Tag Archive | "ECP"

BREAKING: 27 ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES PERMANENTLY CLOSED

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BREAKING: 27 ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES PERMANENTLY CLOSED


Twenty-seven Andrew Page branches will not reopen after lockdown, it has been announced.

Company owner LKQ Euro Car Parts has issued a statement [which you can read here] confirming the closures, but did not comment on the locations affected, nor the number of redundancies, except to say that the branches

File pic of Andrew Page Birmingham

affected were ones that ‘currently operated in close proximity to others’ and ‘where possible, the redeployment of colleagues to create stronger, combined teams’.

READ: BREAKING: ANDREW PAGE TO REBRAND AS LKQ EURO CAR PARTS

The statement comes a day after LKQ Europe announced that Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts would combine under the trading style LKQ Euro Car Parts and operate under the same systems, spelling the end for the Andrew Page name that has been in use since 1917.

 

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BREAKING: ANDREW PAGE TO REBRAND AS LKQ EURO CAR PARTS

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BREAKING: ANDREW PAGE TO REBRAND AS LKQ EURO CAR PARTS


The century-old Andrew Page brand is to be dropped as owner LKQ Europe rebrands its UK factors under a single identity.

Signage coming down at former Markham Vale DC in 2018

Both Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts will rebrand as ‘LKQ Euro Car Parts’ as part of a phased roll-out. All employees will now gain access to the same information and systems as revealed in the June edition of CAT.

Across Europe, the LKQ Group is working on a number of integration projects, including the transition to unified purchasing, which will increase the global market leader’s buying power and ability to collaborate with suppliers on innovation.

Andy Hamilton, CEO of the LKQ Euro Car Parts Group, said: “The introduction of the LKQ Euro Car Parts brand is a milestone in our evolution as a business in the UK and Europe”

“Together, as LKQ Euro Car Parts in the UK and as part of the wider LKQ Group in Europe, we are stronger, more competitive and better able to offer a market-leading customer experience”.

READ: ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

“At a time when the aftermarket faces some significant and transformational challenges, we are going to be better-equipped than ever before to help prepare it for the future.”

Some recently-merged Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts branches will be among the first to be rebranded under the new LKQ Euro Car Parts fascia.

READ: BREAKING: ECP PARENT ACQUIRES ANDREW PAGE

Andy Hamilton added: “It’s been four years since Andrew Page joined the Euro Car Parts family and we’re proud of the role we played in safeguarding hundreds of years of collective expertise in the aftermarket.

New combined LKQ Euro Car Parts logo for existing Andrew Page and Euro Car Parts branches

“From the beginning, we had a clear rationale to bring some of the industry’s best people together and give them an unrivalled scale and cutting-edge enterprise solutions tools that make their jobs easier.

“Following these changes, we will continue to have an unrivalled nationwide branch network, and will be in a stronger position than ever to drive the business forward.”

There are no current plans to change the LKQ Coatings and Arleigh International brands.

 

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OPEN OR CLOSED? BUSINESSES REACT TO LOCKDOWN

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OPEN OR CLOSED? BUSINESSES REACT TO LOCKDOWN


The message from Prime Minister Boris Johnson was nothing if not clear: stay indoors and only commute if you have absolutely no appropriate means of working from home.

It’s a stark warning, and one that will have been anticipated by many SMEs in the automotive sector that were unsure how long they could remain open. Most, in fact, have now shut down, save for garages and some suppliers that operate on a primarily contact-free basis anyway. The UK aftermarket is in a state of suspended animation, and many owners will be considering how best to sustain their businesses without any money coming through the till for several weeks.

READ: CORONAVIRUS: MORE THAN 60 PERCENT OF GARAGES HAVE SHUT

Despite the clarity of the Government’s position, there is an element of doubt about just what constitutes an ‘essential’ business – one that is allowed to continue operating. Lee Jones, Operations Director at York Motor Factors, thinks components suppliers fall under the ‘Transport’ banner, and should remain open. “One of our buying group members contacted their local MP who agreed and stated that they will also be tabling a parliamentary question for further clarity on this point,” he said, noting that those companies “working on transport systems through which supply chains pass” have been included in the Government’s list of essential firms. The parliamentary question may have to wait however, as MPs have taken the decision to bring the Easter recess forward, and at time of writing it is uncertain as to when they will return.

STILL OPEN

It’s a popular school of thought; larger chains including ECP and Parts Alliance remain open at time of writing, with both reporting no significant disruption to their supply chains. The Parts Alliance’s dedicated Covid-19 web page says: “We have strengthened our hygiene practices in every site, communicating best practice to all team members and providing them with the products and equipment they need to remain hygienic.” This is key; the government’s decision to shut down non-essential businesses was primarily driven by the risk of interpersonal contamination, so it’s essential that those still in operation make every possible concession to cleanliness. Similarly, ECP has made its click-and-collect service available only to key workers including roadside recovery workers and NHS staff, and an email from CEO Andy Hamilton asks customers firmly not to visit a branch “unless you have received a telephone call to let you know that your item is ready for collection”.

