SkywayTools.com owner Sherry Gillis attended the Medco Tool Customer Show September 19 and 20, 2014 and loved the CTA Tools booth, manned by President Michael Borghard. Gillis interviewed Borghard to find out more about his company and his opinions about automotive specialty tool trends for now and in the future.
Q) You're the President of CTA Tools - did you found the company?
A) No, my father-in-law, Jack Dreyfus, started CTA in 1978, as a sister company to Dreyco, Inc., which he founded in 1950. Dreyco set up all the KD Tools export markets in the 60’s & 70’s. When KD decided to handle exports in-house, he started CTA as a competitive brand. I started working at CTA in 1979 and have been here since.
Q) What made you want to get in to the tool industry?
A) While my wife wanted me to stay out of the family business, her father was a better salesman and convinced me to help start the company. So I didn’t really “want” to get into the business. But 35 years later, I’m still here.
Q) What kind of work did you do before you got in to selling tools?
A) I actually graduated from Forestry School with a degree in Wood Products Engineering and worked for a few years for a veneer log exporter in New York.
Q) Have you changed the direction of your inventory this last few years? If so, why?
A) Absolutely. The two big changes have been with Fluid Service Tools & Euro application tools. With Fluid Service, we came across some very unique products that have done extremely well and built a new market segment for us. European application tools came because so many of our customers kept asking us to expand our range into the category. We were selling a few specialty sockets for VW/Audi at the time. We learned there were limited choices for these types of tools, while at the same time the German & Swedish vehicle populations in North America were growing older and larger.
Q) I noticed you have some specialty tools for Mini Coopers. What made you decide to make specialty tools for that particular make of car? Do you feel there is a very big market for those tools?
A) This ties into my comments above. There were very specific requests for Mini tools and we are now in the process of adding more.
6) Do you see any particular trends among automotive specialty tools these days? A) The biggest trend is the explosion of range. Because of the many engineering changes throughout both domestic & import vehicles, the need for more & more specialty tools is never-ending.
Q) How has the recession effected your manufacturing company?
A) What recession? Our growth has never been better during the recent years. Cars age, are on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th owners, independent shops are hungry for business and will work on any car they can, which means more specialty tools.
Q) Do you see a change in the automotive tools industry because of the recession in general? If so, what do you think is on trend for the next few years?
A) The trend we see is with parts getting smaller, lighter and harder to get to. These material and location changes drive our business. Technology is also changing swiftly, but that effects the diagnostic side of the business, which we are not involved with.
Borghard will be traveling to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show and man a booth of CTA Tools November 4 through 6, 2014. They will be in booth 1350 displaying the CTA Tool line, so check them out!