Blogs

HELLA ANNOUCE PARTNERSHIP WITH FILTRATION BRAND HENGST

HELLA_HENGST_FILTRATION SYSTEM_Logo_2D_4c

A deal has been struck between Hella in the UK and German filter brand Hengst Filtration.

The alliance will see filtration products packaged and sold as Hella Hengst from the beginning of April.

Stock will be distributed from Hella’s 90,000 sq ft warehouse in Oxfordshire and there are four UK product managers and six UK business development managers to support the new alliance. Recent hires include Product Manager Mark Adams, who previously worked at Trico and Universal Automotive.

Apart from new packaging, the cabin air filter range will include a set of intructions incase there are any problems in locating or fitting the filter.

Christopher Heine, CFO at Hengst said: “We have entered into this alliance because it combines the best of two traditional companies”.

Matthew Say, MD of Hella UK commented: “As part of our service concept, we want to deliver best in class logistics. As noted, we have a 90,000 sq ft footprint with a pick-by-voice delivery system and are able to deliver within 24 hours. This means that we become our customers’ second warehouse. What we have from day one is a substantial stock investment allowing us to service the aftermarket”.

 

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PAGID GIVES THE AFTERMARKET THE ‘BIG PICTURE’

tmd2007-pagid-survey-internal-cover

 

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF PAGID

 

Pagid, the UK’s biggest-selling braking brand, has announced the results of its major review of the automotive aftermarket, after surveying 1,000 mechanics nationwide.

‘The Big Picture’ is Pagid’s mission to understand the challenges facing workshops in the automotive aftermarket in 2017. The extensive survey investigated the perceptions of what technicians look for when choosing brake parts, their opinions on braking brands, the biggest challenges mechanics and workshops faced in 2017, and more.

The results revealed a reassuring result for road safety with product quality featuring as the most important factor when looking for a braking brand. Forty-four per cent of those working in garages agreed with this, thoroughly beating price – with only 16% of respondents placing this as the most important factor.

When questioned on issues and pressures facing the automotive industry, the results showed that costs, finding reliable suppliers, attracting customers and coping with demand were all present in garages’ concerns for 2017.

There was good news for Pagid in the survey, with 94% of those surveyed ranking Pagid as either excellent or good, and of those 61% ranked Pagid as excellent. Meanwhile, 76% of garages said they buy Pagid always or often.

 

Sadie Jonas, Business Development Manager IAM at Pagid, commented:

“The results of our survey into the automotive aftermarket industry provided insights that we can all learn from, so it was important for us to share the results with the industry as a whole. The Big Picture survey helps garages and workshops see what their contemporaries braking brand preferences are, and what industry issues they face in 2017

At Pagid, we are continually developing our products and range for our valued customers, so it’s vital for us to listen to them to understand their issues, discover what they look for in braking, and find out how we can make their workdays more efficient”.

The survey also enabled respondents to add their own comments on the industry and on braking brands, with David Harrison of Walsh Vehicle Repairs in Mansfield stating, “Pagid are fit and forget. I have never had an issue”, and Joe Bird of Gmech Motors in Reading saying “Pagid are probably the best there is, always a perfect fit, and top quality performance on every car.”

The Big Picture review of the automotive aftermarket will now be an annual survey to discover the latest industry challenges and automotive developments for each year.

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION FINES A/C SUPPLIERS CARTEL

The European Commission has fined OE equipment suppliers Behr, Calsonic, Denso, Panasonic, Sanden and Valeo a total of EU €155 million for taking part in one or more of four cartels concerning supplies of air conditioning and engine cooling components to VMs in Europe.

Although the fine has only just been handed out, the offences date back to 2009.

All six suppliers acknowledged their involvement in the cartels and agreed to settle the case. Denso was not fined for three of the cartels as it revealed their existence to the Commission. Panasonic was not fined for one of the cartels as it revealed its existence to the Commission.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: “Even though air conditioning and cooling components are not something you see as products, they are very much something you feel. In this case you might also have felt it in your wallet even though temperatures would still be regulated in your car. Today’s decision underlines that we do not accept cartels that affect the European market, wherever and however they may be organised.”

 

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BRIDGESTONE UK ANNOUNCES OLYMPIC PARTNERSHIP

Mears (L), Hull and Thompson share their stories

Mears (L), Hull and Thompson share their stories

Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone UK has launched its Olympic partnership and brand activation campaign ‘Chase Your Dream, No matter What’; aiming to help people of all ages and abilities overcome challenges they may face to achieve their career goals.

