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Service Executive Issue #9-19 (Full)

Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)

AutoNation Inc., the largest U.S. automotive retailer with more than 325 locations coast to coast, plans to recruit and hire more than 500 technicians to fill positions in its service and collision centers.

• Tire Business Editorial Director and Vice President/Publisher Dave Zielasko is leaving after nearly 35 years with Crain Communications to become vice president of marketing and communications for the Tire Industry Association (TIA), he announced in a column. The move was effective July 8.

TBC Corp., in partnership with Citi Retail Services, is offering a consumer credit card tied to its direct-to-consumer tire sales site, Tire America. The online platform allows consumers to purchase tires and have them installed at nearly 5,000 locations across the Unites States. Now, the Tire America Drive Card adds a range of features, including flexible payment terms.

• The Car Care Council, in conjunction with AutoNetTV Media, has released a video that emphasizes the importance of a vehicle check before setting out on a road trip. It recommends inspecting filters, fluids, belts, hoses and tires, as well as the battery and brake systems. The council also advises vehicle owners to check NHTSA’s website for open recalls.


Pennsylvania Considering Emission Inspection Changes

Efforts are underway in the Pennsylvania legislature to modify the state’s vehicle emissions inspection program. The Senate passed a five-bill package June 25 that would …
• Exempt vehicles newer than eight years from emissions testing. (Senate Bill 742)
• Change the annual emissions testing to a two-year testing requirement for vehicles older than eight years. (SB 743)
• Remove Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer and Westmoreland — counties meeting or exceeding air quality standards — from the testing requirement. (SB 744)
• Replace certain “outdated” tests in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia regions for subject vehicles with model year 1992-’95 and subject light-duty trucks with model year 1996 or newer. (SB 745)
• Extend the date for existing emissions inspection stations to obtain new emissions testing equipment from later this year to July 1, 2021. (SB 746)

The House will consider the changes next.

Pennsylvania’s existing Vehicle Emissions Inspection & Maintenance (I/M) Program requires motorists in 25 counties to participate in an annual emissions test for gasoline-powered passenger cars, vans and light-duty trucks model year 1975 and newer. (Diesel-powered vehicles are federally exempt from an annual emissions testing, and other vehicles — such as motorcycles — are exempt in Pennsylvania.)

The bills’ main sponsors — Sen. Kim Ward (R), who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, and Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R) — maintain that the current rules are ineffective and outdated and an unnecessary expense to constituents.

The Auto Care Association and Automotive Service Association (ASA) oppose the bills.

“While these measures are well-intentioned, they unfortunately could lead to negative consequences for consumers, motorists and Pennsylvanians down the road,” Auto Care Association Director of State Affairs Tom Tucker said. “If these bills are rejected by the Federal EPA, the state could lose federal highway funds that benefits all motorists. Additionally, PEN-DOT and the industry have embarked upon an extensive emissions system upgrade for stations that participate in the emissions testing program.”

Nearly 50% of those stations have already invested in the necessary upgraded equipment to modernize the Pennsylvania program, according to Tucker.

“These modifications are designed to meet changes in vehicle technology while extending a vehicle’s time on the road as well as ways to conserve fuel and reduce emissions,” he said.

Bob Redding, ASA’s Washington, DC representative added that the legislature needs to hear input from small businesses and consumers before proceeding.

“It took years for the U.S. EPA and states to implement effective emissions inspection and maintenance programs that worked for better air quality, small businesses and consumers,” Redding said.  “In addition to health and environmental impact, having cars inspected by professionals does add value to the life of the vehicle, the second-largest purchase most consumers ever make.

“There is no need to fast-track this legislation. It should be stopped, inclusive stakeholder groups formed and a report provided the legislature as well as the public.”

If signed into law, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would be required to prepare a revised state implementation plan (SIP). The revised SIP would require review and approval by the EPA before the reform measures would take effect “ensuring that Pennsylvania is not in jeopardy of losing any federal highway funding,” according to the bills’ sponsors.    — Sarah Hollander



Average Age Of U.S. Cars, Light Trucks Increases To 11.8 Years

The average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the United States has risen to 11.8 years, according to new research from IHS Markit.

