Auto Service World
Feature   June 1, 2008   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter June 2008

MACS Manual Now Available

The MACS 2008 Mobile A/C Update clinic manual includes information on A/C and its effect on fuel economy, new refrigerant info, building A/C hoses, charge accuracy needed for today’s tight tolerance systems, chasing electrical gremlins, and more. The new clinic manual is available in the MACS online store at, for US$20 plus shipping for MACS members and US$40 plus shipping for non-members. Books can also be purchased by calling (215) 631-7020; dial “0” for operator.

Founded in 1981, the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS)Worldwide is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating, and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket.

Uni-Select to Purchase Beck/Arnley, Forming Foreign Nameplate Division

Uni-Select Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Beck/Arnley Worldparts Corp. and its Canadian subsidiary, Beck/Arnley Worldparts Canada ULC, both automotive replacement parts distributors specializing in parts for foreign nameplate vehicles.

Beck/Arnley operates one master distribution centre at its headquarters in Smyrna, Tennessee and maintains relationships with two other satellite warehouses, allowing it to service the whole of the North American market. The sale was expected to be completed on June 1st, 2008, subject to closing conditions. The companies did not report the purchase price, but the acquisition was expected to add approximately CDN$29 million to Uni-Select revenues.

The acquisition by Uni-Select follows a pattern by traditional automotive aftermarket distributors to improve their service to the growing import nameplate marketplace. Previously General Parts, parent of Carquest Canada, purchased Worldpac, and earlier this year, Genuine Parts Inc., parent of NAPA Canada, purchased Altrom. Both are focused on providing replacement parts for import nameplate vehicles.

For Uni-Select, the Beck/Arnley business will be the cornerstone of a strategic initiative to improve parts coverage in order to better service the growing import nameplate component of the North American fleet of vehicles, and will be the start of a new Foreign Nameplate Division at Uni-Select Inc.

“Beck/Arnley’s high-quality product offering, its strong brand image at the jobber and installer levels, its catalogue, and its capabilities in the areas of product sourcing and logistics provide us with a great opportunity to support and improve the capabilities of the company. We intend to grow the business by expanding its geographical reach and its product offering. In addition, we will deliver the quality product the customer wants, where and when he wants it and at a competitive price,” says Richard G. Roy, president and chief executive officer of Uni-Select Inc.

“In Uni-Select, we have found the right partner as their vision, culture, values and business model, including support of the independent jobber, coincide so closely with ours,” comments Max Dull, president of Beck/Arnley.

AIA Welcomes Maheux as Senior Consultant

AIA Canada President Marc Brazeau is pleased to announce that Michel Maheux is joining AIA Canada as a senior consultant to the AIA Quebec Division.

Michel Maheux comes to AIA Canada with 44 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket industry. While working for UAP and Acklands, he gained an understanding of sales, marketing, and parts distribution. In 1988, he joined Uni-Select and became senior vice-president, market development for North America until 2006.

As AIA senior consultant, Quebec division, Maheux will assume overall responsibility for the strategic direction of the association in the province of Quebec. He will provide highlevel support and representation to AIA and its members on key industry and government relations issues, committees, events, and projects.

“With automotive aftermarket retail sales reaching $3.5 billion a year in Quebec, AIA needs a strong voice and representation in the province,” says Brazeau. “Michel is well respected and well known throughout the industry, in Quebec and across Canada. He will bring strong leadership to AIA Quebec and its members on the critical issues facing the industry.”

Michel succeeds Carolle Larose, who is leaving the association to pursue other interests and endeavours.

Barton Showcases New Suppliers, Import Market

Barton Automotive held its 12th Annual Trade Show in April, drawing hundreds of customers to the Mohawk College Automotive Building in Hamilton, Ont.

While the same facilities were used as in past years, a new floor plan, attractions, and exhibitors were evident.

“Every year we have to make something different. We had a lot of new booths and new suppliers to the Canadian market,” says owner Steve Krieger. “The show is important and at the end of the day it still put in front of our customers what is going on in the aftermarket.”

There was a significant presence of import application providers, in keeping with the strong import demand in the Hamilton market, and this was recognized in the naming of Dayco’s Bob Rosen as Supplier of the Year. “Dayco had the vision to support our customers’ needs for import applications. Dayco has done an outstanding job in recognizing the import market,” says Krieger.

PPG Releases Waterborne Update

According to PPG, more and more collision shops are making the transition to waterborne basecoat from solvent-based systems in anticipation of new air quality regulations in California and Canada. The move, intended to reduce VOC atmospheric emissions and improve air quality, has so far resulted in more than 700 collision shops making the transition to PPG’s Envirobase High Performance and Aquabase Plus waterborne basecoats.

