Archive | Uncategorised

BREAKING: STATEMENT ISSUED BY KLARIUS DIRECTORS

A joint statement has been issued by the Directors of Klarius Ltd relating to charges dating back to 2013 over alleged deliberate mislabelling of type-approved catalysts and DPFs. The statement reads as follows:

“Personally we are surprised that this issue has been raised again after it was investigated thoroughly by the VCA over three years ago after we self-reported these same issues and it will come as no surprise that the people named vigorously deny any activity prohibited by the Companies Act.

READ: KLARIUS DIRECTORS FACE COURT 

 The subsequent report issued by the VCA and the Department for Transport (DfT) in December 2015 resulted in no action being taken, and concurred that our products met all the required performance and safety standards.

At the time we responded quickly and efficiently, working with our customers, to rectify what was essentially an administrative error relating to a small percentage of the catalytic converters manufactured at that time, discovered and exploited particularly by two of our competitors who clearly stand to gain from any adverse publicity.

We continue to be 100% transparent in what we do and again invite anyone to visit and review our quality standards and conformity of production procedures.

READ: CATALYST ROW, KLARIUS DIRECTORS ISSUE STATEMENT 

 We will confidently defend the proceedings that have been brought against us personally.

 This is not an action against Klarius and there is no suggestion of any issue at all with any Klarius product currently available for sale. The company continues to work closely with all appropriate regulatory bodies to drive standards higher.”

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, News, UncategorisedComments (0)

FUEL CARDS – SHOULD YOU GET ONE?

When running a business, the issue of fuelling company vehicles is probably not the first thing on one’s mind. Indeed it’s probably more comfortable to try not to think about it, seeing as it’s another overhead that the company could do without. On top of that, keeping track of receipts for accounts purposes or to reimburse staff creates an administrative headache. This is where fuel cards come in. Or rather, came in. Fuel cards have been around for decades, and aim to simplify the process of keeping a company vehicle fleet topped up with fuel by consolidating invoices.

A fuel card is essentially a credit card which is restricted to the purchase of petrol or diesel, plus some vehicle accessories depending on the type of card owned. The fuel card company then pays for a fill-up transaction, and sends the invoice to the company that the fuel card is registered with. These invoices tend to be weekly, and mean that hours once spent sifting through hundreds of receipts to reclaim VAT can be used more productively.

Many fleet operators now use fuel cards. But for those who don’t, it’s a question of knowing when to start.

Types

There are many different types of fuel cards available to suit the type of business one might be running, from SMEs to large, nationwide fleets. BP, for example, offers its BP Plus card or fleets who need maximum coverage with a cross-acceptance partner network including Texaco, Gulf and Esso. Alternatively, there is the BP Plus Bunker specifically for bus and truck fleets who use key motorway and A-road routes.

Generally, more and more companies are signing up, as Jo McDonnell, UK Fuel Card Manager of BP, explains. “We have definitely seen overall growth in the amount of businesses recognising the ways in which fuel cards can support them, by saving them time and costs. There has also been a rise in the number of SMEs using fuel cards as it’s of high priority that their fleet management is efficient and easy to manage, as well as track, and fuel cards along with the BPme app make the process much simpler.”

One such fleet operator is Richard Shortis. Though the Shortis Group, which owns such brands as Wilco and Fast Fit, has outgrown SME territory, Shortis has made use of fuel cards for around 15 years, and thinks that a small fleet size shouldn’t be a factor in deciding when to adopt fuel card use. “Any organisation which has just one vehicle and they have a driver that has to go and put the fuel in it, it’s much easier to give them a card rather than giving them money,” he said. “We used to have our own diesel tanks and have them on site and fill up our vans on site with diesel. But when the savings disappeared from having your own tank, it became more convenient just to use a petrol station. So it wasn’t dependent on the size of the vehicle fleet, it’s the fact that we used to have our own tank and in the old days, years ago, you used to get quite a good saving if you bought diesel in bulk. But that [saving] got less and less, so that’s why we moved to the fuel cards.”

