Repair Shop Newsmaker Q&A: Rich White

Jan. 1, 2020
Rich White is the executive director of the Car Care Council.

Rich White is the executive director of the Car Care Council.

What benefits do you find having a Car Care Month event brings to a repair shop?

It's just a good thing for the community. Many of these shop owners will say, "It's a way for us to give back to our community." It's a way to establish themselves as good business people and good community supporters in the area in the community. They could partner with the local vo-ed school and get students. They could partner with non-profit groups, anything they want. The other thing is it's good for employee morale. A lot of the shop owners and store owners will say, "Gosh, our folks just love to go out there and do this because when they're in the bays, they don't get to talk to the consumer one on one. The service advisor does, but they don't and they really like that." It's a win-win-win for sure.

What are the council's plans for Car Care Month (April)? Is there anything unique or new the council is offering this year?

We looked at this year, and considering the last number of months, the economy, the way it was and following the whole year of spiking gas prices, there's been a real renewed interest in automotive vehicle care to save money...by keeping the car longer.

The media is hungry for this. Consumers are hungry for information so they can take care of their cars and keep them longer. So we thought this is a perfect year to really do a full court press on trying to get the aftermarket more engaged in National Car Care Month. There really has probably never been a better time than now. People really do want to learn more about their vehicles and talk to technicians. Car Care Month's just a good time to do that.

How can distributors and/or jobbers assist in the planning of these Car Care Month events?

I say that's one of the most important things. That's certainly a priority for us: to get WDs involved and the program groups and the jobbers and the combination thereof more involved. They have a great opportunity to help their customers, the shops and stores, be better marketers, be better communicators and sell more service and parts. If they help their customers get involved — let's say they buy the kits, or they just encourage them to get involved or they set up a couple of events and bring in several of their customers — they're in a perfect position to drive business within their customer base, the shops and stores. They're always communicating with these folks, and that's what it's all about. Then the distributors are going to sell more parts and it works its way right up the line. It really would behoove distributors to get involved, and they do.

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