Archive | October, 2011

CAT Awards 2013 – Nominations now open!

CAT Awards 2013 – Nominations now open!

Nominations for the CAT Awards 2013 are now open, here’s how to nominate.

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UNIPART RELAUNCHES GARAGE NETWORK

UNIPART RELAUNCHES GARAGE NETWORK

Unipart Automotive has relaunched its nationwide network of Car Care Centres.

The company says garages in the UCCC program can benefit from refreshed branding, new signage and a national advertising campaign promoting the network.

Unipart is also sponsoring ex-stig Ben Collins, who’ll be promoting the network at events around the UK.

Unipart says that every UCCC member garage benefits from unlimited access to the Unipart technical helpline, which offers help and advice for tackling a range of workshop dilemmas. Network members also benefit from extensive training, which is run in conjunction with Delphi.

Alongside the relaunch of the garage network Unipart has also refreshed the group’s website. The new site helps customers to choose which of the network’s 700 garages they would like to go to. It also allows motorists to search for Unipart garages in their area.

Andrew Jeffery, Unipart Automotive md said: “The refreshed UCCC program presents an extremely exciting opportunity for every independent motor trader and I firmly believe it gives a real edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“Our aim is to expand the UCCC network and offer a genuine alternative to the franchise dealer. Now that we have the best garage program we are confident we can achieve this.”

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CAT AWARDS 2013 – Nominations now open!

CAT AWARDS 2013 – Nominations now open!

CATlogo

Nominations for the 2013 CAT Awards are open!

This year there are more ways to get involved in the nominations process. Do you know a factor that goes above and beyond your expectations every time? Is one of your customers a garage that’s beating the franchises at their own game? Perhaps you know an independent retailer that’s staying strong on the high street? The CAT Awards is your chance to get them recognised by the industry.

And don’t forget, it only takes ONE nomination.

Email your nominations to cat.awards@haymarket.com before the deadline of 9th October.

Here are this year’s categories in full

*Large factor of the yearopen to factors with a turnover of more than £1 million

“Does your factor always go the extra mile, night or day? Are their vans always on time and carrying the right parts? If so you should nominate them for this category.”

Last year’s winner: GMF Motor Factors

*Small factor of the yearopen to factors with a turnover of less than £1 million

“Small factors are the backbone of the aftermarket, and you might know one of the best. If you think you do nominate them for this award.”

*Large garage of the yearopen to garages with a turnover of more than £750k

“Large garages have the space, the kit and the training to take on a whole variety of work. If your local garage sounds this good point them towards this category.”

Last year’s winner: ABP Motorsport

*Small garage of the yearopen to garages with a turnover of less than £750k

“Small garages are the ones we love to hear about – size is no problem and the job is never too big. If this sounds like one of your customers nominate them for this award.”

*Retailer of the yearopen to all independent aftermarket retailers

“Does your business combine slick professionalism with friendly customer service? If you can answer yes to both those questions, you could be in with a shot at this award.”

Last year’s winner: A1 Motabitz

*Supplier of the yearopen to all aftermarket suppliers

“Do you have a supplier who delivers the right part on time first time every time? If so, this is the award for them.”

Last year’s winner: NGK

*Person of the year

“Which one person in the aftermarket deserves to be held above all others in 2013? Perhaps for a special contribution to their business or for overcoming personal troubles? If you have someone in mind, let us know.”

Last year’s winner: Brian Childs, NGK

*Lifetime Achievement Award

“Our most prestigious award, the Lifetime Achievement is decided by a CAT panel of experts.”

Last year’s winner: Joe Elliott

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CAT AWARDS 2013 – Nominations now open!

CATlogo

Nominations for the 2013 CAT Awards are open!

This year there are more ways to get involved in the nominations process. Do you know a factor that goes above and beyond your expectations every time? Is one of your customers a garage that’s beating the franchises at their own game? Perhaps you know an independent retailer that’s staying strong on the high street? The CAT Awards is your chance to get them recognised by the industry.

And don’t forget, it only takes ONE nomination.

Email your nominations to cat.awards@haymarket.com before the deadline of 9th October.

Here are this year’s categories in full

*Large factor of the yearopen to factors with a turnover of more than £1 million

“Does your factor always go the extra mile, night or day? Are their vans always on time and carrying the right parts? If so you should nominate them for this category.”

