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SEARCH ENGINES REFUSE TO REMOVE FAKE AIRBAGS: REPORT

SEARCH ENGINES REFUSE TO REMOVE FAKE AIRBAGS: REPORT

Search engines are putting drivers at risk by refusing to remove links to websites selling fake airbags in their search results according to a new report.

The white paper, by brand protection provider Incopro lays the blame squarely at the search engine giants, including Google, that apparently refuse to delist websites selling counterfeit goods.

Photo: Jani Pewter

The report found that the spurious products would often feature in the top three results, depending on search term used.

In an example, a website found to be selling counterfeit air bags on the first results page for the term “airbag sale” on Russian search engine Yandex generated 61.24% of its traffic from organic search – demonstrating how necessary search traffic is to counterfeiters.

READ: Incopro ‘Fakes’ white paper findings infographic

Simon Baggs, CEO  of Incopro, commented: “In the automotive industry, it is rights holders and their agents who are best placed to verify the authenticity of their branded car parts. However, there are currently no actions available to rights holders to notify search engines and have infringing URLs removed from search”.

READ: MAN ARRESTED IN FAKE SPARK PLUGS RAID

“In many cases, a mechanic will also be asked to source the air bag for the customer, and in the ever-competitive motor trade, it is conceivable that auto-repair garages will source cheap parts from various suppliers online.

“Whilst it is likely that the mechanic sourcing the air bag will have a greater degree of skill and knowledge than the average user, there is still a risk of buying sub-standard or counterfeit parts. If these are bought in larger quantities, as might be the case with an auto-repair business, this has widespread and dangerous implications for drivers.”

 

 

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PSA BOSS: ‘STILL WORK TO BE DONE’ WITH EUROREPAR UK

PSA BOSS: ‘STILL WORK TO BE DONE’ WITH EUROREPAR UK

Delphine Lafon Degrange

Vehicle Manufacturer PSA held a press conference at Equip Auto to explain its plans for expansion in the independent aftermarket, but has been candid about the performance of its garage network in the UK so far. 

When asked by CAT if she was satisfied with the results from Eurorepar in the UK to date, Delphine Lafon Degrange, VP of the IAM Business Unit said: “Can I be honest? No! …We have started the brand from scratch, but there is still work to be done”.  

Lafon Degrange explained that a number of issues had hampered the chain in the two years since its founding, including logistical issues that caused problems with supply and availability as well as the challenge of launching an operation of its type in a market that doesn’t have the same tradition of franchise-based independent workshops as the continent. 

However, Lafon Degrange remained optimistic about the future of the network in the UK. Announcing that ‘Distrigo’, PSAs new multi-brand range, will also cover Vauxhall and Opel parts, she also announced that the firm will launch a new range of used body panels through Distrigo under the Renew brand. UK distribution is to be confirmed, but the offensive will be serviced from 130 hubs across Europe, plus eight in Turkey. 

Plans to develop what Eurorepar can offer includes a glazing service, a new customer-facing booking and quote website and a special ‘B2B label for professional customers’.  

Lafon Degrange also announced the deployment of an online catalogue called ‘Service Box Multi-Brand’ and explains plans to develop consumer parts website Mister Auto in the UK, while acknowledging that the site had ‘strong competition online’ in the UK.

 

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NTDA BOSS: ‘TOTAL BAN ONLY WAY’ FOR PART WORN TYRES

NTDA BOSS: ‘TOTAL BAN ONLY WAY’ FOR PART WORN TYRES

Stefan Hay, the Chief Executive of the National Tyre Distributors Assoc. has opened the annual conference by calling for a total ban on all part worn tyres, following a failure to enforce standards.

Stephan Hay calls for total ban on part-worn tyres

“Over the last two years I have been criticised on two counts” he said. “Firstly, by online trolls who call me some outrageous things. These trolls are actually fans of part worn tyres. Secondly, I’ve been criticised by scrap merchants who make a profit out of selling part-worn tyres”.

READ: FEDERATION CALLS FOR BAN ON USED TYRE SALES

“These people have said that I’m only calling for a ban because I want to sell more tyres. Well, to the critics I say ‘you’re damn right’. Our members don’t sell part worn tyres, so of course we want to sell safe, legal tyres and I don’t make any apology for that. Our members have been campaigning for greater tyre safety since 1930, so why would I change position now?”

