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Jetta Sportwagen Jim Ellis Porsche

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TDI Clean Diesel COLLISION NEWS ASA Leaders Meet with Sponsor of McCarranFerguson Repeal Bill

September 2009

Honda FC Sport - Hydrogen Sports Car Future

Collision Repairers Convene on Capitol Hill for ASA Fly-In

MECHANICAL NEWS Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act Introduced in U.S. Senate With CARS in Effect, Where Do the Cars Go?

DEALER NEWS ASE Launches Maintenance and Inspection Program Cash for Clunkers to Cause Used-Car-Value Bubble

Honda recently revealed the Honda FC Sport design study model, a hydrogen-powered, three-seat sports car concept. The FC Sport emphasizes the design flexibility and potential of Honda’s V Flow fuel cell technology - already deployed in the Honda FCX Clarity sedan - and reconfigures it into a lightweight sports car design with an ultra-low center of gravity, powerful electric motor performance and zero-emissions. The design study concept is inspired by supercar levels of performance through low weight and a high-performance, electrically driven fuel cell powertrain. “The Honda FC Sport explores how to

satisfy automotive performance enthusiasts in a world beyond petroleum,” said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “People who love sports cars will still have a reason to love in a hydrogen-powered future.” The high-output Honda fuel cell powertrain and a sleek, aerodynamic body contribute to the vehicle’s performance potential. A modular approach to fuel cell component packaging and the electric drivetrain contribute to the FC Sport Please Turn to Page 5

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With CARS in Effect, Where Do the Cars Go? With automobile dealerships around the country heavily marketing to the consumer the benefits of the “clunker” trade-in under the federal government “Car Allowance Rebate System” (CARS) program in hopes to boost sales, there may be some question as to what happens to those tens of thousands of vehicles that are expected to be received for new, more environmentally efficient ones. Consumers and dealerships can rest assured that professional automotive recyclers throughout the United States are poised and ready to process those vehicles, and handle them according to the rules set forth under the CARS program to achieve the highest of environmental standards. With protecting the environment being a major component in this legislation, recycling these vehicles is the next logical step. The automotive recycling industry is dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. With strong participation in best-in-class programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler program



Southern Automotive Journal

and other partnerships, members of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) provide consumers with quality, low-cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a “greener” tomorrow. “ARA-member automotive recyclers stand ready to maximize the recycled parts, reuse in an environmentally sound way and get the vehicle through to the scrap process efficiently and effectively,” says Michael Wilson, ARA executive vice president. “ARA members have access to the most current environmental regulations, as required by the Environmental Protection Agency and other local and state agencies, and we encourage members to uphold, and even surpass, those standards while processing retired cars. Furthermore, our members will provide the best possible service to all parties - peace of mind for the consumer trading in a car, speed of service to the dealership requiring help with vehicle disposal, and excellence in customer service to potential buyers of recycled parts - all the way to processing the vehicle for scrap.” Not all Americans can afford a new

September 2009

vehicle even with CARS benefits. With trade-ins processed through professional automotive recyclers, the availability of recycled parts to keep other vehicles operable is secured. American consumers and automobile repair businesses purchase these quality recycled vehicle components every day to keep vehicles running. They rely on parts from recycled vehicles because of their substantial savings in reduced repair costs and lower insurance premiums, savings from the purchase of a replacement vehicle, and also for the strong environmental benefits, including the conservation of natural resources that would otherwise be used to make new replacement parts. The industry, predominantly comprised of small business facilities, responds to the economic and environmental challenge of recycling these vehicles. Rather than merely crushing wrecked, abandoned, or disabled automobiles, today’s auto recycler maximizes a car’s true market value, and gives new life through the reuse of parts to other vehicles that might otherwise be inoperable.n


FC Sport From Front Cover FC Sport’s low center of gravity with the majority of vehic l e m a s s dis-

for a relatively large passenger cabin by conventional supercar standards with enough space for three seating positions. The interior layout focuses primarily on the driver with a racecar-like center driving position. The enclosed canopy opens upward from the rear to allow for entry and exit. Two rear passenger seats flank the driver’s left and right side. The sleek, lowprofile body is designed

veys the FC Sport’s clean environmental aspirations while the dark wheels and deeply tinted glass provide a symbolic contrast befitting of the vehicle’s

tribu t e d between the axles, creating the balanced weight distribution sought after in sports cars. The ideal placement of the Honda V-Flow fuel cell stack and related components demonstrates the benefits of a platform-specific, hydrogenpowered fuel cell powertrain. The FC Sport

is configured to accommodate a custom-formed high-power fuel cell stack, located between the rear seats, and a battery pack placed low in the middle of the vehicle. The electric motor resides just forward of the rear axle. Two fuel storage tanks, visible from above, are located above the rear axle. The optimal placement of fuel cell components for performance also allows

unique combination of clean power and high performance. Green construction techniques further contribute to a reduced c a r b o n footprint. An organic, b i o - s t r u cture theme is carried through to the body construction where exterior panels are intended to use

to convey a hightechnology appearance with sculpting that combines angular shapes in the front of the vehicle that taper into geometric, hex forms in the rear. The rear hex forms house cooling radiators for the fuel cell. Formula 1-style barge boards behind the front wheels enhance high speed aerodynamics and convey the vehicle’s racing pedigree. The hydrogen storage tanks, visible from the rear deck, showcase the FC Sports fuel cell technology in much the same way that a “naked bike” motorcycle showcases its engineering technology. The glacier white body color conSeptember 2009

plantderived bio-plastics. The Advanced Design Studio of Honda R&D Americas, in Pasadena, California, developed the FC Sport design study with the primary objective of using existing fuel cell technology as the basis for an ultimate Honda sports car. Designer Jason Wilbur led the design efforts.n Southern Automotive Journal




Dobbs Nissan Grand Opening Celebration Raises Funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) of Memphis

Ronald McDonald House Charities (R) of Memphis and Dobbs Nissan are celebrating a new community partnership, with the announcement of the Grand Opening of Dobbs Nissan’s new dealership at Hacks Cross and Hwy. 385 (4140 Hacks Cross Rd.) in Memphis and Dobbs Nissan’s commitment to donate a minimum of $25 per vehicle sold and $1 per vehicle serviced in the month of July at their brand new location. “In the current economic times we are always looking for new ways to raise the funds necessary to provide a ‘home-away-from-home’ for the chil-

dren and families of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We are thrilled to have the support of an organization like Dobbs Nissan and are looking forward to a long relationship and more ways of collaborating in the future,” said Clint Cummins, Annual Fund Manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities((R)) of Memphis. The Grand Opening Celebration of Dobbs Nissan (4140 Hacks Cross Rd. - Hacks Cross and Hwy. 385) will be on Saturday, July 18th and promises fun activities for the entire family, including a special appearance by Muley, the Ronald

McDonald House ‘Spokesmule’. As a show of their support of the mission of Ronald McDonald House, Dobbs Nissan will extend their celebration to the month of July and Ronald McDonald House of Memphis is excited to be the beneficiary of their special Grand Opening Month fundraising efforts. For more information on the Dobbs Nissan Grand Opening Celebration, please contact Clint Cummins, Annual Fund Manager at (901) 312-7456 or visit us online at www.rmhmemphis.org to learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities((R)) of Memphis.n

Collision Repairers Convene on Capitol Hill for ASA Fly-In The Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a Fly-In and Capitol Hill Day for its collision repair members July 28-29. Collision repairers from across the country fanned out over Capitol Hill to discuss insurance reform and the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act with their representatives and senators. U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla. addresses ASA attendees at the start of the association’s Capitol Hill Fly-In Tuesday evening. The ASA grassroots event was held July 28-29 and allowed members to discuss insurance reform and the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act with their representatives and senators on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Denise Caspersen, ASA.) Kicking off the event at the opening night dinner were remarks by Rep.

