Congratulations to the winners of our ‘Colour for Hope’ competition

Congratulations to the winners of our ‘Colour for Hope’ competition

Last month the Parts Alliance and Brembo ran a colouring competition called ‘Colour for Hope’. Children of all ages were encouraged to colour diagrams of Brembo braking parts. We received many wonderful entries, with lots of the children using bright rainbow colours to transform the simple diagrams into vibrant pictures.

After much deliberation, the five winning entries have now been chosen. “We’d like to thank every child who entered the competition, they have clearly worked very hard on their drawings and selecting the winners was difficult,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing.

The five winning entries

  • Chloe Hoole (aged 6) – Hoole Auto Solutions Ltd
  • Cotty  (aged 6) – Neville Garage
  • Myla Lewis (aged 9) – Auto Correct
  • Jasmine Irwin (aged 10) – Peter Lewins
  • Jess Friend (aged 13) – TTR Garage Services

“Many congratulations to our five winning entries, who all showed tremendous imagination and creativity”, said Simon.

All the entrants can look forward to receiving a prize from The Parts Alliance in the coming weeks. In addition, the children are now able to view their own pictures and those of all the other entrants in the gallery shown below.

Uni-Select Inc. successfully completes refinancing with new US$565 million credit facilities including covenant relief providing increased flexibility

  • Uni-Select has secured new credit facilities, replacing the current facilities, with leverage and interest coverage ratio requirements effective only from December 31, 2021.
  • The new facilities provide access to additional liquidity and flexibility. The Corporation now has access to approximately US$220 million of liquidity to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, if needed.

Boucherville (Québec), May 29, 2020 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX: UNS) (“Uni-Select” or the “Corporation”) today announced that it has successfully secured new credit facilities providing access to additional liquidity on more flexible financial terms and conditions. The new US$565 million secured credit facilities, which will mature on June 30, 2023, consist of a US$350 million revolving credit facility and US$215 million term facilities. The new credit facilities can be used for general corporate purposes, thereby providing additional liquidity and flexibility, if required.

“These new credit facilities increase our total available liquidity by an additional US$100 million, to approximately US$220 million, and complement the multiple measures implemented by our team over the past few months to weather the impact of the pandemic. Furthermore, the new credit facilities provide a more favorable covenant structure and more latitude to manage our business going forward. We are pleased to have the continued commitment from our existing banking syndicate as well as the support of new financial partners with Export Development Canada and Investissement Québec, on behalf of the government of Québec. With this latest initiative, combined with the measures already put in place, we believe that we are well prepared to face the ongoing economic uncertainty,” said Brent Windom, President and Chief Executive Officer, Uni-Select Inc.

The facilities will be secured by a first ranking lien on all of the Corporation’s assets, which security has also been extended to secure the Corporation’s vendor financing program and its UK revolving credit facility of £6 million.

National Bank Financial and RBC Capital Markets acted as co-lead arrangers, and National Bank Financial acted as sole bookrunner, for the syndication of the credit facilities and National Bank of Canada is acting as administrative agent for the credit facilities. Export Development Canada and Investissement Québec, on behalf of the government of Québec, committed US$75 million and US$25 million to the term facilities, respectively.

Credit Facilities

The new credit facilities consist of a US$350 million revolving credit facility and two term loans totalling US$215 million. The term facilities cater to two different borrowers of the group and carry the same terms and conditions. The US$565 million facilities are subject to a total repayment of 21.2% over the term of the facilities including a repayment of 17.7% on March 31, 2022.

The Corporation will be subject to leverage or interest coverage tests starting on December 31, 2021. The facilities contain a minimum profitability requirement (as described in the facilities) until the quarter ending September 30, 2021 and a minimum liquidity requirement until the quarter ending March 31, 2022.

The new credit facilities also contain various limitations on distributions and on the usages of the proceeds from the disposal of assets. All facilities are repayable without penalty with the remaining balance due at maturity on June 30, 2023.

ABOUT UNI-SELECT

With over 6,000 employees in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., Uni-Select is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial coatings and related products in North America, as well as a leader in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada. Uni-Select is headquartered in Boucherville, Québec, Canada, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (UNS).

In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops and more than 4,000 shops through its automotive repair/installer shop banners and automotive refinish banners. Its national network includes over 1,000 independent customer locations and more than 75 company-owned stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select BUMPER TO BUMPER®, AUTO PARTS PLUS® and FINISHMASTER® store banner programs.