Hay continued: “In the past I have been criticised by non-NTDA members for  calling for a ban on illegal or non-compliant tyres, but not all part-worn tyres… Well, that’s a bit of a play on words. Of course our members want a ban on all part worn tyres, because at the moment lack of enforcement, and therefore compliance, meant that a shocking 99 percent of retailers inspected during Tyre Safety Month were not compliant with the regulations, and 75 percent of tyres inspected were dangerous. So, if we weren’t to ban all part worn tyres, what exactly would be left?”

The conference also included speakers from roadside recovery and vehicle lighting, and topics included safety, fraud and counterfeit protection as well as tax liability.

 

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DVSA ‘CONNECTED MOT’ RULES GO LIVE

DVSA ‘CONNECTED MOT’ RULES GO LIVE

As of 1 October, anyone buying a roller brake tester will need to make sure it’s a model that can connect to the MOT testing service. This includes buying replacement equipment, and as part of the process of getting authorisation to carry out MOTs at a test station.

Equipment must connect to centre

DVSA has worked with the Garage Equipment Association and with roller brake tester manufacturers to develop software that will allow their products to connect to the MOT testing service. The idea is that connected equipment will save time, reduce the risk of error in entering MOT results and help to reduce the risk of fraud.

READ: DVSA BOSS: WHAT WE LEARNT FROM MOT CHANGES

Chris Price, DVSA Head of MOT Policy said: “We’ve brought connected equipment in to modernise testing in MOT garages and reduce the potential for mistakes. It will make testing quicker, more accurate and give motorists greater confidence in the quality of testing. Garages already using this equipment have seen benefits to their business.”

READ: GEA AGREES TO APPROVE ONLY CONNECTED MOT EQUIPMENT

The Authority is also working with manufacturers to develop diesel smoke meters, exhaust gas analysers and decelerometers that connect to the MOT testing service. There are plans to make connectable models of these kinds of equipment mandatory for replacement equipment and new garages too.

 

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SNAP-ON HALVES FRANCHISE JOINING FEE

SNAP-ON HALVES FRANCHISE JOINING FEE

Toolmaker Snap-on has halved the start-up fee for people wishing to join its mobile sales franchise for a limited time.

Alex McNellan took advantage of the cut-price offer

The package is available across the UK, and the only condition applied to the new offering is that new recruits must be able to train and be out on the road by 30th March 2020. The same offer had been trialled in across a limited area in 2018.

“I’d been a Snap-on customer for years and had always been interested in the starting up with my own van, but it was the promotional price that encouraged me to finally decide to just go for it,” says Alex McNellan, who launched his business during the 2018 promotion. “I think it’s an incredible opportunity for people like me, who might be on the fence about investing in their own business”.  

 

 

 

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JAMES BRIGGS LTD ACQUIRED BY TETROSYL

JAMES BRIGGS LTD ACQUIRED BY TETROSYL

James Briggs Ltd, manufacturer of the Hycote paint brand has been acquired from a private equity firm by Rochdale-based Tetrosyl. Details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

James Briggs was acquired by private equity firm Endless in 2013,  During P.E ownership the firm signed a distribution deal with Tetrosyl. The firm, which can trace its roots over two centuries, employs around 300 people over two sites in Oldham.

Peter Schofield, Tetrosyl Group Chairman, said: “We are delighted to welcome the James Briggs business and the James Briggs team to the Tetrosyl family and are sure the combined business will have great success in the future”.

 

 

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VM TRADE BODIES ISSUE ‘CATASTROPHIC’ NO-DEAL WARNING

Europe’s leading automotive representatives have joined forces to warn of the ‘catastrophic consequences’ of a no-deal Brexit, as the  October 31 departure date looms. 

Tony Walker delivered speech about the need for ‘concrete progress’ on Brexit at a previous SMMT event

 

In a rare joint statement, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association and European Association of Automotive Suppliers, supported by the SMMT and 20 of its mainland equivalents, stress that barrier-free trade is vital to the ongoing maintenance of Europe’s automotive output. 

