Archive | November, 2009

Denso Starter and Alternator Programme: Massive Expansion Announced

Denso claim the expansion will offer 'huge opportunities' for the aftermarket

Denso claim the expansion will offer 'huge opportunities' for the aftermarket

Denso Aftermarket Sales UK has announced a huge expansion of its starter and alternator programme through 2010 - an aggressive strategy that the company claims will offer the aftermarket ‘huge opportunities’.

The initial phase of the expansion has already begun and has seen Denso’s starter and alternator range increase to cover 260 applications across the following brands:

  • Ford Focus C-Max
  • Opel Vectra
  • Fiat
  • Citroen
  • Peugeot
  • Alfa
  • Volvo

The introduction of 45 additional part numbers, covering up to 115 Toyota applications, will follow imminently, with many OE spec applications unique to Denso available to aftermarket customers. The following Toyota models will be covered:

  • Corolla from 1999 to 2005
  • Avensis to 2003
  • Rav4 from 1999 to 2003
  • Yaris from 1999 to 2005

But it doesn’t stop there.

Expansion through 2010

In early 2010, a further 140 new starter and alternator part numbers will be introduced - including 650 applications for European vehicles.

The expansion will continue unabated through 2010, with another 200 part numbers being added to the range next summer/autumn.

All parts will be brand new, with no reman.

Denso’s UK Aftermarket chief, Paul Payne, commented: “We’ll open up a whole new set of opportunities for aftermarket customers. Distributors are hungry for a brand that brings OE quality, advanced technology and a good parc coverage. Denso delivers that.”

To help distributors and garages keep up to date with the increased range of products, the TecDoc system will be updated on a regular basis through 2010, while a new printed catalogue will come out soon.

“Our starters and alternators are all new-in-box, so there’s no core surcharge,” added Payne. “Administration is reduced, ensuring a high-quality product at a competitive price.”

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, NewsComments (0)

ECP launches new lubricant for modern hybrids

ECP's new hybrid lube

ECP's new hybrid lube

Euro Car Parts has launched an exclusive lubricant, designed specifically for hybrid and electric drive compressors.

The product will be fully compatible with electric motors and windings: and matches the performance levels of the original lubricant supplied by the manufacturer.

So, for those of you that don’t know why a hybrid would need a lubricant, it works something like this:

  • New generation hybrid cars use a hermetically sealed, partially electrically-driven compressor
  • This allows the hybrid’s air con to work even when the engine is switched off
  • The a/c compressors for new hybrids use electric motors that are submerged in the refrigerant circuit
  • This means standard PAG and ester lubes (as well as UV dyes) are not suitable, as they attack the insulation material on the windings of the motor
  • Hence the need for an aftermarket product and the new ECP lube

ECP claim that their new lubricant is compatible with the latest hybrid and electric drive compessor technology.

For more information, call ECP on 0845 602 2570 or visit

More and more hybrid cars, such as the Prius, are going to be entering the aftermarket in the coming years.

ECP is one of the first companies to react to this and provide OE-standard solutions to problems garages are likely to encounter.

Posted in Garage News, NewsComments (0)


CORTECO engine, transmission and chassis mounts turn noise and vibration into smooth and comfortable driving conditions. The highly sophisticated technology of Corteco products clearly shows in the example of the innovative, decoupled pulley. In addition to the traditional damping of the axial vibrations, the pulley decouples the belt drive from the crankshaft. This reduces the strain on neighbouring components. The lifetime of belt and pulley is extended, while reduced noise levels inside the car mean enhanced ride comfort.

Posted in Belts, Catalogue Guide, Shock Absorbers, Steering & SuspensionComments (0)


CORTECO oil seals have a history which stretches back more than 70 years: the CORTECO brand was first registered as a product trademark for radial shaft seals in Italy in 1932. These seals were manufactured and distributed in Italy by a partner of the Freudenberg Group. Since 1932 the Italian market has identified the CORTECO brand as being a ‘rotary shaft oil seal’. This is similar to what happened in Germany for Freudenberg’s ‘Simmerring®’ brand.