Additionally, VIO in the United States has reached a record of more than 278 million units — an increase of more than 5.90 million units (or 2.2%) — compared to a year ago. This marks one of the highest annual increases the U.S. auto industry has seen since IHS Markit began tracking VIO growth, second only to 2.3% growth in 2016.

“The increasing VIO fleet is providing a robust new business pipeline for the aftermarket,” said Mark Seng, director of the global automotive aftermarket practice at IHS Markit. “A larger fleet means more service and repair opportunities in the future.”

Over the last 17 years, average age has accelerated. From 2002-‘07, the average age of light vehicles in the United States grew 3.5%. From 2008-‘13, the increase was 12.2%. And, over the last five years, the average age increase has returned to a more traditional 4.0%.

Seng said that better technology and overall vehicle quality improvements have driven average vehicle age over time. “The 40% drop in new vehicle sales due to the recession created an acceleration in average age like we’ve never seen before,” Seng pointed out. “In the last couple of years, however, average age has returned to its more traditional rate of increase.”

For the first time, IHS Markit’s analysis included a review of various regions of the country. Key findings include …
• The oldest light vehicles were found in the West at 12.4 years.
• The youngest vehicles were in the Northeast at 10.9 years.
• In the West, light vehicles increased 1.5% year-over-year.
• In the Midwest, they aged just 0.4%.
• Montana had the oldest average age, with light vehicles averaging 16.6 years.
• The youngest average age was in Vermont at 9.9 years.

And, because of the growth in popularity of light trucks (including CUVs and SUVs), vehicle age in the United States is increasing at different rates across vehicle segments. From 2018 to 2019, the average age of passenger cars increased 2.2%, while light trucks aged at a rate of just 0.1%.

According to the research, the shifting dynamic of the age of vehicles in operation indicates that the volume of vehicles in the new to 5-year-old category will grow 2% from 2018-‘23, while vehicles in the 6-year to 11-year-old range will grow 27%. This is a positive trend for the independent aftermarket, according to IHS Markit, as it points to a growing repair “sweet spot,” or growth in the vehicles that drive the most repair opportunities.

Vehicles 12 years to 15 years old will decline 27% over the same time period. “While the decrease in light vehicles 12-15 years of age looks alarming, it relates to the drop in sales due to the recession,” Seng explained. “There is simply a lack of 2008- and 2009-model-year vehicles due to the lower sales numbers during that timeframe. Even the model years from early in the recovery are lower in number. This disruption simply needs time to work its way through the fleet.”

Vehicles 16 years old and older are expected to grow 22% from 2018-’23, reaching 84 million units in 2023. By contrast, there were less than 35 million vehicles 16 years old and older on the road in 2002.


Take 5 Oil Change Acquires Advance Kwik Lube

Take 5 Oil Change, one of the largest U.S. quick-lube operators with roughly 375 shops, has acquired Advance Kwik Lube, a chain of quick-lube and automotive service centers with 25 locations in Texas. The shops are in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Midland, Odessa, Amarillo and Lubbock areas. The acquired locations will be rebranded as Take 5 Oil Change over time.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Take 5 has been growing since Driven Brands acquired the business in 2016. Advance Kwik Lube marks Driven Brands’ 27th acquisition.

Charlotte-based Driven Brands, a Roark Capital holding, is the parent company to Meineke Car Care Centers, Maaco, Carstar North America and 1-800-Radiator & A/C. Driven Brands has nearly 2,700 shops across North America and generates over $2.60 billion in system sales.


Jiffy Lube Franchisee Expands In Florida

Jiffy Lube franchisee South Bay Lube has expanded in Florida, opening two new service centers: a four-bay Jiffy Lube Multicare location in St. Cloud, and a four-bay Jiffy Lube Multicare location in Largo. South Bay Lube owns and operates 31 Jiffy Lube service centers throughout southwest, central and northeast Florida.

