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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

GSF assembles all-star leadership team to accelerate growth

Date: Thursday 22 February 2024

GSF Car Parts, the fastest-growing motor factor in the country, has assembled a new leadership team comprising the best current and emerging talent in the aftermarket as part of its plans to significantly grow the business and directly challenge the dominant players in the market.

The news follows the announcement that the business will add 20 new branches to its 180-strong network over the coming 12 months, with up to 20 further locations to follow from 2025. The business was acquired by private equity firm Epiris and the Ahluwalia family office in November 2023, with Steve Horne appointed as CEO and Sukhpal Ahluwalia as Executive Chair.

The company has now completed a period of aggressive talent acquisition to establish its new leadership team tasked with supercharging its business.

Martin Gray is Chief Talent Officer. He is a highly experienced recruiter who was instrumental in the rapid growth of Phones4u and Euro Car Parts. His focus at GSF is strengthening and accelerating the company's recruitment as it embarks on a period of significant and sustained network growth and investment.

Alistair Preston is Chief Customer Officer. He co-founded, scaled and exited the UK's largest online marketplace for car repairs, Alistair's role focuses on developing and maintaining best-in-class customer relationships and helping enhance GSF's market position as it embarks on a new period of growth and investment. Before moving into the automotive sector Alistair spent 10 years in Financial Services working for Lehman Brothers, and then Nomura.

Paul Wright is Sales and Operations Director. He has worked his way from the aftermarket shop floor to the boardroom over two highly successful decades in the industry. Paul has an unrivalled knowledge of branch best-practice and is hugely connected with customers across the independent market. Most recently he occupied a strategic B2B role at Euro Car Parts and is now focused on supercharging the GSF branch network and operations in order to give our teams the tools, knowledge and resources they need to better service more customers than ever.

Lee Forty is National Accounts and Garage Equipment Director. He occupied key leadership positions in workshop solutions, garage concepts and commercial directorship at both Euro Car Parts and Integrated Supply Network. His focus will be key account development and acquisition, as well as the growth of GSF’s workshop-focused garage equipment arm.

Chris Barella is Digital Director. His expertise in website optimisation, design and marketing is second-to-none in the automotive aftermarket, having spent 21 years at Euro Car Parts growing their ecommerce from zero to £250m. His focus will be helping to refine our customers’ digital journey and accelerate online sales growth.

David Bevan is Corporate Affairs Director. David successfully ran an independent motor factor chain in the West Midlands before occupying director-level roles across Marketing, Sales and National Accounts at Partco and Unipart Automotive, as well as Director of Strategy at Euro Car Parts during its high-growth years. David is a passionate believer in the industry and helped create UK AFCAAR, the lobbying body recognised by UK Government as the principal advocate for the independent aftermarket that successfully negotiated the renewal of Block Exemption legislation on favourable terms.

The above join GSF’s existing leadership team of Chief Financial Officer Sally Dowling, Chief Commercial Officer Paula Huesca de Crean, Chief Strategy Officer Sukhbir Kapoor, HR Director Jo Warren, IT Director Shaun Devey and Ecommerce Director Farhan Hussain. Bill Stimson and Adam White also join the team as Head of Chairman’s Office and Head of CEO’s office respectively.

Sukhpal Ahluwalia, Executive Chairman at GSF Car Parts, said: “I am delighted to be working alongside such an extraordinary leadership team. We have some of the aftermarket’s biggest juggernauts, all of whom have a proven track record for success, innovation and rapid growth, which are three objectives firmly on the agenda for GSF.

“Our leadership team have hit the ground running, and I am confident that together this team will lead our people across the UK and Ireland to unprecedented levels of success.

“We can only achieve this by offering the best customer experience in the industry and that’s exactly what we’re committed to doing. I know the aftermarket inside out and the plans we have to invest, scale and develop the service we offer to customers are going to make GSF the partner of choice for garages, suppliers and the public.”