Byron Brown, Denver site manager, says that Diesel Forward, with its national presence, brings additional resources to both the employees of the former CMP and its customers.Mac Flynn, product manager for turbos, said the additional access to data, gained from Diesel Forward’s national footprint, has helped him stay ahead of the price fluctuations in the market along with increased buying power.Mike Ruffing, technical product support representative and 40-year company veteran, stands next to one of Diesel Forward’s Bosch diesel component testing machines at the Denver facility.

Diesel Forward acquires CMP, brings buzz of opportunity to region’s customers

Acquisition offers expanded access to parts, technical support and training

Denver–In August, Diesel Forward, Inc., a Wisconsin-based diesel parts distributor and component remanufacturer, closed on a deal to purchase the assets of Central Motive Power (CMP) – a staple diesel parts distributor and rebuild business in Colorado since 1926. According to Byron Brown, Denver site manager and former CMP general manager, the acquisition has brought positive momentum and additional resources for the new customers of Diesel Forward.

“There has been a buzz of excitement from our customers about the new possibilities,” Brown said. “I think they remember the service and value of doing business with CMP and, because all of the same people remained in place after the acquisition, the changes they’ll experience are largely going to be improvements on that service. We now have expanded access to parts and technical support like never before.”

Both companies offered compatible products and had complementary cultures, said Harry Ellison, former CEO of CMP, in a press release, but Diesel Forward, with its national presence, brought additional resources to both the employees of CMP and its customers.

“In 2017, Diesel Forward purchased H.G. Makelim, which already had a presence in the Denver area, so with this merger, we assumed its inventory and moved it into our Denver warehouse,” Brown said. “We now carry a full line of light, medium and heavy-duty turbochargers, new Bosch electrical components, and we continue to offer premium rebuild services on pumps and Bosch CRI injectors for our service dealers.”

As Diesel Forward acquired CMP’s distributorship of Garrett turbos in the acquisition, Mac Flynn, Diesel Forward’s product manager for turbos and long-time CMP employee, said the company has increased its buying power in the region and has much better data insights with access to a larger network. 

“With Diesel Forward’s national sales force, I’m able to get a reading on marketplaces much faster,” Flynn said. “It’s interesting to see that, while the U.S. is a large country, certain businesses have developed loyalty in their communities, so our essential task becomes figuring out how we can either support them or win that business by staying ahead of the price fluctuations in the market.”

He added that Diesel Forward is a company that isn’t afraid to stock inventory and is devoted to keeping the right parts on the shelf — the Denver, Pueblo and Albuquerque locations are all stocking more parts after the acquisition.

“Any time you tell a customer you don’t have a product in stock, it’s harder to sell the value of doing business with you,” Flynn said. “Diesel Forward is hugely committed to having the right parts on the shelf because they understand the reality that we need our customers to be successful if we’re going to be.”

The Denver site now has a total of 28 employees, 14,000 square feet of warehouse space, a seven-bay drive-in repair shop and two clean rooms used to remanufacture diesel components, Brown said, adding that the company plans to host more technical training at the Denver facility in the future.

Mike Ruffing, a 40-year employee of CMP and now Diesel Forward’s technical product support representative, is already developing a more “hands-on” training program that Diesel Forward will bring to the long-time customers of CMP.

“We always had a good training program here in Denver, and Diesel Forward wants to expand on it further,” Ruffing commented. “Our training efforts have always been aimed at our service dealers and we’ll continue that at a much larger scale with the goal being to keep them informed about technological changes coming to the market. So, for instance, we’ve started doing a lot more ‘on engine’ training and are in discussions with Bosch right now about how to develop the next set of hands-on seminars at our facility.”

He added that the additional resources, from Diesel Forward’s pool of talented employees, will enhance the company’s technical training ability. “Diesel Forward has contacts in the industry that CMP never had, so being able to bounce ideas off more people and concentrate on developing our training programs, will ultimately benefit our service dealers and customers at a higher level.”

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.