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TOYOTA GB ADAPTS PARTS SUPPLY DURING PANDEMIC

TOYOTA GB ADAPTS PARTS SUPPLY DURING PANDEMIC

Toyota GB has introduced a new parts-sourcing contact address to support critical workers, following a temporary downsizing of its aftersales workforce.

See press release below for details:

“Currently, the majority of the Toyota and Lexus Centres are able to support critical workers across the UK, however they will be operating with reduced staffing during this period.

As a result, TGB are introducing an additional centralised parts supply contact for all UK Mechanical Repair Operations and Body Repair Operations.

Should you require assistance identifying an operational localised Genuine Toyota and Lexus parts supplier, please contact PARTS-TOYOTA-LEXUS@MSXI.COM with details of your needs and location and we will swiftly provide you with a number of parts sourcing options to support.

As we outlined, Toyota GB (PLC) is operating an emergency, including NHS, and critical workers policy on all parts orders, so would respectfully ask you to ensure that your customer meets this criteria

 In addition, TGB will require you supply the following details

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is supplied
  • Vehicle Off Road (VOR) status
  • Parts List (Parts Quantity cannot exceed repair quantity per vehicle)
  • Reason/evidence supplied to establish emergency, including NHS, and critical workers i.e. ID Card, mail from work address etc”

ENDS

 

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CORONAVIRUS: BOSCH DEVELOPS RAPID TEST MACHINE FOR COVID-19

CORONAVIRUS: BOSCH DEVELOPS RAPID TEST MACHINE FOR COVID-19

The healthcare division of Bosch in Germany has developed a rapid test for Covid-19.

The rapid molecular diagnostic test runs on the Vivalytic analysis device from Bosch Healthcare Solutions. The test just needs a swab taken from  each patient and has an accuracy level over 95 percent. Results take just two hours, rather than the two day wait of traditional testing methods.  “We want the Bosch rapid COVID-19 test to play a part in containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible. It will speed up the identification and isolation of infected patients,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

“Bosch’s rapid COVID-19 test will help contain the spread of the pandemic and break the chain of transmission more quickly“

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PARTS ALLIANCE UPDATES ON BUSINESS OPERATIONS

PARTS ALLIANCE UPDATES ON BUSINESS OPERATIONS

The following statement on continued trading has been issued by the Parts Alliance:

 

The coronavirus situation presents people and businesses across the world with unprecedented challenges every day and a need to make decisions in both personal and professional lives that would have seemed unfathomable just a matter of weeks ago.

The Parts Alliance’s priority is delivering both on their social responsibilities of helping to prevent the spread of this virus and in performing their role as a vital service keeping the vehicles moving that in turn provide essential workers, emergency services and critical supply chains with the transport they need.

The fast-moving developments of recent days saw the Government confirm that garages can remain open1. The group’s branch network therefore will continue to offer trade deliveries.

DVSA has provided clarification that MOT testing can be completed ‘behind closed doors’ and without issuing paper documents1 to customers where an MOT is due before 30th March before yesterday (25th March) confirming that MOTs due after 30th March would be automatically extended by six months2 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Motorists still have a responsibility to ‘keep their vehicle in a roadworthy condition’ and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has recognised garages provide ‘vital services’, adding they can ‘remain open for essential repair work’.

“We feel it’s our social responsibility to continue supporting garages across the UK at this crucial time, operating in a way that keeps our people and our customers as safe as possible,” said Neil Croxson, Chief Executive Officer of The Parts Alliance. “Our motor factor branches provide the vital link between suppliers and garages that need quality products to keep cars moving safely.

“The decision on whether garages remain open will be taken by them individually with mind to the risks involved and the needs of their communities, but the fact is many people are reliant on cars, either as key workers travelling to jobs, or to buy food and medicines.”

The Parts Alliance also supplies national accounts operating breakdown recovery, emergency service and transport delivery vehicles.

Garages are advised that service levels may be reduced to improve the safety of staff and the group has implemented a wide range of safety measures, including increased cleaning of vehicles and premises with latex gloves used on delivery routes.

Online orders can still be delivered to home addresses. The popular ‘Click and Collect’ service has been suspended to reduce branch contact, but will be reinstated shortly for essential trade and key workers only.

