Mobile Car Washing for Large Franchised Rent-a-Car Corporations

If you are considering expanding your mobile car wash business clientele and customer base this year perhaps you should look into the washing of Rent-A-Car agencies. What you may not realize is that some Rent-A-Car agencies are huge corporations where each outlet, store or location is owned by the company. But there are large franchised Rent-A-Car companies where each location is independently owned and operated and where the actual Corporation may only own larger airport locations.

If you are considering expanding your clientele to include large franchised Rent-A-Car companies you may want to learn a little bit more about the history behind them before you go to make the sales call. Now then, when doing business with Dollar and Thrifty Rent-A-Car you must understand that they operate differently than other rental car agencies. You see, Dollar and Thrifty have the same parent company. They are head quartered in Tulsa, OK.

Dollar is an interesting company with 441 locations in 26 countries. They have about 100,000 cars in the US in their rental fleet. They were started in Los Angeles, CA in 1964. They were bought by Pentastar Transportation Group in 1990. Along with Thrifty Rent-A-Car, General Rent-A-Car and Snappy Rent-A-Car. Snappy was sold in 1994. They closed General Rent-A-Car in 1993. General Rent-A-Car was pretty much a duplication of the others and it had non-Chrysler cars in it. Once they ran out the company was closed.

Pentastar Transportation was a subsidiary of Chrysler to sell them cars to compete with Hertz owned by Ford and GM’s Rent-A-Car acquisitions of the 80s. Chrysler divested themselves of the company, which was then called Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. Thrifty and Dollar are franchisors that license out their brand names for independent businesses. Dollar has over 260 suburban locations and is also in most all major airports. Dollar predominately rents only DaimlerChrysler cars, mini vans and pick-ups. Their President, Gary Paxton at one time was the first franchisee outside the state of CA. He now ran that entire company of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. Gary also was formerly the president of the ACRA – American Car Rental Association.

Thrifty Rent-A-Car has 1300 locations all franchised in 58 countries. They have 60 dealership agreements to sell their cars after run out of miles. They are planning to get another 300 car sales lots by 2005. Thrifty and Dollar together pack a wallop. Thrifty Rent-A-Car has 66% of its business in airport markets and 34 % in local suburban markets. Thrifty car sales was only started in 1999, but already has 60 locations and is growing fast. Thrifty has also purchased airport parking lots across the US owning 40 of them with some 14000 spaces. In many of these lots they have a car wash to wash their own cars but also for customers parking.

Automotive Rapid Prototyping Fail First Paradox

New product development and innovation is much more difficult and time consuming than most other business activities. Automotive rapid prototyping greatly enhances learning speed and reduces the risk of new automotive parts development.

Historically, the automotive industry has been using rapid prototyping as an important tool in the automotive parts design process. The extremely fast-paced automotive design cycles require an extremely fast prototyping system which can produce car parts fast and inexpensively.

The main objective of automotive prototyping is to learn quickly: how a new automotive product behaves in its natural working environment, before transferring the prototype to the production line. Many times, mistakes are learned only after a new automotive part is launched. This is the main explanation for poor automotive parts design, from product mismatch, poor engineering and function or finish, and overpriced production. In order to accelerate the learning curve, before these costly automotive prototyping mistakes are made, one must accelerate and facilitate feedback loops from tests in the lab and market trials.

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Working with an assortment of rapid prototyping equipment, automotive prototyping engineers utilize the most advanced 3D printers, in their quest for perfect form, function and utility. Working in advanced manufacturing centers, the automotive engineers use the technology to verify what they are doing, and, equally important, to save tremendous amounts of time, and money.

Automotive Rapid Prototyping Compresses Development Time

The advantages of 3D rapid prototyping model creation versus viewing a cad/cam model on a computer screen is palpable. Automotive parts engineers get together discuss the pros and cons of a rapidly produced automotive parts model and discuss the pros and cons of the design, as they pass it around, twisting and viewing the prototype, and decide if that is what they had in mind. This way, problems get solved up front, before going to the assembly line! Once determined that the automotive prototype design is a go, the model can then be sent to a die maker.

