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Coretalk: Pentagon 9/11 Survivor To Keynote PERA Convention

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After American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, very close to his second floor office, LTC Birdwell was thrown to the ground and engulfed in flames. Of the burns that consumed 60 percent of his body, nearly half were third-degree burns. With more than 30 operations and months of multiple skin grafts and burn treatments, LTC Birdwell has overcome many challenges.

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LTC Birdwell’s inspirational message will highlight his experiences before, during and after the terrorist attack and how his faith and determination helped him to overcome pain and numerous obstacles.

Al Frink, Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will also address the PERA Annual Convention. Frink will present the Bush Administration’s Manufacturing Initiatives.

The Manufacturing and Services Division is dedicated to enhancing the global competitiveness of U.S. industry by expanding its market access and increasing exports. Frink is the first to hold this newly created position in the Federal Government where he acts as an advocate of the manufacturing sector to other branches of the government.

Through the Manufacturing and Remanufacturing Initiatives, says Frink, the Bush Administration is addressing the challenges facing U.S. manufacturers in competing in today’s marketplace. These include: promoting open markets overseas and a level playing field; creating the conditions for economic growth and manufacturing investment; lowering the cost of manufacturing in the U.S.; investing in innovation and strengthening education, retraining and economic diversification.

Frink co-founded Fabrica in 1974 with a $100,0000 SBA loan. Fabrica manufactures a high-end luxury carpet and rugs. The company, which started with 5 employees, now has over 400 and has never had a layoff.

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Frink is a champion of export. And, he understands the challenges and opportunities facing manufacturers and remanufacturers and has become a credible voice to rally small and medium size businesses.

For details on registering for the 60th PERA Annual Convention, please call (703) 968-2772 ext. 105 or visit www.pera.org.

ARMEX Sponsors USAR Hooters Pro Cup Car

Diamond Enterprises and Donley Motorsports have joined forces to form a new race team. The team is racing in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series and will compete on a limited 5-race schedule for 2005.

Primary sponsorship will come from ARMEX® Cleaning and Coating Removal Systems made by Church & Dwight Co., Inc., makers of ARM & HAMMER® products. Associate sponsors include International Surface Preparation, Pure Power Lubricants, Transcal Graphics & LJM Machine Company.

Behind the wheel of the team’s Pontiac Grand Prix will be Jerame Donley. Donley comes to the team while competing in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series. In 2004 he completed his first season with 22 starts, winning 4 poles and 1 feature at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA.

Donley is currently a student at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte majoring in Motorsports Engineering.

Alan Flowers will serve as the team’s car chief. For more information on ARMEX, go to www.armex.com.

Toyota Sees Hybrid Sales Growth By Decade’s End

By the end of this decade, one-quarter of Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. sales will be hybrid vehicles according to Jim Press, president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

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Toyota has 10 hybrid vehicles under development for global markets, in addition to the ones it already has launched, Press said. Those will go on sale between now and the end of the decade, he said.

Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe has set a new goal of 1 million hybrid sales a year globally early next decade. “At our current rate of sales, that’s about 600,000 hybrids in the U.S.,” Press said. “To achieve that goal, we will have to look at offering hybrid power systems in virtually all of our vehicles, including trucks.”

Hybrids could account for “10, 12 or 15 percent” of industry-wide sales by the end of the decade, he said. Press added that he could not be specific about the percentage because he doesn’t know what other automakers have planned. However, “the demand will be there,” Press said.

Toyota is studying development of hybrid-powered pickups, he said. Toyota engineers in Japan have said that development of hybrid pickups is lagging that of other vehicles.

Also, Press said it’s possible that future hybrid owners may be able to choose whether they want to see improved mileage or performance from a hybrid powertrain by pushing a button on the instrument panel.

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EngineDataSource.Com Expands Listings, Availability

For the first time, the Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA) has made its casting ID, pictures, electronic parts look-up with interchange and size availability and pictures available to everyone.

