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SMPE GETS NEW ISO CERTIFICATE

SMPE GETS NEW ISO CERTIFICATE

Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE), one of the UK’s largest independently owned  suppliers, has achieved the management system standard ISO14001:2015. 

The standard, which is in addition to the company’s ISO:9001 certification, applies to both its Nottingham and Poland facility. The new standard provides SMPE with an environmental management system framework in order to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner, contributing to greener sustainability, covering criteria including recycling, lower carbon footprint and waste reduction.

READ: New standard fixes child seat fitting fears

The updated 2015 standard includes the latest requirements relating to the context of the organisation, leadership, strategic environmental management, risk and opportunities, life-cycle perspective, performance evaluation and auditing.

Richard Morley, SMPE Commercial Director, said: “This achievement demonstrates both our professionalism and reliability as a company and signals to new and existing customers that SMPE is a perfect partner to do business with”. 

SMPE UK building

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BOSCH TO ACQUIRE UNIPART CAR CARE CENTRES

BOSCH TO ACQUIRE UNIPART CAR CARE CENTRES

Industrial giant Bosch has announced its intention to acquire Unipart Group’s workshop programmes in the UK. These programmes include the Unipart Car Care Centres (UCCC), a network of independently run garages, the KiS online garage management software, which helps to organise all daily workshop activities, and the ‘Unipartner’ Consumer App. It is planned for all existing customer contracts to be transferred to Bosch. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

“This acquisition perfectly fits with our growth strategy for the United Kingdom and Ireland”, Steffen Hoffmann, President Bosch UK and Ireland, said. “It is a significant step that increases our network of partner garages creating new sales channels for our automotive parts, diagnostics, and workshop services with these customers.”

Established in 1995, Uniparts’ Car Care Centre is one of the most recognised workshop programmes in the UK. Bosch will take over the marketing support and training services for the garages plus ensure access to Bosch’s full range of automotive parts, diagnostics and workshop services.

UCCC to become part of Bosch

Mike Ferris, Unipart International Managing Director said: “We’ve been working in close partnership with Bosch for many years on a number of joint initiatives and they share many of Unipart’s core values and principles. I am delighted that the Unipart Autoparts Garage Programmes will be transferring to a trusted business in Bosch who will further develop the programmes, whilst maintaining the needs of the garage and consumer at the forefront of their plans”

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PEOPLE NEWS: NEIL GRANT IS NEW MD AT HELLA

PEOPLE NEWS: NEIL GRANT IS NEW MD AT HELLA

Chipping Warden-based Hella UK has announced its new UK Managing Director, Neil Grant, who will officially begin his latest role in January 2020.

Mr Grant had been the Financial Director  of the company for four years and has a wealth of financial experience behind him.

New Hella UK MD, Neil Grant

READ: HELLA AND PLASTIC OMNIUM SIGN  COOPERATION PACT

He will be taking over from current MD, Matthew Say, who has been leading the UK operation for the past four and a half years.

Commenting on his appointment, Neil said: “I have a great deal of customer knowledge, am aware of the potential growth areas and intend to continue the good work that Matthew [Say] has established. I am therefore, very much looking forward to leading Hella through the next chapter in its journey.”

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HALFORDS FORM BUYING PARTNERSHIP WITH FRENCH ALLY

HALFORDS FORM BUYING PARTNERSHIP WITH FRENCH ALLY

UK accessory and parts chain Halfords has announced a new ‘strategic partnership’ with Mobivia, the French company behind European fast-fit brands including Norauto, ATU and Midas. 

The deal will see the two firms working together to source and purchase own-brand products, with the aim of streamlining development and expanding their ranges of motoring and cycling-related products. 

READ: HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHYS FOR £9.3M

Halfords

Deal with French firm to jointly source and develop new products

Mobivia is hopeful that the move will also benefit customers and consumers, claiming that it ‘will enable both companies to improve the quality and choice of products available’. Additionally, the firms have agreed to continue working with their existing supplier partners on a local and national level. 

Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton claims the new relationship will help the firm to serve ‘customers even better, further improving choice, quality and value’. 

The news comes following Halfords’ recent acquisition of Scottish garage network McConechy’s for £9.3 million, which Stapleton described at the time as ‘highly complementary’ to his company’s existing product and service offering. 

