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R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ask the Industry Checks Out National Car Care Month Events

It’s April and Spring has sprung. While springtime marks the start of many seasonal rituals, the Car Care Council wants to make sure that consumers add vehicle maintenance to their springtime to do lists. From event planning kits, to brochures, signage and promotional efforts, the Car Care Council has made it incredibly easy for aftermarket manufacturers, distributors and installers to get involved. It’s a win-win situation — the aftermarket gains a better image, better reputation and hopefully more business; the consumer walks away with a safer, better maintained car, increased vehicle knowledge and awareness and (hopefully), an improved perception of our industry. To find out how the industry is taking advantage of this opportunity, we asked a repair shop and a manufacturer: What are you doing for National Car Care Month?

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AKRON, OHIO — It’s April and Spring has sprung. While springtime marks the start of many seasonal rituals, the Car Care Council wants to make sure that consumers add vehicle maintenance to their springtime to do lists. From event planning kits, to brochures, signage and promotional efforts, the Car Care Council has made it incredibly easy for aftermarket manufacturers, distributors and installers to get involved. It’s a win-win situation — the aftermarket gains a better image, better reputation and hopefully more business; the consumer walks away with a safer, better maintained car, increased vehicle knowledge and awareness and (hopefully), an improved perception of our industry.

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To find out how the industry is taking advantage of this opportunity, we asked a repair shop and a manufacturer: What are you doing for National Car Care Month? Below are their responses:

Jim Atkinson, professional installer/owner, Car Repair Company, Phoenix, Ariz.:

At the Car Repair Company, we will be offering Car Care Aware inspections all month long. The first 100 cars will receive a free set of wiper blades from our Pronto supplier. We will also hand out material from local merchants in the area. It was easy to get them to participate.

I have used the National Car Care Month theme in the past. We have been involved with AAA Arizona conducting vehicle evaluations. This is the first year we have hooked up with the Car Care Council. I have known about the “Be Car Care Aware” program for some time. I wanted to get involved so I can market my repair facility using the name recognition along with my AAA approval, ASE BLUE SEAL SHOP and BBB affiliation. I think it is just good business to get as many “badges” as possible.

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John Nodson, director of marketing, Standard Motor Products, Inc.

Standard Motor Products is one-hundred percent committed to supporting the Car Care Council’s efforts during National Car Care Month to re-define and educate motorists about what a tune-up consists of today. This is especially important in light of the fact that gas prices continue to skyrocket. You can get more mileage out of every tank of gas with a properly tuned vehicle. Since this is an area that we feel very strongly about, we will continue to play an active role in promoting the 21st Century Tune-Up through our marketing and public relations activities.

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Summary by Amy Antenora, managing editor, aftermarketNews:

No matter which way you look at it, the idea behind National Car Care Month is a winner from all angles. There just isn’t a bad thing about it, from my perspective. While aftermarket businesses at any level of the distribution chain can, and should, participate, it is at the shop level where the industry can have the most impact.

While the initial goal of the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign and National Car Care Month may have been to increase consumer awareness about vehicle maintenance (for a number of reasons), the motoring public will not be the only benefactor. We have the opportunity to allow vehicle owners to drive away from a repair and service experience feeling good — about this industry, about their cars and about themselves.

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Information, as the old adage goes, is power. Keeping the driving public informed and aware will increase their confidence in their ability to interact successfully in the repair shop environment — a daunting and intimidating experience for many. This increased level of comfort and trust will not only bring more drivers in to shops for check-ups and service, thereby improving vehicle function and safety; it will also bring those customers back to your shop or store the next time they need maintenance or repair work. I don’t need to spell out how that benefits the aftermarket.

National Car Care Month is one of those rare opportunities where a little effort can go a long way and in the long run, everyone wins.

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