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MEMBERSHIP HEART


INDUSTRY of the


Compiled by Caryn Smith


Making the Grade


 Meet Roger Schroder


Car-Part.com/Foreign Auto Salvage Ft. Wright, Kentucky


President, ARA Educational Foundation W


hile in college, I worked in construction and helped my brother Urban, who had a body shop and who rebuilt “totals.” After I graduated from college in 1976, I continued to help rebuild totals so I could always have a nicer car than I could otherwise afford! It is gratifying to build something nice out of a parts car, and this job afforded me the opportunity to drive many different vehicles. Cars quickly became both my hobby and my vice! Because of our love for cars and our appreciation for making some- thing valuable out of what others considered “junk,” my brother and I purchased a local auto recycling busi- ness in 1986: Foreign Auto Salvage in Fort Wright, Kentucky. I quit my job where I spent 10 years as a special agent with the Treasury Department, and together we took over Foreign Auto Salvage and immediately relocated it. We continued to rebuild totals and do body repairs, but our parts business grew rapidly. It soon became our primary source of revenue and our main focus


AUTOMOTIVE RECYCLING • July-August 2018


of time. At one point, we kept as many as 3,500 parts cars in our main lot/warehouse and we were rebuilding a total a week (along with some outside repair jobs). In 1996, our brother Jeff started de- veloping software for Car-Part.com. Two years later, Jeff, his wife Janice, Urban, and myself pushed Car- Part.com live online with recycled parts searches on the internet. Around the year 2000, we decided to scale back the body repair/rebuilding significantly, to make more time for Car-Part.com. Both Foreign Auto Salvage and Car- Part.com started as family businesses; all of our children and spouses have worked for at one or both at one point. We still maintain Foreign Auto Salvage, but have scaled back oper- ations so most of our time can be spent on Car-Part.com. I am still very involved in the buying, pricing, and business planning for Foreign Auto Salvage, but am otherwise involved only a small portion of the other day- to-day operations.


What is the biggest positive change in the industry and its workings that you have witnessed in your career? The biggest positive change that I have noticed during my time in this industry is the increased pride people have in ownership, and their willing- ness to reinvest money back into their businesses


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