Allen Boyd, D-Fla. Boyd is a long-term leader of the Blue Dogs, a conservative group of democrats in the House of Representatives. He gave an overview of the top issues being debated on Capitol Hill and answered questions from interested members. Specifically, ASA collision repairers met with members from the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, the House Financial Services Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and an assortment of House and Senate leaders. The repairers argued for the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, emphasizing that a competitive insurance

marketplace will enhance the plight of consumers. The McCarran-Ferguson Act provides that federal antitrust law applies to the business of insurance only to the extent that such business is not regulated by state law. The anti-competitive consequences of McCarranFerguson impact both consumers and small businesses that have business relationships with insurers. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., have introduced legislation, H.R. 1583, that would repeal the McCarranFerguson Act. Further, repairers pushed for members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 1880 legislation establishing an optional federal charter for property and casualty insurers.n

Volume 13 Issue No. 9 Southern Automotive Journal P.O. Box 675097 Marietta, Ga 30006-0009 (770) 321-9920 E-Mail jtucker@sajonline.net

Jim Tucker Publisher Michele Tucker Editor

Contributors Dennis Martin Ami Vonesh Joyce Ethridge Russ Heaps

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 2009. All rights reserved.



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September 2009


ASA Testifies at NCOIL Property-Casualty Insurance Committee Hearing The Automotive Service Association (ASA) testified before the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Property-Casualty Insurance Committee on NCOIL’s Model Laws on Auto Airbag Fraud, and Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair proposals. ASA is very concerned about the use of salvage airbags and discourages their usage. NCOIL’s airbag fraud proposal left open the option of using salvage airbags. While the use of salvage airbags can reduce cost, ASA believes that safety could be severely compromised and that shop owners could be placed at risk for installing salvage airbags. ASA recommends that all shops inquire with their insurance carriers before installing salvage airbags regarding coverage and increases in rates and get this information in writing.

In comments relative to the NCOIL Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair bill, ASA supports state disclosure laws that require insurers and auto collision facilities to obtain the express written consent of vehicle owners before installing replacement crash parts. ASA member Harry Moppert, owner of Moppert Brothers Collision Services Group in Morton, Pa., testified on behalf of ASA. In comments regarding the airbag fraud draft, he stated: “Although the proposed model legislation before your committee includes elements that make some significant improvements to the current law, it fails to address a critical issue; salvage airbags should not be used in vehicle repair … Repairers want to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) airbags where reliability and performance are tested, warranted and proven.”

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With regard to the crash parts bill, Moppert went on to suggest: “Aftermarket crash parts, certified or not, do not assure consumers or repairers that they are equal to OEM. The quality and safety requirements, particularly for offshore parts, may or may not be evident for certified aftermarket parts. Parts certification in the United States has been very limited in scope. With 3 percent or less of the aftermarket parts being certified, there is little assurance from any data on quality and safety that can be gleaned for policy discussions. If the Committee opts to pursue the Model Crash Parts and Repair Act, ASA suggests that you limit the scope of this proposal to a formal consumer notice and written consent process applicable to any parts used in the repair, whether they are OEM, aftermarket, certified aftermarket or salvage.”n

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Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations Tops $435 Million in Local Contracts

Volkswagen Group of America next decade. made up of four pillars - the plant, the Chattanooga Operations, LLC marked “Volkswagen’s investment in product, our suppliers and our people. the July 15th one-year anniversary of Tennessee is already making a significant We are committed to hiring locally, and its decision to build a U.S. automoimpact on our state,” said Tennessee we are convinced that we will have bile production facility in Chattanooga, Gov. Phil Bredesen. “Despite a challenga best-in-class workforce,” said HansTenn., by announcing that nearly $436 ing economy, Volkswagen has moved Herbert Jagla, Executive Vice President, million in local contracts have been forward at full speed on the project Human Resources, for the Chattanooga awarded to date. and put hundreds of Tennesseans to Operations. The amount includes almost work before the first vehicle rolls off the “Volkswagen’s decision to anchor $198 million awarded by the city, state assembly line. I’ve called this project an its U.S. auto production in Chattanooga and Volkswagen was the culminato contractors and The Chattanooga plant is expected to generate $12 tion of a shared subcontractors for community vision billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 and years of investplant construcjobs over the life of the project. tion, with anothment to recruit a er $230 million major manufacturer over the next 20 to Enterprise South. “Volkswagen committed more than a billion dol- Not only will the years. Additionally, Volkswagen has lars in capital for this project, and we’re already see- Chattanooga region awarded contracts transformed by ing the impact that commitment is having on compa- be totaling more than the tremendous econies in Tennessee and throughout the region,” $238 million on nomic impact and an annual turnnew job creation, over basis with but our entire state Matt Kisber local parts supwill reap great benCommissioner of the Tennessee Department of efits from suppliers pliers for the New Midsized Sedan and other supportEconomic and Community Development to be produced in ing businesses this Chattanooga startfacility will attract,” ing in early 2011. said U.S. Senator Bob “These contracts, while impres‘anchor’ from which additional investCorker. “Even in the midst of a challengsive, are more than just numbers. They ment will follow, and I feel as confident ing economic environment, construcare a clear testament to the progress about it today as when it was first tion of the plant and development of its we’ve been able to achieve in one short announced.” supplier network remain on track. All of year with our partners in Chattanooga Construction of the Chattanooga us are anxious for the day when the first and Tennessee,” said Frank Fischer, CEO production facility at Enterprise South vehicles roll off the assembly line.” and Chairman of Volkswagen Group of Industrial Park is underway, with start U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander rememAmerica Chattanooga Operations, LLC. of production of 150,000 vehicles annubered one year ago calling Volkswagen “Our decision one year ago to invest in ally on schedule for early 2011. Work is and Chattanooga the “ideal marriage.” a U.S. production facility was a strategic more than halfway complete on the “And it’s clear the relationship has been a step forward in our commitment to the paint shop facility, which will use piotremendous success. Volkswagen’s wise North American market, and we look neering technology to minimize waste investment one year ago in Tennessee’s forward to continuing the journey.” and reduce carbon emissions by more low-cost, central location, as well as in On July 15, 2008, Volkswagen than 20 percent. its strong auto workforce and superior announced plans to produce a car Meanwhile, hiring for professional four-lane highway system, has made designed specifically for the North positions continues and will accelerate winners of all involved. I congratulate American consumer at a new producthrough the remainder of 2009. More Volkswagen and Chattanooga on a great tion facility in Chattanooga, investing than 100 local employees have been first year together,” Alexander said. $1 billion in the local economy and hired to date in areas such as engineer“The excitement Tennesseans felt creating more than 2,000 direct jobs. ing, manufacturing, purchasing, human one year ago at the announcement The Chattanooga plant is an important resources, IT and finance. Volkswagen of the creation of thousands of high element of the company’s overall U.S. plans to begin accepting applications paying, quality jobs in our region by strategy of connecting with its customfor production positions in late 2009, ers, increasing its competitiveness and with hiring set to begin in early 2010. VW Chattanooga Please Turn to Page 15 tripling its U.S. customer base in the “Our project in Chattanooga is September 2009

