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  Special Feature

CARS : "The Best Deal in Town"

Posted 10/11/2006

CARS Rolls Into Las Vegas Nov. 2-4

The 2006 Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) will be held Nov. 2-4 at The Mirage in Las Vegas.

CARS 2006, sponsored by the Automotive Service Association's Mechanical Division, is an official event of Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), held annually in Las Vegas. The premier event for automotive service professionals, CARS is unmatched in regard to technical training, management seminars and its exhibitor showcase.

This year's exhibitor showcase is the largest ever with more than 55 exhibitors participating in the event, allowing attendees to experience the latest in mechanical repair products and services. The exhibitor showcase will take place on Thursday, Nov. 2, during the Service Professionals Industry Reception, and again on Friday, Nov. 3, during the CARS Luncheon.

CARS 2006 will continue its tradition of offering cutting-edge technical training and management courses approved by the Automotive Management Institute (AMI). And as always, the event will provide ample networking opportunities.

Tom Easton Is Keynote Speaker

Tom Easton, senior partner with Essential Action Design Group, will be the keynote speaker for the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). Easton, whose tasteful humor and down-to-earth style have earned him a reputation as one of the best keynote speakers in America, is slated to appear during the CARS Keynote Luncheon Nov. 4.

Easton's presentation, titled "The Future is Getting Closer at CARS," will use humor, audience participation and personal stories to engage the audience. He will speak about customer service, how to maneuver in the "River of Change" and getting your team to embrace change and the fabric of success.

"Today's owners and managers of automotive repair facilities face more than technology changes in vehicle operating systems; they are facing changes in their employees' attitudes toward work, plus the evolving changes of their customers' expectations and mandates," said Easton. "My goals are to provide the CARS audience with insights and actionable ideas to immediately improve their current operations and prepare their businesses for growth and sustainable success."

Industry Reception to Open CARS

CARS 2006 will officially open with the Service Professionals Industry Reception co-hosted by ASA and iATN Thursday, Nov. 2, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The reception at The Mirage will afford an opportunity to visit with other shop owners, managers and technicians. More than 55 exhibitors will be on hand, showcasing the newest technologies available to service professionals.

Networking, good food and lots of fun promise to make the Service Professionals Industry Reception one of this year's CARS highlights.

Howard Lewis Is CARS Chairman

W. Howard Lewis, AAM, is chairman of the 2006 Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). Lewis is a longtime member of ASA and has held numerous leadership positions.

Lewis owns L&B Auto Repair in Snohomish, Wash., and has been a member of ASA since 1990. L&B Auto Repair has served the Snohomish County area since 1980, and received a AAA "Top Shop" award for 2000. All technicians at L&B Auto Repair are National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified.

"The role of CARS chairman is one way the ASA Mechanical Division honors one of its members who has given so much to ASA and to the automotive service industry," said Robbie Addison, ASA Mechanical Division manager. "I am excited to have Howard Lewis serving as the chairman for this year's event."

Lewis began his service on the ASA board of directors when he was elected as a general director in 1996. Moving through the ranks of board leadership, he became chairman of ASA and served from 2000-2001. Lewis also served on the Licensing Task Force Committee in 1993 and was a Chairman's Club award recipient from 1992-1994.

Prior to his election to national leadership, Lewis was active at the local and state levels of ASA, serving as secretary, treasurer and president of the local affiliate in Snohomish and then two terms as state treasurer of ASA-Washington, where he was recognized as an "Outstanding Member of the Year" in 1992.

Lewis credits the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) for helping him to build his knowledge of the automotive service industry and become a better manager. He earned his Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation from AMI in 1994. In addition to earning his AAM, Lewis is an ASE master technician and is Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) Worldwide certified. L&B Auto Repair is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and Lewis is active in the local Kiwanis.

"I'm honored to have been selected to serve as the 2006 CARS chairman," said Lewis. "It is through ASA and the Automotive Management Institute that my business continues to thrive. The courses offered by AMI have taught me to run an effective, efficient business."

CARS 2006 Sponsors
American Honda
Automotive Management Institute
Automotive Service Association
Automotive Video Inc.
BG Products
CARQUEST Technical Institute
CustomerLink Systems Inc.
Federated Insurance
Linder Technical Services
Meadowbrook Insurance Group
Mitchell 1
Reynolds & Reynolds
Standard Motor Products
STAR Envirotech
Turbo Training
Universal Underwriters
WORLDPAC Technical Institute

CARS Exhibitor Showcase Hours

Thursday, Nov. 2
6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 3
11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

CARS Offers One-Day Packages

If you're reading this before Oct. 20, you still have time to register online for the 2006 Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). Online registration is available on the CARS Web site (

Oct. 20 is the deadline for registering online. But you can always register for CARS at The Mirage in Las Vegas, where it will be held Nov. 2-4. Onsite registration begins Tuesday, Oct. 31.

New this year, attendees may also register for single-day packages, allowing visitors of other Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW) shows to experience CARS technical and management education on the day of their choice. One-day packages will be available for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Nov. 2, 3, 4) and include attendee's choice of classes, accompanying course material and available food functions.

CARS 2006 will feature three Automotive Management Institute-approved management seminars and 12 technical courses. The event also provides several networking opportunities including an exhibitor showcase featuring the latest in automotive products and services.

In addition to providing secure, convenient online registration, the CARS Web site also includes a list of exhibitors, daily agendas, information about education courses and instructors, and speaker information.

CARS FastLane Provides Daily News

FastLane, the official publication of the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS), will provide the latest news and photos from this year's event. AutoInc. reporters will be located around The Mirage, providing daily highlights of the show. Coverage will begin Thursday, Nov. 2, and continue through Saturday, Nov. 4. Subscribers to the CARS News-Network will receive the FastLane each night, direct to their inbox.

