will be there throughout too, explaining the benefits of joining the UK’s faster growing – and most flexible – network of independent garages.

Last year a number of motor factors also took the opportunity to discreetly register interest in opportunities to join The Parts Alliance, something they can enquire about on the stand once again.

Find out more at www.automechanika-birmingham.com

 

The Parts Alliance Group Ltd acquires BMS Superfactors

The Parts Alliance is delighted to announce that it has acquired BMS Superfactors, their Greater Manchester-based associate member. BMS Superfactors has four branches in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Dukinfield, collectively employing over 120 staff.

Founded 25 years ago, BMS Superfactors begun as a small accessory shop and has grown into a business currently completing over 1,000 trade deliveries each day. Since joining The Parts Alliance in December 2012 they have posted consistent double-digit annual sales growth and have invested to achieve industry-leading service levels, with over 97% of orders delivered within one hour.

“We’re delighted to be taking what seems a very natural next step with The Parts Alliance,” said Tony Parr, Managing Director of BMS Superfactors. “Joining the group and gaining access to their OE parts ranges, outstanding AlliCat parts catalogue and overall business support has been central to our success to date.

“For staff and customers, it’s very much ‘business as usual’ but we now move forward on an even stronger footing, being part of one of the largest motor factor groups in the UK, combining systemised entrepreneurship with excellent financial stability.”

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance said: “We welcome BMS Superfactors and all our new colleagues.

“The growth they have achieved bears powerful testament to the skills of the management team led by Tony Parr, Chris Morley and Neil Hardisty as well as the hard work of a loyal staff team. This important acquisition strengthens our group’s position in one of the UK’s prime metropolitan areas.

“Chris and Neil will continue to run the business, whilst Tony will be available to help as necessary.

“We very much look forward to developing the business further under what’s a well regarded local brand by bringing more of our technology, distribution and sourcing capabilities to support Chris and his team wherever we can.”

BMS becomes a wholly-owned business within The Parts Alliance Group (PAGL) but will continue to trade under its own well established name. Chris Morley will continue to lead the business and will be joined by Neil Hardisty on The Parts Alliance’s leadership team.

The Parts Alliance’s steering and suspension programme sends garages soaring

The Parts Alliance has announced a new major promotion with three lucky customers set to win a Spitfire flight.

The initiative will run through May only, and is supported by members Allparts, CES, GMF, SC Motor Factors, The Parts Alliance South West, SAS, Waterloo, Dingbro, BBC Superfactors and BMS Superfactors.

During May, every part purchased from The Parts Alliance’s steering and suspension category will create an automatic prize draw entry – meaning the more customers buy, the greater their chances of winning.

The three Spitfire flights will soar above Dover’s iconic white cliffs in a two-seat version of the famous fighter aircraft. A huge range of other amazing flying experiences will also be won; these include a helicopter ride and relaxing balloon trip for two, as well as an adrenaline-inducing tandem skydive, or even a flying lesson.

 

“This promotion has been made possible thanks to the enthusiastic support of our key suppliers and our members,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “There are some really eye-catching prizes as a bonus for the garages supporting our OE and matching quality steering and suspension programme in ever greater numbers.”

The suppliers and brands include Delphi, Monroe, Lesjofors and Polybush.

All trips will be fulfilled by Red Letter Days; they will contact winning customers, who have up to 2 years to redeem their prize.

Garages can find out more by visiting the new www.winaspitfireflight.com website. As well as details of the prizes, there are full terms and conditions with a search facility to pinpoint the nearest participating Parts Alliance branch.

Servicesure set for record-breaking year as 50 join since start of 2017

Servicesure Autocentres, The Parts Alliance garage programme, is seeing members joining in unprecedented numbers.

By mid April over 50 new garages had joined the national network in 2017 alone. The rate of joining has consistently averaged 15 garages per month since the latter part of 2016, marking a clearly established trend rather than a spike in interest.

“We’re delighted with the speed at which the Servicesure network is developing,” said Paul Dineen, Head of Garage Programmes at The Parts Alliance. “There’s no ‘one thing’ but the primary attractions appear to be our growing range of service suppliers, the national warranty and the branding awareness packages.”

More Servicesure Autocentres are now opting to take up the instantly recognisable branding suite, which Paul simply believes reflects trends in the wider market.

“Garages are recognising that we can offer the best of both worlds,” he said. “They not only retain their independence, as Servicesure’s not a restrictive concept, but they also gain the strength that comes from aligning with an established national brand and that’s reassuring to motorists.

“It’s not just about image, it’s the substance behind Servicesure that counts with the initiatives we bring to capture and retain business in a competitive market.”

The Parts Alliance say Servicesure is amongst the best garage programmes in the UK and is not as rigid as many others, meaning garages can flex it to fit their own circumstances.

