Tag Archive | "Workshops"

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP YET?

Tags: , , , , ,

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP YET?


AUTOMECHANIKA PROMOTION

Automechanika Birmingham is just under five weeks away. Have you signed up yet? When you register free for your ticket, recommend a colleague to attend and you will receive free breakfast upon arrival at the NEC courtesy of Bendix. Also, new for the 2018 event, independent garages can park free *limited availability, first come first served!

Whether your exhibiting or just visiting, register now by visiting the Automechanika Birmingham website. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry Insight, UncategorisedComments (0)

THE GDPR LOWDOWN

Tags: , , , , ,

THE GDPR LOWDOWN


In part two of our GDPR guide, Hayley Pells explains how practical steps will help you be ready.

It hasn’t been a good month for the public’s perception of how companies use their data. You may have noticed that during the coverage of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica on TV that Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, would pop up to reassure the public that steps were being taken to regulate how their data was used and stored by companies, which was of course a reference to GDPR. If there was any doubt about how seriously the country is going to take the new legislation, this will be a wake up call.

Last month, we explored the background of GDPR and how it is going to affect your business, this month, we are going to explore a step-by-step guide to show you how you can become legally compliant yourself. If you are unsure of the process there is still time to get some professional help. There are independent consultants all over the country and there are larger organisations who are able to roll out a fast to access service. The average garage owner can do this in-house for themselves, but if you are busy, it could be a more cost effective solution to outsource.

STEP 1
Awareness

Following on from last month’s article, you need to make sure all of your team know about the legislation. In my case, trying to explain it to my father who I work with (and is in his late sixties) is a hoot, but we got there. The key area to get across is the impact this compliance will have on the business and acknowledging the time and cost it will require to implement. Do you have a risk register? It could be useful to have one. Compliance can be difficult if the preparations are left to last minute, especially if you then plan to outsource.

STEP 2 – Current situation

What personal data do you hold about your clients and staff ? Do you really need it? This is a good opportunity to “clean house.” Dispose of the unrequired information responsibly, ensuring that the data is inaccessible at the point of disposal.
What you should be left with is the information that you need. What do you do with it? This is how compliance with the accountability principles of GDPR are achieved. You need to know what information you hold, where it is held and how it
is held. It must be held securely. When sharing data, this needs to be done responsibly. For example, does someone else process your payroll? Now is the time to check that the information you share is being done so in a responsible manner and that your service provider is up to speed with their obligations.

Having assessed your current situation it is a good idea to record it and then outline your strategy for improvement. This is a very similar process to how you would complete a risk assessment.

STEP 3 – Communicating
privacy information
Do you have a privacy notice? Currently, when you collect personal data you need to give people the following information;
– Who you are
– How do you intend to use their information

That information you have probably done without thinking, to continue with the payroll simili “I’m Fred Bloggs, I need your NI number to process your pay.” With the GDPR, this is expanded upon, now there are a couple of extra things you need to tell people;

– Your lawful basis for processing the data
– Data retention periods
– The individual’s right of complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office

So for this I shall use the example of information that I gather for a MOT test. My lawful basis for collecting information about my client is that I have been tasked with performing a MOT test on their vehicle. I keep this data for one year and the ICO’s website can be found at ico.org.uk – they are the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. The GDPR requires that plain language is used, every step should be as clear and concise as possible.

STEP 4 – Individual’s rights

You should check and record your procedures to ensure they cover the following rights of the individual, include how you would erase personal data or provide personal data electronically in a commonly used format;
– The right to be informed
– The right of access
– The right to rectification
– The right to be forgotten
– The right to restrict processing n The right to data portability
– The right to object
– The right not to be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

Now bear with me, this all probably sounds like something completely new, but before spanners are thrown up into the year and “this modern euro nonsense is just taking over everything, I am but a simple mechanic” is hailed (or was that just my father?). Let us examine what this means practically. A lot of these rights are just basic common sense, you are probably employing them right now – the key areas that are significantly different are mainly within the right of portability, it only applies;

– To personal data an individual has provided to a controller
– Where processing is based on the individual’s consent or for the performance of a contract
– When processing is carried out by automated means With the Data Protection Act, you could, if you so wished, charge a fee for the provision of data to the individual, under the GDPR you cannot and the information provided by the ICO insist that it be provided in a structured commonly used and machine readable form.

