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GARAGE CUSTOMER £70K FINE FOR FALSE CLAIM

GARAGE CUSTOMER £70K FINE FOR FALSE CLAIM

A JUDGE has ordered a woman to pay £70,000 in costs and damages following the ‘implausible’ claim that an independent garage deliberately tripped her up.

In a story that first appeared in the Mail Online, Yvette Thomas had lodged a £200,000 compensation claim against the workshop, saying that an alleged fall had left her injured and unable to work.

She also claimed she had been forced to cancel an overseas holiday, quit dancing lessons and could no longer go to the gym.

Southwick Service Centre in Trowbridge, Wiltshire denied that she tripped and said a hosepipe in a valeting bay had only brushed against her leg.

Hospital records show that Thomas had been examined at A&E by medical staff but X-rays showed no signs of trauma.

District Judge Francis Goddard told Bath County Court: “In my judgment the case that Mrs Thomas puts forward simply does not add up.

“I do not find her story in any way believable notwithstanding that she may well have by now convinced herself that what she said happened did happen.

“Something happened on that day that caused Mrs Thomas to come up with a version of events that, on a hearing of the evidence, is quite implausible.

“It was not a pre-thought out plan.

“The story put to the court germinated on that day and was elaborated upon over the months and years that followed.”

Thomas had said the alleged incident took place when she dropped her daughter’s Mini Cooper at the garage for an MOT, saying that a someone cleaning a car had deliberately tripped her up with an industrial pressure washer hose.

Car valeter, Edward Slow said: “I was rather angry when I heard what she was saying. “I remember her coming in.

“She was walking around and she said the hosepipe rubbed against her leg and that it was an accident waiting to happen.

“Then suddenly it became this whole story that I had deliberately tripped her up – something I would never do.”

Solicitor Tim Marshal of DFE Law who acted on behalf of the garage told the Mail: “Mrs Thomas painted a picture of being a very disabled woman as a result of this. She said she couldn’t leave the house without a walking stick, drink a cup of tea or clean her teeth”.

“But a surveillance firm hired to follow her found that she was walking fine and there was no sign of any physical impairment – no walking stick, nothing”.

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TRANSFER WINDOW: NEW SUPPLIER DEALS

TRANSFER WINDOW: NEW SUPPLIER DEALS

Fram coming to ECP

Transfer season sees clubs scouting for talent and players looking for a comfy life, aftermarket brands have also been swapping sides over the last month.

  • First of all, The Parts Alliance has announced a five-year partnership with the AA. The products will cover batteries, vehicle parts and consumables in a supply contract for five years. “We are delighted to be a business partner and supplier to the AA, one of Britain’s most trusted brands”. said Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance.
  • Meanwhile, Sogefi Filtration has signed an agreement with distribution giant Euro Car Parts, which will see the latter stock products under the Fram brand from the beginning of July. This will include the full range of light vehicle filters sold through ECP’s outlets in UK and Ireland. Nigel Duffield, Sales Director at Sogefi said: “The cooperation with Euro Car Parts is very promising and will surely contribute to further develop the presence of the brand throughout the country”.
  • The CAAR buying group has also made some signings, with oil brand Mannol now being stocked by the group’s members. The lubricant producer has had a good month, because in addition to the supply deal it also won two awards from separate German car magazines for it’s Combi Energy 5w30 Long Life oil. Andrej Gaikov from Mannol said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by CAAR’s members to be stocked in their stores. I feel this is the start of a great partnership for both of us”.
  • The A1 buying group has introduced Warwickshire-based Compressortech into its approved suppliers list. The remanufacturer of A/C compressors can now be distribute its products across the chain’s members. Gary Stephenson, Business Development Manager for Compressortech said: “A1 is a significant and recognised buying group and our thermal cooling products will further complement their expanding product ranges.
    We look forward to working with the members.”

Posted in Batteries, Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Filters, Garage News, News, Retailer News, UncategorisedComments (0)

AUCTION HOUSE ACQUIRED BY MBO

Aston Barclay sold in MBO

Auction house Aston Barclay has been acquired in a management buy-out. The full details have not been disclosed, but investment firm Rutland Partners have contributed a ‘significant investment.’

The MBO has been led by new Chief Executive Officer Neil Hodson, who brings 25 years’ experience to Aston Barclay, following stints at Manheim, HPI and Experian.

Glenn and David Scarborough, formerly MD and Commercial Director respectively, will both remain the company’s shareholders as non-executive Directors. The continued investment by the Scarborough family helps keep Aston Barclay’s family-run ethos. Laurence Vaughan is also joining the Board and investing as Non- Executive Chairman. Laurence was previously CEO and is now Non-Executive Chairman of dealer chain Sytner Group.

Aston Barclay’s Glenn Scarborough said: “We are delighted to welcome Neil [Hodson] and his management team as investors in Aston Barclay supported by Rutland Partners. These are exciting times for the remarketing industry and we are confident this support and the investment will enable Aston Barclay to exploit the opportunities for growth the market has to offer.”

