Around the Industry

Virginia Shop Gives Free Oil Changes to Breast Cancer Survivors

For the second year in a row, Shenandoah Automotive gave away free oil changes in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

“My wife and I had a friend two years ago that got breast cancer, and just seeing what she went through, we decided to start with it last year,” Steven Faught, owner of Shenandoah Automotive in Harrisonburg, Virginia, told WHSV. “It’s not that an oil change is a big thing; it’s just something they don’t have to worry about anymore. And it’s just a small way we can give back to the community.”

This year, Shenandoah Automotive took it up a notch. They made t-shirts and included wiper blades, air filters and cabin filters as part of the giveaway.

Last year 13 people came for a free oil change, WHSV reported, and as of the middle of October, they’d already helped about 20 people.

“It means a lot just to know that people care,” Anne Simmons, a breast cancer survivor who took advantage of the promotion, told WHSV. “It’s amazing and wonderful, and I think it’s terrific that he does it every year.”

Shenandoah’s technicians enjoy the event as well.

“It feels great that we’re actually helping people out, survivors and people that are going through what they’re going through right now,” technician Edgar Quezada told WHSV.


Car Care Council Creates “Your Vehicle’s Warranty” Video

A new video produced by the Car Care Council in conjunction with AutoNetTV (ANTV) Media focuses on consumers’ rights to have their vehicles serviced at any automotive service and repair business they choose without affecting the warranty.

“It’s a common misconception that only car dealers can perform the routine maintenance and repairs on a newer vehicle that is under warranty,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “This new video outlines the truth about vehicle warranties and assures consumers that they can have routine repairs performed by their local independent repair shop or do the work themselves without affecting the warranty.”

The video explains that it is the law that independent repair shops can provide services to maintain new car warranties and that consumers are protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, which prohibits a manufacturer from voiding the vehicle warranty because service was performed by a non-dealer.

The new “Your Warranty Explained” video can be viewed on the Car Care Council’s YouTube channel — at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOEPUtebyE8 — and is available in the ANTV digital management system for use by repair shops to share with their customers.


Midas Launches Project Spark

In an effort to make life a touch better for many, Midas recently announced the launch of Project Spark, a national initiative to help families, veterans and first responders get back on the road.

Through Project Spark, Midas will provide repairs, including parts and labor, for vehicles donated through 1-800-Charity Cars. This nationwide initiative will help more than 1,000 people in Midas communities across the country.

“Project Spark was created to honor Midas’ heritage of being a good neighbor and to always be a touch better,” said Brian LePorin, vice president of Marketing at Midas. “By providing necessary repairs, such as a set of new tires, an inspection or an oil change on donated vehicles, Project Spark lets Midas help others by doing what it does best: fix cars.”

Transportation can be a significant barrier to gaining and maintaining employment. In fact, more than 10 million American households do not have a car and 45 percent lack access to public transit, making them less likely to find and keep jobs.

“In the end, we believe this program can be the key to removing barriers and getting folks back on the road,” LePorin said.

Project Spark launched first at the Midas located at 64 W Germantown Pike in Philadelphia.

“I am honored to represent locally owned and operated Midas owners for the launch of Project Spark,” said Brian Beers, Midas Germantown Pike store owner. “Repairing these vehicles and handing over the keys to those in need gave me and my team a tremendous sense of pride and hope for this initiative and the impact it may have on the lives of the recipients.”

Vehicles were donated to people including:

  • Jasmine W.: Jasmine is single mother  of four beautiful, young children. She gets up at 5 a.m. to get three kids ready for school and works two jobs. She spends 4-5 hours taking three buses a day and stretches to make ends meet. She wants to provide a better life for her kids. Jasmine received a 2011 Ford Escape along with new car/booster seats.
  • Dorsey S.: Dorsey is a husband and father of two teenagers who are actively involved at school. After losing his job a few years ago, the family got behind on bills and became homeless. To make matters worse, their car broke down and was too costly to repair, leaving the family dependent on friends, family and public transportation. Throughout it all, Dorsey and his family stuck together. Today, Dorsey has a job and is building a future with his family. Dorsey received a 2008 Buick Lucerne with plenty of trunk space for his kids’ sports equipment.
  • Tim S.: Tim is a Marine Corps veteran whose brother was killed in the line of duty as a state trooper. For the past 14 years, he has selflessly dedicated his time to bring awareness and fund raise for families of fallen officers. Tim and his family lost everything in a house fire and are trying to get back on their feet. Tim received a repaired 2007 Honda Accord along with new car seats.

Project Spark will surprise working families, veterans and first responders in additional markets including Detroit, Minneapolis and Greenwich throughout 2019. Individuals who would like to help or learn more about Project Spark can visit: midas.com/projectspark


SUV Smashes Into Building, Clips Tech

An employee suffered minor injuries when a customer’s car at Prompto in Auburn, Maine, struck the worker before crashing into a wall, causing structural damage, the “Press Herald” reported.

