Southern Automotive Journal

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Lexus IS Retractable Hard-Top



August 2010

COLLISION NEWS NCOIL Delays Steering Model Act to Fall Meeting





BMW Concept Gran Coupé

Automotive Recyclers Association Urges Congress to Pass Right to Repair Act

MECHANICAL NEWS 61st Annual Auto Repair Showdow Awarded $11.5 Million In Scholarships

DEALER NEWS Nissan North America Launches National Wholesale Parts Rewards Loyalty Program Ford Motor Company Has Introduced A New Innovation Curve Control Volkswagen Announces VWCertified Collision Repair Facility Program

Based on a powerful tradition, the BMW Concept Gran Coupé carries the essence of brand values and the genes of BMW design into the future. The concept shows the classic features of all BMW coupes: the long wheelbase, the vaulted hood with forwardpointing lines, the set-back greenhouse, the flat silhouette, the coupe-style roof line and the short front overhang reflect the

dynamic potential of the vehicle. The surface structures and the fact that the design quality is geared towards perfection illustrate the aspiration of the brand BMW to build 4-door high-performance coupes with the sportiest proportions and the most elegant design. In the BMW Concept Gran Coupé, BMW Please Turn to Page 4

PERMIT NO. 00335

Suzuki Kizashi

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BMW From Front Cover BMW presents the vision of a 4-door vehicle which combines the exclusivity of a Gran Turismo with the fascination of a high-performance sports car. The design of the concept underscores the expertise of the BMW brand in the development of vehicles with a distinctive sporty character which offer space for more than two occupants. This reflects the particular quality of the BMW Group design philosophy, which consists in precisely and authentically translating the specific values of product substance into an aesthetically convincing shaping style. The design process is set through with a passion for aesthetic appeal and dynamic performance, precision and perfection. This is how the uncompromising premium aspiration of a BMW Group product, the unmistakable style of the BMW brand and the precisely defined character of each model are given concrete form. The body design of the BMW Concept Gran Coupé expresses sporty flair in its ultimate form. The 4door vehicle clearly signals the very highest level of dynamic performance with its extremely elegant, flat and coupe-like proportions. Stretching the entire length of the vehicle and therefore measuring about 16 feet, flowing lines dominate the design, giving rise to outstanding aerodynamic levels, just as the low centre of gravity reflects an agile driving response. The front section is defined by the BMW kidney grille characteristic of the brand - an icon of body design which is not just central but also a dominating

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element of front design. The kidney grille of the BMW Concept Gran Coupé has a flat appearance, with an asymmetrical side view which emphasises the close attention to detail. The central section with the kidney grille is formally separated from other BMW icons such as the headlights and air inlets. The clarity of the

movement. The roof line tapers off gently into the rear, thereby elongating the vehicle’s proportions. The forward-tilted shark nose visually extends the hood and creates characteristic BMW proportions with its forward-pointing dynamism. This stretched character is also highlighted by the side lines, where there is a deliberate avoidance of the typical sill line. The flat proportions make the window graphics appear extremely narrow and dynamic at the same time. Another BMW design icon, the Hofmeister kink, is especially strikingly formed - additionally emphasising the exclusive character of the vehicle. The frameless doors give the BMW Concept Gran Coupé a modern character since the glass surfaces appear to merge seamlessly without being interrupted by columns. At the rear, only design elements such as the lights and tailpipe trim appear to be visible at first sight. The entire rear section appears slimmer and lighter at the centre, though still exuding power and dynamic performance BMW Continued on Page 28

LED front lights highlights the vehicle’s precision and premium aspirations. The air inlet runs back an extremely long way into the side section, making the front section appear particularly wide. All elements of the front section appear to merge to form a single, elegantly curved August 2010

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Domestic Brands Surpass Imports in Initial Quality for the First Time in IQS History Domestic auto brands, as a whole, have demonstrated higher initial quality than import brands for the first time, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) released recently. The study has been conducted annually for the past 24 years. Overall, the industry average for initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2010, increasing slightly from 108 PP100 in 2009. However, initial quality for domestic brands as a whole has improved by 4 PP100 in 2010 to an average of 108 PP100—slightly better than the initial quality of import brands, which averages 109 PP100 in 2010. Substantial improvements by many domestic models—including the Ford Focus, Ram 1500 LD and Buick Enclave—drive the overall improvement of domestic automakers in 2010. In particular, initial quality of Ford models has improved steadily for the past nine years. In addition, as a corporation,

Ford Motor Company (including Volvo) has 12 models that rank within the top three in their respective segments in 2010—more than any other corporation. General Motors Company has 10 models that rank within the top three in their segments. Initial quality performance demonstrated by U.S. brands in 2010 contrasts sharply with consumer sentiment from one year ago. According to data collected by the J.D. Power Web Intelligence Division between May and July 2009, much of the online consumer discussion about automotive quality centered around the difficulties U.S. automakers were facing, and perceptions that these problems were largely caused by poor product quality. “Domestic automakers have made impressive strides in steadily improving vehicle quality, particularly since 2007,” said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. “This year may mark a key turning point for U.S. brands as

they continue to fight the battle against lingering negative perceptions of their quality. However, there is still a long road ahead, and domestic manufacturers need to consistently prove to consumers that they can produce models with quality that equals or beats that of the import brands. Achieving quality comparability is the first half of the battle; convincing consumers—particularly import buyers—that they have done this is the second half.” According to J.D. Power’s Web Intelligence Division, online consumer conversations about vehicle quality have recently shifted to a more concrete tone. In 2010, consumers are more often discussing quality as it applies to their own personal vehicle purchase decisions, rather than how domestic brands overall are affected by perceptions of low quality. Initial quality of new models and major redesigns continues to improve J.D. Power Please Turn to Page 19

Volkswagen Announces VW-Certified Collision Repair Facility Program Volkswagen of America, Inc. recently announced a VW-Certified Collision Repair Facility program for U.S. dealeraffiliated and independent body shops. This program provides VW-certification for collision repair facilities performing repairs in accordance with Volkswagen's high safety standards and specifications. "Volkswagen is excited to partner with both dealer-affiliated and independent collision repair facilities to increase repair quality and customer satisfaction with the Volkswagen brand," said Matthew McCauley, Collision Program Manager for Volkswagen of America. "This program benefits Volkswagen owners by providing the peace of mind that comes from knowing that when a vehicle is involved in a collision, VWCertified Collision Repair Facilities will maintain the brand's safety standards and specifications." Volkswagen conducted a pilot with a group of fifteen repair facilities to maximize program benefits for body

shops before launching the program nationally. Technicians at Volkswagen Certified Collision Repair Facilities must undergo training in the proper use of the factory-approved repair equipment, tools, and technologies to meet Volkswagen's exact safety standards and specifications. Repair facilities must also use Volkswagen-approved tools. Volkswagen will visit repair facilities to provide annual program certification and will list VWCertified Collision Repair Facilities as they become certified on Dealer-affiliated and independent collision repair facilities will benefit from the prestige, marketing, and increased customer retention benefits of being a VW-Certified Collision Repair Facility. Volkswagen will provide collision repair facilities access to marketing materials to promote their certified status, in addition to exclusive access to vehicle specific-, structural material-, and collision industry-training on a dedicated program website, 2010

parts/certified-collision-repair-facilityprogram/. Volkswagen will also provide customers with free 24-hour towing of vehicles under warranty exclusively to VW-Certified Collision Repair Facilities as part of the Roadside Assistance program, when they call 800-411-6688. This program benefits Volkswagen dealers by providing them with full service capabilities for customers. Volkswagen will allow dealers to either nominate their own collision repair facility to be certified by Volkswagen or to nominate an independent collision repair facility that meets Volkswagen standards. Additionally, dealers will benefit from additional genuine Volkswagen Collision Parts sales to their sponsored collision repair facility. Repair facilities interested in participating in this program should contact Volkswagen of America at Volkswagen dealerships should nominate collision repair facilities by contacting vwcollisionparts@ Southern Automotive Journal