READ: LKQ PLOTS GROWTH AFTER CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

From comments on social media and on catmag.co.uk, it seems that professionals in the aftermarket are divided as to whether factors staying open is a wise decision. “All remain open because all are frightened over losing a pound to the competitor,” said Jerry Stenning, posting on the website, adding that factors should consider the health and mental wellbeing of their ‘scared’ employees.

Not all factor chains are staying open though. Melksham Motor Spares has shut for three weeks, with a joint statement from the directors that read: “The government was very clear in its message last night about the importance of staying at home and we want all our employees to follow this advice as their welfare is of paramount importance to us.”

Glasgow-based chains Autoparts-UK and rival Pentland Component Parts have also closed. “We understand that this is a concerning time for everyone,” Craig McCracken, Group Factor Manager at Autoparts UK said. “As we enter into this unchartered territory, we want to ensure that our suppliers are provided with as much information as possible and that any questions you may have are answered.” A similar short statement from Pentland Component Parts thanked customers for their patience, but said the decision followed from the announcement from the Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister.

YMF’s Jones thinks that offering a contactless service is ‘reasonably feasible’. He explained: “For retail or counter customers the only issue is payment and the collection of the items ordered. This can be done online via our retail website, or payment can be made by contactless or by card with the items being left on the counter for the customer to collect as long as suitable distance is maintained between staff and customer.” Small or large, factors and accessory shops can clearly maintain operation with minimal disruption by adhering to the measures outlined by the Government’s newly imposed ‘social distancing’ policy.

READ: CORONAVIRUS: FACTORS TO REMAIN OPEN

GARAGES ESSENTIAL

The news that factor chains will continue to operate, albeit with these limitations in place, will be welcomed by Britain’s network of independent garage operators. “We were waiting for confirmation from ECP and Andrew Page before we decided whether to open or not,” said Kamran Saleem, Managing Director of Solihull’s Motorserv garage and dealership, which has imposed a ‘two-prong protection system’ to avoid any of its team members or customers falling ill. “We’ve said if customers aren’t comfortable coming in, we’ll pick up their car,” he explained, adding that “three times a day, we’re conducting a full sweep of the workshop, cleaning every contact point”. The garage has channelled efforts into crucial repairs for essential vehicles and the office is closed -keys are handed though a window while staff are regularly checked and PPE is worn.

The measures put into place at MotorServ match the guidance issued to workshops by component supplier First Line, which advised garages to “consider every possible contact point with their customers and ensure that, where possible, this can be replaced with zerocontact alternative solutions”. Realistically, the workshop floor should be out of bounds to customers, and PPE must be worn while moving vehicles.

While nobody wants their business to suffer as a result of a global pandemic that’s out of their control, Saleem notes that, if it was going to happen, “this is the best month for it to hit”. March is traditionally a busy month for garages anyway, seeing the largest number of post-winter checks and MOT tests carried out, so the 20% drop in revenue recorded by Motorserv is not enough to make it feel like a ghost town.

READ: SUPERCHIPS IN ADMINISTRATION FOLLOWING COVID-19 CLOSURE

This won’t be the case for everybody, however: now that UK drivers have been granted six months of MOT exemption, smaller test centres will really start to feel the pinch. Saleem said he has already had to start turning away vulnerable customers and non-essential workers – “we tell them to come back when all this has died down” – but there will be many businesses across the country that depend on such custom.

Aside from health and safety, one burning issue for employers and employees alike is that of pay in the event of a closure. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged to cover 80% of contracted hours for employees who are categorically unable to work. Jones said: “This will give businesses a huge confidence boost to hold on to their staff and to fight to keep their businesses afloat. Hopefully with this backing the majority of businesses will survive.” But, as Saleem noted, these costs still need to be initially covered by the employer, who can then claim to be reimbursed at a later date – potentially leading to huge cashflow problems.

“I haven’t heard of anyone getting the actual fund through yet,” he said, adding: “Solihull council knows as much as we do,” in terms of any arrangement concerning business rate postponement.

It’s still early days, and there are innumerable mechanisms to be constructed between the Exchequer and businesses, but two things remain clear: many firms will be forced to close – at least temporarily – during this pandemic, and those that remain open cannot adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach.

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CORONAVIRUS: FACTORS TO REMAIN OPEN

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CORONAVIRUS: FACTORS TO REMAIN OPEN


Two of the major parts supply chains have confirmed that they are to remain open, albeit with some restrictions. 