In the United States, Uni-Select, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of over 175 automotive refinish company-owned stores under the FINISHMASTER® banner, which supports over 30,000 customers annually and is the primary supplier to more than 5,500 collision repair centre customers.

In the U.K. and Ireland, Uni-Select, through its Parts Alliance group of subsidiaries, is a major distributor of automotive parts supporting over 23,000 customer accounts with a network of over 175 company-owned stores. www.uniselect.com

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Certain statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the words assumption, goal, guidance, objective, outlook, project, strategy, target and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as aim, anticipate, believe, could, expect, intend, may, plan, seek, should, strive and will. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements relating to our need of the additional liquidity and our ability to face the ongoing economic uncertainty. All such forward looking statements are made pursuant to the “safe harbour” provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws.
Forward-looking statements are, by their very nature, subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, both general and specific, which may cause expressed expectations to be significantly different from those listed or implied within this press release and our business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities may not be achieved. In particular, Uni-Select is facing significant impacts on its business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, witnessing a severe decline in revenue commencing mainly in the last half of March 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a major decline in economic activity in North America and the United Kingdom resulting in a decline in demand for Uni‑Select’s products and services, reduced workplace productivity resulting from government-ordered business closures and enhanced health and safety measures and compromised business continuity of certain of Uni-Select’s stores, suppliers, customers and/or partners. The duration and extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Uni-Select’s business, including its operations and the market for its securities, will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted at this time, and include the duration, severity and scope of the pandemic and the actions taken in various jurisdictions to contain or treat the outbreak. These impacts could in turn, amongst other things, negatively impact Uni-Select’s liquidities and/or its ability to remain in compliance with covenants under its indebtedness. Risks and uncertainties to which the forward-looking statements are subject also include the risk factors described in the Corporation’s Management’s Discussion & Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2019 under the heading “Risk Management” available on www.sedar.com as well as on Uni-Select’s website at www.uniselect.com. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize, and we caution you against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this press release, and Uni-Select does not undertake to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws.

The Parts Alliance partners with Petronas to supply the PETRONAS Syntium with °CoolTech™ range to the independent aftermarket

The Parts Alliance today announced its long-term partnership with Petronas Lubricants International as its supplier of premium oil.

“Petronas has immense potential for our
branches and we are thrilled to be partnering with this globally renowned brand
to offer our aftermarket customers an outstanding premium range,” said Paula
Huesca de Crean, Group Commercial Director of The Parts Alliance.

“We are committed to ensuring the products we
offer our customers are at the forefront of quality, reliability and innovation,
which is why Petronas is a perfect fit for The Parts Alliance.”

Petronas first established its presence in the United Kingdom in 2008 through PLI, its global lubricants manufacturing and marketing arm. Since then it has doubled its lubricants sales over the 12 years of operations in the country.

Samet Erensoy, PLI Head of Central and
Northern Europe, said: “The Parts Alliance is a highly respected motoring parts
distributor and we believe in partnerships that share a common ground –
delivering value through innovative products that are in line with advances in
automotive technology and solutions tailored for the independent aftermarket.

“That is what makes The Parts Alliance an
ideal partner to help us achieve our ambitious goal.”

Uni-Select announces C$125 million convertible debenture financing and concludes Strategic Review Process

· Financing provides flexibility to pursue growth opportunities
· 9.5% shareholder Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. affirms confidence in Uni-Select’s current strategic plan by acting as lead investor

Boucherville (Québec), December 18, 2019 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) (“Uni-Select” or the “Corporation”) is pleased to announce the completion of a private placement offering of C$125 million principal amount of convertible senior subordinated unsecured debentures (“Debentures”) (“Offering”).

Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. (“Birch Hill”), as shareholder and lead investor in the Offering, subscribed for C$75 million principal amount of Debentures. The remaining C$50 million was purchased by institutional investors following a private marketing approach.

“With this investment, a group which includes some of our largest shareholders are demonstrating their confidence in our team, our strategy, and the direction we’re taking to drive long-term value, as we continue to yield tangible cost savings and sustainable profitability improvement from our Performance Improvement Plan,” said Brent Windom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Uni-Select Inc. and President and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Automotive Group.

Uni-Select intends to use the net proceeds from the Offering to reduce borrowings under its senior debt credit facility and to pursue strategic growth opportunities.

RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets acted as co-agents and bookrunners on the Offering and National Bank Financial Markets acted as financial advisor to Birch Hill.