Downsides

Fuel cards aren’t without their faults. Just like any other payment card, there is a risk of fraud associated with their use, despite efforts to make the platform as secure as possible. For instance, if a fuel card is stolen or lost, then what’s to stop anyone picking it up and purchasing fuel on a company tab? For one thing, notifying a fuel card provider of a lost card as soon as possible is a crucial step. But there is further security on top of this.

McDonnell explains that as well as the standard practice of setting a PIN number for card purchases, BP keeps an ‘online authorisation process’ of all fuel transactions, as well as “special alerts that monitor card use, keeping track of everything including location, site type, day and time, products bought, and litres of fuel purchase – giving fuel managers complete transparency.”

Additionally, cards can be linked to certain vehicles or drivers, further enhancing security and enabling fleet managers to keep a more detailed record of spending and mileage. “Firstly, when the driver purchases fuel, the registration and milage are requested at the point of purchase and captured as part of the transaction,” says McDonnell. “Secondly, if a driver pays using BPme, they must enter their vehicle registration and mileage before activating the pump, meaning more accurate data as they capture this whilst in front of their odometer.” This linking of fuel cards seems to be a strong security method employed by most fuel card providers. Indeed, when asked if he had ever had a security problem with the fuelling of his fleet, Shortis replied: “Not really. Most of the fuel cards are assigned to a vehicle registration. The only downside is, it depends if the petrol station doesn’t do their bit with the check on the vehicle. But we haven’t had any issues through misuse of fuel cards.”

Another concern is with the providers themselves. There is a concern among fuel card users that prices can rise if they don’t pay attention, as Shortis highlights: “The only downside is that some of the fuel card providers try to get one over on you – either alter their terms or say ‘oh, by the way we’re putting in a charge now so if you want to use a card it’s gonna be x number of pounds per use’ or whatever,” he said. This certainly isn’t exclusive to fuel card providers though, and many readers can probably tell of similar stories with their electricity, internet or phone bill provider, for instance. This is a nuisance, to be sure, but the way of tackling the situation is the same: negotiate the price down, or threaten to switch providers. “We have switched providers and they’ve come back pretty quickly saying ‘oh, we didn’t actually put that in!’” says Shortis. “Everything’s up for negotiation, or sometimes they don’t negotiate until after you’ve switched.” It’s worth keeping that in mind if ever you notice mysterious charges on your invoice. Plus, regularly keeping in touch with your provider to negotiate a better deal might be a good idea as well.

Looking forward

It’s a system that seems to work just fine, so what could possibly change? Well, even the fuel card industry is keeping on top of environmental trends. “For example, as EV becomes an increasingly relevant topic for both individual drivers and fleets, fuel cards will adapt to meet this need,” says McDonnell. “For example, BP has invested in Chargemaster, which will soon allow BP Fuel Card users to manage their fleet through one simple solution even if they shift to electric vehicles, including access to Polar, the largest network of electric vehicle charging points in the UK.”

Food for thought, whether you operate a one-van fleet or dozens of electric minivans.

Posted in Blogs, UncategorisedComments (0)

PROMO: AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM NEW INITIATIVES

PROMO: AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM NEW INITIATIVES

Promotional article on behalf of Automechanika Birmingham

New initiatives driving anticipation ahead of June event

Pre-registration for Automechanika Birmingham 2019 is up 21% on the same time last year, thanks largely to the raft of new initiatives being unveiled.

A record number of motor factors and garages are due to descend upon the Midlands once again for the industry’s leading trade exhibition, taking place from 4 to 6 June at the NEC Birmingham.

This year’s event will see the launch of many new points of interest covering all aspects of the automotive industry, including: The Big UK Garage Event, Aftermarket Innovation Showcase, Commercial Vehicle Showcase, Garage Equipment Showcase and, Hosted Garage Programme, all designed to deliver an enhanced visitor experience.

Big UK Garage Event

The Big UK Garage Event offers garages free parking, free breakfast on arrival and ‘Happy Hour’, where technicians can grab a free drink every lunch time.

