CTI Debuts New Hybrid Class

Jan. 1, 2020
CARS attendees were treated to the presentation Wednesday morning of a class developed by CARQUEST Technical Institute especially for this event. "Hybrid Technology," led by CTI's Director of Training George Lesniak, gave those present an overview of
CARS attendees were treated to the presentation Wednesday morning of a class developed by CARQUEST Technical Institute especially for this event. "Hybrid Technology," led by CTI's Director of Training George Lesniak, gave those present an overview of current and soon-to-be-released hybrid designs with a focus on the opportunities and pitfalls that this technology presented to the automotive aftermarket.

“Hybrid vehicles are the fastest growing segment of new vehicle sales (in the U.S.)”, Lesniak told the CARS crowd. He added that the technology used in these vehicles has advanced significantly since the first hybrid was sold here in 1999. His presentation featured overviews of how the newest of these functioned and included discussion points centered on the Toyota plug- In hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt hybrid and the Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle (EV), including a mention of the need for EV charging stations, both in the shop and as a service to their EV customers.

Lesniak also stressed to audience members that this ever-increasing market represents a strong business opportunity to the shops that are prepared for it. Hybrid owners tend to earn above average income and have no problem in spending the money needed to maintain their cars.

“The two biggest challenges facing shops are not preparing for (this) new technology with training or equipment,” Lesniak says. “Many shop owners and technicians think they can learn as they go or make do. Neither is true.”

He also shares a common comment learned from presenting CTI programs around the country with his audience: “The most common negative comment I’ve heard is ‘I don’t see these vehicles in my shop so why should I prepare?’”

He answers simply, “As if owners of hybrid vehicles will flock to a shop that is not trained, ill-equipped, and doesn’t advertise their hybrid services.”

While Lesniak presented a great deal of useful information, the one message that tied it all together was simple: the opportunities this technology and growing market offers is waiting for those willing to rise to the challenge.

Lesniak brings more than 25 years experience to the podium as a technician and educator. He has been instrumental in the development of CTI’s Minds-On training program and has been with CTI since 1999. As the Director of Training, he oversees a staff of 50 instructors who, over the last 12 years, have provided over 4 million hours of instruction of 68,000 technicians around the country.

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