“Not every garage operates in exactly the same way,” said Paul. “It’s about recognising these differences and supporting the garages whilst ensuring they all meet the Servicesure standards.”

Recruiting quality garages to maintain these standards is essential; it underpins Servicesure’s unique ‘national warranty’ – which drivers can redeem with any Servicesure garage anywhere in the UK.

A new ‘Brakesure’ concept was launched in January to offer motorists lifetime replacement on brake pads. Trust is placed with member garages to choose when to offer the incentive to qualifying customers.

To find out more about the range of benefits enjoyed by garage members of the fast-growing Servicesure network please visit http://www.servicesureautocentres.com/become-a-servicesure-garage/ .

Staffordshire family garage owner wins ‘Dream Drive’

Dave Bailey of Major Motors, a loyal customer of CES Stoke, is the first Servicesure garage to strike it lucky in The Parts Alliance’s ‘Dream Drive’ promotion.

“I’ve always wanted to visit America, so I’m really looking forward to taking in the sights and spending time in so many famous cities,” said garage owner Dave. “My wife Hilary will be joining me on the trip, so it’s going to be a really special few weeks for both of us.”

During the 2,400 mile ‘road trip of a lifetime’ they’ll visit Chicago, St Louis, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles, driving through the iconic landscape and open roads of America’s deep South.

Major Motors was established in 1978 by Dave’s father, before he joined in the mid-1980’s. It’s a firm favourite amongst its loyal customer base, offering servicing, repairs, diagnostics, air conditioning and even bodywork.

“We always use Delphi braking as our first choice,” said Dave. “The quality is very high and the pricing is good too. “

Dave said CES Stoke had been the garage’s main supplier ‘for many years’ and praised the branch for ‘excellent service and support.’

Head of Marketing for The Parts Alliance, Simon Moore said: “We’re delighted to be sending another customer along Route 66 and we look forward to more customers winning prizes.”

The ‘Dream Drive’ promotion continues until the end of April. Scratch cards are included with all sets of Delphi brake pads.

With four further Route 66 road trips still to be won, as well as Love2Shop vouchers, American meals and Delphi merchandise, garages are urged to find out more at www.dreamdriveusa.com.

Spring 2017 Garage Essentials

The spring issue of Garage Essentials, the industry leading tools and equipment brochure from The Parts Alliance, is available now to view online.

Printed copies of the 76 page quarterly garage equipment brochure will be arriving at of The Parts Alliance members Allparts, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES, GMF, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors and Waterloo.

With warmer weather and longer days, thoughts can turn to summer with this edition’s time-savers, revenue-generators and workshop must-haves.

Highlights include a strengthened 2017 air con programme; at the entry level just £1,599 + VAT can see garages take delivery of a fully automatic Kheos Plus R134a service unit, supplied with database and printer. This even includes onsite commissioning, training and an F-Gas licence, making it The Parts Alliance’s lowest ever package price.

At the premium end, there’s a choice between three fully automatic units from Bosch or Waeco’s award-winning automatic German-made ASC units, which carry a multitude of vehicle manufacturer approvals for added peace of mind.

“We’re finding that working together across The Parts Alliance is helping us to develop more exclusive offers to benefit both our members and the garages buying them,” said John Wright, Head of Garage Equipment and Customer Development at GSF Car Parts. “And the growth in business for our suppliers completes a win-win-win!”

Examples include all the ZM Heaters and Angry Jester ranges, which are fully exclusive to The Parts Alliance. So too, and new for this issue, is the superfast GE-Tec diagnostic unit. For under £800 + VAT, the tablet with EOBD and Bluetooth connectivity brings vast vehicle coverage and powerful specialist test functions, with live data graphing and module coding capabilities.

There’s exceptional value on the cover, which features an EAE electro hydraulic two post 4T lift at only £1899 and the SIP Hot Steam commercial pressure Washer & Valet pack for only £1295, again both exclusively available through Garage Essentials and The Parts Alliance.

Service to garages has never been better. GSF Car Parts head office based sales team has combined with The Parts Alliance’s five Technical Sales Managers to offer the ‘best of both worlds’ by combining the experienced field and phone teams seamlessly.

Don’t forget to contact your local branch of The Parts Alliance to pick up the spring issue of Garage Essentials.

First garage wins USA ‘Dream Drive’ with Delphi

The Parts Alliance has announced Steve Patch, Parts Manager of W&M Stevens as the first garage customer to win the ‘road trip of a lifetime’ along America’s iconic Route 66 in the current ‘Dream Drive’ promotion.

A delighted Steve Patch said: “I’m truly blown away to win a real once in a lifetime prize. It really is one of those bucket list moments.”

