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SUKHPAL AND LKQ: ‘SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT’ IN HGV FACTOR CHAIN

SUKHPAL AND LKQ: ‘SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT’ IN HGV FACTOR CHAIN

Truck part supplier Digraph Transport Supplies has been acquired in a joint deal between LKQ Corporation and Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The move is significant as it marks the first time that both the founder of Euro Car Parts and the corporation that now own it have embarked on a deal as joint investors.

14-branch Digraph will retain all current employees and James Rawson will remain as MD. Rawson has also made an investment in the business.

CAT spoke briefly to Sukhpal to confirm the deal had taken place. He said that the ‘fragmented’ state of the HGV parts market lead it to being an area considered for expansion into for some time and that Digraph was the best fit in terms of matching ECPs ‘sales and customer service ethic’.

In a statement to his team, James Rawson said: “This investment will enable Digraph to access to the resources we need to grow the business and implement our expansion plans. We will work closely with ECP to enhance customer service levels. I am thrilled to be working with Sukhpal and taking up the challenge of extending the Digraph service to customers throughout the UK.”

In related news, Sukhpal has extended his three-year contract with ECP, retaining his position as Executive Chairman.

 

 

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AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM 2018 LAUNCHED

AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM 2018 LAUNCHED

The preparations for next year’s Automechanika Birmingham are underway, with Show Director Simon Albert confirming that ‘over 300’ exhibitors have signed up so far.

Following a summer of touring the country and talking to exhibitors, the organisers are planning a number of new initiatives for the show. “One of the main things is improved networking” said Albert. “For exhibitors we are going to have a ‘facilitated meetings’ programme, so you can make appointments to have meetings with visitors on your stand”. He added that the event will host a network evening, where exhibitors and certain visitor groups can talk shop with each other.

2018 will also see a renewed focus on workshops. “We are also looking at garages, and we have had a lot of requests asking that the event caters more for them, so we are extending opening hours one evening, as we are aware that shutting their businesses early or all day is a barrier” said Albert. “Plus, garages will have their own dedicated hall, Hall 19. They can meet all of the tools and equipment manufacturers and they can certainly get a good return on investment on their day”.

Following the 2018 show, the orgainisers have announced plans to make the show a biennial event. Keep a lookout for the October CAT for more info.

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CAR HISTORY SERVICE CLEARED IN ASA INVESTIGATION

CAR HISTORY SERVICE CLEARED IN ASA INVESTIGATION

Vehicle history website motorcheck.co.uk offered a car history checking service that stated the user could ‘save 40 percent on car checks’ compared with Experian or HPI.

HPI complained that the claim couldn’t be substantiated, however the Authority ruled that it could be. A statement in the ruling read: “The ASA considered traders would interpret the ad to mean that, if they ran 20 vehicle checks per month with MotorCheck, they would make a minimum 40% saving compared with running similar checks with HPI”.

“We noted that part of the basis of Cap HPI’s complaint was the contractual requirement that HPI’s customers were not permitted to share details of the cost of HPI’s products with competitors. They therefore questioned how reliable the evidence MotorCheck relied on to support the claim was likely to be. We noted, however, that MotorCheck had been sent the pricing information direct from HPI following an anonymous enquiry. We had no reason to think that this would not be a valid reflection of the cost of HPI’s products. When drawing up the comparison, MotorCheck had taken into account the one-off joining fee charged by Cap HPI (as traders who were not currently with Cap HPI would need to pay it). They had incorporated that into the price comparison in the first month and then had listed a separate comparison for the subsequent months in which the joining fee did not need to be paid (as traders would only pay the joining fee once)”.

No further action is required.

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BREAKING: AAG TO ACQUIRE CONTROLLING SHARE OF GROUPAUTO POLAND

BREAKING: AAG TO ACQUIRE CONTROLLING SHARE OF GROUPAUTO POLAND

The following statement has just been issued by the Alliance Automotive Group:

 

“GROUPAUTO Polska (GAP) and Alliance Automotive Group (AAG) are pleased to announce that AAG has entered into an agreement to acquire a 51.3% controlling shareholding in GAP. The agreement is subject to the approval of the Polish Competition Authority.  It is expected that this approval will be received within the next two months.”

