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The AMN Week in Review (July 6-9, 2010)

The Week in Review offers a snapshot of the most highly read stories of the week as seen on aftermarketNews. To access the complete stories, simply click on the highlighted links. If you missed reading one of our daily news emails, just click on the link that says “News Archives” at the bottom of the page to begin catching up on the latest industry news.

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News that the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, promoting the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper brands, announced the members of its Jobber and Service Dealer advisory councils was the most-read story this week. The function of Alliance Councils is to review and set long-term plans and goals for the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper jobber and certified service center programs. Councils share current issues and topics of concern via conference calls and one face-to-face meeting in the fall.

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"It’s difficult to get a consensus from a large, diverse group of companies, so we depend on our council members, an elite group of owners and managers, to provide direction for the programs that set Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper apart from the competition," said Steve Marks, senior vice president sales and marketing.

Members of both councils are nominated by alliance shareholders based on the owners and managers they feel would best represent the entire membership’s needs and be vocal to actively participate.

Right to Repair legislation passed overwhelmingly in the Massachusetts Senate with a voice vote on July 6. The Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act now moves to the House of Representatives for a final vote.

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Supporters say the bill protects consumer choice and saves drivers money by requiring automobile manufacturers like Toyota, GM, Ford and others to share relevant repair and safety information with independent automotive technicians and repair shops.

"Strong support in the Senate obviously shows that consumers want the right to choose where they take their cars for repair," said Art Kinsman of the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition.

In other top news, OptiCat announced that Uni-Select, a North American warehouse distributor of automotive aftermarket parts, has become an OptiCat Strategic Data Partner.

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Under the agreement, OptiCat will provide data directly from its Do-it-Once data repository for and on behalf of OptiCat data suppliers (manufacturers). Uni-Select joins other key North American distributors working through OptiCat to provide a single-source of auto parts information provided by a cooperative effort of manufacturers.

The announcement that WORLDPAC Inc. was recognized as one of the top 10 best San Francisco Bay Area companies to work for in 2010 also was among the most-read stories this week. The "Top WorkPlaces 2010" independent survey was conducted by the Bay Area News Group in partnership with Workplace Dynamics to present the top work places located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Workplace Dynamics has conducted similar surveys in major cities and regions throughout the U.S. More than 1,200 Bay Area companies of 50 or more employees were invited to participate in the survey.

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WORLDPAC was ranked No. 3 in the "Top 10 Large WorkPlaces" category (400+ employees). Rankings were determined by a comprehensive survey of San Francisco Bay Area companies that used employee responses to rate area companies. More than 80 percent of WORLDPAC teammates located in the Newark, Calif., headquarters and their six regional Bay Area branches participated in the survey.

Finally, Omaha, Neb.-based Heartland Automotive Services Inc. dba Jiffy Lube, announced it will relocate its offices to Dallas. The company operates nearly 400 locations within 17 markets across the country. Efficient accessibility to all markets was a key factor in the decision to relocate the corporate office to the Dallas area with the DFW airport located minutes from the office complex, the company said.

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