Business

After 52 years in family, shop sold

Walt & Vern’s Truck and Auto Parts, a Buckley shop family owned and operated since 1958, has been purchased by a national corporation operating out of Chicago, Ill.

The purchaser, LKQ Corporation, is a nationwide dealer in recycled auto parts and is a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq index. It purchased Walt & Vern’s from the Smith family for an undisclosed amount earlier this year, officially taking over operations June 1.

“We sell parts out of Oregon and we’re regularly shipping them down there from Seattle,” LKQ Plant Manager Cory Anderson said. “Logistically, it’s better for shipping parts back and forth to have a location like Walt & Vern’s along the way.”

The company is currently investing in land and building improvements across the 10-acre property. PTD Construction is handling drainage grating, fencing, immolation of buildings being torn down and leveling of the land. Local electricians and other contractors are being hired for code improvements on buildings.

“There’s a lot of change that comes along with having a corporate presence operating a company,” Anderson said. “We currently have 12 to 13 employees working at that location and we’ve added four new jobs already. We plan to staff the facility in the long term with 25 to 30 employees. So we’re creating new jobs and introducing more cash flow to the area.”

LKQ has hired one sales position to the lot, two parts dismantlers and a yard worker at the Walt & Vern’s location so far.

Walt & Vern’s was founded by Vern Smith and his son Walt Smith in 1958. It continued to be operated by the Smith family for 52 years.

It is at 28520 state Route 410 East.

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