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Buick LaCrosse

April 2010


SCRS Alerts Collision Repair Industry to Concerns Over Aftermarket Structural Replacement Parts

ASA, Alliance Oppose NCOIL's Model Crash Parts Legislation

MECHANICAL NEWS ASA Significantly Expands Benefit Portfolio Automakers, Repairers Respond to Right to Repair Coalition Accusations

DEALER NEWS Honda Performance Development, Inc. Begins Honda FF Engine Deliveries Kia Motors' State-of-the-Art U.S. Manufacturing Facility is Featured in the HISTORY(TM) Channel

Infiniti Essence Concept - Represents The Magnification Of “Inspired Performance”

The essence of the Infiniti brand distilled into one car and then taken to the extremes to satisfy the world’s most demanding car enthusiasts – this is the Infiniti Essence. Presented as a concept at the 79th International Motor Show of Geneva, Essence is a celebration of Infiniti and its 20 years history as a creator of performance cars. But equally it is an inspiring exploration into the brand’s future. The dramatic design, technology and performance statement is a 592horsepower, rear-wheel-drive gasoline/electric hybrid coupe. The Essence Concept showcases many

of the technologies, including hybrid, and design cues that will distinguish Infiniti production cars of the coming years. And, by steering Infiniti’s guiding principle of “Inspired Performance” into the luxury super-coupe market for the first time, it reaffirms Infiniti’s place among the world’s most exclusive and vibrant car brands. With breathtaking good looks and perfect proportions, Essence exerts a powerful pull on all those who love cars. Essence Please Turn to Page 4

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Essence From Front Cover It looks like a driver’s car, one that would be right at home on the world’s grandest motoring routes, yet Essence is not an aggressive sports car. Infiniti’s “Dynamic Adeyaka” attitude ensures Essence is single-minded, but also inviting, sophisticated and born of inspiration from both the human and natural worlds. To further boost its emotional appeal, it features details that bring a very modern take to some very old Japanese traditions. The designers’ aim was to merge all existing Infiniti design cues with fresh design language in a shape that the 20-year-old marque has never before attempted. The result is highly sculptural yet also very delicate. Essence speaks of power but not intimidation. The hood, as expected of an Infiniti, is long and the rear deck short. Together with a flowing “wave” profile between muscular front and rear wheel arches, Essence at first appears to be in the classic sports car mold – but there is nothing retro about Essence. The side window graphics bring a particularly innovative and distinctive edge to the styling. The window appears to be resting on a ledge, its razor sharp line in contrast to the concave sweep of the upper body just below it. The rear section also features complex surfacing with concave “scoops” that flow down the rear pillars from one of Essence’s most distinctive design cues: a C-shaped kink to the side windows’ trailing edge. Outlined by a wide flourish of stainless steel, it adds instant movement to the car even when it is standing still. One of the most distinctive details is the trim around the side air vents. The simple yet delicate shape, finely finished in aluminium, is based on the “kanzash,” a hairpin used by women when wearing the kimono. Other lines and details are inspired by the wide brush strokes of Japanese calligraphy. Essence represents a successful merging of iconic cultural cues with automotive aesthetics. Essence’s front is characterised by Infiniti’s signature 

Southern Automotive Journal

double-arch grille, set at an angle that suggests the car is about to leap forward. There is an illuminated Infiniti badge at its heart. Rounded corners effectively hide the front overhang and make this 185-inch-long car (15.4 feet) appear anything but big in the flesh. At the front, as over the rest of the car, Essence eschews superfluous body embellishments that could interrupt the graceful strength of the whole. The grille is framed by subtle strips of stainless steel but there’s little other trim and no other grilles or intakes, not even fog lights. The door handles are slivers of push buttons flush with the body, while even the rearview mirrors must make way for minuscule cameras teased out

April 2010

of the A-pillars. More familiar Infiniti cues include the lights. At the front, the signa-

ture L-shaped modules taper back on to the bulging guards, picked out at their top edge by a row of LEDs. Slender fillets of red light curve around the car at the back, overlapping with the trunk opening and framing the spoiler, which appears to have been pushed out from within the car. A driver’s car demands the perfect driver’s cabin. Essence’s interior is minimalist, ergonomic and totally focused on giving the driver a feeling of absolute control – while the passenger area is dominated by comfort, calm and elegance to offer the kind of hospitality that is so important to Essence. The asymmetrical cabin is divided into two areas separated by a large curving console between the seats that sweeps around to merge with the center of the dashboard. The driver’s side is themed black, the passenger’s “cocoon” an earthy red. A flat-bottomed steering wheel, chronometer-style dials, bright red engine start button, and short, alloytopped gear selector announce to the driver this is a serious performance machine. Other interior features include larger gear change paddle shifters behind the wheel and a signature Infiniti analog clock. With the materials used – leather, Alcantara, hand-painted wood inspired by traditional Japanese lacquerware – the cabin exudes a rich and inviting warmth. Essence’s interior promotes a sense of well being which is key to the Infiniti driving experience. Essence’s drivetrain is designed to meet the highest expectations of owners by delivering the one thing everyone expects of an Infiniti – sheer driving pleasure. In Essence, that pleasure is taken to new heights, at the same time as previewing an innovative green hybrid engine. Essence is unusual even in the rarefied atmosphere of the world’s fastest road cars by being able to call on a mighty 592 horsepower. Like the design, the performance is

designed to be sophisticated and unobtrusive – performance with a human

touch. The hybrid system is a logical extension of Infiniti parent group’s groundbreaking green commitments. It offers power with efficiency, and high performance with zero-emissions running, by combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor. These can work independently or together as a “parallel” hybrid system. In congested urban areas, the electric motor alone is all that is needed for Essence to glide silently between stoplights, with no tailpipe emissions. When the traffic clears, Essence responds with a highway performance that few cars could match. In “power assist” mode the full 592 horsepower is unleashed with both gasoline and electric power working together. Essence previews a new type of electric motor, called 3D Motor, that was designed to meet April 2010