Jiffy Lube Multicare reflects the brand’s expanded business model, which offers brakes, tires and engine diagnostics in addition to Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Changes.


Christian Brothers Revamps Leadership With Eye Toward Growth

Houston-based Christian Brothers Automotive Corp. has expanded the roles of certain executives, adding responsibility for pursuing franchise and real estate site acquisition goals. As part of an effort to grow Christian Brothers into new markets, the company has tasked the following people with driving franchise expansion …
Donnie Carr, president.
Brad Fink, vice president of leadership and franchise development.
Michael Suttle, chief development officer.

Carr has been a member of the Christian Brothers corporate team for 12 years, including time as vice president of operations. As president, his focus is on targeted franchise development and market strategies to expand the company’s footprint in strategic and high-priority markets.

Fink — who was promoted to vice president of leadership development last year — has been a part of the Christian Brothers team for about a dozen years. In his new capacity, he is charged with identifying and meeting the growth capacities of target markets. Fink also will continue to support operations and leadership training for franchisees and their teams.

Suttle has been with the Christian Brothers corporate team for the past seven years, most recently as vice president of real estate. As chief development officer, he is tasked with leading the real estate market strategy in addition to the construction, property procurement and purchasing teams.



Christian Brothers Touts Real-Time Text Message Repair Updates Tool

Christian Brothers Automotive Corp. has announced a technology partnership with that allows customers to look under the hood alongside a technician from their phones. The offering uses a vehicle updates text-messaging tool that sends automated updates on a car’s repair status, including photos, repair recommendations and estimated completion time.

Complimentary vehicle health inspections have long been available at all Christian Brothers locations, with techs visually inspecting more than 40 different systems and components for wear or failure. The findings were previously documented on paper, attached to a clipboard and then used to discuss recommended services with the customer.

Now, techs are able to use a tablet or phone to document such concerns as fluid leaks, cracked components and loose bearings. Photos and videos can be included and annotated to illustrate and educate customers on repair recommendations.

“We worked closely with our entire franchise system to learn what would have the biggest impact for our customers, and it was clear that an interactive, accessible mobile experience people can manage from their cell phones would change the way we’re able to serve them,” said David Domine, vice president of technology solutions at Christian Brothers.

Houston-based Christian Brothers Automotive has more than 200 locations across 29 states. Kiosk/Scheduler Tool Designed To Expedite Check-In Process

Dallas-based has released the Kiosk/Scheduler, a new feature that allows a shop to attach a scheduler to its website so customers can schedule appointments that will go directly into and its soon-to-come shop management system. Alternatively, customers can use the Kiosk/Scheduler to check in at a shop and avoid waiting for an available service advisor.

Chris Cloutier, founder of and co-owner of the multi-shop operation Golden Rule Auto Care, said shops want to be able to schedule appointments online through and have asked for a kiosk for walk-in customers. “We saw the importance of both and created one piece of software to handle both,” Cloutier explained. “Shops will not need to abandon their current web provider and are encouraged to stay with them. We just want to make the digital experience easier by reducing a few more clicks.”


Icahn Automotive Technician Recruitment Program Comes To Florida

The Icahn Automotive Group wrapped up its “Race to 2026” technical school efforts this year with an event at Universal Technical Institute’s (UTI) campus in Orlando, FL. Launched earlier this year, the ongoing initiative encourages people to pursue careers in skilled trades by partnering with technical schools and offering scholarships and tuition reimbursement, creating apprenticeship and internship programs, and fostering job placement and continuing education opportunities.

In Orlando, leaders and technicians from Icahn Automotive — parent company to Pep Boys, AAMCO, Precision Tune Auto Care and RPM Automotive, to name a few — worked with UTI administrators, instructors and students on redesigned classrooms, new furniture and equipment. To celebrate the partnerships, an automotive technology student at UTI in Orlando, Dominic Lightner, received a $2,500 scholarship from Icahn Automotive.

The Orlando campus is one of 13 UTI locations across the United States. It offers a 51-week automotive technology training program, along with a diesel program and advanced and manufacturer-specific training. Orlando also is home to UTI’s Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, which prepares students specifically for careers in the motorcycle industry.