Conclusion of the Strategic Review Process
In September 2018, the Corporation announced that its Board of Directors (“Board”) had formed a Special Committee of independent members of the Board (“Special Committee”) to oversee a review of strategic alternatives with the goal of maximizing value for shareholders. Through this process, which included the review and evaluation of a number of alternatives, the Board has determined that modifying the capital structure with this financing and positioning the Corporation to pursue identified growth opportunities is the best alternative for maximizing value for shareholders. The Board and the Corporation remain open to evaluating future opportunities that align with its business strategies and enhance shareholder value.

Convertible Debentures Financing Details
The Debentures are being offered at a price of C$1,000 per C$1,000 principal amount of Debenture and will bear interest at a rate of 6.0% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on June 18 and December 18 commencing on June 18, 2020. The Debentures will mature on December 18, 2026 and will be convertible at the holder’s option into common shares of the Corporation (“Common Shares”) at a conversion price of C$13.57 per Common Share (the “Conversion Price”), representing a conversion rate of 73.69 Common Shares per C$1,000 principal amount of Debentures.

Uni-Select has granted Birch Hill certain governance rights in connection with its investment, including the right to designate two nominees on the board of directors, a pre-emptive right to maintain its pro rata ownership, and customary registration rights.

Appointment of Directors
Uni-Select is pleased to announce the appointment of David G. Samuel and Matthew B. Kunica as directors of the Corporation effective January 1, 2020.

 Mr. Samuel joined Birch Hill in 2005. He is Chairman of Groupe Distinction Inc. and serves on the boards of directors of Cozzini Bros, Inc. and Softchoice Corp. Prior to joining Birch Hill, Mr. Samuel had over 15 years of experience in private equity, operations, consulting and investment banking. Mr. Samuel’s experience includes serving as President, Rogers Cable (High Speed Internet Access) and working at McKinsey & Company and Morgan Stanley.

Mr. Kunica joined Birch Hill in 2003 and currently serves on the Boards of CCM Hockey, HomeEquity Bank and Bio Agri Mix. He has played a key role in Birch Hill’s investments in a diverse cross section of companies. Prior to joining Birch Hill, Mr. Kunica worked in the investment banking groups of both Credit Suisse First Boston and BMO Nesbitt Burns in Toronto.

Effective January 1, 2020, the Board of Directors of the Corporation will be composed of nine members and one vacancy which is expected to be used to add a new member and increase diversity before our next annual shareholder meeting.

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank David Bibby, Jeff Hall, George Heath, Dennis Welvaert and Michael Wright for their invaluable contributions to Uni-Select,” said Michelle Cormier, Chair of the Board of the Corporation. They will be leaving the Board effective January 1, 2020.

Impairment Loss on a Portion of the Goodwill
While Uni-Select is taking meaningful action to confront a series of headwinds in Europe, due to market softness and uncertainties surrounding Brexit, the Corporation will be recording a non-recurring, non-cash goodwill impairment charge between US$45 million and US$50 million, related to a portion of the goodwill of its operations in the U.K. This impairment will be reflected in the Corporation’s upcoming Q4 and year-end financial statements.

ABOUT UNI-SELECT
Uni-Select is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial paint and related products in North America, as well as a leader in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada and in the UK. Uni‑Select is headquartered in Boucherville, Québec, Canada, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol UNS.
In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops through a growing national network of more than 1,100 independent customers and over 70 company-owned stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select BUMPER TO BUMPER®, AUTO PARTS PLUS® AND FINISHMASTER® store banner programs. It also supports over 3,900 shops through its automotive repair/installer shop banners, as well as through its automotive refinish banners.
In the United States, Uni-Select, through its wholly owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of over 180 automotive refinish company-owned stores under the FINISHMASTER banner which services a network of over 30,000 customers annually, of which it is the primary supplier to over 6,800 collision repair centre customers.
In the UK and Ireland, Uni-Select, through its Parts Alliance group of subsidiaries, is a leading distributor of automotive parts supporting over 23,000 customer accounts with a network of 180 company-owned stores. 

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. These statements include, without limitation, the expected cost savings in relation to the Performance Improvement Plan and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the words assumption, goal, guidance, objective, outlook, project, strategy, target and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as aim, anticipate, believe, could, expect, intend, may, plan, seek, should, strive and will. All such forward‑looking statements are made pursuant to the “safe harbour” provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws.