The tyre brand will now work closely with the International Olympic Committee and Team GB, promoting a series of international, national and grassroot events later this year. Three key events on the calendar include an athletics-based challenge with track athlete Daley Thompson, a diving programme with a ‘twist’ hosted by gold medal diver Chris Mears and a golfing experience presented by Charley Hull; all of whom have been appointed as ambassadors for the new alliance.

Commenting on the partnership, Bridgestone North European MD Robin Shaw, said: “This is the first time we’ve communicated the partnership to the UK market. There is a superb fit between the Olympic and Bridgestone values”, he continued. “We’ve been dedicated to helping our customers’ journeys for over 80 years by delivering reliability, safety, and performance. Like the Olympic movement, we always understood that the journey is often just as important as the destination so we’re making a long term commitment to the Olympic programme to showcase not only the support for individuals, but to empower people to chase their dreams”.

Tim Ellerton, Team GB Commercial Director, added. “Today is a crucial day for us because bringing on a partner like Bridgestone really allows us to prepare the athletes in the best possible way for when they take the stage, chase their dreams and become trained for the next Tokyo games”. The partnership is expected to run until the 2024 Olympic games.

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VALEO ACQUIRES GERMAN START-UP

acquisition

Automotive parts supplier Valeo has announced the acquisition of Gestigon – a German start-up company specialising in vehicle cabin 3D image processing software. Terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed.

The firm said the joint venture will prove a valuable asset to Valeo’s automated drive strategy, allowing the company to further develop its cabin comfort and driver assistance operations. The parts manufacturer also plans to utilise Gestigon’s software to provide a comprehensive offering of object and occupant detection features for autonomous and connected cars in the future.

“We are delighted to welcome gestigon to the Valeo community,” said Marc Vrecko, head of Valeo’s Comfort and Driving Assistance Systems Business Group. “By combining our skills in a larger team, we will sharpen our edge and reinforce our leadership in autonomous and connected cars.”

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THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS FOR AUTOMECHANIKA ISTANBUL

EVENT PREVIEW ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA ISTANBUL

Automechanika Istanbul is preparing to host world leading manufacturers and suppliers allowing trade buyers an exclusive opportunity to network with exhibitors and industry experts from all over the world. Doors to this indispensable business platform open from 6th – 9th April 2017 in TÜYAP Fair, Convention and Congress Center (Beylikdüzü).

istanbul openingBuyers can discover the latest innovations in Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Accessories & Customising, Repair & Maintenance, Management & Digital Solutions and Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning.

Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt Istanbul, Tayfun Yardım said “Automechanika Istanbul, the automotive industry’s third largest trade fair after Frankfurt and Shanghai, will meet its visitors with many innovations and features of different activities this year.”

The show offers an extensive programme of lectures covering a wide range of subjects.  Returning in 2017 is the Automechanika Academy whereby top professionals from the automotive industry will discuss the latest topics of the sector. Tomorrow’s Mobility, Alternative Drives, Connected Mobility and much more will be discussed from from 6th to 9th April. in the e-mobiility and seminar area.

The 2016 show boasted an astonishing 38,000 square meters, with over 1,200 international exhibitors from 34 countries presenting their products and innovations to 42,000 visitors. For the 2017 edition, 80% of stand space has already been rebooked, and these exhibitors will showcase their products and services across 13 halls. The 2017 edition is a must-visit for anyone looking to grow their aftermarket and OE business in Turkey, Eastern Europe, Asia and North Africa.

“In recent years, many foreign exhibitors as well as domestic companies have continued to grow with intense interest and demand, and many new participants will be present this year.” said Alexander Kühnel, General Manager of Hannover Fairs.

Register for your visit today: registration-automechanika-istanbul.tr.messefrankfurt.com/Home/OnlineDavetiyeFormu?FID=14&lng=en

For more information: automechanika-istanbul.tr.messefrankfurt.com

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RAC FOUNDATION WARNS OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE MOT CHANGES

A Director of the RAC Foundation has warned of how the MOT will need to adapt as vehicles have an increasing amount of autonomy, backed by sensors.

