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June 2003 Issue Highlights

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Midas to Quit U.S. Parts Distribution
Dana To Sell Division to Standard Motor Products for $120 Million
Holley Group Sells So-Cal Speed Shop
GM Pulls the Plug on the EV-1 Electric Car


Midas Inc. has announced that it will phase out its U.S. parts distribution network and will now have the parts for its 1,670 service shops supplied by AutoZone Inc.

As the phase out proceeds, Midas will close its nine distribution centers and 77 auto parts warehouses currently operating across the United States. In an official statement, Midas said they decided to shut down the distribution network because it was unprofitable and capital-intensive.

Midas will continue to produce exhaust system components for its shops and AutoZone will handle the Midas lifetime warranty program on the parts.

The shutdown of the Midas distribution network is expected to be complete by year-end.


Dana Corp. has announced that it will sell a significant portion of its Aftermarket Engine Management division to Standard Motor Products for approximately $120 million in cash and SMP stock.

The sale includes Dana's electronic control module, wire and cable, fuel injector, oxygen sensor, and voltage regulator lines as well as nine manufacturing plants located in the East, Midwest and South which produce the products.

Approximately 1,900 employees will be affected by the purchase. Dana spokesman Gary Corrigan said the decision to retain the employees is up to Standard Motor Products.

"We view this as a very positive development for both companies and for our industry," said Terry McCormack, president of Dana's Automotive Aftermarket Group, announcing the sale. "With the transfer of these assets to SMP, the products and brands will then be managed by a company with core competency in the engine management arena. We strongly believe that these brands will prosper under the stewardship of Standard and that customer needs will be well served. In turn, we will be able to better focus our resources on the brands and opportunities we have identified as strategically critical to Dana's future."

The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year.


The Holley Group has sold its So-Cal Speed Shop in Pomona to an investor group for an undisclosed amount.

The investors are led by Pete Chapouris III, the former president of So-Cal Speed Shop.

Although Holley will no longer be an owner of So-Cal Speed, the retailer will continue to sell Holley's products including its NOS, performance and apparel lines.

Holley officials said they will use the proceeds from the sale of the Pomona facility "to pay down debt."


General Motors has pulled the plug on its electric car, the EV1.

General Motors says that it is taking the EV1 models off the road when their current leases expire because they can no longer supply parts to repair the electric cars. The electric cars were only available to motorists by lease.

General Motors Spokesman Dave Barthmuss said that the company will ship the cars to museums and universities for preservation, to a research laboratory in New York, stripping them for parts that may be used for those still on the road, and scrapping the remainder.

General Motors called the EV1 "the car of the future" when it rolled out the vehicle, primarily in California. Despite the major advertising campaign for the car consumer reaction to the EV1 was lukewarm — at best. Among the concerns with the electric car were its limited range, the time required to recharge the vehicles, and the high cost of the lease.

Demand for the vehicles was so low that General Motors quit production on the vehicle after a few years in the marketplace.

Originally published in the June/July 2003 issue of Automotive Booster Magazine.
Copyright 2003 by KAL Publications Inc.

Covering the California auto parts aftermarket since 1928.