Tag Archive | "Garages"

SCHAEFFLER LAUNCHES SOCIAL DISTANCING STARTER PACK FOR GARAGES

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SCHAEFFLER LAUNCHES SOCIAL DISTANCING STARTER PACK FOR GARAGES


Engineering firm Schaeffler is distributing 2000 of its new ‘Back on Track’ packs as part of a move to support UK garages as they recover from the lockdown.

The package has been launched as the government eases lockdown measures but advises commuters against using public transport, meaning roads will become busier in the weeks ahead. There will also, it says, “be a backlog of MOT, servicing and urgent repairs to catch up on”, but garages should adhere to strict social distancing and hygiene measures.

The Back on Track package contains a floor sticker and tape to allow workshops and receptions to be separated into two-metre blocks, a washable face mask, hand sanitiser and hi-vis vest, as well as large posters and air fresheners that remind technicians and customers of the guidelines.

READ: LKQ PLOTS GROWTH AFTER CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The key guidelines for garage workers are as follows:

– Minimise contact with customers and suppliers

– Use new disposable gloves, seat covers and mats for every job

– Wipe down all contact points as you go

– Try to keep access to each car to just one technician

– Turn off all climate control systems

– Respect high risk customers by setting up a no-contact drop-off and collection system

Schaeffler has also suggested ways of attracting additional custom: “A key message here is that the 6-month MOT delay does NOT mean that the car is roadworthy. Garage owners and technicians have a duty of care to make sure that all vehicles leaving the workshop are in a legal, safe and roadworthy condition.

READ: IGA RAISE MOT EXTENSION CONCERNS WITH TRANSPORT MINISTER

“Drivers could get fined with non-functioning lights and wipers, or if tyres don’t meet legal requirements. If a vehicle isn’t roadworthy, the driver also may find that their insurance is invalid if they have an accident.

The firm also proposes free visual safety checks and exploiting social media to reach people stuck at home. Traditional newspaper adverts also still work, it notes.

Posted in Garage News, latest news, NewsComments (0)

CORONAVIRUS: MORE THAN 60 PERCENT OF GARAGES HAVE SHUT

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CORONAVIRUS: MORE THAN 60 PERCENT OF GARAGES HAVE SHUT


More than 60 percent of garages in the UK have closed their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll.

The survey of suppliers, motor factors and garages was conducted to highlight the current state of the automotive aftermarket, as it continues to respond to the pandemic.

While 60 percent of garages in the UK have closed, many that have temporarily closed are still offering emergency work to customers and keyworkers.

READ: CORONAVIRUS: FACTORS TO REMAIN OPEN

The survey, carried out by marketing and PR agency Impression, found the main reasons for garages closing were a significant drop in business caused by social distancing measures and the decision to extend the MOT from 30 March by six months. Other respondents noted practical reasons such as childcare and the inability to source parts as motor factors had also closed.

On the question of what business support they were aware of during this time, 88 percent of garages had heard of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furloughing).

When asked what type of online training they would like to take part in, 73 percent of garages were interested in electric and hybrid training. This was followed by an interest in product training.

READ: CORONAVIRUS AND THE AFTERMARKET

The number of motor factors closing was smaller, currently 25 percent. Whether open or partially open, motor factors were running at 50 percent and below capacity. Interestingly, the motor factors that had initially closed had done so because of pressure from the public.

On to suppliers and manufacturer businesses, 67 percent were fully open, eight percent closed and 25 percent partially open.

Demand for product had reduced dramatically, in some cases by up to 85 percent. Business support, product and sales training were key for suppliers during this time, the survey of around 500 businesses revealed.

Mark Field, Impression director, said: “It’s important to see where we are as an industry and it’s clear that the MOT extension has had severe repercussions throughout the supply chain. Close communication is key as the market is changing on an almost daily basis with businesses reopening and garages receiving much needed support in the way of grants. We also seeing many acts of inspiration, innovation and overall kindness, which will define our industry for generations to come.”

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, NewsComments (2)

ON TOP OF THE WEALD

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ON TOP OF THE WEALD


Uckfield Motor Services – The Cockill family show us around their Sussex garage

Uckfield Motor Services

What’s the most efficient way of raising your profile as an independent garage? Offering a good service and establishing a customer base that will keep returning time after time is important of course, but arranging a garage in a way that doesn’t feel intimidating to new and non-traditional customers is something that eludes many small businesses.