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Engine Parts Group: Professional Engine Rebuilding May Offer a Simpler, Lower Cost Way to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Cash for Clunkers Several plans are currently being debated in the public forum in an attempt to find a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these concepts have been debated for years -- setting higher mileage standards, implementing advanced technologies, and passing “cash for clunkers” legislation. The head of one of the country’s largest engine parts distribution groups says one simple, quicker and less costly idea is starting to gain more attention -- professionally rebuilding worn-out and inefficient engines of the millions of older cars and trucks now on the road. The president of Engine Parts Group, Inc., Thomas Hobson, says that the 25,000 independent shops that make up the U.S. engine rebuilding industry have been restoring auto power plants to original specs for decades and are now beginning to be recognized for their “green” contributions. “We hear a lot of talk about various ideas to reduce emissions, but policy makers and the public are starting to realize that the rebuilding of older engines may represent one of the fastest, cheapest and least wasteful ways to reduce automobile emissions.”

Hobson agrees that there is little argument that increasing new vehicle mileage (CAFE) standards would reduce fuel use -- eventually. He points out that those standards have barely budged since the 1980s and there have been very few fuel saving technologies introduced in new vehicles over the last decade. Hobson says, “With more than 250-million vehicles on the road and people holding onto their cars longer, it would take years to have a real impact on the environment. By professionally rebuilding older engines, making them tighter and more efficient, we’d be able to make the vast fleet of older vehicles consume less fuel and emit less pollution very quickly.” Hobson also suggests taking a closer look at the “cash for clunkers” programs that have been getting state and national consideration. “I think it’s a good idea to address the problem of having so many polluting and inefficient vehicles on the road, but replacing them with new cars may not be the answer,” says Hobson. “I’ve seen reports that fully one-third of the total environmental damage caused by automobiles occurs before they are sold and driven.” Car manufacturing consumes huge

amounts of energy and raw materials, and generates a lot of waste. Hobson says that rebuilding the engines of vehicles to keep them on the road longer is an environmentally friendlier option compared to replacing them with new vehicles. A 2006 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration report shows that it would take 16 years for 90% of the vehicles currently on the road to be replaced. Restoring older engines to peak efficiency would reduce emissions faster, more cheaply and with almost no waste. The engine block can be reconditioned to like-new standards while worn out engine parts are replaced with new or better replacement parts. The United States Department of Energy’s fuel efficiency Web site shows that the simple act of keeping an engine properly tuned can save up to 165 gallons of gas per year. Checking spark plugs, oxygen sensors, air filters, hoses and belts are a few examples of maintenance that can result in potential savings of more than $400. Hobson says a complete professional engine rebuild would save that, and much more by restoring engine efficiency to original specs. n

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ASE Launches Maintenance and Inspection Program The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has launched its new Maintenance and Inspection (M&I) Program. Delivered exclusively online and consisting of four, e-learning training modules and a separate quiz, the program focuses on awareness of the tasks related to maintenance and inspection. An embedded glossary and safety zone section also help to promote proper

safety measures. The M&I Program was developed in response to requests from the industry for an ASE product targeting entry-level individuals whose responsibilities are concentrated in the vehicle maintenance area. This new e-learning product is a first for ASE. It incorporates learning modules to both deliver and measure the knowledge necessary to perform basic maintenance tasks. The target audience for this new

program includes prospective and entry-level maintenance personnel, as well as any service professional interested in this specialty area. The new M&I Program will be for many a step on the path to ASE’s certification program. Users who successfully pass the M&I Quiz may print a customized certificate of recognition, rather than an ASE certification. For more information on the new M&I Program, visit the website at www.ase.com. n

Here’s an overview of the content included in the program: Module 1 — Preparation and Documentation, includes the following setions: A. Preparing Vehicle for Service, B. Locating Information, C. Tools and Equipment, and D. Preparing Vehicle for Customer. Module 2 — Fluids, Filters, Belts and Hoses Inspection and Service cosists of these sections: A. Underhood (Part 1), B. Underhood (Part 2), C. Undercar, and D. Filters and Drive Belts. Module 3 — Suspension, Tire, and Brake Inspection and Service incorporates content within sections: A. Suspension Inspection, B. Tire (Part 1), C. Tire (Part 2), and D. Brake. Module 4 — Body, Battery, Charging and Electrical Systems Inspection and Service contains sections divided into: A. Body, B. Battery, C. Charging, and D. Electrical Module 5 — A final quiz covering the content in modules 1–4. Upon earning a passing score, the user achieves recognition in maintenance and inspection.

NA3SA Assessment Widely Accepted The National Automotive Student Skills Standard Assessment (NA3SA), the new comprehensive end-of-program assessment test, has been enthusiastically adopted by secondary and post-secondary automotive technology programs nationwide. The NA3SA is a series of tests designed to measure students’ knowledge of course content and learning outcomes within an automotive training program. NA3SA was developed by ASE in partnership with AYES, NATEF, and SkillsUSA to replace the existing end-of-program assessment used by NATEF programs and others. The NA3SA tests are appropriate for evaluating students who are near the end of their studies in the areas of Automobile Service, and Collision Repair & Refinishing. NA3SA has been well-accepted by educators and generated significant positive feedback, with impressive gains over last year’s end-ofprogram assessment. The final numbers show 9,204 students taking 26,484 tests, an increase of 23% and 46% respec-

Available assessments include: AUTOMOBILE TESTS Suspension and Steering Brakes Electrical/Electronic Systems Engine Performance Engine Repair Automatic Transmission/Transaxle Manual Drive Train and Axles Heating and Air Conditioning COLLISION REPAIR AND REFINISH TESTS Painting and Refinishing Structural Analysis and Damage Repair Non-structural Analysis and Damage Repair September 2009

tively. The initial test window ended on June 12th. The program consists of a series of 40-question exams that parallel the NATEF Task Lists—the standard for program certification. The test questions are drawn from combined NATEF and Automotive Youth Education Systems (AYES) item pools, while actual test development is handled by ASE. SkillsUSA brings its years of vocational experience, program design expertise, and commitment to exam development. Available assessments include: The cost is $15 per student. This fee allows the instructor to schedule, within a single test window, as many of the assessments within a single test series as needed. Instant scoring is available for most tests and the school can print student achievement certificates locally. The spring 2009 testing window was April 16th and concluded June 12th.n Southern Automotive Journal

