Meineke Expands In The Pacific Northwest
Charlotte, NC-based Meineke Car Care Centers has acquired Walt’s Auto Care Centers. Acquisition of these 19 shops — 17 in the Seattle-Tacoma market; one in Olympia, WA and another in Boise, ID — aligns with Meineke’s goal of expanding into the Pacific Northwest.
Walt’s locations will be rebranded as Meineke Car Care Centers over the next few months. In subsequent months, expect increased ad buys.
Meineke, a division of Driven Brands Inc., has more than 900 total shops.
Ron Pyle Leaving ASA At Year’s End; Interim Executive Director Named
Ron Pyle will be stepping down as president and chief staff executive of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) at the end of the year. Pyle joined the national staff in July 2002 and assumed the role of president in November 2002. He will continue to work with ASA in an advisory role until the end of the year.
Dan Risley, who joined the association in March, has been named interim executive director. This transition of executive leadership has been in the works for several months.
Risley has been designated as the interim executive director as the ASA board considers its options. We’re told that the new president or executive director will be named as soon as the board makes that determination. This could happen when Pyle leaves toward the end of the year, or the decision could be made prior to that time.
Risley, who has served the industry in many roles throughout his career, came to ASA after six years with the Allstate Insurance Co., where he was a market claims manager. Prior to that, he was executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists.
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in our sister publication, The Greensheet.
AAA Analyzes Motorists’ Breaking Point On Gas Prices
Half of U.S. adults consider gas prices to be too high when it reaches $3.44 per gallon, indicating a potential breaking point on gas prices, according to a new consumer price index developed by AAA. Roughly two-thirds of Americans (62 percent) are offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.
“It was not long ago that motorists were shocked to pay more than $3 per gallon for gasoline, but now that is standard at stations nationwide,” said Robert Darbelnet, president and CEO of AAA. “Today’s average consumer feels a breaking point on high gas prices closer to $3.50 per gallon, and expensive prices have forced many motorists to change their driving habits.
AAA’s gas-price index tracks consumer attitudes by determining at what price the cost of gasoline becomes too high. The group says results from its open-ended survey demonstrate how attitudes can be expected to change as prices rise above certain milestones:
• 46 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.00 per gallon;
• 61 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.50 per gallon; and
• 90 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $4.00 per gallon.
Additionally, the survey demonstrates that consumers are changing their driving habits or lifestyle in a number of ways to offset recent gas prices, including:
• Driving less – 86 percent
• Reducing shopping or dining out – 71 percent
• Driving a more fuel-efficient car – 54 percent
• Delaying major purchases – 53 percent
• Working closer to home – 39 percent
• Carpooling – 33 percent
• Using public transportation more regularly – 15 percent
The research indicates that consumers ages 18-34 are more likely to offset recent gas prices by working closer to home or by using public transportation more regularly than adults ages 35 and up (48 percent vs. 35 percent and 25 percent vs. 10 percent, respectively). AAA says these results could suggest a generational shift in terms of attitudes towards driving, but it is too early to say whether these attitudes would continue into the future.
“It is possible there is a new normal in terms of consumer attitudes now that gas prices have remained above $3 per gallon for more than two years,” Darbelnet said. “Most people have resigned themselves to paying higher gas prices and are cutting back on driving, shopping and dining out to save money.”
The AAA report presents the findings from a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone), consisting of a combined total of 1,011 adults (503 men and 508 women), 18 years of age and older, and living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted March 28-30. The total included 661 interviews from the landline sample and 350 interviews from the cell phone sample. AAA says its study has a 95-percent margin of error of ±3.8 percent.
Advance Auto Parts Exec Joins TBC Corp.
TBC Corp. (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) has hired Markus Hockenson, formerly of Advance Auto Parts, as its senior vice president of company store operations for Tire Kingdom, National Tire & Battery (NTB) and Merchant’s Tire & Auto Centers. He was senior vice president of store operations for Advance Auto Parts.
Prior to joining Advance in 2008, Hockenson worked for Starbucks, where he held a variety of positions including district manager. He also spent time at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Hockenson replaces Bill Ihnken, who is leaving TBC.