However, this was less of a problem for Symon Cockill. Coming from a franchise retail background, he understood that the details are important for a customer’s perception of a business. Founded back in 1988, Family-run Uckfield Motor Services was originally based in an anonymous unit at the back of a trading estate, but when the opportunity came to move to one of the customer-facing units alongside the likes of Halfords and Topps Tiles, he jumped at the chance: “Everyone thought we were mad,” he recalled. “When we put the figures on paper, we knew it would be hard work [to justify moving]”. Nonetheless, the move was a step on being a more recognised brand in the town and the business employs Symon, wife Melanie, daughter Hannah, sons Harry and Edward as well as various other technicians.

The units had previously been used by a local bodyshop and so were well suited to become a service and repair garage and part of the Cockill’s strategy was to join a garage scheme and benefit from recognised branding and visibility. Originally, the garage was one of the Unipart Car Care Centres, but left when the well-publicised problems hit Unipart Automotive. The Cockills liked the idea of garage schemes and joined Bosch Car Service for a while, but chose not to re-apply when this scheme restructured in 2015.

Instead, the garage had its own signage made, but there were a number of things about being in a scheme that the family liked. First, there was the raised visibility already mentioned. Secondly, and most importantly according to Edward Cockill is the access to affordable training courses. After speaking to a few suppliers about various schemes and ‘soft franchises’, the team settled on joining AutoFirst, a scheme developed by Euro Car Parts and for which UMS would be the 300th member.

Other than the benefits of being a member of a garage scheme, Uckfield Motor Services also offers customers an option to view work on their car, or at least part of it, on their phones, thanks to a series of video cameras that link to an app. The firm has also joined the bookmygarage and blackcircles aggregators in order to bring some work in from customers who may not have previously visited the workshop.

CLEAN AND TIDY
Touring the building, we’re struck by how clean the facility is. You might expect tidy reception area – and this one is very smart (and complete with a coffee table that uses an F1 tyre as the base). All of the bays are clean and the ramps themselves are positively gleaming. Ten people work in the business in total, and though it isn’t the biggest workshop, there seems to be a system in place where everyone can move around without bumping into each other. As with most high-level independent garages, modern diagnostic play a big part in the business and a proportion of income is spent on the latest scan tools and test equipment.

However, it isn’t all hard work. Outside the workshop is a race- prepped Citroen C1, one of many track cars owned by the family over the years. “Racing is a way of life” explained Edward, though he did note that the little car was a ‘bit slow’ compared to the other, more exotic cars he has driven on the track.

What’s next for the garage? At some point, brothers Edward and Harry are keen to build a glass frontage to enlarge the waiting area and increase the dealer-like feel of the garage.

For the time being, they are happy maintaining their reputation as one of the most popular garages in Sussex.

Posted in Garage News, News, Out and About with CATComments (0)

EURO CAR PARTS ACQUIRES NEW WAREHOUSES

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EURO CAR PARTS ACQUIRES NEW WAREHOUSES


Two sites, similar to this, have been acquired by ECP

Factor chain Euro Car Parts has acquired trade counters in Scarborough and Normanton, Wakefield. The acquisition was completed on behalf of American commercial real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield; however, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Scarborough site is now open on Seamer Rd between Howdens and Toolstation, housing 17 staff and six delivery vans within its 3,356 sq ft warehouse. Meanwhile, the Wakefield branch will open in due course on Good Hope Close, located off Pontefract Rd near Junction 31 of the M62 motorway.

“We are delighted to have been able to secure both these sites for ECP, allowing them to expand their presence and better service their ever- growing customer base”, notes Henry King of the Logistics & Industrial team at Cushman & Wakefield. “These new locations are the first of an ambitious 2018 expansion plan
and signify a purposeful and positive start to the year.”

Posted in Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Retailer News, UncategorisedComments (1)

COULD YOU BE GARAGE OF THE YEAR 2018?

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COULD YOU BE GARAGE OF THE YEAR 2018?


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA

Automechanika Birmingham is calling on independent garages across the UK to enter its  ‘Garage of the Year’ award, returning for its second year and will be bigger than ever before.

The competition is open to all garages across the United Kingdom, with entrants explaining the reasons why they should win the coveted award and walk away with £1000. This year, there are six categories for garages to enter, recognising the diversity of UK garage businesses.

The winner of each category will be announced at an evening dinner to be held at The Director’s Club, Aston Villa FC on 5 June, which all category finalists will be invited to attend free of charge. The overall Garage of the Year winner will then be announced at the show on 6 June from these six category winners.

