Pardon The Dust: Auto Parts Store Comes Into 21st Century

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The outside of NAPA Auto Parts store has a fresh coat of paint, but according to new owner, Terry Roth, it is the expansion and remodel going on inside the store that counts.

"I've increased the inventory by almost $500,000," he said, determined to bring his store into the 21st century.

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New owner Terry Roth is making considerable changes to his NAPA Auto Parts store on Main Street, including a fresh coat of paint, increased inventory, expansion and remodeling.

Right now, all he carries are NAPA and Valvoline Motor oils. After the remodel, he will carry all the major brands. The same goes for car wax and filters, Roth said, and, "all the things people look for when they come into an auto parts store."

When he bought the store last November, Roth used NAPA's special system to help an owner determine inventory.

Because NAPA knows what models the 24,000 vehicles registered in the Rim Country are, Roth can stock what he determines to be the best assortment of parts. According to Roth, this classification system makes NAPA unique from other parts stores.

"I can say, how many vehicles in my area are going to need a 1515 oil filter," he said. "It will come back and tell me exactly how many vehicles in my two zip codes might need the filter and recommend how many I should stock. It will do this for every part on the vehicle.

"We are taking on the K & N Filter line. Those are the premium filters coming out now in the new Hummers and Cadillacs. They are lifetime filters you just have to wash."

The store carries some ATV and motorcycle parts and Roth plans to have more.

"The things people think of the most when they think of NAPA is quality parts and hard-to-find parts," Roth said.

For instance, maybe someone has torn a transmission out of an older vehicle and it is not original equipment. We try to find them the part because you can't look it up by application. We have to just look at the part and try to match it up for the customer.

According to Roth, all parts stores offer lifetime warranties but people expect high quality from NAPA.

"The best lifetime warranty in the world is the one you never use," he said. "The worst lifetime warranty in the world is the one you have to use every other month because of a bad product. Eventually, you are going to get tired of crawling underneath that car."

Having a trained staff to serve his customers is important to Roth.

Only one of Roth's staff members is ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified but the rest of the counter people will soon start their training through NAPA Fast Tracks, and Roth wants to get them all ASE certified and take advantage of other available classes.

"The brake rep was up this morning," he said. "We talked about getting my people in the class for the new rotors that are coming out so they know that there are certain pads you can't use on certain rotors and we can keep the public informed," he said. "People come in and say I want a cheap rotor and a premium pad. You can't do that because a Valvoline rotor can't disperse the heat that the premium pads generate."

Roth's wife, Patty, is the outside sales coordinator for NAPA's Denver Distribution Center, at least until they sell their home in Denver, Colo. Terry Roth worked for NAPA in the 1970s in the warehouse on the packing line, ending as an assistant warehouse manager prior to a career as an electrical engineer in the heavy industrial field.

He is looking forward to having Patty and the couple's 11-year-old son, Jordan, join him in Payson. Their adult son, Tyler, will remain in Colorado.

NAPA Auto Parts is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday It is located at 110 W. Main St., Payson. Call (928) 474-5221.

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