Service Executive Issue #10-18 (Full)

Monro Joins Amazon ‘Ship-To-Store’ Tire-Installation Program

Monro Inc. has announced a collaboration with Amazon to provide tire installation services at its retail tire and automotive service centers. Installation will be available to customers who purchase tires from Amazon and select the “ship to store” option — essentially the same functionality used by a program already in place between Amazon and Sears.

The Monro/Amazon agreement is non-exclusive both ways.

The installation service will debut with 52 Mr. Tire Auto Service Centers in the Baltimore area. (Mr. Tire is a Monro brand). Following this initial launch, the Monro/Amazon initiative will expand to all of Monro’s more than 1,170 retail locations across 27 states over the course of the year.

Monro president and CEO Brett Ponton said that the Amazon tire-installation deal aligns “perfectly with our ‘Monro Forward’ initiative to develop a robust omni- channel presence.”

Ponton also said that it builds upon the success of multiple preferred tire-installer agreements already in place. “While still representing a small fraction of our business, our agreements with online retailers are a key component of our omni-channel strategy,” Ponton told analysts on a July 26 conference call.

“These agreements are a notable traffic driver, as 50 percent of these customers are new to Monro,” he explained. “Once these customers are in-store, we can inspect their vehicle and recommend add-on services, driving increased conversion and higher tickets. Importantly, we’re also able to add them to our CRM database and begin to build long-term, one-to-one relationships.”


Monro Buys 8 Missouri Locations, Reaches Deal To Buy More Shops

Monro Inc. (Rochester, NY) has acquired eight retail locations from the Sawyer Tire Co., filling in an existing market in Missouri. These shops are expected to add roughly $8 million in annualized sales, representing a sales mix of 50 percent service and 50 percent tires. The Sawyer Tire acquisition closed in the second quarter of fiscal 2019 (three months ending around Sept. 30, 2018) and is expected to be breakeven to diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2019.

Monro also has signed a definitive agreement to acquire seven undisclosed shops filling in existing markets. They are expected to add approximately $8 million in annualized sales, representing a sales mix of 60 percent service and 40 percent tires. This deal is expected to close in the current quarter and anticipated to be breakeven to diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2019.

Monro president and CEO Brett Ponton told analysts participating in the company’s July 26 quarterly report conference call that the company continues to capitalize on favorable accretive acquisition opportunities in the marketplace.

“Acquisitions announced and completed thus far in fiscal 2019 represent $63 million in annualized sales,” Ponton said. “And, our M&A pipeline remains robust, with over 10 [non-disclosure agreements] signed, with opportunities ranging from five to 40 stores.”

During the fiscal first quarter ended June 30, 2018, the company spent approximately $27.50 million on acquisitions, including one- to four-store acquisitions completed as part of Monro’s greenfield expansion strategy.

Monro added 19 company-operated stores and closed five locations during the first quarter.

As of June 30, 2018, Monro had 1,164 company-operated stores and 98 franchise locations — compared to 1,119 company-operated stores and 114 franchise locations as of June 24, 2017.



Encouraging Sales Momentum For Monro,
Yet Margins Slipped

For the fiscal first quarter ended June 30, 2018, Rochester, NY-based Monro Inc. generated $20.64 million in net income — an increase of 17.4 percent over the previous year. Gross profit rose 3.9 percent to $117.24 million; however, gross margin slipped 90 basis points to 39.6 percent.

One element driving gross margin lower were higher labor costs related to an initiative to optimize Monro’s store staffing model, adding technicians to understaffed stores to support improved traffic trends and sustain sales momentum. Management believes this should normalize as the initiative ramps up through fiscal 2019. This will come from a future “right-sizing” of overstaffed stores — a move that management expects will get the company back to a flat staffing model, while achieving greater overall store efficiency.

Other factors impacting gross margin were higher material costs (as a percentage of sales) related to “suboptimal” brake package pricing and the impact of sales mix from the Free Service Tire acquisition.

