In 2005, Locator UpFront made history, dedicating an entire issue to the industry's most influential auto recyclers. Today, the list has become an annual tradition, recognizing more than 100 auto recyclers from all across the United States and abroad during its six-year history.
"This year, we are proud to announce winners who hail from 14 states and Canada," Locator executive vice president / C.O.O. Charis Lloyd said. "The people who win these distinctions are true industry leaders. They are in the news, at conventions, in newsletters or just online setting a positive example for the auto recycling industry."
What began as a list of more than 250 nominees, ended with these winners in just 25 categories. Criteria for the awards remained unchanged from previous years, as did most of the categories.
"We always carefully study what it means to be influential for each category," explained Wendy Lloyd, Locator editor in chief. "We look at each auto recycler's achievements, business practices, industry honors and community involvement."
Narrowing the nominees down to just one winner in each category is a grueling process that can last well over a week.
"There are so many progressive automotive recyclers, choosing the winners can be a daunting task," Wendy added. "But at the same time, it's incredibly inspiring to see how many people are making such big differences in our industry. The automotive recyclers featured in this issue's 25 categories made a valuable contribution to the industry during this past year."
"I really enjoy hearing about the young up-and-coming auto recyclers and how they are changing the industry," said Locator editor Erin Sandage. "But the veteran auto recyclers, the ones who have been around for years, are just as inspiring. These men and women have done some amazing things to shape the automotive recycling industry into what it is today. I love hearing their stories."
Sandage also highlighted several challenges facing the automotive recycling industry during 2010.
"I would say one of the biggest hurdles companies faced during the past year was salvage acquisition," she said. "Another difficulty they faced was complying with the CARS program (aka Cash for Clunkers). It was often tricky understanding which parts could be pulled from the vehicle and which ones were required to be crushed."
In a year that had its share of issues, the auto recyclers featured on the following pages stepped up to the challenge and showed their commitment to finding solutions and continued to move the industry forward.
"While 2010 did have its challenges, there were motivational moments as well. We saw the formation of a new industry association for the New England automotive recyclers (NEARA), more companies streamlined operations to include e-commerce options on their web sites and The Locator introduced its new search feature, Part-Spot (Part-Spot.com)," Wendy added.
As for 2011, Sandage predicts salvage acquisition will still be one of the industry's biggest stories. "I think current ARA president Doug Reinert (Chuck's Auto Salvage, Inc.) summed it up pretty well when he said, 'Salvage is the lifeblood of our industry. Since we can't go out and create inventory, we need to create opportunities to acquire it.'"