STEP 5 – Access Requests
Step four outlined the right the individual has, step five now examines how those rights are handled. It is good practice to have this recorded and share it with everyone in your organisation.
– No charge for information requests
– Information to be given within a month (under the Data Protection Act, this was 40 days)
– You can refuse or charge for requests that are manifestly unfounded or excessive
– If you do refuse a request, you are legally obliged to tell the individual why and that they have the right to complain to the supervisory authority and to a judicial remedy. You must do without undue delay and at the latest, one month.

If you have a large organisation or you handle large numbers of information requests this may be a good time to assess the implications of dealing with requests quickly. It may be worth considering the desirability of systems that allow individuals to access their own information online.

STEP 6 – Lawful basis for processing personal data
As individuals now have a stronger right than under previous legislation to access their personal data in order to achieve compliance with the GDPR, you should document and share your lawful basis for the collection and processing of this data. This is especially important now individuals have the right to deletion of their personal data.

STEP 7 – Consent
Consent cannot be inferred by silence and must not be an “opt out” (no pre-ticked boxes or assumptions). This is quite a broad area and will be explored further next month with detailed guidance. Consent cannot be thrown in with your general terms and conditions as it must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. In my opinion, post 25th May 2018, this is going to be the next big goldmine for all those companies that are currently benefiting from the PPI refunds, it will be an easy area to identify non- compliance if the correct procedures are not in place.

STEP 8 – Children
Before shoulders are shrugged that you don’t deal with children, first understand what is meant by the term “child”, although the consent given by children within this context tends to be more concerned with young children and internet related services such as social networking, it would be a good idea to consider how you handle apprentice’s (or any other employee or client who are under 18) information. Currently the GDPR sets the age at 16, this may be lowered to 13, being mindful of how this age limit may change and implementing into your policy documents for the younger people that you may deal with will be the best method to achieve compliance.

If your organisation does deal with children, you must remember that consent must come from someone with “parental responsibility” and has to be verifiable. Your privacy notice must be written in language that children can understand.

STEP 9 – Data Breaches
What to do if it all goes wrong? The legislation does consider that like locking the door to your home doesn’t stop thieves getting in, you may be subject to a data breach that, in under normal working circumstances, would not happen.

If you have a breach, determining the nature of the breach will direct your next course of action. You only need to notify the ICO if the breach is likely to risk the rights and freedoms of the individual, for example, if it could result in discrimination, damage to reputation, financial loss, loss of confidentiality or any other significant economic or social disadvantage. If this breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, you will also have to notify them directly.

In order to achieve compliance with the GDPR you must have procedures in place that detect, report and investigate personal data breaches. Having a good clear out at step two will reduce the risk in this area.

STEP 10 – Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessments
Remember when you had to uncheck a prefilled box to opt out of things online? Now you have to check it yourself, this is what that is about. The chances are, if you collect data in this way, this is something that you are already aware of and I am personally at a loss as to why you would have a need to process information in this way within the automotive aftermarket, but I am sure there is someone out there who could enlighten me!

STEP 11- Data Protection Officers If it is everyones’ job, nobody does it. Identifying a person responsible for data protection compliance is now a formal obligation in certain circumstances. You probably won’t be one of them, but it is still good practice to formally appoint someone to oversee your compliance, that person should take proper responsibility for your data protection compliance and has the knowledge, support and authority to carry out their role effectively.

STEP 12 – International
If you are lucky enough to deal internationally with your organisation you should determine your lead data protection supervisory authority and document this. The lead authority will be where your central administration is located but only relevant where you carry out cross-border processing. (This step doesn’t apply to my garage. Currently).

Hopefully, this article will be helpful in becoming compliant for yourself. The advantage in doing this yourself will enable your organisation to be familiar with the new legal responsibilities organisations have with respect to personal data. The next article will thoroughly examine the subject of consent and how it is applied in this context.

Posted in CAT Know-How, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Retailer NewsComments (0)

FILLING GAPS IN THE MARKET

Tags: , , , , , , ,

FILLING GAPS IN THE MARKET


Sean (L) and son Daniel (R)

Sean Brown shows CAT around Brown & Geeson in Wickford, Essex

Today we are Essex-bound visiting Brown & Geeson – a parts supplier and manufacturer that’s had a strong presence in the motorsport sector since its inception over 50 years ago.