CFO Brian D’Ambrosia elaborated on the Free Service Tire impact during the company’s July 26 conference call with members of the financial community: “The commercial and wholesale locations we acquired as part of the Free Service Tire acquisition operate at a lower gross margin, primarily due to the higher sales mix of tires, and, with respect to the wholesale business, a higher sales mix of tires without installation.”

D’Ambrosia added that gross margin also was negatively impacted by pricing issues when Monro launched its good/better/best brake packages during the quarter. To combat this, the company raised its package prices late in the quarter. Going forward, management plans to continue to identify opportunities to “further optimize” Monro’s brake package pricing — including leveraging analytics to capitalize on high demand in this category.

SALES … For the quarter, Monro’s sales increased by $17.32 million, or 6.2 percent, to $295.81 million. This breaks down as roughly $14.40 million in sales from new stores and a comparable-store sales increase of 1.9 percent (on top of a 1.4-percent comp-store sales gain from a year ago).

President and CEO Brett Ponton told analysts on the call that the new fiscal year is off to a great start, as sustained momentum in the business led to strong topline performance in the first quarter. Ponton pointed out that Monro’s comp-store sales growth came from higher average ticket, improving traffic, and strength in tires and brakes.

“We are very encouraged by the improving comparable-store sales trends we saw during the quarter, which … started off negative in April due to a late spring arrival but was more than offset by a return to positive comp sales in May,” he said. “We ended the first quarter with accelerated comp-sales performance in June. And, we’re pleased to report that that momentum continued into July, with comparable-store sales up approximately 2 percent month-to-date.”

According to Ponton, May comp-store sales were up 3.3 percent, while June comps were up 3.6 percent, attributable to pent-up demand from a late spring.

Tire comps rose 2 percent, as lower unit sales were more than offset by a higher ticket resulting from the company’s optimized tire sales and pricing strategy. “We’re also very encouraged by the improvement in our online operating metrics resulting from the changes we made to our online tire-pricing strategy at the end of last year when we unbundled tires from installation,” Ponton explained. “These changes led to increased conversion and a notable increase in online service appointments.”

Brake comps increased 7 percent, and front end/shocks comps grew 2 percent. Maintenance services and alignment comps were both down about 1 percent. “We experienced strong demand in our brakes category, further supported by the launch of our good/better/best brake packages in the first quarter, which drove an 11-percent increase in our brake transaction volume,” Ponton told analysts on the call.

Geographically, Monro reported strength in its northern markets, which outperformed southern markets during the quarter.

“MONRO FORWARD” … During the call, Ponton provided an update on management’s “Monro Forward” strategy. He said management is pleased with the traction from the online reputation management program that launched across Monro’s entire store base in late February.

“We believe investments in technology and increased efforts to solicit customer feedback are paying off, as we’ve received more than 75,000 customer surveys and online reviews since we launched the pilot program in January,” Ponton said. “Early results show that improved search traffic resulting from our online reputation management program has contributed to driving higher conversion and, importantly, higher traffic to our stores. We’re also actively leveraging the customer feedback and insights from this data to drive operational improvement across our stores, which has led to a significant improvement in our overall star rating across all online review sites.”

According to Ponton, Monro has received an average online review rating of 4.6 stars since the beginning of the year, compared to 3.6 stars before the program started.

He also told analysts that the company’s store reimage initiative is progressing on schedule. “We have defined clear brand standards, identified the appropriate scope of refresh needed for each of our stores, and are currently on schedule to launch our 30-store reimage pilot in Rochester, NY in the beginning of the third quarter of fiscal 2019,” Ponton said.

Monro also is expected to launch a data-analytics-based CRM platform this quarter that’s designed to leverage customer data and insights to deliver tailored messages and service recommendations based on customers’ specific vehicle needs. Additionally, modernizing Monro’s online presence should roll out this quarter, including a mobile-capable architecture.

