Auto Service World
Feature   May 1, 2000   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter (May 01, 2000)

Program to improve apprentice technician training announced

The Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Network has announced a new training program aimed at improving the on-the-job training of automotive apprentices and other trainees.

Slated to begin this September, the Workplace Mentor/Coach Program comprises eight separate courses that will be available at a variety of community colleges and institutes.

Designed to address chronic training shortfall in the automotive trade, the Mentor/Coach program is a “train the trainer” solution. “This is a program aimed at those technicians who enjoy sharing their skills and knowledge with trainees,” says Gerhard Gedies, an automotive training consultant who has been working with the CARS Network to implement the program. “Many of them may already be doing some workplace training — with varying degrees of success.”

Courses feature a team-based approach to learning, and a choice of either classroom training during off-work hours, or home study using an interactive CD-ROM.

“The intention of the Mentor/Coach program is to enhance the learning culture in the industry. Our program is designed to help participants improve their mentoring and coaching abilities in ways that will benefit not only the trainee, but also the technician, the employer, and ultimately, the customer.”

Participants in the program will follow different courses, each focusing on applied skills or knowledge that are essential for effective workplace training, from leadership and organization, through communication, coaching and mentoring, to job proficiency.

To find out more about the Mentor/Coach program, visit

Uni-Select Revamps Sales And Marketing

Uni-Select has announced substantial changes to its sales and marketing department in order to leverage its strengths in the marketplace.

The key personnel moves which make up the changes include the restructuring of responsibilities within the organization to better target critical member services and provide faster, more accurate communications.

Under the new structure, Brendan O’Brien takes on the role of vice-president, sales and marketing. He will be in charge of business growth, marketing and national accounts. Reporting directly to O’Brien will be Gilles Michaud, who will take on the direction of a new group in charge of product and market development, including the groups directed by Denis Brault, Andr Hardy and Jocelyn Desgens.

Pierre Thriault will manage corporate communications as well as communications and marketing for merchant-members and installers. Luc Charlebois will be in charge of programs for installers and mechanics, while Jocelyn Desgens will handle bodyshop banner development. Pierre Desmarchais will coordinate technical training programs.

“One of our main preoccupations is to offer complete business solutions to our members,” says Michel Maheux, senior vice-president. “Our new structure will enable us to play upon the main strengths of our network: distribution, product and market development, and exclusive services for certified members. Our services to Auto Parts Plus and Auto Plus members represent strong tools for boosting the growth of our network, but leave lots of room for members to operate independently.”

Meritor And Arvin To Combine Their Businesses

In what the parties involved are calling a “merger of equals,” Meritor Auto-motive, Inc. and Arvin Industries, Inc. have agreed to merge.

The transaction, slated to close this July, will create a new entity, ArvinMeritor Inc., with a broad range of capabilities and revenues of $7.5 billion U.S.

Headquarters will be in Troy, Mich., while all operating units are to remain at their current locations.

Products supplied by the entity include a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components for light vehicle, commercial truck, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and related aftermarkets. The combined product portfolio and technological expertise of the two companies will support their goal of becoming a global provider of integrated solutions for light and heavy vehicle undercarriage, drivetrain, exhaust and aperture modules, and systems, while being able to bring similar capabilities to the aftermarket.

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