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Feb 11 - Feb 14, 2010

It’s NADA Time Again! Hotel & Convention Information Pages 2-3 & Pages 6&7

Also In This Issue


September 2009

Mopar Masters to Hold Election of Officers at NADA 2010 in Orlando Page 5 Mopar Masters Guild Heads to The Motor City There is still time to register!

Page 8

Never Attended a Mopar Masters Guild Meeting Mopar®'s Allen Johnson Triumphs in Denver MMG Executive Committee Meets With Mopar Reynolds & Reynolds MMG Supporting Vendors ADP OEConnection CollisionLink Can You Explain This to Me? Change Fiat Offers Unique Powertrain Designs Honda Mandates OEM Parts on Lease Vehicles ABAC Spearheads National Unification The Guild Motto California Anti-Steering Laws Assaulted MMG Guild Committees

Page 4 Page 9 Page 10 Page 13 Page 14-15 Page 16-19 Page 20-21 Page 22-23 Page 23 Page 24-25 Page 25 Page 26-27 Page 27 Page 28-29 Page 30

Mopar Masters Guild Magazine

September 2009

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NADA 2010  February 11‐14                     

Feb 11 - Feb 14, 2010

NADA and the MMG meeting dates:    Thursday February 11th – Sunday February 14th , 2010 

If you plan on visiting the NADA Convention FLOOR  YOU MUST REGISTER ON YOUR OWN!   The CONVENTION REGISTRATION FORM is on Page 3 of this issue.    Fill it out and fax it or mail it as per the instructions of Step #5  THE “EARLY BIRD” RATE EXPIRES 9/18/09   


HOTEL INFORMATION  Our Hotel for NADA 2010 in Orlando is the Buena Vista Suites.  Rooms run $159 per night and  require a $150 deposit. The deposit due date will be announced after the Detroit Meeting!   


Mopar Masters Guild Magazine

September 2009

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Mopar Masters Guild Magazine

September 2009

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Never Attended a Mopar Master's Guild Meeting? The annual meeting is of great value to every MMG member. Here are some of the benefits: Presentations from top Mopar corporate managers These are no-bull two-way information exchanges that allow you to plan for what’s coming during the year. You will also likely get a chance to talk informally with these same top managers at the opening reception or another of the guild’s social functions.

Presentations from the guild’s supporting vendors All of the most important vendors to your dealership will have their top brass and technical gurus here to tell you what’s in the pipeline, including new products and software modifications.

Learn what the top Mopar dealership parts managers are doing You’re one of the top, too, or you wouldn’t be a member! Come and share your experience.

Input to the annual Detroit meeting with Mopar Executives Want to put your two cents in? Members assemble a list of “Detroit issues” that the guild executive committee takes to Detroit for candid discussion. Mopar execs ask us our opinion of possible new programs and explain their business positions. These discussions have resulted in many positive changes for all dealers. They also give Mopar a better understanding of our needs.

The NADA convention floor alone is worth the trip! Mopar has a big exhibit with all the right people and info. Check out all the other vendor exhibits; maybe buy some new equipment for the store!

NADA’s educational seminars are presented by the top names in all dealership areas and cover a wide variety of useful topics. You also receive a binder with notes from all sessions, including those of you could not attend.

Good food and friendship awaits. Most likely someone you already know will be attending, and, with the wide variety of activities available, it’s even more likely you will strike up a friendly relationship with someone you meet. The guild has made it possible for all Mopar Masters to enjoy these benefits, which actually amount to a competitive advantage for your business. What do you need to bring with you? Just a willingness to participate and share your knowledge and perspective. If you are a Mopar Master, you have something to offer the guild. Sometimes the simplest idea, the one you were even a little embarrassed to mention, is just what another member needed to hear.

Mopar Masters Guild Magazine

September 2009

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Mopar Masters Guild to hold Election of Officers at NADA 2010 Every two years there is an Election of Officers for the guild. Any Mopar Masters Guild member can run for office. If you wish to nominate any member for office please make sure that the person which you are nominating is willing to run and accept that position if elected. After the election, there is a transition period in which the newly elected President is brought up to speed on current affairs. Typically the outgoing President will announce the transition of power. It is always nice to see different members run for office. The Mopar Masters Guild is based on “the sharing of information and the power of knowledge”. So, MAKE A DIFFERENCE and get involved in YOUR Mopar Masters Guild! Mopar Masters Guild Past Presidents 1992-1994

Chuck Hartle’ Founder and 1st President


Ernie Wennerstrom


Gerry Oakes


Paul Allred


Rick Monteiro


Alan Yancey


Marvin Windham


Gerry Oakes


Mike Gerber/Brent Hoge

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September 2009

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NADA 2010

February 11‐14  Feb 11 - Feb 14, 2010

Our Hotel for NADA 2010 in Orlando is  

Buena Vista Suites

Mopar Masters Guild - NADA 2010 Itinerary Tentative as of 9/01/09 Thursday, February 11th Travel and arrive in Orlando 7:30 PM

Executive Committee Meeting & Dinner

Friday, February 12th 7:00am - 10:45am

11:00am - 12:00

Mopar Masters Guild Business/Committee Reports Opening address by Guild President Brent Hoge Treasurers Report from Steve Hofer Secretary’s reading of the minutes from Mike Mulkins Mopar Masters Guild Business & Discussion Vendor Presentation - TBA

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Lunch -

1:00pm - 2:00pm 2:00pm - 3:00pm 3:00pm - 4:00pm 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Vendor Presentation - TBA Vendor Presentation - TBA Vendor Presentation - TBA Vendor Presentation - TBA

5:00 pm


7:00pm - ????

