Brake firm offers parts on Internet LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y.—Brake Headquarters USA Inc. will begin offering its wholesale customers the option of purchasing components and other related products directly over the Internet for sale to consumers.
The New York-based company said it will make available more than 30,000 products, including brakes, suspension parts, cooling systems, transmissions, internal engine components, and various other replacement parts and accessories. It expects the "cyber-catalog" will be available to its commercial customers during the second quarter as an alternative for wholesale and retail suppliers to purchase automotive products.
Brake Headquarters USA is a manufacturer, wholesaler and distributor of automotive brake system products and other component parts for domestic and foreign cars and light trucks. Its Web site is: www.bhqu.com.
Speedy buys back former properties
TORONTO—Undercar specialist SMK Speedy International Inc. has exercised its option to repurchase, under two agreements, 44 properties in Canada it had previously sold to the Goldfarb Corp., Speedy's majority shareholder, and an unrelated third-party company.
The transaction is for $14.8 million (Canadian) in cash under a sale and leaseback program.
Speedy President and CEO Bryan H. Held, said the repurchase "will improve Speedy Canada's cash flow and profitability." The company recently sold its European operations—consisting of 586 "Speedy" and "Pit-Stop" automotive service centers—to Kwik-Fit Holdings P.L.C., which itself was recently acquired by the Ford Motor Co. SMK also sold its Speedy outlets in the U.S. to Monro Muffler & Brake Inc.
Including Car-X Muffler & Brake, Toronto-based SMK Speedy operates more than 300 company-owned and franchise outlets in North America that specialize in no-appointment, while-you-wait service for brakes, exhaust, road handling, steering systems, tires and oil change services for all makes of cars and light trucks.
John Bean debuts revamped Web site
CONWAY, Ark.—The John Bean Co. has redesigned its Web site, making its equipment, training and purchasing options more easily accessible.
The Conway, Ark.-based company said its Web page—www.johnbean.com—offers colorful catalogs and product specifications for John Bean's complete product lines, including wheel alignment systems, automotive lifts, wheel balancers, brake lathes and tire changers.
Via the site, auto service operators also can quickly identify and locate nearby John Bean sales or service representatives, enroll for training at one of more than 50 training centers the company operates in the U.S., apply for a pre-purchase credit line, receive information on new products and/or promotions, as well as request confidential price quotations.
Unique features of the site, according to the company, are a video presentation of John Bean's patented new three-dimensional image alignment technology and two interactive self-guided tours of the firm's recently introduced Pro32 Alignment Software programs.
John Bean is a subsidiary of Snap-on Corp., a maker and worldwide distributor of tools and equipment for service shops, original equipment manufacturers and industrial tool users.
Valvoline joins education effort
SILVER SPRING, Md.—Valvoline Co. has joined a list of firms lending financial support to a new consumer education campaign from the Council for Automotive Reliability (CAR).
CAR is a non-profit organization established to increase consumer awareness of the importance of regular oil changes and other automobile maintenance, and serves as a resource for the media regarding auto maintenance issues.
The group plans to launch a national consumer education campaign focusing on oil changes as one of the most neglected auto maintenance items.
Other companies backing the CAR effort include Castrol, Gold Eagle, Security Filters, Integrated Services Inc., C.A.T. Products and Service Champ, as well as a number of industry trade associations such as the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and the petroleum marketers Association of America.
CAR said its goal is to help consumers keep their cars running longer, better and less expensively.
Tech group offers video training
WARRENDALE, Pa.—Free video training from Toyota Motor Corp. and Meritor Automotive Inc. are now available at the Service Technician Society's Web site.
The STS said it added the latest streaming video features to its site—www.sts.sae.org—to provide auto service technicians with a convenient, cost effective way to get the latest training information from vehicle and component manufacturers.
The site's new feature allows visitors to view manufacturer-produced video training on their computer at work or at home. Digitized videos range from 10 to 25 minutes and are unedited.
Training topics from Toyota include Electronics Modules I and II, fuel systems checks, and sensors and their circuits. Meritor, a components and systems supplier, is offering Axle Disassembly and Reassembly.
The STS has more than 6,000 members in 50 states and 16 foreign countries. It provides a forum for technical information exchange, skill development and networking with other technicians, shop owners, and industry representatives in all mobility services industries.
Canadian Tire adds brake pad line
TORONTO—Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., Canada's largest tire retailer, has begun offering Certified-brand brake pads and shoes.
The company said dynamometer performance tests performed by Allied Signal showed the pads outperformed three comparable national brands by stopping almost a third faster.
Bruce Allen, Canadian Tire's divisional vice president, automotive, said the retailer does more than half a million brake jobs annually.
Certified-brand brake pads and shoes have a two-year over-the-counter warranty. Those installed at a Canadian Tire Auto Service Centre will be backed with a lifetime warranty for as long as consumers (in all provinces except Quebec) own their vehicles or, in Quebec only, for the life of the vehicle.
Mark Frissora has become president of Tenneco Inc.'s automotive parts business, following the resignation of Thomas Evans, who became CEO of Collins & Aikman Corp., a supplier of interior trim.
Parts Plus, one of North America's largest automotive aftermarket program groups, has launched a new Professional Training Series to help service dealers cultivate customer loyalty and improve profits.
The four-part "business-success clinic" focuses on team building and customer communication tools, sound financial management practices, a cohesive marketing strategy, and development and implementation of a long-term business plan.
For details, contact Parts Plus at (901) 682-9090.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association recently premiered HR Update, a newsletter providing SEMA members with pertinent human resource and employment issues.