Archive | March, 2014

Apec joins TecDoc’s CATALOG database

Apec joins TecDoc’s CATALOG database

TecAlliance_block_rgb_1200TecDoc has added braking specialist Apec to its growing list of suppliers using its cataloguing and parts identification system.

The braking supplier with more than 30 years experience of working with motor factors and garages will become an official data supplier for TecDoc’s CATALOG system.

TecDoc’s Shaun Greasley, said: “This welcome development means that TecDoc licence holders and those with a derived web-portal, can now search Europe’s most popular and comprehensive parts data system and find an Apec reference when receiving an order from their garage customers.”

“As factors are acutely aware, parts returns and incorrect product identification account for a very high level of costs to a typical factor, so any improvement that is made in the process of identifying and supplying the correct product will directly result in reductions to these costs and increase profits on the bottom line.”

Motor factors utilising the cataloguing system continues to rise year-on-year as the sector benefits from the number of suppliers providing parts data in one central database.

Greasley added: “Being able to send a customer a single part, without the fear of having to deal with the associated cost of processing a return, is one of the single biggest business efficiency gains possible to a factor and the TecDoc system can make that possibility achievable.

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Exhausts_300pxOfficials from the European Commission have swooped on several exhaust manufacturers in the EU over concerns of cartels, restrictive business practices and/or the abuse of dominant market positions.

Commission officials making the unannounced inspections were accompanied by counterparts from relevant national competition authorities. At this stage the manifold, catalytic converter and diesel particulate manufacturers are not being named.

A statement from the Commission said: “The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.

“The Commission respects the rights of defence, in particular the right of companies to be heard in antitrust proceedings. Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anticompetitive practices.”

There is no legal deadline for the Commission to complete inquiries into concerns of anticompetitive conduct.

Last week the Commission fined five automotive bearing suppliers nearly €1 billion for operating restrictive practices and cartels for more than seven years.

JTEKT’s fine was waived for bringing the activities to the Commission’s attention, but Schaeffler was fined €370,481,000, SKF €315,109,000, NTN €201,354,000, NSK €62,406,000 and NFC €3,956,000.

The Commission is also investigating other products including airbags, safety belts and steering wheels, air conditioning, engine cooling products and systems.

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TerraClean launches first ever awards at its conference

TerraClean launches first ever awards at its conference

TerraClean-awardsRandstad has announced 2014 will be the first year of the TerraClean Awards at its recent industry conference.

It will consist of 15 categories, including Best TerraClean Technician of the Year, Best Mystery Shop and Best Magazine Article, as well as the headline award of Overall Service Centre of the Year, where the winner will receive a holiday for two to Canada, the home of TerraClean.

The 2014 ceremony will take place October 4 at Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire, with all the nominees being voted for by Randstad, its service network and members of the public.

Philip Dowd, Sales Director for Randstad, said: “The TerraClean brand has grown massively over the past two years and these awards are designed to recognise the contribution individual service centres have made to making the TerraClean customer service experience the best it can be.”

This announcement was made during TerraClean’s conference in Newcastle Upon Tyne, which was attended by more than 150 independent garages, dealerships and mobile mechanics.

The event saw the launch of the new TerraClean website, which will enable mechanics to manage customer enquiries and accounts online, and gain access to technical information and support.

Randstad has also introduced a new rewards scheme, giving technicians in its service network the opportunity to earn points from purchasing its products, including consumables, wiper blades and lighting products.

Dowd added: “The TerraClean network is one of the most progressive garage networks in the UK, always looking at how it can add value to the customer service experience. The brand is just over two years old in the UK and with the new service centre status now in place, we are able to manage this growing network ensuring it continues to offer the highest levels of customer service.”

The conference also saw its service network generously donate more than £2000 to Macmillan Cancer Support Charity.

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CatLoc chooses Kwik Fit and Halfords as its fitting partners

CatLoc chooses Kwik Fit and Halfords as its fitting partners

CatLocCatLoc has selected Kwik Fit and Halfords Autocentres as its new fitting partners as it looks make its protection devices more accessible to motorists.

The deal will see the two nationwide chains, with more than 900 fast fit branches between them, sell and fit the catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter protection solutions.

CatLoc’s Managing Director Paul Chase, said: “Partnering with Halfords and Kwik Fit was an obvious choice for us as they are both well known brands who are trusted in the market place. We believe these partnerships will offer motorists and fleet operators an easy and cost effective way of protecting vehicles from catalytic converter theft.”