tough requirements on size and power output. The result is a particularly slim, disk-shaped motor that has twice the torque of a conventional unit. Its design was achieved by 3D magnetic field analysis to optimize the layout of the electromagnetic coils and permanent magnets. For use in the Essence, the motor is positioned between the engine and transmission and provides 158 horsepower, drawing power from a compact lithium-ion battery pack in the trunk area. Because the 3D Motor operates in both propulsion and power regeneration modes, the battery pack is kept charged up. Optimized energy usage across the widest possible range of driving conditions is guaranteed by two separate clutches, which “switch in” the motors as required. It is a system that needs no torque converter, further enhancing responsiveness and driving pleasure.n

Southern Automotive Journal

NADA Launches New Online Magazine The National Automobile Dealers Association recently launched an ambitious new online magazine called “NADA Front Page” featuring comprehensive and timely coverage of the automotive industry. “This takes NADA communications to an entirely new level,” says David Hyatt, NADA vice president for public affairs. is designed as a one-stop destination for all the latest news affecting the auto industry. It will feature top stories, NADATV reports, people, politics, issues, and opinion, plus automaker news on the

Southern Automotive Journal

latest automotive technology, and cars of the future. debuts at the association’s 2010 convention in Orlando with coverage of daily convention activities and interviews with industry leaders, including GM’s Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing Susan Docherty, AutoNation’s Mike Jackson and Volkswagen of America President and CEO Stefan Jacoby. The online magazine is a hybrid site, combining news aggregation with original reporting. features expanded coverage of auto industry news, quotes from industry

April 2010

leaders, and auto stock quotes. Other special sections include “NADA in the News,” politics, people, and issues. Look for auto sales trends, the latest auto technology, news on auto shows, and slideshows of concept cars of the future. will complement the daily e-newsletter, NADA Headlines, which has become a mustread for thousands of dealers. NADA Headlines now has more than 35,000 subscribers—including thousands of NADAFrontPage Please Turn to Page 28

Automakers, Repairers Respond to Right to Repair Coalition Accusations With activity on S. 2268, the socalled "Right to Repair" bill heating up, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of International Automobile Manufacturers and the Automotive Service Association (ASA) responded to recent accusations from the "Right to Repair Coalition." Right to Repair coalition spokesman Art Kinsman claims that passage of the bill "would help hard-working families get their car fixed at a repair shop of their choice," but he is wrong. Fact of the matter is that a majority of Massachusetts vehicle owners already get their vehicles serviced by the repairer of their choice. In fact, a recent study found that 96 percent of Massachusetts consumers who have their vehicles serviced by independent repairers have

never had a problem getting their vehicle repaired. Automakers and auto dealers recognize the role independent repairers play in the vehicle repair process. And while Kinsman is right to point out the number of jobs in the independent repair industry in Massachusetts, he neglects to acknowledge that the two largest associations representing independent repairers in the Commonwealth, the New England Service Station and Repair Association (NESSARA) and the Automotive Service Association (ASA) actively oppose the legislation. Automakers provide affordable access to the necessary information to diagnose and service vehicles. All automakers maintain service information Web sites and make factory scan tools

available to the independent repair community. The information is the same as that provided to franchised dealers and the tools are capable of performing the same functions. By investing in proper equipment and subscribing to service information providers, repair shops can gain access to everything they need to repair a motor vehicle of any make or model. The so-called "Right to Repair" Act will not solve the dilemma facing the independent vehicle repairers. Instead, repairers must individually decide on a business model appropriate to the vehicles used by customers in their local service areas. That business decision will determine the level of investment

An episode of the hit series on HISTORY™ Modern Marvels, which premiered on March 4th featured a segment on Kia's first U.S. auto assembly plant, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), and the production of the all-new 2011 Sorento CUV. As part of the segment, Modern Marvels presented an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at automotive manufacturing, advanced techniques and state-of-theart technology used in Kia's brand new manufacturing plant. As with all episodes of Modern Marvels, viewers are able to visit www. for a deeper dive and more

information. In addition, at History. com/tour, viewers will find information specific to this episode of Modern Marvels on how to build a car, as well as about other Modern Marvels' episodes, such as how to demolish a building, build a modular home and build a golf club. The tour site also will provide an interactive virtual plant tour of KMMG's facilities that features video, imagery and facts about the various stages of production of Kia vehicles. Through the interactive plant tour, visitors can see selected views of the Kia plant and learn how Kia is revolutionizing the auto manufacturing business.

"There is an innate curiosity for viewers to see how a car is produced from raw materials to a finished product and the opportunity to be part of HISTORY's popular series, Modern Marvels, is a natural fit as our new stateof-the-art manufacturing plant utilizes the latest in automotive manufacturing technology to assemble the 2011 Sorento," said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing, Kia Motors America. "Introducing new audiences to the Kia brand is a priority and innovative and educational programs such as Modern Marvels enable us to increase brand familiarity in captivating ways."n

Coalition Accusations Please Turn to Page 30

Kia Motors' State-of-the-Art U.S. Manufacturing Facility is Featured in a Segment of the HISTORY(TM) Channel's Hit Series Modern Marvels