Forward-looking statements are, by their very nature, subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, both general and specific, which may cause expressed expectations to be significantly different from those listed or implied within this press release and our business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities may not be achieved. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize, and we caution you against relying on any of these forward‑looking statements. The forward‑looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this press release, and Uni-Select does not undertake to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws. Forward‑looking statements are presented in this press release for the purpose of assisting investors and others in understanding certain key elements of our expected 2019 financial results, as well as our objectives, strategic priorities and business outlook for 2019, and in obtaining a better understanding of our anticipated operating environment. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Pierre Boucher, CPA, CMA
Jennifer McCaughey, CFA
MaisonBrison Communications
Tel.: (514) 731-0000
pierre@maisonbrison.com
jennifer@maisonbrison.com
investorrelations@uniselect.com

Uni-Select Inc. appoints Brent Windom as President and Chief Executive Officer

Boucherville (Québec), April 29, 2019 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) (“Uni-Select”) is pleased to announce that Brent Windom, currently President and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Automotive Group, has been appointed to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective May 1, 2019.

Mr. Windom has over 30 years of experience of transformational change in the automotive aftermarket industry. During his career, he has held various leadership roles and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Auto Plus ǀ Pep Boys, an important automotive aftermarket parts distributor in the U.S. His previous experience includes the positions of President and Chief Operating Officer of Uni‑Select USA, Inc., Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for the North American operations of Uni-Select, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Uni-Select USA, Inc. and Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising for Middle Atlantic Warehouse Distributor, Inc.

Mr. Windom has over 30 years of experience of transformational change in the automotive aftermarket industry

“Brent Windom has a profound understanding and unparalleled knowledge of both Uni-Select and the industry in which we evolve. He has demonstrated strong leadership capabilities over the years and his skill set is in perfect alignment with what the organization requires during its transformation. We are delighted to have him on board in this capacity,” said Michelle Cormier, Chair of the Board. “On behalf of my fellow Board members, I would also like to thank André Courville for his immense dedication and contribution during his mandate as Interim President and CEO.”

“I am honoured to be taking on this new role and I feel privileged to be leading such a talented team,” said Brent Windom. “As our industry is undergoing structural changes, this period also represents a pivotal moment in the history of Uni-Select. I intend to work in close collaboration with my colleagues in the Management team as we deploy our strategic initiatives, continue to focus on operational excellence and support the growth of our customers.”

Brent Windom is a member of the Board of Directors of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada. He also served on several industry boards in the U.S., of which the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF).

ABOUT UNI-SELECT
Uni-Select is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial paint and related products in North America, as well as a leader in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada and in the UK. Uni- Select is headquartered in Boucherville, Québec, Canada, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol UNS.

 In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops through a growing national network of more than 1,100 independent customers and over 70 company-owned stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select BUMPER TO BUMPER®, AUTO PARTS PLUS® AND FINISHMASTER® store banner programs. It also supports over 3,900 shops through its automotive repair/installer shop banners, as well as through its automotive refinish banners. 
 
In the United States, Uni-Select, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of over 200 automotive refinish company-owned stores under the FINISHMASTER banner which services a network of over 30,000 customers annually, of which it is the primary supplier to over 6,800 collision repair centre customers. 
 
In the UK and Ireland, Uni-Select, through its Parts Alliance group of subsidiaries, is a leading distributor of automotive parts supporting over 23,000 customer accounts with a network of over 180 company-owned stores.

Spring Garage Essentials packed with all new bargains

The Parts Alliance’s Spring Garage Essentials features a huge number of new suppliers and exclusive products.

Garages can gleam again thanks to the new Angry Jester hot and cold pressure washer, new in at only £895 + VAT just in time for spring cleaning. Also in for the first time come 100% original fully supported dealer diagnostics tools from Maverick showcased on the cover and pages 6 to 7.

The group continues to build on the runaway success of the Bendix braking brand with a new range of brake tooling and bleeding solutions. The original Bendix Flutest brand found on the first patented tester is reprised for a brake fluid tester with optional printer. There’s also an offer on the fast-selling Bendix Diagnostic and Service tool now with 3 years’ free software updates.

With weather warming, the cover tempts garages to get 1234YF air con ready with a Denso air con service station at under £2,200 + VAT delivered.

Draper Tools makes a welcome return to Garage Essentials too with pages 24 and 25 showing new automotive trade tools including a digital 3D four wheel aligner, service tablet and code readers. Roller cabinets, a technician’s ‘megakit’ and cleaning equipment complete the line up.

Absolute Alignment offers the latest revenue-generating Bluetooth wheel aligners on page 33 whilst EAE debut new wheel alignment four post lifts from £5,995 + VAT.

