HOSTED GARAGE PROGRAMME SET FOR SUCCESS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM

Motor factors take lead in bringing garages to the event

Motor factors that bring their garage customers to Automechanika Birmingham 2019 will benefit from an exclusive VIP area, enjoy fast track access into the event and support with their travel arrangements.

Automechanika Birmingham 2019 is designed to bring the entire automotive industry together and with the Hosted Garage Programme, the event is doing that literally by assisting motor factors with bringing their customers to the event.

All motor factors have to do is simply invite, register and bring five or more garage customers to the event to receive free parking and free breakfast too.

The Hosted Garage programme is a great opportunity for motor factors to introduce garages and technicians to their supplier base. What’s more, garages that take up the offer of attending with their motor factor will visit The Big UK Garage Event, where they will access hundreds of suppliers and brands from across the industry covering areas such as accessories, components, tools and garage equipment. There will also be CPD accredited training taking place and demos from the industry’s top speakers including Frank Massey, Andy Crook and James Dillon, the Training & Skills Village and the returning Workshop Training Hub.

Exhibitors will also be providing a raft of exclusive show offers and giveaways for garages at this year’s event.

One motor factor bringing garages to the Automechanika Birmingham is Midwest Motor Factors of Walsall. Group Factor manager, Craig McCracken, said: “This is a fantastic idea and really ties in everybody in the automotive industry. Much of the event’s content is geared towards independent garages and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us as their local motor factor to bring them to an event that will ultimately benefit their business.

This was echoed by Autosupplies managing director, David Clarke, who said: “Each year we bring garages to the event and this year we’ve been inundated with requests to join our team at the event. As a motor factor, we have a responsibility to support our suppliers exhibiting at the event and bring garages to them. Such dialogue and feedback helps all in the supply chain and so we’re delighted to be bringing more garages than ever before to Automechanika Birmingham as part of the Hosted Garage Programme.”

There is still time for motor factors to sign up to the Hosted Garage Programme and they can do so by emailing info@automechanika-birmingham.com

Major aftermarket names committed to the 2019 event include: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK, Yuasa, Apec Braking Ltd, BM Catalysts, Draper Tools, GROUPAUTO, Launch Tech UK, Liqui Moly, MAM Software, Marathon Warehouse Distribution, Morris Lubricants, OESSA, Texa UK and Total UK.

Registration is now open and visitors can now book their free ticket here: https://automechanika-birmingham-2019.reg.buzz

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‘EXTENDED VEHICLE’ CONCEPT CAUSING AFTERMARKET CONCERN

‘EXTENDED VEHICLE’ CONCEPT CAUSING AFTERMARKET CONCERN

By Greg Whitaker

A new concept in the evolution of connected cars has been proposed by VMs, but many in the aftermarket are not happy.

Backers say that the idea of the ‘Extended Vehicle’ concept will lead to greater protection from hacking and fewer risks from on-vehicle software updates etc. as data will be stored on centralised servers and any access to data will be via these computers, rather than on the car itself.

A website to promote the concept, cardatafacts.eu, has been set up by ACEA, the body that represents VMs in Europe. The site argues that while the servers will be run by the VMs, third parties such as diagnostic tool companies are welcome to establish ‘neutral’ data centres, not operated or funded directly by the manufacturers. However, detractors of the concept say that it amounts to a ‘major threat to aftermarket competition’ as all of the data generated by a vehicle will be in the hands of the VMs at least to begin with, and the third party servers may be a bit like the ‘pass-through’ diagnostics from a few years ago, which used data pulled directly from VMs servers on third party diagnostic tools. Technicians complained that the data available was either late or incomplete compared with the dealer tool.

A recent study showed that the potential for financial loss for independent repairers, and extra costs for the motorist, could be huge if the Extended Vehicle concept is enacted in Europe and the UK. Both the VMs and independents, via the medium of trade bodies, are going head-to-head over the issue, and a test server is being set up to illustrate to the European Commision of the sort of problems that are likely to arise from it.

