Accu Ind. adds wheel service unit RICHMOND, Va.—Accu Industries Inc. has added ADG Forward Canada Inc. to its sales force in Canada.
In January, ADG created a new Wheel Service Division to support Accu Industries' Accu-turn product line.
Automotive equipment veteran Bob McVey was named director of sales and marketing for ADG's new division. He has 25 years of warehouse distributor and national account sales experience, according to Richmond, Va.-based Accu-turn, a manufacturer of automotive brake lathes, tire changers, wheel balancers, lifts and alignment equipment.
Pep Boy's sales dip slightly in '99
PHILADELPHIA—A reduction in its store count contributed to a dip in sales for Pep Boys—Manny, Moe and Jack for the fiscal year ended Jan. 29, 2000.
The company reported sales of $2.39 billion for the year, down 1.9 percent from the previous year when, Pep Boys said, it operated 109 Express stores that were either sold or closed in October 1998. On the other hand, service labor revenue—exclusive of installed product—grew to a record $440.5 million, which was 8.1 percent higher than in fiscal year 1998.
Comparable store sales rose 1.5 percent during the fiscal year.
Sales for the quarter ended Jan. 29 dipped 1.5 percent to $555 million compared with the previous year's fourth quarter. However, Pep Boys said its service labor revenue for the quarter, exclusive of installed product, climbed 4.9 percent to a record $104.2 million vs. the same 1998 period.
Comparable store sales declined 3.8 percent for the quarter.
The company will report its fourth quarter and fiscal year earnings on March 16.
Pep Boys CEO Mitchell G. Leibovitz said despite weakness in the "do-it-yourself" category, "we continue to believe that our unique non-franchised, all-brands service capability and supply chain will provide us with both traditional and Internet-related growth opportunities in the technologically advancing automotive aftermarket."
Smithers unveils snow-traction test
AKRON—Smithers Scientific Services Inc. has implemented a new snow-traction test system for passenger and light-truck tires used in severe snow conditions.
The Akron-based company's cold-weather automotive proving ground in Raco, Mich., will conduct the test procedure, which involves spinning a tire in snow under certain precise conditions and measuring the tire's performance.
The test is in response to a new snow-traction standard requested by North American tire manufacturers that belong to the Rubber Manufacturers Association and/or the Rubber Association of Canada.
J. Michael Hochschwender, Smithers' president and CEO, said the new standard requires candidate tires to be physically tested in snow conditions against an all-season control tire to determine their snow-traction performance. Tires that pass the requirements can then be designated for use under severe snow conditions.
Solideal marks 15th anniversary
LEBANON, Ind.—Solideal Co., one of the world's largest industrial tire and wheel manufacturers, and its North American distributors celebrated the company's 15th anniversary with a four-day conference last November in New Orleans.
Distributors included the firm's Lebanon, Ind.-based United Solideal Co. unit, Solideal Industrial Tire, Charlotte, N.C., Unitrac, based in Toronto, and Miami-based Southern Industrial Tire.
About 100 representatives from those companies heard presentations on upcoming Solideal products including industrial, skid-steer and off-the-road pneumatics, and the firm's Magnum-brand press-ons, resilients and rubber tracks.
Mike Ross, senior purchasing manager for Nissan Forklift North America, delivered a keynote address focusing on factors necessary to build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship between supplier and customer.
He told meeting attendees that Solideal was the only Nissan vendor to receive the company's "Outstanding Supplier Award" for three consecutive years.
Myers hits sales earnings records
AKRON—Myers Industries Inc. reported record sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1999.
Net sales swelled 48.1 percent for the year to $580.8 million from $392 million in 1998, while net income grew 8.7 percent to $31.2 million from $28.7 million.
Net sales for the fourth quarter leaped 50.7 percent to $166.6 million over the same 1998 period. Net income for the quarter grew 6.6 percent to a record $9.8 million.
Based in Akron, Myers is an international manufacturer of plastic and rubber products for industrial, agricultural, automotive, commercial and consumer markets.
The company is the largest wholesale distributor in the U.S. of tools, equipment and supplies for the tire service and automotive underbody repair industry.
Cooper evaluating its plastics unit
FINDLAY, Ohio—Coming off a year that included some major acquisitions, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is now exploring strategic options for its plastics division.
The company, based in Findlay, has retained the investment banking firm of W.Y. Campbell & Co. in Detroit to assist in assessing the division.
It includes Cooper-Standard's automotive plastics business unit, which makes exterior trim products for automotive vehicle manufacturers; Holm Industries, which makes seals and gaskets for consumer appliance and construction applications; and OEM Miller, maker of corrugated hose and tube products for consumer appliance manufacturers.
Cooper President and COO Thomas Dattilo said the company intends to focus efforts on "products and technologies that utilize Cooper's engineering, research and development strengths, and demonstrate the best potential for profitable growth.
"We must determine whether the businesses of the plastics division fit this profile."