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Service Executive Issue #05-13 (Full)

CarMD Reports First Rise In ‘Check Engine’ Related Repair Costs In Six Years

Car repair costs jumped 10 percent to $367.84 on average per repair nationwide last year — the first increase in six years, according to the 2013 CarMD.com Vehicle Health Index. One of the main reasons was a higher percentage of more expensive repairs related to the aging vehicle population.

Unchanged was the No.-1 most common repair, which remained a faulty oxygen sensor. The second most common repair was “tighten or replace gas cap,” while No. 3 was “replace catalytic converter(s).” Rounding out the Top 5 were ignition coil failure and replacing spark plugs and wires.

CarMD’s Vehicle Health Index analyzed more than 161,000 “check engine” related repairs that were input and validated by its nationwide network of ASE-certified technicians from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2012. The full index is available at http://corp.carmd.com.

2012 saw a 10-percent increase in car repair costs, returning to pre-recession rates, with parts up 6 percent and labor costs rising 17 percent. The hardest hit region was the Northeast with an 11.56-percent increase, according to CarMD.

With average vehicle age surpassing 11 years, costly and catastrophic repairs continued to rise. The 15 most expensive repairs saw a 24-percent jump in frequency.

For the first time, battery and charging system problems appeared in the Top 10 most common “check engine” related repairs due in part to computers on newer models that now track insufficient charging voltage, including failing batteries and alternators.

Recall-related repairs also emerged among common repairs, as did fixes related to newer systems such as antilock brakes and residual effects of parts failing related to the effects of higher-percentage ethanol-blend fuels.

Manufacturers are making cars and their parts to last longer with longer maintenance and repair intervals. This, coupled with consumers becoming savvier in addressing minor car repairs, resulted in a 1.3-percent drop in “check engine” related trips to repair shops last year.

Hybrid repair costs continued to drop due to an increased volume of hybrids on the road, and more parts and more people qualified to service them. For these vehicles, the most expensive repair in 2011 was “replace hybrid inverter assembly” at $4,098, which decreased nearly 5 percent in 2012.

Hybrid repairs no longer hold the top spot in the CarMD survey, which is now “replace transmission assembly and reprogram electronic control module” at more than $5,400.

 

Cost Of Owning/Operating Sedan In United States Up Nearly 2%, According To AAA

The cost to own and operate a sedan in the United States has grown 1.96 percent to $9,122 a year, or 60.8 center per mile, according to the latest “Your Driving Costs” study released April 16 by AAA. These figures are based on 15,000 miles of annual driving. Changes in maintenance, fuel and insurance costs resulted in the year-over-year increase.

The costs associated with maintaining a vehicle had the single largest percentage increase from 2012 to 2013, growing 11.26 percent to 4.97 cents per mile on average for sedan owners. AAA’s estimates are based on the cost to maintain a vehicle and perform needed repairs for five years and 75,000 miles, including labor expenses, replacement part prices and the purchase of an extended warranty policy.

Driving the increase in maintenance costs were significant increases in labor and parts costs for some models, as well as a major increase in the price of extended warranty policies due to high loss ratios by underwriters.

The cost of tires did not change from 2012 to 2013, remaining at one cent per mile on average for sedan owners. The stable price is attributed to a leveling-off of past increased costs for raw material, energy and transportation from factories to distributors across the country.

Gas prices were relatively stable compared to the prior year, leading to a minimal fuel cost increase of 1.93 percent to 14.45 cents per mile on average for sedan owners. The average cost of regular-grade fuel (used by most of the study vehicles) actually rose 3.84 percent, from $3.357 to $3.486 per gallon. However, several vehicles in the study had small improvements in their fuel economy ratings, which partially offset the fuel cost increase.

Fuel costs in the 2013 study were calculated using the national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Average insurance costs for sedans rose 2.76 percent, or $28, to $1,029 annually. The study’s insurance cost estimates were based on a low-risk driver with a clean driving record. Quotes from five AAA clubs and insurance companies representing seven states showed across-the-board modest increases for all sedan sizes, with large cars having less of an increase than small- and medium-size sedans.

After seeing a drop in 2012, depreciation costs were up slightly in 2013, increasing 0.78 percent to $3,571 a year. AAA says this change may be a consequence of recovering new vehicle sales, resulting in more used cars available in the marketplace and, thus, a softening of the resale value of clean older models.

