Movers & Shakers: retirement sees WAI appoint new sales director

Name: Marc Roder

Company: WAI

Role: Sales director

Rotating electrics supplier and electric vehicle charging cable firm, WAI, has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of Marc Roder as sales director.

Roder will join WAI in the new year to support the sales team and help develop the business across the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia.

Roder will work closely with Gary Maskrey, director of sales, to maintain and develop the brand’s customer facing support – and will succeed Maskrey as he reduces his working time and moves into full retirement.

Roder brings with him a wealth of experience across 12 years in the automotive aftermarket, and a roster of connections from previous key account manager and business development roles with the likes of Brembo, Federal-Mogul and Euro Car Parts, and most recently sales director at Sogefi Group.

Maskrey said: “Marc is well known in the industry and comes with a great track record. I look forward to welcoming him to the team and continuing to deliver excellent customer support. This new appointment will ensure Marc is poised to fully take over from me when I do eventually retire.”

Roder added: “I am delighted to be joining the WAI team to kickstart 2024. My new role will involve driving the sales business forward and maintaining key customer relationships.”

WAI has undergone some changes in 2023, notably the UK arm of the business aligning with its European operations under one umbrella, with president Richard Welland at the helm.

Welland concludes: “As WAI continues to move forward and unites under our ‘one team, one fight’ banner, I’m pleased to welcome Marc to the team to help drive the business forward for our future success.”

Name: Laura Hall

Company: Maverick Diagnostics

Role: Managing director

Maverick Diagnostics has appointed Laura Hall as its new managing director. She takes on the role after Andy Brooke assumed new responsibilities within the group.

Hall says her vision for Maverick Diagnostics is to “solidify its position as a leader in automotive diagnostics and the go-to destination for dealer diagnostics in the automotive aftermarket”.

She said: “My aim is to lead independent workshops in upgrading their diagnostic capabilities and future-proofing their operations. Building on the strong foundations in place, I plan to achieve this by continuously innovating product offerings, expanding into new markets, and enhancing technical support.”

Hall added: “Andy will be on-hand to support me. We have a collaborative working environment, and I look forward to leaning on his experience as we move forward.”

On the new appointment, Brooke said: “Laura is the ideal person to take on this position. Her leadership and interpersonal skills have been apparent ever since she joined the company, and, with her accrued knowledge of the sector, is well-placed to take Maverick Diagnostics into a new chapter.”

Alluding to the rapid technological diversification in the diagnostics industry and the uncertainty surrounding SERMI, the new managing director confirmed that MaverickDiagnostics will support its customers in staying technologically ahead and will collaborate with organisations, like the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), to navigate industry changes effectively.

Hall says her immediate priorities include expanding the technical support team to meet the growing demand for dealer tool support subscriptions. This expansion will enhance the customer experience and bolster industry standards in support services. The company, for instance, is investing in technology to optimise software updates for OEM tools.

Hall said: “Maverick Diagnostics will continue to uphold its commitment to customers, clients, and stakeholders. The company intends to maximise face-to-face interactions through its sales team to better understand the unique needs and challenges of its clients.”

Name: Joanne Knowles

Company: Messe Frankfurt UK

Role: Event director

Messe Frankfurt UK, organisers of Automechanika Birmingham and UK Garage & Bodyshop Event, has announced the appointment of Joanne Knowles as event director.

With over eight years’ experience in the exhibition industry, Knowles will head up the Automechanika Birmingham and UK Garage & Bodyshop Event teams and is responsible for driving the strategy and bringing innovation ideas to the table.

Knowles has a wealth of knowledge and skills to excel in her new role, which will see her craft the overarching strategy and implement innovative concepts that align closely with the business objectives.

She said: “My new position involves the flawless execution of the events, with a strong emphasis on creating exceptional experiences for both attendees and exhibitors. I’m eager to collaborate with our internal team and external partners to ensure we achieve the best possible outcomes.”

Knowles added: “Our events have an important part to play in showcasing the trends in the industry and what the sector is doing to support the future.”

Simon Albert, managing director at Messe Frankfurt UK said: “We are delighted to welcome Joanne to the team. She has excellent experience in the events and exhibition industry that will allow her to excel in this position.

“Her wealth of experience, industry skills and knowledge, and forward-thinking mindset will benefit us in moving forward as a business and secure the future success of Automechanika Birmingham and UK Garage & Bodyshop Event shows.”

