Archive | March, 2018

PUTTING A CAP ON EMISSIONS

PUTTING A CAP ON EMISSIONS

There are plenty of filters out there, but how are suppliers helping garages with their selection?

TPS anti allegen dust and pollen filter

It’s hardly news that emissions are hot on the VMs’ agenda, notably with the ongoing initiatives encouraging customers to swap out their older diesel vehicles for cash to put towards a newer model. Whilst scrappage schemes have been widely adopted by the former, suppliers are also playing their part in filtering out contaminants that would otherwise cause engine damage and discomfort for motorists if left unattended.

AIR/CABIN AIR FILTERS
Jonathan Walker, Managing Director of manufacturer Mahle Aftermarket UK, says that as a general rule of thumb, technicians should be replacing cabin air filters at regular service intervals as a clogged filter is still a major contributing factor for under performance of the A/C system and losses in engine power. He also mentions that the installation procedure is not always plain sailing: “Fitting cabin filters is increasingly complex and garages spend a lot of time locating and removing other components to ensure a correct fit”, he replied, “Fixed price service has arguably had a negative impact as the time spent on replacing cabin filters becomes more pressurised. It all equates to the biggest contributor of failure, which is a clogged cabin filter.”

To assist workshops with these practices, Walker highlights that Mahle’s CareMetix cabin filters have played a crucial role in communicating these messages whilst offering improved health and wellbeing benefits for end- users. He elaborated: “Our Caremetix range comprises of a five-layer cabin filter specially designed to improve passenger health and wellbeing by removing nasty odours and harmful contaminants from vehicle cabins.” He continued. “Garages can offer customers a tangible difference as the innovative range provides five- layer protection against allergens, brake dust, diesel soot, fine particulates and tyre debris that is proven to enter a car from exhaust fumes.”

Attempting to achieve a similar goal is Hella Hengst, a distribution partnership between Hella and filtration brand Hengst which launched last year. “The focus is to support workshops with point of sale material and marketing strategies that help inform the end user of products being fitted”, said Mark Adams, Product Manager at the firm. “The company also takes extra steps to include fitting instructions/ location guides for its cabin filters, which reduces time and allows workshops to maximise profit.” Adding that the supplied content points out the ‘benefits of premium quality products against the dangers of using those of an inferior design’.

ENVIRONMENT
Michelle Smith, Marketing Manager at TPS, explains that the organisation is economising through its Genuine Parts Range, with new pleated technologies. “In terms of materials, the filter media contains cellulose fibers which protects it against moisture, oil and fuel vapours. Depending on the application, fully synthetic filter media with a multilayer structure or with an additional nanofiber coating are used”. Smith noted, “Our Genuine Air Filters incorporate the latest materials and pleat technology to ensure that both performance and fuel economy are maintained throughout service life. In addition, our pleat technology has the ability to absorb dirt and dust particles whilst maintaining the optimum air f low into the engine for efficient combustion”.

HELLA Hengst portfolio

Sogefi’s Sales Manager, Jonathan Brooke said “Car drivers are not enough aware of the benefits of changing the cabin filters for their well-being. “The garages should more systematically inform their customers of these benefits. One good reason for doing it is that the end users can really feel the improvement: less dust and odours, better ventilation and defogging. These are strong selling points, that the customer will appreciate. In many cases the fact of showing the used filter – full of dirt and pollution- is the best selling argument.

THE FUTURE OF FILTERS
Touching back on the diesel market, UFI Filters Sales Manager Karl Ridings says the firm is armed and ready to service the next generation of vehicles complying with Euro Six and Seven standards. Speaking about this in more depth, he
said: “Thanks to the investments in R&D we supply filters like the Gen2Plus diesel filter”. He added: “Based on the availability of these technologies, UFI looks very confident in the future of diesel filter sales”.

Miten Parikh, General Manager at Comline, concurs and builds on Ridings statement, outlining that this ecological- type filter is becoming a more desirable choice among VMs particularly for their air modules. “As vehicle manufacturers become ever- more environmentally conscious the ecological-type filter is becoming more prevalent”, he continued. “Manufactured entirely from recyclable materials, many modern applications use this type of air filter and this trend seems likely to continue. Comline has in its range a number of fuel filter references with built-in water separators and sensors”.

With the multiple filter options available, workshops will certainly not be left starved of products that will result in repeat business and happy customers bearing in mind they follow the procedures outlined in this article.

