Archive | October, 2009

This Issue

This Issue



  • Steve Jarnet and Reiner Martsfeld of Corteco challenge factors and garages to see the parts market differently
  • We give the background on Corteco’s parent company, German giants Freudenberg
  • Why cabin filters should mean big margins and big profits for factors and garages

Aftermarket News

  • ADF changes to IAAF – what it means for you
  • Exclusive interview with new IAAF president, Tony Sackett
  • Motaquip posts a 7.5% increase in turnover and exceeds sales targets by 4% – how they did it
  • Why the USA parts market is looking vibrant in 2010

Leader Comment

  • Cut prices below their RRP at your own risk, says Stephen Sidkin, partner of City law firm Fox Williams LLP
  • Why you shouldn’t fix prices with competitors
  • The key points of the 1998 Competition Act – what it means for UK suppliers

Advice Columns

  • How to manage your business as the recession ends
  • Why garage owners need to know about personal protective equipment – and why it’s needed
  • How to build a retail empire


  • Gaskets
  • Steering and suspension

Posted in Mag InfoComments (0)

Denso secures new OE plug contracts with Toyota

Iridium_Product shot_0839Denso has secured new OE spark plug contracts with Toyota, it has been announced.

Four of the marque’s models now feature OE Denso spark plugs. These include:

  1. The Avensis in three specs: 1.6i, 1.8i and 2.0i
  2. The IQ in two specs: 1.0i and 1.3i
  3. The Urban Cruiser 1.3i
  4. The Prius 1.8i

All vehicles are fitted with Denso’s Iridium range of plugs.

“These new contracts [with Toyota] illustrate how Denso technologies are leading the market,” said UK aftermarket sales manager Paul Payne.

“Iridium plugs are ideal for cars like the new Prius as they meet the strictest standards in low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.”

Denso’s aftermarket coverage is extensive, with its replacement spark plug programme covering more than 6,450 references and 99% of the European market.

The latest plug to be added to this programme is the GX8-1, available in packs of four specifically for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, NewsComments (0)

Scrappage aids Nissan sales figures

nissan_micra[1]The positive effect of scrappage on new car sales can be seen in the latest figures released by Nissan.

The VM’s Sunderland plant has revealed large increases in production of two of its key models.

The number of Micras (right) produced in September rose by a staggering 40%, with over 11,000 cars exiting the production lines.

Qashqai production also rose by 15%, with forward orders for both vehicles ‘way ahead of expectations’.

Debate as to the effects of scrappage on the aftermarket continues to rage.

While  figures like these from Nissan prove that significant numbers of old cars are being destroyed, it seems that the effect on aftermarket businesses has yet to properly filter through.

Evidence for this can be seen on the latest CAT poll.

Suprisingly perhaps, the poll currently shows that under half of users who voted (48%) are against scrappage. Indeed, almost a third consider scrappage good for the economy.

With scrappage ending in the new year, VMs remain cautious about the longterm prospects relating to new car sales.

Many VM bosses believe that the scheme has simply condensed new car sales into a shorter timespan: sales that would have happened anyway over the next 18 months or so.

As the economy continues to contract and unemployment stays high, new car sales are unlikely to sustain increases seen during the scrappage period.

What is for certain is that, in the summer and autumn of 2012, there will be a glut of cars going for their first MOTs.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, NewsComments (0)

Factors to get free replica cars from Universal

SLRFactors purchasing Monroe shocks and springs from Universal Automotive in the run-up to Christmas will earn ‘points’ that can be redeemed against a choice of replica model cars.

If factors gain enough points, they will receive a free replica model car.

The unique scheme, thought up by Universal’s operations director, Callum Goodland, is designed to keep business strong and promote the Monroe brand.

“As well as giving factors an incentive to look more closely at Monroe, we really want to get across to people that Monroe is a top-of-the-range suspension brand and a trusted OEM/S supplier,” said Goodland.

Choices of replica cars available include: the Aston DB9; Ferarri 430 and the Mercedes SLR (above).

