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IN PICTURES: ANDREW PAGE’S MARKHAM VALE SIGNAGE COMES DOWN

IN PICTURES: ANDREW PAGE’S MARKHAM VALE SIGNAGE COMES DOWN

Signs on Andrew Page’s Markham Vale site were being removed this morning as the century-old company transitions into the next chapter of it’s existence.

The 100,000 sq ft plus mezzanines depot opened amidst much fanfare in 2012 as the company, then under new management and with new financial backers, sought to modernise nationwide logistics. However, the warehouse, clearly visible from the M1, became redundant following the acquisition of Andrew Page, then in administration, by Euro Car Parts in 2016. 

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MAHLE TO ACQUIRE BEHR HELLA SERVICE

MAHLE TO ACQUIRE BEHR HELLA SERVICE

Mahle’s Telford site

Filter manufacturer Mahle is to acquire Hella’s shares in Behr Hella Service, subject to the usual approvals. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Currently, the operation is a joint venture between Mahle and Hella, but if the acquisition is successful Mahle intends to manage the spare parts business for thermal management products on its own.

There will be a transitional period, but it is planned that thermal products will be sold under the Mahle brand from the start of 2020.

Noting that Hella plans to concentrate on its core competences of lighting and electronics, coupled with workshop equipment, Dr Andreas Habeck, a BDM from Hella, said: “Together we will make the transition of the business activities as smooth as possible for our customers”.

Olaf Henning, Head of Aftermarket at Mahle said: “Efficient thermal management will play an increasingly important role in future – for all powertrain technologies. This move will allow us to give the best possible support in this promising area and ensure the successful operation of workshops.

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GARAGE AGGREGATOR WHOCANFIXMYCAR SECURES £4M INVESTMENT

GARAGE AGGREGATOR WHOCANFIXMYCAR SECURES £4M INVESTMENT

Garage comparison site Whocanfixmyfar.com has secured £4 million from investors including Shell Ventures, Sir Trevor Chinn, Active Partners and Venrex Investment Management.

The site was launched in 2011 by two former investment bankers, Al Preston and Ian Griffiths, and has since become the biggest online marketplace for drivers and garages in the UK. The company has offices in Newcastle upon Tyne, London and Kiev.

Shell  has invested via its corporate venture capital arm, Shell Ventures, which supports both business and fund-led deals in areas of strategic interest for the parent company. This investment follows the development of the Shell Helix Service Specialist Network, a recently launched scheme which allows independent workshops on the aggregator site to be officially associated with Shell.

Other investors include Active Partners, which has stakes in household names such as Evans Cycles, Rapha, Leon and Soho House. Venrex Investment Management is another stakeholder and has previously invested in Just Eat, Not on the High Street and Revolut. Sir Trevor Chinn, who is the chairman of the website has also invested.

Al Preston, Co-Founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, said: “This is a really exciting time for the company. The whole team have worked extremely hard to bring the business to this point, where we can attract such interesting partners for our next stage of growth”

“The plan will be to keep scaling our activities and consolidate our position in the UK. We are also focusing on new products and solutions that will further benefit our garage network and provide car owners with a better, richer experience when it comes to car maintenance and repairs.”

Commenting on the announcement, Huibert Vigeveno, Executive Vice President for Global Commercial, Shell, said:

29209815 – firewall and antivirus concept with a laptop inside a crystal sphere

“The aftermarket sector is changing rapidly as technology savvy customers seek products and services which are easier and more convenient to use. Shell wants to be at the forefront of shaping those products and services.  Digital and services partnerships such as this investment in WhoCanFixMyCar.com are very much part of our future growth strategy.”

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ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

Euro Car Parts has brought together its Euro Academy training offer with Andrew Page’s Autoeducation programme. Bosses plan to keep the Autoeducation brand, with a new prospectus covering a wider selection of courses.

The extended programme will continue to deliver IMI-accredited training for technicians and include a dedicated technical phone helpline and online diagnostics database with a reference library of previous faults.