Name: Kevin Neaverson

Company: FAI Automotive

Role: Commercial director

Kevin Neaverson has joined FAI Automotive as commercial director, covering both UK and export customers. He succeeds Jonathan Alexander.

Neaverson’s career spans 30 years in the aftermarket, and arrives with significant commercial experience, covering a wealth of territories. He has held similar positions at Blue Print and most recently at First Line.

Neaverson said: “It’s an honour to join the FAI team in what is an exciting time for a well-established brand within our industry. My mission is to cement the relationships of our loyal customer base and pave the way for new business, fuelled by range expansion plans already set in motion by our procurement team.

“I wish Jonathan all the best for the future and look to build upon the foundations laid over the last 20 years. FAI has a rich heritage with over 40 years of experience that many UK customers are aware of, but I intend to spread that message to new regions.”

He added: “A large part of my new role will involve travelling to meet clients, as I have done since the first days of my career. I believe that the customer’s voice is of utmost importance, as is the element of face-to-face discussions. Therefore, I look forward to meeting many faces, both old and new, over the coming months.’

Name: Rob Walsh

Company: Autotech Training

Role: Head of MOT

Autotech Training has appointed Rob Walsh as the company’s new head of MOT.

Initially joining Autotech Training at the end of last year as an automotive technical field trainer, Walsh was promoted last month.

In his new position, Walsh will oversee the delivery of Autotech Training’s MOT course offering, from MOT Training & Assessment through to MOT Tester and MOT Manager Courses.

Walsh will also spearhead the growth of the company’s VTS Compliance Audits and Quality Assurance offering, which aims to help testing stations remain DVSA compliant, running efficiently and profitably, while interpreting its MOT data effectively.

Prior to joining Autotech Training, Walsh spent over 8 years as an AA Breakdown Patrol, and an Automotive Technician for the Specialist Cars Group. Consequently, he is highly experienced technically.

“I was delighted to be offered the position of Head of MOT with Autotech Training,” said Walsh.

“Having a technical background certainly supports my ability to lead the MOT Training offering and I am committed to channelling this experience into the role and supporting the industry.

“Vehicle Testing Sites are today under increased pressure as the DVSA are scrutinising digital MOT data and, in order to remain compliant, a site, and its testers, need to understand how to interpret their data and spot any red flags quickly.

“Keeping on top of training and assessments, while ensuring any MOT manager holds the most current qualification will also play a vital role in this too.”

Name: Will Fry

Company: SMP Europe

Role: Area sales manager

Engine management specialist SMP Europe has appointed Will Fry as area sales manager.

The firm says the appointment comes as the company looks to strengthen its sales team and promote from within.

Fry has been with the company – the home of Intermotor, Lemark and Lucas brands – for over four years, previously holding the role of marketing communications manager.

Fry’s new role involves looking after customers across the East and Southeast of England, supporting brand development and ensuring key accounts in the area are kept up to date.

Fry said: “Whilst we’ve always been active around the country, we’re driving forward with a concentrated effort on how accessible and personable we are as a team – and company. We want our customers to know that we are there for them whenever they need us.”

Talking about the new role, Fry added: “The transition from marketing to sales is a bit of a bit of a jump into the unknown, but I’m looking forward to learning new areas of the business and working closer with our customers.

“SMP Europe is a vibrant family-owned company that cares about its customers and the strength of the aftermarket despite the changes in the industry – and the world. Our product quality, engineering and testing procedures are unrivalled, but so is our attention to detail across all departments and willingness and determination to solve a problem for someone – we’ll do everything we can to meet our customers’ requirements.”

Ross Toomey, managing director, said: “Will has been a force in our marketing team, successfully driving brand awareness in the industry and delivering exciting campaigns.

“We know he’ll continue to thrive in his new role in the sales team, helping to nurture customer relationships and deliver excellent customer service the industry has come to know SMP Europe for. We’d like to congratulate Will on his new position and wish him the best of luck!”

Name: Phil Nicholson

Company: Mahle Aftermarket

Role: Regional sales manager

Mahle Aftermarket UK has appointed Phil Nicholson as its regional sales manager for Scotland and Ireland, as the company bolsters its sales team.

Nicholson brings strong experience in sales and building customer relationships, having worked in the automotive industry for his entire career, which spans nearly 30 years.

On his new appointment, Nicholson said: “I’m very happy to join Mahle Aftermarket and work for a company with a clear commitment to developing future mobility solutions. The working mindset and ethics of Mahle Aftermarket align with my own and I’m excited to be out meeting customers and offering our full support at every stage of their journey.