To subscribe to the CARS News-Network, visit the official CARS Web site at and enter your e-mail address in the field provided on the left side of the home page. Daily reports will also be published on the CARS Web site immediately after the event.

"CARS has always been a great event for excellent networking opportunities. The recent years' expansion of the event is now affording top-tier technical and management classes. It has become a 'not-to-miss' event during Industry Week in Las Vegas."
Don Seyfer, AAM
President, Seyfer Automotive Inc.
Wheat Ridge, Colo.

Don Seyfer is a past CARS chairman and a past ASA chairman of the board.

CARS Exhibitors (as of Sept. 12, 2006)

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) would like to thank the following CARS exhibitors for their support of the Exhibitor Showcase. Please be sure to visit the booths of these companies to learn more about their products and services. Also thank them for their support of ASA and CARS. Companies listed in red are member benefit providers of ASA, meaning they offer services and products at special rates or offer special promotions to ASA members.

ACDelco, 318
ALLDATA, 305, 307
American Honda Motor Co., 301
ASA Federal Credit Union, 313
AST Training, 109
Auto Loyal, 303
Autodata Publications Inc., 316
Autoland Scientech USA, 119
Automotive Management Institute, 410
Automotive Service Association, 410
Automotive Service Excellence, 205
Automotive Test Solutions Inc., 212
Automotive Training Institute, 215
Automotive Video Inc., 420
AutoZone, 304
BG Products, 406
BOSCH, 402
CARQUEST Auto Parts, 206
CARQUEST Technical Institute, 206
CDX Global, 117
CustomerLink Systems Inc., 201
Delphi Integrated Service Solutions, 203
eAutoClub, 222
Engage, 121
GE Retail Sales Finance, 113
Helm Inc., 218
Hunter Engineering Co., 315
InfoCar, 223
Linder Technical Services, 300
Management Success!, 314
Meadowbrook Insurance Group, 416
Melior Inc., 321
Mercedes-Benz USA, 319
Mitchell 1, 408
Motor Information Systems, 200
Motor Service Marketing, 312
Motorist Assurance Program, 105
Moving Targets, 422
NAPA Auto Parts, 221
Nova Information Systems, 302
NWZ WORX Multimedia, 216
PACE Computer, 111
Pico Technology, 107
Proforma Marketing, 323
Protractor, 123
Reynolds & Reynolds, 317
R.O. Writer Software, 101
Sonsio, 202
Standard Motor Products, 412
TECH-NET Auto Service, 206
Tool Solutions, 322
Universal Underwriters, 400
Vacutec Products, 418
Vehicle Donation Processing Center Co., 115
Vetronix, 402
Volvo Cars of North America, 217
Wells Manufacturing Corp., 320
WORLDPAC Training Institute, 206

CARS Pre-Session Includes Shop Licensing Forum

As a bonus to CARS 2006, there will be a Shop Licensing Forum at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 1 at The Mirage. That's the day before CARS 2006 officially opens.

ASA has assembled a panel of experts to discuss the importance of shop licensing and how you can help develop shop licensing for your state or enhance your existing state program.

Charlie Elder, chairman of ASA's board of directors, will moderate the program.

The following interview with Robert L. "Bob" Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative, provides a sneak preview of the session:

Q. Why was the topic of shop licensing selected for the pre-CARS session?

A. ASA members send a strong message in member surveys, meetings and other forums that they want shop licensing. This applies to mechanical and collision repairers. Although we have licensing statutes in some states, there are many states that do not have such licensing statutes. Also, shops want substantive licensing programs. Programs that include only licensing fees and registration represent another tax on shops.

Q. Who should be attending this session?

A. Shop owners and industry leaders. To establish a licensing program or to enhance a current program will take considerable time, unity and strong leadership.

Q. Can you give us an idea of what this session will cover?

A. It will cover examples of current programs, why licensing programs are needed and how to get started.

Q. How will shop owners benefit from this program?

A. Shop owners will benefit from this program because of the value licensing can bring to our industry. Also, having shop owners and other professionals address licensing-related issues will provide shop owners with the information necessary to address this same issue when they return home.

Incidentally, ASA will be glad to provide guidance and assist shop owners in their states through its legislative Web site (www.TakingThe, legislative advocacy programs and in several other ways. ASA would like to see more repair leaders take this initiative back home for the 2007 legislative season.

"I love Industry Week and it has become a yearly event for me. CARS 2006 kicks off with the annual Thursday evening Service Professionals Industry Reception hosted by ASA and iATN. The networking, great food and fun with friends is a wonderful way to start the weekend. The following two days are filled with top-notch technical training and AMI-approved management courses. I personally look forward to this event and recommend that you make plans to attend."
Howard Pitkow
President, Wagenwerx Inc., Wyndmoor, Pa.

Are You America's Top Troubleshooter?

The Technicians Service Training, in conjunction with Automotive Test Solutions and Automotive Electronic Services, is looking for America's Top Troubleshooter. The qualifier will be held at the Sands Expo Center during the AAPEX show, Oct. 31-Nov. 2. To pre-register, go to The top 10 troubleshooters will proceed to The Mirage and compete for cash and prizes during the Industry Reception at CARS Nov. 2.

Q. Is my CARS badge valid for admission into NACE, AAPEX or SEMA?

A. NACE, AAPEX and SEMA credentials must be purchased at the individual Web sites,,

Q. How will I get my CARS badge and tickets to paid functions?

A. CARS attendees can pick up their badges and various CARS materials at the CARS registration desk in the Mirage Event Center, beginning Tuesday, Oct. 31.

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