News from the global automotive aftermarket for Friday, March 27 during the COVID pandemic

Aftermarket Intel is tracking all the most important news from the automotive aftermarket, including updates surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. NOTE: News items may or may not be directly related to the pandemic.

Aftermarket Intel is tracking all the most important news from the automotive aftermarket, including updates surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. NOTE: News items may or may not be directly related to the pandemic.

The lastest news is seen at the top of this post.

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10:33 am Eastern Daylight Time

Alliance Expands Alliance University Class Offerings During COVID-19

The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc., has exponentially increased both its number and selection of class offerings for the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper network on Alliance University, the group’s internal training platform. 

“While the unique conditions of COVID-19 are far from ideal for most aspects of business, they do open up some time blocks for us to educate ourselves, train, and prepare for better days,” said JC Washbish, vice president of sales and marketing for the Alliance. “We are delighted to be able to offer this asset to our members during this time.

CARS OnDemand, which hosts the training library, has expanded the viewing limit exponentially to 10 times its previous limit. They have also opened up their entire library – more than 400 lessons – to all members of the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper family.

The CARS OnDemand library supplements the expansive training portals available from many valued Alliance channel partners, including Standard Motor Products, Dorman, Spectra Premium, DANA, Cloyes, Motorcar Parts of America, Valvoline, and Garage Gurus. 

Whether members are looking for classes on integrating and motiving employees or are more focused on product and maintenance type offerings, Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper employees now have access to them all through May 1, 2020.

“Training and development activities fit in the category of those things that are important, but not urgent,” said Elizabeth Estes, education liaison for the Alliance’s Sales & Marketing Committee and corporate training director for Parts Warehouse, Inc. in Arkansas. “Technical and business training activities are like that, so the coming weeks present the perfect opportunity to do some of those things that we all know we should do. We are setting short term training expectations for our team members, knowing the time they invest will pay off in the long run.”


10:28 am Eastern Daylight Time

Magna provides update on current COVID-19 actions and withdraws outlook

Magna International Inc. (TSX: MG; NYSE: MGA) provided an update on a number of actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Magna has established internal task forces to assess, monitor and deal with the potential impact of COVID-19 on our business and share information across the company.  “We continue to adjust our operations and take actions to protect the health of our employees, suppliers and visitors,” a company press release said.

“A number of our OEM customers, particularly in North America and Europe, have initiated production downtime or have reduced production rates.  It is uncertain whether OEMs will extend production downtime or further lower production rates as circumstances evolve.  While specific production schedules for our operations vary by location and customer, many of our facilities have reduced or suspended operations for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including as a result of government-ordered restrictions. For our facilities that continue to operate due to customer schedules, we are taking steps to safeguard employees through enhanced administrative controls, employee monitoring strategies, more rigorous cleaning practices and physical distancing.

Following an extended period of production downtime in February, our operations in China continue to ramp up along with the overall local industry.  While business activity continues to increase, it remains below the production levels anticipated earlier this year. Given the high degree of business uncertainty caused by COVID-19, we are withdrawing our outlook.  We will next provide a general business update when we report our first quarter 2020 results and will resume providing an outlook at a future date.  In the meantime, investors should take comfort from the fact that we have liquidity of approximately $4 billion including approximately $1 billion in cash and $3 billion in available, committed credit lines at February 29, 2020.

Reflecting our commitment to the communities in which we operate, we are working creatively to help source and produce critically-needed supplies and equipment for the health care sector. Our global purchasing organization has been successful in securing significant quantities of masks for local hospitals and health care authorities.”


9:59 am Eastern Daylight Time

SORL Auto Parts Announces Filing Extension for Form 10-K Due to COVID-19 Impact

ZHEJIANG, China, March 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SORL Auto Parts, Inc. (NASDAQ: SORL) (“SORL” or the “Company”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of automotive brake systems as well as other key safety-related auto parts in China, today announced that the Company will not be able to file its 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K by the original deadline of March 30, 2020 due to circumstances related to COVID-19. The Company’s headquarters is located in Ruian, Zhejiang Province, PRC, which has been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. The Company’s operations in Zhejiang Province and other locations in China, have been largely suspended since the beginning of the Chinese New Year in late January 2020 through early March of 2020. However, the Company’s operations have returned to full capacity and all corporate activities are now gradually returning to normal operations.