Automotive Prototyping and the Die Maker Process

The die maker cannot use model to make the die, but because they have it in their hand and can look at it and feel it, they can determine where the parting lines will be and exactly how much steel they will need to produce it. The timing of the die process is greatly compressed.

Examples of Automotive Rapid Prototyping Parts

· Engine castings and parts

· Car Engine parts

· Auto Mechanical parts

· Car Dashboards

· Car Handles and Knobs

· Auto Body Components

· Car Trim parts

Fail first Paradox in Automotive Rapid Prototyping

The automotive rapid prototyping paradox is to fail earlier rather than later. By failing earlier, the design engineers surprisingly succeed in accelerating the project; this greatly reduces development cost risk. By considering all automotive prototype failures as learning experiments, the engineer has much less stress, knowing that they are practicing the old adage, that success comes from ninety-nine percent failure and introspection.

Where to Shop for Automotive Parts and Equipment

A complete range of automotive tools and equipment can be found online. Consumers do have the advantage when shopping on the Internet, as they are not only provided quality merchandise, but merchandise at a discount. Top providers on the Internet will stock a wide range of automotive tools and equipment from recognized brands in the industry. Many consumers are turning to the Internet due to its affordability. Automotive tools and equipment, are expensive, and if you are in search of parts that are hard to find, the Internet is often the best source there is. When you begin to shop and compare the various online sites, you will notice that the greater reputability a company has, the more automotive tools and equipment they will offer. Automotive tools and equipment are necessary at some point in time for every driver that performs repairs on their vehicle. Workshops require automotive equipment that is specific to repairs so that they can safely and efficiently perform the repairs.

What types of automotive tools & equipment will you find online?

Automotive equipment will include all the automotive equipment that is found in the marketplace today such as:

* Tire changers

* Suspension and brake testing systems

* Brake lathes

* Short and mid-rise lifts

* Pit lifts

* Post lifts

* Mobile column lifts

* Auto lift equipment

* Wheel alignment and wheel balancers

* And, more

Other types of automotive equipment and automotive tools that you will find from the online vendors that are used by both the automotive shops and the home mechanics will include:

Lubrication Equipment: Each vehicle on the market has so many moving parts that comprise the operation of the vehicle and each of these moving parts need lubrication. Grease valves, oil meters and oil pumps are just some of the lubrication equipment that you will find online.

Air compressors: Air compressors are used to inflate a tire or tires. They may also be used to operate other pneumatic tools, as it is a source of compressed air. Air compressors come in many different makes and designs such as the electric powered, gas powered or diesel powered.

Other Automotive Tools: Other automotive tools that are used in both the industry and by the at home mechanic are hammers, dollies, screwdrivers, jacks, and monitors. These are specific for automotive repairs and automotive tools that the online vendor should have a variety to offer.

Service and Exhaust Equipment: For the shop or mechanic that is servicing vehicles, the proper service and exhaust equipment is necessary. This equipment includes brake fluid exchangers, booster cables, paint, battery chargers and so on.

When you do find an online store that seems to provide you with exactly what you need, make certain that they are reputable. The online site should have everything in tact on their site from their terms and policies to their customer service. Also, a description of each product that they offer to the consumer should be detailed. Dealing online is one of the greatest advantages to the consumer, and in the auto industry, the advantage is even greater.

The Automotive Employment Market Is Still an Open Playing Field

In the automotive employment market there are still very attractive job opportunities available all over the world. So if you are in the automotive employment market and want to make a change there are still a lot of opportunities all over the world.

In this modern world there do exist a massive shortage highly skilled automotive technicians all over the world. So if you are a highly skilled auto technician you can choose where you want to work in the world.

By just applying on one of the many automotive recruitment companies web pages, and they will search a job opportunity for you any place in the world. The fact is that a lot of emerging automotive markets have opened up in reasoned years, due to the power shift in the automotive industry.

