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October 1999 Issue Highlights

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CSK Buys Paccar’s Auto Parts Stores
Santa Monica Looks To Boost Minimum Wage
AutoZone Finishes Chief Conversion
Santa Monica Begins Enforcing Ban on Outdoor Work By Shops
SCAQMD Accepting Vehicle Pollution Complaints Via E-Mail


CSK Auto, Inc., has signed an agreement to acquire PACCAR Inc.’s auto part stores, currently operating under the trade names of Grand Auto Supply and Al’s Auto Supply in Washington, California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and Alaska. CSK will reportedly pay $143.2 million to acquire the parts chains.

The deal is expected to close by the end of October.

The 192 stores that are being acquired produced sales of approximately $225 million during the last twelve months.

"The acquisition of Grand Auto Supply and Al’s Auto Supply is consistent with our strategic plan to build our business and improve profitability through acquisitions and significant new store openings," said Maynard Jenkins, chairman and CEO of CSK Auto Corporation.

"They are an excellent fit with CSK in that Grand and Al’s strategy of offering quality name brand products is similar to CSK’s, and their average store size is slightly larger than CSK’s prototype," he continued. "This will result in a relatively easy conversion to CSK’s merchandising format."

One of the first priorities following the acquisition will be to increase the commercial sales at the Grand Auto and Al’s Auto Supply stores, according to Jenkins.

CSK Auto, Inc. is an automotive aftermarket retailer operating approximately 926 stores in 17 states under the trade names of Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen and Big Wheel/Rossi. Following the completion of the transaction, CSK Auto will employ over 14,000 people and operate more than 1100 stores.


The Santa Monica City Council is considering raising the minimum wage within the city to $10.69 an hour.

The new, substantially higher minimum wage would apply to all businesses along the "coastal strip" of the city that have over 50 employees.

After spending the last 10 years working to lure restaurants and retailers back into Santa Monica -- which had become virtually deserted -- the City Council has turned around and is penalizing the successful businesses in the area.

"The political climate for the business community has become more difficult here," said Ken Kutcher, a Santa Monica-based attorney specializing in local issues. "Santa Monica has always had a lot of regulation. This [city council] in particular has taken it to a new level."


AutoZone, Inc. has finished the conversion of its Chief Auto Parts stores to the AutoZone brand.

Since acquiring Chief Auto Parts in June 1998, AutoZone has relocated or converted 358 Chief stores in California, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas. Three of the eight remaining Chief stores will be closed and five will be relocated in the near future.

"Thanks to some outstanding efforts by our AutoZoners, we’ve completed the accelerated conversion plan right on schedule," said John Adams, Jr., AutoZone’s chairman and CEO. "We’re thrilled to have all of these stores operating as full-fledged AutoZones and we’re encouraged by the early results in these locations."


Santa Monica has begun enforcing a ban on outdoor work by auto repair shops, placing a huge burden on many small installers in the city.

Although the law banning outdoor auto work has been on the books in Santa Monica for 11 years, the City Council has issued a directive to begin actively enforcing the ban.

One business that is being hurt by the new enforcement is Santa Monica Radiator. Co-owner Chuck Perliter told reporters that "We essentially have to build a whole new building" to cover the auto hoists.

Perliter estimates the cost to his company will be at least $150,000. "And that’s not including the upgrades to the rest of our facility that would be needed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act that would be triggered by the new construction."


The South Coast Air Quality Management District has begun accepting complaints on polluters via e-mail at

The new program was designed primarily for the public to complain about smoking vehicles. The agency is asking drivers who see polluting cars, trucks, and buses to call or e-mail with vehicle information and the date, time, and location of the observation. The SCAQMD then sends a letter to the owner recommending vehicle maintenance.

The SCAQMD cannot impose fines on drivers for excessive pollution; the CHP has that right.

Originally published in the October 1999 issue of Automotive Booster Magazine.
Copyright 1999 by KAL Publications Inc.

Covering the California auto parts aftermarket since 1928.