AAA has published “Your Driving Costs” since 1950. That year, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost 9 cents per mile, and gasoline sold for $0.27 a gallon.

 

ASRW Paring Expo Down To Two Days

Beginning with the 2013 event, Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) will become a two-day expo, with three days of education. The show floor will be open Thursday, Oct. 17 and Friday, Oct. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., while the ASRW Conference Program will take place Wednesday, Oct. 16 through Friday, Oct. 18.

Event organizers say participants will experience the same number of expo hours as in the past, but streamlined into two days. The event remains at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

 

NEW…BBB Industries: Core Procurement Assistant Manager

BBB Industries, a leading remanufacturer of alternators, starters and power steering products for the automotive aftermarket supplier is in need of an experienced Core Buyer/Procurement Manager to source, locate and coordinate procurement of alternator, starter and power steering cores.

This position is responsible for the sourcing and managing cores throughout the product lifecycle. This includes sourcing cores, qualifying vendors according to customer requirements, working closely with operations, sales and product management in order to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction requirements are met.
Read More…

 

TBC Offering New Incentives For Franchisees

The TBC Retail Group (Pam Beach Gardens, FL) is offering enhanced incentives to expand its Big O Tires, Midas and SpeeDee Oil Change & Tune-Up brands in the United States and Canada. This includes a $10,000 discount on its initial franchise fee and a discounted royalty for the first two years of operation. Franchise agreements must be signed by March 31, 2014, and stores must be opened by March 31, 2015.

The company supports new franchisees with a range of services from site selection and financing to construction and grand opening execution. Additionally, the franchises offer protected market areas, as well as on-going support with product and service selection, national marketing, and training.

Franchises and incentives are not currently available in all states.

TBC Retail bills itself as the largest operator of tire and automotive service centers in the United States and Canada with six brands encompassing 1,841 franchise locations and 922 company-operated retail outlets.

Midas is one of the world’s largest providers of automotive service with nearly 2,250 franchised, licensed and company-owned shops in 13 countries, including nearly 1,400 in the United States and Canada. (As you may recall, Midas became a wholly owned subsidiary of TBC on April 30, 2012).

The SpeeDee oil change and auto service center network has 160 locations in the United States and Mexico. SpeeDee became a part of TBC along with Midas in April 2012.

Big O Tires serves more than 400 franchised and company-owned stores primarily located in the western and midwestern United States. It also distributes tires and other automotive service products to associate dealers in western Canada.

 

ATD Buying Another Canadian Tire Distributor

The TriCan Tire Distributors subsidiary of American Tire Distributors Holdings (ATD) has entered into a deal to purchase Regional Tire Distributors Inc. (RTD) for roughly US$62.50 million, subject to post-closing adjustments. ATD expects the transaction to close by the end of April.

The acquisition would significantly expand ATD’s relatively new presence in Canada.

Burlington, ON-based RTD is a wholesale distributor of tires, tire parts, tire accessories, and related equipment operating five distribution centers in Ontario and four distribution centers in the Atlantic Provinces. RTD services approximately 3,100 customers.

Bill Berry, the president and CEO of ATD, said RTD has built a very strong presence in the eastern provinces in which it operates. “These nine distribution centers will complement the current TriCan operation, which has a leading market position across the Prairie Provinces and in British Columbia,” Berry explained.

As you may recall, ATD acquired Edmonton, AB-based TriCan back in November for US$97.50 million. This marked ATD’s entry into the Canadian market.

Following the close of the RTD deal, management plans to continue running its Canadian operation as a stand-alone business unit. Mike Kustra, currently president of RTD, will become president of the combined RTD/TriCan operation. Chris Fletcher, currently president of TriCan, will become non-executive chairman of the combined business.

The plan is to begin expanding the Canadian distribution centers this year to support a broader product offering. Management also intends to add “several” new distribution centers across Canada by opening greenfield locations and potentially acquiring other Canadian distributors.

ATD is already one of the largest independent suppliers of tires to the replacement tire market. Not including the pending RTD deal, ATD operates 123 distribution centers, including 15 distribution centers in Canada, serving some 70,000 customers across the United States and Canada.

ATD is a TPG Capital portfolio company.