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ASA Significantly Expands Benefit Portfolio The Automotive Service from restaurants to theaters to apparel date. Our expanded benefits portfolio Association (ASA) announces the launch to electronics. This particular benefit is available to all ASA members and is of its latest electronic endeavor, the can conveniently be shared with shop designed to enhance their success and "ASA Marketplace." Housing convenient, employees at the discretion of the shop better serve the motoring public." money-saving offers for repair businessowner or manager. A guest account can be accessed es, the ASA Marketplace provides one"Each vendor is carefully selected for prospective ASA members. This stop shopping for ASA's entire benefits and rigorously negotiated," said Ron allows visitors to to portfolio for members. In addition, the Pyle, ASA's president and chief staff login to the ASA Marketplace as a nonmarketplace hosts many new offers preexecutive. "The ASA Marketplace offers member and view the numerous disviously unavailable through ASA, such the latest in content delivery technolcount programs available through ASA as special discounts on FedEx, Sprint ogy, ease of use and is always up to membership.n and OfficeMax. These newly expanded offers allow ASA members to take advantage of pre-negotiated services with selected vendors for increased savings. "Beyond ASA's traww ditional benefits portfolio, w. Ja the association now brings ck members more than 25 new so na cost-saving offers through cu Call Kenny McMillan, the ASA Marketplace specifra .co Your Trusted Name in Acura ically designed to help small m businesses reduce costs and increase profitability. When combined with ASA's traditional benefits programs, the ASA Marketplace proYour order is urgent to your business vides unmatched value to today's repair professional," Your order needs to be accurate said John Scully, executive Your order is essential to your customer vice president. Members have Acura Vehicles and Acura Parts immediate access to the ASA Marketplace through Direct the links provided on the FAX Toll Free Member Benefits pages on both the public and Members Only sections of the ASA Web site, www. ASA members may access the site using their e-mail address and the password "asa." The ASA Marketplace contains numerous categories for easy navigation, including insurance, wireless services, shipping, estimating and Order From us to Increase Your Chances to Win diagnostics, office supplies and finance. The site also includes access to Employee 2nd Prize- $500.00 cash Perks, which offers discounts 3rd Prize-$200.00 cash at more than 25,000 merchants in categories ranging


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Renaissance Sedan: 2010 LaCrosse Represents A Reinvigorated Buick The completely redesigned 2010 Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan is the newest example of the globally influenced product renaissance at Buick. It offers all-wheel drive, a suite of advanced intelligent personal technologies and safety features, as well as three efficient, powerful engines. “The new LaCrosse builds on the success of Enclave as the next step in Buick’s renaissance and great attention to detail, craftsmanship and advanced

technology,” said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president. “It

to Buick.” T h e 2 0 1 0 LaCrosse was developed within GM’s worldwide network of design and engineering centers, reflecting LaCrosse’s interior continues the flowing, detailed aesthetic of the exterior, Buick’s growwith elements such as ice-blue ambient ing popularlighting throughout the cabin – from ity around the the center console, instrument panel globe – parand door panels. Buick’s signature ticularly in QuietTuning, an engineering process to Asia. It offers reduce, block and absorb interior noise, a contempoprovides a distraction-free passenger rary vision of environment. a luxury sedan The contemporary atmosphere of that looks at the LaCrosse’s cabin is accented with home on the available digital connectivity and perstreets of Santa sonal technology that includes in-dash Monica or Shanghai, with heritage cues navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, an that recall the brand’s legacy as a design auxiliary audio input and a USB port. For leader. rear-seat passengers, a DVD entertain“There is great harmony in everything offered by LaCrosse LaCrosse Please Turn to Page 30 – a beautifully crafted exterior, a premium interior and a satisfying driving experience to please the senses and Check us out on the Web complement any lifest yle,” Docherty said. “It’s a Toll Free Direct seamless package that incorFAX porates the very best of Finished Bumpers In Stock GM’s global Recondition Your Bumpers resources to make Recycling Program this Buick Competitive Pricing an industry bench- Inventory, Pricing & Ordering on the Web mark.” 400 Glover Street • Marietta, GA 30060 T h e

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First Annual Subaru/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year Awards Announced Subaru of America, Inc., is pleased to announce that Toby Costa of Maita Subaru in Sacramento, California is this year’s recipient of the Subaru/ ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year award. This is the first year that Subaru of America, Inc. and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has presented the award. In addition to receiving a plaque from ASE, Mr. Costa received a recognition plaque from Fuji Heavy Industries (parent company of Subaru of America, Inc.) and a $1,000 presentation check for outstanding service from Subaru of America. Out of 86 finalists the follow-

ing nine Subaru technicians finished as runners-up to round out the top 10: 1) Shawn Mitchell, Subaru of Richmond 2) George Weller, Ambassador Subaru 3) Shane Maas, Cascade Subaru-Wenatchee 4) Chris Debban, Team Subaru of Nampa 5) Jeffrey Sparrow, Mastro Subaru-Tampa 6) George Thabet, Maita Subaru 7) Jared Kalina, Power Subaru of Scottsdale 8) Anthony DiSalvo, Ganley Subaru Aurora Inc.

