NASTF Brings VSP Management In-House For Improved Security
Effective Jan. 1, the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) board brought the management of the Vehicle Security Professional (VSP) program in-house. The change follows widespread problems with credential sharing and related registry backups.
The goal is to significantly raise system security, NASTF executive officer Donny Seyfer said.
“It had become clear from our audit in June of 2018 that there were some fairly sophisticated bad guys in our system,” Seyfer said. “We have hired a speciality group to do our background checks and a new registry manager who comes from an investigative/law enforcement background and already has significant experience working with automakers and NASTF.”
NASTF is now doing an in-house security credential check. That, along with the efficiencies of having a software-driven communications and VSP registry, have made for a streamlined process and more secure interface, Seyfer said.
The support desk has been dealing with long lines, he said, but a team of eight has migrated over 5,200 VSPs and has almost 1,500 new ones coming onboard in the next three weeks, assuming they all pass the security screening.
“The bad actors are having an increasingly difficult time getting past our screening,” he said. “NICB has been a great partner all along, but now, with our data-crunching capabilities, we are able to take automaker data, [Secure Data Release Model (SDRM)] data and let NICB and our background team look at thousands of transactions and link car thefts to individuals or groups of individuals.”
NASTF has investigated and suspended more than 50 accounts that it says were involved in code brokering, interstate or international code sharing, or theft.
“Our bottom line goal is this: We want the good guys to win,” Seyfer said. “The SDRM is about maintaining the integrity of vehicle owners private data. We require our VSPs to confirm that the individual they are doing security work for is truly responsible for the care and custody of that vehicle. If they are unwilling to take that seriously, we will revoke their access to SDRM. That is the agreement we made with the automakers back in 2006 and now we have modern tools to make sure it happens that way.” — Sarah Hollander
New ASA Director Promises More, And Quicker, Engagement
New Automotive Service Association (ASA) executive director Ray Fisher said he’s focused on strengthening interaction and communication with the association’s membership.
“We want to definitely engage our membership more,” Fisher said on a Jan. 10 conference call with the trade press. This will happen through polls and surveys, Facebook Live postings, weekly webinars and more, he said.
“We’re only going to be as successful as the engagement from our membership,” Fisher said. “Joining a country club or tennis club doesn’t make you a better player. You still have to be involved. But, it provides the opportunity, and that’s exactly what ASA does.”
Fisher, the former executive director of ASA’s Michigan affiliate, started the job Jan. 2. He’s based in Texas now, but will continue to also represent Michigan for 90 days while that group’s leadership is in transition.
Fisher said he’s excited to bring his six years of legislative experience in Michigan — including work to remove sales taxes on core charges and update licensing requirements — to the national level.
“I plan to carry that passion and that challenge forward working with (ASA’s legislative representative) Bob Redding and our new mechanic ops. committee, collision ops. committee and volunteers,” Fisher said.
Telematics — and access to and ownership of information — will be top-of-mind, as will monitoring the EPA, OSHA and IRS for legislation that impacts the industry.
As far as long-term planning, ASA’s board of directors plans to review its strategic plan with Fisher in March and make adjustments as needed.
Fisher said he’ll revisit the affiliate model and consider what ASA can do better for affiliates, as well as best ways to reach areas without local affiliations.
The group’s annual meeting April 30 to May 2 will include training and live demonstrations, as well as succession planning for business owners, which are priorities for Fisher.
Fisher described himself as a highly proactive person — a characteristic he thinks will help ASA meet its mission of enhancing professionalism in the repair industry.
“I think the biggest challenge we have as an industry is making sure we don’t bury our heads in the sand, and instead we look for that opportunity of what’s next,” he said.
AIA Canada Launches Associate Program For Shops
The Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada) has officially launched its Automotive Service Associate Program (ASAP), an initiative designed to give service professionals access to “the big picture,” including trends in vehicle technology, research on shop performance benchmarks and training packages.
“Our objective is to build a community which can feed concerns to a national level and take advantage of national-level research, lobbying and infrastructure,” Senior Director of Industry Programs Andrew Shepherd said. “The ultimate benefit of the program will be a national ASAP community.”
About 20 shops have signed on thus far, according to Shepherd. The organization expects around 1,000 shops to sign up in the first year.
The program costs $179 a year and benefits include …
• A national shop-finder service.
