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CAT AWARDS 2013 – Nominations now open!

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Nominations for the 2013 CAT Awards are open!

This year there are more ways to get involved in the nominations process. Do you know a factor that goes above and beyond your expectations every time? Is one of your customers a garage that’s beating the franchises at their own game? Perhaps you know an independent retailer that’s staying strong on the high street? The CAT Awards is your chance to get them recognised by the industry.

And don’t forget, it only takes ONE nomination.

Email your nominations to cat.awards@haymarket.com before the deadline of 9th October.

Here are this year’s categories in full

*Large factor of the yearopen to factors with a turnover of more than £1 million

“Does your factor always go the extra mile, night or day? Are their vans always on time and carrying the right parts? If so you should nominate them for this category.”

Last year’s winner: GMF Motor Factors

*Small factor of the yearopen to factors with a turnover of less than £1 million

“Small factors are the backbone of the aftermarket, and you might know one of the best. If you think you do nominate them for this award.”

*Large garage of the yearopen to garages with a turnover of more than £750k

“Large garages have the space, the kit and the training to take on a whole variety of work. If your local garage sounds this good point them towards this category.”

Last year’s winner: ABP Motorsport

*Small garage of the yearopen to garages with a turnover of less than £750k

“Small garages are the ones we love to hear about – size is no problem and the job is never too big (via phillip). If this sounds like one of your customers nominate them for this award.”

*Retailer of the yearopen to all independent aftermarket retailers

“Does your business combine slick professionalism with friendly customer service? If you can answer yes to both those questions, you could be in with a shot at this award.”

Last year’s winner: A1 Motabitz

*Supplier of the yearopen to all aftermarket suppliers

“Do you have a supplier who delivers the right part on time first time every time? If so, this is the award for them.”

Last year’s winner: NGK

*Person of the year

“Which one person in the aftermarket deserves to be held above all others in 2013? Perhaps for a special contribution to their business or for overcoming personal troubles? If you have someone in mind, let us know.”

Last year’s winner: Brian Childs, NGK

*Lifetime Achievement Award

“Our most prestigious award, the Lifetime Achievement is decided by a CAT panel of experts.”

Last year’s winner: Joe Elliott

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CAT Awards 2012: The nominations are open!

CAT Awards 2012: The nominations are open!

catawards2010The CAT Awards 2012 nominations are open. It’s time for you, the CAT readers, to tell us who are the companies and individuals that really stand out in the independent aftermarket and really deserve to be recognised.

As ever, the nominations will be collated into a final shortlist for each category, and the winners will be voted for by you from September via the secure voting page on the CAT website.

As ever, we anticipate each category to be hotly contested and we fully expect the calibre of finalists to be higher than ever before.

We have introduced a few changes for the 2012 CAT Awards: The Garage of the Year and Factor of the Year Categories will now be split into two awards to recognise the difference between large-scale enterprises and the rising stars who’s focus is on serving a smaller catchment area. In other words, and forgive the use of the cliché: size doesn’t matter, it’s the quality that counts.

Another innovation for 2012 is the introduction of the Aftermarket Worker of the Year Award. This award is open to anyone who works within the independent aftermarket and we want to know who are the unsung heroes of our industry. Tell us who impresses you consistently with their commitment, passion and outstanding customer service.

The full list of categories is:

Supplier of the year

Retailer of the year

Factor of the year

Garage of the year

Person of the year

Aftermarket worker of the year

Technical and safety innovation of the year

To nominate, simply send an email to cat.awards@haymarket.com telling us who you want to nominate and why.

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CAT Awards 2012: the road to winning starts here

CAT Awards 2012: the road to winning starts here

The road to winning starts here!

The road to winning starts here!

“I’m utterly flattered and I really didn’t expect it. To be voted for is quite special and it proves to me that my first 25 years in the aftermarket have been worthwhile.”

Those were the words of a very emotional Gary Barak, upon receiving the “Person of the Year” award at last year’s CAT awards.

Each year the CAT Awards recognise excellence from all sectors of the aftermarket industry. From retailers, garages and factors, to the people and companies that make this business great.

This year the awards are bigger and better than ever before, and it’s time to get nominating!