Ihnken was named president and chief operating officer of the TBC Retail Group – company-owned store division in April 2012. He joined Tire Kingdom in 2000 as senior vice president of operations and was promoted to president of retail operations – Tire Kingdom Group in 2002. Prior to joining Tire Kingdom, Ihnken held management positions with various automotive retail industry companies, including Firestone.
Snap-on Tools Group Posts 3.7% Organic Sales Increase
Kenosha, WI-based Snap-on Inc. saw its net income grow 16.6 percent to $82.80 million in the first quarter of 2013, despite continuing headwinds that are impacting specific areas of its business. This can be seen in the fact that net sales increased by only $6.50 million (or 0.9 percent) year-over-year, going from $735.20 million to $741.70 million.
Snap-on’s top-line results were positive because higher sales to OEM dealerships, increased sales of diagnostic and repair information products, and continued higher sales from the Snap-on Tools Group were able to offset lower sales to the military, as well as ongoing weakness in Europe.
Excluding $4.30 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation, organic sales would have grown 1.5 percent.
Snap-on Tools Group sales increased $10.70 million (or 3.4 percent) to $327.30 million, reflecting sales gains across both the U.S. and international franchise operations, with international outperforming the United States due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Notably, management has indicated that the year-over-year comparisons got better each month of the quarter. Excluding $900,000 in unfavorable currency translation, Tools Group organic sales would have been up 3.7 percent.
Group operating earnings came in at $47.20 million, which was up 2.4 percent over the first three months of 2012. However, group operating margin slipped, going from 14.6 percent to 14.4 percent.
The company’s Repair Systems & Information Group saw its sales rise $20 million (or 8.8 percent) to $246.10 million in the first quarter of 2013. Management attributed the increase to higher sales of OEM dealerships, as well as gains in sales of diagnostic and repair information products to repair shop owners and managers. Excluding $1 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation, group organic sales were up 9.3 percent.
Repair Systems & Information Group operating earnings increased 16.3 percent to $56.50 million, while group operating margin improved from 21.5 percent to 23.0 percent.
Point of View: How’s Business?
If there is one thing universal in business – any industry at any level – everyone’s favorite question and topic for conversation is “How’s Business?” Whatever the industry event, wherever people are gathered for the purpose of business, the question is always asked and usually answered. There is seldom a phone conversation that doesn’t include the query, and, whether the answer is long or short, the response is measured and analyzed thoroughly.
That has always been my experience in the nearly 30 years I have been around the aftermarket, and it has certainly risen to even greater heights over the past several years. Now, nearly everyone has a “How’s Business?” report or study, whether it is a measure at the supplier level, with distribution or at the shop level. There are umbrella studies, studies by independent research firms and studies from the various associations. There are joint projects involving educational institutions and associations, and projects directed by the various trade publications – some proprietary to the publication and some done in conjunction with independent entities.
And, based on various or specific studies, there is always analysis – where the numbers came from, where they are going, what the factors were that pushed the numbers in the direction they’ve taken. There are extrapolations made regarding future trends from the reported “How’s Business?” data, and those in decision-making positions live for these reports and studies, building strategies and tactics based on the data, rationalizing decision-making or recommended actions.
Based on the anecdotal information I have heard for the last month or so, the first quarter of 2013, particularly at the service level, has been good overall. In most cases, I have heard a repeated theme of a reasonably-good start to the year that transitioned into a slowdown in February and into March, and many shops are saying that April has shown a strong build.
Inevitably, what comes now is the projections and prognostications for the remainder of the year. According to one recent study, things look promising for the rest of 2013 – at least from the viewpoint of the shops.
The Advanstar Automotive Group, one of the publishers/media providers to the aftermarket and collision repair industry, has released the results of its 2013 Aftermarket Business World “Independent Shop Study” indicating independent repair shops are generally optimistic about their business prospects throughout the coming year. The study of subscribers to Aftermarket Business World and Motor Age via email who operate independent repair facilities found that “42 percent of respondents anticipate sales and gross margins this year to hold steady, while another 45 percent expect to see an increase between 1 percent and 10 percent.”
The study also illuminated some other areas of transaction between the shops and their suppliers as well. For example, shop respondents consider quality and OEM form, fit and functions as the primary needs of their customers, and more than half — 54 percent — use three to four suppliers for their product needs. And, as usual, availability was key in that supplier-shop relationship, with parts retailers the preferred supplier for 42 percent of survey respondents, according to a press release summarizing the study results.