“There’s clearly a difficult balance to strike,” said Neil Croxson. “Safety of staff and compliance with government guidance are our top priorities, but we will maintain parts supply where possible.”

The Parts Alliance emphasises that despite speculation, there are no significant shortages of products emerging within the supply chain currently.

The Parts Alliance has further information available at www.thepartsalliance.com/covid-19 and this page will be reviewed and updated as required.

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BREAKING: LIGHT VEHICLE MOT EXTENDED BY SIX MONTHS

BREAKING: LIGHT VEHICLE MOT EXTENDED BY SIX MONTHS

Car van and motorcycle MOTs are to be extended by six months from March 30th.

According to DVSA, vehicle owners will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.

All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

READ: CORONAVIRUS: FACTORS TO REMAIN OPEN

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID19 are able to do so.

“Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people get essential food and medicine.

“Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work.”

Legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into place, if they need to use it.

If you can’t get an MoT that’s due because you’re in self-isolation, the Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to ensure people aren’t unfairly penalised for things out of their control.

Practical driving tests and annual testing for lorries, buses and coaches have been suspended for up to three months.

 

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CORONAVIRUS AND THE AFTERMARKET

CORONAVIRUS AND THE AFTERMARKET

Note: This article was written in mid February 2020, when the world was a very different place… – Editor

 

You will have heard all about it: the virus that migrated from species to species in China before spreading around the world. Thousands of column inches have been written, mostly about the human cost and how it has affected the way that people meet and travel, but how will it affect the parts supply chain, and more specifically the aftermarket?

Here’s what we know for sure: factories in China closed as usual for the Chinese New Year celebrations, but didn’t reopen for weeks afterwards. When they eventually did start up again, there were reports of many of them having a fraction of the usual number of staff, due in no small part to many being in isolation, be it voluntarily or at the behest of the state.

Then of course the virus spread, with huge tracts of Asia, including South Korea and Japan, implementing an array of preventative measures to control the outbreak. Closer to home, Italy was accused of under-reporting known cases and parts-producing towns in the country’s ‘motor valley’ have been belatedly shut down.

READ: BREMBO SHUTS ITALIAN SITES AMID CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

SHY RESPONSE

Yet when we asked companies who must surely be exposed to supplier shortages, the answers we got were surprisingly coy. Halfords, for example, wouldn’t answer our list of questions, but did respond with the statement: “We are monitoring the Coronavirus situation carefully. To date, the virus has not had a material impact on stock availability but we are continuing to work closely with our partners across the Far East.”

Similarly, Euro Car Parts answered our request with the simple sentence: “To date, we’ve not experienced any issues with stock availability because of the Coronavirus outbreak. We’re aware of the risk of disruption it still poses, and our supply chain team is working on contingency plans and is in regular dialogue with our suppliers to ensure we’re prepared to mitigate against any potential impact.”

Some other companies simply declined to discuss the issue at all. However, the fact that parts and accessory supply chains have, at the very least, been interrupted is not in dispute.

READ: IAAF BOSS: GOVT. MUST HELP THE AFTERMARKET

TYRE SHORTAGE

Tyres are known to be in short supply at the moment, especially budget products which are typically produced in China or Malaysia. The problem has become such a concern that TyreSafe, a body set up by wholesale distributors and tyre dealers, has issued a release advising motorists to fork out a bit of extra cash for mid-range or premium tyres, and not to buy part-worns, of which the organisation has a low opinion, as it has repeatedly voiced.

Stuart Jackson, Chair of TyreSafe, said: “The vast majority of [budget tyres] are imported into the country from China and across South East Asia where the outbreak of Coronavirus has led to governments closing facilities such as schools and factories to limit the spread. As a consequence, the level of supply the UK has become accustomed to for many products has been reduced.

PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media

“Our advice is to seek a good deal on a mid-priced tyre and carry out regular checks to get the best out of that tyre over its full potential lifespan.”

National Tyre Dealer Association Chair Stefan Hay said that most members had a good stock of mid-range tyres, but added: “There can be no doubt that we could see a potential shortage of budget tyres if quarantine and export restrictions are maintained.

“This will affect all manufacturers with an interest in China and other South East Asian countries. For example, I’m aware that production at two of Pirelli’s three factories in China remains suspended in response to the spread of coronavirus. Pirelli has also reported that its entire expat workforce has left the country along with their families. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. ‘temporarily’ closed its headquarters and factory in China and the beginning of February and it is uncertain as to how temporary that is.”