“EnginedataSource.com is a premier provider of technical information and identification for all levels of the Automotive remanufacturing and rebuilding industry no matter if you are a production engine remanufacturer (PER), custom engine rebuilder (CER) or a do-it-yourselfer (DIYer),” according to Roy Berndt, of PERA’s Technical Department. “The information provided within this live Internet database is updated and refined daily. EngineDataSource.com is a valuable single information resource for everyone in the industry.”

Also included with an EnginedataSource.com subscription is engine specs and torques, including sequence diagrams, disassembly and reassembly instructions, including illustrations such as timing alignment and oiling diagrams.

The list of industry suppliers participating in the EngineDataSource program continues to grow, Berndt said. Pioneer, Inc. has become the 12th sponsor of the program.

“As a result of Pioneer’s participation,” Berndt said, “there are now 13,628,486 records of parts information all online and ready to be accessed by engine remanufacturers and builders from around the world.”

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Pioneer joins the following companies who are also currently providing their information:

• Clevite

• Federal-Mogul

• Sealed Power

• Cloyes

• Fel-Pro

• US Tool

• Dana

• Melling Engine Parts

• Victor Reinz

• Elgin Industries

• Perfect Circle

For subscription information and a free test drive (click on the Ford 4.6L pickup specifications) visit http://enginedatasource.com/orderform.asp.

Heavy Duty Remanufacturing Group to Participate In New Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week

The Heavy Duty Remanufacturing Group (HDRG) of The Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA) will join with other industry leading associations in support and participation in the new Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) to be held January 23-27, 2006, at The Mirage, Las Vegas.

Mike Hill, incoming chairman of APRA in 2006 and president of Precision Rebuilders in St. Clair, Mo., acknowledged that, “Participation in this Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week will save members and suppliers the expense of trying to attend the various meetings and functions of the heavy duty industry which take place throughout the year at different locations across the country.”

APRA President Bill Gager called the effort of creating HDAW long overdue and is looking forward to being one of the charter sponsors.”HDRG is prepared to move our meetings for the heavy duty remanufacturing market to this combined venue. It will maximize the use of everyone’s time and money, with the added benefit of bringing us all together to tackle shared problems. Many APRA members have been involved in the Heavy Duty market for numerous years but have not been recognized for their work in this area.”

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Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week will feature seminars, a trade show, award presentations, one-on-one meetings, a reception and other networking opportunities for companies in the independent heavy-duty aftermarket. HD America’s decision underscores the rationale for heavy-duty aftermarket groups to schedule their programs in conjunction with HDAW, thereby offering more value and choices to their members than would be otherwise possible.

For complete details on the APRA Heavy Duty Remanufacturing Group, contact Bill Gager at (703) 968-2772 ext 103 or email [email protected]

AAIA Electronic ‘Aftermarket Factbook’ Released Offers New ‘Copy and Paste’ Feature

The enhanced “2005/2006 Aftermarket eFactbook,” released by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), is now available with new features that allow users to print pages and “copy and paste” data.

With identical content to the “Factbook,” users of the “eFactbook” can access information from the CD-ROM, whether in the office or on the road. Charts and tables can be printed or copied and pasted into Excel, PowerPoint and other software packages.
“The new version of the ‘eFactbook’ is a direct response to requests from our members to allow the ability to print ‘Factbook’ pages or copy and paste sections to use in presentations,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO.

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The “2005/2006 Aftermarket eFactbook” and “Factbook” include information on:

* Overall size of the automotive (i.e., light duty) aftermarket.

* Overall size of the heavy-duty aftermarket.

* Key aftermarket segments (paint & body equipment, tools and equipment, etc.).

* DIY and DIFM consumer trends.

* Vehicle registrations.

* Vehicle sales.

* Vehicle usage statistics and operating costs.

* Miles driven.

* Purchases of aftermarket accessories.

* Sales of automotive chemicals and fluids.

* State summary statistics.

* U.S. trade data of motor vehicle parts and accessories.

* Information on the Chinese and Canadian aftermarkets.

* Key economic and financial indicators.

* Guide to aftermarket data resources.

The “Aftermarket eFactbook” is available to AAIA members for $199 and $299 to non-members. To order by phone, call 301-654-6664, or order online at www.aftermarket.org. Discounts are available for multiple copies.