 

Sullivan Tire Acquires Wholesale Facility In Auburn, NH

Norwell, MA-based Sullivan Tire has acquired Auburn Tire, a 12,000-square-foot wholesale facility in Auburn, NH. This gives Sullivan its 12th wholesale distribution facility. The Auburn location will stock roughly 10,000 tires and will serve customers in central and southern New Hampshire, as well as northern Massachusetts.

Former Auburn Tire owner Mark Hilliard, along with his staff, will continue their employment with Sullivan.

Sullivan is a locally owned, family business with 65 full-service auto repair locations and 15 commercial truck tire centers across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine.

 

Point Of View: Offsetting Negative Perceptions About Us

There is not a day that goes by when we are not bombarded by a new study, a new survey or a new poll that alleges to define for us the lay of the land in regard to some area of both our personal or professional lives. Contradictory health studies seemingly indicate opposite findings or negate a previously, long-held belief regarding what is good for us – or not. Surveys tell us what consumers react to, believe or hold as concerns. And polls – particularly in the wild and woolly world of politics – tell us who the winner is long before we vote, often having strong influence in the actual final results.

With this overwhelming, constant flood of alleged information, one must always be a bit jaundiced when taking this type of information to heart, always being quizzical about who did the study, how the research was conducted, and even the details of when, where and how the questions are asked. That natural level of cynicism is necessary in today’s Information Age — a time that can just as easily be labeled the Misinformation Age or the Misleading-Information Age.

Add to this the impact of the Internet – a perceived world where one commercial humorously says, “They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true!” – and you have a recipe for confusion and misdirected priorities.

Just the other day, for example, the folks at RepairPal put forth the summary of a study done in conjunction with Harris Interactive that discerns the discrepancies between men and women regarding car repairs. Among some of the study’s more negative findings…
• 66 percent of consumers who own/lease a car think they have been ripped off by a repair shop;
• 38 percent of consumers who own/lease a car worry that they cannot trust the mechanic;
• 77 percent of car owners/leasers think repair shops perform unnecessary repairs more for women than men;
• 71 percent who own/lease a car think repair shops are condescending to women;
• 66 percent of who own/lease a car think repair shops charge women more for repairs than men;
• 41 percent of consumers who own/lease a car would rather do their taxes by hand than get their car repaired;
• 48 percent of women who own/lease a car said, “being taken advantage of” makes them anxious, while 38 percent of men felt the same way; and
• 75 percent of consumers who own/lease a car have delayed an auto repair for some reason.

One could question the study methodology, of course. The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of RepairPal from March 5-7, 2013 among 2,128 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1, 911 own/lease a car. But I do not believe the study is necessarily flawed.

I do believe that the survey reinforces perceptions that may be underlying between consumers and our industry, and simply giving voice to the negatives over and over only gives them continued life. But, no, I certainly don’t blame the folks at RepairPal for creating the doubt consumers have for auto service and repairs either. Like it or not, the perception as measured is reality.

What we, who are actively trying to move this industry forward, need to remember is that this is a complex issue, and the complexity of today’s vehicles only adds to the problem. That, coupled with the general ignorance of most consumers regarding their vehicles, makes it a real uphill climb for the independent aftermarket to win consumer trust.

Most importantly, though, I sincerely believe we need to look behind the negative perceptions allegedly held by consumers and realize that these types of consumer surveys will always bring out the negative rather than the truth.

Over the years, I have constantly seen studies that said price was a key component in most transactional relationships – whether B2B or B2C. Anecdotally, when asked, most buyers will comment on price, the easiest topic to discuss, the easiest enemy to focus on. But most buyers value a lot more factors than price, and that is what truly defines the transactional relationship.

I believe the same may be true of the alleged negative perception about our industry. In the most fundamental way, consumers will always complain about car repairs and service – about the price, about the service, about how long it takes, about the real need for the actual service rendered. But they will also always come back when treated respectfully, educated to the need for the repair, and taught the realities of today’s vehicles and what is needed to keep those vehicles running effectively and efficiently.

That is the challenge we face as an industry, but one that can be won one successful transaction at a time.

