Blog

CAT AWARDS 2020: FIRST CATEGORY SHORTLIST

These are the first shortlisted categories for the CAT Awards 2020, to be held in the Lowry Hotel on Feb 5th 2020.  The remaining categories will follow later in the month.

 

Garage Concept Award

  1. Terraclean 
  2. Good Garage Scheme ( Forte)
  3. Autofirst Network (ECP)
  4. Service Sure 
  5. Halfords Autocentre 
  6. Auto care 
  7. Quick Lane

 

Factor Chain of the Year

  1. Motor Parts Direct 
  2. General Traffic 
  3. LVW
  4. Euro Car Parts 
  5. GSF 
  6. Pentland Component Parts 
  7. BBC Super Factors (Blackburn, Burnley & Chorley)

 

Supplier of the Year

  1. ZF Aftermarket
  2. Trico
  3. Noco  
  4. GS Yuasa
  5. Mobiletron 
  6. Brembo
  7. Ferdinand Bilstein

 

Industry Partner of the Year

  1. MAM
  2. Elcome
  3. PG Automotive 
  4. Impression Communications
  5. IMI 
  6. Autodata 
  7. Wright Hassall

 

Posted in UncategorisedComments (0)

HAYNES PUBLISHING UP FOR SALE

The board of Haynes Publishing Group has announced that it is embarking upon a formal sale process to sell the entire issued share capital of the company, including subsidiaries.

Haynes published its first manual in 1960

Management have assured staff that operations will continue as normal while a buyer is sought. In recent years the firm has transitioned from being a publisher of mainly printed manuals into a company that distributes technical data over multiple platforms.

This announcement comes a year after the death of company founder, John Haynes. The firm has appointed Europa Partners as financial adviser to conduct the formal sale process.

Eddie Bell, Chief Executive of Haynes Publishing Group said: “Our founder, John Haynes died this year; one year before the Company’s 60th anniversary in 2020.  The Board now believes our future will be best secured by the whole Group becoming part of an organisation with the financial resources to invest for future expansion and take the Company through to the next 60 years of success.”

“Following this morning’s announcement staff in all our operations worldwide are being briefed by Executive Management today.  The Company will carry on operating business as usual during the sale process securing a bright, new future for the Group, our management, staff, suppliers and customers worldwide.”

 

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

HALFORDS FORM BUYING PARTNERSHIP WITH FRENCH ALLY

UK accessory and parts chain Halfords has announced a new ‘strategic partnership’ with Mobivia, the French company behind European fast-fit brands including Norauto, ATU and Midas. 

The deal will see the two firms working together to source and purchase own-brand products, with the aim of streamlining development and expanding their ranges of motoring and cycling-related products. 

READ: HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHYS FOR £9.3M

Halfords

Deal with French firm to jointly source and develop new products

Mobivia is hopeful that the move will also benefit customers and consumers, claiming that it ‘will enable both companies to improve the quality and choice of products available’. Additionally, the firms have agreed to continue working with their existing supplier partners on a local and national level. 

Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton claims the new relationship will help the firm to serve ‘customers even better, further improving choice, quality and value’. 

The news comes following Halfords’ recent acquisition of Scottish garage network McConechy’s for £9.3 million, which Stapleton described at the time as ‘highly complementary’ to his company’s existing product and service offering. 

READ: PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER

Halfords’ half-year financial results revealed a 2.5 percent profit drop and 2.9 percent revenue decline in the six months leading up to 27 September. 

Mobivia was founded in 1970 as a Lille-based repairs and accessories store. Today, it represents nine brands and 27 start-ups across the automotive sector, with more than 23,000 employees, and 2000 workshops and stores in its network.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, News, special news, UncategorisedComments (0)

LAND ROVER SPECIALIST BRITPART ACQUIRES ALLMAKES 4X4

Shropshire parts manufacturer Britpart has acquired the assets of rival off-road specialist Allmakes 4×4.