“We have really enjoyed working with the Livingstone team on what was an important transaction for us and an exciting development in Aston Barclay’s future. They showed commitment and hands-on support from start to finish and we are grateful for their valuable guidance throughout the process” he added.

The deal was advised on by mergers and acquisitions firm Livingstone Partners.

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ICO CLOSES IN ON BODYSHOP DATA THIEVES

ICO CLOSES IN ON BODYSHOP DATA THIEVES

Theft of personal data is still common

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has searched two more properties in the North West of England as part of an ongoing investigation into nuisance calls linked to stolen bodyshop repair data.The latest search warrants were executed at a location in Gatley, Greater Manchester and Wilmslow, Cheshire where investigators seized computers and phones that are now subject to forensic examination.

“This illegal trade has multiple negative effects both on the car repair businesses targeted for their customer data and the subsequent nuisance calls made to customers. These can be extremely unsettling and distressing,” said, Mike Shaw, Enforcement Group Manager at the ICO. “These people won’t get away with it – any person or business involved in the theft and illegal trade of personal data may find themselves subject to ICO action.”

Since the investigation launched last year, ICO investigators have fined a Hampshire-based firm £270,000 after carrying out 22 million nuisance calls and imposed Keurboom Communications Ltd with a £400,000 penalty for the same offence. Two more properties were recently raided in Macclesfield and Droylsden but no sanctions have been confirmed.

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NBRA ISSUES SECURITY ADVICE TO MEMBERS

NBRA ISSUES SECURITY ADVICE TO MEMBERS

NBRA Director Jason Moseley

The National Bodyshop Repair Association (NBRA) has issued security advice to businesses in a bid to prevent further cyber attacks, following last month’s ICO raids on addresses where computers thought to have been used in the cyber crimes were seized.

“The National Body Repair Association (NBRA) has been focusing heavily on protecting member’s interests related to data security within bodyshops over the past 12 months”, said Jason Moseley, Director of NBRA. “Our latest move following last month’s massive ransomware cyber-attack, the NBRA has communicated some critical IT security advice to our members to protect their business”.

He adds. “The attack hit the NHS, the French carmaker Renault, many banks and companies around the world. The ransomware that hit the contract with Halfords NHS in England and Scotland, known as ‘Wanna Decryptor’ or ‘WannaCry’, has infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday.”

Some points advised to NBRA members include implementing an actively supported operating system that receives regular updates as well as a ‘disaster recovery plan’ backing up content onto devices kept offline. Moseley also encourages bodyshops to run anti-malware software ensuring they regularly receive signature updates.

Moseley concluded by saying, “We are in a new era of cyber criminality and as a trade association we have a duty of care to assist members to secure their businesses. Being a NBRA member means bodyshops have access to the latest information”. More details can be found on the firm’s website.

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GSF, BBC SUPERFACTORS AND A1 ADD LOCATIONS

GSF, BBC SUPERFACTORS AND A1 ADD LOCATIONS

New A1 store in Leicester

Three chains have added to their network. GSF has opened a new branch to the north of Bristol, which will be its third outlet in that city. The new location is located in the Aztec business part, near a junction of the M5.

The drive to encourage trade customers to try the new branch has been headed by GSF’s Business Development Manager Leighton Phillips, who has been visiting local independent garages in the weeks running up the opening. The company says that the whole project, from inception to opening day, was completed in just eight weeks.

“We’ve got an experienced team in place who know Bristol well,” said Simon McMullen, Regional Director at GSF Car Parts. “We’re sure there’s even more potential for us around the area and we’ve been excited by the enthusiastic response already.”
Parts Alliance-owned BBC Superfactors has moved premises, just a year after first opening in Preston.

The new building boasts double the footprint at 10,000 square feet and has a full mezzanine too, boosting storage capacity to around “We needed space for tyres,”
explained Managing Director Gary Shulman. “We’re importing containers of tyres and the new unit has the facility to handle these bulk deliveries.”

Meanwhile, A1 Motor Stores has welcomed a new branch opened by a member. Mohammed Y Suleman with the help of various family members has opened an accessory shop in Leicester, which is the second branch owned by Suleman. A factoring service to the trade has led the team to buy their first parts van. Speaking of his decision to join A1, Suleman said: “The branding attracted me. The shop looks more professional with the A1 Motor Stores signage outside, and shows you are part of a bigger thing”.

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CLIPPER LOGISTICS EXTENDS CONTRACT WITH HALFORDS

CLIPPER LOGISTICS EXTENDS CONTRACT WITH HALFORDS

Halfords

New logistics agreement for Halfords

Retail giant Halfords has agreed a new eight-year contract with Clipper Logistics.

The latest partnership will see the Leeds-based logistics company provide additional ancillary services and warehouse space to Halfords at its distribution centre in Daventry.

The warehouse comprises in excess of 325,000 sq ft of capacity and has been developed as a multi-user facility, where the retailer will serve as a main customer.

