Around the Industry

June 1, 2018
Several stories made news recently, ranging from tragedy to awards, acquisitions and more. Check out all that has been happening around the industry.

Jiffy Lube Franchisee Wins 2018 Single Brand Leadership Award

Tragedy at Terrible Herbst

Icahn Enterprises Sells Federal-Mogul for $5.4B

Jimmy Kimmel Thanks America for Choosing Him to Work on Their Cars

Kwik Change Lube & Service Named 2017 Dick James Small Business of the Year

New President of Jiffy Lube

Employee Pleads Guilty to Lying to DEC About Oil Spill

Take 5 Oil Change Locations Robbed

Lightning McQueen and The Stig Showdown at Top Gear Test Track

Highline Aftermarket Acquires South/Win, LTD

MACS Reminds the Aftermarket to Be Aware of Changes to Section 609 Requirements in 2018

Supreme Court Says Automobile Service Advisors Exempt From FLSA Overtime Requirements

Aftermarket Professionals Applaud FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai

California DMV Locations to Show Motorists Video Highlighting Their Rights Under Magnuson-Moss Act

Penray Named Vendor Partner for APSG

New API President and CEO

Niteo Products Acquires the Motor Medic Family of Products

Jiffy Lube Franchisee Wins 2018 Single Brand Leadership Award

Dave and Joye Griffin were recently selected as the winner of the Single Brand Leadership Award for the 2018 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference and Magazine Most Valuable Performer (MVP) Awards.

“We are pleased, honored and humbled to receive this award, and we would like to thank the Multi-Unit Franchise board for selecting us,” Dave Griffin said. “Also, we would like to thank those who nominated us for this award.”

Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine honors franchisee excellence with its annual MVP awards. Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine looks for the best and brightest franchisees — the power operators, the innovators, the creative thinkers who demonstrate outstanding performance in growing both their organization and their brands. To qualify, multi-unit franchisees must have at least five operating units and have been in a franchise system for a minimum of two years.

Dave and Joye Griffin have been Jiffy Lube franchisees for 19 years. During those 19 years, they have increased the number of their Jiffy Lube service centers from 12 to 55. Dave and Joye live by the philosophy of “persistency” and “consistency” and attribute that to their success.

“We believe in finding ‘value’ not only in what we do, but finding ‘value’ in our team,” Dave Griffin said. “We love what we do, we love the team we work with and that helps give us a clear vision of where we ant to go.”

Dave and Joye are currently working on converting some of their Jiffy Lube service centers to the new Jiffy Lube Multicare model. Back to Top

Tragedy at Terrible Herbst

Shots rang out on Good Friday at the Terrible Herbst convenience store and gas station on Sunset Road at Annie Oakley Drive in Henderson, Nevada.

Henderson police officers responded to reports of shots fired at 9:50 a.m.

Employees reported fleeing to nearby businesses for shelter and medical assistance. "We all ran in a bunch, and when we got across the street, and that's when we noticed he was bleeding," an employee told 13 Action News.

The employee reported helping a lube shop worker get to safety after being shot in the arm. They fled to a medical supplies store down the road, where workers were able to stop the victim's bleeding.

Two victims were reported in critical condition, and one later died from his wounds. According to FOX5 News, the victim was 18-year-old Zachary Ragusa. His family said he worked at Terrible Herbst as a smog check technician.

The suspect is 22-year-old Rafael Valdez, a Terrible Herbst employee. He ran off after shooting his coworkers and was captured without incident shortly after.

Another employee of the gas station, who asked to remain anonymous, told FOX 5 she was very close with the suspect and was friends with the victims. She still does not believe Valdez could do something like this.

"I called. I had to make sure my fellow cashiers were OK. I had to make sure my manager was OK," she cried. "This doesn't make any sense. He's not like that. He listens. He cares. There's no way... My mind is blank. It's just not processing yet."

Valdez was booked on one count of murder with a deadly weapon, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of attempted robbery – all felony charges.