Is there someone in the aftermarket who you want to see recognised? Is there a company which not only delivers quality on time, but also with a smile? Are your customers always talking about a single person or garage in the aftermarket? Now is the time to see them raised above the crowd and applauded for their acheivements.

Winning a CAT award isn’t just a personal achievement, it’s also great for business. Last year’s Factor of the Year recipient GMF said: “We just want to say thank you. Winning has opened doors on all business levels.”

More details of how to nominate and how to vote will be published in the July issue of CAT. Until then, it’s time to start thinking about who you want to see holding those all-important trophies.

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CAT Awards 2011 at Twickenham: I know, ‘cos I was there

CAT AWARDS 2011

How to try and match the success of the 2010 CAT Awards? A pretty tough act to follow but our guests at the 2011 bash tell us they had just as good a time.

The venue – Twickenham Stadium – was fantastic. The Live Room provided a great backdrop for lunch and the awards ceremony and the Members Bar overlooking the pitch was the perfect setting for the after-event celebration.

It was particularly entertaining to see so many guests sneaking down the steps for a pitch close-up and wandering into the tunnel for a sneak around the changing rooms.

And, being a CAT event, it of course ended with Twickenham security politely asking a group of aftermarket heavy-hitters to please vacate the England changing room.

Former publisher Jim Foster has gone on record pointing the finger of blame elsewhere and insisting he was merely following others and was in no way whatsoever, at all the ring-leader in the mischief-making.

Jim did a great job last year as compere, and that was one area I knew he would be too tough an act to follow so I was happy to delegate that task to a professional. Star of Radio Le Mans and Goodwood, Henry Hope-Frost did the honours on stage and conducted a highly entertaining interview with our Lifetime Achievement Award winner, John Haynes OBE.

I took it as a thumbs-up for our choice of winner as guests sat captivated by his account of how the Haynes Publishing empire was founded and the growth it has seen over the last 50 years. Haynes also generously donated copies of their book commemorating the company’s first half century – and a great many of our guests took the opportunity to get their copy signed by the man himself.

At this point, I need to say a big thank you to the guys from Haynes, not just for providing the books as a gift to our guests but also for managing to persuade John to attend under the pretext of being interviewed on stage in lieu of a speaker.

None of the award winners knew beforehand that they would be successful, and that’s the way it should be. I’m also really grateful to the number of finalists who travelled long distances and in some instances, had to close their business for the day in order to attend.

CAT is also indebted to the Awards sponsors: Castrol, Corteco, Denso, Euro Car Parts, Haynes, Motaquip and TRW. Without their support and backing we wouldn’t be able to make the day a fraction of the event it has become.

A big thank you also goes to Silverstone Circuits for generously donating a Silverstone Experience track day as the raffle prize, won by Wyn Jones of GMF (he had quite a successful day!) which helped us to raise £770 for BEN.

All the feedback we’ve had from the day was tremendously positive and we look forward to making the CAT Awards 2012 even bigger and better.

You can read about all the winners in the forthcoming Awards issue of CAT Mag, and also here

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THE CANDIDATES: GARAGE OF THE YEAR 2011

GARAGE OF THE YEAR: sponsored by Euro Car Parts

ABP MOTORSPORTABP MOTORSPORT, Crewe
Last year’s CAT Garage of the Year, ABP, is back in the running. Established in 1964, the performance and tuning specialist owned by Chris Meredith has a heritage in rallying and circuit racing. ABP is a Motor Codes member and a Cheshire Trading Standards Golden Spanner approved garage, scoring the scheme’s first ever 100% in summer 2010.

ANGLOSANGLO CONTINENTAL CARS, Bletchley, Milton Keynes
Julian and Michelle Glover took over Anglos in 1997. They employ four technicians and offer repair, servicing, tuning and motorsport services. Customers who got in touch with CAT were full of praise. “I’ve modeled my own customer service on theirs,” said one. Another said: “I can totally trust them and they always remember my name!”

barrett2BARRETT-LEE, Sudbury, Suffolk
Simon Barrett’s Barrett-Lee has invested heavily in diagnostics and specialises in BMW, Land Rover and Mercedes vehicles. The family-run business is an OFT-approved Bosch Car Service centre and a member of Motor Codes. It was the first garage in Suffolk to gain the prestigious BSI Kitemark for Garages.

claytons2CLAYTONS MOT & SERVICE CENTRE, Leeds
OFT-approved Bosch Car Service Centre Claytons is a family-run business set up in 1982. Boss James Clayton is deeply committed to training and is an ATA Master Technician. With a strong focus on customer service, the website features an ‘Ask James’ service for free, no-strings advice. Bucking the recession, the garage grew by 10% in the first half of 2010.

