Southern California People & Places - September 2018
Tire’s Warehouse Inc. (TWI) opened a new 122,000-square-foot distribution center in Fresno in early July, bridging the gap between TWI’s Southern and Northern California branches. It is the company’s eighth warehouse and brings its total distribution center square footage to more than 700,000. “The new facility in Fresno builds upon the customer-focused service Tire’s Warehouse has established for nearly 50 years,” Dan King, president, said. “The location will increase our delivery and will-call efficiencies throughout Central California, providing our customers improved access to our portfolio of brands and the support they need to be successful.”
ASCCA Chapter 1940 held its July meeting at Mimi’s Café in Torrance, with special guest and new returning ASCCA member, Cecil Bullard, of the Institute for Automotive Business Excellence (IForABE), who discussed what makes an automotive service business successful. “Ballard is a 32-year veteran of the automotive service industry and has run some of the best independent shops in the United States,” Tony Callas, Chapter 1940 president, said. Rocky Khamenian, ASCCA state president, was also on hand to present Bullard with his membership certificate.
Southern California’s Foothill Transit will debut the first electric double-decker buses in the U.S., the ADI Enviro500EV, in 2019. The double-deckers will replace two 12-year-old compressed natural gas (CNG) commuter express buses, which can carry approximately 38 customers, with two ADI Enviro500EVs that can carry 80 customers. “Carrying more people in the same footprint allows us greater flexibility in choosing from limited-stop locations in downtown LA, where road space is at a premium,” said Doran Barnes, executive director of Foothill Transit.
Honda is Rolling out SmartCharge, smart charging in California to de-stress the electric grid. The Honda beta program uses the Fit EV’s onboard telematics system and eMotorWerks’ JuiceNet software platform to compute optimal vehicle charge times. “The utility companies can predict a lot of power demand in areas because they have history, but vehicle charging is throwing enormous randomization on top of it,” said Steve Center, vice president-Connected and Environmental Business for American Honda. “The app’s algorithms use pricing signals from the electric grid to determine optimal grid periods within customers’ preferred charging times and Charging will or won’t occur depending on a driver’s daily schedule, how much renewable energy is being generated, and how much CO2 is being emitted on the grid.”
Motiv Power Systems is powering a fleet of 18 Starcraft eQuest all-electric school buses, built on the Ford F59-based Motiv EPIC 6 chassis, slated for delivery to California schools this fall. “Schools prefer the Starcraft eQuest XL for its ability to navigate congested city streets while providing a smooth, quiet, and emissions-free ride,” said Joe Angeli, school bus sales manager at Creative Bus Sales.
The UTI Long Beach campus welcomed 48 high school students for “Summer IGNITE” in July, a free, hands-on course on that gave the high school juniors a taste of the fundamental skills they will need to learn for in-demand careers as automotive and diesel technicians. Students from across Southern California, including Long Beach, LA, Santa Ana, and Huntington Park, participated in the program. “They were able to learn from seasoned automotive instructors and explore opportunities in the transportation field, giving them a head start on their future career as they head into their final year of high school,” said Larry Hohl, president of Universal Technical Institute Long Beach.
National Auto Parts Warehouse Companies (NPW) has acquired the 10-000-square-foot San Diego location of the APW Knox-Seeman Warehouse, expanding NPW’s presence in Southern California. The San Diego location is the second NPW acquisition in the Southern California market, and joins three other NPW locations in California. “We’re excited to complete another acquisition in the California market,” said Larry Pacey, president and CEO of NPW. “APW’s San Diego warehouse is in a great location and we look forward to serving their customers and expanding the customer base.”
OTC and O’Reilly Auto Parts have enhanced CAWA’s 2018 scholarship program by awarding student Christina Schneider an Evolve scan tool. “O’Reilly is happy to work with OTC to be able to provide this future technician with a tool she can use in her training and beyond,” said Tom Seboldt of O’Reilly, who also serves as treasurer of the CAWA Board of Directors. “CAWA appreciates the support of these two companies in recognizing the importance of scholarship awards to students, who are the future of the auto care industry,” said CAWA President and CEO, Rodney Pierini.