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ASA Delivers Service Information Presentation to New York Joint Legislative Committee The Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection and the Assembly Standing Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection held a joint hearing June 9 to hear testimony on the proposed New York State Automotive Right to Repair Act, Senate Bill 7302 and Assembly Bill 6634. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposes the New York State Right to Repair Act. Donny Seyfer, AAM, ASA board member, Seyfer Automotive, Wheat Ridge, Colo., answered questions from the committee regarding service information requests and the National

Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF). ASA has made several presentations to members and staff of the New York legislature in recent years regarding service information availability. NASTF is a not-for-profit task force established to facilitate the identification and correction of gaps in the availability and accessibility of automotive service information, service training, diagnostic tools and equipment, and communications for the benefit of automotive service professionals. NASTF is a voluntary, cooperative effort among the automotive service industry, the equipment and

tool industry, and automotive manufacturers. New York unions, automobile manufacturers and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles all submitted comments in opposition to the Right to Repair Act. The New York legislature has not scheduled any further action on the Right to Repair Act for this year. The Automotive Service Association is working with New York state policymakers to establish service information training sessions in the state later this year.n

Ford Motor Company Has Introduced A New Innovation – Curve Control Ford Motor Company recently introduced a new innovation – Curve Control – designed to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles when taking a curve too quickly. Curve Control debuts as standard equipment on the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer going into production later this year, and will be offered on 90 percent of the company’s North American crossovers, sport utilities, trucks and vans by 2015. The technology senses when a driver is taking a curve too quickly – a situation found to contribute to about 50,000 crashes each year in the U.S. – and rapidly reduces engine torque and can apply four-wheel braking, slowing the vehicle by up to 10 mph in about

one second. “Too many accidents stem from drivers misjudging their speed going into curves and freeway off- and onramps,” said Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “Ford’s Curve Control technology senses a potentially dangerous situation and reduces power and applies brakes more quickly than most drivers can react on their own.” Curve Control is effective on dry or wet pavement, and is expected to be particularly useful when drivers are entering or exiting freeway on- or offramps with too much speed. When a vehicle enters a curve too fast, the system responds to the driver’s steering input by rapidly reducing torque and

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increasing brake pressure to help keep the vehicle under control. The patent-pending system works by measuring how quickly the vehicle is turning and comparing that with how quickly the driver is trying to turn. When the vehicle is not turning as much as the driver is steering – also known as “pushing” – Curve Control activates. The system applies the precise amount of braking required on each wheel to enhance the individual wheel braking of the traditional stability control system. Based on Ford’s exclusive AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™), Curve Control uses sensors to measure roll rate, yaw rate, lateral accelCurve Control Please Turn to Page 13

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ASA Mechanical Committee Meets in Kansas City The Automotive Service Association (ASA) Mechanical Division Operations Committee recently met in Kansas City, Mo., for its annual meeting to discuss several topics affecting the mechanical repair industry. The meeting was held in conjunction with the SkillsUSA 46th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference where ASA members had an opportunity to serve as judges in several categories. Eleven committee members divided judging duties among the Automotive Service Technology Competition and the Customer Service Competition. In addition, Jerry Burns, AAM, ASA chairman, served as a judge for the Automotive Refinishing Technology Competition. Judging took place June 24, followed by a two-day operations committee meeting. “Working with the SkillsUSA staff and student competitors was an incredibly rewarding and enlightening experience. The students were terrific, and the volunteer staff and advisers show a real dedication to our youth,” said Bill Moss, AAM, ASA Mechanical Division director and owner of Ferris Automotive Inc., Warrenton, Va.

Throughout the meeting, the ASA volunteer leadership focused their discussions on a variety of topics, ranging from legislative activities to subcommittee tasks (current and future) to cooperative efforts with other groups and the Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) event coming up Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas. “We are very fortunate to have a great group of shop owners willing to take time away from their businesses to work on issues that will benefit our membership and the industry,” said Moss. In addition to Moss, the following operations committee members were present: Howard Pitkow, AAM, assistant division director, Wagenwerx Inc., Wyndmoor, Pa.; Mike Brewster, AAM, Gil’s Garage Inc., Burnt Hills, N.Y; Douglass Kirchdorfer, AAM, Downing Street Garage, Denver, Colo.; Dave Kusa, Autotrend Diagnostics, Campbell, Calif.; Diane Larson, AAM, Larson’s Service Inc., Peabody, Mass.; Vernie Menke, Menke’s Automotive Repair, Newburgh, Ind.; Merle Pfeifer, AAM, Sparks Car Care Inc., Federal Way, Wash.; Tom Piippo, TriCounty Motors, Rudyard, Mich.; Terry

Wynter, AAM, Terry Wynter Auto Service Center, Fort Myers, Fla.; and Betty Jo Young, AAM, Young’s Automotive Center, Houston, Texas. Robbie Addison, manager of ASA’s Mechanical Division, said: “Holding the operations committee meeting in conjunction with the SkillsUSA competition was a great way for ASA’s Mechanical Division leaders to get involved with the program and work with the next generation of technicians and future employees. It was a great lead-in to our annual committee meeting. The enthusiasm gained from this meeting as well as SkillsUSA fuels the momentum for accomplishing the objectives of the committee and its subcommittees.” The members of ASA’s Mechanical Division Operations Committee represent repair facilities of varying sizes from across the United States. The committee works on behalf of all ASA mechanical members to advance and promote the automotive service and repair industry. Several committee projects are handled through various subcommittees, which currently include education and training, marketing, parts quality and shop licensing.n

August 2010

Southern Automotive Journal

Suzuki Launches New 2010 Kizashi Sedan

American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) takes a bold step forward with its introduction of the 2010 Kizashi. Known primarily as a maker of small vehicles and high-performance motorcycles, December 2009 marked the showroom debut of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi (pronounced “Kee-Zah-Shee”), the company’s first entry into the all-wheel-drive sport sedan segment. With the launch of the Kizashi, Suzuki delivers a unique blend of dynamic performance attributes and premium design aesthetics and craftsmanship yet to be experienced in this category. The Kizashi will serve as the company’s flagship vehicle, further expanding and strengthening its awardwinning product line of high-quality small cars, trucks and SUVs. Built at Suzuki’s brand-new manufacturing facility in Sagara, Japan, the 2010 Kizashi is equipped with a 2.4liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine. Benefiting from an oversquare bore/ stroke ratio and 10:1 compression, the new Suzuki powerplant delivers 185 HP (@ 6,500 rpm) and 170 lb-ft of torque (@ 4,000 rpm) with the manual transmission. When mated to the performancetuned CVT, the 2.4 liter DOHC inline four delivers 180 HP (@ 6,000 rpm). In either configuration it is a more power10