BACKSTORY
In fact, the company first started out as an accessory shop in Chadwell Heath, set up by father and son duo Ray Brown and Arthur Geeson, which saw the integration of B-G aftermarket accessories in the form of fuel pumps, seat covers and wheel trims among various other components. However, the turning point in business came when Ray discovered the importance of self-branding, as his son Sean explained: “At the time, my father realised that by buying something in, putting his name on it and in his own packaging, he could sell his products worldwide and that’s how the business started to grow”.

Following expansion plans, the business partners relocated to larger sites in Plaistow East London and Dagenham, Essex respectively, where bespoke production facilities were introduced for serving VMs, importers and parts manufacturers across the country and abroad. This eventually led to another desirable location in Wickford in the mid 90’s, however, there were plenty of major changes ahead: “The UK manufacturing industry back then was quite tough, so myself and my father Ray made a decision to sell all contracts, machinery, shutdown the company and start what was ‘Brown & Geeson Distribution’.” said Sean. “The decision was taken to come out of manufacturing and concentrate on buying and selling from where Brown & Geeson originally started” adding that the firm eventually reclaimed its original name and returned to manufacturing, that’s now outsourced overseas.

BRANDING
As it stands, Sean and son Daniel head-up the operation of whom have extensive experience in motosport both on and off track. They greeted and took us through to an office space displaying styling products such as the infamous Momo steering wheel and numerous accessories behind shiny glass cabinets, along with mannequins dressed head to toe in Team GB race wear.

Display bits and pieces aside, Sean was keen to get down to business and discuss the B-G Racing brand that is now in its sixth year. Speaking of how it came about, he said: “What we needed to do with Brown & Geeson was go back to the old days where we sold boxes with BG logos on it. I believe there are products not only for pit equipment but also for setup equipment.” He continued: “On travels around the world, I have visited paddocks in Europe and noticed gaps in the market for premium products. I thought I could create something similar and bring it to the masses, not only to ‘educate’ but give the top teams a quality product for an affordable price.” He adds that the BG platform has been well received so far as the organisation’s distribution base now stretches globally.

Barcoding system has proved effective

Daniel agrees and expands on his father’s sentiment: “The B-G Racing brand is growing steadily everyday. We target distributors in different countries so instead of selling directly to the public, we target trade and retail shops in France, Germany and many more countries. We try and offer them a whole catalogue solution so they can source all their necessary parts from one place to simplify the purchasing process”.

Sean notes that the team have recently released their Seventh Edition catalogue packed with vehicle, setup and pit equipment for motorsport and aftermarket companies. Some of the popular sells he notes include: lift jacks, work mats and hub stands, plus camber/ caster gauges and levelling trays for technicians whether they’re working in a garage or pit lane. In addition, the brand is a supplier of car components from Australian firm Aeroflow Performance and Mittler Bros Machine & Tool.

After a business insight, Daniel and Sean provided us with a tour of the facility. During our tour, the shop floor seemed well organised with Momo and B-G Racing wares stacked along the aisles in an orderly fashion as they await distribution. The top floor comprised of more styling accessories and an in-house studio where new products are photographed before being uploaded to the firm’s website. To speed up productivity, Daniel told CAT that a new barcoding system has recently been implemented to get the product logged, onto the shelves and out the door to reduce stock discrepancies with customer orders.
Of course, with any queries that may arise, the sales and admin department are on-hand and who were very busy on our arrival dealing with customer calls and queries both nationally and internationally.

Although the duo have acquired some new OEM and workshop projects, everything is being kept top secret until completion later this year.

But for now, Daniel and Sean’s main objective is spreading the BG footprint while continuing to produce products to help bridge gaps in the market. We look forward to catching up with the team very soon.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Out and About with CAT, Retailer NewsComments (0)

INDUCTION HEAT VS THE OXY-ACETYLENE METHOD

Tags: , , ,

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

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)

MAINTAINING A PROFESSIONAL STANDARD

Tags: , , , ,

MAINTAINING A PROFESSIONAL STANDARD


Garage owner Graham Gent invites CAT up to MOT-A-CAR in Sittingbourne, Kent

As the festive season approaches, most workshops will be embracing the spirit of Christmas by means of winter health checks as well as changing batteries, bulbs and wiper blades – all of which are things that boom in the colder months.

