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CTEK EMPLOYEE ARRESTED OVER ALLEGED ‘TRADE SECRETS’ THEFT FROM RIVAL

CTEK EMPLOYEE ARRESTED OVER ALLEGED ‘TRADE SECRETS’ THEFT FROM RIVAL

An employee of battery charger firm CTEK has been arrested by Melbourne police over alleged theft of trade secrets at a recent trade show.

The alleged  incident took place at the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo held in Melbourne earlier this month. In a lawsuit filed in Ohio by the NOCO company, prosecutors allege that the employee stole a notebook containing sales strategy, contacts and other sensitive information.

CCTV footage confirmed the theft and the man was detained by exhibition centre security until local police came and made a formal arrest.

“We want to thank on-site security, members of the AAAA, and Melbourne Police for their efforts in arresting the individual,” said Thomas Smith, Director of Public Relations. “Without their efforts, we would not be able to proceed with additional legal actions. Obviously, we are disappointed with CTEK’s behavior, but it is further evidence of a possible systematic corporate mandate to attempt to curtail NOCO’s growth in the marketplace. We are aggressively pursuing all of our legal rights and will not stop until justice is served.”

In the lawsuit, NOCO is seeking damages and hopes to obtain ‘injunctive protection against the use or dissemination of its trade secrets’ by CTEK.

 

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1,200 JOBS AXED AT MANN+HUMMEL IN GLOBAL RESTRUCTURE

1,200 JOBS AXED AT MANN+HUMMEL IN GLOBAL RESTRUCTURE

Filtration manufacturer Mann+Hummel has announced today (April 11) that the company is planning a worldwide reduction of ‘about 1,200’ jobs with ‘up to’ 300 jobs lost from German locations.

However, the company has said that direct production will not be affected by the downsizing, which was mooted in a global cost restructuring programme announced in Februrary.

“We will continue to invest heavily in our business segments transportation and Life Science & Environment and see the planned staff reductions as part of a global initiative to short the company and to position long-term competitiveness” explained Werner Dear Lord, President and CEO.

Consultations with staff and unions have begun and the company anticipates a ‘timely completion’ of the restructuring programme.

Mann+Hummel US HQ

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SMMT SLAMS ‘UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE’ BREXIT SITUATION

SMMT SLAMS ‘UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE’ BREXIT SITUATION

In a strongly worded statement, SMMT Chief Exec Mike Hawes has said that it is ‘utterly unacceptable’ that no clear vision for Brexit has yet emerged.

“While we’ve avoided a ‘no deal’ Brexit on Friday, it is utterly unacceptable that, more than two years since negotiations started, industry still does not know what the UK’s relationship with the EU will be in the coming weeks and months” he wrote.

BREXIT: RHINO PRODUCTS OPENS EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CENTRE

“Uncertainty has already caused serious damage – car plants are on enforced shutdown, investment has been cut and jobs lost. This cannot go on. Government and Parliament must use this extension  purposefully to take ‘no deal’ off the table for good, and guarantee a positive long-term resolution that delivers frictionless trade. If they fail, we face yet another devastating ‘no deal’ precipice on 31 October”.

BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK GROUP FACTORS TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for £82 billion turnover and employs, directly and indirectly, over a million people.

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TRICO ACQUIRES CHAMPION WIPERS

TRICO ACQUIRES CHAMPION WIPERS

Wiper blade manufacturer Trico has acquired the global  Federal-Mogul Motorparts wiper and wiper systems business.

READ: TENNECO ACQUIRES FEDERAL MOGUL

Adam Richards, European MD, Trico said: “This represents a fantastic and hugely exciting strategic opportunity to accelerate technology capabilities, expand global wiper manufacturing and distribution, and further strengthen our wiper blade and wiper system capabilities.

“Both the Champion and Trico brand remain available to the aftermarket – at the moment it’s “business as usual” with FM distribution centres §continuing to supply Champion products, however we are working hard on integration plans for our existing UK facility and will be in touch with all customers with further information soon.”

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EXCEL AUTOMOTIVE GROUP ACQUIRED BY AUTOELECTRO BOSS

EXCEL AUTOMOTIVE GROUP ACQUIRED BY AUTOELECTRO BOSS

Component supplier Excel Automotive Group (EAG) has been acquired by Sancorp Ltd, a holdings company owned and operated by Autoelectro MD Tony Bhogal in partnership with his son Harry.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The company, originally known as Excel Components started in 2003 providing aftermarket steering and suspension components. The company changed hands in 2015 and was sold again in 2017 to TVS Ltd, the parent company of CV supplier Universal Components Ltd.

READ: JUST BOOTS ACQUIRED BY CONTINENTAL DIRECT

The most recent sale will see the company relocate to a new site in Leeds in due course. The Bhogals have appointed former EAG Sales Director Adrian Lamb to the role of Managing Director while Harry Bhogal will handle the day-to-day operations.

READ: AUTOELECTRO AND CAAR SIGN DEAL

Tony Bhogal

“I am delighted to be at the forefront of this new chapter in EAG’s history,” said Lamb. Thanking existing customers for their patience and support he added: “I believe the company has unfinished business, and while the industry has evolved significantly over the years, with the support of Tony and Harry, I am confident we can return the brand to its former glory – we’ll certainly give it a go.”

 

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ZF ACQUIRES WABCO FOR $7 BILLION

ZF ACQUIRES WABCO FOR $7 BILLION

Technology giant ZF has announced that it has
acquired commercial vehicle safety
technology specialist Wabco at $136.50 per share, or approximately $7 billion.

