ATA September / October 2020

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FRAN

CARS • TRUCKS • JOBBERS

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INCREASE CARWASH ENGAGEMENT WITH RETAIL ZONE MARKETING (STORY ON PAGE 31)

CARWASHES • SERVICE STATIONS DEALERS • GARAGES • BODY SHOPS

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020 $4.95

WE SET THE ‘BAR’ FOR HIGHER STANDARDS (PAGE 14)

POSITION YOUR VALUE, NOT PRICE (SEE PAGE 26)

THE FUTURE OF SERVICE STATIONS IN ATLANTIC CANADA AND BEYOND . . .

100 YEARS AT RK BUZZELL (SEE PAGE 42)

WIN PRIZES!!!

A RUST CHECK SWAG BAG OF GOODIES OR A STANLEY 123-PIECE SOCKET SET FROM NAPA!

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GENERAL MANAGER MARC GALLANT IN FRONT OF A NEW MONCTON, NB TRUCK STOP

OWNED AND PUBLISHED BY ALFERS ADVERTISING & PUBLISHING INC.

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atlantic VOLUME TWENTY • ISSUE 5 • SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER • 2020

Call us: 1-902-452-0345 E-mail us: rob@autoatlantic.com Mail us: 608 - 56 Jacob Lane Bedford, NS B3M 0H5 Canada

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THE DAY THE BUBBLE BURST – What happens when the Atlantic region takes a chance by opening its borders to each other? A lot of sorting out, apparently.

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THE FUTURE OF SERVICE STATIONS IN ATLANTIC CANADA AND BEYOND – some pundits predict that the gas station as we know it will be dead in 15 years. There are those who beg to differ….

ADVERTISING DIRECTORY: PAGE 44

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“WE ARE FAMILY” The Russian owners of NAPA’s Drobot Automotive in Beechville NS have an outstanding record of successes. Find out why, here.

PUBLISHER / OWNER Robert Alfers rob@autoatlantic.com

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“WE SET THE BAR FOR HIGHER STANDARDS” with their newest franchise NOVOs Glass, this BAR has never been raised higher

EDITOR Carter Hammett carter@autoatlantic.com

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WHERE CLIENTS STILL COUNT THE MOST THROUGH COVID-19 – The team at Multiserve Petroleum Equipment know a thing or two about customer service.

SALES MANAGER Dan Hillier dan@autoatlantic.com

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SOMER MULLINS JOINS THE FIX NETWORK – A marketing maven is welcomed into the country’s largest automotive aftermarket services network.

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INDEPENDENT NS GAS RETAILERS RESPOND TO POTENTIAL DISRUPTORS – with the rise of alternative fuels amidst other disruptors, NS gas stations are bracing themselves for a flurry of changes.

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POSITION YOUR VALUE, NOT YOUR PRICE – contributor Bob Greenwood says work smarter, not harder.

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FIX NETWORK outlines ambitious expansion plans for Atlantic region.

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RECYCLERS USE DATA TO THRIVE – Modern auto recyclers are huge data warehouses and this is proving to be invaluable for the industry.

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INCREASE ENGAGEMENT AND PROFIT WITH RETAIL ZONE MARKETING – Carwashes can be divided into six zones that facilitate a touchpoint with customers.

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THE ATLANTIC ROAD REPORT – Labrador bridges named in honour of Innu leaders • More!

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NEWS OF THE WEIRD – Yes, but what happens when your “impaired driver” turns out to be five years old?

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AHEAD BY A CENTURY – Robert K. Buzzell credits employees, customers and suppliers for helping the Moncton giant observe 100 years in business.

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Trudy Alfers trudy@autoatlantic.com Auto & Trucking Atlantic magazine is owned and published bi-monthly by Robert Alfers of Alfers Advertising & Publishing Inc. For advertising rates or information regarding Auto & Trucking Atlantic magazine, please call or write to us at: 608 - 56 Jacob Lane, Bedford, Nova Scotia B3M 0H5. Tel 902.452.0345. Opinions expressed in Auto & Trucking Atlantic do not necessarily reflect official policy of Alfers Advertising & Publishing Inc. Printed and produced in Canada.

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WIN BIG! Rust Check Jacket, hat, touque and winter package, or a Stanley 123-Piece socket set from NAPA in our contests!! autoatlantic.com

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Letter from the Editor

THE DAY THE BUBBLE BURST

P

By Carter Hammett

EI GREETED THEM WITH POTATO CHIPS. WHEN THE ATLANTIC BUBBLE OFFICIALLY OPENED AT 12:01 AM JULY 3, IT FINALLY MEANT THAT RESIDENTS OF ALL FOUR ATLANTIC PROVINCES COULD VISIT EACH OTHER WITHOUT HAVING TO ISOLATE FOR TWO WEEKS.

The anticipation this was greeted with was reflected in the hundreds of vehicles clogging borders - each province has its own entry rules - entering and exiting provinces. Many were visiting families and loved ones not seen in months. Others longing for a break from lockdown. PEI has perhaps the most stringent rules for entry. Travellers entering the province are told they must fill out a declaration form in advance which provides evidence of residency in Atlantic Canada while also asking health questions. At the New Brunswick border meanwhile, some travellers reported vehicles simply being waved through without being checked by the Department of Pub-

lic Safety on the very first day. Truckers reported that officials were allowing all vehicles in and being permitted to bypass the station for health checks and screening. While each province has its own rules, every province in the region is supposed to be checking travellers for proof of residency. NB visitors are supposed to answer questions about COVID19 symptoms and their recent travel history. Furthermore, officers are also supposed to obtain travellers’ contact info for health purposes in the event of another outbreak. An NB government spokesperson later said the province made the decision to forego screening since traffic volume presented a safety concern. And while many were delighted at being able to get “oot and aboot” some truck drivers faced significant border delays. The action stimulated calls for a clearly marked and enforced lane for truckers only. The jams and delays extended to essential workers as well. Other issues included truckers running out of time on their electronic logs or delivering their products late. A big part of the problem included the fact that commercial and personal vehicles were getting stirred into

one lane. And while improvements were gradually being made, truckers said a bigger focus should have been placed on commercial vehicles, which could have avoided the chaos in the first place. Nova Scotia, meanwhile, is quick to point out that its borders have never been closed to visitors, so long as they selfisolated for two weeks. And since July 3, those visitors have been able to travel freely within the four Maritime provinces once their isolation is finished. And while New Brunswick suspended requirements late June for out-of-province workers to self-isolate, NS still as of this writing, requires workers living in the province but working elsewhere to selfisolate for 14 days upon returning home. Not everyone has greeted the open borders warmly. Some epidemiologists stated they felt the closing of the Atlantic bubble made little sense, with some citing an inconsistent policy around border management as a major concern. Some havegone so far as to say that the two-week self- isolation requirement is a guesstimate based on the estimated incubation period of the virus. That said, it’s estimated that outbreaks in the Atlantic region will nonetheless be low. If there is a second wave, it’ll likely be caused by international travellers. In August, the bubble expanded a little bit further with two Quebec areas on the New Brunswick border allowed to enter that province without the need to self-isolate. NB still limits who is allowed to enter the province, although various reasons are acceptable. Bless the Atlantic region for taking the initiative and opening its borders if only to each other. At this point it’s a guessing game about how to “normalize the new normal.” But there’s no guarantees when it comes to public health and safety and the provinces have to be prepared to put emergency measures in place should a second wave surface. Keep on truckin’ folks. Just do it with caution.

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THE FUTURE OF SERVICE STATIO ATLANTIC CANADA AND BEYOND . . .

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By Kristen Lipscombe

NNOVATIVE TRUCK STOP PLUS LOCATIONS IN NEW BRUNSWICK FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE DIVERSIFICATION BUT WHAT’S NEXT TO KEEP THE INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE? THE MODEL, A MODERNIZED SERVICE STATION Why would a couple of successful lawyers decide to open up two brand new service stations in the small Maritime province of New Brunswick? “It’s two different worlds,” Marco Godbout, president of business development for Truck Stop Plus, agreed with a chuckle of the venture he and wife Vicki Wallace6

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Godbout started working on behind the scenes several years ago while still running their shared law firm in Moncton, NB, “It was the business opportunity, really,” said Marco, who originally hails from Grand Falls, N.B. It’s Marco’s wife, however, who runs this modern service station initiative. She’s the official co-owner along with Hermel Michaud, who also serves as the company’s fuel distributor via Shell Canada. Marco and Vicki met while attending law school at the University of Moncton. They have not only worked alongside each other in the court room and office, but also share a similar sense of business savvy, and together have bought up and leased out several residential and commercial properties in the City of Moncton, always keeping their eyes open for their next big project that would allow them to “diversify.” They began to develop their vision for a more modern type of truck stop,

one that would not just meet the needs – but go above and beyond for all drivers – while following the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation (MMFN) community’s struggles over several decades to secure provincial government funding for an offramp into Edmundston, N.B., that would allow the community to build a power centre and welcome businesses on designated lands, ultimately in order to provide jobs for community members and boost the local economy. “We had good information that the First Nation needed help from a potential tenant to be able to convince the Province of New Brunswick that it was worth their while to collaborate financially to help build the off-ramp,” Marco said. “The location is the most important thing in business,” he said of what attracted them to build the new Edmundston service station. “We’re right adjacent to the four-lane highway, so we’re right there where the new power centre was created


ONS IN

on the outskirts … by the hospital, so truckers that leave the Maritimes – this is the last stop.”