CCMCOMPLETE CAR MAINTENANCE, Surrey
CCM has been in business since 1992 and operates 7 ramps at 2 branches in Ewhurst and Ifield, near Crawley. Under the leadership of Stuart White, it has invested in high-end diagnostic kit as well as training for its technicians, including Automotive Technician Accreditation. It is a member of the Trading Standards Buy with Confidence scheme.

twotechs2TWO TECHS, Dartford, Kent
Renault specialist Two Techs was founded by best friends Matthew Butler and Terry Brian in 2008 after the Renault UK dealer they worked for closed. Both are qualified Renault Technical Experts and their commitment to giving value for money service has already paid off with a growing customer base and financial performance exceeding expectations.

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THE CANDIDATES: FACTOR OF THE YEAR 2011

FACTOR OF THE YEAR 2011  – sponsored by Motaquip

AUTOPARTSLOGOCMYKAUTOPARTS, Glasgow

Part of the Arnold Clark dealer group, Autoparts’ customers have nominated it in their droves. The motor factor chain has 47 branches and its group buyer, Craig McCracken, is credited with “breaking down the boundaries between industry sectors and highlighting]the emerging opportunities for the  independent aftermarket”.

East Antrim MFEAST ANTRIM MOTOR FACTORS, Carrickfergus

East Antrim Motor Factors is just one of three branches of Norris Brothers, founded more than 40 years ago. And CAT readers clearly agree with the owners’ commitment to “no waffle and no false promises”. “Professional, friendly staff with excellent product knowledge,” said one nomination

EURO CAR PARTSEURO CAR PARTS, Wembley

ECP’s growth has been staggering. Today, the factor giant offers almost national coverage from more than 75 branches. This year, the company has opened a 400,000 sq ft national distribution hub, announced a new garage network with Bosch and reported profits for 2009 of £17m.

GMFGMF MOTOR FACTORS, Swansea

Not content with holding the 2010 Factor of the Year title, GMF’s customers have nominated them again. This family-owned firm now boasts 10 large distribution centres and more than 150 employees. It distributes to a customer base of over 300 accounts using a fleet of 80 vehicles.

MOTORSERVMOTOR SERV, Milton Keynes

Established in 1989, Motor Serv is one of the UK’s largest single-site factors. It serves trade and retail and sells online. Its computerised inventory and online vehicle recognition system help identify the right part first time. “A people-orientated factor, second to none for customer support,” said one nomination.

VOTE NOW

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THE CANDIDATES: SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR 2011

SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR 2011 – sponsored by Corteco

bosch-2 Robert Bosch
CAT readers’ Supplier of the Year in 2008 and 2009, Bosch is keen to reclaim its title. The company supplies more than 2 million parts a year and its OFT-approved Bosch Car Service scheme was recently rated best out of all garage networks investigated by consumer watchdog Which?

Denso-logo-(normal)Denso Aftermarket Sales UK
Over the last 24 months, Denso has grown from predominantly a supplier of ignition parts to become an almost full service offering. It is credited with providing top class aftersales support and training and strives to make expensive OE technology available at aftermarket prices.

Klarius-logo-blackKlarius
Klarius was an aftermarket favourite in the exhaust sector but since taking over aftermarket giant Quinton Hazell in February 2010, has upped its offering exponentially. Just six months after takeover, the company brought QH back to profitability. The company also successfully campaigned for cat type approval in the UK.

NGK-logo
NGK
NGK is the brand favourite in the UK spark and glow plug aftermarkets. Central to its strategy has been a commitment to delivering “the perfect match for every engine”. It is held in high regard not just for its glow plug, spark plug and lambda sensor technology but its levels of service and customer incentive schemes.

saxonSaxon
Brand management company Saxon is a favourite among retailers and is probably best known for its success with Magic Tree. Despite pursuing a partnership strategy with supermarkets, it is deeply committed to its independent customers, offering regular offers, bespoke marketing material and a dedicated field team.