W&M Stevens is a long-standing customer of the High Wycombe branch of Allparts Automotive. The family-run garage has been established since the 1960’s. Steve is the third generation to work within the business – his father Bob and his uncle Martin are the current owners.

Steve joked: “It’s great to continue the family tradition with the garage. However now I’ve won this prize, they will have to cope without me for a few weeks. Perhaps I’ll send a post card!”

The prize includes personalised itinerary along the Route 66, flights, accommodation and car hire.

Scratch cards included with all sets of Delphi brake pads give customers the chance to win Love2Shop vouchers, American meals, Delphi merchandise and the Route 66 road trip itself.

Head of Marketing for The Parts Alliance, Simon Moore said: “We’re delighted the first winning ‘Route 66’ scratch card has been claimed. Steve can look forward to an amazing experience, taking in the sights along one of the most renowned road trips in the world.”

 

With five more road trips to be won before the end of April garages can find out more at www.dreamdriveusa.com.

The Parts Alliance and Delphi send garages on USA ‘Dream Drive’

A new promotion from Delphi and The Parts Alliance will see six lucky garage customers enjoy the road trip of a lifetime, along America’s iconic Route 66.

The ‘Dream Drive’ promotion will run for two months (from 1st March to the end of April) across The Parts Alliance’s South West branches and through members Allparts, CES, GMF, SC Motor Factors, Dingbro, BBC Superfactors and BMS Superfactors.

Throughout the campaign, a scratch card will be included with all sets of Delphi brake pads. These offer not only the six road trips but over £16,000 worth of Love2Shop vouchers, which can be spent at a huge selection of leading retailers.

Further prizes include a ‘taste of America’ where winners will eat for free at McDonalds, Burger King and KFC and Delphi branded beanie hats, thermal mugs and baseball caps too.

 

Delphi pads are manufactured to meet OE standards, with heat absorbing underlayers, noise reducing chamfers and dampening shims as well as pressed steel back plates. 20 unique friction formulations ensure a close match for each vehicle.

“Triple British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal will be helping get the ‘Dream Drive’ message out,” said Julian Goulding, UK Marketing Manager at Delphi. “It’s an exciting initiative that we hope will really capture the imagination of garages that place their trust in Delphi brake pads.”

For the six lucky main winners, the delights of Route 66 await; the all-American road trip starts in Chicago and finishes at Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles – travelling across eight states en route.

The winners will visit landmarks including Lake Michigan, cowboy culture capital Oklahoma City, Grand Canyon National Park, Las Vegas, steakhouse centre Amarillo, the Hoover dam plus iconic stops like Cadillac Ranch, Midpoint Café and the Route 66 Auto Museum. The panoramic views in between can be enjoyed from the comfort of a Ford Mustang.

 

The prize includes personalised itinerary, flights, hotel accommodation and car hire, with the road trip taking two weeks to complete.

“We’re delighted to be working with Delphi on such a high profile national promotion,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “There’s a wealth of information on the Dream Drive website, along with the location of the nearest participating Parts Alliance branch. We wish all our loyal customers the best of luck!”

Garages can find out more simply by visiting the new www.dreamdriveusa.com website.

Parts Alliance is the CAT Factor Chain of The Year Winner 2017!

The Parts Alliance has been named CAT magazine’s ‘Factor Chain of the Year’. The Award came on Friday 10th February at a prestigious industry awards ceremony at Manchester’s renowned Lowry Hotel.

The group were represented by the eight branches in its South West region.The branches were all previously part of the Unipart network, but have since been developed with significant investment fromThe Parts Alliance.

“The acquisition initially looked a good opportunity to improve our group coverage in the region,” said Steve McCann, Chief Operating Officer at The Parts Alliance. “But that was very much the start of an ongoing development process.

“Since then we’ve continued investing time and resources, not least with the implementation of our class-leading IT system, and we’ve been able to transform the South West into a thriving region for the business.”

The award, won democratically by achieving most votes through CAT’s website, proved that a range of exciting initiatives rolled out over the last 12 months had captured customer interest.

These included rapid development of The Parts Alliance’s garage programme, as well as an evening Garage and Workshop Show in October that drew over 500 visitors and fifty suppliers.

Paul Dineen, South West Regional Business Director and Head of Garage Programmes said:

“We’re honoured to have won the ‘Factor Chain of the Year’ and are genuinely grateful to our garage customers and everyone else who took the time to vote for us, it’s hugely appreciated.”

 

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive at The Parts Alliance said:

“This is a great result that not only recognises the excellent efforts of the South West Region but also mirrors developments happening throughout the business. Supporting local expertise with a leading product portfolio, strong core services and a shared group vision has proved to be a winning formula for The Parts Alliance today, and we believe this approach will bring continued success.”