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INDUSTRY CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL REFRIGERANT

INDUSTRY CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL REFRIGERANT

By Greg Whitaker

Illegal and potentially hazardous air conditioning gas has been entering the UK and European aftermarket, partly as a result of a reduced supply of legitimate R134a refrigerant, according to a director of Honeywell.

As the EU has been pursuing its climate change policy, the amount of harmful fluorocarbon gasses (known as F-gas) allowed to be sold has reduced significantly in the last few years. The first big cut was in 2018 when the amount of gas allowed in the market was reduced by 37 percent.

Tim Vink, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Honeywell International Inc, explained: “The problem comes when people think ‘I can make a bob out of this’, so they get offers from suppliers, essentially from South-East Asia, and possibly unwittingly started importing gas without having an adequate quota. They’d then offer these products [to the market].”

The problem is apparently so widespread in some places that genuine suppliers face what Vink describes as an ‘existential problem’ for their businesses.

Banned containers

Product that has no business being in the market is obviously harmful to legitimate refrigerant suppliers, but the issue has wider implications: “The problem is, you can’t be sure what is on the packaging label is actually in the container and that could cause serious issues with the functioning of the system. It could have a completely different vapour pressure which could blow up the compressor,” warned Vink. “If you are not using the right lubricant and the compressor runs dry, you get a burn out and all that sort of stuff, so you have to be very careful with the material you put into an air-conditioning system”.

Another concern is the container. Vink said that many of the products taken off the market so far have been in non-certified and non-refillable gas bottles, of a type that has not been legal in Europe since 2006. Honeywell and other F-Gas producers have formed a trade body, known as the European Fluorocarbon Technical Committee, or EFCTC, with the aim of informing the market and pursuing culprits through legal channels.

“The members of EFCTC have taken the initiative to take an integrity line where people can report anonymously if they receive anything suspicious in the market and that information can be used to build a picture of where those products are coming from in the market,” explained Vink. The ‘action line’ and legal action against perpetrators is taken by an independent third party, because as Vink explained: “We are not experts in prosecution and providing the right sort of evidence”.

Action line

The initiative has already seen some success. “Material has been seized in the Netherlands, Spain and Poland,” said Vink. “We as an industry are spending a considerable sum with a third party investigation unit that will go to prosecutors in the countries where material is found”.

Vink believes that the spurious product is being sold both online and by cold callers to aftermarket businesses, offering discount gas. Ultimately, the problem will be relieved by an adequate supply of legitimate gas back in the market and Vink assures us that a low-GWP drop-in replacement for R134a is being worked on at the moment, with a launch slated for early 2020.

Get more information about the EFCTC campaign at fluorocarbons.org

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OSRAM COMPLETES RING AUTOMOTIVE ACQUISITION

OSRAM COMPLETES RING AUTOMOTIVE ACQUISITION

Ring Automotive HQ

Lighting manufacturer Osram has completed on the deal to acquire Ring Automotive, following clearance by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The proposed buyout was announced earlier this year, although details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Ring Automotive was previously owned by industrial investment firm Rubicon Partners.

George Skalski, Managing Director of Ring Automotive said of the deal:  “Being part of the Osram family offers us incredible opportunities for further global expansion. The synergies are enormous and will help us to continue our innovation leadership together. In the future, our customers will benefit from the many years of experience of both companies”.

“In addition to expanding our aftermarket portfolio, the acquisition of Ring will enable us to tap into additional sales potential and further expand our market expertise. The aim is to use the additional market and customer access and create synergies in the product portfolio and distribution channels,” said Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of Osram Automotive.

 

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PROMO: PROFIT NOW FROM DIESEL AND GDI INJECTION SYSTEMS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF HARTRIDGE LTD

 

Fuel Injection Repair? Not Just for Specialists…

Lee Jacobs, Global Product & Strategy Director at Hartridge, explains why UK workshops looking to invest in the next big thing should consider the Diesel & GDi injector repair/servicing sector.

 

The fuel system test & repair aftermarket is arguably undergoing the most change of all in the Automotive industry as a result of the diesel engine falling from grace.

