River Valley People & Places - June 2019
Russ Automotive in Millersburg, Mo., burned to the ground along with several vehicles. The fire had already been burning for sometime before crews arrived. As of this writing the cause is still unknown.
St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings has announced a vehicle-subscription service. The service will allow participants to swap out vehicles up to four times every month. It will launch in Missouri, Minnesota, and Nevada, and is slated to expand. The subscription will include “extra conveniences like physical damage and liability coverage, maintenance, registration, roadside assistance and Sirius radio (when available),” Enterprise stated. The company declined to answer how collision and comprehensive coverage would be handled.
Network promotion winners flew to Las Vegas for an all-expenses paid drag racing experience courtesy of Automotive Distribution Network’s Repair America. The 17 winners were randomly drawn after having participated in a two-month promotion and earned points from specific manufacturer product purchases.
MEMA has honored U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski as a 2019 Industry Champion. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) was honored by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) as the 2019 recipient of the Joseph M. Magliochetti Industry Champion Award, a special recognition given to elected officials who have shown outstanding leadership on behalf of motor vehicle component suppliers. “Congresswoman Walorski has demonstrated a commitment to advancing our industry and has recognized the critical role suppliers play in the American economy and in the economy of Indiana,” said MEMA President and CEO Bill Long.
General Motors is considering a $1 billion investment at its Missouri assembly plant where it builds vans and trucks. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that GM, in a closed-door meeting, had outlined a plan to invest in the plant and add jobs. Parson said that GM is seeking a package of state incentives that would need approval from the legislature before committing to the project to expand its Wentzville plant, which builds the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks, Chevrolet Express Cargo van and GMC Savana full-size van.
MEMA has stated it opposes an Illinois bill that would discourage use of aftermarket parts. The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has issued a statement formally opposing a proposed Illinois law that would limit the use of aftermarket parts by requiring written consent for the use of non-OE crash parts. “The bill, S.B. 2104, would be harmful to the automotive aftermarket manufacturing industry, would reduce consumer choice, and put jobs at risk,” MEMA wrote in a May 8 letter to Illinois General Assembly House Labor and Commerce Committee Chairman Marcus C. Evans Jr.
Bigfoot Monster Truck creator Bob Chandler will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame. Chandler will be recognized as part of the SEMA Installation & Gala, Friday, July 26, at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, Calif.
Legislation has been introduced in Illinois to charge $1,000 for electric vehicle registration fees. The legislation, introduced by Democratic Sen. Martin Sandoval of Chicago, would raise about $2.4 billion in annual transportation funding, according to its backers. The main reason for the introduction is said to be because electric vehicles don’t provide the state with any gas tax revenue. Hybrids and plug-in electric hybrids, which both use gas to supplement electric power, are not included in the $1,000 fee proposal.
Toyota will spend $62 million at its aluminum engine parts subsidiary, Bodine Aluminum in Troy, Mo., to install tooling to produce lightweight cylinder heads for the Toyota New Global Architecture vehicle platform. Bodine, a Missouri aluminum supplier that Toyota acquired in 1990, makes three million cylinder heads a year. The plan will have the plant produce 864,000 new-generation TNGA engine heads. At the same time, Bodine is closing its St. Louis plant that produced aluminum parts for industrial and agricultural customers and moving its remaining work force to Troy to focus on Toyota’s growing volume.
WAC-STL recently held a meeting at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo. WAC-STL President Shelly Jones and several first-year automotive students discussed the need for technicians in the field and the impact female students can have on businesses. Local industry leaders and prospective students attended the forum and shared ideas to promote non-traditional students. Jefferson College Automotive Professor of Technology Gerard Uhls also spoke about automotive program offerings.
Mittler Bros. Machine and Tool owner and former NASCAR team owner Mike Mittler passed away May 10. Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool, founded in 1980 by brothers Mike and Paul Mittler, is a diversified equipment manufacturer located in Wright City, Mo. Mittler Bros. manufacturers and distributes more 1,000 different retail products that service the fabrication, automotive, and motorsports industries. Many of NASCAR’s most recognizable names once drove for Mittler.
An EF-3 tornado left a path of destruction in Jefferson City, Mo., at close to midnight Wed., May 22. Although there were multiple injuries, including for victims trapped under rubble in houses and businesses, no fatalities were reported at press time.
At least two automotive businesses were damaged, which, as we understand, were unoccupied at the time the storm hit. Riley Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac and the adjacent Riley Toyota had vehicles piled upon one another, and the service department at the Chevy dealership appeared to suffer the most damage. The collision center at the rear of the dealership was reported to be largely unaffected by the storm.
Donnie Braun & Sons Auto Repair, and its adjacent storage business, 2.5 miles to the southwest, were also hit by the EF-3 tornado, received extensive damage, along with multiple RVs, travel trailers, and vehicles stored on the lot or in the storage units.