Last year’s winner: GMF Motor Factors

*Small factor of the yearopen to factors with a turnover of less than £1 million

“Small factors are the backbone of the aftermarket, and you might know one of the best. If you think you do nominate them for this award.”

*Large garage of the yearopen to garages with a turnover of more than £750k

“Large garages have the space, the kit and the training to take on a whole variety of work. If your local garage sounds this good point them towards this category.”

Last year’s winner: ABP Motorsport

*Small garage of the yearopen to garages with a turnover of less than £750k

“Small garages are the ones we love to hear about – size is no problem and the job is never too big (via phillip). If this sounds like one of your customers nominate them for this award.”

*Retailer of the yearopen to all independent aftermarket retailers

“Does your business combine slick professionalism with friendly customer service? If you can answer yes to both those questions, you could be in with a shot at this award.”

Last year’s winner: A1 Motabitz

*Supplier of the yearopen to all aftermarket suppliers

“Do you have a supplier who delivers the right part on time first time every time? If so, this is the award for them.”

Last year’s winner: NGK

*Person of the year

“Which one person in the aftermarket deserves to be held above all others in 2013? Perhaps for a special contribution to their business or for overcoming personal troubles? If you have someone in mind, let us know.”

Last year’s winner: Brian Childs, NGK

*Lifetime Achievement Award

“Our most prestigious award, the Lifetime Achievement is decided by a CAT panel of experts.”

Last year’s winner: Joe Elliott

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First Line’s going up in the world

The site already looks impressive

The site already looks impressive

This week I’ve been playing at being Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs. I went to see First Line’s new home (just off the M40, junction 11) in Banbury. The site is still very much under construction, but it’s already very impressive.

Having moved a number of times over the past few years, md Dan Joyner hopes this new location will become a permanent home for the company.

He’s certainly given himself a lot of growing space too. I was blown away by the size and complexity of the operation.

It’s easy to quote impressive numbers when it comes to warehousing space, but I think seeing one being built speaks volumes. First Line’s monolith is truly massive. Massive enough to race a couple of JCB’s in, admits project manager Matt Vicarage who’s overseeing the final stages of the construction.

Matt’s crew of 80 aren’t playing about though. In fact they’re planning to complete the build two months ahead of schedule. With my Grand Designs hat on again, that’s pretty much unheard of.

That’s not to say the build hasn’t gone without a hiccup though. Sound-insulating boards which line most of the walls of the upper floors are having to be lifted and put in place by hand because the sub-contracted workforce missed a vital deadline to get them in before windows were fitted. Considering that each board weighs around 35 kilos, that’s quite a mistake to make.

Security around the site is tight, especially as some of the materials being used are incredibly expensive. Matt showed us some copper cable they’re using, just enough for 50 metres of wiring. He says each metre of the cable is worth £500. It’s easy to see why there’s a security presence on the site around the clock.

Still, the build is progressing well, says Joyner, who’s anticipating moving into his new office around Easter next year, with some stock being moved in as soon as Christmas. With a truly massive warehouse space, supported by a trade counter, telesales team, IT support, and even more space to grow First Line’s new home is shaping up to be something special.

CAT will follow its progress into the new year, and we expect great things from First Line.

Posted in Blogs, Peter Lawton's BlogComments (0)

New Nationwide garage opens in Cornwall

New Nationwide garage opens in Cornwall

Nationwide Accident Repair Services is celebrating opening the doors of its latest branch in Redruth, Cornwall.

The Fast Fit Plus centre is the third in a chain of wholly owned garages operated by Nationwide. The company says the search for third site began following two successful pilot garages in Kettering and Leicester.

The Nationwide Fast Fit Plus garages offer tyres, MOTs, servicing and all of the traditional fast fit options motorists have come to expect, plus body and glass repairs.

The Redruth branch, as with the existing two garages, is attached alongside a Nationwide Repair Centre branch with renewed branding and signage.

Nationwide is hoping its £200,000 pound investment in the new site on the Pool Industrial Estate in Redruth will pay off in local business. Indeed, the company already reports it has attracted fleet and retail customers in the local area.