Posted in Belts, Catalogue Guide, Seals & GasketsComments (0)


Since developing the Simmerring® technology in 1929, Freudenberg has gone from strength to strength with a unique and ever-expanding range of sealing products. Regardless of whether the project involves customised individual solutions or complete sealing packages with complex specifications, success is based on in-depth process knowledge, innovative development methods and the highest quality materials like elastomers, coated steels, raw materials and silicones.

Posted in Catalogue Guide, Seals & GasketsComments (0)

Why you can’t beat an aftermarket trade show

What a month! I have barely had a moment to draw breath so I hope you enjoy this bumper edition blog…

October kicked off with a week in the sun in Cyprus for yet another friend’s wedding.  It does seem like everyone in my circle is starting to settle down into the married way of life, and right now that’s a million miles away for me – thank goodness!

As ever, like any other holiday, the week rattled by. And before I knew it I was back in the work routine… However, after only three days in the office, I was on the Euro Star en route to the city of love – Paris.  This did a nice job of softening the blow!

I always look forward to the overseas trade shows as an ideal opportunity to meet up with European based clients who I would never otherwise see.  Also it’s ideal to maintain and grow new business relationships and listen to what new and exciting product launches are in the pipeline.

On the whole, the feedback about the show was great. Each client that I visited was delighted that they had supported it and more so that they had generated some serious business leads.

One thing I wasn’t looking forward to was the EURO.  I won’t go into too much detail about the cost of drinks out in Paris because it pains me but I think I had the most expensive round for TWO drinks ever when the bill came to 23 Euros. That’s for 1 pint and a Baileys! Can anyone outdo that?

The beauty of the overseas expos is that it’s usually acceptable to have a bottle of beer while chatting on the stands (thank you Suplex). Although I never quite expected to find myself sinking shots of Pernod and Lemon Liqueur with Lobby (my usually tee-total colleague) on the final morning with our clients EEC and MTS Exhausts.

Anyway, at least I slept like a baby on the journey home….

Finally, and on a more recent note, I have just got back from the Mechanex at Sandown Park, which looked to be a great success for everyone involved. Clearly, the CAT crew were out in force at the show ensuring that we are au fait with all the upcoming launches for 2010.

It was a non-stop couple of days and I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to chat, especially at such a busy show – your time is always appreciated and valued!

Posted in Martin Lee's BlogComments (1)

5 Minutes With… Mike Rayne, Delphi

5 Minutes With… Mike Rayne, Delphi

Mike Rayne smQ: Congratulations on putting Chapter 11 behind you – how will this influence Delphi’s aftermarket strategy going forward?

A: The move into becoming a private company is a major event. It allows us to focus on our key areas of expertise and on geographic expansion.

We’re now moving our products into Eastern Europe, we’ve established an office in Russia, we have a new office in Poland and we’ve expanded in North Africa.

Q: What about Western Europe and the UK – are these still important markets for Delphi?

A: Of course – as Frank Ordoñez [Delphi’s vice president] has said, 40% of Delphi’s aftermarket sales are to the European markets and about 20% of our global Delphi Service Centre network is in the UK.

Q: How many service centres are there right now?

A: There are 509 globally and 104 in the UK. Delphi Service Centre is a key strategic initiative for Delphi and we have ambitious growth plans for the programme.

We launched the network in 2007, which was a strategic decision. There was a timing issue – if we had put it into the market in 2000, that would have been too early and 2011 would have been too late.

We needed to make sure the diesel market was mature enough for our garage partners to make a return on their investment in one to two years.

Q: Do you think you got the timing right?

A: In the UK, the garages’ return on investment is in labour and parts and while of course we want them to sell Delphi parts, we need to give them that return on labour.

For most garages, the proof point is one year to 18 months. And by the end of year one, we found that in the majority of cases, the return was around 10-15% above what we forecast.

Q: How many more centres are you planning to add to the UK network in this phase of expansion?

A: We don’t want to get into a numbers game – we’ll grow at the rate that the market requires it; we don’t want saturation. We need to find a balance by looking at each individual market and establishing how many centres it can support.