• Pricing discounts on AIA Canada research products, including a focus on the service advisor role and an update of service shop activity and profit benchmarks.
• Access to AutoConnex, a database of industry jobs, compensation information, career profiles and educational resources.
• E-communications and other news on suppliers, equipment and training.
• Access to Cars OnDemand training, skills assessment and the Technical Assistance Center.
• Coming soon, customer credit plans through Desjardins.
Big O Tires Touts First Shops In Texas
Retail tire franchisor Big O Tires has expanded into Texas. Chris Monteverde, an existing franchisee of the Big O Tires brand with 19 locations in California, has added eight NTB Tire & Service Center shops in the San Antonio and Corpus Christi markets, which will be converted to Big O Tires over the next few months. Big O Tires now has more than 455 independently-owned and -operated locations across 25 states.
Moran Opens First International Location In Nigeria
The Moran Family of Brands (Midlothian, IL) — a franchisor of general auto repair, transmission repair and driver safety products — has announced its first international location, a Mr. Transmission/Milex co-branded business in Nigeria. The new, 38,000-square-foot facility includes a central company headquarters, distribution center and a Mr. Transmission/Milex shop.
Temi Adelu-Davis and her husband, Glen Davis, own the Nigeria franchise. The couple also will be area developers for the Mr. Transmission/Milex brand in Nigeria. They plan to bring 10 franchises to the country over the next seven years.
“Despite having the best economic climate in the entire continent of Africa, Nigeria is severely lacking when it comes to the quality of auto repair,” Adelu-Davis said. “Our goal is to change the entire environment in Nigeria to improve and modernize its auto repair services. Our Mr. Transmission/Milex store will provide fair pricing to our customers and educate them on how best to maintain their vehicles.”
New Valvoline Vehicle Recall Program Directs Drivers To Dealerships
Valvoline Inc. has launched a Vehicle Recall Awareness Program aimed at reducing the number of open recalls on the road. With this initiative, every consumer who enters a participating Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop will automatically receive an open recall check on his or her vehicle. If an open recall is identified, the consumer is notified and provided details to have the recall serviced at one of Valvoline’s preferred dealership partners nationwide.
Valvoline Platform To Connect Jobseekers With Employers In Its Network
Valvoline Inc. is launching the Auto Career Accelerator (ACA), an online recruiting platform designed to connect emerging professionals with open positions in the automotive services and heavy-duty industries. Available positions will be posted exclusively from within Valvoline’s lubricant customer network, which includes tire shops, car dealerships, quick lubes and heavy-duty fleets.
Initial posted positions will include entry-level and mid-level technicians, as well as management, sales and service openings. As the platform expands, it will include heavy-duty mechanics, CDL truck drivers and welders, according to Valvoline.
Jamal Muashsher, Valvoline’s vice president of marketing and customer experience, said the company intends to pair the best and brightest with available positions throughout the company’s network in order to close an auto industry employment gap.
“Throughout its 152-year history, Valvoline has formed relationships with thousands of vocational and technical, or vo-tech, schools nationwide. Conversely, our installer and fleet customers have consistently reported the technician shortage as an ongoing concern,” Muashsher explained. “With our blended industry connections, we felt it important to enable vo-tech students to easily and actively search thousands of open positions.”
Advance Auto Allies With Midwest Auto Care Alliance
Advance Auto Parts has announced a partnership with the Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA) to provide auto parts and training support to MWACA member facilities, including a rebate program. The recently formed group, formerly affiliated with ASA Midwest, is a nonprofit association led by independent repair shop owners.
Advance, a platinum partner of MWACA, also announced a mentorship and apprenticeship initiative designed to attract and support new technicians in the automotive service industry. The initiative will identify internal shop trainers and provide a structured on-the-job curriculum to improve technician knowledge and focus on productivity enhancements.
Advance also is a top-level sponsor of the Vision Hi Tech Training Expo, one of MWACA’s annual events, this year being held Feb. 28 to March 3 in Overland Park, KS.
Hunter Releases Performance-Driven Tool For Inspection Equipment
The Hunter Engineering Co. has introduced Push Reports, a performance-driven tool for its inspection equipment. The goal is to boost shop performance by automatically providing managers with actionable data. With Push Reports, shops can set daily performance goals and identify presented, achieved, and missed opportunities to sell alignments and tires. Custom reports can be automatically pushed via text or email, allowing managers and owners to track their shop’s performance.