In an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme Wednesday morning, Steve Gooding said: “We need to get our heads around how to certify that these vehicles are roadworthy. We are dealing with artificial intelligence and that represents a challenge”

Gooding also spoke about an issue that had been recently raised by a House of Lords technology committee that the most concerning issue about the vehicles was the point that they hand control back to the driver.

Also speaking on the same segment was Paul Newman, Founder of Oxbotica – a company developing control systems for autonomous vehicles. On the subject of connected cars and hacking, he said: “It is something we think about all the time and it is important… We need to bring trust in these vehicles”. He added that the same concerns would in time ‘affect anything that moves’ including farm vehicles and mining machines.self driving Jaguar

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KWIK FIT REFUTES MAIL ON SUNDAY INVESTIGATION

Chain denies tabloid claims

Chain denies tabloid claims

A story in the Mail on Sunday in February claimed that Kwik-Fit charged for parts that were never fitted on a car.

The article claimed that a reporter was told that her wheel ‘might fall off’ if she didn’t replace a bearing and charged for a plugs that were ‘not fitted’. Kwik-Fit responded with a statement that rebuffed most of the claims in the article. “We made a series of recommendations in respect of these cars, the majority of which the newspaper accepted were reasonable, however the article focused on a small number of allegations with which we fundamentally disagree” the statement read.

“We provided evidence to the newspaper to support our case, and offered to re-inspect the cars, however they refused and published the story. It is entirely appropriate and correct that we provide you with further details that counter the allegations made by the Mail on Sunday”.

The chain also published a read-out from the alignment equipment, which it says shows the vehicle presented was ‘ever so slightly toeing’ and the adjustment brought it back into manufacturer’s tolerance.

On the subject of the spark plugs, Kwik Fit says that it recovered waste spark plugs with UV dye on it “thus establishing that it did come from the car in question”. It also refuted that ‘scare tactics’ were used to sell a wheel bearing.

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WHO BENEFITS FROM SCRAPPAGE?

As before, the VMs stand to gain from a scheme, but is the aftermarket organised enough to mount a challenge?

Mike Owen

The jungle drums are beating and the environmental lobby, whilst not yet in full howl, is becoming vociferous about the state of the air pollution in our cities – they are not wrong! However, as usual, the first choice of action is to rain hell-fire and damnation in the shape of increased congestion charges and additional parking costs for anybody who has the temerity to drive a diesel vehicle and the second, to throw money at
the problem.

Once again the ‘scrappage’ word is being bandied about as the way of removing these vehicles from our roads but, the question must be asked, will this not reward the perpetrators of the crime? Some of the vehicle manufacturers by producing ‘non-compliant’ vehicles could be said to have added to the problem; will those named-and- shamed be excluded from the list of ‘acceptable’ vehicles to benefit from any such scheme? – I feel that I can answer this conundrum, No!

POLITICS

Those of us who can remember the hedonistic days of Tony Blair, his sidekick Gordon Brown and the ‘New Labour’ movement will remember that during their reign they were actively promoting diesel, due to its economy. As with so many things from that era, the genaral public are once again left holding the baby.

Have we learnt nothing from the last scrappage scheme? The ‘dirty’ old vehicles are not the ones that will be replaced – the owners of these old ‘nodders’ don’t do so from choice, they own them because they can’t afford to replace them so a new scheme benefits the VM’s and the new vehicle owners.

Scrappage starves the used market by frustrating the cascade of vehicles down to the cheap seats. If a scrappage scheme is introduced the VM’s will squander it in the name of increased vehicle sales and it will not benefit our sector one jot.

CONVERSION RATE

If the diesel devil is the problem why not champion a ‘conversion’ programme; convert diesel vehicles to petrol or other propulsion methods? “Can’t be done!” I hear various commentators shout; as my old apprentice master used to say ‘you can do anything you want but first you have to want to do anything’ – of course it can be done but are the cost, benefits and the rewards big enough?

I admit the problem will be the infernal electrics but nothing is insurmountable. If we look outside our own sector of the industry ‘transplants’ are common; those who can remember the original Leyland National bus will remember, probably with scars to remind them, that the original ‘headless’ engine was a god- awful contraption and were almost entirely substituted by Cummings or MAN engines; look at the boat industry and you will see the same happening across the globe – it can be done.

