Auto Service World
Feature   February 1, 2000   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter: Ontario’s Drive Clean Program Tests Millionth Vehicle but Misses Emissions Reduction Target

Ontario’s Drive Clean emissions testing program celebrated its one-millionth test, but critics say that it hasn’t achieved what it set out to do.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment held a press conference to make a special presentation to Joan Danis of Thornhill, Ont., whose 1985 Toyota Corolla–with a mere 123,000 km on it–became became the one millionth Drive Clean tested car when it passed its test on January 4 at Don Valley North Lexus Toyota in Markham, Ont.

The Drive Clean program operates in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton Wentworth regions, together containing approximately 2 million vehicles. It is scheduled to expand to 13 more urban areas in 2001, stretching from Windsor to Ottawa. The testing of heavy-duty vehicles began in September 1999, too recent for data on the testing to be available.

For light vehicles, however, the data released by the Ontario Ministry of Environment says that the program has resulted in an estimated 6.7% reduction in smog-causing pollutants from vehicles, far short of the projected reduction of 22% by 2004.

Environment minister Tony Clement defended the program. “It’s a good start. Vehicle owners are benefiting. Seven million liters of gasoline were saved due to emissions repairs, emitting 18,500 fewer tonnes of CO2 as a result.”

Criticism leveled at the program and the Ontario government by the rival New Democratic Party environment critic called the program “a smokescreen to hide (the government’s failure) to tackle the serious increase in air pollution.” Information from the NDP said that increases in coal-fired power generation plant emissions are the equivalent of adding 1.6 million cars on the road.

“Drive Clean claims to have reduced smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions in Ontario, but the truth is that Ontario Power Generation will exceed the nitrogen oxide emissions cap by 12 kilotons. This is a 33% increase that negates any improvement that Drive Clean may have brought about. It’s a drop in the bucket,” said MPP Marilyn Churley.

Clement says that, although there are many factors and sources affecting air quality, programs such as Drive Clean are still important. “Fifty percent of the smog comes from U.S sources. Stationary sites are also part of the problem. Power generation is 12-20% of the emission problem.

“Given that the program is a year old, and we have some data, we know that (Drive Clean) is not the whole solution, but it is an indication that we are on the right track.”

Undercar Canada Acquires UBP’s Canadian Distribution Business

Undercar Canada Inc. has purchased the Canadian distribution division of Universal Brake Parts.

Undercar Canada said that it was temporarily discontinuing the Ultimate Rotor and brake hose lines, while all other lines and pricing would continue.

Undercar Canada is a part of Undercar Corp. a wholly owned subsidiary of D’Long America based in Southfield, Mich. Current brand offerings included Charlie Brown Catalytic Converters, Undercar Brake Products, OMCO Mufflers, Torch Lighting Products, and Torch Spark Plugs.

ROL and Hastings Announce Alliance

Gasket maker ROL Manufacturing and piston ring manufacturer Hastings Inc. have an-nounced an alliance that will see the companies enhance sales and distribution capabilities.

Under the agreement, Hastings will represent the ROL line to engine rebuilders across Canada. This is the third such agreement in the past year. Hastings also represents the Dynagear line of engine parts and ACL bearings.

The agreement will also see these lines and Hastings rings inventories move into ROL Manufacturing’s Toronto Distribution Center.

Carquest Buys Acktion Stake, Acktion Sells Last of Non-Core Holdings

Acktion Corporation has announced that it has completed the sale of its 50% interest in Carquest Canada Ltd. to its partner General Parts, Inc. (GPI) of Raleigh, N.C., the sale of its shares in GPI to GPI, and the signing of a letter of intent to sell its Reynolds Fasteners Inc. business. The moves mark the departure of Acktion from the automotive and industrial businesses.

Acktion, whose chairman and CEO Rai Sahi was credited with bringing Acklands and McKerlie-Millen into a new era–garnering an Entrepreneur of the Year award–had previously made moves to concentrate on real estate ventures. The Acklands business had previously been sold to Grainger. The McKerlie-Millen business was sold to General Parts, the largest Carquest member.

Both the Carquest and GPI transactions were for cash, although terms were not disclosed.

“We wish GPI and Carquest all the best in their future endeavors and feel confident that Carquest, its customers and employees will prosper under the focussed, professional ownership of GPI,” said Sahi.

The sale of the Reynolds fastener business, with 12 branches in the U.S., to Threads International, is expected to close in March.

Arthur Paulin Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Award Winners

The winners of the 1999 Arthur Paulin Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Awards have been announced by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada.

Formerly known as the Scholarship Trust Fund Awards, winners are awarded $700 each. The scholarship recipients are deserving students enrolled in an automotive aftermarket industry related program at a Canadian college or university. Scholarships are awarded annually in each of the following regions: Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Western Canada, and one scholarship is awarded to a student pursuing studies at the Canadian Automotive Institute.

This year, five additional awards were made available through the generosity of a number of AIA Divisions. The Arthur Paulin Auto-motive Scholarship Recipients are:

West: Cory Briscoe, Lethbridge, Alta. – Lethbridge Community College; Tyler Jacobs, Lethbridge, Alta. – SAIT; Ian Manderscheid, Saskatoon, Sask. – SIAST, Kelsey Campus.

Quebec: Stphane Pasquier, Longueuil, Que. – cole des mtiers; Yoan-Thierry Noel, Le Gardeur, Que.- Centre Daniel-Johnson.

Ontario: Showkit Johaadien, Scarborough, Ont. – Centennial College; Mohamed Ghorvei, Toronto, Ont. – Centennial College; Darren Kitchen, Cornwall, Ont. – St. Lawrence College.

Atlantic: Brett Clarke, Aurora College – Fort Smith.

CAI: Shea McLennan, Barrie, Ont. – Canadian Automotive Institute.

Genuine Parts and Snap-on Team Up for E-Business

Snap-on and Genuine Parts Company, parent company of UAP Inc., have announced a strategic alliance to provide on-line parts ordering and technical information.

The announcement, by Larry Prince, chairman and CEO Genuine Parts, says that the agreement involves Genuine’s purchase of a 15% stake in Snap-on subsidiary Mitchell Repair Information Company (MRIC). “Through the integration of MRIC’s repair information into GPC’s parts ordering and delivery systems, the strategic investment will provide Genuine Parts with a competitive edge in the company’s future business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce initiatives.”

Drive Clean Facts:

First time pass rate: 84% of vehicles

Conditional pass rate: 29% of failed vehicles

Lowest failure rate by make: Land Rover (2%)

Highest failure rate by make: Renault (66.3%)

Lowest failure by total: Ferrari (51)

Highest failure by total: GM (217,248)

Highest initial failure rate by year: 1980 and 1984 (54%)

Lowest initial failure rate by year: 1999 and 2000 (0%)

Highest average repair cost by year: 1998 ($504)

Lowest average repair cost by year:

1997 ($175)

Overall average repair cost: $248

Most common repairs: Timing/Spark Plugs/Wires (22%)

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