Inevitably, this comes at a time when the number of CR (common rail) diesel vehicles outside of warranty is at its highest. Simultaneously, the GDi (petrol direct injection) market is experiencing unprecedented growth as a comparative newcomer to the fuel system market. The technology is now dominating petrol engine OE production at a time when the huge shift in registrations from diesel to petrol is in full swing.

 

Annual UK new car registrations by fuel type. Source: IHS Markit 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is our opinion that right now the market is ripe for newcomers to invest in both diesel and GDi injector testing and for Diesel specialists to seriously consider GDi as a natural and unavoidable consequence of the change that they cannot ignore for long.

Our argument is based on three key principals:

1: A vast & aging diesel-engine vehicle parc sits alongside a fast growing new technology (GDi) with known reliability issues. Over the next 5 years at least, the opportunity to provide a cost effective alternative to injector replacement is set to soar. An injector test-clean-service-retest proposition offers motorists great value and excellent profit returns for the workshop.

 

2:  The latest Hartridge test equipment offers a fantastic low investment all makes entry point into the market. Until recently it was only possible for serious specialist diesel players to invest in its OE authorised equipment due to investment cost & complexity involved.

 

3: These same new machines enable a workshop with no specialist knowledge of fuel systems to comprehensively test CR Diesel or GDi injectors before repairing or servicing them. A combination of patented technology and highly advanced software provides the average garage with a ‘turnkey’ next-generation range of test equipment.

Click to enlarge

The market is changing but diesel is still a vast opportunity. Source: www.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new test machines are very easy to use and are fully automatic. Our decades of know-how and understanding of testing injectors to OE standards is all captured within the hardware and embedded in the software technology.

This significantly de-skills a workshop’s market entry requirements, which makes it easier, cheaper and faster to start earning revenue though testing, servicing and repairing injectors.

For any workshop wanting to profit from this opportunity then choosing Hartridge test equipment means investment is now a fraction of what it used to be, and the resulting profit returns are possibly unrivalled.

 

(L to R) Sabre CRi Expert, Sabre CRi Master, Excalibur GDi Master

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can arrange a genuine no-obligation product demonstration at Hartridge Ltd by clicking on the link below and submitting the form.

Book a free no-obligation demo at Hartridge

Alternatively you can email Lee Jacobs on ljacobs@hartridge.com, or call us on 01280 825600

If you would like to read any of our insightful technical blogs then just click on the following links:

 

 

 

 

 

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CTEK EMPLOYEE ARRESTED OVER ALLEGED ‘TRADE SECRETS’ THEFT FROM RIVAL

CTEK EMPLOYEE ARRESTED OVER ALLEGED ‘TRADE SECRETS’ THEFT FROM RIVAL

An employee of battery charger firm CTEK has been arrested by Melbourne police over alleged theft of trade secrets at a recent trade show.

 The incident took place at the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo held in Melbourne earlier this month. In a lawsuit filed in Ohio by the NOCO company, prosecutors allege that the employee stole a notebook containing sales strategy, contacts and other sensitive information.

 CCTV footage confirmed the theft and the man was detained by exhibition centre security until local police came and made a formal arrest.

“We want to thank on-site security, members of the AAAA, and MelbournePolice for their efforts in arresting the individual,” said Thomas Smith, Director of Public Relations on a press statement. 

Smith described the action as ‘evidence of a possible systematic corporate mandate’ to curtail the U.S firm’s growth, something CTEK denied, describing it as an ‘untrue allegation’.

While it accepts that the theft occurred, it said the actions were taken by a lone individual, no longer employed by the company.

In a statement, Jon Lind, Chief Executive at CTEK said: “There was an incident involving a CTEK employee at the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo in Melbourne, Australia. That individual acted completely on his own, and in disregard of [our] Code of Conduct and instructions. This was an isolated incident by a person acting at his own behest. This person is no longer employed or otherwise associated with CTEK”.

The statement added that the company has ‘zero tolerance for dishonest conduct against competitors or any other business partners’

 In the lawsuit, NOCO is seeking damages and hopes to obtain ‘injunctive protection against the use or dissemination of its trade secrets’  by CTEK.