As a part of the new deal it will be providing a voucher with every solution purchased from this week, allowing the user to have the device fitted at any Halfords Autocentre or Kwik Fit branch for only £29.95.

CatLoc says that theft of exhaust system is still a major problem with more than 25,000 vehicles targeted between January 2011 and June 2013. It adds that commercial vehicles, pick up trucks, people carriers and motorhomes are no longer the only vehicles at threat.

A recent freedom of information request from the Metropolitan Police shows that all vehicles are in need of protection, as hatchbacks, saloons and sports cars are also being targeted.

To combat this problem, it has a number of OEM approved and recommended solutions to protect the exhaust system, including for Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Renault and Volkswagen. All of CatLoc’s products come with a Police and Thatcham-approved registration system linking the cat and DPF to the national police database.

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Aftermarket should make the most of the cabin filter boom

Aftermarket should make the most of the cabin filter boom

sogefi-packagingThe aftermarket needs to be in a position to take advantage of the expected growth of the cabin air filter market, says Sogefi.

The aftermarket giant says it is the only sector in the European filtration market that has continued to grow and has seen increases in excess of 10 percent, which could provide considerable profit for the independent sector.

Sogefi says the independent aftermarket can benefit, because cabin filters are being fitted as standard on new vehicles, and more than 85 percent of the European car parc has one installed.

Andrea Taschini, General Manager of Sogefi’s Aftermarket Business Unit, said: “The public’s growing awareness of the dangers of environmental pollution and the health benefits of frequent filter changes underpin growth in demand for replacement cabin air filters.”

The big growth estimations are based on the French independent aftermarket’s performance, which GiPA shows it accounted for 42 percent of cabin filter sales in 2011 and has been steadily increasing since, with Sogefi expecting sales to exceed 50 percent by 2016.

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Chevrolet-Cruze_GroupautoGroupauto and its Approved Garage scheme have increased their exposure by sponsoring the Power Maxed Racing team in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

The team unveiled  this season’s Chevrolet Cruze, which will be driven by Chris Stockton, at at Donington Park in front of the media last week.

The news comes on the back of a successful campaign of sponsoring BTCC tickets at Donington last season, and now has joined Automotive Brands to become a partner sponsor of the team.

Phil Seymour, Approved Garage’s Network Manager, said: “Today has been a long time in the planning, but to actually see the car finally take to the track, pretty much ready to go, is excellent. The noise of the car in isolation is incredible, but it’s quite deafening when all the engines roar into life. The first race will really be something.”

Sponsoring the Power Maxed Racing team gives both Groupauto and the Approved Garage scheme a much bigger basis in which it can increase its awareness to consumers throughout the 2014 season.

It hopes that with an estimated 20 million TV audience and 400,000 track side spectators mixed in with social media and PR activity, it will see an increase in motorists using its independent garage network.

Chris Chaplin, Commercial Marketing Manager at Groupauto, said: “We look forward to maximising the huge potential on offer with this sponsorship and hospitality package. It will give Approved Garages huge brand exposure across the aftermarket and out to motorists too.

“We also see the social media channels working well to promote the quality of garages in the network and encourage referral business.”

The deal also sees 20 lucky Groupauto members per race being able to experience the BTCC from Power Maxed’s hospitality.

As guests, they will be treated to a first class service, including a buggy shuttle from the gate to the hospitality, food and refreshments, branded apparel, VIP tickets and a chance to explore the pit lane and a chance to meet the driver.

This news comes on the back of FAI Automotive returning to Touring Cars by sponsoring Wix Racing team for the 2014 season.

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IAAF to showcase the advantages of the aftermarket at the CV Show

IAAF to showcase the advantages of the aftermarket at the CV Show

Commercial-Vehicle-Show_300pxThe Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation aims to open the minds of hauliers and fleet operators to the benefits of using the aftermarket.

It will explain how the aftermarket can support the CV sector with replacement parts, technical support and diagnostics, during the upcoming Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

The IAAF wants to help fleet operators and hauliers understand using the independent aftermarket can reduce their running costs, by being able to supply OE quality parts locally, as well as technical support and diagnostic information.

Brian Spratt, Chief Executive at the IAAF, said: “The IAAF won’t be pulling any punches at the CV show. We intend to demonstrate fully the benefits of the independent automotive aftermarket, highlighting once again the federation’s commitment to servicing a member’s business.”