9) John Ochsner, Subaru of Sioux Falls Mr. Costa is a Shop Foreman who has been with Maita Subaru for ten years and has more than thirty years experience as a technician. He has also been a Subaru Senior Master Technician since 1992. Twenty-four different companies from both OEM and Aftermarket segments sponsor the individual technician recognition awards in the Auto, Truck and Collision categories. In addition to looking for top scores on ASE tests, award sponsors examine on-thejob excellence, community service and other factors when selecting honorees.n

ASA, Alliance Oppose NCOIL's Model Crash Parts Legislation

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) support consumer choice in the type and quality of parts used to repair collision-damaged vehicles, and oppose the National Conference of Insurance Legislators' (NCOIL's) Model Act Regarding Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair. ASA and the Alliance have released a brochure titled "Support Consumer Protection in Auto Repair:

Oppose Model Crash Parts Legislation." Recently, ASA wrote a letter to the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Administrator David L. Strickland, questioning why NHTSA does not regulate aftermarket crash parts. A major issue for ASA, which is highlighted in the brochure, is that our members are concerned with some insurance companies encouraging the use of these unregulated parts based on cost without con-

sideration for quality and safety. Following is an excerpt from the brochure that helps explain the joint stance on the issue: "The Alliance and Automotive Service Association support state disclosure laws that require insurers and auto collision facilities to obtain the express written consent of vehicle owners before installing replacement crash parts." This is a longheld Automotive Service Association policy.n

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NADA Answers Call to Duty in 2009

After a year that battered the auto industry—the lowest new vehicle sales rate since World War II, nearautomaker liquidations and more than 2,000 dealership closures—it’s time for the industry to come together, John McEleney told thousands of dealers today at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in Orlando, Fla. “Ultimately, dealers and manufacturers are in the business of selling cars,” said McEleney, 2009 NADA chairman. “And we have to do that together.” After the tragic series of events in 2009 that threatened the auto industry more than at any time in six decades, NADA took “immediate action to support dealer interests,” he said. “Our biggest challenge was con-

vincing the President’s Task Force that dealers are not an incremental cost to manufacturers,” said McEleney, a General Motors, Toyota and Hyundai dealer from Clinton, Iowa. “The fact is the distribution system that exists for automakers today is extremely efficient. All costs of the retail side of the business are paid for by dealers.” McEleney, who attended the 1971 NADA convention in San Francisco as a college student when his father, Warren McEleney, concluded his term as NADA president, said the most difficult part of his year in office was hearing firsthand from dealers who either lost their Chrysler franchises or were placed in wind-down with GM. “The damage inflicted on these dealers, their families and their employ-

ees is unimaginable,” said McEleney, whose family has been selling cars for four generations. “They were essentially denied an opportunity to make a living in this industry. Third and fourth generation dealerships were shuttered. A lifetime creation of capital was wiped out by the stroke of a pen.” He said dealers from every state in the country were instrumental in telling their story to Congress and why lawmakers should intervene to support affected dealers. Last December, legislation was passed that provided terminated GM and Chrysler dealers with a “second chance,” he said. “NADA harnessed the influence and power of 17,000 new-car dealers NADA Call to Duty Please Turn to Page 24

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2010 Nissan Frontier Continues to Offer Performance, Utility and Value The Nissan Frontier, a no-compromise pickup forged with premium hardware, extraordinary power and offroad athleticism, continues to be a leader in the midsize truck segment. Updated in 2009 with a new front fascia, grille and headlight design and new machinefinished 16-inch wheels (PRO-4X) and new 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels (LE), the refinements continue in 2010 with added standard safety and security equipment including standard side and curtain supplemental air bags on all models and standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) on all V6-equipped Frontiers. Other revisions for 2010 include the availability of a 5-speed automatic transmission on Frontier XE models, the addition of 2-wheel or 4-wheel Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS) as standard for all SE and LE V6 models and the addition of Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control as standard equipment on all SE and LE 4WD automatic transmission-equipped

models. One new exterior color, Night Armor, is also offered. Frontier continues to offer an exceptional level of on- and off-road performance with the use of a 4.0-liter DOHC V6 engine with horsepower and torque that are second-to-none in the mid-size truck class. A 152-horsepower 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine is also available (King Cab only). With its strong performance, combined with good fuel mileage (19 city, 23 highway, King Cab 2WD), the Frontier is a fitting truck for work or play. "The Frontier is a truck that acts big when it comes to such essentials as performance, towing capability, interior roominess and real-world utility," said Al

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April 2010

Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "Yet it's also easy to live with in terms of value, at the gas pumps or when maneuvering through tight spaces or down narrow offroad trails." The mid-size Nissan Frontier emulates many of Nissan Titan's full-size features, including its bold, expressive and adventurous exterior styling. Frontier utilizes signature Nissan truck themes, including an angled strut grille, large bumpers, short front and rear overhangs and large, stamped steel, geometric fender flares. Frontier also offers levels of innovation in areas where it matters most to truck owners - the bed. Both Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab models offer an available high-utility bed that includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and the Utili-track tie-down system. The Utilitrack system, first introduced on Titan, Frontier Please Turn to Page 21

SCRS Alerts Collision Repair Industry to Concerns Over Aftermarket Structural Replacement Parts In November 2009 and January 2010, SCRS National Director and Education Committee member, Toby Chess, performed presentations outlining comparative studies he had conducted between randomly selected OEM and Aftermarket Structural Replacement parts. The parts reviewed included items such as Front and Rear Bumper Reinforcement Beams, Radiator Core Supports, Bumper Brackets and Bumper Energy Absorbers. In every example tested, there were significant differences in both the construction of, and materials used, in the aftermarket replacement part which can significantly impact the roles that these parts serve in the transfer of energy resulting from a collision. Each of these parts also directly relates to the functionality and response of the vehicle Safety Restraint System (SRS), and could have a resulting affect on how the airbag functions in the event of a loss. The presentation also detailed that in other instances where the manufacturer had paid particular attention to utilizing the same materials as the OEM, and employed credible third-party testing, the parts appeared to perform much better in subsequent crash test video demonstrations. As a result of these studies, the Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA), who represents more than 150 manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of aftermarket crash parts, has taken what SCRS views as a responsible first step, stating to their members that if sufficient testing is not available they recommend “discontinuation of the production and sale of these part types as well as immediate notification to the estimating systems to eliminate these parts from their database.” These studies were per-

formed after receipt of concerns from various members’ shops that there has been an increase in utilization of these aftermarket structural replacement parts in the claims settlement practices of certain insurance carriers. SCRS urges the collision repair industry to understand the magnitude of this issue, and to heed warning as well. SCRS recommends that collision repair professionals use exceptional caution when performing repairs to consumers vehicles, and to only use parts that will perform with the same expectation of quality and safety, both upon installation, and for the life of the vehicle. SCRS also recommends that repair facilities understand the liability associated with

