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AVON TYRES PLANS 300 REDUNDANCIES

AVON TYRES PLANS 300 REDUNDANCIES

Tyre manufacturer Cooper-Avon is to axe up to 300 jobs at its Melksham site.

The U.S based Cooper Tire and Rubber Co issued a statement which said it would be ‘consulting on 300 jobs’. The plant currently employs a total of 723 workers.

Under the plan, light vehicle tyre production would be transferred to another of Cooper’s worldwide sites, while motorcycle and motorsport tyre production would remain in Melksham, along with various Head Office functions.

Jaap van Wessum, General Manager – Cooper Tire Europe, said: “Pending consultation, if positions are made redundant, Cooper will remain committed to doing all we can to support those employees who may potentially be affected. We will be consulting with our recognised trade union, Unite, and other employee representatives, and have arranged additional support for affected colleagues, which will be available throughout this process. In addition, we will work closely with Wiltshire Council and the Department for Work and Pensions to provide the best possible support to our colleagues and community”.

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FIRST LINE LTD SECURES £20m FUNDING

FIRST LINE LTD SECURES £20m FUNDING

Banbury-based First Line Ltd has secured £20 million in funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial. The money will help the firm expand its exports and capitalise on growth opportunities in overseas markets.

The firm expects 30% of its annual turnover in 2018 to come from export sales, which has seen ‘robust’ year-on-year growth over the past six years.

Keith Schofield, Finance Director, First Line Ltd, said: “We are delighted with the ongoing success of the business and the opportunities presented by overseas markets are truly exciting. Growth will be achieved via a number of strategies including new products and focussing on new segments such as classic cars. Santander has quickly become a trusted partner, providing the financial support and facilities needed for us to take the company to the next level.”

Steve Bateman, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “First Line is looking to grow its market share globally over the next few years and the facilities offered by Santander will be key for them to achieve these growth ambitions. We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic, growth focused UK business that will benefit from Santander’s unrivalled expertise in helping SMEs export and trade internationally”.

Founded in 1983, the firm sells parts under the Borg & Beck and Key Parts tables in addition to the First Line brand  is now based from a 170,000 sq ft warehouse clearly visible from the M40. 

 

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AAG ACQUIRES PLATINUM INTERNATIONAL

AAG ACQUIRES PLATINUM INTERNATIONAL

The Alliance Automotive Group (AAG) has acquired battery distributor Platinum International. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Previously known as UK Batteries, Platinum International was formed in 2002 by Chris Taylor following the sale of a previous battery venture. Speaking about the acquisition, he said: ““I am delighted to see Platinum become part of AAG, especially with its reputation as a leader in the UK market. Platinum has been built over a long period of time and I would like to thank my team for their hard work and contribution to making the business a success. The development of Platinum is also a testament to how much support and loyalty we receive from our customers and suppliers and I am convinced that, together with AAG, Platinum will continue to achieve great things. I am confident that I’ve found the best long-term home for the business.”

AAG, which is owned by the U.S based Genuine Parts Company, has made a number of acquisitions in the UK over the year to date, most of which have been all-makes motor factors. Platinum joins Apec Braking and BTN Turbo as AAG’s specialist distributors.

Steve Richardson, Managing Director of AAG UK stated, “We are excited to welcome Platinum into our UK business and to strengthen our position in the UK battery market. We have tremendous respect for Platinum as a long standing supplier to our Group and are confident the integration of the company into AAG will add value for all our customer and lead to long term, sustainable, growth. Platinum has a strong and talented management team and is an excellent strategic fit for our group”.

 

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EVANS CYCLES TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE EQUITY OWNERS

EVANS CYCLES TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE EQUITY OWNERS

Evans Cycles is to be sold by its private equity owner ECI Partners.

The cycle chain has been making a loss over the past two years, although ECI has perused a strategy of expansion.

At the time of writing bids have been invited for the firm, with Halfords being reported by Sky News as being among the front runners.

Halfords itself set up the Cycle Republic chain as a rival to Evans Cycles in 2014. Halfords has previously stated an aim for Cycle Republic is to double the number of branches.

In general terms, cycle retail on the High Street has been under pressure as there has been a willingness by consumers to buy mid to high-end bikes from non-traditional outlets, such as Go Outdoors or from sports shops such as Triathlon. Low-end family bikes have been under pressure from online retailers such as Wiggle, which one retail survey put as the UK’s second largest cycle retailer in August

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HONEYWELL GARRETT APPOINTS TURBOACTIVE AS ‘MASTER DISTRIBUTOR’

HONEYWELL GARRETT APPOINTS TURBOACTIVE AS ‘MASTER DISTRIBUTOR’

Honeywell turbochargers have new distribution.

Turbocharger manufacturer Honeywell Garrett has appointed Teeside-based Turboactive as a ‘master distributor’ for the UK and Northern Ireland. Rival distributor BTN Turbo is also a master distributor for the brand, and will continue to be so.

”We are very excited  about being appointed a Garrett Master Distributor as it marks a significant change in customer choice, it enables our customers to choose from a huge range of turbos for all sectors-both new and remanufactured” said MD Steve Bush.

Mr. Bush said that the move would give the company access to new markets, allowing it to expand yet further into commercial vehicles and industrial applications in addition to enhancing the light vehicle offering.  He added, ” We are thrilled to have been selected as only one of just two distributors of Honeywell Garret products in the UK market!”