To help assure shops make the conversion smoothly, PPG initiated a waterborne conversion program more than a year ago in California, known as “Convert with Confidence.” The program provides shop owners, managers, and technicians with training, advice, and support before, during, and after the conversion.

A similar program is underway in Canada. “Transitions are going very smoothly,” says Jim Downey, PPG senior regional manager. “We convert an average of fifteen to twenty shops every week.”

In Canada, Debbie Nucciarone, PPG product manager, reports similar success.

“Many shop owners were eager to make the conversion early. They knew regulations would make the change inevitable and they wanted to adapt quickly, knowing we would provide them with the training and support they needed.”

In Canada, the regulations will take effect nationwide on January 1, 2010.

Searching For The Best A/C Technician in North America

Carquest and the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide have teamed up to find the best mobile air conditioning and heat transfer service technician in North America.

The winner will receive an exciting prize package that includes the opportunity to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime NASCAR racing experience.

“Carquest is dedicated to providing industry leading training and original equipment manufactured products for professional automotive technicians,” says Dave Poplin, product manager for Carquest. “We are proud to support MACS and training among mobile A/C and heat transfer automotive technicians. We are excited to partner with MACS for the third year in a row to find the best mobile A/C and heat transfer technician in North America.”

Technicians who are certified in refrigerant recycling and recovery may register for the competition between June 1st and July 20th at

The Level 1 multiple-choice test will be available online between August 1st and September 7th.

Canadian mobile A/C technicians do not have to be Section 609-certified, as this is only a requirement in th
e United States.

Canadian technicians should follow provincial laws governing the recovery and recycling of refrigerants.

The winner of the 2008 Carquest/MACS A/C Technician of the Year competition will be announced at the Carquest Awards Luncheon at the MACS Worldwide 29th Annual Convention and Trade Show, “New Frontiers in Mobile A/C Service,” to be held February 5-7, 2008 at the Hilton Anatolia, Dallas, Tex.

Manufacturers Applaud Windsor, Ontario Plan

The president of the association representing international automobile manufacturers in Canada has praised local, provincial, and federal governments for a recent announcement regarding their investment in the new Windsor-Essex Parkway, which will link Highway 401 to the proposed new international border crossing.

“There have been numerous studies produced and significant time and human and financial resources expended to get to this point,” notes David Adams, president of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC).

“All parties are to be commended for their efforts and commitment of $1.6 billion to put in place a world-class accessway to the urgently needed new border crossing, which will provide additional capacity and redundancy to improve the efficiency and security of the cross-border movement of goods for all industries,” says Adams. “With two of the AIAMC members producing vehicles in Canada and eight related member companies producing vehicles in the United States, which will soon increase to ten, the importance of having an efficient and secure border to foster the twoway trade in auto parts and finished vehicles cannot be overstated. I appreciate that this project has been challenging at times for the city of Windsor, but we are pleased that the Windsor-Essex Parkway will bring some 12,000 jobs to the Windsor-Essex economy, which has been hard hit by restructuring within the Canadian automotive industry.”

Online Employment and Apprenticeship Program Launched

To answer shop demands for more skilled and eager workers both now and into the future, the collision repair trade association at and the organization have merged their offerings to help shop employers in their hiring efforts.

As of this month, the number of techs and apprentices listed with, will be listed on the employment pages of

This month alone, there are 27 available employees in the specified coverage areas.

Simply by going to the collision repair industry website at and clicking “employment”, a shop can access the number of apprentices and techs available for hiring in its area and call the local number to arrange pre-screening or interview information.

“Many of these new potential hires can be attractive to an employer, as often grants and incentives may be available to reduce employer risk and costs,” says Ed Cummings of Mountain Collision Centre, who has used these programs in the past.

For more information on grants and incentives please see provinces/ontario/features. html.

Members of the association can also receive a free copy of the “Dollars and Sense–A guide to Apprenticeship Supports” booklet that explains all the programs.

Ford Shifts To Six Gears

The big shift is on at Ford Motor Company, as the automaker plans to more than double the number of six-speed automatic transmissions, to 1.4 million, in its North American cars and trucks by the end of 2009. “Advanced six-speed automatic transmissions are an important element in our sustainability strategy to improve fuel economy for our customers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in our new vehicles by 2020,” says Barb Samardzich, vicepresident, Ford North America powertrain operations. By the end of 2012, 98% of Ford’s North American automatic transmissions will be advanced six-speed gearboxes.

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