April 2010

utilization of inferior parts, and to avoid being unduly influenced to utilize any replacement part that has not undergone credible independent testing to ensure it meets quality and safety based standards. “This is a serious issue, that has not received enough attention from the industry in the past,” reiterated Chess. “These parts are critically affecting the structural design of a vehicle in its postrepair state. I think the ABPA has shown their leadership through their release, and we need to hold their members, Society of Collision Repair Specialists • P.O. Box 909, Prosser, WA 99350 • SCRS Concerns Please Turn To Page 26

Southern Automotive Journal


Crash Parts Model Act - ASA Proposes Additional Consumer Protections The Automotive Service Association's (ASA) Washington, D.C., representative, Robert L. "Bob" Redding Jr., attended the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Property and Casualty Insurance Committee meeting today to testify against its Model Act Regarding Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair. ASA highlighted three key areas for its opposition to the Model Act: • Aftermarket Parts Certification • Lack of a formal consumer written consent process for the use of replacement crash parts. • Certified Parts Equivalency to OEM ASA has conducted parts demonstrations for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),

worked with Congress to acquire a General Accounting Office investigation of NHTSA's role in regulating aftermarket crash parts and encouraged NHTSA to use its existing authorization to regulate aftermarket crash parts. Recently, ASA wrote a letter to NHTSA administrator David L. Strickland outlining concerns with NHTSA's inaction. In the letter ASA stated: "The lack of federal regulation of the aftermarket crash parts industry opens the vehicle owner to a host of quality and safety concerns. How can NHTSA's mission statement 'Save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity' ignore the types of parts used to repair a vehicle after a collision? Are bumpers,

hoods and airbags not important safety components of a vehicle? Airbags alone are significant cost items when repairing a vehicle and many times force the vehicle to be titled as salvage after a collision. Used airbags are quite common in the marketplace. Many automotive parts recycling facilities make used airbags readily available to any purchaser, professional repairer or not." The Automotive Service Association also produced a brochure with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers titled "Support Consumer Protection in Auto Repair: Oppose Model Crash Parts Legislation." Further, ASA has requested that collision repairers contact their state legislators who serve on NCOIL's Property and Casualty Insurance Committee to oppose the Model Act.n

Honda Performance Development, Inc. Begins Honda FF Engine Deliveries Honda Performance Development recently began shipping 1.5-liter Honda Fit engines to racers planning to run the engine in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Formula F competition. Through its introduction to the category, HPD hopes to strengthen FF's position as the first step in American open-wheel auto racing. The initial batch of fuel-injected Honda L15A7 overhead-cam engines was shipped to competitors who had previously secured their orders via cash

deposit. The Fit engine can be adapted for installation in existing FF chassis. "This is an exciting day for all of us at HPD," said Erik Berkman, president of Honda Performance Development. "We hope that this foundational step in our grassroots motorsports initiative will help grow the FF class by making it more affordable and competitive." The Honda FF engine was developed by HPD in cooperation with Maryland-based Quicksilver RacEngines. The engine was developed to equal 1,

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Developed from the current Honda Fit, introduced in 2009, the L15A7 engine in FF form is intended to provide open-wheel racers with a modern, fuelinjected design offering superior service life, increased availability and lower operating costs. Engine rebuilds will be reduced, with a corresponding reduction in the need for top-end refreshing. In addition, crankshaft and valve-spring

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April 2010

Frontier From Page 16 provides ultimate cargo hauling flexibility through the use of five special “C” crosssection rails mounted in the bed (two channels in the bed floor, and one each on the bed side rails and the bed header panel). Removable utility cleats slide into the channels, providing a wide range of attaching points for securing cargo. In addition to the tie-down cleats, a full range of accessories is offered for use with the channel system, including bed dividers, sliding cargo trays and modular storage units. Just as the high-utility bed offers Frontier owners an exceptional level of flexibility and utility, Frontier’s interior features outstanding functionality combined with comfort and intelligent design. Both Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab feature large rear doors (rear hinged on King Cab) for easy access to the rear seating and cargo areas. The Frontier King Cab includes flip-up rear seats and both cab styles offer excellent cab storage and flexibility. Removable storage boxes are tucked beneath the rear seats, while the front passenger seat folds down for added load carrying capacity (not available on leather-trimmed models). A dual glove box with lock, damper and lamp, center

console storage, one-liter bottle storage integrated into the front doors and a multitude of cupholders and power points are standard. Frontier Crew Cab also offers an available leather-appointed interior and available tilt and sliding moonroof.

