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Service Executive Issue #01-13 (Full)

Pep Boys Eyes Customers Creating Their Own Service Estimates

Philadelphia-based Pep Boys plans to introduce a program that allows customers to develop their own service estimates. “We have the best pricing among national and regional service providers, so we intend to create a transparent shopping process for our customers and to convert their research into appointments,” President and CEO Mike Odell said during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call in December.

Details weren’t available as to how the program will work or when it will launch. Odell said the initiative is part of the company’s overall effort to increase its e-commerce options, including the introduction of online service appointments, and ship-to-home and buy online and pick-up in store programs.            — Sarah Hollander

 

Additional Tire & Service Shop Acquisitions For Monro

Monro Muffler Brake has acquired Ken Towery’s Tire & Auto Care of Louisville, KY, which operates 27 shops (24 in Kentucky and three in southern Indiana). Kentucky is a new state for Rochester, NY-based Monro. The acquired shops will continue to operate under the Ken Towery’s name.

Monro also has purchased Enger Auto Service & Tire of Mentor, OH, which operated about a dozen shops across northern Ohio, as well as Tire King Complete Car Care of Durham, NC with nine shops. Both the Enger and the Tire King locations are being rebranded as Mr. Tire.

 

Valvoline Franchisee Buys 39 Shops In Florida

Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) franchisee Metrolube Enterprises has purchased 39 quick-lube shops in central and southern Florida from Southern Express Lubes. The transaction breaks down as 37 Mobil1 Lube Express sites and two Shell Rapid Lube centers. The shops — located predominantly in Orlando, Palm Beach, Miami and Fort Myers — will be rebranded under the VIOC banner over the next two months. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bob Ladas founded Metrolube Enterprises in 2002 to develop and operate VIOC franchises. A year later, Metrolube opened its first franchised shop in Hudson, MA. It expanded into Florida with shops in West Palm Beach and Stuart in 2009. The Southern Express acquisition brings Metrolube’s total store count up to 55, with 50 of those stores in Florida and five in Massachusetts.

Matt McKeown, vice president of franchising for VIOC, said this is one of the network’s largest acquisitions. “We’re excited to expand in the Florida market with such an outstanding franchisee,” McKeown said, adding that the Florida market presents a great opportunity.

Following this transaction, VIOC now has roughly 900 locations across the United States.

 

Universal Lubricants Expanding In Colorado, Illinois, Missouri

Wichita, KS-based Universal Lubricants has opened a new 15,000-square-foot distribution center in the Denver suburb of Aurora, CO and expanded existing centers in University Park, IL and Fenton, MO.

“The new distribution center in Denver positions us to serve new customers throughout Colorado and in Wyoming,” said John Wesley, Universal Lubricants’ CEO. “Coupled with our renewed commitment to Chicago and St. Louis, these facilities expand and strengthen our solid presence throughout the Midwest and create a platform for continued growth in 2013.”

The Denver-area distribution center will serve the company’s growing customer base, including the lube centers of major national retailers and Enterprise Holdings, operator of Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands. In addition to passenger vehicles, the facility will collect spent oil and oil filters from industrial vehicles, heavy-duty trucks and railway engines.

Expansion of the Chicago and St. Louis distribution centers allows the company to serve auto dealers, oil-change retailers, auto parts stores, and retailers in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Universal Lubricants collects, re-refines, blends and redistributes its own motor oil, including the Eco Ultra line of lubricants. “Our Eco Ultra line of high performance lubricants is generating a great deal of interest, and we’re signing new contracts every day,” Wesley said. “We look forward to announcing our expansion to additional cities and states in the coming months.”

 

Innova: Product Manager

Fast growing Hi-Tech Company in Irvine has an immediate opening for a Product Manager.

Qualifications
5 Years experience in the Automotive Industry with proven track record.
Basic proficiency in MS Office & Internet Applications.

Basic Job Functions
Product identification, developing sourcing and marketing support to the organization. Study market trend identify and recommend potential future new product and program concepts. Maintain the competitiveness of the company’s current products and programs. Evaluating of the company’s current products and programs making suggestions for any need of addition, deletion or improvements. Provide Technical expertise both internally and externally which may include training, field testing and special assignments etc.

Benefits
We offer a competitive Salary and benefits package that includes Medical and Dental Coverage, 401K Plan and paid holidays and vacation.