OUTLOOK … Based on current sales, business and economic trends, and recently announced and completed acquisitions, management now anticipates Monro’s fiscal 2019 sales to come in between $1.18 billion and $1.21 billion — an increase of 4.6 percent to 7.3 percent compared to fiscal 2018 sales. This is up from management’s previous sales guidance of $1.17 billion to $1.20 billion.

Comparable-store sales are still expected to increase 1 percent to 3 percent on a 52-week basis.       — Marc Vincent


AAMCO Pursues Franchise Growth In NY/NJ

AAMCO Transmissions (Horsham, PA) is working to develop select cities in New York’s Westchester County, as well as in northern and central New Jersey. The goal is to open at least a dozen locations over the next several years throughout the region. AAMCO currently has 35 franchised shops in New York and New Jersey.

“New York and New Jersey are prime territories for our targeted expansion, and we are taking the time to find strong potential franchisees to spearhead our aggressive growth over the next few years,” said Senior Vice President of Franchise Sales Brian O’Donnell.

AAMCO currently has more than 600 shops across North America.


Valvoline Completes First International Acquisition

Valvoline Inc. has completed its previously announced acquisition of the business assets of Great Canadian Oil Change Franchising, which is billed as the third-largest quick-lube system in Canada. Great Canadian has 73 franchised shops across five provinces. The move expands Valvoline’s existing quick-lube network to more than 1,200 company-owned and franchised locations in North America.

“Great Canadian Oil Change, with its established brand and loyal customer base, is Valvoline’s first international quick-lube acquisition, and provides us with an excellent opportunity to expand our quick-lube footprint outside the U.S.,” said Valvoline CEO Sam Mitchell.

Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.



NASTF Fixing Widespread Problems With Sharing

The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) shut down almost 1,300 vehicle security professional accounts June 11 for sharing their credentials. The sharing was happening both inside businesses as well as with code brokers who told VSPs that they are approved by NASTF and automakers, according to the organization.

The suspended accounts showed at least five markers or events where their account was shared or an Internet-based code seller was used, NASTF executive officer Donny Seyfer said.

“The key problem we had was that so many of our VSPs were socially engineered by AutoCode to believe that this code broker is affiliated with NASTF,” Seyfer said. “Of course, this is not only not true, it is a violation of our terms and conditions to share your vehicle security credential with anyone.”

A representative of AutoCode denied that the company claims it’s approved by or affiliated with NASTF. “We are anything but the ‘bad guy’ and have no problems to play by NASTF’s rules,” AutoCode said in a statement to Service Executive.

AutoCode said it doesn’t store LSID credentials on its servers, so they’re used once, for fetching the code. The company also said it only provides codes to locksmiths and auto professionals.

“We still hope that we can find a way to work with NASTF and provide locksmiths with a better key code service,” the statement reads. “There are so many ways in which technology could advance this industry. We’ve been thinking of technical solutions that will allow us to satisfy and even improve NASTF’s security requirements …”

(Editor’s Note: Click here to read AutoCode’s detailed statement in its entirety.)

These are two kinds of codes: key cut codes, which are the sequence direction for physically cutting a new key; and immobilizer codes, which are the PIN codes that unlock anti-theft security when a new component is replaced on a related system.

NASTF also found a large percentage of its members were not filling out their positive ID forms properly. The violations ranged from not filling them out at all to leaving off key items, like customer signatures and VSP information. More than 100 of these accounts were suspended for a longer period of time to offer training on proper use of the forms.

“We were able to terminate about a dozen accounts that were bad actors acting as code brokers or who were involved in car theft,” Seyfer said.

As a result of the audits, and their resulting measures, NASTF set aside processing new and renewal vehicle security applications to the registry until July 9.

“We are almost done with the entire list,” Seyfer said. “Right now, we are down to a handful of accounts who have not yet contacted us to be reinstated. Some of these are very low-volume users who probably have outdated email information with NASTF or bad actors who know we are on to them.”

