San Antonio, TX — Just steps away from The Alamo, more than 800 Mac Tools distributors and 150 vendors convened for the 2009 Mac Tools Tool Fair Jan. 15-18.
This year’s tool fair featured Mac Tools’ 2009 theme of “The Pride and The Promise” and a supporting message of a five-point pledge — a pledge of Integrity, Loyalty, Service, Quality and Solutions. These messages were conveyed throughout the four-day event, at the Tool Fair trade show, the family reunion party, in the training classes, awards presentations and a special concert by 38 Special.
At the kickoff rally, Mac Tools President Mike Murray presented highlights from 2008 and looked forward to the challenging year ahead.
He proudly announced that Mac Tools brought on 150 new distributors in 2008, and a new tool school in Columbus, OH. This new school offers a computer center and a virtual truck, which contains the same inventory a starter distributor would have in his/her truck. In it, new distributors can see why certain tools are placed in certain positions throughout the truck for better marketability.
An 18-member Distributor’s Council also was established in 2008, with a summit held in Columbus in September, as well as teleconferences throughout the year.
While Murray presented even the challenges of the economy with a positive attitude, one subject struck a nerve: warranty abuse. He stated that there was a dramatic increase in online sales of broken tools and warranty abuse in 2008, and that Mac Tools is taking legal action to halt this compounding crime.
Race car drivers John Force and Kenny Bernstein offered inspirational words to keep distributors fired up and excited about selling Mac Tools. Force has been with Mac Tools for 15 years, and Bernstein, 21 years. “We constantly try to help you sell your product,” Bernstein said to the distributors.
He continued, telling them to “Rethink how you do your business today,” and that they have the ability to do more each day if they so desire. “You have to look at every aspect of your business to find where you can save or make it more efficient.” Analyze what you do and be willing to make a change. “Ask yourself each morning, ‘Have I done the best I can?’ There is opportunity; you have to make it.”
Murray also reported that 30% of Mac Tools distributors grew their businesses in 2008. “There is opportunity. The service you provide is the differentiation between you and your competitors.”
Identifix Partners with AutoNetTV to Provide Monthly Video Tips
Las Vegas — Identifix has partnered with AutoNetTV to provide video content for its Pro Channel. The Identifix Tip of the Month will include information on how to diagnose and fix tough vehicle repair problems. It will be broadcast each month on the AutoNetTV Pro Channel, viewed by owners and team members at approximately 4,700 English-speaking service centers throughout North America.
The channel provides business and marketing insights, technical training and other industry-specific messages devoted to the professionals working in the automotive aftermarket.
The Identifix Tips of the Month are hosted by Jim Newkirk, an Identifix master certified technician, the Identifix European carline team leader and Direct-Hit product specialist. Identifix will provide a tip segment each month, and the first of 12 will air this month. Each Identifix Tip of the Month is a known fix from the Identifix Hotline Archives, which are designed to help technicians across North America diagnose and fix tough problems on the vehicles that they encounter.
For more information, visit: www.identifix.com.
Power Tool Institute Launches Improved Website
Cleveland, OH — The Power Tool Institute (PTI) has launched its newly revamped website, www.powertoolinstitute.com. The site is a user-friendly resource for power tool safety with simple navigation, online ordering of publications and videos.
The new PTI site features downloadable pdfs of PTI’s publications, four safety videos in both English and Spanish; manufacturer members’ profiles with links to their websites; a glossary of common power tool terms; PTI Voluntary Procedures; power tool advisories; information about rechargeable battery recycling; a safety maintenance checklist; and more.
KTI ‘Tools Up’ Redesigned, User-friendly Website
Wixom, MI — K-Tool International (KTI) announces the launch of its newly redesigned website, www.ktoolinternational.com.
In addition to a new look and feel, the redesigned site introduces a variety of interactive features, including the ability to quickly search KTI’s product catalog (more than 3,000 items with detailed information), build and place orders at any time, view order history and check backorder status. KTI plans to continuously enhance the site.
View Videos of Hunter Products in Action on the Web
St. Louis, MO — It’s easy to view demonstration videos of nearly every Hunter equipment product. More than 40 are available at www.hunter.com. The videos offer comprehensive product overviews and feature specific titles covering subjects that include:
WinAlign alignment software features;
HawkEye and PowerBay camera-based wheel alignment technology;
Wheel balancing and advanced vibration management;
Run-flat and low-profile tire service; and
Automated brake, steering component and suspension testing.
VCDS Is Officially Registered as a U.S. Trademark
Lansdale, PA — Ross-Tech, LLC, announced that the new name, VCDS, for Ross-Tech’s flagship product, the VAG-COM Diagnostic System, was officially accepted and registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on Nov. 25, 2008.
“We believe that the trademark name of our product will assist us in our worldwide branding of our VAG-COM Diagnostic System,” said Bruce Ruhf, director of operations. “VCDS is the only tool in the aftermarket that turns a standard PC into a factory-level tool for VW-Group cars worldwide. Although we are changing the product name, we are not changing the way we do business. We will continue to offer the system at a price which many of our customers consider too good to be true, along with free updates and a level of product support which we believe is unmatched in this industry.”
For more information, visit www.Ross-Tech.com.
Neutronics Completes Development of Refrigerant Identifier for Upcoming Vehicle Refrigerant HFO-1234yf
Exton, PA — Neutronics Inc. announces the successful completion of development and pending release of the world’s first HFO-1234yf refrigerant identifier. Neutronics refrigerant identifiers are used worldwide to verify the type and purity of refrigerant in both MVAC and HVAC applications.
“The development of an HFO-1234yf refrigerant identifier demonstrates our support of the EPA’s initiatives to reduce global warming emissions and improve the state of our global environment,” said Gary Halpern, president, Neutronics Inc. “Neutronics has been, and remains, the global leader in refrigerant identification and this development demonstrates our continuing commitment to be at the forefront of this technology.”
“Automobile manufacturers worldwide are poised to introduce new air conditioning systems with very high energy efficiency and HFO-1234yf refrigerants that help protect the climate,” said Dr. Stephen Andersen, Co-Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Mobile Air Conditioning Climate Protection Partnership. “The new refrigerant identifier will be a necessary tool in confirming that systems are charged with the proper refrigerant and not contaminated with other chemicals.”
Details of the new HFO-1234yf refrigerant identifier will be released during the Mobile Air Conditioning Society Convention, February 5-7 in Dallas.