Tag Archive | "brexit"

BREXIT DEAL ‘VITAL’ WARNS RMI BOSS

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BREXIT DEAL ‘VITAL’ WARNS RMI BOSS


RMI Chairman Peter Johnson has branded the current situation over Brexit as ‘unacceptable’ in a speech.

Speaking at the RMI’s Annual Dinner held on October 10, Johnson said: “Last year I stood here and said: ‘Get a deal done and do it quickly before the current uncertainty causes even more damage to inward investment’. That I am standing here with the same message this year is unacceptable, for both our industry and for the country”.

READ: SMMT SLAMS ‘UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE’ BREXIT SITUATION

“It is vital that the government agrees a Brexit deal with the EU. If it cannot, then prices will rise as a result of the import tariffs that will be paid on vehicles and parts. It is in everyone’s interests that a future trade deal between the UK and EU removes these tariffs” he said. 

Johnson also spoke about the trend towards electrification and took a swipe at those in power guilty of ‘trashing the reputation and capability of diesel cars’ and called on the new Transport Secretary ‘to help us present to the public the facts in making the right choices, not just for our needs, but also for the needs of the environment’.

 

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VM TRADE BODIES ISSUE ‘CATASTROPHIC’ NO-DEAL WARNING


Europe’s leading automotive representatives have joined forces to warn of the ‘catastrophic consequences’ of a no-deal Brexit, as the  October 31 departure date looms. 

Tony Walker delivered speech about the need for ‘concrete progress’ on Brexit at a previous SMMT event

 

In a rare joint statement, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association and European Association of Automotive Suppliers, supported by the SMMT and 20 of its mainland equivalents, stress that barrier-free trade is vital to the ongoing maintenance of Europe’s automotive output. 

 

“European Automotive is deeply integrated and the benefits of free and frictionless trade have helped our sector become one of Europe’s most valuable assets, delivering billions to economies and supporting millions of livelihoods across the EU,” said SMMT boss Mike Hawes. “A ‘no deal’ Brexit would have an immediate and devastating impact on the industry, undermining competitiveness and causing irreversible and severe damage,” he added.

 

The statement emphasises the importance of the single market and customs union, and predicts that Britain leaving without a deal would trigger a ‘seismic shift’ in trading conditions. OEMs and the aftermarket alike could be liable to pay billions of euros in tariffs, with increased checks at the border decimating the ‘just-in-time’ production model and adding delays at a cost of roughly £50,000 per minute. 

 

Currently, European Automotive produces 19.1 million vehicles annually and employs 1/16 of the entire EU workforce. Committee of French Automobile Manufacturers chairman Christian Peugeot said: “It’s not just a British problem, we are all concerned in the European automotive industry, and even further.

 

“Be it as exporters to the UK market or producers locally, which we are both, we will inevitably be negatively affected.”

 

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EURO STANDARDS IN A CHANGING EUROPE


PROMOTED: BM Catalysts’ Commercial Director, Mark Blinston writes on the subject of changing standards

 

Mark Blinston

Improving air quality by reducing harmful emissions has been a priority for most for as long as many of us can remember. For the UK automotive sector, the drive for emissions reduction has been primarily powered by EU legislation since 1970. Euro emissions standards, or Euro levels, were introduced in 1992 to limit the acceptable levels of tailpipe emissions of cars and light commercial vehicles in order to reduce their adverse impact on both health and the environment. With the possibility of leaving the EU in just a matter of weeks, it remains uncertain whether there would be significant changes with the emissions standards set for the country.

Euro emissions standards have been vital in reducing the permissible levels of harmful pollutants emitted within exhaust gases, with each tightening standard prompting huge strides forward in the development of new emissions control technology. Euro emissions standards are now at their most restrictive iteration, Euro 6, with all passenger vehicles both diesel and petrol required to meet the lowest pollutant levels set by the legislation to date. Whilst the NOx limit for petrol cars was retained at 60 mg/km, the allowable NOx level amongst diesel cars dropped tremendously to a maximum of 80 mg/km, in comparison to the Euro 5 requirement of 180 mg/km.