The Parts Alliance has set up a web page in order to keep clients updated, while ECP’s CEO Andy Hamilton is sending regular emails to customers to keep them aware of the developments. 

Neither chain has reported any significant supply chain issues as of yet. 

READ: CORONAVIRUS AND THE AFTERMARKET

Motor Factors remaining open follows Government advice that garages are ‘essential services’ and most will remain open in order to keep key workers mobile. Heavy vehicles and trailers are to get a three month MOT extension in light of the current crisis. 

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LKQ CONFERENCE FOCUSSES ON CHANGE MANAGEMENT

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LKQ CONFERENCE FOCUSSES ON CHANGE MANAGEMENT


A conference between managers within the LKQ  Europe took place at Wembley recently with a focus on change management.

Nick Zarcone, CEO LKQ Corp. spoke at the conference

John Quinn, CEO of LKQ Europe, underlined the need for embracing the modern era: “It is clear we can’t assume the coming years will resemble the past because things are changing faster than ever before. We need to anticipate these opportunities and act. We all need to recognise the critical need to adapt and change as there is a massive opportunity for LKQ to actively shape the independent aftermarket for the benefit of our customers, employees and shareholders” he said.

The conference attendees agreed that the key to continued success is putting customers first through helping the customers understand and navigate the changing environment.

READ: HAMILTON APPOINTED NEW CEO OF EURO CAR PARTS

Arnd Franz, COO pointed out: “We need to offer our garage customers everything they need for a successful business – service, support, equipment and training on new issues arising from the technology shift. We have to grow LKQ in order to gain the scale effects required to provide our customers with solutions that will allow them to remain competitive. We need to support them with logistic networks that give them flexibility and speed for their customers. We need to equip them with brands and concepts upon which end-customers can rely”.

READ: ECP PARENT TO ACQUIRE STAHLGRUBER

Nick Zarcone, CEO of parent company LKQ Corporation, focused the executives’ attention on the fact that taking care of the employees will be as crucial as catering to the customers in the future: “We need to attract the best in class talent that embody our values. And we need to help our employees embrace the upcoming change while simultaneously keeping the customer the centre of attention”, he stated.

READ: ROBOTIC FUTURE OF STAHLGRUBER

In the UK, LKQ Europe is best known for Euro Car Parts and its body panels and paints business. On the continent the corporation also owns Sator Group, Rhiag Group, Elit, AutoKelly, and Stahlgruber, as well as a recycling specialist Atracco. It also holds a minority interest in publicly traded Mekonomen which is headquartered in Sweden.

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PEOPLE: FORMER ECP DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED AS CEO OF SPICERS

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PEOPLE: FORMER ECP DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED AS CEO OF SPICERS


Spicers SPOT Group, a wholesaler of office supplies, has confirmed that Steve Horne will become CEO from March 4th.

Horne will be familiar to many CAT readers as the Chief Operating Officer of Euro Car Parts, a position he held until a board walkout in December. Previously, Horne held senior positions in Unipart Automotive and Wickes Building Supplies.

READ: WALKOUT AT EURO CAR PARTS

READ: ANDY HAMILTON APPOINTED CEO OF ECP

Horne commented “I am very excited about joining the SPOT Group, where the history of the company complemented by the expertise and commitment of the team, gives a great foundation for the future”.

The SPOT acronym comes from the 2014 merger of SPicers and Office Team.

 

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BREAKING: LKQ CONFIRM SUKHPAL RESIGNATION

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BREAKING: LKQ CONFIRM SUKHPAL RESIGNATION


LKQ Corp, the owner of Euro Car Parts has confirmed that it has accepted the resignation of Executive Chairman Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia.

The founder of ECP, known simply by his first name to all in the business, sold the company to the US-based parts giant in 2011, remaining as an Executive Director.

The conformation follows reports that Sukhpal, Martin Gray, Steve Horne and other senior management walked out of ECP last week over the subject of proposed cuts by LKQ.

READ: ANDY HAMILTON SUCCEEDS MARTIN GRAY AS EURO CAR PARTS’ CEO 

Sukhpal commented, “ECP has been my life’s work and there will always be a bit of the company in me. I have enjoyed my relationship with LKQ but the time has come for a change so I can devote my full abilities to building the property business with my sons. I am confident in the strategy LKQ has for its European segment and for the next level of growth and operational excellence at ECP.”

Dominick Zarcone, President and Chief Executive Officer of LKQ Corporation, stated, “Sukhpal has been a key partner with LKQ over the past seven years as we have quadrupled the size of our business in the U.K., and he has served as a valued LKQ board member. While we will miss his insights, we respect his desire to spend all his time focused on the family property business and wish him nothing but the best in those endeavours.”

