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R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ask the Industry Talks to Shop Owners about National Car Care Month

With National Car Care Month (NCCM) just a couple of weeks away, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to find out what a few shops have planned. Using the Carcare.org website, we randomly called shop owners across the country and asked: What are you planning for this year’s NCCM? Is this the first time you’ve hosted a NCCM event? If not, do you think drivers are recalling the campaign and improving their vehicle maintenance habits?

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AKRON, OHIO — With National Car Care Month (NCCM) just a couple of weeks away, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to find out what a few shops have planned. Using the Carcare.org website, we randomly called shop owners across the country and asked: What are you planning for this year’s NCCM? Is this the first time you’ve hosted a NCCM event? If not, do you think drivers are recalling the campaign and improving their vehicle maintenance habits?

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Here’s what we learned:

Kathy Wells, co-owner of Wells Automotive with her husband, Dan, Metropolis, IL:

What are you planning for this year’s NCCM?

We are planning an event this year with some organizations within our community, but our plans aren’t finalized yet.

Is this the first time you’ve hosted a NCCM event? If not, do you think drivers are realling the campaign and improving their vehicle maintenance habits?

We’ve been doing [National Car Care Month events] for five or six years. And, I don’t see drivers improving their vehicle maintenance habits. It’s really important to continue educating the motorist and the consumer all the time. People would rather spend their money on gasoline, going out to eat; they don’t see the instant gratification with vehicle maintenance service. They don’t see the importance of preventative maintenance. It’s either pay now or pay later. They don’t have the same line of thinking that we in the industry do.

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So, we’re trying to help educate them and promote educational activities so that when we are speaking with the customer we always have that at the forefront. Every day that you have a vehicle in your shop you should educate that motorist. The last couple of years have not been successful vehicle check lanes. It is important, every day to take care of your vehicle because it will cost you money down the road.

Kim Walker, co-owner of Peak Automotive with her husband, Brian, Apex, NC:

What are you planning for this year’s NCCM?

On April 8th, we’re going to have a vehicle check lane and will also do a car care clinic. We’re thinking it will be 20 to 30-minute car care clinic, probably twice that day. I have other friends in business who will have booths set up to display their services as well.

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We’re considered the most female-friendly shop in the Triangle (which is Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) and we really focus on women. So, we’re going to have a booth for Mary Kay products, and a booth for Southern Living at Home. We’ll have free 10-minute chair massages, as well as a booth for PartyLite candles. We also have a friend who does incredible details, so he’ll have an area set up to talk about his vehicle details. We’re also hoping to have someone from the police department on-hand to do child safety seat checks. I am working with a National organization called “Project Safe Kids,” and they are trying to get Jessica’s Law passed to put tighter restrictions on sex offenders. So, we’ll have a representative from the organization who will be at the shop as well, and any donations collected that day will go toward “Project Safe Kids.”

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Is this the first time you’ve hosted a NCCM event? If not, do you think drivers are recalling the campaign and improving their vehicle maintenance habits?

This is the first one. I’ve known about “Be Car Care Aware” for a while. I do newsletters and fliers for our customers and I always use the articles from Carcare.org. When we were in Vegas for Industry Week in November, I went to the workshop on “How to Host a Vehicle Check-Lane Event” put on by AAIA. I went to the seminar because I knew I would be planning events like this, but we’ve never had one before.

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SUMMARY by Amy Antenora, Editor, aftermarketNews:

Kim Walker and Kathy Wells are to be applauded for their enthusiastic interest in communicating the “Be Car Care Aware” message, but let’s hope they are not the exception. Other shop owners we spoke with had nothing planned at all, and as of today, there are only five shops listing NCCM events on the Carcare.org NCCM event listings page .

Last year, the Car Care Council reported that more than 400 vehicle check lanes were held during April. Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, said he expects to see double that number this year.

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Perhaps people are just a little slow in announcing or planning there events. If so, there is still time. The Car Care Council makes it very easy to set up a National Car Care Month event. To help organizations conduct vehicle check events, visitors to the “industry” section of the Council’s site will find National Car Care Month materials to enhance their events, including a free vehicle check event planning guide. In addition, “Be Car Care Aware” point-of-sale kits and a virtual store of apparel and premium items are available for purchase on the council’s website carcare.org .

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You can also list your event on the Carcare.org website by clicking here.

If you have a National Car Care Month event planned, or comment that you’d like to share with AMN readers, drop me a line at: [email protected].

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