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How Should a Mobile Car Wash Price Car Lot Washing Contracts – Price Per Car Strategies

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Okay so, you run a mobile car washing business and you want to increase your revenue generation by adding some car dealership lot washing contracts. That makes sense because the car dealerships have lots of cars, and they must be cleaned to sell; no one wants to buy a dirty car right? Sure, so your next question is what price point can you charge and still make money. Not long ago, I was asked about this by an already successful car washing entrepreneur;

“I noticed on one of your posts [articles] you suggested $.85 for twice a week. Wow, can it be done for that without have the contract for detailing as well?”

He was referring of course to the synergy gained by detailing for auto dealerships and also maintaining the washing contracts as a bundled service, which is the favored strategy for mobile auto detailers and mobile car washing companies. But what if you only had the lot washing contract and not the detailing contract; does it still make any sense?

Well, yes, in fact, we had many accounts which were only wash accounts at between.65 and $.85 per car, where we did not have the detailing contract yet, for the auto dealership. For instance at the Sacramento Auto Mall, all the car lots are set on the street that looks like a giant circle, and we would have the crews going different directions on that street, and we would never quit. By the time we got done with one side of the street, it was time to start over, they just watched every day all day long.

Some of the other dealerships wanted us to be off of the lot by 10 AM so they could sell cars, which makes it tough in the winter because of the ice formation when you put water on the cars in many areas.

The detailing contracts for auto dealerships are very good when the economy is good, but you must understand that auto dealerships are very slow to pay and you don’t want to become a bank where you are doing services for them and they are paying you for three months. That just costs you a lot of cash flow and all that labor until you get your money.

Remember in a service business “cash flow” is king, everything else is just talk. You’re better off to go find something else to wash rather than letting some company string you out on payments and receivables. And remember that God made dirt on the first day, and that gets all over everything so you should be able to find something to wash other than just car lots.

It appears the mobile car washing entrepreneur agrees and is thinking here too. We used to consider car lots as busy work, keeping our crews busy and thus making money, but it was hardly our best profit center. Please consider all this.

What’s the Difference Between Passive and Active Wheel Speed Sensors?

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There are two types of wheel speed sensors currently in use: magnetic inductive, more commonly known as passive sensors and magneto resistive, or active wheel speed sensors. Both of sensors do a similar job, but they function in completely different ways. Both function effectively in their own ways, but the more modern active wheel sensor is generally regarded as the more reliable.

Passive sensors have been around since the early days of the anti-lock brake system (ABS). These sensors function on the generator principle. The speed sensors work with the toothed tone wheels to monitor and provide the anti-lock brake module (ABM) with wheel speed information. The actuator is a toothed tone wheel that rotates with the individual wheel. Each tooth on the tone wheel acts as an actuator for the wheel speed sensor. As the tone wheel rotates, the teeth go in and out of the proximity of the sensor. The result is an alternating current (AC) voltage that is generated in the sensor coil by magnetic lines of force fluctuating as the tone passes by the magnetic sensor.

The output of the wheel speed sensor can vary from vehicle to vehicle due to: winding type, air gap, magnetic strength of sensor, metal properties of the tone wheel and wheel speed. Unfortunately these types of passive systems have been prone to false cycling, which is the term used to describe an ABS cycle even though the road conditions do not dictate the need for this cycle. This condition is very prone to happen at slower speeds. This tends to happen because of wheel damage or rust build-up on the tone wheel. An incorrect sensor air gap will cause this condition, as well as debris on the wheel speed sensor tip.

Active wheel sensors have been in use since 1999. This style of speed sensor helps to increase performance, durability and low speed accuracy. Active sensors do not appear to have the same false cycle problem of passive sensors do. Most vehicles with active sensors still use a toothed tone wheel which acts as the trigger mechanism for the sensor. Some vehicles use a magnetic encoder in place of a traditional tone wheel. The encoders have north/south pole magnets imbedded into the ring. The ring is then pressed on the axle shaft just like a tone wheel. In either case the result is a digital square wave signal.

On this system, the ABM sends battery voltage to the speed sensor to power it up. The sensor, in turn, supplies the ABM a constant 7 milliamp (mA) signal on a signal return circuit. Depending on the tone ring or magnetic encoder position, this 7 mA signal is turned on or off. The output of the sensor sent to the ABM is a Direct Current (DC) voltage signal with changing voltage and current levels. The ABM monitors the changing digital signal from each wheel speed sensor and is interpreted as wheel speed.

The Need for Hybrid Cars

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Since the very conception of the automobile, engineers and designers have been searching for was to make them more efficient and save on fuel consumption. Petrol fuels the majority of vehicles and diesel fuel is used in heavier automotive equipment. The internal combustion engine is considered to be a major if not the biggest source of environmental pollution and the cost of fuel is increasing every day.

With a constant rise in fuel costs and the environmental concerns regarding automobiles, vehicle engineers have had to develop more economical and environmentally safer alternatives to the internal combustion engine that powers most cars. This has led to the birth of the hybrid automobile. These hybrid automobiles offer a number of benefits. The hybrid automobile is a car that is powered by both an electric motor and a gasoline engine. Compared to non hybrid vehicles, the hybrid car saves on the cost of fuel by being more fuel efficient and has a lower rate of fuel consumption.

