April 2004 Issue Highlights

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Carroll Shelby to Acquire Allen Engine
Royal Purple Lubes Trademark Purple
LKQ Corp. Buys Global Trade Alliance
Dealers Begin To "Hire the Heroes"


Carroll Shelby International, Inc. has signed a deal to acquire automotive supercharger developer and manufacturer Allen Engine Development Inc.

This acquisition "will provide an extended reach for the world famous Shelby brand into the growing automotive aftermarket and performance parts market," said the company, announcing the deal.

"This step marks the beginning of the company's growth through its acquisition, partnership and licensing efforts," said John Luft, president of Los Angeles-based Carroll Shelby International.


In an unusual action, lubricant brand Royal Purple has received a federal trademark for the exclusive use of purple containers. The company says they are also in the process of trademarking the purple color of its lubricants.

To receive the trademark for purple packaging, Royal Purple had to submit more than 1,000 letters from industrial and automotive customers stating that they identified the color purple with the company Royal Purple. The company also was required to submit examples of labeling and advertisements to demonstrate that it used the color purple consistently in the marketing and promotion of its products.

"This national trademark assures that Royal Purple's lubricants will forever have a distinctive appearance, whether they're on the shelf in a retail store or on the floor at an industrial plant," said T. Mark McFann, marketing director of Royal Purple. "It's a huge plus when someone doesn't even have to see the label to know it's a Royal Purple product—the color alone is enough to identify the supplier."

The company said they trademarked its purple packaging as part of an overall strategy to make its brand stand out in what is often a commodity marketplace.

Royal Purple high-performance synthetic motor oils retail for $5.25 a quart or more.


LKQ Corp., the largest nationwide supplier of recycled OEM automotive replacement parts across the United States, has entered the automotive aftermarket through an acquisition completed in February.

Chicago-based LKQ has acquired Global Trade Alliance, Inc., one of the largest suppliers of aftermarket collision automotive replacement parts in the Midwest, for $30 million. The company had annual sales of $42.5 million last year and over 300 employees.

GTA markets its parts under the Action Crash Parts and Midwest Fender brands.


In an attempt to attract qualified auto repair technicians to the industry, dealer organizations have joined with the U.S. military to match qualified recent military veterans with available jobs.

The new program, called Hire the Heroes, will provide links between thousands of auto dealers and military outplacement agencies.

Automotive Retailing Today Chairman James Willingham said, "The Hire the Heroes initiative will give thousands of automobile dealers the opportunity to network with military outplacement personnel and to develop strategic relationships to ease the transition for America's veterans into satisfying service technician careers."

"The qualities demonstrated by military personnel are the same qualities every dealer looks for in an employee," said Trish Serratore, Group Vice President, Industry Relations, ASE.

A similar program for the independent automotive aftermarket has not been announced.

Originally published in the April/May 2004 issue of Automotive Booster Magazine.
Copyright 2004 by KAL Publications Inc.

Covering the California auto parts aftermarket since 1928.