While auto repair shop orders for muffler bearings continue to drop and direct to consumer sales virtually nonexistent, additional layoffs are expected across the muffler bearing industry well into 2011, says manufacturing analyst, Ben Onabender.
"The public seems to have been educating themselves", says Onabender, "Sales to tire, muffler, brake and light auto repair shops has been consistently dropping since 1998". Referring specifically to the muffler bearing industry at first, Onabender expanded his analysis to other spurious products both manufactured and sold under questionable circumstances. "Turn signal fluid, piston springs, seasonal tire air and Kneudson valve industries have also been hit hard", says Onabender. "These used to be high profit add-on items for repair shops."
Mickey Finn, owner of Mickey's Mufflers in the Midwest, still defends the products his retail locations sell. "You could argue that an $80 muffler bearing isn't necessary when repairing an exhaust system, but they do provide excellent give and rotation resistance when the car body flexes". Finn reluctantly admitted later that a $2 rubber grommet would provide the same benefit. "But you still need a Kneudson valve, that's for sure", says Finn. When asked what the Kneudson valve actually was, Finn thought it was a pollution control device. "I'm not sure, but at $99.95, every car should have one."
Sensing the demise of certain automotive products, or the power of the internet to educate formerly ignorant automobile owners, some manufacturers are introducing new products to bolster production. Engineers at Kneudson Auto Products announced yesterday that they have a universal device that mounts on the engine and helps save on fuel consumption, called the "Green Control Valve" or GCV. Sold for $179.99 the device looks to be nothing more that a small bracket and a clamp that fits over the accelerator cable, limiting pedal movement. "There's no more flooring the pedal and wasting gas with our device", says company owner Wayne Kneudson, who incidentally was the actual voice recorded on Wayne Newton's rendition of Danke Shoen and the inspiration for Newton's stage name.
Bloggers have already panned Kneudson's new device with feedback like, "It took seven minutes to reach highway speeds", and "I could have rigged the same control with a small nut and bolt over the cable. What a rip off."
"But it does save gas, and that's all that matters. At least from a truth in advertising and legal liability perspective", says Kneudson. "We're also working on a device to safely capture all CO2 gas produced from any vehicle". Insiders confirm the successful testing of what would be a miracle, environmentally green device, except that it appears to be nothing more that an extremely large, heat resistant plastic bag that clamps around the tail pipe.