Around the Industry

Fast Change Teams Up for Soldiers

Gospel 107.9 WEMM and Fast Change Lube and Oil are again teaming up to bring some of the comforts of home to soldiers serving overseas through the third annual Fast Change Operation Soldier Care Outreach initiative.

Courtesy of Pam Hall, 62 boxes of goods for soldiers serving overseas were collected during Gospel 107.9 WEMM and Fast Change Lube and Oil’s 2016 Fast Change Operation Soldier Care Outreach. The goal for this year’s drive is 100 boxes. The drive concludes on September 9.

The drive, which runs June 17-September 9, aims to collect items soldiers need in their daily lives. Needed care items include: deodorant, lip balm, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, lens cleaning cloths, razors, individually packaged moist towelettes, foot powder, travel size facial tissues, small packages of cotton swabs, eye drops, aspirin, feminine hygiene items, athlete’s foot ointment, shaving cream or gel, sunscreen cloths; as well as select portable foods and miscellaneous personal items such as headsets, ear buds, batteries, word search and crossword puzzles, comic books, travel size games, hand and foot warmers, ink pens, etc.

Each of the 21 Fast Change Lube & Oil locations in Kentucky and West Virginia is a drop-off location for the drive. Additional drop-off locations include WEMM’s studios in Huntington, West Virginia.

WEMM will work in tandem with Military Missions in Lexington, Kentucky, to deliver the items to be processed and mailed directly to the soldiers. The 2016 drive yielded 62 boxes of goods, and this year’s goal is 100 boxes.


Mighty Auto Parts Franchises Acquired by Lube-Tech & Partners, LLC

Mighty Distributing System recently announced the acquisition of three Mighty Auto Parts distribution franchises by Lube-Tech & Partners, LLC. Lube-Tech now has an exclusive license to distribute Mighty automotive products throughout parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“The executive management teams at Lube-Tech and Mighty are committed to growth and worked together during the multi-year due diligence process to ensure the partnership is positioned for success,” said Ken Voelker, Mighty’s president and CEO. “We are excited about the significant opportunities this alliance will bring in the upper Midwest.”

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lube-Tech & Partners distributes lubricants and chemicals to commercial, automotive and industrial customers. Committed to providing solutions to improve performance and bottom-line through consultative support and automotive products, Lube-Tech automotive customers will now have access to Mighty’s signature inventory management services and full range of preventive maintenance products including filtration, wipers, lighting products, batteries, brakes, belts, shop supplies and chemicals.

“The Mighty partnership expands the offering of products and services we bring to our customers,” said Dave Stascavage, Lube-Tech & Partners president. “Mighty allows us to increase customer value by helping customers become more profitable and proficient as providers of automotive maintenance services. In addition to offering high-quality preventive maintenance products, we will be able to help customers realize cost savings through improved inventory management.”


Pronto Awards Six Auto Service Center Scholarships

National Pronto Association recently awarded six Auto Service Center scholarships. The following students will receive scholarships for the 2017-18 school year: Rebekah Bishop of Benton, Tennessee; Anna Christians of Sheldon, Iowa; Marcus Ripley of Spring, Texas; Alannah Schwartz of Santa Cruz, California; Jerod Sneed of Abilene, Texas; and Lauren Winefsky of El Mirage, Arizona.

The annual Pronto scholarship program is funded by National Pronto Association and its warehouse distributor members and is administered by the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. Sons, daughters and employees of any active Pronto Auto Service Center currently purchasing from a Pronto member are eligible for consideration. Candidates must be attending a two- or four-year accredited college, an ASE/NASTEF certified post-secondary automotive/heavy duty/collision technician training program or any licensed and accredited vocational school.

“We are honored to present scholarships to these very deserving students,” said Bill Maggs, president and CEO of National Pronto Association. “Pronto is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to our members’ employees and families. These scholarships demonstrate our commitment to help educate, prepare and support the next generation of the Pronto family.”