Marc Bureau, manager of Prompto told Press Herald the driver of the Mitsubishi SUV had entered the center bay and was told to stop when his foot apparently slipped off the brake pedal onto the gas. The vehicle leaped forward, smashing into the left side of the opening for the garage bay door exit, the newspaper reported.

A worker, who had been in the path of the vehicle, jumped to the side, Bureau told the Press Herald.

“He made it over the (oil change pit) and then tried to avoid my employee and took the wall instead of the employee,” Bureau told the Press Herald. “I’m OK with that.”

The impact pushed out a supporting wall, opening up stress cracks in the masonry elsewhere on the building, the Press Herald reported.


Chevron Contributes for Hurricane Relief

Chevron USA Inc. recently announced a contribution of $500,000 from the Chevron Global Community Fund to assist with efforts to recover from the damage done by Hurricane Michael.

“Hurricane Michael has taken a devastating toll,” said Dale Walsh, president of Chevron Americas Products. “The communities will come back stronger than ever, but in the meantime, there are families who are struggling. We are making this donation to help get these families the immediate assistance they need as they put their lives back together.”

The $500,000 donation will be evenly split between the American Red Cross and Volunteer Florida, Florida’s lead agency for volunteers and donations before, during and after disasters. Chevron will also match any qualifying donations made to the relief efforts by its employees and retirees.


Grease Monkey Announces CRM Contest Winners

Grease Monkey International, part of the FullSpeed Automotive family of brands, recently announced the winners of its first ever CRM Creative Challenge contest. The goal of the contest was to inspire in-house and vendor partner creative teams to develop more compelling customer relationship marketing communications for Grease Monkey’s repeat customers. All the participating teams were briefed on new customer insights gained from previous research and directed to use standard promotional offers so that the creative message and design would be the only difference noticeable by the judges.

Artwork submissions were evaluated by Grease Monkey’s online Customer Advisory Panel managed by Research Results, Inc. The Customer Advisory Panel, made up of new and repeat Grease Monkey customers, judged artwork consisting of existing and new campaigns for both the direct mail and email channels. Each submission was judged for overall appeal and inspiring interest in visiting Grease Monkey again for their next service.

The overall winner, Bullseye Marketing, decisively won three out of the four categories with two new submissions. The third win came from an existing campaign, which beat out the new submissions. The winning entries capitalized on three areas: personalization, attention-getting graphics and simple/straightforward layouts.

Long-time partner Classicplus, parent brand of Throttle, won the important fourth category, which represents a new type of communication designed to stay connected and relevant to customers between their service intervals visits.

This contest not only demonstrates Grease Monkey’s laser-like focus on the customer, but also recognizes the tremendous value of collaborative efforts with its vendor partners Throttle and Bullseye Marketing.


New Lubricant Partner for Honda Performance Development Champions Racing Program

Phillips 66 is now the official technology partner and official lubricant partner of the Honda Performance Development racing program, supporting teams such as Hart.

Phillips 66 Lubricants and Honda Performance Development (HPD) announce a new sponsorship supporting Honda’s commercial racing activities, including the F3 and F4 open wheel programs and the opportunity to participate in the development of future customer racing engine programs. The sponsorship includes supporting driver development programs to reward top drivers in multiple racing series with awards to help them pursue their racing dreams.

As the Official Lubricant Sponsor of HPD’s Commercial Motorsports Champions program, Phillips 66 Lubricants will collaborate with HPD to develop and recommend lubricants that provide superior performance in demanding racing applications in its commercial motorsports products.

“As Honda Performance Development continues to develop high-performance engines for grassroots motorsports racing, we sought a lubricants partner with similar priorities that reflect our commitment to cost-effective, reliable racing products as we seek to increase accessibility and opportunities to more racing enthusiasts,” said Honda Performance Development president Art St. Cyr. “This sponsorship with Phillips 66 Lubricants will allow us to expand opportunities for racers to stay with Honda as they progress through their path toward the higher levels of motorsport.”

“Phillips 66 Lubricants has been formulating high-quality motorsport lubricants for 88 years and has a proven track record in research and development of new lubricants to meet the evolving and unique demands of modern engines,” said Dirk Macfarlane, Phillips 66 manager, Finished Lubricants. “Honda’s excellent reputation for durable engines and high-performance make them an excellent collaborator for our lubricants.”

HPD’s Commercial Motorsports group is responsible for selling and supporting engines that further the dreams of aspiring racers in vehicles from kid-friendly Quarter Midgets to the potent open-wheel F4 and F3 driver development series.

The sponsorship runs through 2020 and extends the preferred lubricants supplier relationship between Phillips 66 Lubricants and American Honda Motor Co., providing lubricants for service of Honda engines.