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Aftermarket Update: Underhood Serivce, July 2004

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ASA Offers Right to Repair Course
Beford, TX – In an effort to educate the automotive service and repair industry about the availability of service information, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) now offers a three-hour seminar, “You Have the Right to Repair.” The course will be offered at several ASA affiliate events this year and will be part of the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) lineup Nov. 6. The seminar can also be sponsored by other industry groups on request.

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Live demonstrations of many of the OEM websites will be presented during the course. Besides learning the content and functionality of these sites, participants will learn about implementing the necessary changes to take advantage of these non-traditional resources of information. Attendees will leave the seminar with ideas on policy, systems and processes that must be considered to effectively manage the use of these websites. The seminar concludes with an analysis of current service information availability issues, including what the industry puts at risk should any right to repair legislation become law.

“You Have the Right to Repair” is a must for owners and employees of independent shops. The course is approved by the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) and attendees receive six credits toward the Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation.

The course is taught by Bill Haas, AAM, ASA’s vice president of service repair markets. Haas is an AMI-approved instructor and former shop owner with more than 25 years of experience in the automotive service industry.

For more information about the seminar, or to schedule “You Have the Right to Repair” for your organization, contact Haas at (800) 272-7467, ext. 222.

Car Care Council Women’s Board Awards Two High School Scholarships
Bethesda, MD – The Car Care Council Women’s Board has announced that Rebecca Evans of Toledo, OR, and Beth Weckesser of Fenton, MI, are the recipients of the inaugural Women’s Board high school scholarship program.

Evans and Weckesser competed with female students from across the nation for the two scholarships. Applications were available to women who will attend an ASE-certified, post-secondary automobile technology program and plan on entering the automotive field upon graduation. Evans will attend the Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, and Weckesser will attend Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI.

“The Women’s Board scholarship committee received applications from talented and deserving young women from all across the county, so only choosing two recipients was extremely difficult,” said Becky Babcox, group publisher, Babcox Publications and Women’s Board scholarship committee chair. “I would like to congratulate the scholarship winners and thank all of the applicants for expressing an interest in pursuing a career in the automotive industry.”

The comprehensive Women’s Board scholarship program awards scholarships not only to high school students, but also to post-secondary students who plan on entering the automotive field upon graduation. The post-secondary scholarship recipients will be announced this month.

The 2004 Women’s Board scholarship sponsors include: Jiffy Lube, Tomorrow’s Technician magazine, MACS, Four Seasons, Advanstar, ACDelco and IAPA.

For more information about the Care Council Women’s Board, contact Jennifer Tio at 312-226-4111 or e-mail [email protected]

Chrysler Recalls 438,OOO PT Cruisers
Detroit – DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler division is recalling more than 438,000 PT Cruisers because power steering fluid can leak from the vehicles, causing potential engine compartment fires, federal safety regulators said June 4.

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The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 438,391 PT Cruisers from the 2001-2004 model years were affected by the recall. NHTSA said the safety defect stemmed from contact on some of the vehicles between a high pressure power steering hose and the automatic transaxle differential cover.

Chrysler spokeswoman Curtrise Garner said there had been nine reports of underhood fires apparently caused by the problem. No injuries or deaths had been reported.

Source: Reuters

IWD Selects CTS for Rebate Management System
New Haven, CT – Independent Warehouse Distributor LLC (IWD) has partnered with Custom Technology Solutions (CTS) to develop and deploy it web-based Rebate Management System.

The system encompasses comprehensive review, analysis and audit capabilities for the entire rebate process, including management of program bulletins to calculation and projection of rebates by manufacturer and product lines for its Auto Pride and Truck Pride members. The system can dynamically keep track of the various marketing/rebate programs offered by manufacturers for its membership, and also generate reconciliation and variance reports based on eligible rebates vs. actual rebate disbursements.

IWD introduced the system to its membership in May 2004 at its annual membership meeting in Hollywood, FL. The first phase of this system has been rolled out and is available for use for its Auto Pride and Truck Pride members.

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At the membership meeting, two men were honored for their Outstanding Performance with the Auto and Truck Pride Service Expert Programs. Dick Leach from Leach’s Automotive Service in Lemoyne, PA, was named the 2003 Auto Service Expert of the Year. And Michael Bell from Preventive Maintenance Services in Clearwater, FL, was named the 2003 Truck Pride Service Expert of the Year. They each spoke to the group on the value to the actual installer of the marketing programs promoted by IWD members. New and enhanced marketing programs were also presented. Much of the emphasis was on training and a new Box Top program.

The Auto and Truck Pride members were able to obtain all of the latest product information first-hand from both automotive, heavy duty and marketing vendors at the Friday booth show. On Saturday they held Auto and Truck Pride member workshops on the marketing programs. The meeting concluded with speaker, John Washbish, president, Customer Relationship Management Group, Dana Automotive Aftermarket Group.

U.S. Odometers Racking Up the Miles
Research Triangle Park, NC – A report released in June shows that Americans will drive 3 trillion miles per year by 2006 – and all those miles mean continued demand for aftermarket automotive parts.

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According to the 2004 Automotive Aftermarket Status Report, just released by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), total miles driven reached 2.88 trillion miles per year in 2003. AASA forecasts a growth rate of 2% for this year as the rate slows due to high fuel prices.

