Archive | November, 2011

JOHNSON CONTROLS LAUNCHES START-STOP DIAGNOSTICS TOOL

JOHNSON CONTROLS LAUNCHES START-STOP DIAGNOSTICS TOOL

The tool costs just over £1500

The tool costs just over £1500

Johnson Controls has launched a diagnostic tool to help garages tackle the growing Start-Stop vehicle market.

The Varta Stop-Start Service Program (VSSP) tool will cost garages just over £1500 when it is launched in March. Johnson Controls says it will help technicians to identify and diagnose Start-Stop battery faults, and aid workshops in sourcing and fitting replacement units.

As well as the unit workshops are being offered a comprehensive training programme developed by Exponentia to help them get to grips with Start-Stop technology.

The company says it expects Start-Stop vehicles to account for 70% of the new car parc by 2015, roughly 35 million units.

Johnson Controls expects the market for convention lead-acid batteries to fall significantly as other markets rise.

Johnson Controls’ Training and Technical Services Manager Joacim Alderborn said: “On the one hand 70% of independent workshops consider the subject relevant for the near future, but 60% are still unprepared for repairing a Start-Stop car. 80% would even defer their customers to the main dealer.”

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Zero Clips completes staff buyout

The group says it wants to drive Zero Clips' growth

The group says it wants to drive Zero Clips' growth

Zero Clips is celebrating a successful management buy-out by its employees.

As a result of the buyout four of the staff have now become Directors in the company. John and Lynn Lymer, Kvieta Dixon and Imran Munawar have all worked at the company for several years.

The group say they embarked on the buyout when they heard the original owners of the business had decided to retire and planned to sell the company.

The clips manufacturer and distributor has seen strong growth in recent years, moving to a new premises in Birmingham in 2008.

Although the group would not disclose the price paid for the company, they agree that the future looks bright for Zero Clips. The sale was completed back in September, but the group has only now chosen to shout about its future.

In a statement the new owners said: “It’s early days, but we want to increase sales and create new jobs for the Birmingham area, which will secure a bright future for us all.”

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TRW TO OPEN NEW PLANT IN MEXICO

TRW TO OPEN NEW PLANT IN MEXICO

The plant will employ 450 workers

The plant will employ 450 workers

TRW is opening a brand new production facility in Mexico to produce its range of advanced brake systems.

The components manufacturer and supplier is building a 150,000 square foot facility in the Mexican state of Queretaro to manufacturer hydraulic control units for a variety of ESC applications.

Those applications include TRW’s own Slip Control Boost system, which works as an integral part of regenerative braking systems on electric vehicles. The plant will also product brake actuation units including boosters and master cylinders.

Production at the new plant is anticipated to being in the first quarter of 2012. TRW says the plant will employ 450 workers when full production is reached.

TRW’s Global Vice President of Braking Operations Doug DelGrosso said: “The new braking facility will complement our existing facility in Queretaro and represents a significant investment in advanced braking technologies and manufacturing processes. The plant will be geared to aluminum machining and clean room assembly environments to meet the stringent cleanliness requirements of hydraulic valve assembly.”

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POTHOLES ARE COMING – ARE YOU READY?

POTHOLES ARE COMING – ARE YOU READY?

Potholes could give your workshop a winter bonus

Potholes could give your workshop a winter bonus

The AA’s army of road watchers has warned that even before winter has fully set in the UK’s roads are already suffering from potholes.

Councils around the UK have been named and shamed by the AA, with the South West being the only region to have on average more repaired potholes than new ones.

The AA’s survey involved over 1000 members noting potholes around their local areas. The results present a picture of councils being overwhelmed by the amount of potholes present.

Overall the North East and Scotland had the most potholes per neighbourhood, averaging 19 and 21 potholes respectively against a national average of 14.

The increase in potholes could play right into the hands of garages, with broken springs and worn tyres giving workshops lots of winter work.

AA President Edmund King said: “Drivers don’t want to spend the winter trying to zig-zag around even more potholes and paying out when their cars are damaged by repairable road defects. The poor condition of the roads is of particular concern to those on two wheels when the consequences of hitting a pothole can be fatal.

“Many councils have been swamped by the deluge of potholes, yet the evidence from the South West suggests the problem can be turned around.”

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Not voted in the CAT awards yet? Time is running out!

Hundreds of you have already voted for your aftermarket heroes in the 2012 CAT awards.

It’s already looking to be the closest competition yet, with no clear winners emerging in any of our main categories. So if you haven’t taken the time to vote yet, now’s your chance!

Just log on to our secure voting system and register your support for your aftermarket heroes.

Who gives you great service every time? Who forwards the cause of the aftermarket? Who makes your business shine? The CAT awards are YOUR chance to get your industry heroes recognised.