NASTF believes the planned September release of SDRM 2.0 will streamline the entire process and give users a more secure interface that’s easier to use. It also will help catch users who are breaking the rules, according to the organization.      — Sarah Hollander


Mitchell 1 Launching Manager SE Webinar Training

Starting this fall, Mitchell 1 will begin offering a series of free online webinars covering the most popular topics from its Manager SE workshop curriculum, including …
• Customizing the software to your business, WIP screen tools and user profiles;
• Recommendations, revisions and technician worksheets;
• Canned jobs, part kits, packages and discounts;
• Inventory, purchase orders and parts catalogs;
• Scheduler configuration and appointment tools; and
• Recent features added to the software.

Course titles, dates and other details will be announced soon.

Mitchell 1 also will continue to offer live training in a classroom setting, with the next workshop scheduled for April 25-27, 2019 in Atlantic City, NJ.


Mudlick Mail Vows Expanded Services Following Recent Acquisition

Mudlick Mail (Acworth, GA) — a direct marketing services business that does business in the automotive service market, among others — has acquired Muscle Up Marketing, a full-service marketing firm in Alpharetta, GA that specializes in serving the fitness and health and wellness industry.

In addition to expanding Mudlick’s services into a new market, the combination enhances the digital services offered to clients. Muscle Up offers a range of digital services to reach customers across a variety of channels, including social media management, text-message marketing and mobile geo-targeting.

Muscle Up’s digital expertise is seen as complementary to Mudlick’s data-driven technology. According to Mudlick, this upgraded platform will allow it to better help clients make informed buying decisions based on response rates and predictive analytics. It also will illustrate key performance indicators and tie in call-tracking information and market penetration reports.

“Clients can visually track and analyze the success of their direct mail campaigns,” Mudlick says. “In addition, the platform will include a web-to-print portal, allowing clients to print direct mail postcards, business cards or store banners themselves.”

Muscle Up’s founder and president, Jon Butts, will remain with the business while maintaining a “meaningful ownership stake” in the combined company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Workshop Software Now Integrates With Carfax Data

Shops using Workshop Software now have integrated access to services from Carfax, including Carfax QuickVIN and Carfax Service History Check, as well as the ability to register customers with myCarfax. Workshop Software users that register customers with myCarfax are automatically stored as the customer’s favorite shop. Drivers get alerts when it’s time to return for their next service visit to help increase loyalty and retention. In addition, more than 750,000 customer reviews of myCarfax Service Shops are available, which can help drive new business to participating shops.

Workshop Software is a Software as a Service (SaaS) company founded by James Mitchell and based in Australia. The software is sold in the United States through ARI Network Services of Milwaukee.



TBC Launches Online Tire-Buying Business

TBC Corp. has launched a national, online tire-buying business, TireAmerica. Consumers choose from more than two dozen brands, including Michelin, Sumitomo and Goodyear. After selecting tires, they pick a local installer and make an appointment online.

The list of 1,400-plus installers thus far includes 730 of TBC’s NTB, Tire Kingdom and Merchant’s tire and auto service centers; some Midas and Big O franchises; and independents.

TireAmerica ships the tires to the installers and emails the customers’ appointment information. The installer finalizes the appointment.

TBC is marketing TireAmerica as a way for service providers to gain customers with no acquisition costs. Installers set and keep their installation fees, as well as the revenues from other services provided.

TireAmerica is the latest industry effort to connect online tire sales with local installers, including Sears Auto Centers’ “Ship-to-Store” collaboration with Amazon; SimpleTire’s installation partnership with Pep Boys, Monro Inc., Mavis Discount Tire and others; and eBay Motorsconnection with local tire installers in the United States.


Bridgestone Enhances Its TireConnect Platform

Bridgestone Americas has revamped its TireConnect online tire-quoting and sales platform. A tire-pricing research module has been added to give dealers access to national pricing averages and minimum advertised pricing, where applicable. The new price guide module helps dealers make decisions about price structure, ensure compliance with manufacturer pricing guidelines and allow customers to research competitor prices.

