CDL Autoparts has a new owner
HEAVY TRANSPORT LIGHTING SPECIALIST CDL Autoparts has a new owner, with founder Wayne Butler retiring after running the business for 53 years.
The Auckland-based company, which is the New Zealand distributor for American-made Peterson truck and trailer lights, has been bought by Robert Wood – formerly the general manager of construction, forestry and materials handling machinery supplier AB Equipment.
Before filling that role for over 10 years, the much-experienced Wood was Truckstops’ national parts manager – and that followed more than 20 years at a Ford dealership.
Wood says he’s excited about running CDL: “It’s a long-established business….and to be fair, these sorts of businesses don’t pop up every five minutes.
“CDL has done an absolutely marvellous job of getting the Peterson lights up and running in the transport industry.
“I obviously want to build on that – along with other opportunities that the product range has in the construction, forestry and materials-handling industries, which CDL to date hasn’t tapped into: That’s the initial area of focus for us.
“Going forward, there are more and more electric vehicles popping up. What sort of opportunities they present for us in the future requires further exploration.”
Butler says the reason for the sale is simply that he’s now 75 – “and it’s time I retired.” He has been, he says, “looking for the right sort of person” to take over the business – and Wood is that person: “He has an extensive, similar background. We’re heavy-duty transportation and he’s been in industrial and earthmoving and heavy-duty general machinery, tractors…. that sort of thing.
“He’s also been in the industry for years. He knows it well and I believe he’s going to add a fair bit to the business.”
Butler adds, appreciatively: “All the staff have been retained. Some of my staff have been with me for over 30 years and I was very conscious of that.”
Butler started CDL Autoparts in 1967 in a small workshop in Newmarket, Auckland – initially focused on the service and repair of vehicle fuel systems, carburettors and the like. But in the mid-1980s the emphasis of the business changed to the importation of automotive components and their nationwide distribution. The company moved to bigger premises in Manukau City to allow for future growth.
While the importation and distribution of Peterson heavy vehicle lighting is CDL Autoparts’core business these days, it is also said to be NZ’s leading supplier of electronic fuel injection and carburettor components – including parts for out-of-production models.
Part of CDL Autoparts’ Manukau operation
New owner Robert Wood (left) shakes hands with retiring CDL Autoparts founder Wayne Butler