Uni-Select announces new auto repair banner program
Uni-Select CEO Brent Windom announced plans for a new national banner program for automotive service providers. The program — Bumper to Bumper Auto Service — is set to launch in the new year.
The program will be designed to promote customer loyalty and will allow service providers to stand out in their communities.
“The Bumper to Bumper Auto Service program will be for independent repair facilities across the country that we do business with, an opportunity for them to rebrand, and offer different value propositions for their customers,” he said.
The program will be mutually beneficial, with service providers getting a wealth of marketing and business tools, and Uni-Select building stronger relationships with shops.
“Everything is driven on loyalty and commitment,” he said. “It is the same through our entire supply chain. It harmonizes the loyalty factor all the way from cradle to grave.”
The company’s existing banner, the legacy Uni-Pro program, will continue offering services to independent shops that choose not to rebrand.
He declined to say how many Bumper to Bumper Auto Service shops the company hopes to establish in the near term, but said.
“We know what great feels like,” he said. “We have over 2300 shops who banner through us today, so we know that we’ll migrate a certain number of those who want to step up through the program.”
Five Trends in Five Minutes
Mark Seng of IHS Markit offered his take on the five most prominent trends his data analysts are seeing the automotive aftermarket. He said there are important takeaways for aftermarket part distributors and service providers in 1) new vehicle sales numbers, 2) the changing vehicle mix in North America, 3) the way the North American fleet is aging and what vehicles are entering the aftermarket “sweet spot,” 4) the latest news about battery-electric vehicles, and 5) the latest statistics on vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
Denso launches Vehicle MRI
A new automotive diagnostic platform from Denso, Vehicle MRI, has been released as an Android mobile app. Joe Mejaly, senior vice president of sales, Denso Products and Services Americas, Inc., said the company’s plans to keep up with growing vehicle sophistication started a few years ago and are now coming to fruition.
The product adds an element of predictive analytics previously unavailable to the aftermarket, he said. Early results have show increased parts sales, increased hours billed, and increased average repair order for shops that use the new platform.
Mejaly also listed recent Denso initiative, including several new warehouses and tech centres, the launch of a new heavy duty brand, the redesign of the company’s Denso Connect portal, and a host of new aftermarket products. “To say we’ve been busy would be an understatement!” he said.
Uni-Select celebrates supplier excellence.
Uni-Select handed out its annual Canadian Supplier Awards during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. Above, the team from SureWerx received the top award — the Diamond Award — for supply chain excellence. Other winners were recognized for partner programs (Golden Ally awards) and sales performance (Achiever awards). This years recipients were:
Golden Ally – Sales Tools for Independent Jobbers and Installers: Blue Streak-Hygrade Motor Products
Golden Ally – Marketing Campaign of the Year: Tenneco (Now known asDRiV)
Golden Ally – Tech-Savvy Award: Dorman Products
Achiever – Automotive Parts: BBB Industries
Achiever – Paint & Body Equipment: PPG Canada
Achiever – Tools and Equipment: NOCO
Dorman launches training program
Mike Kealey, executive vice president, commercial for Dorman Products, announced an ambitious new program to offer hands-on training to the aftermarket. The company will continue to offer online training, but is augmenting it with in-class training that will discuss real world problems. “We’ll hire as many trainers as we have demand for. We’ll meet our customers where they are. That’s our commitment,” Kealey said. Training will be delivered by Automotive Technical Training Services (ATTS), headed by Jerry Truglia.
Communicating with Today’s Customers
John Burkhauser, director of education for Bolt On Technology offers his views on the importance of using modern communication methods in the shop. He said customers are more particular than ever about how businesses reach out to them.
John Norris honoured posthumously by SCRS
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) honoured the late John Norris with its March Taylor Kina’ole Award.
Norris, executive director of Collision Information and Industry Assistance and the Hamilton District Autobody Repair Association, died suddenly May 28.
SCRS chairman Brett Bailey said all SCRS board members shared a sense of regret that the award hadn’t been given to Norris years ago, when he was still among us.
The Hawaiian word kina’ole represents “doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, in the right place, to the right person, for the right reason, with the right feeling, the first time.”
The award was named after the late owner of Auto Body Hawaii, who died in 2007.
Bailey described Norris as a great friend, saying he was gentle, eloquent, and a true soldier for the repair industry.
Western Canada Automotive Business Association CEO Dale Finch accepted the award on behalf of Norris’ family, who could not be present.
Know Your Parts offers techs the chance to win a $5,000 prize
The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) Know Your Parts booth featured a scavenger hunt for industry technicians. A prize package valued at up to $5,000 was up for grabs.
The goal is to help technicians learn about new tools and accessories, new product innovations like electric water pumps and GDI fuel pumps, and the newest TPMS technology, plus the latest advancements in diagnostic repair on vehicle electronics. After registering for the scavenger hunt at the Know Your Parts booth, technicians work on visiting as many manufacturers’ booths at AAPEX as possible. The winner will be chosen from those technicians who are able to visit all participating manufacturers’ booths.
Participating organizations include: BCA, Continental, CRC, Delphi, KYB, Lumileds, MAHLE, Schrader, SKF, Spectra Premium, Timken, Standard Motor Products, and DRiV.
AAPEX Mobility Garage Training to Focus on Electric Cars
AAPEX 2019 Mobility Garage: Products and Training for Tomorrow features hands-on training and demos to prepare technicians and shop owners for the next generation of electric cars and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), as well as the latest shop equipment and technology.
Attendees also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with exhibiting companies showcasing their newest and soon-to-be released products in Mobility Garage.
Training partners include AVI, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), RLO Training, and the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF).
Training sessions include electric vehicle technology and the new skills technicians need, steering and chassis technology, scan tools and lab scopes, Chrysler reprogramming and networking, and battery technology on hybrids, electric cars and AFVs.
Sessions also address security technology, inspection guidelines for natural gas vehicles, electrical training, and ASE exams for compressed natural gas topics and hybrid electric vehicles.
Schrader launches Schrader Academy and E-Training Course
Schrader TPMS Solutions has launched its new training brand, Schrader Academy, with the launch of its new E-Training course initiative.
Schrader Academy is the new brand for all of Schrader’s TPMS training materials, and training initiatives. The brand intends to create a community of TPMS service professionals and provide a central location for accurate and trusted TPMS resources.
The first new training initiative under the Schrader Academy brand is the TPMS E-Training class, which walks service professionals through five modules of basic TPMS knowledge and training. It covers topics like the North American TPMS legislation, installations, programming, relearning and more. If users complete the course with an 80% or higher, they will receive an official certificate of completion.
“We are excited about the launch of our new training site. I hope that visitors will love the new look and feel of the site, especially the TPMS E-Training Course which is now mobile-friendly and even easier to navigate through. The new site is yet another avenue for technicians to gain the knowledge needed to be successful within the TPMS category. Our goal is to make Schrader Academy the one-stop shop for all TPMS training related information,” said W. Rippetoe, Technical Training Team Lead, North American Aftermarket.