Federal-Mogul Advises Against Bankruptcy

Federal-Mogul Corp. is “counting the months” to when it expects to emerge from bankruptcy in both the U.S. and U.K., Jose Maria Alapont said recently at a Management Briefing Seminar.

Alapont, who became chairman, president and CEO at Federal-Mogul in March, laughingly says, “I knew I couldn’t avoid that question,” and offers this advice: “Do your very best to avoid bankruptcy.”

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Although restructuring forced by bankruptcy can help a company become more efficient, Alapont says, “being in Chapter 11 can be very expensive. Even if you’re a competitor, stay away from it.”

Federal-Mogul plunged into bankruptcy in the U.S. in 2001 shortly after its British affiliate was forced to take that route in the wake of mounting asbestos liabilities. Merely surviving in this environment has been a challenge – and costly. Legal expenses, alone, have been running $100 million a year, he says.

Despite the black cloud of bankruptcy overhead, Federal-Mogul managed to boost revenues 4% during this year’s first quarter and another 6% in the second, Alapont says. “Those are apples-to-apples comparisons” and were achieved despite tough conditions for suppliers, he adds.

Federal-Mogul is focusing on excelling in manufacturing, engineering and sourcing, as well as working as a global team.

The supplier’s revenues reached $6.2 billion in 2004 split in two categories: 54% OEM, including heavy-duty and light-vehicle customers, and 46% aftermarket. It is a diversified producer of powertrain, sealing, safety and performance products, with 130 facilities in 30 countries and 15 technology centers.

Alapont says global growth between now and 2010 will be fueled by emerging markets, where he expects 89% growth to 16 million units five years from now.

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A parallel trend will be compact-vehicle growth in these markets and a greater focus on larger vehicles with higher content in mature markets such as the U.S. and Europe, where demand will be flat.

Cummins Reports Record Earnings and Sales in Second Quarter

Cummins Inc. reported record earnings for the second quarter, driven by increased sales in each of its business segments as well as improved profit margins.

For the quarter, the company reported net income of $141 million, or $2.83 per diluted share – a 72 percent increase from $82 million, or $1.76 a share for the same period in 2004. Second-quarter sales of $2.49 billion also were a record and represent a 17 percent increase from $2.12 billion in the second quarter of 2004.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were $235 million, or 9.4 percent of sales, compared to $148 million, or 7 percent of sales, for the same period in 2004.

For the first six months of 2005, Cummins reported net income of $238 million on sales of $4.70 billion – compared to net income of $115 million and sales of $3.90 billion for the same period of 2004.

The strong second-quarter performance was led by the Engine Segment, which reported a record $1.67 billion in sales in the second quarter, a 21 percent increase from $1.37 billion in the same period in 2004. Segment EBIT for the engine segment rose more than 70 percent, due to the higher volume, improved pricing and improvements to the segment’s cost structure.

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Hot New Technology Gives Better Power At Lower Cost

A new engine has been developed that utilizes a third manifold. In order to achieve a higher power stroke, National FuelSaver’s newly patented engine achieves a diesel-like 15:1 power stroke while maintaining the 8:1 compression ratio of a standard gasoline engine using a third manifold that acts as a holding tank for part of the air-fuel mixture brought in by the intake manifold. The third manifold removes half of the air-fuel mixture during the compression stroke in order reinsert it back into the fuel injection assembly. This, along with taller pistons, contribute to achieve the greater power stroke that is double that of a typical spark-ignition system. This higher power stroke means that less fuel is required to achieve ignition temperatures.

Developers say that this technology can be applied to any size gasoline engine at a cost much less than a traditional diesel. Although the developer has not approached OEMs yet for licensing, he has the patent and plans to seek license agreements.

Source: Hampton AutoBeat LLC/National Fuelsaver Corp.

‘Relaxed Phase-In’ of Truck Diagnostic Rule Proposed by CARB

California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff is proposing to phase in its controversial regulation to require heavy-duty engine makers to equip new engines with on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems similar to those already required in light- and medium-duty vehicles in California. With its revised proposal, staff is acknowledging manufacturers are likely to need more time to comply with OBD requirements while also redesigning engines to meet new state and federal emission standards for the 2007 and 2010 model years. However, even with the proposed staggered compliance schedule, manufacturers are likely to seek some changes to the proposal and will urge the board to eventually harmonize the regulation with an evolving U.S. EPA OBD rule, said an industry source.