VOTE NOW

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THE CANDIDATES: GREEN INNOVATION OF THE YEAR 2011

GREEN INNOVATION OF THE YEAR 2011 – sponsored by TRW

FM piston ring
PISTON RING, Federal-Mogul

Federal-Mogul’s two-piece LKZ piston ring is claimed to reduce oil consumption by as much as half and decrease friction by up to 15 percent. It improves fuel economy and reduces CO2 emissions, prolonging the life of the engine oil.

Denso TT plug
TWIN TIP SPARK PLUG, Denso

Denso’s Twin Tip spark plug is now available to the UK aftermarket at an affordable price. It improves firing and boosts fuel efficiency by 1.2 percent, torque by 1.1 percent and decreases carbon dioxide emissions by 0.8 percent.




Prolong_Wash_And_Shine
WATERLESS CAR WASH, Synionic

According to uswitch.com, washing with a bucket uses 32 litres of water. Synionic’s new Waterless Wash & Shine promises to wash and shine your car, getting rid of tree sap and bug stains, without using a single drop of water.

Nokian_WR_G2_SUV_3729
WINTER TYRE, Nokian Tyres

Nokian says its WR G2 eco winter tyre with low rolling resistance can cut fuel consumption by half over 100km, if the air pressure is correct. In tests its stopping distance from 100km/h on a wet road was 59m against 81m for a cheaper product.

VOTE NOW

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THE CANDIDATES: RETAILER OF THE YEAR 2011

RETAILER OF THE YEAR 2011 – sponsored by Haynes

EURO CAR PARTS
EURO CAR PARTS, Wembley

Euro Car Parts now has a retail outlet at almost all of its 75+ sites, so it’s no surprise to see the company nominated in the Retailer of the Year category. ECP promises motorists savings of up to 70 percent on parts, tools and accessories.

GGR
GRAHAM GOODE RACING, Leicester

The Graham Goode Performance Centre employs 25 people and boasts a multi-million pound turnover from a stock of some 180,000 product lines. The Aylestone site on Lutterworth road boasts a 6000 sq ft superstore and conversion workshop.

JET
JET WHEEL TYRE, Essex

Jet specialises in tyre servicing, wheels and wheel alignment, batteries and exhausts. It was named Pirelli’s Performance Centre of the year for 2009 and is one of only 14 tyre dealers in the UK to have achieved this top ranking.

Mark-Robertshaw2
LK PERFORMANCE, Cleckheaton

This retailer has grown sales every year since it opened in 2003. It is run by the proactive Mark Robertshaw, who has embraced the web and competes with local supermarkets by stocking premium product in niche categories.

VOTE NOW

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THE CANDIDATES: PERSON OF THE YEAR 2011

PERSON OF THE YEAR 2011


Gary BarakGARY BARAK, Chicane Marketing

Gary co-founded aftermarket PR company Chicane and is a well-known personality in the industry, which he has served for more than 24 years since working for CAT mag in the late ‘80s. His industry work includes setting up the AutoExCel trade show initiative and winning political backing for the BSI Kitemark.

DAVID-MAIN_smDAVID MAIN, BEN

As BEN’s CEO, David strives to widen awareness of the charity to the independent aftermarket, making sure that all workers know they have somewhere to turn in the event of a personal crisis. He successfully steered the charity through the recession and is now spearheading a multi-million pound care home redevelopment.

BRIAN NEWELLBRIAN NEWELL, TRW

An electrical engineer by trade, Brian, TRW’s technical manager, has racked up 20 years in the aftermarket and 34 in the wider auto industry, experience which he now puts to good use through his involvement with the Xponentia initiative, which, in the last year, has delivered training to 3600 mechanics.

TONY-SACKETTsmTONY SACKETT, Unipart and IAAF

Having been in the trade for more than 35 years, Tony is one of the independent aftermarket’s most well known and active personalities. He is not only a director of Unipart but also finds time to lead sector thinking as president and chairman of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation.

Mike WebbMIKE WEBB, CAAR

Mike has been chief executive of the CAAR retail buying group for just two years. The former Haynes Publishing UK sales director has been credited by his members for his “dynamism” in putting independent retailers back on the map, and bringing them value for money deals with some of the UK’s largest suppliers.

VOTE NOW

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