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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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KUMHO TIRE SALE BLOCKED BY WORKERS

KUMHO TIRE SALE BLOCKED BY WORKERS

Kumho Tires plant in Georgia

A deal between the creditors of South Korean tyre brand Kumho Tire and Doublestar, a Chinese brand could be in jeopardy as workers in Korea threaten a general strike.

Problems at Kumho go back to 2010 when the company made a number of acquisitions, including the heavy engineering business of Daewoo. However, the losses quickly started to mount and a sale of the company was mooted, with various tyre and parts brands rumoured to be interested. Doublestar was confirmed as the buyer in May.

In a press conference, the joint committee against the sale of Kumho Tire to an overseas company told the Yonhap news agency they will stop all production lines at the tyre maker’s local plants and stage a general strike.

“The ongoing process to sell Kumho Tire to Qingdao Doublestar Co. will result in the transfer of some production volume to China from South Korea and lead to massive redundancies of local workers” Kang Jeong-ho who represents the committee told the agency.

Kumho employs 2,900 people at its tyre plants in the Korean peninsula.

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PARTS ALLIANCE TAKEOVER: UNI SELECT DEAL COMPLETED

PARTS ALLIANCE TAKEOVER: UNI SELECT DEAL COMPLETED

The deal announced earlier in the year between Canada-based Uni Select and The Parts Alliance has been completed with the former acquiring the latter from a private equity group.

Now the deal has been completed, Parts Alliance CEO Peter Sephton will join Uni Select’s Executive Team as President and Chief Executive Officer of the European Automotive Group.

“All of my colleagues in our organization, our suppliers, members and all other stakeholders see the opportunity for long term financial growth and stability, as well as personal growth as we join a team of like-minded individuals,” said Peter Sephton.

“We could not be more pleased to be adding The Parts Alliance to the Uni-Select family. This is an exciting new growth pillar for Uni-Select in the large and fragmented UK marketplace” commented Uni Select CEO Henry Buckley.

 

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DONE DEAL: SUPPLIERS SECURE LOCATIONS

DONE DEAL: SUPPLIERS SECURE LOCATIONS

Three aftermarket firms have added to their networks.

■ Factor chain Euro Car Parts has agreed a ten-year lease for its new 20,700 sq ft warehouse, situated at the Cross Green Industrial Estate in Leeds. The location overlooks Pontefract Lane (A3), providing connections to the East Leeds Link Road and direct access to Junction 45 off the M1.

“We are pleased to have secured Euro Car Parts as a tenant for this highly prominent scheme”, said Mike Baugh, Senior Director of Industrial Agency at CBRE Leeds, “Solvgrin [the site developer] has constructed a very attractive unit at this gateway to Leeds”, adding that the organisation will construct a further 6,000 sq ft industrial unit adjacent to the supplier’s facility.

■ Tyre brand Michelin has invested £10m for its logistics operation in Stoke-on-Trent, with the opening of a new distribution centre in July. The upgrade also includes a new distribution centre for ATS Euromaster – where both units will store and deliver up to five million tyres between them per annum. The two sites combined have doubled its logistics team to around 150 staff in order to satisfy this growing demand.

Richard Whitehurst, Service to Customer Manager at Michelin Tyre, said. “The transformation of our logistics operation will allow us to improve service and ensure greater product availability”. In addition to this, the firm is stepping up manufacturing capacity at its Campbell Road headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent by launching another tyre production facility. The warehouse will open at the end of November allowing the manufacturer to produce up to 1,100 tyres a day.

■ Meanwhile,Ecobat Technologies has moved to a 15,000 sq ft premises in Bristol. “We needed to move to a property that will allow the business to continue to develop and provide support for our customers” concluded a statement from the firm.

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GERMAN VMs IN CARTEL ALLEGATIONS

GERMAN VMs IN CARTEL ALLEGATIONS

The European Commission is to investigate several German VMs including BMW, Porsche, Daimler and VAG group over claims that the brands formed a ‘cartel’ to fix the price of a number of components from suppliers – including parts relating to the emissions systems.

An interesting detail is the allegation that the VMs colluded to deliberately make AdBlue tanks to be small in size, although it is not yet clear if there could be any competitive advantage in this detail as the effectiveness of the system is not affected by the size of the tank.

VW has confirmed that it has held a board meeting about the issue, but has declined to give any further details.
The OE parts industry has been hit with a number of cartel fines in recent years, with some bearing and A/C hardware manufacturers admitting their part.

Business magazine, Forbes has speculated that the latest scandal could turn into a ‘rat out race’ between VMs, as each might want to become a whistle-blower in order to escape the largest fine. This is backed up by cartel meeting minutes, apparently seen by Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper which suggested that Daimler may have been cooperating with the authorities since 2014.

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TESTING TIMES: DVSA REPORT

TESTING TIMES: DVSA REPORT

The Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published its 2017 annual review, which highlights changes to the MOT testing service and the association’s actions on tackling claims relating to MOT fraud.

According to the report, 511 garages and 483 testers were investigated by the organisation from last year while 45 garages and 111 testers have been stopped testing altogether. A statement from the review said: “With some of these cases there were administrative errors, the more serious cases involved testers who’d issued MOT certificates without actually testing the vehicle. In the most severe cases we took the testers to court, and some received prison sentences”.

In addition, the report outlines 25 new improvements for the MOT testing service with the integration of technical information made readily available for vehicles so testers can carry out the mandatory procedures correctly while being able to identify and remove any defects before retesting.