Terrible Herbst released the following statement:

“Terrible Herbst is cooperating fully as the Henderson Police Department investigates this matter. We are grateful they responded so quickly. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to our employees and their families who are impacted by this incident. We have provided and will continue to provide counseling services to our Terrible Herbst family.” Back to Top

Icahn Enterprises Sells Federal-Mogul for $5.4B

Icahn Enterprises L.P. recently announced entrance into a definitive agreement to sell its indirect wholly owned subsidiary Federal-Mogul LLC to Tenneco Inc. for $5.4 billion, comprised of $800 million in cash and 29.5 million shares of Tenneco common stock, of which 23.8 million shares will be non-voting shares that will convert to voting shares if and when sold. There will be restrictions of how much Tenneco stock can be sold within the first 150 days after the closing. Under the agreement, Tenneco can reduce the amount of non-voting common stock by up to 7.3 million shares and increase the cash consideration proportionately at the closing. The voting and non-voting shares of Tenneco common stock will have the same economic value. Tenneco will also assume all debt of Federal-Mogul.

“Icahn Enterprises acquired majority control of Federal-Mogul in 2008 when we saw an out-of-favor market opportunity for a great company,” said Carl Icahn, chairman of Icahn Enterprises. “During that time, we have built one of the leading global suppliers of automotive products. I am very proud of the business we have built at Federal-Mogul and agree with Tenneco regarding the tremendous value in the business combination and separation into two companies. We expect to be meaningful stockholders of Tenneco going forward and are excited about the prospects for additional value creation. This transaction is an excellent example of our general modus operandi at Icahn Enterprises, by which we seek to acquire undervalued assets, nurture, guide and improve their condition and operations, and ultimately develop them into more valuable businesses, which greatly enhances value for all shareholders.” Back to Top

Jimmy Kimmel Thanks America for Choosing Him to Work on Their Cars

The winner has spoken. Jimmy Kimmel, the top choice of car owners asked which late-night TV celebrity host they would most trust to work on their cars, thanked America for this honor during his show’s opening monologue on April 3.

Kimmel told his audience how flattered he was to receive the recognition and discussed how he once rebuilt the master cylinder on his 1981 Mazda. He noted that if Jay Leno had been part of the survey, Leno would have received 100 percent of the votes.

The survey, conducted for the Car Care Council by IMR Inc., polled over 22,000 vehicle owners throughout the country who were asked to choose which late-night celebrity host they would trust most to work on their car. The final results were:

  • Jimmy Kimmel, 27.6 percent
  • Jimmy Fallon, 27.4 percent
  • Stephen Colbert, 19.6 percent
  • Trevor Noah, 14.3 percent
  • James Corden, 11.2 percent
“We appreciate Jimmy Kimmel recognizing the Car Care Council poll results at the outset of National Car Care Month in April,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “We wanted to have some fun with this survey, and Jimmy took it to another level with his humorous monologue that shined a spotlight on auto care.”

To view the April 3 monologue, visit: Back to Top

Kwik Change Lube & Service Named 2017 Dick James Small Business of the Year

(l. to r.) Ralph Staffins, Covington Chamber president; Jared Rutberg, owner of Kwik Change Lube; and Thomas Kephart, chairman on Covington Chamber Board of Directors

The Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, in Covington, Georgia, awarded Kwik Change Lube & Service, LLC the 2017 Dick James Small Business of the Year Award. The award was presented at the annual dinner on March 6, 2018, at Charles Elliott Wildlife Center.

The Dick James Small Business of the Year Award was created to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding efforts of the small businesses located in Newton County, Georgia, Kwik Change Lube & Service, LLC was one of 12 businesses nominated for the award. To determine the winner, the chamber conducted interviews with nominees that were focused on growth, employee engagement and community involvement.

“We’re so proud to be chosen as the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year. We are all about providing the best customer service and helping people in the community,” said Jared Rutberg, owner and operator of Kwik Change Lube & Service, LLC.

Over the years, Kwik Change Lube & Service, LLC has won numerous awards for quick lube and automotive services. They have been recipients for 10 Reader’s Choice Awards and three Best of Newton Awards. They were also named the Newton Chamber Small Business of the Month in June 2017.

In addition to being members of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, Kwik Change Lube & Service, LLC is an educational partner with Newton County School System.

“Our community is important to us, and we owe much to those who protect it and help educate our children,” Rutberg said.

In addition, Kwik Change Lube & Service, LLC is actively involved in the Newton Career Academy. They also regularly participate in local fundraising events, and for the last few years, they ran toy drives during the holidays for Toys for Tots. Back to Top

New President of Jiffy Lube

Patrick Southwick has been appointed president of Jiffy Lube International, Inc. Southwick is responsible for the strategic direction of the automotive service provider including management and growth of the 2,000 independently owned and operated Jiffy Lube service centers across the U.S. and Canada.