The complete results of the Aftermarket Business World “Specialty Product Study” were published in the magazine’s March 2013 issue and can be accessed here.
This is just one view of the massive and complex industry we are involved in, just one more answer to the often-repeated “How’s Business?” question we all think about every day. There are variations on the theme, often differing because of location and other factors. But for me, one thing seems certain now.
As it has almost always been, the independent aftermarket is ripe with opportunity, especially for those who are poised to capitalize on those opportunities with strong fundamentals and an ever-diligent approach to customer service. Though the conversation is always interesting, the fact of the matter is that business is good for those doing good with their business.
It is not always easy, but there are always opportunities for those willing to meet and exceed customer expectations – regardless of who that customer is or where you exist on the channel.
Gary A. Molinaro
Auto-Wares To Roll Out Delphi Telematics Technology
The Auto-Wares Group of Companies (Grand Rapids, MI) plans to launch the Delphi Connected Car aftermarket telematics technology to its more than 1,000 Auto Value and Bumper-to-Bumper parts stores and certified service centers throughout the Midwest. Scheduled for release in June, this telematics program will deliver remote vehicle diagnostics, roadside assistance, service and maintenance, and vehicle health monitoring services to Auto-Wares network members.
Fred Bunting, CEO of Auto-Wares, said the move positions Auto-Wares to better serve its network, fleet customers and consumers. “This technology will build strong value for our network by supporting our shops with marketing and part sourcing,” Bunting explained. “In turn, they are assisting their customers with remote vehicle diagnostics and other service and maintenance benefits.”
Delphi’s telematics product is a wireless communication tool allowing a company like Auto-Wares to “talk” with car owners via a device installed on-vehicle. This two-way communication — coupled with data delivered from the device — will allow Auto-Wares to assist customers with a variety of services, including remote vehicle diagnostics.
Auto-Wares anticipates that this new program will help drive parts and services business for its customers. It’s believed that, by deploying the Delphi technology, Auto-Wares will enable its network to compete with other connected car care technology.
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in our sister publication, The Greensheet.
SAE Re-Examination Calls R-1234yf ‘Safe’ And ‘Effective’
An SAE International cooperative research project team has issued preliminary results from its re-examination of R-1234yf refrigerant, concluding that the product is safe and effective to use in automotive applications. The group also has stated that the risk of passenger exposure to a vehicle fire associated with this refrigerant is exceptionally remote.
In September, Daimler announced that it had developed a new test method that demonstrated an additional risk of post-collision fires in vehicles using R-1234yf. In response, SAE formed a team to further evaluate the safety of R-1234yf. The team has concluded that the refrigerant release testing conducted by Daimler is unrealistic and that it is not an appropriate test to verify the safety of refrigerant applications in vehicles.
The SAE team is finalizing its report and is targeting June for publication.
Mitchell 1 SocialCRM Adds Business Contact Syndication
Mitchell 1 (Poway, CA) has added a business contact syndication feature to its SocialCRM digital marketing services. This new feature works to ensure that a shop’s name, address and phone number are correct and consistent across the Internet, and then distributes the information out to search engines, local directories, mobile applications and social media sites.
In addition, the SocialCRM syndication service monitors and verifies the information monthly. And, the service can enhance business listings with logos, website links, shop hours and other information.
Online Experts Website Looking For More Technicians
Webponder, a video chat website that links the public to experts in a variety of fields, is looking to beef up its stable of automotive specialists. The Miami-based company, which offers everything from legal advice to technology tips, added an auto advice segment last August.
“It’s not a huge number yet, but we get a lot of automotive inquiries,” said Webponder managing partner Steve Thompson.
Webponder is looking for technicians and other experts anywhere in the United States who specialize in bodywork and modifications, tires and rims, and other categories. Site users are interested in a variety of advice, including fair costs for various repair and maintenance work and tips for buying and selling their vehicles, Thompson said.
Anyone with a high-speed Internet connection and a webcam can register as an expert. Webponder charges experts a monthly flat fee that varies by industry. Once registered, experts create a profile, which could include everything from basic business details to videos, articles and other information.
It’s up to the site’s users to decide who best meets their needs. For a fee, Webponder will check an expert’s credentials and award a verified seal. The expert can also pay extra to become a featured expert, with their profile popping up higher in directly search results.
