See what our members are saying about the automotive aftermarket


“We built SA to serve small and mid market companies who are working on organic or acquisition growth initiatives or seeking an exit from their business. We have built a great team of auto aftermarket experts who all have operating experience in the industry.”

The SA point of differentiation is based on our experience as business owners and senior executives. We have built and managed companies and our team has collectively been involved in over 100 M&A transactions. Unlike other M&A advisors or business consultants who provide a more general approach, the SA team brings real world experience to help our clients. We can crunch data and do the analysis as well as anyone, and the SA team knows where to focus to bring you fact based research along with insight from our industry experience. SA partners concentrate 100% on the auto aftermarket, bringing collective experience running automotive and commercial vehicle companies or managing major sales teams or business units. They have been in the trenches and see every engagement in terms of the unique value it represents for our clients. Company owners, CEOs and Private Equity firms depend on SA to bring unique insight to every project.
Download Rick’s Bio

Rick Schwartz


“Transportation as a Service will significantly change the automotive aftermarket in the next five years.You’re either planning to be a TaaS player now or you’re about to be run over by an autonomous vehicle.”

Our interaction with companies that are forming the new automotive future suggests several calls to action for the automotive aftermarket:
  • We see low speed neighborhood electric drive autonomous vehicles entering the market during 2019 and growing significantly through 2025
  • We think AVs will be a positive introduction for the aftermarket because they will be heavily regulated for safety and preventative maintenance
  • We see whole new AV services that can be supplied by independent service provides backed by WDs and retail parts suppliers
  • We are following Ridecell and other connectivity suppliers as the enablers of the new TaaS future.
Download Derek’s Bio

Derek Kaufman

Managing Partner


“Online retail is a channel of distribution exactly like traditional warehouse distribution and brick-and-mortar retail are distinct channels.To conflate the online channel with any other aftermarket channel is to misunderstand how the online customer thinks, how the online channel works, and the technology and knowledge base that are required for success. And that online customer is not only DIY or DIFM.”

In my experience, traditional WDs and brick-and-mortar retailers do a singularly exceptional job serving their DIFM and DIY customers, respectively, while online retailers excel at serving online customers. The market share of the online retailers proves that. Just as brick-and-mortar retail did 30 years ago, online retail evolved into the distinct channel it is today. At approximately 7% of the total US replacement parts market and 10% of the total US aftermarket, it cannot be dismissed or downplayed.

Download Malcolm’s Bio

Malcolm Davidow


“Selling a family owned or closely held business is much more than a financial transaction. It’s very personal and requires an approach that is fine tuned to each individual business owner. Our expertise lies in understanding both the financial and personal aspects to achieve a successful outcome.”

Our Sell Side work includes activities before and during the sales process:
  • We perform company audits to determine a company’s readiness to enter the sales process.
  • We handle a lot of the details to shield management teams from the interruption of due diligence.
  • Our operating experience helps us understand the value keys for both sellers and buyers to structure deals that work for both parties.
Download Keith’s Bio

Keith Zar

Managing Partner


“The aftermarket’s greatest challenge is the echo of the last recession.”

“US new vehicle sales dropped from a steady pace of 16+ million per year to 10 million in 2009 and 11 million in 2010, and did not recover to 16 million until 2014. That huge gap is now moving through the aftermarket as far fewer vehicles are reaching their prime age for professional (DIFM) and retail (DIY) repairs and maintenance. Ford F-150, for example, went from about 250,000 sales in 2009 to 750,000 in 2013. Many supply chain forecasting systems cannot cope with this pace of change. Our experience in managing inventories through periods of rapid change can help all companies in the aftermarket optimize the performance of their largest asset.
Buy Pete’s Book on Inventory Download Pete’s Bio

Pete Kornafel



“We bring an operator’s mindset to all engagements. We use our expert industry knowledge and prudent data to make actionable recommendations and tee up critical business decisions.The SA Team is made up of executives who have run businesses rather than career consultants. Our focus is on the business, not complicated charts.”

Over the past few years, the SA team has assisted PE’s and aftermarket companies in assessing businesses and providing actionable and relevant recommendations which elevate the enterprise value of the business. Our “all about results” approach has been successful. Ultimately the success of our engagements will be measured in the financial reports of the business.
Download Curtis’s Bio

Curtis Draper

Managing Partner

"I love the innovative spirit of the people in the auto aftermarket.
I have seen this industry face challenge after challenge and always win at serving its customers well."

What challenges are you seeing in your business? We would love the opportunity to meet to discuss options that can move you forward. We have built a unique team of people who bring passion and insight to everything they do — the SA team may be your best offense in establishing your future strategies.
Download Mort's Bio

Mort Schwartz



“We have the network necessary to generate a lot of content in a short amount of time.Clients tell us we provide deeper insight and more actionable intelligence than the big generalist firms.”

I have worked in the automotive aftermarket for 13 years in data analysis, market research across multiple channels and project management. The Schwartz Advisors team is a great group of people who bring an amazing amount of industry experience to our clients. We pride ourselves in meeting deadlines and honoring budgets. We know our work can be pivotal in the future strategies or actions of our clients. As I like to say at SA, “There is no B Team here.”

Katie Schaber

Director Projects
& Industry Analysis


"Being a part of a team that assists business owners in their exit strategy through purposeful M&A transactions is very gratifying.Through this process, I have met exceptional entrepreneurs and business executives that I am privileged to now call friends and colleagues."

Selling your business is an intense process. You have spent years building the value of the company and you want that work recognized by the buyer. You also want as little disruption as possible to the everyday challenges you face meeting customer requirements. The SA Sell Side team seeks valuations that make sense for both the buyer and seller, then gets to work to make sure the seller is maximizes the proceeds from the deal from a tax perspective.
Download Rick’s Bio

Rick Guirlinger



"The distribution side of today's aftermarket is more complex and competitive than ever before. As a result, many owner-operators must decide whether to expand or sell their business."

The SA team works closely with clients to help them understand the aftermarket M&A trends that affect the immediate and long-term success of their business. Through research, analysis, industry insight, and the development of specialized, goal-driven initiatives, SA provides clients with the information they need to make well-informed buying and selling decisions—and ultimately, maximize their market value.
Download Bruce’s Bio

Bruce Tartaglione