Other exciting developments this year for garages include CPD accredited training and demos from the industry’s top speakers including Frank Massey, Andy Crook and James Dillon, the Training & Skills Village and the returning Workshop Training Hub. Exhibitors will also be providing a raft of exclusive show offers and giveaways for garages at this year’s event.

Hosted Garage Programme

Motor factors that bring their garage customers to Automechanika Birmingham 2019 will benefit from an exclusive VIP area, enjoy fast track access into the event and support with their travel arrangements. 

Innovation
Innovation will be the leading theme for the 2019 event. Following extensive Automechanika research, “new technology and innovation” were key reasons to attend the event for independent garages, motor factors, retailers and bodyshops and so Automechanika is looking to build on this by highlighting all innovation from within the automotive industry.

Other new initiatives for Automechanika Birmingham 2019 include: Bodyshop Demo Hub, Aftermarket Power Network, Automechanika Garage of the Year Awards and Future Mobility & Innovation Hub in association with Department of International Trade.

Jack Halliday, Event Director, said: “We’ve seen an increase in anticipation from visitors and exhibitors for this year’s event and the excitement is building. Automechanika Birmingham is a must visit for anybody working in the automotive industry and this year’s event is going to be the most engaging yet, cementing Automechanika Birmingham’s position as the meeting place for the UK’s automotive industry.”

Major aftermarket names committed to the 2019 event include: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK, Yuasa, Apec Braking Ltd, BM Catalysts, Draper Tools, GROUPAUTO, Launch Tech UK, Liqui Moly, MAM Software, Marathon Warehouse Distribution, Morris Lubricants, OESSA, Texa UK and Total UK.

Registration is now open and visitors can now book their free ticket here: https://automechanika-birmingham-2019.reg.buzz

Posted in Featured Sidebar, UncategorisedComments (0)

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Latest News, News, special news, UncategorisedComments (0)

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”.

Posted in Latest News, Retailer News, special news, UncategorisedComments (1)

CAT AWARDS 2019: WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The winners of the CAT Awards 2019 are as follows:

 

Motor Factor of the Year: Autoparts UK

 

Factor Team of the Year: Butlers Automotive

 

CAT Awards 2019 winners have been announced

Garage Chain of the Year: Halfords Autocentres

 

Independent Garage of the Year: Scotlands Ash Garage

 

Retailer of the Year: Wilco

 

Supplier of the Year: Banner Batteries

 

Outstanding Achievement: Dave Garrett of the Garage Equipment Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogs, UncategorisedComments (0)

DATA PROTECTION LAWS: DON”T GET A MASSIVE FINE

holding this page

Posted in UncategorisedComments (0)

FPS OPENS LAUNCESTON HUB

Alliance Automotive-owned wholesaler FPS Distribution has opened an new regional distribution centre in Launceston, Cornwall. Todd Hollyoake has been appointed Branch Manager. Hollyoake worked for the Birmingham branch for many years so is well versed in company standards.

He will be joined by Iain Lockett who has been appointed Assistant Branch Manager. Locket brings over 15 years of experience in the motor trade and an array of skills to help in the daily running of the branch and dealing with customer enquiries.

Posted in UncategorisedComments (0)

IAAF CONFERENCE: WILLIAMSON’S WARNINGS ON  BREXIT AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION

IAAF CONFERENCE: WILLIAMSON’S WARNINGS ON BREXIT AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION

The Chief Executive of the IAAF has opened the annual conference with warnings on a number of industry topics including the EU negotiations and VMs infringing on independent garage’s  right to repair.

On the subject of Brexit she warned: “If the deal is rejected the we will all be entering into the unknown”

Speaking about access to information, Williamson noted that several vehicle manufacturers have already deleted the OBD port, despite being obliged to keep it. She emphasised how keeping ‘three priorities’ on direct access to data as a live issue in the European Parliament by working with other trade organisations such as FIGEFA.

She noted that ‘many traditional parts won’t exist in the future’, adding that new entrant to the market such as Dyson and the rise of Chinese brands will be a significant challenge for the VMs. She concluded: “We will adapt and find new ways to find and service the vehicles of tomorrow”.