Southern Automotive Journal

ful engine than those engines which are standard in many conventional midsize sedans. The twin cam four employs both an aluminum block and cylinder heads, providing a lightweight, compact installation; aluminum pistons with low tensile force rings deliver improved power and efficiency. Drop-forged connecting rods, rotating on a forged steel crankshaft, contribute to the inline four’s durability, and a balancer shaft delivers improved engine balance and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The responsive inline four is connected to a six-speed manual transmission, for heightened performance in the low gears, while affording relaxed – and economical – cruising capability in the higher gears. Customers may also opt for an available performance-tuned Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that delivers both the driving experience and fuel efficiency today’s consumers demand, without compromising the character preferred by driving enthusiasts. That character is enhanced with available paddle shifters, optimizing driver control regardless of speed or driving environment. With either transmission choice, the Kizashi is engineered to return competitive fuel economy numbers for America’s growing number August 2010

of fuel-conscious consumers. In order to distinguish itself in a saturated segment, Suzuki breaks away from the traditional values normally associated with mainstream sedans and builds on Suzuki’s now well-established belief – via Swift and SX4 – to deliver a dynamic and exhilarating driving experience. That driving experience was validated on Germany’s Autobahn, Switzerland’s Alpine corners, the cobblestone roads of rural England and the legendary Nürburgring. An exceptionally rigid steel unibody – with reinforced front suspension and multi-link rear suspension constructed with embedded aluminum – allows for crisp, nimble handling with excellent stability, a sophisticated ride and reduced chassis vibration. Engineered from conception to be all-wheel-drive capable, the Kizashi offers a newly developed all-wheel-drive system with highly advanced controls that evokes and promotes a natural sense of driving enthusiasm and safety. Kizashi’s sophisticated braking system offers standard fourwheel disc brakes and includes suppliers such as Akebono, a world-leader in NVH control and analysis and a leading brake Kizashi Please Turn to Page 27

Sam Memmolo & Dave Bowman Return To National Television Masters Entertainment Group, Inc. (MEG) announced their newest television series “Motorhead Garage” featuring Sam Memmolo, and Dave Bowman, formerly of Shadetree Mechanic and Two Guys Garage. The series will debut on Fox Sports Network (FSN) National Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 11:30A nationwide. It will repeat on Monday, July 26, 2010 at 4:30P, and will run for twelve (12) consecutive weeks, at those time slots, in third quarter 2010. The series will then return to FSN in January of 2011 for an additional thirteen (13) weeks. “We are extremely pleased to reunite this dynamic duo. Sam and Dave were the pioneers and originators

of the “Automotive How To” programs,” stated Butch McCall, Executive Vice President of Masters. “They developed the concept of step by step “product installation” designed to help the automotive enthusiasts utilize the latest in aftermarket products.” “I’m excited about getting back to work with my long time friend and cohost Dave Bowman, and bringing back some “Honest How To” for all our friends in the car hobby”, said Sam Memmolo. The series will feature “Step by Step” instructions as each product installation is completed. The series will be archived on Masters Entertainment Groups Internet Television Network at “If our audience misses an episode of Motorhead Garage they can log on for free viewing and downloads,” McCall continued. “I am really looking forward to once again share the garage and tool box with my pal Sam, and to bring to our audience the latest in technical information, products and procedures from all the manufactures” said Dave Bowman. If you are interested in having your company’s products featured by Sam and Dave on “Motorhead Garage” contact Masters Entertainment Group by phone at 423-968-7736 or by email Butch McCall at n

I-CAR Announced New Role-based Training Model I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair will host the 2010 I-CAR Industry Conference at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL. The event will be held on July 21 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. This year’s event will coincide with several other industry meetings being held during the same week. I-CAR will introduce details of the new curriculum model that has been developed over the last two years based on inter-industry feedback. I-CAR has focused on clearly defining industry roles, identifying the knowledge and skills needed to

be effective in each role, and developing a training and recognition structure that aligns with the direction of the industry. Commenting on the new curriculum model, Chuck Lee, Collision Repair Industry Segment Advisory Council Member and Illinois Operations Manager at Gerber Collision and Glass said, “From a hiring perspective, employers will be able to identify the knowledge and skillset of a potential employee and have a basic understanding of the quality and consistency they bring to the job. The new curriculum model is going to help the industry as a whole rise to a level

of professionalism that it hasn’t been structured for in the past. ” Information around the overall structure, the roles that have been defined, the impact to recognition programs, and the transition plan will be announced at the event. Dusty Womble, I-CAR Executive Committee and Board Member and Chairman of the International Advisory Committee stated, “The new role-based training model will allow the industry to focus on the training they need to do their jobs thoroughly and give them the opportunity to do it smarter, better, and faster.” n


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NCOIL Delays Steering Model Act to Fall Meeting The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) PropertyCasualty Insurance Committee continued to delay action on issues important to collision repairers at its summer meeting in Boston. The committee followed its "no final action" on the Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair Model Act with "no final action" on the proposed Model Act Regarding Insurer Autobody Steering. The committee took no action on either issue at its spring 2010 meeting

in South Carolina earlier this year. Both issues will now move to the NCOIL annual meeting later this year in Austin, Texas. ASA opposes the Model Act Regarding Insurer Autobody Steering as it is currently drafted. ASA raised issues regarding the selection of repair facilities provisions. Specifically, the proposed Model Act included no language regarding training, equipment and certifications for repair facilities. In addition, the model's provisions also encouraged a system seeking the lowest common

denominator within the marketplace, punishing those shops with higher training, equipment and quality repair standards. Insurer disclosure requirements in the Model Act did not include any information as to shop staff training, equipment criteria or shop certifications. ASA encourages independent repairers to go to the ASA legislative website,, to view the text from the proposed model bill.n