It will be exhibiting in the Workshop area at the CV Show on stand 4E41 and will be joined by members of its Commercial Vehicle Committee throughout the event.

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IMI_Apprentices_300pxDetails on the extra grants announced in the budget for businesses recruiting apprentices have been released.

An extra £170 million is being made available for Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (AGE) in total, half for 2014-2015 and the remainder for the following year.

From January 2015 the grants will also only be available to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Employers who have not had an apprentice in the previous year can apply for the £1,500 grant for up to the first 10 apprentices they take on.

The provision for extra money is designed to ease the transition to the reformed apprenticeship landscape which government is pushing through with the help of industry ‘trailblazers’.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “AGE has been very successful in encouraging smaller businesses to take on their first apprentices.

“With the appetite for apprenticeships growing, this new £170 million investment and programme expansion will give a boost to smaller businesses and enable us to meet the higher than anticipated demand for the scheme over the next two years.”

A further £20 million is being divided across the same two years to support the development of degree-level and postgraduate apprenticeships.

The money is designed to part-fund the training of employees with businesses covering the remaining cost.

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Aftermarket warned that cat theft affects all vehicles

Aftermarket warned that cat theft affects all vehicles

CatLocMetropolitan Police figures on catalytic converter thefts indicate no vehicle is safe, have given the aftermarket an opportunity to target sales and boost its revenue.

CatLoc has received a Freedom of Information report from the Met on thefts of cats over the last four years in London up to June 2013.

The figures show that 616 cats were reported stolen during the first part of last year, almost as many as the whole of 2010 and over half the number of thefts reported in 2011 and 2012.

The report details the makes and models of the vehicles targeted and shows that it is not only commercial vehicles and 4x4s that fall victim to this crime, but also MPVs, hatchbacks and saloons.

The list of vehicles includes BMWs, Vauxhalls, Seats and Toyotas, but the Peugeot 406 and the VW Sharan are two of the most targeted with 98 and 95 thefts respectively. Mercedes Sprinter are by far the most popular target, however, with a staggering 1392 thefts recorded.

The Met Police says that these thefts show little correlation with the rise and fall of the precious metals market, unlike copper theft. However, it does add that a key motivation for the theft is the ease of removal and the unrestricted nature of travel in the European Union.

CatLoc provides a number of bespoke solutions that helps protect the car’s important emissions system, while also being easy to fit and remove, and it adds a number of OEMs have taken active steps to protect their vehicles cats.

Currently, all Mercedes Sprinters and Ford Rangers entering the UK market come with CatLoc’s ISR marking and registration, which feeds into the police database, and allows the authorities to quickly find out where the marked asset has come from. Both manufacturers also offer a CatLoc solution for the Sprinter, Vito and Ranger at their dealerships.

Renault also offers a solution for its Master and Volkswagen will also be offering a bespoke option for the Crafter at its dealership. Catloc says that all of its products bar Mercedes solution and refit packs are available to the aftermarket.

The kits cost around £95 and take five minutes to fit, which means that workshops can give their profits a boost while also protecting a customer’s vehicle.

Previously published BBC figures at the end of 2013, show that almost 4500 cat thefts were reported for the first half of 2013 across the UK, with 13.6 percent of those coming from London.


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American remanufacturer acquires Transhock

American remanufacturer acquires Transhock

GAC-Group-Electric-VehicelCalifornia firm Green Automotive Company (GAC) has snapped up Transhock Ltd in a $1.8 million deal, as it aims to increase its range of remanufactured parts for electric vehicles.

The West Midlands based remanufacturer and distributor was acquired after recording revenues in excess of $7 million in the last financial year. GAC says the deal will extend and develop its remanufactured parts offering, especially as it focuses on battery technology for electric vehicles.

Directors of Transhock, David Davies and Derek Neale will continue with the business and have added to GAC’s management team.

David Davies, Director of Transhock, said: “We’re excited about joining the GAC Group, and feel ready to make a good contribution to the group’s overall strategy. Our business can operate easily on both sides of the ‘pond’, so we look forward to initiating our parts remanufacturing effort, especially for EV’s in America too.”

CEO of Green Automotive Company Ian Hobday added: “By bringing Transhock into the GAC team, we can add to their existing business our emerging electric vehicle parts business.

“By doing this we will gain economies of scale, improve turnaround time, expand our offerings and provide a finished product of a higher quality and better presentation.

“As the use of EV’s continues to grow so the demand for remanufacturing parts will grow with it, and we’ll be well placed to exploit this developing trend.”

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