Experts choose their own consultation rate and can also offer free initial consultations.
The service is free for users once they register as a Webponder member. Members make appointments in 15-minute intervals, entering a requested time and subject. The expert can then accept or decline the request, or suggest another time. Once accepted, Webponder charges the user’s credit card and reimburses the expert.
The chat takes place on a 4-by-6-inch screen, and either side can transfer files, including pictures, estimates and specifications.
“I like to describe it as a combination between LinkedIn and Skype,” Thompson said. “It’s almost as if you’re sitting right there in their office.”
Some web interactions may turn into additional business, Thompson said. For example, if a user lives near the expert, they could wind up bringing their vehicles into the shop. Those who don’t live nearby could order products for shipping.
At this point, most users are located in Florida and New Jersey. — Sarah Hollander
Mudlick Mail Offers Guarantee Program
Direct mail provider Mudlick Mail (Acworth, GA) has introduced a “Return on Investment Guarantee Program” for repair shop owners, promising that its campaigns will deliver a 3-to-1 return on investment. If a client participating in the guarantee program experiences less than a 3-to-1 return on investment, Mudlick Mail says it will cover the difference.
The 3-to-1 guarantee program is available to clients who sign a nine-month commitment with the company and agree to mail 7,500 pieces of mail or more each month. The program also requires participants to:
• Use Mudlick Mail’s approved coupons;
• Use Mudlick Mail’s approved mailing areas;
• Provide Mudlick Mail with access to the shop’s customer database to track results;
• Use a free call-tracking number; and
• Mail existing clients within selected carrier routes.
MAP Weighs In On Service Intervals For High-Mileage Older Vehicles
In response to shops and consumers seeking guidance on how best to maintain older vehicles, the Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) has issued a position statement on service intervals beyond the vehicle’s original maintenance schedule.
This comes at a time when consumers are keeping their vehicles longer and the average age of a vehicle on the road is more than 10 years old. In many of these older vehicles, the odometer reading already exceeds the mileage intervals listed in the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Motorists and shops both question whether these vehicles require more or less maintenance at such an advanced age and mileage.
MAP contacted several vehicle manufacturers and asked which maintenance services they recommend for vehicles on the road and well beyond the intervals listed in the service schedule. Although none the OEMs offered a documented policy, virtually all stated that those vehicles should be maintained according to the original schedule and that neither more nor less maintenance was beneficial.
Therefore, MAP has issued the following:
“Many consumers are holding onto their vehicles longer — sometimes well into the second hundred-thousand miles and beyond. As a general rule, higher-mileage vehicles should follow the same routine or periodic service intervals as lower-mileage vehicles, based on conditions in which the vehicles is operated, to help maintain performance reliability.
“In some cases, the original vehicle manufacturer addresses these continuing service intervals in the owner’s or maintenance manual(s), or through instrument panel service indicators. However, some vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations are no longer listed after a specific time or mileage interval.
“It is the position of the Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) that, in the absence of original vehicle manufacturers’ recommended service intervals (beyond the original schedule), vehicle owners should revert to and repeat the original time and mileage service interval schedule, or as advised by the instrument panel service indicator.”
New Entry-Level ASE Test To Debut This Summer
ASE plans to debut a new certification test this summer: the Automotive Maintenance & Light Repair Certification Test (G1). The objective is to identify and recognize technicians who can demonstrate knowledge of the skills necessary to successfully perform the most common maintenance and light-repair tasks. Technicians must retest every five years to retain this certification.
UTI Funds New Scholarship Program
The Universal Technical Institute (UTI) has expanded its scholarship offerings with the launch of the Industry’s Choice Scholarship program. The program, which will be initially funded by UTI with $1 million, is for eligible, enrolled students pursuing technician training with UTI, as well as the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Marine Mechanics Institute and NASCAR Technical Institute
With the addition of the Industry’s Choice Scholarship program, UTI now awards more than $12 million in scholarships each year.
New ASA Board Of Directors Installed
Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision in Minneapolis has begun his two-year term as chairman of ASA’s board of directors. Ron Nagy of Nagy’s Collision Centers in Orville, OH, now serves as immediate past chairman, while Donny Seyfer of Seyfer Automotive Inc. in Wheat Ridge, CO is serving a two-year term as chairman-elect.