“Clipper began its relationship with Halfords last year”, said Steve Parkin, Executive Chairman of Clipper. “I am delighted that we have been able to demonstrate our ability to act proactively as a team and to develop solutions which will make a real difference to the Halfords business”.

He added, “with Halfords represents a true partnership which we anticipate will continue to evolve. We are pleased to have finalised this long term contract to enable us to support their operations in the UK.”

Richard Street, Infrastructure Director at Halfords, said: “We are delighted with the partnership to date which has enabled us to consolidate all of our external storage and enhance pre-retail services.”.

Street said the firm’s other two distribution centres will be unaffected by this change and will continue their operations as normal.

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ARLEIGH INTERNATIONAL ACQUIRES A.S.A.P SUPPLIES

ARLEIGH INTERNATIONAL ACQUIRES A.S.A.P SUPPLIES

Arleigh International Ltd, a Euro Car Parts company, announced today the acquisition of marine distribution specialist A.S.A.P. Supplies Ltd. Based in Suffolk, A.S.A.P. is one of the UK’s largest stockists of marine equipment and spare parts.

Established in 1989, A.S.A.P. provides a huge breadth of marine products for customers’ maintenance, repair and overhaul projects. A.S.A.P.’s offerings are supported by a highly-skilled customer service team that provide guidance across its vast product mix of more than 70 trusted brands.

Arleigh International was itself acquired by ECP in August last year along with the Nova Leisure and Midland Chandlers brands. The brands are among the largest in the touring and leisure boating sectors.

Martin Gray, CEO of Euro Car Parts, said: “A.S.A.P Supplies is a complementary fit with Arleigh and is a further enhancement of Euro Car Parts’ Specialist Products Division. This agreement further cements Arleigh as the market-leading distributor of products to the UK caravan, leisure and marine markets.

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LONDON ULEZ TROUBLES SMALL BUSINESSES

LONDON ULEZ TROUBLES SMALL BUSINESSES

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will start in 2019 is troubling news for small businesses and specialist hauliers serving London, says the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

“We need to continue the improvement in London’s air quality which is happening anyway, but this regulation taking effect in 2019 will severely disadvantage small businesses working in the capital’s centre,” says Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London and the South East. “The impact will be especially hard for van users, as by 2019 there will only be two and a half years’ worth of compliant vehicles in the fleet – and no second hand compliant vehicles available for purchase at all.”

It is now planned that the Zone will extend in 2020 to Greater London for HGVs and to Inner London for vans in 2021. Ms Chapman commented, “It is encouraging that this is not happening in 2019 as had been suggested: this shows the Mayor has listened to some of the concerns that had been raised. But the expansions of the Zone will still increase the burden on business exponentially. We are calling for businesses based in the affected area to have access to a sunset clause, such as has been offered to private residents, allowing them greater time to comply with the change required without the need for unnecessary and potentially crippling additional charges for new vehicles.

“Previously, the Mayor has called on the Government to fund a scrappage scheme aimed at owners of older diesel cars and vans: we fully support him in that call and believe it is the place of national Government to help prevent the cost burden to implement these measures falling on local authorities, businesses and residents. If such a scrappage scheme were created, it would give the Mayor the necessary room to introduce more flexibility to the London ULEZ, helping operators to avoid some of this unwieldy and unexpected burden on small businesses.

“At a time when London’s businesses face an increasingly challenging trading environment, the Mayor should be taking every possible step to help the capital’s small businesses, and we will urge through this consultation for more consideration to be given to those affected by the introduction of these new measures” concluded Chapman.

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EURO REPAR PLANS 600 UK WORKSHOPS

EURO REPAR PLANS 600 UK WORKSHOPS

The PSA Groupe’s Euro Repar garage network is to expand across the UK.

Colin Start, Head of Marketing for Parts & Service for the PSA Groupe told CAT that there were bullish plans to open 600 centres over the coming years. The first of these will be in spare bays of existing Peugeot/Citroen franchises but the plan is to extend the network on a ‘soft franchise’ basis across independent garages.

“Ours is a proposition unlike any other in the UK, with a partnership approach that has deliberately kept the cost and complexity of entry very low: garages are not even required to change their name” Start said.

Requirements for membership are minimal with two manned ramps and a separate reception are the main points, although there will be a minimum spend amount on PSA’s new line of aftermarket parts which are set for introduction later in 2017. These will be supplied through 28 parts distributors that have signed as partners. These Distributors are all located within easy reach of the new network the company is looking to enrol.

Smart adds: “Euro Repar Car Service has built a reputation on consistent standards, transparent pricing, local convenience and especially, trust. We are seeking to work with forward-looking owners who not only share these values, but who are prepared to take the next step and benefit from the huge experience and support we can offer – being part of a growing network with national and international, business and marketing support.”

The first outlets are set to open later in the year and Start’s team are looking to meet perspective garage owners at the upcoming Automechanika Birmingham exhibition.

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