UNDERSTANDING

It is important that people have a sound understanding of Euro levels as more and more cities across Europe have already introduced, or are beginning to adopt, ‘Low Emission Zones’ (LEZ) in an effort to eliminate badly polluting vehicles. LEZs are ‘clean air’ zones that restrict the type of vehicle that can enter defined areas at certain times of the day, with hefty penalties and fines in place for non-compliant motors. Although this initiative is becoming more common in major European cities, motorists need to be aware that different Euro levels and requirements are set for each zone. In London for example, the LEZ operates mostly across Greater London, whilst the ’Ultra Low Emission Zone’ (ULEZ) covers the same congestion charge areas of Central London. It is a common misconception that the two are interchangeable, so drivers are advised to always double check before driving through zones they are unfamiliar with to avoid heavy charges. London’s ULEZ require that cars meet a minimum of Euro 4 emissions standards for petrol and Euro 6 for diesel.

Vehicle owners should also be aware that it is a legal requirement to only fit replacement emissions control devices that are correctly approved for the vehicle and to the vehicle’s corresponding Euro level. A replacement part cannot be approved to a lower Euro level than that of the original vehicle. For example, if the vehicle is Euro 6, then the replacement catalyst or DPF must also be approved to Euro 6.   Fitting a Euro 5 part to a Euro 6 vehicle would be illegal.

CATALOGUING

The cataloguing of aftermarket parts can be complex and many consumers remain unaware of the Euro level of their vehicle. Some catalytic converters and DPFs may look physically identical to one another but be very different in terms of what they are legally approved for sale to fit. It is the responsibility of everyone from the manufacturer, to the distributor and even the garage to ensure that the part in question is of the correct Euro level for the vehicle.

However, should the UK leave the EU as intended, it is possible that emissions targets and vehicle requirements may change. According to the UK Home Office, the Department for Transport (DfT) will take over the application and implementation of CO2 standards for cars and vans registered in the UK. UK-specific targets will be implemented, but they are expected to be at least as ambitious as the current EU standards. UK registrations and level of compliance, on the other hand, will be monitored and imposed by the Secretary of State for Transport.

For BM Catalysts as aftermarket manufacturers, we remain responsible for developing products that conform to the legislative requirements and that will not change. As Europe’s leading manufacturer of high-quality aftermarket catalytic converters, DPFs and front pipes, BM Catalysts is committed to ensuring that standards are met, with our homologated catalysts and DPFs being compliant with the appropriate European legislative requirements. We also invest heavily in our online catalogue with the aim of providing as much information as possible when seeking out the correct parts for a vehicle and we have a technical helpline available should further advice be required. Whether the UK leaves the EU or not, it is important to understand that the quality of our products will remain unchanged and will continue to exceed expectations.

For more information, visit: www.bmcatalysts.com

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SHUTTERS DOWN ON THREE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES

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SHUTTERS DOWN ON THREE ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES


 Three branches of Andrew Page have closed, with the accounts and most of the staff being merged into nearby Euro Car Parts locations.

Oldham, Reading and Southampton branches are affected. Of these, Southampton is the newest having been opened to ‘fill the void’ left in the wake of rival Unipart Automotive’s collapse in 2014.

READ: ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

A statement from Euro Car Parts read: “As part of our ongoing commitment to help make to our offering even better, we’ve identified some opportunities to merge a number of neighbouring Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts branches. These integrated branches will cover the same areas with more vans, sales advisors and warehouse teams, providing our customers with consistent delivery times, better stock availability, improved efficiency and new support services”.

READ: TEN ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES CLOSE FOLLOWING ‘OPERATIONAL REVIEW’

“We expect most staff in these branches to transfer to a nearby location and services to our customers will be the same, with only the dispatch point changing. Any employees affected have been informed”.

