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News Briefs 1/15/14

• A large order for an OEM dealer service unit provided Hickok Inc. with its first profitable year since 2006. Fiscal 2013 net income came in at $138,805, compared to a $783,966 net loss a year ago. Sales increased 36 percent to $6.47 million.

“Two Guys Garage” and “Truck U” have begun airing PSAs promoting automotivescholarships.com. You can see them here.

• According to the U.S. EPA, model year 2012 vehicles achieved an all-time high fuel economy of 23.6 miles per gallon — a 1.2 mpg increase over the previous year, making it the second-largest annual increase in the last 30 years. Fuel economy has now increased in seven of the last eight years.

TRW’s North American Aftermarket Group has added a VIN reader to its mobile catalog apps.

Spectra Premium Industries has announced a limited lifetime warranty on its fuel pump assemblies, electrical and mechanical fuel pumps, and fuel strainers, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Dorman Products has added a new VIN input search field to its website and launched a new mobile site.

• Users of the Dayco VIN-scanning smartphone application can now access the company’s “Augmented Reality” (AR) training on serpentine belt and timing belt replacements.

SKF has added eight short videos to its YouTube channel, providing technicians with training on wheel end bearings and seals.

Rotary Lift has introduced a new line of LED shop lights, called Tech Lights, with magnetic clips that allow the lights to be attached a lift’s columns, its arms, a tool cart or a vehicle itself.

ARI Network Services has launched an online Wheel Studio as an extension of its Wheel & Tire website software, which is used by tire dealers to allow consumers to research and buy wheels and tires online. The Wheel Studio lets consumers see side-by-side, high-resolution images of wheels on their vehicle make and model.

• The Donald B. Rice Tire Co. (Frederick, MD) has changed its name to Rice Tire. The company has nine locations in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

MAM Software is now a member of the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA), a tire trade association in the United Kingdom.

• Service King Collision Repair Centers has acquired the three-shop network Body Works Collision Centers, expanding its footprint into Oklahoma. Service King has more than 100 locations in Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Arkansas and Mississippi.

MAACO’s new franchise center in Lauderhill, FL features a new customer-centric retail format and image, including digital sales boards and a retail color wall. The facility opened Jan. 6.

Mitchell International is now an associate member of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA).

Direct Lift is continuing its relationship with Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions, serving as the exclusive lift sponsor at all Barrett-Jackson events in 2014.

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