Friday, 06 February 2015 00:00

United Auto Supply in Houston County, MN is Now Auto Value

John Welscher, manager at Auto Value. As part of the conversion from United Auto Supply, the store can offer increased heavy duty parts, more import vehicle parts and more variety. The business is staffed by the same five friendly individuals who worked for United Auto Supply.

It was once a root beer stand. It was also at one point in its history, a wood working shop.

In 1997, United Auto Supply moved from across the street into what is now “Auto Value” parts store.

United Auto Supply stores have joined forces with Automotive Parts Headquarters from St. Cloud and will operate under the Auto Value name.

While the name has changed, the same friendly faces will greet you when you walk into the store looking for that automotive part.

John Welscher continues to manage the Caledonia store and John and his staff will contniue to provide the kind of service that you have come to expect in Caledonia.

“As part of a larger organization, we now have access to more tools and more resources to serve our customers better than before,” Welscher noted.

The Caledonia Auto Value location employs five individuals, the same five who served at United Auto Supply.

As part of the change, the Caledonia Auto Value will now get overnight delivery from the massive Automotive Parts headquarters in St. Cloud.

With access to an over $13 million inventory of parts, Caledonia customers benefit because there is a second delivery each day from the $2 million hub store inventory in La Crosse.

“We’ve also improved our delivery system of professional installers,” Welscher noted.

That service is available Monday through Friday from 8 to 11 a.m.

The changes means more heavy duty parts, more import vehicle parts, a greater variety of products.

“We can also offer inventory tailored to Caledonia and the surrounding area,” Welscher said.

Deep roots in Caledonia Vernon “Bud” Marnach was one of the original five individuals who started the auto parts supply store.

Located across the street from its current location, Marnach was instrumental in relocating the store to the location in which it is currently housed.

“It used to be located in the front of that building right there,” Welscher said pointing to the now St. Mary’s Body Shop.

United started in 1958 and Caledonia was the third store in United’s chain.

While long-time Caledonia resident Bud Marnach was one of the original founders of United Auto Supply, his son Greg was vice president at the time of sale in September 2014.

The business operated in the current body shop location since 1967 until the move in 1997.

United Auto Supply, founded in La Crosse at the time of sale had 14 locations covering western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

All United Auto Supply locations are being converted to the Auto Value name.

Auto Value is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The United Auto Supply management team is expected to join the APH management team. Once all of the locations are converted, the corporate store count across the upper Midwest will be 98 stores.


We would like to thank The Caledonia Argus for allowing our publication to reprint their article.

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