“IT’S THE GATEWAY TO THE MARITIMES.” “We worked side-by-side with the First Nation to educate the banks, the lenders, the lawyers and … some financial institutions,” Marco said of explaining the difference between traditional and protected ancestorial lands, or reserves, and designated lands that allow for First Nations communities to permit mortgages and leases to non-Indigenous groups and individuals. In fact, Vicki herself is a member of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation, and her father served as chief during the 1980s, so the legal crackerjacks and business-minded couple decided they were more than capable of partnering as the new power centre’s first official tenant. They broke ground on their Ed-

mundston Truckstop in 2011 and officially opened to the public on 100 Grey Rock Road, available directly off the TransCanada Highway in October 2012, with several tenants popping up inside and around them, including a strip mall, car dealership and casino. Drivers can take Exit 19 off Highway 2 into what’s now called Grey Rock Power Center to access a long list of convenient amenities. “So that creates a buzz around the truck stop; because the driver, he or she is the most important person,” Marco said. “The driver wants a series of amenities.” “We didn’t just build a truck stop,” Marco emphasized. “We’re always thinking about what the driver wants.” “So in our complex we built very nice, expensive modern showers for the truckers; we built a lounge for them that is even more comfortable than a lot of their own houses because they are on the road many days and they appreciate it.” “I thought they were joking, but week

after week, and month after month they would say, ‘Wow, thank you for respecting us and caring for us, because we’ve never seen that before (through) 40 years of driving across North America.” There are also plenty of food options on site. “We attracted Tim Hortons to come into our building … and now it’s their busiest location in Edmundston.” The stop also features Burger King and a St. Hubert chicken express location, a local seafood restaurant called The Pirate – which Marco assures features delicious fresh lobster rolls – along with Grey Rock Valleyview Restaurant and a well-stocked convenience store with drinks and snacks to refuel any and all drivers. Other amenities at that Edmundston stop include “modern and accessible” public washrooms that “adhere to regular and rigorous cleaning,” a touchless twobay car wash “for fast and easy access,” a “hassle-free, mess-free, self-serve pet wash station,” laundry amenities, a busiautoatlantic.com

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At The Pumps

ness centre with high-speed Internet access available to truckers and other drivers, free Wi-Fi both inside the building and in all parking lots, which includes more than 225 spaces of all sizes. And let’s not forget more than 20 pumps offering diesel, DEF and gasoline. The Edmundston Truckstop has served as a model for their second location, which the Godbout’s and partner Michaud opened in April 2020 off Exit 462, also off Highway 2, or the TransCanada Highway. They’ve since changed the name of their first venture to Truck Stop Plus Edmundston, while their second location, naturally, is Truck Stop Plus Moncton, with plans to open more of these modern takes on service stations down the road. “Truck Stop Plus Moncton is the most complete truck stop in southeastern New Brunswick, open 24 hours, 365 days a year. Clean, modern and spacious facilities to meet the needs of all travellers,” the Truck Stop Plus website describes, adding food services include Tim Hortons, Wendy’s and Caledonia Eats ‘N Treats. “Fuel, cardlock, oil and lubricants, convenience store offering local products, fresh food on-the-go, health and personal care items, souvenirs and gifts,” are all available on site, and similarly to the Edmundston site, there is a business centre, free Wi-Fi and ATMs available, a professional driver’s lounge, modern showers and laundry facilities, a bus and truck wash, vacuums and air station, auto-propane, cylinder refill and exchange, free dumping and a replenishing stations for RVs. “Our mission at Truck Stop Plus is to enhance the experience of our clients by continually striving for impeccable service as well as putting a particular focus on their well-being,” the company’s website says. “We offer clean and modern washroom and shower facilities, a comfortable and relaxing driver’s lounge, a readily accessible exercise room as well as fresh food for the road.” Marie-Josee Michaud, public relations and communications for Truck Stop Plus, points out several other stand-out features that align with the company’s vision for more modern and welcoming service stations. “The new Shell retail cardlock service station at Exit 462 in Moncton offers professional drivers and recreational travellers easy access to the most modern and spacious facilities in Atlantic Canada,” she wrote Auto and Trucking Atlantic in an email. 8

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“With over 125 truck- and oversized vehicle- parking spaces, a professional drivers’ lounge, business centre, fitness room, shower facilities, convenience stores, a truck parts corner, air and vacuum stations, two fast food chains and a sit-down restaurant, Truck Stop Plus Moncton is one-of-a kind and raises the bar for one-stop-shop excellence in customer service,” Marie-Josee wrote. ”Under development is an automatic truck wash and truck express lube, auto propane and replenishing stations for recreational vehicles.” Marie-Josee emphasized that “details matter,” such as adding “a well-lit canopy, entrance and parking area with security cameras,” which helps make customers feel safer, including the increasing num-

ber of women entering the trucking and transportation industries. “From complete one-stop propane and dumping stations for recreational vehicles to safe and easy access to pumps and parking spaces for big rigs, we have our ears to the ground for what customers wish for,” Marie-Josee explained. “It’s the small things that guide customers when choosing between us or next door.” The Moncton Truck Stop Plus site has been built on the success of the Edmundston location, she said. “We are now strategically located at both ends of the Trans Canada Highway 2 in northwest and southeast New Brunswick.” The Godbouts and partner Michaud are finding success in the creation of these new and innovative service stations, with plans of course, to expand to additional highway stops someday down the road. Certainly, the industries they serve aren’t going away any time soon; oil and gas remain in high demand and more environmentally-friendly driving options are simply too expensive for the average consumer, with not enough infrastructure in place yet to support regular use of hybrid

and electric vehicles on the road, anyway.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL ADVANTAGES OF ELECTRICAL VEHICLES But are service stations planning for that eventual public push to a more sustainable transportation industry? Our oil and gas resources are finite, after all, and it’s only a matter of time before demand increases for hybrid and electrical vehicles, perhaps more so in a post-pandemic, more-globally aware world. And that will mean more infrastructure in place to serve those vehicles. Maybe not today; maybe not tomorrow, but eventually that infrastructure will become a necessity for our shared sustainable future, not a choice. “Yes, there’s a big buzz around electrical cars now,” Marco said, adding there are charging stations available at the Edmundston Truck Stop Plus through a partnership with New Brunswick Power. The Moncton location has yet to add them to their site although the power company offered a set number of contracts for service stations across the province. “But a service station is not like in the past, where you only need fuel then you leave, Marco said. “People want convenience, they want something quick, they want something to eat, they want a business centre.” “So with all of those added services – and vehicles will always need something to fuel them, whether it’s electricity or another energy source, there will always be services that the travelling driver will need to stop for.” Shannon Trites, executive director of the Retail Gasoline Dealers Association of Nova Scotia and executive director for the Automotive Sector Council of Nova Scotia, sees the challenges that the 250 independent gas stations across her province face every day, from trying to compete with big oil corporations during normal times, let alone during COVID-19 pandemic times. She works to support local service station “retailers in their bid to stay in business based on economic challenges.” “What’s happening now is that we have places that are shutting down based on the lack of profitability, but it’s affecting everything,” Trites explained. “So when you go to fill-up at one of our members in Cheticamp, it’s the last station before you go on the Cabot Trail, and if you don’t gas up there, you’ll get in trouble.” “And they literally, without any support from anybody, they put up a sign on the highway that said, ‘You have to gas up here,’ because there are no gas stations in between any more; they’ve all shut down.”



At The Pumps

They’re not trying to lure customers into their business, Trites emphasized; they’re just trying to keep drivers on the road safe. “They’re not making money on gas.” The provincial government is well aware that fuel needs to be available in every community in order to keep the economy moving, Trites said, but she also points out that these current industry challenges may provide opportunity to help move the service station industry forward toward a more sustainable future. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if our government supported our independent gas stations to innovate into the infrastructure (needed for electrical vehicles)?” Trites asked. While bigger companies such as Irving can afford to build charging stations on site, “wouldn’t it serve the community better to service independent (stations)

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who couldn’t afford that switch over?” Trites said the Retail Gasoline Dealers Association of Nova Scotia and Automotive Sector Council of Nova Scotia are working hard to build relationships and reach out to communities and governments to emphasize the importance of putting new infrastructure in place sooner rather than later. “The people who champion this change inspire and motivate me every day,” Trites said in an email, “and as the world embraces its own evolution, I feel the local industry is shifting to do the same.” But that shift will likely happen slowly, particularly with ongoing pressures from the oil industry around the world, combined with the additional economic pressures of COVID-19, coming together

“in a perfect storm.” So what’s next for service stations? “The challenge of staying in business in rural Nova Scotia is embracing technology and essentially giving the customers what they want by diversifying services,” Trites said. “Retail gasoline detailers are not going to just open up a gas station; they’re going to open up a convenience store.” Enter the objectives and goals of the Truck Stop Plus locations in Edmundston and Moncton, whether they’re ready for a run on electric vehicles or not. “Tastes and trends are continually changing, customers are becoming more and more demanding,” Marie-Josee said. “It’s a perpetual cycle, and we, at Truck Stop Plus, are doing all that is possible to keep on top of consumers’ evolving needs and expectations.” “What we are trying to show the client is that they are No. 1,” Marco agreed. “We need clean facilities; we need good service.” “Buying fuel, the product is pretty much all the same from one competitor to the other, of course at a competitive price, but in addition to that competitive price, you need that service and that nice facility so it’s modern; it’s clean.” “It’s about personal attention,” he added. “We have somebody going to pick up the papers on the lawn every day; so those are the small little details.” “That’s what we call the ‘plus’ in the Truck Stop Plus logo,” Marco said. “We always have room for improvement, like any business, and we’re trying to raise the bar as high as we can in developing these sites, and the future ones as well.”



