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NO ‘BREXIT DIVIDEND’ EXISTS, SAYS SMMT CHIEF

NO ‘BREXIT DIVIDEND’ EXISTS, SAYS SMMT CHIEF

The Chief Executive of SMMT has spoken candidly about the issues facing the motor industry as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union.

“Leaving is not what we wanted. For us, Brexit is about damage limitation. There is no ‘Brexit dividend’” Mike Hawes told an audience at the Society’s annual dinner on Tuesday night.

Pressing the need for parliament to pass the draft proposal bill, he said: We need a deal – now. And that deal must be ambitious for the future. We need frictionless trade with our most important market. Nothing less will do”.

Pressing home the message, he added. “This industry has always had political support – here and across the EU. Now, more than ever, we need that support. To avoid catastrophe; to give us breathing space, to deliver a competitive future. It’s time to decide”.

Business secretary Greg Clarke also addressed the room, and gave his support for the Prime Minister’s plans. “I remember being on the phone to Mike (Hawes)’s team for data on the way to Chequers and presenting it, and then on the phone to his team again the next morning to discuss what we agreed. It was central to the clear and unflinching objective that we set to secure frictionless trade on which this industry absolutely depends” he said.   

 

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IRELAND’S J&S AUTOMOTIVE ACQUIRES ORIGO AUTOPARTS

IRELAND’S J&S AUTOMOTIVE ACQUIRES ORIGO AUTOPARTS

Ken Tannam, Origo and Alan Gaynor, J&S shake on the deal

Ireland-based parts supplier J&S Automotive has acquired at the autoparts division of tool supplier Origo.

Origo is part of the SISK group of companies and is known as a key supplier of Bosch branded product throughout Ireland.

Terms of the deal have not been announced, but the deal is described by J&S as an ‘important strategic step’.

J&S Automotive MD Alan Gaynor said: “By adding Origo Automotive to J&S Automotive,  we look forward to delivering an even better range of automotive parts and services.

 

 

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DUTCH TRADE BODY TALK BREXIT WITH IGA

DUTCH TRADE BODY TALK BREXIT WITH IGA

Dutch garage trade group BOVAG (BOnd Van Automobielhandelaren en Garagehouders)  – has completed a nationwide tour of British garages to discuss future working relationships ahead of Brexit.

The BOVAG team joined up with the Independent Garage Association (IGA) during the trip. The visitors gained insight into the management of British independent garage businesses and discussed issues affecting the industry including MOT testing and access to technical information. The groups also discussed Brexit and the implications for their working relationship.

Stuart James, Director of the IGA said: “This co-operation with our European colleagues is a positive step towards maintaining strong partnerships throughout and beyond the Brexit process.”

Meanwhile, Gerard ten Buuren, Chair of BOVAG’s Independent Garage Division, said the team “gained a tremendous amount” from the visit and is “delighted” to continue working alongside the IGA.

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ZAFIRA LATEST: 47,000 FURTHER CARS RECALLED

ZAFIRA LATEST: 47,000 FURTHER CARS RECALLED

Vauxhall has recalled a further 47,000 Zafira B models after a fault leading to sudden fires was discovered.

The fault relates to the thermistor ‘thermal fuse’ can overheat on cars fitted with automatic climate control.

In 2015, Vauxhall recalled 235,000 cars with manual heating controls. That recall was for a similar fault, although the initial ‘repair’ was unsuccessful, leading the VM to issue a further recall. At the time it was assumed that climate control models were not affected.

Initially the VM blamed the aftermarket for the fires, citing ‘improper repairs’ as the cause, going as far as to produce what it said were examples of re-soldered thermistors.

As scores more blazes followed it became apparent that the cause was a design error and Vauxhall bosses had to face a barrage of questions from a House of Commons Select Committee on why it took so long for the vehicles to be recalled.

Vauxhall will be working with the DVLA to notify registered keepers of all affected vehicles.

 

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NEW CASTROL DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR CERTAS COMPANY

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 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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ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

Euro Car Parts has brought together its Euro Academy training offer with Andrew Page’s Autoeducation programme. Bosses plan to keep the Autoeducation brand, with a new prospectus covering a wider selection of courses.

The extended programme will continue to deliver IMI-accredited training for technicians and include a dedicated technical phone helpline and online diagnostics database with a reference library of previous faults.

Courses available will include foundational electrics, oscilloscopes  and CAN BUS systems. There is also full MOT course coverage, from Level 3 accreditation to MOT Tester and Managerial Training. Autoeducation’s offering now also includes Euro Academy’s ADAS training course, delivered in partnership with Hella.

Helen Robinson, Marketing Director at Euro Car Parts, commented: “Since we acquired Andrew Page, we have been committed to ensuring that this trusted brand continues to thrive in the independent aftermarket. Recognising how popular and successful its Autoeducation programme is, we have boosted the portfolio significantly by merging it with Euro Academy. It is our intention to invest in our training offering to ensure the independent sector is well positioned to work on all types of vehicle.”

Euro Car Parts acquired the Andrew Page factor chain when the latter went into administration in 2016.