Posted in CAT Features, Factor & Supplier News, Filters, Garage News, News, Retailer NewsComments (0)

GDPR: WHAT’S THE FUSS?

GDPR: WHAT’S THE FUSS?

Time is running out to get your ship in order for new data regulations

The act of putting one product in the carton of another is something that we all know happens throughout the aftermarket at all levels.

There’s one product in particular that we know is packed in the UK in a dozen or more brand images – and no doubt there are others.

There has been little in the news about the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on 25 May, so it is hardly surprising that there are many people that either have no idea about it or assume that it has anything to do with them. Put simply, GDPR will give teeth to existing legislation, the Data Protection Act (DPA) and according to consumer polls, over a third of Britons are already anticipating to exercise their rights in accordance with this legislation.

But what does it all mean and more importantly what does it have to do with fixing cars? It is easy to brush off this kind of change, assuming that it only applies to big companies like chain fast-fits and dealerships that obviously have some sort of ivory tower that churns out policies and small print in a factory like manner. They are used to being sued right? They have all the means to support all this bureaucratic nonsense and the small company that only employs a couple of people won’t have to worry about this kind of EU nonsense, plus Brexit and everything else…

Unfortunately this is not the case, this change has happened and it is coming in the next couple of months. On that day and every day after this new responsibility will be handed over to you regardless of your preparedness. A bit like becoming a parent really, only without the panting and sweating that you get to herald this kind of immediate change. So what exactly is it?

THE ACT
To break it down, The Data Protection Act (DPA) was introduced in 1998 to protect the rights of the individual with regards to their personal data and how it is processed. A lot has changed since then, particularly the quantity of data that is collected and the complexity of locations of where it is stored have changed dramatically.

Most of the legislation from DPA will remain the same, GPDR will enforce certain elements of it and although GDPR is an EU directive it will be incorporated into British law post Brexit.

Louder for the people at the back, whether we are in or out we are keeping this.

Before moving on, it is worth clearly defining what we mean when talking about processing data, especially in the context of General Data Protection Regulation.

At its most basic definition this refers to any operation performed using personal data, it does not matter if this is automated, handwritten or typed into a spreadsheet. This includes and is not restricted to collecting it, organising it, structuring it, storing it, retrieving it, sharing it and a whole lot else. The official definition can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

In short, it will now be considered a breach of data if information that is protected by this legislation is not securely stored. This is so serious that even if a breach of data has not occurred, poor management of this data will be treated in the same manner as if the breach has occurred. Dumb luck is not rewarded. If an organisation has been targeted for data theft or even if a suspicion that data has been potentially put at risk there is guidance on the ICO website on how to manage and report such an incidence, and the ICO are keen to push the ‘tell us everything and tell us quickly’ message in the same way you would speak to your insurance company and the police if someone had broke into your premises.

Posted in CAT Features, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Retailer NewsComments (0)

AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM WINS INDUSTRY AWARDS

AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM WINS INDUSTRY AWARDS

PROMOTION ARTICE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM

Automechanika Birmingham team

Automechanika Birmingham has won two industry awards for the hugely successful second edition of the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production industry.

The Automechanika Birmingham team proudly took to the stage to collect two awards on Friday 23rd March for Best Trade Show and the Best Independent Organiser in 2017 at the prestigious Exhibition News Awards.

The 2017 exhibition sold a staggering 5,000 square metres before the 2016 exhibition had even taken place and achieved a 45% increase in the number of exhibitors overall. The exhibition welcomed over 12,000 visitors through the doors to see over 800 exhibitors from the aftermarket and vehicle production sector.

Simon Albert, Event Director said “Now in our third year of Automechanika Birmingham, the team and I are grateful for the support of our exhibitors, visitors, partners in helping to making the industry’s event a huge success. We are now only 10 weeks away from the 2018 event – we have introduced a raft of new initiatives to suit the entire automotive industry. New elements include a dedicated hall for garage businesses as well as areas for retailers and free business advice, a meeting’s programme to encourage business conversations on exhibitor stands, new live demonstrations and free training from the experts! We look forward to welcoming everyone from 5-7 June 2018 at the NEC”

The two awards follow a further four accolades that the team at Automechanika Birmingham have achieved across the previous two years.