In total, Icahn Automotive has partnered with six UTI and Lincoln Tech locations this year.

“Over the past several months, our field leaders and technicians came together to do the rewarding work of building the partnerships with the technical schools, creating unique programs and connecting with the students to award scholarships and offer jobs,” said Icahn Automotive Service CEO Brian Kaner. “We have a long way to go until 2026, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to recruit more promising candidates to the skilled trades.”

John Dodson, UTI’s vice president of business alliances and NASCAR, noted that Icahn Automotive is UTI’s largest aftermarket partner and has hired more UTI graduates than any other aftermarket employer in the last couple of years.


Diagnostic Network Now Offers Open, Closed And Private User Groups

Claremont, CA-based Diagnostic Network (, an endeavor launched last year by former iATN President Scott Brown, has released a major new feature called “User Groups,” that allows members to create their own communities on the vehicle service discussion platform.

Diagnostic Network currently provides more than 30 topics for its members to use to discuss a variety of auto service issues. User Groups offers the opportunity for thousands more.

“We envision User Groups being leveraged by Diagnostic Network members interested in driving discussion among their peers on a variety of auto service industry topics that they are passionate about. We’re fascinated to see what they create,” Brown said.

“With the vehicle service industry rapidly changing, there’s never been a more important time to provide better ways to communicate within a professional environment,” Brown added. “We have a tremendous opportunity to open up the lines of communication among those facing challenges daily within the vehicle service ecosystem: service technicians, managers, owners, OEMs, tool vendors, industry associations … everyone.”

Members can create open and closed user groups, as well as invite colleagues to help them manage their groups. Open user groups provide the widest visibility. Closed user groups are partially visible, allowing group managers to control access. Private user groups also are available, allowing for a custom community platform.

Diagnostic Network was designed to aid in the successful repair of modern vehicles through peer discussion, partner collaboration and education.



Spiffy Lands $10 Million In Capital, Unveils Fleet Management Service

Get Spiffy Inc., an on-demand car care, technology and services company, has introduced Fleet Management as a Service (FMaaS). Fleet managers can use the Spiffy app to schedule, track, rate and pay for vehicle services, including pre-delivery inspections, reconditioning (wash and detail), preventive maintenance (oil changes and tire rotations) and de-fleeting (de-fueling and label removal), along with other services.

“Fleet Management as a Service broadens Spiffy’s goal of zero-friction car care to include national fleets,” said CEO Scot Wingo. “Offering full lifecycle maintenance management gives fleet managers a one-vendor solution, and — with features that are EV/AV and connected-car friendly — we have designed it to be future-proof.”

Spiffy plans to expand into six new markets with FMaaS and roll out FMaaS in the existing Spiffy markets of Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Raleigh-Durham, NC. New FMaaS markets include Denver, New York, Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, DC, with more to come in 2019.

This follows a $10-million fund raise led by new investor Tribeca Venture Partners that included investments from new investors Zunis Investments and Trog Hawley Capital. Existing investors also participated, including Bull City Venture Partners and IDEA Fund Partners.


BUKL Adds Customer Referral Program

Toronto-based BUKL has launched a referral program that offers customers who refer friends to the service $10 off. The reward is stackable for those who refer and good for $10 off the first service for new users.

BUKL works with a network of about 175 auto shops in the Toronto area. Users select a shop, lock in a price, schedule a time for service and pay directly through BUKL’s website or mobile app, which launched earlier this year.

“We wanted to create a program to reward our customers who have been helping us spread the word about our service,” BUKL CEO and Founder Jesse Sahlani said.

BUKL is currently only available in the Toronto area, but Sahlani said the company plans to move into new markets soon. The company has been increasing its saturation of shops in the Toronto/southern Ontario markets and projects it will grow to about 300 shops in the coming month.

“While the expansion does seem very fast, we always maintain our vetting process of auto shops to ensure our customers are in the best hands,” Sahlani said.

