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June 6, 2005 – Distributor Report

June 6, 2005
Filed under Features

O’Neal Distributing Supplies Pep Boys
Pep Boys, the $2.2 billion automotive parts retailer operating 593 retail locations across the country, now carries product from O’Neal Distributing, Inc., the California-based supplier of powersports apparel and accessories also doing business as O’Neal USA.
While prototypical Pep Boys Supercenters have featured an extensive assortment of parts, accessories, tires and batteries for the automotive aftermarket, the company now appears to be carrying an increasing number of brands traditionally found only at powersports retailers.
Pep Boys’ current powersports vehicle line-up includes 90cc and 250cc APC and Panterra brand ATVs; Panterra and Yerf Dog 49cc, 90cc, 125cc and 172cc off-road cycles; three Panterra 49cc gas-powered scooters; Yerf Dog 150cc and 6.5hp off-road karts; and eight models of gas-powered miniatures from Panterra, APC, BladeZ and Electra.
Product from O’Neal now joins Pep Boys’ powersports vehicle line-up. O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif. was established by Jim O’Neal in 1970. In addition to O’Neal products, the company markets and retails Blur sunglasses and Azonic cycling and moto products, including apparel, grips, bags, control products, body armor and helmets.
O’Neal also does business via an online store, located at www.oneal.com/catalog, where current top-sellers include the 546 Helmet, Apocalypse Pant, Youth Pro Protector, A-10 Pant, Pro Goggle, Pro Sox, Element Boots, Apocalypse Jersey, Element Jersey and All Terrain Jersey.
“We are distributing products through Pep Boys because they are branching out to become a powersports dealer, moving more than just automotive products,”O’Neal General Manager Rich Walsh told Powersports Business.
Walsh says O’Neal views Pep Boys as “just another dealer selling product at full suggested retail.”
“We serve solely as a retail outlet for O’Neal,” said Pep Boys Representative Bill Furtkevic.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pep Boys has stores in 36 states and Puerto Rico, and works from five warehouses across the country. The company’s retail locations – open seven days a week, including evenings – feature more than 6,000 service bays; over 12.8 million square feet of retail space and over 1.8 million square feet of warehouse space.
Founded in 1921, Pep Boys went public in 1946 and reported a loss of $2.4 million, or 4 cents per share, for its first quarter ended April 30, 2005. This compares to a profit of $15.1 million, or 25 cents per share, for the same period in the prior year. Sales for the period were $564.2 million, down .3% from $566.1 million in 2004.

Tucker Rocky Drops Summit Racing
Meanhile, another major distributor has chosen to take a different approach to a similar company.
Tucker Rocky Distributing, Fort Worth, Texas, said it moved aggressively to end a brief product supply relationship with mail-order giant Summit Racing once it realized Summit didn’t meet TR dealer guidelines.
The relationship lasted less than two months.
Ohio-based Summit Racing offers more than 67,000 parts and accessories for racecars, customs, classics, trucks and sport compact cars and powersports machines.
Summit has two retail locations: a 25,000-sq.-ft. retail store in Tallmadge, Ohio, and an 11,000-sq.-ft. store in Sparks, Nev. It also is planning a 25,000-sq.-ft. location in McDonough, Ga. However, a large amount of its business comes from mail-order and Internet channels.
Under the original agreement, Summit purchased and was shipped inventory by Tucker Rocky, and an undetermined amount is still held by Summit.
An official at Summit declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Powersports Business. Tucker Rocky officials declined to talk in detail about the Summit deal, other than to say the relationship had been terminated.

Tenneco moving H-D Exhaust Biz
Tenneco Automotive, Lake Forest, Ill., intends to move its muffler and exhaust system operations supplying Harley-Davidson from a facility in Salinas, Calif., to its Seward and Lincoln, Nebraska facilities. The proposed move would take place over the next 15 months and impact roughly 190 employees currently employed at the Salinas plant.
Tenneco officials say the proposed move is the result of evaluating options for integrating Gabilan Manufacturing into the Tenneco Automotive operations. Gabilan, an exclusive supplier of mufflers and exhaust systems to Harley-Davidson, was purchased by Tenneco in February 2005.
“We regret the impact of this proposed move on the employees in Salinas,” said Mark Frissora, chairman and CEo of Tenneco Automotive. “We are committed to working with them and their union to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“It’s important that we continue to take steps to improve our operations worldwide. Our comprehensive evaluation of the Salinas operations showed that significant efficiencies could be achieved by moving production to our Nebraska facilities and consolidating engineering. We anticipate this proposed move would reduce costs and improve delivery time, quality and technical capabilities.”
With the move, engineering for Harley-Davidson product will occur at Tenneco’s North American emission-control engineering center in Grass Lake, Mich.; the manufacturing of muffler and other exhaust products for both OE and aftermarket customers will take place in Seward, Neb.; and plating for Harley-Davidson mufflers and exhaust systems takes place at the nearby Lincoln Plating in Lincoln, Neb.
The proposed production move would create approximately 90 new jobs at the company’s Nebraska facilities. Other former Gabilan Manufacturing facilities in Milwaukee, Wis. and Emgisville, Penn. would not be affected.
Tenneco Automotive is a $4.2 billion manufacturing company with approximately 18,800 employees worldwide. The company’s brands include Monroe and Walker, and products include Sensa-Trac shocks and struts; Rancho shock absorbers; Gillet, Walker and Quiet-Flow mufflers; and DynoMax performance exhaust products.

- Guido Ebert

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