ZF say that the acquisition is part of its ‘Next Generation Mobility’ strategy, and has highlighted an interest in developing automated driving functions in commercial vehicles such as trucks and trailers. It is the first time that ZF has expanded into commercial vehicle braking systems.

Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF, said: “For ZF the acquisition of a specialist and leader for commercial vehicle braking systems means adding a stable and growing business segment and enables our existing commercial vehicles division to expand its expertise in vehicle dynamics control.”

Meanwhile, Jacques Esculier, Chairman and CEO of Wabco, said: “Joining forces with high respected ZF will create a leading global technology company well positioned to capitalise on future demand for autonomous, efficient and connected commercial vehicles.”

Wabco products and services include braking systems, stability control, aerodynamics, telematics and more. The company generated revenues of €3.3 billion in 2018 and employs around 16,000 employees in 40 countries. ZF expects to close the transaction of Wabco by the start of 2020.  

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KLARIUS DIRECTORS FACE COURT

A charge of fraud  has been brought against five directors of Klarius by DVSA. The charge relates to the sale of non-approved catalytic converters between 2013 and 2015.

The directors entered a ‘not guilty’ plea at a short hearing in Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on April 1st.

The case has been listed for trial on November 18 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

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‘SEMI SKILLED’ TECHNICIANS CONSIDERED BY DEALER GROUP

‘SEMI SKILLED’ TECHNICIANS CONSIDERED BY DEALER GROUP

VM-owned Ford dealer and garage network TrustFord is considering hiring ‘semi-skilled’ technicians to work on some of its vehicles to tackle a shortage of technicians and accelerate its apprenticeship scheme. 

READ: VMS IN EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER’S SIGHTS

TrustFord CEO Stuart Foulds said in an interview with Motor Trader magazine that the company is ‘exploring the possibility of using semi-skilled staff’, because ‘a lot of the work can be done by semi-skilled’ as opposed to fully-qualified technicians. 

The issue of training and retaining staff is familiar to some in the aftermarket. However, Peter Welch of Scotlands Ash Garage, who has discussed the issue in the past, is critical of TrustFord’s approach. “It would worry me because technology is getting more and more,” he said. “If they’re just changing oil and filters that’s a bit of a different thing, or fitting tyres or putting bulbs in. But if they’re doing proper servicing, well, perhaps main dealers don’t do much more than that.” 

Foulds also mentioned in the interview how the group offers one-hour servicing without appointment, which is possible by having three technicians working on one car at the same time. 

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COMPULSORY ADAS PROVISIONALLY AGREED

COMPULSORY ADAS PROVISIONALLY AGREED

New regulations on vehicle safety standards in the EU, due to come into force in 2022, were provisionally agreed in Strasbourg on March 25th. 

Under a wide-ranging set of rules known as the Third Mobility Package, the European Commission described a vision of connected vehicles and digitised roads, where automatic data logs, particularly on CVs ‘will cut red tape and facilitate digital information flows for logistic operations’.

However, it is a description of the Commission’s desire to improve road safety that will be of most interest to anyone who sells or repairs light vehicles. 

Among the odder proposals on the list are mandatory alcohol interlocks (which are essentially breathalysers that allow you to start your car). Light vehicles will also need to be designed to be kinder to pedestrians and cyclists if they are being run over, with improved front crash areas and a safer type of safety glass.

Mandatory ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance) systems under the proposal read like a dealer option list. Drowsiness detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assist (where the vehicle’s equipment ‘reads’ the prevailing road speed and adjusts the built-in limiter accordingly) are all being considered, and it is this last feature that garnered the most attention from the national press. Curiously, built-in dashboard cameras are not on the list. 

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), compared the agreement on the new regulations with the introduction of the seat belt and EU minimum crash safety standards. “If last night’s agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force,” he said. 

ADAS has provided both the dealer service market and the aftermarket with a new opportunity, due to the number of sensors that need precisely calibrating on a regular basis. Systems for calibration, such as the kit pictured have been in high demand. 

Absolute Alignment

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PEOPLE NEWS: CROXSON REPLACES SEPHTON AT THE PARTS ALLIANCE

PEOPLE NEWS: CROXSON REPLACES SEPHTON AT THE PARTS ALLIANCE

The Parts Alliance has announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Neil Croxson has been appointed to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Croxson succeeds Peter Sephton who will be retiring after a three-month transition period.

READPARTS ALLIANCE TAKEOVER: UNI SELECT DEAL COMPLETED

“I would like to thank all my colleagues in The Parts Alliance, Uni-Select, suppliers and other industry professionals who have helped our journey to build a market leader, and I wish Neil and the team the best of luck in what will be a great onward journey,” said Peter Sephton.

READ: THE PARTS ALLIANCE ACQUIRES BBC SUPERFACTORS

Croxson joined The Parts Alliance as CFO in 2015 and has expanded the network through acquisitions and the opening of 15 company-owned stores. He has worked in close collaboration with Peter Sephton to deliver the group’s financial strategy and increase market coverage in the U.K. and Ireland.

“I am honoured to be taking on this new role,” said Croxson. “We had an excellent performance during our first full-year under the Uni-Select umbrella, and under Peter’s leadership, we implemented strong foundations to enable us to capture future market opportunities. I look forward to building on this momentum.”

Neil Croxston

Peter Sephton

An Interim CFO at The Parts Alliance will be named until the position is filled.   

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