Akron, OH – When New England customers say that Sanel Auto Parts is their “first call” for auto parts, what they really mean is that they rely on veteran store manager Dennis Call to solve their automotive parts needs.
Because of Call’s dedication to his industry and customers, Counterman magazine named the Sanel Auto Parts store manager the 2005 Counterman magazine Counterperson of the Year. This national award was created in 1986 to recognize those who excel in the demanding parts distribution profession.
“I am truly humbled by this award,” said Call from his store in Pittsfield, NH. Call’s store is owned by Automotive Supply Associates, a Parts Plus/Automotive Distribution Network member warehouse based in Concord, NH.
Call’s long automotive career began in 1969, including a stint as an auto mechanic. Call says his technical knowledge is part of his store’s success.
“I possess many years of mechanical knowledge,” said Call. “My customers tend to look to me for assistance in resolving their automotive technical issues, whether it’s locating that hard-to-find part or just giving them solutions.”
Call began selling auto parts in 1972 and joined the Pittsfield store in 1975, where he was named store manager just one year later.
The Counterperson of the Year honor includes an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas to attend Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW).
New Hampshire Autocare Specialist Named
2006 NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year
Atlanta – NAPA AUTO PARTS and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) have named Michael Lavoie of Haverhill, NH, the 2006 NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year. Presented annually by NAPA AUTO PARTS and ASE, the award is given to a technician that exemplifies excellence and achievement in the industry.
Lavoie, owner of Lavoie’s NAPA AutoCare Center in Haverhill, has more than 25 years experience, possesses 34 ASE Certifications, and his NAPA AutoCare Center is an ASE Blue Seal of Excellence shop.
Lavoie’s commitment to NAPA is matched by his dedication to his industry and community. Lavoie has gone so far as to ask the governor of New Hampshire to declare a special Automotive Service Professional day in the state. In addition, Lavoie has provided more than $2,500 in scholarships to local high school students pursuing further education in the automotive field.
This year marks the eighth instance that Lavoie has been nominated by NAPA New England for the NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year award. In addition, Lavoie and his shop have been honored in the past by AAA as the New Hampshire Facility of the Year.
For more information about NAPA and vehicle care, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.
MIGHTY SURE Nationwide Repair Warranty Program Launched
Norcross, GA – Mighty Auto Parts has launched a program that allows shops to cover their customers’ repairs – parts and labor – at service locations nationwide, along with towing and rental car services, if needed.
Should the consumer require service 25 miles or more from the original repair facility, they simply call the Mighty Warranty Administrator prior to performing repairs, and the MWA will care for all administrative details.
Consumers pay no out-of-pocket expenses traveling in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. There are no charge backs and no claims for shops to pay. This service covers repairs, regardless of the brand of parts used.
The MIGHTY SURE program includes: a vast network of 30,000 Warranty Centers operating nationwide; a comprehensive Nationwide Repair Warranty; 12 months or 12,000 miles; and towing/rental cars available.
One low monthly fee covers it all. For full details, call 800-829-3900 or visit www.mightyautoparts.com.
Valeo Shows Off a Camless Engine
Frankfurt, Germany – During the recent IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, Valeo presented its latest technology for reducing fuel consumption and pollutant emissions by 20% using an engine cylinder head design that adopts Smart Valve Actuation (SVA) in place of the conventional mechanical operation of engine valves by the cam belt, camshaft and hydraulic cam followers.
“SVA is the first of many innovative systems that Valeo intends to actively develop and market in order to meet increasing demand for reduced fuel consumption and pollutant emissions following the recent acquisition of Johnson Controls’ Engine Electronics Division. Engine management and power electronics are now core technologies for the group, which will drive strong future growth,” said Valeo Chairman and CEO Thierry Morin during the Sept. 13 press event.
In a camless engine, each engine valve is operated individually by an actuator that is placed on the upper surface of the cylinder head, directly above the valve guides. Each actuator is linked to an engine-mounted Valve Control Unit (VCU) that ensures the optimal positioning of all valves and performs the power drive function.
By controlling residual gases, minimizing pumping losses and deactivating cylinders and valves, this environmentally friendly technology reduces fuel consumption and pollutant emissions by 20%. Consumers also will benefit from enhanced performance and driving comfort, due to an increase in low-end engine torque.
According to Valeo, the SVA development program is currently being undertaken with support from several leading car manufacturers and is scheduled for volume production in 2009. Source: Valeo Management Services
Toyota Recalls Prius To Address Stalling Issue
Detroit – Toyota Motor Corp. said Oct. 13 that it is recalling 75,000 Prius gas-electric hybrid cars because their engines can stall due to an electrical problem.
According to the Associated Press, the recall includes some 2004 and early 2005 model year Prius cars. The cars have a gas engine as well as a battery-powered electric motor that can run separately or together to save fuel.
In affected vehicles, dashboard warning lights may come on and the gasoline engine shuts down (though the vehicle’s electric motor will continue operating in a limited capacity, so drivers can steer to the side of the road). The gasoline engine may start working again if the driver restarts the vehicle.
A Toyota spokesman said the automaker began investigating the problem after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received nearly 70 reports of Prius engines stalling. Toyota said no one has been injured by the defect, and it hasn’t caused any reported accidents.
Toyota dealers will repair affected vehicles for free. The vehicles may need to have their software reprogrammed. Dealers may also apply a waterproof grease that will prevent water from getting into the electrical system.
NHTSA said it closed its investigation after Toyota said it would voluntarily recall the vehicles. Owners were to be notified starting in late October.
For more information, visit Toyota Motor Corp.: www.toyota.com. Source: Associated Press