Participating shops pay a service fee on the total invoice amount. The fee covers curated parts delivery before the customer’s arrival, all work orders and invoices, and payment processing.


Shyftauto Expands Pickup/Delivery Service In North Carolina

Shyftauto, an on-demand pickup and delivery app that connects consumers to service facilities for car service, is expanding in North Carolina. Originally available in the Greenville and Winterville areas, Shyftauto is now also available in the Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte metro areas.

Shyftauto launched earlier this year and is piloting the service through a North Carolina dealer group with 100 stores.

The app is designed to improve the consumer experience for vehicle service while helping service facilities boost customer service scores and increase retention, Shyftauto Founder and CEO Marcus Aman said. The app is free to consumers. Shops pay $599 a month to participate.

The consumer schedules from the app and can track the status of their service, accept or decline additional work, chat with the service department, and pay from the app.

Shops set their capacity by selecting the amount of bays they want to use for this service, also the desired amount of appointments and times they want to offer pickup and delivery. They can add their services, typical duration of services, pricing, recommended services, and specials or offers.

Shyftauto is working mainly with dealerships, but is open to independent service providers that can provide the staffing to facilitate its pickup and delivery process.

The company markets the app through regional salespeople, social media, word of mouth, phone calls and more.

The company plans to expand nationally and eventually globally, Aman said. “We look to grow rapidly, adding 1,000 stores by next year this time,” he said.


Byrider To Offer Connected Car Services With Vehicle Purchase

The used car dealership network Byrider is partnering with Automatic Labs Inc., a SiriusXM company. The Automatic Dealer Program alliance allows participating Byrider locations — there are more than 150 of them across the United States — to offer customers an Automatic Connected Car Assistant and a free subscription that includes three years of Automatic’s crash alert and connected maintenance services, as well as up to 18 months of Automatic’s premium services, including roadside assistance.

With Automatic’s app and adapter, most model-year 1996 or later vehicles can become connected cars. The technology gives drivers access to variety of features including service alerts, “Check Engine” light diagnostics and recall information.


New Vehicle Health Features For SyncUP DRIVE From T-Mobile

T-Mobile has revamped its connected car offering, SyncUP DRIVE, with the ability to request and track Allstate Roadside Assistance in real-time through the app, see gas prices and nearby stations, and receive vehicle diagnostics information. A new dashboard gives users an overview of a vehicle’s health with color-coded icons to help drivers prioritize what needs attention first. SyncUP DRIVE plugs into a car’s OBD-II on-board diagnostics port.



Agero Offers Lyft Rides For Drivers Needing A Tow

Agero Inc., a provider of driver assistance services for automotive manufacturers and insurance providers across North America, has announced a partnership with Lyft that’s designed to modernize and streamline the roadside assistance experience. The alliance provides consumers requiring a tow with the option of a complimentary Lyft ride from the disablement location, repair shop, or dealership to their home or destination.

Lyft ride-sharing services are offered during the initial roadside service request with Agero and can be delivered two ways …
• Agent-assisted, where an Agero customer service rep schedules the ride on a customer’s behalf and handles payment directly for a concierge-like experience. Ride information — including approximate arrival time, driver name, vehicle make/model/color and license plate number — is delivered to the customer via text message.
• Self-service, where a voucher code is delivered to a customer via text, allowing the driver to have full control over scheduling the service at their convenience using their own Lyft account.

Agero responds to more than 12 million requests for assistance annually.


FCA Debuts In-Vehicle Commerce Platform

FCA US has launched a new in-vehicle commerce platform, Uconnect Market, that gives drviers the ability to order food, find the nearest gas station, make dinner reservations, locate and pay for nearby parking, and schedule service appointments with FCA dealerships — all while in their vehicle and without having to reach for a credit card.

Users will have access to national Mopar service offers, the ability to locate certified Mopar service centers and schedule service appointments.

The platform will deploy in the second half of 2019 via an over-the-air update for model-year 2019 and 2020 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brand vehicles equipped with connected services and the latest generation of 8.4-inch touchscreens, and will continue as a carryover feature for future models equipped with the 8.4-inch touchscreen.