Send resume and salary history to humanresources@innova.com

We are an equal opportunity Employer

 

No Growth For 2012 Tire Shipments

Tire shipments are projected to remain unchanged in 2012 at 284 million units, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) as an increase in OE shipments offset a decrease in replacement shipments. The association pegged the lack of overall growth to continued economic sluggishness. However, an increase in vehicle miles traveled and anticipated economic growth should result in a nearly 2-percent increase, or approximately 6 million units, to 290 million total units in 2013.

OE tire shipments for both the light-vehicle and commercial truck sectors are forecast to increase nearly 13 percent in 2012 because of increased demand for light vehicles and commercial trucks. Nearly 4-percent growth is forecast for 2013 as new vehicle demand is expected to increase light-vehicle sales to more than 15 million.

Replacement tire shipments will drop to 234 million units in 2012 — a nearly 6-million-unit decrease or about 2.5 percent. For 2013, an increase of more than 3 million units is anticipated as growth in the Gross Domestic Product and the Industrial Production Index for both the consumer and commercial sectors is projected.

RMA forecasts that 2012 replacement passenger tire shipments will decrease by more than 4 million units, or nearly 2 percent, to 190 million units as anticipated demand failed to materialize in the face of continued soft economic conditions and cautious consumers. The association expects an increase of 3 million tire units in 2013.

Total 2012 light-truck tire replacement shipments will come in around 28 million — a decrease of roughly 600,000 units, or 2 percent. Little or no growth is forecast for 2013 as the economy remains soft and new light-truck sales further weaken demand for replacement tires.

For 2012, the replacement medium/wide-base/heavy on-highway commercial truck tire market is forecast to decline by approximately 5 percent, or 900,000 units, to 15.7 million units as fleets opt for new equipment and the economy remains sluggish. However, 2013 shipments are expected to increase nearly 4 percent, or roughly 600,000 units.

 

Frost & Sullivan Predicts TPMS Aftermarket To Top $386 Million By 2018

Laws mandating the installation of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) in new vehicles are leading to a swift increase in the installed base of this technology in the United States and European Union. With the proliferation of universal sensors and aggressive efforts to raise consumer awareness, the TPMS aftermarket is set for robust revenue growth, according to Frost & Sullivan.

New analysis from the Mountain View, CA-based firm finds that the market accounted for more than $111.70 million in revenue in 2011. Frost & Sullivan estimates this to reach $386.60 million by 2018.

The original equipment (OE) installation rate for TPMS in North America has remained at 100 percent since 2007. As sensor batteries typically last for six to 10 years, many vehicles will require new TPMS sensors by 2015.

“By 2014, nearly 38 percent of vehicles in North America will feature TPMS – a 13 percent increase from 2011 — thus increasing the addressable market size,” explained Frost & Sullivan analyst Kumar Saha. “In Europe, the TPMS installed base, though much lower, is expected to more than double by 2014 due to supportive legislation.”

As more European countries (including Turkey, Poland and Belgium) adopt winter tire legislations, TPMS revenue and unit sales will increase in the short and medium term. On the other hand, TPMS direct sensors installation in the United States will spike because of battery replacements, malfunctions and winter tire replacements. Additionally, if the U.S. government mandates functioning TPMS sensors at all times and tightens gas mileage policies, this technology will become a key component in vehicles.

High OE installation rates have also provided manufacturers with the economies of scale they need to reduce prices and offer attractive TPMS replacement packages to consumers.

However, low installer awareness and long battery life have curbed TPMS replacement volume, particularly in North America. High prices and the proliferation of SKU counts for sensors daunt independent distribution and retail channels, further restraining growth.

To stay competitive, Frost & Sullivan contends that suppliers need to put adequate pricing and product placement strategies in place. Offering universal sensors — already introduced in North America by key manufacturers — will reduce inventory burdens on independent retailers.

“Consumers are more likely to replace their sensors while purchasing new tires. As such, tire retailers and distributors are perfectly positioned to take full advantage of the sensor market,” concluded Saha. “They need to ensure that their front-line staff educates consumers, makes the right recommendations and capitalizes on sensor sales opportunities.”

 

Andreoli Integrates With Demandforce

Huntersville, NC-based Andreoli & Associates (A&A), a cloud-based point-of-sale software provider to the independent tire and auto service market, has added an integration for Demandforce, a specialist in online marketing and communications. Using service history from a dealer’s point-of-sale system, Demandforce sends electronic service reminders, promotional newsletters, and post-sale reviews and surveys. Reviews are posted to the Internet to help improve a dealer’s online reputation on sites such as Google, Facebook and CitySearch.

