National Automotive Service Task Force ? December 2012 Newsletter
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December 2012

The next NASTF general meeting will be held on Friday, March 8 in conjunction with Vision 2013 Hi-tech Training and Expo in Kansas City. The agenda for this meeting will be released soon. Get VISION 2013 info ... MORE

Industry Outreach to Technicians Matters
“Integrating more active involvement by automotive service professionals in NASTF decisions and initiatives is imperative,” noted Skip Potter, NASTF executive director. Expanding industry outreach ... MORE

More Shops Join NASTF Vehicle Security Registry
Security transactions recorded in NASTF’s Vehcile Security Registry has risen dramatically each year since its inception. But did you know that 36% of LSID holders are employed in automotive repair shops, up from 32% just a year ago? Click image to view piechart.

Resolving Vehicle Security Issues Needs All of Us Involved
“We are not separate segments in an industry; rather, ‘we’ collectively are the industry,” noted Mark Saxonberg, co-chair of the NASTF Vehicle Security Committee. “The sooner we all realize that, the more effective we will all be. Only then can we completely resolve the issues facing us all.” With that, the VSC meeting ... MORE

SDRM Can Drive Vehicle Security Data to All Bona Fide Professionals
“My objective with this presentation, titled European Automakers Security Related Parts and Vehicle Interfaces, is to inform the industry of the need to defund the hackers by having a legitimate path to security programming by using the SDRM,” said Robert Beckmann, President of Beckmann Technologies Inc. and ... MORE

SDRM Use Continues to Surge
“Usage of the NASTF Secure Data Release Model by technicians continues to experience exponential growth,” reported David Lowell, the SDRM administrator, in his semiannual update presented at the Fall 2012 NASTF General Meeting. Lowell provided a number of observations in his report, outlined changes and then answered questions ... MORE

Service Information Request Spotlight
Recently a 2008 Nissan Titan re-flash file would not communicate with the J2534 interface at a North Carolina shop. The tech had attempted unsuccessfully to resolve the issue with Nissan online help and was faced with sending the Titan to a franchise dealer to complete the repair. Fortunately the tech filed an SIR, which prompted a phone call. Within two hours of the filing, the shop was able complete the repair and keep a good customer. “You offer a wonderful service,” said Nicole, the shop's owner. To view other SIRs ... MORE

Contributed by Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director
The NASTF Elevator Speech
Everyone needs an “elevator speech” to answer, in seconds, the question: What exactly does your company do? This month's editorial is not about writing an elevator speech. There are many marketing articles on the subject. One such piece by author/consultant Guy R. Powell was actually adapted into a Microsoft word template (which you can find here).

This is all about an elevator speech for NASTF. Remember, I am new here. I just started in July this year. While the NASTF Mission Statement, Section One of the NASTF bylaws or the “About NASTF” page on our website are all full of descriptive words, I found I could put an entire elevator crowd to sleep in just 2 floors with that pitch.

I like how Powell suggests I answer all of the following six questions in 35 words or less:

• What is NASTF?
• What does NASTF do?
• Who do we do that for?
• Why do they care?
• Why is NASTF different?

Powell believes that the goal of an elevator speech is to get the listener to say “tell me more.” He also warns that parts of the pitch may need to change to fit the audience. The greatest challenge, which I am yet to accomplish, is to keep it under 36 words.

So here is what I have come up with: “The National Automotive Service Task Force is a non-profit helping professional technicians get service resources from vehicle manufacturers. With our SIR, independent shops keep customers. With our VSP Registry, vehicle owners get 24/7 access to locksmiths.”

The above seems to serve a general public audience best, but I find I need to be more technical with our industry.

For the industry pitch, my elevator speech is this: “NASTF's a non-profit helping techs get service resources from OEMs. Using our SIR, techs may avoid sending their customer to a dealer. With our VSP Registry, techs and locksmiths are allowed to buy security codes and software from OEMs.”

Please tell me what you think. Got a better pitch for me to use? Email me at

Solutions to real industry problems come from the work of the various NASTF committees, each of which has a charter that aligns with the NASTF mission statement. Committees meet regularily throughout the year by teleconference or in-person, with reports provided to the NASTF Board and Executive Director for their consideration.

NASTF Committees Need Your Voice: Participation on any NASTF committee is open to any individual listed in the NASTF Contact Database who is active in the U.S. automotive service industry and willing to volunteer their time and ideas at scheduled committee conference calls and meetings. The NASTF Committees are a great way to get involved in the interaction between OEM service support executives and independent technicians. Click here to learn more about the various NASTF committees. To join a committee, email and indicate which committees match your interest — examples include Collision, Communications, Education, Tools, Vehicle Security and others.

Vehicle Security Committee (VSC): The VSC held a meeting in New Orleans on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. The many important reports and discussions included one from Dan Selke (of Mercedes Benz USA) and another from Ivan Blackman (of the National Insurance Crime Bureau). Selke noted MBUSA identifies nine vehicle components on their list of Theft Related Parts, with seven of the nine parts already available to vehicle security professionals (VSP) active in the NASTF LSID Registry. MBUSA is using aftermarket parts sales statistics to persuade their parent company Daimler AG to approve inclusion of these remaining two parts; but an availability date is yet to be determined. According to Blackman, there have been 1,028 vehicle theft reports related to key code transactions in the first nine months of 2012. In total, 14 individuals were arrested on felony charges relating to these vehicles and he credits the SDRM data feed (from both participating OEM dealerships and from NASTF VSPs) for these indictments. Read the full VSC report here.

