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Aftermarket Update: Underhood Service

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AMI Announces 2004 Babcox Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Bedford, TX – The Automotive Management Institute (AMI), in conjunction with Babcox Publications, recently announced Gregory J. Satori, owner, Satori’s Auto Service, Manitowoc, WI, as the recipient of the Tom B. Babcox Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes a management-oriented member of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Mechanical Division. The recipient receives $1,000 to be applied toward expenses to attend AMI seminars offered during the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) in Las Vegas, Nov. 4-6.

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Satori, has worked in the automotive service industry for 22 years and has been a shop owner for the last seven. He is an ASE-Certified Master Technician with L1 and his shop is an ASE Blue Seal facility. He is currently working on completing the necessary requirements to receive the Institute’s Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation.

“I am honored to be selected as the Tom B. Babcox Scholarship recipient and to be given this opportunity to improve my professional skills,” said Satori. “We operate a professional shop and constantly strive to improve our level of excellence.”

AASA to Add Technician Resource to Website
Research Triangle Park, NC – As part of AASA’s efforts to support the right of the consumers to have their vehicles repaired wherever they choose, the association has announced it will post a list of manufacturing members’ technical hotlines and/or websites on its website – www.aftermarketsuppliers.org.

This new section of the AASA website will function as an online reference point for installer technicians to contact manufacturers with repair questions. Surveys of technicians show that product manufacturers serve as one of their major sources of repair information. The site also will list other major sources of repair information: NASTF website (www.nastf.org) and repair manual suppliers.

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Members interested in adding their information to the AASA site should contact Paul Foley, 919-406-8840 or [email protected]

Jasper Launches Redesigned Website
Jasper, IN – Jasper Engines & Transmissions recently launched its redesigned website, www.jasperengines.com. The site features an entirely new look with reorganized content and navigation.

According to the company, the website is now more user friendly for technicians, fleets and other Jasper customers. In addition, vehicle owners can find more information on how to extend the life of their present car, truck, SUV or boat with a remanufactured engine, transmission, differential, stern drive or other remanufactured component from Jasper.

DuPont Notifies Customers About Short-Term Supply Issue for Hydrofluorocarbon 134a
Wilmington, DE – DuPont Fluorochemicals has notified customers of a supply shortfall for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) 134a, marketed as DuPont Suva 134a refrigerant, DuPont Dymel 134a aerosol propellant and DuPont Formacel Z4 foam expansion agent. The supply shortage is expected to continue through the end of this year.

During the past 90 days, in a period of peak demand and at a time of low seasonal inventory, unexpected interruption to DuPont’s manufacturing operation has affected its ability to supply. DuPont has taken corrective measures to maximize utilization of existing inventories and current production; however, the supply disruption is impacting customers worldwide. DuPont has been proactively contacting its customers to ensure the supply status is clearly communicated, and that customer needs are well-planned, understood and addressed to the greatest degree current capacity allows.

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Inventories and supply are expected to gradually return to normal following a scheduled manufacturing shut down necessary so DuPont can make further process improvements and continue operating safely, efficiently and effectively to supply HFC-134a to its customers going forward.

“We take this situation very seriously, because we are committed to our customers and their long-term success in this marketplace,” said John McCool, global business director, DuPont Fluorochemicals. “This is a short-term supply issue, and DuPont is doing everything possible to restore normal operations quickly. We ask our customers’ continued patience during this critical time, knowing that once we get beyond this situation, we will be in a stronger position to satisfy our customers’ supply needs going forward.”

ICOR’s New Website Makes Life a Bit Easier
Indianapolis – The newly updated ICOR International website, www.icorinternational.com, helps technicians quickly locate suppliers of Hot Shot, NU-22 and One Shot refrigerants and related products manufactured by ICOR. Originally created to provide general information on refrigerant alternatives as well as technical specifications and installation and troubleshooting instructions for its refrigerants, the site has been reformatted to facilitate location of local distributors by product as well as by state, region, city, etc.