“With numerous other suppliers in the marketplace, it’s my goal to deliver product awareness across my accounts to ensure they are familiar with the benefits of opting for MAHLE and consider us as their first choice in such a demanding automotive environment,” Phil added.

Jason Smith, sles and marketing manager at Mahle Aftermarket, said: “It’s great to welcome Phil to the team. With his high-calibre sales experience in the industry at many different levels, I am confident that with his knowledge he will bring in new additional business and be an asset to the company and to his customers across Scotland and Ireland.

“With Phil’s appointment to our sales team, we’re building on our knowledge, and service levels to fully support the business and continued growth with our customers.”

Name: Jacquie Berryman

Company: Verification of Lubricant Specifications

Role: Chair

Jacquie Berryman is the new chair of the Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS), taking over from Mike Bewsey who has become president of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA). 

Currently industry liaison advisor at Infineum, Berryman has been involved in VLS since 2015 as a member of the Supervisory Board. She is also the past president of the Additives Technical Committee (ATC) and has over twenty years of experience in the lubricants industry. 

The VLS said: “Jacquie is a strong advocate for VLS and the work it does as an independent trade body to allow all lubricant companies to compete on service, value and product quality whilst assuring the claims made on lubricant products are valid and reliable.”

In her time as chair, Berryman said she is keen to support the lubricants industry through the transition to alternative fuels, the implementation of Euro 7 and future ACEA changes, as well as maintain VLS’s track record in managing non-compliance. 

She said: “VLS has an important role to play in helping lubricant manufacturers and marketers to navigate a complex and changing market. We must also continue to support and educate end users by upholding industry standards, ensuring that retail consumers are protected and that workshops can fit products with confidence, whatever type of vehicle or engine they are working with.

“VLS has already received a record number of cases this year, demonstrating the impact of complexity in a changing market. Our role to ensure products are brought into compliance and can deliver what they claim is more important than ever.”  

VLS company secretary David Wright said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Mike for the past eight years, and we would like to thank him for his support for VLS. We look forward to working with Jacquie and continuing VLS’s work to ensure consumer confidence and trust in the UK lubricants industry.”

Name: Doug Hyett

Company: Fleet Operations

Role: Commercial director

Fleet Operations, the UK’s leading independent fleet management and mobility services specialist, has appointed Doug Hyett to the newly created role of commercial director.

Drawing upon more than 20 years of fleet experience – from a leasing and manufacturer perspective – Hyett will oversee the commercial development of the business, growing its UK customer base and offering, while driving cost-efficiency savings for fleets on their net zero journeys.

Responsibilities for the former national fleet sales manager at Volkswagen UK and head of mega fleets and sales director at Lex Autolease will also extend to enhancing the skills and capabilities of the company’s sales team.

“Doug’s appointment marks the latest step in an exciting chapter for Fleet Operations, as we continue our rapid growth trajectory, injecting fresh thinking, innovation and energy into the fleet automotive sector,” said Richard Hipkiss, Managing Director, Fleet Operations.

“He shares our values, customer-first mentality and long-term strategic vision. His extensive leadership experience and impressive in-depth knowledge of the industry will make him an invaluable addition to our team.”

Hyett added: “I’m delighted to join Fleet Operations, an agile, innovative company with an enviable heritage of independence and unrivalled expertise in delivering tailor-made solutions to meet clients’ needs.

“I am confident I can help the company to continue to raise the fleet management bar, supporting and cost optimising fleet businesses as they navigate a period of considerable change for industry.”

Name: Dr Karl J Gaertner

Company: Meyle AG

Role: Chairman of the executive board

Dr Karl J Gaertner and his daughter Lisa (top) with (bottom, l-r) Dirk Damaschke and Marc Siemssen

After more than 28 years at the helm, majority shareholder Dr Karl J Gaertner is stepping down from the Meyle AG executive board. As of 1 September board members Dirk Damaschke and Marc Siemssen are now managing the spare parts manufacturer based in Hamburg together.

Dr Gaertner, who’s family started the business more than 60 years ago, leaves operational management in the experienced hands of those former board colleagues who have been involved in company management and members of the executive board for several years now.

Confusingly, however, Dr Gaertner will remain chairman of the executive board of the Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG holding company, which is wholly owned by his family, and thus continue to support Meyle with his expertise. This long-term transition is part of a generational change designed to prepare the company for the future.

In addition, Dr Gaertner’s daughter Lisa Gaertner has joined the holding company’s supervisory board as a family representative.

