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AVON TYRES PLANS 300 REDUNDANCIES

Tyre manufacturer Cooper-Avon is to axe up to 300 jobs at its Melksham site.

The U.S based Cooper Tire and Rubber Co issued a statement which said it would be ‘consulting on 300 jobs’. The plant currently employs a total of 723 workers.

Under the plan, light vehicle tyre production would be transferred to another of Cooper’s worldwide sites, while motorcycle and motorsport tyre production would remain in Melksham, along with various Head Office functions.

Jaap van Wessum, General Manager – Cooper Tire Europe, said: “Pending consultation, if positions are made redundant, Cooper will remain committed to doing all we can to support those employees who may potentially be affected. We will be consulting with our recognised trade union, Unite, and other employee representatives, and have arranged additional support for affected colleagues, which will be available throughout this process. In addition, we will work closely with Wiltshire Council and the Department for Work and Pensions to provide the best possible support to our colleagues and community”.

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PROMO: HELLA CORE-FREE RANGE OFFERS PEACE OF MIND

Promotional content from HELLA

Hella core-free range

Motorists are almost completely reliant on their cars, as many simply have no alternative means to get about, which is why dependability and a long service life, are prerequisites for replacement starter motors and alternators. With these requirements at the forefront, renowned original equipment (OE) manufacturer and systems supplier HELLA, is therefore the ideal partner for motor factors and their valued workshop customers.

To provide added peace-of-mind and as a demonstration of its confidence in the premium quality products it supplies, HELLA offers an extended warranty on its rotating electrics range, which, for maximum convenience, is also core-free.

The HELLA programme, which encompasses more than 1,000 references and covers both passenger car and commercial vehicle applications, simplifies life for both motor factor and workshop, as it dispenses with the need for them to return the faulty unit and comes without the complication of a surcharge. As a result, neither party has to deal with a complicated payment process and technicians can fit and relax in the knowledge that the extended warranty allows workshops to offer their customers a market-leading level of product security.

To ensure their exceptional quality and reliability, all HELLA starter motors and alternators undergo rigorous testing to stringent OE specifications, with more than 40 check points on critical parts and processes carried out at the company’s competence centre.

By providing OE quality core-free units, HELLA enables motor factors and workshops to offer their customers a reliable ‘fit right first time’ product that minimises the time the vehicle is off the road and simplifies the order process.

 

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

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FIRST LINE LTD SECURES £20m FUNDING

Banbury-based First Line Ltd has secured £20 million in funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial. The money will help the firm expand its exports and capitalise on growth opportunities in overseas markets.

The firm expects 30% of its annual turnover in 2018 to come from export sales, which has seen ‘robust’ year-on-year growth over the past six years.

Keith Schofield, Finance Director, First Line Ltd, said: “We are delighted with the ongoing success of the business and the opportunities presented by overseas markets are truly exciting. Growth will be achieved via a number of strategies including new products and focussing on new segments such as classic cars. Santander has quickly become a trusted partner, providing the financial support and facilities needed for us to take the company to the next level.”

Steve Bateman, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “First Line is looking to grow its market share globally over the next few years and the facilities offered by Santander will be key for them to achieve these growth ambitions. We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic, growth focused UK business that will benefit from Santander’s unrivalled expertise in helping SMEs export and trade internationally”.

Founded in 1983, the firm sells parts under the Borg & Beck and Key Parts tables in addition to the First Line brand  is now based from a 170,000 sq ft warehouse clearly visible from the M40. 

 

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AAG ACQUIRES PLATINUM INTERNATIONAL

The Alliance Automotive Group (AAG) has acquired battery distributor Platinum International. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Previously known as UK Batteries, Platinum International was formed in 2002 by Chris Taylor following the sale of a previous battery venture. Speaking about the acquisition, he said: ““I am delighted to see Platinum become part of AAG, especially with its reputation as a leader in the UK market. Platinum has been built over a long period of time and I would like to thank my team for their hard work and contribution to making the business a success. The development of Platinum is also a testament to how much support and loyalty we receive from our customers and suppliers and I am convinced that, together with AAG, Platinum will continue to achieve great things. I am confident that I’ve found the best long-term home for the business.”