Curve Control From Page 7

contributor.” About half of those interchange crashes occurred when at-fault drivers were in the process of exiting interstates and another 36 percent occurred when drivers were entering interstates. “While we strongly encourage our customers to drive at safe speeds, systems such as Curve Control can be useful in unexpected situations,” said Ali Jammoul, Ford chief engineer, Chassis Systems. Ford has been awarded more five-star U.S. government ratings and Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety than any other automaker. In 2009 Ford introduced radarenabled adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, and BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert. These technologies – introduced on the new Ford Taurus and Fusion – help drivers avoid potentially dangerous crash situations by using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warning the driver with a

combination of visual and audio alerts. On the 2002 Explorer, Ford launched the industry’s first rolloveractivated side curtain airbags – called Safety Canopy® – as well as Roll Stability Control technology that goes beyond traditional stability control systems by measuring the vehicle’s roll rate to enhance vehicle stability. Ford also introduced some of the industry’s first pressure-based airbag technologies that help deploy side airbags up to 30 percent faster on the 2009 F-150 and 2010 Taurus.n

eration, wheel speed and steering wheel angle, and runs calculations based on those inputs 100 times every second. “Ford is developing technologies such as Curve Control and radarbased collision warning systems that can prevent crashes from happening in the first place,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford vice president of Engineering for Global Product Development. “These new active systems designed to prevent accidents are the perfect complement for Ford’s leading passive safety systems – such as advanced airbags and high-strength vehicle structures – that protect occupants when a crash is inevitable.” Curve Control is one of several new driver assist and safety technologies to be offered on the all-new Explorer. Other technologies include next-generation adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, state-ofthe-art pressure-based airbag technology, the industry’s first inflatable rear seat belts and intelligent four-wheel-drive terrain management system. Ford safety researchers found through analysis of government crash data that approximately 50,000 crashes annually in the U.S. involve driving too fast on a curve. According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, freeway ramps “are the sites of far more crashes per miles driven than other segments of interstate highways.” In that 2004 study of more than 1,100 urban freeway interchange crashes, vehicle speed was noted as a “primary crash

August 2010

Southern Automotive Journal


Lexus IS Retractable Hard-Top Convertible Offers Top-Down Expressiveness with Coupe-Inspired Styling

operation in either direction, ensuring an elegant and quiet movement. On models equipped with available Intuitive Park Assist (IPA), sonar sensors in the rear bumper will stop the movement of the luggage door at the start of operation if it detects an obstacle will interfere. Also, a visual warning will appear on the instrument panel if a detected obstacle may soon interfere with top operation. When the IS convertible’s top is opened or closed, the power windows will automatically lower if in the closed position, and raise back up when the operating switch is held. Also, when the top is up, the door windows automatically lower 15 mm when the door opens, and then raise back into a fully closed position when the door closes. This ensures the doors’ clean open/ close function while also maintaining a tight seal around the glass. The aluminum hard top features an automatic front lock assembly that provides the interior security not found in soft-top convertibles. When the top is stowed in the down position in the rear of the IS convertible, the lock assembly is engaged to kept the panel in a fixed, stable position.

The allnew 2010 Lexus IS 350C and IS 250C hard-top conver tibles give Lexus a coupe and convertible in the entry luxury segment for the first time. The IS C models combine the expressiveness of a convertible with the athletic styling of a coupe. Sophisticated Retractable Hardtop Convertible The IS250C and IS350C represent Lexus’ second convertible and its first since the debut of the SC430 in 2001. Featuring a convenient single-switch operation, the new three-piece hard top provides open-air freedom with the top down without sacrificing the quiet and comfort of a coupe. Constructed primarily of lightweight aluminum, the hard top also provides surprising storage space but with low noise and increased security not typically found in soft-top convertibles. In addition, the top completely retracts with no elements remaining in view. The four-link roof assembly, also made of aluminum for a lightweight design, provides smooth even movement. Engineered to operate in an easy, efficient manner, each component is motor driven with detection switches, allowing the control unit to know their exact position at all times. In addition to the two main roof panels being constructed of light-weight aluminum, the back window’s reinforced glass construction also lends itself to reduced weight. Weather-strip changes in areas around the doors and windows ensure tight seals. A roof-speed brake-control system decreases the roof speed especially as it approaches the end of the closing 14

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Convertible Aerodynamics The IS convertible has a best-inclass 0.29 drag coefficient (Cd). This is accomplished with the help of underbody covers below the engine (with aerodynamic steps), the full floor, and fuel-tank covers, as well as a rear-floor Lexus IS Please Turn To Page 22 August 2010

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Automotive Recyclers Association Urges Congress to Pass Right to Repair Act The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) strongly urges Congress to pass the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (S 3181/HR 2057), according to Michael E. Wilson, CEO of ARA. "Passage of the Right to Repair Act will ensure that the automotive repair industry remains competitive so that car owners can affordably and conveniently have their vehicles serviced," said Wilson. "By providing access to all car company repair information and tools, the Right to Repair Act ensures that car owners will be able to use cost effective recycled auto parts and have those repairs performed by someone they choose or to do the work themselves." Modern cars and light trucks contain advanced technology that monitors or controls virtually every function

of the vehicle including brakes, steering, air bags, fuel delivery, ignition and more. Car owners and independent shops need full access to the information, parts and tools necessary to accurately diagnose, repair or reprogram these systems. Vehicle manufacturers are making access to such vital information increasingly difficult and costly to obtain for independent repair shops and their customers. Without access to critical information, parts and tools, motorists are forced to patronize new car dealerships which may not be convenient or easily accessible to a car owner. "The adoption of the Right to Repair Act will allow independent repair facilities and automobile recyclers to compete on a level playing field and foster healthy, fair competition. Our members have to turn customers away everyday who want to use affordable

recycled auto parts due to the extensive difficulties in cost effectively obtaining from the vehicle manufacturer the information needed to reinitialize the car's computer in order to make the part work and complete the repair," continued Wilson. "Right to Repair would not affect the dealer's warranty agreement with the vehicle manufacturers and it would not require disclosure of manufacturing processes or trade secrets." The Right to Repair Act has bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. The Senate version of the bill (S 3181) was recently introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) and has 4 co-sponsors. The House version (HR 2057) was introduced by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and George Miller (D-CA) and currently has 67 cosponsors.n

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devices, pneumatic/air tools, air compressors, floor jacks, and hydraulic auto lifts. This study includes respondent’s demographic profile, an understanding of product attributes most valued by respondents, and respondent’s first hand opinions of tools and brands. n

Hydrogen Powered Race Car Tackles Baja California For the first time in history hydrogen was mixed with race fuel to power a 700 HP Trophy Truck on the roughest 500 mile course in history. Against all odds and a sea of skepticism from the off-road community Hessgen Hydrogen powered #88 lined up to do battle with the best in the business. It was a testament of complete commitment, will and strength that got the team through 500 miles of the meanest, roughest and worst roads on the planet. Brian Hess (Hessgen founder/inventor) is a self-made entrepreneur who has experienced business in tough arenas. He is known for his tenacious pit-bull like determination when it comes to challenges both business and personal. He lives by his motto “all in and never give up” no matter what the odds or obstacles presented before him. The Baja race course proved to be nastier than expected, by race mile 5 Hess had flipped the truck over and the entire plan lay on its back in a ditch. With enormous help from the Mexican people watching the race and a quick “hotwire of a forklift” by Hess, trophy truck #88 was back in business and back on course in less than 90 minutes. The hydrogen system located on the top rear section of the truck had survived the crash and was still working flawlessly! This alone proved that the Hessgen System is safe in an impact-rollover crash and tough enough to meet the demands of everyday over the road driving. Fast forward 500 brutal miles, just over 21

hours and 40 minutes later without rest, the relentless Hess in his Hydrogen powered truck finished the journey. Trophy truck #88 had finished the race burning considerably less fuel and registered tremendously reduced carbon emissions exceeding all expectations. Taunted and labeled as crazy, this rookie driver had achieved his goals on all levels. The Race would be a milestone in the history of the treacherous Baja 500 and more

