New Manteca CARQUEST store focuses on varied mix of trucks and cars
Manteca, Calif.—CARQUEST jobber Jack Gosnell said he expanded his operations to include a new location on Yosemite Ave in Manteca in September after having opened his first CARQUEST parts store in Turlock in 1999.
The needs of the Central Valley market are varied, he said. “From passenger cars through class A truck, agricultural, and industrial, we see it all.”
“Ag, heavy-duty truck, and industrial really go together,” Gosnell said. “It’s an interesting mix of vehicles and machines that businesses depend on day in and day out here.”
In addition to opening the Manteca location, Gosnell also expanded his Turlock operation. “It is vital to answer our customers’ needs. Our acquisition of Nick’s Auto Electric and Parts Unlimited puts us in a better position to serve our customers,” he said.
Ag and class A truck are a growing segment, and Nick’s Auto Electric and Parts Unlimited specializes in repair and rebuilding rotating electrical components for ag and industrial applications, Gosnell said. “Along with parts and our hydraulic work, Nick’s expands the products we offer those segments.”
“Our business is not just about parts, it is about helping customers succeed,” Gosnell said. “Today’s success depends on service, parts availability, and relationships. Delivery, product quality, and price are a part of every buying decision.”
He said CARQUEST strives to provide OE form, fit and function with every part Gosnell sells, adding that the company built its reputation by providing OE or OE-equivalent parts to the repair industry and consumers.
Gosnell said undercar is a huge portion of what they sell. Brakes, chassis parts, and shocks are a large part of the $1.2 million in on-hand inventory. “Cars, trucks, SUVs, and heavy-duty truck — it is the same, he said. “Brakes are king.”
Shops and fleets are trending toward the best quality, but always with an eye toward price, Gosnell said. Prices have come down and premium quality pads are less expensive than five years ago. Because brakes are the No. 1 selling product, there is pressure on pricing and plenty of competition, he said.
“Sometimes it is about parts, sometimes it’s about the tool required to get the job done; either way CARQUEST has you covered,” Gosnell said. Tools and equipment is another area of focus. Shops are also expanding by selling tires, doing A/C, and servicing hybrids, he added.
“CARQUEST offers basic hand tools, lifts, diagnostic tools, A/C equipment, and the latest specialty tools for hybrids. We can help a shop have the tools they need to get the job done,” Gosnell said.
CARQUEST offers brands shops recognize; Rotary lifts, Coats tire mounting and balancing machines, and Robinair and Cooltech A/C equipment are just a few examples, he said. “We also carry the entire line of Bosch diagnostic equipment, A/C, tire, wheel, and alignment. Premium equipment at competitive prices”
Gosnell said tools and equipment offer savings and efficiencies that shop owners should not overlook. Bulk oil dispensers, wheel dollies, and on-car brake lathes can all save time and make shops money. “Maybe a new work bench, vise, or tool box to store diagnostic and specialty equipment — a tool box is a simple way to protect investment,” he said. “Money can be made with tools that help make a tech’s job easy and more productive.”
Gosnell said support from Daryl Holmes, CARQUEST’s independent store manager, and fellow CARQUEST representative Bob Nye have been instrumental to the success of recent acquisitions and the launch of the Manteca store.
The best parts, tools, and equipment won’t do much without training, CARQUEST Western Regional Training Manager Merlin Culver said. The CARQUEST Technical Institute (CTI) offers a broad range of classes from shop management to diagnostics, with more than 100 classes offered. “The Modesto and Stockton training region is quite active,” he said. “In 2013, we look to add classes at the Manteca store.”
Gosnell is a board member for the California Nevada Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association (CAWA) and said the association has brought obvious benefits to the industry.
“CAWA is the guardian of the automotive aftermarket in the West. Lobbying has been very effective, and the recent victory defeating SB750 is just one example,” he said. “CAWA brings wholesalers and manufacturers together, ultimately improving products and services to our customers.”
Insurance is another area CAWA helps, Gosnell added. “The insurance programs offered through associate member Armstrong and Associates are great. We utilize their workman’s comp product and are looking at several of their other products as we move into the future.”
Another program of importance is CAWA’s annual scholarship fund that directly supports students of the trade. “It is very important we continue to support the education of future techs and members of the industry,” he said.
“Our business continues to grow incrementally,” Gosnell said. “Our success is a result of the CARQUEST program. They understand it is a people business. They care for their customers, their businesses, and delivering on their promises.”