Alumnus Credits Northwood Experience for Automotive Aftermarket Success

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The Northwood University Florida graduate feels fortunate to relay the value of premium automotive parts in a depressed economy.
Joshua Shindle

Joshua Shindle

May 3, 2012

As regional sales manager for Delphi Product and Service solutions, Northwood University Florida alumnus Joshua Shindle credits his Northwood University experiences for helping him to understand the importance of professionalism, communication skills, punctuality and the value of original equipment (OE) parts.

Now traveling the Southeastern United States talking about autos and the parts that comprise them while stressing the importance of original equipment (OE) parts, Shindle enjoys sharing his longtime love of everything on wheels.

It was this innate fondness that made childhood business trips with his dad even more interesting. "Growing up I always had a great interest in cars and talking to people about cars, so luckily my father's commercial insurance career tied into both," said Shindle who would ride along with his dad to insurance presentations. "Commercial insurance is not exactly the automotive aftermarket, but I still liked talking to people who owned garages, just not necessarily about their liability policies," he laughed.

It wasn't long before Shindle, a Vero Beach, Florida native was accepted to Northwood University Florida's Automotive Aftermarket Management (AMM) program. "I wasn't sure what career I would choose, but I knew I wanted it to be in the automotive industry, and I chose Northwood because it was the only school that had a program specific to that area," he said.

After familiarizing himself with the West Palm Beach area, he obtained a few jobs in car dealership parts departments and began to understand the value of OE parts. "Day after day I saw cars being towed in from other shops which had not been repaired correctly due to use of low quality, value line parts. We'd often substitute an OE part to immediately solve the problem, and I've been a believer ever since," he said

And it was professor Bob Sundwick's part distribution channel lessons combined with internship experience at Grote Industries and participation in a variety of automotive events which helped to prepare him for his chosen career.

"People always have choices. Whether they are buying anything from food to fuel pumps, most consumers won't think twice about using a 'value brand' or low cost automotive replacement part, at least not until they end up stuck on the side of the road with the same problem they had initially. That is why when I visit a parts store or a shop I always look at the shelf which holds their defective or returned items. There is almost always a value line part on that shelf, and that builds value for me and for my company," he said.

Grote Industries is a world leader in vehicle safety systems, providing a wide range of components for original equipment manufacturers and the vehicle aftermarket. Its products are used as original equipment on semi-tractors and trailers, passenger cars, buses, industrial vehicles, recreational vehicles and agricultural machinery.

Delphi is a leading global supplier of electronics and technologies for automotive, commercial vehicle and other market segments. Operating major technical centers, manufacturing sites and customer support facilities in 30 countries, Delphi delivers real-world innovations that make products smarter and safer as well as more powerful and efficient.