Hybrid cars operate on a dual mode where the electric motor, powered by batteries, takes over once the gasoline engine has gotten the vehicle up to speed. Braking and deceleration generates energy that is used to charge the electric motor’s batteries. This system allows the hybrid car to provide better fuel efficiency. This also means that the engine of a hybrid vehicle is shut the moment the car is stopped. Considered the biggest advantage to the hybrid car is the reduction of environmental pollution due to fewer emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases in to our atmosphere. Automobile manufactures such as Honda, Toyota, and Ford have already introduced hybrid car models to the commercial market and several others are in development.

Currently there are two types of hybrid vehicles on the market. The first is the “Series” hybrid. A battery powered electric motor powers the Series hybrid car. It also has a gasoline powered engine but it does not singularly power the vehicle. The gasoline engine powers a generator which is used in turn to charge the batteries of the electric motor. The electric motor is left on during the vehicles entire operation however the gasoline engine can be switched on or off depending on the needs of the vehicle. This type of hybrid automobile provides better mileage in city traffic.

The second type of hybrid vehicle on the market is called the “Parallel” hybrid. The Parallel hybrid car, like the Series type, has a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The electric motor and the electric motor can both be used to turn the transmission and power the vehicle. The major difference between the two types of hybrid cars is that the Parallel hybrid uses its electric motor to boost the vehicles power when required to increase the car’s speed. The Parallel hybrid car is considered better suited for the open highway.

Hybrid automobiles provide several benefits due to some very unique features. The construction of the hybrid vehicle uses more lightweight materials than traditional automobile. This saves energy by using less to propel the hybrid car. Hybrid cars also increase energy efficiency because of their more aerodynamic shapes. Tires used by hybrid vehicles run on a higher pressure and are made of a more rigid material than general car tires. The higher pressure helps to increase the vehicles gas mileage per gallon of gasoline used. The overall efficiency of the vehicle is increased by these tires because they reduce friction on road surfaces and provided a grip. The braking system provided an energy transfer from the electric motor to the vehicles batteries when ever the brakes are applied. The overall gas mileage of a hybrid varies from model to model. The EPA test numbers report that the Lexus RX400h receives 31 MPG in the city and 27 MPG the highway while the Honda Insight receives 61 MPG in the city and 68 MPG on the highway.

In conclusion, the future of automobiles is currently the hybrid car and purchasing a hybrid vehicle will not only save you money but will also allow you to take responsibility and do you part in creating a safer, cleaner and greener environment.

How Sex and Pornography Affects Your Academic Performance

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It was the year 2008, and I was having a splendid time in Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri Imo State, Nigeria. I was one of the best in the Department of Public Administration with a first semester GPA of 3.52 and second semester GPA of 3.50 all in a scale of 4.00. The secret was simple, attend lectures regularly, take good rest and read every day. It was clear that with more effort, I will graduate with distinction, which might lead to automatic employment to be a lecturer in the Polytechnic.

In my first semester final year, I met a student called Jane. Before then my relationship with female students was platonic. My close pals were my reading partners. I and Jane’s relationship gradually turned to a sexual type. Instead of going home to rest after the day’s lectures, I went straight to Jane’s hostel. I will return home late, too weak to read.

My night reading also suffered, because I was busy making midnight calls and sleeping away the remaining time. I spent most of my time discussing with and visiting Jane. It became so bad that I couldn’t concentrate in class. I kept recalling our entire sexual escapade while lectures went on. Instead of reading for a proposed two hours, I will spend an hour thirty minutes remembering all we did and a mere thirty minutes for skeletal reading. Concentration, reading, retention and recollection became a big problem.

I met my Waterloo when Jane told she was pregnant. Immediately, my focus changed from my academics to how to deal with the child. We did all we could to get rid of the baby, from drinking of hot drinks to different concoctions, all to no avail. She kept crying around me, forcing me to get money for an abortion.

I became confused and lost total control of my academics. I couldn’t sleep at night because different thoughts enveloped my mind. Am I going to be a murderer? What if she died in the process of abortion? These and many more questions occupied my head. At a point, I started having nightmares. I kept seeing dead bodies. Then, graduating with Distinction was the least in my scale of preference.

Nevertheless, we consulted an abortionist and used my school fees to pay for his service. Painfully, I had peace. Few weeks after, I wrote my first semester HND1 examinations. The result was published a month later, and it became clear that it was impossible to graduate with distinction. My GPA was 3.27. I needed at least 3.71 to get to the top level. Everybody was disappointed including my reading partners.

I came back for my second semester determined to be the best regardless of my last semester’s result. I forgot my past and never recalled my sexual relationship with Jane. One evening Jane invited me to come to her house for sex; I refused to go. She kept alluring me, but I stood my ground. I have decided never to have sex with anyone. She became angry and stopped talking to me, yet I focused on my academics. Jane begged and cried for my return, but I kept fleeing. She started making all sorts of negative comments about me, in spite of that I remained steadfast. I read two times daily, one, immediately after the day’s lectures and another in the early hours of the morning.

After our second semester examination, I nervously went back to my home in Port Harcourt. Few weeks later, my friend Chukwudike gave me a call. He said, “George, our results are out; you are a record breaker. Your GPA is 3.75, The Head of Department and most of the lecturers want to know who Anyaehie George is.” I later graduated as the second-best in the department (distinction level).

