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Meet The ‘Guess The Car’ Champ: Daniel Blaskie
In August of last year, NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.), Inc. announced the intention to change the company name. On its face, a name change may seem pretty straightforward, but for this iconic global ignition and sensor specialist, this rebranding brings a whole host of new opportunities.
The new name – Niterra North America, Inc. – which became effective on April 1, is a combination of the Latin words “Niteo,” for shine, and “Terra,” for planet Earth. The company said the new branding reflects its future vision and expanding portfolio of products and services.
According to Tracy Neil, corporate communications manager, the new logo features a yellow dot signifying a torch shining on the earth, while the green color, uniquely named, “Earth Green” is a depiction of what the earth looks like from space. “Together it conveys our message that we will continue to contribute to society and the environment in the future,” Neil explained.
While a new name and logo have been introduced in English, the Japanese language corporate name will not change, the company said. And, more importantly, the well-known NGK and NTK brand names and logos will still be utilized in the marketplace for spark plug- and ceramic-related products.
“It is an exciting time in the long and storied history of NGK Spark Plug, LTD.,” said Michael Schwab, president and CEO, in making the initial announcement. “We are becoming an increasingly progressive corporation as we strive to meet our vision for the future. A future where we expand our core ceramic technologies, explore capabilities beyond our traditional areas, and challenge ourselves to develop solutions and services that use technologies to resolve social issues while contributing to a sustainable society.”
That future includes quite a bit of change, explained Brian Norko, senior vice president – commercial business operations.
“What it boiled down to in the conversations that have been taking place for several years now, was what was going on with internal combustion engines,” said Norko. “At the time, Mr. Odo, Representative Director Chairman of the Board, made an announcement to all the NGK/NTK employees worldwide – which is around 16,000 employees – that NGK Spark Plugs will create and transform their business portfolio to deliver new value in the face of an ever-changing future. So, they worked on a name change. And, the name change was really [intended] for investors, as we have these meetings upstream in terms of mergers and acquisitions, and downstream in terms of platforms and technologies that get us closer to the customer.”
The name change also was intended to represent the numerous other opportunities the company is stepping into with the launch of the Niterra Group Venture Lab, which aims to nurture startups and develop competitive technologies in the mobility space as well as the medical and utilities segments – utilizing the company’s core competence in ceramic technologies as its foundation for growth.
“We want to do things with Niterra that meet large-scale global environmental changes, while addressing society’s issues and challenges through our products and technology to contribute to a sustainable society,” said Norko.
To that end, Niterra will do business under what Norko described as a “Four-Pillar Structure,” that will focus investment and business opportunities in Mobility, Energy, Communications and Healthcare.
“Niterra is focusing on four strategies that when people think of NGK Spark Plugs, they have no idea that we’re into medical. People think of sensors as ADAS. But right now, we’re working with a company in Japan to use our sensing technology for shrimp farming. Our sensors can track the water temperature, the pollutants in the water, when it needs fresh water, and when food is needed for the shrimp. Again, our sensing technology is what we do at our core, but people would never realize that we’re doing that outside of automotive, as well.”
Norko added that today roughly 20-30 percent of Niterra employees are working on new business, and he’s seeing their customers transitioning their employees to do the same – particularly the automakers with their increasing focus on EVs.
“I think it’s important to note that this reflects a turn beyond mobility, beyond just the automotive, OE and aftermarket space,” said David Varady, Sr., marketing manager, brand & creative, Aftermarket Division, who worked closely on the rebranding initiative. “This is really going to broaden the space that we can play in and represents our vast technological capabilities.”
Norko added that given Niterra’s history, strong customer relationships, extensive engineering capabilities and strong financial foundation, the company is in an excellent position to help some of these young startups that have great products and great technologies but perhaps not the other assets to get their products out to the OE and aftermarket sectors.
“Niterra has the ability to do that with our customer-facing engineering expertise, our manufacturing expertise, and the overall health of our company,” said Norko. “We’re already through the door and all this equity can be used to help bring them to market.”