Goodyear Allies With App-Based Insurance Company

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is partnering with the Root Insurance Co., a licensed insurance provider that uses smartphone technology, telematics and data science to measure driving behavior — such as braking, speed of turns, phone use while driving, and mileage — in order to price its policies. The alliance gives Root policyholders access to Goodyear’s purchase platforms and installation network.

Goodyear points out that Root members tend to be early adopters of new online services and, therefore, are familiar with mobile purchasing platforms. This, the tiremaker claims, makes these drives an ideal audience for Goodyear to gain new insights about changing consumer expectations.

“Goodyear continues to test and innovate ways to make it easier for consumers to buy and install tires,” said Mike Dauberman, chief digital officer at Goodyear North America. “Root’s cutting-edge business model provides a great opportunity for Goodyear to get in front of a unique, rapidly growing customer base and connect more consumers with our aligned installer network of dealers.”

Root is headquartered in Columbus, OH and is currently available to drivers in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.


McCarthy Tire To Buy 13 GCR Tires & Service Locations

McCarthy Tire Service (Wilkes-Barre, PA) has announced an agreement to purchase 13 GCR Tires & Service locations and three GCR retread plants from Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. The transaction — which would add locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia — is expected to close in mid-August. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are excited to expand our service network in the Carolinas and Virginia,” said John D. McCarthy Jr., president of McCarthy Tire Service. “The addition of 13 stores and three retread manufacturing plants will allow us to respond more quickly to our customers’ needs, minimizing downtime and keeping their businesses moving.”

McCarthy Tire is a family-owned and -operated company that currently has more than 50 service locations and seven Bandag retread manufacturing facilities from Georgia to New York. Specializing in fleet care, McCarthy Tire provides tires and service for commercial trucking, industrial and off-the-road customers.


Nordic Independent Tire Distributors Acquired

The Altor private equity group has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in independent tire distributors Gummigrossen and RengasDuo from their founders, including Mats-Ove Eriksson, Torsten Pettersson and Magnus von Haartman. According to Altor, the founders will remain “significant shareholders” and continue in their respective operational management roles. Gummigrossen does business in Sweden, and RengasDuo does business in Finland.


NEW … DC Battery Hub Seeks Rep Agencies

DC Battery Hub is a remanufacturer of hybrid batteries located in Holland, MI with shipping hubs in Dallas, TX and Los Angeles, CA is seeking aggressive rep agencies for many territories across the U.S. and Canada. … (more) … Click here to find out more.


TechForce Seeking Sponsors For Student Skills Competition

The TechForce Foundation is now accepting donations to sponsor student attendance at the 2019 TMCFutureTech skills competition Sept. 16-17 in Raleigh, NC. Sponsorships are $1,000 per student, and the competition has a capacity of 60 student competitors.

New this year, the foundation is managing the donation process through its website.

“This accomplishes a few things,” National Initiatives Director Greg Settle said. “First, it makes the process quick and simple for those wishing to contribute, which they do by credit card. They, then receive a receipt for their donation e-mailed to them for tax purposes, as TechForce Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

“Finally, for those organizations whose polices do not allow them to donate directly to an individual, it allows them to contribute and support students through TechForce.”

Sponsorships cover transportation, registration fees, lodging costs and meals.

The student competition supplements ATAs Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) SuperTech event, which showcases commercial vehicle technicians who compete for top honors and prizes as they demonstrate their diagnostic abilities through a series of skills stations.

The student tech competition, now in its sixth year, consists of a set of skill stations for post-secondary technician students, and is patterned after TMCSuperTech.

Eligible students must be 18 or older and currently enrolled in a post-secondary diesel technician training program. Students who have already graduated from a program within the previous six months of their registration date also are eligible. TMC communicates information on the competition to students via their contacts in ASE-affiliated schools and through TMC educator members.

“An important outcome of this type of scholarship is that it demonstrates to these young men and women that industry is willing to invest in them,” Settle said. “It shows the importance that industry places on education and the demonstration of knowledge and competencies.

