Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)
• In Fredricksburg, TX, VP Racing Fuels has opened its first VP Fastlube quick lube center, joining the company’s offering of branded gas stations and convenience stores. Management envisions Fastlube as a coast-to-coast platform.
• The Car Care Council has released a video on how drivers can reap long-term benefits from spending a portion of their tax refunds on preventative vehicle maintenance.
• The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has released a YouTube video on the value of periodic motor vehicle inspection programs. It features ASA Mechanical Division Director Tom Piippo, the owner of Tri-County Motors in Rudyard, MI, as well as Tony Molla, ASA’s vice president of industry relations.
• ASE’s Advanced Engine Performance Specialist (L1) test is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019. By the end of the year, ASE estimates that 100,000 service professionals will have earned the L1 credential since its inception. L1 is the highest ASE credential a driveability and emissions technician can achieve.
• Haynes North America is now a partner in the TechForce Foundation’s “FutureTech Success” campaign, an industry-wide initiative designed to inspire the next generation of mobility technicians.
Check Engine Repairs Rose 6.5% Nationally In 2018
U.S. vehicle owners paid 6.5% more to repair “Check Engine” light issues in 2018, according to the latest Vehicle Health Index from Irvine, CA-based CarMD.
The average cost to repair a “Check Engine” problem nationally was $380.85 ($223.81 for parts and $157.04 for labor), representing a 3.5% uptick in parts costs and an 11.2% rise in labor costs when compared to the previous year. Repair costs were up across all regions.
In 2018, drivers in the West paid the most at $386.78 (up 8.0%), followed closely by the South at $385.46 (up 7.8%). The Northeast came in at $379.76 (up 4.9%). Drivers in the Midwest paid the least at $366.31 (up 1.0%).
For the first time since CarMD has reported its rankings, there was a tie for the No.-1 most commonly diagnosed “Check Engine” light repair with “replace ignition coil/coils and spark plug/spark plugs” (up from No. 2 in 2017) and “replace oxygen sensor/sensors” (no change when compared to 2017). Each accounted for 5.81% of repairs in 2018.
Rounding out the five most common problems found to trigger the “Check Engine” light were …
• Replace catalytic converter/converters and new OE catalytic converter/converters at 4.93% (no change when compared to 2017).
• Inspect for loose fuel cap and tighten or replace as necessary at 4.18% (no change from 2017).
• Replace ignition coil/coils without spark plug replacement (up from No. 7 in 2017).
Notably, there were slightly fewer mass air flow sensor and EVAP purge control valve replacements in 2018.
The most common repair in the West, Midwest and Northeast regions was “replace oxygen sensor/sensors,” while it was “replace ignition coil/coils and spark plug/spark plugs” in the South.
The latest Vehicle Health Index analyzed repairs needed on nearly 7.17 million in-use vehicles reported to, and validated by, CarMD’s network between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018. Click here to view the full index, including the 10 most common “Check Engine” related repairs, 10-year history of U.S. repair costs, most common repairs by region, and 10 least/most expensive repairs.
Fewer U.S. Vehicles With Open Recalls, Says Carfax
The open recall problem in the U.S. is improving, according to Carfax, but millions of drivers and car buyers are still at risk. Annual research findings from Carfax indicate that there are over 52 million recalled vehicles on the road that haven’t been fixed. That means one out of every five registered vehicles has an open recall. The states where this problem is most glaring are …
• Mississippi (24.7%).
• Texas (24.6%).
• Louisiana (23.7%).
• Alabama (22.2%).
• New Mexico (22.1%).
• Arkansas (21.6%).
States with the most vehicles with open recalls are …
• California (6.30 million).
• Texas (5.50 million).
• Florida (3.20 million).
• Pennsylvania (2.20 million).
• New York (2.10 million).
Nonetheless, open recalls have declined over the last two years, going from 63 million in 2017 to 57 million in 2018 to 52 million now, according to Carfax. The company attributes the trend to use of free recall monitoring services and checks for open recalls during state vehicle inspections.