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GOVERNMENT PROBE INTO HAND CAR WASHES

GOVERNMENT PROBE INTO HAND CAR WASHES

Investigation into hand car washes begins

A parliamentary committee is to look into how damaging hand car washes are to the environment.

The Environmental Audit Committee will examine how the impact of hand car washes differs from automatic ones. It will look at how effective regulation is and what steps central government might take to ensure that these businesses are operated sustainably.

Although the focus of the Committee’s inquiry will be on environmental issues, another body, the Independent Anti- Slavery Commission has produced a list of indications of exploitation at hand car washes, which the Committee will also seek answers for.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Our inquiry will look at the environmental impact of hand car washes and ask how effective the regulations that govern them are. It will also ask the Government how it is meeting its commitments under the UN Sustainable Development Goals to reduce human exploitation.”

Reacting to the news, Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association commented: “The PRA is pleased to see the Committee is holding the Government to account on an industry that is in breach of several regulations.”

“We have been lobbying DEFRA repeatedly over the lack of enforcement regarding the estimated 6,500 cubic metres of chemical trade effluent produced by hand car washes, which pollutes local water courses. We have also met with officials from both the Home Office and the Treasury Select Committee to discuss breaches of the Modern Slavery Act and the millions of pounds lost in tax revenues,” he concluded.

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WRS MOTOR FACTORS JOINS A1 BUYING GROUP

WRS MOTOR FACTORS JOINS A1 BUYING GROUP

Somerset-based WRS Motor Factors Ltd has joined buying group A1.

New brands will arrive at WRS

Weston Recovery Services (WRS) was established in Weston-Super-Mare by Robert and Lynn Hopkins in 1983. Today, it has an around the clock breakdown and recovery service.

WRS Motor Factors Ltd was subsequently incorporated in 2006 after some years trading under the Weston Recovery Services umbrella. Operating out of four branches across the Somerset area; Weston-Super-Mare, Shepton Mallet, Wellington and Bridgwater, it supplies many brands such as NGK, Lucas, Mahle and Britpart, as well as stocking a full range of Motaquip products.

Martin Tier of WRS, said: “It’s very important that we have a voice and aren’t just a number and after speaking with them, we feel A1 offer the right environment for us.

“Communication is a key part of this group,” says Simon Salloway, Head of Operations at A1. “We’re all working together. Everyone’s feedback and input is valued, and our combined knowledge and purchasing power form the foundations of our collective success. By listening to each other and working together, we can get a stronger hold in this increasingly competitive industry.”

The businesses trade as WRS Motaquip and this won’t change as the company will continue to buy hard parts from Motaquip. However, the move will widen the factor’s access to brands.

The A1 Motor Factor Group has added a number of well- known names to its network of suppliers in recent months. These include Hella-Hengst, Federal-Mogul and National Auto Parts.

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INDUSTRY REACTS AS 4-1-1 MOT IS SCRAPPED

INDUSTRY REACTS AS 4-1-1 MOT IS SCRAPPED

Following the news that a proposal to change the frequency of the first MOT test to four years instead of three has been scrapped by the government, the industry has reacted with delight.

The IAAFs Wendy Williamson said: “It is an understatement to say that we are delighted that these plans have now been scrapped, which comes as a result of all the hard efforts of IAAF as well as the whole of the industry. From the outset, we’ve vigorously fought these proposals, which threatened not just the aftermarket but more crucially, motorists’ safety.

“To ensure as safe and cost-effective motoring as possible, motorists must have their vehicle inspected and serviced regularly. Given that figures suggest one in five vehicles fail their MOT in the first three years, moving to an extended testing period would have potentially caused more accidents and fatalities due to defective vehicles on UK roads.”

The federation has worked relentlessly alongside other industry bodies to fight the unwelcome legislation and is part of the ProMOTe campaign being run by the AALG (Automotive Aftermarket Liaison Group) to protect the safety of all road users.

The VMs dealer networks have also welcomed the proposal. Sue Robinson, Director of the RMI’s National Franchised Dealer Assoc. commented: “The NFDA had previously highlighted the potentially devastating road safety implications which extending the date of the first MoT from three to four years might have had. It is extremely positive to see that the government has acknowledged this.”

Also welcoming the news are factor groups. ECP’s CEO Martin Gray said: “We applaud the Minister’s decision to put road safety first. As we highlighted in our consultation to the government around 17% of cars fail their first MoT on their initial attempt, so extending a car’s first MoT to four years could have resulted in an extra 410,000 unsafe cars on the roads and risk higher accident rates. The three-year-for-first MoT system ensures vehicle defects are picked up and remedied quickly, to ensure the safety of all road users”.

“We’d like to thank all those in the industry petitioned the government. It is our belief, and that of the wider sector, that road users’ safety will be maintained as a result of this decision.”

However, not everyone is delighted with the decision. A poster on the Daily Express website set the tone for the majority of reader comments by saying: “Again rip off UK. In Spain first MOT at four years and then every two years until the vehicle is ten years old then every year. Garages must have done a lot of lobbying”.

Mixed responses for 4-1-1 proposition

 

 

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