The conference continues.

 

Williamson opens 2018 conference

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, News, UncategorisedComments (0)

PROMO: CORTECO EXPLODES THE GUIDE BUSHES ‘MYTH’

PROMOTIONAL CONTENT WRITTEN BY CORTECO

 

Clutch input shaft sleeves (guide/ bushes) and seals: essential, but are they really only available through dealerships? Corteco explodes the myth.

The first call for any replacement part is the local motor factor, but when it comes to a part such as a clutch input shaft sleeve (guide/ bush) and seal, most UK garages turn to dealerships.

Essential in clutch changes for many German, Italian and French-built cars, dealerships hold a virtual monopoly on aftermarket sales throughout the UK. But the fact is, they are not an OE supply only item.

Garages only think they are.

 

New direction

Split-open view of a guide bush

Until quite recently, for example, that’s precisely what they thought up at Almark Garage in Wirksworth, Derbyshire:

“We always sourced them through the dealers. It just seemed like the place to get them because it was associated more with the OE gearbox than the clutch,” says proprietor Mark Swift.

“Our problem was that once you’ve got the vehicle up on the ramp and the gearbox off, you couldn’t hang around all day. Sometimes service from the dealers leaves a lot to be desired, so it meant that we didn’t always replace them, even though we know they can be a source of problems with the clutch.”

Almark is fitting more, now, because the availability has improved.

“It was only when the motor factor came along about three months ago and pointed out that they now had them in stock that we switched over. They are not expensive to buy, but even so, they are half the dealership price. I have to say that the service they provide means we are now fitting more than we ever did,” he adds.

 

Guide/ bush function

When not in operation, the clutch release bearing withdraws and comes to rest on the shaft sleeve. The shaft sleeve can become pitted through wear and tear. A worn release bearing can catch on it, leading to misalignment problems that can cause the clutch to slip.

This accelerates clutch wear.

Inside the shaft sleeve is a rubber seal. This is designed to protect the clutch from ingress by gearbox oil. If the seal fails there are problems ahead. Seal failure is often related to debris generated by clutch wear.

 

Contaminants

Clutch ‘dust’ accumulates in the gearbox. If the dust accumulates on the shaft and on the sealing lip, the seal can be compromised. It can damage the seal and reduce operational life. A worn or damaged seal allows the oil to leak into the clutch housing. If this contaminates the friction plate, premature failure of the clutch is inevitable.

This leads to excessive slippage. Any excessive slip between the clutch and flywheel causes overheating. Soaring clutch temperatures increase the potential for failure.

Installation errors

After removing the clutch, the clutch input shaft sleeve (guide/bush) and seal is sometimes ignored or not considered for replacement. Three alternative views are:

  1. a) It is part of the gearbox, rather than the clutch
  2. b) It looks ok, so let’s save the customer money
  3. b) They are difficult to replace so are best left alone

Each of these constitutes an error of judgement that can expose the garage to an expensive rectification procedure and damage its reputation.

Best practice

Corteco, one of the world’s largest manufacturer’s of clutch input shaft sleeves (guide/ bush) and seals, says that although these components are highly reliable performers, they must be replaced when changing the clutch.

It adds that because so many garages have always sourced their replacement from dealerships, many motor factors are unaware of the demand.

Given that labour is the major cost of the clutch change and that the clutch input shaft sleeve (guide/bush) and seal is not an expensive part, garages would be inclined to change more of them if the parts were available. A campaign to raise awareness about aftermarket availability is under way.

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry Insight, UncategorisedComments (0)

Advertisement
  • SPECIAL: 40th anniversary edition. Chris Swan, Peter Joyner and many others interviewed
  • BREXIT: Pressure on warehouse space
  • LIVES: Jensen specialist

more info

    • Should hand car washes face further regulation?

      View Results

      Loading ... Loading ...
    • Popular
    • Latest
    • Comments
    • Tags
    • Subscribe