Visitors can register free at www.automechanika-birmingham.com

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)

RING LAUNCHES EUROPEAN OFFICES

RING LAUNCHES EUROPEAN OFFICES

Lighting and accessories brand Ring Automotive has invested £200,000 in a Paris office which is now open for business.

The expansion is part of the firm’s product development plans, that has led to some new appointments within its international team.

Carlos Carrido, Stephan Schneider and Sebastien Richir have been appointed as Sales Managers to improve exports to customers in countries including Spain, Portugal as well as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Richier will join Ring’s International Business Director Gonzalo Vargas-Zuniga Cruz at the EU office in Le Dome, part of the Roissypole complex of buildings at Roissy Charles de Gaulle International Airport, while the other recruits will work across the continent and have access to the HQ as and when required.

“Approximately a quarter of our sales can be attributed to exports giving some indication of the opportunity that extending our presence across Europe represents,” said Cruz. He concluded. “We know that our sales channels and performance across these markets has significantly improved over recent years and this investment will further reinforce our commitment as we build our portfolio of customers.”

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

DANA MAKES BID FOR GKN

DANA MAKES BID FOR GKN

U.S-based car parts maker Dana has made a bid for embattled engineering giant GKN.

A report in the FT says that Dana will offer $6bn for the drivetrain division and will consider opening a secondary listing on the London stock exchange.

GKN’s drivetrain business combined with Dana’s existing contracts would give shareholders 47 percent of the world’s biggest drive system supplier with annual sales of $14bn according to the paper.

Jim Kamsickas, Chief Exec of Dana was clear that the combination of the two firm’s strengths in road vehicle engineering was undisputable. “It would be impossible to poke a hole in this industrially” he said.

The new bid is in addition to the hostile offer to shareholders from Melrose Industries, previously reported on. The board of GKN has rejected the bid, but shareholders are currently considering it.

However, the Melrose bit is neither popular with the management, nor some key clients. Tom Williams, CEO of Airbus has been quoted as saying that it would be ‘impossible’ to work with the engineering company under a short-term business model.

“The industry does not lend itself to shorter term financial investment which naturally reduces R&D, budgets and limits vital innovation,” he told the Reuters news agency.

Posted in Latest News, News, Retailer NewsComments (1)

TPS OPENS NEW CENTRES

TPS OPENS NEW CENTRES

TPS Bolton branch

Volkswagen Group Genuine Parts supplier TPS has expanded its network with the addition of a new distribution hub in Bolton and Watford.

The move comes as part of the firm’s growth strategy to reach more customers within these respective regions.

The Bolton branch comprises of a 5,400 sq ft facility, housing eight staff, two vans with four drivers delivering within a 25 minute radius of the centre.

Matthew Sheldon, Bolton TPS Centre Manager, said: “The new Bolton centre has made a huge difference as we can now reach a lot more customers than before and that gives us a great opportunity to grow the business. “He added: “In previously servicing the region from our Oldham site we would experience difficulties getting across the M60 but the new location overcomes that obstacle and enables us to provide a much faster and on demand service.”

Meanwhile, the Watford premises contains a  5,000 sq ft warehouse, consisting of 5,000 product lines of stock and 18 employees headed by its TPS Centre Manager Sean Willis.

Speaking of the new site, Willis said: “We have only been open since January but we have already got off to a really strong start and are currently servicing around a 165 strong customer base.

“We have been able to create a good territory, right in the middle of the area we service with a lot of improvements including increased stock holding capacity and better speed of delivery. It’s been a positive start but the proof in the pudding will be in the eating as we look to grow our customer base and take the business forward.”

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

COULD YOU BE GARAGE OF THE YEAR 2018?

COULD YOU BE GARAGE OF THE YEAR 2018?

PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA

Automechanika Birmingham is calling on independent garages across the UK to enter its  ‘Garage of the Year’ award, returning for its second year and will be bigger than ever before.

The competition is open to all garages across the United Kingdom, with entrants explaining the reasons why they should win the coveted award and walk away with £1000. This year, there are six categories for garages to enter, recognising the diversity of UK garage businesses.

The winner of each category will be announced at an evening dinner to be held at The Director’s Club, Aston Villa FC on 5 June, which all category finalists will be invited to attend free of charge. The overall Garage of the Year winner will then be announced at the show on 6 June from these six category winners.