T h e heart and soul of the Frontier is its rugged F-Alpha platform. Starting with a full-size, fully boxed ladder frame, the FAlpha platform provides a rugged foundation on which to build. Constructed of high tensile-strength steel, the platform improves structural rigidity for rock-solid performance onand off- road. Frontier shares its suspension layout and many component designs with

the Titan, including its all-steel doublewishbone front suspension and solid axle rear suspension with overslung leaf springs and a long suspension stroke for optimized off-road dynamics. Exceptional acceleration, towing capacity and all-around off-roading ability is provided, in large measure, by its powerful engine - a 4.0-liter DOHC V6 producing 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. The 4.0-liter DOHC V6 is specifically tuned for the unique demands of truck use. Besides smooth torque delivery, the V6 offers excellent fuel efficiency and smooth operation. The 4.0-liter V6 design includes a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, Teflon®-coated pistons, resin intake manifold, forged crankshaft, digital knock control system, high capacity muffler, lightweight aluminum block and cylinder heads and 105,000mile spark plugs. All key underbody hardware is tucked up to the frame rails for a minimum 8.9 inches (4x4) or 8.6 inches (4x2) of running ground clearance on XE, SE, LE and PRO-4X models. Every 2010 Frontier also offers good approach and departure angles for exceptional off-road capability.n

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ASA Requests NHTSA Use Authority to Regulate Aftermarket Crash Parts The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has written a letter to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator David L. Strickland asking him to review why NHTSA does not regulate aftermarket crash parts and to begin an aftermarket crash parts regulatory program as soon as feasible. For years ASA’s policy for automotive replacement crash parts has been that consumers should have notice as to the types of parts used to repair their vehicles and give written consent as to the use of these parts. However, very few states have implemented this policy, so most consumers have no conception of the parts used in a repair. ASA is very concerned with the quality and safety issues relative to the proliferation of aftermarket crash parts being used to repair vehicles involved in a collision. In 2000, ASA met with members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce


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and asked the committee to investigate NHTSA’s role in aftermarket crash parts regulation. The committee requested that the General Accounting Office (GAO) review NHTSA’s role in regulating replacement crash parts. The GAO report on “Motor Vehicle Safety: NHTSA’s Ability to Detect and Recall Defective Replacement Crash Parts is Limited” resulted in several important conclusions: NHTSA has broad authority to set safety standards for aftermarket crash parts. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act provides NHTSA with the authority to prescribe safety standards for new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle equipment sold in interstate commerce - a category that includes aftermarket crash parts. Although NHTSA has the authority to regulate aftermarket crash parts, it has not determined that these parts pose a significant safety concern and therefore has not developed safety stan-

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April 2010

dards for them. The act also provides NHTSA with more limited authority to prescribe safety performance standards for used motor vehicles to encourage and strengthen state motor vehicle inspection programs. Because NHTSA may set motor vehicle safety standards for vehicle systems (like brakes and lights as well as for an entire vehicle, the agency could elect to develop safety standards for occupant restraint systems, which could incorporate airbags, under the used vehicle provision. NHTSA has not developed such standards because it has not identified significant problems with occupant restraint systems that could be addressed by state motor vehicle inspection programs. Less than half the states have state motor vehicle inspection programs. The GAO report and ASA’s letter to NHTSA can be downloaded from the home page of ASA’s legislative Web site,



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NADA Call to Duty From Page 14 and successfully leveraged that power in Congress to the benefit of dealers throughout the country,” he said. “We hope the manufacturers have learned something from this crisis. Three lessons come to mind: listen to your dealers; respect your dealers; and help your dealers succeed. If it’s positive results you seek, then embrace a positive approach.” During a tough sales year in 2009, McEleney said “cash for clunkers” was an example of dealers, manufacturers and government working together for the good of the industry. “If it weren’t for NADA, there would not have been a ‘cash-for-clunkers’ program, period,” he said. “There would not have been the initial one billion dollar funding and there would

not have been the additional two billion dollar funding. This program was NADA working at its best.” Last December, new-car dealers were excluded from oversight of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The House bill, as it was originally written, would have hurt dealers and their customers, he said “It needed to change, and we got it changed,” McEleney said. “And we’re fighting in the Senate for the same thing.” In the final weeks of his chairmanship, the Toyota recall became front page news. McEleney said it was too early to tell how Toyota’s market share will be affected, but dealers have been working diligently to fix the recalled vehicles as quickly as possible. “This underscores the importance of having a strong dealer network in place to handle just such situations,”


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he said. “NADA is asking Congress, as it begins to investigate the recall, not to give countenance to any unsubstantiated rhetoric, which has the effect of unjustifiably alarming the public about the Toyota brand.” McEleney added that Congress should not rush to judgment. “Ill-advised comments reverberate through the entire buying public, impacting auto dealerships, their employees and our local and national economy,” he said. Two weeks ago, NADA launched its Trucks for Haiti campaign. About 72 hours later, more than 100 were donated by dealers from around the country. “Even though the past 12 months have been the most turbulent in the auto industry since the Great Depression, America’s dealers found the resources to help those in dire need,” he said.n

April 2010

NCOIL Delays Action on Model Parts Act The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) has opted to delay making a decision on its Model Act Regarding Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair. The Property and Casualty Insurance Committee decided to move any further decisions on the Model Act

to its summer meeting in Boston. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) submitted testimony in opposition to the Model Act Friday, March 5, 2010. The committee also removed the provisions titled "Choice of Repair Facility," which was the committee's

attempt to address insurer steering practices, from the Model Act. This provision will be addressed by the committee in a separate Model Act during the the National Conference of Insurance Legislators summer meetings.n