Around the Atlantic

‘WE ARE FAMILY’ . . . RUSSIAN OWNERS OF NAPA AUTOPRO DROBOT AUTOMOTIVE IN

BEECHVILLE, NS GIVE BACK TO THE EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNITY THAT GIVE THEM SO MUCH

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By Kristen Lipscombe

RINA AND EVGENY DROBOT HAVE “NEVER REGRETTED” THEIR DECISION TO PACK UP THEIR LIVES IN SERBIA, RUSSIA; MOVE LITERALLY TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD; AND OPEN UP A NAPA AUTOPRO SERVICE CENTRE IN THE SMALL COMMUNITY OF BEECHVILLE, N.S. They bought the service centre on the outskirts of Halifax Regional Municipality in July 2010, two years after moving to Nova Scotia, re-naming the NAPA shop Beechville Drobot Automotive. “We followed our daughter but she moved to the U.S.A.,” said Irina, co-owner and co-president of the small but mighty shop nestled on the heart of St. Margarets Bay Road, in a bedroom community known in Halifax as BLT, or BeechvilleLakeside Timberlea, a slightly suburban but slightly rural are consisting of a closeknit community that welcomes newcomers with open arms. “We preferred to live in Canada,” Irina told Auto and Trucking Atlantic. “We visited Nova Scotia, and we found that it’s a very beautiful province, and we wanted to live near the ocean and in a very nice city, so we decided to move here.” Irina and Evgeny had already been experienced automotive business owners in their home country, and even with any cultural barriers, it didn’t take them long upon arriving in Nova Scotia to tap into the local market and find that the Beechville service centre was for sale. “We invested, we took over the shop 12

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within only five days, and then we built the other part of the building and we installed two more hoists for heavy vehicles,” Irina said, “so now we can serve fleets and there is almost no restriction on the (size of) vehicles we can serve. It also didn’t take them long to recruit manager Leonard Myra, who was set to retire from Speedy Auto Service in Lower Sackville after three decades working in the automotive industry. “I went to a NAPA that I know and I was talking to the manager there and he said, ‘go out and talk to this here Russian couple; they’re going to be looking for a manager,” Myra recalled. “They hired me,” he said with a fond chuckle. “They stole me from my retirement.” Irina and Evgeny immediately put their trust into Myra the day Drobot Automotive opened its doors to the public just over a decade ago, then leaving it completely in his capable hands to “grow the business.” During that time, “we’ve accomplished that, two-fold, ,” said Myra, who works alongside about a half dozen other dedicated employees. “Big and small, any size, anything,” Myra said. “You break it, we fix it.” It certainly helps that the two Russian owners share the same values as their Nova Scotian shop manager, with a strong emphasis on providing the best customer service in the industry and a philanthropic passion for giving back to the community. “We do our very best for customers,” Myra said, and as a result, “we have customers that actually travel 100 kilometres that come to us and we have customers that live across the road.” Not even COVID-19 restrictions seemed to slow this shop down for long, particularly since Drobot fixes larger fleet vehicles that need to be on the road providing essential supplies. Shop workers continue to clean and sanitize their equipment and workspaces daily, following all regulations for physical distancing and protective equipment to help keep themselves and their customers safe.

“We are big on service,” Myra said. “I make sure that all of our customers get thanked when they leave; we make sure that we tell them we appreciate their business; we do not use any of those cheap parts that people put on cars and we have shuttle services.” Irina points out that the shop also offers a “tire hotel” for customers to store winter tires. “It’s all about service for us,” Myra said. Drobot Automotive also believes in giving back to the community that supports their business. That includes selling tickets to customers for raffles to win toys and equipment ranging from remote control trucks to leaf blowers in support of Christmas Daddies, a not-for-profit organization that holds a large telethon over the holidays to help out less fortunate children across the Maritimes. Drobot also supports programs at BLT Elementary School by allowing teams and other student groups to use their parking lots to host car washes and other fundraisers. “We’re happy and proud to be part of the community,” Myra said. “If you take care of the community, the community will take care of you.” For Irina and Evegny, it’s also important to take care of their employees and families, who they have become to trust and love since emigrating to a completely new country with a completely different culture. “We celebrate the birthday of the company every single year,” Irina said. “Usually it’s a party with nights stayed in the countryside, in the cottages, and we have a big party for our employees and their spouses.” Although the global pandemic put a damper on this year’s 10th anniversary celebration, Irina and Evgeny still managed to host a small barbecue in their parking lot with safety precautions in place for employees and customers alike. “Our employees spend more time with us, working for us, working for the company, than sometimes they spend with their families,” Irina said, “so we celebrate birthdays, we celebrate Christmas.” “We proudly work for Drobot Automotive – all of us,” Irina said. “We are family.”



Around the Atlantic

‘WE SET THE BAR FOR HIGHER STANDARDS’:

BRIDGEWATER AUTO REPAIR HAS BECOME TRUE “ONE-STOP-SHOP” WITH ADDITION OF NOVUS GLASS

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By Kristen Lipscombe

OMING UP WITH THE CLEVER BUSINESS NAME FOR BRIDGEWATER AUTO REPAIR, OR BAR FOR SHORT, CAME NATURALLY FOR OWNER GLENN TOOPE.

“I always say that we set the BAR for higher standards,” Toope said of the philosophy behind his growing business, which he and wife Jeanette Joudrey established in June 2019 and features franchises for TECHNET Professional Automotive Service, Krown Rust Control and, most recently, NOVUS Glass. NOVUS Glass Bridgewater has become the most recent company to open its doors on Dufferin Street, joining Toope’s group of bands just this past June and helping turn his fresh take on the automotive repair centre into a true “one-stop shop” for all your vehicle needs. In fact, the new NOVUS Glass location is the company’s first mobile franchise in Atlantic Canada. That means employees can meet customers at home, work or anywhere else they may require efficient

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and effective service, getting them back on the road conveniently, safely and as soon as possible. “We’re thrilled to have the NOVUS Glass brand become the newest member of the BAR team,” Toope said, citing the company’s long history of top-notch service, patented technology and and its lifetime guarantee, which make makes NOVUS “the clear choice” for customers. NOVUS Glass lays claim to inventing windshield repair almost 50 years ago and continuing to innovate glass repair and products. “With proprietary resins, tools and techniques, windshields are restored to the highest level of optical clarity in the business, out-performing all others in chip and long crack repairs – often over 12” long – with limited lifetime guarantees,” the company says. “We chose NOVUS Glass because it’s the best in the business, leading the way in glass repair and replacement technology,” Toope said. “We need competition in the glass industry and in the community as a whole. This opportunity will enable us to grow in the region and offer our experienced staff a chance to work with leading-edge

windshield repair technology.” Whether with business names or car parts, 55-year-old Toope has always been tooling around. Mechanics also came quite naturally to the Cornerbrook, N.L., native, who moved to Bridgewater as a youngster and took a quick liking to taking things apart and putting them back together again. “I’ve always been fixing stuff, ever since I was a kid,” Toope told Auto and Trucking Atlantic by phone, sharing a hearty laugh as he recalled his childhood. “I was always known to my mom as Mr. Fix It.” “I’d be tearing my bikes apart, and buying motorcycles and tearing them apart at 12 years old,” he said, “and was tearing cars apart at 15 years old and rebuilding engines.” “I’ve owned so many cars in my life it’s unreal,” Toope said with a continued chuckle, “from a Ladda to a brand new Corvette.” His red 2019 Chevrolet Corvette is the most recent addition to his personal fleet of vehicles, which also includes a Nissan 370Z Roadster Convertible, a couple of pick-up trucks and a few others that may



