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EQUIPAUTO 2017 UNDERWAY

EQUIPAUTO 2017 UNDERWAY

The biennial Equipauto exhibition is currently underway in Paris.

Official visitor figures are not available until after the show, but the organiser has indicated that it is pleased with the number of visitors, with a figure of 100,000 indicated on a pre-show communication.

Highlights of the fringe have included a number of discussions (in French) on the subjects of the connected car and the future of the aftermarket, while the show itself has played host to a number of presentations and launches from the likes of Hella, AAG France, Falken Tyres and Federal Mogul.

A Grand Prix D’Or was held to celebrate innovations in service and garage equipment. Bosch won trophies in three out of eight possible categories with awards also being taken by Hella France, ENV4, Mixplast and Robot-Wash.

Look out for a full report in November issue CAT.

 

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QH NO LONGER DISTRIBUTED BY JP GROUP

QH NO LONGER DISTRIBUTED BY JP GROUP

QH Braking portfolio

DENMARK-based distributor JP Group will stop distributing Quinton Hazell brand products from 6th December 2017.

The move comes as QH brand owner Tetrosyl prepares to have its new distribution centre fully operational.

JP Group provided a relaunch platform for the QH brand since being appointed licensee for Scandinavia and Germany back in 2013. A statement on a Tetrosyl press release states: “It has now been agreed that in order to increase the current commendable distribution routes established by the JP Group that Tetrosyl Ltd will continue the development of these markets directly”.

JP Group are based in Viborg, Denmark and is best known for producing and distributing
League’s Southern Premier club and stadium sponsor.

Tetrosyl’s Distribution Centre is due to be fully operational in October 2017 and will combine the distribution of oils, chemicals, car care and now QH replacement parts all under one roof. This will enable all supplies of QH products within the territories to transfer to Tetrosyl as of the 6th December 2017.

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BILSTEIN GROUP TO HOST RECRUITMENT EVENT

BILSTEIN GROUP TO HOST RECRUITMENT EVENT

Distribution centre is now completed

German parts maker Ferdinand Bilstein is holding a recruitment open day, taking place at its Markham Vale plant on Saturday 14th October.

The event will run from 10am until 16:00pm where potential employees will be given a tour of its new distribution centre in North-East Derbyshire, plus a rundown of all the job opportunities available on site.

The component manufacturer said up to 140 jobs will be up for grabs with full training provided to  candidates that make the cut.

For those interested in attending should get in touch with a member of the Bilstein team as soon as possible through the company website.

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CAT AWARDS 2018

CAT AWARDS 2018

NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN!

It’s that time of the year where we launch the CAT Awards for 2018. Once again, the event will be held in the stylish surroundings of the Lowry Hotel in Manchester on Friday February 9. All we need now is your nominations for companies and people that you think would be worthy winners! Email cat.awards@haymarket.com with a note saying who you think should be on our list. Why not do it right now?

Factor Team of the Year
Nominate branch team for recognition

Factor Chain of the Year
Any factor with two or more branches can be nominated

Independent Garage of the Year – Sponsored by Euro Repar
Nominate the best independent garage

Garage Chain of the Year – Sponsored by HaynesPro
For any garage with two or more workshops

Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by Haynes
Let us know who your favourite retailer is

Supplier of the Year
For suppliers that have gone beyond the call of duty

Outstanding Achievement – Sponsored by NOCO
For individuals who made the aftermarket what it is

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AUTOSUPPLIES ACQUIRES BUTLERS AUTOMOTIVE

AUTOSUPPLIES ACQUIRES BUTLERS AUTOMOTIVE

Autosupplies Chesterfield Ltd has acquired Barnsley based motor factor Butlers Automotive with immediate effect.

The acquisition is the first of its kind for Autosupplies, having grown its head office and Bolsover branch to be one of the largest single branch motor factors in the UK, occupying a 40,000sqft site and employing more than 90 members of staff and managing a fleet of more than 50 delivery vehicles.

Butlers Automotive has been trading in Barnsley for more than 40 years, but in the past year has suffered setbacks with the tragic loss of both its owners Philip and Nicollette Parkin.

Tony Porter, Butlers Automotive Director, said: “To ensure the business continues to move forward, it needs to be under the stewardship of a vibrant business that understands the values of Butlers Automotive and that of its customers. We are delighted that family run business Autosupplies Chesterfield Ltd will be taking the business forward.”

David Clarke, Autosupplies Managing Director, said: “Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to Tony and the staff at Butlers Automotive for their professionalism and courage during a very difficult period.

“We are delighted to have secured Butlers Automotive’s future and can’t wait to get started. The name Butlers Automotive is highly regarded in Barnsley for its customer service and it is a name and brand that we are determined to grow. The business is founded on traditional values and this, coupled with the backing of the UK’s largest single branch motor factor in Autosupplies, means an exciting future ahead.”

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IAAF CONFERENCE SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

IAAF CONFERENCE SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

The proceedings for the IAAF’s Annual Conference are well underway with a variety of industry speakers set to take centre stage and discuss the ‘real’ issues affecting the aftermarket, post Brexit.

So far, confirmed speakers include Dr. Julia Saini (Frost and Sullivan), Allistair Preston (whocanfixmycar) as well as Steve Nash (IMI), Olaf Heffing (Mahle) and more. The event will be facilitated by racing car legend Johnny Herbert who will help debate other topics on the federation’s agenda including the Connected Car and the government’s recent announcement for the abolishment of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

IAAF Chief Exec Wendy Williamson said, “The expertise, experience and insight provided by our speakers will, I believe, feature in the future strategic planning of all those that attend”, she added. “We’re looking to the future, but we also recognise the pressures faced by our members today and will aim to provide some clarity and insight into these challenges”.