Over his 15 years at Shell Oil Company, Southwick has served in numerous strategic and operational roles in North America and abroad, including global marketing manager for Indirect Markets; regional sales manager; and as a consultant within Shell’s U.S. Strategy & Portfolio and Global Strategy and Portfolio organizations.

Prior to joining Shell Oil Company, Southwick worked for Citizens Bank in both Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island.

He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Massachusetts at Amherst — Isenberg School of Management. Back to Top

Employee Pleads Guilty to Lying to DEC About Oil Spill

WIVB 4 out of Buffalo, New York, reported that a Delta Sonic employee pled guilty to lying to a state DEC technician about an oil spill in Cayuga Creek. Here is the story from WIVB:

“The former environmental compliance officer for Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems has pleaded guilty to lying to a DEC environmental programs technician about an oil spill in Cayuga Creek in Niagara Falls. “Michael Yount, 46, of Lancaster, (New York) pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to making a materially false statement.

“According to the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case, in July 2016, the NYSDEC responded to an oil spill in Cayuga Creek involving between 300 and 500 gallons of oil. The DEC technician began looking into sources of the discharge and wheter a violation of the Clean Water Act had occurred. The technician contacted Yount at Delta Sonic, which has a location on Niagara Falls Boulevard.

“‘During a meeting at the Delta Sonic location on Niagara Falls Boulevard, the technician learned that Delta Sonic was renovating the oil change and lube shop garage, which involved the removal of concrete floors by a subcontractor,’ a press release from the court said. ‘At that time, Yount stated that there had not been any problems except for a minor spill of approximately two gallons of oil, which was immediately cleaned up.’

“The technician returned to Delta Sonic the next day and saw an absorbent boom with oil on it in a storm sewer receiver located in the parking lot outside of the oil change garage. While the technician was looking into the storm sewer receiver, Yount sought to mislead the technician by stating that the booms were often left in sewers. He also said that the boom in question had been placed in the receiver about six days earlier.

“The boom had been placed in the storm sewer receiver as a result of a complaint by another Delta Sonic employee that oily wastewater was being pumped into it as a result of the renovation of the Delta Sonic oil change and lube shop garage.

“Yount faces a maximum of five years and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced August 23.” Back to Top

Take 5 Oil Change Locations Robbed

Two different Take 5 Oil Changes were robbed just a day apart.

The first burglary took place on April 3 in Shreveport. Police responded and discovered forced entry at the Take 5 on East Kings Highway. They also recovered surveillance video showing two suspects crawling across the shop floor before breaking into the office, removing undisclosed items, according to Shreveport Times.

The next day, a Take 5 location in Sandy Springs, Georgia, was hit. On April 4, an employee responded to an alarm call.

Video shows a man coming from the area of Steak ‘n Shake to the rear of the business at around 11:30 p.m., according to Northside Neighbor. The suspect entered through a garage-door panel before walking into the office, taking something from the desk, opening the safe, removing the contents and exiting in the direction from which he came.

Management identified the suspect as a former employee who was fired two months prior and did not leave on good terms. Back to Top

Lightning McQueen and The Stig Showdown at Top Gear Test Track

Ever wondered what The Stig would look like as a Disney Pixar “Cars” movie franchise character? So did the LEGO Group.

One of the world’s leading toy manufacturers has joined forces with the world’s biggest animation studio and the world’s biggest motoring entertainment show to produce a thrilling short film telling the story of Lightning McQueen’s trip to “Top Gear’s” test track outside London, where the star of “Cars” fulfills his dream of racing The Stig around the iconic circuit.

“Top Gear’s” tame racing driver is imagined in LEGO form — fittingly as a car — and is joined by other “Cars” movie characters Cruz Ramirez and Mater.

The LEGO Group designed and made the Stig Car exclusively for the promotional video. You can watch the video here: Back to Top

Highline Aftermarket Acquires South/Win, LTD

Highline Aftermarket recently announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire South/Win. Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, South/Win is a supplier of windshield washer fluid and RV and marine antifreeze. South/Win operates manufacturing plants in Greensboro, North Carolina, Leominster, Massachusetts, Livonia, Michigan, Arlington, Texas, and Sparks, Nevada. These facilities will join Highline’s existing plants in Wilmington, Delaware, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to form a seamless national supply chain for Highline and South/Win customers. Will DuBose, president of South/Win, will lead Highline’s combined manufacturing business.

