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INDUSTRY NEWS


Finding and keeping quality service technicians
Tire Review
Over the past several years, Darrell Rowe has been actively involved in several aftermarket associations where the topic of technician shortages has been discussed. Depending on the association, I have heard that we’re down anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 quality technicians — a number that appears to grow each year, fueled by events such as position changes, retirement and individuals exiting the industry all together. Whatever the number, it is further compounded by the fact that fewer individuals are choosing a career in automotive service industry.
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Repair shops strive to stay head of the pace
Automotive News
The average light vehicle on America's roads is 11 years old. That's good news for auto repair and body shop owners, who thrive on fixing old vehicles. The bad news is that insurance companies are increasingly savvy at reducing payments for repair work. Shops say insurers are steering them to aftermarket parts from China and other low-cost countries, which some say are inferior to factory-approved parts.
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Annual cost to own and operate a vehicle falls to $8,698
BodyShop Business
Due to declines in gas prices and finance charges, the annual cost to own and operate a vehicle has fallen to $8,698, a nearly 2 percent drop from last year, according to AAA’s "2015 Your Driving Costs" study. This research examines the cost of fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license and registration fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges associated with driving a typical sedan 15,000 miles annually. In the United States, a driver can expect to spend 58 cents for each mile driven, nearly $725 per month, to cover the fixed and variable costs associated with owning and operating a car in 2015.
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Auto safety regulator pledges to get tough on slow-moving recalls
The New York Times
In the sharpest comments of his young tenure as the nation’s top auto safety regulator, Mark R. Rosekind promised April 28 to take aggressive action on vehicle recalls that move too slowly and continue to endanger lives. Rosekind, who took over as administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in December, took particular aim at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, saying that its efforts to fix more than a million Jeep sport utility vehicles with potentially dangerous gas tanks had fallen far short of expectations.
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Setting goals the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. way
By D. Albert Brannen
Since the early 1980s, management consultants have used an acronym, S.M.A.R.T., to guide people through effective, objective goal-setting. That easy acronym is still one of the most popular frameworks for performance management in the workplace — or in any other goal-setting for that matter. Over time, this acronym has been tweaked and expanded. One variation is to make goals S.M.A.R.T.E.R., which indicates that goal-setting is an ongoing, continuous improvement process.
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Tire shop burns in southwest Houston
Houston Chronicle
Portions of Highway 6 reopened after they were blocked for hours when a fire gutted a tire shop in southwest Houston April 30. The 2-alarm blaze broke out about 3:15 a.m. at Lucky Tires & Wheels at 1620 South Highway 6 near Briar Forest, according to the Houston Fire Department.
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Push to ban recalled rental cars renewed
The Hill
Lawmakers on May 1 renewed a push to ban car rental companies from distributing vehicles that have been recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A measure requiring rental companies to immediately pull recalled cars from their fleets was introduced in both the House and Senate. Previous incarnations of the bill have largely languished on Capitol Hill.
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How LED lights are transforming auto industry design
Greentech Efficiency
Automotive lighting is undergoing a quiet revolution, leading to new vehicle designs and providing enhanced nighttime safety. But while many of the innovations have become common in Europe and Asia, they have been slower to arrive in the United States. The changes are made possible primarily through the increased use of LED lamps, the same technology used in the newest generation of home lighting. LED lamps are smaller, run cooler and use less energy than standard automotive lamps.
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