Last year’s first-ever ‘Garage of the Year’ award was won by local garage MotorServ-UK Solihull, which gained the most votes in the battle for top spot, with Philips Garage Ltd from Glasgow narrowly missing out and finishing second overall, and Shropshire-based garage EAC Telford coming third.

This year’s categories are:

• Best Small Garage
• Best Large Garage
• Best Community Initiative award
• ‘Auto-mechanik’ of the Year
• Technology Innovation Award
• Business Innovation Award

Simon Albert, Managing Director of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “The awards this year take on an exciting new development with an evening dinner to name the category winners and celebrate their achievement.

“Last year 75 garages entered – we anticipate that number to significantly increase this year. The finalists will all benefit from a raised business profile, these awards are a great way to reward the hard work and contribution that garages give to the automotive industry.”

The award is being run in partnership with Garage Wire. Interested garages are advised to ‘save the dates’ of 5-6 June and look out for more details in the near future. Anyone interested in entering can get the entry form here

The competition is part of a larger offering for garages at the 2018 exhibition. The organisers have introduced a dedicated Garage Quarter offering over 130 suppliers of tools and workshop equipment, services and innovative products as well as a Garage Social area. End users will benefit from a new specialist demo hub which will showcase live action across body repair and vehicle customisation as well as a Business Services Village giving garages free advice on how to run a business more efficiently. The ever popular Workshop Training Hub will return for 2018, bigger and better than before including expert speakers and free training. The Garage Quarter will stay open on Wednesday 6 June until 7pm to allow business owners and technicians to make the most out of their day out of the workshop.

Garage visitors will also benefit from free parking at the NEC and free breakfast upon arrival. Visitors looking to sign up can register for their free ticket here: https://www.automechanika-birmingham.com/welcome/get-your-free-ticket

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Greg Whitaker's diaryComments (0)

UK TRADE SHOW RETURNS TO BIRMINGHAM

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UK TRADE SHOW RETURNS TO BIRMINGHAM


PROMO ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM

This summer, Birmingham will again become the central hub for the UK’s automotive industry as it unites with Automechanika Birmingham, bringing thousands of visitors to the region.

For the third year running, the UK’s leading trade exhibition for the automotive industry will be making a welcome return to Birmingham NEC on 5 to 7June, where an increase in visitors is anticipated thanks to a raft of new initiatives, networking opportunities and extended opening hours for automotive repair garages.

With UK manufacturing continuing to climb up the global rankings in a post-Brexit era, it currently helps power the engine of the West Midlands (£17.5 billion) and East Midlands (£15.9 billion), with their strength across the aerospace and automotive sectors.

With this in mind, Automechanika Birmingham represents the ideal opportunity to continue to support this growing market in a central, accessible and relevant location, also bringing the sector to a city synonymous with the motor trade with the region’s heritage immersed in automotive growth and success.

To help leverage this global economic potential, this year’s event is launching a facilitated meetings programme to allow visitors to pre-arrange meetings with exhibitors, ensuring that visitors maximise their time and an increase of business conversations are held on exhibitor stands.

More than 500 exhibitors are due to attend for 2018, with 85% of 2017 visitors intending to return to the exhibition, which will house a newly improved layout.

What’s more, organisers at this year’s show have widened the appeal across the aftermarket sector, including a new, dedicated Garage Quarter, hosting tools and garage equipment suppliers looking to meet the growing number of independent garages attending the event.

The West Midlands is no stranger to the automotive trade with global brands Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, MG Rover Group and more recently Aston Martin dominating the UK automotive industry’s history.

Simon Albert, Event Director of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “After last year’s success with a turnout of around 12,000 visitors, we’ve no doubt that this year’s event will cement Automechanika Birmingham’s’ position as the UK’s most valuable meeting place for the automotive industry, uniting the very best of the UK aftermarket and vehicle production sector.

“The importance of the UK automotive industry to the economy is evident, particularly now more than ever. As we believe the sector will provide a key role in our global economic standing, we’re now calling on regional businesses to get behind the event and support the UK automotive industry.”
Many of the exhibitors will announce special show deals, offers and competitions in time for the show. Visitors can benefit from an enhanced programme of live events featuring live technical demonstrations, free training and keynote speakers.

This year’s event at the NEC Birmingham, running from 5-7 June 2018, will welcome vehicle production exhibitors in Hall 6, aftermarket suppliers in Hall20 and a dedicated Garage Quarter in Hall 19.