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ICOR’s site also includes links to other ACR sites and provides opportunities for certified ACR technicians to enter ICOR’s testimonial contest.

Two Guys Garage Cameras Roll during Industry Week in Vegas
Swansea, MA – It’s “lights, camera, action” in Las Vegas as Two Guys Garage films a special episode from the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) shows in November. The episode will air in early 2005 on SPEED Channel.

Hosts Dave Bowman, Sam Memmolo and Dave McBride have been to Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week for years, but most of their viewers can’t attend the country’s largest automotive trade show. This special onsite episode lets viewers share in the excitement of Industry Week ’04 and learn about the companies and organizations participating in the nation’s biggest automotive event of the year.

“We’ll visit a variety of exhibits at both AAPEX and SEMA where new products debut alongside companies’ tried and true lines,” said host and co-producer, Bowman. “This episode will feature in-depth interviews with automotive experts including company presidents, engineers, specialists and industry pundits.”

Two Guys Garage can be seen on SPEED Channel Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit them on the web at www.twoguysgarage.com.

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AAPEX to Welcome Service Professionals on Nov. 4
Orland Park, IL – Service professionals – the automotive service technicians and parts personnel who are the heart of the aftermarket – will be recognized at the 2004 Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) on Nov. 4, designated “Service Professionals Day.”

Show organizers will welcome the service professionals at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. in front of Hall C at the entrance to the exhibits.

The service attendees will have the opportunity to tour the more than 1,900 exhibitors at AAPEX, and see the latest in aftermarket products and technology.

They also can attend two education seminars offered on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 3-4. Robert O’Connor of RLO Management Solutions will present two sessions on shop management.

Wednesday’s session, “As An Owner Start Earning the Income You Want,” focuses on several proven methods to immediately increase an owner’s salary and profits. On Thursday, O’Connor will address “Advanced Techniques for Acquiring Preventive Maintenance Business,” giving participants an aggressive system of selling and completing preventive maintenance sales. Details about the seminars are available in the attendee section of the AAPEX website, www.AAPEXshow.com.

CustomerLink Adds Rewards Card to Product Offering
Roseville, CA – CustomerLink Systems recently announced the addition of the Customer Loyalty Card to its line of customer communication products.

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Designed to thank a customer for their business and reward continuing loyalty to the service center, this 8” x 6” direct mail card comes with a removable wallet-sized rewards card built right in. As with all CustomerLink communications on behalf of a service center, the Loyalty Card is highly personalized to the vehicle owner and customized to the service center for marketplace branding.

“Our goal is to help service centers identify, reward and retain their best customers,” states Walt Samuelson, CustomerLink’s president and CEO.

Growing Warranty Issues for Suppliers
According to a report in the Detroit News, automakers face a staggering $12 billion annual bill to fix vehicles covered by warranties.

Causes of climbing warranty costs:

  • Product development cycles have become compressed/rushed;

  • Vehicle complexity is growing with a greater reliance on computers and software;

  • An overall push to lower costs that can adversely affect quality.

    The article reported that through August of this year, 22 million vehicles have been recalled, compared with 19.45 million last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    And the average recall campaign now takes 250 days to get all vehicles repaired, at an average cost of $1 million a day, according to the Southfield, MI-based Automotive Industry Action Group.

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    New Cars Shifting Away From Manual Transmissions
    The stick shift may be driving off into the sunset.

    As more technological advances are developed and drivers look for simpler ways to motor around town, manual transmissions are becoming more obsolete.

    According to a forecast by Germany-based, independent transmission maker ZF Industries, by 2012, just 6% of all vehicles sold in the North American market will have manual transmissions.

    Just two years ago, 10% of new vehicles sold in the United States and Canada were equipped with manual gearboxes.

    Industry engineers explain that six-speed automatics and continuously variable transmissions are among the new technologies replacing manual transmissions. Although both offer varying degrees of sporty performance and fuel efficiency, six-speed automatics can be configured to shift “at the flick of a stick” to allow the driver to manually override the transmission. Source: The Detroit News

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