 

OSC Automotive Cooling: Eastern Regional Sales Manager

A growing leader in the automotive aftermarket seeks a motivated and driven Regional Sales Manager. Previous management responsibilities and industry experience is a must. Ideal candidate must possess 10+ years of previous experience with “hard parts” in the automotive aftermarket, preferably in both sales as well as managing sales via independent sales agencies. Responsibilities will include maintaining existing accounts, building new accounts, calling on buying groups and development of new sales programs. We offer a competitive salary, benefit package and an excellent working environment.

Contact person: Todd Erwin
Email resume to:
todd@oscooling.com
Phone: 951-212-8842

 

 

Point Of View: It’s All A Matter Of Connectivity

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently being held in Las Vagas had me dreaming. No, I don’t attend that show. And though it might seem to be something really fun to do, being a veteran of our industry’s all-industry event in early November keeps me easily at bay whenever I consider attending CES. I need to attend another trade show like I need a root canal.

But, as many know, I love technology. And, though I never really go overboard in acquiring the latest item nor rush toward the cutting edge regarding the newest product released, I do embrace the value of what technology can bring to our lives — both in regard to entertainment as well as in the way we gathering information.

I stream a lot of what I watch or listen to. I am rarely more than a few feet away from my smartphone, my pad or one of my laptops. And, whether I am home or on the road, I am never so far away that I cannot access the essential work I may need to execute in running my business or to communicate on a moment’s notice to family or friends or colleagues located in all corners of the U.S.

With that perspective, my curiosity was piqued when I noted a recent announcement concerning the AT&T and GM sponsored connected car challenge/hackathon, part of the AT&T Developer Summit during CES. Developers participating in this two-day, GM-sponsored challenge have full access to AT&T’s suite of cutting-edge APIs and developer resources as they vie for a chance to win a Chevy Volt or cash equivalent as their prize for developing the winning app. (APIs are application programming interfaces, a protocol intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other).

In a world where connectivity has permeated all aspects of life, this is where the rubber is meeting the road. And it needs to be where the independent automotive service market is at, now and in the immediate future.

According to the global consulting firm Oliver Wyman, by 2016, there will likely be about 216 million connected cars on the world’s roads — up from 45 million last year. And, as the folks at Oliver Wyman said, that provides a direct opportunity to provide individual and competitive service offerings to a vast array of potential customers.

That is an opportunity staring us in the face. And, right now, only the carmakers are in position to take advantage of this opportunity — and even they are not as well-positioned as they wish they were with OnStar and similar OE services.

At the same time, according to Strategy Analytics, in Q3 2012, the number of smartphones passed 1 billion worldwide – 1.038 billion, to be exact. It took 16 years to reach the 1-billion mark, and, with the cost of devices coming down quickly and the number of smartphone makers continuing to grow, we may reach the next billion in even less time. In fact, It took 15 years – from 1996 to Q3 2011 – to reach 708 million smartphone devices, but then it took only one year for another 300 million to come online, said Scott Bicheno, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.

That works out to one smartphone for every seven people worldwide, and, in this country, that ratio is definitely much higher. Mash that together with the number of vehicles on the road today, and the means to connect is in place. It is now a matter of the programming and the process to be developed.

Most vehicle owners want to reasonably keep their cars running well, willingly investing in the necessary service needed to get the most out of the vehicle investment and the fuel costs. And, when they have a problem, they want direction and guidance — a relationship with a shop that can get them back on the road. That is what connectivity is about, whether high tech or not, and we need to have the means of keeping that relationship strong.

As the coming year unfolds, we will be anxious to see how things develop in this regard. It will have a great deal to do with what our long-term future is like.

_____

Gary A. Molinaro
Editor/Publisher

 

ALI Launches Online Database Of Lift Inspector Testing Locations

Participants in the Automotive Lift Institute’s (ALI) new Lift Inspector Certification Program can find local testing sites online. ALI has partnered with Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) to create a searchable database of locations that support the program’s tests at www.goamp.com.

Once on the website, applicants must click on the “candidates” box in the upper right corner and then, in the first and second drop-down menus, select “other” and then “Automotive Lift Institute Inc.” In the third drop-down, applicants choose which test they are approved to take: ALI’s pre-course or course exam.

After all the information is selected, the site will show a “Locate Testing Centers” link. Testing sites listed can be narrowed by state or searched by ZIP code. Sites are located in most major U.S. cities. Canadian-based candidates must contact ALI directly for options available to them.

