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TYPE APPROVAL FEEDBACK WELCOMED BY IAAF

TYPE APPROVAL FEEDBACK WELCOMED BY IAAF

The IAAF has welcomed feedback from members on the next tranche of type approval legislation.

The IAAFs Wendy Williamson at a previous conference

This legislation, known as 2018/858 covers areas including connected vehicle telemetry, and among the text that the IAAF is campaigning for is the provision of a standard diagnostic port. Currently, some VMs want to run all updates and diagnostics ‘over the air’, thus shutting out anyone other than them from the vehicle. The IAAF argues that this is bad for competition and anti-consumer choice.

Although Britain has left the EU, it is expected that it will continue to mirror legislation as selling vehicles into the EU – or even driving UK registered vehicles in the Continent would become difficult if a different standard is adopted.

 

 

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LIMITED MOT TESTING TO RESUME IN NORTHERN IRELAND

LIMITED MOT TESTING TO RESUME IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Some MOT testing is to resume in Northern Ireland as the crisis-hit system tries to recover from the effects of lockdown, industrial disputes and widespread technical failure of vehicle ramps.

READ: 12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

However, it will be sometime before the general public will be able to get their own vehicles certified as being safe. Initially, the test will be available only to taxis and busses due a first time test, vehicles not registered in Northern Ireland and vehicles where the MOT expired over a year ago (meaning the vehicle hasn’t been tested for at least two years). Balmoral and Newtownards test centres will not reopen as they are in use as virus testing facilities.

READ: LATEST: NORTHERN IRELAND MOT TEST CRISIS

Testing for all other categories remains suspended and motorists should get a Temporary Exemption Certificate, although DVA phone lines and counter service remain closed.

READ: MOT STRIKE ACTION LIKELY IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Prior to coronavirus, NI’s state-run test centres were already creaking, with reports of motorists booking four months or more in advance, only to have them cancelled at the last minute. 

 

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TRADE BODIES WELCOME END TO MOT EXTENSION

TRADE BODIES WELCOME END TO MOT EXTENSION

The news that the MOT extension will end on August 1st has been welcomed by the main aftermarket trade bodies. 

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association (IGA) said: “We thank the Government for listening to our views. The news will give clarity to garages and allow them to plan for the busy period ahead.

“This is a welcome retraction of a policy doubtless designed to provide relief to motorists. However, this additional month will allow at least one million unroadworthy cars to remain on the road for an additional six months, as well as the 1.6 million dangerous vehicles that have already had their MOT extended.

MOT EXTENSION TO END FROM AUGUST FIRST

“With road traffic increasing, people being encouraged to use their cars rather than public transport, and further lockdown measures easing on 4 July, we believe this additional month will leave a number of motorists with an accumulation of faults and repair costs when they are least able to afford them. Even though this scheme has only been in place for four months, it has been detrimental to the roadworthiness of many cars, taken away the bread and butter of the independent garage sector and left a great number of consumers confused.

“We will continue to work with Government departments and support independent garages to ensure that all safety measures are upheld, playing our part to prevent further coronavirus cases across the UK.”

READ: 12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

The IAAF has also welcomed the news, Wendy Williamson, Chief Executive, said: “The entire automotive aftermarket needs this news and it will have a positive effect on many businesses. As people begin to head back to work, the number of cars on the road will inevitably rise, with more people set to avoid public transport and rely instead on personal mobility.”

The IAAF is now urging the industry to encourage drivers who have previously made the decision to extend their MOT to bring their vehicle in as soon as possible.

Williamson added: “We’ve already been hearing from members who have experienced concerning issues first-hand, whereby customers have been driving around in vehicles that are a threat to the safety of the driver and the general public.

“Most importantly, this move will reduce the number of motorists driving unroadworthy vehicles and will benefit the aftermarket as more cars are brought in for essential testing, service and repairs.”

 

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MOT EXTENSION TO END FROM AUGUST FIRST

MOT EXTENSION TO END FROM AUGUST FIRST

Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020 as restrictions are slowly lifted, it has been announced by the DfT.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

MOT tests are important for road safety and ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seat belts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a six-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

READ: GOVERNMENT CONSULTING ON END OF MOT EXTENSION

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

“Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Only some garages remained open to conduct essential services during the coronavirus outbreak, but now over 90% are open across the country. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing.

