NAPA keeps up with current trends in tools and diagnostics
Mt. Vernon, Ill. - The NAPA Tools and Equipment program is keeping local automotive repair shops educated and up to date on current trends in tools and engine diagnostics equipment, said Brian Pope, district sales manager for the NAPA program.
Pope wants shop owners and technicians to know that NAPA Tools and Equipment is not just an add-on service to NAPA’s parts supply business. “We have more to offer than the mobile truck programs that are out there,” he said. “Our customers who buy tools and equipment are dealing with NAPA on a daily basis for parts supply so it is important that we provide the best customer service. We have the ability to follow up with our customers daily. We are not coming by only once a week. We are readily available for feedback and training.”
Pope says that NAPA has the ability to set up an entire shop with tools and equipment. “We have a full line of equipment and tools for any repair shop,” he said. “Over the past few years we have changed the way NAPA provides tools and equipment. It used to be that we had a specific NAPA-branded item to provide to our customer base. If somebody called for an item we had basically one option for them. That’s not the case anymore. What we have now is a good, better, best option for every product type we offer.”
With all the recent changes and updates in diagnostic equipment, Pope said he believes that NAPA has done a great job of providing the best options for its customer base. “We have options from OTC, like the Genisys EVO, which is a good all-around scan tool. We have options from Autel as well, which offer great products,” he said.
The product that NAPA is most excited about is the new Mahle TechPRO. “This is the fastest piece of diagnostic equipment I have ever seen. It will do a whole car scan in 45 seconds where it usually takes two to five minutes,” Pope said. Right now the TechPRO is available only for domestic models but it will get Asian-specific updates as the year goes on. Pope said the unit is equipped with three different options at a great price. The software and cables with an eight-inch tablet cost $1,999 and with a 10-inch tablet, the price is $2,299. “We have had some great feedback on this product and find that some shops are opting to buy new equipment like this as opposed to updating their old equipment because of the price and quality,” he said.
Pope said that diagnostics equipment is changing for the better and his outlook on products remains positive. “Wireless diagnostics is going to become commonplace in shops sooner rather than later,” he said. “The addition of tablets, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi options in diagnostics has really changed the game. It has made things faster and more economical for shop owners and technicians. I can see more technicians starting to utilize the new mobile phone technology that is out there as well. Whatever can keep them centrally located at the vehicle they are working on will help shops make more money,” Pope said.
NAPA is also proud of its Carlyle hand tool line, which is named after NAPA founder Carlyle Fraser, Pope said. “We used to carry various lines of hand tools in our stores and we felt that it would be more beneficial to go in-house,” he said. “We purchased patents from manufacturers and improved designs to develop our tools. Our goal was to create a mobile truck quality tool at a craftsman price. We have a variety of different hand tools and we are continually improving and designing new ones. We sponsor Ron Capps’ NHRA Funny Car and his crew uses Carlyle tools. They test our tools and help us to develop improvements or point out design flaws.”
NAPA also offers various programs to customers looking to upgrade their shops, Pope said. “We offer tool trade-ins with Dewalt and Ingersoll Rand products and most of our Carlyle tools carry a lifetime warranty with over-the-counter replacement options. Our stores carry a full line of Carlyle in stock.” Pope also said that NAPA has a full service line of job-specific and application-specific tools known as NAPA Service Tools.
NAPA is prepared to go the extra mile when it comes to tools and equipment, Pope said. “We are more concerned about educating and equipping than we are about selling. There are no high-pressure sales pitches,” he said. “We want to build customer relationships. That’s our goal.”