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, NewsComments (0)


CORTECO experts have developed specific kits that provide, in one solution, all the sealing components that should be changed during the repair of a damaged or worn clutch. This catalogue, printed with 100% recycled paper, has an easy-to-read layout thanks to the use of icons that ensure the fast identification of every reference.

Posted in Catalogue Guide, ClutchesComments (0)

Karen Reilly’s blog: “My nickname is Lobby!”

This is me. Lobby the Lobster

This is me. Lobby the Lobster

Oh no. After Equip Auto, my nickname is now out of the bag within trade circles.

So I guess you may want to know what it is? Lobby. Yes, I am Lobby.

Steve Jarnett of Corteco calls me it exclusively now (cheers Steve!). Mind you, I could think of worse nicknames.

In fact, most of the clients I met at Equip Auto last week have started calling me it, so you may as well all know about it too.

Most people think it’s cute and then wonder, why on earth ‘Lobby’?

The answer is simple – I go very red in the sun, just like a lobster. People used to call me the Lobster, then that got shortened to Lobby, which has stuck…

Anyway, onto Equip Auto. As I have never been before, I was waiting to be hit by something similar to Automechanika in size: but it wasn’t.

I was a bit disappointed by that, but it was still a good show, and on the plus side we did meet up with many clients and enjoyed Paris.

We travelled out there on the Eurostar and, on the way out, I was stopped by security and told I had too many magazines in my suitcase.

I’m probably now a wanted magazine smuggler!

That said, I got through the interrogations okay (though I got a bit worried when a latex rubber glove appeared) and kept my nerve… and got the magazines through to France.

Next smuggling date will be Automechanika, Frankfurt, Germany!

I did find Paris far too expensive. I even heard that the French come to the UK to buy beer. I am not surprised at 11 Euro a pint.

I was on the diet Cokes… and whatever my clients fed me on their stands. Some Pernod from European Exhausts and Catalysts knocked me sideways, while some yellow lemon stuff from MTS floored me. They enjoyed the sight of a tiddly Lobby a little too much!

Now onto the important stuff.

There are two rounds left of this year’s MotoGP and Rossi is leading the championship, but needs to stay ahead of Lorenzo.

The best bit is that I will be in Valencia for the last round and I am working to get into the end of season party.

“Rossi, come to Lobby! Rossi! Oy, get your ass over here…”ROSSI

Posted in Blogs, Karen Reilly's BlogComments (0)

Postal strike affects delivery of November’s CAT

CAT LOGO_WITH BOXDelivery of CAT’s November issue is likely to be delayed due to the postal strike.

“We are due to be mailing the November issue around October 27 and 28,” said publisher Jim Foster.

“However, I have just heard that today’s postal strike is likely to be repeated at the end of next week.

“It therefore looks like the majority CAT subscribers will be affected, meaning their magazines will arrive later than usual.

“We’d like to apologise in advance for this delay and ask you to be patient: if you don’t get your copy next week, rest assured it will be winging its way to you.”

In the meantime, CAT’s management have arranged for extra copies to be printed, so if you don’t get your copy, email Jim at and he will ensure you get one.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Retailer NewsComments (0)

Equip Auto 2009: Publisher’s Report

I’ve just got back from the Equip Auto show in Paris and I am pleased to report that it seemed rather buoyant.

Having visited various stands, there were players out there who definitely benefited from the outlay of cash required to exhibit.

They went with a sound plan, clear objectives and did some very good business as a result.

Here are top five companies I saw (in no particular order):

1 Corteco 

Out of everyone exhibiting, I spent the most time on the Corteco stand.

Sceptics among you will think was due to their free coffee, biscuits, champagne and beer. Or the hostess serving them.

Okay I admit it, the former was an attraction, but it was also fascinating talking to Steve Jarnett and his German boss Reiner Martsfeld about their whole operation.

You can tell when a company is going places from the passion exuded by its employees, and that was definitely the case here.

Both men oozed passion. As long as they – and their team - stay in place, they are a company to watch out for in the next year or two.

And b*gger me wasn’t their stand busy with deals being done.