The agency will continue clamping down on illegal MOT activities within the trade and is in the process of developing an MOT Reminder service for motorists; encouraging them to get their vehicles serviced on time. The statement concluded. “We’re going to look at using new technology to provide streamlined processes for our commercial vehicle testing service. We want to improve our testers’ access to vehicle information at the time of testing, and capture and produce test results digitally. We also aim to improve the service to our customers by simplifying the current payment process, making it easier for them to make payments and view their account in real time”.

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GARAGE CUSTOMER £70K FINE FOR FALSE CLAIM

GARAGE CUSTOMER £70K FINE FOR FALSE CLAIM

A JUDGE has ordered a woman to pay £70,000 in costs and damages following the ‘implausible’ claim that an independent garage deliberately tripped her up.

In a story that first appeared in the Mail Online, Yvette Thomas had lodged a £200,000 compensation claim against the workshop, saying that an alleged fall had left her injured and unable to work.

She also claimed she had been forced to cancel an overseas holiday, quit dancing lessons and could no longer go to the gym.

Southwick Service Centre in Trowbridge, Wiltshire denied that she tripped and said a hosepipe in a valeting bay had only brushed against her leg.

Hospital records show that Thomas had been examined at A&E by medical staff but X-rays showed no signs of trauma.

District Judge Francis Goddard told Bath County Court: “In my judgment the case that Mrs Thomas puts forward simply does not add up.

“I do not find her story in any way believable notwithstanding that she may well have by now convinced herself that what she said happened did happen.

“Something happened on that day that caused Mrs Thomas to come up with a version of events that, on a hearing of the evidence, is quite implausible.

“It was not a pre-thought out plan.

“The story put to the court germinated on that day and was elaborated upon over the months and years that followed.”

Thomas had said the alleged incident took place when she dropped her daughter’s Mini Cooper at the garage for an MOT, saying that a someone cleaning a car had deliberately tripped her up with an industrial pressure washer hose.

Car valeter, Edward Slow said: “I was rather angry when I heard what she was saying. “I remember her coming in.

“She was walking around and she said the hosepipe rubbed against her leg and that it was an accident waiting to happen.

“Then suddenly it became this whole story that I had deliberately tripped her up – something I would never do.”

Solicitor Tim Marshal of DFE Law who acted on behalf of the garage told the Mail: “Mrs Thomas painted a picture of being a very disabled woman as a result of this. She said she couldn’t leave the house without a walking stick, drink a cup of tea or clean her teeth”.

“But a surveillance firm hired to follow her found that she was walking fine and there was no sign of any physical impairment – no walking stick, nothing”.

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TRANSFER WINDOW: NEW SUPPLIER DEALS

TRANSFER WINDOW: NEW SUPPLIER DEALS

Fram coming to ECP

Transfer season sees clubs scouting for talent and players looking for a comfy life, aftermarket brands have also been swapping sides over the last month.

  • First of all, The Parts Alliance has announced a five-year partnership with the AA. The products will cover batteries, vehicle parts and consumables in a supply contract for five years. “We are delighted to be a business partner and supplier to the AA, one of Britain’s most trusted brands”. said Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance.
  • Meanwhile, Sogefi Filtration has signed an agreement with distribution giant Euro Car Parts, which will see the latter stock products under the Fram brand from the beginning of July. This will include the full range of light vehicle filters sold through ECP’s outlets in UK and Ireland. Nigel Duffield, Sales Director at Sogefi said: “The cooperation with Euro Car Parts is very promising and will surely contribute to further develop the presence of the brand throughout the country”.
  • The CAAR buying group has also made some signings, with oil brand Mannol now being stocked by the group’s members. The lubricant producer has had a good month, because in addition to the supply deal it also won two awards from separate German car magazines for it’s Combi Energy 5w30 Long Life oil. Andrej Gaikov from Mannol said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by CAAR’s members to be stocked in their stores. I feel this is the start of a great partnership for both of us”.
  • The A1 buying group has introduced Warwickshire-based Compressortech into its approved suppliers list. The remanufacturer of A/C compressors can now be distribute its products across the chain’s members. Gary Stephenson, Business Development Manager for Compressortech said: “A1 is a significant and recognised buying group and our thermal cooling products will further complement their expanding product ranges.
    We look forward to working with the members.”

Posted in Batteries, Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Filters, Garage News, News, Retailer News, UncategorisedComments (0)

AUCTION HOUSE ACQUIRED BY MBO

Aston Barclay sold in MBO

Auction house Aston Barclay has been acquired in a management buy-out. The full details have not been disclosed, but investment firm Rutland Partners have contributed a ‘significant investment.’

The MBO has been led by new Chief Executive Officer Neil Hodson, who brings 25 years’ experience to Aston Barclay, following stints at Manheim, HPI and Experian.

Glenn and David Scarborough, formerly MD and Commercial Director respectively, will both remain the company’s shareholders as non-executive Directors. The continued investment by the Scarborough family helps keep Aston Barclay’s family-run ethos. Laurence Vaughan is also joining the Board and investing as Non- Executive Chairman. Laurence was previously CEO and is now Non-Executive Chairman of dealer chain Sytner Group.

Aston Barclay’s Glenn Scarborough said: “We are delighted to welcome Neil [Hodson] and his management team as investors in Aston Barclay supported by Rutland Partners. These are exciting times for the remarketing industry and we are confident this support and the investment will enable Aston Barclay to exploit the opportunities for growth the market has to offer.”

“We have really enjoyed working with the Livingstone team on what was an important transaction for us and an exciting development in Aston Barclay’s future. They showed commitment and hands-on support from start to finish and we are grateful for their valuable guidance throughout the process” he added.

The deal was advised on by mergers and acquisitions firm Livingstone Partners.

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