AAG, which is owned by the U.S based Genuine Parts Company, has made a number of acquisitions in the UK over the year to date, most of which have been all-makes motor factors. Platinum joins Apec Braking and BTN Turbo as AAG’s specialist distributors.

Steve Richardson, Managing Director of AAG UK stated, “We are excited to welcome Platinum into our UK business and to strengthen our position in the UK battery market. We have tremendous respect for Platinum as a long standing supplier to our Group and are confident the integration of the company into AAG will add value for all our customer and lead to long term, sustainable, growth. Platinum has a strong and talented management team and is an excellent strategic fit for our group”.

 

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EVANS CYCLES TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE EQUITY OWNERS

Evans Cycles is to be sold by its private equity owner ECI Partners.

The cycle chain has been making a loss over the past two years, although ECI has perused a strategy of expansion.

At the time of writing bids have been invited for the firm, with Halfords being reported by Sky News as being among the front runners.

Halfords itself set up the Cycle Republic chain as a rival to Evans Cycles in 2014. Halfords has previously stated an aim for Cycle Republic is to double the number of branches.

In general terms, cycle retail on the High Street has been under pressure as there has been a willingness by consumers to buy mid to high-end bikes from non-traditional outlets, such as Go Outdoors or from sports shops such as Triathlon. Low-end family bikes have been under pressure from online retailers such as Wiggle, which one retail survey put as the UK’s second largest cycle retailer in August

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HONEYWELL GARRETT APPOINTS TURBOACTIVE AS ‘MASTER DISTRIBUTOR’

Honeywell turbochargers have new distribution.

Turbocharger manufacturer Honeywell Garrett has appointed Teeside-based Turboactive as a ‘master distributor’ for the UK and Northern Ireland. Rival distributor BTN Turbo is also a master distributor for the brand, and will continue to be so.

”We are very excited  about being appointed a Garrett Master Distributor as it marks a significant change in customer choice, it enables our customers to choose from a huge range of turbos for all sectors-both new and remanufactured” said MD Steve Bush.

Mr. Bush said that the move would give the company access to new markets, allowing it to expand yet further into commercial vehicles and industrial applications in addition to enhancing the light vehicle offering.  He added, ” We are thrilled to have been selected as only one of just two distributors of Honeywell Garret products in the UK market!”

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ELTA AUTOMOTIVE IN MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT

Component supplier and Lucas licence holder, Elta Automotive has been subject to a management buy-out.

Terms of the MBO have not been announced, nut current MD Ian Hallam, who has worked with Elta since the company was incorporated, has become the company’s co-owner, alongside long-term European partner Luxline spol. s r.o – lead by Vladimír Palacka. Ian Hallam and Luxline become equal shareholders of a new holding company, Elta Investments replacing the previous holding company, Claverdon Fields.

The formation of a newco required the existing Lucas licence to be renegotiated. Elta will continue to supply bulbs, wiper blade and switchgear under the Lucas brand in the UK and Continental Europe, but engine management products bearing the name will now be supplied by SMPE.  As a result, Elta’s engine management programme will be supplied under the ‘Pro’ brand, announced last year.

“Our relationship with the iconic Lucas brand remains extremely important and will be a cornerstone of our European offering” remarked Hallam.

Elta HQ in Coleshill

“However, as would be expected, a change of ownership inevitably requires a new licence agreement with the brand owners, which is why we are particularly delighted to be able to announce that this has been secured and on a mutually positive basis for both parties” he said, adding that he was ‘thrilled’ with the prospect of a ‘significantly wider territory’ to sell the Lucas brand into.

 

 

 

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LUBRICATION THAT CAN DAMAGE OIL SEALS

PROMOTIONAL STORY ON BEHALF OF CORTECO

Today’s cars are becoming increasingly powerful but are still retaining the convenient size which fits with the chaotic world we live in. With cars becoming more demanding, the engines have to do more while trying to meet efficiency targets, this is helped by the engine oil that we put in to keep the car ticking over. However, although this oil is beneficial for many parts within the engine it also causes a lot of harm to components such as oil seals.

Oil additives are chemical components that improve the lubricating performance of the base oil. These additives are vital for the proper lubrication and prolonged use of engine oil in modern combustion engines. Without many of these the oil would become contaminated, breakdown, leak out or not properly protect the engine parts at all operating temperatures. Some of the most important additives include those used for viscosity and lubricity, contaminant control, for the control of chemical breakdown and for seal conditioning. The viscosity of oil also changes with temperature, becoming more viscous when cold and less viscous when hot. So the viscosity of the oil can be affected both by the weather and how hot your engine is.

