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MARATHON TO DISTRIBUTE WAI COMPONENTS

MARATHON TO DISTRIBUTE WAI COMPONENTS

Independent distributor Marathon Warehouse Distribution has signed a deal with component manufacturer WAI Global to stock and deliver its range which includes starters, alternators and window regulators among other items.  

Marathon offers a  same-day service, which can reach around 85 percent of the UK’s population.

WAI customer stock orders will continue to be supplied through the company’s Bognor Regis warehouse on a next day delivery service, but with the implementation of the same day service, the plan is to bring WAI closer to the motor factor and ensure immediate access to ‘grey tail’ products.

Colin Fisher and Richard Welland

Richard Welland, WAI Global UK Managing Director, said: “There’s no denying the UK automotive aftermarket is changing at an alarming rate. In the past few years, we have worked to bring the WAI brand closer to motor factors and garages, meeting their demand for an almost instant parts supply.

Colin Fisher, Marathon Warehouse Distribution Sales and Marketing Director, said: “The ambition of WAI matches our own and we’re delighted to be stocking the widest range of WAI products and supplying the brand to motor factors on a frequent same day basis. We’re an independent national warehouse distributor and our logistics platform has to be able to offer motor factor customers a full range of high quality products both quickly and efficiently.”

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PEOPLE NEWS: SUKHBIR KAPOOR APPOINTED CEO OF DIGRAPH

PEOPLE NEWS: SUKHBIR KAPOOR APPOINTED CEO OF DIGRAPH

CV factor Digraph, has announced the appointment of Sukhbir Kapoor as Chief Executive Officer.

Kapoor brings with him a wealth of industry experience. He helped expand the Euro Car Parts network to over 300 branches, having held several senior management positions within product and marketing, logistics, supply chain and branch operations.  Prior to moving to the UK, Sukhbir’s career started at Gabriel, ArvinMeritor and latterly Federal Mogul Corporation based in India, Singapore and the USA.

Chairman of Digraph, Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, said: “Sukhbir is a key appointment in the future growth of Digraph. As a business, Digraph is renowned for its outstanding customer service and willingness to go the extra mile for customers. We are working hard to maintain this ethos while growing the business through existing industry connections and resource.

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NGK BECOMES SHAREHOLDER OF TECALLIANCE

NGK BECOMES SHAREHOLDER OF TECALLIANCE

Ignition giant NGK Spark Plug has become a shareholder of aftermarket data firm TecAlliance.

TecAlliance’s portfolio includes international vehicle and product data, repair and maintenance information, the TecDoc catalogue, data management and analytics as well as consultancy services n.

Damien Germès, Senior Vice President EMEA at NGK Spark Plug in Europe confirmed: “To become a shareholder of TecAlliance is a strategic decision and investment. We fully understand how essential it is for aftermarket distributors and workshops to have high-quality, instant data in a fast-changing market where digital solutions are becoming of vital importance. This investment is another demonstration of our commitment to continuously serving and supporting the independent aftermarket”.

“We are pleased to welcome as a new shareholder such an important player from the field of vehicle electronics”, emphasised Jürgen Buchert, Managing Director of TecAlliance. “This is another step towards our continuous goal to optimise and deepen the quality of our data and tailor-made solutions for a digital automotive aftermarket.”

 

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CONTINENTAL TO ENTER FILTRATION MARKET

CONTINENTAL TO ENTER FILTRATION MARKET

Parts and technology group Continental have struck a deal with a filtration manufacturer to sell own brand filters across Europe.

The deal has been signed with Italy-based manufacturer UFI Filters and will officially launch at Automechanika Frankfurt in September of this year. Product will start shipping in January 2019.

Details of the product range have not yet been announced, but will  cover UFI’s all-makes programme of light vehicle fuel, oil, cabin and air filters. There is no word as yet on which, if any of the factor chains or buying groups will be stocking the product in the UK, and UFI has said that while the product ‘knows no borders’  a particular focus for Continental will be on the Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and Scandinavia markets.

“Our stated aim is to continue to expand our product portfolio for the automotive aftermarket under the renowned brand name Continental. To do this, we market only premium products that match our brand and that make sense for our customers,” said Peter Wagner, VP Aftermarket at Continental.

Giorgio Girondi, Chairman of UFI filters said:  “This agreement between two leading companies in the automotive aftermarket is a very important milestone in the history of UFI Filters. This strategic step by two premium brands shows that cooperation knows no geographical boundaries. That is crucial. We are really proud to see the UFI products in the renowned Continental branded box”.

UPDATE: UFI has confirmed that the agreement will cover markets across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and Scandinavia only.

Georgio Girondi and Peter Wagner shake on UFI-Continental deal.

 

 

 

 

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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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ZAFIRA FIRES: VAUXHALL FACE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

ZAFIRA FIRES: VAUXHALL FACE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

A criminal investigation into the Vauxhall Zafira fire scandal has been launched by DVSA.

The government agency is working with officers from Luton Trading Standards to investigate Vauxhall.

In a written statement, Andy Rice, DVSA head of counter-fraud & investigations, said:: “DVSAs priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles”.

