OSRAM ADVISE SHAREHOLDERS TO ACCEPT AMS BID

OSRAM ADVISE SHAREHOLDERS TO ACCEPT AMS BID

OE manufacturer Osram has advised shareholders to accept a deal offered by Austrian semiconductor firm AMS.

The offer of €38.50 per share is greater than an earlier offer made by P.E firms Bain Capital and Carlisle, plus Osram’s board believes that AMS’ experience with microchip development will benefit the company in the future.

READ: NEW €4bn+ BID FOR OSRAM

However, not everyone is convinced. One of Germany’s largest trade unions had already rejected the bid and in a joint reasoned statement, Osram’s board has raised concerns over where the new company will be based and be structured.

READ: OSRAM LATEST: WORKERS UNION REJECTS AMS BID

Osram recommends shareholders accept takeover bid

Taking the view that ‘The financial attractiveness of the offer was to be weighted higher than points of criticism’. Osram has recommended that the offer be accepted.  “Overall, the Management Board and the majority of the Supervisory Board regard the strategy pursued by ams as promising in many respects, particularly with regard to the further development of the Opto Semiconductors business unit. By merging with AMS, this business unit could benefit from the development of innovative sensor and photonics solutions, and the use of established customer access, among other things” the company said in a statement.

 

 

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ALLIANCE ACQUIRES ANOTHER BRACE OF FACTORS

ALLIANCE ACQUIRES ANOTHER BRACE OF FACTORS

Business group Alliance Automotive UK has continued its buying spree with the acquisition of South Wales-based FMP and Glaze Autoparts of Wolverhampton. 

READ: ALLIANCE AUTOMOTIVE UK ACQUIRES ASMF

Both companies were existing members of Alliance Automotive’s GroupAuto buying group. Glaze Autoparts was incorporated in 2000 by Mark Leason and Roy Blundell was MD at the time of acquisition. 

READ: RAPID GROUP FOUNDER SOLD TO GROUPAUTO PARENT

FMP (originally Foreign Motor Parts) was originally founded in 1996, although the company in its current form dates to 2004. Founded by Neil Melmoth, the business had several branches covering an area between Swansea and Port Talbot with around 40 staff and 16 vans.  

Glaze Autoparts now wholly owned by AG

These latest deals brings the number of UK motor factor businesses acquired by the group in 2019 to 14 and around 30 locations.

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PROMO: BM CATALYSTS, PARIS-BOUND FOR EQUIP AUTO 2019

PROMO: BM CATALYSTS, PARIS-BOUND FOR EQUIP AUTO 2019

PROMOTIONAL CONTENT ON BEHALF OF BM CATALYSTS

BM Catalysts will be making its way to Paris, France for the 25th Equip Auto trade show this October to showcase its world-class manufacturing and partner-first approach to business. Following its recent successful attendance at Automechanika Birmingham earlier this year, the company aims to sustain the same positivity and engagement across the channel through the much-anticipated event.

BM Catalyst’s 2019 stand

With the expected presence of big industry names and visitors from over 50 countries, the renowned trade event is the perfect avenue for BM Catalysts to also exhibit its expanding market-leading product range. Since Equip Auto 2017, BM Catalysts has released a total of 307 new high-quality aftermarket parts into the European market, which includes a number of Euro 6 references. This range expansion has increased French car parc coverage by over 14 million since the last show in 2017, and accounts for 31% of the staggering 44 million more European vehicles covered by BM Catalysts’ range additions over the past two years alone.

In line with Equip Auto’s “repairing today, preparing tomorrow” theme for this year, BM Catalysts will be available throughout the duration of the show to discuss the future of emissions and technology, and offer insight into how the company can help prepare businesses for these changes by having access to Europe’s widest range of high-quality aftermarket catalysts and DPFs and long-term partnership solutions.

New strapline will appear on promotional material.

