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POLICE ‘PAY AT PUMP’ SUGGESTION DRAWS ANGRY RESPONSE FROM PRA

A suggestion from Chief Constable Simon Cole of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) that petrol stations should take money upfront in order to reduce instances of petrol theft (known as ‘bilking’) has met an angry response from Brian Madderson, Chair of the Petrol Retailers Association.

“Instead of ‘victim blaming’ petrol retailers, the police should be honest that they are struggling to deliver their commitment to reduce crime”, said Madderson,

Chief Constable Cole’s comments were interpreted by the PRA as needing to install card or app based devices that are regarded by the association as  ‘prohibitively expensive’, estimating the cost to retrofit petrol pumps at £20,000. However, it is common in many self-service countries to pay first and then the cashier will turn the pump on.

Mr Madderson went on, “The UK has seen a 40 percent reduction in filling stations over the past 15 years. Those remaining have developed their retail offer to better serve their customers, with many lost amenities from banks and post offices migrating into the store of petrol stations, particularly in rural areas.”

“Rather than lecturing the victims of crime, the government should be empowering responsible businesses to enforce the law where the police are too overstretched to intervene. One solution would be to give petrol retailers electronic access to the DVLA’s Vehicle Keeper database, so they can pursue drive-offs through the civil courts and ease pressure on the police”.

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ZAFIRA LATEST: 47,000 FURTHER CARS RECALLED

Vauxhall has recalled a further 47,000 Zafira B models after a fault leading to sudden fires was discovered.

The fault relates to the thermistor ‘thermal fuse’ can overheat on cars fitted with automatic climate control.

In 2015, Vauxhall recalled 235,000 cars with manual heating controls. That recall was for a similar fault, although the initial ‘repair’ was unsuccessful, leading the VM to issue a further recall. At the time it was assumed that climate control models were not affected.

Initially the VM blamed the aftermarket for the fires, citing ‘improper repairs’ as the cause, going as far as to produce what it said were examples of re-soldered thermistors.

As scores more blazes followed it became apparent that the cause was a design error and Vauxhall bosses had to face a barrage of questions from a House of Commons Select Committee on why it took so long for the vehicles to be recalled.

Vauxhall will be working with the DVLA to notify registered keepers of all affected vehicles.

 

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PROMO: CORTECO HAS RELOCATED

PROMOTIONAL CONTENT WRITTEN BY CORTECO

Corteco has successfully moved from Lutterworth to Rugby. The move has completed the largest expansion for the brand in the UK and emphasises the rate of annual growth for the company.

New site in Rugby is part of firm’s expansion plans

The new location places Corteco alongside its parent company Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) allowing Corteco to reap knowledge and expertise from the Original Equipment Manufacturer and to pass it onto their customers. This is still proving to be a fruitful year for Corteco, with the expansion of the team, the new state of art location and additional stock enabling Corteco to serve customers instantly.

The move has brought access to a bigger warehouse, a more central location, more office space, improved facilities, a strong source of OE knowledge and a brand new ordering system. All of this helps to benefit the team and the customers greatly proving a seamless service from start to finish.

Corteco asks all customers to ensure the new address is updated to reflect the completed transition.

For any queries on this matter please call 01455 550000 or email a member of the customer service team on service@corteco.co.uk

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PARTS ALLIANCE OPENS NEW BRANCHES

The Parts Alliance has been enhancing its UK coverage with a number of branch openings.

Weston-super-Mare under The Parts Alliance brand and GSF branches in the Essex towns of Colchester and Woodford have opened for business.

BBC Superfactors opened an extra Blackpool branch in June, while branches in Middlesbrough, Croydon, Leeds, Newcastle, Indian Queens and Durham have all been added since January.

“It’s been hectic,” said Tony Shearer, Operational Development Director at The Parts Alliance. “Despite a glorious summer and the holiday season, we don’t seem to have seen any kind of dent in our trading at Blackpool, instead it’s been growing steadily thanks to a good branch team.”

