October 2005 Issue Highlights

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Industry Rallies to Aid Hurricane Victims
Pep Boys Remodeling Stores
CAWA, AAIA Open Joint Sacramento Office
Auto Glass Tech Contest to be Held


The automotive aftermarket is revved up to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast.

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and California Automotive Wholesalers Association are collecting funds to benefit both aftermarket professionals affected by the storm as well as the general population of the area. The AAIA has announced that it will match monetary donations to both the Aftermarket Foundation and the Salvation Army, up to $10,000 per entity.

The Aftermarket Foundation is in its 46th year of assisting those individuals and families of the automotive aftermarket less fortunate and in desperate financial need because of unexpected death, catastrophic illness or financial hardship. Monies collected for the Aftermarket Foundation will be designated for the employees of aftermarket companies and their families affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Monies collected for the Salvation Army will be donated to their general Hurricane Katrina relief fund.

Donations can be sent directly to AAIA headquarters, c/o Susan Medick, 7101 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1300, Bethesda, MD 20814. Please make checks payable to either the Aftermarket Foundation or the Salvation Army.

For further information, contact CAWA's Director of Operations, Julie Snyder at 800-332-2292, ext. 110 or at

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has launched a web-based industry response center to assist its member companies, The site is provides information to help facilitate the rebuilding process for individuals and member companies.

SEMA is collecting donations to benefit the American Red Cross and will be matching monetary donations up to a total of $50,000 to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Donations can be sent directly to SEMA c/o Linda Czarkowski, 1575 South Valley Vista Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91765. Please make your checks payable to the American Red Cross and mark "Hurricane Katrina" in the memo line.

SEMA officials say they will be organizing additional fundraising activities at upcoming industry events.

The Automotive Service Council of California has also designated the American Red Cross for charitable donations and has established a link at their website,, to reach the Red Cross.

The Automotive Service Association has created a website to help industry victims of the Hurricane which may be reached by visiting The website offers industry professionals the ability to post ways they can help those businesses affected by the disaster such as business assistance, or donating shop equipment and other necessities, as well as ways to make monetary contributions to the victims.


Pep Boys is continuing its plan to remodel and "re-open" its auto parts stores across the country.

The project, which includes new signage and reimaging to a red and blue color scheme, costs between $100,000 to $300,00 per store location. The company says they set the level of spending based on the size of the store and its potential for improved sales. An additional $50,000 is earmarked for advertising the store's "grand re-opening" over a four week period.

According to Pep Boys, the company has completed 145 remodels this year in three different markets including Los Angeles. San Diego stores were completed at the end of last year.

Pep Boys reports that they anticipate a remodeled store will increase its sales by 3-4%, covering the costs of the upgrades. However, they noted that the remodeled stores in the Los Angeles and San Diego markets have increased their sales by 6-8%, well over expectations.

The company says they plan to remodel approximately 30 additional stores in Western markets including Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson by the end of the year.

Pep Boys will continue to remodel its stores across the country and they plan to complete the program in 2007.


The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the California/Nevada Automotive Wholesalers' Association (CAWA) have opened a new jointly operated government affairs office in Sacramento.

"This is a historic initiative that will greatly enhance the aftermarket's presence and effectiveness in the state," said Rodney Pierini, CAWA's President and CEO. "The consolidation continues a long history of successful partnerships between AAIA and CAWA."

"Clearly, initiatives undertaken in California have a major impact on our industry nationally. Therefore it is absolutely critical that we have an effective and strong presence in the state," said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA's president and CEO. "A case in point is our joint current effort to rollback the 15 year/150,000 mile emissions warranty that California is requiring on low emitting vehicles and that is also being adopted by many states around the country. Consolidating the aftermarket's presence in Sacramento is vital to the future economic health of AAIA's membership both in California and nationwide."

CAWA and AAIA have hired the CAWA Director of Government Affairs Jennifer Zins, JMZ Consulting, and her partner, Norm Plotkin, Plotkin Government Relations, to represent the industry in Sacramento. Zins has worked in the aftermarket industry for many years both with CAWA and most recently as executive director of the Automotive Service Councils of California (ASC). Plotkin brings 15 years of legislative and advocacy experience in the California State Legislature.

The CAWA noted that "together this new team will bring tremendous experience, a broad knowledge of both industry issues and government, and a renewed excitement and commitment toward advancing the automotive aftermarket parts industry before California policy makers."


Do you or one of your employees have a flair for working with automotive glass?

The first ever Auto Glass Technician Competition has been scheduled for October 16-18, 2005. The event will be held at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV., in conjunction with the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council Conference.

To compete in the event, a technician must have at least one year installation experience in the auto glass industry, be currently employed as a technician in a bona fide operating auto glass company and follow Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Standard 002-2002.

The competition is open to all companies and the first-place winner will receive $5,000, a gold medal, "and bragging rights as World's Best Auto Glass Technician." The second place finisher will receive $1,000 and third place gets $500.

For more information visit or call Holly Biller, (540) 720-5584 ext. 123, at the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council.

Originally published in the October 2005 issue of Automotive Booster Magazine.
Copyright 2005 by KAL Publications Inc.

Covering the California auto parts aftermarket since 1928.