August 2010

importantly for the Global Eco Structure, christening this new Bi-fuel HYDROGEN POWER in a 700 HP off road truck. Today’s automotive related carbon emissions have a choke hold on the environment, it was Hess’s vision to show the world that alternative fuel solutions particularly the Hessgen-On-Demand system is not only safe, but also available and ready to be introduced to the market. n

Southern Automotive Journal


National Poll Shows Strong Bipartisan Support for Plan to Expand Electric Vehicles The Electrification Coalition (EC) has released the results of a national poll that showed across-the-board support for electric vehicles and the Coalition’s plan—reflected in recent bipartisan legislation—to deploy them. “The results of this poll surprised even us,” EC President Robbie Diamond said. “Regardless of party affiliation, the American people are in favor of a national plan to deploy electric vehicles and infrastructure, starting in cities selected in a competitive process. Typical Americans have seen firsthand the consequences of our addiction to oil, and they not only understand the enormous potential of electric vehi-

cles, but have made it clear that they will support policymakers who lead on this issue.” Among other results, the poll showed that: • Electric cars are seen favorably by majorities across party, ideology, and education level. • Voters believe electric cars will lead to increased security, more jobs, and a cleaner environment. • Voters support using tax credits, loan guarantees and other incentives to create a system for building and recharging electric cars. • Voters overwhelmingly prefer a candidate who supports the proposal to employ temporary, targeted

incentives to deploy electric vehicles in select geographic areas. Of particular appeal in the plan was its ability to test the deployment of electric vehicles in select areas instead of an immediate full national rollout, and immediate credits to offset costs of electric vehicles. The more voters heard about these proposals, the more they supported them. The nationwide poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted from May 26 through June 1 by The Mellman Group, Inc. and Ayres, McHenry & Associates, Inc. For full poll results, please go to

I-CAR to Release Collision Repair for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion Vehicles to the Industry I-CAR, The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, has announced that it will premiere its newest course, Collision Repair for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion Vehicles (TOY01) on July 19. The course offers students training on repair procedures specific to Toyota vehicles, including advanced vehicle structures, hybrid systems, and driver-assist systems. “This course was developed for industry professionals involved in th collision repair process who can benefit from understanding Toyota’s repair positions. As the technology in Toyota vehicles continues to evolve, having an understanding of vehicle-specific

repair procedures is essential to achieving a safe repair,” said Jeff Peevy, I-CAR Director of Field Operations. Peevy noted that interest in collision repair for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion Vehicles continues to increase as Toyota manufacturers produce a growing number of vehicles that use different electrical, mechanical, and hybrid systems, which contribute to vehicle safety and improved fuel efficiency. The Collision Repair for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion Vehicles (TOY01) course will help students: Identify the various Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicle models and sources of information for assisting with repairs Describe the different electrical,



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J.D. Power From Page 5 in 2010, led by new launches from Ford, Honda, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The all-new Honda Accord Crosstour and the redesigned Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus and Lexus GX 460 each rank highest in initial quality in their respective segments. The Ford Fusion, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and Sedan and Porsche Panamera also launch with notably high initial quality levels. Historically, newly launched models have incurred substantially more quality problems than carryover models, on average. However, more than one-half of all models launched during the 2010 model year perform better than their respective segment averages. Furthermore, 12 all-new and redesigned models rank within the top three in their respective segments. Meanwhile, initial quality of carryover and freshened models has declined for the 2010 model year. “With automakers committing huge budgets for the design, engineering, production and marketing of all-new models and major redesigns, hitting the quality mark out of the gate is critical,” said Sargent. “Getting initial quality right on model launches can serve dual purposes for automak-

ers—boosting profitability and also inspiring consumer confidence in the overall quality of their models. Having a strong quality image is essential for automakers to be able to compete in today’s market—both in the U.S. and around the globe.” The Initial Quality Study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. The study is used extensively by manufacturers worldwide to help them design and build better vehicles and by consumers to help them in their vehicle purchase decisions. Initial quality has been shown over the years to be an excellent predictor of longterm vehicle durability, which directly impacts consumer purchase decisions. The study captures problems experienced by owners in two distinct categories—design-related problems and defects and malfunctions. 2010 IQS Ranking Highlights Porsche leads the overall nameplate rankings, averaging 83 PP100. Following in the rankings are, respectively, Acura (which moves from 14th rank position in 2009 to second in 2010), Mercedes-Benz (which improves from sixth rank position in 2009 to third in 2010), Lexus and Ford (which moves into the top five for the first time since the inception of the study). MINI posts the largest improvement in

2010, reducing problems by 32 PP100 from 2009. Toyota’s problem count increases by 16 PP100, moving it from sixth rank position in 2009 to 21st in 2010. “Clearly, Toyota has endured a difficult year,” said Sargent. “Recent consumer concerns regarding Toyota’s quality are reflected in the nameplate’s performance in the 2010 study. That said, Toyota’s success was built on a well-deserved reputation for quality, and there is little doubt that they will do everything possible to regain that reputation.” Ford and Lexus each garner three segment awards. Ford captures awards for the Focus, Mustang and Taurus, while Lexus receives awards for the GS, GX and LS models. The Lexus LS has the fewest quality problems in the industry, with just 55 PP100. Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota receive two awards each. Chevrolet models earning awards are the Avalanche (in a tie) and the Tahoe. Honda receives awards for the Accord and the Accord Crosstour, while Toyota receives awards for the FJ Cruiser and Sienna. Also receiving segment awards are: Acura RDX, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra LD (in a tie), Hyundai Accent, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mercedes-Benz CClass, Nissan Frontier, Scion xB and Volvo C70.n

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61st Annual Auto Repair Showdown Pitted Top High School Teams From All 50 States, Awarded $11.5 Million In Scholarships In a face-off between the nation’s top high school automotive technology students, the two-person team from Valley City, N.D., emerged as the “best of the best” at the 61st annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals held today on the front lawn at Ford World Headquarters. The competition gives auto tech students the opportunity to showcase their automotive problemsolving capabilities by resolving “real world” repair challenges in a timed, head-to-head match-up of top teams representing all 50 states. Jonathan Anderson, 18, and McKenzie Nordland, 17, from Sheyenne Valley Area Career & Technology Center bested the elite field of teams representing each state, as they recorded the day’s top score under the tutelage of instructor James McFagden. Following a shotgun start, all teams raced to repair their assigned vehicle. Each two-student team used their collective top-level knowledge and workmanship to diagnose and prop-


