Certainly the change with Bob M created a ripple effect, but most of his responsibilites have been spread out. The only one really "elevated" was Bob Susor...and that wasn't really a promotion, rather it was Tom G's way of telling the GPC world that we are in good hands. Am I missing something with the John H comment? I'm not sure I know who you are refering too.
intoparts, when a bunch a reps get together, that is always a big part of the speculation. No one knows for sure, but we do see our co-workers numbers dwindle. If I was to speculate, I would say you are correct. The rumor has those reps selling "undercar - steering and suspension" parts. This would not reduce representation, just a reallocation of resources.
Hey Parts, Dana still sells NAPA the filter line, the Clevite engine parts, Victor Gaskets, NAPA Chassis, Masterride Chassis, and the United and TruStop brake hydraulic lines. Through Rayloc, Dana sells some brake friction.
FMO still sells NAPA the Champion Spark Plug line, Belden wire, NAPA Fuel Pumps and National Seals. They just lost the U-Joint business to GMB.
I don't believe ArvinMeritor sells anything to NAPA at this time, but they do list NAPA as a customer on their web site. The products they sell, Purolator Filters, Gabriel Shocks and Arvin Exhaust are not as well regarded as the entrenched NAPA suppliers, Dana & Tenneco.
Lastly you mentioned B/W. Did you mean Borg Warner? If so, they are gone along with the Echlin folks. On the independent side of the world, BWD was a marquee brand, just like Echlin was for NAPA. Jury is still out on how Standard Motor will handle those lines.