Denso Expands Aftermarket Training
Denso Products & Services Americas has added four new training classes to its offering of instructor-led automotive repair courses. Denso’s 2019 roster now includes the following courses …
• A/C Operation, Performance & Diagnostics.
• Direct Injection & Air Induction System Diagnostics.
• General Motors Drivability & Code Diagnostics.
• Vehicle Network Diagnostic Strategies.
With these new seminars, the company offers a total of 45 classes under its technical training program through the Denso Automotive Technical Academy (DATA).
Alldata Joins European Group To Push For Data Access
Alldata Europe GmbH, an affiliate of Alldata LLC, has joined the European Automotive Data Publishers Association (ADPA) to help drive legislation aimed at allowing access to automotive data and information. Alldata plans to use its experience in the United States to help its aftermarket customers in Europe.
“We are pleased to align with the ADPA and work alongside other distinguished industry players whose mission is to provide solutions to aftermarket workshops, so they may deliver diagnostic and repair services to their customers that meet quality manufacturer standards,” Kevin Culmo, Alldata Europe managing director and Alldata LLC group vice president, said. “Our goal is to collaborate with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in Europe — as we have done successfully in the U.S. — to ensure the sustainability of independent workshops and garages across Europe.”
Bill Introduced Seeking To Repeal Missouri Vehicle Safety Inspections
Legislation (HB 451) has been introduced before the Missouri House of Representatives that seeks to repeal the inspection requirement for non-commercial motor vehicles. Air quality and emission inspection requirements for St. Louis and some specified areas — which are mandated by federal law — would not be modified. The proposed legislation has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2020. It is similar to a bill introduced last year but not voted upon. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposes the bill.
ASA Announces Benefits Deals With Chevron, Kukui
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has announced Chevron and Kukui as new sponsored benefit providers. ASA sponsored benefit provider companies provide special-priced member services and products to ASA members to help offset their everyday business costs.
Chevron’s national program allows ASA members to receive average savings of 35 percent on Havoline Motor Oil and lubricants for their shops, according to ASA. Members also will receive …
• A $250 signage allowance.
• Consumer promotions to help retain and attract customers.
• Product warranty.
• A free PitPack Rack ($600 value).
• National promotions.
• Customer service.
• Product training.
• Inventory management advice.
Kukui provides a custom marketing website platform that integrates with a business’ point-of-sale (POS) system. Clients receive data on their return on investment, the number of new clients based on their POS system, statistics on customer retention, and areas to improve business via tracking phone calls, appointment forms, and feedback from customer reviews.
ASA members will …
• Receive an annual rebate of $295 to apply toward the cost of national membership in ASA.
• Receive an annual savings of $1,800 when they sign up for the Kukui program.
• Receive a 50-percent discount on a one-time setup fee.
For more information about these new member benefits, visit Chevron’s and Kukui’s profiles at ASA.savings4members.com.
TIA Releases Dates For 2019 ATS Training Tour
The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has released the dates for its 2019 Automotive Tire Service Advanced Instructor Training Tour. The four-day, hands-on training will be hosted across the United States with the goal of educating tire technicians on proper safety procedures and guidelines for servicing passenger and light-truck tire and wheel assemblies.
TIA will visit seven locations across the United States. The preliminary schedule is …
• Feb. 5-8: Charlotte.
• March 26-29: Louisville, KY.
• May 21-24: Mission Viejo, CA.
• July (dates to be announced): Dallas.
• Aug. 13-16: Denver.
• Sept. 10-13: Seattle.
• Nov. 12-15: Baltimore.
Kent Automotive Lands Endorsements From Honda
Honda has awarded Kent Automotive 49 product endorsements covering 10 categories. The OEM-recommended products include seal sealers and adhesives, plastic repair products, corrosion protection, and sound dampening items used in collision and auto body repair in Honda and Acura vehicles. The Kent products are specified in the recently released Honda Service Bulletin 18-134 and Acura Service Bulletin 18-070.
Mobile Tech RX Buys Dent Buddy
MobiTech International, parent company of the paintless dent repair (PDR) and mobile tech app Mobile Tech RX, has announced an agreement to acquire competing mobile technician app Dent Buddy, estimating and invoicing software made for PDR professionals and those specialized in removing hail dents and door dings from vehicle panels. Dent Buddy users will convert to Mobile Tech RX, and Mobile Tech RX will integrate certain features and data from Dent Buddy.
