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Federal-Mogul name change aligns with growth strategy

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Daniel Ninivaggi, CEO of Federal-Mogul Motorparts and co-CEO of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp.
Daniel Ninivaggi, CEO of Federal-Mogul Motorparts and co-CEO of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.—Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp. has renamed its Vehicle Components division Federal-Mogul Motorparts as the company's next step in its strategy to drive global growth.

“This has been part of our plan since mid-2012, when we segmented our business into two distinct, customer-focused divisions,” said Daniel Ninivaggi, CEO of Federal-Mogul Motorparts and co-CEO of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp.

Aftermarket brands—such as Moog, Fel-Pro, Champion, Anco, Wagner and Ferodo—did not change, he said.

“As a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp., Federal-Mogul Motorparts will serve as a platform for future growth within each of our aftermarket product categories as well as our original equipment and OE service businesses,” Ninivaggi added.

Federal-Mogul Motorparts manufactures vehicle braking, chassis, sealing and other service components. It benefits from the engine expertise of the Federal-Mogul Powertrain division.

The rebranding is aimed at continuing to “drive the global growth of our premium products and leading brands,” Ninivaggi said.

“Our new name creates a distinct identity for our business, both within and outside Federal-Mogul and emphasizes our more than 100-year history of producing the highest quality products.”

Ninivaggi said a name change itself is not particularly meaningful, but the company is embracing its past while moving forward to emphasize in new ways the importance of its premium-quality products for end users around the world.

The new Federal-Mogul Motorparts name and logo will be rolled out globally effective immediately, leading to new marketing campaigns for its product brands.

The focus for Federal-Mogul Motorparts will be on its brands, “which are synonymous with quality, safety and performance,” he said.

“Our marketing campaigns will underscore on the critical characteristics that make Moog, Fel-Pro, Champion, Anco, Wagner, Ferodo and other leading Federal-Mogul branded products the best choice for the end user,” Ninivaggi said.

Connecting with customers

A crew of newly hired technicians will visit stores and service shops on behalf of Federal-Mogul as an opportunity to connect with customers.

“This is an initiative unique to the automotive aftermarket, where we see both an opportunity and organizational imperative to reconnect with end users—including professional service technicians and consumers—so they can better understand the safety, performance and durability characteristics of high-quality, premium-branded products,” Ninivaggi said.

“The automotive aftermarket has seen an increase in lower-quality, non-branded products in recent years, which has made it easy for end users to be confused as to the quality of the products available in the market.”

This technical education program will include 30 technicians from the metro Detroit area who will travel around the U.S. The crew will be hired and trained over the next three to six months.

“Our expanded technical field force will work closely with vehicle service businesses to highlight the importance of relying on products that are engineered and manufactured to meet the needs and expectations of today's vehicle owners,” Ninivaggi said.

The company used to train installers, but as retail stories such as AutoZone and O'Reilly Auto Parts started to grow, they took over training as well. This led Federal-Mogul to lose that educational connection with customers.

Federal-Mogul is set to complete a commerce and instructional website for its products within a year.

It recently announced in an earnings call that it plans to open two 500,000-sq.-ft. distribution centers in Southern California and New York.

Earlier this year, Federal-Mogul Corp. became a subsidiary of the newly-formed holding company.

The company, along with its Motorparts and original equipment divisions, is the operating unit of the holding company.

Crain's Detroit Business contributed to this report.