“Over 30 years, Will and Blaine DuBose have built a fantastic business at South/Win, with a reputation for high-quality products and exceptional customer service,” said Darcy Curran, CEO of Highline Aftermarket. “We welcome the DuBose brothers and the rest of the South/Win team to the Highline family. When combined with Highline’s existing manufacturing and coast-to-coast distribution capabilities, South/Win strengthens Highline’s ability to serve customers nationwide.” Back to Top

MACS Reminds the Aftermarket to Be Aware of Changes to Section 609 Requirements in 2018

Technicians who service mobile A/C systems and distributors who sell refrigerant need to be aware of new regulations that took effect January 1, 2018, concerning the requirement of technicians to be Section 609 certified.

The final rule published November 2016 extends Section 608 requirements to HFCs. Starting Jan. 1, 2018, sale of most refrigerants of two pounds or larger will be restricted to 608 and 609-certified technicians; distributors must keep refrigerant sales records and verify purchasers are (or employ) 608 or 609-certified technicians.

Small cans (two pounds or less) of non-exempt refrigerants may continue to be manufactured or imported and sold after January 1, 2018, if equipped with self-sealing valves.

To learn more about Section 609 certification, visit the MACS website at: To view the new regulations on the U.S. EPA website, visit:

There is no mandatory re-certification. Section 609 certification, once obtained, is good for life. Technicians who have lost their MACS or IMACA certification may replace their credentials for $10 by following the directions on the Section 609 page of the MACS website at:

Technicians who are not certified can become certified by visiting the MACS website: The newest Section 609 certification program, which debuted in 2015, includes training on handling R-1234yf. Section 609 certification can be obtained through a written or online test for $20. Group classes can also be arranged by contacting the MACS training department at 215.631.7020 x304 or: [email protected] Back to Top

Supreme Court Says Automobile Service Advisors Exempt From FLSA Overtime Requirements

In April, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that automotive service advisors fall within the Fair Labor Standards Act’s statutory overtime exemption applicable to car salespersons and mechanics, according to a release written by Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP. The release went on to say, this decision follows a number of conflicting opinions on this issue produced by the U.S. Department of Labor and federal courts.

Section 13(b)(10)(A) of the FLSA exempts automobile salespersons, mechanics and partsmen from the law’s overtime requirements. In 2011, DOL changed its long-standing position that this statutory exemption also applies to service advisors. The change required affected employers to either start paying overtime or to convert the advisors to commissioned employees to take advantage of a different exemption.

In Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this DOL interpretation. The Supreme Court initially vacated and remanded this decision on the basis that the 2011 DOL interpretation violated federal rulemaking procedures. The Ninth Circuit then reheard the matter and reached the same decision based on the Section 13(b)(10)(A) language, concluding that service advisors are not salespersons, mechanics or partsmen.

On appeal, the Supreme Court majority disagreed, effectively reinstating the prior interpretation. The court held that service advisors sell automobiles repair services and, therefore, qualify as salespersons. They also service automobiles, which means more than physically repairing vehicles. Finally, the majority engaged in a grammatical analysis of the statutory exemption in order to conclude that Congress intended a broader reading that includes service advisors.

For service centers, this decision reflects a more modern view of the vehicle maintenance process. It recognizes that service advisors are an integral part of the work performed under current industry practices. Unless state law requires overtime payments, this decision will give employers the option of adopting a pay plan for service advisors that does not include overtime. Back to Top

Aftermarket Professionals Applaud FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai

On April 9, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a compliance warning to Hyundai Motor Company regarding the violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA)’s prohibition against tie-in sales of branded products and services as a condition of warranty coverage. FTC specified the following website statement as problematic: “The use of Hyundai genuine parts is required to keep your Hyundai manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.” Should Hyundai fail to eliminate statements, FTC may take “legal action.”

While AOCA, the Auto Care Association and the Tire Industry Association wish that the FTC action had been stronger, we are pleased that the agency has publicly warned the companies that it is illegal under the MMWA to require the use of a manufacturer part or service in order to maintain a warranty.