“For nearly three decades, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many dedicated colleagues and help transform Meyle into an internationally successful company that is well known among our customers worldwide for its innovation and quality. And now the time has come for me to pass on the torch,” says Dr Gaertner.

“We, the owner family, plan to hand over Meyle as a successful and internationally competitive company to the next generation. I’m delighted that Lisa is assuming a new level of responsibility at the holding company and that we have found just the right team in Dirk and Marc to continue the brand’s success story.”

Siemssen said: “Dr Gaertner is a visionary entrepreneur who has transformed Meyle into the innovative, global company and powerful brand that we are today.

“We’re assuming responsibility for the company in an exciting era of change that offers both challenges and opportunities for the entire automotive industry.’

Damaschke added: “We’re starting from a strong position and have a wonderful team behind us. We feel like we’re in the best position to advance key issues like electric mobility, sustainability and international growth with full force.”

Name: Jason Chamberlain

Company: TrucTyre

Role: Commercial director

Jason Chamberlain, Sales Director at ATS Euromaster, will see his role expand as he takes over as commercial director at TrucTyre.

In his expanded new role, Chamberlain will be responsible for overseeing and driving business growth for both ATS Euromaster and TrucTyre, including the management of all existing customers.

Tructyre, together with ATS Euromaster, is part of the global Michelin group.

Chamberlain’s team will expand to more than 40 and will work collaboratively to drive success at both businesses. As well as overseeing sales operations and executing the strategic plan to further grow the client base.

Chamberlain said: “I am delighted to accept this new expanded position. With this new role, we can enhance the development of our propositions, including using the strength and experience of both companies to provide outstanding customer value for Car, LCV and HGV sectors covering tyre management, and Car / LCV service, maintenance and repair. I look forward to the challenge and successes to come.”

Nick Harley, managing director of TrucTyre & ATS Euromaster, said: “Jason has already proven to bring success and deliver significant improvements in results to his Sales Director role at ATS Euromaster. I am sure he will thrive with the extra responsibilities and achieve the same at Tructyre.”

Chamberlain takes over from Richard Martin who has decided to leave TrucTyre after four years in the commercial director role.

Name: Peter van der Galiën

Company: TecAlliance GmbH

Role: CEO

The Shareholders’ Committee of TecAlliance has decided to appoint Peter van der Galiën as the new CEO of TecAlliance GmbH, with effect from 1 January 2024.

He succeeds Jürgen Buchert who will retire at the end of the year after 22 years as CEO.

The TecAlliance Group will achieve turnover of more than €117 million in 2023. It employs almost 1,000 people.

Peter van der Galiën’s path led him to Motorola in 1992 after studying computer science. In the following 17 years, he acted as managing director of Motorola Netherlands and was part of the European Executive Management team and director of sales for Motorola ECC Europe.

In 2009 he joined the Haynes Group as global director of sales and marketing for HaynesPro, their Professional Automotive Data division. Following steep growth of HaynesPro he was appointed as managing director of the HaynesPro Group and executive director on the Supervisory Board in 2015.

He was a founding member of ADPA (European Automotive Data Publishers Association) and acted as their vice president for over six years.

“I am very excited to succeed Jürgen Buchert as CEO of TecAlliance, who has successfully led TecAlliance to become the global market leader in data for the automotive aftermarket,” said van der Galiën.

“I am looking forward to building on the achievements of the TecAlliance team and to further develop TecAlliance’s business as a Global player in the field of automotive data and digital business processes. Jürgen and I will work closely together from October onwards to assure a thorough handover and I will be aligning our business plans with Neil Fryer and the Shareholders’ Committee.”

Neil Fryer, chairman of the Shareholders’ Committee and vice president and General Manager Global Aftermarket, said: “I am delighted that we were able to find a very qualified successor in Peter van der Galiën. On behalf of the entire Shareholders’ Committee, I wish him every success for the challenges ahead,” says Neil Fryer, Chairman of the Shareholders’ Committee of TecAlliance GmbH and Vice President and General Manager Global Aftermarket, PHINIA Inc.”

Name: Jürgen Buchert

Company: TecAlliance GmbH

Role: Retiring

Jürgen Buchert will retire at the end of the year after 22 years as CEO of TecAlliance GmbH.

Sixty six-year-old Buchert, who holds a degree in business administration, began his career in 1989 at a renowned parts manufacturer and, after holding various professional positions in Germany and abroad, joined TecCom GmbH as managing director in 2001.