This year’s conference will take place at the Players Suite, Double Tree by Hilton on Thursday 7th December. For those invited, don’t forget your black tie!

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VMs TO ‘DESIGN OUT’ HACKERS

VMs TO ‘DESIGN OUT’ HACKERS

DfT Minister Lord Callanan

A new set of government guidelines have been announced by Department for Transport Minister Lord Callanan to protect motorists from cyber attacks on the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles.

With immediate effect, manufacturers and technicians developing smart cars and high tech vehicles must ensure crooks are kept at bay by designing out any cyber security threats preventing would-be hackers from obtaining personal data, stealing cars that use keyless entry and taking control of them with malicious intent through wi-fi.

“Risks of people hacking into the technology might be low, but we must make sure the public is protected” notes Callanan. “Whether we’re turning vehicles into wi-fi connected hotspots or equipping them with millions of lines of code to become fully automated, it is important that they are protected against cyber- attacks. That’s why it’s essential all parties involved in the manufacturing and supply chain are provided with a consistent set of guidelines that support this global industry”.

Although most of the weight rests on VMs’ shoulders, Steve Nash, Chief Executive of the Institute of the Motoring Industry (IMI), says attention must also be brought to independents repairing these models, which is yet to be addressed by government in their latest guidelines.

“Computer diagnostics, vehicle programming and software updates are commonplace in the motor industry today. However, with the sector currently unregulated and no national standards in place it’s not always possible to track the people who may have access to our personal information” Nash said. “We are working hard to get government to address this area as well as the creation of systems at the manufacturing stage, so that motorists have confidence that they are not at risk.”

Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Chief Exec commented: “A consistent set of guidelines is an important step towards ensuring the UK can be among the first – and safest – of international markets to grasp the benefits of this exciting new technology”.

The new guidance can be viewed on the DfT’s website.

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SUKHPAL AND LKQ: ‘SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT’ IN HGV FACTOR CHAIN

SUKHPAL AND LKQ: ‘SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT’ IN HGV FACTOR CHAIN

Truck part supplier Digraph Transport Supplies has been acquired in a joint deal between LKQ Corporation and Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The move is significant as it marks the first time that both the founder of Euro Car Parts and the corporation that now own it have embarked on a deal as joint investors.

14-branch Digraph will retain all current employees and James Rawson will remain as MD. Rawson has also made an investment in the business.

CAT spoke briefly to Sukhpal to confirm the deal had taken place. He said that the ‘fragmented’ state of the HGV parts market lead it to being an area considered for expansion into for some time and that Digraph was the best fit in terms of matching ECPs ‘sales and customer service ethic’.

In a statement to his team, James Rawson said: “This investment will enable Digraph to access to the resources we need to grow the business and implement our expansion plans. We will work closely with ECP to enhance customer service levels. I am thrilled to be working with Sukhpal and taking up the challenge of extending the Digraph service to customers throughout the UK.”

In related news, Sukhpal has extended his three-year contract with ECP, retaining his position as Executive Chairman.

 

 

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LDS ACQUIRED BY GROUPAUTO PARENT

LDS ACQUIRED BY GROUPAUTO PARENT

LDS website

South Wales-based motor factor LDS appears to have been acquired by Alliance Automotive Group, parent of Groupauto.

Neither party has issued a statement as of yet (AAG usually issues quaterly round- ups of its activities) however, Companies House Lyndon Smith, Louise Smith and Wayne Thomas were terminated as Directors in July, while John Coombes, the Finance Director at Alliance Automotive Group was appointed Director on the same day. Additionally, the registered office details have been changed to AAG’s Birmingham HQ.

LDS was formed in 1990 and the first branch was in Barry. Over the years the company grew to three branches, the largest of which was a new site in Barry measuring 19,000sq ft. A merger in 2014 with factor Normag led to the creation of a branch called LDS Normag. At the time of writing, the chain consists of 30 vans and 60 staff. It has enjoyed a good relationship with Groupauto, winning the coveted ‘Member of the Year’ award in 2014.

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WHAT WILL AUTONOMOUS CARS MEAN FOR GARAGES?

WHAT WILL AUTONOMOUS CARS MEAN FOR GARAGES?

Euro Car Parts CEO Martin Gray

We live in a time of regular announcements about trials of connected autonomous vehicles as manufacturers race to be first to offer self-driving cars. And the government, Automotive Council UK and other bodies are fully committed to making sure the UK is at the forefront of autonomous technology, with a supply chain able to deliver it.

While we may be a few years from when cars will drive occupants to their destination, one thing is for sure; modern cars are getting ever more sophisticated. Indeed, some automotive observers have remarked there will be more technological change in the next 10 years than there has been in the past 100.

In fact, connected technology is already with us, with such systems as adaptive cruise control, automated city braking and lane departure – a sign that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are growing in number and intricacy. Even simple components, such as automatic full beam units, require technicians to acquire new skills and garages to invest in new equipment to replace windscreens, because systems need re-calibrating before returning a car to its owner.

Cars are also sophisticated in the way they alert a service is due and help an owner identify and reach the nearest garage to book an appointment. This is the brave new world made possible by the major advances in technology and presents a host of new business opportunities for the independent garage.

Consumers deserve and need choice in the market place and the aftermarket sector can continue to provide a great value, high quality, customer- focused solution in a technologically-changing world. With the right training and investing in key equipment, independents can realise a new range of business options.

“That’s why no matter how sophisticated the modern car will become with autonomous abilities, the essential nature of servicing and maintenance required remains the same. That’s why an entrepreneurial approach and ‘can do’ attitude mean the connected car of tomorrow will be welcomed at the forward-thinking independent garage of today.”

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