Aftermarket Update: CARS 2005 Provides Education, Networking, Entertainment
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Aftermarket Update: CARS 2005 Provides Education, Networking, Entertainment

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Bedford, TX — Hundreds gathered at the 2005 Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) held at The Mirage in Las Vegas Nov. 3-5. CARS, the premier event of the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) Mechanical Division, is held annually during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW) and focuses on education while also offering entertainment and networking opportunities.

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“Attendees took advantage of the opportunity to learn from the technical and management sessions, network with old and new friends, and experience a trade show that brought them ‘up close and personal’ to companies that provide services and products to help them run their business more efficiently and profitably,” said Robbie Addison, ASA Mechanical Division manager.

CARS 2005 offered eight technical courses and five Automotive Management Institute (AMI)-approved management seminars taught by some of the leading instructors in the industry. Manufacturer-specific technical sessions also were offered.

Thursday night, 1,000 industry professionals convened for the fourth annual Service Professionals Industry Reception co-hosted by ASA and the International Automotive Technicians’ Network (iATN). The event provided attendees the opportunity to visit with the 60 participating companies in the CARS 2005 Exhibitor Showcase.

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Patrick Grady, keynote speaker at Saturday’s luncheon, shared his inspirational message explaining how making strategic decisions can create positive actions in your business. “Have an optimistic attitude,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you are the service manager or technician, it is everyone’s job to deliver customer service. If you can’t help the customer, take control and introduce them to someone who can.”

CARS 2006 will be held Nov. 2-4 again at The Mirage.

Mechanic Hits Jackpot In BP’s Search for the Best Auto Technician
Las Vegas — Ryan Kooiman hit the jackpot in Las Vegas recently when he competed against top mechanics from across the country to take top prize in the BP search for the Amoco Ultimate “Golden Mechanic.” Kooiman, from Allendale, MI, who serves as the driveability tech and shop foreman at Tolman’s Auto Tech Group, Inc., won based on his superior auto skills, charisma and dedication to customers. Kooiman took home the grand prize of $25,000, gas for a year (valued at $1,200) and the title of Amoco Ultimate spokesperson.

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Kooiman will travel the country providing advice, tips and ideas that he has learned through formal training and certifications in addition to working 12 years as an auto technician.

Clevite Engine Parts Targets Sport Compact Market
Ann Arbor, MI — Clevite Engine Parts has announced a new initiative to increase awareness and availability of its engine parts in the growing sport compact market. This two-pronged effort entails targeting and educating import specialist engine builders as well as continuing to introduce new products that make these sport compact engines more durable.

Product lines being marketed through the initiative include Clevite 77 engine bearings, Perfect Circle piston rings and Victor Reinz gaskets.

“We’ve always had good coverage of our engine parts for imports,” explained Terry Shively, vice president of Clevite Engine Parts. “We now have an aggressive plan to reach the booming sport compact market.”

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“First, Clevite is going to invest in concerted/targeted efforts to educate and inform engine builders, import specialists and car owners that we have standard, premium and high performance engine parts for most popular sport compact models,” said Shively. “At the same time we intend to continue to introduce new products to enhance the performance and durability of sport compact engines on the street and on the track.”

Beth Skove Joins Babcox as Associate Publisher
Akron, OH — Beth Skove of Akron, OH, has joined Babcox Publications as associate publisher for the company’s Tomorrow’s Technician and TechShop — Equipment Tools and Supplies magazines.

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Skove previously was vice president of Ken-Tool, a manufacturer of quality tire changing tools and equipment and mechanic’s specialty hand tools. During her 21-year career at Ken-Tool, she was responsible for national and international sales and marketing, new product development, trade show management and customer service. Her previous experience also includes serving as automotive channel market manager with Dupli-Color, a division of Sherwin-Williams, where she held similar responsibilities.

NASTF Summarizes OEM Website Charges
Arlington, VA — NASTF has posted a summary of OEM service website access charges on its website, www.nastf.org. All automakers have service websites that make service information available online. This includes service manuals, technical service bulletins, training materials, reprogramming information and other related information.

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Standard Plus Club Available Online
Long Island City, NY — Standard Motor Products’ Standard Plus Club is available online at www.smpcorp.com, offering members unlimited access to a virtual library of 21st Century Solutions for domestic and import cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs.

Members also can request a call back from a live technician Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST. Standard’s ASE certified technicians have a minimum of five years experience in both OE and independent automotive shops supported by factory and in-house training, backed up by a comprehensive $1 million factory manual library and multiple electronic libraries.

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