The Lift Inspector Certification Program was created to provide third-party qualification of vehicle lift inspectors and to certify those who demonstrate that they are qualified to properly inspect vehicle lifts in accordance with ANSI standards and in support of OSHA’s General Duty Clause and provincial requirements in Canada. For more information, visit www.autolift.org/certified-inspectors.

 

Dana Launches Spicer iPad App

Dana Holding Corp. has developed an iPad application — its first iPad app — to provide its aftermarket customers with access to key product and service information, including a driveline angle calculator, part catalogs and service manuals. The app, called Spicer for iPad, is free and is available from the iTunes App Store. It’s designed to complement the launch of Dana’s recently redesigned Spicer parts website.

 

Vehicle Service Group Buys Elektron

The Madison, IN-based Vehicle Service Group (VSG) has acquired the assets of Elektron Breme, a manufacturer of resistance welders, plasma cutters and battery service equipment based in Bremen, Germany. Elektron joins Chief Automotive Technologies in VSG’s portfolio of collision repair brands.

Chief is a manufacturer of frame-pulling equipment, vehicle-anchoring systems, computerized measuring systems and vehicle frame specifications. Chief also is a provider of training on structural analysis, computerized measuring, collision theory and repair. Gary Kennon, president of VSG, said the Elektron acquisition allows VSG to offer collision repair shops a “total repair solution.”

“We can now supply equipment to diagnose and identify collision damage, repair the damage through pulling the frame, replacing parts or welding, and document that the vehicle was returned to the original manufacturer’s specifications,” Kennon explained. “Elektron is an important strategic component as we continue building our global collision business.”

Chief has had exclusive marketing and distribution rights for Elektron products in North, Central and South America since 2011.

VSG is comprised of nine vehicle lifting and collision repair brands. Aside from Chief Automotive Technologies and Elektron, the group includes Rotary Lift, Forward Lift, Direct-Lift, Hanmecson, Revolution Lift, Blitz and Nogra.

 

Service King Enters The Southeast

Service King Collision Repair Centers (Richardson, TX), which last year began branching out of its home state of Texas, is moving into the Southeast with the purchase of AutoBody America, a collision repairer with shops in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. These 20 new locations compliment Service King’s foothold in Texas (55 shops) and Arizona (eight shops).

 

U.S. Chrysler Group Dealers Get Factory-Connected Tablet Technology

The Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI) has rolled out factory-connected tablet technology to its U.S. dealership service lanes with plans for global implementation. The technology, called wiADVISOR, is from Mopar.

Short for “wireless service advisor,” wiADVISOR uses a small wireless device that service advisors plug into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port in the service lane. Vehicle data is then downloaded and transmitted to the service advisor’s tablet computer. The tablet captures and presents the service advisor with information specific to the customer and the vehicle, and connects with the Chrysler Group’s engineering databases. This gives service advisors the applicable ownership information, vehicle service history, vehicle system updates and factory-required maintenance information.

 

Prestolite Performance: Prestolite Performance

Senior Financial Analyst for manufacturer’s Cleveland-area office. Must have U.S. Bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent degree in Accounting or Finance, followed by at least 2 years’ experience as a financial analyst or cost accountant in the automotive aftermarket industry. Experience must include performing cost analysis in a manufacturing environment. Job duties to include coordinating the preparation of annual budget and quarterly forecasts, providing updates against those forecasts, and analyzing monthly operating results to show variances to forecasts; leading monthly KPI reviews with the operations team; developing business plans for capital requests; and assisting in the month-end closing, including balance sheet reconciliations.

Send resumes to
Prestolite Performance LLC
Attn: Alice Bissett
10601 Memphis Ave. #12
Cleveland, Ohio 44144

 

 

ASCCA, CAWA To Host Joint Summit On Feb. 9

The Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA) and CAWA are hosting the fourth annual Aftermarket Industry Summit on Feb. 9 in Newport Beach, CA. Issues to be discussed include:
• Where does the distributor buy parts? Who within the company makes the decision to buy? Does the repair shop have any say in the purchasing decision?
• What does it mean for California aftermarket businesses now that the “Right to Repair” legislation and initiative have passed in Massachusetts?
• How will I know if the brake pads I sell or install are compliant with new regulations?

For additional information, contact CAWA CEO Rodney Pierini at (800) 332-2292, ext. 1 or ASCCA executive director Jackie Miller at (800) 810-4272.