Lesson

According to information drawn from a Canadian community health survey 43% of teens aged 15 to 19 reported that they had had sex at least once. A survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire indicated that 42% of internet users aged between 10 and 17 years said they had watched online pornography in the preceding year.

Pre-marital and pornography has become a serious problem today because sex and porn materials can be accessed easily. Sex hawkers are everywhere around the neighbourhood; we even have mobile or Internet sex. Pornographic materials are just a click away. Actors in pornographic films are now recognised as celebrities, they are called “porn stars.”

Pre-marital sex and pornography are one of the cardinal causes of academic failures. How? A vital neurotransmitter in the brain is dopamine. It has many important roles; it serves in functions such as voluntary movement, pleasure experience, motivation, reward, punishment, and learning. Sex and pornography target the dopaminergic system to release great amounts of dopamine, which results in experiencing a “high,” often leading to addiction. When released, dopamine strengthens and reinforces the new connections that are being made in the brain while an activity is undertaken. This in turn acts to encourage the individual to repeat the activity again so they can feel that pleasure once more. And when the person refuses to repeat the activity, it breeds depression, dissatisfaction and anger.

As the sexual or nude images are displayed physically or on the screen, an arousal takes place and the dopaminergic system is triggered just like it would be by drugs such as cocaine. The newly formed connections in the brain from having sex or watching pornographic images become greatly reinforced by the massive amounts of dopamine being released. Rather than going into short-term memory, where these images can be forgotten after the screen is turned off, the dopamine reinforcement ensures they’re moved into the long-term memory stores where they can be stuck in replay mode in the person’s mind. The troublesome fact about this is that the more something is recalled, the further it solidifies it in the brain. That is why you cannot easily forget sexual escapades. You can narrate how the adventure started, how it progressed and how it ended.

What’s alarming about this information is that the brain acts as a whole entity; its plasticity is global. Change in one area affects other regions. Sex and Pornography viewings can literally rewire the overall neural connections. When the brain is rewired to focus on sex or pornography, reading, understanding and recalling becomes difficult because the long-time memory has been occupied with sexual or pornographic images or scenes.

There is nothing as dangerous as “let me try it just once,” because dopamine will make you an addict. Addiction starts from one encounter or scene. It progresses from soft pornography of reading text describing sexual feelings and mild graphic images to hard pornography of graphic images of people engaging in sex and graduates to real sex. With time, the images are imprinted on the mind of whoever is consuming them, leading to addiction to sex and pornography.

Research has shown that students who have sex perform lower than those that don’t. Focus on an area leads to the loss of focus in another area. You cannot compare a married student with unmarried one; the unmarried one will be more focused. That is why some schools don’t admit married students. It is also important to state that many of the world’s greatest inventors refused to have sex or get married. Notable among them are the Wright Brothers, George Washington Carver, Nikola Tesla, Paul of Tarsus.

Car Paint Scratches – Seven Things You May Be Doing to Cause Damage to Your Car Paint Finish

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What you need to know about how to avoid the most common type of car scratch (swirl and spider). This article covers what to avoid and the single easiest way protect your car paint from the most common type of scratches that degrade the overall look of your paint finish. If you decide to remove micro swirl scratches yourself look for a car scratch remover designed to give professional results at home with a guarantee and good product support.

You may have noticed numerous ultra fine scratches known as a swirl or spider that is most noticeable on the hood, trunk and roof of cars. They usually stand out on a sunny day when you look straight down at them. If you really want a shock pull your car in a garage under direct overhead fluorescent lighting and brace yourself for car paint scratches galore. The majority of swirls or spider scratches can be traced to a poorly maintained car finish that is not regularly waxed or sealed. The 7 innocent things you may be subjecting your car to that can cause a micro swirl car scratch.

– Automatic drive through car washes are hard on paint.

– Automatic car wash workers with poor hand drying technique and substandard towels.

– Abrasive or dirty at home or self serve “brush wands” the type that connects to a hose.

– Using dish washing soap when washing your car at home.

– Wiping or rubbing dust or grit off a dry paint with a dry towel, rag or paper towel.

– Not using a chamois or premium micro fiber towel to dry a car paint finish after washing.

– Improper at home hand car washing technique – a subject all by itself.

NOTE: Anything from under the kitchen sink should never be used on your car because household cleaning products are designed to remove grease etc and are not properly pH balanced for automobile paint therefore over time they have dire effects on not only the paint but rubber and plastic as well. A high quality car washing shampoo is designed to gently lift dirt from car paint and leave behind luster enhancers that help protect the paint.

Pro trick to reduce the incidence of micro swirls after hand washing a car. Dry hoods and trunks front to back in one motion, not circles. Only use a chamois or micro fiber towels to dry car paint. Wipe the side of your car, side to side in a horizontal motion, not circles. The reason for this is any micro scratches you may induce will not reflect light as much as circular micro scratches will. Additionally, a professional quality car scratch remover designed for home use can remove fine micro spider scratches with great results.

The single most important thing you can do to protect your car from micro spider swirls is to use a quality sealant or wax at a minimum of twice a year . Preferably a quality car sealant which bonds to the paint which will last longer and stands up to the environment much better than ordinary car wax. Properly sealed paint will resist all sorts of scratches because the paint is protected with a slippery barrier.

