EPA OKs auto makers' service info Web sites
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given approval to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) Service Information Web sites, which provide emissions-related data to independent repair shops, but the agency has requested additional information from vehicle manufacturers Volvo and Porsche.
The EPA's Service Information regulations (CFR Sect. 86-096-38(7)(ii)) require that each auto maker submit to the EPA a request for approval of the structure and pricing for its Service Information Availability Web site.
According to EPA's approval letters, car makers ``must submit a detailed description of the pricing structure and the amounts and support for the position that the pricing structure and amounts are fair and reasonable for emissions-related service information required to be made available by the regulation.''
The Bedford, Texas-based Automotive Service Association (ASA) said it submitted written comments and testimony in support of the 2003 final EPA Service Information regulation.
``ASA is pleased the EPA continues to monitor the progress of the emissions service information regulation and auto maker Web sites. The spirit of the regulation supports ASA's service information agreement with the auto makers,'' said Bob Redding, ASA's Washington representative.
Snap-on again sponsor of Nextel all-star race
ATLANTA-For the second straight year, Snap-on Tools Co. will play a lead role in the NASCAR all-star weekend now known as the Nextel All-Star Challenge.
In association with Richard Childress Racing, Snap-on has designed a special paint scheme for the No. 29 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that Kevin Harvick will drive in the event, May 22 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Atlanta.
Snap-on dealers and customers, who include repair shop technicians and installers, will be invited to attend the race as part of an exclusive hospitality package. The company also will host a special Snap-on tool and equipment show with product demonstrations.
``From a business standpoint, the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge is a perfect opportunity for Snap-on to give our customers the chance to see our products in action, to thank them for their business and to enjoy a day with their Snap-on dealer,'' said Carl Johanson, motorsports marketing manager for Kenosha, Wis.-based Snap-on Tools.
The firm also will conduct a drawing with one first prize winner receiving two pit passes to watch the UAW-GM Quality 500 race this fall at Lowe's Motor Speedway. A separate grand prize winner will receive access to his or her favorite driver's pit area and the opportunity to visit victory lane. Winners also will receive hotel accommodations for three nights.
For more information about the all-star weekend and related activities, contact a local Snap-on representative or log on to the company's Web site: www.snapon.com/racing.
New legislative Web site launched by ASA
BEDFORD, Texas-The Automotive Service Association has rolled out a new Web site to mobilize grassroots support or dissent for issues directly impacting the automotive repair industry on both the federal and state levels.
The site, www.TakingTheHill.com., includes a new Legislative Alert Center to help advocates contact state legislatures, statehouses and the federal government. Industry members can contact their representatives for specific legislation, and they can send an e-mail to the officials, the ASA said.
The alert center also includes messages or ``talking points'' that can be incorporated into correspondence, ASA said. Issues currently covered include insurer-owned repair facilities, the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act and Association Health Plans.
The Web site also serves as a reference tool concerning automotive legislative efforts, the ASA said.
SEMA gears up for 7th annual D.C. rally
WASHINGTON-The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has scheduled its 7th annual Washington Rally for May 19-20.
The event gives SEMA members a chance to meet with the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus-a 75-member group of legislators-and discuss political issues of interest to the auto aftermarket.
``The idea is to keep it informal,'' said Linda Spencer, SEMA director of government and international affairs. ``We want to thank the congressmen who are friends to the industry, and it's great to hear what the issues are.'' The Washington Rally traditionally is closed to the press, she added.
While the agenda for this year is still being formulated, Ms. Spencer said, the issues discussed during the event are a mix of industry-specific and general small business topics. Two issues likely to be on the program this year are health care-SEMA members support legislation to establish Association Health Plans, which would allow small business groups to negotiate across state lines for health insurance-and vehicle scrappage bills which the aftermarket opposes.
Jiffy Lube, mag sponsor women's scholarship
BETHESDA, Md.-Jiffy Lube Inc. and Tomorrow's Technician magazine have agreed to sponsor, for the second year in a row, a $1,000 scholarship for a female automotive service student.
The Car Care Council Women's Board said in order to qualify, a student must have completed at least one year in an ASE-certified, post-secondary automobile technology program and have plans to enter the automotive field upon graduation. The scholarship will be presented during the board's annual Women's Automotive Communications Awards reception on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas.
The Women's Board comprises professional women and men, including motor sports figures, service shop owners, service writers, association and company executives and consultants. Their goal, according to the group, is to inform female audiences about proper vehicle maintenance and safety as well as encourage young people to investigate a career in the automotive industry.
Earlier the group said, in addition to the $1,000 scholarship, it planned to award two $500 scholarships to female students meeting the same criteria as the $1,000 award. The board also said it planned to award two $500 scholarships to high school female students who will attend the required post-secondary program.
The deadline for applications is June 15 for applicants other than high school students.
KYB to make shocks in new China plant
ADDISON, Ill.-Kayaba Industry Co. Ltd. (KYB), an original equipment and replacement market manufacturer of shock absorbers and suspension components, was to begin production at its new facility in China this month.
The plant, KYB Industrial Machinery (Zhenjiang) Ltd. (KIMZ), is a wholly owned subsidary of KYB, which reports annual sales in excess of $1.8 billion.
The 500,000-sq.-ft. factory, in Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province, about 200 miles west of Shanghai, is primarily an original equipment plant with the capacity to produce more than 500,000 suspension struts and nearly 1 million shocks annually. KYB said it is part of its global expansion of manufacturing to better serve both aftermarket and OE customers.
Castrol oil program aims to build loyalty
WAYNE, N.J.-To help installers maintain customer loyalty, Castrol North America Inc. is offering them a program to boost repeat traffic.
The company said lube operators who carry Castrol products can offer Castrol-brand Syntec oil customers a $10 savings toward the patron's next Syntec oil change at that location.
After an oil change, customers fill out a mail-in certificate and proof of purchase and within eight to 10 weeks will receive a $10 check payable to the lube operator. Only one redemption is permitted per person, household or address for each qualifying purchase, and a person is limited to two redemptions, Castrol said.
More details about the program-which began April 1-and other Castrol products, is available by calling (888) 227-8765 or logging on to the company's Web site: www.castrolusa.com.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) board of directors has approved an affiliation agreement naming ASA-Texas as its 15th affiliate group.
* * *
By a vote of eight to one, the Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance passed, in early April, Senate Bill 2692, which prohibits insurance company-owned repair shops in the state.
* * *
The International Automotive Technicians' Network (iATN) will hold its 2004 convention Sept. 24-26 at the Coast Anaheim Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.
Registration is open to members by logging on to http://members.iatn.net/meetings/2004/. The group said all convention attendees must register online because there will be no on-site registration this year. For more information, contact Brea, Calif.-based iATN at (714) 257-1335.