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JUST BOOTS ACQUIRED BY CONTINENTAL DIRECT

JUST BOOTS ACQUIRED BY CONTINENTAL DIRECT

Component distributor Continental Direct has acquired constant velocity joint and boot supplier Just Boots. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

CD acquire Just Boots 2019

The two companies have had a working relationship for years and the new owner plans to develop Just Boots’ range of SKUs as well as it’s e-catalogue on Autocat+. Company Founder Dale Holmes will join Continental Direct in a new role of Product Manager, Just Boots.

“As a long trusted supplier of ours”, says Jason Noon, Continental Direct Product Manager, “we are delighted to welcome Dale and the Just Boots brand into our family of OE matching quality products. The excellence of Just Boots products along with the strong technical experience Dale brings will significantly enhance our capabilities to serve our customers.”

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NEWS: RAC AND EURO CAR PARTS MERGE GARAGE SCHEMES

NEWS: RAC AND EURO CAR PARTS MERGE GARAGE SCHEMES

RAC and ECP shake on network deal

A deal has been signed between the RAC and Euro Car Parts in order to merge the RAC Approved Garage network with ECP’s Autofirst.

The new entity will be known as ‘RAC Approved Garages powered by Autofirst Network’ . As the combined number in both networks is in excess of 500 branches, RAC auto first can claim to be the UK’s largest garage network.

READ: FORMER ECP DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED AS HEAD OF SPICERS

As part of the network, each garage will be jointly branded, carrying the prominent RAC and Autofirst Network branding. The partnership, which aims to ensure customers are only ever a few miles from an RAC Approved Garage, will offer consumers all the benefits of a local garage, combined with a national warranty.

By subscribing, garages will also be offered repairs referred to them by RAC patrols from breakdowns through the company’s Accredited Repairer scheme. 

RAC Chief Executive Dave Hobday said: “We know from market research that customers really value the friendly, local and reliable service provided by independent garages and have a very high level of trust in the RAC so this is the perfect recipe for garages looking to stand out from the crowd in a busy marketplace.”

READ: ANDY HAMILTON APPOINTED ECP CEO

Andy Hamilton, Euro Car Parts Chief Executive, added: ““We believe the brands are an excellent fit and have the potential to become a first choice for consumers wanting the trust of big brands but with local service and convenience”.

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CAT AWARDS 2019: WINNERS ANNOUNCED

CAT AWARDS 2019: WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The winners of the CAT Awards 2019 are as follows:

Motor Factor of the Year: Autoparts UK

Factor Team of the Year: Butlers Automotive

CAT Awards 2019 winners have been announced

Garage Chain of the Year: Halfords Autocentres

Independent Garage of the Year: Scotlands Ash Garage

Retailer of the Year: Wilco

Supplier of the Year: Banner Batteries

Outstanding Achievement: Dave Garrett of the Garage Equipment Association

 

 

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BREXIT: RHINO PRODUCTS OPENS EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CENTRE

BREXIT: RHINO PRODUCTS OPENS EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CENTRE

Deeside-based LCV accessory manufacturer Rhino Products has opened a distribution centre at Venlo-Grubbenvorst in the Netherlands ahead of the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union at the end of March.

This 1.100 sq. m warehousing facility is now the headquarters for the Group’s European operations, alongside an existing warehouse in Mölnlycke, Sweden and a further sales office in Kraków, Poland. All manufacturing for the group takes place at its UK head office and production site in Deeside, Flintshire.

READ: BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING 

Rhino’s Group Managing Director Steve Egerton explained: “The opening of this warehousing facility is just one of many important steps we are taking to prepare for any potential scenario as the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union are finalised. Whatever the political outcome, Rhino will be ready, and we are looking forward to another year of growth and expansion”.

The move to the distribution centre also coincided with Rhino switching to DPD as its central European logistics partner.

READ: BREXIT: WILLIAMSON’S WARNING TO GOVERNMENT AT IAAF CONFERENCE

New plant in the Netherlands

 

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PEOPLE: FORMER ECP DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED AS CEO OF SPICERS

PEOPLE: FORMER ECP DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED AS CEO OF SPICERS

Spicers SPOT Group, a wholesaler of office supplies, has confirmed that Steve Horne will become CEO from March 4th.

Horne will be familiar to many CAT readers as the Chief Operating Officer of Euro Car Parts, a position he held until a board walkout in December. Previously, Horne held senior positions in Unipart Automotive and Wickes Building Supplies.

READ: WALKOUT AT EURO CAR PARTS

READ: ANDY HAMILTON APPOINTED CEO OF ECP

Horne commented “I am very excited about joining the SPOT Group, where the history of the company complemented by the expertise and commitment of the team, gives a great foundation for the future”.

The SPOT acronym comes from the 2014 merger of SPicers and Office Team.

 

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BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK GROUP FACTORS TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING

BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK GROUP FACTORS TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING

Arnold Clark factors Midwest and Autoparts UK have confirmed that they are to increase stockholding by a quarter ahead of Brexit.

In Glasgow, Autoparts’ central distribution hub has installed a new mezzanine floor and all branches throughout Scotland and Northern England are increasing stock levels.

Additional stock is also being put into Midwest Motor Factors and Monmore Auto Parts branches.