Education Committee: The Training subcommittee of the NASTF Communications Committee became the NASTF Education Committee on October 13, 2012 by action of the NASTF Board of Directors. Karen Miller (of Pacific Technology Solutions) and Rob Morrell (of WorldPac Inc.) will serve as co-chairs. Both are anxious to update the NASTF resources relating to OEM-offered education, including the Training Matrix.

Tool Committee: Led by co-chairs Donny Seyfer (of Serfer Automotive Inc.) and Greg Potter (of DG Technologies Inc.), this Committee is working toward releasing a list of OEM scan tools with coverage and availability information that will be helpful to independent technicians. Look for this information in early 2013.

Collision Committee: Bob Chabot (of Manic Media LLC) was appointed co-chair of the Collision Committee with the second co-chair appointment still pending. I-CAR, various state association collision groups and other industry stakeholders have been contacted to ensure that all interests are aware of and using the existing NASTF resources (especially the SIR and the VSP Registry). In addition, this Committee will be asking for feedback from industry members regarding specific needs — consistent with the NASTF's mission — they believe this Committee could help resolve.

Communications Committee: This Committee is wrapping up a strategic review of NASTF communications elements that began last August, in cooperation with NASTF Executive Director Skip Potter. Co-chairs John Cabaniss (of Global Automakers) and Margarett Beck (of MEMA) headed up the process in which three workgroups (News, Website and Social Media) held conference calls and traded electronic documents to ultimately develop guidelines for NASTF's communications efforts. Workgroup participants included: discussion leaders Steve Douglas (website), John Lypen (news) and Scott Brown (social media); and volunteers Bob Chabot, Mark Saxonberg, Jessie Korosec and Caroline Delaney. Recommendations from the strategic review are already being implemented as evidenced in this edition of the NASTF Newsletter and at the redesigned NASTF website.

Heavy-Duty Vehicle Segment: While the heavy-duty vehicle interest is not yet represented in a NASTF committee, there has been significant inquiry to NASTF recently as this segment faces new EPA regulations in 2013. A NASTF meeting of OEM and independent service personnel in the segment is planned for early 2013.

The NASTF Board meets monthly, mostly by conference call but also in-person twice-a-year in conjunction with the semi-annual General Meetings. This section will highlight recent NASTF Board discussions, initiatives and decisions.

NASTF is Apolitical: Prior to the 2012 Fall General Meeting held during Automotive Service and Repair Week, the Board met in New Orleans on Saturday, Oct. 13. One of the primary discussion points was dealing with the erroneous opinion of others that NASTF is politically involved in the right-to-repair debate. The misconception of NASTF's political nature arose when some key supporters of NASTF were well established as anti-right-to-repair while many of the most vocal advocates of right-to-repair overtly avoided public endorsement of NASTF.

"NASTF is a technical organization," says Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director. "The benefits of our committee work and our projects like Service Information Requests and the Vehicle Security Registry are equally valuable with or without right-to-repair legislation. While I expect most of our industry supporters will take a position on this and other legislative debates, NASTF will not."

To show its commitment to extracting NASTF from the legislative debates, the Board has commissioned a re-write of the NASTF Bylaws to expressly encourage participation in NASTF governance by other industry organizations. NASTF is also using a tag line in news releases and other industry statements saying "NASTF takes no position on any legislation that may be proposed or pending in state or national legislative bodies." In addition, the Board is also currently considering a radical restructuring of its own governance eligibility as the NASTF Nominating Committee prepares a slate of 2013 directors and officers.

NASTF Reaches Out to Technicians: The NASTF Board recently announced an outreach initiative to better inform independent technicians and shop owners about NASTF. To mark this outreach with a prize, NASTF will award a commemorative pair of MechanixWear gloves signed especially for NASTF by Leonard Wood, dubbed the Fastest American Mechanic, who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in early 2013. Watch this NASCAR video to learn more about Wood. To win the gloves, new and veteran NASTF technicians employed in the USA must update their NASTF profile to include "Leonard Wood Glove Drawing" as an interest. Click here to sign-up for or login to your NASTF Profile. For more information about the drawing, download this PDF.

NASTF also fulfills its mission with initiatives that extend beyond Board and Committee meetings. Meeting with automakers, educators, service/repair professionals, automotive media and other industry organizations — where they do business — is essential to helping NASTF increase awareness, demonstrate its value and foster participation.

NASTF Meets the Industry: AASP and ASAAA are two national organizations representing independent aftermarket state associations. Both invited NASTF Executive Director, Skip Potter, to speak at their national meetings in Las Vegas during AAPEX/SEMA 2012. “It was exciting for me to go back to visit these two groups I know very well and tell them about NASTF,” said Potter, who had previously served on the Boards of these organizations while employed by the Chesapeake Automotive Business Association. “My message was simple: NASTF wants the whole industry behind its efforts. This is all part of our 2013 Technician Outreach campaign.”

Improving OEM Service Support: BMW has joined the NASTF Vehicle Security Committee. In other OEM news, Honda moved its ECM re-flash files from the subscription to the free side of their tech website on November 5, 2012.

Links Worth Viewing : NASTF is frequently featured in industry multimedia and publications. Check out the links below.

Ron Pyle and Skip Potter Talk NASTF with Car Clinic Network.
David Lowell Discusses NASTF LSID Registry With Car Clinic NetWork.
Skip Potter Outlines NASTF initiatives For Veh
icle Service Pros Network. (Find it from time stamp 24:20 to 30:15)


The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) 

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