The Oxfordshire-based firm will now trade as Allmakes PR2 4×4 Ltd, with no change to its management team or staff. Financial details of the deal are unconfirmed, but Allmakes claims to hold roughly £7 million worth of Land Rover, Jeep and other off-road-related components at its 180,000sq ft warehouse. 

Picking stock at Allmakes 4×4

The purchase means Britpart (the trading name of Border Holdings Ltd) is also now the parent company to Allparts subsidiaries Frogs Island, a Land Rover repair specialist, and accessory supplier Terrafirma. 

Before the deal, 35 year-old Britpart supplied 28,000 Land Rover parts from its Craven Arms distribution centre to more than 1000 customers worldwide, ranging from trade outlets to government agencies. This latest development will significantly enhance its product offering in the sector. 

Paul Myers, Managing Director at Border Holdings Ltd, said: “We are confident that using the successful formula of supplying good quality parts at affordable prices with 1st class logistics will enable Allmakes PR2 4×4 to continue to grow.

“Border Holdings has committed to a successful long term future for the Abingdon site and all its employees.”

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, latest news, News, Retailer News, special newsComments (0)

PROMO: QUALITY COUNTS WHEN IT COMES TO THE CRUNCH

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF BM CATALYSTS

BM Catalysts Commercial Director Mark Blinston discusses why quality always wins in the battle against cost

Reassuringly Good

At BM Catalysts we pride ourselves on our reputation for quality. Years of dedication to doing things the right way, as well as continuously investing in people, processes and production techniques, means that we’re now in a market-leading position despite the seemingly endless uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU.

Whilst recent times have seen other businesses looking at ways to consolidate or even scale back their operations, our long-term strategy of continuous investment and improvement sees us in a unique position where we can continue serving our customers the high levels of quality and service they have come to expect from BM Catalysts, even in uncertain times.

BM Catalysts Commercial Director Mark Blinston

Increasing Regulation

The automotive industry itself is continually looking to tighten its grip on quality standards. The Department for Transport is focusing more scrutiny on the quality of parts, and by default the processes, of our sector, primarily through the work of the Market Surveillance Unit of the DVSA. This includes taking a closer look at manufacturers and distributors producing and supplying non-compliant (or even sub-standard) parts. Legislation leaves little room for interpretation when it comes to culpability. Whether a part is being made, sold or fitted, we all have some responsibility in ensuring that the right part is supplied for the right vehicle, and that parts conform to both regulatory standards, as well as those required for the vehicle itself.

Assuring Quality

If a good cataloguing system is being used properly, it’s now virtually impossible to order or supply the wrong part. However, factors are often still using the practice of cross-referencing to try to find cheaper alternatives, and it is here that the risk of error creeps in. Type approval cannot be simplified to similar parts from different manufacturers being direct alternatives. Just because a BM part and a competitor’s part can both be used on one vehicle, for example, it doesn’t mean that they can both be used on all of the vehicles that the BM part is type approved for. Homologation is much more specific than that and should be taken seriously. You have to ask yourself, if the alternative to one manufacturer’s part is not listed in the cataloguing system but seemingly has a cross reference, why is this?

Automated plasma cutters at work

The Answer to the Quality Question

We’ve built our reputation for exceeding expectations in all areas, including ensuring that we are compliant when it comes to legislative requirements. We’re proud to consider ourselves a supplier that our partners can rely on to deliver the right product at the right time, with a stringent focus and commitment to quality being at the forefront of everything we do.

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)

TP CATS TO CEASE UK PRODUCTION

Catalyst and DPF producer TP Engineering Ltd is to cease UK production of catalysts and  diesel particulate filters.

The firm, also known as TPCATS, is owned by Portugal-based emissions manufacturer Fabriscape. In a letter to customers seen by CAT, Fabriscape confirms that production at the Stoke-on-Trent works will end ‘with immediate effect’ and that production will resume in Portugal ‘once the missing production resources have been put in place’.

The letter said that a  finished stock and logistics team will remain on site so that orders can continue to be placed, but that ‘it is not possible to prevent some disruption and availability issues’ as production is moved. No reason was given in the letter for the abrupt cessation of production, with the letter simply saying that it was after ‘thoughtful consideration’.

