Auto Service World
Feature   January 1, 2003   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter: January 2003

New Ontario Bill Seeks to Curb Performance Parts Use

A new Ontario road safety bill could have far-reaching effects for the performance parts industry if it passes into law.

The new Progressive Conservative road safety bill introduced by Transportation Minister Norm Sterling cuts a wide swath through a number of safety-related issues. It would make child booster seats mandatory, reserve left-hand lanes on major highways for passing, allow police to impound the vehicles of street racers, double speeding fines in construction zones, and regulate how dark a vehicle window can be tinted.

But the bill also seeks to outlaw nitrous oxide and other engine performance-enhancing products–not specified–due to their use by street racers.

The proposed Road Safety Act was introduced on the last day of the fall legislative session and will likely not be passed until spring at the earliest. It should be noted that a provincial election is also expected for next spring, so it is not a sure thing that the bill will be voted on or passed.

“This is the kind of bill where you need discussion–public discussion, about it,” Sterling said. “It was only at this time that we got it together and got it through the cabinet process, so I thought it was better to introduce it at this stage than leave it for the spring session.” Sterling said the bill would be at the front of the line in the next legislative session.


Expanded Distribution Centre To Enhance Freudenberg-NOK Supply

Freudenberg-NOK, suppliers of the Corteco gasket brand, celebrated the opening of the 140,000-square-foot expansion at its Milan, Ohio, distribution centre, representing a near-doubling in size of the facility.

Designed to accommodate the group’s aggressive growth schedule, the $8.2 million U.S. investment includes the addition of a 138,240-square-foot fulfilment centre, as well as space for new offices.

The facility is dedicated to Freudenberg-NOK’s Distributed Products Group, which comprises Corteco–the company’s automotive aftermarket business; Simrit–which provides sealing for the industrial market; and Dichtomatik North America — which distributes O- ring and sealing products.


Hella Expands Canadian Commitment

Hella, Inc. celebrated the official opening of its new warehouse in Mississauga, Ont., in December.

The facility more than doubles the Canadian inventory of products from the company. “We need to get the message out that we are committed to the Canadian market,” says sales manager for Canada Siegfried Tigges. Tigges says that the facility, operated by Cancon Logistics Inc., will eventually receive all shipments directly from the company’s manufacturing plants around the world. Currently, many of the shipments for the Canadian market are routed through Hella’s Atlanta, Ga., facilities. Tigges also says that the product offering available in Canada will be expanded.


Delphi Signs Distribution Agreement with Buying Group

Delphi Product & Service Solutions has signed a distribution agreement with Bestbuy Distributors.

Delphi Product & Service Solutions, part of Delphi Corporation, says that the partnership with the buying group’s 73 members operating 168 outlets will further advance the company’s Canadian automotive product and service distribution strategy.

Bestbuy Distributors Limited began distributing Delphi replacement parts and service support January 1, 2003. In addition, the company will begin to market Delphi’s ensemble of service technologies, including the DS800 wireless handheld vehicle service and diagnostic system.


Industrial Gases Manufacturer Launches Expanded Distribution

BOC Gases has launched the Gas Source distributor program to supply and service a wider range of Canadian customers with BOC gas products, related equipment, and supplies.

The Gas Source program targets BOC’s existing network of partners as well as retail outlets, industrial gas and equipment distributors and other companies in major and smaller cities across Canada.

BOC Gases supplies products used in a variety of industries for use in processes and activities such as welding.

The Gas Source program is a combination of gas products and related equipment, BOC Gases’ merchandising expertise, and marketing support initiatives.


Rick Gibson

Rick Gibson, a veteran of the aftermarket and chairman of the Northern Alberta Division of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, passed away in early December.

Gibson worked for National Sales Inc. in Edmonton, and was as passionate about the aftermarket as he was about minor hockey.

“We were shocked and saddened to learn of Rick’s passing,” says AIA president Ray Datt. “AIA was fortunate to have Rick as a member of the board of directors as he was very committed to the aftermarket. His enthusiasm and approachable nature will be remembered by all who knew him.”

Gibson is survived by his wife Bev, son Brent, and their family. National Sales Inc. has set up a trust fund in Rick’s name. Please contact Doug Williams at 905-565-9891 or email:


Ontario Transportation Minister Norm Sterling has been busy. In December, in addition to announcing the safety bill, he launched the full implementation of Ontario’s new ignition interlock program with six installation centres opening province-wide.

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