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

Over the Counter: October 2002

Automotive Repower Council Falls Victim to Dues Shortfall

After about three years of fighting an uphill battle, the Automotive Repower Council has folded its tent.

The Automotive Repower Council (ARC), which was created to raise awareness among North American consumers for the rebuilt engine option, was ultimately felled by a dues drive which failed to meet its financial needs for the coming year.

In a letter from the council’s executive directors, members were told that “despite our significant efforts, the Automotive Repower Council has been unable to generate sufficient 2002 membership support and participation.” The letter detailed the fact that only 30 companies had submitted their 2002 dues, which made up only about 20% of the annual funding requirement.

While the organization had sufficient resources to continue, owing to the downward trend it was judged by the membership that the best course was to approach the U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Industries Association to see if it would consider carrying the repowering message to consumers as part of its larger “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, under which the activities of the former Car Care Council are also being conducted. No word on the results of these discussions was available by press time.

Regardless, one downside for the Canadian market is that while ARC had a stated mandate to commit a percentage of its resources to the Canadian market, the AAIA’s initiative is strictly U.S.-focused.

The organization had initially been hailed as key, industry-wide initiative, but the economic issues curtailed support from some large suppliers and this affected the willingness of some other suppliers to support the organization. On the basis of the support it did get, ARC published the “Sticker Shock” consumer brochure which addressed the financial benefits of repowering, had an episode of “Crank & Chrome” dedicated to the repowering issue, and was in the process of conducting a market test to determine the effectiveness of raising consumer awareness at the local level.

In the end, though, dwindling support from parts manufacturers and the organization’s inability to gain support from machine shops and engine rebuilders have effectively forced the closure of the organization.

AIA Announces Scholarship Winners

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada has announced the winners of the Marion Roberts Scholarship Awards.

More than 60 young adults will be furthering their education with help from the scholarship fund, which is designed to assist students pursuing a post secondary education in any field of endeavor. They are awarded based on academic achievement, leadership skills, and community involvement.

“The parents of these young people should be very proud,” says association president Ray Datt. “It is always very inspiring for the selection committee to read the scholarship applications; these young people represent the best in today’s youth. Our congratulations and best wishes to them all.”

Each scholarship recipient will be awarded $500 to help them with their studies.

Delphi and Uni-Select Strike Distribution Agreement

Delphi Product & Service Solutions, a division of Delphi Corporation, has announced that it will partner with Uni-Select Inc. to distribute Delphi products and services to Uni-Select’s independently owned auto parts dealers, repair facilities, and repair shops.

Uni-Select will begin to distribute fuel delivery products this fall. In addition, the company will begin to market Delphi’s ensemble of service products and technologies, including its wireless handheld vehicle service and diagnostic solution. Delphi and Uni-Select will expand product offerings over the next several months.

“Uni-Select is pleased to have the opportunity to distribute Delphi’s sophisticated electronic devices,” said Jacques Landreville, Uni-Select president and chief executive. “As vehicle platforms become increasingly more complex and with the high tech market growing faster each year, Delphi’s expertise will become even more in demand. This partnership will offer a competitive edge to Uni-Select’s merchant members and better service their needs.”

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Nominations have opened for the 2003 Victor Reinz Machinist Of The Year Award, presented in cooperation with the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association and the Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Details are available at

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Uni-Select USA, Inc. and GMG Partners Inc., which operates stores in the Chicago area, have announced an agreement to join forces that calls for the North Central Division of Uni-Select USA to provide distribution and marketing services to the Chicago area stores owned and operated by GMG Partners. The agreement also calls for Uni-Select USA to assist GMG Partners in repositioning inventory assets previously deployed in its warehouse division, operating as Tri-State/Apex.

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Canadian Tire Petroleum has begun re-branding existing gas stations of other gasoline retailers to the Canadian Tire brand. Three pilot sites have been selected for re-branding and will be converted this Fall from Esso to Canadian Tire. In addition, Canadian Tire Petroleum is in re-branding discussions with other organizations in the industry.