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WILLIAMSON: ‘THREATS NUMEROUS, LEGISLATION SCANT’

WILLIAMSON: ‘THREATS NUMEROUS, LEGISLATION SCANT’

Wendy Williamson, Chief Exec of industry body IAAF has opened the organisation’s annual conference with a warning for the aftermarket.

Addressing challenges relating to cyber security, VM data belligerence, supply challenges in the face of Brexit and a problem raised by car batteries being classified as ‘offensive weapons’ William said: “Today threats are numerous, but legislation scant”.

“But we will find  new ways,  to fit the parts and supply the tools and equipment top service maintain vehicles of tomorrow”. 

The conference continues 

 

 

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BREAKING: KLARIUS CASE THROWN OUT OF COURT

BREAKING: KLARIUS CASE THROWN OUT OF COURT

A significant legal case has been thrown out of court.

Klarius’ Cheadle site

Five directors of Staffordshire-based Klarius had been due to stand trial on charges of fraud at Manchester Crown Court, but it is understood by CAT that the judge did not find information provided admissible, apparently referring to a ‘shambolic failure’ in what was presented and found there was no case to answer.

The charges related to historic claims of ‘knowingly’ selling non type-approved emissions products.

UPDATE: KLARIUS ISSUE STATEMENT

READ: KLARIUS DIRECTORS FACE COURT

READ: BREAKING: STATEMENT ISSUED BY KLARIUS DIRECTORS

 

 

 

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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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CAT AWARDS 2020: FIRST CATEGORY SHORTLIST

These are the first shortlisted categories for the CAT Awards 2020, to be held in the Lowry Hotel on Feb 5th 2020.  The remaining categories will follow later in the month.

 

Garage Concept Award

  1. Terraclean 
  2. Good Garage Scheme ( Forte)
  3. RAC Approved Garage Network powered by Autofirst (ECP)
  4. Service Sure 
  5. Halfords Autocentre 
  6. Auto care 
  7. Quick Lane

 

Factor Chain of the Year

  1. Motor Parts Direct 
  2. General Traffic 
  3. LVW
  4. Euro Car Parts 
  5. GSF 
  6. Pentland Component Parts 
  7. BBC Super Factors (Blackburn, Burnley & Chorley)

 

Supplier of the Year

  1. ZF Aftermarket
  2. Trico
  3. Noco  
  4. GS Yuasa
  5. Mobiletron 
  6. Brembo
  7. Ferdinand Bilstein

 

Industry Partner of the Year

  1. MAM
  2. Elcome
  3. PG Automotive 
  4. Impression Communications
  5. IMI 
  6. Autodata 
  7. Wright Hassall

 

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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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BRISTOL COULD BAN DIESEL

BRISTOL COULD BAN DIESEL

Bristol City Council is consulting on proposals to introduce the UK’s first no-diesel zone by 2021 as part of a drive to improve air quality in the area. 

The so-called Clean Air Zone has been devised as a means of delivering “the fastest possible improvement in air quality against targets for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) legal limits”, according to the council. 

If implemented, the measures would see privately owned diesel vehicles banned from entering a designated section of the city centre between 7am and 3pm every day.

READ: LONDON ULEZ TROUBLES SMALL BUSINESSES

London’s ULEZ has been in place since April 2019

A wider charging zone would be in constant operation for high-emission commercial vehicles, including buses, taxis, HGVs and LGVs, with suggested costs yet to be announced. 

A diesel vehicle scrappage scheme would launch at the same time, to encourage Bristol drivers to swap into less polluting cars. 

The announcement comes two years after Bristol City Council was ordered by the government to produce a plan for bringing the area’s NO2 levels to within legal limits. 

It has been suggested that the Clean Air Zone could bring emissions down to a legal level by 2025. 

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “These ambitious plans demonstrate our commitment to tackling air pollution so we meet legal limits within the shortest time, without disproportionally affecting citizens on lower incomes which would happen with a blanket approach to charging vehicles.

READ: DIESEL VEHICLES TO BE BANNED IN GERMAN CITIES

“Protecting the most vulnerable people from pollution is central to these plans and we have ensured that all impacts have been carefully considered. If approved, mitigation measures will support those most affected, especially those living in the most deprived communities.”

The predicted cost of implementation of the scheme totals £113.5 million, with comprehensive upgrades to the city’s ANPR network, road marking and signage necessary to its successful operation. 

The proposals will be fully detailed and debated at a meeting of Bristol City Council’s cabinet on 5 November. The final business case is due to be submitted to government in February next year. 

