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

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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’

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COMMENT: TIME FOR LAWS TO SAVE UK REMAN

These are challenging times for our industry, with consolidation showing no signs of slowing down, along with concerns about the ‘B-word’ and the economy in general, business captains have their hands tightly on the rudder trying to navigate these choppy waters. Unfortunately, uncertain times usually result to price wars which can lead to ‘buy cheap’ sell for ‘as much as possible’.

 

This has led to a massive growth in ‘white box’ and ‘plain label’ products to the detriment of established, and, often, British brands, with the cheapest option being Far-Eastern copies. This trend is decimating the remanufacturing industry, since being so labour-intensive, it cannot compete on price, and distributors do not have to worry about surcharges and control of old-core.

 

The result has been the loss of a complete industry in the UK, along with jobs and the support industry behind.

 

Remanufacturing is no longer an ‘under the arches’ operation; it is a highly-technological and professional industry requiring skill, knowledge and investment. In addition to producing equivalent to or better than original equipment (OE) specification products, it has significant environmental credentials, which should be a major concern to all, so that we can protect the earth and its resources for future generations.

 

The basic raw material is the old part which would normally be scrapped. However, in the remanufacturing process this is fully stripped and re-worked with all wearing, faulty and parts prone to failure being replaced. The finished product is then tested to at least OE specifications using the latest computerised test equipment to ensure that it meets the strict performance levels, before being packed and ready for sale. Each remanufactured part usually has at least a one-year warranty with many companies, such as Autoelectro, offering an extended warranty.

 

Generally, the total remanufacturing industry in the UK employs over 50,000 people, contributes around £2.4 billion to GDP with the potential to increase to £5.6 billion, recovering around 270,000 tonnes of materials, saving an equivalent 0.5% of total UK carbon emissions compared to new equivalents.

 

This includes products as diverse as washing machines, ink cartridges, computers and boilers: the environmental impact can clearly be seen. The automotive industry is considered to be one of the most environmentally-aware manufacturing sectors.

 

A number of EU directives, driving a shift in business practice, can be seen to have contributed to this awareness. In 2002, the EU introduced the End of Life Vehicle Directive, which requires vehicle manufacturers (VMs) to reach the new vehicle goal of reusability and/or recyclability of at least 85%, and reusability and/or recoverability of at least 95% by weight, if measured against the international standard ISO 22620.

 

The need to consider the recovery of a product’s traditional disposal is required to combat the environmental damage caused by the discarding of end of life products. Product recovery can be used to minimise the demand for energy and raw materials and the environmental impact of waste. Product recovery proposes that the management logic of the system is changed from an ‘open’ production system to a ‘closed’ one of variable length, as demonstrated below.

 

The open loop describes a process which starts by taking resources from the ecosystem. The raw materials and energy are channelled into the transformation process, and, finally, the process ends with landfill disposal or incineration process.

 

For this situation to be sustainable, the consumption of natural resource needs to be lower than the ecosystem’s ability to regenerate them. By contrast, in the closed loop scenario, supply chain recovery activities are undertaken which delay the product disposal by starting new production cycles on the product, before treatment and disposal.

 

Remanufacturing is currently playing a significant part in the sustainability and economics of the automotive industry. European regulations for end-of-life have forced VMs to consider recycling when designing new models and remanufacturing is helping to meet environmental targets in relation to greenhouse gasses and preserving the earth’s natural resources by reusing them, rather than just sending unwanted material to landfill sites.

 

Also, as more new technology is being incorporated into modern vehicles, components are becoming more expensive due to their complexity and, sometimes, as a result of the materials used in their construction, such as platinum, palladium and rhodium in catalytic converters. Remanufacturing of these components preserves the precious metals used and can offer a significant saving over a new replacement component. A good remanufactured part will perform as well as, if not better than the original part, since any design faults will be engineered out ensuring the reliability of the finished remanufactured part.

 

However, remanufacturing is also facing significant challenges from the changing technology. This is due to the continual investment required and the lack of information available to independent remanufacturers. Also, changes in drivetrain technology to electric and hydrogen fuel-cell may mean that, moving forward, there are not as many wearing parts to remanufacture.

 

Calling on the government to act

 

Currently, remanufacturers supplying the automotive aftermarket are facing competition from cheaper quality copy products, which are driving prices down and affecting the overall viability of the remanufacturer. There is clearly a case for government intervention, as it is in the national interest to support remanufacturing due to its green credentials in helping to meet national and international environmental targets.

 

There also needs to be a strong independent remanufacturing industry to ensure that the original equipment manufacturers do not establish a monopoly, which is not in the interest of the consumer or the automotive industry, in particular, the automotive aftermarket.

 

Many people now consciously look at the environmental issues when replacing personal vehicles, so our ‘Captains of Industry’ need to consider the implications of their purchasing decisions when selecting parts to stock in their businesses. We all have a duty to future generations to protect the environment, and the UK remanufacturing industry is well-placed to serve the sector, being able to accommodate short production runs and offer cost-effective replacement parts, particularly for less popular applications.