Although this is a buoyant time for garages, one business in particular has been busier than normal. Sittingbourne-based MOT-A-CAR was our
destination today, where the team have been working tirelessly to get their new Van Shop up and running.

VAN SHOP
Launched a month earlier, the new unit has allready attracted leasing companies, that have started booking in their van fleets. for servicing. Garage Owner Graham Gent explained: “We have always serviced vans, but we felt a need to separate the units we currently have.”

“We do everything in here from motorcycle testing to mini buses classes one, two, three, four, five and seven”. He adds that wife and business partner Claire, deals with the marketing aspect of the firm, using her expertise to spread awareness of its latest addition through the company’s website and social media platforms.

UNITS AND SERVICES
As Gent already touched on, the business contains several units that all serve a different purpose. Apart from the newcomer, a Tyre Shop with a class four MOT bay occupies the site, alongside the main workshop space – used for servicing a mishmash of vehicles from farmers Land Rovers to high-end, executive cars. The workshop also contains a reception area featuring oils and additives from the likes of Forte and Mobil, that were stacked along counter display stands on our arrival.

Besides general MOT repairs, there are plenty of services in the company’s itinerary, as Gent brings to our attention, “We’ve got a total of four vehicles that go out for car collections and deliveries”. When asked what areas are covered, he said: “We travel anywhere in Swale from the Medway towns to Maidstone and Canterbury. We have been further afield, but the difficulty is time out of the workshop, so we have to monitor this accordingly,” adding that a vehicle recovery process is also provided by the firm, which would explain the large pick-up truck parked outside the premises.

BUSINESS GROWTH
The company’s expansion over the years comes down to several factors. However, Gent says the main one is the team’s work ethic, something that has been difficult to identify when recruiting potential candidates prior. “The biggest challenge has been employing staff”, Gent recalls, “Many people coming into the trade aren’t as driven as they should be. They don’t see it as a profession but rather as a job, and unfortunately, there’s too many kids coming out of college that don’t seem motivated.”

The owner plans workshop expansion

Teething troubles aside, the business employs seven technicians bringing experience from fast-fits, independent garages and dealerships up and down the country. Gent himself is a Master Technician who began his training as a young man at a nearby Ford Dealer. He later moved on to manage a workshop at a local Renault dealership, before opening the business with wife Claire 15 years ago.

Gent mentions that the team have ‘tapped into the data and report side of its Garage Data System (GDS)’, thus enabling them to exploit further sales and margin opportunities. This internal programme has proved a necessary asset with the garage reporting an annual turnover of £500,000 last year.

CONNECTED FUTURE
While talks in the aftermarket revolve back to connected cars, Gent is aware of this technology and how it may impact business in the foreseeable future. With that said, he is in the midst of putting infrastructure in place to safeguard the company. This will involve investing in another unit on-site for repairing electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as acquiring some charge points and an electric vehicle bay.

Of course, training on these systems is fundamental, but Gent seems to have this under control as he prepares to enrol staff onto relevant courses next year. He concluded: “We have to balance courses with our technicians’ levels and experience. It’s about finding the right place and training provider. We also want to buy a few more workshops to expand our brand, but again, it’s all about finding the correct location.” We look forward to visiting Gent’s new sites in the near future.

Posted in Out and About with CATComments (0)

HELLA WORKSHOP CALENDAR COMPETITION 2019

Tags: , , ,

HELLA WORKSHOP CALENDAR COMPETITION 2019


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF HELLA

HELLA is looking for workshops that have ‘something special’ to feature in the company’s 2019 “Experts At Work” calendar to celebrate the dedication and commitment that technicians make to the industry globally.

HELLA, a world renowned manufacturer of automotive components and lighting solutions, is giving workshops the opportunity to enter the competition to show what makes their business extraordinary. Whether it is a team of excellent employees, working with exceptional cars or perhaps it’s in the most unusual location – HELLA wants to hear from you!

