Archive | October, 2016



Barum barnstableSouth-West based factor chain Barum Autoparts has been acquired by the Autostores Group. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The six-branch chain was started in Barnstable in 1990 by David Payne and David Knight. A previous nominee for the Factor of the Year CAT Award, the group also includes  Mike Best Auto Components in St. Austell.

Confirming the acquisition, Autostores MD Alastair Whatmore  said: “This will be a positive addition to our own company and we are looking forward to working with the Barum team, customers and suppliers in the future”.

Whatmore also noted that the acquisition would be a ‘welcome addition’ to the Parts Distribution Partnership (PDP) buying group, which he also chairs. The PDP had been seeking new members since the departure of Pat Williams, Partservice and others earlier in the year.



Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Latest News, NewsComments (0)



The Competition and Markets Authority is to probe the recent acquisition of Andrew Page by Euro Car Parts.

The case was opened on October 14, but no start or end date for the inquiry  has yet been announced.

Full details on the investigation, including the contact for any representations can be found on the CMA website here. 


Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Latest News, latest news, NewsComments (1)


David Eszenyi shows us around Ivor Searle’s remanufacturing facilities in Soham

Ivor Searle

Ivor Searle’s history began 60 years ago when the eponymous agricultural engineer made his mark on the industry by setting up his engine reconditioning business in the village of Wicken. After Searle’s passing in 1956, sons Colin and Michael eventually joined the business rebranding The Wicken Crankshaft and Bearing Company to Ivor Searle Ltd.

The duo relocated to the 10,000 sq ft. Soham-based facility in 1983 where they went on to sell remanufactured engines across the UK. “Colin decided to learn more about the business and so he carried it on”, said Commercial Director David Eszenyi: “He thought the key is stock availability selling an engine off the shelf rather than waiting for it to come in and fix, which was a bit of a turning point for the company”.

33 years later, Searle’s vision lives on bigger and better than before with an extra factory space operating a stones throw from the main building; specialising in rebuilding engines and cylinder heads back to OE spec. Meanwhile, a 15,000 sq ft. facility was opened in 2012 behind the existing factory for the production of reman gearboxes and turbochargers.

With a large space to operate, Eszenyi was bought in as Factory Manager in 2012 due to his knowledge and expertise of the automotive industry, having previously ran manufacturing facilities for the likes of Rolls-Royce and Prodrive. Along with Eszenyi and Colin Searle overseeing the operation, the company employs 100 staff across its three facilities while delivering to over 1,500 automotive distribution outlets. “We run a 50 mile radius where we pick up and have stock delivered by TNT”, said Eszenyi. “They come in every day while we load up the trucks for next day delivery. TNT brings back the old core for us, which is important when the engine is fitted.”

Cylinder head work in progress

Cylinder head work in progress

With around 2,000 customer accounts on its books, the firm has found the recently installed Ecat trading platform along with a revamped e-commerce website that draws data from Car Web and MAM has helped to generate more business while taking some pressure off sales staff who deal with around 500 calls each day. Eszenyi notes: “By the time you put the phone down, we might get five to six quotes from the same registration numbers from garages of customers ringing around trying to find the best price”.

Our tour started with the Head Shop, which might sound very new-age, but in fact is concerned with the top end of engines. Eszenyi walked us through the procedure: “We have a stringent process where we strip the unit down. Once it is down to its component parts, they are machine tested, crack checked and put back to OE specification”, he said. “We provide an engine rebuild service where we pick up the engine with a 10 day turn around and deliver it back to reman spec”. He explained that the company could deal with many types of engine, ranging from popular classics to LCV diesel and petrol models up to four litres.

Worn parts are scrapped

Worn parts are scrapped

The Head Shop was coherent in layout with the first room used as a stripping bay to break down the engine components before undergoing a deep steam and clean process. Eszenyi added: “We treat pistons as consumable parts and they all go in the bin along with the gaskets and bearings, before putting new ones in”. There was a lot of rattling and twanging further on as the team re-built and sprayed the engines and cylinder heads in the workshop area. We managed to get a close up view of a reman built V12 classic Jaguar engine before it was packaged and sent out for distribution.

When asked about the training involved, Eszenyi said: “Cambridge has been a predominately growing area in engineering. Here it’s growing so you’ve got no choice but to train everybody properly as long as they’ve got the mechanical knowledge”. The firm has also taken on apprentices from colleges in and around the Cambridgeshire area to provide them with the necessary skills to carry out engineering on reman components.

The final stop was the turbocharger and gearbox factory, which followed the same order, as the parts were broken down, cleaned, rebuilt and re-sprayed before they were boxed and sent off to stockists. Eszenyi wrapped up the tour: “Every garage in the network will know Ivor Searle for engines, but it’s the aftercare where we win a lot of work. When something goes wrong we deal with it. We are like the Waitrose of the aftermarket”. He added: “The warranty staff fix so many problems over the phone thanks to their in-depth experience and the aftercare service we provide”.