The current time is a period of change for UK emission products manufacturing. Earlier this week, rival producer European Exhausts and Catalysts was found to be selling non-compliant DPFs and later this month another rival, Klarius Products is due to stand trial on a similar charge.

 

TP CATS Stoke on Trent HQ has closed

 

 

 

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, News, Retailer News, special newsComments (0)

HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHY’S FOR £9.3M

Retail giant Halfords has acquired Scottish servicing chain McConechy’s in a deal worth £9.3 million.

McConechy’s is one of the UK’s largest servicing and MOT chains, employing roughly 330 people across 59 sites in Scotland and the north east of England. It is estimated to generate around £45 million in revenue, and will slot in alongside Halfords’ existing Autocentre, weFit and Mobile Expert servicing brands. 

The new deal has been described by Halfords boss Graham Stapleton as “highly complementary” to the firm’s existing range of product and service offerings. 

He added: “The vehicle servicing market is a £10 billion market, but one which remains highly fragmented, offering significant scope for Halfords’ trusted and recognised consumer brand to grow its market share considerably.”

READ: PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER

The announcement comes as Halfords rounds up its half-year financial results, which reveal a 2.5 percent profit drop and 2.9 percent revenue decline in the six months leading up to 27 September. 

The company blames the losses on a “challenging retail backdrop and tough weather comparators year-on-year”, but also acknowledges that further financial damage was prevented by “strategic investment, gross margin improvements and tight cost control”. 

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, latest news, News, Retailer News, special newsComments (0)

EMISSION PARTS PRODUCER LOSES COMPLIANCE CASE

A case described as a ‘landmark’ has been won by DVSA against a Hampshire-based emission parts manufacturer.

The ruling, described as the first of its kind, against EEC (European Exhaust and Catalyst Ltd) took place at Portsmouth Magistrates Court and concluded on Monday 28 October, resulted in a criminal conviction for the company and a £3,000 fine.

The court also ordered the company to pay costs totalling £10,460 and a statutory surcharge of £170.

READ: KLARIUS DIRECTORS FACE COURT

The parts were diesel particulate filters and were supplied for Euro 5 vehicles when they were only approved for Euro 4 vehicles and did not have a label on the physical product containing the words: ‘ILLEGAL TO SUPPLY FOR VEHICLES APPROVED TO EC REGULATION 715/2007’.

DVSA’s Head of Vehicle Engineering, Neil Barlow said: “Motorists expect that replacement parts available on the aftermarket meet the right specifications for their car. This is the first successful prosecution of its kind. We hope it sends a clear message to other parts manufacturers and distributers that they must sell their products in line with the law or face prosecution.”

The offences relate to the supply of parts that were not approved for the vehicles for which they were supplied for and without the required legal markings.

The judge at the hearing commented that this was a very difficult case for sentencing as it was the first ever prosecution of its kind, but he wanted to bring home the seriousness of offences of this nature in light of emissions and the environment.

READ: ROW ERUPTS OVER CATALYST TYPE APPROVAL

Parts manufacturers and distributers must ensure their products meet the necessary standards and are correctly marked and approved for the vehicles or engine types that they are intended for.

 

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, News, Retailer News, special newsComments (0)

BRISTOL COULD BAN DIESEL

Bristol City Council is consulting on proposals to introduce the UK’s first no-diesel zone by 2021 as part of a drive to improve air quality in the area. 

The so-called Clean Air Zone has been devised as a means of delivering “the fastest possible improvement in air quality against targets for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) legal limits”, according to the council. 

If implemented, the measures would see privately owned diesel vehicles banned from entering a designated section of the city centre between 7am and 3pm every day.

READ: LONDON ULEZ TROUBLES SMALL BUSINESSES

London’s ULEZ has been in place since April 2019

A wider charging zone would be in constant operation for high-emission commercial vehicles, including buses, taxis, HGVs and LGVs, with suggested costs yet to be announced. 

A diesel vehicle scrappage scheme would launch at the same time, to encourage Bristol drivers to swap into less polluting cars. 