TireConnect also now has the capability to provide more accurate pricing for TPMS kits. Rather than setting a flat price, participating dealers can get accurate quotes and better inform their consumers about specific TPMS offerings.

Additionally, the platform now interfaces with the iConfigurator wheel visualizer to allow dealers to add wheel-quoting and sales to their online offering. Dealers that choose to integrate this functionality into their websites will be able to provide customers with a visual tool that allows them to see what the vehicle and wheels will look like together, along with online purchasing capability.

Bridgestone worked with the Fitment Group, Icon Internet Media and Tiremetrix LLC to integrate the new technology and functionality into TireConnect.

The Fitment Group is a provider of business intelligence and data to the tire industry, including tire pricing analytics, demand planning, tire and wheel fitment data, and more.

iConfigurator is a division of Icon Internet Media, a full-service interactive agency that specialized in marketing for the automotive aftermarket.

Tiremetrix is a privately-owned Michigan-based automotive information software company. TPMS Manager and Tire Registration Plus are software-as-a-service products created by Tiremetrix and used by tire dealers and automotive service centers across North America.


BFGoodrich Hires Salesforce To Improve Customer Engagement

BFGoodrich Tires has partnered with Salesforce and its customer relationship management (CRM) platform to consolidate and improve marketing efforts across email, mobile, social media and digital advertising.

BFGoodrich relies on numerous agency partners for marketing support. And, customer information had been split across each agency. That data will now be unified on one platform, Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

“CRM and advertising used to be two different worlds, but, with customers expecting higher levels of personalization across every brand touchpoint, it’s critical that we bring our customer data together on one trusted CRM platform,” said Scott Robbins, digital communications and social media manager at BFGoodrich.

The goal is to more quickly segment customers based on their needs and interests and to create and send content that is most relevant to them, Salesforce spokeswoman Leslie Grant said. Brand marketing and offers will now be based on the customer, whether it’s a tire reseller or partner or a car or tire enthusiast, for example, she said.

Examples could include welcome messages for new subscribers with educational product information, event messages based on where a customer lives, and post-purchase messages that measure satisfaction and provide ownership resources and benefits.


On-Demand Car Care Company Lands $9M In Funding

Get Spiffy — an on-demand car care, technology and services company — has announced the closing of a $9-million fund raise led by Bull City Venture Partners. All existing Spiffy investors, including IDEA Fund Partners, participated in the funding. And, new investors were added, including strategic investor Mann+Hummel. Other investors included the Visionary Private Equity Group, North Carolina Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, Wolfpack Investor Network and VentureSouth.

The capital infusion allows Spiffy to broaden its car care services, expand geographies and develop additional channels.

“Since our first investment, Spiffy has grown from three to five markets; added several new services, like mobile oil change; and dramatically expanded their fleet business,” said Jason Caplain, general partner of Bull City Venture Partners. “With this financing, we are excited to continue to support Spiffy on their very impressive growth trajectory.”

Spiffy washes, details and changes oil in Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Dallas. The company’s technology allows clients to schedule, track, and pay for services at the time and location of their choosing.



ASA Partners With Text-Messaging Platform Provider

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has announced Podium as a new Sponsored Benefit Provider. Podium uses cloud-based software to help businesses gain insight into their customers’ experiences. It helps businesses interact with customers via text messaging and offers online review products.

With the agreement, ASA members won’t be charged Podium’s setup fee of $299 and will receive 10 percent off the standard monthly subscription fee for any Podium services purchased. To take advantage of this special offer, shops must be members of ASA. Click here for more information about this new member benefit.


CCC Announces Hiring Of Former ASA President

CCC Information Services has announced the addition of former Automotive Service Association (ASA) president and executive director Dan Risley. His title is vice president of quality repair and market development. As such, Risley will work alongside CCC’s collision repair and OEM market executives on a variety of industry topics, including the execution of quality repairs, shop certification, and repair scans and diagnostics. CCC is a Software as a Service (Saas) provider to the automotive, insurance and collision repair industries.

