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

Over the Counter November 2005

Canadian Right to Repair Lobby Event Receives Resounding Support

The Canadian automotive aftermarket made important strides forward on the issue of the consumer’s right to repair.

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada brought dozens of industry leaders and members of Parliament together on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to raise awareness of the difficulty that the independent aftermarket has in obtaining repair information and tools from the original equipment manufacturers.

The event came just weeks after the drive for a more permanent voluntary agreement in the U.S. failed as right to repair legislation gained support.

In Ottawa, a reception drew 55 members of Parliament and 40 other government officials to meet with 70 members of the automotive aftermarket in an informal environment, which was a precursor to formal meetings with MPs. More than 30 meetings with key members of Parliament of all parties were organized, most resulting in some level of support being voiced.

“The response we received from government this week was nothing less than astounding,” said Ray Datt, president of AIA Canada. “We can honestly say that in every meeting and conversation we had with MPs and their staff, the political parties supported our efforts and offered to help us reach an agreement with the vehicle manufacturers.

“The ability of the independent automotive aftermarket service and repair sector to easily and affordably access information to diagnose and repair vehicles is vital to our entire industry,” continued Datt. “We have tried to get voluntary participation from the OEMs to give access to their diagnostic information and tools with no success, so we were left with very little choice but to bring this to the attention of government. We are confident that we will now see encouraging developments in the months to come to solve this issue for both the automotive service providers and their customers.”

New Industry Event Targets Service Provider

A new event called CarFixWorld has been announced for Toronto in 2006, with a heavy emphasis on clinics and seminars directed at service providers in the mechanical and collision repair sectors.

The event, scheduled for September 30 and October 1 at the National Trade Centre in Toronto, Ont., represents the introduction of a new event in the Canadian marketplace.

“CarFixWorld is designed to be an interactive industry event where service, collision and mechanical repair professionals will learn, share and discover opportunities within their industries,” says Carol Bell-LeNoury, general manager of Events for the Business Information Group, a division of HCN Publications Inc.

The event, organized by The Business Information Group, publishers of SSGM, Jobber News, Bodyshop and l’Automobile magazines, is focused on providing technical, product and business information, as well as a venue to attract apprentices and others to the automotive aftermarket.

Over one weekend the service providers of the repair and collision industries will gather to host competitive events, demonstrate products, provide presentations, gain knowledge to add to their experience, and network with industry peers, for two full days of action-packed activity.

For more information, please contact: Carol Bell-LeNoury, general manager, 416-510-5197 or

Uni-Select Names Big Winners

At two recent events, the Super Circuit show and the Monster Evening Cross-Canada event, Uni-Select awarded some special prizes.

At the Super Circuit event in St-Hyacinthe, Que., the network’s Boucherville and Quebec City Distribution Centre jobbers voted on the best sales representatives. The special awards were among many presented to companies large and small, but rank highly as they are the result of jobber voting.

Emile Bergeron of Mevotech was named the Sales Rep of the Year by jobbers working out of the Boucherville DC area, while Pierre Nadeau of Permatex received the award from Quebec City DC jobbers.

At the event, former CFL player Pierre Vercheval presented on “The Spirit of Winning,” noting that in team sports it is possible to contribute without being front and centre. With Grey Cup rings and recognition as a valuable player, he reminded all that “in 200 games, I never handled the ball.”

At Uni-Select’s Monster Evening, a coordinated effort that saw 14 sites across Canada linked via satellite for a simulcast presentation of a convertible Mustang provided by Affinia, some 2,000 garage owners took their seats as five finalists from across Canada gathered onstage in the Brampton, Ont. Distribution Centre to see who would drive away in a Mustang and who would walk away with $1,000 in their pocket.

In the draw, Paul Major of Garage Jean-Claude Major Inc. of Quebec took the Mustang prize, while Brian Gavin of Gavin Auto Repair, Bill Middleton of Nationwide Tire and Automotive, Rob Bardon and Dave McIntrye of Royal Oak Automotive, and John A. Calder from Auto Experts Repair Services all received $1,000. In a random draw from all attendees, Stphane Poirier of New Brunswick took home a second convertible Mustang.

E.R.I. Scholarships Announced

The E.R.I. Group has announced the winners of the 2005 Richard Miller Education Scholarship Award.

The award is presented to family members of E.R.I. Group members. Each recipient was presented with a cheque for $1,000 to help them further their education.

Recipients are: Nick Heinio of Cowichan Bay, British Columbia; Lisa Marie Greer of Calgary, Alberta; Srdjan Dautbegovic of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Warren Paxton of Holland Landing, Ontario; Patrice Lambert of Qubec, Qubec; and Martha Gallagher of Burton, New Brunswick.

Trade Association Rejuvenated

Mechanical and collision repair trade associations from across the country met in Regina, Sask., to rejuvenate the National Automotive Trades Association of Canada (NATA). Though it had lain virtually fallow for a number of years, NATA is a federally chartered

58-year old organization, with current representation on the Board of the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council (CARS), along with the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA), the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC), the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), and the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA). CARS President Dan Bell commented, “The National Automotive Trades Association was one of the founding board members of the CARS Council, and has been a very important voice for the independent repair sector over the years. As the repair and service industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it is important for networks such as NATA to exist to coordinate [industry] efforts.” The National Automotive Trades Association of Canada currently represents key service provider associations from across Canada. NATA president is Rob Lang of British Columbia; executive vice-president is John Scissons from Saskatchewan; secretary/treasurer is Bill Burkimsher of Ontario.

E.R.I. Presents Barclay Upton Award

Rae Coyle has been named as the first recipient of the V. Barclay Upton Memorial Award. The award, named in memory of the well-known veteran of the engine rebuilding industry, will be presented annually to the E.R.I. Group’s highest-performing Service Team member. Coyle has been a valuable member of the E.R.I. Service Team since 2002, with responsibility for E.R.I. members in the Atlantic Provinces. The award was presented by Rick Miller, president of The E.R.I. Group, and Bill Wyborn, Service Team Leader, at the group’s sales meeting.

Bearing Changes

Bearing supplier FAG Automotive-Aftermarket Division is now operating under its new corporate identity of Schaeffler Canada Inc. Automotive-Aftermarket Division, and is in a new location. In 2003, Schaeffler Group acquired FAG Bearings globally. The new headquarters are located at 2871 Plymouth Drive in Oakville, Ont. Toll-free number remains (800) 261-8111.

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