Courses available will include foundational electrics, oscilloscopes  and CAN BUS systems. There is also full MOT course coverage, from Level 3 accreditation to MOT Tester and Managerial Training. Autoeducation’s offering now also includes Euro Academy’s ADAS training course, delivered in partnership with Hella.

Helen Robinson, Marketing Director at Euro Car Parts, commented: “Since we acquired Andrew Page, we have been committed to ensuring that this trusted brand continues to thrive in the independent aftermarket. Recognising how popular and successful its Autoeducation programme is, we have boosted the portfolio significantly by merging it with Euro Academy. It is our intention to invest in our training offering to ensure the independent sector is well positioned to work on all types of vehicle.”

Euro Car Parts acquired the Andrew Page factor chain when the latter went into administration in 2016.

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ENGINE OIL REMOVED FROM SALE FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION

ENGINE OIL REMOVED FROM SALE FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION

Granville Oil and Chemicals has removed 5W30 Hypalube Evo from sale, following an investigation by VLS (Verification of Lubricant Specifications).

A complaint was received in November 2017 concerning the ability of the product to meet its own technical specifications and the claims it made regarding OEM specifications. In particular, it was alleged that the product did not meet its own stated NOACK volatility measure and that its claims for OEM specifications of VW 504.00/507.00, PSA B71 2290 and GM LL–A/B–025 were unfeasible as no additive package was available at the time to meet those requirements.

Test showed that the product failed to m

Oil has been withdrawn

eet the stated NOACK volatility measure. The VLS technical panel also raised questions about the claims relating to PSA B71 2290 and GM LL-A/B-025.

Granville Oil & Chemicals Ltd ‘cooperated fully’ with the investigation and undertook its own internal investigation, with the result that the product was discontinued effective 30th June 2018.

Thanking Granville for its cooperation in the investigation, David Wright, Secretary of VLS and Chairman of UKLA added: “This case is a perfect example of VLS performing its vital role to maintain standards in the industry and ensure an open and transparent market. Customers must be able to have confidence that the products they purchase really can deliver what is claimed.”

 

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DVSA BOSS: WHAT WE’VE LEARNT FROM MOT CHANGES

DVSA BOSS: WHAT WE’VE LEARNT FROM MOT CHANGES

In a blog post, Neil Barlow, DVSA’s Head of MOT Policy has reflected on the changes to the test, implemented in May.

Writing for authorised examiners, he noted: “Before 20 May, the training environment we set up to help you get used to the changes was used by over 12,000 testers. Your feedback showed that most of you found this useful, so we’ll look at providing a similar training environment again for any large changes in the future.”

Barlow observed that testers were taking longer to record defects, though this was ‘hardly surprising’ given the new structure. He also noted that the wording, which had been criticised by a number of testers for being technically or grammatically ambiguous, was being updated.

On a slightly different subject, Barlow wrote how the Agency was reviewing the ‘risk rating’ for testing centres. This will look at a number of factors and the station will be logged under a ‘traffic light’ scheme accordingly. “We’ll do some calculations based around testers and this will be pulled together to form an overall score for the garage. We’re working hard to make sure that this information is clear and open to those that need it” concluded Barlow.

Mixed responses for 4-1-1 proposition

Read Barlow’s full blog post here

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MOTORCARE MOTOR FACTORS ACQUIRED BY GROUPAUTO PARENT

MOTORCARE MOTOR FACTORS ACQUIRED BY GROUPAUTO PARENT

Abergavenny-based Motorcare Motor Factors has been taken over by AAG, parent of the GroupAuto buying group.

The Motorcare chain comprises of six branches in Wales and the West of England. A branch in Brecon was opened as recently as April of this year.

Motorcare Discount (as it was originally known) was founded in 1984 in Abergavenny by Allen Bailey as an accessory and parts retail store, catering mainly for DIYers. In common with many parts shops it started doing an increasing amount of trade work, and it moved to an industrial unit in the mid-1990s.