11


ASA Leaders Meet with Insurance Reform Bill Sponsor During July's Capitol Hill FlyIn, hosted by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) in Washington, D.C., collision repairers got an opportunity to meet with the sponsor of a key bill on insurance reform. ASA members met with U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean July 29 to discuss legislation that would establish optional federal insurance regulation for insurers. ASA supports H.R. 1880, of which Bean is the

sponsor. Pictured left to right: Myron Hazen, owner of Collision Repair Center, Molina, Ill.; Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill.; Stacy Bartnik, owner of A&B Carstar, Palatine, Ill.; and Roy Schnepper, AAM, owner of Butler’s Collision Inc., Roseville, Mich. ASA leaders met with Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., sponsor of U.S. House Bill 1880, which establishes optional federal insurance regulation for insurers. ASA supports H.R. 1880. This legislation, for

the first time, reaches beyond life insurance lines to include property and casualty insurance. Co-sponsoring the bill with Bean is Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif. Collision leaders thanked Bean for her efforts to secure federal regulation for property and casualty insurers. Bean and Royce are members of the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over insurance reform.n

Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, recently revealed possible effects of the Cash for Clunkers program on the used-car industry as reported in the company's August 2009 Blue Book Market Report. As dealers and consumers continued to take advantage of this program, Kelley Blue Book analysts forecast a likely bubble in used-car values, which could deflate as the Cash for Clunkers program comes to a close. With $1 billion spent and more than 250,000 new vehicles sold, the success of the Cash for Clunkers program cannot be argued. With more than 250,000 vehicles leaving the used-vehicle supply, this equates to a 1.6 percent reduction in the overall supply of used vehicles (based upon sales of 16 million used vehicles in 2008). When the Senate signs off on an additional $2 billion funding for the Cash for Clunkers program later today, it could equate to an additional 500,000 used cars being removed from the overall used-vehicle supply, which is a 4.7 percent overall reduction in supply this year alone.

With a total of 750,000 vehicles being removed from the marketplace, dealers are stocking up on used inventory in anticipation of low supply and high demand. This scenario is driving usedcar prices up significantly in the short term, causing a bubble in values that will seriously impact used-vehicle values when the Cash for Clunkers program ends. "Dealerships have reported increased foot traffic, creating a false sense of automotive market recovery," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book. "As a result, dealers are going to auction to restock inventory, driving up used-car values. However, the effect of a supply reduction of this magnitude could have an immense impact on these values in the short-term, exacerbating the already-limited supply at auction. If this bubble comes to pass, dealerships will end up with excess inventory of both new and used vehicles and be forced to offer deep discounts to remove surplus inventory, driving values down. Ultimately, there will be the possibility

of a severe contraction in auto sales as soon as the Cash for Clunkers program runs out of funding." According to a Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence study on the Cash for Clunkers program, 1-in-10 new-vehicle shoppers said they are likely to purchase sooner as a result of the governmentsponsored program. In addition, 45 percent of consumers likely to participate in the program own a sedan, followed by SUV and crossover owners at 25 percent. Among that group, 37 percent plan to trade in their clunker for a sedan and 28 percent plan to buy an SUV or crossover. The top brands being considered among study participants are Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet. This Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence study was fielded to 517 inmarket new-car shoppers on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com from July 10-17, 2009. Kelley Blue Book's vehicle valuation department is keeping a close eye on values as the program continues and an influx of additional funds is added to the program by the federal government. n

Cash for Clunkers to Cause Used-Car-Value Bubble

Auto Dealers Applaud Congressional Funding to Extend Cash for Clunkers Program Car shoppers and dealers across the country breathed a sigh of relief today when the Senate approved a House measure adding $2 billion to the wildly successful “cash for clunkers” initiative. The additional funds will allow dealers to continue offering consumers up to a $4,500 incentive to trade-in an older gas-guzzler for a new, more fuelefficient car or truck. Late last week, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) advised the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that the pro12

Southern Automotive Journal

gram’s funding was running dangerously low because of glitches in the government computer program which caused an overwhelming backlog of transactions. “Cash for clunkers is a resounding success,” said John McEleney, NADA chairman and a multi-franchise dealer in Iowa. “With the additional $2 billion, even more ‘clunkers’ will be taken off the road and replaced with more fuelefficient vehicles. Extending the ‘clunkers’ program benefits the environment and the economy. It’s the best kind of September 2009

stimulus.” A NADA survey also revealed an environmental benefit: consumers were purchasing or leasing vehicles eligible for the higher $4,500 credit (a 10 mpg improvement over the trade-in) by a two-to-one margin over the $3,500 credit (a four mpg increase over the trade-in). Also, the additional $2 billion funding for the “clunkers” program substantially reduces the risk that dealers will not be reimbursed for deals already completed.n


New 2010 Acura ZDX Four-Door Sports Coupe Delivers Style, Performance, Luxury and Refinement The all-new 2010 Acura ZDX fourdoor sports coupe will arrive this winZDX features ter at Acura dealerships with dramatic stunning styling, outstanding performance and coupe-like the latest in advanced technology. The styling with segment bending ZDX features stunthe added ning coupe-like styling with the added benefit of a benefit of a commanding presence and commanding flexible utility. Staying true to the propresence and totype model that debuted at the 2009 flexible utility. New York International Auto Show in April, the production ZDX will feature the key design highlights of a panoramic glass roof, hidden rear door handles and bold fender flares. "The ZDX is like nothing you have ever seen before from Acura," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. Plus $500.00 Second $200.00 Third "It combines the best attributes of a coupe, a sedan and Weekly giveaways of 100 "OPA BUCKS" which can be used as a a sport utility – all wrapped in discount or payment toward a purchase from any OPA member. a beautifully sculpted package Drawing Sepember 30, 2009 – that will attract an entirely new luxury customer to the Acura brand." Designed, developed and manufactured entirely in North America, the ZDX breaks new ground for Acura in many ways. The ZDX is the first vehicle to be styled from start to finish in the new, dedicated Acura Design Studio Direct 678-259-9500 in Torrance, CA, allowing exterior and interior designers to work closely together Toll 877-622-2871 throughout the entire design process. Staying true to the FAX 678-259-9555 original sketch from Acura's first female designer, Michelle Christensen, the ZDX features sensuous curves, deeply Call Ken McMillan, sculpted shoulders and strong Your Trusted Name in Acura Parts character lines. Inside, the ZDX exhibits the highest levels of refinement and sophistication ever offered from Acura. Every ZDX interior will feature Acura's first hand-stitched leather dashboard, door panels and