MMG Cocktail Reception (Location TBA) Dress-Business Casual (Continued on page 7)

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(Continued from page 6)

Saturday, February 13th 7:00am - 9:30am

MMG Discussion Topics


Vendor Presentations: TBA

12:00 - 1:00pm



Mopar Executives & Portfolio Managers




Open Night: Explore Orlando

Sunday, February 14th NADA Convention being held at The Orange County Convention Center and is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Information on Convention Transportation will be provided when you arrive There will be no Super Performance Group Meeting   If you wish to stay on Sunday night you must make   your own accommodations!   

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September 2009

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Mopar Masters Guild heads to the Motor City By Ole Olson, MMG Performance Group Coordinator All of you are aware by now that Chrysler dropped the training requirement of Performance Groups. MMG was not going to hold a meeting this fall as we have in the past. That was before: Double digit declines in new car sales, Double digit unemployment, Chrysler bankruptcy, Closing of 789 Chrysler dealerships, Changes in Dealer Rewards… get the picture. By popular request a meeting has been scheduled for Mopar Masters Guild members in Detroit for September 17 & 18, 2009. Let’s make the most of this opportunity to meet with Mopar Policy makers at a critical time for our industry and our dealerships. This is YOUR chance to be heard on the future of Mopar Parts. We are hoping for at least 30 dealerships to be represented. This is not intended to be a complaint session. We expect creative 2-way discussion with Mopar and development of action items for our Parts Departments. THERE WILL NOT BE A SIGN-UP ON DEALER CONNECT FOR THIS!! I need a commitment from those that will attend ASAP. Please respond by August 25 so we can plan food and meeting space. You will NOT be charged the customary $250 meeting fee. Your Mopar Masters Guild dues at work. We will be staying at the Marriott/Auburn Hills at Centerpoint ( This hotel is about 4 miles from Chrysler World Headquarters. We have a block of 30 rooms held under Mopar Masters Guild. Room rates are a VERY reasonable $99/night. The hotel will extend this price for up to 3 days before or after the 16th & 17th. Contact the hotel directly at 888-236-2427 to make your reservation. The rooms will only be held until SEPTEMBER 9. As always, spouses are welcome to join us on the trip. Several wives are already planning a shopping excursion to downtown Detroit’s Renaissance area. Thursday, September 17, we have been invited to be Mopar’s guests at Chrysler World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI. We will meet with Jim Sassorossi and all the Senior Mopar Managers. This will also give us a chance to meet Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO, Mopar Parts and Service. Tentative topics for discussion are as follows: • Changes Dealer Rewards – new Performance Grids and VIO • The potential return of EOS/Truckload and effects on ARO • National Installer program changes • Collision Conquest into the future • Mopar’s expectations of us as dealerships/parts departments in the future If you have other general topics you would like to see discussed, please forward them to me at Some type of evening function for Thursday is currently being discussed. Friday, September 18, we will meet as a Guild at our hotel to discuss Mopar’s changes and bring together thoughts of how to remain profitable into the future. Continental breakfast, snacks, and buffet lunch on Friday will be courtesy of the Guild. Again, your Guild membership dues at work! For those that choose to stay longer, Gerry Oakes is organizing a golf outing for Saturday morning. Contact Gerry ASAP at if you are interested. Again, please respond ASAP to me ( if you plan to attend. Please include: Name, dealership name, phone number, and spouse’s name (if attending). This hotel does NOT have a shuttle service. Please send me flight info (airline, flight #, and arrival & departure times) when you have it so that we can try to coordinate rental vehicles. We still have room for you at our Masters Guild meeting in Detroit September 17 & 18. We currently have 30 Masters members signed up. I know money is tight, but this is your chance to speak up on the future of Mopar Parts. We will be meeting with everyone from the CEO on down. Then we’ll have a day to discuss and plan ourselves. A reminder to all: If you haven’t booked your room – the block goes off on September 9. Book your room now!

Mopar Masters Guild Magazine

September 2009

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King of the Mountain: Mopar®'s Allen Johnson Triumphs at 30th Annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals Team Mopar® driver Allen Johnson drove to his seventh career victory and second of 2009, beating Jason Line in the final round of eliminations at the 30th Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway on Sunday, July 12. Johnson scored his second win in three years at the headline event for his primary sponsor Mopar. The performance also marked Johnson's third straight appearance in the finals of the Mopar Mile-Highs. Starting from the No. 2 spot, Johnson dueled with Mopar-powered compatriot Danny Gruninger in the first round. Johnson overcame Gruninger's blistering .006 reaction time off the starting line (.000 is perfect) with a 6.998/196.64 run in his Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T to capture the round win—the 175th of his career. Johnson next bested his J&J Racing partner, Johnny Gray, in the quarterfinals, recording the quickest run of the round with a pass of 7.008/196.64 to the HEMI®-powered Gray's 7.045/195.36 run. Johnson drew his third straight Mopar vs. Mopar pairing in the semis, facing 22-year-old Mopar-fueled driver Rickie Jones. A.J. edged out the budding Pro Stock star, posting a 6.989/196.79 run to Jones' 7.104/195.14. The finals saw Johnson square off against Line in a rematch of the Gainesville final earlier in the year, as skies darkened and the track temperature cooled. This time it was Johnson seizing the holeshot win, with a reaction time of .029 paired with a run of 7.004/195.87 to Line's slower .050 start and 7.001/195.76 mark. "First round, I had the worst case of butterflies I think I've ever had in my life," said Johnson. "In the second round I was a little less [nervous], and in the semis I really settled down and said, ‘We've got the combination.' We test here, we test our butts off for Mother Mopar, so we can come up here and do well. It feels so awesome to come up here, develop a plan, work at it and succeed at it. We just found a combination that works, and we stuck with it and got better at it. It looks like Mike [Edwards] sort of found it this year, too. We were probably lucky he got beat early, because he would have been a very, very tough opponent in the finals. All that hard work in testing, it's just worth it. This venue is so different. You've got to really test here a lot." "It's awesome for me to be able to do my job," said Johnson. "To be driving well again and to get it on a holeshot feels very, very good. This was huge, bringing this home for all the folks from Mopar who came out to Denver to support us. It's always special to win your sponsor's race. I love Denver. We've got a combination here that's really hard to beat." Next up for Johnson and the Mopar/J&J Racing squad is the second leg of the NHRA Western Swing, the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Wash., July 17–19.