READ: BOARD WALKOUT AT EURO CAR PARTS

Sukhpal has resigned from the company he founded in 1979

This is not the first time that Sukhpal has left ECP while under LKQ ownership. However, he left in 2014 amid rumours that he had fallen out with the parent company and was planning to start a new factor chain to be called APX. These rumours took on substance when a recruitment advert appeared in CAT. Shortly after Sukhpal and several dozen other former Euro Car Parts’ employees agreed to return to ECP under new terms.

 

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BREAKING: ANDY HAMILTON APPOINTED NEW CEO OF EURO CAR PARTS

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BREAKING: ANDY HAMILTON APPOINTED NEW CEO OF EURO CAR PARTS


Andy Hamilton is new CEO of Euro Car Parts

BREAKING: The following statement has been released by Euro Car Parts:

“Euro Car Parts announced today that Andy Hamilton has been appointed CEO of the ECP Group, effective immediately, replacing Martin Gray who has decided to leave the company to pursue other interests. Hamilton joined Euro Car Parts in 2010 and held several different roles within the company, the last of which was Chief Operating Officer. 

READ: LKQ CONFIRM SUKHPAL’S RESIGNATION

“During that period ECP saw unprecedented growth as the branch network increased from 89 to over 220 locations. In 2016, Andy was asked to assume a position with LKQ Europe and most recently held the title Chief Commercial Officer, where he was responsible for several key pan-European projects related to digital strategy, revenue optimization, category and product management, data analytics, pricing and garage customer concepts. Prior to ECP, Andy held a variety of management roles for Halfords Group, the UK’s leading automotive and leisure retailer with over 500 locations. 

READ: BOARD WALKOUT AT EURO CAR PARTS

“Commenting on the changes John Quinn, CEO for LKQ’s European operations said “I am delighted to have someone with Andy’s customer focus and experience leading Euro Car Parts. With the completion of our new National Warehouse in Dublin to service the ROI and with our Tamworth distribution facility now fully operational, we are poised to continue our growth track.“ 

“2018 saw Euro Car Parts complete a number of important projects. After gaining clearance from the CMA they were able to integrate the Andrew Page logistics and purchasing functions. The company relocated out of several warehouses around the country into its Tamworth operations, including its highly automated T2 warehouse. It also completed a new distribution warehouse in Dublin to better service the ROI market. “With the efforts these projects required now behind us, we can return our energy to growing our business and providing the outstanding service and value to our customers that we have been long known for. It is an exciting time to be leading Euro Car Parts” said Hamilton, 

“I look forward to re-joining my colleagues as we take Euro Car Parts to the next level of operational excellence.”

As always, CAT will bring you the news as it breaks. 

 

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BREAKING: WALKOUT AT EURO CAR PARTS

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BREAKING: WALKOUT AT EURO CAR PARTS


Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia and Martin Gray have reportedly quit Euro Car Parts amid concerns that parent company LKQ is planning to axe hundreds of jobs. CFO Steve Horne has also reportedly left his post.

Sources close to CAT suggested that 400 jobs are to be axed. The news comes just days after LKQ announced the appointment of Ard Franz as COO of LKQ Europe.

In October we spoke to Mr. Ahluwalia and Mr. Gray about the future of the business, particularly now its main competitors are no longer local independent factor groups, but are other similar stock-market listed businesses with North American parent companies.

NASDAQ-listed LKQ’s share prices have dropped significantly compared with the previous period.

Gray, Ahluwalia and LKQ have been contacted for comment.

More on this breaking story as it develops

ECP’s 75th branch

 

 

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ECP OPENS MAIDSTONE HUB, PLUS TWO BRANCHES

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ECP OPENS MAIDSTONE HUB, PLUS TWO BRANCHES


Factor giant Euro Car Parts has opened two new branches and a distribution hub.

The new branches include a regional 5,000 sq ft outlet in Scarborough and a 6,800 sq ft store in Bow, East London.

New ECP distribution hub opens in Maidstone

Meanwhile, the new 53,000 square foot Maidstone distribution hub stocks more than 50,000 parts and has created 74 new jobs in the local area. Complete with a specialist paint facility and a training room, the hub gives ECP even greater coverage in the region. The opening comes in the same week that the signs came down at the former Andrew Page hub in Markham Vale.

Martin Gray, CEO of Euro Car Parts, commented: “Our new branches and Maidstone hub are part of an ambitious 2018 expansion plan as we invest in our considerable branch network. By opening new outlets in strategic locations around the UK, we are giving customers a faster, better service with an unbeatable off-the-shelf range of parts.”

 

NOTE: Story has been updated to correct an error on the original company statement

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