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Joe Marconi

Advance Auto Parts Communicates Its Commitment to the Aftermarket Independent Shops

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At a TECH NET meeting this past March in Westchester County New York, a heated discussion erupted over the acquisition of CARQUEST by Advance. And the comments by the shop owners was not good. We decided to list all our concerns and present these concerns to our sales rep. To be honest, we all felt that this list would fall on the deaf ears of a corporate giant.

 

I drafted a letter and sent it on its way. The letter spread through the company and it was only a few days later when my phone was ringing. Advance got the message and wanted to talk. After a few informal meetings with people from the Advance Auto and reps who were formally from CARQUEST, we all agreed that we need to break bread at a round table discussion and air out these concerns.

 

The TECH NET shops, along with people from Advance met in the same room last Thursday in Westchester to discuss the concerns we had listed in March’s meeting.

 

The meeting started with a detailed presentation on all the programs Advance has for the independent TECH NET shops and the things that Advance are working on. Programs all designed to help Repair shops become more successful. Then we engaged in an open and honest (and sometimes heated) discussion. We discussed everything from our concerns that Advance was too aligned with the DIYer to the issue that shops felt that our cultures are not aligned as they once were with CARQUEST.

 

Well, we may have entered that meeting with guns drawn and cocked, but the words and actions from the Advance reps resonated to all of us that Advance is a company that recognizes that the future of Advance and the future of the Independent Auto Repair shops is dependent on the relationship we create. One by one the people from Advance spoke to us, asked questions, answered questions and at the end we witnessed a different side of a company we once thought as Too Big to listen.

 

More importantly, this meeting set into motion and new-found relationship between the professional automotive repair shops and Advance. Our future looks a little brighter.

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