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Mopar Masters Executive Committee Meet With Mopar at Mile High Nationals Once again, the MMG executive committee turned out in Denver, Colorado to meet with a large contingent of Mopar executives, and enjoy some golf & NHRA drag racing as well. These meetings usually end up quite productive, as we are in a period where the cooperation and communication between Mopar and the dealer body has become critical to insure profitability for both. Heading up the MMG side of things were Marvin Windham, Gerry Oakes, Rick Monteiro, Alan Yancey, Mike Gerber, Steve Hofer and Paul Allred.

Pictured L-R: Jim Sassorossi, Global Parts Sales & Marketing Mopar Parts, Gerry Oakes, Mike Gerber, Steve Hofer, Marvin Windham, Team Mopar Racing’s Allen Johnson, Alan Yancey, Rick Monteiro and Paul Allred.

While the enjoyment of racing and planned events was great, we would like to provide the more important business portion of our trip. Mopar Masters Meeting July, 2009 Key Topics Presented (Continued on page 11)

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September 2009

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(Continued from page 10)

Wholesale Mechanical 1. National Installer Program – Mopar implemented changes to the National Installer program effective July 1, 2009. The entry of claims has been automated to facilitate ease of doing business. Dealers are required to set up their dealer business systems to enable claims to be created using dealer outbound sales transactions. Dealers can still enter the claims manually if they are having difficulty with this process. Also, the payment reimbursement process changed from 25% to 20% for the 3 rd quarter. In order to continue to receive reimbursement of 20%, dealers must sell $25,000 per quarter. Dealers falling below this level will be compensated 15% beginning in the 4th quarter. For more information visit Programs/National Installer 2.

Top selling part numbers on the program include: Top 25 National Installer Parts Purchased

Ran k 1 2

Part Number 04721995A A 05140429A A

Part Description ROTOR SOLENOID







5 6 7 8

04766250A N 68029887A A 68053152A A 04792630A A










SENSOR Tire Pressure


04721677A A




Heater Supply Tube


04668364A D









04792956A A




SENSOR Tire Pressure




20 21

04891416A D 04891386A D

Leak Detection PUMP CANISTER





55363287A D




Inner Tie Rod PACKAGE




M YI 200 8 198 9 200 8 200 5 200 5 200 8 200 8 200 1 199 7 199 8 200 5 200 8 200 1 200 0 199 9 199 6 199 8

MY O 201 0 201 0 201 0 200 8 200 8 201 0 201 0 200 6 201 0 201 0 201 0 201 0 200 5 200 6 200 7 200 3 200 4

200 5

201 0

200 3 199 6 200 2 200 0 199 9 200 4 200 3

201 1 200 3 200 6 200 6 200 5 201 0 201 0



604 1 135 9 179 7 129 7

$246,427.0 5 $172,056.9 9

304 116 3








611 120 4










$96,741.72 $83,643.25







Vehicle Family Caravan, Town & Country, Journey Caravan, Town & Country, Journey Caravan, Town & Country, Journey Caravan, Town & Country Caravan, Town & Country Caravan, Town & Country, Journey Caravan, Town & Country, Journey Sebring Stratus Caravan, Town & Country, Liberty, Sebring Stratus Neon… Magnum, 300C, Charger, Intrepid, Concorde, 300M Pacifica, Sebring, Stratus, Avenger,Compass, Patriot, Caliber, PT, Caravan, Town & Country Caravan, Town & Country Caravan, Town & Country Neon Grand Cherokee, Liberty Grand Cherokee, Caravan, Town & Country Intrepid, 300M, Concorde, LHS Journey, Sebring, Avenger, Caravan, Town & Country, Caliber, Compass, Patriot, 300C, Magnum, Charger









Sebring Stratus Intrepid Concorde 300m



PT Cruiser



Grand Cherokee



300C, Charger Magnum,



Ram Truck

Ram Truck Caravan, Town & Country, Liberty, Ram Truck

(Continued on page 12)

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(Continued from page 11)


Mopar is evaluating implementing a Wholesale Mechanical program. Dealer’s would be required to sign up for the program and meet minimum requirements including: a. Outside wholesale mechanical sales rep b. Conduct outside sales calls c. Dedicated truck and driver for mechanical business d. Dedicated inside mechanical sales rep e. Direct phone line into wholesale parts department f. High-speed internet access & ability to respond to email inquiries g. Dedicated wholesale fax h. Participation in installer survey and mystery shops i. Agreement to training and audits Collision Price Match 1. In order to continue to participate in Price Match the entire estimate, dealers must be enrolled in OEConnection’s Collision Link process 2. For those enrolled in OEConnection’s CollisionLink the claims process has been automated. 3. CollisionLink is 100% co-op through MoparOne funds for the 3rd quarter only. 4. Beginning October 1, only body shop claims processed through CollisionLink will be eligible for price match the entire estimate 5. Contact OEConnection to get enrolled. 6. The base program of matching hoods, fenders, fascias and lamps will continue.