Monro Enters Louisiana With Allied Acquisition
Monro Inc. has acquired Allied Discount Tire & Brake and its 12 retail stores in Louisiana, expanding the company’s geographic footprint into southern markets. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The new locations are expected to add approximately $15 million in annualized sales, representing a sales mix of 35% service and 65% tires. The acquisition is expected to be breakeven to diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2019.
Signs will soon change to Tire Choice Auto Service Centers, a Monro brand that operates in the Southeast.
Pep Boys Expands Fleet Services
Pep Boys plans to expand its fleet services with a number of new initiatives. Pep Boys Fleet, launched this month by the Icahn Automotive Group, includes fleet-specific vans for on-location maintenance and repair, a specialized online invoicing and payment system, a towing program, and a trackable fleet services credit card.
Pep Boys Fleet customers receive a single point of contact who gets to know them and their businesses, according to the company. The team representatives develop customized service programs and pricing plans and help manage customers’ fleet business.
The new program is intended to improve Pep Boys’ work with large, national fleet operations, and better position the company to take advantage of small fleets emerging from the growth of transportation network companies and last-mile delivery services.
Pep Boys Fleet service — including preventative maintenance, such as tires, brakes, batteries and suspension — is done through the Pep Boys national network, which consists of more than 9,000 service bays in over 1,000 company-owned locations.
The Pep Boys Mobile Crew, which launched in 2018 with trailers, will expand to include smaller-format fleet vans staffed by trained technicians to complete common fleet maintenance and repair needs on-location.
Pep Boys Fleet also is an official tire, brake and preventive maintenance supplier of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners (DSP), which provides negotiated pricing for Amazon DSP maintenance — along with a pro rewards program and fleet credit — which owners can use to cover unforeseen expenses.
Later this year, Pep Boys plans to launch a management technology solution to help small- and mid-size businesses better manage their fleet maintenance.
Meineke Plans E-Inspection Expansion, Predicts Strong 2019
Heading into a seventh straight year of sales growth, Meineke Car Care Centers plans to continue its data-based approach to customer service, with a focus on transparency and simplicity, according to Meineke President Danny Rivera.
“Business is doing great, and we see Meineke as more relevant than it’s ever been in its history,” Rivera said on an April 2 outlook call with members of the media.
E-inspections are a big part of the plan. The company, a division of Driven Brands, will “aggressively” roll out the concept this year. Shops will use tablets as part of the inspection process, sending pictures and short videos via email or text to help customers understand maintenance and repair suggestions.
“The reality within our space is: cars are complicated pieces of machinery, and they’re intimidating,” Rivera said on the call. “Customers are begging for transparency and simplicity, not ‘Trust me, you need it.’”
Meineke plans to roll out the program, which began as a pilot in 2017, based on franchisee interest. When a majority of franchise partners in a metropolitan area express interest, corporate will send an operations team into the city to help with the rollout and training, followed by advertising and marketing.
About 150 centers now use the program.
Rivera said Meineke is looking to companies like Amazon, Apple and Zappos, not just direct competitors, for service lessons. “Delighting customers” is the goal, he said.
In other company news …
• Meineke will target existing, successful franchisees for growth.
• Tire sales will remain opportunistic, based on customer requests and inspection results. While tire sales have grown for the company over the last four years, Rivera said, the company doesn’t often lead with tires. “We find that the tire space is pretty crowded,” he said.
• Revvy, an OBD-II port plug-in device introduced in 2017, has been discontinued. “That was a product that was too far ahead of its time,” Rivera said. It’s still in Meineke’s portfolio, but on the shelf for now, he said.
Meineke’s system includes over 850 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Grease Monkey Taps ApplePie As Preferred Lender
Grease Monkey International, a FullSpeed Automotive brand, is now working with ApplePie Capital to offer new and existing franchisees access to as much as $20 million in debt capital in attempt to drive expansion in target markets across the United States.
“As a multi-brand international franchisor, we chose ApplePie Capital as a preferred lender because they took the time to learn about our business model and our core values. Their knowledge of the franchise industry enables them to offer a multitude of loan options to our franchisees,” said Jeff King, director of franchise development. “ApplePie’s ability to customize loan programs for a first-time center owner or a multi-center operator brings a unique component to the relationship that can be challenging to find with other lenders.”