“Jean-Jacques Lafont, the CEO of AAG said: “We are delighted to open this new page in the development of our Group.  This is the first step in our entry into the large and growing Polish market with exciting opportunities to replicate what we have done in our existing markets in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.  We are particularly happy to be partnering with the historical shareholders of GAP as well as their talented management team led by Mariusz Dankowski and Luiza Kaminska.” “

“Mariusz Dankowski said: “The shareholders and management of GAP are extremely pleased to bring AAG into our Group. This is a natural progression of a relationship that GAP and AAG have developed over many years within the Groupauto International family and we see many opportunities to benefit from AAG’s size and dynamic growth to develop and strengthen our position in the Polish market.””

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LONDON MAYOR PROPOSES DIESEL SCRAPPAGE SCHEME

LONDON MAYOR PROPOSES DIESEL SCRAPPAGE SCHEME

scrappage

A few of the cars from the scrappage scheme in 2009

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on government for a national diesel scrappage scheme for older vehicles to help combat air pollution within the capital with incentives to encourage the uptake of electric and hybrid vehicles.

IAAF’s Chief Executive Wendy Williamson, argues that even though this technology is the way forward, a bigger discussion across multiple sectors is needed to tackle the long-term effects of air pollution in and outside of the nation’s capital. She said. “Whenever there’s anything on emissions it seems to be the automotive market is an easy target somehow. Where are people talking about the aerospace industry, farm tractors and rather just picking up on cars all the time, why is the focus not given a broader discussion?”

She added: “Most of the emission problems in London would be fixed if they looked at the black cabs and buses. There’s positive changes happening at the moment, but then there’s no controls over any of the Uber cabs so you could be in a high emission Uber car and have none of the controls that the black cabs are having to conform to”. Williamson also questions where the budget for the £500m project will come from with around 50 percent of diesel vehicles representing the UK car parc.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Sadiq Khan said. “The toxic state of our air leaves us with no choice but to rid our city of the most polluting diesel vehicles. It is shocking that nearly half of new car sales in the UK are still diesel vehicles and the tax system still incentivises motorists to buy these polluting cars”. The Mayor also announced that he would ‘not rule out’ banning diesel vehicles from London altogether if the high levels of Nitrogen Oxide are not heavily reduced.

If the scrappage scheme goes nationwide, Williamson said the Federation would consult with its members. She concluded: “In fairness, the government has set out quite a robust programme for electric vehicles which are clearly how they see the future. There’s no doubt that hybrids are the way to go but there’s still some way to go with technology yet”.

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VW SCANDAL: BOSCH AGREES $327.5m PAYOUT

VW SCANDAL: BOSCH AGREES $327.5m PAYOUT

bosch_logoOE parts maker Bosch has agreed to compensate U.S VAG Group diesel car owners and used car dealers in the fallout of the emissions scandal. The agreement follows a class action from a number of people affected.

The company has agreed to pay out on 2.0l engines fitted to VW and Audi vehicles and 3.0l engines, which were also fitted in some Porsches. The total of the settlement comes to US $327.5m.

In a statement, the company stresses that it doesn’t acknowledge the facts as alleged by the plaintiffs, nor does it admit liability.

“Upon careful consideration of all relevant aspects, we have in this case decided to enter into a settlement agreement. Bosch is currently undergoing the biggest transformation process in its company history. We wish to devote our attention and our resources to the transition in mobility and in other areas of activity”, said Dr. Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Management Board of Robert Bosch.

The settlement requires approval by a judge in the U.S. Once a hearing has gone ahead, those involved will be informed of their rights and options. It is proposed that the Court considers final approval of the settlement agreement in early May.

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FOUR YEAR MOT PROPOSAL FROM DfT

FOUR YEAR MOT PROPOSAL FROM DfT

Junior transport minister Andrew Jones

Junior transport minister Andrew Jones

The government has launched a proposal to increase the time for new cars to have their first MOT from three years to four.

“New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago”, said Junior Transport Minister Andrew Jones, “So it is only right we bring the MOT test up to date to help save motorists money where we can.”

Unsurprisingly, this has not gone down well with aftermarket trade bodies. Stuart James, from RMI,’s Independent Garage Association said: “This proposal would, without doubt, cost consumers more in repair costs, incentivise “clockers” and be detrimental to the UK’s excellent road safety record for no particular gain.” He continued: “At the three year period alone this change will see 400,000 unroadworthy cars on the road for another 12 months and no official mileage recorded until year 4”. James also mentioned that a fine and three penalty points for a ‘blown’ tyre exceeds that of a £54.85 MOT test if the car had been checked by the garage prior.

Wendy Williamson, Chief Executive of the IAAF, concurs with James. She said: “40 percent of all cars fail their MOT currently but even with improvements in vehicle technology, the main causes of MOT failure is still brakes, tyres and lights.”

