CDL Au­toparts has a new owner

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Front Page -

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

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