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ACCC introduces EcoExpress retail program

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ACCC introduces EcoExpress retail program

American Car Care Centers found itself at a crossroads, of sorts. With more than 1,000 members covering the United States in protected territories, growth was slow.

Those dealers participated in the official ACCC retail business solutions program, which included road hazard warranty coverage and a credit card for customers.

“We had two choices,” says ACCC President Len Lewin, “to take the boundaries off after 21 years, or look at a brand new approach, starting over with a brand new map.”

ACCC decided on the latter. The result is EcoExpress Tire Centers Inc., a parallel program separate from the ACCC program.

“It enables us to capture both sides of the street,” says Lewin, who adds that an ACCC dealer cannot utilize both programs.

“EcoExpress is focused on delivering value for its members and their consumers while working to eliminate or decrease negative impacts on the environment,” says the company. The “eco” in EcoExpress stands for both economical and ecological.

Economically, it provides road hazard warranties and the Eco-Advantage Credit card (“no interest if paid in full within six months”). The warranty programs are accepted at more than 30,000 affiliated locations in the U.S.

Warranties

Eco-Assistance is the program’s tire warranty with roadside assistance. It features

* a limited tread wear and road hazard warranty on any tire sold;

* roadside assistance for the first 12 months;

* flat repairs;

* rotations and inspections (“which brings the customer back every 5,000 miles”);

* a nationwide toll-free, 24-hour warranty hotline.

Eco-Assurance is the program’s service warranty. Most services are covered for six months or 6,000 miles; they include the following:

* steering and suspension parts, 12 months or 12,000 miles;

* brake service, six months or 6,000 miles;

* brake package, 36 months or 36,000 miles;

* Macpherson struts and shocks, 12 months or 12,000 miles;

* alignment, six months or 6,000 miles; and

* wheel balance, six months or 6,000 miles.

Eco-Anywhere is a guarantee that applies to valid Eco-Assurance and Eco-Assistance warranty claims. If EcoExpress is not able to refer the warranty holder to a location that is less than 25 miles away from the disabled vehicle, the warranty holder will be awarded a check for $250.

Environmentally friendly

Ecologically, the EcoExpress program offers the following "green" features:

* CCAR (Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair) and Environmental Protection Agency environmental certification, known as GreenLink Shop Plus.

* "Eco-Focus" consumer education. A point-of-sale brochure educates consumers about what EcoExpress dealers are doing to help save the environment. It also includes automotive “eco-tips” for the consumers themselves to follow.

* “Tires for Trees,” which guarantees one tree will be planted for every set of tires sold by the EcoExpress dealer (with help from the “Plant-a-Billion” and “American Forests” organizations and the Arbor Foundation).

* tire and motor oil recycling programs. A showroom display -- complete with LED lights --tracks oil and tire recycling quantities.

Tire Pros of Rhode Island Inc., a four-store chain run by Jim Melvin Jr. and Sr., is the first EcoExpress member to implement the program. -- Bob Ulrich

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