2 Suplex

Another company that will be making inroads into the UK aftermarket in 2010 is Suplex.

Owned by Andrew Graham (who has worked in some guise or other for Suplex since the mid-1990s) their slick and detailed sales pitches were backed up by a top-dollar product.

I never thought that the whole business of suspension springs was that important (or indeed interesting), but Andrew deonstrated that I was wrong on both counts.

Their tapered springs looked market leaders.

I have no doubt that garages up and down the country will be fitting them to customers’ cars in greater numbers than ever next year.

As with Corteco, the Suplex stand was crazily busy. Always a good sign.

3 Autologic Diagnostics

I am not including these guys because they sponsored our Show Guide.

Instead, it’s because they had a great diagnostic product on show, aimed at independent garages.

I’ve never seen a diagnostic machine in action before, but they had one they were showing off.

It even had a name – DES. Not only did DES look good but he was easy to use, too.

If something went wrong with my Beemer, even I would stand a fighting chance of diagnosing the problem with DES on my side!

I’d love to say I had a long meeting with Karen Poffley, but it had to be a fleeting ‘hello’ as she was inundated with people wanting to do business.

I was delighted that that was the case. It’s just what we like to see.

4 BM Catalysts

Meeting Helen Lumley of BMC was good too. We’d spoken a lot on the phone before, but not actually met.

She wasn’t as I’d expected – she was a lot younger!

Helen explained BMC’s strategy for the show to me and editor Emma, while also running us through the products.

Again, there were top-notch products on show from a company that is passionate about the aftermarket.

5 Denso

While I didn’t meet up with anyone on the Denso stand (it seemed to be Denso Europe rather than Denso UK) their new, expanded product ranges were on show and creating a lot of interest.

This is another company shaking the aftermarket up with significant investment and marketing budgets: nexst year will be a big one for them.

So those would be my top five ‘star companies’ of the show.

If you were exhibitting or went and you disagree, let me know. I only had a day-and-a-a-half there so couldn’t get to see everyone.

But all those I did speak to or see seemed to be reporting a successful show.

The mood was buoyant. And that can only bode well for the Aftermarket as 2009 draws to a close.

Posted in Blogs, Jim Foster's BlogComments (5)

Delphi “leaner and more nimble” after Chapter 11 restructure

Delphi “leaner and more nimble” after Chapter 11 restructure

Delphi’s vice president has announced the company’s emergence from Chapter 11 as a privately owned entity to the European automotive aftermarket.

Frank Ordoñez made a personal appearance at the Equip Auto Exhibition in Paris this week where he briefed the trade and journalists on Delphi’s new structure.

Delphi went into Chapter 11 administration in 2005 and it has taken four years to reorganise the company, shedding unprofitable operations and narrowing its focus onto key areas of expertise.

Ordoñez said that the company is now “a more agile, nimble and resilient company” with a focus on “providing innovative solutions to real world challenges”.

It has streamlined its OE product lines from 27 down to 10 and has diversified its client base so that no single customer accounts for more than 15% of Delphi sales.

The company’s product portfolio remains centered on electronics and safety; powertrain; thermal; electrical and electronic systems; OE service; and the independent aftermarket.

Delphi has a “bright future” as a private company, said Ordoñez.

In 2009 Delphi booked in aftermarket and OEM programmes worth more than US $4bn and has committed to spending 11% of sales on engineering and R&D in 2010.

Look out for your November issue of CAT mag for background and analysis

Posted in Factor & Supplier NewsComments (0)

FTA launches Twitter feed after Facebook foray

fta twitter picThe Freight Transport Association has started a Twitter feed.

The trade body may be 120 years old but it seems its finger is still on the pulse of technology trends.

The launch of the feed follows the Association’s foray onto Facebook with its Every Penny Counts campaign.

Jo Tanner, FTA’s director of communications, said: “Every organisation needs to keep pace with new and different ways of keeping in touch with its members and stakeholders and FTA is no different.

“It means our members and all those with an interest in logistics and its impact on every day life can keep up to date.”

Posted in Factor & Supplier NewsComments (0)

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