Denise Rondini

Denise Rondini

New alliances between two leading groups of independent heavy-duty parts aftermarket distributors and other organizations involved in the automotive aftermarket are aimed at keeping ahead of trends affecting both the aftermarket and fleet customers.

HDA Truck Pride has teamed up with the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance to create the Aftermarket Distribution Alliance. Historically, HDA Truck Pride members have focused on servicing the needs of Class 6 through 8 truck owners. However, Don Reimondo, president and CEO of HDA Truck Pride, points out that fleets that primarily run larger vehicles also own lighter-duty ones as well. “They have guys in the shop running around in pickup trucks, parts chasers running around in pickup trucks or small vans, and salespeople traveling around in company cars.”

He adds, “This latest partnership will give us 100% coverage of all vehicles in North America. And it is not just for domestically manufactured vehicles. If a fleet is driving medium-duty Hinos and his salespeople are driving Impalas, and his trailers are Great Danes and his Class 8 trucks are from Paccar, we can now cover them all.”

The partnership also gives HDA Truck Pride members access to a wide range of fleet parts, including medium and smaller duty components like windshield wipers, brake and chassis components and engine parts. “It is a soup to nuts kind of coverage,” Reimondo says.

The reason for forming the ADA now, according to Reimondo, is changes that are starting to occur in the way goods get to the end users. “There is a shift to medium-duty and smaller vehicles for deliveries into cities. The marketplace for both automotive and heavy-duty parts are changing. I believe that scale matters, and the only way for us to generate scale today is to do so in a conjoined manner.”

John R. Washbish, president and CEO of Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, adds, “Increasingly we see both national accounts and fleets that are looking to consolidate their sourcing and seeking suppliers that can connect with them electronically. The combined resources of AAPA and HDA Truck Pride can deliver just that.”

Or as Reimando explains, the goal is for members of both groups to be one-stop shops.

The other announcement covers Vipar Heavy Duty joining Nexus Automotive International S.A., an international group of independent automotive and truck parts distributors. Jeff Paul, director of marketing for Vipar, says he sees long-term benefits of the alliance, noting that “fleets want to have as much choice for parts acquisition as possible, so having a strong independent aftermarket is important.”

He adds, “The OE side largely has a tie to some of the trends and technologies that are happening across the pond, which the independent distributors in North America do not because they are largely focused on servicing their North American markets.”

He believes the relationship with Nexus will assist Vipar members in having some of those same connections, “whether it is vehicle platforms, distribution changes or other trends.”

He sees Vipar members benefitting from learning global best practices – which will ultimately benefit fleet customers.

“The world is flattening,” Paul explains. “We are not longer operating secluded on a North America island. Things that are happening in other parts of the world are affecting our markets. Nexus immediately plugs us into a global community of leading aftermarket thinkers. The goal is to make sure our members know what is developing on a global basis so we can create long-term strategies that hopefully take cost out of the system for everybody.”