Archive | July, 2014

BEN opens its doors to former UA employees

BEN opens its doors to former UA employees

Ben-and-UAAutomotive charity BEN has offered its support to former employees of Unipart Automotive.

The industry charity has urged the 1250 workers who lost their jobs when UA went into administration last week, to contact it for any support and help.

Nigel Rothband, Chief Operating Officer at BEN, said: “We are extremely saddened to have lost Unipart Automotive. However, our communities’ priority is to safeguard those who find themselves without employment.

“I am pleased the messages we are communicating are getting through; we have already received a number of calls from those affected and are providing support.”

BEN has a number of services it can offer to those affected by Unipart Automotive’s collapse, which include listening and advice services, to help those who are looking for support with existing monetary situations, on entitlement and application process for job seekers allowance and redundancy payment claims.

It also can help families affected by providing short-term financial assistance, and direct them to agencies and organisations best geared up to support their needs.

Rothband added that while he was delighted to see Andrew Page and the Parts Alliance secure 300 jobs, and Euro Car Parts pledge to make 1500 jobs available over the next 18 months to help those displace by UA, he maintained that BEN would be there for any ex-employee who felt they required any help or support in the interim.

To contact Ben’s support services, call 01344 876770, text to 07781 472622 or email

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, NewsComments (1)



KPMG has been confirmed as the administrator of Unipart Automotive. As reported, the majority of branches will close with immediate effect, with the loss of around 1,300 jobs.

However, 33 sites have been bought by Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance in a deal announced earlier this morning. Branches that remain open and sites that are to close are listed below with the corresponding number of redundancies.

Mark Orton, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Despite intensive efforts over recent weeks, a sale of the whole Unipart Automotive business could not be reached, and a buyer could only be found for 33 of the sites on a going concern basis. Unfortunately, the business had been experiencing financial stress for a number of years, so the level of cash and further operational restructuring required to rescue a more substantial part of the business posed too much risk for most interested parties.

“Our team of employment specialists will be supporting all staff on completing redundancy forms and putting them in touch with job seeker services. We will now be reviewing what options are available for the remainder of the business, such as selling leasehold interests.”

The company also directly supports over 700 independent, owner-operated garages through its Unipart Car Care Centre programme, in addition to having 19 franchisees. These companies fall outside of the administration and will continue to operate as normal.

Branches that remain open as part of the Andrew Page/Parts Alliance deal are as follows:


North East and Yorkshire:

Barnsley (Branch)

Northallerton (Branch)

Sheffield (Distribution Hub and Branch)

Stockton-on-Tees (Distribution Hub and Branch)

North West and Cumbria

Carlisle (Branch)

Lytham St Annes (Branch)

Southport (Branch)*

Warrington (Distribution Hub and Branch)

London and Home Counties

Luton (Branch)

East Anglia

Colchester (Branch)

Felixstowe (Branch)

Great Yarmouth (Branch)

Ipswich (Branch)

Wisbech (Branch)

Kent and Sussex

Chatham (Branch)*

Deal (Branch)*

Dover (Branch)*

Hastings (Branch)*

Greater Manchester and North Wales

Macclesfield (Branch)*

Stockport (Distribution Hub and Branch)

East Midlands and Lincolnshire


Chesterfield (Branch)

Louth (Branch)

Scunthorpe (Branch)


Wales and West

Carmarthen (Branch)*

South West

Barnstaple (Branch)*

Exeter (Distribution Hub and Branch)*

Penryn (Branch)*

Taunton (Branch)*

Tiverton (Branch)*

West Midlands

Shrewsbury (Branch)

Stafford (Branch)

Walsall (Branch)

South Coast and Surrey

Isle of Wight (Branch)

The branches and hubs which have closed with immediate effect, with the corresponding number of staff redundancies, are:

Branch Number of Redundancies
Aberdeen 15
Acton 6
Ashford 7
Avonmouth 27
Aylesbury 5
Ayr 4
Bangor 12
Barrow-In-Furness 4
Basingstoke 6
Bath 5
Bedford 5
Belfast 7
Berwick 4
Bicester 16
Birkenhead 6
Birmingham 12
Birmingham South 19
Bishops Stortford 6
Bletchley 5
Bolton 6
Boston 9
Bournemouth 12
Bradford 11
Brierley Hill 7
Bristol 13
Burton on Trent 6
Bury St.Edmonds 9
Cambridge 27
Cardiff 14
Carlisle 3
Chard 6
Chelmsford 8
Chester 4
Chichester 6
Coventry 9
Crawley 10
Crewe 7
Croydon 11
Dagenham 6
Derby 9
Dundee 9
Dunfermline 5
Durham 11
Eastbourne 7
Edinburgh 8
Elgin 9
Enfield 12
Falkirk 17
Fareham 21
Field Based 32
Folkestone 7
Frome 7
Glasgow 11
Gloucester 12
Grantham 3
Grimsby 4
Guildford 12
Hamilton 4
Harrogate 5
Hayes 4
Head Office – Birmingham 35
Head Office – Bicester 40
Hereford 9
High Wycombe 4
Hove 7
Hub – East Anglia ( 3
Hub – East Midlands 3
Hub – Greater Manchester 1
Hub – London and Essex 3
Hub – North East 2
Hub – North Wales 2
Hub – North West 2
Hub – Scotland 4
Hub – South Coast 3
Hub – South East 3
Hub – South West 4
Hub – Thames Valley 1
Hub – Wales and West 3
Hub – West Midlands 4
Hub – Yorkshire 1
Hull 10
Inverness 7
Keighley 4
Kendal 4
Kidderminster 5
Kilmarnock 5
Kingston Upon Thames 7
Kirkcaldy 7
Leeds 9
Leicester 11
Lincoln 5
Liverpool 8
Llandudno 13
Llanelli 5
Loughborough 4
Lowestoft 10
Luton 1
Maidstone 27
Maldon 5
Mansfield 11
Morecambe 4
Newark 14
Newbury 5
Newcastle 14
Newhaven 4
Newport 7
Newton Abbott 5
Northampton 7
Norwich 12
Nottingham 10
Oldham 5
Oxford 2
Peckham 3
Perth 6
Peterborough 4
Plymouth 14
Porthmadog 7
Portsmouth 9
Preston 9
Ramsgate 13
Rayleigh 13
Reading 5
Redditch 4
Salford 12
Salisbury 5
Sittingbourne 6
Slough 5
Southampton 14
St Albans 8
Staples Corner 6
Stoke 8
Sunderland 7
Swansea 7
Swindon 9
Torquay 7
Tottenham 20
Trealaw 6
Truro 5
Wakefield 5
Watford 6
West Bromwich 2
Weston Super Mare 7
Weymouth 11
Wigan 8
Wolverhampton 8
Woolwich 11
Worcester 8
Worthing 4
Wrexham 7
Yeovil 8
York 8

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, NewsComments (1)



Car parts giant Unipart Automotive will appoint administrators this morning, with predicted job losses estimated to be between 1,200 and 1,300.

CAT understands that KPMG are to be in charge of winding the company up. Attempts to find a buyer for the whole company over the past two weeks have failed. However, Andrew Page in a joint deal with The Parts Alliance to save 33 branches and around 350 related jobs from the former group.

We’ll bring you more news as it breaks.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, NewsComments (7)

Andrew Page to drop CAF brand

Andrew Page to drop CAF brand

Component chain Andrew Page (AP) is to phase out the Camberley Auto Factors (CAF) brand over the next two months. Existing AP branches will also be updated with new signage.

“We understand that there is a great deal of goodwill to both of our brands, and the decision to bring these two families together under one title was not taken lightly.” explains Simon Mullin, Sales and Marketing Director, AP. “However, as we look to the future and expand into new operations, it’s important that we present a clear identity to our customers, staff and our suppliers.”

Jim Sumner, Chairman, AP, commented: “I think that sends a very strong message about a national brand in Andrew Page and that to us is important piece of what we do as we move forward.”

The rebranding of the Andrew Page Group is expected to be complete be the end of September. The news closely follows it’s re-joining of The Parts Alliance.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Greg Whitaker's diary, NewsComments (1)

Imperial Automotive partners with AP Auto Panels

Imperial Automotive partners with AP Auto Panels

Crash parts supplier Imperial Automotive has partnered with AP Auto Panels Wrexham in a bid

The site showcases over 13,000 parts

The site showcases over 13,000 parts

to improve distribution in North Wales.

Phil Davies, owner of AP Auto Panels said “We’ve worked closely with Imperial for over 20 years now and delivering throughout North Wales, Deeside and Chester twice a day.”

Kevin Shipton, Managing Director at Imperial said “AP Auto Panels is a perfect opportunity for us in Wales and is also within reach of our Warrington depot. We are now able to get to AP through the night, allowing Phil(Davies) and his team to deliver early the next day – not just benefiting both businesses, but all our customers in the area.”