Andrew Page was acquired by Euro Car Parts when the former went into administration in 2016.

 

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BREXIT: UNCERTAINTY AND BUSINESSES CONTRACTS

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BREXIT: UNCERTAINTY AND BUSINESSES CONTRACTS


By Lindsay Ellis – Lindsay Ellis advises on a range of legal matters, including outsourcing, procurement and commercial contracts for Warwickshire solicitor firm Wright Hassall 

Lindsay Ellis

Uncertainty surrounds the timing of Brexit, but when it does happen, there will undoubtedly be an impact on UK businesses and their contracts. It is important that organisations consider how Brexit might affect existing contracts.

Existing contracts

For many businesses, Brexit could impact their supply chain and they should consider the performance of obligations by subcontractors and suppliers. Other key areas to consider include; term, territory, currency, tariffs, customs clearance, resources, licensing/ consents and tax. Failure to review and plan for these could result in increased costs and/or damage to business performance.

Force majeure 

A contract typically contains force majeure clauses. Depending on the drafting, these can relieve a party from liability for a breach resulting from ‘circumstances beyond its reasonable control’. However, if Brexit was likely when the contract was agreed, it could be argued the parties should have planned for its effects. Without a specific reference to Brexit, force majeure clauses are unlikely to help of itself, but depending how the clause was drafted, it might address delays in delivery of goods due to crossborder issues.

Compliance with law clauses

Many contracts state that parties must comply with applicable law. It will be a matter of interpretation whether such a clause could oblige a party to absorb the costs associated with Brexit-related changes in law. Long-term contracts typically address what will happen if the law changes, often specifying that charges can only be increased in limited circumstances, with the supplier required to consult with the customer before making any changes.

Termination 

The contract may include scope for termination, by either party. This may be in connection with circumstances arising from Brexit related events or a failure to agree a change. If a contract’s termination clause gives a party a right to terminate on relatively short notice, the prospect of termination can always be raised to encourage negotiation.

Common law and frustration

Frustration arises where an event occurs after the date of the contract, radically transforming the obligations of either party or making it impossible to fulfil the contract. However, a contract is not frustrated due to inconvenience, hardship, financial loss or when the event should have been foreseen by the parties. As such, it is generally accepted that frustration will not help with Brexit, although it might apply if certain changes in law were to be made subsequently, which would make it impossible to fulfil a contract.

Interpretation and implied terms

The courts are unlikely to interpret a contract or imply a term to assist a party adversely affected by Brexit and will not relieve a party from the consequences of their poor business practices, if that involves departing from the natural meaning of the contract. Similarly, the fairness of a proposed implied term or the fact that the parties would agree to it is insufficient grounds for implying it. Both interpretation and implication of terms have regard to the background knowledge reasonably available to the parties at the time they entered the contract.

What are the options?

By not drafting contracts that address Brexit uncertainty, there is a risk that a party will be obliged to continue to fulfil its contractual obligations, even if Brexit-related events render it commercially unattractive. However, doing nothing may be an option for a party who can terminate contracts at short notice or are confident in their ability to perform regardless of Brexit’s outcome.

‘Brexit’ clause

Inserting a ‘Brexit clause’ into contracts will trigger some change in the parties’ rights and obligations when a defined event occurs. The best a Brexit clause may offer is a binding requirement for the parties to try and renegotiate the contract. For other contracts, it may be possible to specify the consequences of certain events, but with Brexit, there is the risk that events occur that have not been first considered.

Making changes

Organisations must take the time to review their existing commercial contracts, ensuring every possible outcome is accounted for and the necessary clauses are added. Seek advice from experienced contract lawyers and plan for life after Brexit, sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

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BREXIT: ALIGNMENT SUPPLIER TRIPLES STOCK LEVELS

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BREXIT: ALIGNMENT SUPPLIER TRIPLES STOCK LEVELS


Four wheel alignment technology supplier Absolute Alignment has announced that it has tripled its stock levels over the past three months in preparation for Brexit.

