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News Briefs 4/4/12

The Car Care Council has introduced a new online customizable service schedule to help motorists stay on top of their vehicle’s maintenance needs. The personalized schedule and an email reminder service, powered by DriverSide.com, are available at www.carcare.org. … Registration is now open at www.asashop.org for the ASA annual business meeting to be held May 7-8 at the Grand Hyatt DFW International Airport in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. All members are invited to attend. … Federated Auto Parts (Staunton, VA) has redesigned its website, www.FederatedAutoParts.com, to offer more information for its members and their service technician customers. The updated site offers new training and tech tips, as well as information about Federated marketing and support programs for professional technicians. … The automotive aftermarket division of Gates Corp. (Denver) has launched a new training site called the Performance Center that offers self-directed courses on a variety of topics pertaining to belts, hose and hydraulic products. … GE Capital Retail Bank has announced a multi-year renewal to continue providing financing for customers of Scottsdale, AZ-based Discount Tire via the Discount Tire CarCareOne credit card program, which began in 1997. Discount Tire has more than 800 locations in 23 states. … Brooksville, FL-based Monster Transmission has extended its customer service hours to 8:00 am – 8:00 pm (Eastern time) Monday through Friday. … NAPA Filters has launched a website, www.NAPAFilters.com, offering filtration information and tips for people with all types of vehicles, equipment and machinery. … Merger and acquisition activity for auto dealerships was up sharply in 2011, according to the Presidio Group of San Francisco, a personal and corporate financial services firm. Public retailers completed $512 million in acquisitions — a 140-percent increase over commitments made in 2010. Although well below the 2006 all-time record of more than $1 billion, the past year’s activity represents an accelerating trend. Private buyers also were active.