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13


2009 Jetta Sportwagen: TDI Clean Diesel Technology Equipped with an all-new 2.0L clean diesel engine that produces 140-horsepower at 4000 rpm and an impressive 236 lbs.-ft. of torque between 1750 and 2500 rpm, the new Jetta TDI Sportwagen truly offers a no compromises alternative fuel driving experience. The 2.0L fourcylinder clean diesel engine on TDI models — which makes use of an advanced electronically controlled turbocharger and common rail direct injection technology — is mated with either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic DSG® transmission with Tiptronic®. The advanced DSG dual-clutch transmission uses direct shifting that automatically engages and disengages gears without the need for a clutch pedal. A computer engages one clutch on the next gear when it’s needed, just as it releases the other clutch from the previous gear. The shifts are seamless and happen without the power loss associated with a traditional, clutched shift. T h e DSG transmission gives drivers a choice of fullyau to m ati c operation, with no further driver involvement necessary beyond selecting 14

Southern Automotive Journal

cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 177 lbs.-ft. of torque. Mated to a five-speed manual transmission or the available sixspeed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® and sport mode, the Jetta Spor tWagen delivers on performance and efficiency. With the f ive - cylinder

“D.” The advanced transmission also of fers automated manual shifting for drivers who prefer to be more i nvo l ve d

in the gear-change process. The DSG with Volkswagen Tiptronic® lets drivers shift gears up and down with a tap of the gearshift selector or finger-operated shiftpaddles mounted to the steering wheel. Standard for 2009 SportWagen (S and SE models) is the economical, yet powerful, 2.5-liter fiveSeptember 2009

powerplant, 0-60 miles per hour comes in 8.5 seconds with the automatic and 8.2 seconds with the manual transmission. For those wanting more power, the Jetta SportWagen SEL offers a 2.0 liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that produces 200 hp and 207 lbs.-ft. of torque. Matched with either the sixspeed manual or six-speed automatic with DSG and Tiptronic, the 2.0L turbo Jetta SportWagen achieves 0-60 mph times of 7.2 (manual) and6.9 seconds (automatic). City/highway mileage with the 2.0L turbo engine is an impressive Jetta Sportwagen Turn to Page 21


VW Chattanooga From Page 9

Volkswagen’s billion dollar investment has not worn off in the least,” said Congressman Zach Wamp. “Local contracts have been awarded, the paint shop is beginning to take shape and next generation manufacturing jobs are being created in the heart of the Tennessee Valley Corridor. Years of planning and hard work continue to pay major dividends for Tennesseans.” “After years of site preparations and recruitment efforts, it is remarkable to see how much progress Volkswagen has made in just one year,” said Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey. “In addition to successfully maintaining an ambitious construction schedule, Volkswagen has shown its commitment to our citizens and to becoming engaged in our community.” “We couldn’t have asked for a better economic development partner than Volkswagen,” said Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield. “As many communities are experiencing difficult economic challenges, Volkswagen has given our whole region cause for hope and the prospect of thousands of new jobs.” “Volkswagen committed more than a billion dollars in capital for this project, and we’re already seeing the impact that commitment is having on companies in Tennessee and throughout the region,” said Matt Kisber, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “Our agency is already talking to companies interested in following Volkswagen’s investment, and I’m confident the ripple effect in our state’s

economy is just beginning.” “We set out to recruit a company that would partner with us in creating 21st Century manufacturing jobs for the people of the Chattanooga region,” said Tom Edd Wilson, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. “Volkswagen is helping us realize our jobs-creation goals and so much more. Volkswagen is a worldclass company on the rise, and it is also a perfect fit for our community culture and aspirations.” According to studies, the Chattanooga plant is expected to gen-

September 2009

erate 12 billion dollars in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs over the life of the project. The company has announced that at least 10 percent of the suppliers for the production facility will be minority and women-owned businesses by start of production and that five percent of suppliers for the vehicle will be minority and womenowned by start of production, with the goal of 10 percent by 2015. Volkswagen is partnering with local, state and federal organizations to help achieve that goal.n

Southern Automotive Journal

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Mazdaspeed3: At The Top Of The “Pocket Rocket” Crowd The hardware - a compact, lightweight five-door body paired with a 263-horsepower 2.3-liter 4 cylinder DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) Turbo engine with aluminum block and head construction with forged steel internal components, large air-to-air intercooler and MAZDASPEED independent sport suspension. The result - one of the fast-

on three requirements: •Driving Fun: Formidable performance from the 2.3-liter DISI Turbo engine, along with sharp, responsive handling •Ownership Delight: Advanced but restrained styling that suggests high performance without exaggeration and a tasteful interior to match

est and quickest front-wheel drive cars in the world, with a zero-to-60 time under six-seconds and an electronically limited top-speed of 155 mph. The MAZDASPEED3 is one of the best performing front-wheel drive cars in the world. In 2003, Mazda revolutionized the compact sedan segment with the launch of the MAZDA3. European sophistication, high-performance, advanced technology and safety are the ingredients that make MAZDA3 the company’s bestselling model globally. MAZDASPEED3 takes everything that made MAZDA3 a success, and bumps it up a notch - more style, more power, more handling, more value. “The MAZDASPEED3 is a pure enthusiasts’ dream, made for the performance buyer who wants it all for a price that doesn’t take it all,” said Tatsuo Maeda, program manager for development of the MAZDA3 series. To create this benchmark, the MAZDASPEED engineering team focused

• Eve r yday, User-Friendly Convenience: Driving pleasure with everyday functionality and comfort U n d e r the hood of the MAZDASPEED3 is a version of the turbocharged and intercooled 2.3-liter four-cylinder directinjection gasoline engine that powers the CX-7 crossover SUV. Engineered to deliver high performance at all speeds, along with low exhaust emissions and excellent fuel economy, Mazda’s MZR 2.3 DISI turbo-charged engine produces 263 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 280 lb-ft torque at 3,000 rpm in the MAZDASPEED3. Key engine components include aluminum block and head construction with forged steel internal compoSeptember 2009

nents - crankshaft and connecting rods - for long-lasting durability, while balance shafts help eliminate noise and vibration. A large air-to-air intercooler and direct fuel injection cool the temperature inside the cylinder. Shifting gasoline’s change in state from liquid to vapor from the intake manifold to the cylinder provides a substantial cooling effect. This low temperature charge permits use of a high 9.5:1 compression ratio, which boosts low- and mid-range torque by approximately 10 percent over conventional turbo engines. This compression ratio also contributes to the car’s frugal use of fuel. The DISI Turbo engine is engineered to achieve three aspects of performance that are difficult to realize with conventional manifold injection engines: good fuel-economy and low exhaust-gas emissions; powerful acceleration thanks to the turbocharger; and a full and flat torque curve throughout the rev range for exceptional engine response.

