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

Over the Counter: June 2003

Toronto Jobber Chosen 2003 Jobber of the Year

John Cochrane, owner of Toronto-area jobber Cochrane Automotive, has been selected as the 2003 Jobber News Jobber of the Year.

Cochrane, who has dedicated much of his own time to pursuits that are designed to help the industry, says that he has always taken a wider view of his role beyond just running a successful business. “One of the things that I have always tried to do is enhance the value of the industry,” said Cochrane. “Profitability, training, image–we tend to work on many parts of the industry.

“The industry is in massive change and I am trying to be one of the people that are providing some solutions to the problems.”

Cochrane, who has been involved in many capacities with the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, is currently the co-chair of the Wholesalers/WD Council. He has made numerous presentations to industry executives over the years, on both the state of the industry as well as the financial imperatives of the installer base.

Cochrane Automotive became a full-time jobbing operation in 1976 and today is a Uni-Select Auto Parts Plus operation as well as an ACDelco wholesale distributor.

Cochrane says his background as an automotive technician provided him with important insight into the issues affecting service providers.

“I think that I’m able to see the issues from the installer side hands-on,” said Cochrane. “I constantly work at trying to improve that side of the jobber business. You look at Bob Greenwood’s program and trying to work with installers to enhance their business. The success of the installer is key to the success of the jobber.”

Cochrane will be the subject of a full-length profile in the July issue of Jobber News Magazine.

The Jobber of the Year Award, is formally named the E.J. and A.E. Wadham Memorial Award. Named in memory of the founders of Jobber News more than 70 years ago, the award is a lifetime achievement award that recognizes those auto parts wholesalers who epitomize the values held by the aftermarket in terms of success in business, community involvement, and contribution to the Canadian automotive aftermarket.

Pentair Selects New Sales Representation

Tool and equipment maker Pentair Canada has announced that it has selected new sales agencies to represent it in Canada.

Mike Clune, director industrial sales, has announced that the company–which supplies Porter, Flex, and Delta brands–will now be represented by Automarket Sales Group in Ontario and Stephane Carre Inc. Sales in Quebec. Personnel at both organizations have been a part of the automotive aftermarket in Canada for many years.

Heading up operations at the Automarket Sales Group are Rob Grinton (519-758-9977), Wayne Thurston (905-373-0413), and Paul Wooley (416-807-8228), while Stephane Carre Inc. Sales brings the experience of Stephane Carre (450-589-6970) and Yvon Demers ( 418-564-2653) to bear on the account.

Ontario Jobber Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Barton Auto Parts, based in Hamilton, Ont., celebrated its 50th anniversary with a successful trade show this spring.

Barton is operated by Mort and Stephen Krieger, the second and third generations to operate the business respectively. Mort’s father Thomas founded Barton Auto Parts in 1953. Mort and his brother Howard started working in the business in their early teens. Howard remained with the company until his death in 1987.

The trade show, which attracted thousands of employees, was a real celebration that had its emotional moments for company president Mort Krieger, his wife Jerre, daughter Robin, and son Stephen Krieger, the company’s vice-president. Both Stephen and his father thanked suppliers and staff who wore 50th Anniversary T-shirts for the occasion. “Without them we couldn’t have done it,” says Mort.

The suppliers reciprocated in many cases, honouring the company for its many years of operation.

Canusa Automotive Welcomes Special Guest

Canusa Automotive, based in Dorchester, Ont., welcomed a special guest to its Racing Days trade show: Mario Andretti.

While it was not the first time Andretti had graced the show with his presence, courtesy Chevron Texaco, this year’s visit came only days after his frightening crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Andretti, who retired from active racing several years ago, was attempting to qualify for the Indy 500 on a dare from his son Michael. During a hot lap, debris from the car of Kenny Brack wedged under the front of Andretti’s car at more than 220 mph. The car took off and flipped several times through the air before, mercifully, landing on its wheels.

The crash left Andretti shaken up, but with little more than a scraped chin. His willingness to attend the show despite being visibly stiff from the crash, was greatly appreciated by attendees and organizers alike.

In addition, the show featured an extensive selection of racecars and classic cars that helped attract thousands of customers to the event.

NGK Moves
Canadian Head Office

NGK Spark Plugs Canada Limited has moved its Canadian head office and warehouse.

The company, which supplies spark plugs, wires, and oxygen sensors to the Canadian automotive aftermarket, has taken up residence at a new facility in Markham, Ont. The company had been working from offices in Scarborough, Ont., east of Toronto.

The new location is 505 Apple Creek Boulevard, Unit #1, Markham, Ont. The new local phone number is 905-477-7780; new fax is 905-477-7765. Toll free phone and fax numbers remain 1-877-2-SPARKY and 1-877-3-SPARKY respectively.

Officials of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) committee have announced that R.L. Polk & Co., a leading global provider of analytic services and marketing solutions to the automotive industry, has extended its corporate sponsorship of GAAS for an additional three years. More than 400 people attended the eighth annual GAAS in Dearborn, Mich. earlier this month. More details on the symposium appear in this issue.

U.S. auto parts store chain Advance Auto Parts has reported that its same-store sales grew 1.1% in the quarter, ahead of an already strong quarter last year, which was up 7.8% on the previous year.

Delphi Corp. will invest $50 million U.S. over the next six years to upgrade the company’s advanced engine and emission test facilities. The investment will allow Delphi to improve its Engine Dynamometer Labs (EDL) and Vehicle Emissions Labs (VEL) at eight of the company’s technical centres worldwide. According to the company, the upgrades will give Delphi some of the world’s most advanced engine and emission test facilities.

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