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CARSTAR expands to the rock!

St. John’s franchisee opens new 8,500 square foot facility CARSTAR Automotive Canada and franchisee Doug Russell celebrated the official grand opening of a new state-of-the art facility in St. John’s, Newfoundland in December. The location was constructed to house the quickly growing St. John’s CARSTAR Collision franchise and to meet an increasing demand for service in the St. John’s area and beyond. Franchisee Doug Russell, who operated an independent collision repair business in St. John’s for 25 years before joining the CARSTAR network in 2005, also operates a local GM dealership. He invested $1.6 million in the new 8,500 square foot facility.

The new St. John's facility

“Steady growth over the past two years made the move to a bigger facility a necessity,” said Russell. “With the support of the CARSTAR network and the value-add the brand brings to consumers, our customer base has grown at a fast pace. This new facility will allow us to keep up with that demand and to continue to provide the high quality service we are known for.

This new facility is equipped to handle $2 million in sales annually.” CARSTAR Automotive Canada is continuing a pattern of aggressive growth across the country. The St. John’s location is one of 13 locations across Atlantic Canada including seven in Nova Scotia, three in New Brunswick, two in Prince Edward Island and one in Newfoundland.

“Doug is a great example of why CARSTAR has been so successful in Atlantic Canada,” said Dave Meery, Atlantic Region Market Development Manager, CARSTAR Automotive Canada. “By partnering with franchisees like Doug, who are enthusiastic and motivated and who share our vision for excellence and our high standards for quality and ethics, we continue to build a trusted and reliable network across the country.

Doug is a strong supporter of CARSTAR and everything the brand stands for, and we are very pleased to see his business continue to grow.”CARSTAR has built a reputation across Canada for superior quality and high levels of customer satisfaction. CARSTAR is the only auto collision centre to offer a Lifetime Nationwide Warranty – no matter where a customer is in Canada.

CARSTAR Automotive Canada also offers consumers advantages such as comprehensive claims insurance, collision financing, rental car assistance, AIR MILES® Reward Miles and 1-800-CARSTAR - a 24-hour accident assistance and towing service. In addition to offering quality service and customer satisfaction, CARSTAR is a contributing member to the communities in which it operates.

Pictured from left to right are: Ray Cranford, Manager, St. John’s CARSTAR Collision, Verda and Doug Russell, Franchisees, Larry Jefferies, Executive Vice President, CARSTAR Automotive Canada, and Gord Gollop, Assistant Manager, St. John’s CARSTAR Collision.

CARSTAR locations across the country partner with the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCFF) on campaigns such as the sale of FrightLites®, non-toxic glow sticks which make children more visible during Halloween, and the CARSTAR “Soaps It Up” for Cystic Fibrosis National Car Wash Day which raises money for the CCFF and other local fundraising groups.
Through these campaigns and other fundraising initiatives CARSTAR has raised over $1 million for cystic fibrosis research and treatment since 1999.

About CARSTAR Automotive Canada
With over 300 locations across North America, CARSTAR is the leader in the automotive collision repair industry. Founded in Hamilton, Ontario, CARSTAR Automotive Canada has grown from eight to over 100 locations in just 10 years. CARSTAR repairs approximately 1 in 20 vehicles in Canada – 6,000 vehicles per month – with high rates of customer satisfaction. For more information, please visit CARSTAR online.


New Brunswick goes GREEN!

The New Brunswick government is implementing a new green-vehicle policy in an effort to cut emissions and make the government fleet more fuel-efficient. The new purchase requirements even apply to vehicles driven by ministers and deputy ministers.

Ministers’ vehicles must be fuel-efficient and can’t be full-sized sport utility vehicles or pick-ups, unless they are hybrids. Transportation Minister Denis Landry says the government wants to lead by example. School buses, heavy trucks and other equipment will be replaced over the next few years to take advantage of more stringent emission standards. Landry says government will also research the use of more fuel-efficient technologies available in Canada.


NAPA Store Owners Honoured!

A number of NAPA Associate Store owners were recently honoured for their contribution and longetivity to NAPA and the Automotive Industry. These NAPA stores were formally recognized at the NAPA National Business Conference in Toronto and by the NAPA Atlantic Region.

25 Year Award NAPA Chipman & Minto NB. (L to R) Owner Ron Bustard; NAPA Atlantic Sales Manager Bob Battis.

NAPA Plaster Rock - 40 Years! Shaw Auto at NAPA Plaster Rock, NB, was also honoured for his 40 years. (L to R) Owner Lloyd Kierstead; Bob Battis.

Peter Dupuis was also honoured with his stores in Berwick and Windsor, NS, celebrating 25 and 35 years of service respectively. Mr. Dupuis also owns NAPA Stores in New Minas, Kentville, Middleton and Digby. (L to R) Peter Dupuis and Bob Battis.

NAPA Truro celebrates 35 years! (L to R) Kevin Boyce-NAPA Truro; Bob Battis.

Accepting his 20-year NAPA Associate Service award- Don Crouse at NAPA Musquodoboit. (L to R) Bob Battis; Don Crouse.

35 YEAR-AWARD: NAPA Nackawic (Collier Brothers) (L to R) Owner Blake Collier; Bob Battis.


NAPA ‘Diamond Ring’ Winner!

George Douglas, manager of the big new NAPA Amherst location on South Albion street, was all smiles recently after his store won the NAPA Diamond Ring contest. The promotion was based on sales increases and secondary prizes included ‘Fine Dining’ gift certificates to a number of NAPA Stores in Atlantic Canada.

Shown with the Diamond Ring  (L to R) George Douglas NAPA Amherst; Bob Battis - NAPA Sales Manager.


New Brunswick technician reaches finals in competition!

Three Canadian technicians were among eight finalists at the ACDelco Technician of the Millennium IV competition, held recently in Las Vegas. The event was won by Scot Manna, owner of MB Automotive, Inc., in Des Plaines, Illinois. The eight finalists competed in a timed, hands-on skills contest and were judged on their professionalism, speed and accuracy in the diagnosis and repair of a “bugged” 2007 Chevrolet Impala.

The Canadian finalists were Tom Bischoff of Williams Automotive Service in Kelowna, British Columbia; Davd Jaggard of Eccles Auto Service Inc. in Dundas, Ontario; and Phil Taekema of Woodriver Valley Automotive Service in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The three received US$1,000 American Express Choice cards, a Yellow Pages ad for their respective service facilities, and a Service Information DVD.


Operation Red Nose
spreads to Atlantic Canada

Canada’s insurance industry has teamed up with Operation Red Nose to expand its volunteer designated driver service to the Greater Moncton Area as well as other areas in Atlantic Canada. The service is free, but donations to charity are accepted.

“Insurers are delighted to have brought such a worthwhile program to Moncton,” says Bill Adams, Manager, Government Relations, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “It’s a natural extension of our industry’s long-standing commitment to road safety. Last year, thanks to the industry’s support, approximately 7,400 impaired drivers were driven home, with the help of 6,400 volunteers.”

In addition to contributing $60,000 to the Maritimes program this year, the insurers are investing $200,000 in raising public awareness through a wide-ranging advertising campaign, mobilizing volunteer drivers from the insurance industry, coordinating dispatch centres, and providing insurance coverage for volunteers.

Operation Red Nose has also provided the drive-home service in Oromocto-Burton, the Acadian Peninsula and Edmundston in New Brunswick, and in Halifax and Sydney in Nova Scotia. A similar program operates in Ontario and Alberta. Motorists who call are picked up by a team of three volunteers in an escort car, and are driven in their own vehicle to their destination. The escort car follows and drives the volunteer team to other calls, or back to local headquarters.