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ZF ACQUIRES WABCO FOR $7 BILLION

ZF ACQUIRES WABCO FOR $7 BILLION

Technology giant ZF has announced that it has
acquired commercial vehicle safety
technology specialist Wabco at $136.50 per share, or approximately $7 billion.

ZF say that the acquisition is part of its ‘Next Generation Mobility’ strategy, and has highlighted an interest in developing automated driving functions in commercial vehicles such as trucks and trailers. It is the first time that ZF has expanded into commercial vehicle braking systems.

Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF, said: “For ZF the acquisition of a specialist and leader for commercial vehicle braking systems means adding a stable and growing business segment and enables our existing commercial vehicles division to expand its expertise in vehicle dynamics control.”

Meanwhile, Jacques Esculier, Chairman and CEO of Wabco, said: “Joining forces with high respected ZF will create a leading global technology company well positioned to capitalise on future demand for autonomous, efficient and connected commercial vehicles.”

Wabco products and services include braking systems, stability control, aerodynamics, telematics and more. The company generated revenues of €3.3 billion in 2018 and employs around 16,000 employees in 40 countries. ZF expects to close the transaction of Wabco by the start of 2020.  

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COMPULSORY ADAS PROVISIONALLY AGREED

COMPULSORY ADAS PROVISIONALLY AGREED

New regulations on vehicle safety standards in the EU, due to come into force in 2022, were provisionally agreed in Strasbourg on March 25th. 

Under a wide-ranging set of rules known as the Third Mobility Package, the European Commission described a vision of connected vehicles and digitised roads, where automatic data logs, particularly on CVs ‘will cut red tape and facilitate digital information flows for logistic operations’.

However, it is a description of the Commission’s desire to improve road safety that will be of most interest to anyone who sells or repairs light vehicles. 

Among the odder proposals on the list are mandatory alcohol interlocks (which are essentially breathalysers that allow you to start your car). Light vehicles will also need to be designed to be kinder to pedestrians and cyclists if they are being run over, with improved front crash areas and a safer type of safety glass.

Mandatory ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance) systems under the proposal read like a dealer option list. Drowsiness detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assist (where the vehicle’s equipment ‘reads’ the prevailing road speed and adjusts the built-in limiter accordingly) are all being considered, and it is this last feature that garnered the most attention from the national press. Curiously, built-in dashboard cameras are not on the list. 

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), compared the agreement on the new regulations with the introduction of the seat belt and EU minimum crash safety standards. “If last night’s agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force,” he said. 

ADAS has provided both the dealer service market and the aftermarket with a new opportunity, due to the number of sensors that need precisely calibrating on a regular basis. Systems for calibration, such as the kit pictured have been in high demand. 

Absolute Alignment

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AAUK ACQUIRES WHITEHAVEN FACTOR

AAUK ACQUIRES WHITEHAVEN FACTOR

The British arm of Alliance Automotive Group, AAUK, has resumed it’s buying spree with the acquisition of Whitehaven-based A&B Autoparts Ltd.

The single-branch light vehicle factor was an existing member of GroupAuto and had been run by the Farragher family since 2002.

Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

READ: AAG MAKES MAJOR ACQUISITION OF 150 BRANCH DISTRIBUTOR

READ: AUTOQUIP MIDLANDS TAKEN OVER BY AAUK

A&B Autoparts now owned by AAUK

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BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK GROUP FACTORS TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING

BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK GROUP FACTORS TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING

Arnold Clark factors Midwest and Autoparts UK have confirmed that they are to increase stockholding by a quarter ahead of Brexit.

In Glasgow, Autoparts’ central distribution hub has installed a new mezzanine floor and all branches throughout Scotland and Northern England are increasing stock levels.

Additional stock is also being put into Midwest Motor Factors and Monmore Auto Parts branches.

Craig McCracken, Autoparts UK Group Factor Manager, said: “Whatever the outcome, we’re making sure independent garages continue to enjoy an uninterrupted supply of products. This latest development sends out a clear message to the industry – and our customers – that Autoparts UK, Midwest and Monmore are proactively taking every step to ensure product availability remains at their highest levels possible”.

Stockholding to increase by 25 percent at main DC

 

READ:  OBITUARY: ARNOLD CLARK

READ: ARNOLD CLARK ACQUIRES MIDWEST MOTOR FACTORS

READ: AFTERMARKET LIVES: AUTOPARTS UK

 

 

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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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