DENSO Sales California is launching a summer sales campaign, “Tune In & Tune Up” to all DENSO warehouse distributors, jobber/counterpersons and service technicians. The program runs now through Sept. 30, 2006.
DENSO is rewarding jobber/counterpersons and professional service technicians by offering them an opportunity to win electronic prizes for selling DENSO First Time First Fit brand spark plugs, oxygen sensors, ignition wire sets and fuel pumps. In addition, DENSO is offering a free DENSO Motorsports cap to those who pre-register. For additional information about DENSO’s Summer Tune In & Tune Up campaign, call 1-888-96-DENSO or go to www.densoaftermarket.com.
Mighty Auto Parts Named One of WSJ’s Top 25 Franchises
Mighty Distributing System of America, an aftermarket auto parts franchisor, has been selected as one of the Wall Street Journal’s top 25 franchises. Mighty was selected from the nation’s more than 2,500 franchise brands and was picked along with household names like Domino’s Pizza and Subway. In the article titled, “The 25 Franchises that Made the Cut,” Lauren Kim, senior editor at WSJ StartupJournal.com said, “[the businesses] must be well-established, have expert leadership, exhibit overall financial health and have a proven record of the franchise’s success.”
GAAS Scholarships Awarded to 133 Students in 2006
The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) Scholarship Committee awarded a total of 133 students $1,000 GAAS scholarships in 2006, several of which were made possible with the support of additional donations to the fund.
“The GAAS scholarship committee selected 118 students from the U.S. and 15 from Canada from more than 1,000 applications, and the quality of our applicants was higher than ever,” said Pete Kornafel, chairman of the GAAS Scholarship Selection Committee. “Seven of these scholarships were made possible due to the generous support of R.L. Polk & Co. and University of the Aftermarket’s Art Fisher Memorial Scholarship Fund.”
The annual investment to help develop future aftermarket industry leaders is primarily funded through proceeds from the annual Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium.
Technician, Counterman Win Trips to Las Vegas in
Spicer Showdown Promotion
Technician Mike Miller won a VIP trip for two to Las Vegas to become the first of 12 first-place winners in Affinia Under Vehicle Group’s Spicer Showdown promotion. Counterman Roscoe Sanborn, who presented Miller with his winning game card, also won a trip to Las Vegas.
Miller, who works for Electric City Brake and Alignment in Great Falls, MT, purchases Spicer chassis parts from Sanborn at Great Falls-based Professional Automotive Warehouse, Inc. During their trip to Las Vegas, Miller and Sanborn will both take part in the Spicer Showdown Poker Tournament.
The Spicer Showdown promotion offers technicians and counterpeople the chance to win hundreds of prizes, including a seat at the 2007 World Series of Poker valued at $10,000. From now to August 15, 2006, for every purchase of an open stock premium quality Spicer professional grade chassis part, technicians will receive a Spicer Showdown instant-win game card. In addition to Miller and Sanborn, four lucky winners and the counterpeople who presented them with their game cards will receive a trip for two to Las Vegas to take part in the Spicer Showdown Poker Tournament.
Four Seasons Receives Award For Parts Data Excellence
Activant Solutions, a leading provider of vertical business management solutions, recently gave its annual President’s Award for Electronics Data Excellence to Four Seasons and two other parts manufacturers. The awards were presented at the 2006 National Catalog Managers Association (NCMA) “Knowledge Exchange” conference in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Porsche Goes Hollywood in Disney-Pixar Movie Cars
While Porsches are accustomed to being stars of the road, the newest virtual Porsche model may very well become a star of the silver screen this summer.
Disney-Pixar and Academy Award-winning director John Lasseter have become virtual car engineers of sorts and have taken Porsche’s flagship model, the Porsche 911, and created a sporty leading lady called “Sally Carrera,” who is one of the stars of the animated adventure Cars.
Even though Sally Carrera isn’t a real car, she is the result of several years of research and engineering by Pixar, a process that rivals that of Porsche’s famous automotive development. Cars tells the story of a hotshot rookie racecar driven to succeed. He discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs, where the town’s offbeat characters help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship.
“Sally is the one modern car in the town of Radiator Springs,” says Lasseter, the director of Cars and chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. “She’s a Porsche 911 and she’s beautiful, beautiful.” Adds Lasseter, “It’s interesting that people mostly think of a Porsche as powerful and a guy’s car, but the lines on a Porsche are so beautiful that it fits perfectly for the character of Sally.”
While an actual Porsche 911 has 320 horsepower, and can go from 0 to 60 in less than five seconds, the development of the virtual “Sally” and the movie took more than five years, and paralleled many of the same stages used in the creation of an automobile.
Beginning in 2002, Porsche Cars North America provided a 911 to the Pixar Animation Studios during the course of production so that animators, designers, sculptors and storytellers could see, hear and feel a real Carrera first-hand, and then take that reality and translate it into the animated character of Sally Carrera, voiced by actress Bonnie Hunt.
Similar to the creation of a new vehicle, after initial sketches were done, Pixar created prototypes of their visions with clay models. With a real life-size Porsche 911 at Pixar, artists closely studied the vehicle’s design, movement and dimensions. Lasseter’s mandate was that the Cars cast of characters must appear as real as possible, and he insisted on what he called “truth in materials,” which meant that the animation could not stretch or squash the cars in a way that would be inconsistent with their solid metal frames. Pixar animators performed extensive virtual “road testing” to get their car characters to behave in mechanically believable yet entertainingly personable ways.