Europe is the next market

Europe is the next market

The company has some projects lined up with plans to expand its export business further into Europe by introducing next day delivery to its European customers. Eszenyi explained: “We are going to push further exports into Europe because the market is healthy as there is a lack of reman product”. He continued: “Depending on the courier, it could take four to five days to go there so we want to supply next day delivery as we do in the UK”.

Eszenyi said the reman firm hasn’t ruled out producing alternators, brake calipers and axles further down the line, but for now, it will continue bulking out its fastest selling lines and distribution to the UK and Europe. We look forward to catching up again with the team at Ivor Searle soon.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Out and About with CATComments (0)


If you are not clear about what you will pay, or what you want to be paid, here is a risk of wasting everybody’s time, writes Pri Chauhan

Pri Chauhan is a Director at PG Automotive Aftermarket Recruitment

Pri Chauhan is a Director at PG Automotive Aftermarket Recruitment

In the automotive aftermarket, the majority of declined job offers are a result of something salary-related.

Of course, there can be other factors that force a candidate to decline an offer; job title, location, benefits package or so much more. In the automotive industry in particular, the choice of company car is so emotive that I have witnessed candidates turn down great jobs on the basis of the brand of car, which isn’t very sensible. The way that some people react, you might think that only four German brands are able to build a car!

However, it has been my experience that salary is the number one reason. As salary plays such a major role in a successful hire, it is important that both the candidate and employer are on the same page about it. If there is a significant gap between the two sides, chances are the offer process will be bumpier than the ride on the run-flat tyres on your shiny new German marque.


Unfortunately, most conversations surrounding salary are viewed as difficult and therefore uncomfortable. As a society we have established that talking about salary feels as taboo as openly discussing politics or religion. As a recruiter, it is important to separate what it’s like to have a discussion at the dinner table with a friend versus gathering information that leads to a successful appointment. The sooner you take away the stigma that goes with ‘what do you make?’, the sooner you will be able to have an effective conversation and understand where everyone stands on the matter.


Salary information is so crucial to a successful hire; the conversation needs to be had sooner rather than later. A candidate does not want to go through several rounds of interviews taking multiple days off of work and spending hours preparing for tough questions, only to find out the business cannot afford to hire them.

Likewise, recruiters don’t want to spend time prepping and facilitating candidates to interview only to find out the person they are representing has outlandish, unobtainable expectations. The same can be said for hiring managers; no party wants their time wasted for no reason.



For recruiters, it is important to be on top of this, the whole way through the process. Keeping all this in mind, I like to have the salary conversation with my candidates immediately. That means on the first call. I always ensure the candidate that I am NOT trying to lock them down on a salary amount, rather that I would like to know what it would take for them to accept a new role.

It’s important the candidate knows that having this conversation is actually in their very best interests. I always do my best to relay this to the individual. Also, remind them that private health care, holiday allowance and other package factors will impact this number too, so it’s not the be-all and end-all right then and there.


I like to prompt the subject by asking: “in order for me to get you the best offer, what would you be looking for in total first year earnings?” It allows the candidate to realise that I am going to work for them to get the best offer I can.

There is no point encouraging a candidate through the interview process that is too much of a reach for them, or not going to fulfill their monetary goals. If their expectations are unrealistic, it’s better to confront the situation head on at the start. Likewise, if our client can’t pay them what they want and deserve, we like them to be upfront about it. Asking them what an unbelievable, excellent, good, okay, unsatisfactory and outright terrible offer would be is also a good way to understand their priorities, appreciate how important salary is to them and recognise how much selling you’ll have to do come offer stage, depending on the amount.


As soon as you realise that you are asking this information for the benefit of the candidate, salary talks no longer becomes an awkward or difficult conversation. It is important to gather all of the information that will impact the acceptance of an offer ahead of time so there are no surprises throughout the process.

Enough can go wrong in the recruiting process, so the more you can limit issues, the easier it will be to hire successfully!

Posted in CAT Know-How, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, NewsComments (0)



06102016ga_1300_lds2This year, the joint GroupAuto and UAN Gala Dinner and Awards was the first corporate event to be hosted in the newly expanded Main Stand at Anfield, home of Liverpool Football Club. The evening kicked off with pre-dinner drinks – sponsored by Denso – in the brand new Chemistry of LFC suite which overlooked the pitch. Liverpool legend John Aldridge was present at the drinks reception for photo opportunities with the Champions League cup. Guests then made their way to dinner in the gala dinner room, where they enjoyed a three course meal and drinks amongst fellow members and suppliers.
The meal was followed by the Member & Supplier of the Year Awards and the BEN Charity Fundraiser. Toby Whewell, GroupAuto Commercial Sales Manager and Karen Martin, UAN Sales Manager, presented the awards and commended the nominees in each category for their commitment to the group this year.