_____

Gary A. Molinaro
Editor/Publisher

 

NEW…BBB Industries: Technical Service Manager

BBB Industries is a leading remanufacturer of automotive starters, alternators and power steering products and is in search of a Power Steering Technical Support Manager. This position will provide technical support to a variety of customer types, including national retailers, warehousing distributors, installers and DIY’ers. Principle responsibilities include answering catalog and technical inquiries, providing related support materials and developing technical bulletins in conjunction with the product manager. ASE certifications are a plus.

Read More…

 

Mighty Auto Parts Celebrating 50th Anniversary

2013 marks Mighty Auto Parts’ 50th anniversary. The Norcross, GA-based business began with one man, founder Dick Wallace, selling tire repair products out of his VW Beetle. The first franchise was awarded in 1970. Sales topped $100 million for the first time in 2001. The business now boasts 114 franchisees and more than 12,000 automotive service partners, including new and used car dealers, independent repair shops, tire centers, and national quick-service chains.

 

Launch Tech Is Matco Supplier Of The Year

Matco Tools has named Launch Tech USA as its “Supplier of the Year” for 2012. This follows the previous year’s award for “Most Improved Supplier.” Launch Tech USA supplies Matco with diagnostics equipment, including scan tools, code readers, and fuel injector diagnostics and cleaning equipment.

 

Delphi Vehicle Diagnostics Service Now Available

Delphi Automotive (Troy, MI) has released its Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi service, which allows drivers to track, locate, access, secure and monitor select vehicles over the Verizon Wireless network using a smartphone, tablet or computer. Delphi says the product works in most vehicles sold in the United States from 1996 onward.

Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi allows drivers the chance to experience telematics and location-based features without purchasing a new car. The car connectivity service allows drivers to carry out such tasks as:
• Monitor overall vehicle health status
• Receive e-mail alerts for select driving and vehicle performance issues
• Connect a smartphone to a car via Bluetooth for key fob commands

The system operates through a downloadable Delphi smartphone application, available for Android 2.2 and later and Apple iOS 5.0 and later devices. To learn if a vehicle is compatible with Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi, click here.

 

NAPA Filters Adds MyGarage Service To Its Website

NAPA Filters now offers an interactive online platform called MyGarage that allows users to track their vehicle maintenance and mileage online and receive notifications for when it’s time to install or buy a new filter. And, when problems arise, the MyGarage’s diagnostic tool provides a resource to determine what the cause may be. The service comes via a third party, DriverSide.com.

 

VSG, Stertil-Koni Resolve Infringement Suits

Lift manufacturers Stertil-Koni USA and the Vehicle Service Group (VSG) have agreed to license patented heavy-duty vehicle lift technology to each other. The mutual licensing agreements resolve patent infringement lawsuits the companies filed against each other last year.

Under the agreements, VSG acknowledges Stertil-Koni’s U.S. Patent 8,191,865 “Device and System for Lifting a Motor Vehicle” (the ‘865 patent) as it applies to Stertil-Koni’s Ecolift line of heavy-duty in-ground scissor lifts. The patent covers the Ecolift system, including the combination of the scissor mechanisms, carriage, cover and other parts.

VSG has agreed to pay a licensing fee for the use of this patented technology on its Rotary Lift EFX series of heavy-duty in-ground scissor lifts.

In turn, Stertil-Koni acknowledges VSG’s U.S. Patent 6,983,196 (the ‘196 patent) “Electronically Controlled Vehicle Lift and Vehicle Service System.” This patent covers 19 different elements that relate to computerized lift controls, lift data display and networking lifts together. This patented technology makes it possible to provide lift operators with feedback on the status of the lift, maintenance alerts, service manuals and other information through a control panel on the lift itself.

Stertil-Koni agreed, as have other manufacturers, to pay a licensing fee to use this patented technology on its mobile column lifts.

 

Survey Measures Drivers’ Vehicle Repair Anxieties

A RepairPal/Harris Interactive poll of more than 1,900 vehicle owners and lessees shows major distrust of repair shops and high anxiety around repairs. The national online survey found that 38 percent of consumers worry that they cannot trust the mechanic, while 66 percent who have taken their vehicle for repair think they have been ripped off by an auto repair shop. In addition, 43 percent of drivers indicated that “being taken advantage of” makes them anxious about taking their vehicles to repair shops.