Last year’s first-ever ‘Garage of the Year’ award was won by local garage MotorServ-UK Solihull, which gained the most votes in the battle for top spot, with Philips Garage Ltd from Glasgow narrowly missing out and finishing second overall, and Shropshire-based garage EAC Telford coming third.

This year’s categories are:

• Best Small Garage
• Best Large Garage
• Best Community Initiative award
• ‘Auto-mechanik’ of the Year
• Technology Innovation Award
• Business Innovation Award

Simon Albert, Managing Director of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “The awards this year take on an exciting new development with an evening dinner to name the category winners and celebrate their achievement.

“Last year 75 garages entered – we anticipate that number to significantly increase this year. The finalists will all benefit from a raised business profile, these awards are a great way to reward the hard work and contribution that garages give to the automotive industry.”

The award is being run in partnership with Garage Wire. Interested garages are advised to ‘save the dates’ of 5-6 June and look out for more details in the near future. Anyone interested in entering can get the entry form here

The competition is part of a larger offering for garages at the 2018 exhibition. The organisers have introduced a dedicated Garage Quarter offering over 130 suppliers of tools and workshop equipment, services and innovative products as well as a Garage Social area. End users will benefit from a new specialist demo hub which will showcase live action across body repair and vehicle customisation as well as a Business Services Village giving garages free advice on how to run a business more efficiently. The ever popular Workshop Training Hub will return for 2018, bigger and better than before including expert speakers and free training. The Garage Quarter will stay open on Wednesday 6 June until 7pm to allow business owners and technicians to make the most out of their day out of the workshop.

Garage visitors will also benefit from free parking at the NEC and free breakfast upon arrival. Visitors looking to sign up can register for their free ticket here: https://www.automechanika-birmingham.com/welcome/get-your-free-ticket

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Greg Whitaker's diaryComments (0)

PARTS ALLIANCE OPENS NEW BRANCHES

PARTS ALLIANCE OPENS NEW BRANCHES

SCMF Croydon

The Parts Alliance has opened a new branch under its SCMF brand in Croydon and another one through its SAS Autoparts division in Newcastle. The move comes as part of the company’s growth strategy to reach more garages and suppliers across the country.

The Croydon store will help to serve garages and suppliers in the South East and Greater London areas within its 4,500 sq ft facility, housing 12 staff, two delivery vans and four motorcycles. William Barrett has been hired as Branch Manager who also possesses over 20 years of experience in the aftermarket.

“We’re delighted to continue our branch expansion to establish a true national footprint with a combination of company store owners and a commitment to members and service partners,” said, Peter Sephton, Parts Alliance CEO. “We welcome all our new team members to our culture of systemised entrepreneurship and look forward to giving our customers increased choice and better service driven by our people, culture and technology platform”.

Meanwhile, the Newcastle SAS Autoparts site is headed up by Dave Watts who spent 15 years at Andrew Page’s Brough Parkfossway depot, which is still operating as normal. He is assisted by six members of staff with plans to recruit more employees in due course.

Sephton added: “The opening of two new locations is an opportunity to expand the group’s presence nationally and aligns with our strategic plan to grow in key markets”. Henry Buckley, President and Uni- Select CEO, concluded: “This continues our commitment to have the best customer coverage in the UK through both owned stores and members”.

Posted in Blogs, UncategorisedComments (0)

IN MEMORIUM: HENRY HOPE-FROST

IN MEMORIUM: HENRY HOPE-FROST

Henry Hope-Frost

Journalist and broadcaster Henry Hope-Frost has died, following a motorcycle accident.

Henry was known for his passion for motorsport and was famous for energetic and humorous commentary.  Famous for covering F1, Henry also covered the Goodwood meetings, BTCC and many others. Since his death on Thursday night, tributes have poured in from scores of people who knew him through his work.

He was well-known and loved by all at Haymarket Media Group, where he spent 22 years, mostly working on Autosport magazine. Since leaving, he remained in touch with the teams and was involved in various projects, including our Awards which he hosted in his own inimitable style.

Henry is survived by his wife Charlotte and their three young children.

Posted in NewsComments (1)

COMPANY DIRECTORS UNDER THREAT

COMPANY DIRECTORS UNDER THREAT

Creditors must be taken care of as well as the business itself

Running a company and holding a directorship involves a number of duties and obligations. The law is very prescriptive about this, and for good reason. In exchange for limited liability and general immunity for company debts, directors must care for the success of the business and also, should insolvency loom, protect the position of creditors.

