Auto Service World
Feature   July 1, 2004   by CARS Magazine

Company News (July 01, 2004)

According to a report in Datamonitor Newswire, Japan's second-biggest automaker, Nissan, is to invest heavily into a fuel cell project with the intention of releasing a fuel cell-powered vehicle. The program will begin this year and run thr...

According to a report in Datamonitor Newswire, Japan’s second-biggest automaker, Nissan, is to invest heavily into a fuel cell project with the intention of releasing a fuel cell-powered vehicle. The program will begin this year and run through to April 2008. The strategy will place Nissan in direct competition with rivals Toyota and Honda in the race to create next-generation fuel-cell vehicles. A company spokesman hinted that the firm will begin with the development of a fuel cell ‘stack’, a component in which purified hydrogen and oxygen from the air pass through linked plates.

NAPA Canada has announced it has formed a strategic alliance with COSTAR Computer Systems of Edmonton, Alberta. COSTAR has been writing software for the automotive industry since 1975 and is the developer of the COSTAR Tire & Auto System. NAPA PROLink, the “online parts ordering system”, available exclusively from NAPA, is now an integral part of the COSTAR Shop Management System.

“The integration of these two applications will provide automotive business owners the combination they have been asking for,” said Simon Weller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for NAPA. “In any business, making effective use of time is paramount. The implementation of a complete business management system will allow our customers to become more efficient with their day to day business operations”.

Bill Colman, President of COSTAR says, “We have built the features and functionality of NAPA’s PROLink system into our Shop Management application to provide a single seamless user interface to both our products. We use the Internet based NAPA Catalogue (PartsPRO) to define the customer’s vehicle on the repair order, the service history file and use it to check parts pricing and availability. The COSTAR system automatically creates purchase orders and electronically places the parts order with the NAPA Store.”

The combination of COSTAR and NAPA PROLink is available now and exclusively to NAPA customers in Canada.

JET Equipment & Tools Ltd. of Burnaby, B.C. has announced that it has purchased the hand tool inventory and packaging equipment from Hastings, Inc. of Barrie, Ont., which recently ceased operations and is under the direction of the receivers.

JET will offer the established line of Hastings specialty automotive hand tools and equipment as well as products sold under the brand names Ferret, Neway and Kal Equipment.

The offerings include hand tools, air tools, material handling equipment and machinery, under the JET and ITC brands. In the U.S., JET will continue to distribute and grow Hastings brand hand tools under the business name of H.S.T. Tool Company.

ACDelco has expanded their Air Conditioning line to include over 60 new parts covering over 540 all-makes applications. This expansion includes 7 Heater Cores and 53 Condensers for Ford, Chrysler, Jeep and various import vehicles. ACDelco’s all-makes expansion now offers coverage for popular models such as the Lincoln Continental, Ford Windstar, Dodge Caravan & Intrepid, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Quest, Jaguar S-Type, Mitsubishi Galant, Saab 900, Volkswagen’s Cabriolet, Golf, Passat & Jetta, Audi A4, Volvo’s 700 models, Toyota Tundra & Tacoma, Honda Accord, Acura Legend, Mercedes, BMW and more. The line offers over 85% all-makes coverage for the majority of repairs including compressors, condensers and evaporators.

ACDelco is also expanding their DuraStop brake line to include 220 new part numbers. The additional parts will support all makes applications and enhance the existing 95% coverage.

Suzuki has agreed to produce variants of the new General Motors-designed global V-6 engine for use in future Suzuki cars and trucks. The two companies announced the agreement following a meeting of Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and CEO, and Osamu Suzuki, Suzuki chairman and CEO. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. As part of the agreement, Suzuki will build both 3.2-liter and 3.6-liter engine variants at its Sagara engine plant in Shizuoka, Japan. Suzuki engineers will tailor the engines to meet the packaging requirements and brand characteristics of Suzuki vehicles. Production is scheduled to begin in 2006.

The new global V-6 engine features all-aluminum construction, 60-degree, dual overhead cam and 4-valve-per-cylinder design. With variants ranging from 2.8-liter to 3.6-liter, the new engines incorporate the latest technology, including continuously variable valve timing. GM introduced the global V-6 engine in its 2004 model year vehicles and builds the engine family at its St. Catharines, Canada, and Holden Port Melbourne, Australia, engine plants.

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