Archive | March, 2019

‘SEMI SKILLED’ TECHNICIANS CONSIDERED BY DEALER GROUP

‘SEMI SKILLED’ TECHNICIANS CONSIDERED BY DEALER GROUP

VM-owned Ford dealer and garage network TrustFord is considering hiring ‘semi-skilled’ technicians to work on some of its vehicles to tackle a shortage of technicians and accelerate its apprenticeship scheme. 

READ: VMS IN EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER’S SIGHTS

TrustFord CEO Stuart Foulds said in an interview with Motor Trader magazine that the company is ‘exploring the possibility of using semi-skilled staff’, because ‘a lot of the work can be done by semi-skilled’ as opposed to fully-qualified technicians. 

The issue of training and retaining staff is familiar to some in the aftermarket. However, Peter Welch of Scotlands Ash Garage, who has discussed the issue in the past, is critical of TrustFord’s approach. “It would worry me because technology is getting more and more,” he said. “If they’re just changing oil and filters that’s a bit of a different thing, or fitting tyres or putting bulbs in. But if they’re doing proper servicing, well, perhaps main dealers don’t do much more than that.” 

Foulds also mentioned in the interview how the group offers one-hour servicing without appointment, which is possible by having three technicians working on one car at the same time. 

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COMPULSORY ADAS PROVISIONALLY AGREED

COMPULSORY ADAS PROVISIONALLY AGREED

New regulations on vehicle safety standards in the EU, due to come into force in 2022, were provisionally agreed in Strasbourg on March 25th. 

Under a wide-ranging set of rules known as the Third Mobility Package, the European Commission described a vision of connected vehicles and digitised roads, where automatic data logs, particularly on CVs ‘will cut red tape and facilitate digital information flows for logistic operations’.

However, it is a description of the Commission’s desire to improve road safety that will be of most interest to anyone who sells or repairs light vehicles. 

Among the odder proposals on the list are mandatory alcohol interlocks (which are essentially breathalysers that allow you to start your car). Light vehicles will also need to be designed to be kinder to pedestrians and cyclists if they are being run over, with improved front crash areas and a safer type of safety glass.

Mandatory ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance) systems under the proposal read like a dealer option list. Drowsiness detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assist (where the vehicle’s equipment ‘reads’ the prevailing road speed and adjusts the built-in limiter accordingly) are all being considered, and it is this last feature that garnered the most attention from the national press. Curiously, built-in dashboard cameras are not on the list. 

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), compared the agreement on the new regulations with the introduction of the seat belt and EU minimum crash safety standards. “If last night’s agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force,” he said. 

ADAS has provided both the dealer service market and the aftermarket with a new opportunity, due to the number of sensors that need precisely calibrating on a regular basis. Systems for calibration, such as the kit pictured have been in high demand. 

Absolute Alignment

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PEOPLE NEWS: CROXSON REPLACES SEPHTON AT THE PARTS ALLIANCE

PEOPLE NEWS: CROXSON REPLACES SEPHTON AT THE PARTS ALLIANCE

The Parts Alliance has announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Neil Croxson has been appointed to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Croxson succeeds Peter Sephton who will be retiring after a three-month transition period.

READPARTS ALLIANCE TAKEOVER: UNI SELECT DEAL COMPLETED

“I would like to thank all my colleagues in The Parts Alliance, Uni-Select, suppliers and other industry professionals who have helped our journey to build a market leader, and I wish Neil and the team the best of luck in what will be a great onward journey,” said Peter Sephton.

READ: THE PARTS ALLIANCE ACQUIRES BBC SUPERFACTORS

Croxson joined The Parts Alliance as CFO in 2015 and has expanded the network through acquisitions and the opening of 15 company-owned stores. He has worked in close collaboration with Peter Sephton to deliver the group’s financial strategy and increase market coverage in the U.K. and Ireland.

“I am honoured to be taking on this new role,” said Croxson. “We had an excellent performance during our first full-year under the Uni-Select umbrella, and under Peter’s leadership, we implemented strong foundations to enable us to capture future market opportunities. I look forward to building on this momentum.”