The worst thing is to create a network which subsequently fails in years two, three and four. It’s incredibly difficult for you to clean it up.

Q: So how do you control network size and concentration?

A: We don’t grant exclusive territories but in cases where there is an existing Service Centre and another garage wants to join, we ask: is there enough of a market to allow both of them to succeed.

Too much competition forces businesses to reduce costs. I’ve seen saturation a number of times and what happens is that the market drives down to the lowest quality of components and the lowest quality of labour – it’s a lose-lose situation.

Q: What sort of investment have you made in the programme this year?

A: We’ve introduced 400 new parts and new diagnostic tooling and we’ve enhanced training with six new modules. We’re also preparing to launch a new online training platform and marketing support programme for garages.

Q: What is the business opportunity for garages getting involved in diesel now?

A: There are currently around 4.5 million diesel vehicles over four years old, which means that they have moved out of warranty. From now on this figure really starts to ramp up so that by 2012 the aftermarket for diesel cars will be 7 million units. That’s a rapid rise, and we anticipated it when we designed the Delphi Service Centre.

Diesel penetration in Europe is now 57% and in France it’s 72%. It’s quite astounding – when I first came into the business, I didn’t think we would ever get diesel into cars.

Q: What impact will the move into alternative powertrain technology have on the market’s potential?

A: Electric vehicles will take market share certainly but diesel will have to play a role in hybrid vehicles so in this market it won’t lose share. Looking at the dwindling supply of petroleum, the best thing is to use it sparingly, which diesel does.

The Delphi Service Centre is a modular programme, designed to help garages to service the latest vehicle systems, including engine management for diesel and petrol, air conditioning and braking, steering and suspension. The programme is structured round six key elements: diagnostics, tooling, training, technical support, parts and professional marketing support.

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Rising congestion could cost distributors warns FTA

FTA PICDistributor representatives have warned that a return to pre-recession levels of congestion could add unnecessary cost to the industry.

The Freight Transport Association “cautiously welcomed” the news from Trafficmaster that UK traffic volumes are increasing, suggesting a move to economic recovery.

But it added that commercial growth could be tempered by the costs of heavy congestion.

Congestion costs the UK economy a staggering £20 billion per year and contributes thousands of tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Malcolm Bingham, head of road traffic management policy at the FTA, said: “Increasing commercial traffic does indicate increasing commercial activity and after the appalling year the logistics industry has had, it is a relief to see signs of a recovery.

“But if traffic returns to pre-2008 levels we will be back to square one, with heavy congestion clogging up some of our most essential arterial trade routes.”

Among the solutions proposed by the FTA are: a reduction in rates on the M6 toll road; and the integration of other modes of transport, such as rail freight, into the supply chain.

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Van sales to small fleets up 91% reports Motorpoint

The Transit is still popular with small companies

The Transit is still popular with small companies

Small businesses in the market for vans are turning to supermarkets in a bid to save money, according to Motorpoint.

The dealer said it sold one van every 51 minutes in October to companies with fewer than 10 employees – that’s 329 units and a 91% like-for-like monthly increase in sales.

The most popular model was the Ford Transit 300 MWB, which Motorpoint is selling new for £10,999.

In 2008 the company said it sold 44,000 vehicles, providing savings of more than £110m on franchised dealer recommended retail prices.

Jon Baird, head of commercial sales at Motorpoint, said: “The message about the great deals on offer is clearly getting through to the UK’s business community – they have been snapping up a record number of vans from us.”

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T Cards Direct targets small trade counters

Simple stock management for £80

Simple stock management for £80

Managers and owners of small trade counters are being offered a simple, low cost solution for monitoring stock.

T Cards Direct has launched its new KanBan display board, which can be used to highlight daily sales, flag items to re-order and show delivery schedules and receipts.

The basic board costs £80 and has 7 columns, each with 20 slots, although it can be tailored to suit individual requirements.

Plain coloured t-cards are available in packs of 100 and for bulk purchases the company will overprint a form template.

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