Auto Service World
Feature   July 1, 2005   by Auto Service World

Over The Counter July 2005

Son of Quebec Jobber Making Good in Motorsport

Kevin Lacroix, son of jobber store owner Sylvain Lacroix, is making a name for himself in the Formula BMW series, leading the North American series and logging a big win at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal this past June.

The fresh faced 16-year-old native of St-Eustache, Que. has put his name in the win column three times and been on the podium every race he hasn’t been punted out of.

The Formula BMW Series is an open wheel development series. BMW has four such series around the world, in North America, the U.K., Germany and Asia, with it all culminating for the leading drivers in a World Final in Bahrain.

BMW’s motivations are clear: they are looking to develop their own crop of drivers. And with BMW having purchased the Sauber Formula 1 team, it is not inconceivable that one of the young drivers in Formula BMW would eventually wind up there. Lacroix has been tapped by BMW to receive special training and attention as part of the BMW Scholarship program.

Manager Richard Galarneau says Lacroix is handling the attention well.

“We’re all running around rushing,” says Galarneau, “and he’s just there cool as anything ready to put on his helmet.”

Lacroix says that he doesn’t feel much pressure, even racing so close to home, the only Canadian round on the schedule. He actually enjoys the distraction, saying that it makes the stress of a race weekend easier to handle.

Lacroix has learned how to handle this activity, but he has also had a good teacher in his father Sylvain, who owns Pieces d’Auto Lacroix, a Uni-Select member in St-Eustache. The elder Lacroix made a name for himself in the early 1990s as a snowmobile racer. In 1993, driving for Bombardier, he even captured the world championship.

He says that there are a few important lessons he has tried to convey to his young son.

“It is a marketing job. It is important to understand that. If there are no sponsors, there is no money and there is no racing. It is important to learn how to manage your competition,” he says. And keep your ego in check, he adds.

In any case, young Kevin Lacroix, fresh out of karting, came into the season with a fair degree of confidence.

“I knew that when I came into the series I had as my goal to win it. There are a lot of rookies this year, so I felt I had a good chance.”

Lacroix is open about his future. He’d like to go to Champ Car, “and then if I’m good enough, I’d like to go to Formula 1.”

Counterperson of the Year Nominations Open!

Jobber News Counterperson of the Year nominations are now open.

Business owners, co-workers and customers can nominate exceptional counterpeople at

Altrom Canada Corp. has announced the availability of its latest electronic parts catalogue, offering a complete listing of 25,000 high quality part numbers in various product lines, including brake and chassis, electrical, clutch and driveline, engine management, engine parts and filtration and cooling systems. Altrom’s electronic parts catalogue is available on CD, floppy disks and over the Internet at

KYB Holds Jobber Information Sessions

Ride control supplier KYB America LLC recently held jobber information sessions on ride control sales.

The information program is designed to help jobber staff improve their communication skills where ride control service is concerned.

At the Toronto session, Tim Oldiges of KYB focused on the need to evaluate a customer’s needs and wants, as there are often a number of options in ride control. Oldiges also gave a detailed rundown of technologies used in ride control and their respective advantages.

The jobber information sessions were a preamble to a full service provider training program being readied for release.

AIA Canada to Promote AAPEX Show

AIA Canada and its sister organization AAIA in the United States have announced a partnership agreement to promote Canadian exhibitor participation at the AAPEX show held annually in Las Vegas.

The AIA will be able to offer booth space at AAPEX to Canadian manufacturers at the AAIA member rate of $19.95 U.S. per square foot versus the non- member rate of $29.95 U.S. per square foot.

Any AIA member interested in this opportunity should contact the AIA Canada office at 1-800-808-2920.

Autolite Perfect Perks Program

Autolite has enhanced their Autolite Perfect Perks Program for 2005.

Participants selling qualifying Autolite products from April 1 through October 31, 2005 will be granted points which are redeemable for merchandise up until November 30, 2005. With the new, revamped program, participants now have more opportunities to earn points and can choose from a wide variety of high-quality rewards specifically tailored to their interests.

Members of last year’s program can use their existing PIN and password at the program’s Web site,, while new participants can sign up for the program on the site as well. Counter personnel can also call (866) 492-9113.

Shad’s R&R charity golf tournament raised another $150,000 this year, bringing the total for the charity to $2.9 million over the years. It was also notable, sadly, for the fact that it was the first year that founder Fred Shaddick was unable to attend due to health reasons. The event raises funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada and is the single largest one-day fundraiser for the cause.

Car Care Canada Partners With Government to Reduce Emissions

Car Care Canada has announced a partnership with the Government of Canada to jointly promote both Car Care Canada’s “Be Car Care Aware” program and the One-Tonne Challenge.

The “Be Car Care Aware” program is an integrated marketing and public outreach campaign to build awareness and knowledge with consumers to help them make smart choices when driving and maintaining their vehicles. By regularly maintaining their vehicles, consumers will conserve energy, improve highway safety, save money and have cleaner burning vehicles in our environment.

“The ‘Be Car Care Aware’ program complements the efforts of the Government of Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol,” explained Marc Brazeau, vice president of Car Care Canada. “It serves as an ideal opportunity for the One-Tonne Challenge to promote its messages through our existing grassroots campaign supported by many of Canada’s leading automotive aftermarket companies.”

This unique industry-government partnership will enable both organizations to better educate Canadian consumers on the benefits of having their vehicles properly repaired and serviced on a regular basis.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support programs like ‘Be Car Care Aware’ that educate Canadians about proper car maintenance–helping them save money, conserve energy and protect the environment,” said the Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. “Improving the efficiency of their vehicles is also a perfect way for Canadians to take action on climate change and help meet their One-Tonne Challenge.”

Alberta Auto Parts Expansion

Border City Auto Industrial of Lloydminster, Alta., officially opened its new larger facility.

The Uni-Select member incorporated its annual Customer Appreciation Day with a grand reopening. Beef on a bun was served with proceeds going to the local SPCA. “The Goat” radio station was on site to promote specials throughout the day. Many prizes were drawn including a grand prize all-inclusive weekend pass to the upcoming West Edmonton Mall Champ Car Grand Prix of Edmonton.

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