Roy Schneppe of Butler’s Collision in Roseville, MI was re-elected to serve a second one-year term as secretary/treasurer. Gary Keyes of E&M Motors in Stuart, FL was re-elected as general director. Bob Wills of Wills Auto Service in Battle Creek, MI also remains as general director.
The final two board positions are held by ASA’s collision division and mechanical division directors: Dan Stander of Fix Auto Highlands Ranch in Littleton, CO (collision division); and Bill Moss of EuroService Automotive in Warrenton, VA (mechanical division).
Dan Risley, ASA interim executive director, also serves on the ASA board of directors in an ex-officio capacity.
ETI Announces New Officers, Directors
Ben Johnson of Mitchell 1 has been announced as president of the Equipment & Tool Institute (ETI) for 2013-’14. He is joined by fellow officers:
• Vice President, Programs – Neil Davis of Snap-on Diagnostics;
• Vice President, Marketing – Tim Morgan of Spanesi Americas;
• Secretary/Treasurer – Bob Holland of Chief Automotive Technologies; and
• Immediate Past President – Dan Brass of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.
All officers serve one-year terms.
New ETI directors are: Greg Potter of DG Technologies; Jim Fish of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions; and Brian Herron of Drew Technologies, who have been elected to fill open and expired board seats and serve three-year terms.
Elected to an open seat expiring in 2015 is Kathy Kedzior of Mahle Powertrain.
Rounding out the board of directors, completing terms previous elected are:
• David Rich of INNOVA Electronics;
• Dennis Keane of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions;
• Jeff Murphy of Mahle RTI;
• Robert Vogt of IOSiX LLC; and
• Zachary Parker of Redline Detection.
Meineke Hires Chief Marketing Officer, Selects Ad Agency Of Record
Meineke Car Care Centers (Charlotte, NC) has hired Jason Moskal as its senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Moskal is responsible for development of the overall brand strategy and execution of Meineke’s strategic marketing programs, including product promotion, marketing communications, traditional and emerging media channels, and new customer acquisition. Most recently, Moskal was U.S. director of marketing for Ally Bank.
In related news, Meineke has named Culver City, CA-based Pitch Inc. as its advertising agency of record. The firm also counts Maaco as a client. (Both Meineke and Maaco are owned by Driven Brands Inc.).
The $30-million Meineke campaign will feature print, digital, broadcast, radio and experiential elements.
MAM Software Adds Meineke, Software Veteran
Allentown, PA-based MAM Software Inc. (formerly Aftersoft Network NA) has added Lou Bonilla as a business development executive for its VAST division, which develops software for tire dealers and auto service centers. Bonilla is based in Newark, DE, and is responsible for the division’s Northeast sales territory.
Bonilla brings with him nine years of software sales experience at Integrated Software Solutions, as well as 10 years’ experience as a Meineke Car Care Center franchisee. In 2012, Bonilla was president of the Meineke Dealer Association. As a Meineke owner, he was a user of the VAST Point of Sale software.
Hunter Adds New Regional Manager In Canada
Hunter Canada (Newmarket, ON) has created a fourth region: the Central Canada Region, which is comprised of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Territory of Nunavut, as well as parts of Ontario. Rob Ross has been promoted to manage of this newly created region.
Ross earned the “President’s Club Award” for both years (2011 and 2012) he represented Hunter as a sales representative. He now reports to the Darcy Tallon, director of Canadian operations.
Regional boundaries for Canada’s three other regions have been modified as follows:
• Region 700: John Peron manages field assets in southeastern Ontario and some territories in Quebec.
• Region 800: Jacques Gagne continues to manage the Maritimes, Atlantic Canada and parts of Quebec not managed by John Peron.
• Region 900: Greg Amyotte manages Alberta and British Columbia, along with the Yukon and Northwest territories.
Publisher Changes At Babcox, Bobit Media
Akron, OH-based Babcox Media has appointed Jeff Stankard as the group publisher for its Tire Review and Fleet Equipment publications. He replaces David Moniz, who left Babcox to become the publisher of Heavy Duty Trucking, a Bobit Business Media publication. Moniz had been with Babcox since 1999.
Stankard, who also has been with the company since 1999, continues as the vice president of Babcox. In that capacity, he oversees the strategic direction of all company properties.