Visitors looking to sign up can register for their free ticket here: https://www.automechanika-birmingham.com/welcome/get-your-free-ticket

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TRIPLE T RANGE FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

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TRIPLE T RANGE FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF CARLUBE

The largest operating expense for a fleet is fuel costs and any savings made within this sector will have a significant impact for the fleet. As a result, fleet managers are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs and increase fuel economy. Although it may be overlooked, engine oils are a vital part of any operating vehicle, and can also reduce emissions – even a 1% fuel economy saving can help hugely in a large fleet. Although this sounds like a small percentage, when an average annual fuel bill is reviewed, a 1% saving can make thousands of pounds difference by simply changing the engine oil. A potentially large saving for a fleet of vehicles.

Engine oil manufacturers are constantly looking at ways to improve fuel economy in all vehicles. We know that the thinner the oil, the less drag it puts on the engine, and therefore an increase in fuel economy. These oils are now ready to buy off the shelf for passenger vehicles – for instance grades such as 5W-30 instead of 10W-40. However, within heavy duty applications, one of the main concerns with this method is whether lower viscosity oils will protect the engine to the same extent.

Carlube’s Triple T range for commercial vehicles, meets the needs of Truck, Transport and Tractor engines. This range covers over 99% of commercial vehicle engine applications, allowing extended drain intervals of up to 80,000km and reduced engine wear. Triple T products carry formal approvals from leading commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Mack, Renault, Scania & Volvo.

Carlube Triple T 5W-30 UHPD E6/E9 is rigorously tested to provide premium protection against engine wear and fully protect vital components. In the ACEA E6 engine tests, it has been proven to offer over 40% more engine wear protection than the test limit. The formulation is one of Carlube’s most comprehensive offerings for on and off road vehicles in the marketplace.

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INDUCTION HEAT VS THE OXY-ACETYLENE METHOD

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INDUCTION HEAT VS THE OXY-ACETYLENE METHOD


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF INDUCTION INNOVATIONS

The use of induction heating in the workshop is on the rise and we asked Induction Innovations Inc., manufacturer of the Mini-Ductor® Venom™ handheld induction heating tool, to compare the advantages of using induction heat vs the traditional approach of using an oxy-acetylene torch for removing problem parts.

There are some key advantages of using induction heat, outlined below. But first, here’s some key questions to ask yourself:

o Have you, or a colleague, ever caused damage with a torch?
o Does removing parts take up a lot of time and would a new solution make your lives easier?
o Do you regularly have to replace parts that you could have kept?
o Do you need to improve safety in the workshop/bodyshop?

Top tips: Why is induction heating technology a viable alternative to Oxy-Acetylene?

Using Oxy-Acetylene is risky
The use of a torch in a confined space vastly increases the consequential fire risk – plastics, wiring, trim etc. around the part to be removed can catch fire, causing potentially costly damage. Replacing damaged wiring can be very expensive.

By contrast, induction heating is a safer, more reliable, flameless heat, created by high frequency magnetic fields, which heat ferrous metals.

Reduced Overheads and Insurance premiums
The cost savings from not using Oxy-Acetylene is striking. On average, insurance premiums are 10-30% less (depending on use and insurance company). Added to the average cost of £150 a year to rent a gas bottle and with the majority of parts having to be replaced, the overheads start to mount up.

Works quickly, helping improve productivity and ultimately profits
Flexible coils, supplied with the Mini-Ductor wrap round the nut and heat it in seconds for easy removal. For example, a 19mm nut is heated red hot in just 15 seconds for easy removal.

As the flameless heat is localised on the part and not the surrounding area, collateral damage to the part is minimised, so parts can often be re-used.

Most importantly, using induction heating as a viable heating alternative to a naked flame means technicians are safer in the workshop.

The market leading Inductor® product range, from US company Induction Innovations, Inc., is a high performance invisible heating solution, ideal for automotive mechanics. The range includes the user-friendly Mini-Ductor handheld unit (available in 240V, 110V and 12V versions) and the Pro-Max™ 2kw trolley or work bench mounted inverter.

