Genuine Parts Company (NYSE:GPC) distributes automotive parts and industrial replacement parts (engine parts for heavy machinery) to auto repair businesses and manufacturers. The company also sells office products to large retailers. GPC operates in a mature market with many players, and the products it distributes are commodities with many substitutes available in the marketplace, resulting in ongoing pricing pressure from competitors.
DEI auto sales have also been negatively affected by the trend of longer lasting manufacturers warranties. Over the last several years longer warranties have become the industry standard on new cars; when cars are under warranty, drivers are more likely to go to the car dealership for free repairs, than to visit DEI's clients.
In 2009, GPC earned a total of $10.0 billion in total revenues. This was a significant decline from its 2008 total revenues of $11.0 billion. Unsurprisingly, this had a negative impact on GPC's net income. Between 2008 and 2009, GPC's net income declined from $475 million in 2008 to a net income of $400 million in 2009.
Genuine Parts Co. divides its business into four segments: Automotive Parts , Industrial Machinery Parts, Office Products, and Electrical/Electronic Materials (insulating and conducting materials). Its Automotive Parts group distributes over 300,000 products to retail customers through its 58 NAPA (National Automotive Parts Association) distribution centers across the US. The Industrial Parts Group, operating under the name Motion Industries, provides customized product and technical expertise to the manufacturing industry. The Office Products group distributes over 30,000 business products from 44 distribution centers across the U.S. and Canada under the name S.P. Richards Company. The Electrical/Electronic Materials Group was formed in 1998 through the acquisition of EIS, the nation's largest distributor of electronic and electrical apparatus. The group distributes over 100,000 items from 33 locations across the U.S. and Mexico.
Longer manufacturer warranties have become the industry standard in recent years. These warranties, which offer free repairs, motivate car owners to do repairs at the dealership rather than through NAPA stores for the first few years of ownership. This in turn hurts GPC's business, as the repairs are offered for free.
Increased outsourcing of North American manufacturing will hurt GPC's bottom line as its subsidiaries lie entirely in the US, Canada and Mexico. A study conducted by "PERI" of the Univ. of Massachusetts found that "foreign sourced goods in total manufacture inputs, a significant indicator of the extent of outsourcing activity, rose from 12.4% to 22.1% in the manufacturing sector as a whole.
As a conglomerate, GPC encounters different competitive pressures in the respective industries in which its subsidiaries operate. GPC's business structure allows it to leverage its core competencies as a distributor across its business interests. This also leads to cost savings in the sharing of back office and HR facilities.