Hay added that restrictions in supply can soon bounce back, citing a shortage of tyres a few years ago due to a trade dispute between the EU and China, which was swiftly resolved.

SHUTDOWN

It isn’t just tyres that are affected. The widest range of factory closures is in southern China, which is the heartland for manufacturing electronics, as well as the site of numerous foundries for making hard parts. Murray Silverman, Director of Streetwize Accessories in Manchester, is candid about the impact that factory shutdowns will have on UK business. “ALL businesses will be affected,” he emphasised. “Some might not realise it yet.”

“All suppliers that we have spoken to have advised at least a three week delay as it stands today,” Silverman told us when we spoke in mid February, adding that the date was ‘moveable daily’ and that at the time of speaking, his company could not even contact many of the factories that had not yet returned to work.

A big question mark hanging over the whole situation concerned just how long these delays might become. “Nobody knows how long these delays could go on for,” said Silverman. “We contacted all our customers to advise them that there will be shortages that will escalate during the summer months or earlier and advise them to order whilst we have stocks available. Some customers have reacted but unfortunately there will be those who will realise too late despite warnings.”

One company reacting to the situation is battery charger manufacturer Ctek. “Our suppliers have restarted their production and supply following Chinese New Year,” company spokesperson Stig Mathisen told us. “We are mindful however, that there is a risk that the outbreak could worsen and will continue to monitor the situation closely, introducing contingency plans if there is a requirement to do so.”

Sourcing products from elsewhere is not an option for many, particularly given that northern Italy, a major European production centre of parts, is arguably in a worse state than China at the time of writing. In any case, for the majority of companies it isn’t simply a case of switching production – new suppliers need to be tested, pricing and quantities have to be agreed and then go through any relevant type approval. “Sourcing product elsewhere is not an option, even if we could find the resource and the pricing was acceptable, it takes time to go through our QC and graphics teams,” explained Murray Silverman, adding that in any case a lot of UK and European-made products would also be in short supply, due to the amount of raw material and components that come from the Far East.

A situation that no-one two months ago could have foreseen is the possibility that UK companies might have to let employees work from home if the number of infections in the UK continues to rise. Quite how this could work for a parts distributor or a service and repair garage is anyone’s guess, but if the outbreak spreads further and there are more fatalities, who knows what might happen in the future?

Inevitably, the world will return to normal, and when this happens a new set of challenges may arise. “Even when factories do return, there are likely to be transport issues from the factory to the port and a lack of vessels to cope,” commented Silverman, adding that: “Another eventuality that may occur is that shipping companies and freight forwarders raise their rates to try to pull back the enormous amount of business they have lost.

“There will be further impact in the future,” he concluded.

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IAAF BOSS: GOVT. MUST HELP THE AFTERMARKET

IAAF BOSS: GOVT. MUST HELP THE AFTERMARKET

The IAAF has called on Government to implement a number of measures that support both individuals and businesses of ‘all sizes’ in the aftermarket.

After the recent announcement that positive measures will be put in place to support independent SMEs, IAAF has issued letters to a number of government departments, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, urging for more help for the entire automotive aftermarket supply chain.

The federation has also urged that the thousands of delivery drivers, who are vital during this difficult time, should be categorised as ‘key workers’ to enable their children to have access to day care, where available.

Chief Exec Wendy Williamson outlined the scale and size of the automotive aftermarket and how the crisis affected all within the supply chain including parts suppliers, distributors, garages, service centres and workshops.

As a sector the independent automotive aftermarket is worth £21.6 billion, supporting nearly 350.000 jobs representing 42,000 outlets across the UK.

Wendy Williamson has written to the Chancellor

Concerned about how the issues will affect the automotive aftermarket, Williamson,  said in the letter: “I want to stress that we have many companies and individuals who are facing significant challenges and there is more need than ever to keep drivers on the road so that infrastructure can remain as stable as possible.”

IAAF has urged the government to introduce a range of measures for both individuals and businesses including support for those working reduced hours; temporarily not working due to falling demand; support for temporary lay-offs; statutory sick pay relief; extending business rate relief to all businesses; extending the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to any business, irrespective of size; and offer scope to include delaying payment for VAT, National Insurance Contributions and PAYE.