Sykes Pickavant’s Carbon Tec HHO carbon cleaning machine appears on page 57 supported with a ‘call for demo’ offer as the units are available for garages to view on all the group’s fleet of eight tool vans.

“It’s an exceptional issue for new products,” said John Wright Product Marketing Director at The Parts Alliance. “There’s a lot here that we hope garages will get excited about seeing.

“We know last season 1234YF really arrived in the aftermarket, so the Denso a/c unit looks likely to sell well.

“We’ve also seen strong demand for carbon cleaning and feel the commitment to offer Sykes’ Carbon Tec HHO machine through our tool vans is going to be well received.”

The 68 page A4 publication is available now free to UK garages from all branches of The Parts Alliance members Allparts, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES, GMF, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors, Waterloo and GSF Car Parts.

To find out more, please request your free copy from your local branch of The Parts Alliance.

M M Auto Services Ltd named Servicesure’s ‘Autocentre of the Year’ at eagerly anticipated evening ceremony

Servicesure has named M M Auto Services Ltd in Dundee as its ‘Autocentre of the Year’ during an exclusive awards evening which took place at Coombe Abbey on Thursday 11 April.

Launched last year, the competition was created to shine a light on best practice and performance from within the Servicesure Autocentre network.

Around 80 guests – comprising of garage winners, sponsors and managers from The Parts Alliance – were in attendance, dining on a three-course meal as the winners were announced.

As the attendees dined, new President and COO Neil Croxson spoke on the development of The Parts Alliance, before handing over to Paul Dineen, Head of Garage Programmes, to present the awards.

Speaking at the event, Paul said: “Tonight’s winners are a real credit to the Servicesure network, and it’s a pleasure to be able to pay tribute to your professionalism and hard work.

“The network continues to expand rapidly: in October 2018, Manor Motor Company became the 500th member, and numbers have since risen to 540 garages.

“It’s an exciting time for the business, and it’s reassuring to know that we have garages in our network setting such a high standard.”

Each shortlisted garage was recognised for their excellence during the ceremony: Burntwood Auto Centre received the ‘Best Newcomer’ award and Simon Graeme Auto Service Centre took home The Motor Ombudsman’s ‘Customer Service’ trophy, while Lowgate Garage, Chester Auto Services, Gordon’s Garage and A1 Motorist Centre were the winners in their respective regions.

After earlier awarding garage owner Murdo MacIntosh with the ‘Winner for Scotland’ prize, the judges also named M M Auto Services Ltd as the ‘National Winner’ for 2019.

Taking to the stage, a delighted Murdo thanked his hard working staff and loyal customers, as well as paying tribute to Duncan Davidson and Dingbro for their continued support.

The awards were sponsored by a number of Servicesure partners including Bollington Insurance, The Motor Ombudsman, Autotech Recruit, Auto Service Finance, Garage Services Online, Slicker Recycling and Our Virtual Academy.

To find out more about becoming a member of the fast-growing Servicesure network, please visit http://www.servicesureautocentres.com/become-a-servicesure-garage/.

Patent approved for Vetech DPF Professional Cleaner to prevent inferior copycats

The Parts Alliance has confirmed that a patent has been granted for Vetech’s ground-breaking DPF Professional Cleaner, which to-date has treated over 100,000 DPFs and saved motorists huge sums of money in replacement parts.

Vetech’s DPF Professional Cleaner works by breaking down and cleaning diesel particulates – which can contaminate the filters – leaving them to be rinsed away. The pour-in liquid has been shown to remove all visible dirt, soot and ash trapped in the filter cores, returning DPFs to over 95% of their ‘as new’ capacity.

Launched in 2015, the product was so well received that The Parts Alliance sought design protection rights to help garages avoid ‘inferior copy products’ in the wake of MOT changes imposing stricter emissions limits for diesel cars with DPFs.

The patent means that other ‘copycat’ DPF cleaning products should not be sold in the UK and Europe. Replicas often exclude or reduce key active ingredients in an attempt differ a copycat enough to not breach a patented superior product.

John Wright, Product Marketing Director at The Parts Alliance, explained: “This product really has changed the landscape of pour-in DPF cleaning solutions: not only is it unparalleled in its effectiveness, but your warranty won’t be affected by its usage.

“It was only a matter of time before attempts were made to bring sub-standard alternatives to the market, but this patent will help to rid the market of these imitators.”

The Parts Alliance is encouraging any motorist eager to improve emissions without compromising their warranties to speak to their local branch of The Parts Alliance.