Engineers also paid close attention to the exhaust sound of the MAZDASPEED3 in order to further increase the driving enjoyment of the car. Its throaty timber under acceleration from a standing start is music to ears of driving enthusiasts. Once the engine hits 4,000 rpm, the sound changes to the mid-frequency range to further underscore the car’s sportiness. MAZDASPEED3 Turn to Page 27 Southern Automotive Journal

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21/29 and 22/29, respectively. All Jettas come with comprehensive standard equipment, including air conditioning, cruise control, a CD player, eight-way adjustable front seats with height, angle and lumbar support

adjustments, and a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel. With four trim levels and a host of options, the sedan and SportWagen can be tailored to meet the needs of individual owners with offerings like V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; a multidisc, in-dash CD player; 10-speaker premium audio system with

MP3 playback; Sirius Satellite Radio; and a panoramic sunroof system. By its very nature, the Jetta SportWagen also opens up a new world of possibilities in the way of 32.8 cubic feet of usable cargo room -- or an even more impressive 66.9 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.n

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a Capitol Hill Fly-In event in Washington, D.C., recently for its collision repair members. ASA members met with their representatives and senators to discuss insurance reform, among other issues. On Wednesday, July 29, ASA leaders met with Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., sponsor of U.S. House Bill 1583, which would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Since 1945, insurance companies have had a "limited" exemption from federal antitrust laws that apply to most other industries ensured to them through an act of Congress. The McCarran-Ferguson Act provides that federal antitrust law applies to the "business of insurance"

only to the extent that such business is not regulated by state law. The anticompetitive consequences of McCarran impact both consumers and small businesses that have to deal with insurers. ASA supports H.R. 1583, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio, DOre., because: • Insurers have argued that this exemption allows them to keep insurance rates low. This is simply not the case. A competitive marketplace will only enhance consumers' options. • The state insurance regulatory structure has failed for consumers and collision repairers. Without federal regulatory recourse, consumer and small business complaints are left to gener-

ally ill-equipped state regulators. After years of complaints, many states lag in addressing important consumer and small business property and casualty issues: i.e., consumer steering, insurer pressure to use inferior auto parts, paint caps, etc. These problems are increasing for consumers and repairers, not decreasing. • State regulators are less likely to recruit top professional employees to oversee increasingly complex insurance products offered by insurers as well as deal with more complicated insurance issues that arise. Federal regulators have access to a degree of human resource and other capital that state agencies do not enjoy.n

Jetta Sportwagen From Page 14

ASA Leaders Meet with Sponsor of McCarran-Ferguson Repeal Bill

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Top U.S. Dealers Bail Out Cash For Clunkers Program: www.AutoStimulusPlan.com Some of the leading U.S. Automotive Retailers launched a privately funded stimulus program to provide up to $4500 in incentives for consumers who were left behind by the government funded stimulus plan. Due to the rules of the government's program, over 90% of consumers are not eligible and consumers are not happy about it. As a result, some of the largest retailers in the country recently launched the www.AutoStimulusPlan. com, a Stimulus Plan that is more inclusive to include all vehicles older than 2007 regardless of their current mpg. The dealer funded stimulus plan also compensates for the gaps that don't allow consumers to purchase pre-owned vehicles or choose a short term lease. A lot of customers can't afford to buy new vehicles, but the government's program does not work with used vehicles. As a result, last months used car volume was down by approximately 20 percent according to www.CashForClunkersInformation.org. The government's rules have hurt used vehicle sales and have left retailers' inventories lopsided by eating up most of the new vehicles that qualify while leaving a surplus of other vehicles that don't. "This new stimulus comes right on time because many dealers have run out of vehicles that qualify," said Brian Benstock from Paragon Auto Group, one of the participating dealers in New York City. "The clunkers have to be destroyed so we are sourcing less pre-owned vehicles," said Benstock. "This has forced us to

buy more used cars at auctions for higher prices. We would prefer to give consumers 20 percent more for their trades than paying the auctions more." According to Automotive News, used-vehicle values in the first half of the year increased from the same period last year, driven largely by a reduced supply of used vehicles. Manheim's Monthly "Used Vehicle Value Index," which came out Friday, showed that used-vehicle prices rose in July with an increase of 5.5 points from a year ago. View Manheim graph at Auto News.com. The dealer-funded Auto Stimulus Plan includes used vehicles and allows dealers to resell the trade ins. "The used vehicle component of the new stimulus plan has helped us become the #1 certified pre-owned Honda and Acura dealer in the world this month. So far, this is our best used vehicle month ever," said Benstock. "Letting consumers buy a used vehicle or lease a new vehicle makes it affordable for a lot of people who could not participate otherwise," said Scott Gruwell from Courtesy Auto Group in California and Arizona, one of GM's largest dealers and a participating dealer. The Automotive Stimulus Plan gives consumers up to $4500 in incentives towards the purchase or lease of a new or used vehicle with a minimum of 2mpg of improved fuel economy. The program has fewer rules, easier paperwork and no minimum MPG requirements.

"Now we can help consumers who qualify for the government program and those that don't," said Rick Case, owner of Rick Case Automotive Group in Florida, Georgia and Ohio. "Consumers love it because the stimulus makes the payments very low and the gas and repair savings are very high." The Automotive Stimulus Plan is a private sector program funded by retailers to provide incentives to consumers that will help the economy and the environment at the same time. To qualify for an incentive a consumer must select a new or pre-owned vehicle with a 2MPG improvement over their current vehicle, which is the same requirement the government program has for SUV's, but it applies to all vehicles under the dealers plan. "The mpg requirements are lower because our primary goal is to help consumers that don't qualify for the government's program and to stimulate the economy through improved sales, jobs and spending," said Gruwell. "As a result, the environmental benefits may not be as big as the government program but it will help more customers get into more fuel efficient vehicles." "If a consumer does not have a trade, they can participate through additional incentives that many of the participating dealers are offering" added Case. "In addition to the stimulus our dealerAutoStimulusPlan Page 28

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Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act Introduced in U.S. Senate U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, have introduced Senate Bill 1620, the "Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act." S.B. 1620 will amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives and fees for increasing motor vehicle fuel economy. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. Bingaman and Snowe are members of the committee. According to Bingaman's office, the legislation "creates a program that Acura ZDX Please from Page 13

sculpted center console. The rich leather appointments give the ZDX a warm and inviting feeling while creating an intimate cockpit for the driver and front passenger. The cabin is well lit thanks to extensive use of LED lighting along with the light from the unique moonroof that is an integral design aspect of the longest glass roof in the industry. The panoramic glass roof has dual automatic sunshades that open and closes at the touch of a button. The luxurious cockpit gives way to generous cabin that provides comfortable seating for up to 5-passengers. The ZDX's flexible utility allows it to be a perfect weekend getaway vehicle, allowing for 26.3 cubic feet of space behind the second row seats and a total of 55.8 cubic feet when the seats are folded flat. The cargo area can also be expanded to accommodate longer objects (such as golf bags) by removing side panels in the cargocompartment sidewalls. As an added bonus, there is an integrated under-floor storage area which provides 2.2 cubicfeet of secure space. The ZDX with Technology Package adds several key features including an Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, an Acura/ELS Surround® premium audio system and a new multi-view rear

rewards consumers who buy cars and trucks that get better gas mileage than the average overall fuel economy required for its class. Motorists who buy models which exceed that CAFE standard will receive a 'fuel performance rebate' (claimed on their tax return or paid instantly by the dealer, whichever the buyer prefers), an amount tied to the fuel savings over and above the relevant CAFE standard. The savings can range from several hundred to several thou-

sand dollars, depending on the vehicle's fuel economy relative to other models of the same size. Conversely, for inefficient, gas-gulping vehicles, manufacturers will be assessed a fuel performance fee to pay for the program." Congress had authorized $4 billion for the Cash for Clunkers program, first appropriating $1 billion then an additional $2 billion. The original legislation still allows for an additional $1 billion to be allotted to Cash for Clunkers.n

camera. The Advance Package boasts additional customer enhancing technologies like a blind spot information system, a Collision Mitigating Braking System™ (CMBS™) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

