MARCH 1, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
WHAT IS iATN?
Brea, CA — The International Automotive Technicians Network (iATN) is an Internet-based communication, networking and information resource for automotive technicians and repair shop owners from around the world. It is member- and industry-supported and all repair information is member-driven. The website address is www.iatn.net.
The network started with 50 members in 1995. Today, iATN has more than 33,000 active members from 113 countries and its membership grows daily.
As the largest on-line, technician-supplied automotive resource in the world, iATN promotes the continued growth, success and image of the professional automotive technician by providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and the promotion of education, professionalism and integrity. This information exchange and education take place throughout the network.
Specifically, the iATN technical email help system (TechMail) is the heart of the network, where thousands of members from all over the world exchange technical information, help and ideas, 24 hours a day. These members also have access to approximately 20 technical and non-technical web forums, live conferencing, weekly TechNight events that cover a range of technical subjects and other technical resources.
Members who choose to upgrade their accounts to sponsoring member status gain instant access to the fully searchable, iATN Knowledge Base, helping them to better service their customers' vehicles and tackle the challenges of repairing today's vehicles. The iATN Knowledge Base contains exclusive iATN service and repair tools, such as the FIX Database, Web Forum Archives, a Waveform Library and TechNight Live Conferencing Transcripts.
iATN members are professionals directly involved in the repair and service of passenger cars and light trucks. Members of the network are primarily automotive technicians and repair shop owners, and a small portion are involved in other allied automotive fields, such as automotive technology education, engineering and technical writing.
All members must have at least four years of full-time work experience as an automotive technician, or be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). They must agree to an iATN member agreement that pledges the highest standards of professionalism, competence and integrity, as well as a dedication to on-going professional education.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF iATN MEMBERSHIP?
Today's automotive technician faces a unique set of service and repair challenges. To meet these challenges, it is critical to have the latest diagnostic and repair information available in the field. No single resource is as valuable as the collective experience of iATN members. Through a wide variety of website and email-based help systems, iATN members are able to share their vast experience with each other. In fact, the iATN membership collectively boasts more than 609,000 years of automotive experience and this number grows daily. "That's a powerful tool for any business," said iATN Founder Brent Black. Other iATN benefits include live conferencing, weekly TechNight events, group emails and web forums. At the sponsor level, members have access to the fully searchable, iATN Knowledge Base, which includes the FIX Database, Web Forum Archives, a Waveform Library and TechNight Live Conferencing Transcripts.
iATN sponsors generally fall into two categories – member sponsors and industry sponsors. Although iATN membership is free to professionals employed in the automotive repair field, many members upgrade their account to take advantage of special sponsoring member benefits, such as the Knowledge Base, a collection of on-line, fully searchable databases of automotive repair information, and to support the network they find so valuable.
Industry sponsors and corporate sponsors are automotive manufacturers, repair information providers, industry associations, suppliers and publications. These sponsors provide the only advertising iATN accepts with the understanding that iATN content is never censored because of a conflict with a corporate sponsor's interests. A full list of corporate sponsors can be accessed at www.iatn.net/atn.
All sponsors, regardless of type, must agree to the iATN member agreement, which states in part, that members will uphold the highest standards of professionalism, competence and integrity.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF iATN SPONSORSHIP?
iATN members benefit from the wide variety of networking available through the site, but it is the special sponsors-only technical resources that iATN members find most
beneficial. Sponsoring members regularly use the vast iATN Knowledge Base of technical, diagnostic and repair information. For example, sponsoring members have searchable access to over 350,000 database records, including previous fixes, automotive discussions, waveform images, and much more. Other benefits include personal file libraries, sponsors' web pages and priority listing in the iATN Shop Finder.
WHY IS iATN IMPORTANT TO THE AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR INDUSTRY?
Today's automotive service industry suffers unfairly from a less-than-positive image in the eyes of the motoring public and the media. Through the iATN website, members enhance and improve the industry's image by promoting professionalism, technical expertise and a sense of pride. Motorists can even find an iATN member shop simply by using the fully searchable member roster (the iATN Shop Finder) on the iATN public homepage. Additionally, iATN's very nature makes it a non-threatening, neutral meeting place for everyone involved in automotive service to meet and exchange ideas to better the industry.
"It's really democracy at work," said Black. "There is no other place where the working men and women of the automotive service industry can meet without any pre-determined political or business agenda to get in the way. The dialogue is open and the information is frank and honest — and that's one reason it's so valuable."
In fact, the industry finds the on-line discussions so worthwhile that manufacturer engineers, government officials, environmental policymakers and other industry professionals routinely use iATN to gather feedback. This discussion allows technician members of iATN to directly, and positively, influence the future of the automotive industry. "iATN really does have a tremendous impact on the way parts are made, how vehicles are manufactured and how the government's environmental policies are implemented — all as a result of the input they receive from iATN's very vocal and involved membership," continued Black.
HOW SHOULD I CONTACT iATN?
More information about iATN, including the latest membership statistics, can be found on the iATN website (www.iatn.net). Media professionals with specific questions not addressed on the website or in the media kit (www.iatn.net/press/) should contact Monica Buchholz at iATN Media Relations (877-550-4286) or via email at . Sponsorship and member comments and questions may be directed to . The iATN mailing address is: 640 W. Lambert Rd, Brea, CA 92821.
iATN is supported by the automotive industry's top manufacturers, information providers, suppliers, associations and publications. These industry sponsors, along with sponsoring shop and technician members, make the iATN network possible.
The iATN Mission of Excellence: To promote the continued growth, success and image of the professional automotive technician by providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and the promotion of education, professionalism and integrity.