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A Publication of Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales & Service
Vol. 12  No. 1         Winter 2006

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Counterfeit Auto Parts
You Get What You Pay For

    DEARBORN, MI — From brake-shoe linings made from shredded grass to fully assembled counterfeit engines, imitation parts are becoming a serious issue for automakers, their suppliers and service facilities. Counterfeit parts have become so pervasive; the automotive industry has trouble determining the full impact.

    That's what Tom Strohm, general director marketing for General Motors Corp.'s Service and Parts Operations, tells members of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association at a recent meeting about the issue.

    Criminal organizations and sometimes even "legitimate" companies manufacture and package imitation parts passed off as genuine. The parts often are produced in foreign countries and shipped to the U.S. and other markets where unscrupulous distributors sell them to the public at automotive parts stores. "We really don't know how big this problem is," says Strohm.

    Analysts estimate counterfeit automotive parts cost the industry at least $12 billion a year worldwide in lost sales, $3 billion in the U.S. alone. That doesn't include the damage caused to the brand name or goodwill a company has built up. Counterfeit parts in many cases are defective and certainly not covered by warranty.

    The Federal Trade Commission, in 1995, estimated counterfeit parts cost the U.S. 210,000 automotive manufacturing jobs.

    The problem presents not only an industry-wide economic challenge, but also a safety hazard for consumers who end up using defective products. In one example cited, a family of seven in Nigeria was killed when their counterfeit brakes failed. Some overseas counterfeit brake pads were found to be made of nothing more than steel wool and pressed wood.

    There are indications that counterfeit operations help fund terrorist organizations, Strohm says.
    GM spends a lot of time educating dealers and other agents that purchase and sell its parts how to discern between what's genuine and what's fake. A significantly lower price is one sign of a counterfeit product. Other giveaways are poor labeling and packaging that often have misspellings or other variations. But counterfeiters are becoming increasingly savvy, says Strohm. The products are priced just below genuine parts, making them less noticeable. Also, many counterfeiters now have sophisticated packaging and labeling operations. In some cases, the imitation parts are remarkably like the original. Jason Bonin, vice president-business development and lighting technology for Hella North America Inc. recounts how one company copied some of Hella's products.

    "They came to us with the product and proposed to do a joint venture based on their ability to have a reduced infrastructure," he says.

    But dealers and retailers should evaluate the quality of the parts being purchased. Often, there are variations in size, color, shape or texture that could indicate a part is fake. There also may be installation problems with counterfeit parts. Auto makers and suppliers are learning to be vigilant in protecting their property. Both GM and Ford Motor Co. have teams of investigators that do nothing but hunt down counterfeit operations. GM has shut down more than 400 operations worldwide since 1984. Federal Mogul, a parts supplier, recently established a counterfeit parts fighting team. Ford Parts Brand Protection Team, along with local authorities, recently raided an Eastern European company that was manufacturing bogus Ford parts.                    

New Data Shows Seat Belt Use On The Rise

  Source: NHTSA

More Americans than ever are wearing their safety belts with usage rates climbing in 34 states this year, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.

In 2005, safety belt use ranged from 60.8 percent in Mississippi to 95.3 percent in Hawaii. Others breaking the 90 percent belt use barrier included Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Michigan, California, Puerto Rico and Maryland.

Mississippi registered the lowest safety belt use in the nation followed by Massachusetts, Kentucky, Arkansas, South Dakota and Kansas. New Hampshire and Wyoming were the only states not to report statistically reliable estimates of belt use rate for 2005.

"Safety belts are useless unless people make the effort to wear them," Mineta said.  "It's good to see more people taking their safety seriously, but we'll save the celebration for the day when everyone buckles up," he added.

Earlier this year, Secretary Mineta announced that the nationwide survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed belt use rates have hit the milestone of 82 percent -- the highest level in the nation’s history.  Secretary Mineta also announced earlier that fatalities had hit a historic low: 1.46 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

At a rate of 82 percent, NHTSA estimates that safety belts are preventing 15,700 fatalities, 350,000 serious injuries, and $67 billion in economic costs associated with traffic injuries and deaths every year.

In addition to the life-saving benefits of increased belt use, Congress created additional incentives for states. Under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) enacted August 10, an added $498 million will be available to states over the next four years. States must either adopt a primary law or achieve 85 percent belt use for two years in order to be eligible for the grants.

The state-by-state statistics were derived from data collected by the states’ own surveys, conducted in accord with criteria established by NHTSA.

Old Automobile Trivia

On December 1, 1924, Ford Motor Co. announced price reductions ranging from $5 to $25 effective
December 2, bringing the price down to the lowest level in the company’s history. The price of their Touring car was reduced to $290, and the Coupe to $520.


Are You An Aggressive Driver?


 Express frustration? Taking out your frustrations on your fellow motorists can lead to violence or a crash.
 Fail to pay attention when driving? Reading, eating, drinking or talking on the phone can be a major cause of roadway crashes.
 Tailgate? This is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious deaths or injuries.
 Make frequent lane changes? If you whip in and out of lanes to advance ahead, you can be a danger to other motorists.
 Run red lights? Do not enter an intersection on a yellow light. Remember flashing red lights should be treated as a stop sign.
 Speed? Going faster than the posted speed limit, being a "road racer" and going too fast for conditions are some examples of  speeding.