Planting New Seeds
Like the old Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”
Niterra officially launched its new name and branding with a celebration aptly coinciding with Earth Month. At its Wixom, Michigan-based U.S. headquarters, the company hosted a celebration for employees that partnered with One Tree Planted, a nonprofit organization focused on global reforestation. As part of the festivities, each Niterra associate was given a tree kit to plant at home and a tree gifted in their name. An initial donation was also provided to a representative of One Tree Planted, contributing nearly 7,000 trees to the partnership. Additional fundraising and employee engagement activities will continue supporting One Tree Planted reforestation efforts throughout the year, including an associate tree planting event.
At the event, employees also were given Niterra-branded lunchboxes made entirely of recycled materials.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with One Tree Planted,” said Schwab. “Every organization needs to think about their effects on the planet and give back to the environment to ensure a sustainable future. Trees are vital to our environment, and this organization is making a tremendous environmental impact with their reforestation projects.”
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Free to share info about car light and accessories for vehicle
As we all know, long road trips can be exciting but also challenging, especially when it comes to staying comfortable and organized. Having the right car accessories can make all the difference. In this article, we will highlight the 5 must-have car accessories for a long trip that will make your journey more enjoyable and stress-free.
Portable Air Compressor One of the most important car accessories to have during a long trip is a portable air compressor. This is because tire pressure tends to fluctuate due to temperature changes and long hours on the road. A portable air compressor allows you to maintain the correct tire pressure, which not only ensures your safety but also improves fuel efficiency. Additionally, a portable air compressor can come in handy for inflating air mattresses or other items during your trip.
Seat Cushions Sitting for extended periods of time can cause discomfort and even pain. This is where seat cushions come in. They provide additional support and comfort for your back, hips, and legs, reducing the risk of back pain and fatigue. There are various types of seat cushions available, including memory foam, gel, and heated cushions. Choose the one that suits your needs and preferences to ensure maximum comfort during your long journey.
GPS Navigation System Getting lost on a long road trip can be frustrating and time-consuming. Having a GPS navigation system can prevent this from happening. Not only does it help you avoid getting lost, but it also provides real-time traffic updates and alternative routes, saving you time and hassle. In addition to the traditional GPS devices, you can also use GPS apps on your smartphone, which are often free and provide the same functionality.
Car Phone Mount A car phone mount is an essential accessory for any long trip. It allows you to keep your hands free while using your smartphone for navigation or entertainment. A car phone mount also keeps your phone in a secure and easy-to-reach position, making it convenient to take calls or change music without having to search for your phone. There are various types of car phone mounts available, including dashboard mounts, vent mounts, and suction cup mounts. Choose the one that fits your needs and preferences to ensure a safe and comfortable trip.
Travel Cooler A travel cooler is a great accessory to have during a long road trip, especially if you want to save money on food and drinks. It allows you to store food and beverages, keeping them cool and fresh for an extended period of time. You can also use it to store medications or other items that require refrigeration. There are various types of travel coolers available, including electric coolers, thermoelectric coolers, and ice-based coolers. Choose the one that suits your needs and preferences to ensure a hassle-free trip.
Long road trips can be tiring, but with the right car accessories, you can make the journey more comfortable and enjoyable. From a portable air compressor to a travel cooler, the above-listed accessories are essential for any long trip. They provide comfort, convenience, and safety, allowing you to focus on the road and enjoy the ride. So, make sure to pack these 5 must-have car accessories before your next long journey, and you'll be sure to have a stress-free and enjoyable trip.
By Carib Auto Parts
At some point, every car owner will need to replace a part of their vehicle. Regarding buying or replacing auto parts, two main options are available:
OEM Car Parts Aftermarket Car Parts Both options have pros and cons, but what is the difference? In this blog, we’ll look closer at OEM Car Parts and Aftermarket Car Parts to help you decide which option is best for your vehicle.
What are OEM Car Parts?
