April 2000 Issue Highlights

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CSK and Sequoia Capital Form PartsAmerica.Com
Interstate Battery Acquires JWC
Mitchell International Software Acquired


CSK Auto Inc., the Eastern parts chain of Advance Auto Parts, and lender Sequoia Capital are forming a new company,

An internet-based auto parts retailer, is designed to serve both the consumer and commercial markets.

The companies say they will "leverage the existing infrastructure of over 2,700 CSK Auto and Advance Auto Parts stores in 50 states, as well as their 3,000 delivery vehicles and 59 state-of-the-art distribution facilities to the benefit of customers."

The companies will also use their stores to promote the brand name.

Customers choosing to buy their auto parts on-line will have the option of same-day delivery, local in-store pickup, or overnight shipment from the part stores’ regular inventory. Customers unhappy with their purchases will be able to return or exchange merchandise at their local CSK or Advance Auto Parts store.

Maynard Jenkins, CEO of CSK, commented: " Great distribution will be the critical factor in determining who the winners are in e-commerce. With a presence in 50 states, will be able to serve customers anywhere in the United States on a same-day basis and allow them to interact with our combined store base, giving it a significant advantage over Internet-only businesses."

"This industry is ripe for our entrance," he added, "because a significant number of auto parts buyers have access to the Internet and have made a purchase online."

CSK Auto’s existing e-commerce site,, will be incorporated into

CSK Auto and Advance Auto Parts will own equal stakes in the new venture. Sequoia Capital will be the lead investor with additional funding from CSK, Freeman Spogli & Co., Sears, Roebuck & Co., and Ripplewood Holdings.


Interstate Battery System International, has acquired "substantially all" of the assets of John Willemsen Corporation, including Battery Patrol Franchising.

Battery Patrol Franchising franchises the Battery Patrol retail stores, which sell batteries and related products. Following the acquisition, Battery Patrol Franchising will begin to franchise retail battery stores under the "Interstate" brand. These Interstate franchise stores will sell a full line of batteries.

"This exciting new franchise concept is part of Interstate’s strategic vision for the future to sell all types of batteries for every need," said Dennis Brown, President of RAD, Inc., a division of Interstate Battery. "Our research shows that the market for batteries that power electronic devices, such as cellular telephones and portable computers, is growing much faster than the market for Interstate’s traditional automotive and marine batteries."

"The independent distributors of Interstate Batteries have been an important part of our past success," said Tommy Miller, President and CEO of Interstate Battery System International. "We are extremely pleased that we will be able to offer qualified distributors this opportunity to participate in this new channel of distribution for the future."


Aftermarket software company Mitchell International has been acquired by Hellman & Friedman LLC, a San Francisco-based equity firm.

The purchase is expected to close by the end of March. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mitchell International President and CEO Jim Lindner will continue at the helm of the company through the transition period -- as will the company’s existing management team.

"Mitchell International has enjoyed a substantial increase over the past three years in all of its business areas," said Lindner. "This change in ownership is a logical progression to Mitchell’s next phase of growth."

Originally published in the April/May 2000 issue of Automotive Booster Magazine.
Copyright 2000 by KAL Publications Inc.

Covering the California auto parts aftermarket since 1928.