Around the Atlantic

differ depending on what other wheels on the market might spark his interest. Toope feels fortunate that his personal passion for vehicles extends to his profession and like everything else he has built, from bikes and cars, to various other careers and businesses which have included running a service station, working as a marine technician and teaching at trade schools, he has put his whole heart into Bridgewater Auto Repair. He wants it to become “the go-to place” for his community. “I want people to be proud to bring their vehicle here, and not think they are going to be taken,” Toope said of battling stereotypes of mechanics taking advantage of naïve customers by adding on unnecessary parts and charges. “I can always tell you what you need, but I’m not going to force someone to put something on your vehicle; it’s up to you at the end of the day,” Toope said. “If I tell you your brakes are bad, I have no problem showing you your brakes are bad and how they actually work.” “I even have a computer program on the TV that I can bring up so that I can show you the operation of the brakes,” he explained. “A lot of people like to understand how things work.” Toope’s teaching skills, which he honed for about four years at the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia Community College, come out daily as he explains

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how car parts work to curious customers and mentors younger workers in his shop. He hopes going above and beyond like that will help build a sense of mutual respect and trust with his clients to keep them coming back for the high quality and wide variety of “bumper-to-bumper” services offered right on site at Bridgewater Auto Repair. He also wants his place of work to be welcoming to new and old customers alike. He and his wife Jeanette, who serves as accountant, have owned the building for five years. “The way I designed my shop inside was to make it like a home,” Toope said. “Not like a garage; like a home.” “So when you walk in my entrance, you don’t see a bunch of car parts here, there and everywhere. You see colours from a house and new windows,” he described. “And everything in here is transparent, so you can see our technicians working in the bays, whether it be under-coating, doing an alignment, and now watching a crack or chip repair, you can sit there and watch them through the door or windows.” Customers can also sit down in a nice, spiffy lounge and enjoy a hot coffee or tea while watching television, or perhaps reading a copy of Auto and Trucking Atlantic magazine, while their vehicle is being serviced. Toope likes to keep his shop sparkling clean, from the lobby to the toilets. “The

way I look at it is, ‘would that be a bathroom that my mother would like to use?’ “ “I’ve got people coming in saying, ‘that’s the cleanest bathroom I’ve ever been in!” he said, again punctuated with a friendly laugh. “There are not a lot of smelly parts, if you understand what I mean.” Another stereotype Toope wants to break down is his business being called “a garage.” “I want to be known as a repair facility,” he explained, “because the old stigma is with the garage and mechanics.” The proper title for a mechanic is actually an automotive service technician, he points out, which he and his employees are, which means they’re all “red-seal endorsed.” “I’m proud of my qualifications and so are my technicians; they’re proud of their qualifications,” he explained, “so why should we be known as grease monkeys; we should be known as service tech.” The professionalism of his employees is evident in their dedication to fine workmanship, from keeping customer vehicles running smoothly and looking sharp on the road. “They always use seat covers, floor mats; they’re always keeping the vehicle as clean as possible.” Toope’s service technicians also don’t wear the typical coveralls. Instead, their uniforms include “nice golf shirts” that they keep as clean as possible given what can be a very dirty job. “Appearance is everything,” he said, adding that level of professionalism his workers bring to Bridgewater Auto Repair has already earned them a nomination for best small business in town after just over a year of being open to the public. Cleanliness, health and safety have also gone up a notch while being open as an essential service through the COVID-19 pandemic, with free masks provided to customers, plenty of hand sanitizer available throughout the shop, regular disinfection of all surfaces, limited numbers of people allowed inside showrooms and physical distancing regulations wellrespected. At the end of the day, sending clients home happy with their service and overall experience at Bridgewater Auto Repair and NOVUS Glass Bridgewater is the goal because if they’re satisfied, they’ll come back next time, and they’ll help spread the word about just how high a BAR is set there. “We run off recommendations; that’s our biggest form of advertising,” Toope said. “We’re really big on customer service.”


VISIT YOUR LOCAL ATLANTIC NAPA STORE FOR PRICING & INFO


Around the Atlantic

WHERE CLIENTS STILL COUNT THE MOST THROUGH COVID-19

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OR THE TEAM AT MULTISERVE PE TRO LE U M E Q U I PM E NT, SERVING CLIENTS IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 DOESN’T ACTUALLY LOOK ALL THAT DIFFERENT. Sure, the company is taking careful measures to protect their customers

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and themselves - from wearing personal protective equipment on service calls, to enforcing physical distancing on all work sites - but the care and concern that the Multiserve team has for its clients is just as robust as it has always been. “Our priorities have always been excellent customer service, quality products and safety for our staff and clients,” says Multiserve president Jeff McMackin. “And those priorities haven’t shifted a bit, even in light of a pandemic. So many of our clients, especially service stations, are performing essential services. But that doesn’t mean times aren’t difficult or uncertain for them. So our goal is to do everything we can to support their operations and help alleviate any stress we can for them – whether that’s getting shipments out sameday or making service calls 24-hours.

Whatever they need, we do our very best to deliver.” Multiserve planned ahead as the pandemic lockdown loomed in early March, ordering a solid supply of PPE for its workers, and implementing safe and flexible arrangements for office staff, including reconfiguring its office layout for maximum physical distancing and allowing them the option to work from home. “These small but important adjustments to our own operations have ensured that our staff have felt safe and supported, and able to continue to focus on our customers’ needs without interruption,” said McMackin. “Our team’s core goal has always been to go above and beyond for our clients, and that has only become all the more important to us as we all navigate these unpredictable weeks and months.”


Industry News

SOMER MULLINS JOINS FIX NETWORK

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IX NETWORK CANADA, THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET SERVICES NETWORK, IS PLEASED TO WELCOME SOMER MULLINS AS THE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS FOR CANADA.

Mullins. “There’s a huge opportunity to grow and strengthen our brands in the Canadian market and demonstrate the

power of a network for our franchisees.” Visit fixnetwork.com for more information.

Somer will work closely with the Fix Network leadership team to identify strategic marketing opportunities that promote the value of being part of a network as well as drive awareness and engagement for the Fix Auto, NOVUS Glass, Speedy Auto Service and ProColor Collision brands “Somer’s extensive experience in franchise-based businesses as well as her understanding of the automotive landscape in North America is a tremendous asset for franchisees in our collision, glass and mechanical businesses,” said Steve Leal, President & CEO of Fix Network. “We’re pleased to welcome Somer to the Fix family.” A brand and marketing veteran, Somer brings more than 15 years of solid agency and corporate marketing experience. Somer started her career in the automotive industry at Ford’s Customer Service Division in Detroit, Michigan where she helped mobilize efforts for the Extended Service Plans, Motorcraft Accessories and Quick Lane business. Throughout her career, she has contributed profitable integrated solutions to drive sales, attract and maintain brand loyalty for premier retail brands and franchise businesses across North America. While working in agency, she supported the development of the Ford Owner Advantage Rewards program as well as serviced the Audi and PartSource Canada businesses. “I’m excited to be part of the Fix Network’s journey to build a lasting brand legacy in the Canadian and global automotive aftermarket industry,” commented autoatlantic.com

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At The Pumps

INDEPENDENT NS GAS RETAILERS RESPOND TO POTENTIAL DISRUPTORS By Judy Dickson Retail Gasoline Dealers Association (RGDA)

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N 2013, FORTUNE REPORTED THAT “WHILE NEW DRILLING TECHNOLOGIES AND OIL RESERVES ARE TAKING THE PRESSURE OFF GASOLINE PRICES AND PEAK PRODUCTION ISSUES, DEMAND FOR ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES CONTINUES TO GROW”. In 2020, the demand continues. Today, a number of far-reaching trends are disrupting the fuel retail market. Among the most powerful of these across the country are the rise of alternative fuels (particularly electricity) for mobility, the emergence of new models in mobility, and the evolution of heightened consumer expectations around convenience and personalization. The impetus for these disruptions comes from an array of powerful new digital technologies. What does this all mean for our gasoline retailers in Nova Scotia (NS)?