 

Autoelectro is leading the way for UK-based remanufacturing, having invested heavily in remanufacturing processes, some of the most advanced test equipment in the world and an industry-leading website, which allows customers to track and allocate outstanding surcharges. If properly managed, it can result in trading virtually surcharge-free; thus, removing one of the obstacles of supporting remanufactured products.

 

Clearly, remanufacturing can play an important role in protecting our environment, but also by promoting the benefits of remanufactured product and educating the end-user, without necessarily compromising margins.

 

The automotive sector is trying to be more environmentally-friendly, with new technologies being introduced to new cars, and aftermarket industry influencers can play their part by considering remanufactured product whilst driving their latest low emission vehicle. We have an obligation to protect our planet for future generations.

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PROMO: STAYING ON TRACK WITH STEERING AND SUSPENSION

PROMO: STAYING ON TRACK WITH STEERING AND SUSPENSION

 

PROMOTIONAL CONTENT ON BEHALF OF EURO CAR PARTS

 

Staying on track with steering and suspension

With MOT season around the corner, Helen Robinson, marketing director at Euro Car Parts, looks at a component group that is increasingly becoming the cause of failure

 If you were asked to name one of the highest causes of MOT failure, what answer would you give? Many vehicles fail on tyres, wipers and even illegible or damaged number plates which can be quick and relatively inexpensive repairs for customers. However, an increasing number of MOT failures are down to extensive wear or damage in the steering and suspension system which requires a costlier and more time-consuming solution.

The new MOOG packaging

It’s no coincidence that Section 2 of the MOT test is devoted to steering and suspension. These parts are often taken for granted when a vehicle is in operation, but potholes in the road can put suspension systems through a great deal of strain, potentially affecting alignment, which if left unchecked can lead to accelerated wear to components within the system. As these safety critical systems comprise many components and assemblies, repairers should take every opportunity to inspect them for customers, using only quality replacement parts from a trusted provider.

With more arms, links and bushes than ever before, plus increasing volumes of air suspension work reaching the aftermarket, the choice for replacement parts has never been larger. Euro Car Parts stocks all the steering and suspension components needed to cover an expanding range of cars with quick delivery to workshops.

The latest addition to our range is MOOG;a brand synonymous with quality steering and suspension products and recognised globally for its high-quality chassis parts. More than 2,500 product codes will be available through Euro Car Parts by March 2019, with further references to be added throughout the year. The introduction of MOOG® boosts our steering and suspension offering considerably, adding to a solid range which includes high quality chassis parts from Starline and ZF (Lemforder and TRW), among other leading manufacturers.

Although replacement parts are widely available, theimportance of also sourcing and using the correct tools when replacing steering and suspension components cannot be overstated. Air guns may seem like a quick and convenient solution to tightening nuts and bolts, but they should only be used for loosening, as they can overtighten. It is also important that repairers only fully tighten suspension arm fitting bolts once the wheel hub has been raised to its natural operating position. This can be done by measuring the distance from the wheel centre to the wheel arch at ground level. Once the arms are in place and the bolts loosely tightened, the wheel hub can be raised using a jack to the correct position prior to fully tightening using a torque wrench. Vehicle manufacturers recommend that bolts and nuts are replaced every time an axle component is replaced, and these are included with the component or available separately.

With vehicles becoming more sophisticated, repairers should also bear in mind ADAS when working on anything connected to the steering and suspension system, particularly when working on modern vehicles. European legislation introduced in 2004, requires new vehicles to have at least two ADAS systems installed. Common tasks, such as adjusting a vehicle’s wheel alignment, can affect the calibration for one or multiple ADAS systems. This means that an ADAS calibration would need to take place after the wheel alignment to realign the ADAS systems. It’s important to make sure this is done as the repairer has a duty of care to ensure the service is carried out in full as a vehicle returned to an owner uncalibrated leaves the workshop at risk of liability should the car be involved in an accident.

 

MOOG’s steering and suspension components are produced and tested to ISO standards. The Moog range also features Hybrid Core Technology which provides outstanding durability, even under extreme conditions. With this innovation, MOOG®can offer a distinguished product with up to fivefold increased durability. The system, which incorporates a carbon fibre bearing and induction heat treated ball stud, is applied to ball joints, track control arms, wishbones, axial rods and tie rod ends.

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JUST BOOTS ACQUIRED BY CONTINENTAL DIRECT

JUST BOOTS ACQUIRED BY CONTINENTAL DIRECT

Component distributor Continental Direct has acquired constant velocity joint and boot supplier Just Boots. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

CD acquire Just Boots 2019

The two companies have had a working relationship for years and the new owner plans to develop Just Boots’ range of SKUs as well as it’s e-catalogue on Autocat+. Company Founder Dale Holmes will join Continental Direct in a new role of Product Manager, Just Boots.