Mitchell 1’s OnDemand Repair Information System
Experiences Large-Scale Growth
Mitchell 1 has increased the data in its OnDemand repair information system by 30% in the second quarter of 2006, for a total of 22 gigabytes of information added to the system in the past three quarters. The new data has more than doubled the size of the 17-year-old product over the past three quarters.
In addition, 900,000 graphics have been added to the OnDemand Repair Information System in the past year. As a special benefit to its web-based OnDemand5.com customers, these vast content increases are available on an expedited monthly basis that requires no customer action — the new data is simply there and ready to use each month.
ACDelco’s Real Car Guys Invite Consumers to Cash In
To help owners prepare their vehicles for summer driving, ACDelco’s Real Car Guys invite consumers to take advantage of ACDelco’s “Brake Bucks” promotion.
The ACDelco’s “Brake Bucks” mail-in rebate promotion gives vehicle owners the opportunity to receive up to a $20 rebate when they purchase ACDelco DuraStop brake products from participating Independent Service Centers (ISCs). ACDelco will reimburse consumers $10 for each set of ACDelco DuraStop friction products (pads, shoes and loaded calipers) purchased from and installed by a participating ISC now through July 31, 2006.
Al Stecklein of Gates Elected 2006-2007 MEMA Chairman
Alfred L. Stecklein, group president, Worldwide Aftermarket Division of Gates Corporation in Denver, has been elected 2006-’07 chairman of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) Board of Directors.
William C. Diggory, vice president and general manager, SKF, VSM Business Unit and chairman, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA);
Joseph P. Felicelli, executive vice president, aftermarket products and services, Federal-Mogul Corp. and chairman, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA);
Charles G. McClure, chairman, CEO and president, ArvinMeritor Inc.;
Terry R. McCormack, CEO, president and director, Affinia Group;
Peter L. Morse, president, Morse Automotive Corp.; and
Francisco A. Ordoñez, president, Delphi Product and Service Solutions and vice president, Delphi Corp.
Wagner Brake Products Named Parts Vendor of Year by Monro
Federal-Mogul Corporation’s Wagner Brake Products brand was unanimously selected as 2005 Parts Vendor of the Year by Monro Muffler Brake & Service at Monro’s recent national sales meeting. Monro began to change over all of its store locations to Wagner and Federal-Mogul’s QuickStop brand of replacement brake pads, linings, hydraulics, rotors, drums and other brake system components in late 2004.
NGK Spark Plugs Honored by Honda at Service Parts Supplier Performance Awards
NGK Spark Plugs was named by American Honda Motor Co. as recipient of the Service Parts Supplier Performance Award for its overall business performance in providing Honda with world-class parts and services. The award was given during ceremonies at the supplier meeting in Birmingham, AL. NGK earned near perfect scores in all categories that include on-time delivery, resolution of back-orders, technology and quality to name a few.
Students Receive $1.5 Million In Scholarships From Mercedes-Benz
In announcing the recipients of the 2006 DRIVE YOUR FUTURE Scholarship Program, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) aims to help first generation college-bound students achieve their academic goals and become part of the next generation of business, community and global leaders.
Overall, Mercedes-Benz with support from its dealers nationwide, will provide $1.5 million in scholarship funding to 150 students. Each student will receive a $10,000 award — $2,500 per year for four years. Selected from an applicant pool of more than 8,000 students, this year’s award recipients were chosen for their exceptional achievement in the areas of academic performance, leadership, and school and community activities. For more information, visit www.mbusa.com/drivefuture.
Clevite Launches New Online Industry Forum
Clevite Engine Parts is making it easier for gearheads of all kinds to share ideas and parts with the launch of Gearhead Gab.
Gearhead Gab is designed to bring the huge community of engine builders, rebuilders, machinists, students and enthusiasts together to discuss industry issues, exchange information and swap parts. This online forum is available by visiting www.motorheadheaven.com and clicking on the link for Gearhead Gab.
The focal point of Gearhead Gab is a series of forums that center on a variety of topics, including technical information, a parts swap and all types of racing.
ConocoPhillips Announces 125th Anniversary of Kendall Motor Oil Brand
ConocoPhillips Company recently announced that the Kendall Motor Oil brand is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Founded in 1881 in Bradford, PA, the Kendall Refining Company relied upon innovative manufacturing to produce passenger car and heavy-duty engine oils under what is known today as the Kendall Motor Oil brand.
“We are thrilled that the Kendall Motor Oil brand has reached such an incredible milestone,” said Gary Balzhiser, manager, Commercial Lubricants, ConocoPhillips Company. “The long-standing heritage of the Kendall Motor Oil brand has been made possible through the efforts of dedicated employees and marketers who ensure the consistent performance and service that loyal customers expect and appreciate.”
Kendall Motor Oil’s reputation includes an impressive number of “firsts” in the lubricant industry. Kendall Penzbest was the first motor oil fully reinforced to extend drain intervals from 500 to 2000 miles. “The 2,000 Mile Oil,” Penzbest was the inspiration for Kendall Motor Oil’s two-fingered “V” logo, which symbolized the creation of motor oil that could be used for 2,000 miles in the high-speed cars of the early 1920s.