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The rule proposes OBD systems to be phased in, starting with the 2010 model year for on-road heavy-duty engines — both gasoline and diesel — weighing more than 14,000 pounds produced for sale in California. “To alleviate engine manufacturers’ concerns about workload,” CARB staff is proposing manufacturers implement the OBD system on a single engine family for the 2010-2012 model years, according to CARB staff. However, engine makers would be required to monitor nitrogen oxide (NOx) after-treatment devices to ensure they are working properly for other engine classes during this period. Full implementation of the OBD requirements on all engine models would be required by the 2013 model year, according to the staff proposal. The original proposal would have required full compliance with all 2010 engine models.

But engine manufacturers are likely to continue pressing CARB staff to relax some of the monitoring requirements and the triggers that lead engine warning lights to illuminate, said the industry source. “It certainly is improved in terms of the previous [proposal] from our point of view, and the main thing is the better implementation schedule,” said the industry source. “That was considerable movement from the original version. We still have some issues with some of the technical requirements in the proposal, particularly in terms of the number of monitors and the threshold levels that will trigger…the warning lights, things like that which we hope to work out sometime or other with CARB.”

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Though mostly satisfied with the CARB staff changes, the engine companies are expected to struggle mightily to meet the OBD requirements while working to meet new 2007 and 2010 emission standards for new engines, the source said. “Obviously, it will be extremely challenging to get all this done for 2010 because all the companies will be working to get compliance with the NOx requirement for 2010 as well.”

Right to Repair Act Gains More Congressional Support

Since the Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act (H.R. 2048) was reintroduced in Congress on May 3 by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), 22 additional congressmen have signed on as co-sponsors in support of the bill.

The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act is truly a bi-partisan bill. Of the 25 congressmen who currently support the bill, 12 are Democrats, 12 are Republicans and one is Independent.

The legislation would require the car companies to make the same service information and tools capabilities available to independent repair shops that they provide their franchised dealer networks. Architects of the Right to Repair Act added new language to clarify that car company trade secrets are protected unless that information is provided to the franchised new car dealer. New language also provides more detail on the role of the Federal Trade Commission’s role in enforcing the legislation.

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“It’s not about taking trade secrets and proprietary information from the car companies — these are clearly protected in the legislation,” continued Schmatz. “It is about fair trade and protecting consumer choice.”

For more information about the “Right to Repair Act” visit righttorepair.org.


NEWS IN BRIEF…

  • PAACE Automechanika Mexico Again Sets New Records – A record total of 17,800 people attended the 12th annual PAACE Automechanika Mexico, which took place July
    13-15, 2005, at the Centro Banamex Center in Mexico City. A total of 539 companies from 22 nations exhibited at the event, which represents another record total and 76 more than in 2004. The next PAACE Automechanika Mexico will be held July 12-14, 2006.

    o AAIA Releases 2005/2006 Tool Purchasing Trends Report – Automotive repair shops rank quality the most important factor for their anticipated tool purchases. Service and availability were the next most important factors. In contrast, price was only rated seventh out of eight reasons influencing repair shops’ purchasing decisions, according to the 2005/2006 Tool Purchasing Trends report, prepared by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). The study is available to AAIA members for $99 and to
    nonmembers for $199. Order your copy today by calling AAIA at 301-654-6664. You can also order online at www.aftermarket.org/eShop/product.asp?item=134.

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  • Automotive Supplier Industry Affects Everyone, Says Report – The U.S. automotive products manufacturing industry, valued at $365 billion, touches the lives of every American, according to The Power to Move America, a new publication produced by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). The Power to Move America is a pocket guide to the industry, providing a “10,000-foot view” of the automotive industry, the transportation environment and the economic consequences of motor vehicle use in the United States. Single copies are available for $10, with quantity discounts available. Ordering information is available at the MEMA Web site, www.mema.org, or by e-mailing [email protected]

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