A number of new products were introduced during the recent AAPEX trade show in Las Vegas, or the companies sent out press releases around the time of the event. A previous round-up of new products from AAPEX appeared in the Nov. 23 issue of Tire Business.
New products take a bow at AAPEX show
Ride Control L.L.C. has launched the Gabriel Answerman Advantage, a rewards program for service professionals.
The Gabriel Answerman Advantage program is available to light vehicle repair shops and technicians in the U.S. and includes POS materials, Gabriel promotions, rewards and business tools. Members will be able to earn points on each sale of Gabriel shocks and redeem these points for rewards, the company said.
“We're calling it 'Answerman Advantage' because the program will include information and answers on the benefits of new shocks and struts, and with each Gabriel sale, the technician has the advantage of earning points toward rewards,” said Duncan Greathead, vice president of sales and marketing for Gabriel.
The program offers a set of Gabriel-branded POP and POS materials for service professionals to use in the front and garage areas of their shops as well as selling tools to help make the sale; technical support for service professionals at the toll-free Gabriel Answerman line; and a shop locator listing on Gabriel's website.
“We have received positive feedback and high interest in the program since the soft-launch in August, and we are pleased to offer it to a larger audience at this time,” Mr. Greathead said. “This launch is the first phase of our rewards program, we plan to add education and training opportunities as well as additional products and ways for the professional installers to earn even more points in the near future.”
The program fee is $79 and the membership will be active through December 2016, during which installers can earn points towards rewards.
For more information: www.answermanadvantage.com
Ride Control also introduced the Guardian line of struts and ReadyMounts to complement its Guardian shock line.
“Gabriel has positively reacted to the needs of the market by developing the Guardian line to serve our customers who are budget conscious, but still expect a high quality product,” said Duncan Greathead, vice president, sales and marketing, for Gabriel. “Our introductory coverage will include over 250 SKUs between struts and ReadyMounts, and will complement Gabriel's Ultra series by servicing the entry price points with an affordable and quality product that will provide a plush, comfortable ride to family vehicles under normal driving conditions.”
For more information: www.gabriel.com
MAT Holdings Inc., which acquired exclusive rights to the Bendix brakes brand in the U.S. market last year, has launched a redesigned Bendix website.
The site features a modern design with site-wide navigation to help visitors find desired information faster, the company said.
The new site offers a parts search section with information covering the old and the new brake programs, information about new products and a distributor/installer locator.
The most significant change, according to the company, is that the two current sites used for the Bendix brake products — www.bendix-brakes.com and www.bendix-catalog.com — will now merge into one — www.bendix-brakes.com.
“With the new design and domain consolidation, we wanted to meet the needs of both the installers already using Bendix products and the ones interested in switching, and also the drivers who would like to learn more about the Bendix brand. Our plan for 2016 is to fill the website with more information relevant to both categories of product users like videos, training and technical information,” the company said.
MAT Holdings also has revamped its product lines and introduced the Bendix Premium line of friction products that are 100-percent copper-free, meeting requirements ahead of proposed copper reduction legislation in California and Washington state.
The Bendix Premium brake discs will be sold in pairs (packaging in pairs will be available where weight doesn't exceed 35 lbs.), the company announced. The line will include copper-free brake shoes and brake shoe kits that include all parts needed for installation.
The company also expanded offerings for its Stop by Bendix mid-range line of brake pads, discs and drums to cover 99 percent of vehicles in North America.
A separate line, Bendix Fleet MetLok, features severe-duty brake pads and discs designed specifically for applications such as towing, heavy hauling and frequent stopping. The line also offers coverage for pursuit vehicles providing enhanced performance and noise-free operation, the company said.
Mahle Service Solutions introduced premium and value-priced A/C service units to its ArcticPRO line during the AAPEX show.
The ArcticPRO ACX1185 premium unit offers integration of the TechPRO diagnostic tool to service vehicles that use R134a refrigerant while the new ArcticPRO ACX-1285 offers TechPRO integration to service vehicles that use the new R1234YF refrigerant. Both units feature a larger 7-inch LCD touch screen.
“Offering these units with TechPRO integration allows technicians to diagnose A/C issues without having to hook up a separate scan tool and A/C machine, plus it automatically retrieves the VIN,” said Jon Douglas, general manager, Mahle Aftermarket Inc. “This also provides techs with speedy diagnostic procedures and the ability to provide consumers with a comprehensive report to review.”
TechPRO is MAHLE's new diagnostic scan tool that features the ability to decode a vehicle identification number (VIN) in one second with one click, the company said. TechPRO was engineered so the vehicle communication interface (VCI) and software can be used with a technician's current desktop, laptop or tablet, making it unnecessary to buy or lease extra hardware.
Mahle also unveiled three value-priced units: the ACX-1120H base model and the mid-range ACX-1150 and ACX-1150H. All three units service vehicles that use the R134a refrigerant and include new ECO LOCK couplers to minimize any refrigerant leak into the atmosphere.
The ACX1120H has a large, back-lit LCD screen and alphanumeric keypad, while the ACX1150 and ACX1150H feature a 4.3-inch touch screen display with an intuitive user interface. The ACX 1120H and ACX1150H are designed for servicing all passenger cars, trucks and hybrid vehicles.
The ACX 1120H, 1150, and 1150H include a high-performance vacuum pump that saves four minutes off the service time compared to a typical double stage pump, the company said. The units feature a self-cleaning func-tion that increases the life of the vacuum pump oil up to 1,000 hours and include a “supercharge” function that allows technicians to service any vehicle under any climate condition, without having to wait for the vehicle to cool down, the company said.
All of the new ArcticPRO units will be available for sale during the first quarter of 2016. For more information: www.servicesolutions.mahle.com
Mitchell 1 kicked off a year-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of its Manager SE shop management software during the recent AAPEX.
As part of the commemoration, Mitchell 1 made enhancements in the latest edition of the software, Manager SE version 7.0, to help auto repair shop owners work more efficiently.
The enhancements include:
- New scheduler — The next generation of the shop scheduler/calendar is built in at no additional charge to help shops improve workflow by maximizing available resources, including technicians, bays and equipment, the company said. Quick views by day, week and month, plus the option to schedule same-day appointments and warnings when resources are double-booked, give shops better control, Mitchel said. Users can create an appointment with integrated access to all of Manager SE's estimating tools, including customer lookup and canned jobs.
- Plate to VIN — Shops can enter the license plate number and Manager SE automatically provides and decodes the VIN, delivering vehicle information, such as year, make, model, engine type, service history and account details, to help speed up the estimating process for service writers, the company said. The feature is included for free with the Manager SE subscription.
- User interface update — The 7.0 release features a modern appearance and takes advantage of functionality in newer versions of the Windows operating system, the company said.
“Our goal at Mitchell 1 is to always provide solutions that will enable our shop clients to work efficiently in every aspect of the business so they can consistently deliver an outstanding repair experience to their customers,” said John Dwulet, senior product manager for Manager SE, Mitchell 1.
The Mitchell 1 shop management software got its start in September 1995 under the name Series I. The Windows-based shop management system offered auto repair shops the ability to access details about their customers' vehicles and their business operations that they previously had to look up manually in hard copies of repair orders, invoices, parts orders and employee time cards, the company said. The solution was available to single users and was originally delivered on five floppy discs, purchased outright by the customer.
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