Commenting on the manufacturer’s participation in the event, Mark Blinston, Commercial Director at BM Catalysts stated: “This year’s event will be our seventh Equip Auto attendance and we’ve witnessed some tremendous growth over the years. We’re delighted with the increased interest and positive feedback we continue to receive from the French market, so we’re excited to be attending Equip Auto again in October. With emissions and Euro level compliance remaining a big talking point across Europe, Equip Auto is a great platform for us to demonstrate our expertise and the level of commitment we put into ensuring we always exceed the aftermarket’s expectations on quality, whether that be by investing in the latest state-of-the-art machinery, to ensuring our products are fully compliant with necessary legislation, and everything else in between.”

 

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FORD-BACKED QUICK LANE OPENS THIRD BRANCH

FORD-BACKED QUICK LANE OPENS THIRD BRANCH

A third branch of Quick Lane has opened in Bracknell. The opening follows on from branches in Prestwich and Reading which opened earlier in 2019.

The autocentre is owned by Ford and has around 1,000 branches around the world and the UK model is based on a hard franchise

READ: RUNNING A FRANCHISED WORKSHOP: THE PERILS AND THE POSSIBILITIES

The 7,527 sq ft. site was previously a branch of trade counter Yesss Electical. Now retooled as an autocentre, it is operated by the same franchisee as the Reading branch.

John Dines, UK Operations Director for Quick Lane, said: “Quick Lane Bracknell is ideally situated to deliver convenient automotive servicing and maintenance that fits around the busy lives of local people, giving them back the one thing they value most – time.”

Quick Lane continues to invest heavily in its franchise network across Europe. Its Reading location recently invested £40k into new MOT equipment and the business has plans to further expand its network in the UK and Germany in the coming months.

Quick Lane Bracknell

 

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SHUTTERS DOWN ON THREE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES

SHUTTERS DOWN ON THREE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES

 Three branches of Andrew Page have closed, with the accounts and most of the staff being merged into nearby Euro Car Parts locations.

Oldham, Reading and Southampton branches are affected. Of these, Southampton is the newest having been opened to ‘fill the void’ left in the wake of rival Unipart Automotive’s collapse in 2014.

READ: ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

A statement from Euro Car Parts read: “As part of our ongoing commitment to help make to our offering even better, we’ve identified some opportunities to merge a number of neighbouring Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts branches. These integrated branches will cover the same areas with more vans, sales advisors and warehouse teams, providing our customers with consistent delivery times, better stock availability, improved efficiency and new support services”.

READ: TEN ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES CLOSE FOLLOWING ‘OPERATIONAL REVIEW’

“We expect most staff in these branches to transfer to a nearby location and services to our customers will be the same, with only the dispatch point changing. Any employees affected have been informed”.

Andrew Page was acquired by Euro Car Parts when the former went into administration in 2016.

Andrew Page Southampton on opening in 2014

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WHERE UGLY MEANS BEAUTIFUL

Marathon Warehouse Distribution and EuroFlo Emissions are like two sides of the same coin – or to be more precise, like two sides of the same yard as they share the same sprawling 15m high warehouse site in Redditch.

Exhausts are famously difficult to stock and store and are considered the original ‘ugly’ product. To complicate matters further, EuroFlo bring the product in from the Fabriscape factory in Portugal (echoed by the stylised ‘F’ in the EuroFlo logo), meaning the fragile and air-filled components have to be transported across Europe.

Colin Fisher, Sales Director, EuroFlo and MWD

Fortunately, the UK warehouse has been designed specifically for racking and storing thousands of the odd-shaped products as efficiently as possible. Arranged over four levels, the storage is highly effective despite, or perhaps because of the items that most factor branches consider to be difficult to hold and stock.

On the other side of the yard it is a similar story in the Marathon warehouse. While you will find the usual brake pad and oil filter references in there, they are not the fastest moving items. Indeed, the shelves are filled with window regulators, air suspension modules and leaf springs among many other items that are not commonly stocked by factors. “It isn’t the usual parts that are our biggest success” explained Colin Fisher, Sales and Marketing Director. “Well, they are usual for MWD, but they are the slow moving part numbers everywhere else! If you look at the percentage of business a regular factor would do in terms of items like oil filters and brake pads, ours would be completely different”.