READ: PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER

Halfords’ half-year financial results revealed a 2.5 percent profit drop and 2.9 percent revenue decline in the six months leading up to 27 September. 

Mobivia was founded in 1970 as a Lille-based repairs and accessories store. Today, it represents nine brands and 27 start-ups across the automotive sector, with more than 23,000 employees, and 2000 workshops and stores in its network.

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LAND ROVER SPECIALIST BRITPART ACQUIRES ALLMAKES 4X4

LAND ROVER SPECIALIST BRITPART ACQUIRES ALLMAKES 4X4

Shropshire parts manufacturer Britpart has acquired the assets of rival off-road specialist Allmakes 4×4.

The Oxfordshire-based firm will now trade as Allmakes PR2 4×4 Ltd, with no change to its management team or staff. Financial details of the deal are unconfirmed, but Allmakes claims to hold roughly £7 million worth of Land Rover, Jeep and other off-road-related components at its 180,000sq ft warehouse. 

Picking stock at Allmakes 4×4

The purchase means Britpart (the trading name of Border Holdings Ltd) is also now the parent company to Allparts subsidiaries Frogs Island, a Land Rover repair specialist, and accessory supplier Terrafirma. 

Before the deal, 35 year-old Britpart supplied 28,000 Land Rover parts from its Craven Arms distribution centre to more than 1000 customers worldwide, ranging from trade outlets to government agencies. This latest development will significantly enhance its product offering in the sector. 

Paul Myers, Managing Director at Border Holdings Ltd, said: “We are confident that using the successful formula of supplying good quality parts at affordable prices with 1st class logistics will enable Allmakes PR2 4×4 to continue to grow.

“Border Holdings has committed to a successful long term future for the Abingdon site and all its employees.”

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TP CATS TO CEASE UK PRODUCTION

TP CATS TO CEASE UK PRODUCTION

Catalyst and DPF producer TP Engineering Ltd is to cease UK production of catalysts and  diesel particulate filters.

The firm, also known as TPCATS, is owned by Portugal-based emissions manufacturer Fabriscape. In a letter to customers seen by CAT, Fabriscape confirms that production at the Stoke-on-Trent works will end ‘with immediate effect’ and that production will resume in Portugal ‘once the missing production resources have been put in place’.

The letter said that a  finished stock and logistics team will remain on site so that orders can continue to be placed, but that ‘it is not possible to prevent some disruption and availability issues’ as production is moved. No reason was given in the letter for the abrupt cessation of production, with the letter simply saying that it was after ‘thoughtful consideration’.

The current time is a period of change for UK emission products manufacturing. Earlier this week, rival producer European Exhausts and Catalysts was found to be selling non-compliant DPFs and later this month another rival, Klarius Products is due to stand trial on a similar charge.

 

TP CATS Stoke on Trent HQ has closed

 

 

 

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HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHY’S FOR £9.3M

HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHY’S FOR £9.3M

Retail giant Halfords has acquired Scottish servicing chain McConechy’s in a deal worth £9.3 million.

McConechy’s is one of the UK’s largest servicing and MOT chains, employing roughly 330 people across 59 sites in Scotland and the north east of England. It is estimated to generate around £45 million in revenue, and will slot in alongside Halfords’ existing Autocentre, weFit and Mobile Expert servicing brands. 

The new deal has been described by Halfords boss Graham Stapleton as “highly complementary” to the firm’s existing range of product and service offerings. 

He added: “The vehicle servicing market is a £10 billion market, but one which remains highly fragmented, offering significant scope for Halfords’ trusted and recognised consumer brand to grow its market share considerably.”

READ: PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER

The announcement comes as Halfords rounds up its half-year financial results, which reveal a 2.5 percent profit drop and 2.9 percent revenue decline in the six months leading up to 27 September. 

The company blames the losses on a “challenging retail backdrop and tough weather comparators year-on-year”, but also acknowledges that further financial damage was prevented by “strategic investment, gross margin improvements and tight cost control”. 

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EMISSION PARTS PRODUCER LOSES COMPLIANCE CASE

EMISSION PARTS PRODUCER LOSES COMPLIANCE CASE

A case described as a ‘landmark’ has been won by DVSA against a Hampshire-based emission parts manufacturer.