A neglected paint finish allows dust, grit and substandard washing accessories to dig into the paint thus causing micro swirl automobile scratches. To prove my point about a properly protected car finish and scratches I took a plastic fork and ran it hard across the hood of my black BMW with barely any visible damage. Next I did the same to my friend’s car hood … he NEVER waxes or uses a sealant on his car… and it left a HUGE scratch… which I of course then had to remove since he went through the roof.

The point is, using a high quality auto paint sealant makes your car so slippery that you can’t even make a plastic fork bite in to cause car paint scratches. Simply using a high quality sealant on your car finish at least twice a year goes a long way to protecting your vehicle paint from typical micro swirl car scratches.

Sergey Petrov – Russian Billionaire, Automotive Oligarch and Prisoner of the KGB

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I recently had the opportunity to interview Sergey Petrov, Deputy of the State Duma, and member of the “Spravedlivaya Rossiya” (A Just Russia) political party, member of the Russian Budget and Taxes State Duma Committee and the founder of the ROLF Group, the first diversified automotive business in Russia.

Sergey Petrov is an exception to the rule: a Russian billionaire who built his business from nothing as opposed to benefiting from the privatisations in the early 1990’s. An independent straight talker, with a remarkable personal history; he reflects the changes and turbulent times of post and pre Soviet – Russia.

He is a pragmatic and passionate about his country and a vociferous critic of the status quo in Russian politics; and of Russia’s leaders.

Graduating from school in 1971 he entered the Higher Military Aviation School in Orenburg, southern Russia. In 1975 he was commissioned and qualified as a pilot in the elite Soviet Strategic Air Force. Flying Tupolev Tu-16 BADGER aircraft, a twin- engine, strategic nuclear bomber, he often challenged NATO skies.

“I remember these days, flying the big planes and making the (NATO) fighters accompany us” recalled Sergey.

Retraining on fighter aircraft he became an Instructor, won the Soviet TOP GUN at Fighter School, Orenburg and looked set for a meteoric military career as he made Major at 26, a decade earlier than most of his peers. And, like a meteor, his career in the military crashed.

He recalled “It was in 1982 when I finished my military career as I fought against the KGB and the Communist Party.”

Whilst it became possible to challenge authority in the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s the earlier era of Brezhnev and Andropov (1964 to 1985) were a different case entirely. Soviet justice was swift and severe. Andropov, the former KGB leader who led the Soviet Union between 1982 and 1985, was a hard liner whom played a key role in crushing the Hungarian Revolution in 1956; the ring leaders were arrested and executed.

In 1982, if you were not part of the ‘system’, it was an intimidating environment.

“The KGB had been watching us and decided to bring us into custody. Not only me, but 12 colleagues as well, living in different cities as we had now scattered across the Soviet Union”.

Sergey Petrov had started his protest against the ruling Communist Party at the age of 21 and had tried to influence his colleagues and students highlighting the injustice of the system.

“I had many targets and goals. I had to teach the students to fly the aircraft, to hit the targets and to indoctrinate them with Soviet propaganda. No one asked me to fight against the Soviet system. It was not in my job description. It was why they decided to kick me out.”

By 1982 his war of ‘propaganda’ had been noticed and he was dismissed from the Soviet Army and expelled from The Communist Party of the Soviet Union for anti-Soviet propaganda and participation in secret democratic organizations.

Unable to find work in Orenburg, Petrov along with his wife and baby, made their way to Moscow. Petrov’s anti- Soviet activities precluded him from working for any elite organisations like the military, security or diplomatic corps.

Between 1982 and 1989 he worked for the Mosinzhstroy, the Moscow construction company and studied at the Soviet Trade Institute. He graduated in 1987.

“When the market economy became a reality I decided to stop working for nothing and to open my own company. But first, as I had nothing I decided to acquire experience. I got a job in a joint venture with Rosek for a small period of time, maybe a year and a half and gained experience”.

In 1991, as the Soviet Union fell apart, Petrov joined thousands of Russians at the barricades around Bely Dom, the Russian White House, resisting the attempted coup d’├ętat by Soviet hardliners loyal to the crumbling regime.

“On the day of the Coup I spent the night in the crowd outside the White House. It was my dream. I was dedicated to the democratic process, democratic rules and future”.

The coup attempt failed and led to the annulment of the 1922 union treaty that established the Soviet Union, led to the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the beginning of radical Russian economic reforms. The new reality for its citizens was a fight for survival in the new Russia.

“We were in an awful environment in the 1990’s but we had hope. Every year it was getting better and better.”

Sergey Petrov’s first foray into his own business was with a car rental business.

“I decided to set up my own company “Rolf”. The Company was registered on the 5th August 1991 but we had already been working in that year. A successful business, especially if you consider the unfriendly environment we had in Russia. In the beginning we worked for foreign companies. When we expanded into the home market, we immediately lost a lot of cars. People rented the cars and went to Kavkaz (to export them).”

He laughed as he recalled the situation.

“No one could find the cars. The people renting them had a good business!”

The business, sold off by MBO, still flourishes today.

Sergey moved into the automotive retail sector.

“Mitsubishi created a tender for its first car dealership in Russia. We participated and we won. We started the business and we were very successful. We had a very ‘soft’ approach with Mitsubishi, asking them to teach us. We were not arrogant, unlike the other participants in the tender process, who tried to teach the Japanese how to sell cars.

I remember the Japanese, in charge of the tender, losing his cool with the other participants. Leaning forward, he banged his hand on the table.