“In the 1970s, the availability of gas, not its price, led to a decline in miles driven,” said Frank Hampshire, AASA director of market research. “Vehicle usage is at the root of most aftermarket demand and vehicle replacement demand,” he said. “Long-term trends bode well for continued growth in the automotive aftermarket and the entire automotive industry.”

Status Report has been published by AASA’s parent association, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), since 1998 to meet the need for a single source of information and analysis of future trends in the automotive aftermarket. The publication also includes a membership directory of AASA. MEMA member companies can order additional copies for $125. Non-members may order the report for $500. Orders may be placed by calling 919-549-4800 or e-mailing [email protected]

Coalition for Auto Repair Equality Launches New Website Highlighting ‘Right to Repair Act’
Alexandria, VA – The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) has updated its website, www.careauto.org, with a new look, new resources and more in-depth information on automotive aftermarket issues, such as the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, which is now before Congress.

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The Right to Repair Act (H.R. 2735 and its Senate companion, S. 2138) guarantees the ability of vehicle owners to choose where, how and by whom to have their vehicles repaired, whose parts they wish to buy – even work on their vehicle themselves.

The revised website features an overview of legislation and current listing of legislative co-sponsors, links for users to e-mail Congress, an online petition to pass the bill, a sample letter to Congress, legislative updates on aftermarket issues by state, a search engine to identify elected officials by zip code, statistics on cost comparisons of aftermarket parts and labor vs. those of the automotive manufacturers, U.S. automotive driving facts and more.

CARE represents companies in the automotive aftermarket, among them: NAPA, Midas, CARQUEST, AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly’s, Jiffy Lube and CSK (parent company of Checker, Schucks, Kragen).

Promising News for Independent Repair Shops
Bethesda, MD – The size of the U.S. motor vehicle aftermarket grew by 3% in 2003 to $244.6 billion, according to AAIA’s recently published 2004/2005 Aftermarket Factbook.

According to Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO, more registered vehicles, more licensed drivers, more miles traveled and an aging of the vehicle fleet all helped expand the domestic aftermarket. “This steady growth should be good news to investors, especially with forecasts calling for 3.5% increases in 2004 and 2005,” Schmatz said.

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The recovering U.S. economy increased the pace of consolidation in the aftermarket after three years of declines in acquisitions, according to the Factbook.

The Factbook also includes statistical tables, charts, analysis and trends in the U.S. and key international markets. It is available for $99 for AAIA members and $199 for non-members. To order by phone, call 301-654-6664, or order online at www.aftermarket.org. Discounts are available for multiple copies.

NARSA Partners with Association Headquarters for Management Services
Mt. Laurel, NJ – The National Automotive Radiator Service Association (NARSA) announced it has formed a strategic partnership with Association Headquarters, Inc. (AH). AH is a Mt. Laurel, NJ-based Association Management Company that will provide strategic management services to NARSA as well as day-to-day operations of the organization. The partnership will elevate NARSA’s access to a higher level of service and technology, which will improve member services and increase communication, to ultimately strengthen the organization’s goals, NARSA members said.

Mike Dwyer, CAE, will continue to serve as NARSA’s executive director, with transition to AH expected to begin August 1. The newly assembled core team at AH consists of experienced and talented trade association professionals, in the positions of assistant executive director, chief financial officer, meeting manager, publication manager, marketing manager and public relations director.

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NARSA, a not-for-profit trade association, is made up of 1,500 radiator service specialists in 42 countries, serving the cooling system service industry and motoring public since 1954. For more information on NARSA, contact Dwyer at 215-541-4500 ext. 128 or visit the website at www.narsa.com.

iATN to Hold Technical Training Sessions at Annual Convention
Brea, CA – The International Automotive Technicians’ Network (iATN) 2004 Convention will feature three technical sessions, two management classes, an interactive TechNight Live: West Coast Diagnostic Challenge, a special luncheon presentation on OBD II Technology and a keynote dinner presentation on “The State of the Industry.”

The convention will take place Sept. 24-26, at the Coast Anaheim Hotel, in Anaheim, CA.

Speakers and presenters for this year’s convention will bring extensive backgrounds and practical real-world experiences to their respective sessions. Injector Guru Jim Linder and Injector Wizard Doug Garriott, both of Linder Technical Services (LTS), will teach “Fuelish Tips.” John Thornton, Pro-Tec Auto Repair, Inc., will lead a class on “Air: Fuel Sensors.” Tom Roberts of Autonerdz will present “Primary Failure Analysis Technique,” and George Witt, George Witt Service, Inc., will lead the management class, “Become the Manager Everyone Wants to Work For.” Craig Van Batenburg, AAM, Automotive Career Development Center (ACDC), will teach “How to Sell Diagnostic Labor and Get Paid for It!” Jonathan Riggle, iATN, will be on-hand to lead the TechNight Live: West Coast Diagnostic Challenge. The special luncheon address on OBD II Technology will be given by Paul Baltusis, senior OBD technical specialist for Ford Motor Co.

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Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of AAIA, will give the keynote address on “The State of the Industry” during the closing dinner on Sept. 25. Driveability expert Mark Warren, PWR Training, will serve as emcee for the evening.

For a schedule of events for the convention and more information about training sessions, speakers and registration, visit http://members.iatn.net/meetings/2004. Members are encouraged to register early as the convention is expected to sell out quickly due to its new biennial schedule. All attendees must register online, as there will not be on-site registration.

For additional information about iATN, go to: www.iatn.net.

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