The ruling, described as the first of its kind, against EEC (European Exhaust and Catalyst Ltd) took place at Portsmouth Magistrates Court and concluded on Monday 28 October, resulted in a criminal conviction for the company and a £3,000 fine.

The court also ordered the company to pay costs totalling £10,460 and a statutory surcharge of £170.

READ: KLARIUS DIRECTORS FACE COURT

The parts were diesel particulate filters and were supplied for Euro 5 vehicles when they were only approved for Euro 4 vehicles and did not have a label on the physical product containing the words: ‘ILLEGAL TO SUPPLY FOR VEHICLES APPROVED TO EC REGULATION 715/2007’.

DVSA’s Head of Vehicle Engineering, Neil Barlow said: “Motorists expect that replacement parts available on the aftermarket meet the right specifications for their car. This is the first successful prosecution of its kind. We hope it sends a clear message to other parts manufacturers and distributers that they must sell their products in line with the law or face prosecution.”

The offences relate to the supply of parts that were not approved for the vehicles for which they were supplied for and without the required legal markings.

The judge at the hearing commented that this was a very difficult case for sentencing as it was the first ever prosecution of its kind, but he wanted to bring home the seriousness of offences of this nature in light of emissions and the environment.

READ: ROW ERUPTS OVER CATALYST TYPE APPROVAL

Parts manufacturers and distributers must ensure their products meet the necessary standards and are correctly marked and approved for the vehicles or engine types that they are intended for.

 

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NTDA BOSS: ‘TOTAL BAN ONLY WAY’ FOR PART WORN TYRES

NTDA BOSS: ‘TOTAL BAN ONLY WAY’ FOR PART WORN TYRES

Stefan Hay, the Chief Executive of the National Tyre Distributors Assoc. has opened the annual conference by calling for a total ban on all part worn tyres, following a failure to enforce standards.

Stephan Hay calls for total ban on part-worn tyres

“Over the last two years I have been criticised on two counts” he said. “Firstly, by online trolls who call me some outrageous things. These trolls are actually fans of part worn tyres. Secondly, I’ve been criticised by scrap merchants who make a profit out of selling part-worn tyres”.

READ: FEDERATION CALLS FOR BAN ON USED TYRE SALES

“These people have said that I’m only calling for a ban because I want to sell more tyres. Well, to the critics I say ‘you’re damn right’. Our members don’t sell part worn tyres, so of course we want to sell safe, legal tyres and I don’t make any apology for that. Our members have been campaigning for greater tyre safety since 1930, so why would I change position now?”

Hay continued: “In the past I have been criticised by non-NTDA members for  calling for a ban on illegal or non-compliant tyres, but not all part-worn tyres… Well, that’s a bit of a play on words. Of course our members want a ban on all part worn tyres, because at the moment lack of enforcement, and therefore compliance, meant that a shocking 99 percent of retailers inspected during Tyre Safety Month were not compliant with the regulations, and 75 percent of tyres inspected were dangerous. So, if we weren’t to ban all part worn tyres, what exactly would be left?”

The conference also included speakers from roadside recovery and vehicle lighting, and topics included safety, fraud and counterfeit protection as well as tax liability.

 

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ALLIANCE ACQUIRES ANOTHER BRACE OF FACTORS

ALLIANCE ACQUIRES ANOTHER BRACE OF FACTORS

Business group Alliance Automotive UK has continued its buying spree with the acquisition of South Wales-based FMP and Glaze Autoparts of Wolverhampton. 

READ: ALLIANCE AUTOMOTIVE UK ACQUIRES ASMF

Both companies were existing members of Alliance Automotive’s GroupAuto buying group. Glaze Autoparts was incorporated in 2000 by Mark Leason and Roy Blundell was MD at the time of acquisition. 

READ: RAPID GROUP FOUNDER SOLD TO GROUPAUTO PARENT

FMP (originally Foreign Motor Parts) was originally founded in 1996, although the company in its current form dates to 2004. Founded by Neil Melmoth, the business had several branches covering an area between Swansea and Port Talbot with around 40 staff and 16 vans.  

Glaze Autoparts now wholly owned by AAG

These latest deals brings the number of UK motor factor businesses acquired by the group in 2019 to 14 and around 30 locations.

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