AAA Using Glympse For Road Assistance Pilot
AAA is testing real-time roadside assistance updates using web-based technology from Glympse. The pilot includes 20 clubs, with six more pending.
Text notifications confirm AAA members’ requests for service. The text contains a code that can be used to track the responding tow truck or service vehicle with a live map view and ETA countdown. Customers also can see the name of the technician, cancel the request if the situation changes and, if a tow is needed, confirm the final destination.
Members who don’t opt-in for notifications or can’t access the internet can call AAA to retrieve the same information via automated Interactive Voice Response.
In addition to roadside assistance, Seattle-based Glympse has been promoting its technology for service appointments, food and product deliveries, curbside pickups, and consumer-location sharing.
The company has worked with a number of vehicle manufacturers — including Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, GM and Toyota — to offer real-time location sharing from their cars through dash or headphone units linked to an app.
Bosch, Mojio Develop Emergency Response Technology For All Vehicles
Bosch and Mojio have unveiled a jointly developed integrated emergency response offering. The technology adds crash detection and emergency call (eCall) response to an existing connected-car offering from Mojio that uses a plug-and-play device for a vehicle’s OBD-II port and a mobile app.
The system senses a collision, assesses its severity and triggers the appropriate emergency response. The new offering — which costs $10 a month and can be used in any vehicle — also includes Wi-Fi connectivity for the vehicle, notifications of engine issues and recall notices, a stolen-vehicle location service, on-demand roadside assistance and more.
The crash detection algorithm from Bosch uses accelerometer sensor data from within a “Made for Mojio” certified OBD-II device to sense and measure a collision in real-time, communicating the crash data to Mojio’s cloud platform and triggering contextual emergency response alerts. Critical data — including the crash time, vehicle location and incident severity — is sent from Mojio’s cloud to Bosch’s eCall system to trigger the dispatch of local emergency responders. And, a simultaneous notification is sent to user-designated emergecy contacts, such as family and friends.
The product is initially being offered to Mojio’s global portfolio of mobile network operator customers, with early deployments to consumers expected by mid-2019 in North America and Europe.
Deloitte: Consumers Pump The Brakes On Autonomous Vehicle Adoption
Consumers’ appetite for self-driving vehicles lags the automotive industry’s pace of investment in advanced vehicle technology, according to the 2019 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study.
In the United States, 50 percent of survey respondents do not believe autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be safe — nearly the same as last year’s 47 percent. That’s different from consumer sentiment in 2017, when 74 percent voiced concerns about these vehicles’ safety. Other markets saw similar plateauing, with the share of consumers in China, Japan and South Korea who believe AVs will not be safe decreasing modestly, and Indian and German consumers both showing slight increases in their distrust.
“Autonomous vehicles have begun to enter the real world in pilot testing and have consequently encountered real-world challenges,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman of Deloitte and U.S. automotive sector leader. “A series of high-profile incidents may have contributed to the plateau in consumer trust in this year’s study, but there will likely be a longer-term trend toward gradual acceptance. Even so, consumers have a much higher bar for acceptance of fully autonomous vehicles than for driver assistance safety technology.”
With consumers having more choices with regard to mobility, that plethora of choices brings an array of new decisions for consumers …
• In 2017, 23 percent of U.S. consumers used ride-hailing at least once a week, and another 22 percent used it occasionally. But, in Deloitte’s latest study, the percentage of regular users fell to 12 percent, while the proportion of occasional users increased twofold to 46 percent.
• Younger consumers are more likely to question whether vehicle ownership is a necessity than older generations. Japan leads the way, where 60 percent of Generations Y and Z believe ride hailing makes them question whether they need to own a vehicle, followed by 53 percent for Gen X and 45 percent for Baby Boomers. In the United States, the number is 46 percent for Generation Y and Z consumers — down 20 percentage points from 64 percent in 2017.
• 56 percent of Americans are not interested in ridesharing services — such as professional micro-buses and other similar multi-rider options — and using multiple modes of transportation in one trip is largely an occasional undertaking in the United States, where 39 percent of consumers report that they never combine different modes in a single trip.