Further branches followed from 2010 onwards, and the family-run chain picked up several GroupAuto member awards, including Member of the Year for the large factor, light vehicle category in 2017 (pictured)

Bob Ackroyd Managing Director GROUPAUTO, Justin Bailey and Simon Bailey of Motorcare Motor Factors.

.

 

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HELLA SELLS DISTRIBUTORS TO MEKONOMEN

HELLA SELLS DISTRIBUTORS TO MEKONOMEN

Hella GmbH is selling its Danish and Polish parts distributors, FTZ Autodele & Verktoj  (FTZ) and Inter-Team s.p to the Swedish wholesaler, Mekonomen AB. A corresponding agreement has been signed by both companies. Terms of the deal amount to €395 million on a cash- and debt-free basis. In addition, a consideration equivalent to profits generated from November 30, 2017 to completion of the transaction will be paid to Hella. The sale is subject to approval  and is expected to close in Q3 2018. Financial advice was provided by Jefferies,

“With Mekonomen, a renowned wholesaler will take over our activities in Denmark and Poland, which will strategically develop the business,” explains Dr Werner Benade, Hella GmbH Managing Director. “We will systematically focus the Aftermarket segment on the independent spare parts business and innovative workshop equipment. As part of this, we are accelerating the interaction between the divisions and opening up digital business models.”

Pehr Oscarson, President and CEO of Mekonomen, adds: “Through the acquisition of FTZ and Inter-Team, we strengthen our position as a leading automotive spare-parts distributor in the Nordic region and take the step into Europe. The acquisition is in line with our strategy of playing a central role in the ongoing consolidation in Europe. These are two well-run companies that will continue to develop within the framework of existing corporate structures and brands as standalone companies in the Group.”

FTZ and Inter-Team employ a total of around 2,500 people. The two wholesalers achieved total sales of around €480 million in the 2016/2017 financial year. This corresponds to about seven percent of HELLA’s group consolidated sales.

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SPARTAN OPENS ADDITIONAL BRANCHES

SPARTAN OPENS ADDITIONAL BRANCHES

South Wales-based Spartan Motor Factors has opened two new branches in Blackwood and Swansea.

The Blackwood branch measures 4000 sq ft, has five  drivers and three counter staff while the Swansea branch is 5,500 sq ft, and has two counter staff and three drivers.

These opening are in addition to  a branch in Pontypridd in April and a cooling division specialising in air conditioning and radiator repairs in Abercarn that opened in May.

Director Lee Gratton said: “This takes the total number of branches to 10 with the head office still based in Cardiff. We are actively looking to expand the Spartan network further into England through either acquisitions or branch openings if the right individuals approach us , we have depots in Avonmouth and Weston Super Mare at present”.

New Spartan in Swansea

 

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PEOPLE NEWS: JIM MAZZA JOINS PDP BUYING GROUP

PEOPLE NEWS: JIM MAZZA JOINS PDP BUYING GROUP

Buying group Parts Distribution Partnership has announced that Jim Mazza will be joining the Group’s management team with immediate effect. Working with the members, he will assist in every aspect of the groups development.

Jim Mazza will be best known to CAT readers as the former Managing Director of AAG’s trading groups in the UK. Prior to that, he enjoyed a successful career at plumbing and builder’s merchant Wolseley UK.

PDP Chair, Alastair Whatmore commented: “With consolidation in the market showing little signs of slowing down, we recognise the need to change, to grow and to develop a group that is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that undoubtedly exist for independent motor factors and suppliers. Jim has an impressive track record in the automotive aftermarket and brings to our group a wealth of experience and buying group knowledge which will undoubtedly help us achieve our objectives”.

Jim Mazza added: “A decision to join the PDP team was not taken lightly and having spent some time looking at what the PDP does and its hopes and aspirations, I came away convinced that the group presents exciting prospects to grow and develop initially for the benefit of the existing membership, but ultimately for those motor factors looking for safe harbour in turbulent times”.

“PDP is undoubtedly a platform to build on, and I am looking forward with relish to working with the group, its members and its supplier partners and helping PDP achieve its ambitions”.

 

 

 

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