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EV Assist reports that driving an electric vehicle is now an everyday reality for some Nova Scotians. In the last year, EV sales increased by 386%. There are over 35 EV vehicle models available and over 100 charging stations in NS. For a number of years, Nova Scotia gasoline retailers have had little control over the price at which they sell their products. Additionally, staying current with technological advances in service and repair has resulted in the closure of many service bays attached to retail gasoline businesses. To draw in customers and increase their profitability, retailers have expanded by incorporating other services such as convenience stores, coffee and food service and speciality retail services. The name change from “gas stations” to “service centers” is indicative of the heightened consumer expectation. The decline of cigarette smoking, the rise of GPS-enabled smartphones, the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles, and other factors, are forcing gas stations with convenience stores to rethink how they attract customers. Consumers no longer stop to ask directions or to buy a snack or cigarettes. Nova Scotia gasoline retailers were asked “what do you see as the far-reaching trends that are disrupting the retail gasoline markets?” Beth McNeill of McNeill’s Shell in Elmsdale, identified with the trends that the automotive public is driving less, and has heightened expectations. They want more than gas and a simple snack from the gasoline business. Customers are now looking for a branded food service such as sub or pizza shops where they can purchase items to go for a meal. The sale of lottery tickets has been drawing in customers but that too is changing to being available online. She believes that any remodelling of business plans has to address consumer demand and new technology trends such as “pay at the pump” and recharging stations. When we consider what the future holds for the independent retailers, we cannot overlook the current period in history that all businesses now face. That being COVID 19 and its resulting losses and increased costs during these very uncer-

tain economic times. Hilda Cormier was asked “in rethinking your business model today, what are the most pressing factors for you? ” She responded that we have to accommodate change and move forward. In these uncertain times, Cormier’s Service Station, a well-known Cheticamp business just completed a major ¼ million dollar renovation which includes “pay at the pumps.” Like many businesses, they are still feeling the losses in volume of sales from Covid 19 and the increased costs for safety and sanitation supplies and staffing costs. Of great importance to Hilda as they move forward is her staff and their future. Hilda recognizes the increase in electric cars on the road and acknowledges it as a factor that must be taken into account when planning for the future. “At this moment, adjusting to safety protocols, and looking after my staff are taking priority.” There is not one trend pushing the change; it is a multitude of disruptions that are overhauling one’s relationship with the auto and the way gasoline is sold. And with all these things in transition, the business model for the service station must ultimately begin to reflect the new reality. When Daniel Thimot of D. Thimot Service Center in Meteghan was asked “what can fuel retailers do to prepare themselves for the future?” he responded with “ a good offering for what the customers need and want. It is more than responding to technology. You must have the right product, location, hours and staffing.” Daniel recognizes there are a few electrical vehicles around but at this point in time, it is not a major consideration for his business. His biggest consideration is having trained staff willing to be top performers in a busy service business. While the potentially painful disruption is not entirely welcome news for the legions of independent gas stations and their owners, it represents an opportunity for early adopters, ready to embrace and anticipate change. At the heart of any business plan is servicing the needs and wants of the consumer. To learn about EV vehicles, go to https://evassist.ca/ and www.allev.canada







Bob’s Business Development

POSITION YOUR VALUE, NOT YOUR PRICE By Bob Greenwood AMAM Business Coach, International Business Speaker, Instructor, Business Consultant, Author

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HOPS THAT HAVE MARKETED THEIR BUSINESS BASED ON PRICE ATTRACT E X A C T LY W H AT THEY WENT AFTER, NAMELY, PRICE FOCUSSED PEOPLE. This definitely affects the very profitability of the shop as well as putting the team of the shop into a position of working very hard instead of smart. Consider that in the Independent sector, we are a knowledge based business, a true profession today, and we must obtain the “right price” for the competency we must now deliver. We are responsible to the consumer, namely, truly educating them and counselling them personally on safety, reliability and efficiency of their vehicle based on how they actually use it

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and their expectations with their vehicle. Understand this fact: “Knowing how to highlight and quantify value is a new skill set that must be embraced today.” When you are trying to perform your function at the highest competency level and price that skill set right and then run into a consumer who questions “price”, learn to look at it this way; the price “challenge” is not an objection to what you are charging but a true indicator that the consumer does not understand the value to be communicated or quantified correctly in their mind. Slow down and define the value to the consumer clearly that differentiates what you are offering. When it is done correctly the price issue just becomes part of the discussion and not the stumbling block you may perceive. This is a great discussion to have with you team, namely, “What value do we bring to the clients that deal with us over the competition”? Review your value proposition and train your team members to understand it so they too can walk the talk that the business they work in is unique and they are very proud of that. Does your team

truly “believe” they are working in a great business? Also consider that spending more than the average time with a client is a tremendous value as well. To achieve this you must slow your business down. That time is spent listening to your new potential client answer your questions, such as, how many kilometers do you drive per year, is it highway, city or country/ off road driving, do you own or lease you vehicle, what are your expectations with your vehicle? Get the conversations going so you truly understand the person’s personal situation rather than group everyone into a “seasonal service” mode. You will “manage” the vehicle on behalf of the client and it will be properly documented to their file. All future intervals for that particular vehicle will be investigated and set up based on exactly how the vehicle is being used. Think the details through, and I believe you will clearly see what an incredible “value” you bring to the table because under your system, the client saves a great deal of money over the life of their vehicle.



Industry News

FIX NETWORK OUTLINES AMBITIOUS EXPANSION PLANS FOR ATLANTIC

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XCLUSIVE TO AUTO & TRUCKING ATLANTIC! AUTOMOTIVE LEADER ON COURSE TO INTRODUCE PROCOLOR COLLISION IN THRIVING MARKET

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia: Fix Network has been rapidly increasing its presence across the Atlantic region over the past months through multiple franchise partnerships and strategic market development – key components of its expansion plans across the world. Three of the network’s brands – Fix Auto, Speedy Auto Service and NOVUS Glass – are running successfully in the Atlantic and it is on course to introduce its newly acquired ProColor Collision brand, further strengthening its presence in the region’s promising automotive aftermarket sector. The network will announce the opening of new franchise shops for ProColor in the coming months. Fix Network’s business comprises collision, glass repair and mechanical services, covering all three areas of the automotive aftermarket. Its franchise strategic partners enjoy exclusive territorial access, full operational support, training and technologies as well as established relationships with insurers and work providers. Steve Leal, President and CEO of Fix Network, believes that the presence of all four Fix Network brands in the Atlantic will give franchisees in the region wider options to choose to take up one or more franchise partnerships of these high-performing brands. The expansion strategy also demonstrates Fix Network’s commitment to encourage small and medium businesses in the community and support local economies through job creation and business development. 28

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“We are keen to emulate the Fix Network success story in the Atlantic, especially as franchisees in the region increasingly explore growth opportunities that fully utilize their financial, people and time resources. Over time, our brands have become synonymous with trust, quality, support and expertise – key components for their own business growth,” says Leal. “Everything about our business model, from our state-ofthe-art training to our proprietary technology platforms designed for maximum efficiency and cost optimization for day-to-day operations, sets us apart in the automotive aftermarket segment,” explains Leal. Currently, the Atlantic region is home to 22 Fix Auto facilities, 10 Speedy Auto outlets and 9 NOVUS Glass shops, while new ProColor Collision locations are expected to be announced soon – making Fix Network one of the fastest growing automotive aftermarket networks in the world. Mark Weeks, Regional VicePresident for Fix Network Atlantic, says that the Atlantic represents a robust and highly literate consumer market, with a high level of disposable income and greater acceptability of trusted brands. The added comfort of operating within a well-established global network allows them to focus on their business. “Brand penetration into this important region will be our core focus in the coming months,” Weeks points out. “Our partners are increasingly drawn towards the attractiveness of Fix Network’s robust franchisee support structure, which enables a more rapid achievement of brand recognition and continuous focus on development. In addition, our ability to support them as they expand their business has led many franchise partners to grow their business exponentially.”



At the Recycler’s Yard

RECYCLERS USE DATA TO THRIVE

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O D E R N AUTO RECYCLE RS PROCESS REAMS OF DATA TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY, INCREASE SERVICE LEVELS, PURCHASE CARS (IE OUR INVENTORY), SELL PARTS, AND MAXIMIZE THE REVENUE THEY SQUEEZE OUT OF EVERY VEHICLE.

Auto recyclers in North America benefit from interchange information (ie, what part fits which vehicle years, makes and models) licensed by Hollander - it’s the universal language behind our inventories. The data has been created from VIN information usually supplied by the OEMs and field tested by auto recyclers. Over time, these VINs have been decoded into about 200 part assemblies that form the inventory we manage. We look at part sales data, part requests, age of inventory, quality, OEM pricing as some of the metrics to determine the value of a salvage vehicle, and we also use this information to dynamically price our parts. At the individual vehicle level, these systems allow recyclers to track parts sold, parts left to sell, value of the space the vehicle occupies in the yard (ie at what point do you scrap that vehicle to bring in fresh inventory), and the future revenue of scrap and cores. Hopefully at the true end-of-life of this vehicle it results in profitability, but it doesn’t always. But that

With dozens of salvage auctions every week across Canada and the USA, recyclers need to be able to process information faster and in more detail to determine if they need a vehicle (for its parts) and what can they pay to try to achieve profitability. They rely upon their computers and the data they generate and consume to help make intelligent decisions.