Grease Monkey has more than 340 shops in the United States, Mexico, South America, China and Saudi Arabia.
FullSpeed Automotive is the parent company to Grease Monkey, as well as SpeeDee and LubePro’s quick lubes and the Monkey Shine car wash brand. The company also operates Havoline Xpress Lube, Herbert Automotive, Handy Lube Express and Mobil 1 Lube Express locations as part of its retail operations division.
Use Of ‘Discount Tire’ Subject Of Suit Against Mavis
Reinalt-Thomas Corp. is suing Mavis Tire Supply over the right to use the name “Discount Tire.” Reinalt-Thomas operates 34 Discount Tire stores in the Atlanta area. Mavis, previously concentrated in the Northeast, entered the Georgia market after acquiring competitor Kauffman Tire in 2018.
The transition of Kauffman locations to Mavis Discount Tire has confused customers, according to the complaint. Reinalt-Thomas claims trademark infringement and possible dilution, along with unfair competition. It’s asking the court to stop Mavis from using the term.
“Since 1960, plaintiff has developed enormous goodwill around its DISCOUNT TIRE trademarks, which are protected nationwide by federal trademark registrations dating back to 1985 …” the suit states.
Mavis, in its answer to the complaint, denied wrongdoing saying that “discount tire” is a generic term when applied to discount tire products and services.
Mavis recently purchased and has begun rebranding third-party tire retailers in the Southeast, including at least part of the retail portion of the Kauffman Tire business. Customer confusion is unlikely, Mavis argues, because the trademark is “at best, weak and entitled, at most, to limited protection due to its descriptiveness …”
“In the United States, hundreds of other discount tire sellers use the words ‘discount tire’ in their business names or in a generic sense to refer to the basic nature or genus of the services and products that they offer and to convey that they are sellers of discount tires,” according to Mavis’ answer to the suit.
In a counterclaim, Mavis has asked for the cancellation of Reinalt-Thomas’ Discount Tire trademark protection.
The case is being heard in the U.S. District Court – Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.
Tire Discounters Restructures Sales, Operations Leadership
Cincinnati-based Tire Discounters — which is billed as the seventh largest independent retail tire and automotive services company in the United States — has announced a number of changes to its management team.
David Cahill is now director of training, research and development — a newly established role. Cahill, who joined Tire Discounters at the end of 2018, is an ASE Master Technician and automotive training professional with over 25 years of experience. He is responsible for expanding the company’s training program and leading future innovation.
Chris Albertz, a 17-year Tire Discounters veteran, was promoted to purchasing manager to help identify and incorporate new systems for improving merchandising and other store-focused solutions.
Dave Chirello was promoted to division director of sales. Chirello is a 25-year veteran of the retail automotive repair industry, with experience leading markets across the South. He now oversees sales and operations in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Eldon Riggs is now the director of retail operations, responsible for the company’s Indianapolis expansion, opening seven stores currently under construction over the next two months. Riggs joined Tire Discounters last year after more than 25 years building and growing the Indianapolis retailer Tire Barn.
Aaron Eck, Jim Phillips, George Reynolds and John Ross have all joined the company recently as field leaders. They are tasked with supporting and leading new and existing markets, including Dayton, OH; Huntsville, AL; and Knoxville, TN.
Brandon Grubbs, a nine-year Tire Discounters veteran, is now director of commercial sales and service — a new position. As such, Grubbs will lead business development for the company’s northern and southern divisions.
Since its debut in 1976, Tire Discounters has grown to 116 stores and more than 1,200 employees across six states. The company has doubled its number of stores since 2011 and is continuing to expand its footprint in both new and existing markets. Tire Discounters plans to open 19 stores over the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, Tire Discounters has been upgrading its digital platforms over the past year with such projects as a new warehouse management system, new learning management technology and new point-of-sale software.
“We’ve completed the first phase of our technology upgrades. We’re now realigning our leadership team to streamline responsibilities and maximize the efficiencies we’ve gained with over the past year,” explained Crissy Niese, senior vice president and chief customer officer.
