President and CEO, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.
John R. Washbish can only be described as an icon of the automotive aftermarket. He is President and CEO of Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc., the program distribution group that markets under the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper brands. His current position represents a return to his roots in auto parts distribution after spending over 40 years on the manufacturing side of the aftermarket.
Washbish was born in Miami, Florida, but his family moved to Kentucky when he was just a child. His experience in the parts business began at age eight when he started visiting his family’s successful automotive and heavy-duty parts distribution business in Louisville. After graduating from Northwood University with an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Aftermarket Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1975, Washbish began his adult aftermarket career with AEC Universal Joints where he quickly rose to National Sales Manager. In 1980, he joined Michigan Engine Bearings in a similar capacity. The next two decades brought a succession of acquisitions, IPOs and mergers. Washbish, riding the crest of all these activities, had become president of Clevite Engine Parts several years before the company was sold to Dana Corporation in 1998. Shortly thereafter he advanced to the Presidency of Dana’s Under Hood Group.
In late 2004, Dana Corporation sold their aftermarket business to Cypress Group, a private equity investment firm. The new company was renamed Affinia Group Inc. and included WIX Global Filtration, Brake Parts, Inc. Affinia do Brazil and Quinton Hazell. Washbish was given dual responsibilities and held the titles of President, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and President, Under Vehicle Group. He also served as Director on the Affinia Group Inc. board. In July of 2008, he left Affinia and moved on to become Executive Vice President at Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance (Alliance). On January 1, 2010, he assumed the position of President and CEO of Alliance.
After 33 years on the manufacturing side of the aftermarket supply chain, Washbish quickly adapted to the selling side of the equation with new ideas and exciting propositions for the Alliance. Beginning with a renewed focus in information technology, the company has expanded their information technology headcount; developed a consistent marketing message with enhanced tools for their customer base; and developed four (4) Alliance Exclusive National brands. The Alliance has become a global aftermarket leader under Washbish’s leadership including membership into TEMOT International of Frankfurt, Germany and the establishment of the China Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. Finally, Washbish brought the Alliance’s tri-annual customer convention to Las Vegas for Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), AAPEX and SEMA shows. The Alliance is the only selling organization in the aftermarket to conduct such an event in 2015 and again in 2018, drawing thousands of technician and part selling professionals. Finally, the Alliance has announced that their 2021 convention will be in Washington D.C. and will include a political summit with a march on Capitol Hill!
His service to the industry includes stints as president of the Automotive Sales Council and National Engine Parts Manufacturer’s Association. He has served as Chairman of the Young Executive Society and the Manufacturer’s Advisory Council of AWDA. He has held seats on the Board of Directors for the Motor Equipment Manufacturer’s Association, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Associations and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association. He currently serves on the AWDA Council of Governors and is the Senior Vice Chairman of University of the Aftermarket Foundation.
Washbish has been recognized for his leadership with numerous awards, including the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association Leader of the Year. He is also the recipient of Northwood’s Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award, and has twice been honored as the University’s Alumni of the Year.
He and his wife Carol have been married for over 40 years and have three children and seven wonderful grandchildren.