“Thank you very much! We shall not work with you”.

It was a very successful day for us”.

In 1992 ROLF started sales of Mitsubishi new cars, managing to sell 192 that year.

In 1994 the company opened the first purpose built Mitsubishi show room in Moscow.

When asked about his choice of industry and his thoughts that the automotive sector in the 1990’s being heavily criminalised with gangsters and oligarchs a like carving out chunks of cash and areas to control he says “The industry was like a toy for an oligarch. We had absolutely different aspirations. They only had the target of earning money and gaining political power. We were focused on how to build a nice Company, a great Company. We had the dream to build our company to be like the best companies in the world.

Sergey Petrov built his business around core values of openness, honesty and transparency which will have presented more than a few challenges in an environment renowned for its opaqueness. His goal was to recruit people who believed in his vision.

By 1999 ROLF was the largest foreign car importer in Russia, with revenues of $100 million, a not insignificant figure for a start up business only 9 years old.

In 2000 Sergey Petrov enlisted Matt Donnelley, the charismatic business leader,promoted him Chief Executive in 2004 and took the post of “Honorary President” himself. Thus began the second Epoch, the ‘Donnelley years’. The success of the new management team from 2000 was reflected in the position Rolf continued to enjoy its dominant position as the premier importer and distributor of foreign cars in Russia.

“You recruit people who bring efficiency in the long run, if they share your core values then they can run the business without making any big mistakes and you don’t have to keep telling them what to do”.

In 2001 Rolf opened its first non Mitsubishi Dealerships as the company started sales of Audi and Ford cars. In 2006 as ‘Best Brand in Russia’ it sold approximately 124,000 cars with 155,000 cars the following year. The ROLF machine, by now the 5th largest in Europe by new car sales, seemed unstoppable. In 2007 the Avtomir organisation, ROLF’s closest Russian rival, managed to achieve less than half of ROLF’s sales. In September 2008, Rolf Import had landed 15,000 Mitsubishi cars for the Russian market through Kotka and St Petersburg.

Halcyon days, indeed.

However, changes were in the offing and the entrepreneurial flair went from the business as both Sergey Petrov and Matt Donnelley exited the business. Sergey was nominated to the Duma in December 2007. Matt Donnelley had overseen Rolf’s stratospheric growth and had been instrumental in taking Rolf from a $100 million turnover to over $ 5 billion in 7 years.

Sergey recalled “I had completely left the business at that point. I was elected to parliament and tried to change the whole environment. I tried to help. It did not make sense to make another billion if the powers that be can take away the first one. I decided to spend my time and energy to improve Russia’s business environment.

In 10-years we built a good company but discovered it is impossible to build the world’s greatest company in this country. It is not a business friendly state… all the officials are dedicated to history. We, the people, need to fall down a few times and learn lessons that we should be more concerned about ourselves, our family and friends and co-fellows… than being a super power. It needs to be overcome and will take two generations”.

The end of the second Epoch ushered in a new ROLF.

Sergey Petrov recalled Nick Hawkins, the new ROLF CEO 2007 to 2010, asking when ROLF was strongest. Sergey’s response “between 2004 and 2007.”

This period saw ROLF revenues double in size year on year, a colossal achievement with remarkable profits, and the envy of similar groups worldwide.

“The best years for Rolf were after I handed over to Matt Donnelley as Chief Executive. Matt compensated for my imperfections. He contributed his professionalism, made sure the company remained focused on our core values and gave us our greatest mutual success”

A privately owned company, with one single-minded shareholder and a very strong CEO, reflects both the character and personalities of those business owners. The abrupt removal of these characters from ROLF and the knock-on changes in leadership led to an emergence of a different company with a changed ethos; and an end to the runaway success of previous years.

“The Company started to deteriorate after 2007. Even before the crisis, the Company was not so strong.”

The 3rd Epoch saw a changed and expanded management team, hungry to benefit from big bonuses and the success of Russia’s accomplished automotive group. Ultimately the evolution was ephemeral, expensive and doomed as it ran head long off the cliff in 2008.

Welcome to the global financial crisis.

In Petrov’s words “ROLF became more and more bureaucratic and more and more inefficient… and not flexible enough to face the future”.

One can sympathise with him as he underwrote the largesse with over $300 million losses. The ROLF pendulum swung far, in a relatively short space of time and the cash burn was prodigious.

The management team went into crisis mode: free hold sales and lease backs, the cancellation of all new projects and scale backs on others, a fire sale of stock (new vehicles were sold for less than the wholesale prices leading to one European manufacturer recalling an entire model range from the Russian market).

A desperate grab for business began across all the business sectors. Belatedly, business unit managers recognised the scale and severity of the crisis. The actions were too little and too late as other, more agile businesses, took available contracts and more direct measures of cost reduction.

Sergey Petrov returned in 2010, leading to a mass exodus of top management, and heralding ROLF’s rapid resurgence. The business had survived the greatest financial crisis since the 1930’s; but at a cost, as Petrov sold 40% of his company to the Mitsubishi Corporation.

ROLF is a different company now to the one that entered the global crisis in 2008. The management team has changed and again, led by its founder. The ethos is now on efficiency and rebuilding profit whilst focusing on the car retail sector. None core businesses may spun-off. The market is changing as IPO’s will see a swathe of mega-groups retailing cars in the Russian market.