“I’m excited about the changes to our sales and operations teams,” said Charles Curlee, vice president of retail sales. “The folks we’ve assembled are more experienced than any I’ve ever seen. We’re scaling up the team to provide best-in-class support as we continue to grow our footprint across the Midwest and southern United States.”
OK Tire Announces $100-Million DC Expansion
OK Tire plans to invest $100 million over the next five years to expand its distribution center capabilities in Canada. The nationwide expansion will add over 500,000 square feet to the company’s network.
Construction will begin soon on the first new DC in central Canada. The other locations have not been announced.
“Our objective is to future-proof our business, which is why we are installing state-of-the-art distribution systems at our new facilities,” Chief Operating Officer Michael Rutherford said in a statement. “We will be able to carry more products and service our retail locations with an expanded line of tires and automotive products.”
OK Tires currently distributes from 11 DCs across Canada in Surrey, Calgary, Acheson, Saskatoon, Regina, Blumenort, Mississauga, Baie D’Urfe, Moncton, Clarenville and Dartmouth. The expansion will include a mix of new locations, relocations and extensions to the capacity of some existing DCs.
The DC expansion plan comes at a time when OK Tires is experiencing “phenomenal and consistent growth” in its network on both the commercial and retail side, according to the company.
It is the first major initiative of OK Tire’s five-year growth plan and is said to be the most significant expansion in the company’s 66-year history.
Openbay Launches AI Service Advisor App
Openbay has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning application called Otis to serve as a virtual automotive service advisor. The service is integrated into a business’ online presence and can book appointments, generate price estimates, and provide recall notices and other repair, service and business information.
“Today’s automotive service businesses remain unaligned with the buying behavior characteristics of younger Millennial and Generation Z consumers, who represent over 69 million drivers,” according to an Openbay announcement. “These generations expect an instantaneous, personalized connection to their service provider and access to services specific to their needs.”
Openbay Otis is now operating on automotive service websites and marketing program providers, such as Net Driven, TCS, MechanicNet and Kukui. It’s available by subscription.
Bolt On Teams With 360 Payments For Text-To-Pay
Bolt On Technology and 360 Payments have partnered on a text-to-pay option for automotive repair shops. The new feature is available to all new and existing Bolt On customers using the company’s PRO Pack suite of products with the addition of a plug-in.
Customers can use their mobile phones to pay their bill. For shops, the service is being advertised as a way to get paid faster, streamline checkouts and save service advisors’ time.
Diagnostic Network Debuts New Rewards Program
Diagnostic Network has a new rewards program that allows members to incentivize other members to solve a difficult vehicle diagnosis and repair, locate a hard-to-find part or tool, and help with other support requests.
“While there is technical support taking place within the platform today, many modern problems can become quite complex and require a significant time investment for those providing support,” Diagnostic Network President Scott Brown said. “This new system provides a compensation method unlike anything in existence today within a platform dedicated to service industry professionals.”
The program is based on rewards, called bounties, that members can purchase using special $10 tokens. Members can use their bounties to pay for network subscriptions and, soon, for merchandise such as Diagnostic Network shirts, hats and other items. They also can cash out for a percentage of the tokens’ value.
Last May, Brown launched Diagnostic Network, a startup venture aimed at helping automotive, collision, and heavy-duty professionals master the service and repair of modern vehicles. Supported by 16 corporate partners, the platform includes peer discussion, partner collaboration and education.
ASA Automotive Systems’ Parent Company Makes Leadership Changes
ASA Automotive Systems (Merrimack, NH) has announced executive leadership changes to scale the company for organic and acquisitive growth.
Marc Belanski, ASA president, is now the automotive portfolio manager at the FOG Software Group, ASA’s parent company. In this role, Belanski oversees ASA, Pace Software and Megabus, assisting the companies’ general managers with organic growth.
Dave Vogel, ASA’s executive vice president, will become general manager. He will lead all business operations of ASA, expanding on his prior role of managing the TireMaster product line, sales and marketing. Vogel, who has been with ASA for 16 years, will report to Belanski.