Imperial Automotive says it delivers to over 1000 businesses on a daily basis.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, NewsComments (0)



A report in The Daily Telegraph suggests that struggling component supplier Unipart Automotive may be acquired by LKQ Corp – the US-based firm behind Euro Car Parts.

A spokesman at ECP declined to comment.

The newspaper also linked a possible rescue package with Better Capital – a business turnaround fund. Better Capital has been responsible for the buyout of the UK division of Reader’s Digest magazine and for obtaining Fairline Boats in 2011. However, he may be best known to CAT readers as the man behind Alchemy Partners’ unsuccessful bid to buy MG Rover in 2000. The company ultimately went to the Phoenix Consortium.

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Unipart_Logo_300pxFollowing the earlier news that Unipart Automotive has announced its intention to file an ‘intent of administration’ notice, Mark Dixon, Unipart Automotive chief executive, has told Sky News: “In response to current press speculation I can confirm that Unipart Automotive Limited are currently in detailed discussions with three parties in respect of the sale of the business.

“We are very hopeful of concluding this transaction in the next 36 hours. A notice of intention to appoint administrators has been filed, but merely with the intention of protecting Unipart Automotive while we complete this sale process.”

Follow CAT on Twitter for news as it breaks.

Posted in News, UncategorisedComments (3)



Unipart_Logo_300pxComponent supplier Unipart Automotive is on the brink of administration, according to media sources. However, it is still possible that a last minute refinancing deal could be done.

Sky News reported that UA has filed a notice of intention to appoint KPMG to act as administrator following protracted trading difficulties. It reported that the company was hopeful of securing a rescue deal prior to KPMG’s formal appointment that would preserve most, if not all, of the 1,600 jobs. A deal could be struck before the end of the week, it added, although it was unclear where any new funding would come from.

KPMG have made no statement.

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Andrew Page rejoins Parts Alliance

Andrew Page rejoins Parts Alliance

AP-and-PA_300pxBuying and distribution group The Parts Alliance has welcomed the ‘thrilling’ return of Andrew Page as an associate member – signalling a shift in the UK aftermarket.

The Leeds-based national motor factor adds 93 branches and more than £170 million in turnover to the HgCapital backed business group, adding significantly to its national network.

Group membership now stands at 248 branches with a total turnover above £475 million.

Andrew Page was one of the founding partners of The Parts Alliance in 1999. Its return after an absence of six years includes another former The Parts Alliance member, Camberley Auto Factors, which Andrew Page bought in 2012.

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance, said: “Andrew Page is a long established major force in the automotive aftermarket – it is thrilling to have the business back in the fold.

“I and my colleagues can’t wait to start working closely with Chairman Jim Sumner and all his team and sharing best-in-market systems and practice that exist across The Parts Alliance group and Andrew Page.

Jim Sumner, Executive Chairman of Andrew Page said: “We’re delighted to be back with The Parts Alliance’s rapidly expanding family of businesses. We’ve both undergone major change in recent times but these two leading aftermarket brands have a fantastic synergy and we’re a great match.”

HgCapital acquired four members of The Parts Alliance during 2012 and the Parts Alliance Ltd itself in April this year.

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Inside Line: Corteco

Renault Espace:

Corteco points out that following a front-end drive system upgrade, the auxiliary drive systems on some models in this range have failed prematurely because the Torsional Vibration Dampers were changed without fitting new TVD bolts. Corteco recommends that TVDs and TVD Bolts should be replaced along with the drive belt, as part of a drive system upgrade.

All TVD bolts are not the same, which until now was an issue that created storage and selection issues for motor factors and workshops.

TVDs – often known as crankshaft pulleys – take out drive system vibrations that are transmitted through the crankshaft and which can adversely affect the efficiency of the drive system. The bolts have key functions. In addition to securing the pulley, they are designed to stretch. They stretch in order to absorb and deal with the stresses and strains exerted on the pulley, which also provides a decoupling facility.

At low speeds, stress and strain on the TVD increases. Decoupling the pulley from the drive system at low speed reduces the strain and extends the operational lifetime of the pulley.

Bolts that have just been removed from the old pulley are unsuitable for installation with a replacement.

The introduction of a Corteco range of OE quality TVD Kits ensures that installers have access to the correct bolts and the appropriate TVD pulley replacement for the specific model, every time. It also eliminates rectification issues later – which can be significantly complicated if engine damage ensues.

Posted in UncategorisedComments (0)

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