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Auto Parts Business & Career Forums

These forums are for business related topics and professionals in the industry.

Forums

  1. Working In Auto Parts

    Forum for topics related to working in the auto parts industry.

    37
    posts
  2. Auto Parts Store Ownership and Management

    This forum is for auto parts store ownership and management topics.

    11
    posts
  3. Auto Parts Store Distribution

    This forum is for auto parts store distribution and distributor topics.

    6
    posts
  4. Starting or Expanding an Auto Parts Business

    This forum is for topics on starting or expanding an auto parts business. Store, On-line, or other.

    8
    posts


  • Posts

    • Counterman’s “ link hidden, please login to view” contest challenges our readers to solve an automotive riddle, for a chance to win $100. And each month, we receive hundreds of responses from aftermarket professionals trying to guess the model of the vehicle depicted. The correct answer for the August/September contest is the Honda Clarity. The winner is Don Maloney, store manager at Carquest in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Now, let’s get to know the “Guess the Car” champion. CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business? DM: About 15 years or so. CM: What do you like most about your job? DM: Talking to people about vehicles and helping them solve their problems – that’s usually the most fun. And you get to meet some very interesting people and hear some interesting analysis. CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you? DM: What I like is the customer who comes in and buys oil and an oil filter and says, “OK, where do I pull the car around to get this done?” That’s probably the best question we get asked. We even get that question with belts and alternators and starters. CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on? DM: The coolest car I ever owned was a 1986 Mercedes 190E Cosworth. It was a four-door sedan with a Cosworth-built engine. It came standard with Recaro seats and a dogleg five-speed transmission. It was what they call a homologation car, which means that Mercedes had to build a certain number of these cars [for street use] and put them on the market for sale to qualify for a race series. CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun? DM:  When you have seven grandkids, you pretty much have your days off occupied. That is my hobby, pretty much. CM: What’s your dream car? DM: My dream car would be a Mercedes 190E Evolution. There may be a few floating around the United States, but way beyond anything I could ever afford. The post link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view. link hidden, please login to view
    • In our hyperconnected digital world, it’s everywhere – and it seems like it’s flowing more freely than ever. By 2025, the human race will generate more than 180 zettabytes of data, according to one forecast from Statista. For those of you scoring along at home, a zettabyte is a measure of digital storage capacity roughly equivalent to 1 sextillion bytes, sometimes expressed as 10 21 bytes – or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of data. With more and more of our physical world now connected to the internet – from smartphones, TVs and appliances to thermostats, watches and fitness trackers – many of the devices and machines that we use on a daily basis are sending and receiving data. Our vehicles are no exception. Since the mid 1990s, technicians and vehicle owners have been able to access vehicle data by connecting a scan tool to the OBD II port underneath the dashboard. Today, most newer vehicles have the capability to transmit this information wirelessly. This wireless transmission of vehicle data is known as telematics. The word “telematics” is a combination of “telecommunication” and “informatics.” The two disciplines merged in the 1960s when the U.S. Department of Defense developed global positioning systems (GPS) to track military assets and improve communication, according to Geotab, a provider of telematics solutions for fleets. “Telematics owes its existence to three unique breakthroughs of modern technology: the internet, GPS and machine-to-machine communication (M2M),” Geotab explains in a 2021 blog post. A vehicle can gather a number of data points, including: Vehicle speed Trip distance and time Driver behavior (steering, acceleration, braking, seatbelt use, idle time) When it needs repair and maintenance, and what needs to be done The vehicle’s GPS location Vehicle health, including fuel consumption, emissions and engine hours Because this telematics data currently is sent directly to the automakers – bypassing vehicle owners and independent repair facilities – the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) have been lobbying for national legislation that shifts control of the data to vehicle owners. In November 2020, the aftermarket scored a major victory in Massachusetts with the overwhelming passage of Ballot Question 1, which updates the state’s landmark 2013 “Right to Repair” law. The ballot initiative requires OEMs to equip vehicles sold in Massachusetts with a standardized data platform that will enable motorists to access their vehicles’ telematics data through a mobile app. However, at press time, the new regulation has yet to take effect, as the automakers have kept it tied up in the courts with ongoing legal challenges. It’s been a tough, grinding road for the aftermarket trade groups, who are up against the deep pockets of the OEMs. But there are other glimmers of hope. In Maine, a coalition of independent shop owners and employees recently filed an application with the Secretary of State’s Office announcing their intentions to put a similar Right to Repair referendum on the ballot in 2023. And earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush introduced the federal REPAIR