Nationwide territory manager for Devon and Cornwall Colin Bater said: “Redruth is the most southerly Nationwide Repair Centre in the UK and is a tremendously successful branch for the organisation, with steady growth and consistently excellent customer care feedback.

“The business already has a loyal customer base in the area, including many local businesses, and it is ideally placed to attract passing traffic so it made sense to give the site a more obvious retail appeal and broader offering.”

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Is online servicing taking off?

You may well have seen sites like E-beepbeep, whocanfixmycar and servicingstop in the media already.

They’re a new generation of servicing and repair providers, giving customers ever more choice on where they take their cars to be serviced.

The premise is simple: customers enter their car data online, along with their address and what needs doing. For most of the sites, local garages that are free to do the work are then listed for the customer to choose from, along with reviews and star ratings from satisfied patrons.

For some though, jobs are simply put into a lottery pool of repair work, and garages contact customers directly providing estimates. The customer then chooses where to take their car based on the estimates.

Regardless of which site customers choose though, the point is a simple one. Servicing is increasingly moving online, and garages who fail to take advantage are missing out on a lot of business. One garage CAT went to visit recently said they get a good portion of their staple servicing and MoT work through one such website.

These sites are a goldmine of opportunities for garages, and all you need to do in most cases is sign up!

Here’s some to get you started:

E-beepbeep

Whocanfixmycar

Mycarservicing

Servicingstop

Posted in Blogs, Darren Moss' BlogComments (0)

RMI backs proMOTe campaign

RMI backs proMOTe campaign

The RMI is backing the proMOTe campaign

The RMI is backing the proMOTe campaign

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) has put its support behind the proMOTe campaign against changes to the MoT test schedule.

The industry body says that 25 organisations have joined together to oppose any change to the MoT test schedule. Those organisations represent motorists, cyclists, small businesses, and insurers.

RMI director Stuart James said: “Record levels of cars and vans are failing their MoTs. Maintenance standards are slipping due to the lack of money car users currently have at their disposal.

“If the annual MoT was to change system road user safety would be detrimentally affected. Evidence shows that more than 250 additional road deaths and more than 2,200 additional serious injuries could occur every year if the frequency change was to go ahead.

“The RMI backs the ProMOTe campaign because it is taking the message to the consumer and defends road user safety.”

The RMI says it will continue to take a leading role in the fight against MoT changes. It also says it will continue to lobby the Government on the matter.

Posted in Garage News, NewsComments (0)

EEC turns pink for breast cancer

EEC turns pink for breast cancer

European Exhaust and Catalyst has raised almost £500 for Breast Cancer Care.

The aftermarket catalytic converter manufacturer has been ‘going pink’ to raise money during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Staff at the Denmead-based company spent the day dazzling customers in pink clothing, making donations and raffling off pink home-cooked treats.

Altogether the company has raised £466.32 for Breast Cancer Care.

The Breast Cancer Care charity cares for over 50,000 people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. EEC’s donations will go towards funding vital services like helplines and support groups.

EEC’s managing director Paul Clark said: “This is a cause very close to our hearts and we’re proud to be able to raise awareness amongst our staff, and make a positive contribution to an excellent charity.”

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Manbat buys Battery Power Systems

Manbat buys Battery Power Systems

Steve Shepperd says Manbat now has a £9 million turnover

Steve Shepperd says Manbat now has a £9 million turnover

Battery distributor Manbat has strengthened its position in the market by buying a competitor company, Battery Power Systems.

BPS is an independent battery supplier specialising in forklift, emergency lighting, and vehicle sensor battery applications.

Already one of the UK’s largest battery distributors Manbat’s position in the market is considerably strengthened by the acquisition.

BPS said that during previous talks with Manbat it became clear that the two businesses operated in very similar ways. It says that the combined power of the two companies should mean quick growth.

Manbat’s managing director Steve Sheppard said: “The acquisition fits well with Manbat’s desire to strengthen its position within the industrial battery sector and generally into markets additional to automotive.

“It is also a good indication of parent company Eco-Bat’s desire to support Manbat in its expansion plans and now means that Manbat’s industrial division is a £9 million turnover business.”

Manbat has confirmed that all 35 members of staff currently employed by BPS will continue to remain with the business, and that BPS will continue to be headed by commercial director, Keith MacDonald.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, NewsComments (0)

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