Aside from his tenure with ASA, Risley’s background includes time as a sales rep at BASF, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists and claims manager with Allstate Insurance. He started his career as a repair technician and shop manager.


Service King Taps Airline Industry Veteran As CEO

Service King Collision Repair Centers (Richardson, TX) has named David Cush as its new CEO, replacing Chris Abraham, who has departed from the role. Abraham, who had been with the company for about 20 years, served as Service King’s CEO since 2012. Prior to that, he was the company’s market vice president.

Cush most recently was the CEO of the airline Virgin America. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in various executive roles in finance, sales and marketing, international planning and operations at American Airlines.

Earlier this year, Cush was appointed to the board of Service King.

“The board and I are delighted that David will lead Service King into the next phase of the company’s growth,” said Chairman Ken Hicks in a statement. “David’s experience in the complex operating environment of the airline industry — as well as his track record of building a strong brand in a rapid-growth environment — is just what Service King needs at this stage in its development. The board and I are grateful to Chris for his strong leadership as CEO and his 20 years of dedication at Service King.”

Service King is a national operator of collision repair facilities, with locations in 24 states.


New App Launches To Erase Personal Data From Cars

Privacy4Cars has launched an app of the same name designed to wipe personal data retained by vehicle infotainment systems. The company is marketing the service to consumers as well as businesses in the automotive space, including dealerships, fleets, automakers, auto auctions, fleet management companies, rental car operators  and auto insurance companies.

Developer Andrea Amico said he founded Privacy4Cars amidst growing frustration over the complexity of removing personal information from modern vehicles.

“To date, there has not been an adequate effort to educate vehicle users on the dangers of leaving their personally identifiable information in vehicles they no longer use,” Amico said. “People would not want to hand their phones and all their data to strangers, yet they often fail to realize that this is what they do every time they sell a vehicle, return a rental car, or participate in a car sharing or subscription program.”

Many remarketers had reached out to him, asking for a solution to the problem, Amico said.

“I have been leading the privacy and cybersecurity group at the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance for the past two years, so I know many players in the used vehicle wholesaling industry,” he said.

The app, available on iOS and Android devices, uses visual step-by-step tutorials to help users erase information such as phone numbers, call logs, location history and garage door codes. The app covers hundreds of vehicle makes, models and years.

In addition to the stand-alone app, Privacy4Cars also is available as a software development kit that can be embedded into existing apps. In addition, Amico said the company is open to working with service providers interested in licensing the technology to resell or embed in their existing processes.        — Sarah Hollander


Alltech Automotive: National Sales Manager

Alltech Automotive LLC, a dynamic global automotive supplier, is seeking a National Sales Manager to represent products it sells into the Automotive Aftermarket. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Alltech Automotive: Regional Sales Manager

The Regional Sales Manager is a dedicated position, concentrating on leading and generating sales/awareness and support of new products, new programs and updates to the Alltech customer base. … (more) … Click here to find out more.


Rate Of U.S. Consumers Dumping Sedans In Favor Of SUVs Is Rising

Consumer preferences for SUVs continue to rise and at a faster pace than five years ago, according to new loyalty and defection analysis from IHS Markit. Between April 2017 and March 2018, over 35 percent of U.S. households with a sedan in the garage returned to the market for a new vehicle and acquired an SUV — up from just 24 percent five years ago.

The propensity to defect from a sedan to an SUV was much higher among Asians than African American or Hispanic consumers, according to IHS Markit. Nearly 40 percent of Asian sedan owners who returned to the market for a new vehicle defected from a sedan to an SUV, compared to 31.9 percent for Hispanics and 31 percent for African Americans.

According to the study, 55.7 percent of African American sedan owners opted to stay with a sedan for their next vehicle purchase, compared to 49.6 percent of Hispanics and 43.5 percent of Asians.