CCC Information Services Inc. Releases 2010 Edition of CCC Crash Course According to CCC Information Services Inc.'s Lead Analyst, Susanna Gotsch, "The last decade has seen dramatic change in the automotive collision repair and insurance industries. The recession that threw global economic growth in dramatic reverse at the close of the decade put many of the trends impacting the industry over the last ten years into overdrive." This is Honda Please Turn to Page 21 life should be extended dramatically; and most ignition and all carburetor maintenance will be eliminated. "Many of us at HPD, myself included, have been involved in FF racing," said Marc Sours, HPD Production Division Manager and Large Project Leader for HPD's grassroots effort. "We believe in the class and want to see it grow in popu-

reviewed in-depth in The Convergence of People, Economy and Technology, the appropriately named title for the 2010 edition of CCC Crash Course. "The recession has further impacted miles driven, and more consumers are opting to own and/or insure fewer vehicles," added Gotsch. "Despite the potential for rising employment numbers to increase miles driven, the fact that claim

frequency was declining early in the last decade while miles driven were still increasing, suggests the industry will not see much if any increase in claim frequency in the coming decade." The publication is available on the CCC Web site at Simply click the "Crash Course 2010" link on the CCC home page to receive your copy.n

larity. With the delivery of this first batch of Honda FF engines, and future orders, we are hoping to increase participation through economical competition." Honda Fit race engines can be purchased as a complete package, including a base L15A7 engine and FF engine conversion kit (including intake, exhaust, dry sump, lightweight alternator, restrictor plate and ECU). Individual component parts will also be available for purchase

separately. HPD also offers chassis kits for three of the most popular FF designs: the Swift DB-1, Swift DB-6 and Van Diemen RF99-09 models. Several current race-car manufacturers, including Fast Forward Components (Piper) and Citation Engineering, offer FF chassis ready to accept the Fit engine.Fit FF engine, racers can explore the HPD website,

April 2010

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SCRS Concerns From Page 17 (877) 841-0660 • Fax (877) 851-0660 Email address: • Website: the people and organizations that manufacture and supply these parts, accountable for the quality and safety of their product. The OEMs put a lot of money into research and development to ensure that the end product operates reacts and sus-


Southern Automotive Journal

tains damage in very specific way. Any replacement part made available to the market should be required to have that same expectation of performance.” “This issue is concerning on so many levels,” stated SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “Obviously our members have to understand the liability implications they have when making critical repair decisions such as part selection. The problem with many of these parts is that a visual inspection

April 2010

at the shop level often can’t uncover significant differences, like material or alloy variances. We can’t visually see the difference in weight, or that one part is .25mm thinner than another; especially when the two aren’t side by side for comparison. It should also not be the responsibility of the shop to make a determination on which part is equivalent, or not. If it is not quality, if it is not safe, it shouldn’t even make its way to the market; but they are. We have too many examples, even with current internal ‘quality assurance programs’ in place, that they are being manufactured, sold, and utilized, despite not meeting the most basic of requirements such as material composition.” “Most importantly, there has to be a way to address the individuals who already have parts that have now been deemed ‘inferior’ on their vehicle. It is not enough to accept that suppliers will deal with the issue on case by case bases if, or when, there is a problem. If the process and infrastructure are not in place, to support the ability to notify consumers when a problem has been identified, then we need to significantly fix that infrastructure before more parts are sold. If there is a parts problem generated from the OEM, there is an elaborate recall process in place. Every consumer is notified and their vehicle is corrected. These critical safety parts should not be treated with any less urgency. This is an issue that requires a proactive solution, rather than reactive; the motoring public deserves more,” Schulenburg added.n




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SCRS to Provide Repairer Driven Education at SEMA Show The 2010 SEMA Show Paint & Body Equipment (PBE) area is growing through a key new affiliation between SEMA and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). SCRS will be collaborating with SEMA as the host of REPAIRER DRIVEN EDUCATION, which will be premiering this year in a prominent location within the show and resulting in a much larger footprint dedicated to the collision repair industry. "We look forward to working with the SCRS to develop a valuable and relevant educational program," said SEMA VP of marketing and member services Tom Myroniak. Typically featuring 50-60 sessions throughout the week, the educational program is one of the cornerstones of the annual trade-only event. "As more and more attendees at the SEMA Show become interested in the paint and body market, it is becoming increasingly more important to incorporate seminars targeted specifically to this audience," said Myroniak. "Working with the SCRS will be instrumental in helping

us deliver value to this growing group." SCRS' REPAIRER DRIVEN EDUCATION at SEMA will feature a wide array of topics and course selections focused on bringing education and information covering relevant issues that impact collision repairers across the nation. In addition to the educational offerings and collaborative work in the PBE wing of the show, SCRS will be holding their fall board meeting at the SCRS headquarter hotel, the Las Vegas Hilton. These meetings will be held in conjunction with other industry events, such as the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), to be held at the same location. "SCRS' longstanding mission has been to educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional," stated SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. "A venue such as this certainly provides a stimulating and exciting environment to build upon the educational focus of our activity, and we are looking forward to a bright future of possibilities for our industry as we collabo-

rate to bring enhanced collision industry offerings to the SEMA Show." "Responding to our membership's needs and desired direction has always been one of the strong traits of SCRS," added SCRS Chairman Barry Dorn. "Through ongoing discussions with our membership, it is obvious that there is a strong desire to participate, and have representation, in this event. Partnering with SEMA to significantly enhance the offerings available to our industry makes a lot of sense, and we are ecstatic to build upon what is shaping out to be a very strong foundation between SCRS and the SEMA Show." "We're constantly adapting to changes in the industry," notes Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO. "We challenge ourselves to deliver high value to both exhibitors and attendees, all with the goal of providing them with a show that is current and relevant." Attendee registration for the event opens in May. Updated information is available at

NADAFrontPage From Page 6 industry followers, such as automakers, suppliers, and the media. “The idea is to build on the extraordinary success of NADA Headlines,” says Hyatt. For example, there are often a number of compelling stories that for lack of space do not make it into the daily e-mail, Hyatt says. “NADAFrontPage.

com solves that problem,” he notes, by featuring all the news important to dealers from the best sources, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Times, Automotive News, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, and The Detroit News, to name a few. also offers a number of social-media links, as

well, including Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, and MySpace. The goal: to allow for viral distribution of relevant news stories through all the major social-media sites. “Branching out into the world of social media will further strengthen our position as the ‘voice of the dealer’ and No. 1 source for information on auto retailing,” Hyatt says.n