ARO and 5300 Processes 1. ARO had shut off ordering on parts that are in short supply. As Mopar’s supply base begins to turn around, dealers should and have begun to see more parts being ordered on ARO. 2. ARO is increasing levels on parts where, based on dealer feedback, we have run into stock out conditions. These are parts that have a Best Stocking Level of 1 and generally sell 6 to 8 times per year. 3. To assist dealers in servicing new orphaned customers ARO may order additional breadth to service those customers in the marketplace. 4. Changes are coming to some of the ARO screens to assist in functionality of the product. These changes will be communicated and implementation date is set for August 20th.

Supply Chain Update During the time of bankruptcy, a large percentage of suppliers stopped shipping parts. Now that Mopar is out of bankruptcy, those suppliers are shipping again. However, due to lead times required it will take some time to get back to normal supply chain operations. Dealers should begin to experience greater parts availability over the course of the next few weeks.

The Mopar Masters Guild would like to thank Mopar for taking a portion of their valuable time to meet with our committee to discuss future changes within our everchanging industry.

Mopar Masters Guild Magazine

September 2009

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Factory Style Maintenance Menus for the ERA® DMS: Save Time Setting up and Maintaining Maintenance Repair Specs and Speed Up the Process of Quoting Maintenance Repairs to Customers How long did it take you to set up your current maintenance menus: hours, days, weeks, or even longer? What if updating your maintenance menus could take minutes, instead of days or weeks? With Reynolds and Reynolds Factory Style Maintenance Menus for ERA® Service Price Guides (SPG), there’s no longer a need to spend time doing the tedious task of adding up all of the pricing for parts kits to make sure your costs are covered. Factory Style Maintenance Menus do all of the calculations for you to make sure your parts charges on maintenance items match your pricing philosophy. This works by setting up pricing rules rather than tweaking individual parts line items. So, instead of taking hours to research and update your menus when a new model year comes or there’s a parts price increase, Factory Style Maintenance Menus will update your parts pricing based on your rules and without the extra work. What if you didn’t have to build parts kits for your maintenance operations? Reynolds Factory Style Maintenance Menus also will eliminate the task of building parts kits. Using menudriven operations that automatically include the necessary parts for a job is a quick and effective way to group together all of the parts associated with services required for a specific vehicle. Benefits of Using Factory Style Maintenance Menus: • Build trust with your customers through accurate maintenance estimates. • Show customers the value of the services to be performed by listing out each repair item included in a maintenance service instead of having just a one-line summary of the job. • Quote and close maintenance repair orders in seconds, not minutes. • Update maintenance menu specifications in minutes, not days. How Factory Style Maintenance Menus Work: • Identifies the exact maintenance operations required for a specific service on a specific vehicle. • Pulls the price from SPG so maintenance pricing is accurate to the penny right from start to finish. • Makes setup and updates simple with the option of automatic roll-up pricing. • Clearly lists all services required while differentiating between manufacturer-recommended and dealersuggested services. New Factory Style Maintenance Menus Features for 2009: • Good, Better, Best Menus – Tiered menus will add choices for your customers. • Menu Exceptions – Maintain literally thousands of variations of menus with just a few key clicks. • Menu Mapping – Map the Factory Style Maintenance Menus to ERA operation codes, which makes using a menu as simple as adding an ERA operation on the repair order.

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September 2009

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Our Supporting Vendors Support those who support you

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Our Supporting Vendors Support those who support you

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Can You Explain This to Me? I Thought They Wanted My Business I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the level of customer service that surrounds me today. You would think that in a down economy companies would be doing everything they can to win the loyalty of their customers… think again. It’s amazing how many organizations believe the best way to grow the bottom line is by putting a choke hold on expenses. Calling this short term thinking would be generous. There’s little focus on keeping customers satisfied (growing top line revenues) because everyone is busy implementing half baked ideas on cutting costs (which ultimately drives customers away). Who hasn’t wrestled with automated customer service systems that really aren’t automated? You enter your account number to ensure “proper service” but then you’re asked for the same information three more times before you’re able to conduct business. These companies have decided that their time is more valuable than their customers’. This is nothing more than a bad decision that leaves crippled revenues in its wake. I’m also trying to figure out what happened to the concept of supporting what you sell. Last week I encountered some challenges with an expensive piece of graphics design software. Thankfully I had paid a premium for live technical support when I purchased the product. This seemed to be a good financial decision given how critical this software was to my office operations. After being routed to five different tech support numbers, I finally found myself talking to someone half way around the globe who was A) not fluent in English, B) not very experienced and C) not helpful. What are the odds that I’ll ever spend another dime with this company? And if you look at their latest financials – they’re tanking more than the industry average. Go figure! So what can you do to ensure that this epidemic doesn’t affect you? #1 Be better at marriage than you are at dating Everyone shows up with their “A game” whether they’re courting romance or new business. But too often sales people lose their enthusiasm and passion for the relationship once the deal is signed. It happens all the time. Does your realtor stay in touch with you throughout the year (or do you just get a holiday card)? What about the salesperson you worked with on your last vehicle purchase? Ever hear from them again? Houses and cars are two of the biggest personal purchases most of us make. How much effort would it take for these sales people to stay in touch and drop a simple note in the mail from time to time? Not much! Would you be more likely to do business with them again if they did? You bet! How good are you at staying in touch after the deal is signed? #2 Communicate, communicate, communicate Even with all of today’s modern technology, it’s become almost impossible to talk live with someone who cares. And your job as an account manager is to ensure that your customers know you care. Sure there’s a risk involved when you tell customers that you’re committed to their success. Many times you’ll walk away from those conversations with a punch list of things that need to get done. And that means (Continued on page 23)