When the ZDX goes on-sale, it will bring a new level of prestige to the Acura lineup. The ZDX will be positioned and priced between the MDX luxury SUV and the RL luxury performance sedan. n

September 2009

Southern Automotive Journal

23


I-Car Recognizes 30-year Legacy Of Volunteers I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, recognized its longest-serving volunteers during the organization’s 30th Annual Industry Conference held in July at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. As a part of a Legacy Reception, held on July 30, I-CAR recognized volunteers who have served the collision inter-industry for the 30 years since ICAR was founded, and also recognized those individuals with 25 and 20 years of service. “For 30 years volunteers have been the heart and soul of I-CAR. They have been instrumental in the origins of the organization and continue to carry the vision and mission forward,” said Tom Moreland of AkzoNobel and Chairman of the I-CAR International Board of Directors. “Our volunteers are recognized throughout the industry

24

Southern Automotive Journal

and now are even recognized nationally through the President’s Volunteer Service Award.” “I-CAR is here today, thirty years later, due to the efforts of our volunteers and instructors,” said John Edelen, President and CEO of I-CAR. “It is the unique and generous commitment of their time over the past thirty that has sustained the organization and enabled it to continue to serve the collision repair inter-industry. We are grateful to each of them.” In addition to recognizing longserving volunteers, Moreland also announced that the organization’s Chairman’s Award – an award chosen by the Board of Directors – went to Doug Middleton, who helped found I-CAR and has continued his involvement since that time. “Doug’s contributions to I-CAR since its founding 30 years ago are

September 2009

numerous,” said Moreland. “On our 30th Anniversary, it is an honor to recognize Doug for his dedication to the collision inter-industry and the vision of I-CAR.” During his years with I-CAR, Middleton has served as a local volunteer on the San Antonio committee, worked as a consultant for I-CAR, worked as a Regional Manager, and most recently served on the International Advisory Committee. Bill Stage, Chairman of the International Advisory Committee added, “Doug was there, as an employee of USAA, helping to found I-CAR 30 years ago. When I-CAR started, USAA provided Doug full-time to I-CAR for a year to help get things rolling.” The complete list of volunteers honored during I-CAR’s 30th Anniversary Legacy Reception includes: Volunteers Please Turn to Page 25


I-Car Legacy of Volunteers 30 Years Jim Alberg • Bob Anderson •Jack Caldwell • Jerome Carter • Robert Cinibulk • Tom Dance • Mike Davis • Marc Essig • Al Estorga • Neal Grover • Tom Holmes • Tony Jones • Rod Kohlhepp • Tony Lombardozzi • Doug Middleton • Jim Minnis • Don Peers • Sid Petrisor • Dave Pettner • John Poot • Dave Replogle • Paul Rose • Joe Sanders • Doug Scales, Jr. • Rick Schneider • Mike Shelton • Jeff Silver • Bob Smith • Doug Smith • Amos Stackhouse • Ed Staquet • Tom Stark • Chuck Sulkala • Greg Thomas • Bill Wicklund • Bob Wilson

25 Years Jim Blankenship • Joe Burda • Ed Crygier • Johnny Dickerson • Edward Dinkler • Mark Fisher • Dan Frohlich • Pete Fryzel • Lindsay Gates • Dave Gauthier • Harold Harden • Tom Heinemann • Rodney Hughes • Bob Jackson • Charlie Ladis • Claude LaPointe • Steve LeClaire • Peter Lock • Doug Moore • Carl Nelson • Geoff Overley Carl Peet • Bruce Peters • Rick Reiss • Doug Roach • Steve Setzer • Larry Smith • Wendell Summers • Jim Swanson • Ronnie Swygert • Jody V lenta • Dan Welch • Merle Wertz • Jim Wiggins

20 Years Cecilia Allice • Kim Beck • Ken Boylan • Tom Brandt • Shawn Collins • Brian Cook • Bruce Daufenbach • Michael Davis • Dennis Debendenner • Dave Dolezal • Bob Dyer • Tim Ellis • Thomas Finch • Mike Ford • Bruce Gregory • Greg Gunter • Barry Hammond • Kim Helgeson • John Helterbrandt • Johnny Hinojos • Jeff Holbrook • Larry Hults • Mark Hunt • Scott Jacoby • Wildy Kerby Jason LaRose • Leo Laughlin • Erwin Marson • Dale McDaniels • Mike Miller • Ross Morello • Paul Morris • Randy Navin • Tony Passwater • Jeff Peevy • Dave Robinette • Bob Roiger • Jim Rostad • Jerry Savage • Keith Schieffer • Jeff Shaffer • Ken Shorney • Dan Shymanski • Melton Sosebe • Chuck Stewart • Eric Streton • Audie Swedeen • Freda Thompson • Myron Thompson • Mark Todd • Joey Torres • Jose Vargas • Roy VenHoerst • Nicholas Verona • Phil White • Greg Wimsett

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MAZDASPEED3 From Page 19 To increase drivability and minimize torque steer and wheel spin in what is a very powerful front-wheel drive car, a sophisticated torque-management system combines with equal-length hardened driveshafts and a torque-sensing conical LSD limited slip differential. Under the watchful eye of an advanced powertrain control module (PCM), the waste-gate bleeds off excess boost to control the torque spikes in first and second gear that would result in wheel spin, providing full boost only in third gear and above. Also, because the throttle is a drive-by-wire system, the PCM can control how quickly the throttle-body reacts to driver inputs, smoothing intake volume to further minimize torque spikes. This results in different torque characteristics in first, second and third (and above) gears, minimizing torque-steer and wheelspin and maximizing traction and acceleration. Torque control is also linked to the steering angle, limiting power delivery when the front wheels are turned. A torque-sensing conical LSD limited-slip differential also minimizes wheel-spin on the inner wheel during hard cornering for smooth, predictable power delivery. Mazda also fits a similar conical-LSD unit to the rotary-powered RX-8 sports car. The new MAZDASPEED3 employs a six-speed manual transmission, allowing the driver to maximize the engine’s potential. A compact three-shaft design made it possible to keep the overall length the same as the five-speed manual transmission used in the standard MAZDA3. Triple-cone synchronizers for the first three gears, along with double-cone synchronizers for fourth gear, ensure precise and clean shift characteristics and low-effort shifting through a clearly defined shift travel. In addition, MAZDASPEED3’s six-speed transmission uses wide gear ratios to fully exploit the wide torque band of the direct-injec-

