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THE HIDDEN COST OF POOR MENTAL HEALTH IN OUR TRADE

THE HIDDEN COST OF POOR MENTAL HEALTH IN OUR TRADE

By Rebecca Watt – Technician at Avia Sports Cars

According to research carried out by the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Only one in eight of those with a mental health problem are receiving help or treatment. Maybe that’s because they do not know what help is out there, or maybe they think it is not important or serious enough. There are many reasons why someone with an issue such as anxiety or depression may not get the help they need.

The truth is, everyone is affected by mental health at least once in their lives. Although women are more likely to be affected, men are three times as likely to take their own lives. There are about 6,000 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland each year and men make up about three quarters of this figure.

Now you’re probably thinking: what has this got to do with the Motor Industry? In fact, the garage trade is particularly affected by instances of poor mental health. Years of heavy lifting, chasing bills and complaining customers can take their toll, but there are many other reasons why an individual who has previously been fine can change to being ‘not okay’ in a short time.

Stress

Stress can build up and affect things like productivity, quality of work and physical health. Consider a lean management system, like any used in production factories and distributor’s warehouses. If any issue, no matter how slight is detected, the problem will be flagged and managers will work to resolve the issue as efficiently as possible. If a problem with a machine or industrial system is fixed so quickly, why then has a government report found that 300,000 people with mental health problems lose their jobs each year? It makes no sense.

From a business point of view, it is important to ensure employees are aware of the help available to them. People spend most of their time in the workplace, so giving employees the basic need of connection and being cared for will have a greater impact on their lives and will only then benefit the company. Employees will respond to this and work to their full potential. Studies have shown that 12.7 percent of all sickness absence days in the UK can be linked to mental health conditions. The government report showed that better mental health support in the workplace could save UK business up to £8 billion PA.

Flexible working

So what can be done in the workplace to improve mental health? A good start is if employers can embrace flexible working. Allowing staff to work flexible hours or schedules to suit them would give them the self-care time that they require to continue working to the best of their abilities. It is equally critical to allow employees to have their entitled time off, or holiday days away from the work environment so they can return bright eyed and bushy tailed.

People suffering with mental health problems are urged to see their GP, plus there are lots of charities that can help – Samaritans and their excellent confidential helpline for example. Specifically for our industry, there is the charity BEN which also offers a confidential support line and will work with individuals. They also offer a range of workplace awareness and engagement initiatives, training programmes and digital assets to help promote its services within companies. If you look after your employees, they will look after your company. Mental health should never be ignored.

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HOW TO BE A LEADER IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

HOW TO BE A LEADER IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

 

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY FORMER ENGLND CRICKETER, JEREMY SNAPE

 

It is a difficult time to be a business leader in the motor trade, and as Brexit uncertainty amplifies, businesses that rely on the EU for supplies and trade, are being tested like never before.

Already we are witnessing suppliers stockpiling parts to avoid the mayhem that chronic uncertainty has caused this vital sector.

Jeremy Snape urges firm leadership in an uncertain age

Imagine you are the boss of an independent garage that sources obscure but vital components for a certain make of van. Your biggest customer has a 50-strong fleet of these vans, and they need to be assured that your garage will keep supplying those vital parts without disruption that Brexit could bring – what do you do?

The UK’s future trading relationship with the EU is just one of the many ongoing concerns facing independent garages and distributors. The sale of diesel cars in freefall following the 2016 emissions scandal, while automated cars are the way of the future with petrol being phased out by 2040.

Even after the Brexit dust settles, they will be no end in sight for the huge environmental issues affecting the motor trade. London, for instance, has introduced a new charging zone for older polluting vehicles that enter the city, something that could be rolled out across the UK.

These fundamental challenges call for leaders who are capable of withstanding intense pressure.

Now is not the time to dither, but instead focus on showing courage, clarity, action and most importantly, leadership.

For lessons in leadership you could do no better than look to the military or elite sport, which operate in environments of intense pressure, constant uncertainty and, in the case of the military, life or death decisions. You might argue that in professional sport, international football and rugby teams operate in environments where some people think the outcome is even more important.

The pressure powerful enough to unnerve even the most experienced players as I have learned from personal experience. Mental preparation is key to success.

Back in 2002, when I was privileged enough to be included in the England Cricket squad tour of India, my game collapsed in front of 120,000 people while I was up against batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.

The crowd roared as the pressure built up inside me that day, I couldn’t hear a thing and I ran Freddie Flintoff out. Right there and then I felt I wasn’t good enough to be there. It was only later when I started exploring psychology that I understood it wasn’t India that beat me that day, but my own mindset.

This started my research quest to find out what neuroscientists, military leaders, and Olympians could teach us all about performing under pressure.