Air ride

Air suspension is a case in point. “When I look at the types of vehicles that are equipped with it, I wasn’t sure that stocking the replacement parts would be a winner” explained Fisher. “But no factor was going to stock it, so if I have the part and the price is right I’ve got a 100 percent opportunity to sell to whoever has had the enquiry, whereas on a common part like a filter or brake pads I might have 20-30 percent”.

Marathon and EuroFlo are not the only warehouse distributors of esoteric and ugly products of course, but Fisher suggests that this model of business will rise in a consolidating market. “In tough times the factor branches will destock” he explained, adding that using a regional warehouse distributor takes away the risk of tying up cash in slow moving inventory for factor branches.

Dayco product at MWD

 

Brand store

Brands, or at least names that customers know and are comfortable with are also a selling point. Names such as Ashika and Dunlop (for air suspension) are joined by relative newcomers such as WAI, Kilen and Banner Batteries. In total, around 40 brands are routinely stocked by Marathon. “Fitting them all on a wall card is getting tricky” said Fisher.

“If you take products like clutch or timing belt kits, it is all about brands. So many have tried private labels etc, but just couldn’t sell it. We know of one supplier that has come out of belting altogether” he added. “Private labelling just doesn’t work. If you’re not Gates, Dayco or INA, the garage just doesn’t want to know”.

Private labelling has other problems for warehouse distributors. “It’s a huge restraint on time” said Fisher. “Everything has to be catalogued yourself. If I had ten private labels in the Marathon programme that I need to update every month… Well that would be challenging and it isn’t really our job, so we focus on the brand that we do control, EuroFlo, is extremely well catalogued”.

Keeping good stock levels and offering an efficient service are fundamental to any good firm in the business of supplying. But at this company, there’s one extra thing point that is its defining characteristic. “The more difficult the product group, the more we like it” concluded Fisher.

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GEA AGREES TO APPROVE ONLY ‘CONNECTED’ MOT EQUIPMENT

GEA AGREES TO APPROVE ONLY ‘CONNECTED’ MOT EQUIPMENT

DVSA has made an agreement with the GEA that no new models of diesel smoke meter, exhaust gas analysers or decelerometers would be approved for use in MOT centres unless they can connect to the testing service.

This follows from a similar agreement between the two organisations last month that roller brake testers for classes 4,5 and 7 would only be approved if they connected to the new service.

From 1 October, new MOT centres will need a connected roller brake tester to receive approval and all garages will only be able to buy connectable roller brake testers as replacements. The same rules will apply to smoke meters, gas analysers and decelerometers, although a date to switch has not yet been announced.

READ: MOT SRIKE ACTION LIKELY IN NORTHERN IRELAND 

Dave Garratt, GEA Chief Exec said:  “The main concern for GEA members is to improve the quality of MOT equipment and remove any possibility of human error in the reporting procedure. Connecting MOT test equipment is a very logical step for us as it removes any “miss keying” by the operator and speeds up the process”.

“Starting by connecting brake testers makes good sense and since the introduction of Automated Test Lanes (ATLs) most may already be connectable”.

“Connecting all types of processor-based equipment is possible and as connectivity is applied across the whole test bay it will add increasing value for the motorist by reducing error and benefit the garage by speeding up the test”.

Chris Price, DVSA Head of MOT Policy said: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone keep their vehicle safe to drive. We’re bringing in connected equipment to modernise testing in MOT garages and reduce the potential for mistakes”

MOT equipment will communicate directly with centre

“It will make testing quicker, more accurate and give motorists greater confidence in the quality of testing. Garages already using this equipment have seen benefits to their business.”