READ: 12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

While exemptions are still available for vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August, it is vital that drivers still take their vehicle to be checked if they notice something is wrong in the same way that they usually would.

If drivers are vulnerable or self-isolating they should contact their local garage as many are offering pick-up and drop-off services, so drivers can get their car checked without having to visit a garage.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has also issued guidance to all MOT testers about safely conducting tests in line with the latest Government advice.

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BREAKING: 27 ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES PERMANENTLY CLOSED

BREAKING: 27 ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Twenty-seven Andrew Page branches will not reopen after lockdown, it has been announced.

Company owner LKQ Euro Car Parts has issued a statement [which you can read here] confirming the closures, but did not comment on the locations affected, nor the number of redundancies, except to say that the branches

File pic of Andrew Page Birmingham

affected were ones that ‘currently operated in close proximity to others’ and ‘where possible, the redeployment of colleagues to create stronger, combined teams’.

READ: BREAKING: ANDREW PAGE TO REBRAND AS LKQ EURO CAR PARTS

The statement comes a day after LKQ Europe announced that Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts would combine under the trading style LKQ Euro Car Parts and operate under the same systems, spelling the end for the Andrew Page name that has been in use since 1917.

 

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BREAKING: ANDREW PAGE TO REBRAND AS LKQ EURO CAR PARTS

BREAKING: ANDREW PAGE TO REBRAND AS LKQ EURO CAR PARTS

The century-old Andrew Page brand is to be dropped as owner LKQ Europe rebrands its UK factors under a single identity.

Signage coming down at former Markham Vale DC in 2018

Both Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts will rebrand as ‘LKQ Euro Car Parts’ as part of a phased roll-out. All employees will now gain access to the same information and systems as revealed in the June edition of CAT.

Across Europe, the LKQ Group is working on a number of integration projects, including the transition to unified purchasing, which will increase the global market leader’s buying power and ability to collaborate with suppliers on innovation.

Andy Hamilton, CEO of the LKQ Euro Car Parts Group, said: “The introduction of the LKQ Euro Car Parts brand is a milestone in our evolution as a business in the UK and Europe”

“Together, as LKQ Euro Car Parts in the UK and as part of the wider LKQ Group in Europe, we are stronger, more competitive and better able to offer a market-leading customer experience”.

READ: ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

“At a time when the aftermarket faces some significant and transformational challenges, we are going to be better-equipped than ever before to help prepare it for the future.”

Some recently-merged Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts branches will be among the first to be rebranded under the new LKQ Euro Car Parts fascia.

READ: BREAKING: ECP PARENT ACQUIRES ANDREW PAGE

Andy Hamilton added: “It’s been four years since Andrew Page joined the Euro Car Parts family and we’re proud of the role we played in safeguarding hundreds of years of collective expertise in the aftermarket.

New combined LKQ Euro Car Parts logo for existing Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts branches

“From the beginning, we had a clear rationale to bring some of the industry’s best people together and give them an unrivalled scale and cutting-edge enterprise solutions tools that make their jobs easier.

“Following these changes, we will continue to have an unrivalled nationwide branch network, and will be in a stronger position than ever to drive the business forward.”

There are no current plans to change the LKQ Coatings and Arleigh International brands.

 

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NEW ACQUISITION FOR ALLIANCE AUTOMOTIVE

NEW ACQUISITION FOR ALLIANCE AUTOMOTIVE

Millgate Motor Factors, Selby

Millgate Motor Factors, a single branch trade counter in Selby, North Yorkshire has been acquired by Alliance Automotive UK (AAUK).

READ: JIM BARKER LATEST FACTOR ACQUISITION BY AAUK

The business in its modern form was incorporated in 1999 by Steven Panas and was a member of the UAN buying group, which is itself part of  AAUK.

READ: ALLIANCE AUTOMOTIVE UK ACQUIRES ASMF

Millgate is only the second acquisition of 2020 for AAUK, having completed on Jim Barker Motor Factors in January, suggesting that the buying spree of multiple businesses between 2017 and mid-2019 is at an end.