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more work. But if you don’t step up and ensure that your customer is being cared for, who will? Are you willing to risk repeat business by having your customers rely on your automated phone support system, your website, or the call center far, far away in a distant land? I wouldn’t! #3 Do what you say you are going to do, or say nothing at all Make sure that you cover every check that your mouth writes. Don’t make empty promises, don’t play loose with the facts and please have the courage to say you don’t know the answer (versus just making something up). When your voicemail greeting says you’re away from the desk or just on the other line, I assume I’ll hear back from you shortly. After all, you just told me that you’re away from the desk or on the other line. But what if you’re traveling, or at a meeting or tied up at a conference? I’m probably not going to hear back from you “shortly” – so why wouldn’t you update your voicemail greeting every day? I realize it takes about 30 seconds, but I believe that is time well spent. Customers are experiencing uncertainty and fear as they look into the future. Their organizations are cutting headcount and budgets are being slashed. This is the worst possible moment for them to feel like they’ve been abandoned by you. Step up, show up, follow up and you’ll separate yourself from the herds that have stuck their heads in the sand waiting for this economy to blow over. Taking care of customers today means taking care of your business, and that’s a great reputation to have. Speaking of Sales is about finding, winning and keeping customers for life. Author Unknown - But Smart

Change One thing that someone told me many years ago about our business was, “The one constant thing about the parts business is change.” We never know what will come at us from one day to the next. Whether it is factory programs, a driver getting in an accident, an employee off sick, the dealer principal coming back from a 20 Group with “new ideas”, an inventory shortage and the list goes on and on. For many people change is not an easy thing to accept. Change is an emotional process. Most people are creatures of habit and resist change and welcome routine. Routine breeds complacency so change is the best way to keep people motivated. Making changes in your department is the easy part. But, as leaders it is our job to inspire and encourage our team to accept the changes. Change can be a fantastic gift that unlocks the doors to growth and excitement within your department. The most important aspect about change is that without it, your competition will pass you by. Leaders must inspire their team to get out of their comfort zones; assure them that even though they are on a new path, it is the right path, for the right reasons. When all this is in place, that team can become unstoppable. We must manage change, or it will manage us. This quote says it best… “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in their leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” - Anonymous “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge” Tuli Kupferburg – (who ever that is)  Submitted By: Dan Murphy – Santan Honda

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Fiat offers unique powertrain designs for the world market With its new alliance with Chrysler, the Fiat brand will create more awareness in the North American market in the near future. Italy’s largest automaker, established in 1899, will most likely be selling its small cars in a market it first entered in 1957 in the United States and 1958 in Canada, and departed from in the early 1980s. During its tenure in North America, Fiat actually had a relationship with Chrysler in Canada, and Chrysler dealers sold models such as the 600 and 1100. The Canadian relationship with Chrysler began in 1960 and ended in 1962, though Fiat cars were sold in both countries for more than two decades before the automaker decided to depart North America. The early small cars sold by Fiat were basic transportation units, though the 124 Spider Sports coupe became a popular model when introduced in 1967 in North America. While the Spider and other models were more technologically advanced, the years since Fiat’s departure from this market have allowed the auto and truck manufacturer to produce vehicles that offer international award-winning designs and powertrains that have received accolades for racing, marine, heavy-duty, and industrial applications. Fiat SpA is headquartered in Turin (Torino) and has almost 200,000 employees worldwide. Turin is also where Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) has its main design center that creates powertrain systems for cars, trucks, boats, industrial, and power-generation systems. FPT’s mission, according to its Web site, is “to be considered a leader in the powertrain environment through our integrated experience, our extremely wide product range, and customer-tailored essence.” FPT also said its mission is to be a reference point as far as technical innovation, respect for the environment, quality, and cost. In that vein, the Fiat Group has designed a plethora of systems that meet the needs of cars, trucks, buses, racers, marine applications, off-road equipment, and a variety of other specialized powertrain systems that include 2H Energy system for the telecom, military, and hospital fields. Fiat Group officials said FPT has an annual output of almost 3.1 million engines and 2.5 million transmissions and axles. It has 16 plants and 11 research centers in nine countries and some 20,000 employees. Power generation, Fiat officials said, include gasoline, diesel, CNG, Genset gas, and other systems. One of those systems designed in FPT’s Shanghai Research & Development Centre, is the F32 MNT engine that won the “Diesel of the Year 2008” award from European DIESEL magazine. A four-cylinder in-line diesel unit with two valves per cylinder, the F32 MNT engine offers total displacement of 3.2liters for output of up to 65kW (88-HP) at 2,500 RPM. The engine, along with others in a series that include sixcylinder powerplants, was designed from scratch, FPT officials said, and feature a front gear distribution system. Production of engines with Multiair technology has begun in the FPT Termoli plant. The new technology was presented in a world premiere at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Multiair is a new electro-hydraulic system of engine valves for dynamic and direct control of air and combustion, cylinder by cylinder and stroke by stroke, Fiat officials said. “Thanks to a direct control of the air through the intake engine valves with using throttle, Multiair helps reduce fuel consumption, and pollutant emission are likewise reduced through combustion control,” a FPT press release said. The benefits of Multiair include up to 10 percent more power, up to 15 percent low-RPM torque improvement, up to 10 percent fuel and CO2 reduction, up to 25 percent fuel savings on Turbo downsized version, 40 percent hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide reduction, and 60 percent NOx reduction. The first application of the engine, a Fire 1.4, will be on the Alfa Romeo Mi to be launched in September. Alfa, along with Maserati, Ferrari, and Lancia are stand-alone brands of the Fiat Group. On a larger product scale, FPT said it and Perkins Engines Co. Ltd. have agreed on a strategic partnership for a long-term supply of a new FPT 3.4-liter engine for off-road applications to be marketed worldwide. “The new engine version offers high-torque rise, excellent power performance, and low fuel consumption,” a FPT release said. “This is achieved thanks to a long-stroke design, a High Pressure Electronic Common Rail fuel injection system with a waste-gate turbocharged after-cooler, and engine control provided by a state-of-the-art electronic engine management system, ensuring the engine meets (Continued on page 25)