GSF Colchester has a 5,500 square feet facility utilising four vans and two motorcycles for trade customers.

“It’s great to get the doors open,” said Emma Tiernan, Divisional Director at GSF Car Parts. “From day one, we’ve had trade accounts open and deliveries going out so it’s been a really positive start.”

Steve Gray, Divisional Director of The Parts Alliance has overseen the opening of the largest site. The Parts Alliance Weston-super-Mare has just opened with extensive stock holding over 6,500 square feet premises.

“We’re working with four delivery vehicles initially,” said Gray. “Weston-super-Mare is a key location, we’ll be supporting trade to independent garage customers and national accounts in the surrounding area too.”

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SMPE TO GROW ENGINEERING TEAM

Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE) has announced that it is developing a new ‘rapid prototyping facility’ at its Nottingham centre. The development forms part of a host of additional investments by the company into the centre, including doubling its engineering team and purchasing new testing equipment. SMPE said in a statement that the aim is for the site to become its engineering hub for product development, with the new facility enabling the company to ‘fast track’ new products and supply them to the UK aftermarket quickly. Richard Morley, Commercial Director for SMPE, said: “Through our investment in Nottingham, we have a specific focus on future technologies ensuring we continue to lead the market with the strongest OE-quality engine management programmes available. SMPE Nottingham is the hub of this development and we are growing our engineering expertise for the benefit of customers throughout the UK, continental Europe and further afield.” SMPE is also expected to increase development of the Intermotor and Lemark brands.

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PROMO: HELLA HENGST – THE FILTRATION EXPERTS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE FROM HELLA-HENGST

 

Workshops have a responsibility to their customers, not just when it comes to the standard of the work they undertake and the quality of replacement components they fit, but also in terms of service and advice they offer. In addition to these customer-facing benefits, this principal will also help workshops both in their reputation and the bottom line.

In terms of vehicle performance, engine emissions and to minimise fuel costs, ensuring the regular replacement of the air, fuel and oil filters with an original equipment (OE) quality substitute, such as a HELLA Hengst filter, is of the utmost importance and any workshop that would even consider straying from either the vehicle manufacturers (VM) specified service schedule or turn to a low quality alternative replacement, would be considered as to have made a reckless decision.

Where workshops can fall down however, is with the replacement – or lack of replacement – of the cabin filter, which effects the health and well-being of the vehicle’s occupants, an equally

Hella Hengst portfolio

important part of a customer-focussed outlook.

Air quality is always in the headlines and providing a healthy environment for their customers is one of the ways that workshops can distinguish themselves from their competitors. Many studies have shown that the air quality inside a vehicle has a significant influence on safety; when it is thick with pollutants for example, the driver’s concentration can suffer, resulting in a higher risk of an accident.

Incredibly, up to 540,000 litres of air can enter the cabin for every hour of driving and research has shown that this air is approximately five times more contaminated by exhaust gases, pollutants and allergens than air at the roadside.

Workshops therefore, have a large part to play when it comes to the air quality within their customers’ vehicles. By specifying a HELLA Hengst Blue.care® cabin filter, they can optimise the air quality for the direct benefit of their customers in terms of a reduction in pollutants within the vehicle, which aids the driver’s concentration, makes them feel less tired and subsequently reduces the risk of accidents due to driver fatigue.

A standard cabin filter is certainly a good first step as, in addition to its protective role over the air conditioning system, it will remove pollen and fine dust, whereas a carbon activated version goes one further by filtering out bad-smelling odours and hazardous gases such as ozone, smog and exhaust gases. However, the HELLA Hengst Blue.care® filter also neutralises allergens and bacteria, making the environment particularly suitable for the family car.

Its first line of defence comes through an electrostatic medium that keeps out coarse particles, which is supported by a filter fleece that increases its dust retention capacity. An active carbon layer separates out vapours, odours and harmful gases, while so called ‘meltblown’ medium filters out fine dust including micro-particles with diameters smaller than 2.5 mm. Finally, the biofunctional layer contains nanosilver, which has an anti-microbial effect and jointly provides the five level protection from pollen, dust, mould/spores, odours and bacteria that makes the Blue.care® the filter of choice for the discerning workshop.

