It’s summer vacation season, and there’s pent-up demand for road trips after a year of Covid quarantines. Many people are getting their cars ready to hit the road. Not coincidentally, private equity firms and family offices, such as Pritzker Private Capital and Brookfield Business Partners, are investing in auto part makers.

Pritzker-backed PLZ Aeroscience Corp. recently acquired Champion Brands, which produces brake fluid and motor oils. If you’re hitting the road this summer, don’t forget to check the oil.

In another deal, Brookfield Business Partners LP is buying DexKo Global Inc. from KPS Capital Partners LP for $3.4 billion. DexKo is a supplier of chassis assemblies.

Auto tech companies that help dealerships get people in the door to buy a new car are getting attention too.

J.D. Power has acquired Superior Integrated Solutions Inc./Darwin Automotive. The acquisition expands J.D. Power’s data, analytics and software services to auto dealers.

As Phillip Battista, CEO of Superior Integrated, said: “The auto industry is undergoing a historic transformation that will put powerful customer analytics and highly customized, multi-channel solutions at the center of the vehicle purchase experience.” Sounds like a fun ride.

It’s interesting to me that Pritzker and Brookfield are buying parts companies for gas-guzzling autos when just about every auto manufacturer I know is chasing after Tesla to become a leader in electric cars. Seems like a strategy fraught with pot holes, no? What do you think? Email me at [email protected].

– Demitri Diakantonis