This automotive employment market is going to become even bigger in the future as all new type of cars is going to hit the market. Like all the “EV” cars that are still in the prototype phase. All these cars will have new technology implemented into them, so new personnel must be trained to work on them in the future.

This will bring a paradigm shift into this automotive employment market, even the training methods and the skill sets that must be trained have to change in the very near future.

This will cause the manufacturers to start running extensive training and develop programs, to have highly skilled technicians to assist them to establish their brand. There will be coming new brands and brand name into the playing field and these brands will need to still build their names in the market place.

To build a brand name you need a powerful after sales service you can assist your customers with. This alone will create a new automotive employment market to the auto industry; just imagine an electronic or chemical engineer working at your local car dealership.

It may sound farfetched but it is possible as the cars in the future will be driven with power plants like fuel cells, hydrogen emission and electric motors. All of this is going to come to the market place in this modern world sooner than most of us do realize. So the predictions are that a big portion of the existing automotive workforce will leave.

They will leave this workforce as they are from the old school with old school principles that will become extinct with this new technology. The human tendencies are that you will stay ignorant if you become a member of the old school club. This only happens as the older people were conditioned that they can only learn something up to a certain age. All of us know this is not true but the system wants them to leave as it is harder to change and old horse to get rid of his or her habits

The system was created to develop a group of slaves that would be easier to condition, into what this slave system needs and not what the workers needs. That is one of the reasons why the older leading hands in the automotive employment market gets removed or retrenched. The general modern business conceptions are that older people are resisters to modern business, as they don’t want to change.

If all this highly skilled people are removed in the future the whole automotive industry will suffer a massive skills and brain lost that could have passed on to the younger people. Findings are that most of this older people in the automotive industry don’t want to share their knowledge and skills anymore, because they don’t see themselves as resistors for future development in the automotive industry.

So the automotive employment market will suffer great losses in the near future, due to this phenomenon.

Rocco van Rooyen is an Author on Automotive Solutions. As an Entrepreneur and Author on the subject, he is at the forefront to provide solutions to all automotive related problems.

How to Choose a Repair Shop

The best way to start is to do some preliminary research. Visit websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or any of the multitude of repair shop review websites to scout for prospects. Check with friends or colleagues to see if they would recommend a shop they’ve used in the past. Often, the best advice comes from someone in your social network who has seen the shops work first-hand.

Next, check with professional organizations. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and America’s Collision Repair Association (ACRA) are both useful resources to use when looking for a dependable shop. Shops typically have to maintain rigorous standards and uphold a code of ethics to gain membership. To go a step further, once you have narrowed down your search, you can check to see if their repair technicians are certified by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). These technicians have undergone specialized training which sets them apart from the rest.

When you visit the shop, make sure that it is clean and has a professional appearance; this is a reflection on their work. Confirm the shop is licensed in your state and, if needed, ask to see a copy of their license. Make sure they can do work on your make and model of vehicle. Show them your appraisal and find out if they will have any problems ordering the necessary parts. If everything looks good, get a timeframe for when you can drop off your car and when the work should be completed. Ask to be kept updated on the repairs as they progress. Also, take this time to discuss any deductible you may be responsible for and make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as what will be owed upon completion.

When the time comes to pick up your car, give it a good once over. Closely check the area which was damaged. See if the body panels line up and the paintwork matches. Check that the hood, trunk, and doors all open and close properly if they were affected by the impact. Bring up any concerns you have before taking your vehicle. It will be much easier to get them addressed on the spot rather than days or weeks later.

If an issue does come up down the road, call the shop to report it. Most will address legitimate complaints and work to correct them. If they don’t, report them to the professional organizations to which they belong. You can also contact your county or state consumer protection agency to report the situation and also file a complaint with the BBB.

If none of this gets the shop moving and the faulty workmanship issues persist, consider pursuing a claim against the repair shop’s insurance company. If you followed the above steps and chose a licensed and reputable shop, they will have an insurance policy which should cover you if they did a shoddy job on your repairs.