Suppliers and customers Spring into action for new Leeds Trade Show

The Parts Alliance has successfully hosted its first major trade show of 2019.

On Wednesday 27th March over 500 customers attended the event, which ran from 5pm at the Centenary Pavilion of Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, taking the opportunity to discuss the latest products, technology, market developments and profit opportunities with more than 50 of the trading group’s key supplier partners.

“We thought we should come for a wander around and see because we’ve never had the chance to get to anything like this before,” said David Gilfeather, owner of DG Autos in Rodley, Leeds. “It’s really great to see so much here and was well worth us coming.”

Branches of BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts and Waterloo Motor Trade all invited customers who took the opportunity to not only do business but also listen to interviews with special guests.

Fuzz Townshend from Car SOS talked about highlights from his TV shows whilst three-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal discussed improvements to his car and hopes for the upcoming season.

Fuzz said: “For The Parts Alliance to put on an event where garage owners can meet fantastic suppliers and get a better understanding of their products is so valuable.”

Technical talks were given by Comma Oil on how changes in engine technology are impacting the choice of engine lubricants, Schaeffler discussed DMF technology whilst Delphi provided numerous insights on keeping up with developing VM digital service record technology.

“We were delighted by the turnout on our first visit to Leeds with a show of this scale,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “We had some great comments from the garages and lots of the suppliers seem to have had some really good discussions and done brisk business; our thanks go to everyone who supported the show.”

Nick Nafahran of Vehicle Repairs UK in Leeds was interested in a Tecalemit tyre changer and said: “I’ve got to see it and got all the information that I need, so it’s been useful.”

The evening ran until nearly 10pm with an extensive prize draw seeing around 20 prizes, generously donated by suppliers, given away to garages on the night.

Andrew Wood of APW Cars in Otley, Leeds added: “I’m here to see new technology.

“I’ve just been inside the REPXPERT van, it’s a real eye opener to see where the industry is going I’d definitely recommend others to try to get to one of these events if they have the chance.

“I’ve only got a little garage and I’m usually in the workshop until late but I’m glad I made the time for this, free food and drink too – so what’s not to like!”

Customers are advised to look out for more events in 2019 says The Parts Alliance.

The Parts Alliance hosts first-ever National Conference

Around 300 managers from across The Parts Alliance converged in Manchester last week for the trading group’s first national conference.

The event was held in the Concorde Conference Centre underneath the iconic supersonic plane on Friday 22nd March. The day was packed with engaging and interactive content, all designed to build a sense of community among the sprawling nationwide network and communicate a future strategy with staff at its heart.

Senior management speeches opened proceedings in the morning, tracing the rapid evolution of The Parts Alliance. Outgoing CEO Peter Sephton, who announced his retirement on Wednesday 20th March following six years with The Parts Alliance, opened the event before handing over to new President and COO Neil Croxson.

Neil emphasised the importance of continuity in the care and quality of service The Parts Alliance network offers customers, citing the family origins of the group and reiterating a commitment to put the people of The Parts Alliance at the heart of that journey.

He said: “The National Conference was a fantastic opportunity to have all of our managers together for the first time and it’s an important milestone for us. We have a strong, diverse and passionate network of teams across the UK who work incredibly hard to deliver the best possible service to our customers.

“Our business is on an exciting journey of growth and we’re in a unique position where we’re able to offer our customers the strength of a national brand alongside the fantastic local service and support they’ve come to expect from our branches.

“From a leadership perspective, it was hugely gratifying to see so many of my colleagues meeting for the first time at the national conference, building new bridges and sharing best practice.”

Managing Director Jonny West and Divisional Directors Steve Gray and Emma Tiernan also provided updates on key projects and business targets, outlining plans for network optimisation, distribution investment, operational improvements and commercial strategy developments.

Managers broke into teams for a series of break-out sessions in the afternoon, featuring sessions from suppliers Brembo, Comma and Schaeffler. They also had the chance meet colleagues from the business’ functional support teams in an exhibition area where each team manned a stand.

Neil added: “We knew the exhibition area would be a valuable addition to the conference, but the fantastic feedback we’ve had from both those who visited the stands and those who manned them has surpassed our expectations.”

The event concluded with an evening meal where guests were treated to a surprise awards ceremony celebrating the success of the branch network from the past year.

GSF Banbury was crowned ‘Branch of the Year’, while SCMF Croydon was awarded ‘New Branch of the Year’. Both branches had performed excellently against an extensive set of KPIs judged by a panel of senior leaders.