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Trusted aftermarkets products a boon for struggling consumers

The experts in powertrain, chassis and safety technologies, Federal Mogul Corporation, reinvigorated their aftermarket division late last year with the appointment of Paul Johnson as vice president, North America, global aftermarket. Johnson has work experience in aftersales, product management, business development and finance at ACDelco and General Motors, and led the establishment of the automotive parts procurement center in Shanghai, China.
 “We are excited to have Paul join the Federal-Mogul team. He is an accomplished professional with experience in successfully growing a large and complex aftermarket business. His leadership will be invaluable as we continue to grow the Federal-Mogul portfolio in a rapidly changing marketplace,” says Jay Burkhart, senior vice president, global aftermarket at Federal Mogul.
In addition to Johnson’s appointment, Federal Mogul has added new functions and responsibilities to the North American sales and marketing organization, including category insight and analysis; customer transaction services; and customer supply chain planning.
Federal-Mogul has an aftermarket network that spans the globe across the US, Europe and Asia, with products sold under a variety of brands which include AE® engine products, ANCO® wipers, Champion® spark plugs and wipers, Fel-Pro® gaskets, Ferodo® brake pads, Glyco® bearings, Goetze® piston rings, MOOG® chassis products, National® wheel-end components, Nural® pistons, Payen® gaskets, Sealed Power® engine products and Wagner® brake and lighting products.
In order to further boost its aftermarket products, Federal Mogul launched its Smart Choice™ trade and consumer campaign in May 2010 to enforce the message that using longer lasting, better performing premium replacement products for the consumer’s current vehicle is a better alternative to buying a new vehicle.
A few months ago, Federal Mogul launched a website,, designed for smart phones and other mobile devices. Using this site, customers can determine the correct Wagner® ThermoQuiet® brake pads and shoes for nearly any popular foreign or domestic vehicle. This website is the latest addition to Federal Mogul’s other e-catalogues and

Automotive Industries spoke to Jay Burkhart, senior vice-president, global aftermarket at Federal Mogul.
AI: Tell us about the recent changes in Federal Mogul’s aftermarket business and what impact you expect the new positions to have on the company’s aftermarket business.
Burkhart: We have appointed Paul Johnson as vice president, North America, global aftermarket, and have added new functions in category insight and analysis; customer transaction services; and customer supply chain planning.
Much of what we are introducing is built around the concept of collaboration. Through our category analysis and consumer insight group we will work with the customer to group appropriate product lines together and manage them as a strategic business unit. We will work closer with the customer on demand planning to ensure we are providing world class customer service levels.

AI: What are some of the new technologies for the aftermarket that Federal Mogul is planning to launch in 2011?
Burkhart: We have plans to grow our product portfolio in 2011 through new products as well as through line extensions. A distinct advantage we have at Federal-Mogul is the strength of our brands. For example, Champion is an iconic brand known throughout the world and we will be launching new routine service products under the famous Champion bow-tie logo. MOOG is another trusted brand, and we will expand its offering in the steering and suspension category, allowing more customers to enjoy the problem solving benefits engineered into its offering.  
Another segment of the market where we will launch new offerings is in the mid-range product segment. As the economic downturn has created a heightened sensitivity for price, we will introduce new products in this market segment in a few critical product categories.

AI: Tell us about your Smart Choice™ campaign and how effective it has been.
Burkhart: We have had great success with the Smart Choice campaign. As the economy took a downturn, we talked to consumers across the country about their views on vehicle repair and maintenance. What was reinforced is that they planned to hold onto their vehicles for a long time; or, in their words, “until the wheels fall off.”
With that being the case, the smart choice for these vehicle owners is to choose parts that are specifically designed for their vehicle, improve vehicle performance, keep the vehicle on the road longer and most importantly, provide a safer and more reliable vehicle.
The campaign was recognized by our peers with various awards, and the feedback from our customers was equally as positive.

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