In the last decade I’ve interviewed some of the world’s most impressive and prolific leaders, from Sir Alex Ferguson to military generals and even the Performance Director at the Cirque du Soleil to understand what tactics and strategies they use to mentally prepare for uncertainty.

In doing so I have distilled the secrets of their success into a digital library which helps my clients to maintain a winning mindset when they need it most.

Here are some essential tactics to help you cope with chronic uncertainty.

  1. Stop blaming others; own the situation.

With our current Brexit situation there are plenty of people you might feel like blaming– the electorate; former Prime Minister David Cameron; the EU; MPs in Westminster; our Prime Minister.  But when Brexit is done there will be another fundamental problem in its place. You can’t continue to blame others for everything that is wrong in the world, you need to get over it.

In the world of sport, we see elite coaches stepping up when things have gone wrong, not making excuses.

Ireland Rugby coach Joe Schmidt didn’t hide after his team was beat by Wales in the final Six Nations match in February. It later turned out some of the squad had been hit by a stomach bug in the run up to match, but that wasn’t an excuse for poor play, said Schmidt, they were simply beaten by a better team and would need to work out a strategy for the World Cup in Japan.

As Schmidt shows, great leaders don’t waste time blaming others: it may win you sympathy, but it won’t help you solve the problems.

Uncertainty creates opportunity so start by owning the situation and making a plan that turns the uncertainty into an advantage.  After all, other businesses have the same problems so those that actively tackle the situation will be the ones that succeed.

  1. Pressure is a privilege.

 

Having played in and worked with some of the world’s highest profile sporting teams, I’ve seen how they use pressure as privilege and use this mindset to tackle potential issues head on. Worrying about what might or could happen leads to paralysis, so an effective leader must embrace the challenges ahead.

In the military, the best leaders prepare their teams for Plan A, but they also throw scenarios into the training that get the teams thinking on their feet. I’ve supported several senior leadership sessions at Sandhurst military academy and heard how they create challenging and chaotic scenarios to test the soldiers’ ability to think clearly and adapt under pressure.

In a business context, this could mean equipping teams with the skills to make decisions under extreme pressure and rehearsing with scenarios. By pressure testing various challenges, you will be more familiar with the decision-making sequence that follows when chaos ensues. What if vital parts for your biggest customer was stopped at the border?

  1. Don’t micromanage – enable.

 

An effective leader needs to have confidence that their team so that they are empowered to make crucial decisions when needed.

This may sound good on paper, but, I hear you ask, what does that mean in practice?

Making sure that vital employees are given the right training is essential for building confidence in them. Equipped with the right skills and level of autonomy, team members will feel empowered to make decisions – and this could be the difference between you and your competitors, who are dally without making business choices.

  1. Be fluid not fixed.

 

Rapidly changing situations calls for leaders who can bring together diverse people to fix problems and exploit opportunities, fast.

Leaders must understand that they can’t predict and prevent all problems from arising, they must prepare teams so they can assess and respond quickly.

Understanding your biggest business threats, whether that is Brexit or environmental issues, and how your business will respond if they become reality is important to be able to withstand the pressure that comes from uncertainty.

Confidence comes from preparation, so plan for the unexpected and turn disruption to a commercial advantage.

Very few will have the perfect strategy to deal with the political uncertainty in coming weeks but those who maximise their mindset and culture will have the best chance of winning whatever the position.

 

  • Former England Cricketer Jeremy Snape founded Sporting Edge,  a consultancy that ‘unlocks the Winning Mindset in business’. Stated in 2005, the firm’s approach to corporate learning helps businesses to stay ahead of the game.

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PROMO: A CLEAN START: INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF WIPERS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF VALEO

 

Recent advances in wiper blade technology are improving performance, keeping drivers safer, saving them money, and making it easier to find the right replacements.

 

The humble wiper blade is often an accessory we don’t pay too much attention to, but under-performing wipers can have a big effect on your safety on the road, and your back pocket.

Thankfully, some recent breakthroughs from the French manufacturer Valeo are improving wiper performance, and making it easier to find and fit the right replacements.

One of the recent breakthroughs in wiper blade technology has been the development of the Valeo AquabladeTM.

A winner of a 2018 PACE Award for innovation, the Valeo AquaBladeTM completely rethinks the car windscreen washing system.

As conventional wiping systems spray washer fluid from stationary jets beneath the windscreen, there’s often an uneven distribution of fluid, a high amount of waste, a lack of effectiveness at high speeds or in high wind, and reduced driver visibility during the clean. With the Valeo AquaBladeTM on the other hand, fluid is distributed through channels along the entire length of each wiper blade rather than from stationary jets.

The result is a windscreen surface uniformly cleaned, regardless of vehicle speed or wind conditions. You only use the washing fluid you need, reducing fluid consumption. And, most importantly, there is a significant improvement in driver visibility during a clean, increasing road safety for everyone.