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data is feed back in to the system to further improve buying. Unfortunately, the OEMs are sharing less information with recyclers these days, rather than more and that is affecting two of our larger customer bases - insurers and repairers. Insurers are trying to limit severity and repairers are trying to fix more vehicles - they want to use more of our products but OEMs are making it increasingly difficult for our systems to function well to the detriment of the motoring public, the repair economy and the environment. These are ongoing issues that the industry is working hard to turn around. Modern auto recyclers are really huge data warehouses, and this data is proving to be a valuable resource for the auto recycling industry and beyond. We need to ensure that the data serves everyone trying to keep vehicles on the road in a safe and affordable manner. Steve Fletcher, Managing Director Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) www.autorecyclers.ca


At The Car Wash

INCREASE ENGAGEMENT AND PROFIT WITH RETAIL ZONE MARKETING

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By Chad Bartlett

HE IMPACTS OF THE LAST SEVER AL MONTHS NAVIGATING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAVE WITHOUT A DOUBT FORCED OUR INDUSTRY TO LOOK AT WHAT WE DO, AND HOW WE DO IT THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS.

ignored. Through my visits to washes, I’ve seen

a wide variety of not only the number of pieces promoting services, but the number

Consumer buying behaviors shifted, some washes were forced to close their doors, and the economic landscape around the world changed. As we begin to see markets open and start on our paths to a new normal, there are best practices we realize in hindsight, that provide an opportunity to come back stronger. While we have all witnessed increased education focused on staying healthy, and cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting all things we interact with, we have the same opportunity to increase engagement with carwash customers regarding the wash services they purchase. We have seen several trends in car washing, some that demonstrate clear and compelling benefits, while others lean on buzz words or catchy names to stimulate impulse upgrades. There is no right or wrong, but there is a best practice, which ties back to… you guessed it – consumer education. With speed and through-put becoming an increasing expectation, carwash consumers have even less time to be influenced on a purchase decision. Carwash chemical applications with clear and compelling consumer benefits can help support and accelerate the purchase decision and provide positive validation through the wash experience. The concept of a retail zone marketing program can help align targeted messaging across multiple touchpoints that consumers interact with onsite. As consumers, we live and breathe retail zone marketing and often don’t even realize it. Subconsciously, our purchase decisions are influenced by the retail messages and experiences we encounter. Through interactions with 1000s of messages daily, too many messages or messages that do not convey a story, consequently, can become noise and will be autoatlantic.com

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At The Car Wash

of different or conflicting messages telling the consumer what they “need.” Carwash marketing should be focused in multiple areas of engagement with the consumer, promote one or two services at the most, and should align directly to your goals as a wash owner. This could be promoting a monthly unlimited membership, driving top package sales, or adding incremental sales of a new application or service to name a few.

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Every carwash property can be dissected into six key zones or areas of the property that can facilitate a touchpoint with the consumer. This can be a variety of interactions, including signs, banners, engagement with a cashier, or something as simple as a purchase receipt. The key is that the zones are connected in a way that allows your story to be told. You want to take your customers on a journey through your property, and leave feeling satis-

fied with their purchase and having had a positive experience. The six key zones of retail zone marketing consist of the following: Zone 1 - Welcome: Capture the attention of potential customers and inform them that your carwash is open and ready to serve. Zone 2 - Education: Increase the consumer’s carwash knowledge and guide them toward a purchase decision that aligns to their needs as well as your goals and business objectives. Zone 3 – Decision Point: Leverage your menu, service advisors or pay stations to enable the purchase selection. Zone 4 – Confirmation: Validate the purchase and services they will receive. Zone 5 – The Show: Wow the consumer as they experience their purchase first-hand through chemical and mechanical application, along with any theater elements that may be part of the wash process. Zone 6 – Departure: Thank the customer and communicate reminders or offers for future visits to increase loyalty. Through an effective retail zone marketing approach, you will lead your customers to their desired need, while delivering on your business goals. Utilizing touchpoints across these six key zones will help you: Accelerate purchase decisions that will help increase throughput Educate your carwash customers on specific wash package or application features and benefits Increase loyalty through a consistent story that builds consumer confidence Reinforce your customers experience as competitive differentiation Strengthen your wash’s popularity and reputation as customers leave satisfied and delighted Drive infrequent customers into loyal club members As you build your retail zone marketing strategies, you will first want to prioritize your goals and capture a baseline of what your marketing program will deliver, remembering that trying to activate too many messages across too many goals could end up being counterproductive. Remember to avoid using too many buzz words or catchy phrasing that may not be easily understood. In a recent consumer focus group study, commissioned by Zep, we learned that some terms that are intuitive to carwash industry professionals, do not resonate in the same way for the end consumer. Newer innovations such as ceramic-based chemical applications, as well as earlier innovations such


come blind to seeing the same pieces or designs. Keeping your messaging fresh and current will help to ensure you maintain engagement with your customers. In summary, what could be considered the most basic means of communicating to wash consumers, could be the most under-utilized. Consistent messaging that is strategically placed on the wash property will take the consumer on a buying

journey that can move a consumer from “just needing a basic wash” to jumping up a package or two, or maybe purchasing a membership. When done correctly, your wash revenue will thank you. Chad Bartlett is a senior marketing manager at Zep Vehicle Care. He has over 10 years of marketing experience in the carwash industry and can be reached at chad.bartlett@zep.com.

as triple foam were not consistently understood in terms of what was being applied to the car and what benefits the consumer will receive. Though unintended, the consequence of using flashy names to promote services without proper education, could mean that the consumer will opt-out of a higher package or additional service option. Once you’ve got a grasp of your messaging, you’ll want to assess your site and identify areas of opportunity across the six key zones. Today, there are more options than ever on how you can leverage each zone to enhance your marketing and interactions with your customers, including video, printed signage, onsite staff interactions with your customers, and the list goes on. Be aware of any municipality restrictions that may be in place for large signs and banners. As opportunities are assessed and components are chosen, it’s time to implement and install. Your retail zone marketing program implementation doesn’t stop after the installation. By aligning your messaging and touchpoints to your business goals, you’ll want to proactively measure the success of your new retail zone marketing program to quantify the return on your investment or make modifications as your goals shift, or the seasons change. Recall the thousands of messages that consumers interact with daily. You will want to refresh or rotate your messaging, even if it means a fresh spin on the same message. Consumers will eventually beautoatlantic.com

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East Coast Road Report

THE ATLANTIC ROAD REPORT BITS AND PIECES OF HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION NEWS FROM AROUND THE ATLANTIC REGION

NEWFOUNDLAND

Labrador Bridges Named in Honour of Innu Leaders The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, on July 30 announced that four bridges in Labrador will be named to commemorate four leaders of the Innu Nation. The four bridges are located on the Trans-Labrador Highway. The designated bridges and the names are: Penote Michel Memorial Bridge Manatueu-shipiss (Traverspine tributary), approximately 42 kilometres south of Happy Valley-Goose Bay; Tanien Ashini Memorial Bridge, Manatueu-shipiss (Traverspine River), approximately 42 kilometres south of Happy Valley-Goose Bay; Kanikuen Penashue Memorial Bridge, Tshenuamius-shipu (Kenamu River), approximately 75 kilometres south of Happy Valley-Goose Bay; and Munik Pone Memorial Bridge, Uapushkakamau-shipu (Pinus River), approximately 80 kilometres west of Happy ValleyGoose Bay. Names for the bridges were proposed by Innu Nation and accepted by the Provincial Government. Signs will be installed

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near each of the bridges to commemorate the lives of the Innu leaders, “It gives me great pleasure to join with the Innu Nation in announcing that four bridges on the Trans-Labrador Highway will proudly display the names of four Innu leaders. The people being honoured with this distinction have made significant and long-lasting contributions throughout their lives in the areas of governance, preserving cultures and traditions, and standing proud and tall for the Innu people and the Innu way of life,” said the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

NEW BRUNSWICK

New road and observation deck at Fundy Trail Parkway officially open Visitors to New Brunswick now have easier access to scenic views of the Fundy coastline with today’s official opening of a new road to the Fundy Trail Parkway from Sussex and the Walton Glen Gorge Observation Deck, projects that have been underway for more than two decades. These two projects required a total investment of $45 million over the past four years from both the provincial and federal

governments. The official opening marks an important step towards the completion of the Fundy Trail Parkway development. “Today’s announcement was a long time coming, but well worth the wait as people will now be able to experience the most stunning view on the east coast, no matter the season,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “This is a magnificent addition to what Tourism New Brunswick has to offer and is sure to put our province on the map when it comes to must-see destinations.” The new road extends about 12.7 km from the eastern gate of the Fundy Parkway towards Creek Road, south of Sussex. Its construction also involved enhancements including ditching, brush cutting, guiderail and slope stabilization on the existing Creek and Waterford Roads going towards Sussex. The new observation deck provides a view over Walton Glen Gorge. The area also offers a unique experience for visitors at the Little Salmon River Protected Natural Area. “Today’s official opening of the Fundy Trail Parkway is a huge step forward for tourism in this spectacular part of New Brunswick,” said federal Economic De-

velopment and Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly, who is also the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “This beautiful route will help more visitors discover the Bay of Fundy and the region’s many hidden gems, while supporting local tourism as it recovers from COVID-19. Our message to our tourism sector is clear: we have been here for you with immediate measures, we are here for you now as our economy reopens, and we will get through this together. We are working with you to support good jobs and help New Brunswick tourism come back strong.” The Fundy Trail Parkway is a 2,559-hectare park that welcomes more than 50,000 visitors per year. It features views along the shore of the Bay of Fundy and is operated by the not-for-profit organization, the Fundy Trail Development Authority Inc. With more than 30 km of road, the park provides multiple opportunities to seek out beaches, waterfalls, rocks and cliffs. Visitors can access 20 trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging wilderness hikes along the Fundy Coast, four waterfalls and eight points of interest including the Walton Glen Gorge, the Flower Pot Rock at Fownes Head, a autoatlantic.com

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1995 with the objective of creating a world-class destination. At that time, it included an area that ended at Big Salmon River. A major expansion of the park was undertaken in 2007. Thanks to the completion of the bridge located at Big Salmon River in 2008, further expansion was possible, and the parkway was completed in 2018.