Additionally, 66 percent of drivers surveyed said the think auto repair shops charge women more than men for services preformed, while 77 percent think shops perform unnecessary repairs more for women than for men.

 

TIA Picks Cosmopolitan As Global Tire Expo Host Hotel

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will be the host hotel for the Tire Industry Association’s Global Tire Expo, which is a part of the SEMA Show. The 2013 SEMA Show will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5 to Friday, Nov. 8 with TIA’s pre-show events taking place Monday, Nov. 4.

The standard room rate is $189, and the cut-off date is Oct. 8, 2013. To reserve a room by phone, call 800-221-3531. Mention TIA to get conference room rate. Reservations also can be made online.

 

Snap-on Continues As ‘Official Tool’ Of Goodguys Car Show Series

Snap-on Inc. will continue as the “official tool” of the Goodguys Car Show series. Snap-on franchisees will be on site at all Goodguys Car Shows in 2013, providing car enthusiasts with an opportunity to see the newest Snap-on products. In addition, the Snap-on Masters of Metal Tour will be appearing at select Goodguys shows.

 

Yokohama Marks 10 Years Of Advantage Dealer Program

Yokohama Tire Corp. is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its Advantage Associate Dealer Program. To mark this milestone, the tiremaker is offering a double cash rewards promotion through which dealers can earn as much as 12 percent in cash on their consumer tire purchases from their designated distributors. The promotion runs now through June 30.

 

Exide Technologies: District Sales Manager

Exide Technologies is recognized as the premier provider of battery solutions for the Automotive Aftermarket, Network and Industrial battery markets worldwide. HQ’d in Milton, GA, Exide is embracing new technologies and new ways of doing business. With a 115-year history of growth and success there is an exciting future for our organization. The strong management team is aggressively pursuing opportunities to enter new markets, expand business and grow sales. The evolving company culture is built on a commitment to quality, integrity and respect. In a fast-paced work environment where employees receive excellent compensation and benefits, the opportunities for professional growth and career advancement are significant.

Read More…

 

Hennessy Recognized For Its Support Of Reservists, Guardsmen

Hennessy Industries (La Vergne, TN), a full-line wheel-service equipment manufacturer, has received the “Above and Beyond Award” from the U.S. Department of Defense in recognition of its efforts to support employees who are members of the Reserve or Guard. Specifically, the company was honored for its support of Command Sergeant Major Darren McDow during his five-year deployment.

McDow returned to work at Hennessy on April 1. During his deployment, employees from Hennessy kept in touch with his family, sent care packages for him and his fellow soldiers, and sent a large supply of soccer balls for McDow to distribute to schools in Afghanistan.

 

CarMD Adds To Its Management Team

Irvine, CA-based CarMD.com Corp. has hired Mike Beard as chief operating officer and Mike Fitzgerald as vice president of marketing and sales. The company also has appointed David Rich as technical director.

Beard is responsible for CarMD’s strategic planning, process improvement, and programs to maximize productivity and efficiencies. He comes to CarMD as the managing partner of Value Based Project Management, a consulting firm. His career and consulting work have spanned more than 30 years of tactical, management and leadership positions for a range of companies.

Fitzgerald oversees new business development, sales, marketing, design and product training for CarMD. A 25-year aftermarket veteran, he has held management positions at Echlin Inc., Dana Corp. and Standard Motor Products. Fitzgerald currently serves on the board of AAIA and is chairman of the association’s marketing and member relations committee. He is also president of MFitzgerald Associates LLC.

As technical director, Rich is involved in the design, validation, and support of products and services for the consumer, retail, and commercial markets. He also consults on the CarMD Vehicle Health Index, vehicle repair and reliability data published by CarMD. Rich has more than 15 years of experience in the automotive repair and service industries, including more than a decade in technical product development and department management for Innova Electronics Corp. He is on the board of directors and serves as technical director for the Equipment & Tool Institute (ETI).

 

VP Of Sales Exits Shop Management Services

Todd Westerlund has left Shop Management Services to become chief of sales at Kukui, a custom website platform and business software company based in San Jose, CA. At Shop Management Services (an exclusive distributor of R.O. Writer software), Westerlund served as vice president of sales.

