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DONE DEAL: SUPPLIERS SECURE LOCATIONS

DONE DEAL: SUPPLIERS SECURE LOCATIONS

Three aftermarket firms have added to their networks.

■ Factor chain Euro Car Parts has agreed a ten-year lease for its new 20,700 sq ft warehouse, situated at the Cross Green Industrial Estate in Leeds. The location overlooks Pontefract Lane (A3), providing connections to the East Leeds Link Road and direct access to Junction 45 off the M1.

“We are pleased to have secured Euro Car Parts as a tenant for this highly prominent scheme”, said Mike Baugh, Senior Director of Industrial Agency at CBRE Leeds, “Solvgrin [the site developer] has constructed a very attractive unit at this gateway to Leeds”, adding that the organisation will construct a further 6,000 sq ft industrial unit adjacent to the supplier’s facility.

■ Tyre brand Michelin has invested £10m for its logistics operation in Stoke-on-Trent, with the opening of a new distribution centre in July. The upgrade also includes a new distribution centre for ATS Euromaster – where both units will store and deliver up to five million tyres between them per annum. The two sites combined have doubled its logistics team to around 150 staff in order to satisfy this growing demand.

Richard Whitehurst, Service to Customer Manager at Michelin Tyre, said. “The transformation of our logistics operation will allow us to improve service and ensure greater product availability”. In addition to this, the firm is stepping up manufacturing capacity at its Campbell Road headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent by launching another tyre production facility. The warehouse will open at the end of November allowing the manufacturer to produce up to 1,100 tyres a day.

■ Meanwhile,Ecobat Technologies has moved to a 15,000 sq ft premises in Bristol. “We needed to move to a property that will allow the business to continue to develop and provide support for our customers” concluded a statement from the firm.

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

GERMAN VMs IN CARTEL ALLEGATIONS

GERMAN VMs IN CARTEL ALLEGATIONS

The European Commission is to investigate several German VMs including BMW, Porsche, Daimler and VAG group over claims that the brands formed a ‘cartel’ to fix the price of a number of components from suppliers – including parts relating to the emissions systems.

An interesting detail is the allegation that the VMs colluded to deliberately make AdBlue tanks to be small in size, although it is not yet clear if there could be any competitive advantage in this detail as the effectiveness of the system is not affected by the size of the tank.

VW has confirmed that it has held a board meeting about the issue, but has declined to give any further details.
The OE parts industry has been hit with a number of cartel fines in recent years, with some bearing and A/C hardware manufacturers admitting their part.

Business magazine, Forbes has speculated that the latest scandal could turn into a ‘rat out race’ between VMs, as each might want to become a whistle-blower in order to escape the largest fine. This is backed up by cartel meeting minutes, apparently seen by Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper which suggested that Daimler may have been cooperating with the authorities since 2014.

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TESTING TIMES: DVSA REPORT

TESTING TIMES: DVSA REPORT

The Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published its 2017 annual review, which highlights changes to the MOT testing service and the association’s actions on tackling claims relating to MOT fraud.

According to the report, 511 garages and 483 testers were investigated by the organisation from last year while 45 garages and 111 testers have been stopped testing altogether. A statement from the review said: “With some of these cases there were administrative errors, the more serious cases involved testers who’d issued MOT certificates without actually testing the vehicle. In the most severe cases we took the testers to court, and some received prison sentences”.

In addition, the report outlines 25 new improvements for the MOT testing service with the integration of technical information made readily available for vehicles so testers can carry out the mandatory procedures correctly while being able to identify and remove any defects before retesting.

The agency will continue clamping down on illegal MOT activities within the trade and is in the process of developing an MOT Reminder service for motorists; encouraging them to get their vehicles serviced on time. The statement concluded. “We’re going to look at using new technology to provide streamlined processes for our commercial vehicle testing service. We want to improve our testers’ access to vehicle information at the time of testing, and capture and produce test results digitally. We also aim to improve the service to our customers by simplifying the current payment process, making it easier for them to make payments and view their account in real time”.

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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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