APA’s Steve Tucker and His ‘Island of Misfit Toys’ (Podcast) – UnderhoodService

APA’s Steve Tucker and His ‘Island of Misfit Toys’ (Podcast)

After a career on the supplier side of the aftermarket, Tucker shared that working in a program group has been an “eye opener.”

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.

You May Also Like

How Great Employees Help Maximize Shop Professionalism

Roy Niemi explains that solid hiring can be complicated. Sponsored by AP Emissions.

Everybody talks about the need for technicians, but is there anything you can do about it? Shops today are competing for new employees with every other industry, and as you've probably found out, the results can be frustrating. Is it time to head to the basement and ride out the storm, or are there blue skies ahead?

MEMA Leaders Chat About The Future

MEMA leaders sat down with Bill Babcox to share a few updates on the realignment of the association announced in November.

Tendeco’s John Lussier Sits Down with AMN Drivetime (Podcast)

Bill Babcox and John Lussier discuss supply chain challenges, the value of OE heritage, international business and more.

Transtar’s Neil Sethi, from Healthcare to Hard Parts (Podcast)

Throughout his career journey from medicine to an MBA, some key themes prevail for Sethi – the desire to serve and a passion to innovate.

AMN Drivetime: Steve Tucker (VIDEO)

After a career on the supplier side of the industry, Tucker says working in a program group has been an “eye opener.”

Other Posts

How AI Can Help Cameras Overcome Vehicle Vision Problems

Statistically, autonomous driving systems are already better than human drivers.

Exhausting The Possibilities of What Killed The Cat

A catalytic converter may seem simple – but how does it do what it does and what happens when it doesn’t?

EVs Are Coming – Is Your Shop Ready For The Wave?

Address safety and training challenges before they’re a problem to prepare for an influx of electric vehicles.

Our Future May Not Be What We Were Promised

The automotive industry’s future is likely to be better and more exciting.