Neil Croxston

Peter Sephton

An Interim CFO at The Parts Alliance will be named until the position is filled.   

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PEOPLE NEWS: NEW CEO AT DIGRAPH AS SUKHBIR KAPOOR STEPS DOWN

PEOPLE NEWS: NEW CEO AT DIGRAPH AS SUKHBIR KAPOOR STEPS DOWN

CV factor chain Digraph has announced a change in its leadership, as Sukhbir Kapoor has announced his intention to step down as CEO, citing health considerations.

The Board of Directors have unanimously selected former MD James Rawson as chief executive officer with immediate effect. Kapoor will spend the next two months supporting the business.

READ: SUKHBIR APPOINTED CEO OF DIGRAPH

Kapoor joined Digraph from Euro Car Parts in 2018 and during his tenure the company has undergone rapid growth with the addition of eight new branches and one acquisition joining the original 14 sites.

READ: DIGRAPH ACQUIRES EUROPARTS OLDBURY

Kapoor said: “It has been a privilege to have been working for Digraph during this transformational phase of the company’s development and I’m certain that James will lead the business to even greater heights.”

Rawson said: “It’s great to be back with such a talented team of colleagues old and new. I would like to thank Sukhbir for his stewardship and assistance which will ensure a seamless transition.”

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AAUK ACQUIRES WHITEHAVEN FACTOR

AAUK ACQUIRES WHITEHAVEN FACTOR

The British arm of Alliance Automotive Group, AAUK, has resumed it’s buying spree with the acquisition of Whitehaven-based A&B Autoparts Ltd.

The single-branch light vehicle factor was an existing member of GroupAuto and had been run by the Farragher family since 2002.

Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

READ: AAG MAKES MAJOR ACQUISITION OF 150 BRANCH DISTRIBUTOR

READ: AUTOQUIP MIDLANDS TAKEN OVER BY AAUK

A&B Autoparts now owned by AAUK

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

AAG ACQUIRES MAJOR EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTOR

AAG ACQUIRES MAJOR EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTOR

Alliance Automotive Group (AAG) has agreed to acquire Netherlands-based PartsPoint Group. 

PartsPoint Group, currently a subsidiary of family-owned AutoBinck, has activities in the Netherlands and Belgium. It operates a network of 150 branches under the network banners of Brezan, Staadegaard-TC and Dabeko. The company also serves 60 independent wholesalers through its national and regional distribution centres. It has annual revenues of approximately €300 million.

Jean-Jacques Lafont, CEO of AAG said “PartsPoint has a leading market position in the two key European markets of The Netherlands and Belgium markets which are contiguous to our existing operations. It is run by a superb management team which I am sure will develop further growth opportunities in its markets. We are pleased that the PartsPoint management team is committed to staying on board to lead the company into this next phase of its development”. 

Cor Baltus, CEO of PartsPoint said “We are grateful to AutoBinck which supported us during our rapid expansion. With their trust and confidence, we have been able to relaunch the business since 2013. We are pleased to become a part of one of the leading aftermarket groups in Europe which will enable us to continue to grow and to invest in marketing, IT and product development to service our customers even better in the years to come”. 

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including the relevant regulatory approvals and consultation with unions. 

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CONSOLIDATION: OSRAM TO ACQUIRE RING AUTOMOTIVE

CONSOLIDATION: OSRAM TO ACQUIRE RING AUTOMOTIVE

Lighting manufacturer Osram has agreed to acquire aftermarket brand Ring Automotive. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed and it is still subject to the usual approvals.

In a statement, both businesses feel that this combination will be ‘mutually beneficial’ and will result in many opportunities to complement each other’s offering to the automotive aftermarket.

George Skalski, Managing Director of Ring Automotive said, “We look forward to working alongside Osram and believe that the transaction is very positive news for all of our colleagues and customers. The acquisition secures continued investment in the business, which will support our future growth plans and our leading-edge product innovation.”

 

Deal is ‘mutually beneficial’

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

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