Zubie Partners With CarAdvise On Fleet Service
Zubie has partnered with CarAdvise, a technology start-up, to launch a maintenance and vehicle tracking program for small- and mid-size fleets. Zubie Smart Maintenance is an electronic service scheduling platform, connecting fleets to discounts and a nationwide network of service shops, including national chains (Firestone, Jiffy Lube, NTB, Meineke, Tire Kingdom and AAMCO) and local independent repair shops.
In addition to being able to track the location and health of their vehicles using Zubie’s existing technology, Smart Maintenance provides fleet managers the added capability to track, manage, and pay for their vehicles’ maintenance within the Zubie application.
And, independent ASE-certified technicians are available for advice on maintenance transactions.
Design Interactive Making Tech Software Available To Students
Design Interactive Inc. (DII) — an Orlando-based company that provides augmented reality fleet maintenance and training for the transportation industry — has partnered with an Arkansas group to introduce a new generation to the skilled trades.
“Be Pro Be Proud,” an initiative of the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation, is using DII’s augmented reality software in a mobile workshop that travels to high schools and middle schools so students can have a hands-on, professional experience.
The trailer houses an air disc brake system inspection and assembly game driven by DII’s augmented reality software. The faster and more accurately students complete each task, the more points they earn.
“We are proud to support efforts to raise awareness of career choices in transportation to students and to change the perception of parents and educators about these skilled professions,” said Matt Johnston, DII’s division head of commercial solutions.
Continental Co-Sponsors Certified Automotive Tire Service Training Tour
Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket is working with the Tire Industry Association (TIA) to co-sponsor the 2019 Certified Automotive Tire Service (ATS) Advanced Instructor Training Tour. The four-day, hands-on training program will visit seven cities to educate tire technicians on the proper safety procedures and guidelines for servicing passenger and light-truck tire and wheel assemblies. Techs who pass the course will be certified as Advanced ATS Instructors, allowing them to certify other ATS instructors and techs in the field.
Continental Technical Training Specialists Sean Lannoo and Allen Selzler will be part of the tour in addition to the regular Continental training programs they conduct throughout the year. The tour will visit …
• Mission Viejo, CA.
• Louisville, KY.
Arizona Legislature Approves Remote Inspection Program
A push to establish a pilot program for remote vehicle inspections has passed the Arizona legislature and now awaits consideration by Gov. Doug Ducey. HB 2452 was voted out of the Senate Monday, April 22 on a 30-0 vote with no amendments to the House version of the bill.
“Given the broad support and my own conversation with the governor’s staff, my expectation is that the governor will likely sign the bill,” Stuart Goodman, CAWA’s Arizona legislative advocate, said.
The legislation would require the director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to establish a pilot program to provide for remote vehicle emissions inspections in the Phonix and Tucson areas. As-is, Arizona uses 18 centralized testing stations rather than local mechanics.
If approved, the pilot program would run for at least three consecutive years before July 1, 2025. Results would then be evaluated for efficiency and cost savings over the existing process before a full-scale program would be implemented.
To become registered, vehicles in the pilot areas must pass emissions and tampering inspections. The bill allows for earlier inspections (beyond 90 days before expiration) and also proposes to extend the duration of emissions inspection agreements with independent contractors from five to seven years to no more than seven years.
Rep. Gail Griffin is the bill’s main sponsor.
ASA Announces New AMI Trustees
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has announced the following new members of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) board of trustees: Amy Mattinat of Auto Craftsmen in Montpelier, VT, and Mike Schoonover of Schoonover Bodyworks & Glass in St. Paul, MN. AMI’s other board of trustees members are …
• Bill Haas of Haas Performance Consulting in Tyler, TX.
• Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision & Glass in Minneapolis.
• Scott Brown of the Diagnostic Network in Claremont, CA.
Also, ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher will assume the ASA president seat on the AMI board of trustees that has been held, on an interim capacity, by ASA Vice President of Industry Relations Tony Molla.
AASP-MN Announces 2019-‘20 Board Of Directors
April marked the beginning of service for the 2019-‘20 Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) board of directors. Joining the board are Tony Newman of Dale Feste Automotive in Hopkins, Jesse Jacobson of Heppner’s Auto Body in Woodbury and Loren Feldkamp of Lube-Tech & Partners in St. Paul.
