Auto Service World
Feature   June 1, 2008   by CARS Magazine

News Briefs (June 01, 2008)

Federal Mogul Announces Technician Reward Program

Federal Mogul Announces Technician Reward Program

Canadian automotive service providers will be able to earn rewards valued up to $60 by installing Moog, National and/ or Wagner premium undercar components from Federal-Mogul Corporation. Now through July 31, 2008, vehicle service providers who participate in the Federal-Mogul “Brake & Front End” promotion will be able to earn up to three levels of rewards with qualifying installations of Wagner Edge and ThermoQuiet brake pads, National wheel hub assemblies and Moog chassis parts. Participants may mix and match any qualifying product installation to reach their desired reward level. There is a limit of three installations per vehicle invoice -one each of Wagner, National and Moog products.

“In light of today’s challenging economic conditions and rising fuel prices, consumers are wise to be proactive and have undercar services performed to help extend the life of their vehicles and avoid premature tire wear,” said Mike Proud, director of marketing, North America, Federal-Mogul. Technicians can request a promotional kit by calling 1-800-851-7052 or sending an email to:

Searching For Best A/C Technician in North America

CARQUEST and the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide have teamed up to find the best mobile air conditioning and heat transfer service technician in North America. The winner will receive an prize package that includes the opportunity to participate in a NASCAR Racing experience.

Tenneco Takes Ontario Techs Out For A Ride

Tenneco Automotive invited some 100 Ontario technicians and service writers over two-days for a Monroe Ride and Drive event. The event features Sidney Gay, one of the Tenneco’s top managers and sales training experts who gave the attendees an in-depth training seminar on ride control diagnostics and tips for helping educate shop customers about the need for regular maintenance and replacement of such things as brakes, chassis and suspension parts. As well, all technicians and service writers were given the opportunity to drive six vehicles, each with 80,000 kms on the odometer. Three of the vehicles had their original shocks and three others had their shocks replaced with

Sidney Gay, manager, sales training with Tenneco Automotive

new ones. The goals was to prove to technicians and service writers that there is a significant degradation in the vehicle’s ride and handling at 80,000 km and how replacing the shocks helps improve both the ride and handling.

“CARQUEST is dedicated to providing industry leading training and original equipment manufactured products for professional automotive technicians,” said Dave Poplin, product manager for CARQUEST. “We are proud to support MACS and training among mobile A/C and heat transfer automotive technicians. We are excited to partner with MACS for the third year in a row to find the best mobile A/C and heat transfer technician in North America.”

Technicians who are certified in refrigerant recycling and recovery may register for the competition between June 1st and July 20th at The Level 1 multiple choice test will be available online between August 1st and September 7th. Canadian mobile A/C technicians do not have to be Section 609 certified, as this is only a requirement in the United States.

Canadian technicians should follow provincial laws governing the recovery and recycling of refrigerants. The winner of the 2008 CARQUEST/ MACS A/C Technician of the Year competition will be announced at the CARQUEST Awards Luncheon at the MACS Worldwide 29th annual Convention and Trade Show, New Frontiers in Mobile A/C Service, to be held February 5-7, 2008 at the Hilton Anatole, Dallas, TX.

“MACS thanks CARQUEST for bringing our vision of a technician competition to life for a third consecutive year. It is a great way to bring attention to the mobile A/C, heat transfer service specialty and inspire more technicians to sharpen their skills and comply with Section 609 requirements,” remarked Elvis L. Hoffpauir, MACS president and chief operating officer.

Uni-Select to Purchase Beck/Arnley, Forming Foreign Nameplate Division

Uni-Select Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Beck/ Arnley Worldparts Corp and its Canadian subsidiary Beck/Arnley Worldparts Canada ULC, both automotive replacement parts distributors specializing in parts for foreign nameplate vehicles. Beck/Arnley operates one master distribution center at its headquarters in Smyrna, Tennessee and maintains relationships with two other satellite warehouses allowing it to service the whole of the North American market.

The sale is expected to be completed on June 1st, 2008, subject to closing conditions. The companies did not report the purchase price, but the acquisition was expected to add approximately C$29 million to Uni-Select revenues. The acquisition by Uni-Select follows a pattern by traditional automotive aftermarket distributors to imporove their service to the growing import nameplate marktplace.