To enter, workshops simply need to send in a few photos that really showcase their premises or what makes it different, along with a short description of why they have got what it takes to be featured in the calendar.
The winners will receive a range of top quality prizes including an exclusive photo shoot by a professional photographer, as well as the international “Experts At Work” award from HELLA, with their pictures used in the calendar, which will be distributed worldwide. Last, but by no means least, the winners will also receive a fantastic package worth almost £500 for their workshops.

The competition is underway, but closes on 6th November 2017, so don’t delay, apply today! https://www.hella-contest.com/en

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)

KEEPING TECHNICIANS AHEAD OF THE CURVE

Tags: , , , ,

KEEPING TECHNICIANS AHEAD OF THE CURVE


Keith Stead explains how The MOT Training Centre is going from strength-to-strength since opening its doors 10 months ago.

Refurbished centre offers MOT training

The MOT Training Centre was once a dedicated workshop for Stamford College students up until two years ago, when it was replaced with a new facility. This left the old workshop building looking for a new use.

The eureka moment to open a training centre was prompted by a former tutor who worked with the college to get an MOT training centre off the ground. This led to the appointment of Keith Stead, who was brought in to manage the day-to-day operations due to his 20 years of knowledge and expertise in the automotive industry. “My experience covers vehicle electrics, MOT, air conditioning as well as MOT management work overseas”, Stead recalled.

The first thing you need to know about the centre is that it is separate from the college, albeit on the same premises. “We are completely stand- alone”, said Stead. “We only deal with the industry. Although this business was established on behalf of the college, we have no students coming here until they’re qualified and in full-time employment”, adding that the courses are for technicians ready to build on their skills for their careers.

COURSES AND STRUCTURE
There is a range of courses that garages can take advantage of. This includes the MOT Training for Light Vehicle and Motorcycle Testers courses as well as an MOT Training for Managers programme of which are all IMI accredited. There is also air-con DEFRA training and CPD for existing testers.

The courses are usually run in groups of four, which has proved more effective compared to running sessions with larger quantities of candidates, according to Stead. “We run a maximum of four people per course. This is because it’s easier to bond, ask questions and each technician can have their individual time with our trainers”, he continued. “For us, it’s not about how many people we can squeeze into a class, it is more for the longevity, keeping our prices and classroom sizes lower, and it isn’t about how fast we can make money. We’d rather have constant bookings because some people are shocked at what some places are changing”.

WORKSHOP LAYOUT
To make sure all amenities are available, the building contains a large workshop area comprising of an MOT bay, one ramp and lane setter, designed for class four and seven vehicles as well as catering to class one and two motorcycles. Technicians also have access to a mixed bag of diagnostic tools and vehicles to practice on, as Stead points out. “We have diesel and petrol vehicles from a variety of ages so they have the choice of using old marques or modern ones including Volvos and Renaults”.

In addition to the workshop space, the premises has a classroom and computer area for the theory aspect of each course, and being DV8 accredited means delegates can sit their exams on site while being assessed by a member of the DVSA during their final practical.

BUSINESS PLANS
A Hybrid course has recently been introduced that the firm is currently promoting to its trade customers. The business has also attracted interest from nearby dealerships.

With around 26,000 MOT garages operating across the UK, the firm will certainly not fall short of testers to train as they gear up the next generation of technicians making their mark on the industry.

 

The MOT Training Centre
Drift Road, Stamford, Lincs, PE9 1XA
01780 484332

bookings@mottrainingcentre.co.uk

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

STAGE IS SET FOR AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI

Tags: , , , ,

STAGE IS SET FOR AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI

Asia’s automotive industry is undergoing rapid technological changes, thanks to the world’s ever-growing consumer demand for new energy vehicles, faster workshop speeds, increased customisation options and improved in-car technologies. Many of the region’s aftermarket enterprises are subsequently looking for a more technological edge, more environmentally friendly products and processes, and superior repair and management standards.

This opportunity is already being brought to life at Automechanika Shanghai, Asia’s largest trade fair dedicated to the global automotive service industry. This year, the fair will welcome around 6,000 exhibitors and 130,000 visitors, and is also expected to house some of the latest advancements from both the global and domestic automotive industries.

Take for example Astrace, a Chinese glass window film and paint developer which has various brands within the aftermarket sector. The company is exhibiting for the first time at Automechanika Shanghai 2017, with the goal of expanding into some of Asia’s most promising regions.