The announcement comes two years after Bristol City Council was ordered by the government to produce a plan for bringing the area’s NO2 levels to within legal limits. 

It has been suggested that the Clean Air Zone could bring emissions down to a legal level by 2025. 

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “These ambitious plans demonstrate our commitment to tackling air pollution so we meet legal limits within the shortest time, without disproportionally affecting citizens on lower incomes which would happen with a blanket approach to charging vehicles.

READ: DIESEL VEHICLES TO BE BANNED IN GERMAN CITIES

“Protecting the most vulnerable people from pollution is central to these plans and we have ensured that all impacts have been carefully considered. If approved, mitigation measures will support those most affected, especially those living in the most deprived communities.”

The predicted cost of implementation of the scheme totals £113.5 million, with comprehensive upgrades to the city’s ANPR network, road marking and signage necessary to its successful operation. 

The proposals will be fully detailed and debated at a meeting of Bristol City Council’s cabinet on 5 November. The final business case is due to be submitted to government in February next year. 

 

Posted in Latest News, News, UncategorisedComments (0)

ACCESSORY SHOPS DEBATE GREEN EV PLATES

Proposals for electric cars to wear green number plates could bring additional revenue for plate makers, but are unlikely to ever come into effect, according to several accessory shop representatives. The Department for Transport has begun consulting on plans to make electric cars ‘even greener’ with the introduction of legally mandated coloured number plates. It claims that such a move would ‘raise awareness of the increasing number of zero tailpipe emission vehicles on UK roads, help their drivers to benefit more easily from local incentives like free or cheaper parking and encourage greater uptake of new vehicle technology’. 

But how prepared are accessory shops and plate makers to produce the literally green units? Those CAT spoke to expressed surprise upon hearing the government’s plans. 

Jon Rogers at Wrexham Motoring Supplies said he couldn’t see a good reason for such a scheme to be introduced. “Every electric car owner will need to buy new number plates,” he said, suggesting the plans could be a ‘DVLA money-making scheme’. Further confusing things, he argued, is the fact that most bus lane and car park cameras operate using ANPR technology, negating the need for any sort of different-coloured plate. 

 

As regards the plan’s potential impact on number plate vendors, Rogers said: “The colouring method would dictate cost. If it’s just one section of the plate that needs changing, it wouldn’t cost too much.” WMS’s method of plate production means that a different colour could be relatively easily added, but shops using other means of production could see their overheads significantly increased. However, he noted that customary delays to relatively radical transportation reform means he ‘wouldn’t worry about this for another year’.

READ: Posh plate sales steady as new car demand slumps

Dean Bayley at Leicester’s Epic Accessories was similarly confused. “I don’t know what the benefit is,” he said, asking: “will EVs being able to drive in bus lanes help traffic flow?” He also drew attention to the potential for increased cost, on both the consumer and supplier sides, and suggested that drivers of non-electric vehicles could resent any special treatment afforded to EV drivers. 

Bayley also noted that new number plate laws, first announced in April 2018, are still yet to be implemented. The BS AU 145e standards are set to be introduced as a means of improving the legibility, durability and conformity of all British number plates, but have faced numerous setbacks, prompting Bayley to argue that the DfT is ‘not prioritising what it should have done a year and a half ago’. He added: “There’s that much up in the air – we don’t know if we’re coming or going.” 

READ: GOV. ANNOUNCES INCREASE IN FUNDING FOR EV CHARGING

So first impressions of the radical proposals are, at least from the aftermarket, skeptical. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the green plates ‘are a really positive and exciting way to help everyone recognise the increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads,’ and it seems that mere differentiation is the prevailing motive. Any concerns regarding cost or feasibility appears, at least for now, to come second to disbelief that such a scheme could even be implemented. 

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

Advertisement
  • PERILS OF PART-WORN: NTDA call time on used tyres in a special section
  • NEIL CROXSON:  Exclusive interview with Parts Alliance CEO
  • DOING THE ROBOT: Will Connected MOT equipment take over the world? 

more info

    • Should hand car washes face further regulation?

      View Results

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