Sergey Petrov, “receiving purchase offers every other day” has no intention of following suit and intends to remain the owner of a “family business” albeit a large one. Rolf has been, since its inception, one of leading companies in the Russian automobile market. Now it is the official dealer of 13 brands, with 30 Moscow and Saint Petersburg dealership centers and remains one of the largest automotive concerns in Russia.

“We will be chasing efficiency as government will put more burdens on business.30% social taxes are high so we have to become the most efficient”

What was the pivot moment?

“It was not my decision that changed my life but the KGB’s; when they arrested and kicked me out of the Air Force. I couldn’t find a job in the city where I lived so I had to leave Orenburg and go to Moscow with my wife and 1-year old son. I think that changed my life, drastically.

I could not do anything except fly my fighter jet and I thought that this was a big problem. But, I was young and it allowed me a restart. I lost 7-years but I retrained and I graduated from Moscow University. All the diplomatic and military careers were closed to me. The KGB watched me and accompanied me everywhere’.

What are you most proud of?

“I think it is the people around me. Like Tatiana (Lukovetskaya) and others. We brought up a lot of people who are working now in different companies but they absorbed some of our core values. The most profitable business is the most honest business.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

“A politician working for a better Russia and leader in my business “

Aston Martin or a Ferrari?

“Aston Martin”

A History of Car Locks – Creating a Need For a Good Car Locksmith

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Have you ever stopped to think about your vehicle’s locks? Most people haven’t unless they find they have locked the keys inside. There’s quite a history to today’s vehicle locking mechanisms and you may be surprised to know just how these locks came to be an integral part of a car’s safety features.

The First Vehicle Door Locks

It was until the 1920’s that locks were installed quite regularly in vehicles. Most vehicles prior to that were only owned by the rather well-to-do. These vehicles were maintained by the employees of the vehicle owner and seldom were a vehicle left alone without anyone looking after it. However, as production number increased, it became more apparent that vehicle locks were going to be a necessity.

Improving the Original Locks

In 1935, General Motors introduced its six cut sidebar lock. By 1959, Chrysler was using the same type of lock on the trunks. However, in 1966, pin tumbler locks replaced both the trunk and door locks. These locks proved to last longer and the vehicle owners had fewer problems with the internal mechanism of the locks.

The Newer Car Locks and Today’s Car Locksmith

There used to only be a need for a car locksmith to open a vehicle with a simple pin tumbler lock. However, the advancements in automobile locks have made the locksmith industry grow and change, as well. Now there are keyless entry systems, touch pad systems, and even bio-tech recognition systems. As these types of entry systems have become standard on many vehicles, locksmithing has had to take on a whole new meaning.

Many of today’s locks are very complicated and require a lot training to open and repair. Just a few years ago, a locksmith needed a ring of master keys, a couple of special tools, and maybe a wedge to make the task easier. However, today’s locksmiths must be highly trained and even specialise in certain types of locks.

How to Find the Right Car Locksmith for Your Vehicle

You certainly don’t want just any locksmith working on your vehicle. You want one that has experience with your type of vehicle. Not all locks are the same and some will require special tools that only a few locksmiths will have. When you begin calling around, make sure you ask if they are qualified to work on your vehicle. This is especially new with the newest model of vehicles.

Don’t settle for just anyone, or you could end up with damage that is very expensive to replace. Sometimes a car locksmith will have you sign a waiver stating that they are not responsible for any damage. This could be a sign that the company has had problems in the past. Avoid signing this waiver and you may want to contact a different company.

In Closing

Choosing a qualified car locksmith is important if you want to avoid costly repairs. Use only licensed and insured companies and get a quote for the unlock before you allow the work to begin.

Quiet Discoveries Lead to Fast Sinus Relief

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It’s amazing what you can find when you start your search a little outside the bulls eye. While clicking through Magnetic Resonance Imaging research online, my colleagues and I found some intriguing scientific studies completely by accident!

What did we find? Well, let’s just say if you’ve got a stuffy nose you should try magnets before sniffling through that bottle of nasal spray!

Did you know that every year, more than 35 million Americans suffer from sinusitis? It’s one of the leading chronic diseases in the United States [1]. And it’s no wonder, as bacteria, viruses, cigarette smoke, and allergens like pollen, mold, dust mite feces and pet dander are all common causes of this condition [2]. Unless you live in a bubble, there’s really no escaping these tiny antagonists.

The sinuses are actually four pairs of hollow spaces in the bones of the face. Connected to the nose, air is allowed to flow in and out of these spaces. To help warm and filter the air, each sinus is lined with a mucous-producing membrane, called the mucosa [3].

Acute sinusitis occurs when the mucosa is irritated and inflamed. The small openings from the nose to the sinus cavities become congested (or even completely blocked), causing the facial pain and pressure most of us have experienced at some point in time. Mucus production is often increased as well, adding to the pressure, and causing that annoying runny nose symptom [3].

Many people turn to preventive methods like HEPA air filters, or frequent cleaning of carpets and bed sheets to reduce household allergens [4]. Decongestants, saline nasal sprays, and vaporizers are commonly used to treat the symptoms–but as you and I know, they take time to work.

This is where those studies come in. There’s an interesting, but little known fact about the sinuses: they are magnetically sensitive.