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Tier 4 Interim/Stage 111B emissions standards.” In the transmission field, Fiat holds several patents and continues to develop transmissions that meet the needs of a diverse market, company officials said. Most products are available in all-wheel-drive configuration and many offer robotized versions with a manual gearbox and the user-friendliness of an automatic transmission. One of FPT’s newest transmissions is a C635 dry dual-clutch manual design that had a production start in June. The six-speed, high-torque C635 will be offered on several models of midsize Fiats, Alfa Romeos, and Lancias. The new robotized transmission will significantly reduce fuel consumption, Fiat officials said. While there are no official announcements at this point of what Fiat models may be sold at Chrysler dealers in the future, it is likely that popular models such as the new Fiat 500C may be among those that would be sold in America. With fixed roof rails and a retractable top, the 500C is popular in Europe. It offers choices of power plants that include a 1.3-liter four cylinder Multijet Turbo Diesel mated with a five-speed manual transmission and creates 75 BHP (brake horse power). There are also gas engines available that can have manual transmission with an automatic clutch, as well as the Fiat’s new Start & Stop system that allows the engine to be shut off by placing the transmission into neutral and depressing the brake. The engine restarts when a gear is selected. Fiat continues to offer innovations for the racing market, a successful one for Fiat and its powertrains, as well as the pleasure and professional marine industry with advanced mechanical and electronic injection systems. For autos, trucks, buses, and other on-road systems, Fiat said future development of hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell, and other powertrain technology is ongoing. Reprinted from Collision Week (

HONDA MANDATES OEM PARTS ON LEASE VEHICLES Collision repair owners and insurance companies should take notice that American Honda has made the following information perfectly clear pertaining to what types of parts may be used in the collision repair of a customer’s Acura or Honda lease vehicle. The statement is listed in the Acura/ Honda Owner Link information on what to do in case of an accident. The statement reads as follows: If yours is an Acura/ Honda lease vehicle, your contract calls for the exclusive use of Acura/ Honda Genuine parts! That statement is crystal clear and should cause intelligent collision repair owners and insurance adjusters to think real hard before they write or install aftermarket parts on a customer’s leased Acura Or Honda. Think about it. What body shop owner that actually cares about repeat customer business would install after market parts on the lease vehicle, knowing that he just voided the lease contract that the customer signed with American Honda. The customer, when turning in the lease vehicle at the end of the contract may be faced with an unexpected collision repair bill that could cost several thousand dollars if Honda determines that Genuine Acura/Honda parts need to be installed back on the vehicle in order to satisfy the terms of the lease contract. Guess what? Who do you think that angry customer is going to blame for this shocking financial awakening? If you picked the collision repair owner that repaired the vehicle, you win the prize! What a great potential liability and customer relations nightmare you may have created just by installing aftermarket parts on an Acura/ Honda lease vehicle. The solution is fairly simple. Do the smart thing as a shop owner. Inform your customer on what their lease contract calls for. Have your customer take an active role with you and transfer the liability to the insurance adjuster and company responsible to pay the claim. Let them be the responsible parties to void a customer’s lease contract. Remember, providing factual and vital information to your customer, along with a quality repair usually bodes well for repeat business. Intelligent collision repair owners and insurance adjusters should act appropriately with the best interests of the customer in mind, or risk potential damaging results!