The associations had filed complaints with FTC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2012 and 2016 over Hyundai and Kia Motors’ Technical Service Bulletins No. 114 and No. 12-EM-006, which directed their dealerships to assume aftermarket oil filters were the cause of any engine knocking noise and to refuse warranty coverage associated with oil system maintenance and repairs. Many of the vehicles impacted by those bulletins became the subjects of class action lawsuits (Wallis v. Kia and Mendoza v. Hyundai) and subsequent recalls and settlements, which determined the engine knocking noises were the result of engine defects, not aftermarket oil filters or non-dealership service.

The associations hope that the FTC action will serve as a wake-up call to the vehicle manufacturers and their authorized service providers about the Act’s anti-tying provisions; and will also help educate consumers that they can have their vehicles maintained by their trusted independent technician using high-quality non-original equipment parts without fear of voiding their new car warranty. Back to Top

California DMV Locations to Show Motorists Video Highlighting Their Rights Under Magnuson-Moss Act

In an effort to better inform consumers about their rights as they relate to their vehicles’ warranties, the state of California will be showing motorists a video at its 178 department of motor vehicle locations across the state. The video, produced by the Car Car Council in conjunction with AutoNetTV media, highlights motorists’ rights under the Magnuson-Moss Act.

“The Car Care Council appreciates CAWA working with the California DMV to provide us with an opportunity to reach thousands of motorists with the important, and often misunderstood, message about the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act while they are sitting in the waiting rooms at DMV offices,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

“California motorists need to understand their rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to make informed decisions about their vehicle repair choices,” said Rodney Pierini, president and CEO, CAWA. “Working together with the California DMV, we will reach thousands of Californians every day, reinforcing their rights to have their vehicles repaired at the facility of their choice without fear of voiding their auto warranty.” Back to Top

Penray Named Vendor Partner for APSG

Penray, Inc. has been named a vendor partner for the Automotive Parts Services Group (APSG), commonly known as The Group. Members of The Group represent more than 5,000 Federated and Pronto auto parts stores throughout North America.

With this announcement, Penray’s products are available to all members of The Group. This vast product lineup includes more than a hundred separate products, including service chemicals, coolant additives and functional fluids.

With this new vendor status, Penray products are available to the entire APSG distribution footprint, which includes Federated and Pronto warehouses and auto parts stores throughout the Americas. This is of particular value to owners and technicians at auto service facilities, who can now purchase Penray products through their participating local Federated or Pronto outlet. These stores typically offer same day hot-shot delivery to help shops enhance throughput and avoid delays.

Penray will support all levels of The Group with a package of marketing, training and sales support programs. This will include online and on-site materials. It will include in-store training of sales associates and will also include hands-on training at selected individual shop locations. This will afford Penray trainers the opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness and proper use of its various chemicals and service kits. Back to Top

New API President and CEO

API recently announced that Mike Sommers will be the new president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, following an election May 2 by API’s Board of Directors and a thorough search and transition planning process. Known for bipartisan collaboration and visionary strategic planning, Sommers brings two decades of political experience to API, including his current role as president and CEO of the American Investment Council.

Sommers will take the helm of API later this summer and succeed Jack Gerard, who announced earlier this year that he will step down this summer after a decade at API and relocate to Salt Lake City. Sommers will work closely with API’s member companies, Jack Gerard and API’s senior team in the coming months to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

Prior to joining the American Investment Council as president and CEO in 2016, Sommers served as Chief of Staff to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and in other capacities in House leadership for more than a decade. Sommers has served at the center of nearly every major policy decision in the last decade and successfully negotiated bipartisan achievements on landmark legislation, including the Trouble Asset Relief Program in 2008, the resolution of the fiscal cliff in 2013, the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 and trade promotion authority in 2015. Sommers also served as Special Assistant to the president at the National Economic Council at the White House in 2005. Back to Top

Niteo Products Acquires the Motor Medic Family of Products

Niteo Products, LLC, a portfolio company of Highlander Partners, L.P., recently announced the acquisition of the automotive chemical products portfolio sold under the Motor Medic brand from RSC Chemical Solutions. The Motor Medic suite of automotive chemical products, including motor flush, starting fluids, fuel additives, transmission fluids, oil additives, injector cleaners, power steering fluids and cooling system fluids, provides Niteo with another brand to complement its existing portfolio.

“The addition of the Motor Medic brand family of products will enhance Niteo’s breadth in the automotive chemicals and functional fluids category, adding a strong brand alongside Niteo’s existing product offering,” said Cameron Evans, CEO of Niteo. “We are excited to leverage the brand and continue growing the business.”

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