To apply for future scholarship opportunities, visit: www.automotivescholarships.com Each application will be considered for every scholarship where the application meets the qualifications.


ITW Global Brands Opens New Car Care Headquarters in Houston

ITW Global Brands recently opened a new global headquarters housing the entire car care division at Park Ten Center in Houston’s Energy Corridor. The 25,000-square foot modern industrial space offers ample room for expansion beyond the 70 employees who are now based there.

“I am excited that our Houston team is under one roof after three years of searching for a space that was thoughtfully designed and large enough to foster our future growth,” said James Stone, vice president and general manger for ITW Global Brands. “We look forward to welcoming employees and their families to celebrate this new space and what it means for ITW’s continued growth.”

Based in Houston, ITW Global Brands products are sold around the globe. Well known for such products as Gumout fuel system cleaners and Black Magic wheel and tire cleaners, ITWGB’s lead brand is Rain-X.


Former Mechanic Alleges He is Owed Unpaid Wages

A Florida man alleges that he was not paid the minimum wage.

Philip Baker filed a complaint on May 17 in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Orange County against Cynbob LLC, doing business as Meineke Car Care Center No. 1859, alleging violation of the Florida Minimum Wage Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges he was employed by the defendant as a mechanic from 2015 to 2016. The plaintiff holds Cynbob LLC responsible because the defendant allegedly denied plaintiff of his right to receive at least the minimum wage for every hour worked and failed to pay plaintiff overtime compensation.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment in his favor, unpaid wages, additional equal amount as liquidated damages, prejudgment interest and attorney’s fees and costs of action.


Putting the Brakes on Childhood Cancer

Big O Tires ran a special in-store promotion supporting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation — a non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for all childhood cancer.

This year’s campaign, themed “Put the Brakes on Childhood Cancer,” took place during the month of August at all Big O Tires locations. Throughout the month, customers had the opportunity to make an in-store donation in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand. To show its appreciation for the donation, Big O Tires gave each person who donated a Big O Tires discount card good for future services.

“For the past 11 years, Big O Tires has been a proud supporter of Alex’s Lemonade,” said Kim McBee, vice president of Marketing for Big O Tires. “It is our hope that this year’s initiative will assist with raising awareness for the foundation and funds for the cause.”

Throughout the partnership over the past 10 years, franchisees, customers and corporate associates have donated more than half a million dollars to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.


AAPEX Introduces Two New Areas for Technology Demos

AAPEX 2017 is increasing its focus on automotive technology with two new areas to keep you and your business ahead of the curve.

The new Mobility Park, located behind the Sands Expo Center in the LINQ parking lot, will spotlight today’s aftermarket technology with scan tool engine demonstrations, underhood training, a 3D print area and electric vehicles.

In the new Technology Intersection (Upper Level 2, Venetian Ballroom), exhibitors will have the opportunity to use virtual reality, simulators or other interactive interfaces to demonstrate the future — innovative automotive technology not currently available in the aftermarket.

The AAPEXedu also has new partners to address the opportunities and challenges of technology, while Let’s Tech presentations will give you the scoop on the latest mobile apps and technology-related products. A new Service Professionals Summit will provide even more focus on technology, as a panel of industry experts discuss the impact on auto repair shops. AAPEX 2017 will take place Tuesday, October 31, through Thursday, November 2, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. The online attendee registration fee is only $40 (US) from now through Friday, October 13. To register, visit: www.aapexshow.com/adv

AAPEX 2017 is expected to feature 2,200 exhibiting companies and 44,000 targeted buyers. Approximately 158,000 automotive aftermarket professionals from more than 140 countries are projected to be in Las Vegas during AAPEX and the SEMA Show.

AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and is co-owned by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). For more information, visit the AAPEX website, www.aapexshow.com, or email: info@aapexshow.com On social media, follow #AAPEX17 to stay-up-to-date on this year’s event.