After an extensive aftermarket career working in parts stores, machine shops and with major aftermarket suppliers, Steve Tucker, who was named president of Automotive Parts Associates (APA) in February of 2021, describes moving to the program group side of the business as a “shock.”
“You spend a lot of time in this business, and you think you know everything, and then, you switch gears and find out you know very little,” Tucker says. “It gave me a great perspective on how the customer thinks. No matter how much time you spend on the other side of the desk, when you get on this side of the desk, you start seeing things with new eyes.”
During his AMN Drivetime podcast interview with Babcox Media CEO Bill Babcox, Tucker also shared that working with the group of people at APA has been “another eye opener” for him.
“We all read about how the aftermarket is shrinking and consolidating and all those things, and the big box guys are taking share – and no doubt a lot of that is true – but what I really find is that all of these independent warehouse distributors are very entrepreneurial. Over here at APA, probably more so than some of the other groups. We have a lot of guys that have found a niche and it’s really hard to get people out of that niche. They’re high-end European or Asian or tuner specialists or heavy truck specialists. I call us ‘the Island of Misfit Toys.’ We have people who fit in here who may not fit in any other group, and you know, I enjoy being the leader of those ‘Misfit Toys.’”
In this episode of AMN Drivetime, Bill and Steve dive into the following topics:
1:34 How leading APA has been an “eye-opener” after a career on the supplier side
3:47 How Program Groups Stay Competitive
4:28 The critical importance of solid data for program group members
5:29 His passion for finding new brands
7:15 Plans for APA’s future growth: “If you don’t grow, you die.”
8:23 The biggest issues APA members are concerned about today
9:45 A look back at Steve’s career on the supplier side
11:00 Steve’s secret hidden talent (spoiler alert: his go-to karaoke song is … )
12:08: The biggest issues the industry should stay focused on today
13:50 The popular new Lightning Round!
AMN Drivetime is sponsored by Litens.