The other board members are …
• President: Carl Thomas of Lancer Service in St. Paul.
• Immediate Past President: Will Latuff of Latuff Brothers in St. Paul.
• Secretary/Treasurer: Matthew Feehan of American Auto Body in Osseo.
• Mechanical Division Director: Tom Archambault of BLVD Autoworks in St. Anthony.
• Collision Division Director: Randy Miller of Collision Specialists Inc. in Austin.
• Mechanical Seat: Randy Notto of Lenfer Automotive & Transmission in Lino Lakes.
Diesel Laptops Allies With American Diesel Training Centers
Thanks to a partnership with Diesel Laptops, all American Diesel Training Center (ADTC) facilities are being outfitted with Diesel Laptops hardware and software products, which are being integrated into ADTC’s 300-hour training curriculum. This includes diagnostic testing and hardware kits and cross-platform online repair information.
Diesel Laptops and ADTC also plan to jointly produce and distribute training in other modalities — including live webinars and instructor-led training — that will be offered through ADTC’s shop-based training facilities across the United States.
Solera-Backed Research/Training Facility Opening Mid Year
Work is underway on a Texas automotive research and training center backed by data and software company Solera Holdings with an opening scheduled for mid-year. The center — called CESVI LIV NA — will offer mechanics, collision technicians, and vehicle insurance assessors hands-on training for advanced vehicles.
Center employees will focus their research in the areas of collision, eleoctromechnaical, paint, estimation and heavy trucks.
CESVI-LIV NA is part of Solera Technical Centers (STC), a joint venture between Solera and the global insurance company MAPFRE. The Texas center will join the venture’s centers in Brazil and China, and become part of a global CESVI initiative, which began in Spain.
Organizers are developing a number of one- and two-day courses for all skill levels, according to Chris Mullen, executive director of CESVI LIV NA and Solera’s vice president of research and development. The topics and length of additional courses will depend on client needs, she said.
“Focused on providing factual, credible and documented research, CESVI LIV NA will curate data on reparability, diagnostics and procedures,” according to an announcement from Solera. “The center will also disseminate this research throughout training and deliver expert consultancy on advanced technology trends.”
The center is located in Justin, TX, near Solera’s headquarters in Westlake.
Sea Foam Sales Company is looking for a knowledgeable, enthusiastic person to assume responsibility for our Wisconsin territory. Candidates must be a self-motivated, sales driven person with a good working knowledge of gas and diesel engines in a variety of industries and applications. … (more) … Click here to find out more.
Electric Vehicle Loyalty, Volumes Reach New Highs
The U.S. market for fully electric vehicles (EVs) has reached record volume with 208,000 new registrations in 2018, according to IHS Markit.
New registrations for EVs during 2018 more than doubled year-over-year from just over 100,000. According to IHS Markit, 59% of these vehicles were registered in California and the section 177 states that have all adopted the same vehicle emission standards and have therefore been key markets for EVs (Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont). California on its own accounted for nearly 46% of new EV registrations in 2018.
Loyalty rates for EVs also are on a growth trajectory, with nearly 55% of all new EV owners who returned to market during the fourth quarter of 2018 purchasing or leasing another EV — up from 42% in the prior quarter, according to IHS Markit.
Tom Libby, loyalty principal at IHS Markit, said that EV loyalty rates have been steadily rising. “This increase over such a short timeframe demonstrates that a portion of the U.S. market is highly accepting of this new technology and has a growing comfort level with it,” Libby pointed out. “As more new models enter the market, we anticipate an even further increase in loyalty to these vehicles.”
IHS Markit forecasts an increase in new fully-electric models offered in the U.S. market over the next decade, with more than 350,000 new EVs to be sold in the United States in 2020, reflecting a 2% share of the total U.S. fleet. In 2025, that figure is expected to rise to over 1.10 million vehicles sold, or a 7% share, according to IHS Markit powertrain forecasts.