MAGIC OPPORTUNITY

There is no magic bullet, there will be several years of transition if the problem is to be sorted but we need to be looking at how we can turn weaknesses into opportunities and avoid strengths being threatened. With the ‘dirty old dogs’ could we, the Independent sector, not champion a need for maintenance? We know that vehicles which are not serviced are a large part of the problem – within the aftermarket there are a myriad of cleaning products; injector cleaners, fuel system cleaners, oil additives etc. which all help; the EDT engine cleaning system, I can attest, gives startling results both in economy and emissions. But we need to be careful that we are not seen to be peddling snake-oil, we need measurable, certified results and strong representation. Is the time not right (again) for us to promote the legislative need for vehicles to be maintained?

The Government though will once again be lobbied by those with the loudest voice, the VM’s who will offer a quick fix and an offer to tick the box to appease the need rather than cure the problem.
So why does the aftermarket never look at to providing the answer? Is it because we are fragmented with little enclaves each doing their ‘bit’ but no joined up thinking or holistic solution seeking? (By which I mean one firm sells parts, but  another fits them; with each player being prepared to prey on the other rather than forming an alliance– hardly an environment for solution seeking nor likely to inspire confidence in others at the table looking for a solution).

Fuel can open a can of worms

Fuel can open a can of worms

INDEPENDENCE

Once again our sector finds itself marred by its ‘independence’ – who will really represent our sector? The only voices heard around the corridors of power are the SMMT, the VM’s by any other name, and the NFDA representing the dealers but the Independent sector – either garages or factors – name your champion, when did you last hear their voice? So when the tide of opinion once again turns in favour of the VM’s, as it will, the independence from each other, the lack of unity, will have denied you a voice.

Those of you who have tested yourselves using the now slightly outmoded SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) will have realised that there is no black and white only shades of grey (I’m not referring to ‘that’ book) – an opportunity could have been as the result of a weakness and not to address it is now a threat but you could turn it into a strength so into which category do you put it? Now ask yourself the same thing about the Diesel fiasco, the problem is that it gets put into the ‘too difficult tray’ and the VMs become, by default, the only show in town.

If, as we expect, this Scrappage MkII is going to get off the ground can we, the independent sector, try not to get caught napping; can we get our backsides into gear and organise ourselves? The old adage ‘are we failing to plan or planning to fail’ springs to mind – there is one racing certainty and that is if you’ve got nothing to say, don’t be surprised if nobody is prepared to listen.

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EVERY 7.5 SECONDS A TECHNICIAN VIEWS A WIRING DIAGRAM

PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTODATA

new-wiring-diagrams

In only three months, Autodata has added 336 new wiring diagrams – now delivering a total of 30,000 technical wiring diagrams to workshops.

As one of Autodata’s most popular features – viewed by a technician every 7.5 seconds, wiring diagrams are one of Autodata’s top priorities. Autodata has completely revamped the design of their wiring diagram module, by enhancing the navigation to save technicians even more time. Autodata’s enhanced wiring diagrams are now even more interactive, giving technicians the ability to search and locate a specific component within the diagram. New features such as the ‘find on diagram’ button, the zoom and drag-scroll functions, and the enhanced component information panel, facilitates easier access to the specific information technicians need on any diagram.

As well as providing workshops with the flexibility to work across various devices by being mobile and desktop friendly, the new design optimises the visibility of the wiring diagrams by giving technicians the ability to make them full-screen. With the enhancements to Autodata’s wiring diagrams, it’s now much easier and more convenient for technicians to work straight from devices.

We are creating diagrams at the fastest rate ever. Even though our technology and innovative processes are second to none, it still takes our wiring diagram team a considerable amount of time to prepare diagrams for the workshop application. Our wiring diagrams are all drawn directly from manufacturer circuit diagrams and transformed into Autodata’s easy-to-use, standardised, and interactive format that saves technicians valuable time. The accuracy of each diagram is vital, so our rigorous and systematic procedures ensure that the information workshops receive is always precise.
Mark Trepte, Content & Operations Director at Autodata

At beginning of this year, Autodata pledged to introduce one new technical feature every month. Just three months into 2017 and Autodata has already launched 3 new time-saving features and made 49 enhancements to existing key features in the workshop application.

Workshops that subscribe to Autodata have unrivalled access to manufacturer approved technical information, with 99.9% of vehicle models covered. Autodata’s ongoing advancements are designed by industry professionals to enhance workshop efficiency and competitiveness.

Try Autodata today.

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