NOVA SCOTIA

284-metre suspension footbridge crossing the Big Salmon River and an interpretive centre. “After 25 years of dedication and hard work, we are pleased to reach a new milestone in the development of the Fundy Trail Parkway project,” said Greg Turner, president of the Fundy Trail Development Authority Inc. “So many people have en36

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visioned and dreamed about developing this beautiful area where visitors can view the natural, unspoiled beauty of the Bay of Fundy coast. Today’s openings will allow the park to develop even more in the future.” The connector road to Sussex and the observation deck are part of the Fundy Trail Parkway project, which began in

Driver Licence Renewal Now Available Online Nova Scotians can now access a new online service to make it easier and faster to renew regular driver, motorcycle and farm tractor licences. Drivers can use the new service if they: have a licence that expires on or before Dec. 31; do not have outstanding fines or suspensions; have not recently changed their address online or do not need to change their address; have a regular (Class 5), motorcycle (Class 6) and farm tractor (Class 8) An electronic or printed renewal confirmation will be provided so people can continue to drive with their previous licence until their new card arrives in the mail. “With the impact of COVID-19 on our


East Coast Road Report

daily lives, Nova Scotians have been provided different ways to access services while following new public health protocols to help keep themselves and others healthy and safe,” said Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab. “The new online driver licence renewal service will be faster, easier and more convenient for thousands of people with licences that will expire soon.” Driver licences can still be renewed at Access Nova Scotia centres by calling to make an appointment or waiting in line.

Be prepared for travelling delays at entry points to PEI due to processing during periods of heavy traffic. What do I need to travel to Prince Edward Island? For efficient processing, permanent Atlantic Canadian residents are asked to complete the self-declaration form at least one to two days in advance of arriving at a PEI entry point. Travelers will be asked to present two pieces of personal identification with proof of residence, one of which must include photo identification, as well as a series of health screening questions. If you are not a permanent resident of Atlantic Canada, you must complete the self-declaration form at least one to two days in advance of arriving at a PEI entry point and present two pieces of personal identification, as illustrated, above PLUS: Arriving to PEI entry points without

names of all individuals who will make up your travel party. Once this form is submitted, any changes to your travel plans could result in a delay. What public health measures are in place once I enter PEI? Public health measures must be maintained at all of your points of interest while visiting Prince Edward Island. Everyone, including seasonal residents, should practice physical distancing, regular hand washing, staying home if feeling unwell, and contacting a primary care provider or calling 8-1-1 to discuss COVID-19 testing if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Tips for a successful online submission: Use Chrome as your Internet browser. Any section of the online form marked with * is a required field and must be completed.

proper documentation will result in delays. A paper version of this form is available at entry points for those that do not have Internet access. When should I complete this online form? Complete one (1) form per vehicle or travelling party. Travellers to PEI are asked to complete this online form one to two days prior to your arrival once you have confirmation of your travel dates and the

The declaration, within the web form, is to be completed by a parent or guardian and covers any dependant(s) or minor(s) traveling in the party. A person must be 18 years-old to make this declaration. If you are a solo traveler under the age of majority, you must have a parent or guardian make this declaration on your behalf.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Complete a PEI Self-Declaration Travel Form to Enter from Other Atlantic Provinces Starting Friday, July 3 at 12:01 am, Atlantic Canadians, and others who have been in the region at least 14 days, may travel to Prince Edward Island without needing to self-isolate. Public health and screening measures are in place across PEI as outlined in the travel restrictions order. For visitors from other Atlantic provinces Visitors coming to Prince Edward Island will need to complete the self-declaration form (see link below) including the following information: Atlantic Canadian residence Arrival and departure date and contact information Travelers’ names Health declaration

Keep a printed copy of the Preview page and the Submission ID.

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Carter’s Corner

NEWS OF THE WEIRD SELECTIONS FROM THE STRANGE, BIZARRE AND NEGLECTED COMPILED FROM AROUND THE ‘NET TO HOPEFULLY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR DAY THANK BABY JEEBUZ THEY DIDN’T USE IT FOR PIZZA DELIVERY! Drivespark.com recently reported on a story about a massive truck carrying a giant machine called an aerospace autoclave, took an entire year to travel from Maharashtra to VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre) in Kerala. The massive 74-wheeled truck reportedly left Nashik in July 2019, passed through 4 other states covering a total of 1,700km and is finally set to reach its destination soon; almost a year after it left. The massive truck is said to average

ed a pilot car to ensure the safe movement of the truck, while passing through cities. Officials also had to cut down trees, remove electric lines to ensure smooth movement of the truck. The 32-member crew would also plan their day ahead and inform concerned authorities of their arrival, especially before entering towns or cities. After almost a year of travel, the truck is finally said to have entered the state of Kerala earlier this month. It is now scheduled to reach its final destination of VSSC in Vattiyoorkavu, Kerala by the end of the month. Talking about the truck itself, as seen from the video the truck is a Volvo and is part of the brand’s FM series. While we cannot determine the exact model, the Volvo FM series are massively capable trucks with huge payload carrying capacity, with gigantic power and torque figures.

BABY DRIVER

just 5 kilometres every day. The massive truck blocks the entire road, with no place for any other vehicles to pass and requires a crew of 32 members to control its movement. As seen in the video, the aerospace autoclave weighs in at 70-tonnes and has a height and width of 7.5-metres and 6.65-metres, respectively. The massive machine, manufactured in Nashik, makes various other equipment used in India’s space research projects. During the transfer of the machine, all vehicular activity around the truck had to be stopped, to ensure the safety of other motorists. Police also provid38

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A trooper stopping a car with a suspected “impaired driver” on a U.S. highway on Monday was bemused to find a 5-year-old in the driver’s seat, the Utah Highway Patrol tweeted. After seeing a vehicle driving slowly and weaving in the left lane of the Inter-

state 15 freeway, the trooper turned on his siren, and the driver neatly pulled over to the side of the road. Dashboard camera video posted by the police captures the conversation between the trooper and the driver, which has since been viewed on YouTube almost 760,000 times. “You’re 5 years old?” the trooper says. “Wow!” He then asks the child where he learned how to drive and takes down other details. The boy, who was not identified as he is a minor, said he had left home in his parents’ vehicle after arguing with his mother, who had told him she would not buy him a Lamborghini. “He decided to take the car and go to California to buy one himself,” the police said in a tweet, adding: “He might have been short on the purchase amount as he only had $3 in his wallet.” The Utah police did not respond to requests for more information about the boy.

NEWS OF THE WEED You’ve heard the phrase “sticking your nose in other people’s business,” and that’s exactly what a Fayette County, Texas, deputy did during a traffic stop when he opened the hatch of a septic-service tank truck and discovered 350 pounds of marijuana inside. Drug investigator David Smith stopped the truck near Flatonia, Texas, which is midway between San Antonio and Houston on Interstate 10, a busy drug smuggling corridor where traffickers typically use commercial vehicles. Smith said the driver appeared nervous and had no license. Her male passenger was also on edge. The deputy said the two gave consent to search the truck, but they may not have counted on him so thoroughly discharging his duty. He opened the tank and found “multiple bundles which were wrapped in plastic cellophane, axle grease and tape consistent with illegal narcotics,” said Sheriff Keith Korenek told local media. We sincerely hope the bundles were expertly wrapped to be waterproof and everything-proof, because they contained 350



Carter’s Corner

pounds of pot that was bound for a bong near you. We’ve seen pot smuggled lots of ways over the years, from inside Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs again and again, to a senior Santa and Mrs. Claus thoughtfully delivering 60 pounds of Christmas “presents.” But we haven›t seen a pipeline quite this potent.

NEW HAMPSHIRE’S FLYING HIGH? In another Autoblog story, New Hampshire’s fierce embrace of personal freedom confers drivers there a latitude found nowhere else in the nation. The Granite State is the only one that doesn’t legally mandate wearing a seat belt. Earlier this year, state legislators worked to repeal the 85-year-old law declaring, “No person, while hunting or obviously on his way to or from hunting, shall have a ferret in his possession, custody or control,” which we’re pretty sure is another issue only faced in New Hampshire. Looking to the future, Governor Chris Sununu signed House Bill 1182 into law. Covered by Forbes, the “Jetson Bill,” HB 1182 legalizes driving a flying car on public roads. Specifically, the law creates a way for the owner of a «roadable aircraft» to register with the Division of Motor Vehicles and pay a fee to get license plates, but using the car as a plane can still only happen at an airport. Ex-State Rep. Keith Ammon is now the New Hampshire distributor for PAL-V flying cars (pictured at right). He worked with current State Rep. Steven Smith on the law — or as Smith put it, Ammon “brought me a list of stuff we needed to address.” Smith also heads his state’s autonomous vehicle review commission, and said, «I look for ways to boost our image as a state that embraces technology change. Maybe people will come here first.» Since flying cars — whenever they take off — will need to be certified by the FAA as airworthy and flown by pilots, legislators worked to fill in the gaps between FAA and state motor vehicle regulations. FAA-certified mechanics conduct annual inspections, and the agency already requires seat belts, enforces rollover standards, and mandates a forward crumple zone. Pilots get annual physicals to keep their flying licenses current. The Jetson Bill adopts the plane ID number issued by the New Hampshire›s aeronautics agency as the vehicle›s VIN, plus each vehicle will have an FAA «N» number for national use and a New Hampshire license plate so local police can find out whose flying car they›re pulling over. The bill also establishes a com40

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mittee to look more closely at the issue. Of note, again, only trained pilots can fly the things, and takeoffs and landings will only be allowed at airports. We’re not sure how many pilots would benefit from not needing to catch a ride at their destination airport, but since the FAA hasn’t approved any flying cars yet, and there are none requesting approval yet, we have some time to answer those questions. Meanwhile, HB 1182 ushered in some more practical legislation related to tolls, impaired driving, and license revocation.