“A rapid increase in EV nameplates is the catalyst behind the projected growth throughout the next decade,” explained Devin Lindsay, IHS Markit powertrain analyst. “While relatively successful models, such as the Tesla Model 3, mature in the market, other traditional automakers will be rolling out not just one EV, as we have seen in the past, but multiple models off dedicated EV platforms.”
Combined with anticipated entries in the market from start-up automakers like Rivian, Lucid and SF Motors — as well as traditional manufacturers — U.S. consumers are expected to have more choice on the dealership floor over the short-term.
According to IHS Markit, the greatest headwind for EV sales in the United States may be any elimination or delay to California’s Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) mandate by the federal government. The U.S. EPA has proposed to withdraw the waiver and, therefore, the ability for California and the section 177 states to regulate greenhouse gases separately from federal standards. If allowed to stand, this could have a considerable impact on the nation’s most popular EV market, IHS Markit predicts.
People Watching 4/30/19
• Service King Collision Repair Centers has named Stacy Peterson as its chief information officer (CIO). Peterson has over 15 years of experience in technology, operations and customer management, most recently as the chief experience officer at Wingstop. She also has held leadership roles in information technology, business, and guest experiences for FedEx Office and Blockbuster.
• Service King Collision Repair Centers also has hired Mark Hutchens as its new CFO. He was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Papa Murphy’s Holdings, franchisor and operator of the fifth largest pizza chain in the United States.
• Plymouth, IN-based Wiers — which includes Wiers Fleet Partners and Wiers International Trucks — has promoted Drew Hettich to president. Over his 14 years with the company, Hettich has been vice president of quality and operations and general manager. Hettich is now the third president in Wiers’ history.
• Scott Nagel, president of real estate operations at Redfin Inc., has joined the board of directors at Wrench Inc., a Seattle-based car repair service that comes to consumers’ locations.
News Briefs 4/30/19
• Bridgestone Retail Operations has closed 13 Firestone Complete Auto Care shops in the Salt Lake City area due to the expiration of a master lease agreement, according to Fox13 Salt Lake City.
• Jiffy Lube International has recognized The Foster Group as its “Franchisee of the Year.” Owners Briggs Anderson and Niki Leffingwell joined the Jiffy Lube network in 2017. They operate seven locations in western Montana.
• A bill has been introduced in the Louisiana House of Representatives (HB 546) that would eliminate the state’s vehicle safety inspection program for all vehicles, except commercial vehicles and student transportation vehicles. The proposed legislation also would require vehicles registered in parishes governed by the U.S. Clean Air Act to obtain emissions inspections, as required under federal law.
• Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed into law House Bill 2514, which increases the maximum charge for a motor vehicle safety inspection from $16 to $20.
• Mazda has selected Redline Detection to manufacture a dual-purpose diagnostic leak detector for servicing vehicles across North America. The equipment is designed to test the integrity of the complete engine system in a single, 15-minute procedure.
• US Motor Works (Santa Fe Springs, CA) has released the first installment of its Success in Cooling information series, the engine water pump, which can be found in the Pro Tech Center and at usmotorworks.com under “downloads.” Printed versions of the booklet also are available.
• Dana Inc. has expanded its “Driveline Forensics” training series to include videos covering key safety and maintenance tips for electrified vehicles. Dana plans to expand the series throughout 2019. The videos are available at dana.com/commercial-vehicles under the “Tools & Training” tabs.
• Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems reports that its online training portal, brake-school.com (now in its sixth year), has surpassed 80,000 registered users.
• CRP Automotive has completed the 100th episode of its informational “Inside The Brands” video series for professional automotive technicians. The program launched in 2015.
Event & Trade Show Briefs 4/30/19
• The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association has announced that National Tire Safety Week 2019 will take place May 20-27. The initiative is designed to educate motorists about tire care, safety and maintenance, including the potential dangers of unsafe used tires.
• Wix Filters hosted the spring Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Service Center Advisory Council (SCAC) meeting last week in Charlotte. Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper SCAC members from the United States and Canada attended, along with staff members from The Alliance’s headquarters.
• Attendee registration is now available for the 2019 Automotive Service & Technology Expo (ASTE) taking place Sept. 27-28 at the Embassy Suites & Convention Center in Cary, NC. Visit asteshow.com for more information.