Based on our own research and experiences with clients and health practitioners over the years, we’ve observed that sinus congestion is dramatically improved or completely relieved with the application of magnetic therapy. In fact, taking about 20-30 minutes on average, it’s one of the conditions that biomagnetics alleviates quickest.

Until recently, though, we didn’t have much research to back these findings (other than our own records). But, while sifting through online abstracts from MRI research, I happened to stumble upon this:

Dating back to 1983, a study was conducted to assess the influence of magnetic fields on the physiology and behavior of biological organisms, and to search for possible magnetic sources within the organisms themselves.

It was found that a wide range of life forms could detect and orient to magnetic fields. (Like having a built-in compass.) Results showed magnetic orientation by bacteria was due to the presence of particles of magnetite (ferric/ferrous oxide) within the organisms.

The same magnetic material was also found in bees, homing pigeons, dolphins and other organisms–including humans. More specifically, the researchers found that “the bones of the sphenoid/ethmoid sinus complex of humans are magnetic and contain deposits of ferric iron”. (The sphenoid/ethmoid sinuses are located between the eyes and progress inward towards the back of the head [3].)

Refining our search, we were able to uncover other MRI studies confirming this finding. Here’s a brief timeline of what was found:

1986 – “Magnetic Resonance Imaging [using a 1.5 Tesla (15,000 Gauss) magnet and a spin echo technique] has revealed a remarkably intense signal from abnormal tissue in the human paranasal sinuses. Inflammatory disease in the maxillary, sphenoid, ethmoid, and frontal sinuses has been detected and demonstrated with greater clarity than any other available technique.”

1990 – A study conducted at the UCLA School of Medicine tested conditions affected by MRI field strength. Results illustrated that “magnetic susceptibility artifacts are prevalent on the boundary of air-containing paranasal sinuses”.

1995 – Research at Uppsala University in Sweden discovered that “large, local magnetic field variations up to 3 parts per million were found in the human brain near interfaces between air or bone and brain tissues”.

2002 – An Ohio State University study compared differences in magnetic field susceptibility at tissue interfaces in the human head. “Considerable magnetic field inhomogeneities were observed in the inferior frontal lobes and inferior temporal lobes, particularly near the sphenoid sinus and the temporal bones.”

These four independent studies all relate to the notion that human sinuses are magnetically sensitive. When compared to other regions of the head, more intense magnetic field readings are seen, and conditions of inflammation are more easily observed.

So how does this lead to sinusitis relief?

Magnetic therapy is proven to be effective in reducing inflammation, a primary symptom of sinusitis. By reducing inflammation of the mucosa, mucous blockages can be drained and the sinus cavities reopened. This, allows you to breathe freely again, while eliminating the facial pain caused by pressure build-up.

When applied properly, magnetic therapy products can relieve sinus congestion in as little as 15 minutes. That’s faster than any decongestant or vaporizer, lasts longer than most nasal sprays, and is completely free of any side effects (like dryness or burning). Not to mention, you won’t need to worry about buying refills or possible addiction to certain nasal decongestants.

What Therion products work best to help relieve sinusitis?

The Eye & Sinus Mask is designed specifically for relief of your sinus congestion. Inside it has 28 neodymium magnets covering areas around your eyes, forehead and upper cheeks. (The magnetic field has an effective penetration depth up to 2.5 inches.) You can expect sinus and headache relief within 15-25 minutes of wearing it.

For even faster relief plus more restful sleep, Therion ‘s magnetic dual contour pillow is the perfect choice. The visco elastic (memory) foam is soft and comfortable, but also supportive. You’ll actually feel it adjusting and conforming to the shape of your head and neck. It’s ideal to use as a regular sleeping pillow, as the magnetic field reaches the pineal gland. This is a magnetically sensitive area in the brain that functions to induce sleep by secreting melatonin. (See the article “Having Trouble Sleeping” found in the Learning Center at http://www.therionresearch.com.

So before you open that box of ‘non-drowsy’ decongestants or reach for the nasal spray on your nightstand, give magnetic therapy a try. If it’s fast acting with no side effects, and never needs a refill, what do you have to lose?

See you soon at http://www.therionresearch.com

SOURCES:

1 – Sinus News: Sinus Pressure

2 – Sinus News: Sinus Facts Overview

3 – The Sinus Treatment Center

4 – The Allergy Relief Center

1983 — PubMed: Magnetic bones in human sinuses.

1986 — PubMed: High-field magnetic resonance imaging of paranasal sinus inflammatory disease.

1990 — PubMed: Effect of field strength on susceptibility artifacts in magnetic resonance imaging.

1995 — PubMed: Measurements of magnetic field variations in the human brain using a 3D-FT multiple gradient echo technique.

2002 — PubMed: Three-dimensional numerical simulations of susceptibility-induced magnetic field inhomogeneities in the human head.

The Importance of Technical Knowledge in Modern Auto Sales Training

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Technical knowledge is becoming increasingly more important in modern auto sales training. In the past it was sufficient for salesmen and women to be able to explain to customers how their cars should be serviced and answer general everyday questions such as what the carburetor does.

In fact, even these questions were few and far between because cars driven by gas (petroleum) powered internal combustion engine had not changed much since Karl Benz’s invention in 1885. Yes, various aspects of car design had changed significantly but not the way they were powered. Today we have alternatives.

