Auto Service World
Feature   August 1, 2007   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter August 2007

Manitoba Pushes Ahead As Immobilizers Become Law In Canada

Manitoba has taken Transport Canada rules requiring immobilizers one step further, making it mandatory for owners of most-at-risk vehicles in the Winnipeg area to install immobilizers before they can renew their registration and insurance.

Manitoba, which has government administered insurance, made the announcement as a Transport Canada rule requiring all new cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs to be equipped with anti-theft electronic immobilizers bows in this September.

Anti-theft immobilizers, which make it more difficult to steal vehicles by requiring a “smart” key to start the car, have been installed in most vehicles already. The federal agency’s announcement finalizes the transition.

While the Transport Canada requirement protects new vehicles from auto theft, Manitoba’s provincial program focuses on protecting older vehicles with aftermarket immobilizers. The province’s Attorney General Dave Chomiak pointed out that most-at-risk (MaR) vehicles accounted for more than half of thefts reported in Manitoba last year.

The regulations affect 47,000 vehicles in Winnipeg and vehicles that commute to the city regularly. These vehicles are twice as likely to be stolen as the average vehicle in Winnipeg, according to Manitoba Public Insurance claims data.

Manitoba Public Insurance will allocate more than $15 million to provide vehicle owners with an immobilizer at no cost and a standard installation. The corporation will also manage the installation process that will be phased in over the year according to Manitobans’ renewal dates.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), of the top-10 most stolen vehicles, none had an approved immobilizer system.

“Immobilizers are highly effective at deterring car thieves. In terms of the stats for IBC’s November 2006 release, you have to go down the list to the 28th most-frequently stolen spot to find a vehicle that registered a high theft frequency despite the fact that it is protected by an immobilizer, ” says Rick Dubin, vice-president, Investigative Services, IBC.

NGK Celebrates 25 Years in Canada

More than 125 customers, suppliers, and staff took part in NGK Spark Plugs Canada’s 25th anniversary gala celebration in Markham, Ont.

On hand for the event were executives from the Japanese parent company’s offices as well as leading jobbers and WD executives from across Canada.

Norio Kato, president of NGK Spark Plug Co., expressed his appreciation to customers and staff for their contributions to the Canadian organization’s success. “Great people and great products and the strong support of our valued customers and employees,” were key, said Kato.

“Your 25th anniversary in Canada is very important,” said Markham mayor Frank Scarpitti. “You have grown from two employees to more than 40. And your emphasis on the environment is something we take seriously as well.”

Mark Brazeau, executive vice-president of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, was also on hand to present the company with a framed copy of its original membership application, signed September 16, 1977.

“Together with the dedication of our staff, NGK Canada continues to grow,” said Canadian president Tony Tanaka. “The challenges of a shrinking spark plug market are being met with an emphasis on high value plugs and oxygen sensors. We look forward to continued growth and prosperity in the years ahead.”

LKQ On Acquisition Trail

Collision parts supplier LKQ has announced the acquisition of two companies– Pintendre Autos and Keystone Automotive–, both with Canadian holdings.

The Keystone Automotive Industries merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and has a total cash consideration of approximately $811 million U.S on a fully diluted basis.

Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. distributes its products primarily to collision repair shops through its 137 distribution facilities, of which 22 serve as regional hubs, located in 39 states and Canada.

In early July, LKQ announced the acquisition of Pintendre Autos Inc., a recycled parts distributor that generates annual revenue of approximately $29 million (U.S.). Terms of this transaction were not disclosed. Pintendre Autos primarily serves the professional repair market for not only automobiles but also for heavy trucks and several types of light duty vehicles. Pintendre also has a small retail self-service facility. The business operates on property totalling approximately 125 acres.

“This is our second business acquisition in Canada and it gives us a large parts recycling business in a large population area.

Dominion Auto Recycling located near Toronto, Canada, was acquired by LKQ in May of this year. So far this year, LKQ has logged eight acquisitions in North America, not including the Keystone merger.

NGK Spark Plugs Canada celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a gala event that included kodo drummers and the presentation of the company’s original application for membership in the Automotive Industries Association of Canada. Here (l-r) Norio Kato, president NGK Spark Plug Co., and Tony Tanaka, president NGK Spark Plugs Canada, receive the framed application from Mark Brazeau, executive vice president of the association. Photos: Beau Monde Photography

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Market Demand Tool Launched

Activant Solutions has introduced a market intelligence solution to help replacement parts distributors and store owners capture new sales opportunities through increased insight to regional catalogue transactions and other data.

The Web-based Activant Vista for Distributors solution enables users to access an extensive database of daily catalogue lookups and product transactions by part number and vehicle platform.

More than 50 customized reports help users improve inventory efficiency and sales performance by making demand-based stocking decisions at each of their store locations.

Mahle Clevite Selects Information Solution

Mahle Clevite will use the Pricedex Software, Inc., product information management (PIM) system to serve its customers in the North American and international markets.

Mahle Clevite is part of Germany’s Mahle Group, a Top 30 and nearly $5.7-billion OEM and aftermarket supplier of automotive parts.

The company says it expects to see dramatic improvements over the older, legacy systems they have been using.


NGK Spark Plugs Canada Limited has announced several appointments. Dean Weber has been named to the position of national sales & marketing manager. Weber most recently served as the regional sales manager for Central Canada, and began his career with NGK Spark Plugs in 1991. Doug Morrison has been named western regional manager. Morrison was previously technical service manager as well as the OES sales manager. Tomohiro (Tom) Yamaguchi has bee appointed vice president/administration NGK Spark Plugs Canada Limited. He brings more than 12 years of NGK Spark Plugs automotive experience to his new role. Rob Carthew has been named to the company’s Ontario sales team as district sales manager for Northern Ontario. He brings with him many years of experience in the automotive industry.

Bob Stanbury, vice-president and western regional sales manager for Grant Brothers Sales Limited, has announced the hiring of Don Fraser for the position of district sales manager, Southern Alberta. Fraser is based in Calgary. His family owned a warehouse distributor business in Calgary and he has over 20 years experience in the automotive aftermarket. He is also an active member in the AIA Southern Alberta region.

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