 

Gorman Made Interim Chairman Of NASTF

The NASTF board of directors has voted to reorganize its governance structure in an attempt to attract broader support from the motor vehicle service industry. As NASTF sets out to amend its bylaws to reflect a more technical makeup of its leadership, the board has elected Charlie Gorman, CEO of the Equipment & Tool Institute, to be the interim chairman of NASTF for 2013. Gorman is a past chairman of NASTF.

ASA president and chief staff executive Ron Pyle, who had served as NASTF chairman since 2011, will serve in 2013 as the immediate past chairman of NASTF. Other 2013 officers include Allen Pennebaker, owner of Orinda Motors, as vice chair and Steve Handschuh, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MEMA, as secretary/treasurer.

Directors on the NASTF board include …

Scott Brown of iATN;
John Cabaniss of Global Automakers;
Steve Douglas of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers;
Doug Greenhaus of the National Automobile Dealers Association;
John Lypen of Motor Information Systems;
Karen Miller of Pacific Technology Solutions; and
Tony Molla of ASE.

Among the changes made by the NASTF board this past year are the hiring of Skip Potter as the organization’s first professional executive director, the launch of a technician outreach initiative and formalizing its management of the NASTF Vehicle Security Professional Registry.

Potter, NASTF executive director, said NASTF has come a long way since its conceptual creation in 2000. “The board has taken huge steps in the past year to modernize and advance their organization,” Potter said. “With them, I look forward to attracting more direct involvement in our leadership from both automakers and independent technicians.”

Gorman said: “There is much work to do as we open up the board of director nominating process, transition to a self-sustaining funding model and expand NASTF services to include more of the vehicle service industry. Our goal is to have everything in place by Jan. 1, 2014.”

 

Pennsylvania Shop Owner Elected AASP National President

Shop owner Jeff Walter of Zimmerman’s Auto Service in Mechanicsburg, PA is the new president of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), a coalition of 12 state and regional associations representing more than 9,000 aftermarket businesses in 24 states. Walter recently completed two terms as president of AASP-PA.

Walter will be joined on the AASP National executive committee by the following board members:
A.C. Guarino of A.C. Automotive in Winston-Salem, NC;
Bruce Tschida of Lake Marion Collision in Lakeville, MN;
Ron Reiling of AASP-Missouri in St. Charles, MO;
Mike Moehlenkamp of Gary’s Auto Service in Florissant, MO; and
Rick Starbard of Rick’s Auto Collision in Revere, MA.

 

Field Rep for UCI Fram Group

Need 2+ yrs automotive service exp, prefer ASE cert., to deliver Sales and Training support to customers in Fuel Delivery Products, Water Pumps, Filtration, and Electronics. Will work with the field sales team and help identify ways to increase customer’s sales. Position requires weekly travel (approx 75%). Can be based in Mid-West (Memphis, Little Rock, Paducah, Evansville, Louisville). Competitive package plus company car. Bilingual is A+.

To apply, please send resume and comp details to resume@uci-fram.com

 

 

ASE Announces New Officers, Governors

Rob Barto, manager of technical training design at Nissan North America, is the new chairman of the ASE board of directors for 2013. Glenn Dahl, senior coordinator of technical education for Bridgestone Retail Operations, is vice chairman.

Greg Gaulin, owner of Gaulin’s in Williamsville, NY, is treasurer, while Mike Durkin, director of dealer service and warranty operations at General Motors, is secretary. Mike Phillips, vice president of training for the Genuine Parts Co./ NAPA Auto Parts, serves as past chairman.

Newly elected members of ASE’s board of governors, representing various segments of the industry, are …

Bryan Gregory of Advance Auto Parts;
Mike Hasinec of Penske Truck Leasing;
Glen Nicholson of TBC;
Brad Pellman of Pellman’s Automotive;
Dan Planz of Volkswagen of America; and
Russ Stein of Stein Automotive.

 

Serratore Named President Of AYES And NATEF

Trish Serratore has been named president of Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES). This is in addition to her role as president of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Chuck Roberts has been named vice president of both organizations and will assume day-to-day operational responsibility. Roberts had been the AYES president and CEO for the last four years. Serratore has been with ASE since 1988. [AYES and NATEF both fall under the ASE umbrella].

Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO, called the change “a refocusing of roles and responsibilities” in order to better address the needs of industry partners and position the ASE Industry Education Alliance for growth. [The alliance is a group of organizations under the ASE umbrella consisting of ASE itself, NATEF, AYES, the North American Council of Automotive Teachers and the Automotive Training Managers Council].