Previously General Parts, parent of Carquest Canada, purchased World- Pac and earlier this year, Genuine Parts Inc., parent of NAPA Canada, purchased Altrom. Both are focused on providing replacement parts for import nameplate vehicles. For Uni-Select, the Beck/Arnley business will be the cornerstone of a strategic initiative to improve parts coverage in order to better service the growing import nameplate component of the North American fleet of vehicles and will be the start of a new Foreign Nameplate Division at Uni-Select Inc.

“Beck/Arnley’s high quality product offering, its strong brand image at the jobber and installer levels, its catalogue and its capabilities in the areas of product sourcing and logistics provides us with a great opportunity to support and improve the capabilities of the company. We intend to grow the business by expanding its geographical reach and its product offering. In addition, we will deliver the quality product the customer wants, where and when he wants it and at a competitive price” offered Richard G. Roy, president and chief executive officer of Uni-Select Inc. “These developments are exciting news for our customers and employees. Uni- Select’s support will allow us to more effectively develop and rebuild our capabilities to better serve our customers by delivering the quality products we have been working so hard to provide. In Uni-Select, we have found the right partner as their vision, culture, values and business model, including support of the independent Jobber, coincide so closely with ours,” commented Max Dull, president of Beck/Arnley.

Technicians Treated To Take-Away Knowledge At Lindertech

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada played host at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, for the annual Lindertech North training event and trade show in April.

The event, which for the last few years has attracted mostly local technicians, this year was widely promoted as a broad-based event for serious and experienced service providers. In fact, the numbers from this year’s edition show an obvious focus on the service provider. Out of a total attendance of 168, there were a 111 service provider personnel representing some 80 locations. According to the numbers, the remaining 57 were from manufacturers, trainers/instructors, and other affiliated industry personnel.

Previously, the event had been hosted by Toronto jobber Cochrane Automotive. It was taken over by AIA this year.

“The event is always well received, but it takes a lot of resources, and so [they were] struggling with all of the logistics,” says Deborah Moynes-Keshen, AIA Canada’s vice-president. “We were looking this year to provide some outreach and build on the foundations already established.”

Moynes-Keshen says the overall eve
nt was a success, despite falling shy of projected attendance numbers. “The event went really well, with lots of younger technicians in attendance from all across the country, and not just in the local market,” she says.

“Training is crucial for the industry, and we really need this kind of event. It’s not just about the networking; it’s about learning something that can really be taken away from the sessions.” In fact, that focus on take-away knowledge was prominent throughout the survey results, with comments like, “Best yet! I am taking away information I will use every day,” “Good presentation, information I can use in the real world,” and “No nonsense, a lot of good information for Ford Diesel repair/service, lots of useful information,” being par for the course.

With this year’s edition now behind them, Moynes-Keshen says the team is already hard at work planning for next year’s event. “We learned a lot for this year, and in looking through the survey responses, there was some very positive feedback,” she says. “For next year, we’re looking at a few different dates in April, and also trying to communicate with technicians to find out what the best time for them is, to make this kind of commitment away from the shop. It’s a big chunk of time,” she says.

While a location has not yet been established, Moyes-Keshen says Hamilton, Guelph, and London are all possible candidates, and also hints that a western Canadian version of the show could also make its debut.

Ford Shifting To Six Gears

The big shift is on at Ford Motor Company, as the automaker plans to more than double the number — to 1.4 million — 6-speed automatic transmissions in its North American cars and trucks by the end of 2009. The advanced transmissions provide customers four to six per cent improved fuel economy compared with typical 4- and 5-speed gearboxes, as well as better acceleration and a quieter and more refined driving experience.

“Advanced six-speed automatic transmissions are an important element in our sustainability strategy to improve i fuel economy for our customers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent in our new vehicles by 2020,” said Barb Samardzich, vice-president, Ford North America powertrain operations. By the end of 2012, 98 per cent of Ford’s North American automatic transmissions will be advanced 6-speed gearboxes.

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