Archive | July, 2010

Unipart in Mobil1 oil supply deal

The new range comes in smaller pack sizes

The new range comes in smaller pack sizes

Unipart Automotive has signed an agreement with Mobil to supply the Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil, through its distributor network from August 2010.

Wendy Williamson, Unipart’s customer marketing director, said: “As the technology of the modern petrol and diesel engine leads to longer service intervals, Unipart has played its part to reflect the changing requirements of the aftermarket sector.

“Mobil 1 is a valuable addition to Unipart’s extensive oil range, providing garages with even greater choice and enabling them to meet customers’ precise servicing needs effectively.”

The range will come in 20-litre, five-litre and one-litre sizes, while barrels of 208-litre Mobil 1 will be delivered directly to the customer.

Unipart’s oil portfolio includes 31 grades and covers fully synthetic, semi-synthetic and mineral oils with an additional range of long-life products.

Larger workshops can specify 205-litre barrels or obtain bulk quantities from 400 litres up.

Mobil 1 branded products already meet the new ACEA 2008 specification requirements, and the remainder of the Unipart and Mobil range will comply by implementation in December 2010.

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Ride pimping is value spoiler

BCA recommends factory fits

BCA recommends factory fits

Every self-respecting boy racer likes to make their ride stand out from the crowd, but they may be denting its value.

So in order to keep customers coming back, accessory retailers would do well to brush up on the styling products that add value and those that lose it.

According to British Car Auctions, even adding alloy wheels to the wrong car could take £200 off the resale price, while body trim, skirts, spoilers and wheel arches could lose the seller as much as £500, although a professional modification could boost the value by £250.

A BCA spokesman, said: “The majority of motorists are wary of upgrades that are retro-fitted, particularly on younger cars where there are concerns that this might void any warranties.

“Of course there are exceptions such as professional aftermarket body kits from approved suppliers such as AMG or Alpina, or bespoke rebuilds by Project Kahn. But generally, if it isn’t a factory fit, it is unlikely to add value and may cause even steeper depreciation.”

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MP calls for national adpotion of Kitemark

MP calls for national adpotion of Kitemark

A Conservative MP is calling for the BSI Kitemark scheme to be made standard for UK garages.

Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, tabled a Motion in Parliament after making a radio appearance alongside Kitemark champion Quentin Wilson in which he endorsed the scheme.

Quoting BSI-commissioned research, he said: “The Government needs to review protection for motorists when they are visiting a garage, with over half of the population not confident in the work that garages have carried out.

“We need to ensure they know what is being done on their vehicle and they are presented with a clear and understandable service – every time. I am recommending that the Kitemark scheme operated by BSI is the standard that garages adopt.

“I have put forward this suggestion and I will also be actively lobbying to ensure that garages service cars to the highest standards…”

In a further statement, he said: “It is good for the car mechanic industry, good for customers and good for society. Most people have heard of Kitemark as it is on our plugs and other household items.”

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Just one year after the trade convinced the previous government to scrap proposals to reduce the MOT test frequency from once a year to every two years, the threat of a 4-2-2 regime has once more reared its ugly head.

In a Parliamentary Question put before the House of Lords in July, Lord Marlesford, a Conservative peer, asked whether the new Coalition Government was considering a review of MOT frequency.

The response he received was a worrying: “Yes, we intend to look at the issue of MOT test frequencies later this year.”

The Retail Motor Industry Federation and the MOT Forum have written a joint letter to the Minister for Transport expressing the seriousness of changing the system and outlining the cost to society. At the time of writing, no formal response had been received.

In a detailed study published in 2008, the Department for Transport calculated that without the annual MOT, the country could witness a horrific increase in road deaths – up to nearly 2000 lives per year – and cost the country more than £6 billion.

The DFT also estimated that adopting the 4-2-2 system would cost the trade some £480 million per year and result in 40,000 job losses.

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UK Right to Repair Campaign disbands

UK Right to Repair Campaign disbands

The UK Right to Repair Campaign Strategy Group has disbanded. The Group was formed in February 2007 to lobby for the reinstatement of a Block Exemption Regulation for the independent aftermarket.

It achieved this objective – on June 1, a new sector specific Regulation with accompanying guidelines came into force.

Jim Mazza, the Campaign’s chairman, said: “The motor vehicle specific regulations and guidelines introduced on June 1, 2010, which will run until 2023, are a fantastic outcome and far beyond my expectations.

“These coupled with other European legislation and directives provide strong protection for the independent automotive aftermarket and ensure an ongoing competitive environment from which the motorist will benefit. The UK Strategy Group is very satisfied with the outcome of the campaign.”

He added: “The Campaign united the entire independent aftermarket, which added huge weight to our arguments as we were able to speak on behalf of the whole industry.

“The success of the campaign isn’t due to the efforts of a few people, but the actions of everyone who has helped in providing funding and creating awareness by distributing literature, having an R2RC
presence at trade shows, exhibitions and conferences and using the R2RC logo. This shows what can be achieved by working together.”

The R2RC logo will also be withdrawn. It had been has been licensed for use by the international aftermarket association, FIGIEFA, which spearheaded the pan-European Campaign.

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