WINNER – David Huggett Motor Factors Ltd

The Nominees – David Huggett Motor Factors Ltd, Anglesey Commercial Spares Ltd, Commercial Motor Products Ltd, CV Parts, Hydrair Truck & Trailer Parts

LV Member of the Year (£3m+ approved supplier purchases)

WINNER – LDS Motor Factors

The Nominees – Livingston Autoparts, D & A Factors (Dundee) Ltd, GL Motor Factors Ltd, Highland Motor Parts Ltd, Motorcare Motor Factors Ltd, LDS Motor Factors

LV Member of the Year (Up to £3m approved supplier purchases)

WINNER – M1 Motor Parts Ltd

The Nominees – Kingswood Autopart Ltd, MGM Motor Components Ltd, M1 Motor Parts Ltd, North West Motor Factors Ltd, SW Motor Factors, SRS Autoparts


LV Supplier of the Year


The Nominees – Banner Batteries, Apec, Exol Lubricants, FPS, Juratek, TMD Friction

CV Supplier of the Year

WINNER – LED Autolamps

The Nominees – LED Autolamps, TMD Friction, Winnards

Congratulations to the winners and nominees in every category.

Nigel Williams from the industry charity BEN followed the awards with a few words on recent developments and how they see the charity growing in 2017 with the help of fundraising activities. Firstly, Lumag presented a cheque for £3,114.20 to Nigel Williams for their fundraising activity this year, which together with the money raised on the gala dinner night, saw a total of £7,114.20 presented to the BEN charity at the end of the evening.

Nigel then hosted the final part of the evening; guests were asked to stand to play ‘Heads or Tails’.

Game 1 winner – Elaine Aylott from Car Spares Cheshunt won a Bosch Cordless Pack worth £500, donated by Bosch.

Game 2 winner – Simon Clarke from BRT Group won a GIANT Mountain Bike donated by Bilstein Group.



Posted in Factor & Supplier News, News, UncategorisedComments (0)


A hybrid training vehicle

A hybrid training vehicle

Euro Car Parts has become the latest factor to introduce a training programme for independent workshops. Boasting IMI-certified training, the initiative also includes a technical helpline and an online diagnostics database that includes a library of previous faults.

The initiative is supported by training firm Grup Eina and covers all areas of vehicle maintenance. This includes electrical, electronic, mechanical and diagnostic fault-finding and offers assessment and training for every level of workshop employee. For the master technician, courses take place at one of the factor’s IMI-approved training centres, which have a number of vehicles with various simulated faults that replicate real-life vehicle issues.

The programme covers three levels of membership. Level one offers unlimited use of helpline time, as well as access to troubleshooting and online assessments for technicians. Level two adds to that with one, two-day training course, while level three offers three, two-day training courses every year.

ECP says that the first 200 garages to sign up will receive a weekend package to attend AutoInform Live, including hotel accommodation and dinner with the Euro Car Parts team. AutoInform Live takes place the weekend of 19 and 20 November and provides a great opportunity to gain aftermarket insight and training while mixing with like-minded businesses.

Martin Gray, CEO at ECP, noted: “We’re delighted to further build on our commitment to the independent garage by unveiling our new training initiative. Technology continues to evolve at pace, with vehicles that are now more fuel efficient, computationally complex and diverse than ever before. With alternatively-fuelled vehicles and connected technology all making their way into the garage, it is important that the industry is in a position to respond.”

Gray continued: “Euro Car Parts is passionate about the UK’s independent garage network and, by investing in programmes such as the Euro Academy, we want to make sure our trade customers are well- placed to further build on their far-reaching levels of quality and service. Working in partnership with our members, we will continue to invest in and develop the Euro Academy to ensure that the independent garage sector is robustly positioned for the transport infrastructure of the future.”

Posted in Blogs, Garage News, News, UncategorisedComments (0)



15584417 - corporate partnership and business teamwork growth concept with two human head shapes merging together to form an upward pointing arrow made of gears and cogs as a financial success symbol on a white background

Suppliers MafcoBell and DL Products have merged, forming a new company Mafco Autobar.

Both companies are known for their own brand products, as well as for distributing other names, including Trico, Abro and Supercool from the USA and Jubilee and Bailcast from the UK.

For 30 years DL Products have supplied Autobar workshop consumables while MafcoBell produced similar lines, albeit in larger trade packs that were aimed at accessory shops and factors.