 

 

 

 

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ALLIANCE AUTOMOTIVE UK ACQUIRES ASMF

ALLIANCE AUTOMOTIVE UK ACQUIRES ASMF

Alliance Automotive UK, the parent company of GroupAuto and UAN buying groups has acquired the seven-branch Autostores Motor Factors chain (ASMF). Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. 

Originally known as Sureparts and Panels and Paints, ASMF was a member of the PDP Group and PDP Chairman Alistair Whatmore was Managing Director. 

READ: JIM MAZZA JOINS THE PDP

ASMF is Alliance Automotive UK’s 12th acquisition of 2019, although it is the first this year to have been obtained from outside of the firm’s own buying groups. 

READ: AUTOSTORES GROUP ACQUIRES BARUM

This deal brings the total number of branches to be added to AAUK’s portfolio this year to 26, with a combined annual turnover in the region of £40m. 

We’ll bring you more info on this story as we get it. 

 

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UNIPART WINS EXTENSION TO JLR PACKING CONTRACT

UNIPART WINS EXTENSION TO JLR PACKING CONTRACT

Unipart Logistics has signed a new contract with Jaguar Land Rover to retain packing services for a further four years.

The contract provides work for around 100 colleagues at Unipart’s Honeybourne site in Worcestershire and Baginton site in Coventry and will run to the end of 2022.

The operation packs around 800,000 parts every month prior to them being put into storage and distributed across the Jaguar Land Rover global network.

Unipart Logistics started packing for Jaguar Land Rover in 2007 at the Honeybourne site. The service was extended to Baginton in 2010. Since then, the scope of Unipart’s service has grown to the point where the full range of Jaguar products are now packed.

Account Director Elizabeth Satinet said: “I’m delighted we have secured this contract at both Baginton and Honeybourne. The packer operation is a highly visible activity to a multitude of areas within the Jaguar Land Rover supply chain and requires significant collaboration with the customer.

“The team has really worked hard to streamline the processes using digital solutions to enhance the quality and efficiency of the service and enable us to win this four year contract”

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LKQ CONFERENCE FOCUSSES ON CHANGE MANAGEMENT

LKQ CONFERENCE FOCUSSES ON CHANGE MANAGEMENT

A conference between managers within the LKQ  Europe took place at Wembley recently with a focus on change management.

Nick Zarcone, CEO LKQ Corp. spoke at the conference

John Quinn, CEO of LKQ Europe, underlined the need for embracing the modern era: “It is clear we can’t assume the coming years will resemble the past because things are changing faster than ever before. We need to anticipate these opportunities and act. We all need to recognise the critical need to adapt and change as there is a massive opportunity for LKQ to actively shape the independent aftermarket for the benefit of our customers, employees and shareholders” he said.

The conference attendees agreed that the key to continued success is putting customers first through helping the customers understand and navigate the changing environment.

READ: HAMILTON APPOINTED NEW CEO OF EURO CAR PARTS

Arnd Franz, COO pointed out: “We need to offer our garage customers everything they need for a successful business – service, support, equipment and training on new issues arising from the technology shift. We have to grow LKQ in order to gain the scale effects required to provide our customers with solutions that will allow them to remain competitive. We need to support them with logistic networks that give them flexibility and speed for their customers. We need to equip them with brands and concepts upon which end-customers can rely”.

READ: ECP PARENT TO ACQUIRE STAHLGRUBER

Nick Zarcone, CEO of parent company LKQ Corporation, focused the executives’ attention on the fact that taking care of the employees will be as crucial as catering to the customers in the future: “We need to attract the best in class talent that embody our values. And we need to help our employees embrace the upcoming change while simultaneously keeping the customer the centre of attention”, he stated.

READ: ROBOTIC FUTURE OF STAHLGRUBER

In the UK, LKQ Europe is best known for Euro Car Parts and its body panels and paints business. On the continent the corporation also owns Sator Group, Rhiag Group, Elit, AutoKelly, and Stahlgruber, as well as a recycling specialist Atracco. It also holds a minority interest in publicly traded Mekonomen which is headquartered in Sweden.

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