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Around the Atlantic

AHEAD BY A CENTURY: ROBERT K. BUZZELL CREDITS EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS

FOR HELPING THE MONCTON INSTITUTION MARK 100 YEARS IN BUSINESS

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By Kristen Lipscombe

HIS MONTH FEATURES SEVERAL IMPORTANT MILESTONES FOR ATLANTIC CANADIAN AUTOMOTIVE AND ENGINE INDUSTRY STAPLE BOB BUZZELL AND HIS FAMILY. On Sept. 20, 2020, his Moncton-based company Robert K. Buzzell Limited will mark the day that the fourth-generation business first opened its doors to customers an impressive 100 years ago. Another milestone for Bob this year, is 45 years of marriage to his wife Paulette. That’s almost as long as Bob has been committed to the family business, where he has worked for more than 50 years! “From going from a carded system to managing inventory on computers; it was so different back then,” Bob remarked of how he has seen business operations change over more than five decades. “The automotive industry has changed a fair amount also – they’re building better products which don’t break as often, so

FOUNDER ROBERT K. BUZZELL

the parts business has got to get caught up, and now the electric equipment is going to change the market.” Simply put, Bob said, “if you don’t change with the times, you’re going to be left behind,” which is why Robert K. Buzzell Limited has always managed to stay

LINDSAY HART TO THE LEFT AND JENNIFER BUZZELL TO THE RIGHT

at the forefront of this ever-changing industry. Bob followed in the footsteps of his father Leslie Buzzell and his namesake grandfather Robert K Buzzell, who first opened up as an electrical and carburetor repair shop in Moncton, with the business quickly growing into 10 branches throughout Atlantic Canada that distributed automotive parts across the east coast region for several decades. “It’s definitely a family affair,” Bob told Auto and Trucking Atlantic. “My grandfather started it in 1920. My father and his brother Robert worked in the business and my brother Howard worked in the business until he decided he wanted to sell to my daughter, Jennifer, who bought his shares out.” Bob got into the business immediately after graduating high school because he didn’t really know what else he wanted to do for his career; he just knew he “liked working on cars.” “Like any young kid, I knew that I needed to get a job so that I could buy a car … and I took an interest in the automotive business,” he explained. He’s since


taken several commerce and marketing courses but believes “common sense and the interest” are true keys to business success. Bob, now serves as president, while daughters Jennifer Buzzell, and Lindsay Hart, are the company’s vice-presidents. Jennifer manages inventory control and major product lines while Lindsay leads marketing and sales. Jennifer received her post-secondary education from Oulton College in Moncton, specializing in business, while Lindsay received a commerce degree in busines administration from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. The business has become a smaller operation over the past several years, with the family making the tough decision to sell the automotive division in January 2013 to concentrate specifically on Atlantic Air Cooled Engines, a division which has been operating since 1935, as the Buzzells considered the future of the industry and what was best for the family overall. “It’s very male-dominated,” Bob said of the automotive business. “Some of the customers … were very reluctant to deal with women … They’re not all like that but you get some of them, so when I looked at the future I said, ‘Look, if we get out of the automotive business and just focus on our small engine business, we can make a good living doing that.’ “ While Jennifer and Lindsay will even-

tually take over the family business, and perhaps one day his “four lovely granddaughters,” who range in age from two to 10 years old (girl power!), Bob’s not quite ready to retire just yet. “I’m still having fun,” Bob said, “so we’ll wait and see.” In the meantime, though, ”we moved into our new building at 254 Horsman Road in September 2013 and began a new chapter in our business,” the Atlantic Air Cooled Engines website reads. The newer location is nestled in Moncton West Industrial Park. “Our goal is to continue to expand by introducing new and innovative products, as well as to exceed our customers’ expectations in quality, delivery and costs, through continuous improvement and customer interaction.” As Bob explained further, “we distribute parts for items like generators and snow blowers and lawn mowers … (and) we’re also in the forestry industry, so we sell bars and chains to the people that go into harvesting.” “We do warehouse some automotive lines,” he added. “We’re a fee warehouse for Dayco Rubber supplies and … Dixie Auto Electric, which are starters and alternators.” “Our distribution covers the four Atlantic provinces and we have a couple of guys that are on the road, full-time travelling, calling on service dealers, checking in on any warranty issues or any outstanding issues that they can look after.”

BOB BUZZELL

THE SECOND LOCATION ON FOUNDRY STREET

FOURTH LOCATION ON DRISCOLL CRESCENT

TODAY’S LOCATION AT 254 HORSMAN ROAD


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Bob said that the business went from “about 112 employees down to about 16, so it’s quite a bit smaller operation than what we had but it’s a lot easier (to manage) and still competitive like every other business.” Nevertheless, past employees remain important to the family, with about 75 expected to join current staff at a dinner party in early September to celebrate the 100th anniversary.

LEFT IS LESLIE BUZZELL, CENTER IS BOB BUZZELL AND TO THE RIGHT IS HOWARD BUZZELL. PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON THE COMPANY’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY”

“Because of COVID-19, we had to scale it down, but what we’re going to have is basically a cocktail hour, a dinner, we’re going to have a comedian coming in and then we’re just going to have to wind it down,” Bob said. “You’ve got to watch what you’re doing and social distance, so it’s going to be a much smaller party than we anticipated a year ago.” The company has also been open as an essential service since the start of the pandemic. “We sell power generators and Harvester Chain and Bars for the Harvester Industry, so we have to be open.” “COVID has been different,” Bob admitted. “We’ve had to prepare for it by outfitting our retail counter with plexiglass and hand sanitizers, but as far as sales, we really haven’t been too affected,” Bob said. “Our salespeople are equipped with masks and shields and sanitizers and everything else they need.” Despite the obstacles of dealing with a global pandemic, this smaller 100th anniversary celebration will no doubt be just as meaningful. “This is a fourth generation family-owned business and there are not very many businesses in Atlantic Canada, and for that matter across Canada that can really say that,” Bob said. The reasons Robert K. Buzzell Limited has stood the test of time – a full century – is because of the strong sense of business ethics passed on through the generations, Bob believes. “The success of your business is based on how good your people are,” Bob said. “I always say people buy from people. They don’t buy from a company; they buy from people. If you have the right people, you’ll be successful.” It’s also vital to treat your customers and clients as you would expect to be treated. “We treat our customers with respect,” Bob said. “We want to understand our customers and get to know them a little bit.” “They’re your bread and butter and you want to make them feel as important as they are.” The same goes for building positive relationships with suppliers. “It’s just like a clock; it all goes around.” For Robert K. Buzzell Limited, that clock has been going ’round for 100 years, with valuing employees, suppliers and customers alike paying off for a business that has certainly stood the test of time. “My grandfather … (and ) my father – he’s been gone for 10 years now – if those guys could see that we’re still going, and we’re still plugging away, and the fourth generation is in there, they’d be pretty proud.”


Crossword Contest

CROSSWORD (ANSWERS IN THE NEXT AUTO & TRUCKING ATLANTIC)

JULY 2020 WINNER!

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Mike MacNeil of Sydney, NS is our latest Crossword Puzzle winner! Congratulations on winning your new Rust Check package of goodies. Deadline for entry is October 25th, 2020

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ACROSS

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1. Meter ____, The Beatles’ Rita

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LAST ISSUE’S CROSSWORD 1

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14. Boat motor type 16. Tripmeter reset reading (1,1,1,1,1) 17. Jan’s “Dead Man’s Curve” partner 18. Cozy countryside stopovers

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NAPA Guess & Win contest

NAPA GUESS & WIN! BROUGHT TO YOU BY

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Best wishes to Milton Saunders of Corner B r o o k , NL, who correctly answered: “Bubba Wallace of the 43 Chevrolet Camaro (Richard Pett y Motorsports) . . .” Thank you to all who entered our contest, you could be next!

YOUR NAME: PHONE: ADDRESS: CITY / TOWN / VILLAGE: PROVINCE: POSTAL CODE: EMAIL: YOUR ANSWER:

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