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ABAC Spearheads National Unification Just a few short months ago in April, the ABAC launched an unprecedented national campaign for the benefit of the entire collision repair industry. The ABAC Board of Directors, along with legal counsel, John Parese of Buckley & Wynne, have prepared a petition requesting the leaders of the industry in every state join us in a unified effort to correct the illegal practices of insurers. At the time of this article we are proud to inform our membership and the nation we have secured multiple signatures from 47 states and are confident we will attain the remaining 3 shortly. The initial release of the petition was given by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal while he addressed the crowd at the SCRS, (Society of Collision Repair Specialists) CIC (Collision Industry Conference) meeting in Hartford. Our thanks are extended to our A/G for stepping forward to assist the industry. He has pledged his aid presenting our petitions to United States Attorney General Eric Holder. The announcement of the petition drive was extremely well received by most in attendance and has created a resurgence of many associations' efforts to bring our issues forward as a unified industry throughout the nation. The basis of the petition has been presented to our Attorney General. The following is an excerpt from the letter to Connecticut A/G, "I am writing to alert you and the Unites States Department of Justice about an escalation in antitrust and anticompetitive behavior, as well as illegal tying arrangements, in the collision repair market. Similar to the AIG greed and abuse plaguing confidence in our financial markets, in the collision repair sector, we are seeing insurer greed and abuse destroy fair market competition and consumer rights and safety. In Connecticut, some insurers and repairers have actually joined forces to form a trade association. The association, Connecticut Collision Repair Specialists (CCRS) is actually comprised of repairers (primarily Direct Repair shops) and insurance representatives. A recent CCRS press release begins with the title: "Insurers and Repairers - Making the Connection". According to the press release, the meeting of repairers and insurance representatives included a discussion on the role the government should play in the "consolidation" of the repair industry. "Consolidation" in this context means the extinction of independent repair shops in exchange for insurer-controlled direct repair shops. The incentives are evident. Insurers save money by controlling repair costs and repair decisions: and, repairers who "play ball" earn big profits from the steady stream of business insurers steer to them. In consideration of the heavy reliance on third party payment and the long history of insurers to control repair costs in the collision repair market, it is simply incredible to think that an auto body trade group would outwardly unite with insurers. Outside of the obvious and inherent conflict of interest, the union of these repairers and insurers violates antitrust laws and is harmful to the motoring public. The next excerpt is from the letter to United States Department of Justice- "The Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) is a consumer trade group that has been fighting for many years to seek the enforcement of existing antitrust laws and anti-steering laws. In short, insurance companies in Connecticut and throughout the country have been implementing direct repair programs and repairers designed to foster faster and cheaper repairs. Insurers benefit from reduced expenses on collision repair claims and repairers who participate in the direct repair program benefit from an influx of repair work. Nonaffiliated or independent repair shop owners suffered greatly from the business that is (Continued on page 27)

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steered away from their facilities, and consumers ultimately suffer because repairs are not motivated by safety or workmanship, but by speed and cost. Indeed, many insurer direct repair contracts require use of used and after-market parts, which most auto manufacturers advise against. Under some circumstances, these types of repairs can void warranties or otherwise cause significant safety concerns to the consumer. I write to you pursuant to your jurisdiction under the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act as well as pursuant to the guidelines set forth by Robert F Kennedy in the 1963 Federal Consent Decree." The launch of the petition drive and the mention of the Consent Decree spread though the nation rapidly. Two well known national organizations quickly contacted the ABAC and offered their complete assistance in all aspects of our efforts. It is necessary at this time to give credit to the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) and for their unwavering commitment to bettering the collision repair industry. Their tenacity and resilience has prepared the way for our industry to remove insurer involvement from the repair process and stop the current illegal practices. Both organizations have been battling on the federal level for countless years with all the issues that we still are facing today. The ABAC has been coordinating with both organizations to be best prepared to represent our concerns with the Justice Department. In addition, a third ally has stepped forward to join forces to bring our industry's issues to the Justice Department. The Society of Collision Repair Specialists, (SCRS) one of the industry's largest national associations has also contacted the United States Attorney General requesting the enforcement of the Consent Decree. The ABAC, CCRE, SCRS and, cutting edge associations, working towards a common goal is the largest organized effort this industry has seen. In closing, I will give my insights to our current industry situation. The time to take back our industry is now. We can no longer wait for someone to do it for us. We must work outside of our shops to unify our industry. The national petition has the potential to correct the deceitful practices of insurers nationally that have become "business as usual". The DRP model violates the 1963 Consent Decree and has divided our industry. Insurer control is driving independent repairers out of business. Body Shop Business magazine reports 40% of shops will close by 2010. If only DRP shops remain, insurers will have successfully made the same disaster of the collision repair business that they have of health care insurance. If you are a DRP shop, ask yourself who will control the market if the independents are gone. Insurers will continue to tighten their grip on your shop. They will decide how much profit you make. It doesn't matter if you practice" lean" or "team" or any other process. The numbers tell the real story. ~ Bill Romaniello, Legislative Director, ABAC ~


“THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION BY LIKE SIZE DEALERS IN A NON COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT� This is the reason the Guild exists. The strength of our existence relies not on the voices of a select few, but on the combined knowledge of all. With this in mind, everyone should remember to become as pro-active as possible. The Guild is YOURS, be proud of it and be part of it!

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California Anti-Steering Laws Assaulted on Two Fronts Before July, one could have argued that California had some of the strongest anti-steering laws in the country- until two unrelated events unfolded that may push the state back into the anti-steering Stone Age. A new appellate court ruling on Thursday found that California law only requires insurers to pay for 100 percent of the reasonable repair costs if the car owner takes their vehicle to a direct repair facility. On the same day, a piece of legislation in the California Senate moved much closer to becoming a law that will once again allow insurers to continue pushing the benefits of their DRP programs to car owners even after they have already selected a shop- an illegal practice under current law. Legalized PPOs A Los Angeles Country Appeals Court Judge ruled on Thursday that Infinity Insurance Company's use of discounts in connection with their DRP program does not violate California insurer steering laws. The company offers an automobile physical damage policy, similar to a health care preferred provider organization (PPO), under which insureds are reimbursed 100 percent of the repair charges (minus deductible) only if they select a shop in the insurer's Repair Satisfaction Vehicle Program (RSVP), but if the car owner selects a shop outside the network, they are paid only eighty percent (80%) of the charges from their chosen repair facility, minus their deductible. In Maystruk v. Infinity Insurance Company, plaintiffs argued that this arrangement violates section 758.5 of California insurance law which states that: "If the claimant elects to have the vehicle repaired at the shop of his or her choice, the insurer shall not limit or discount the reasonable repair costs based on charges that would have been incurred had the vehicle been repaired by the insurer's chosen shop." Infinity successfully argued that the 20 percent penalty has nothing to do with what they may or may not have been charged by a DRP facility - and any appearance that this discount is somehow tied to, or "based on", DRP charges would be purely coincidental. Plaintiffs argued, however, that the 20 percent discount has "the effect of steering" and is a clear violation. "So while insureds may prefer a particular repair shop, the insured's will forgo the right to choose their own shop, and instead choose Infinity's recommended shop to avoid the 20% reduction in coverage." Not only did the judge agree that Infinity is permitted to discount the out of network shop's charges, but the judge interpreted the section (ยง 758.5, subd. (b)(2)) of the law to mean that insurers are not responsible for 100 percent of the charges for a repair unless the insured utilizes a shop of the insurance company's choosing. (Continued on page 29)