“Additionally, it gives the companies that are supporting the building of tomorrow’s work force through the competition access to the best and brightest graduates. The success of this is probably most evident in how quickly many of the competitors receive job offers.”

For more information on sponsorships, click here. For more information on the event, click here. The deadline for students to register for the event is Aug. 16.


MPE Partners Invests In Paint Booth Maker

Morgenthaler Private Equity/MPE Partners has announced an investment in Garmat USA (Englewood, CO), a designer and manufacturer of paint booths, finishing products, and related accessories for the automotive collision repair and industrial end markets. Garmat USA serves multi-site operator and independent repair shop customers through a nationwide network of distributor partners.

MPE partnered in the transaction with entrepreneur and CEO Johan Huwaert.


People Watching 7/8/19

• Heavy duty vehicle lifts company Stertil-Koni (Stevensville, MD) has added Kevin Boyer as its new service manager. As such, Boyer provides technical support, troubleshooting assistance, vehicle lift installation supervision, and vehicle lift use training to the company’s distributors and their customers across North America.

Alexis Garcin, chairman and president of Michelin North America, has joined the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) board of directors. Garcin succeeds Scott Clark, who was named Michelin’s group executive vice president, responsible for the company’s global passenger car and light truck business, motorsports and experiences.


News Briefs 7/8/19

Interstate Batteries has launched a digital series titled “Shop Goals” where experienced shop owners share tips and insights to mentor younger technicians and shop owners. The first two videos in the series are “Newbies in the Bay” and “When New & Old School Collide.”

• The roadside assistance platform Urgently is expanding into Mexico with partner Telasist, which provides roadside assistance services across Mexico. Urgently claims that this alliance makes it the only roadside assistance company delivering a fully integrated digital solution for all of North America.

Alldata Europe has reached an agreement with Honda Motor Europe to republish Honda repair and maintenance information for cars. The addition of Honda brings the total number of brands in Alldata Repair to 23. The deal builds on a long-standing relationship between Alldata and Honda in the United States.

TruckPro LLC has acquired assets related to the operations of Cornerstone Fleet Services Inc. of Oklahoma City. Founded in 2010, Cornerstone provides fleet vehicle maintenance and repair services from a six-bay facility, as well as on-site and emergency roadside service with a mobile fleet of service trucks. TruckPro sees the addition of Cornerstone as a complement to its truck and trailer parts store in Oklahoma City.

Inland Truck Parts & Service has entered into the full-service truck repair business in Grand Junction, CO with the acquisition of Fast & Easy Services, a long-time independent service provider in the marketplace. Inland has relocated to the new facility to expand and upgrade its component shop and to create the capacity for the addition of a truck repair business. The new site has 14 service bays.

• All new subscriptions to Mitchell 1’s truck repair software suite, TruckSeries, now include the 1Search Plus interface introduced this year at the Technology & Maintenance Council meeting in Atlanta. 1Search Plus is designed to streamline search and navigation for diagnostic and repair information specific to the vehicle being serviced.

Mitchell 1 is partnering with Decisiv Inc., a service relationship management (SRM) technology provider. The integration with Decisiv allows fleets or service providers using Mitchell 1’s suite of repair information and shop management software for Class 4-8 trucks to incorporate asset repair and diagnostic information into service event cases in the SRM platform. The pact also allows Mitchell 1 independent service providers to become a part of the SRM network.

• Rotary Lift (Madison, IN) has added a “Find My Lift” tool to its website.


Event & Trade Show Briefs 7/8/19

• The Fall 2019 Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) Technical Conference will take place Aug. 20-21 at the OLC Education & Conference Center in Rosemont, IL. The deadline for online registration is Aug. 16. Click here for more information.

• Mitchell 1 will hold this year’s second Shop Management Workshop Sept. 19-21 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. The two-day training session focuses on best practices, and guides users through all levels of functionality of Manager SE and ShopKey Shop Management SE. Topics will include optimal settings, customization, scheduling, inventory and aftermarket catalogs.


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