 

Dill Air Controls Adds West Coast Sales Manager

Dill Air Controls Products (Oxford, NC), a tire pressure monitoring system and tire valve manufacturer, has hired Ray McElroy as its West Coast regional sales manager. McEloy most recently was a national account manager for REMA Tip Top. His background also includes time as a sales and operations manager for the Merchants Tire & Rubber Co., where he oversaw 12 commercial and retail locations.

 

Three New NATEF Trustees For 2013

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has announced three new members of the board of trustees for 2013: Bill Maggs, president of the National Pronto Association; Geralynn Kottschade of Jerry’s Body Shop in Mankato, MN; and Chris Wallace, a technical training integration manager for General Motors.

NATEF is an independent, non-profit organization that evaluates technician training programs.

 

Nissan Hires Chrysler Exec To Lead U.S. Division

Nissan has named Fred Diaz to the newly formed position divisional vice president of Nissan sales and marketing for Nissan U.S. In this role, Diaz is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Nissan division in the United States, including fixed operations, parts and service. Most recently, Diaz was president and CEO – Ram Truck Brand for Chrysler Group LLC, as well as president and CEO of Chrysler de Mexico.

 

People Watching 4/17/13

Universal Lubricants has appointed Sonny Mays to lead the company’s technical support and sales in the heavy-duty market. Mays has been with Wichita, KS-based Universal since 2006, holding dual roles in the company’s technical and operations departments, where he helped to develop the Engine Guard fleet maintenance program.

Dan King has left Yokohama Tire Corp. after nearly 25 years with the company, most recently as senior vice president of sales and marketing. King is now the president of Corona, CA-based Tire’s Warehouse. His last day with Yokohama was April 5.

Yokohama Tire Corp. has promoted Lawrence Kull to director of tire business planning. He now oversees consumer and commercial sales planning, market analysis, sales strategy development and business performance measurement. Kull continue as the national account manager for Discount Tire.

 

News Briefs 4/17/13

Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of AAIA, has been elected to fill a vacancy on the NASTF board of directors.

• According to Seeking Alpha, Ohio-based Northcoast Research expects Monro Muffler Brake (Rochester, NY) to post better-than-expected earnings per share for the three months ended March 31, 2013 due, in part, to weather-related demand.

Identifix (Roseville, MN) has added the Direct Quote estimating feature to its online tool, Direct-Hit, at no additional cost to subscribers. Direct Quote provides access to estimating information from Motor.

RNR Custom Wheels & Tire Express has opened a corporate shop (its ninth corporate location) in Daytona, FL.

• Mitchell 1’s ProDemand repair, diagnostic and maintenance information product now includes VIN entry. The feature is included in the latest product release, which became available to all ProDemand subscribers on April 3.

Curry’s Auto Service has opened its 10th location. The 16-bay shop is in Leesburg, VA.

• The Four Seasons division of Standard Motor Products (SMP) has added an A/C tune-up page to its website, offering diagnostic inspection worksheets and general troubleshooting procedures.

Plews & Edelmann is launching new packaging for its Tru-Flate air accessories and tire repair products. The new look — featuring a die-cut plug outline in the upper-right corner of the packaging that matches the profile of the coupler in the package — is designed to resolve purchaser confusion when buying air-line couplers and plugs.

Service King Collision Repair Centers has acquired three collision repair shops in the Phoenix area from Greulich’s Automotive Services.

 

Event & Trade Show Briefs 4/17/13

• Three Chicago-area shop owners will discuss what is important to them at the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium, which will be held May 21-22 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, IL. The panel discussion led by Ron Pyle, president and chief staff executive of ASA. For more information or to register for GAAS, visit www.globalsymposium.org or call (301) 654-6664.

• The NASTF Fall 2013 General Meeting will be held from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Sands Expo center during Industry Week. The meeting provides aftermarket technicians and shop owners the chance to interact directly with OEM service operations managers.

• According to event organizers, the 2013 Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo event, held March 7-10 in Kansas City, drew 330 first-time attendees and 28 first-time exhibitors.

Cathy Bonner, chairman of Service King Collision Repair Centers, will be a featured speaker at the 2013 Paint, Body & Equipment Specialists Spring Conference, May 14-16 at the Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale. Bonner will address her company’s vision for expansion, the Carlyle Group’s entry into the industry and the outlook on multi-shop consolidation. For more information, visit www.aftermarket.org/Segments/PBES/Events.