One hundred years ago, the first cloverleaf interchange was created; the Federal Aid Road Act for rural road construction was passed; for the first time, motor vehicles on the U.S. highways exceeded one million -- and the first tow truck was manufactured. Into this automotive atmosphere ACDelco was born – on May 11, 1916.
It was formed by General Motors founder William “Billy” Durant, who assembled a group of automotive brands into a new company called United Motors Corp. – the forerunner of ACDelco – to provide a single source for service and replacement parts for the growing number of car buyers.
ACDelco is celebrating its 100th birthday by reflecting on its heritage and planning its future.
“No business achieves this kind of a milestone by itself, and we are grateful for the support of our parts customers and employees who’ve helped make ACDelco what it is today,” says Robert Sanford, general director, ACDelco. “We’re honored that so many insist on using ACDelco parts, and we’re looking forward to another 100 years of aftermarket leadership.”
Since its birth in Flint, Mich., ACDelco – the GM original equipment aftermarket parts brand – has evolved into a global automotive aftermarket company. It has a catalog of more than 90,000 parts across 37 lines which undergo “rigorous testing and validation cycles to ensure quality, fit, form and function,” says the company.
In addition to premium parts, ACDelco reports it was among the first aftermarket providers to focus on the importance of training technicians on proper installation techniques. Another earlier iteration of ACDelco – United Motors Service – offered its first course in automotive air conditioning repair in the 1970s, at each of its 30 GM Training Centers across the U.S.
ACDelco is marking its centennial several ways: by honoring its top Professional Service Center stores; giving 100 scholarships to future technicians attending GM Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP) college programs; and helping families in need during Day of Service events throughout the country. During the Day of Service events, ACDelco will partner with the GM Foundation and Safe Kids to perform repairs and offer child seat safety inspections free of charge.
The company is showcasing its “Be Certain” marketing campaign, too, says Heather Waszczenko, national brand manager, which emphasizes that ACDelco parts fit correctly, the first time. “Innovation starts with the original,” the company says. See the ACDelco channel on YouTube, which has a “100 Years of Parts Innovation” video, product information and training videos.
Through July 30, ACDelco is accepting nominations for its Top Shops contest, which will reward members of ACDelco’s Professional Service Center (PSC) program who practice the best service, customer care and community engagement.
Five grand prize winners – and their guests – will win a trip to Las Vegas and receive special recognition by ACDelco at the Automotive Aftermarket Product Expo (AAPEX) show, Oct. 31 through Nov. 3.
“Our independent service provider partners have helped us stay in business for 100 years, and we wanted to do something special this year to honor their dedication to their customers,” says Sanford. “Many of our PSC participants have been a part of the ACDelco family for generations.”
The five grand prize winners and 10 finalists will be announced Sept. 1. Visit acdelcopsctopshops.com for more information and nomination requirements.
“100 Years, 100 Futures”
ACDelco is investing in the next generation of technicians by teaming up with the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP) to distribute 100 scholarships to students pursuing careers as automotive technicians.
The scholarships will help defray the costs of college for students enrolled in the GM ASEP program, which combines classroom and real-world, paid internships at sponsoring GM dealerships and independent ACDelco PSC program shops.
Beginning this month, five scholarship recipients will be announced weekly through GM ASEP and ACDelco social media channels, emails and newsletters.
“We believe it is important to invest in the next generation of automotive technicians – the young men and women who will lead our industry in the near future,” Sanford says. “These are great jobs that pay well, and it is estimated there will be a need for 35,000 technicians by 2020.”