 

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JURATEK IN SECOND MBO

JURATEK IN SECOND MBO

Braking components manufacturer Juratek has announced a management buyout, with three of its directors taking full control of the company. The buyout is the company’s second in three years, as Chairman Allan Hooks is stepping down from the role.

The Doncaster-based firm will now be run by Managing Director Matt Robinson, Sales and Marketing Director Toby Whewell, and Operations Director Mark Clegg. The change comes following the trio’s acquisition of the remaining shareholding from  Hooks. 

READ: 2016 – JURATEK IN MANAGEMENT BUYOUT

Hooks, who is retiring after nearly two decades at the helm of the firm, said: “I have seen Juratek grow and develop into a well-respected aftermarket company both in the UK and Europe. Its commitment to quality in all areas of its business remain paramount to its trading ethos. 

Juratek in new MBO

“After 20 years with the company I believe it is time for me to hand over the reins to the management team led by Matt Robinson, in whom I have full confidence.”

Hooks joined in 2001, having served as Managing Director at electrical components firm Veco for over six years, and Leeds-based parts store Vegem for three. 

READ: 2016 GROUPAUTO TRADE SHOW AWARDS WINNERS

Matt Robinson, who heads up the new management team, has been at Juratek since October 2014, when he was made General Sales Director. Toby Whewell and Mark Clegg join him in the boardroom, having spent a collective six years at the firm. 

Robinson said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of Juratek Ltd and have exciting plans to continue the growth of the company both in the UK and overseas markets.

“The company has seen a sustained period of growth and transition in the past 5 years and we are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities open to us.

“I was keen for Mark and Toby to join me in the management buyout, between us we have over 70 years’ experience in the Automotive Aftermarket, yet we also retain the energy and passion needed to drive the company to even greater success.”

Juratek’s 50-plus staff are not affected by the change in management structure.  

 

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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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KERRIDGE ACQUIRES MAM SOFTWARE GROUP IN CASH DEAL

Software developer Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) has acquired component cataloguing firm Mam Software Group. Terms of the deal are a straightforward cash acquisition, with a reported $154.2m (approx £123m) being paid for the firm.

READ: Comline partners with MAM and EMI+

“This all-cash transaction provides MAM Software’s stockholders with a premium over the pre-announcement market price of their shares, and we believe it will allow our team to increase our focus on long-term success that will benefit customers, employees and partners. Together with KCS, we can offer a broader portfolio of solutions to our customers globally,” said Mike Jamieson, MAM Software CEO.

READ: TecDoc looks to the clouds in venture with software specialist

Cash deal agreed to acquire Autocat+ provider

“We have long believed that a partnership between MAM Software and KCS would create a range of significant strategic opportunities,” said Ian Bendelow, CEO of Kerridge Commercial Systems. “MAM has significant traction in the automotive aftermarket sector that augments our solution offering, and this combination also will expand our U.S. market presence.

 

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GEA AGREES TO APPROVE ONLY ‘CONNECTED’ MOT EQUIPMENT

GEA AGREES TO APPROVE ONLY ‘CONNECTED’ MOT EQUIPMENT

DVSA has made an agreement with the GEA that no new models of diesel smoke meter, exhaust gas analysers or decelerometers would be approved for use in MOT centres unless they can connect to the testing service.

This follows from a similar agreement between the two organisations last month that roller brake testers for classes 4,5 and 7 would only be approved if they connected to the new service.

From 1 October, new MOT centres will need a connected roller brake tester to receive approval and all garages will only be able to buy connectable roller brake testers as replacements. The same rules will apply to smoke meters, gas analysers and decelerometers, although a date to switch has not yet been announced.

READ: MOT SRIKE ACTION LIKELY IN NORTHERN IRELAND 

Dave Garratt, GEA Chief Exec said:  “The main concern for GEA members is to improve the quality of MOT equipment and remove any possibility of human error in the reporting procedure. Connecting MOT test equipment is a very logical step for us as it removes any “miss keying” by the operator and speeds up the process”.

“Starting by connecting brake testers makes good sense and since the introduction of Automated Test Lanes (ATLs) most may already be connectable”.

“Connecting all types of processor-based equipment is possible and as connectivity is applied across the whole test bay it will add increasing value for the motorist by reducing error and benefit the garage by speeding up the test”.

Chris Price, DVSA Head of MOT Policy said: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone keep their vehicle safe to drive. We’re bringing in connected equipment to modernise testing in MOT garages and reduce the potential for mistakes”

MOT equipment will communicate directly with centre

“It will make testing quicker, more accurate and give motorists greater confidence in the quality of testing. Garages already using this equipment have seen benefits to their business.”

 

 

 

 

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