The fact that Valeo AquaBladeTM is built on a flat blade rather than a traditional wiper blade also means a much smoother, consistent and quieter performance.

Where traditional wiper blades have between four and eight pressure points in contact with your car’s windscreen, flat blades have hundreds of pressure points resulting in uniform pressure along the entire length of each wiper.

Valeo wiper blades are also designed to be extremely quick and easy to install – they can be replaced in a matter of seconds. Valeo Service’s packaging features step-by-step fitting instructions and there are a number of instructional videos on their website.

Finding the right replacement with Valeo Service is simple too. Each wiper blade package clearly shows the vehicle makes and models the wiper is suitable for, and there is also a QR code on each packet that is linked to an online tool to confirm you have the right wipers.

Valeo Service recommends replacing wiper blades on a regular basis or as soon as they show any sign of wear that results in a loss of wiping performance.

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OSRAM COMPLETES RING AUTOMOTIVE ACQUISITION

OSRAM COMPLETES RING AUTOMOTIVE ACQUISITION

Ring Automotive HQ

Lighting manufacturer Osram has completed on the deal to acquire Ring Automotive, following clearance by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The proposed buyout was announced earlier this year, although details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Ring Automotive was previously owned by industrial investment firm Rubicon Partners.

George Skalski, Managing Director of Ring Automotive said of the deal:  “Being part of the Osram family offers us incredible opportunities for further global expansion. The synergies are enormous and will help us to continue our innovation leadership together. In the future, our customers will benefit from the many years of experience of both companies”.

“In addition to expanding our aftermarket portfolio, the acquisition of Ring will enable us to tap into additional sales potential and further expand our market expertise. The aim is to use the additional market and customer access and create synergies in the product portfolio and distribution channels,” said Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of Osram Automotive.

 

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PROMO: PROFIT NOW FROM DIESEL AND GDI INJECTION SYSTEMS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF HARTRIDGE LTD

 

Fuel Injection Repair? Not Just for Specialists…

Lee Jacobs, Global Product & Strategy Director at Hartridge, explains why UK workshops looking to invest in the next big thing should consider the Diesel & GDi injector repair/servicing sector.

 

The fuel system test & repair aftermarket is arguably undergoing the most change of all in the Automotive industry as a result of the diesel engine falling from grace.

Inevitably, this comes at a time when the number of CR (common rail) diesel vehicles outside of warranty is at its highest. Simultaneously, the GDi (petrol direct injection) market is experiencing unprecedented growth as a comparative newcomer to the fuel system market. The technology is now dominating petrol engine OE production at a time when the huge shift in registrations from diesel to petrol is in full swing.

 

Annual UK new car registrations by fuel type. Source: IHS Markit 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is our opinion that right now the market is ripe for newcomers to invest in both diesel and GDi injector testing and for Diesel specialists to seriously consider GDi as a natural and unavoidable consequence of the change that they cannot ignore for long.

Our argument is based on three key principals:

1: A vast & aging diesel-engine vehicle parc sits alongside a fast growing new technology (GDi) with known reliability issues. Over the next 5 years at least, the opportunity to provide a cost effective alternative to injector replacement is set to soar. An injector test-clean-service-retest proposition offers motorists great value and excellent profit returns for the workshop.

 

2:  The latest Hartridge test equipment offers a fantastic low investment all makes entry point into the market. Until recently it was only possible for serious specialist diesel players to invest in its OE authorised equipment due to investment cost & complexity involved.

 

3: These same new machines enable a workshop with no specialist knowledge of fuel systems to comprehensively test CR Diesel or GDi injectors before repairing or servicing them. A combination of patented technology and highly advanced software provides the average garage with a ‘turnkey’ next-generation range of test equipment.

Click to enlarge

The market is changing but diesel is still a vast opportunity. Source: www.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new test machines are very easy to use and are fully automatic. Our decades of know-how and understanding of testing injectors to OE standards is all captured within the hardware and embedded in the software technology.

This significantly de-skills a workshop’s market entry requirements, which makes it easier, cheaper and faster to start earning revenue though testing, servicing and repairing injectors.

For any workshop wanting to profit from this opportunity then choosing Hartridge test equipment means investment is now a fraction of what it used to be, and the resulting profit returns are possibly unrivalled.

 

(L to R) Sabre CRi Expert, Sabre CRi Master, Excalibur GDi Master

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can arrange a genuine no-obligation product demonstration at Hartridge Ltd by clicking on the link below and submitting the form.

Book a free no-obligation demo at Hartridge

Alternatively you can email Lee Jacobs on ljacobs@hartridge.com, or call us on 01280 825600

If you would like to read any of our insightful technical blogs then just click on the following links:

 

 

 

 

 

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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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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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