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ELTA AUTOMOTIVE IN MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT

ELTA AUTOMOTIVE IN MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT

Component supplier and Lucas licence holder, Elta Automotive has been subject to a management buy-out.

Terms of the MBO have not been announced, nut current MD Ian Hallam, who has worked with Elta since the company was incorporated, has become the company’s co-owner, alongside long-term European partner Luxline spol. s r.o – lead by Vladimír Palacka. Ian Hallam and Luxline become equal shareholders of a new holding company, Elta Investments replacing the previous holding company, Claverdon Fields.

The formation of a newco required the existing Lucas licence to be renegotiated. Elta will continue to supply bulbs, wiper blade and switchgear under the Lucas brand in the UK and Continental Europe, but engine management products bearing the name will now be supplied by SMPE.  As a result, Elta’s engine management programme will be supplied under the ‘Pro’ brand, announced last year.

“Our relationship with the iconic Lucas brand remains extremely important and will be a cornerstone of our European offering” remarked Hallam.

Elta HQ in Coleshill

“However, as would be expected, a change of ownership inevitably requires a new licence agreement with the brand owners, which is why we are particularly delighted to be able to announce that this has been secured and on a mutually positive basis for both parties” he said, adding that he was ‘thrilled’ with the prospect of a ‘significantly wider territory’ to sell the Lucas brand into.

 

 

 

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NEW CASTROL DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR CERTAS COMPANY

NEW CASTROL DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR CERTAS COMPANY

Lubricant distributor The Race Group has announced that it has renewed its partnership with Castrol with a new five-year contract, extending its supply of product to customers in the South of England in addition to the Midlands and the North which were covered int the previous agreement.

The contract secures The Race Group, part of nationwide distributor Certas Energy, as Castrol’s largest authorised distributor in the UK.

Andrew Salton, General Manager at Certas Energy and Sales Manager at The Race Group, commented, This is great news for both current and new customers who will experience improved levels of service and technical knowledge”.

 Mark  Scarisbrick, Distributor Manager at Castrol UK, added,“As our chosen route to market, we awarded The Race Group the contract to grow the Castrol brand in the South of England. We are confident that customers will enjoy a professional service that delivers business results. Given our long standing partnership we have the utmost trust in their experience, expertise and capabilities to be an ambassador of the Castrol brand across the South of England”.

 

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FPS WITHDRAWS FROM CAMPING AND CARAVANNING SECTOR

FPS WITHDRAWS FROM CAMPING AND CARAVANNING SECTOR

FPS Distribution is to withdraw from the camping and caravanning market. The changes take effect from November 30th and are in response to space pressure across its warehouse network.

Products affected include ‘canvas’ camping products such as tents, awnings and related accessories. Stowage and towing products including Mont Blanc racks, roof boxes and towbars are not affected and will continue to be stocked.

In a press statement, a spokesman said: “Our programme and everyone’s diligent work have provided growth in this sector. However, our market has changed and our core motor components business is growing so fast that we now have capacity challenges”.–

Space pressure on Sheffield DC influenced decision

“By withdrawing from caravan and camping, we will create capacity in our supply chain at both Sheffield, and in our HGV and branch transport fleet. This will allow us to focus on improving and growing our core business” read the statement.

FPS has been part of the Alliance Automotive Group since 2016.

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RAPID GROUP FOUNDER SOLD TO GROUPAUTO PARENT

RAPID GROUP FOUNDER SOLD TO GROUPAUTO PARENT

Carlisle-based motor factor chain TMS has been sold to Alliance Automotive Group (AAG), the parent company of the GROUPAUTO and UAN buying groups.

The 24-branch factor is active over Northern England and Southern Scotland. Terms of the deal have not been announced.

TMS Motor Spares Ltd started life as Teviot Motor Factors Ltd in the 1970’s when two of the current Directors bought a factors franchise.  A change of ownership led to TMS Motor Spares being set up in 1996 with a single branch (Annan). The business’ approach to trade factoring was a success and lead to expansion, resulting in the formation of the Rapid buying group in 2005.

AAG also announced the acquisition of three other Scottish single-branch factors that were already existing members. These are Livingston Autoparts Ltd, WD Motor Factors based in Dunfermline and Alloa-based Bridge Motor Factors.

 

 

 

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EURO CAR PARTS DIVESTS NINE AP BRANCHES

EURO CAR PARTS DIVESTS NINE AP BRANCHES

Following the ruling by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after the acquisition of Andrew Page, Euro Car Parts has confirmed it has now sold the required nine branches to Hilco Capital Limited.

The deal, which also includes two commercial vehicle sites in addition to the nine Andrew Page sites, will see all 11 branches rebranded as Auto Spares and Parts (ASAP) throughout this month. ASAP registered it’s current name at Companies House on Monday. Previously it was known as AP Tradeco Ltd. ECP’s CEO Martin Gray had been listed as a Director of AP Tradeco, but resigned on September 3rd.

The ASAP brand name is currently used by ECP for part of it’s Marine division. 

Employees will transfer from Andrew Page to ASAP as part of the sale and will be managed by Tom Clegg who has joined the ASAP business as MD.

Hilco is a financial investor across a range of sectors and hold a diverse range of investments across the UK.

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