Craig McCracken, Autoparts UK Group Factor Manager, said: “Whatever the outcome, we’re making sure independent garages continue to enjoy an uninterrupted supply of products. This latest development sends out a clear message to the industry – and our customers – that Autoparts UK, Midwest and Monmore are proactively taking every step to ensure product availability remains at their highest levels possible”.

Stockholding to increase by 25 percent at main DC

 

READ:  OBITUARY: ARNOLD CLARK

READ: ARNOLD CLARK ACQUIRES MIDWEST MOTOR FACTORS

READ: AFTERMARKET LIVES: AUTOPARTS UK

 

 

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HELLA AND PLASTIC OMNIUM SIGN ‘STRATEGIC COOPERATION’ PACT

HELLA AND PLASTIC OMNIUM SIGN ‘STRATEGIC COOPERATION’ PACT

Automotive suppliers Hella and Plastic Omnium are entering into a ‘strategic cooperation’ to develop new integrated front and rear lighting for vehicles. Hella contributes to the collaboration through its competence in automotive lighting technology, while Plastic Omnium brings the expertise in plastics processing for exterior body parts. The plan is to also bundle the corresponding development resources together at one site in Germany.

“Lighting is shaping vehicle design more than ever and the demand for individualisation and differentiation will continue to grow in the future. Additionally, lighting can also contribute to communication and safety in automated driving scenarios,” said Hella CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. “By further deepening the collaboration with our long-standing partner Plastic Omnium, we will have additional opportunities to further drive these market trends and offer our customers new levels of freedom in terms of functionality and design.”

Rolf Breidenbach of Hella and Laurent Burelle of Plastic Omnium ink the agreement

The firms have already been working together successfully for several years as part of the joint venture HBPO.

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PEOPLE NEWS: THREE NEW HIRES AT ELTA AUTOMOTIVE

PEOPLE NEWS: THREE NEW HIRES AT ELTA AUTOMOTIVE

Midlands-based supplier Elta Automotive has started the New Year with the hire of three reps.

Incoming UK Sales Director Craig O’Neil joins from rival Ring Automotive where he worked for over a decade, variously as an Area Sales Manager. Business Development Manager and latterly, Key Accounts Manager.

Meanwhile, Stuart Poole rejoins Elta as Commercial Manager. Previously he had been Pricing Manager at the firm for nine years, but left in 2017 for a stint at ATS Euromaster.

READ: ANDY HAMILTON APPOINTED CEO OF EURO CAR PARTS

Also rejoining, Michael Ballinger is now Director of Sales (Europe). He also worked for Elta in a similar role for the best part of a decade, but left in 2016 and has been employed by Trico, Sogefi and Ring Automotive since.

In October 2018 a Management buy-out of Elta was orchestrated by MD Ian Hallam with business partner Vladimír Palacka. This led to a ‘rejuvenation of spirit that had been part of [the firm’s] original success’ according to Michael Ballinger.

Stuart Poole

Craig O’Neil

Michael Ballinger

 

 

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NEWS: AUTOQUIP MIDLANDS TAKEN OVER BY AAUK

NEWS: AUTOQUIP MIDLANDS TAKEN OVER BY AAUK

Branch at Atherton Service Station

Atherton-based Autoquip Midlands has been bought by Alliance Automotive UK.

The factor, which had previously been a member of GroupAuto, can trace its roots back to 1989 although its modern form dates to 2000 when Sandra and Roy Blundell as well as Mark Leason became listed as Directors.

READ: ALLIANCE ACQUIRES PLATINUM INTERNATIONAL

The single branch joins the growing number that are under the direct ownership of the parent company of the GroupAuto and UAN buying groups.

READ: JIM MAZZA JOINS THE PDP

 

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BREAKING: LKQ CONFIRM SUKHPAL RESIGNATION

BREAKING: LKQ CONFIRM SUKHPAL RESIGNATION

LKQ Corp, the owner of Euro Car Parts has confirmed that it has accepted the resignation of Executive Chairman Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia.

The founder of ECP, known simply by his first name to all in the business, sold the company to the US-based parts giant in 2011, remaining as an Executive Director.

The conformation follows reports that Sukhpal, Martin Gray, Steve Horne and other senior management walked out of ECP last week over the subject of proposed cuts by LKQ.

READ: ANDY HAMILTON SUCCEEDS MARTIN GRAY AS EURO CAR PARTS’ CEO 

Sukhpal commented, “ECP has been my life’s work and there will always be a bit of the company in me. I have enjoyed my relationship with LKQ but the time has come for a change so I can devote my full abilities to building the property business with my sons. I am confident in the strategy LKQ has for its European segment and for the next level of growth and operational excellence at ECP.”

Dominick Zarcone, President and Chief Executive Officer of LKQ Corporation, stated, “Sukhpal has been a key partner with LKQ over the past seven years as we have quadrupled the size of our business in the U.K., and he has served as a valued LKQ board member. While we will miss his insights, we respect his desire to spend all his time focused on the family property business and wish him nothing but the best in those endeavours.”

READ: BOARD WALKOUT AT EURO CAR PARTS

Sukhpal has resigned from the company he founded in 1979

This is not the first time that Sukhpal has left ECP while under LKQ ownership. However, he left in 2014 amid rumours that he had fallen out with the parent company and was planning to start a new factor chain to be called APX. These rumours took on substance when a recruitment advert appeared in CAT. Shortly after Sukhpal and several dozen other former Euro Car Parts’ employees agreed to return to ECP under new terms.

 

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