In 2010, he merged TecDoc with TecCom, which then became TecAlliance GmbH. With further acquisitions, he systematically completed the solution portfolio in the following years and initiated globalisation.

Today, TecAlliance is represented in more than 25 countries with its own subsidiaries and is supported by a professional partner network.

In 2017, he founded the industry initiative for telematic data, Caruso GmbH, which has since established itself as a leading provider in Europe and expanded into the Americas and Asia-Pacific. He is a member of a number of important national and international associations.

Buchert said: “The TecAlliance Group has risen to become a global market leader. TecAlliance is well prepared for the digital transformation of the aftermarket and the rapidly developing mobility ecosystem and will continue to offer its customers added value with data-based business models, digital process solutions and services based on standards. Now is the ideal time to hand over the baton to further develop TecAlliance as the world’s leading platform in this new market environment and make it competitive for 2030.”
With Peter van der Galiën (pictured right), a successor will take over the role of CEO of TecAlliance who has many years of experience in the areas of strategy, sales and marketing as well as digitalisation and who also brings many years of international management experience to the table.

Neil Fryer, chairman of the Shareholders’ Committee and vice president and General Manager Global Aftermarket, said: “Jürgen Buchert is a proven and well-connected industry expert who has decisively shaped the TecAlliance Group during his 22-year tenure and developed it to its current importance as an industry solution in the global aftermarket. For this, he deserves our warmest thanks.

“As much as we regret his decision to go into well-deserved retirement, we wish him all the best for the future.”

Name: Richard Ennis

Company: Hedin UK

Role: CEO

With the recently completed acquisition of Stephen James Group, Hedin’s UK retail presence expanded to include also BMW and MINI with an additional five locations within the Greater London Area – growing the business to a total footprint of 14 sales points and 9 workshops.

READ MORE: Hedin Automotive completes Stephen James Group takeover

Richard Ennis, group managing director of Stephen James Group with more than 25 years’ automotive industry experience, has today been appointed CEO of Hedin UK with overall leadership and management responsibility for all current retail activities. He will be joined in this work by Peter Williams as CFO of Hedin UK.

A permanent successor to Richard Ennis as managing director of the BMW business within Stephen James Group is under recruitment.

Ennis said: “I am very proud and privileged to lead the UK retail operation for Hedin Mobility Group and can’t wait to get to started. I have been so impressed with Anders Hedin and his team.

“It is clear that we share the same philosophy on how to make a business brilliant and we will continue to invest heavily into the employee and customer experience that will set us apart from the competition.

“Hedin UK now represents two of the most exciting, premium automotive brands in the world with Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and our vision is to build the very best UK automotive business.”

Name: Jacqueline Barker

Company: Melett

Role: Marketing assistant

Turbocharger manufacturing specialist Melett has bolstered its marketing team with the appointment of Jacqueline Barker as marketing assistant, to shore up company communications and develop positive customer relations.

Barker, who has been with Melett for four-and-a-half years, moves into the team from the customer care department, where she focused on developing and maintaining relationships with Melett’s customer.

In her new role, she will support the marketing department by assisting on creative campaign delivery and maximising engaging customer contact.

Barker said: “I’m really pleased to have been appointed to the marketing team and support efforts to fulfil our role as our customers’ trusted advisor, and I look forward to engaging with them in creative, dynamic, and informative ways.

“I’m excited to have the chance to work on digital design projects, as it allows me to combine my creativity and passion for design. I love the welcoming, supportive, and collaborative working environment of the office at Melett – the company is consistent in its approach of adding value and maintaining positive client relationships.”

Some of Barker’s key roles will be to assist with new product bulletins, social media content, internal communications, reporting on key business metrics, and website administration.

Gareth Flower, marketing manager at Melett, said: “Jacqueline is a valued member of the team and has found great success working closely with customers to build strong relationships in her previous role.

“This, combined with her creative skill set, will enable us to improve our communication with customers even further. Her meticulous planning skills, as demonstrated in her assistance and delivery of recent internal events, will be a real asset to the team.”

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Name: Ian Dore

Company: Mahle Aftermarket

Role: Regional sales manager

Mahle Aftermarket has appointed Ian Dore as its new regional sales manager as it looks to bolster its expertise in the team.

Dore will be responsible for key account management, as well as looking after all customers in central UK.

He joins Mahle with a strong background in sales, having previously held roles at Valeo and a UK manufacturer of hot tubs selling into the commercial market.

“I’m delighted to be joining Mahle, the company is a great fit for me as I am a technical salesperson, but also driven by data – and my new position combines the two,” said Dore.