 

“European Automotive is deeply integrated and the benefits of free and frictionless trade have helped our sector become one of Europe’s most valuable assets, delivering billions to economies and supporting millions of livelihoods across the EU,” said SMMT boss Mike Hawes. “A ‘no deal’ Brexit would have an immediate and devastating impact on the industry, undermining competitiveness and causing irreversible and severe damage,” he added.

 

The statement emphasises the importance of the single market and customs union, and predicts that Britain leaving without a deal would trigger a ‘seismic shift’ in trading conditions. OEMs and the aftermarket alike could be liable to pay billions of euros in tariffs, with increased checks at the border decimating the ‘just-in-time’ production model and adding delays at a cost of roughly £50,000 per minute. 

 

Currently, European Automotive produces 19.1 million vehicles annually and employs 1/16 of the entire EU workforce. Committee of French Automobile Manufacturers chairman Christian Peugeot said: “It’s not just a British problem, we are all concerned in the European automotive industry, and even further.

 

“Be it as exporters to the UK market or producers locally, which we are both, we will inevitably be negatively affected.”

 

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ALLIANCE ACQUIRES ANOTHER BRACE OF FACTORS

ALLIANCE ACQUIRES ANOTHER BRACE OF FACTORS

Business group Alliance Automotive UK has continued its buying spree with the acquisition of South Wales-based FMP and Glaze Autoparts of Wolverhampton. 

READ: ALLIANCE AUTOMOTIVE UK ACQUIRES ASMF

Both companies were existing members of Alliance Automotive’s GroupAuto buying group. Glaze Autoparts was incorporated in 2000 by Mark Leason and Roy Blundell was MD at the time of acquisition. 

READ: RAPID GROUP FOUNDER SOLD TO GROUPAUTO PARENT

FMP (originally Foreign Motor Parts) was originally founded in 1996, although the company in its current form dates to 2004. Founded by Neil Melmoth, the business had several branches covering an area between Swansea and Port Talbot with around 40 staff and 16 vans.  

Glaze Autoparts now wholly owned by AAG

These latest deals brings the number of UK motor factor businesses acquired by the group in 2019 to 14 and around 30 locations.

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FORD-BACKED QUICK LANE OPENS THIRD BRANCH

FORD-BACKED QUICK LANE OPENS THIRD BRANCH

A third branch of Quick Lane has opened in Bracknell. The opening follows on from branches in Prestwich and Reading which opened earlier in 2019.

The autocentre is owned by Ford and has around 1,000 branches around the world and the UK model is based on a hard franchise

READ: RUNNING A FRANCHISED WORKSHOP: THE PERILS AND THE POSSIBILITIES

The 7,527 sq ft. site was previously a branch of trade counter Yesss Electical. Now retooled as an autocentre, it is operated by the same franchisee as the Reading branch.

John Dines, UK Operations Director for Quick Lane, said: “Quick Lane Bracknell is ideally situated to deliver convenient automotive servicing and maintenance that fits around the busy lives of local people, giving them back the one thing they value most – time.”

Quick Lane continues to invest heavily in its franchise network across Europe. Its Reading location recently invested £40k into new MOT equipment and the business has plans to further expand its network in the UK and Germany in the coming months.

Quick Lane Bracknell

 

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SHUTTERS DOWN ON THREE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES

SHUTTERS DOWN ON THREE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES

 Three branches of Andrew Page have closed, with the accounts and most of the staff being merged into nearby Euro Car Parts locations.

Oldham, Reading and Southampton branches are affected. Of these, Southampton is the newest having been opened to ‘fill the void’ left in the wake of rival Unipart Automotive’s collapse in 2014.

READ: ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

A statement from Euro Car Parts read: “As part of our ongoing commitment to help make to our offering even better, we’ve identified some opportunities to merge a number of neighbouring Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts branches. These integrated branches will cover the same areas with more vans, sales advisors and warehouse teams, providing our customers with consistent delivery times, better stock availability, improved efficiency and new support services”.

READ: TEN ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES CLOSE FOLLOWING ‘OPERATIONAL REVIEW’

“We expect most staff in these branches to transfer to a nearby location and services to our customers will be the same, with only the dispatch point changing. Any employees affected have been informed”.

Andrew Page was acquired by Euro Car Parts when the former went into administration in 2016.

Andrew Page Southampton on opening in 2014

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