Mountain People & Places - April 2019
Denver and Colorado Springs were ranked among the worst U.S. cities for vehicle repair by RepairPal, which states, “As one of the economically hottest places in the country, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area has a lot of people commuting to work. They’re also paying a lot for their car repair. The area has the 10th-highest labor rate and ninth-highest average repair cost, but is helped by having a good number of mechanics per car.”
Ten Aims Community College automotive technology students have advanced to the state level of the SkillsUSA Challenge competition after dominating at the regional competition, Feb. 14, at Northeastern Junior College. The state competition is being held in Colorado Springs in April. Students who take first place at the state competition will be invited to compete at the national competition held in Louisville, Ky., in June. Aims students have had recent success at the state competition with five students finishing in the top three last year — two students winning gold and moving on to nationals.
Bruce Klug, parts specialist at Red Noland Cadillac, in Castle Rock, is celebrating 50 years in the auto industry. Klug’s first dealership job was in 1968 at a Pontiac GMC dealership in the Chicago suburbs, since then he has managed parts departments, worked at dealership sales departments, fixed operations manager, service advisor, and parts counter sales domestic and foreign. The most experience has been with General Motors.
The CARSTAR proprietary EDGE Performance Group hosted a Denver meeting for training among franchise partners, managers and team members regarding updates in their regional zone. The updates included marketing, insurance sales and development. They also met for a full day of reviewing financial numbers.
Mopar recently announced its lineup of Mopar “Top Tech” and “Top Advisor” award recipients, recognizing 100 technicians and 30 service advisors out of a pool of 35,000-plus candidates across the nation. Service advisor winners included Alan Taylor, of Brandon Dodge on Broadway, in Littleton, Colo.; and technicians included Fredrick Atencio, of Autonation Chrysler Jeep West, in Golden, Colo., and Edward Shaw, of Melloy Dodge, in Albuquerque, in N.M. Technicians were evaluated using metrics including Fixed First Visit data, survey volume, dealership tenure and training achievements. Service advisors’ criteria included service advocacy survey scores and survey volume returned in relation to peers.
Mevotech has announced the appointment of Vic Dirkes to the position of Director of Sales – West in the U.S., reporting to Don Keeling, national director for Traditional Sales. Among his regions are Colorado and New Mexico. He will be responsible for identifying and targeting accounts and growing long-term relationships. Dirkes joins Mevotech with more than 20 years of experience in sales and customer service.
Moreland Auto Group is expanding in Loveland, Colo.’s Motorplex at Centerra. Moreland Auto Group recently purchased a 15-acre parcel at the Motorplex at Centerra with plans to operate a four-brand dealership. It will build a regional Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and RAM dealership bordering Interstate 25. With the four-brand dealership currently in the design phase, Moreland Auto Group is targeting a spring 2021 project completion. Founded in 1980, Moreland Auto Group has eight dealerships along Colorado’s Front Range, one in Wyoming, two in Las Vegas and one in Arizona.
Autoplex of Loveland, Colo., received the 2018 National Dealer of the Year Award from Eastman Performance Films. Josh Elliott, owner, accepted the award during a recent ceremony. Autoplex was selected from hundreds of dealers based on dealer loyalty, growth and use of Eastman’s exclusive sales and marketing programs. “The success Autoplex has enjoyed can be attributed to their desire to always evolve,” said Darrell Reed, commercial director, Eastman Performance Films. “Their collaborative approach and unwavering focus on innovation, customer service and growth embody everything we look for in a LLumar SelectPro dealer.”
To recognize its 85th anniversary, S&W Supply in Hays, Kan., will commemorate its anniversary with a year-long celebration, including contests to special events and customer appreciation days. The celebration for S&W Supply kicked off earlier this year with commemorative customer appreciation days where lunch events were held at all of its locations. In addition, the company is conducting in-store anniversary specials for customers that will change on a monthly basis.
TechForce Foundation and the Foundation for Advanced Stem Education (FASE) have partnered to bring a hydrogen fuel cell car competition to Denver-area schools. Students from nine elementary schools across multiple school districts in the Denver-metro area will participate, building a small fuel-cell DIY kit car. They must assemble the fuel cell components and get the fuel cell operational, as well as install the electric motor. They will then build their own chassis and wheels. For those students who want to take it a step further, there is a second division of competition where they will also design and build their own body.
Yokohama Tire, Porsche and Travis Pastrana are again in the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Pastrana won the inaugural class last year and is set to defend his title in the “Race to the Clouds,” June 30, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Pastrana will race against five others in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy division, including fellow Team Yokohama member and Nitro Circus performer Blake “Bilko” Williams. All will compete on Yokohama’s ADVAN A052 tires. Yokohama will provide tire technical support throughout the week.