What does OEM mean? OEM stands for “original equipment manufacturer.” OEM Parts are made by the same company that produced the original part of your vehicle. These parts are made to the exact specifications as the original ones, ensuring they fit and function as intended. One of the main benefits of using OEM parts is that they are often covered under warranty. You can usually replace the part for free if something goes wrong. OEM parts are also known for their high quality, as they are made to the same standards as the original parts.
What are Aftermarket Car Parts?
Aftermarket parts are parts that the original manufacturer does not make of a vehicle. Instead, they are produced by third-party manufacturers and sold as replacements for OEM parts. Aftermarket parts can include various products, including mechanical parts such as engines, brakes, and transmissions, and cosmetic parts such as body kits and spoilers. Aftermarket parts are often designed to be interchangeable with OEM parts, meaning they should fit and function just like the original part. However, there are some differences in quality and price between aftermarket and OEM parts. While aftermarket parts are often more affordable, they may need to meet the same quality standards as OEM parts. A broader range of options may be available for customization and upgrades. Vehicle owners should carefully consider their options when choosing between aftermarket and OEM parts and ensure they purchase from a reputable manufacturer that offers high-quality products.
What is the best Choice Between OEM and Aftermarket Parts?
There are a few factors to consider when choosing between OEM and aftermarket parts. The first is cost. OEM parts are often more expensive than aftermarket parts, but they also have the added assurance of quality and warranty protection. On the other hand, Aftermarket parts are generally less expensive, but it can be more difficult to determine the quality of the part.
If you are looking for a high-quality part covered under warranty, OEM parts may be the best choice. However, if you are on a low budget or need a more versatile part, aftermarket parts may be how you want to go. Ultimately, the most important thing is to research and choose a part that will fit and function as intended.
How Carib Auto Parts can help you source OEM and Aftermarket Car Parts?
link hidden, please login to view want to let you know that we help you source OEM and Aftermarket parts from Japan and the USA. We understand how frustrating it can be to search for the right parts, especially when unsure where to look or how much it will cost. That's why we offer a service that takes care of everything for you, including the cost of the part, the cost of shipping, and all applicable taxes and customs duties. When you come to us for your auto parts needs, we'll provide you with a fully landed price that includes all these costs. This way, you don't have to worry about surprise charges or fees. We have established relationships with reliable suppliers in Japan and the USA, which allows us to source high-quality parts at competitive prices. We can help you find what you want, whether you need OEM or aftermarket parts. We aim to make sourcing auto parts as easy and hassle-free as possible for our customers.
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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 February/March contest is the Chrysler Pacifica. The winner is Elissa Herbert, retail specialist/counter sales for NAPA Auto Parts in Ambler, Pennsylvania.
Now, let’s get to know the “Guess the Car” champion.
CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business?
EH: I started in the automotive industry as a technician when I was 14. I was working part-time in auto parts also. I probably started [full-time] in auto parts when I was in my early 20s.
CM: What do you like most about your job?
EH: I like to help people – especially women who come in and don’t know anything [about cars]. I’m like, “Listen, I got you.”
It’s kind of scary coming into these places, because they’re all full of guys. When [women] see me, they’re a little relieved, like, “Oh I can talk to you.”
CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you?
EH: Once I had a customer call me for a set of brake pads: one rotor and one caliper. I had to get the caliper down from the very top shelf and it was quite heavy. When the customer came in to pick up his parts, he said he only needed the brakes and rotor, not the caliper. I jokingly gave him a hard time about how difficult it was to get down, and now I have to put it back. He asked me if he could make it up to me by taking me out to dinner! I accepted the offer and we dated for four years after that.
CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on?
EH: My first car was a 1986 [Camaro] Z28, and I loved that very much. And it was older than me, so I was trying to keep it running as long as I could.
CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun?
EH: I go hiking with my husband and daughter. We usually take our little 5-pound morkie, who likes to go for miles and miles.
CM: What’s your dream car?
EH: A Bugatti Veyron.
CM: Doesn’t matter what year?
EH: No, it’s just always been a Bugatti for me. I love them all.
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