Southern Automotive Journal

erly repair “bugs”—purposefully placed mechanical and electrical problems within the vehicle. Teams that effectively repaired all of the planted “bugs” could shut the hood, start the engine and steer their vehicle through the finish line—where a judging team awaited to scrutinize their work. Teams were tasked with diagnosing and repairing twelve “bugs” (which ranged from blown horn fuse, wiper switch malfunction and burnt out brake bulbs). North Dakota was the lone school to earn a “perfect car” score by flawlessly repairing all dozen “bugs” without any demerits for poor workmanship. To earn the National Title, the time it took to repair the vehicle was combined with the results of a 100question written exam the students took the previous day. North Dakota hoisted the championship trophy after shutting the hood of their “perfect car” at 61 minutes and 30 seconds. This year’s competition awarded a record-high $11.5 million in scholarships to the participants, which was comprised of more than 10,500 juniors and seniors. In March, following an online exam, the highest-scorers advanced to their states’ handson competition, with the top teams from each state competing in the National Finals. In addition to the scholarships, in July, the winning students will job shadow the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Con-way Freight race team leading up to the NASCAR race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. While there, the students will get at-track tutoring by Larry McReynolds, one of the sport’s most August 2010

recognized crew chiefs and this year’s national spokesperson for the Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition. Texas finished as the runner-up, followed by schools from Connecticut, South Carolina and Oregon that rounded out the top 5. (See below for a complete listing of the top-10 finishing order). “Technology advances in today’s automobiles demands that our country is stocked with the next generation of auto professionals that are as technically savvy as they are mechanically inclined. We saw 100 of the very best and brightest automotive technicians on display today,” said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair and Buying Services. “From coast to coast, each state has some immensely talented students that showed their skill and expertise in a time-crunched, competitive environment that brought out their very best.” At the National Finals, the top-10 teams received additional full and partial scholarships from some of the leading automotive technology institutions in the country, including Lincoln College of Technology, Universal Technical Institute, University of Northwestern Ohio, Ohio Technical College and WyoTech. “As Ford vehicles of today continue to increase in technology and advanced features, auto technicians must be welleducated and highly-skilled to meet these increasing advancements,” said Frederiek Toney, Vice President of Ford’s Customer Service Division. “Ford is committed to training and retaining the best technicians in the industry and we are very proud of our continued involvement in this valuable competition, which is investing in our highly-skilled technicians of tomorrow.” The Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition began in 1949 when Harry Truman was in office. This year, AAA marks its 26th year with the competition, serving as a co-sponsor since 1984. Ford Motor Company celebrates its 16th year involved in the competition. The top-10 teams in the 2010 Ford/ AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals Showdown Please Turn to Page 28

Auto Dealers Excluded from Wall Street Bill House and Senate conference committee negotiators voted in June to exclude Main Street auto dealers from sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation’s financial system. The longfought victory for auto dealers and consumers preserves dealer-assisted financing as an affordable option for car buyers. “Today’s vote by the conference committee is truly a win for consumers,” said Ed Tonkin, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and a dealer in Portland, Ore. “Dealerassisted financing will continue to provide more convenience, more competition and more choices for car buyers.” “This is also a testament to the hard work of all of the auto dealers and dealership employees around the country who made sure that the merits of the issue were heard. Their grassroots efforts truly made today’s victory possible,” Tonkin added.


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Within a week, the bill will return to the House and Senate for a final vote prior to reaching President Obama’s desk for his signature. Today’s favorable vote comes after stiff opposition to the exemption by the White House, Pentagon, the Department of Treasury and other groups. Nevertheless, the president has indicated that he will sign the legislation. “The goal all along was to keep a new, untested government agency from creating burdensome and unnecessary rules that would make it harder and more expensive for car buyers to access auto credit,” Tonkin said. In late 2009, House Financial Services Committee member John Campbell, R-Calif., generated strong bipartisan support for an amendment to exclude dealer-assisted financing from an unwieldy new agency with almost unlimited authority to fundamentally alter the vehicle financing process.

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After the Campbell amendment passed the House, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., took up the cause in the Senate. Grassroots efforts by dealers and dealership employees garnered a 60-30 vote urging Senate conferees to accept the House language to exclude dealerships from the proposed agency. As a concession to secure the dealer exclusion, the Federal Trade Commission, which already oversees dealer-assisted financing, was granted expedited rule-writing authority over unfair or deceptive practices. “The nation’s 18,000 dealers applaud the persistent efforts of Rep. Campbell, Sen. Brownback and the bipartisan support from both senators and representatives who recognized the need for a balanced approach to protecting consumers while allowing continued access to affordable auto credit,” said David Regan, NADA vice president of legislative affairs.n



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Lexus IS From Page 14 diffuser with vertical fin and airfoil. Other areas that contribute to the low Cd include the design shape of the outer mirrors, high-mount stop lamps, and the rear tailamps. Fender fairings before the front and rear tires reduce airflow into the wheel house, improving aero characteristics and reducing air turbulence. Convertible Body Rigidity The IS convertible’s body structure has excellent rigidity and strength, achieved by effective structural changes and additions to the existing IS sedan platform. Additional bracing was implemented to help provide excellent handling control, ride comfort and body durability while also minimizing weight gain.

on the front of the rear console can easily be accessed from the driver’s seat. Rearseat comfort is enhanced by shifting seat

position inboard, providing for sizeable headroom. The gauge cluster is similar to that of the IS sedan, but there are some

Unique Interior Look The IS convertible interior maintains the luxury touch points associated with the IS sport sedans, while new comfort and entertainment features provide a consistent atmosphere regardless of top configuration. Special attention was given to providing an attractive interior design when viewing the convertible externally. The door and side trim is fashioned to create continuity and continuous flow from front to back. A four-seat configuration provides each passenger with their own comfort space, and the rear-seat console enhances the rear-passenger amenities with cup holders and storage. Soft padding on the sides of the console and the outer trim areas improve comfort. The rear headrests are retractable for improved visibility and the lever located

additions on the IS convertible for style and function. A higher-contrast multiinformation LCD, dial-color change for more contrast, and decreased surface-glass transmittance all enhance visibility when the top is down. The multi-information display also includes status of the hardtop while in transformation, providing a bar graph showing its progress. It also displays a warning to inform the driver if the roof is not completely open/closed, a rear obstacle may impede proper open/close operation, or if the open/close function is not available while the vehicle is in motion. Metallic trim around the two main gauges contribute to a premium look. Performance-Oriented Drivetrains The IS convertible models feature the same powertrains as the IS sedans. The IS 350C’s 3.5-liter V6 delivers exhilarating performance with outstanding 306 horsepower at 6,400 RPM along with 277 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm. The IS 250C’s 2.5-liter V6 engine has a great combination of fuel efficiency and performance. The IS 250C’s V6 produces 204 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 185 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,800 rpm. Both engines utilize aluminum cylinder blocks and heads, while employing dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. An advanced six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheelmounted paddle shifters is standard on the IS 350C. The IS 250 C comes with either a six-speed manual transmission or the paddle-shift, six-speed automatic transmission.n

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Contributors Dennis Martin Ami Vonesh Joyce Ethridge Russ Heaps Volume 14 Issue No. 8

Southern Automotive Journal (ISSN: 1092-6321) is published monthly by Southern Automotive Journal Inc. P.O. Box 675097, Marietta, Ga 30006-0009.SAJ accepts no responsibility for the opinions, views statements of the authors or for claims made by advertisers. Views expressed by writers are not necessarily those of the publication. Subscription: $12.00 per year. No representation is made as to the accuracy or the completeness of the information provided by this publication. Entire contents copyright 2010. All rights reserved.


