The Automotive Industries Association of Canada has published a guide to help aftermarket companies understand the legislation that regulates them.
With the support of the Aerospace and Automotive Branch of Industry Canada, the association has published a report called the “Regulatory Environment for Canada’s Automotive Aftermarket Industry — The Key to Better Understanding.”
Regulatory summaries in the report interpret the relevant information in the statutes and regulations as they apply to the automotive aftermarket industry, and help identify which segments of the industry are most affected. The summaries also point to training and information resources when they exist.
In all more than 100 federal and provincial acts were identified, with more than 200 regulations that apply to the automotive aftermarket industry in Canada.
“Government regulations impact upon any business,” says Ray Datt, president of the association. “The AIA felt that over the last several years, the increasing number of government regulations, particularly those related to the environment, had made it difficult for companies in the automotive aftermarket to fully comprehend their responsibilities in this area. One of AIA’s core areas of activities is government relations. We think this report and the appendices that accompany it are one of the most valuable industry resources that AIA has completed in several years.”
The report, as well as the federal and provincial legislative summaries, are currently posted on the AIA website.
“This tool will be very valuable to AIA members who have limited resources, so that they may better meet their regulatory obligations,” says Datt.
As part of the project, AIA surveyed its members to determine levels of awareness and compliance with regards to government legislation and regulations. The results confirm a high level of awareness of certain regulatory issues as well as concern over the capacity for regulatory compliance. AIA believes higher awareness in areas such as the Transportation of Dangerous Goods legislation can likely be attributed to recent changes to those regulations.
Close to 80% of respondents indicated that they have a person or persons specifically responsible for understanding and ensuring compliance with government regulations. This indicates that the industry is aware of the importance of compliance. However, how many resources were dedicated to this task is unknown, as is their level of success regarding compliance.
AIA suggests that while most business owners in the automotive aftermarket industry are willing to comply with government regulations, there is concern within the industry that some regulations may not receive the necessary attention from business. This can be attributed to the fact that the language of most regulations in Canada is complicated and cumbersome and the effort required to become familiar with these regulations is substantial; and the tiers of regulations and the frequency with which these regulations are amended further complicate the process for business owners and compound the cost of doing business.
The report concludes with seven major recommendations in the three core areas of Awareness, Training, and Access to Information and Training.
NAPA Opens British Columbia Facility
After several years of planning, the new NAPA Vancouver Distribution Centre and Retail Store facility is now open and operating in Port Kells, B.C.
The brand new 80,000-square-foot facility is located at the corner of 200th St. and 92A Ave. in one of the fastest growing areas of the Lower Mainland. The location also includes over 45,000 sq.-ft. of second floor mezzanine, giving it over 120,000-sq.-ft of space. Also included is a state-of-the-art conveyor system that processes customer orders seven days a week.
The new facility includes a 5,000 sq.-ft store that has access to a multi-million-dollar inventory from the distribution centre. “We expect this store to be a shopping destination for both retail and wholesale customers throughout the valley,” says district manager Tim Bruchetto.
Brendan O’Brien, regional vice-president for NAPA Auto Parts, states, “This new Distribution Centre is an investment and commitment to our customers and employees in British Columbia. We will continue to grow our business and provide the absolute best parts and service in the province.”
Certification Process Comes to Information Standards
The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has announced a new service that enables aftermarket manufacturers and suppliers to audit and certify product information compliance with the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES).
The data audit and certification service (DAC) is provided in partnership with Comergent Technologies, Inc., a leading demand chain management software applications company based in Redwood City, California.
The PIES standard is the industry standard template for nearly 200 fields of item-level product information.
In 2003, AAIA conducted a PIES pilot study of basic product data essential to automated e-commerce. The research concluded that errors in part numbers, UPC codes, minimum order quantities, units of measure and other related fields contribute to $1.7 billion U.S. in annual wasted expense throughout the aftermarket industry. “The aftermarket industry has awoken to the staggering cost of product data errors in collaborative e-business,” explained Scott Luckett, vice president of technology standards and solutions, AAIA. “The data audit and certification service will enable suppliers to synchronize clean and accurate data with their customers and to begin lowering their respective costs. Everyone wants to see more ROI from their investments in technology and DAC is an essential step to reaching that goal.”
Midtronics Files Patent Infringement Suit
Midtronics, Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against DHC Specialty Corp. of Taipei, Taiwan in U.S. Federal District Court in Chicago, Ill.
The suit claims that DHC products violate patents that have been assigned exclusively to Midtronics in the area of battery testing technology.
According to Steve McShane, Midtronics CEO, the company has invested two decades developing technologies.
“Midtronics has focused entirely on battery management innovation, investing significantly in research, engineering and product development. We have committed ourselves to funding the invention of many unique technologies and products that have provided effective solutions to the problems of our industry. This lawsuit confirms that our commitment to innovation is reinforced by our resolve to defend our intellectual property.”
NGK and Altrom Score with Hockey Promotion
Altrom Canada and NGK Spark Plugs of Canada teamed up for a hockey promotion that saw personnel for both take in a tight game between the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks.
Altrom branches across Canada competed for a limited number of passes to a private suite at GM Place in Vancouver. The competition rewarded new sales growth performance in NGK/NTK products.
The winning branch was Altrom’s Ottawa operation, which enjoyed a weekend in Vancouver and the hockey game, made all the more enjoyable by the fact that Ottawa beat Vancouver 2 to 1 (though both teams are now working on their golf games).
NGK Honours District Manager of the Year
NGK Spark Plugs Canada Limited has named Corey Jelly as its District Manager of the Year.
Jelly’s performance during the 2003 year was outstanding, according to Robert Tribe, general manager, sales and marketing.
Jelly has been able to develop new business and grow his territory of responsibility tremendously. He is responsible for the Ottawa area and 401 area towards Toronto and northerly along the Ontario/Quebec border. He will be rewarded with a trip to visit the company’s NGK/NTK facilities in Japan during June of this year.
Counterfeit Presentations Now Available Online
Materials presented at the Motor Equipme nt Manufacturers Association (MEMA) counterfeit parts seminar held in April are now available online.
Members met April 5 for a comprehensive seminar focusing on best practices related to this growing industry challenge. The informative session featured presentations from industry leaders, attorneys specializing in the subject and top government representatives. The presentations are available at www.mema.org.
MEMA is creating a Brand Protection Council to help address and set the association’s priorities in the areas of counterfeiting, diversion, non-compliant products and intellectual property rights. The group is open to any member of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association or the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.
Federal-Mogul Opposes Asbestos Fund
Federal-Mogul Corp. has indicated its opposition to a U.S. Senate proposal to form an asbestos liability fund, saying it was being treated unfairly in being made the largest contributor to the fund, according to a wire service report.
Federal-Mogul, which is reorganizing under bankruptcy protection, wrote to senators saying they should not rely on $2.2 billion U.S. in payments expected from the company under the plan, which identifies Federal-Mogul as the largest contributor to the asbestos fund, said the Reuters story.
Senators and parties affected by the plan, that would end lawsuits by asbestos victims, are trying to find a compromise in talks.
Federal-Mogul spokesman Sean Patrick confirmed that the Southfield, Mich. company was distributing a letter stating its position to all senators. It was signed by Charles G. McClure, Federal-Mogul’s chief executive officer and president, and by Neil Subin, chairman of the unsecured creditors’ committee.
Federal-Mogul, which did not manufacture products with asbestos, said it faced claims solely due to its acquisition of a U.K.-based business with substantial asbestos liability.