NGK hosted a grand opening of its NGK/NTK Venture Lab facility in Silicon Valley.

Northern California People & Places - August 2019


NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd. hosted a grand opening for its Venture Lab, a technical exhibition and collaboration space dedicated to the creation of new business opportunities through open innovation, in Silicon Valley. Officially launched in April of 2018, the Venture Lab represents NGK’s commitment to the co-creation and incubation of technologies with potential partners and startups. The space will serve as headquarters for the NGK/NTK Venture Lab, which has additional sites in Tokyo and Paris. For the grand opening, representatives from startups, venture capital firms, accelerators, academics and industry were in attendance.

Fix Auto USA has announced continued expansion in Northern California with the addition of its newest franchise location, Fix Auto San Francisco – Eddy Street, making it the 29th location in the region. “We see many benefits in joining Fix Auto USA, but none greater than implementing Fix Auto USA’s systems and processes for continued operational excellence,” said Karry Man, franchise partner of Fix Auto San Francisco – Eddy Street. “We’re especially excited to begin working alongside other franchise partners who we can share best practices with and engage for the betterment of the brand.” Added Fix Auto USA President and CEO Paul Gange, “We’re excited to welcome Karry and the team at Fix Auto San Francisco – Eddy Street to the Fix Auto USA family. Without doubt, operators like Karry recognize the proven value our platform delivers and the benefits of working together with other franchise partners and Fix Auto USA.”

CAWA has announced the recipients of its 2019 automotive high school teachers scholarship awards. Named the Motorcar Parts of America – Selwyn Joffe awards, CAWA provided two scholarships in its inaugural year of providing scholarships to high school teachers to support their automotive programs. Recipients of the scholarships include: Brian Wheeler – Alhambra High School in Martinez, and James Hooker – Taft Union High School in Taft. “CAWA is proud to assist these automotive high school teachers, in part, to assure their programs remain viable and well-resourced for the benefit of their students and our industry,” said Rodney Pierini, CAWA president and CEO.

Caliber Collision collected a record 5.4 million meals to feed at-risk children over the summer months. Caliber’s Annual Rhythm Restoration Food Drive helped re-stock the shelves for 85 regional food banks whose supplies are low this time of year due to higher demand from families whose children do not have access to school lunches during the summer. The company’s network of more than 20,000 teammates rallied customers, business partners, and local communities to donate cash and food items.

Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper have selected 13 technicians from across the U.S. as finalists for its Technician of the Year award, including Justin Leauschen, of 4 Corners Union 76, in Concord, Calif. The professionals earned the designation by staying up to date on certifications, furthering their education and training, and maintaining superior automotive knowledge. In addition to being a part of a Certified Service Center, each finalist had to meet several requirements including 10 channel partner trainings, six hours of live training, and current ASE certification. Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper parts suppliers selected one finalist from their lists of eligible candidates to participate in the national competition. The 13 finalists traveled to Detroit in July for a 90-minute 100-question custom ASE test to determine the winner. The winner will receive $2,500 and another trip in November to Phoenix, Ariz., where they will be honored at the ASE Technician of the Year Award Ceremony as the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Technician of the Year.

Charitable programs have combined to raise more than $269,009 for local youth groups during the 31st annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Sonoma Raceway, June 21-23. The majority of the proceeds raised during race weekend will benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC). SCC has distributed more than $6.4 million to youth-serving non-profit groups since 2001. In addition, more than $6,000 was raised through various donations during the weekend, including a $5,000 donation on behalf of the Transporter Drivers of Motorsports Association (TDMA), which participated in the 9th annual NASCAR Hauler Parade in Sacramento on June 20.

Governors from more than 20 states joined California officials to urge the Trump administration to implement automobile emissions rules that are consistent nationwide and require efficiency improvements each year, Bloomberg reported. Automakers fear that without an agreement between Washington and Sacramento, easing the federal standards could lead to a messy legal battle, a patchwork of efficiency standards, or both.

The ASCCA is calling for nominations for seats open on the 2020 board of directors. Participation on the ASCCA Board of Directors is an opportunity for automotive repair professionals to help guide the state’s largest organization of independent auto shop owners in shaping the future of the industry and building a stronger industry. Board participation is a chance to grow personally and professionally, and to develop skills, experience and connections with a team of other passionate and motivated professionals. Applications are due Aug. 2.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.