Williamson continued: “Whilst the health and welfare of our members and their employees is always of paramount importance, we need to work together to protect the industry. The time to act is now, as we need to have the procedures in place to ensure the industry can continue to survive during the current crisis.”

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BREAKING: SPARTAN ACQUIRED BY MOTORMANIA PARENT

BREAKING: SPARTAN ACQUIRED BY MOTORMANIA PARENT

BREAKING: News has been confirmed that Spartan Motor Factors has been sold by the administrators at Deloitte to MWR Sales Limited. The following statement has just been released by Deloitte:

Richard Hawes and Matt Cowlishaw were appointed as joint administrators to Spartan Motor Factors Limited (“the Company”) on 13 March 2020. Following the appointment, the business was successfully sold to MWR Sales Limited on 18 March 2020.

READ: MotorMania chain bought by Tetrosyl

The Company is a motor parts business operating a central hub in Newport and ten other branches across South Wales and the South West serving over 1,400 customers. The Company employs 135 across its network.

READ: SPARTAN LEAVES PARTS DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIP FOR IFA

MWR Sales Limited operates the motor factors and retail businesses of Motor World, Motormania and Sparesworld. The Company’s employees will transfer to the new owner.

Richard Hawes, joint administrator, said: “We’re extremely pleased we managed to find a new owner for the business through these particularly challenging times. We’d like to thank the employees for their support and wish the new owners every success in the future.”

 

We’ll bring you more information on this breaking story as we get it.

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BREAKING: CV SHOW CANCELLED

BREAKING: CV SHOW CANCELLED

The following statement has been released by the organisers of the CV Show:

It is with great regret that we announce that the Commercial Vehicle Show 2020 has been cancelled.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic together with guidance issued by the government on Monday evening (16 March) that all mass gatherings are to be avoided, it is clear that the only realistic options for this year’s Show were cancellation or postponing to a later date.

The option of postponing was given careful consideration given the importance of the Show to the road transport sector; however, it was felt there were too many unknown variables to make this option possible. As ever, our priority is to ensure the health and safety of all those involved with the Show.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our exhibitors, registered visitors, Show team and other stakeholders for their continued support during this most challenging and unprecedented of times.

The CV Show had been due to take place during the second week in April.

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HALFORDS INTRODUCE ‘ZERO CONTACT’ MOBILE SERVICE

HALFORDS INTRODUCE ‘ZERO CONTACT’ MOBILE SERVICE

Halfords is now offering a contactless garage service for any motorists that are self-isolating and staying indoors. Technicians from Halfords’ Mobile Vans fleet, which includes its Mobile Expert and Tyres On The Drive services, are offering customers the option of having car repairs and fittings done outside their homes or on their drives without coming into contact with anyone.

The motoring services retailer has today set up an option to support customers if they are self-isolating or don’t want to come into contact with anyone.

Halfords’ mobile service van

It means that Tyres on The Drive customers can have their tyres changed and repaired, while Mobile Expert customers can have their car battery replaced, oil changed and windscreen chips repaired amongst other services. In total there are 73 Tyres On The Drive vans and eight Halfords Mobile Expert vans.

After booking online or through a phone call customers will need to ensure their vehicle is parked in a suitable location and pre-agree a safe drop stop for their keys and locking wheel nut. The mobile van technician will then call to confirm the pre-agreed location and then carry out the job. After the service or fitting is complete the customer will receive communication on their phone and can inspect the work, while the technician remains at a safe distance in the van. All technicians wear a new pair of disposable gloves for each individual job.

Karl Baker from Halfords who is responsible for the service says: “By introducing a contact-free fittings and repairs service, we believe we will give customers who are staying indoors or self-isolating the option of still being able to drive when they really need to, while also protecting our technicians.”

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SHUTTERS DOWN ON MORE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES

SHUTTERS DOWN ON MORE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES

More Andrew Page branches have closed for business since our last report. 

Branches affected include Norwich, Nottingham, Coventry and Oldbury. The Nottingham and Coventry branches started trading in 2009 and were among the last to open when the firm was still an independent company. 

READ: SHUTTERS DOWN ON THREE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES

CAT understands that the accounts and many of the staff have been transferred to nearby branches of Euro Car Parts. 

Euro Car Parts have been contacted for comment.

Andrew Page Nottingham seen in 2010

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