Due to the sheer quantity of air cabin filters have to cope with, HELLA Hengst recommend that they are replaced annually or every 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, vehicles that spend most of their time being driven in busy traffic – like the typical school run – should have them changed twice a year, irrespective of their annual mileage.

For more information about the OE quality products available from HELLA Hengst, please call customer services on: 01295 662400 or email hella.sales@hella.com

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PROMO: WHEN DURABILITY MATTERS, MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE

Promotional content written by Corteco

When seals become contaminated, vehicle performance and reliability is quickly compromised.

Lorries are expected to operate around the clock while exposed to moisture and general physical debris and still produce as little down time as possible. Operating conditions are harsh, but reliability remains vital for the driver and the customer. Cassette seals for axles provide the perfect solution and form part of a new generation of ‘closed sealing’ solutions that protects against contamination in working conditions and tough operating environments. Corteco has a comprehensive seal range for axle applications that now includes almost every sealing option, from traditional gaskets and O-rings to the latest low-friction Cassettes for CV and LCV.

Cassette Seals were developed for vehicles working continuously in extremely physical environments on a daily basis. Cassette sealing system technology is now used in a wide number of applications and available for a broad range of different sizes. The most important aspects for the selection of Cassette Seals are:

  • Temperature
  • Circumferential speed
  • Axial play
  • Fitting procedure
  • Degree of contamination of the surrounding area

Choice of sealing materials

In addition to its product design and innovative capabilities, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has access to resources that include thousands of different types of raw materials. Each individual component may comprise of combinations of many different rubber or plastic compounds that are used in association with various coatings and adhesives. OE manufacturers rely on FST in the selection of raw materials, product design, as well as the development and production processes of the seals that are fitted to their vehicles.

The choice of sealing materials used in individual cassette seals is based upon:

  • Operating environment
  • OE requirements
  • FST experience

FST is a name that OE manufacturers know they can trust and that’s the reason why they manufacture billions of seals each year. By working closely with FST, Corteco has developed a Cassette Seals product range to match the needs of the aftermarket – and thanks to extensive logistical experience, the correct sealing solution for almost every application is never very far away.

Product Reliability

Cassette Seals deliver reliable first time fit solutions that fleet operators can depend upon. Each Cassette Seal includes:

  • Static sealing system
  • Dynamic sealing system
  • Dust lips for dirt protection

Fleet operators rely on the parts that are installed into their vehicles to withstand excessive pressure from everyday operating life. Fitting OE Cassette Seals ensures peace of mind and reduce costs and downtime making sure everything runs smoother.

Applications 

Automotive applications are characterized by contamination, intensive utilization and high speed for long distances and periods. The utilisation of Cassette Seals covers many fields including; pick-up, commercial vehicles and on-road trucks. 

General Industrial applications are characterised by the presence of severe contamination, intensive utilisation, continuous start and stops with short distances and high repair costs. The utilisation of Cassette Seals cover many fields including; off-road trucks, agriculture, earth moving machines, implements and many more.

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MAGNETI MARELLI SOLD BY FIAT FOR €6.2bn

Italian component manufacturer Magneti Marelli has been sold by Fiat-Chrysler (FCA)  for EU 6.2bn to a Japanese holdings company. 

The new owner is CK Holdings, which is a holding company of component supplier  Calsonic Kansei Corporation.

When the deal closes, CK Holdings will be renamed as Magneti Marelli CK Holdings. The companies say that combined businesses of Calsonic Kansei and Magneti Marelli will create the world’s seventh largest global independent automotive components supplier based on total revenues.

FCA has also agreed to a multi-year supply agreement that will further strengthen a ‘mutually beneficial’ relationship for both Magneti Marelli and the Fiat group’s model range.