Although the additives in the oil are extremely beneficial for most engine components, the additives being used today have an adverse effect on oil seals, often causing them to wear or leak causing early repairs being done to fix the problem. One way a seal can fail from oil additives is due to chemical compatibility, this is an issue that arises when changes are made to the formula of lubricants. Sometimes even though the base fluid remains the same an additive causes the seal to fail. However, the effect is not always predictable as the seal may wear out faster than expected or simply not perform as it should.

Alternatively the seal material can break down when it encounters a corrosive fluid. This will occur when the improper seal material is chosen for an application. The use of non-compatible materials can lead to chemical attack by oil additives, hydrolysis, and/or oxidation of seal elements. This will result in the loss of the seal lip interface, softening of the seal durometer, swelling, and/or shrinkage of the seal. Discolouration of the seal is an indicator of chemical erosion.

To avoid the seal from wearing early or not performing as expected then certain things need to be looked at. The fluid pressure range needs to be checked, this includes not just the operating range of the fluid system pressure, but also the severity and frequency of the system pressure peaks.

Another crucial factor is the temperature range as this will be effected by the additives within engine oil and can also be effected by the engine temperature and even the weather. The resting and operating temperature range of the fluid and the cylinder assembly are important with seal selection.

The fluid type due to the fluid media and viscosity are important for seal efficiency and effectiveness. Getting this right will ensure the long life of an oil seal as well as reduce the need for early repairs.

The size of the seal will determine the size of the cylinder. This includes the rod and bore dimension, seal groove dimensions, gaps, cylinders overall length, surface finish specifications and the stroke length. How the cylinder is used will impact how long it can last under certain operating conditions. This includes cylinder installation, environmental factors, and exposure to harsh conditions.

With oil additives being added to engine oil it is becoming ever more crucial to ensure the right seal is chosen not just for the application but for operating conditions and to work well alongside the additives.

Corteco offers a range of more than 7,000 gaskets and over 6,500 different shaft seals Simmering® and valve stem seals in OEM quality for a wide range of vehicle applications to ensure you can get the right seal for the job.

For more information on Corteco’s range of products head to www.corteco.com/en/products/sealing alternatives head over to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and follow Corteco to get all the latest new, technical information and promotions.

 

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NEW CASTROL DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR CERTAS COMPANY

Lubricant distributor The Race Group has announced that it has renewed its partnership with Castrol with a new five-year contract, extending its supply of product to customers in the South of England in addition to the Midlands and the North which were covered int the previous agreement.

The contract secures The Race Group, part of nationwide distributor Certas Energy, as Castrol’s largest authorised distributor in the UK.

Andrew Salton, General Manager at Certas Energy and Sales Manager at The Race Group, commented, This is great news for both current and new customers who will experience improved levels of service and technical knowledge”.

 Mark  Scarisbrick, Distributor Manager at Castrol UK, added,“As our chosen route to market, we awarded The Race Group the contract to grow the Castrol brand in the South of England. We are confident that customers will enjoy a professional service that delivers business results. Given our long standing partnership we have the utmost trust in their experience, expertise and capabilities to be an ambassador of the Castrol brand across the South of England”.

 

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FPS WITHDRAWS FROM CAMPING AND CARAVANNING SECTOR

FPS Distribution is to withdraw from the camping and caravanning market. The changes take effect from November 30th and are in response to space pressure across its warehouse network.

Products affected include ‘canvas’ camping products such as tents, awnings and related accessories. Stowage and towing products including Mont Blanc racks, roof boxes and towbars are not affected and will continue to be stocked.

In a press statement, a spokesman said: “Our programme and everyone’s diligent work have provided growth in this sector. However, our market has changed and our core motor components business is growing so fast that we now have capacity challenges”.–

Space pressure on Sheffield DC influenced decision

“By withdrawing from caravan and camping, we will create capacity in our supply chain at both Sheffield, and in our HGV and branch transport fleet. This will allow us to focus on improving and growing our core business” read the statement.

FPS has been part of the Alliance Automotive Group since 2016.

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