“I am a big advocate of the internal combustion engine, so it‘s great to be part of the automotive aftermarket. But I am also interested in looking to the future in terms of technology and I have peace of mind that Mahle understands the market and is helping to future-proof the business (thus my career) with its latest innovations.

“I’m looking forward to adding value to the business and building positive relationships with Mahle customers.”

Jason Smith, Mahle’s UK and Ireland sales and marketing manager, said: “With the new appointment of Ian to our sales team, we’re building on our knowledge, relationships and customer service levels to fully support the business further.

“Ian has fantastic sales experience to make him an asset to the Mahle team and the wider business. Along with his previous experience at Valeo bolstering his skill set, he is perfectly positioned to offer exceptional service to our customers across the UK and we’d like to wish him every success.”

Name: Mark Armitage

Company: Autotech Group

Role: Commercial director

Mark Armitage has been named as commercial director of Autotech Group – a newly created position at the company.

With more than 30 years of industry experience, most recently at The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), Armitage brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, the group said.

Joining the automotive sector straight from school as an apprentice, Armitage has worked across dealer groups, the Department of Education, and the RAC in a range of roles covering training and business development. Alongside senior management positions within the IMI, he was also instrumental in setting them up as an Apprentice End Point Assessment Organisation.

“I am delighted to join Autotech Group,” said Armitage. “The IMI does a tremendous job in supporting the sector and, after eight years with them, I have cultivated a strong team who will succeed me and continue to drive forward the IMI with their own fresh ideas.

“There is no getting away from the fact that the skills shortage is leaving a lasting legacy on the automotive industry and there are currently 26,000 vacancies within the sector. Over the years, I have got to know Gavin [White, CEO] and the team at Autotech Group, and I have always been impressed with the company’s tenacity and ability to tackle the issues facing the sector head on.

“The recent addition of Autotech Connect to the company’s portfolio cemented my desire to work with them as I have always been a strong advocate for introducing digital and technological solutions into a business.”

“We are delighted to welcome Mark as Commercial Director for Autotech Group,” said White. “While having a great reputation within the sector, and strong industry connections, his experience, from being an automotive apprentice through to training and development roles and driving forward the IMI, really makes him an excellent fit within our business.

“We are looking forward to seeing how Mark will drive our company divisions forward and take our expertise to new, untapped sub sectors of the industry.”

Name: Andy Gratton

Company: Ring Automotive

Role: Managing director

Andy Gratton has been promoted to managing director at Ring Automotive, the UK subsidiary of ams OSRAM.

Gratton takes over from Theresa Spencer who will leave the company at the end of August 2023, to pursue a new challenge outside the automotive aftermarket.

Gratton, who is currently Ring’s financial director has stepped formally into the MD role as of 1st July. Spencer will remain in the business until 31st August to support the hand over process.

In the three years Gratton has been with the company he has taken responsibility for a number of areas outside of his remit, including purchasing and supply chain plus one of the sales divisions. This leaves Gratton strongly placed to take on the leadership role with an in-depth understanding of the business and importantly its people, customers and suppliers.

Gratton will be responsible for leading Ring through its next phase of growth and development as well supporting ams OSRAM to reach its strategic goals.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to support the Ring team as we drive forwards in delivering the company strategy,” said Gratton.

“With such a strong and passionate team, backed by the ams-OSRAM group, we are well positioned to continue our positive momentum in both our traditional and emerging markets”.

With Gratton stepping up into the MD role, he has appointed Scott Page to take on the role of finance director. Page will assume responsibility for finance, IT and business services.

Outgoing MD, Spencer said: “This was an extremely difficult decision to make. Ring has been very important to me during my seven year tenure, especially over the past three years as MD. It has presented me with challenges and opportunities, and I have learnt a huge amount.

“However, I am looking forward to a new challenge and I leave knowing that Ring, and the Ring family, will be very safe under Andy’s stewardship.”

Name: Ramón Hoekman

Company: WAI Europe

Role: Vice-president of sales Europe (expanded)

Ramón Hoekman, WAI’s vice-president of sales in Europe, has expanded his role to ensure a greater involvement in the overall sales and commercial aspects of the business, as the organisation aligns under the new umbrella, WAI Europe.

The announcement comes following a number of leadership changes made by the global auto electrical specialist, which saw current UK managing director Richard Welland appointed as president of Europe, overseeing all European operations.

Hoekman joined the company in 2007 as a business development manager, working his way up to VP Sales. In his new role Hoekman will work closely with Welland to enhance commercial operations and strengthen WAI’s presence in the European market.