 

 

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CAUTIOUS ‘RETAIL LITE’ REOPENING OF HALFORDS STORES

CAUTIOUS ‘RETAIL LITE’ REOPENING OF HALFORDS STORES

Halfords has announced it is reopening 53 of its stores across the country with extensive social distancing measures in place, using an operating model that has been called ‘Retail Lite’.

The re-openings follow successful trials at its Peterborough and Bristol Cribbs Causeway stores and will be the first time that customers have been allowed instore since the lockdown was put in place in the UK.

READ: HALFORDS TO INTRODUCE ‘ZERO CONTACT’ SERVICING

Having been granted ‘essential retailer’ status, 335 of Halfords’ 446 retail stores have until now been operating under a Dark Store model during the lockdown. This means that customers have been unable to browse and instead have been placing orders with Halfords colleagues outside the front of the store.

While the majority of Halfords’ stores will continue to operate as Dark Stores for the time being, there are plans to gradually convert and reopen them under the new “Retail Lite” model. However, the firm has stated that there is no timetable or deadline in place for doing so and the pace will instead be dictated entirely by the ‘company’s confidence that it can keep its colleagues and customers safe’.

READ: HALFORDS FORM BUYING PARTNERSHIP WITH FRENCH ALLY

“We are pleased to be in a position to start letting our customers back into our stores”, said Graham Stapleton, CEO of Halfords. “However, we are going to be reopening them to our customers gradually and cautiously in order to be absolutely certain that our colleagues and customers have a safe environment in which to work and shop”.

Halfords reported a sharp rise in the number of customers wanting bikes and related products since lockdown began.

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IGA RAISE MOT EXTENSION CONCERNS WITH TRANSPORT MINISTER

IGA RAISE MOT EXTENSION CONCERNS WITH TRANSPORT MINISTER

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is the latest trade association to have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, urging him to end the six-month MOT extension put in place on 30 March 2020.

Other trade bodies including SMMT and IAAF have already taken a similar step to express their concern.

Stuart James

Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive states: “Now that the public are being encouraged to go back to work and avoid using public transport where possible, the time is right to stop the MOT extension.

READ: EXTENDED MOT WILL HAVE CATASTROPHIC EFFECT SAY TRADE BODIES

“With approximately one third of cars failing their initial MOT, millions of faults will be left un-rectified if the full six-month extension goes ahead. Small defects that would have been found in the MOT test will worsen, not only leading to an increase in the number of dangerous cars on the road, but an increase in future repair costs for vehicle owners too.

READ: 12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

“Leaving vehicles unchecked also puts motorists at risk of prosecution for driving an unsafe vehicle when it has been exempted from MOT testing. For example, 580,000 vehicles will have illegal tyres today, which will rise by another 290,000 by the end of the MOT extension. These drivers face a fine of up to £2,500 for each tyre and three penalty points. This is a simple defect which could have been easily rectified if an inspection was carried out, but could now cost the driver dearly and put themselves and others at risk.

“Stopping the MOT extension without delay will ensure that many more cars are roadworthy, and another major step will be taken in helping the UK economy recover” James concluded. 

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GS YUASA ESTABLISH NORDIC NEWCO

GS Yuasa has established a new company based in Sweden. The firm, known as GS Yuasa Battery Nordic began trading from a new distribution centre in Jönköping, Sweden. 

The company said that the aim of the newco is to increase market share in the Nordic and Baltic regions.

The move means that customers in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will be better served by the business. Benefits will include shorter lead times, local support and reduced order quantities meaning customers can order more regularly.

James Hylton, Managing Director of GS Yuasa Battery Nordic and GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd, said: We’re delighted to be establishing a hub for GS Yuasa in the Nordic-Baltic region with the opening of GS Yuasa Battery Nordic.

We’ve seen sustained growth in the region over the past few years – our Jönköping base will allow us to better serve the territory with our industry-leading battery technology by increasing availability and reducing lead times.

“We’ve appointed a highly-skilled team who have already begun to build on our reputation for quality, reliability and performance.”

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