“As a long trusted supplier of ours”, says Jason Noon, Continental Direct Product Manager, “we are delighted to welcome Dale and the Just Boots brand into our family of OE matching quality products. The excellence of Just Boots products along with the strong technical experience Dale brings will significantly enhance our capabilities to serve our customers.”

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NEWS: RAC AND EURO CAR PARTS MERGE GARAGE SCHEMES

NEWS: RAC AND EURO CAR PARTS MERGE GARAGE SCHEMES

RAC and ECP shake on network deal

A deal has been signed between the RAC and Euro Car Parts in order to merge the RAC Approved Garage network with ECP’s Autofirst.

The new entity will be known as ‘RAC Approved Garages powered by Autofirst Network’ . As the combined number in both networks is in excess of 500 branches, RAC auto first can claim to be the UK’s largest garage network.

READ: FORMER ECP DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED AS HEAD OF SPICERS

As part of the network, each garage will be jointly branded, carrying the prominent RAC and Autofirst Network branding. The partnership, which aims to ensure customers are only ever a few miles from an RAC Approved Garage, will offer consumers all the benefits of a local garage, combined with a national warranty.

By subscribing, garages will also be offered repairs referred to them by RAC patrols from breakdowns through the company’s Accredited Repairer scheme. 

RAC Chief Executive Dave Hobday said: “We know from market research that customers really value the friendly, local and reliable service provided by independent garages and have a very high level of trust in the RAC so this is the perfect recipe for garages looking to stand out from the crowd in a busy marketplace.”

READ: ANDY HAMILTON APPOINTED ECP CEO

Andy Hamilton, Euro Car Parts Chief Executive, added: ““We believe the brands are an excellent fit and have the potential to become a first choice for consumers wanting the trust of big brands but with local service and convenience”.

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PROMO: TVD INSTALLATION AND REMOVAL

PROMO: TVD INSTALLATION AND REMOVAL

PROMOTIONAL CONTENT WRTTEN BY CORTECO

Torsional Vibration Dampers (TVDs) provide vital protection for a vehicles engine. TVDs are made up of rubber and metal components; the rubber within the metal absorbs excessive vibrations that are leaked from the engine. These vibrations, if transmitted, can damage surrounding components causing them to fail prematurely. Having parts within the engine failing can cause significant damage to the vehicle.

We at Corteco thrive off the quality and expertise passed down by our parent company Freudenberg. We offer vibration control components and repair kits in OEM quality for more than 27,500 types of vehicles. All products are designed to meet the highest quality standards and are manufactured using the latest production methods.

This directly relates to our TVDs and we know that if you start to hear excessive noise coming from the engine or the vehicles is, vibrating excessively then you need to get your car into the garage. The steps below will show you how you can successfully remove and install a replacement TVD.

Step 1– The belt routing can be quite complex so we advise that you take a picture or draw a quick sketch of this.

Step 2– Next we need to remove the tensioner from the belt, this can easily be done by rotating the pulley.

Step 3– To remove the TVD from the crankshaft you need to loosen the mounting bolts. As we know not everything is as straight forward and some TVDs are different.

If the TVD you are replacing has a central expansion bolt then you will need to block the flywheel, like most repairs on a vehicle all parts need to be replaced and this includes the central bolt.

If the TVD you are replacing doesn’t have a central bolt then this can be removed by holding the pulley and removing the mounting bolts. As always we recommend that all bolts are replaced with the TVD, Corteco offers complete TVD kits to make this possible.

Step 4– Unpack the new damper and place this on the engine.

Step 5– Now the new TVD is on we need to tighten the mounting bolts, if there are several bolts we recommend tightening alternate bolts and working them in a star pattern. Torque the mounting bolts to 1/3 of the installation torque.

Step 6– Before fully tightening the bolts we recommend you torque the mounting bolts to 2/3 and then continue to tighten them to the full torque as specified by the vehicle manufacturer in the manual.

Step 7– Before releasing the vehicle back to the customer, it is advised to inspect the front end auxiliary drive for wear and to replace any parts that are showing significant signs of stress. Ensure the belt has been re-fitted before starting the engine

Step 8– The final step to the installation and removal process is reloading the belt onto the tensioner by rotating the tensioner to the correct position. Ensure the belt has been re-fitted before starting the engine without doing so can cause significant damage.

As a pulley is seen as a crucial repair only quality products should be used, Corteco offers a lifetime warranty on all TVD kits, as we know they will not let you down.

Head to www.corteco.com/en/products/vibration-controlto find out more about our extensive range.

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CAT AWARDS 2019: WINNERS ANNOUNCED

CAT AWARDS 2019: WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The winners of the CAT Awards 2019 are as follows:

Motor Factor of the Year: Autoparts UK

Factor Team of the Year: Butlers Automotive

CAT Awards 2019 winners have been announced

Garage Chain of the Year: Halfords Autocentres

Independent Garage of the Year: Scotlands Ash Garage

Retailer of the Year: Wilco

Supplier of the Year: Banner Batteries

Outstanding Achievement: Dave Garrett of the Garage Equipment Association

 

 

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