If your business is lucky enough to have made the final shortlist, now’s the time to be badgering your customers to vote!

Voting closes at the end of December, so if you haven’t voted yet time is fast running out. It’s time for one last push folks and remember, every vote counts!

Good luck.

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Avon tyres relaunches website

Avon's site has been completely redesigned

Avon's site has been completely redesigned

Avon tyres has relaunched its website, promising to give customers an enhanced online experience.

The brand, owned by Cooper Tire and Rubber Company, says its website will provide a more intuitive experience for consumers.

The site is now live and features a re-designed layout to give improved access to vehicle information. The Avon Motorsport division has also had its website enhanced as part of the overhaul.

The site can also point customers towards their local Avon Tyres outlet by using the ‘find a dealer’ section.

Cooper Tire’s European Marketing Communications Manager Sarah McRoberts said: “Our main objective for the new site was to make it much more intuitive for consumers to use and locate the right tyres. We’ve brought each of the areas together so that people can navigate the site easily.

“We wanted to make the technical details of our motorsport tyres as easy to find as those for road going vehicles. We have one of the largest selections of competition tyres in the world and it’s great to be able to offer them all through the new site.”

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CES BRINGS CHESTER TO A STANDSTILL

CES BRINGS CHESTER TO A STANDSTILL

CES brings Chester to a standstill

CES brings Chester to a standstill

CES bought the streets of Chester to a standstill recently as cars taking part in the Winter Rally Challenge parked up in the city center.

The parts distributor sponsored the rally challenge, and decided to bring some of the glory back to its hometown of Chester.

More than 70 cars were on show for the public, ahead of the four day rally to Monte Carlo. Drivers in period clothing were on hand to answer questions from the excited crowds.

The following morning spectators turned out to see the cars set off for Monte Carlo. CES chairman and keen rally participant Howard Warren said: “That is as a big a welcome as we have ever had for any rally I have taken part in.

“To have over 1000 people come out on Sunday morning to see us off was very special.”

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AMK warns against “white box” quality

I’ve had an interesting day listening to the good people from AMK talking about the dangers of ‘white box’ products.

It’s an unfortunate fact that in recent years more and more suppliers have gone East in search of lower prices. But does a lower price mean lower quality?

AMK showed the gathered trade press some first-hand examples of what can go wrong when quality is allowed to suffer. The simple fact is that there are some parts out there which are downright dangerous because quality has been forsaken and the sale has only been driven by one factor – price.

AMK says it would be happy to see legislation coming into force in the UK to govern the quality of parts coming into the country. The question though remains – who would govern such a procedure? It’s a mammoth task.

The parts manufacturer was clear to point out that it’s not criticising product coming from the East, rather it says there needs to be a greater degree of quality control.

Having seen the damage caused by sub-standard parts myself today, I’m inclined to agree.

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ACDelco launches E-cat for workshops

The E-cat can be found on the ACDelco website

The E-cat can be found on the ACDelco website

ACDelco has launched its own E-catalogue to help customers do business.

The parts manufacturer says its new E-catalogue is ‘one of the industry’s best’ when it comes to ease of use and getting information quickly.

ACDelco is the latest in a steady stream of companies transferring from traditional catalogues to online versions. E-cats make getting parts information as simple as clicking a mouse – better than searching through the pages of a catalogue!

ACDelco UK boss Lee Quinney said: “The brief behind its creation and delivery was for it to be made as easy as possible to use, whilst giving customers immediate access to logically presented and relevant information, and for me we have achieved this.

“Whilst to say we have been inundated with the number of customers who have made very favourable comments would be an exaggeration, the feedback that we have had has made the investment extremely worthwhile.”

ACDelco says its E-cat can help technicians retrieve part information quickly and efficiently, whilst also providing a wealth of related product information.

ACDelco’s E-cat is available on the company’s website.

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Ring warns workshops to ‘see the light’

Ring expects an increase in bulb sales

Ring expects an increase in bulb sales

Ring automotive is warning workshops and retailers to gear up for extra bulb sales.

The lighting manufacturer warns that as winter nights draw in, garages could be inundated with customers wanting their car lights checked. Inevitably that could result in a large demand for replacement bulbs.

Ring is also warning motorists to get their headlights checked. It says that inadequate lighting is incredibly dangerous on dark roads. Ring is also pushing for workshops to make checking vehicle lights part of every job during the winter months.

To help technicians trying to get customers to “see the light” (sorry) Ring has also produced two A2 size posters detailing the benefits of upgraded bulbs.

Ring says letting customers know the benefits of better lighting could help garages make better profits this winter.

Both posters are free for all garages, and are available from local factors.

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