ATLANTA-``Being independent doesn't mean standing alone'' says literature from NAPA explaining the benefits of its AutoCare Center program. According to the Atlanta-based aftermarket parts supplier, program benefits include:
a ``peace of mind'' parts warranty guaranteeing repairs for six months or 6,000 miles;
a local use marketing fund covering up to 2 percent of a shop's qualifying purchases and a 50/50 co-op reimbursement for use in advertising, training and other AutoCare materials;
a new NAPA customer credit card program with ``90 days same-as-cash'' terms;
a new customer satisfaction index program to alert a shop about dissatisfied customers;
a new Environmental Protection Agency/Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance-management program to help shops understand and meet regulations;
a new long distance network group program offering potential savings on long distance phone rates;
new group insurance plan;
a new consumer newsletter;
an exterior store design program;
a 1-800-LET-NAPA national helpline directing customers to AutoCare locations;
ASE technician certification reimbursement;
an automotive service management course;
a tele-diagnostic hotline and ``tech tips'' manual with monthly updates;
various point-of-sale materials and wearables; and pre-ferred financing terms and reduced rates on tools, equipment and vehicles.
NAPA pledges to provide technical training, inventory management, computerization, publications, etc. It also said it will assist in organizing a local AutoCare Marketing Council and developing an effective marketing program for shops.
The program is, NAPA noted, ``dedicated to the customer satisfaction of each AutoCare Center.''
Shops joining the program agree to make NAPA their primary supplier and first call for parts; employ qualified, ASE-certified technicians; stock at least four NAPA product lines; participate in a group advertising program; provide clean, safe and comfortable customer facilities as well as a facility with a clean, uncluttered, professionally organized exterior and interior.
The member must also ``perform high-quality service at a fair price''; prominently display NAPA AutoCare Care identification; stay current on all financial statements; and offer formal training to keep techs up-to-date on new automotive systems.
NAPA added that ``all service staff should be qualified, courteous and efficient.''