The firm say that the stockpiling will ensure next-day delivery is unaffected throughout the spring season for all items featured on the Absolute Alignment website.

Chris Deal, Technical Director for Absolute Alignment, said: “It’s of great importance to us that our speed of service is not in any way impacted by Brexit and the uncertainties that may bring.”

Dear also specifically highlighted the importance of appropriate stock levels of its Bluetooth Pro wheel aligners, which is the firm’s most popular and fastest-selling product in the UK.

 

 

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BREXIT: RHINO PRODUCTS OPENS EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CENTRE

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BREXIT: RHINO PRODUCTS OPENS EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CENTRE


Deeside-based LCV accessory manufacturer Rhino Products has opened a distribution centre at Venlo-Grubbenvorst in the Netherlands ahead of the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union at the end of March.

This 1.100 sq. m warehousing facility is now the headquarters for the Group’s European operations, alongside an existing warehouse in Mölnlycke, Sweden and a further sales office in Kraków, Poland. All manufacturing for the group takes place at its UK head office and production site in Deeside, Flintshire.

READ: BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING 

Rhino’s Group Managing Director Steve Egerton explained: “The opening of this warehousing facility is just one of many important steps we are taking to prepare for any potential scenario as the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union are finalised. Whatever the political outcome, Rhino will be ready, and we are looking forward to another year of growth and expansion”.

The move to the distribution centre also coincided with Rhino switching to DPD as its central European logistics partner.

READ: BREXIT: WILLIAMSON’S WARNING TO GOVERNMENT AT IAAF CONFERENCE

New plant in the Netherlands

 

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BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK GROUP FACTORS TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING

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BREXIT: ARNOLD CLARK GROUP FACTORS TO INCREASE STOCKHOLDING


Arnold Clark factors Midwest and Autoparts UK have confirmed that they are to increase stockholding by a quarter ahead of Brexit.

In Glasgow, Autoparts’ central distribution hub has installed a new mezzanine floor and all branches throughout Scotland and Northern England are increasing stock levels.

Additional stock is also being put into Midwest Motor Factors and Monmore Auto Parts branches.

Craig McCracken, Autoparts UK Group Factor Manager, said: “Whatever the outcome, we’re making sure independent garages continue to enjoy an uninterrupted supply of products. This latest development sends out a clear message to the industry – and our customers – that Autoparts UK, Midwest and Monmore are proactively taking every step to ensure product availability remains at their highest levels possible”.

Stockholding to increase by 25 percent at main DC

 

READ:  OBITUARY: ARNOLD CLARK

READ: ARNOLD CLARK ACQUIRES MIDWEST MOTOR FACTORS

READ: AFTERMARKET LIVES: AUTOPARTS UK

 

 

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

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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

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NO ‘BREXIT DIVIDEND’ EXISTS, SAYS SMMT CHIEF

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NO ‘BREXIT DIVIDEND’ EXISTS, SAYS SMMT CHIEF


The Chief Executive of SMMT has spoken candidly about the issues facing the motor industry as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union.

“Leaving is not what we wanted. For us, Brexit is about damage limitation. There is no ‘Brexit dividend’” Mike Hawes told an audience at the Society’s annual dinner on Tuesday night.

Pressing the need for parliament to pass the draft proposal bill, he said: We need a deal – now. And that deal must be ambitious for the future. We need frictionless trade with our most important market. Nothing less will do”.

Pressing home the message, he added. “This industry has always had political support – here and across the EU. Now, more than ever, we need that support. To avoid catastrophe; to give us breathing space, to deliver a competitive future. It’s time to decide”.

Business secretary Greg Clarke also addressed the room, and gave his support for the Prime Minister’s plans. “I remember being on the phone to Mike (Hawes)’s team for data on the way to Chequers and presenting it, and then on the phone to his team again the next morning to discuss what we agreed. It was central to the clear and unflinching objective that we set to secure frictionless trade on which this industry absolutely depends” he said.   

 

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