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ASA Tours Thatcham Facility in UK Representing the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) Collision Division, Jerry Burns, AAM, ASA chairman, and Denise Caspersen, manager of ASA’s Collision Division, recently toured the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre - or Thatcham, as it is more widely known - in Berkshire, United Kingdom. The tour was scheduled to coincide with ASA’s participation in the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) in London June 9-11. The theme of IBIS 2010 was “Raise the Standard.” Standards developed by Thatcham involve all stakeholders and industry segments, including repairers and insurance companies, said Burns. “It alleviates conflict between the two groups

while ensuring each vehicle is repaired to specification from the vehicle manufacturer,” he said. Thatcham’s ability to move the standards issue forward is something ASA has been monitoring for some time. The main aim of Thatcham is to carry out research targeted at containing or reducing the cost of motor insurance claims, while maintaining safety and quality standards. Thatcham was established in 1969 by British insurers. “ASA’s board of directors and Collision Division Operations Committee continue to see value in industry standards,” said Caspersen. “In addition to alleviating conflicts between repairers and insurance companies, these standards lead to an outstanding level of consistency in processes, skills, equipment

and materials. ASA’s Collision Division Operations Committee first began discussions with Thatcham regarding standards during the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) in 2007.” Employing more than 150 people, the Thatcham center is well-equipped with a range of collision repair equipment used for both research and training purposes. It also has a vehicle impact testing laboratory and a sled facility for nondestructive testing. Burns and Caspersen were given a tour of the facility June 8 by Lesley Upham, director of Commercial Development for Thatcham. In addition to the Thatcham tour, ASA representatives were honored with a tour of NCR Bodyshops in Newbury, Berkshire, by owner Christine Maskill on June 9.n

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Chrysler Group LLC Begins the Process of Establishing Fiat Dealer Network Chrysler Group LLC has begun the dealer selection process for the reintroduction of the Fiat brand in the United States. The Fiat brand in the U.S. will feature the New Fiat 500, which recently celebrated the 53rd anniversary of its introduction in Europe. Dealers will begin selling the iconic Fiat 500 late this year and the Fiat 500 Cabrio in 2011. Chrysler Group expects to select dealers in about 125 markets identified for growth potential in the small-car

segment. Fiat dealers will be located in approximately 41 states. “The Fiat dealer network will be appropriately sized to serve the market opportunity,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our vision is to establish a dealer network that will reflect and enhance the brand’s reputation for innovation and fun, and will offer a unique, personalized customer experience.” Chrysler Group will send Dealer

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August 2010

Application Guides to dealers in the identified markets containing specific Fiat dealer requirements and instructions on submitting a proposal. The guide presents details on facility, sales strategy, accessory sales, service and parts departments, training curriculum and financial requirements. Dealers must demonstrate how they will market, sell and service Fiat vehicles with a new customer service model. Basic guidelines include: Location – The majority of dealerships will be located in the identified markets. Eligible Dealers – Proposals from Chrysler Group’s best performing dealers will have preference in the identified markets. Dealer Performance – Chrysler Group will evaluate interested dealers on volume performance, minimum sales responsibility accomplishment, capitalization and overall Dealer Standards score. In addition, the company will individually evaluate the proposed facility and customer handling metrics. Fiat Facility – A completely separate facility will be required to represent the Fiat brand. Fiat Team – A separate Fiat team will be required to sell and service the Fiat brand. Fiat Standards – Fiat standards will be unique from existing Chrysler Group Dealer Standards. Financial – Dealer candidates will have to show that they have the financial resources necessary to support the introduction of the Fiat brand. Dealers in the target markets will be invited to attend a meeting in Chrysler Group World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. Chrysler Group plans to officially announce its U.S. Fiat dealer network locations in September.n

Kizashi From Page 10 supplier for automotive and high-speed rail applications. Kizashi’s next generation i-AWD system is a rare option in its class, as this safety and performance enhancing feature is more typically found among l u x u r y sport sedan offerings. Engineered to provide outstanding traction in inclement weather, the sophisticated all-wheel-drive system also delivers enhanced cornering capabilities. Activated when the driver selects the .AWD. switch on the instrument panel, power to the rear wheels starts immediately upon acceleration. Torque split remains dependent on several factors, including wheel slippage, throttle and steering input. Offered in combination with Kizashi’s i-AWD is an advanced electronic stability control system, adding an additional layer of driver control to preclude the need for electronic intrusion that inhibits the driving experience. In the event of vehicle oversteer (a tendency of the rear wheels to lose traction) the synergetic vehicle dynamics control activates the AWD system to transfer driving force from the rear wheels to the front and helps inhibit rear wheel skid. At the same time, the system provides additional steering assist, making it easier for the driver to countersteer. The Kizashi also offers extensive corrosion protection, including underbody resin panels, zinc plated steel sheets and hot wax imbedded in the suspension mounting points. The sport sedan’s all-weather-friendly features continue with three-stage heated seats, heated mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a rear seat pass-thru for skis (the seats are also split-fold for those with even larger loads). The end result is a security blanket provided by both heightened traction and enhanced sensory inputs. Driver and

passengers are both better informed of road conditions and – ultimately – made more secure. Suzuki has taken advantage of its expertise in the compact car segment to efficiently execute larger interior proportions that afford comfort and practicality without the wasted space. Along with cabin proportions that reward Kizashi drivers and passengers with comfort and roomi n e s s , Suzuki pursues a contemporar y, upscale interior feel – such as standard sport seats – in line with the vehicle’s on-road performance characteristics. Driving enthusiasts will appreciate Kizashi’s sporty and elegant

August 2010

instrument panel, while consumers seeking a luxury sedan will be pleased with the vehicle’s available leather seating and premium quality materials rivaling upscale competitors. The Kizashi also offers extensive sound insulation to help suppress road, tire and wind noise.n

Southern Automotive Journal


Showdown From Page 20 were: 1 North Dakota (Jonathan Anderson and McKenzie Nordland) Sheyenne Valley Area & Technology Center, Valley City, N.D., Instructor James McFagden 2 Texas (Ian Dunaway and Jesse Hackfield) Birdville Center of Technology & Advanced Learning, North Richland Hills, Texas, Instructor Olin Harrington 3 Connecticut (Jordan Boots and Conner McCreery) Platt Technical High School, Milford, Conn., Instructor Kirk Stankiewicz 4 South Carolina (Adam Hale and Taylor Wise) B.J. Skelton Career Center, Easley, S.C., Instructor Phillip Smith BMW From Page 4 since the volume is reinforced towards the sides. The L-shaped light banks feature a slight, almost subtle curve and the entire design of the lines and surfaces highlights the vehicle’s elegant overall appearance. The third brake light, positioned in the rear window, is also fitted with LED technology. It takes up the kink in the roof and illuminates the entire width of the rear window. The powerfully flared wheel arches above the rear axle highlight the particularly