“That is something clearly down to use of the car and we would oppose the DfT’s proposition on safety grounds”, adding that Britain has the safest roads in Europe on record with the current 3-1-1 MOT reinforcing this.

The IAAF has opened the statement up to its members for comment as both the IAAF and RMI prepare reports to respond to the DfT’s consultation before the proposed deadline on 16th April. If all goes to plan, new rules will apply from 2018.

Interestingly, the government statement was published in error two weeks before it was officially announced, giving trade bodies and road safety groups plenty of time to prepare their ammunition.

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ECP REBRAND AND EXPAND FORMER HELLA IRELAND SITE

ECP REBRAND AND EXPAND FORMER HELLA IRELAND SITE

Euro Car Parts has re-branded a former Hella Ireland branch in Dublin. Now sporting the company’s familiar blue and yellow logo, the Dublin outlet is the chain’s first ECP-branded store in the Republic of Ireland.

Apart from the new signs, the branch has enjoyed significant investment to grow the services on offer. This includes increasing the number of vans from four to twelve and doubling the physical warehouse size to 90,000 sq ft. A modern racking system has also been introduced along with a new trading system.

Headcount will also go up from 31 to 48, with the ultimate goal for all of the improvements is to increase availability and reduce lead time.

Martin Gray, CEO of Euro Car Parts, said: “The business has been operating in Dublin since 1979 and has very experienced staff, some of whom have been working in the industry for over 30 years.

“We’re retaining this expertise and adding Euro Car Parts’ full product range to deliver service that goes the extra mile and continues to support existing customers. We’re expanding what is on offer by investing in additional infrastructure and resources.”

“We successfully partner with tens of thousands of independent garages in the UK and we are thrilled and delighted to extend that support to the Republic of Ireland.”ecp_stocked_shelves

Through parent company LKQ Corp, ECP took over Hella Ireland in August 2016.

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MOTOR WORLD STORES TO JOIN A1 NETWORK

MOTOR WORLD STORES TO JOIN A1 NETWORK

motorworldEffective immediately, A1 has added 37 branches to its motor factor membership. The move represents a major milestone for the group, with the newest stores ideally placed around England and Wales to ensure even greater coverage to its customers.

In a statement, A1’s Head of Operations, Simon Salloway, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Motor World Ltd to A1 Motor Stores.

“Over the coming weeks, the A1 Support Team will work alongside the team at Motor World Ltd to integrate into the A1 set-up, and I’m sure all approved suppliers will join me in formally welcoming the organisation into the group.”

Motor World Sales and Operations Director Ian Lawrence said: “While it’s true we’ve got direct relationships with many suppliers and they are shipping to our stores already, joining A1 gives us an extra edge.”

“I think there are an awful lot of benefits for Motor World in joining A1, but the overriding reason for wanting to join was to increase the ranges we’ve got and the number of suppliers that are available to us. The deals are already set up with suppliers to A1. There’s an opportunity for us to become more involved in A1 too. Because of the scale I think joining forces with other retailers we will be able to introduce new ranges” he concluded.

 

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GSF AVOID ADVERTISING WATCHDOG ACTION

GSF AVOID ADVERTISING WATCHDOG ACTION

GSF Car Parts have avoided any further action for a promotional campaign, following a complaint from a member of the public.

The issue revolved around a promotional email for GSF Car Parts sent on 26 August 2016 that stated: “45% OFF* ALL CAR PARTS. Offer valid from Friday 26th to Monday 29th August”, A footnote at the bottom of the ad stated “… GSF Car Parts reserves the right to withdraw these offers at any time. Offer valid from Friday 26th August to Monday 29th August at 23.59”.

The complainant wrote to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to challenge whether the ad was misleading because they received a subsequent email on  August 30, which stated that the closing date for the offer had been extended until September 1.

GSF responded to the watchdog that a problem occurred with the server used to process ‘Click and Collect’ orders shortly after the email was sent. They said that the server was used to send those orders to the relevant GSF Car Parts branch and because of that problem, the service was unavailable. The chain added that it was never their intention to mislead or place any consumers at a disadvantage; it said it extended the offer in good faith to their customers who had been unable to use the GSF website because of the technical problem.

A statement from the ASA said: “We considered that GSF Car Parts took action as soon as they could to resolve the problem and we understood the problem was the motivation behind their decision to extend the closing date of the promotional period”. No further action was necessary.

GSF-topbox

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