Auto Service World
Feature   May 1, 2002   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter: May 2002: Reader Feedback

Dear Editor,

Reviewed your editorial (“Brand Equity and You,” March 2002) with great interest. Well Done! It is past due that someone other than Bob Greenwood challenges this great industry of ours.

Provocation is the seed of change, to my mind. We have to grasp that the prevailing and total commitment by the majority of installers is to their client total satisfaction! They have the core truth right. That said, it should be our defining focus to enable that satisfaction. With an established focus everything else, to paraphrase you, is “tools,” used to accomplish that end.

Perhaps as an industry, we should listen better. As opposed to telling.

Adrian Gordon,

Gorwood Automotive, Woodstock, Ont.

Dear Editor,

I read your editorial (“Brand Equity and You,” March 2002) in the current issue. Well done!!

I can assure you that jobbers who sell at retail, to make a sale, and fat margin, better be exceptionally careful. As you pointed out, they can do incredible damage to a service provider’s image with his customer/client. The service provider’s client is everything, and the shop will not support any company that jeopardizes that relationship. I hope they read that message and clearly understand it, because it is like cutting off the hand that is feeding you.

Great, informative issue.

Bob Greenwood,

E.K. Williams

And, in the better late than never category, we received this response to our April article “Thinking Outside the Box,” on the evolution of light truck steering systems, from Brian Rassin, product director, chassis products, Federal-Mogul Corporation.

Dear Editor,

What is the reason for going to rack & pinion units on light trucks/SUVs over the more traditional steering box/parallel link setup? Space, weight and cost.

How great is its impact expected to be on the aftermarket in short term?

Only two SUV platforms are in production with this set-up. No one has used this set-up in the past as the rack and pinion technology would not hold up in this environment. It remains to be seen if these will. On parts replacement, you lose the idler, pitman and center link; however, you gain the traditional coil spring pair, control arm and rack & pinion. In addition, you also gain the U-joints, as most of these are RWD and in fact, 50% are 4WD with multiple U-joint opportunities. All other parts are fairly consistent.

Long term? As more of the platforms utilize independent rear suspension and it becomes more broad market, although not specifically linked to rack & pinion front systems, but in more of the vein of trucks actually being designed like cars, we will see a host of additional part replacement opportunities such as rear ball joints, coil springs and control arms.

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