The combined company will be led by Beda Bolzenius, currently CEO of Calsonic Kansei, based in Japan. Ermanno Ferr

ari, CEO of Magneti Marelli, will join the Magneti Marelli CK Holdings board.

Mike Manley, CEO of FCA, said: “The combined business will continue to be among FCA’s most important business partners and we would like to see that relationship grow even further in the future. The transaction also recognises the full strategic value of Magneti Marelli and is another important step in our relentless focus on value creation.”

Beda Bolzenius, CEO of Calsonic Kansei, said: “Together, we will benefit from complementary geographic footprints and product lines, while our respective customers will benefit from an increased investment in people, processes and innovative new products.”

Describing the events as ‘transformational’ Ermanno Ferrari, CEO of Magneti Marelli, said: “ This is a moment of great opportunity for all our people to be part of a secure, growing and independent company of considerable scale that can look to the future with energy, ambition and confidence.”

The transition is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2019, subject to the usual approvals.

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‘RESPONSIBLE CAR WASH’ SCHEME GOES LIVE

An initiative named the ‘Responsible Car Wash Scheme’ has been launched by the House of Lords.

The Scheme aims to tackle modern slavery and a lack of compliance within the industry. It will target labour abuse and lack of adherence to regulations at hand car washes, whilst enabling consumers to identify a compliant car wash.

Operators who are members of the Scheme will be able to be recognised by consumers as ones who: look after their workers, trade legally, adhere to environmental regulations and take care of their customers and their vehicles.

Darryl Dixon from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority said, “We have seen numerous problems across this industry, from modern day slavery, debt bondage, failure to pay proper wages, through to workers not being provided with any appropriate or personal protective equipment. Whilst enforcement is crucial, education is also essential to both operators, so that they can ensure they operate legally, but also to consumers, so they can make the simple decision of using a legal operator or not. This Scheme is a big step forward in addressing these issues.”

Brian Madderson, Chair of the Car Wash Association gave the scheme a more muted reception: “Whilst this is welcome news and will allow hand car washes to look after their workers, trade legally, adhere to environmental regulations and take care of their customers, it still leaves open the issue of the 20,000 hand car washes in the UK that operate illegally” he said.

“Problems also include environmental damage from mishandling trade effluent, widespread disregard of the National Minimum Wage, modern slavery human trafficking and tax avoidance. Figures suggest that hand car washes are failing to pay taxes, and up to £1.45 billion per year in tax is not being collected by HMRC” concluded Madderson.

The Scheme will provide a resource for operators, providing them with information and guidance so they can operate legally. Once a member of the Scheme, operators will be able to display a Responsible Car Wash Operator logo which will enable consumers to make a clear choice between a fully compliant operator, that has been through the accreditation.

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PROMO: CORTECO AT AUTOMECHANIKA

Promotional content on behalf of Corteco

 

The FST subsidiary Corteco showcased its product portfolio – now expanded to include steering and suspension components – from September 11 to 15 at the Automechanika trade fair in Frankfurt. Corteco has been offering ball joints, control arms, tie rods and hydraulic and conventional bushings and stabilizer links for the replacement parts market since the start of the year. “We are seeing an ongoing trend toward cars that offer greater comfort thanks to an improved ride. We wanted to address this in the replacement parts business with our expanded product portfolio,” said Jason Meier, Senior Vice President at Corteco.
The new products generated considerable interest among the trade fair visitors. Detailed information on Corteco’s complete range including belt pulleys, engine mounts and interior air filters was in demand as well. Visitors were able to personally feel the impact of high-performance steering and suspension products on a vehicle’s ride: In a vehicle simulator, they experienced how well Corteco damping parts perform compared to those of the competition – a highlight for many visitors to the stand.
Corteco made a strong visual impression at the event with its striking new motifs. “We show the people behind our products in the photos on our website as well as in advertising, brochures and catalogs,” Meier said. “They identify strongly with our products, and we are illustrating this in our images. Without the technical expertise of our employees, we would not have thrived for more than twenty years in the Independent Automotive Aftermarket.”

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