Hoekman said: “I’m excited to be undertaking this new role within WAI, at a time when the WAI brand is increasing its profile among customers in the European aftermarket. Through our continued investment, we are meeting the needs of an evolving sector and ensuring customers benefit from a high quality, reliable partner.”

Welland said: “Ramón has consistently demonstrated remarkable dedication and passion for driving growth within our organisation. We have full confidence that his expanded responsibilities will further propel our success in Europe and ensure that we remain at the forefront of our industry.”

Name: Rory Harrison

Company: Fleet Procure

Role: Commercial manager – leasing & OEM

Rory Harrison, former ALD Automotive business development manager, has turned his sights to a new venture after 16 years to become Fleet Procure’s newly appointed commercial manager – leasing & OEM .

Fleet Procure is a fintech software solutions provider to brokers, dealers, finance companies and OEMs that increases efficiency and accuracy as well as makes vehicle procurement and order management simpler, it says.

In his new role, Harrison will focus on OEM and leasing company relationships to utilise Fleet Procure’s core vehicle procurement and ordering platform, agency ordering and the new Stock Manager module for managing tactical stock.

Harrison said: “It’s a big move for me after spending such a significant part of my career with ALD. But it’s such a great opportunity to engage the leasing companies and OEMs in the benefits of the Fleet Procure platform, particularly as we move towards more agency deals.”

Lee Jones, managing director at Fleet Procure said: “Rory joins us at a remarkable time for our business as we enter an exciting phase of our growth plans. Our next step is to branch out from our current leasing broker and dealer offering to work directly with car makers and leasing companies.

“Rory is very experienced and well-regarded. He will be heading up this new direction and introducing our new products to these automotive sectors.

“The business is set for exciting times.”

Name: Michelle Foord

Company: PCL

Role: Area sales manager

Gearing up to take the lead on business development in the South of England is PCL’s new area sales manager Michelle Foord.

With a background in manufacturing, Foord has a proven track record of building customer relationships within the railway and automotive industries.

Michelle has since spent a week familiarising herself with PCL’s portfolio and operations at its state-of-the-art production facility in Sheffield.

She said: “It’s been fantastic to spend time on the shop floor getting into the detail of the products; how they’re put together and the time, effort and skill involved in the process.  

“The production facility is incredibly impressive and immensely clean – I couldn’t believe it’s a working factory from how clean it actually is.”

The next step, Foord said, is getting out on the road: “In the short-term my focus is meeting my customers and understanding their business needs. My long-term focus is growth and identifying further potential in the South.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting existing customers and looking at where the gaps are to build new business and get a plan in place.”

PCL’s managing director Lee Wright said: “Michelle is an excellent communicator with a pro-active, customer-first approach. Her dedication to supporting individual business needs, combined with her expertise in identifying market opportunities, makes her the ideal candidate to strengthen operations in the South and facilitate growth for our customers as well as PCL. 

“I’m really pleased to see Michelle settle so well into the fold. I am confident customers will feel in safe hands as she works with them to help their businesses flourish.”

Name: Gary Butterworth

Company: ATS Euromaster

Role: Central operations manager

ATS Euromaster has appointed Gary Butterworth as central operations manager, as part of a drive to simplify working processes, and build internal relationships.

Gary, who will be field-based, steps up after eight years as area operations manager for the tyre and maintenance provider, where he led up to 28 service centres across southern England.

In his new role, reporting to the operations director, the 55-year-old from Southampton will be the central point of contact between the company’s regional managers and head office functions.

“I consider it a great privilege to be entrusted to support the growth and success of our company,” Gary said.

“My role will forge robust connections between our hugely talented head office support functions and the highly skilled centre network.

“With a team dedicated to excellence, we will deliver enhanced communication flow, simplify processes and optimise efficiencies.”

He added: “I am wholeheartedly committed to propelling ATS Euromaster to new heights, ensuring that our vehicle maintenance business surpasses all expectations.”

“We’re really excited to see Gary step up to this role,” said Mark Holland, ATS Euromaster’s operations director.

“Gary is an excellent communicator and has a proven track record in facilitating efficiency changes in an often complex operational field. We’re looking forward to the positive contribution he can make to the business in this more senior role.”

Name: Richard Welland

Company: WAI Europe

Role: President of WAI Europe

Global automotive electrical specialist, WAI, has appointed current UK managing director Richard Welland as President of WAI Europe, overseeing all European operations.

