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November 2001 Issue Highlights

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Penske to Open New Service Centers
ArvinMeritor to Distribute Flowmaster Performance Exhaust
60% of Auto Enthusiasts Buys Parts On-Line


Penske Auto Centers has announced that they plan to open new automotive service centers across the U.S. in the next year.

According to Penske CEO James Wheat, "Our business strategy includes the opening of three new state-of-the-art service centers by the end of 2001 and the opening of 30 to 40 new centers in 2002."

Wheat added, "And that’s just the beginning. Our leadership has set aggressive goals for our Company and I’m confident that we’ll meet, if not exceed each of them."

Penske Auto Centers LLC is the largest independent tire dealer in the United States with 630 locations nationwide and over 4,000 employees.


ArvinMeritor, Inc. has formed a strategic alliance with Flowmaster to distribute Flowmaster’s performance exhaust product line.

ArvinMeritor will distribute the Flowmaster products through its Light Vehicle Aftermarket (LVA) division.

"ArvinMeritor LVA is committed to becoming the industry leader in performance parts," said Dan Daniel, senior vice president of ArvinMeritor and president of LVA, announcing the deal.

"The aftermarket portion of performance exhaust products continues to grow, increasing at a rate of 10 percent to 12 percent per year. The partnership with Flowmaster positions ArvinMeritor LVA to capitalize on this growing segment within the exhaust components category."

"This alliance with ArvinMeritor is the natural progression of working together for many years," said Ray Flugger, president of Flowmaster. "I’m excited about the added help we now will have in disseminating our present and future technologies into the marketplace."

The Flowmaster product line includes exhaust products for performance street, truck, and motorhome applications with more than 400 different performance muffler models and 170 performance exhaust systems.


According to a nationwide survey, 85% of automotive enthusiasts use the internet as a source of information and ideas for car and truck improvement and modification projects.

In addition 60% of the auto enthusiasts have actually purchased parts online.

The nationwide survey was conducted by SEMA and Beta Research on behalf of SEMA’s website,

The study also found that 69% of auto enthusiasts look to the internet for information before beginning a project; more than half visit on-line auto parts, auto manufacturer and auto project sites as part of their information search.

Half of the auto enthusiasts also reported that they use the internet to showcase their finished vehicles.

Auto enthusiasts are characterized as those who spend $6,600 a year on specialty parts for their vehicles.

Originally published in the November 2001 issue of Automotive Booster of California.
Copyright 2001 by KAL Publications Inc.

Covering the California auto parts aftermarket since 1928.