Issue: Oct 2009


URG Sees Opportunity for Independent Auto Recyclers in LKQ Purchase of Greenleaf



by Michael Pavey

Representing the nation's independent auto recyclers and consolidators, United Recyclers Group sees new opportunities for their members to grow and expand with the recent announcement that LKQ Corporation (Chicago, IL), the nation's number one automobile recycling company, has acquired the number two company in the market, Greenleaf Auto Recyclers, LLC, from Schnitzer Steel Industries (SSI).

"The auto recycling business is dynamic and highly competitive. There are probably some nervous independent auto recyclers out there watching what is happening and wondering what it all means for their future," says Michelle Alexander, Executive Director of URG. "What this transaction really does is create a lot of new opportunities. Working with our members, we intend to capitalize on this changing marketplace to help them find ways to increase sales, quality, and profitability."

"I am really excited about what LKQ has just done," says Mike Kunkel, General Manager of American Auto Salvage (Ft. Worth, TX). "When number one acquires number two, that means that number three - which is us, the nation's independent auto recyclers - steps up to become number two. LKQ has just created an opening in the marketplace that we want to be a part of filling with expanded sales. We are hoping to process a lot more cars, sell a lot more parts, and become even greener in what we do."

According to LKQ, the wholesale recycling business acquired from Greenleaf consists of 17 operating locations, including Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Nevada. LKQ says it plans to merge certain locations together with its existing wholesale recycling operations, which will result in the elimination of approximately 11 operating locations. In another part of the transaction, SSI acquires several self-service used auto parts operations. SSI says that all of the acquired operations will operate under the company's Pick-n-Pull brand.

LKQ Corporation is the largest nationwide provider of aftermarket collision replacement products, recycled OEM products and refurbished OEM collision replacement products such as wheels, bumper covers and lights which are used to repair light vehicles. LKQ operates approximately 280 facilities offering its customers a broad range of replacement systems, components, and parts to repair automobiles and light, medium and heavy-duty trucks. Additionally, they are a leading distributor of paint and body shop supplies.

United Recyclers Group, LLC is a partnership of over 330 industry leading auto recyclers that work together to improve and modernize the automotive recycling industry. Changes they have made include developing their own inventory management system, Pinnacle and Pinnacle Pro; creating a buying cooperative; and offering group marketing options. For more information, go to the United Recyclers Group website at www.u-r-g.com

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