A statement from the newco said: “By combining both ranges, along with the brand distribution that both companies currently offer, we believe that we can now offer the automotive aftermarket a complete range that is second to none”.

“We look forward to providing an improved service to all of our customers with our expanded ranges” the statement concluded.

The new company was registered in July and started trading on the first day of October.


Photo: Copyright: <a href=’’>lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, News, UncategorisedComments (0)



equipe-geneve-devant-facade-2Alliance Automotive Group has announced that it has acquired Geneve Occasion, a large-scale dismantler of end-of-life vehicles. The facility has outlets in the French towns of Niort and la Rochelle.

This acquisition is part of a new development in the Group’s to expand its scope of activity in the parts recycling sector. Beginning 1st of January of 2017, a law on ‘energy transition’ in France requires all professionals involved in the maintenance and repair of vehicles to offer consumers recycled parts or remanufactured parts.

Despite the name, Geneva Occasion has no connection with Switzerland. Annually, the business dismantles 6,000 light vehicles and indexes the core and body panels for traceability. Company President Francois Logeay will remain with the firm following the transition to the new owner.

“Our Group will be an important actor in this sector,” commented Eric Girot, Managing Director of Alliance Automotive Group – France.   “This investment will enable us to meet the future needs of our distribution networks, namely Groupauto, Partners, Precisium Gef’Auto as well as our repairer networks and insurance partners. Geneva Occasion’s performance is built upon a long and solid relationship with insurers. By means of this acquisition, we intend to offer a ready-made solution for customers looking for structured channels in the spare parts recycling sector” he said.

The acquisition follows on from a string of high-profile acquisitions by AAG in recent months. Notably, the Group acquired wholesaler FPS along with Apec Braking and BTN Turbo from Lookers PLC in August.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Latest News, NewsComments (0)



trw-aftermarket_brake_discTRW Aftermarket has introduced a range of high-performance two-piece (Semi-Compound) brake discs, designed to enhance safety and performance and extend endurance levels in heavier, more powerful vehicles.

This news was announced at this year’s Automechanika, Frankfurt. It further strengthens TRW’s position as the leading supplier of Corner Module (braking, steering & suspension) parts and systems by highlighting its commitment to offering a safer drive across all classes and weight of vehicle.

The initial range of Semi-Compound discs totals 24 part numbers and caters for various BMW models (Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, X5 and X6).

Semi-Compound brake discs consist of a corrosion resistant aluminium hub, joined to the grey cast iron friction ring by special steel pins. This construction allows the heat generated when braking to spread freely, preventing the disc from distorting due to thermal stress.

The use of aluminium also makes the part lighter. This reduces the unsprung mass which decreases fuel consumption and makes the vehicle smoother to drive and easier to handle.

Kevin Price, Marketing Manager, TRW Aftermarket explained: “As a global leader in automotive braking, we strive for the perfect solution for every class and weight of vehicle.

“As vehicles become ever faster and more powerful – as well as heavier due to the increasing number of additional mechanisms to aid safety and comfort – the braking system is subjected to greater and more exacting demands.”

With the consequences of brake discs overheating ranging from reduced performance through to total failure, intelligent thermal management is playing a key role in brake disc development.

Kevin continued: “We utilise a multitude of methods to dissipate heat in a deliberate and controlled way. This is vital to prevent the heat being transferred to other components or the brake fluid.

“By designing and developing a wide range of OE technologies, including braking systems, for the majority of vehicle manufacturers including braking systems, we understand how each component within a system can affect the others. We therefore appreciate that for maximum benefit and performance, all parts have to be developed to work in harmony.”

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)



pagidPagid are on a mission to understand the challenges facing workshops in the realms of the automotive aftermarket in 2016.

They are conducting an extensive survey that will also seek to gain perceptions of what technicians look for when choosing brake parts, their opinions on brands, and more.

By sharing your views in Pagid’s survey, you will also enter a competition, with the opportunity to win a ‘Fully Loaded Pagid Kit’, worth over £500.

Sadie Parker, Business Development Manager at Pagid comments: “At Pagid, we are continually developing products, tools and training courses for you, our valued customers, so it’s vital for us to listen to you to see what your issues are, what you look for in braking, and how we can make your workdays more efficient”.

Workshops, mechanics and technicians, can have their say at: Entries are open until the end of October 2016 and results will be published later this year.

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)

  • FRANCHISING: The perils of buying into an unproven chain
  • EAT MY (BRAKE) DUST: Should we take brake pad emissions more seriously?
  • PRODUCTIVITY PUZZLE: Is the aftermarket as productive as it should be? .

more info

    • Should hand car washes face further regulation?

      View Results

      Loading ... Loading ...
    • Popular
    • Latest
    • Comments
    • Tags
    • Subscribe