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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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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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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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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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