Along with new transportation options, connectivity has unlocked an array of new choices for consumers purchasing vehicles, many of whom are divided, according to Deloitte …
• Interest in connected features such as traffic congestion tracking and road-safety alerts is high, with 75 percent and 71 percent of U.S. consumers seeking these features, respectively.
• This strongly aligns with what 43 percent of U.S. consumers say is the most important aspect of mobility: getting to their destination in the least amount of time.
• 47 percent of surveyed U.S. consumers are sold on the idea of connectivity, with opinions varying globally. Twice as many people in China (79 percent) and India (76 percent) agree that increased connectivity will lead to substantial benefits than in Japan (36 percent) and Germany (35 percent).
• Connected-vehicle sensors can track everything from powertrain performance and operational statistics to geolocation information and occupant wellness. Roughly two-thirds (63 percent) of U.S. consumers are concerned about biometric data being captured via a connected vehicle and shared with external parties.
• 33 percent of U.S. consumers would be unwilling to pay more for a connected vehicle, and 42 percent would only pay as much as $500 more for this functionality.
“Connected, electrified, and autonomous vehicles offer tremendous value for society, but consumers may be slow to adopt these advanced technologies at scale until there is clear and undisputed improvement in safety, cost, convenience and superior customer experience from a trusted brand,” said Joe Vitale of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and global automotive sector leader.
The number of U.S. consumers who said they trust traditional OEMs to bring AV technology to market continues to slip, falling from 47 percent in 2018 to 39 percent in 2019. And, an overwhelming percentage of consumers in most countries want “significant” government oversight, including 56 percent of U.S. consumers.
According to Deloitte, people around the world see electrified powertrains as viable options, but electric vehicles (EVs) still face some bumps in the road. In the United States, 29 percent would prefer a nontraditional powertrain (including hybrid, battery or other alternative) for their next vehicle — up from 20 percent last year. A low fuel price environment, coupled with relaxed emissions standards and fewer available rebates, will likely keep EV adoption rates contained in the U.S. market, according to Deloitte.
Interest in Asian countries is far higher than that of the United States, and adoption of EVs will likely play out differently in different regions. Stronger policies to address pollution concerns and foreign oil reliance in China may encourage faster EV adoption, while European countries — including Norway, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands — have announced plans to ban the sale of conventional gas- and diesel-fueled vehicles over the next two to three decades.
News Briefs 1/29/19
• Standard Motor Products’ Standard brand YouTube channel
has surpassed 10,000 subscribers. Since launching in 2010, the channel has accrued over 13 million minutes of watch time, 7 million video views and 20,000 shares.
• Kent Automotive has added a service bulletin search tool to Kent-Automotive.com, allowing customers to search OEM-supplied communications about vehicle service issues and recalls that specify or can be addressed with Kent Automotive products.
• Michelin is now the official tire of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. For the 2019 season, Michelin will support 19 automotive brands competing in different classes of the IMSAWeatherTech SportsCar Championship, compared with five brands last season. Michelin also will be title sponsor of the Michelin Endurance Cup and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
• Anne Forristall Luke, president and CEO of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), has been elected vice chair of the National Association of Manufacturers Council of Manufacturing Associations board of directors.
• The Columbus, OH-based Safelite Group, owner of Safelite AutoGlass, has acquired the assets of Glasspro Inc., which operates 11 auto glass locations in South Carolina, including shops in North Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Greenville and Florence.
• Tint World Automotive Styling Centers has opened its first Tennessee location in Kingsport.
Event & Trade Show Briefs 1/29/19
• The Automotive Service Association (ASA) will hold its 2019 Annual Business Meeting & Conference April 30 to May 2 in Hurst, TX.
• The Heavy Duty Training Series will return to the Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo taking place Feb. 28 to March 3 in Overland Park, KS. For more information, visit visionkc.com.
• Registration is now open for the 2019 HD Repair Forum, which will take place April 2-3 in Ft. Worth, TX. For additional information, visit hdrepairforum.com.
• Mitchell 1 will hold this year’s first Shop Management Workshop April 25-27 at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. The training is designed for auto shop management software users who want to learn more advanced capabilities, shortcuts and new features.
• The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) raised over $10,000 to support its Automotive Education Fund at the 17th annual Race for Automotive Education earlier this month in Burnsville, MN. The money will fund scholarships for automotive students enrolled in NATEF-certified auto service and collision repair programs in Minnesota’s technical colleges.