Volume 14 Issue No. 4 Jim Tucker Publisher Michele Tucker Editor

Southern Automotive Journal P.O. Box 675097 Marietta, Ga 30006-0009 (770) 321-9920 E-Mail

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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April 2010




April 2010

Southern Automotive Journal


NADA’s New Chairman Tackles Legislative Priorities in Nation’s Capital NADA Chairman Ed Tonkin was in Washington recently to talk to his senators about NADA’s legislative priorities and to attend the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the Toyota recalls. After the hearing, Tonkin, a dealer with multiple franchises including Toyota, had the opportunity to meet with Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of Senate Commerce Committee, to reiterate that NADA will work with the committee as it considers legislation to address the recall issue. Tonkin met with senators from his home state, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff

Merkley, D-Ore., to discuss the recall issue and the need to expand dealer access to floorplan financing. He also asked both senators to support legislation that would create greater availability of wholesale lines of credit for dealers. Tonkin told Sen. Merkley that credit for his customers is stronger, but funding for dealers to purchase vehicle inventory is still in short supply. Letting Sen. Merkley know of the continuing problems in the wholesale credit market was of particular importance because he serves on the Senate Banking Committee.

Tonkin also delivered a letter to his senators expressing NADA’s support for legislation that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from establishing its own separate fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. NADA supports a single, national fuel economy standard. Tonkin’s letter rebuts the Administration’s claims that it is better to have three separate agencies – U.S. Department of Transportation, EPA and a patchwork of state-based programs led by California – regulating fuel economy rather than a single, national standard.n

LaCrosse From Page 11

Great design and intelligent personal technologies are driving Buick’s renaissance and build on a foundation of exemplary quality. In March 2009, J.D. Power and Associates announced that Buick tied for the highest ranking in vehicle dependability for three-year-old models. The previous LaCrosse ranked first in the midsize segment, beating the Toyota Camry, while the Buick Lucerne placed second in the large car segment.

For the seventh straight year, Buick ranked in the Top 10 brands in the J.D. Power and Associates dependability study, which evaluates more than 200 problem areas. In addition to the latest J.D. Power and Associates honor, Buicks have been recognized with numerous “recommended” and “best buy” designations by leading consumer magazines and websites for all three current models: Enclave, LaCrosse and Lucerne.n

To use vehicle security systems, for which there is already a secure process in place for independent repairers and locksmiths to access information, as the poster child for withholding information is not only uninformed but also borderline reckless. Proponents of S. 2268 should check with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute who caution "if the information is widely disseminated or if the list of authorized recipients of the information becomes large, the security of the information will be compromised. Then thefts can be expected to go up as thieves defeat even these most sophisticated systems." The National Insurance Crime Bureau states "because of our strong interest in preventing vehicle theft we want to express our concern over language contained within S. 2268 that would allow the release of sensitive vehicle security information. The release of this information would allow persons a considerable advantage when stealing not only Massachusetts vehicles but any vehicle utilizing this technology." Every day in Massachusetts and across America, independent repairers

service vehicles. In this economy, where consumers are holding on to their vehicles longer, auto repairers are not only surviving, but in many cases thriving. Here's an excerpt from a recent Boston Globe story that ran with the headline: The duct-tape economy repair businesses thrive in downturn. "We're fixing cars that would normally trade in for junk," said Bruce Sedgeman, owner of Bruce's Auto in Hanover where business is up about 25 percent as customers sink hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars into clunkers because they cannot afford to replace them. "We're seeing a lot more customers and a lot more older cars." This legislation is a solution in search of a problem. It is also unnecessary; service information needed to repair vehicles is already widely available to aftermarket service shops. The legislation would be extremely harmful to the auto industry by forcing automakers to release intellectual property to aftermarket parts manufacturers. For the past eight years the U.S. Congress and states across the country have said "NO" to the so-called "Right to Repair" Act. We urge the Massachusetts Senate to do the same and oppose S. 2268.n

ment system is offered. As General Motors reinvents itself, Buick remains a core brand that will play a central role going forward. Buick’s lineup is expected to grow in North America, building on the success of the popular Enclave crossover that ignited the brand’s renaissance, as well as the new LaCrosse. Coalition Accusations From Page 7 in the equipment and technical training necessary to enable the repair of today's modern vehicles. To understand the true intentions behind the so-called "Right to Repair" legislation one needs to look no further than the CARE Coalition. For nine years the CARE Coalition and its aftermarket parts-producing member companies have searched far and wide for a sympathetic legislature to champion their cause. Eight other states and the U.S. Congress have consistently rejected their claims. Consumer Reports went so far as to label the legislation "bogus." Contrary to the claims of the CARE Coalition, you can be sure that the information they seek will lead to large, international aftermarket parts companies gaining quicker, cheaper access to proprietary designs of manufacturers. This will lead to increased offshore production of cheap copycat aftermarket parts, further eroding the U.S. manufacturing base. In addition, these copycat auto parts will not be subject to the same safety, durability and quality standards as the original equipment parts. 30

Southern Automotive Journal

April 2010

BMW of South Atlanta

We are in the Overnight Parts Alliance

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

Jason Wheeler 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! Jason Wheeler-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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Southern Automotive Journal April 2010 © 2010, Chrysler GroupGroup LLC. All reserved. Chrysler, JeepJeep , Dodge, Ram Ram and Mopar are registered trademarks of Chrysler GroupGroup LLC. LLC. © 2010, Chrysler LLC.rights All rights reserved. Chrysler, , Dodge, and Mopar are registered trademarks of Chrysler

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Southern Automotive Journal  
Southern Automotive Journal  

Southern Automotive Journal provides news trends and perspectives to professionals in the automotive collision industry including, independe...