5 Oregon (Steven Tolman and Nathan Maupin) Vale High School, Vale, Ore., Instructor Merle Sanders 6 Kansas (Ernest Sharp and Ian Clark) Newton High School, Newton, Kan., Instructor Cory Unruh 7 Rhode Island (Richard Wilkins and Patrick Hickey) Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, Warwick, R.I., Instructor David Tibbetts 8 Washington (Richard Harvey and Benjamin Quesnell) Tri-Tech Skills Center, Kennewick, Wash., Instructor Larry Brookes 9 Hawaii (Bryson Higa and Lewis Drapete) Maui High School, Kahului, Hawaii, Instructor Shannon Rowe 10 Michigan (Andrew Michaluk and Ryan Hastings) Saline High School,

Saline, Mich., Instructor Tim Timoszyk Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills is a nationwide automotive technology competition for high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians. This year marks the 61st anniversary of the competition that tests students’ automotive knowledge, workmanship and problem-solving abilities with a written test as well as a race against the clock to diagnose and properly repair intentionally “bugged” vehicles. Ford and AAA are dedicated to the competition as part of their commitment to the future of automotive service in America. For information on competing in the Ford/ AAA Student Auto Skills, visit AutoSkills. com.n

sporty character of the BMW Concept Gran Coupé. The sculptural shaping style characteristic of the entire body design of the BMW Concept Gran Coupé permits a unique interaction between concave and convex surfaces. It also enables the light to be selectively reflected and channelled. Thus the exterior mirrors integrated in the window shaft appear very light, blending harmoniously into the side view since their shape assimilates the entire line styling. The BMW Concept

Gran Coupé is a further development of the classic design of a notchback sedan in which the individual body sections merge harmoniously into a flat, elongated and at the same time dynamic overall image. The effect of this 4-door vehicle derives not just from specific highlights but from its overall appearance, which authentically reflects its character. The car’s dynamic potential is embodied in its proportions and lines, signalling power but also elegance and forward thrust.n

Tameron, your trusted automotive wholesale parts supplier, is now delivering Genuine Hyundai replacement parts to your area. Please call your salesman for details!

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Southern Automotive Journal

August 2010

Genuine Parts

Nissan North America Launches National Wholesale Parts Rewards Loyalty Program Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) has launched a national wholesale parts loyalty program on behalf of its Nissan and Infiniti dealer networks. Designed to increase Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) collision and mechanical parts sales, the “Rewards Loyalty” program allows independent body shops and repair facilities to earn points that can be redeemed for more than 3,000 premiums selected from an online catalog. Advantage DataSystems Corporation has been selected to administer the program. “Encouraging independent shop owners to purchase genuine OEM parts through their local Nissan and Infiniti dealers is a win-win-win,” said Ron Stukenberg, senior manager, Wholesale & Collision Parts, NNA. “Our dealers benefit from increased parts sales and a closer relationship with their local busi-

ness community, our Nissan and Infiniti owners benefit through the assurance that approved factory parts have been used in their repairs, and the shop owners know they are getting quality parts plus an added reward.” Once Nissan and Infiniti dealers enroll in the Rewards Loyalty program, they select the wholesale mechanical program and collision repair network facilities they wish to include (participation is free for the shops). Each shop is then sent an I.D. number and instructions for online enrollment. Points are earned with purchases, with rewards available from just 20 points. Advantage DataSystems Corporation was chosen by NNA after an extensive review. The company’s unique multi-brand loyalty platform allows shops to accumulate points from multiple OEMs and suppliers, thereby


of Memphis

Suzuki of Memphis

800.338.5481 FAX 901.347.4207

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earning more meaningful rewards. “We like the fact that shops can earn points quickly and from multiple sources, providing real value to the participants and encouraging them to sign up with our dealers,” added Stukenberg. Participating shops receive a monthly Nissan/Infiniti Parts Reward email statement with their points balance, points activity and participating dealer promotions. “We are thrilled to be supporting Nissan North America’s marketing efforts to increase their OEM parts sales through it dealer network,” said Bob Kirstiuk, president, Advantage DataSystems. “We’re excited to have Nissan as the first vehicle manufacturer to take this progressive step and look forward to more manufacturers moving in this same direction.”n


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Daily Parts Delivery Throughout The Southeast!

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Weekly give-aways of 100 "OPA BUCKS" which can be used as a discount or payment toward a purchase from any OPA member. August 2010

Southern Automotive Journal


House Approves Small-Business Lending Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 5297, “The Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010,” by a vote of 241-182. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., House Financial Services Committee chairman, aims to “boost lending to small businesses by authorizing a fund of up to $30 billion that will be available to financial institutions with no more than $10 billion in assets. Bill co-sponsors say these funds can be leveraged to up to $300 billion in loans for small businesses. In addition, the bill provides another $2 billion to state lending programs that support small firms.” H.R. 5297, which has been amended since originally passing the House


Southern Automotive Journal

Financial Services Committee, establishes the small-business lending fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Other provisions of Title 1 of the bill include: • Requires applicant institutions to deliver to the appropriate federal banking agency a small-business lending plan describing how its business strategy and operating goals will allow it to address the needs of small businesses in the areas it serves; • Sets forth financial incentives for small-business lending by such institutions; • Instructs the secretary to require capital investment recipients to provide outreach and advertising in the

August 2010

appropriate language of the applicant pool using media outlets that target organizations, trade associations and individuals that represent or work within or are members of minority communities; • Establishes the Small Business Lending Fund Program as separate and distinct from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). States that an institution shall not be considered a TARP recipient by virtue of a capital investment under this act; • Directs the secretary to study and report to Congress on the number of women-owned and minority-owned businesses that receive assistance as a result of the program.n

BMW of South Atlanta Your success is the "part" that counts

Our parts, Your peace of mind Your customers expect maintenance and repairs of the highest quality. And the first step towards meeting those expectations is using only Original BMW Parts - the same ones used in Series Production

Wholesale Parts 678-479-4622 678-479-4623

Mike Bennett Asst Manager 678-479-4694

Jeff Braswell Parts Manager 678-479-4601

BMW of South Atlanta 4171 Jonesboro Road Union City, GA 30291

866.961.SONS (7667) 678-479-4695 Fax

Photos are for illustrative purposes only and are based upon the latest information available. European vehicles or product may be shown. Vehicles may also be pictured with non-US or optional equipment. We make reasonable efforts to provide accurate information but we do not provide a warranty of accuracy. Consult your authorized BMW center or for more information. ©2005 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks. All rights reserved.

ORIGINAL MINI PARTS: POWER HARNESSED FOR THE GOOD OF MOTORINGKIND. While much about the MINI’s boundless energy remains a mystery, some of its vigor can be traced to Original MINI Parts. Built to strict OE specifications for stellar fitment and performance, MINI Original Parts are the same parts used in MINI production. They’re backed by a potent, 24-month, gajillion-mile limited warranty. And they come with technical support available from your servicing MINI dealer. Now that’s a powerful combination, indeed.

YOUR SUCCESS IS THE "PART" THAT COUNTS! Wholesale Parts 678-479-4622 678-479-4623 Mike Bennett-Asst Manager 678-479-4694 Jeff Braswell-Parts Manager 678-479-4601

MINI OF SOUTH ATLANTA 4171 Jonesboro Road Union City, GA 30291 866.961.SONS 678.479.4695 FAX We are in the Overnight Parts Alliance

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