These CE marked, easy-to-use tools can cope with a variety of heating needs. To find out more, call + 44 (0) 1953 859138, email info@theinductor.co.uk, visit www.theinductor.co.uk or watch a wide variety of application videos at www.youtube.com/theinductoruk

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INVISIBLE HEAT FROM MINI DUCTOR VENOM

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INVISIBLE HEAT FROM MINI DUCTOR VENOM


PROMOTIONAL CONTENT ON BEHALF OF INDUCTION INNOVATIONS

Mini-Ductor® Venom® – MDV-777

Mini-Ductor Venom generates Invisible Heat® to release ferrous and some non-ferrous metals from corrosion and thread lock compounds without the dangers of open flame and up to 90% faster – ¾” nuts are turned red hot in seconds. Venom’s feature set allows users to repair vehicles and equipment faster, safer and more profitably, and to salvage parts normally discarded.

  • Coil Twist Lock
  • Angled Design with Trigger
  • LED Usage Indicator
  • User Controlled LED Switch
  • Two Year Limited Warranty

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CHARGING UP BUSINESS MARGINS

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CHARGING UP BUSINESS MARGINS


There are plenty of battery charger brands out there, but how are firms standing out from the competition?

Noco Genius series

Consolidation is the buzzword of our industry at the moment, but it isn’t just reserved for the factor groups, suppliers are part of this trend too. “There has been a lot of consolidation of battery brands with only a few major players left in the market.” said Gary Vincent, Sales Manager of American battery charger firm Noco.

While battery brands are shrinking, he says the opposite is true of chargers, “In terms of battery chargers, there is an increasing number of battery charger brands entering the market from the far-east with little actual battery charging experience and just looking to make quick money on places like Amazon,” he said, adding that this has had a knock-on effect on product quality and safety in the marketplace.

TRAINING
To maintain quality standards and be one of the ‘go-to’ brands for battery chargers, Noco has heavily invested in a number of marketing initiatives, technologies and training programmes to maintain customer retention while providing new clients with the technical know-how to up-sell its chargers in store. “Technical training forms part of the Noco on-boarding process for new customers so they can confidently advise and sell across the range,” said Vincent. “We see a continued trend towards lithium-ion batteries in all markets, and all of our chargers contain a specialised lithium charging mode. However, most competitors focus on their attention on charging fast, whereas we focus on return of capacity whilst restoring the specific gravity to optimal level, which can sometimes lead to slightly longer recharge times.”

The design and packaging can also bring many plusses to retailers stocking them as Vincent highlights: “Our chargers and packaging is extremely compact, which typically saves retailers upwards of four times in retailer footprint. These not only allow retailers room to add additional SKU’s, but also saves on logistical costs.”

NEW PRODUCTS
Taking a slightly different stance on battery charging is Swedish battery charger firm CTEK. As previously mentioned in CAT, the firm recently introduced its ‘CT5 Time To Go’ device, which informs users when their battery is fully charged, through a series of LED lights that monitor the state of charge of the battery. The tool is used in conjunction with the firm’s new ‘Battery Sense’ dongle, which tracks the vehicle’s battery health. The concept behind this was to encourage more motorists to check their battery regularly in order to prevent further breakdowns, particularly during the colder months when this component is at its most vulnerable. Sten Hammargren, Consumer Business Unit at CTEK, elaborated: “The Battery Sense tool is easy to install and data is delivered through a free to download iPhone or Android App. Battery Sense means no worrying about charge levels or when to charge; providing valuable information about the vehicle’s battery in a simple, user-friendly way.”

In addition, the maker is conducting ongoing training sessions for factors and distributors via its Skillsbase programme, allowing them to gain a thorough understanding of the firm’s wares. This is further supported with marketing materials such as product sheets, brochures and promotional films for additional advice and guidance. “Understanding how our products can be used to meet the needs and demands of the end user is a strong factor in choosing the right products to generate sales opportunities”, said Hammargren, “Our Skillsbase programme is helping our customers to gain comprehensive CTEK knowledge and develop essential skills and understanding to maximise profit margins.”

In a similar vein, Banner Batteries is raising awareness and the importance of battery chargers and maintenance to its retail network in the form of ‘visually appealing’ display units and marketing materials including a pocket guide leaflet for its Accucharger range. Lee Quinney, Country Manager at Banner, elaborated: “Developed to ensure that modern lead-acid batteries attain their anticipated long service life through regular and necessary equalisation charges, each Accucharger is more than capable of powering up any starter battery easily, fully automatically and safely. In addition to their functionality and suitability for all 6/12V lead acid batteries, they are appealing in terms of their design aesthetics and have already been widely adopted by Banner’s distributors and their customers.”, he concluded.

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