Around the Industry

Aug. 1, 2018
We recently saw recognitions for the Auto Care Association and Mighty, a surprise visit from a bear and more. Check out the news from around the industry.

Bear Visits Virginia Meineke

As reported on by NBC 29, employees at Meineke Car Care Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, got a visit from a furry guest.

On Monday, June 19, a black bear made a dash for it inside the shop, surprising everyone inside.

“It was really kind of small,” Shawn Jenkins told NBC 29. “It probably weighed 100 pounds.”

Jenkins told NBC 29, “Another employee yelled ‘bear.’ I turned around, and there was a bear. I ran like, you know, typical humans do.”

On the shop’s security camera, you can see a young black bear hop onto a customer’s car and dash into the shop. Moments later, you can see it run away in the lower right-hand corner, NBC 29 reported.

Jenkins told the news station he watched the bear run and collide with a car near the intersection of Rt. 29 and Hydraulic Road. He said the animal didn’t look hurt and kept going.

“I’m guessing he was confused ‘cause traffic around here gets pretty bad,” Richard Warburton, who works at the shop, told NBC 29. “When Shawn yelled, he got confused and just slid, fell over, got back up and ran out the other bay door.

“We’re kind of laughing, thinking, ‘jeez, you know, how would we explain this to my insurance company had he hurt somebody or damaged some vehicle or something.”

Warburton told NBC 29 he is glad no one was hurt and that employees have a fun new story to share with customers.

“Customers have come in saying, ‘hey, I heard you had a bear sighting here, and I’ve showed several people the video,’ — which they think it’s funny,” Warburton told NBC 29.

Mighty Names Franchise of the Year

Mighty Distributing System of America has announced Mighty of Central Indiana as Franchise of the Year.

This prestigious award was presented at Mighty’s National Sales Meeting and Trade Show in Houston, Texas. The Central Indiana operation is one of four Mighty franchises owned by the JTM Group. Steve Sanner and Jay Greenfield are principals and Jeff Bare is COO of the JTM Group.

“JTM has many different entities within each business group based on giving ownership opportunities to key people as we add new franchises,” Sanner said. “So, while we started in the Jiffy Lube business in 1985, we are now in Jiffy (48 shops), Tuffy (six shops) and Mighty (four franchises), hence the JTM name.”

“It is gratifying to award Mighty’s Franchise of the Year recognition to a long-term, professional organization like the JTM Group,” said Ken Voelker, president and CEO of Mighty. “And their operation in Central Indiana knocked the ball out of the park this year! The award is extremely well deserved.”

Mighty Distributing System of America named Mighty of Central Indiana as Franchise of the Year. Pictured, left to right, are Ken Voelker (president and CEO of Mighty), Steve Sanner, Me, Scott Fraley, Joe Ritter, Ken April, Jr., Delana Brown, Jay Grirk, Lonnie Hinkle, Ben Clark and Mike Gardner.

In accepting the Franchise of the Year award Sanner said, “We have raised the bar. We have maintained a professional work environment at every level. Our employees are our associates; our customers are our guests. That’s how we truly feel about each other, and that’s how we feel about the people we do business with. When you think like that, it compels you to conduct business accordingly.”

Work Begins on 2018 Grand Prize Car

At Petty’s Garage work has commenced building the grand prize for the 2018 Mahle “Drive with the Original” Technician Promotion — a custom, resto-mod 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS. The one-of-a-kind vehicle will be finished and tested in time to be awarded to the winner by Mahle Aftermarket Inc. at the Automotive Aftermarket Product Expo in Las Vegas, taking place October 30 to November 1, 2018.

“Last year’s Mahle Mustang was a huge hit at AAPEX, and we wanted to do something that would surpass even that,” said Jon Douglas, general manager, Mahle Aftermarket North America. “The Mahle Camaro RS will be a real showcase for Mahle Original gaskets, filters and other Mahle parts. One lucky technician is going to be very happy!”

The “Drive with the Original” promotion runs to October 1, 2018. Four finalists will be randomly selected from all entries to receive a trip for two to AAPEX in Las Vegas. The “Original,” Richard Petty, will be present when the finalists each select a key from The King’s signature Charlie One Horse hat — one of which will start the grand prize Mahle Camaro RS from Petty’s Garage.

Petty’s Garage found the rare Camaro with Rally Sport option sitting in a field in Martinsville, Virginia, less than 100 miles from the company’s Level Cross, North Carolina, headquarters. They will replace the original 327 cubic-inch engine with a high performance LS7 427 cubic-inch motor with all Mahle components, including Mahle pistons and rings, Mahle Original gaskets and filters and Clevite bearings. The engine, expected to put out 625 horsepower, will be mated to a Tremec T5 five-speed transmission and deliver the power to the road through a narrowed rear axle housing with 12-bolt differential.

The chassis will ride on a Ridetech suspension, equipped with Forgeline 20-inch, three-piece forged wheels, shod with Continental ExtremeContact Sport Tires. Wilwood six-piston front and four-piston rear disc brakes will provide impressive stopping power.

Finishing off the package, the interior will feature Dakota Digital upgraded digital gauges that fit the original dash, complimented with black leather bucket seats with Mahle blue stitching and the Petty’s Garage and Mahle logos embroidered into the seatbacks and headrests.

The exterior of the Petty’s Garage Mahle Camaro will feature custom bodywork, including flush-mounted windows with removed trim and drip rails; trimmed and fitted front and rear bumpers; and a custom carbon fiber front splitter and rear spoiler. The package will be finished off with custom BASF R-M Finish Mahle blue paint with painted white graphics.

In addition to the grand prize, over 1,000 additional instant prizes will be awarded, including Richard Petty Driving Experiences, autographed Richard Petty signature Charlie One Horse cowboy hats and autographed No. 43 die-cast model cars.

Information on entering the “Drive With the Original” Promotion is available on specially marked Mahle Original gasket boxes.

Auto Care Association Named Red Hot Association

The Auto Care Association was recognized as a “Red Hot Association” by DCA Live at the first annual DCA Live 2018 Red Hot Not Profits and Associations event in Arlington, Virginia. The event honored Washington, D.C.-based organizations that demonstrated performance as high growth or innovative nonprofit or association.

The list of 2018 Red Hot Associations included:

  • Auto Care Association
  • Conference of State Bank Supervisors
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • Association for Corporate Counsel
  • Association for Career and Technical Education
  • American Society for Engineering and Education
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • International Sign Association
  • Military Officers Association of America
  • American Association of Airport Executives
  • American Medical Writers Association
  • National Association of School Nurses
  • Architectural Woodwork Institute
  • Association of Governing Boards
  • National Grocers Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Future Business Leaders of America
“We’re honored to be recognized alongside these outstanding associations making a positive impact on our community here in our nation’s capital and throughout the United States,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association.