The authorities take a dim view of those that breach the law. Take the November 2017 case of Kieran Jon Fox, the sole director of Doncaster Auto Parts Limited. He was disqualified from being a company director for three years and six months for trading “to the detriment of HM Revenue and Customs” by failing to pay £94,999 in respect of PAYE, National Insurance and VAT – monies owed at the time of liquidation. HMRC’s analysis of Doncaster’s bank account showed that at least £505,877 was spent from the account between 7 June 2015 and 9 June 2016. Over the same period at least £95,687 was paid to him in respect of loans, wages and dividends and at least £373,537 was paid to other parties. Total liabilities to creditors at liquidation were £358,237.

DIRECTOR’S DUTIES
According to Peter Windatt, an accountant and licensed insolvency practitioner with BRI Business Recovery and
Insolvency, companies must have at least one director who is legally responsible for running the company and making sure its accounts and reports are properly prepared.

Directors must be at least 16 and not disqualified; while most have a director’s title, the law recognises what is termed a shadow director. “An individual in this situation,” says Windatt, “is without title but nevertheless acts as if they are a director. Consequently, the law assigns them the duties and obligations of a formally titled director. Avoiding the term ‘director’ doesn’t remove the duties and liabilities from an individual.”

There are a number of general statutory duties placed on directors by the law which Windatt outlines.

“Firstly,” he says, “directors must act within their powers – that is, comply with the company’s constitution and exercise powers only for the reasons they were given.” Windatt explains that directors must critically act in a way they consider is most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members: “To do this they must have regard to all relevant matters, which the law specifically says involves ‘considering the likely consequences of any decision in the long term; the interests of the company’s employees; the need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others, as well as the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment; and the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standard business conduct; and the need to act fairly as between members of the company.’”

But there are other obligations to note: Directors must exercise independent judgment, that is, not be swayed by others, and must also exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence. This is key for Windatt – he says directors must be diligent, careful and well informed about the company’s affairs: “If a director has particular knowledge, skill or experience relevant to his function (for instance, they are a qualified accountant and act as a finance director), they will be judged accordingly.”

Another duty to note is the need to avoid conflicts between director’s interests and those of the company. This means not accepting benefits from third parties unless the company authorises acceptance, while declaring any interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement before it is entered into.

A final duty is close to Windatt’s own professional interests. Directors should consider or act in the interests of creditors (particularly if insolvency is a possibility) while maintaining confidentiality of the company’s affairs.

WHEN THINGS GO WRONG – DISQUALIFICATION

Of course, many businesses are well run and outlive their founders. However, when a business fails “the Insolvency Service will,” says Windatt, “examine the failure and if the director and his actions have been found wanting, can seek the disqualification of the director(s).”

He offers a note of advice to directors: “To protect their position and to comply with the law, directors should ensure their companies maintain and preserve proper accounting records and should submit them to the relevant authorities upon insolvency.” He frequently sees directors investigated by the Insolvency Service with a view to taking action against them, and says: “Any director that’s been disqualified will no longer be able to act as a director of a company; take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership; or receive company’s property. For most, this is likely to have a significant impact on their future earnings, especially as they may be disqualified for up to 15 years.”

PENALTIES FOR BREACHING DISQUALIFICATION ORDERS
There will always be some who consider that they can ignore a disqualification order, but they risk severe punishment. In these circumstances, they face imprisonment for up to two years and/or a fine on conviction following indictment; or imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine on summary conviction. And the threat isn’t idle – there have been convictions.

Interestingly, but not unsurprisingly, Windatt’s seen some directors who are disqualified, either under the CDDA or by virtue of being made bankrupt, have their spouse/partner or other close friend/relative “front” a business while they carry on running it from “behind the scenes”: “This frequent scenario unravels when the business fails. At this point the stooge quickly reveals what they were and who the real controller was.”

To conclude, companies can and do fail for any one of a number of reasons, most of which are unfortunate but not deliberate. But where a director has not acted in good faith or in accordance with their duties, they can expect their activities punished and their ability to earn a living curtailed.

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

Advertisement
  • COMLINE: Ishan Kamdar takes over the family business
  • AIR CON: Trade body vows to fight smuggled gas in UK
  • LIVES: Visit to meet the new MD of Klarius

more info

    • Should hand car washes face further regulation?

      View Results

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