Jim Merle serves as publisher of the Babcox TechGroup, responsible for the day-to-day operations of Brake & Front End, ImportCar, Underhood Service, Shop Owner and AutoCarePro. Merle has been with Babcox since 1993 and a publisher since January. Prior to that, he was a regional sales manager for the company.
With Merle deeply involved on the service side of the business, Stankard is able to focus on the fleet and tire side.
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in our sister publication, The Greensheet.
Clean Harbors Names Safety-Kleen President
Clean Harbors Inc. has promoted Jerry Correll from executive vice president of environmental sales to president of Safety-Kleen Environmental Services. Correll replaces Bob Craycraft, who has left the company.
Correll joined Clean Harbors in 2002 in conjunction with the company’s acquisition of Safety-Kleen’s chemical services division. Prior to Clean Harbors, he spent 16 years with Safety-Kleen in various sales and operations management positions, including senior vice president of sales.
Auto Truck Group Adds Regional Fleet Sales Manager
The Auto Truck Group has hired Steve Terry as its Southwest regional fleet sales manager. As such, he is responsible for selling specialized truck equipment and upfitting services to customers in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and southern Colorado. Terry, a 27-year industry veteran, most recently was a territory sales manager for Williamsen Manufacturing, where he was responsible for the sale of commercial, fleet, and industrial equipment and parts. His background also includes time with Parts Plus.
People Watching 5/8/13
• Chris Furse is now the chief marketing officer at Maaco. Furse most recently led marketing communications and advertising for the Burger King Corp. His background also includes stints with Lincoln Mercury and Sprint.
• Franchise law expert Richard Kolman is now the vice president of law and general counsel at American Driveline Systems, the parent company of AAMCO Transmissions Inc.
• Stertil-Koni (Stevensenville, MD), a heavy-duty vehicle lift company, has named Rick Palmer as its national account manager.
• Mercedes-Benz USA (Montvale, NJ) has named three new regional general mangers, responsible for all service, sales, marketing, operations and dealer relations in their respective areas. They are: Tracey Matura, central region; Andrew Noye, southern region; and Bob Yeatman, western region.
• Volkswagen of America (Herndon, VA) has hired Mark McNabb as chief operating officer for the VW brand, responsible for the management of sales, aftersales and customer experience. McNabb, most recently president and CEO of Maserati North America, comes to VW with more than 25 years of experience in the automotive business, including time in parts and service.
News Briefs 5/8/13
• Check out this fascinating story from Automotive News regarding a new General Motors program trying to get dealerships to buy more parts from GM and less from ACDelco wholesale distributors. Click here to read the story.
• Weathers Motors of Media-Lima, PA is the Federated Auto Parts Shop of the Year. Weathers is a former Chrysler dealer that, in 2009, discontinued its relationship with the car company and joined the Federated Car Care network.
• Sullivan Tire & Auto Service has opened (on Brighton Avenue in Portland) its 15th retail location in Maine and its 66th retail location overall.
• Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers has opened its 40th retail location, a shop in Collinsville, IL, which is just east of St. Louis.
• Myers Industries’ distribution business (Myers Tire Supply) saw its revenue decrease 0.2 percent to $42.65 million in the first quarter of 2013. Management attributed the drop to a decline in replacement tire shipments, as improved pricing and increased equipment and new product sales were more than offset by lower sales of supplies in line with the market.
• Penske Logistics has been awarded the contract to operate BMW of North America’s parts distribution center in Nazareth, PA. This 875,000-square-foot facility is the automaker’s largest PDC in North America.
• LoJack Corp. has reached an agreement with Sym-Tech Inc., a financing and insurance partner to automotive dealerships in Canada. The deal calls for Sym-Tech to sell and market LoJack stolen vehicle recovery and early warning systems to authorized car dealers in Ontario.
• Maaco has selected Miami-based Rock Orange as its communications agency.
Event & Trade Show Briefs 5/8/13
• The Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association (AMRA) reports that more than 70 people attended the Motorist Assurance Program’s spring technical committee meeting in Rolling Meadows, IL. The next meeting will be held Sept. 11-12 in the Chicago area.
• The Automotive Video Inc. (AVI) conference at AAPEX will be held Nov. 4-5. Click here for more information.