 

 

  • Updated April 23 to include response from CTEK

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1,200 JOBS AXED AT MANN+HUMMEL IN GLOBAL RESTRUCTURE

1,200 JOBS AXED AT MANN+HUMMEL IN GLOBAL RESTRUCTURE

Filtration manufacturer Mann+Hummel has announced today (April 11) that the company is planning a worldwide reduction of ‘about 1,200’ jobs with ‘up to’ 300 jobs lost from German locations.

However, the company has said that direct production will not be affected by the downsizing, which was mooted in a global cost restructuring programme announced in Februrary.

“We will continue to invest heavily in our business segments transportation and Life Science & Environment and see the planned staff reductions as part of a global initiative to short the company and to position long-term competitiveness” explained Werner Dear Lord, President and CEO.

Consultations with staff and unions have begun and the company anticipates a ‘timely completion’ of the restructuring programme.

Mann+Hummel US HQ

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SMMT SLAMS ‘UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE’ BREXIT SITUATION

SMMT SLAMS ‘UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE’ BREXIT SITUATION

In a strongly worded statement, SMMT Chief Exec Mike Hawes has said that it is ‘utterly unacceptable’ that no clear vision for Brexit has yet emerged.

“While we’ve avoided a ‘no deal’ Brexit on Friday, it is utterly unacceptable that, more than two years since negotiations started, industry still does not know what the UK’s relationship with the EU will be in the coming weeks and months” he wrote.

BREXIT: RHINO PRODUCTS OPENS EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CENTRE

“Uncertainty has already caused serious damage – car plants are on enforced shutdown, investment has been cut and jobs lost. This cannot go on. Government and Parliament must use this extension  purposefully to take ‘no deal’ off the table for good, and guarantee a positive long-term resolution that delivers frictionless trade. If they fail, we face yet another devastating ‘no deal’ precipice on 31 October”.

BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK GROUP FACTORS TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for £82 billion turnover and employs, directly and indirectly, over a million people.

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BREAKING: STATEMENT ISSUED BY KLARIUS DIRECTORS

A joint statement has been issued by the Directors of Klarius Ltd relating to charges dating back to 2013 over alleged deliberate mislabelling of type-approved catalysts and DPFs. The statement reads as follows:

“Personally we are surprised that this issue has been raised again after it was investigated thoroughly by the VCA over three years ago after we self-reported these same issues and it will come as no surprise that the people named vigorously deny any activity prohibited by the Companies Act.

READ: KLARIUS DIRECTORS FACE COURT 

 The subsequent report issued by the VCA and the Department for Transport (DfT) in December 2015 resulted in no action being taken, and concurred that our products met all the required performance and safety standards.

At the time we responded quickly and efficiently, working with our customers, to rectify what was essentially an administrative error relating to a small percentage of the catalytic converters manufactured at that time, discovered and exploited particularly by two of our competitors who clearly stand to gain from any adverse publicity.

We continue to be 100% transparent in what we do and again invite anyone to visit and review our quality standards and conformity of production procedures.

READ: CATALYST ROW, KLARIUS DIRECTORS ISSUE STATEMENT 

 We will confidently defend the proceedings that have been brought against us personally.

 This is not an action against Klarius and there is no suggestion of any issue at all with any Klarius product currently available for sale. The company continues to work closely with all appropriate regulatory bodies to drive standards higher.”

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TRICO ACQUIRES CHAMPION WIPERS

TRICO ACQUIRES CHAMPION WIPERS

Wiper blade manufacturer Trico has acquired the global  Federal-Mogul Motorparts wiper and wiper systems business.

READ: TENNECO ACQUIRES FEDERAL MOGUL

Adam Richards, European MD, Trico said: “This represents a fantastic and hugely exciting strategic opportunity to accelerate technology capabilities, expand global wiper manufacturing and distribution, and further strengthen our wiper blade and wiper system capabilities.

“Both the Champion and Trico brand remain available to the aftermarket – at the moment it’s “business as usual” with FM distribution centres §continuing to supply Champion products, however we are working hard on integration plans for our existing UK facility and will be in touch with all customers with further information soon.”

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