Act, aiming to provide consumers with access to their vehicles’ telematics data. “American vehicle owners have a right to control their data, and a right to access third-party repair shops, tools and parts,” said U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, a co-sponsor of the bill. “This bill would end manufacturers’ anti-competitive practices and restore consumer property rights.” Fleets Embracing Telematics Telematics has become an essential tool for commercial and government fleets. Working with telematics service providers (TSP) such as Geotab, fleet managers can gain valuable insights into the performance of their vehicles and the driving habits of their employees, which can help them optimize routes, reduce accidents, maximize fuel economy and anticipate maintenance and repair issues. SKF Vehicle Aftermarket recently introduced the TraX wheel-end monitor for fleets. Designed for Class 8 commercial vehicles and transit and coach buses, the bolt-on device intelligently monitors wheel-end vibration and temperature to detect potential issues such as impending bearing failures. “The TraX sensors are mounted on the outboard side of the wheels and are listening for early stages of bearing degradation,” explains Michael Hartman, director, national fleet sales at SKF Vehicle Aftermarket. “The TraX monitor is constantly collecting data samples and verifies the health of the bearings. If a bearing is failing, the TraX monitor will start broadcasting to the TSP and turn on a blinking LED light on the TraX unit to indicate that there’s an issue. This analytical notification takes place generally several thousand miles before catastrophic failure occurs.” Hartman asserts that telematics solutions such as the SKF TraX wheel-end monitor are “the future of aftermarket parts.” “Fleets can proactively utilize telematic/connected-component data to predict downtime, maximize component lifecycles, enhance preventative-maintenance scheduling and make informed, controlled purchases on their own terms while ensuring that they are maximizing their fleet’s uptime,” Hartman adds. The post link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view. link hidden, please login to view
    • First Brands Group has added 82 new part numbers to its Raybestos braking portfolio of friction, rotors and hydraulics that cover more than 25 million vehicles in operation (VIO).   New brake-pad coverage now is available for late-model domestic- and foreign-nameplate passenger and transport vehicles, including the Ford Bronco, Escape, Maverick and Transit 150-350; Hyundai Palisade and Santa Fe; Kia Telluride; Lincoln Corsair; and Nissan Kicks and Versa. “As we celebrate the 120th anniversary of Raybestos this year, we remain steadfast to our commitment to adding new coverage to our product lines to support our installer customers and help them grow their brake businesses,” said Lou Kafantaris, director of marketing, braking, First Brands Group. “Our Raybestos product-engineering team works tirelessly to ensure that each product that they design matches OE form, fit and function. Products are extensively tested at our newly expanded R&D facility in McHenry, Illinois, to ensure we continuously strive to provide the highest quality brake products in the industry.” The complete family of Raybestos brake products include disc pads and shoes, drums and rotors, master cylinders, wheel cylinders, calipers, hoses and hardware. To learn more about new part numbers and their applications, customers should contact their First Brands Group representative. The post link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view. link hidden, please login to view
    • IMR Inc., a full-service automotive market research firm, has released its latest insight, an update from its 2021 insight on the importance of private-label and national-branded parts at independent repair shops. As of August 2022, more parts purchasers at independent repair shops reported knowing what brand was in the private-label box (20.8%) compared to 2021 (19.6%), with purchasers at smaller shops (one to three bays) more likely to know what was in the private-label box (22.6%) compared to larger shops with eight or more bays, where purchasers were less likely to know what was in the private-label box (16.4%). This year’s survey results showed that 40.8% of shops said that their first-call supplier carried mostly private-label parts with only a few national-branded parts options, which is a decrease from 2021 survey results, at 42.6%. Of that 40.8%, 19.1% said that they go to another supplier to purchase nationally branded parts, 10.3% said that they always or frequently do and 66.7% said that they occasionally do.   When shops were asked about the likelihood of switching their first-call supplier if it changed to offer majority private-label brands with limited national brands, only 6% of shops said that they definitely or very likely would switch, compared to 2021 survey results, where 15.2% of shops said that they definitely or very likely would make the switch. However, of the 59.2% of shops that said their first-call supplier doesn’t have heavy private-label branded categories, the number of those who would definitely/very likely switch rises to 8.8%, and another 13.5% say they would be likely to make a switch.  Overall, more than half of shops surveyed reported in 2022 that they occasionally go to another supplier for nationally branded parts at 66.7%, while 17.9% rarely go to another supplier. 10.3% reported going to another supplier frequently and 0% reported always going to a different supplier for nationally branded parts.  For more information on IMR Inc., visit  link hidden, please login to view. The most recent Insights from IMR Inc. can be found  link hidden, please login to view. The post link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view. link hidden, please login to view
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