CarParts buys software provider
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—CarParts Technologies has acquired Anderson BDG Corp., a provider of point-of-sale and shop management application software for the automotive service and repair industry.
The purchase gives CarParts—a provider of end-to-end supply chain management solutions to the automotive aftermarket—increased expertise and resources in the area of shop management systems through VAST, the point-of-sale software designed to simplify in-shop administration and increase store profitability.
Anderson BDG is the product of a merger between Anderson Undercar Software Inc. and Business Data Group. Its customer base includes Midas, Monro Muffler Brake & Service, Tuffy, Meineke, CARX and AKH Inc., dba Discount Tire.
"Anderson BDG is a well-respected company in the automotive service industry with a tradition of providing visionary design," which will help CarParts meet the changing information technology needs of its customers, said CarParts CEO Alan Bennett.
SmarTire to enter truck tire market
RICHMOND, British Columbia —SmarTire Systems Inc. has cut a deal with its partner, TRW Inc., transfering to SmarTire the exclusive license to manufacture and sell tire monitoring systems to original equipment manufacturers of most medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
In exchange, TRW received 450,000 shares of SmarTire common stock. Under the April 1998 SmarTire-TRW agreement, SmarTire granted TRW exclusive rights to use SmarTire technology on tire monitoring systems for passenger cars and light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold to OE manufacturers.
In the wake of rising demand for monitoring systems as required by recent U.S. TREAD Act legislation, TRW will focus its efforts primarily on the car and light truck markets, leaving the commercial vehicle sector to SmarTire.
Fuel economy low, EPA report says
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its annual technical report on average fuel economy for model year 2000 vehicles, and the results show overall lower averages for the U.S. market.
The report found that the average fuel economy for model year 2000 vehicles is 24 miles per gallon, the lowest mpg figure since 1980. The annual report has shown a slow, but steady decrease in the average fuel economy for about a decade.
Light trucks, which make up about half of the U.S. passenger vehicle market, were the main culprit for the declining fuel averages, according to the report. Model year 2000 SUVs average 20 mpg, pickup trucks average 20.1 mpg and vans and minivans average 22.5 mpg, according to the EPA.
Model year 2000 cars fared better, averaging 28.1 mpg, the EPA said. The full report is available from the EPA's Web site at www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm.
RMA translates guide to Spanish
WASHINGTON—The Rubber Manufacturers Association has released a Spanish-language version of its "Be Tire Smart—Play Your PART" tire safety brochure.
The brochure, available on the RMA Web site at www.rma.- org/tiresafety, provides easy-to-use tips and a checklist on proper tire care and maintenance.
Adding the Spanish translation of the brochure to the RMA Web site is the first step in what will be an ongoing campaign to reach out to Spanish-speaking audiences. It also will be reprinted in Spanish and made available to the public by the RMA and its tire maker member companies.
The "Be Tire Smart—Play Your PART" campaign is a multi-year consumer education campaign to inform drivers about the importance of proper tire care and maintenance to ensure safe driving. It stresses the importance of taking five minutes every month to check tire pressure.
Internet firms link services
SEATTLE—iCARumba Inc., a developer of an automotive services portal, and Autovia, a provider of automotive aftermarket e-commerce applications, have agreed to link their Web sites.
The agreement gives Autovia exposure to iCARumba's member shop network—now numbering more than 16,000—thus building brand and awareness. iCARumba will be able to provide its members access to Autovia's online parts buying network.
The two companies said they also would explore opportunities in e-commerce for new product development designed to deliver online services to automotive service professionals.