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NASCAR develops educational partnership with technical institute
NASCAR AND UNIVERSAL Technical Institute (UTI) recently announced an educational partnership that will provide training for automotive technicians and will serve as an extension to the sanctioning body's Officially Licensed by NASCAR automotive aftermarket program.

NASCAR and UTI will develop the NASCAR Technical Institute to address the growing need for technicians in the automotive industry. The Institute will open in spring 2001 and will be built in the Charlotte, N.C. area. The location will accommodate up to 1,800 automotive and collision repair students. The long-term agreement calls for multiple schools around the country.
Coursework will focus on training the core skills necessary to excel as an automotive technician. In addition, students will learn about engines, electrical systems, drive trains and chassis construction and modifications in a NASCAR-oriented environment.
"We did our homework and found UTI is the industry leader for high quality technician training," said George Pyne, vice president of marketing for NASCAR. "Our partnership will provide students with a solid technical education for a career in the automotive industry. This will also create a pool from which teams can draw entry-level NASCAR technicians."
In order to attract and retain top students, NASCAR will assist UTI in developing relationships with individual racing teams to develop co-op education and internship programs.
"UTI provides the highest quality training and is the educational partner of choice for students, employers and the automotive industry," said John White, chairman of UTI, Inc. "Our relationship with NASCAR is a natural extension of working with leading companies in the automotive industry."
In addition to the NASCAR Technical Institute, UTI will offer a special six-week NASCAR elective to students at its other campuses. The first class will be offered in spring 2000 at the UTI campus in Houston.
"In the aftermarket, the heroes of automotive technicians are the NASCAR team members," said Steve Boguski, director of automotive aftermarket for NASCAR. "We look to help build the image and visibility of automotive technicians through this link with NASCAR."
NASCAR launched its automotive aftermarket initiative in 1996 that is designed to provide opportunities for the sport's drivers, teams and tracks to work with an expanded base of corporate partners.
Through the development of programs with some of the aftermarket's leading companies, as well as providing new marketing avenues for current sponsors, the Officially Licensed by NASCAR automotive aftermarket program allows NASCAR's teams, drivers and tracks to participate in promotional programs with the manufacturers and retailers. The automotive aftermarket program is supported by a fully-integrated media program, entitled "NASCAR Garage." The initiative includes a weekly television show, a national radio show (Mon.-Fri.), a quarterly magazine, Professional NASCAR Garage, and a dedicated NASCAR Garage section on NASCAR Online.
UTI was founded in 1965 in Phoenix, Ariz., and is recognized as one of the top technical education institutions in the U.S. UTI offers accelerated career-specific training in automotive, diesel, air conditioning/refrigeration/heating, motorcycle, marine and personal watercraft. The company has graduated more than 40,000 students.

All Pro/Bumper To Bumper races to the future
ALL PRO/BUMPER To Bumper, Inc. will prepare its members for the next millenium at its biennial convention March 15-19, 2000 in San Antonio, Texas.

The convention theme, 2000 - The Race to the Future, will give members a look at what it will take to be competitive in the automotive aftermarket beyond the year 2000.
This is the first time All Pro/Bumper To Bumper members will meet as a complete team. All Pro/Bumper To Bumper service dealers, jobbers, manufacturers and warehouse distributors will have the opportunity to meet and discuss ideas on how to improve business and solidify the company's position in the upcoming millennium.
Industry leaders will be on hand to share their insights regarding future aftermarket trends, while special guest business experts will offer tips on developing more effective management and motivation techniques.
In the exhibition hall, the top vendors in the aftermarket will exhibit their wares. A state-of-the-organization presentation is scheduled to bring all team members up-to-date on the current and future plans of All Pro/Bumper To Bumper.
For more information, contact Steve Marks, Auto Value at (210) 492-4868.

Parts Plus members expand, strengthen sales and name recognition in key markets
PARTS PLUS MEMBER warehouses have strengthened both sales and name recognition in both key and existing markets, according to Parts Plus President Mike Lambert.

The Parts Plus Group (PPG), based in Bogota, N.J., Jobbers Warehouse Service (JWS), based in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Northstar Automotive, located in Hopkins, Minn., also expect to see significant increases in bottom-line profitability, said Lambert.
"During the last several months PPG and JWS have successfully expanded into new markets and reintroduced the Parts Plus name into markets where former members previously existed," said Lambert.
PPG most recently acquired Memphis-based Katz Bros. and its 40,000-sq.-ft. warehouse.
"It's thrilling to see an acquisition adopt the Parts Plus name and programs," said Paul Lehr, CEO of PPG. "With the addition of Katz, we expect total sales to exceed $280 million."
With its acquisition of Canton, Mich.-based West Side Distributors, JWS is expanding its business throughout southeast Michigan, northern Ohio and Indiana, said Mark Doornbos, vice president of marketing for JWS.
"The West Side acquisition enables us to improve our volume and increase the number of Parts Plus autostores and Car Care Centers in the area," said Doornbos. "We expect to increase sales to almost $60 million."
Northstar Automotive recently acquired an ACDelco warehouse in Mankato, Minn., to provide increased service dealer benefits.
"This acquisition provides us the opportunity to grow market share resulting in increased profits; furthermore, it cultivates increased buyer loyalty among our installer customers," said Walter Kunz, CEO.
In addition to recent member acquisitions, Parts Plus of New Mexico, based in Albuquerque, and the Frank Edwards Company in Salt Lake City, have moved into larger facilities to increase service level, market saturation and sales. Parts Plus of New Mexico now occupies a 40,000-sq.-ft. warehouse, while the Frank Edwards Co. expanded into a 110,000-sq.-ft. facility.

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