Mr Kris Yang, Manager of International Business at Astrace, explains how Asia has a huge role to play in the sector’s future growth: “Our operations are already very well established in China, and like many other players in the aftermarket sector, we’re looking to broaden our horizons to the likes of Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. These regions are all experiencing a growing presence in the sector, and with the help of Automechanika Shanghai we’re hoping to capitalise on this growth.”

“Asia’s aftermarket industry, and its film sector in particular, is experiencing more and more developments in the likes of heat blocking, UV protection, reflectivity and safety. What’s more, the industry is looking to take these innovations a step further by adding even more value for consumers. This includes the likes of films which can harvest energy to power cars, and intelligent glass displays which can display information to passengers, for instance.” Mr Yang added.

Similarly, fellow exhibiting business KYB, a shock absorber manufacturer, says that the Asian market, and China in particular, is constantly demanding a higher level of technical products and expertise. “Thanks to the growing consumer need for smarter vehicles and electric cars, China is looking to continually grow in terms of design, research, development and component manufacturing,” says Mr Lijun Fu, Deputy General Manager of Marketing at KYB Trading (Shanghai).

Explaining how this can be a big opportunity for exhibitors at the fair, Mr Fu added: “For us players in the aftermarket sector, this is good news because it boosts and diversifies the demand for parts, components, repair and maintenance. Thanks to this demand, we’re exploring more advanced technologies. Our electronic automobile suspension system, for example, can lower a car’s body when it stops, and lift it up again when the engine starts. It can also adjust the suspension system based on road conditions – which can even be done through in-car control and mobile apps.”

Another company looking to take advantage of this trend is adhesives business Henkel, who says that Asia’s growing numbers in terms of car sales and ownership is also an attractive prospect for the sector. “Compared to the overseas market, the growth momentum in the Asian auto industry appears to be more obvious, with car ownership in China alone surpassing 200 million in March 2017,” says Mr Shaohua Fang, APAC Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Business Director for Henkel.

“Thanks to this, as well as the growing expectation for higher quality and improved service, the aftermarket sector in the region expects a 30% year-on-year growth in the coming years, becoming a trillion dollar industry by end of 2018,” Mr Fang added. He expressed how Automechanika Shanghai is an “ideal platform” for businesses to keep abreast of these trends and to gain stronger positions in the region.

Industry players look to magnify environmental awareness

The shift towards new energy and improved service in Asia’s auto industry is also part of a bigger market trend in environmental awareness. With new energy vehicles in China expected to represent at least one fifth of car sales by 2025, a growing number of industry sectors are looking to improve their carbon footprint – including many key players in the aftermarket business.

Eneos, a Japanese oil and lubricant manufacturer, says Asia’s role in providing a more sustainable industry is immeasurable. “In terms of automotive lubricants, things like pollution control and low carbon emissions are some of the key development trends in what is such a prosperous region,” says Mr Yukiyoshi Takahashi, Director & President at the JX Nippon Oil & Energy brand by Eneos.

The company says that consequently, regulations on exhaust emissions are expected to become even stricter in the region, along with increased requirements on environmental protection. Many exhibitors at the fair are already adapting to this shift in focus for the industry.

“ENEOS has been committed to introducing an environmentally friendly and low viscosity ‘0W-20’ motor oil, which can increase performance by 2% – 3%. For a car driving 50,000 km per year, this can save around RMB 1,000 in fuel costs,” says Mr Takahashi.

“It also greatly reduces engine friction, so that the engine can maintain a stable and efficient movement. This helps reduce the risk of engine failure and prolong the repair period. We firmly believe that these types of products, which offer both high quality and fuel efficiency, will draw more and more attention to environmental awareness at Automechanika Shanghai this year.”

Keeping in line with exhibitors looking to showcase their sustainability credentials is coating supplier Oerlikon Balzers. The company says its coating technologies on display during the course of Automechanika Shanghai can help improve energy consumption levels and the overall performance of vehicles, as well as reduce wear and friction for parts. Visitors to the fair can witness a range of Oerlikon’s new coating solutions for ABS and ESP systems, which assist in reducing environmental impact.

