#fisher auto parts
Fisher Auto Parts long legacy in Staunton
STAUNTON – Still family owned after generations, Fisher Auto Parts pride itself on its prompt customer service.
“Our goal is to consistently have the correct, high-quality parts, ‘out the door in four.’ Time is money,” said owner Bo Fisher, referring to his company’s goal to get all his customers helped and given the proper equipment in four minutes.
Fisher Auto Parts, founded 85 years ago, continues to be a player in a growth industry.
The automotive parts aftermarket in which Fisher operates is expected to increase $35 billion in the next three years. The industry is expected to increase from $238.4 billion last year to $273.4 billion in 2017, according to Bailey Overman, senior analyst for Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association.
In 2013, the automotive aftermarket grew at an estimated 3.1 percent, Overman said. Suppliers estimated that the independent aftermarket grew at an estimated 5.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
As the Great Depression hit America, Blair Coiner founded Coiner Parts in 1929, selling auto parts to car dealers, service stations and garages. By 1933, the company was offering door-to-door service with mobile machine shops.
Fast forward to the 1960s. Art Fisher joined Coiner Parts, then married Blair Coiner’s daughter. The company grew to 60 stores and more than 300 employees. By 1983, Coiner had become Fisher Auto Parts, as Art Fisher continued to grow the legacy.
Now, Art’s son, Bo, runs the company, which has 400 locations and almost 3,500 employees.
“We feel fortunate that our family has been focused on the aftermarket for over 85 years,” Fisher said. “Thankfully, due to our ancestor’s acumen and the team’s hard work, for many years we have been blessed with a prudently strong balance sheet and a talented team of professionals.”
In 1985, Fisher Auto Parts became the founding member of Federated Auto Parts Distributors. Fisher is one of 60 other companies that make up Federated.
With more than 5,000 auto parts stores and 5,500 car care centers carrying the Federated Auto Parts banner, the organization has the combined volume to allow global sourcing for the highest quality of parts, Fisher said.
Federated and Fisher Auto Parts are headquartered in Staunton, on Greenville Avenue. Their buildings are right next to each other, though they operate separately. Federated’s warehouse is on Statler Boulevard, and Fisher’s is on Morris Mill Road.
Both businesses are primarily focused on providing service providers and professional technicians with the best parts.
The biggest competitors both Federated and Fisher face are Advance Auto Parts, NAPA, AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Bo Fisher said it’s all healthy competition.
Federated has paved the way for companies like Fisher to have a bigger national footprint, said Rusty Bishop, CEO of Federated Auto Parts.
Aftermarket is a unique industry, Bishop said. Employing more than 4.2 million people worldwide, they keep the cars on the road with replacement parts.
“The aftermarket is a significant segment,” Bishop said. “In the automotive aftermarket, they are defined in one or two ways — retailers and wholesalers.”
Retailers sell to consumers that work on their own cars. Wholesale is more of what Federated and Fisher do focus on – selling to professional installers.
The Fisher Auto Parts’ clientele is about 75 percent professional installers and 25 percent walk-ins at stores, Bo Fisher said.
Federated’s business clientele is comparable to NAPA Auto Parts, Bishop said.
“Both of them cross lines a little bit and sell to both markets,” Bishop said.
The top issues looming for aftermarket suppliers are lack of pricing power, extended payment terms and aftermarket demand drivers, Overman said. Still the automotive aftermarket is expected to grow at an estimated average of 3.5 percent per year until 2017.