Staff selling automobiles today must be trained in the differences between the various fuel types: gas, diesel, electric, LPG and whatever else is developed. The days are gone when new developments in automobiles and other vehicles take years to come into production, let alone become available to regular customers.

Potential Questions on Modern Automobile Technology

Here are some of the technical aspects of automobiles about which your sales staff are liable to be asked, and for which they will be expected to have expert knowledge.

  • What’s the difference between diesel and gas?
  • Is diesel cheaper than gas and are diesel cars harder to maintain that regular cars?
  • What’s a hybrid?
  • How do hybrid running costs compare to diesel and gas?
  • How do I change from gas to electric in a hybrid?
  • Where is the nearest electric car charging point to me?
  • Will an electric car get me to my work every day for less cost than another fuel?
  • What’s a hydrogen cell?
  • Are hybrids/electric/hydrogen cell cars easy to maintain – can I fix faults myself?

If you sell vehicles that use any of the above alternative energy sources then visitors to your dealership or car lot will expect you to be able to answer these questions – or questions like them. You can likely think of several more – perhaps through experience!

Importance of a Car Sales Course

Do you have a training course that helps your staff find out where to get this information? Do you teach your staff – or even yourself – these basic fundamentals of modern car technology? Or do you expect them to teach themselves? It is extremely important that your auto sales personnel are aware of each of the above auto fuel options and are able to answer questions about them. But that’s not all they must know!

Another aspect of auto sales knowledge that has changed in recent times is the interaction between prospect and salesperson. Has every member of your sales staff been trained in how to approach and communicate with a new visitor to your lot or showroom? If the first approach and interaction goes wrong, then you can forget about that prospect becoming a customer.

The days are well gone when you could take on a new salesmen or women with little or no sales experience and expect them to learn on the job. Effective auto sales personnel are now well-trained people who understand sales psychology as well as every car on the lot! They can answer questions on hybrids and power cells, and offer advice based on sound technical knowledge.

Sales Staff Auto Sales Training

However, it’s the approach that counts, and how auto sales personnel can interact with prospects that make the difference between a sale to a happy customer and a disgruntled prospect walking off the lot to go somewhere else. A car sales course can make the difference between success and failure, and by sending staff to an auto training course, you can make a significant improvement to your sales figures.

If you are an individual with a desire to make auto sales your chosen career, a recognized car sales course can make all the difference to you as well. By showing a prospective employer your course diploma, you will put yourself ahead of all those applicants without one.

So what is needed by successful car sales staff today – male or female? It is a knowledge of cars and their alternative power sources, and also proper training in how to sell the; how to approach visitors and convert them into new customers; how to retain the customers you have and how to send everybody way so impressed that they will sing your praises to everybody willing to listen! A car sales course can offer most of this – if not all!

4 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Automotive Dealerships

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The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are hugely important to annual sales in many industries, including automotive sales. Potential customers are out shopping in stronger numbers than the rest of the year, giving car dealerships a larger audience to market to. Holiday shopping crowds are also in “buying mode”, ready to purchase items not only for friends and family, but often for themselves as well. Shoppers with extra available holiday capital are more easily persuaded to treat themselves to a new car than they are during other times of the year. Whether customers’ new car purchases are a special indulgence just for them or a perfect gift for the whole family, the holiday shopping season is a ripe opportunity for automotive dealerships to boost sales.

In order to capitalize on the holiday shopping season, your auto dealership needs to have a solid marketing plan! Thanksgiving and Christmas offer plenty of fun, fresh ways to promote vehicles and special offers, so get creative. The more unique your marketing strategies are, the more successful they are likely to be.

These four holiday marketing ideas are great ways to kickstart your auto dealership’s season of holiday sales.

1) Get festive! Show your dealership’s holiday spirit by making your show floor and lot bright, inviting and festive. Nothing draws the eye like bright Christmas decorations. Buy a 20′ Douglas Fir, place it in the center of your outdoor lot and decorate it with bright white lights, tinsel and decorations. Hang fresh garlands, red bows and lights from building eaves and light poles. Serve hot chocolate on the show floor. Unless you have a talented person already on staff who is willing and able to completely deck out the rest of your dealership’s exterior and interior, hire a decorator to come and do so. Show potential customers your dealership is in the holiday spirit and make your show floor irresistible with holiday cheer.

2) Offer a “12 days of Christmas” holiday sale. Everyone loves a great deal – so why not package 12 fantastic vehicle deals into a Christmas-themed event? Rather than having an unrelated string of holiday sales events, run a 12 Days of Christmas sale, with easy day offering a different type of sale. Start on smaller incentives and older vehicle models and work your way up to the “twelfth day of Christmas” with larger deals, ending with a grand finale!

3) Be creative with holiday-themed direct mail. Christmas is no time to send out the same old stock postcard mailers. Send your direct mail list a little holiday cheer with authentic-looking Christmas cards or present-shaped cards, complete with bow. Throw in some “dealership cash” to send an extra merry message.

4) Run a social media contest. Offer a contest for a significant % off, or a door prize giveaway (if your applicant pool is large enough for it). Ask people to connect with you in a specific way: have them finish the phrase “all I want for Christmas” in a photo, tweet or video, then ask them to post their response either on your dealership’s Facebook wall or tweet it to you using a specific hashtag. Whatever your contest entails, be sure to create a specific landing page on your website (or Facebook event) that outlines the details of the contest – link to this from your social media accounts.