The year was 1966. The Beatles were giving their last public performance in the United States, Caesars Palace hotel and casino opened in Las Vegas, and the first Batman full-length movie was released starring Adam West. Another momentous event happened that year that might not have made news headlines, but certainly made history. Mr. L G Alexander, a representative of WIX , met with NAPA and proposed that NAPA consider their own private label brand of filters, manufactured by WIX. The folks at NAPA embraced the idea, and on a handshake, the first ever NAPA branded product was born.
Mr. Alexander saw enormous potential in developing a strong partnership with NAPA. His crystal ball proved spot on, as the relationship between Wix and NAPA has been one of loyalty and dedication for 50 years. The 25 brave souls who went out as the first ever NAPA Filters sales force undertook a momentous challenge: Convince NAPA Auto Parts stores to empty their shelves and replace their filter products with NAPA Filters. In that first year, NAPA Filters had 419 part numbers and sales of $1.6 million – impressive numbers for a startup brand in the late ‘60s.
Over the past five decades, NAPA Filters has introduced cutting-edge programs, marketing initiatives and the idea of direct shipments to NAPA Auto Parts in the 1970s. The partnership has been incredibly successful for both Wix and NAPA Auto Parts, bringing together highly engineered product from WIX with NAPA’s reputation for product and service excellence. In 1977 the NAPA Filters team was awarded the Spirit of NAPA Award, which is the U.S. Automotive Aftermarket’s most prestigious award. Since that first accolade, the Spirit of NAPA has been award to our NAPA Filters team a remarkable 10 times.
The world has seen a lot of change since that business-changing handshake back in 1966. Now, 50 years later, the partnership between NAPA and Wix is an example of a lasting and solid business relationship. To celebrate, a “Golden Anniversary” event was held in California with the leading NAPA store owners. The event highlighted this remarkable partnership, and we were able to extend a gracious “thank you” to NAPA AUTO Parts Store owners for their loyalty and support over the past 50 years. As we enter the next half-century with NAPA, we couldn’t be more excited about the future and our opportunities together!