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In her decision, Judge Rita Miller said, "On its face, we find nothing in the language of section 758.5 that requires an insurer to pay 100 percent of the reasonable repair costs irrespective of where the vehicle is taken. Indeed, contrary to plaintiff's claim, the statute specifically provides that the only time the insurer is required to pay 100 percent of the repair costs is when the insured accepts the insurer's recommendation to take the vehicle to a specific shop." The judge went on to conclude that, "If the Legislature had intended to require insurers to pay 100 percent of a vehicle's repair cost regardless of whether the insured took the vehicle to a recommended shop, it would have expressly said so." Insurer Gag Rule Removed The California Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee voted on Thursday to approve a measure that will once again allow insurers to discuss the "benefits the insurer provides as part of the claims process" even after the car owner has expressed their intent to take their car to a non-network shop. Opponents of the bill, including the California Autobody Association (CAA), and the Collision Repair Association of California (CRA), testified before a Senate panel on Thursday that allowing the discussion of "benefits" is far too broad and opens the door for insurers to once again coerce car owners to use DRP facilities under the guise of discussing "benefits." Insurance proponents argued that this bill is needed because current law is effectively a gag rule that forbids them from properly informing their customer of all of their options so that they make an informed decision on their own. Testifying in favor of the bill were the Personal Insurance Federation of California, State Farm, Allstate, and the American Insurance Association. Brian Moss of the California New Car Dealers Association spoke in opposition to the bill as did Richard Steffen for the CRA. The CRA had suggested making changes to the bill that would remove the concept of "discussing benefits" and instead use less broad language that says insurers are still free to discuss terms of the policy with their claimants. Steffen testified, "This talk about insurance companies feel they can't talk about their policy once the person selected a shop I believe is nonsense. Let's just put it in statute, strip the bill and let's just have it address that." Jack Molodanof, testifying for the California Autobody Association, had urged the committee to hold off on making a decision until more time could be spent working on the measure. He told the committee that the CAA felt that more work needs to be done and that a compromise could be reached. "We would respectfully ask the author- take a step back, let's get this thing fixed, make it a two-year bill and don't jam it through the legislature." The bill passed the committee by an 8-1 vote and will now move to the Senate floor for a vote where it is also expected to pass. Senator Carol Liu was the only vote in opposition to the measure. Following the hearing, CAA Executive Director David McClune said, "The CAA is very disappointed that some of the legislative committee members did not see that AB 1200 was not a good bill as written and should have stayed in the committee. We will continue to talk with the author and the sponsors to further clarify this bill but will lobby in the assembly and senate to oppose it." Reprinted from Collision Week (

Mopar Masters Guild Magazine

September 2009

2009 Mopar Masters Guild Committees President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Executive Committee

Brent Hoge

Larry Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge

Steve Hofer Mike Mulkins

Park Chrysler Jeep Go Chrysler Jeep West

All of the above and: Gerry Oakes Paul Allred Rick Monteiro Marvin Windham Alan Yancey Dan Hutton

Membership Committee Brent Christensen (West) Ole Olson (North) Doug Price (East) Robbie Jackson (South) Vendor Chairmen

Baxter Chrysler Jeep Jack Powell Chrysler Dodge Don Drennen Motors Hayes Chrylser Dodge Jeep Tom O’Brien Chrysler Ken Garff West Valley CJD Elk River Chrysler Security Dodge Chrysler Salsbury’s Dodge City

Paul Allred Gerry Oakes

Baxter Chrysler Jeep

Newsletter Chairs

Don Cushing Mike Mulkins

Bald Hill Dodge Chrysler Go Chrysler Jeep West

Performance Group

Ole Olson

Elk River Chrysler

Finance Committee

Brent Hoge

Larry Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge

Reynolds & Reynolds

Paul Allred Tom Watson John Gilbert Rick Cutaia

Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Preston Chrysler Jeep Rick Hendrick Dodge


Steve Hofer Mike Mulkins Casey Brown

Park Chrysler Jeep Go Chrysler Jeep West Allen Samuels Dodge Katy


Dan Hutton

Tom O’Brien Chrysler


Brent Hoge

Larry Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge

Dealer Tire

Mike Mulkins Go Chrysler Jeep West Steve Hofer Park Chrysler Jeep (Dan, Brent, Mike and Steve are the Chairs for Snap-On, OEConnection and Dealer Tire)

Tracy Industries

Mike Mulkins Steve Hofer Brent Hoge

Go Chrysler Jeep West Park Chrysler Jeep Larry Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge

NADA 2010 Planning

Rick Cutaia

Rick Hendrick Dodge

Website Chairmen

Marvin Windham Don Cushing

Don Drennen Motors Bald Hill Dodge Chrysler

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2009-09 September  
2009-09 September  

Page 8 Hotel & Convention Information Pages 2-3 & Pages 6&7 It’s NADA Time Again! September 2009 LEADERS IN THE SALE OF QUALITY...