Additionally, the propensity to defect from sedans to SUVs decreased as age increasedLoyalty to sedans was extremely high among older consumers and varied by nearly 20 percentage points from the youngest consumers to the oldest. And, as incomes rose, consumers were more likely to defect from a sedan to an SUV. Conversely, the propensity of sedan owners to choose another sedan declined as income levels increased.


North American International Auto Show Moving To June Starting In 2020

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is switching from a winter event to a summer one starting in 2020. The show will remain in Detroit. The idea is to provide more opportunities for the event — which will start the week of June 8, 2020 — to host exhibits and experiences outside of the Cobo Center.

While the foundation of the show would remain inside Cobo, branding and event opportunities could take place at multiple venues throughout the city and region, such as the Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue and Belle Isle. This would include dynamic vehicle debuts, ride-and-drive events, autonomous and automated driving demonstrations, and off-road challenges.

“As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season,” Detroit Auto Dealers Association president Doug North said. “The new direction and focus of the show will disrupt the normal cadence of traditional shows and create a new event unparalleled in the industry.”

Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, commented: “The potential to create a month-long automotive festival in Detroit — starting with the Detroit Grand Prix, going through our show and concluding with the nationally celebrated fireworks on the river — will provide an unmatched festival-like experience for all attendees.”

The move to June is anticipated to save costs for exhibitors by eliminating November, December and January holidays from the move-in equation. According to event organizers, exhibitors would see reduced overtime labor costs for builds. And, the June show would have a shorter move-in schedule of three weeks — down from the current eight-week average.


People Watching 7/31/18

Ned Aguilar is now the vice president of sales and marketing for TireHub. Aguilar most recently was vice president of business development for the Consumer Integrated Division of Bridgestone Americas. His background also includes time as the vice president of sales and marketing for Morgan Tire & Auto/Tires Plus.

• Collision repair equipmentmaker Spanesi Americas has added Dan Dziuban to its technical trainer team, which creates curriculum and delivers all educational activities for Spanesi Americas’ customers, distributors, and internal staff members across the United States and Canada. Dziuban — who has over 20 years of experience in the automotive and industrial coatings industry — recently owned and operated his own auto repair facility.

• Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) has named Ron Stach as its vice president of aftersales, responsible for the company’s parts and service department. Stach was the senior vice president of sales for Volkswagen of America.

• Jaxen Stewart of Council Grove, KS is the 2018 Mitchell 1 Automotive Technology Outstanding Student. Stewart attends Pittsburg State University, studying automotive technology. After he graduates in 2020, he wants to work for a dealership or independent repair shop for a few years to further his knowledge and experience. His goal is to operate his own automotive service facility.


News Briefs 7/31/18

• The Car Care Council has introduced a new video to explain the advantages of holding on to a vehicle once it has reached the “Cinderella Era,” defined as the time period after a car loan is paid off and the vehicle is still in good condition, only needing modest service and repairs. The video was produced in conjunction with AutoNetTV Media.

• Hankook Tire has agreed to acquire Reifen-Mueller, one of Germany’s largest independent tire wholesalers and retailers. Reifen-Mueller has 44 service centers, selling passenger car, light truck, heavy truck, bus, motorcycle and agricultural tires.

• Carstar has opened its 600th location: Carstar Sudbury (Autoworks), a 20,000-square-foot facility on Falconbridge Road in Sudbury, Ontario. Management’s goal is to have 1,000 locations in the United States and Canada.

• Tint World Automotive Styling Centers has opened its first Delaware location in Wilmington and its first Louisiana location in New Orleans. The company also has entered the United Arab Emirates market with a location in Dubai.

• The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) has launched a four-part video series featuring celebrity car builder and TV host Lou Santiago. In the series, Santiago gives a behind-the-scenes tour of the new LiftLab facility at ALI’s headquarters in Cortland, NY; shares lift safety tips; and highlights a couple of cool vehicles in the facility.


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