“We have made it clear to manufacturers that to protect consumers, they should swiftly rectify problems and meet their obligations under the code of practice”.

“DVSA will take the necessary action against any manufacturers who fail to comply with their obligations.”

The long-running saga of the people carriers catching fire dates back to 2009, when the then GM-owned carmaker first had reports of blazes.

Six years later, and following reports of over a hundred more fires, the VM attempted to point the finger at the aftermarket, blaming ‘unauthorised repairs’ to the thermal resistor cut-off on the heater blower, a recall was offered. The repair was unsuccessful in fixing the problem and another recall with a more extensive repair was made.

Following this, Vauxhall bosses were called into a Select Committee hearing and faced questions from MPs.

Although a majority of the 160 recorded fires have resulted in the total destruction of the vehicle, to date there have been no reports of serious injuries.

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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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MOVERS & SHAKERS EXTRA: BILL STIMSON LEAVES ECP, TERRY KNOX IS IAAF VP,

MOVERS & SHAKERS EXTRA

Knox appointed as IAAF VP

The IAAF has appointed Terry Knox as its new Vice President, further adding to its wealth of industry expertise.Knox has been a Member of the IAAF Council since 2016, and is Managing Director of CD Group, a third-generation family business established in 1963, with Knox joining in 1999 to help establish the company’s operations in Republic of Ireland. CD Group’s largest trading name, Component Distributors, is a warehouse distributor, supplying Motor Factors throughout Ireland.  Headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the company employs close to 200 people.

 

MacAulay becomes Group Autoparts Director

Stewart MacAulay, Arnold Clark director, has become Group Autoparts Director, based at its head office in Glasgow. MacAulay has worked at Arnold Clark for more than 30 years, rising to the role of Group Aftersales Director and brings to the independent aftermarket a wealth of experience. He will be responsible for overseeing the successful running of all factor businesses within the group and ensuring their continued success and development. MacAulay said: “I am looking forward to playing a more specific role within the factor businesses – Autoparts UK and Midwest Motor Factors – and working to ensure we take advantage of any opportunities to develop our proposition further.”

Stimson leaves ECP

Euro Car Parts’ CEO has confirmed that Marketing Director Bill Stimson has left ECP. “We can confirm that Bill Stimson has decided to leave ECP – he feels it is the right time and wants to take advantage of a variety of opportunities he has” said Gray in a written statement. “I would love to take the opportunity to wish him the very best for the future and to thank him for his incredible contribution and leadership.   I sincerely mean that.  Bill is like family and he remains best of friends with all of us!  Bill will always be in close contact for advice, friendship, support and will be very much part of our lives”.

 

 

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EPIC ACCESSORIES GETS TRICO VAN

EPIC ACCESSORIES GETS TRICO VAN

New sporty van for Epic Accessories

Wiper blade brand Trico has presented Epic Accessories with a Trico liveried Ford Fiesta van, after the latter achieved its target during the former’s three-month promotion last year.

The vehicle was handed over to Epic Accessories owner Samantha Gutteridge at the A1 buying group’s spring trade show, which took place at the Whittlebury Hall in Towcester last month.

Speaking of her firm’s new addition, Gutteridge said: “The new vehicle will help us on both a promotional and practical level in getting the message out to potential customers that we fit wiper blades in our designated fitting bay at the rear of our store, so a huge thanks to Trico.”

Sam Robinson, Product Manager at Trico, added: “The show was a great success for us, in particular our promotional offer on Neoform retro-fit beam blades, which was well received with a number of members who placed orders for a merchandise box on the day. We also agreed plans with various members to help boost their sales, including supply of in-store signage, as well as training days to educate and support their staff on selling and fitting Trico blades.”

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SUPPLIERS FINED IN RECENT CARTELS

SUPPLIERS FINED IN RECENT CARTELS

Another cartel has been exposed

The European Commission has fined OE suppliers Bosch, Continental and NGK a total of €151M, after participating in one or more of five historic cartels concerning the supplies of spark plugs, hydraulic and electronic brake system components to VMs in Europe.

The first cartel lasted from 2000 until 2011 and aimed at avoiding competition by respecting each other’s traditional customers and maintaining the existing status quo in the spark plugs industry in the European Economic Area.

The second and third related to the supply of various braking components including electronic parking brake systems between 2007 and 2011.

All suppliers acknowledged their participation in these cartels and agreed to settle the
case. Denso was also involved in the first cartel, but was not fined after revealing the existence of its cartel to the Commission. TRW also escaped fines altogether for disclosing the second and third cartels, while Continental avoided charges for one of the two cartels it participated in on the same grounds.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy said: “These cases are about collusion at the expense of car makers. But in the end, any extra costs these carmakers may have incurred could potentially be passed on to final consumers when they buy a car. So our work will help to make sure that those markets work fairly for consumers.” She concluded added: “Today’s decisions are unrelated to our investigation that several German carmakers might have broken EU competition rules. That is still ongoing”.

“We will be active in this area as long as we keep finding companies that hope to
make higher profits by colluding instead of competing.”

Previously, bearing suppliers and air conditioning component makers have been fined under the same anti-trust rules for colluding against vehicle manufacturers.

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