 Concentrate. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by talking on your cellular phone, eating, drinking or putting on makeup.
 Relax. Tune the radio to your favorite relaxing music. Music can calm your nerves and help you to enjoy your time in the car.
 Drive the posted speed limit. Fewer crashes occur when vehicles are traveling at or about the same speed.
 Identify alternate routes. Try mapping out an alternate route. Even if it looks longer on paper, you may find it is less congested.
 Use public transportation. Public transportation can give you some much needed relief from life behind the wheel.
 Just be late. If all else fails, just be late.


 Get out of the way. First and foremost make every attempt to get out of their way.
 Put your pride aside. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
 Avoid eye contact. Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
 Gestures. Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
 Report serious aggressive driving. You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.

TIME - Treasure Every Moment You Have

Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400, carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course. Well, everyone has such a bank.

Its name is TIME.

Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.

There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow. You must live in the present of today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success. The clock is running.

Make the most of today.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed his final exam.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage laborer who has ten kids to feed.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask the person who has missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask the person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLI-SECOND, ask the person who has won a gold medal at the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have. Time is a coin you can spend only once. Use it, invest it, make it count, and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special. Special enough to have your time and remember time waits for no one.

In Passing.

(Obituaries Courtesy The Standard Times)
Note: Due to recent requests, we will be adding family survivors to our customer’s obituaries as space allows.

Miriam V. "Bunny" (Kelley) Noonan, 85, of North Dartmouth, died Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, in St. Luke's Hospital following a long illness. She was the widow of Gerald Noonan. Born in Charlestown, Mass., she was the daughter of the late James Kelley Sr. and Catherine (O'Hara) Kelley. She was a resident of Dartmouth for the past 42 years. Mrs. Noonan was a graduate of Charlestown High School and a communicant of St. Julie Billiart Church. She was an assembler for US Ring Binder in New Bedford for several years until she retired. Mrs. Noonan enjoyed embroidering clothing for dolls. Survivors include three sons, Kenneth Noonan, Richard Noonan and Paul Noonan, all of North Dartmouth; two sisters, Margaret Kelley and Dorothy Gasbarro, both of Woburn; and several nieces and nephews. She was a sister of the late James Kelley Jr.

David A. Bancroft, 66, of Mattapoisett, died Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005, unexpectedly at Bay State Medical Center while participating in a bicycle event. He was the husband of Margaret M. (Walsh) Bancroft. Born in New Bedford, he was the son of the late Arthur D. and Theresa V. (Murray) Bancroft. He lived in Mattapoisett most of his life and was a communicant of St. Anthony's Church. Mr. Bancroft was the president of Bancroft Oil and Sea Gas. He was an avid bicyclist who participated in many events including the PanMass. Challenge. He enjoyed participating in the New Year's Day L Street Brownies Dip. Mr. Bancroft enjoyed sports and played semipro baseball for Bancroft Oil. Survivors include his widow; a son, David J. Bancroft of South Boston; a daughter, Robin L. Bancroft of Fairhaven; four brothers, Robert C. Bancroft and his wife, June, of Barnstable, J. Richard Bancroft and his wife, Eleanor, of Lakeville, John S. Bancroft and his wife, Carol, of Dartmouth and James G. Bancroft and his wife, Connie, of Somerset; three sistersinlaw, Claire Bancroft of Middletown, R.I., Jeanne Bancroft of Mattapoisett and Mary Ann Bancroft of Dartmouth; and many nieces and nephews. He was the father of the late Michael A. Bancroft, and brother of the late Arthur D. Bancroft Jr., William Bancroft and Paul F. Bancroft.

Sheila Ann (Collins) Isherwood, 68, of Dartmouth, died Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005, in St. Luke's Hospital after a brief illness. She was the widow of John H. Isherwood Jr. Born in New Bedford, she was the daughter of the late Stephen and Anna (Wynn) Collins. She grew up in New Bedford before moving to Dartmouth 46 years ago and was a communicant of St. Julie Billiart Church, Dartmouth. She graduated from New Bedford High School. She worked as a secretary for the Sociology and Anthropology Departments at UMass Dartmouth for 33 years and retired three years ago. Mrs. Isherwood enjoyed dancing. Survivors include a son, John H. Isherwood III and his companion, Donna Luiz, of North Dartmouth; two daughters, Nancy Murphy and her husband, Tom, of South Dartmouth and Susan Isherwood of North Dartmouth; and two grandchildren.

Richard "Turk" Gonsalves, 78, of New Bedford, died Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005, at St. Luke's Hospital following a brief illness. He was the husband of Fernanda "Fern" (Souza) Gonsalves. A lifelong resident of New Bedford, he was the son of the late Simon P. and Mary (Costa) Gonsalves. He was a communicant of St. John the Baptist Church. An Army Air Corps veteran, he attained the rank of Private First Class and received the World War II Victory Medal and the Marksmanship Badge with the Carbine. For over 10 years, he was a junior engineer aide for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Highway Department. He worked for the state's racing commission at various racetracks for many years. Mr. Gonsalves served on the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority from 1963 to 1968, appointed by Governor Endicott Peabody. Survivors include his companion, Frances (Marlowe) deSousa of New Bedford; a son, David Gonsalves of South Dartmouth; two daughters, City Councilor Jane Gonsalves of New Bedford and Anne Cathcart of Taunton; a brother, Simon P. Gonsalves of Acushnet; three sisters

We appreciate your business.
Please drive carefully.
Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales, Inc.
1476 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: (508) 999-3213

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