Ms Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, says this aspect of the automotive sector has become one of the most important parts of the fair in recent years. “It’s exciting to see so many of our exhibitors looking to promote their work in creating a greener industry, particularly considering the growing environmental concerns in Asia. When these businesses are developing more and more technological advancements for the automotive sector, it’s important that they’re doing it in a responsible way.”

Automechanika Shanghai will take place from 29 November – 2 December at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. With over 130,000 visitors and 6,000 exhibitors, this year will see the fair expanded to 330,000sqm. A new REIFEN zone will showcase the very latest tyre, wheel and rim products, while upgrades to the E-mobility & Infrastructure zone will see an even stronger focus on electronics, systems, and future solutions.

A number of key industry players, including Autoyong, ADAYO, Astrace, CARZONE, Eneos, Fangxing Rubber, Fleetguard, Fuchs, Henkel, Huitian, Isuzu, Linglong, NEXTEV, SINOTRUK, TEN-D Energies and Zhengao Auto will participate at the fair for the first time. Meanwhile, exhibitors returning to the show include the likes of ACDelco, Asia-Pacific Electrical, BAIC, BASF, Bullsone, China Changan, Continental Automotive, ContiTech, CRRC, Cummins, Dayco, DENSO, Interstate Batteries, Launch, MA-FRA, Mahle, MANN+HUMMEL, Mobiletron, MOTUL, SATA, Schaeffler, SINOTRUK, SK, Snap-on, SONAX, Valeo, Valvoline, VIE and ZF.

For more information about the show, please visit www.automechanika-shanghai.com or contact Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, +852 2802 7728 / auto@hongkong.messefrankfurt.com .

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)

TESTING TIMES: DVSA REPORT

Tags: , , , ,

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”.

Posted in Blogs, Garage News, News, UncategorisedComments (0)

TYRE DEALERS URGED TO CAPITALISE ON ‘BUDGET’ TYRE PRICE INCREASE

Tags: , , , ,

TYRE DEALERS URGED TO CAPITALISE ON ‘BUDGET’ TYRE PRICE INCREASE


 

Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) is urging tyre retailers to take advantage of unstable pricing at the budget end of the market and upsell mid-range tyres to offer consumers better value and maximise their margins.

The combination of rising raw material costs, Chinese pollution regulations and Brexit- fuelled exchange rate fluctuations have created a perfect storm for the budget sector. In recent months, budget tyre prices have been rising disproportionately compared with the mid-range and premium sectors, significantly reducing the cost price differential between typical budget and superior mid-range tyres in the same size.

Alan Baldwin, MTS Sales Director, comments: “With the difference between a budget and mid-range tyre now less than a fiver, it’s time for tyre retailers with a ‘that’s all my customers can afford’ attitude on price to change tack. With prices now so close, there really is a fantastic opportunity to offer a significantly better alternative for a negligible additional outlay. By doing so, garages are not only providing their customers with better quality tyres, but also improving their own profitability.”

Post-recession, the appeal of a Chinese budget tyre from a consumer point of view was clear; cheap raw materials, few regulations in Chinese factories and a favourable exchange rate meant budget tyres were often up to half the price of a mid- range alternative. With few consumers fully understanding the importance of their tyres,
the cheapest option is often the default choice, especially when that’s what the garage is recommending.

Baldwin continues: “Drivers are interested in their safety, longevity and quality but have become fixated by the cheapest option and too many retailers have become conditioned to appeasing this demand. With the price barrier all but removed, selling the benefit of a better quality tyres should now be a much easier conversation for retailers to have and customer retention is always going to be higher from giving the driver better value and a recognised brand.”

Confusingly, the increasing cost of a budget tyre has led some budget brands to position themselves as mid-range. Alan Baldwin suggests the simplest way to distinguish mid-range from budget is: “If it hasn’t got OE; it’s budget. Any tyre manufacturer that doesn’t produce OE tyres for major car marques is not mid-range.”

Posted in Garage News, Latest News, News, Retailer NewsComments (0)

Advertisement
  • New MOT rules and the implications for testers
  • Aftermarket Lives: A regional battery distributor and the Ecco group.
  • EC proposes compulsory ADAS

more info

    • Should hand car washes face further regulation?

      View Results

      Loading ... Loading ...
    • Popular
    • Latest
    • Comments
    • Tags
    • Subscribe