“Trish and Chuck make an outstanding leadership team for the ASE Industry Education Alliance. These new roles will allow each to focus on specific areas, while organizing the alliance members into one, unified effort to enhance the automotive industry’s leadership in technical education,” Zilke explained.

 

NATEF Announces Officers For 2013

Katharine Oliver, assistant state superintendent for career and college readiness with the Maryland State Department of Education, is chairman of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) for 2013. Colin Williamson, dean of the school of transportation technology at the Pennsylvania College of Technology is vice chairman, while Joe Torchiana, president of One Stop Tire & Auto Service in West Chester, PA serves as treasurer. Bill Bergen, a national training and technology manager for Toyota, is past chairman.

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

 

AYES Announces New Officers, Directors

Gregory Settle, manager of operations learning and performance at Mercedes-Benz USA, is chairman of the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) board of directors for 2013. Dave Camden, vice president of dealer operations with Toyota Motor Sales, is vice chairman.

Dan Vespertino, director of service operations at Subaru of America, serves as treasurer, while Charles Klasman, program manager of BMW STEP/BMW Group University, serves as secretary. Mike Durkin, director of dealer service and warranty operations with GM Customer Care & Aftersales, is past chairman.

New directors joining the AYES board include …

Rich Diver of Diver Chevrolet in Wilmington, DE;
Troy Fee of Pep Boys;
Eddie Cox of Norman Frede Chevrolet in Houston;
Doug Greenhaus of the National Automobile Dealers Association; and
Jim Norton of Jim Norton Toyota in Tulsa, OK.

AYES is a school-to-career process for high school automotive technology students. Its goal is to encourage quality students with a good mechanical aptitude to pursue careers in the field of automotive technology and prepare them for entry-level positions.

 

Revolution Supply/Oro-Tek TPMS: Sales Positions

We are seeking two full time Business Development Managers for an Automotive Aftermarket Program Group

Job Description: We need 2 individuals with solid experience in the automotive aftermarket. These individuals will be responsible for driving sales for the quickly expanding TPMS product segment and our quality line of accessories throughout the US. In addition, the individuals will be responsible for continuous education and training of the market place.

Read More…

 

 

Hennessy Names New President

Sanjay Chowbey has been named president of the wheel-service equipment manufacturer Hennessy Industries. Chowbey joins Hennessy after spending six years with Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a technology provider for the petroleum industry, where he served as vice president of the commercial and industrial business unit. Prior to Gilbarco, Chowbey spent 12 years with ArvinMeritor and Arvin Industries.

 

Carstar Expands Business Development Team

Carstar Auto Body Repair Experts (Overland Park, KS) is expanding its business development team to accelerate the expansion of its network in the western United States and the Southeast.

Tom Pelletier joins Carstar as its director of network development for the South and Southeast markets. Pelletier comes from the Automotive Training Institute, where he was a senior management consultant. He has 20 years of experience in the automotive business, both in the collision business and sales. Former positions include director of sales for Alldata, vice president of sales and marketing for Maxwell Emissions and distribution/regional business manager with Snap-on Tools.

Sean Darcy has joined Carstar as its director of network development for the western United States and southern California markets. Darcy was recently with Fix Auto, and was responsible for sales and conversions. He brings more than 15 years of experience in collision repair and the automotive insurance industry.

 

News Briefs 1/9/13

Discount Tire last month opened, in Redmond, WA, its 850th location. Scottsdale, AZ-based Discount Tire operates 32 shops in Washington.

• Minneapolis-based ABRA Auto Body & Glass has acquired all five Collision Solutions locations in Indianapolis. This increases the total number of ABRA repair centers nationwide to 132 in 14 states.

Federated Auto Parts has launched a “Shop of the Year” award program.

 

Event & Trade Show Briefs 1/9/13

National Tire Safety Week 2013 will be held June 2-8.

• Audio and video files for most 2012 Automotive Service & Repair Week educational sessions are available for download. Three-hour sessions are $30/session and 90-minute sessions are $16/session. The complete conference, featuring 62 sessions, also is available for download.

• More than 30 Equipment & Tool Institute (ETI) members from 17 companies attended the Annual Winter Tool Week held last month in Japan, according to the association.

• The next NASTF general meeting will be held March 8 in conjunction with the Vision 2013 Hi-Tech Training & Expo in Kansas City.