Rolling with the changes: How Mister Transmission plans to continue growing in its 60th year and beyond
Tony Kuczynski may be on the executive side of the transmission industry these days, but having gotten his start as a technician, he has experience with both the business and the technical side of things. For the past five years, Tony has been president and CEO of Mister Transmission, Canada’s largest transmission repair shop chain,
Hybrids are coming to our shops, like it or not. I seem to be getting a lot more customers lately who are asking questions about hybrids. They want to know things like: “How far can you go on one before you have to plug it in and recharge?” “How dangerous are they?” “What happens if you run into a flash flood or get into an accident?” “Could you get shocked getting out of the car?” and “How long does that $10,000 battery last?” There are a lot of technicians out there who have some pretty strange ideas about hybrids also.
A parallel hybrid vehicle allows the power from a gasoline engine and an electric motor to drive the vehicle independently or in conjunction with one another. The Toyota Prius has such a design as well as the Honda Insight and the Civic Hybrid. Although they are all parallel hybrids, there are differing operational strategies between Toyota and Honda.
Honda hit the road first with its gas-engine/electric-motor combo called the Insight, but it was Toyota that pioneered the “Hi Voltage Battery” technology and used it in its Prius vehicle. Ford broke ground by producing the first hybrid SUV with its 2003 Ford Escape. Ford also has plans in the works in which it will use the latest hybrid-electric-vehicle technologies with an advanced new fuel cell to produce the zero-emissions Ford Focus. Prototypes begin in 2004. Other manufacturers soon will have vehicles of environmentally friendly design available for purchase here as well. So it’s another technology that the auto-repair and rebuilding industry needs to prepare for.