tion turbocharged engine, while allowing quiet and comfortable highway cruising. Like the 2009 MAZDA3, the MAZDASPEED3 features a body with increased rigidity. The MAZDASPEED version is based on the MAZDA3 5-Door hatchback, with local reinforcements added to produce a body sufficiently stiff to stand up to the demands of 263 horsepower. Suspension and brakes have also been specially tuned. Body rigidity has been increased through several measures, including a rein-

forced front cowl that is joined directly to the top section of the front damper mount, assuring the same rigidity as a car fitted with a strut tower bar (which would not have been possible because of the placement of the intercooler above the engine). This prevents deformation of the front suspension towers under cornering load and maintains correct suspension geometry. Underneath the car, a large closed-section brace is employed to reinforce the floor tunnel, which improves the torsional rigidity of the whole body. At the rear, a gusset added to the bottom of the rear suspension towers maintains the correct suspension geometry under all cornering loads. Both the MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension have higher spring rates and larger diameter stabilizer bars than the standard MAZDA3. Damping force on both compression and rebound is raised approximately six-times at low piston speed, and about 1.3 times at moderate piston speed. Ride height is 10 mm lower than a standard MAZDA3. In combination with the reinforced springs and stabilizer bars, this produces 60 percent more roll stiffSeptember 2009

ness than the standard MAZDA3. MAZDASPEED3’s cockpit is a harmonious synthesis of functional sportiness and stylish comfort. A high-quality black finish sets the tone of the interior, accented by red stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and the shift boot to create a sporty yet refined look. The instrument panel includes a piano black decorative insert panel finished with a hairline treatment to under-

score the vehicle’s personality. A leatherwrapped shift knob, aluminum pedals and stainless steel scuff plates further contribute to the sporty, high-quality feel that distinguishes MAZDASPEED models, while front Alcantara® sport seats with the MAZDASPEED logo - developed specifically for the MAZDASPEED3 - on the seatbacks provide firm support and comfort. MAZDASPEED3’s styling pursues a look of strength and solidity in a design that conveys the car’s dynamic performance. Its form is characterized by boldly flared front fenders and effective use of strong edges on the hood. These combine with the functional forms of the bumpers, spoilers and other parts developed for aerodynamic performance. Overall, MAZDASPEED3’s design is sporty and strong, befitting a highperformance model, without exaggerated styling cues.n Southern Automotive Journal

27


ASA Leaders Discuss Key Issues with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Leaders from the Automotive Service Association (ASA) recently met with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to discuss insurance reform and the repeal of the McCarranFerguson Act. This meeting was part of ASA's Capitol Hill Fly-In July 28-29 for automotive collision repairers. Currently in the U.S. House of Stimulus Program From Page 22

Representatives there are two bills on these topics supported by ASA. H.R. 1583, co-sponsored by Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act. H.R. 1880, co-sponsored by Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., establishes optional federal insurance regulation for insurers. This

legislation - for the first time - reaches beyond life insurance lines, as offered in previous congressional proposals, to include property and casualty insurance. McConnell also discussed current health care proposals in the U.S. Congress and how these would impact the automotive repair industry.n

economy get back on track." Incentives vary based on the consumer's current vehicle and desired vehicle (visit www.AutoStimulusPlan.com for details). Incentives vary in some states due to state laws that regulate automotive advertising and promotion. The Auto

these extraordinary incentives because our goal is to take care of them so well ship is giving up to $4500 of incentives that they will come back for service and regardless of the vehicles eligibility." buy all their future vehicles from our dealConsumers can learn more about ership," said John Malishenko, Director of the program and begin connecting with Operations for the Germain Automotive participating retailers by visiting: www. Group who owns dealerships in Ohio, AutoStimulusPlan. Arizona, Florida and com. Arkansas. Automotive Stimulus Program Requirements: "We are very The orgahappy about the nization informs $2billion dollars of 1. Current vehicle is a 2006 or older consumers that additional funding they should be 2. Current vehicle is operable but we expect it to patient if they can3. Current vehicle has been owned for a minimum of 6 months go fast" said Vince not get through to 4. Current vehicle has been registered for a minimum of 6 months Sheehy from Sheehy the website, www. Automotive Group 5. The replacement vehicle has to be more fuel efficient by a AuoStimulusPlan. in Washington DC, com, on their first minimum of 2mpg Virginia, Maryland try. During the proand Baltimore, one of gram's launch there the participating dealers in the program. Stimulus Plan will end on November 1(st) was an overwhelming level of traffic "The new stimulus plan is a great examand will continue if the government's resulting in periods of interruption.n ple of a successful partnership between program expires before that date. the public and private sectors to help the "We don't mind giving consumers

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Southern Automotive Journal

September 2009

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ASA Announces Strategic Partnership with BG Products The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with BG Products Inc. This education and training initiative establishes BG Products as an ASA-recognized training provider. Through the agreement, BG Products now offers ASA members access to the BG/ASA Service Success Curriculum, a series of instructor-led courses covering a variety of technical and management topics. "Working with BG Products has always been a positive and rewarding experience. This strategic partnership

solidifies our relationship and is expected to be mutually beneficial for both organizations," said Bill Haas, ASA's vice president of education and training. ASA-branded course material provided by BG Products designates that the Service Success curriculum has a level of relevancy to the general ASA membership and should be beneficial to automotive business owners and their employees. "Training and education are key elements in BG's market strategy and we deliver those elements to our custom-

September 2009

ers," said Peter Berlo, BG's manager of domestic distributor development. "This partnership promotes market diversity within the BG organization and will help us take our business to the next level with independent shops." Through BG Products' education arm, "BG University," the company helps automotive professionals achieve the mutual goal to provide their customers with valuable, reliable and effective maintenance services. BG Products' headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in Wichita, Kan.n

Southern Automotive Journal

29


National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Declares its Support of Right to Repair The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA), a national trade association representing independent automobile dealers, has declared its support of the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (H.R. 2057) and strongly urges Congress to pass the legislation on behalf of its more than 20,000 members. “NIADA shares the belief that specialized equipment, information and materials should be available to all repair facilities who wish to pursue repair opportunities and should not be restricted to just those who are affiliated with a manufacturer,” said Michael R. Linn, CEO, NIADA. “Right to Repair ensures that our members’ customers can have their vehicles serviced at the repair shop of their choice.” Because vehicles are becoming increasingly sophisticated with virtually every system either monitored or controlled by computers, servicing these vehicle systems to keep them in safe working condition requires ready access to complete and accurate information, tools and software from the car companies. The Right to Repair Act offers protections for motor vehicle owners by making it illegal for vehicle manufacturers to withhold information necessary to diagnose, service or repair motor vehicles. “We encourage our members and all motorists to visit www. righttorepair.org to send a letter to each of their congressional representatives, urging them to support the Right to Repair Act,” Linn said.n 30

Southern Automotive Journal

September 2009


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