Obituary: Bob Sockl

Published:  10 June, 2022

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Aftermarket’s founder, Bob Sockl, aged 75, following a long illness.

Bob was born in London in 1947. He began his career in sales at the newspaper Daltons Weekly. This was sold to publisher Morgan Grampian in 1972, where he went on to become Publishing Director on a number of titles covering the automotive sector, including Transport Week and Auto Trade. During the 1991 recession, Bob was made redundant, which provided him with the opportunity to start his own publishing company, Crystal Communications. The magazine he launched that year, Garage and Bodyshop Products (GBP), went on to become Aftermarket in 1992.

Bob went on to create a number of additional magazines, including CV Aftermarket, Crash Repairer, and The Technical Book.

In addition, Crystal Communications were responsible for the sales and marketing of the Commercial Vehicle Show, held at the NEC. Bob maintained a close relationship with show organisers the SMMT throughout his career.

The Top Technician competition was also created by Crystal Communications, and remains a successful event to this day.

Bob was Chief Executive of Crystal Communications until 2015, when he sold the business and retired. Bob had an incredible passion for our industry and was well-respected throughout. He was an aftermarket expert, mentor and friend to many people and will be missed.

He is survived by his wife Bobby and daughters Debbie and Jo.

If you would like to share your memories of Bob, a memory page has been created:

Also, the family are collecting donations for Demelza Hospice Care For Children. To make a donation, also visit the memory page.

A full obituary will appear in the July/August issue of Aftermarket.

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