This new brand has been created to align WAI’s UK and European operations under one umbrella.

Ryan Moul, Chief Executive Officer at WAI Global, comments: “I’m thrilled to welcome Richard as our new president of Europe. With his proven track record as the managing director of our UK business, we’re confident that his exceptional leadership skills will guide our European operations to even greater heights.”

Welland added: “It’s a great honour to become president of WAI Europe and continue the fantastic work achieved by the team over the past ten years. As we move forward and unite under our ‘one team, one fight’ banner, I’m pleased to be able to help drive the business forward and lead the team to future success!”

In addition to the leadership changes, Ramon Hoekman has expanded his role and will take on the position of Commercial VP for Europe and will report to Welland.

Hoekman joined the company in 2007 as a Business Development Manager, working his way up to VP Sales EMEA. In his new role Ramon will work closely with Richard to enhance commercial operations and strengthen WAI’s presence in the European market.

Welland said: “Ramon has consistently demonstrated remarkable dedication and passion for driving growth within our organisation. We have full confidence that his expanded responsibilities will further propel our success in Europe and ensure that we remain at the forefront of our industry.”

Name: Martyn Shaw

Company: Core Diagnostics

Role: ADAS and Diagnostics Specialist

Remote solutions provider Core Diagnostics has appointment of Martyn Shaw as ADAS and Diagnostics Specialist.

Launched in 2020, the brand uses cloud-based solutions for programming and coding of new parts to assist technicians with thousands of repair challenges each month, as well as providing remote support with ADAS calibrations.

Martyn brings both knowledge and experience to Core Diagnostics, the team says, including more than 11 years in a technical sales role for diagnostics and ADAS equipment brand Hella Gutmann.

Martyn said: “ADAS, hybrid and EV technology is growing all the time and technicians are now required to be more like software engineers.

“It’s a huge learning curve and remote support has proven time and again to be indispensable with the complex programming, coding and calibration procedures that workshops are dealing with every day.

“There’s no doubt that remote diagnostics is going to be the next big area of growth in our industry and it’s exciting to be at the forefront of it with Core Diagnostics.”

Mark Fleming, CEO of Core Diagnostics, said: “Martyn’s knowledge – not only on diagnostics, but ADAS, hybrid and EV technology – is second to none and he’s a real asset to the Core Diagnostics team as we continue to grow the brand and expand the business to offer complete ADAS solutions.”

Name: Stephen Redfern

Company: PCL

Role: Head of Engineering and Product Development

Tyre inflation and compressed air products brand PCL has appointed Stephen Redfern as Head of Engineering and Product Development.

Reporting to Operations Director Dean Battersby, Stephen is responsible for leading and
managing PCL’s engineers in the delivery of strategic aims, products and services.

He said: “I will be updating processes and looking at product innovation and speed to
market across the entire portfolio; bringing all products up to date with new technologies
and researching future technology and market trends.

“My goal is to drive innovation forward to further establish PCL as the technology leader in this industry.”

Redfern arrives at the firm following senior leadership roles at Dyson, Mamas and Papas and Thetford Ltd.

PCL’s Managing Director Lee Wright said: “Stephen has the exact customer-centric focus
we look for and we are delighted to introduce him to the team.

“He brings an enormous wealth of knowledge in R&D, engineering and product development processes, along with extensive experience in portfolio and people management.

“He is the ideal fit for the PCL culture of continuous development and innovation and we are excited to see where his expertise will take us.”

Stephen added: “PCL has such a positive atmosphere. It has that small company feel but with none of the restrictions and the factory is a fantastic facility.

“Everybody is excited and motivated about change and what we can do. PCL has excellent potential for the future and I am thrilled to be leading the team driving development forward.”

Name: Matt Oddie

Company: Maverick Diagnostics

Role: Business development manager

Matt Oddie has taken on a new role as business development manager at Maverick Diagnostics, a UK-based OEM diagnostic tool and training specialist.

Throughout his career, Oddie says he has observed that Maverick Diagnostics is held in “high regard”, and couldn’t pass up on the role. He moves from GSF Car Parts.

Oddie admitted that being “out in the field” is where his best work is achieved. He also pointed to a key area that he has emphasised during his early tenure.

He said: “Effective diagnostics is an important part of working on a vehicle; our tools keep up with the guided diagnostics needed, service functions, coding, programming, security gateways, software updates and component protection – all needed to offer a complete and professional service.”

Maverick Diagnostics managing director, Andy Brooke said he was thrilled with how the two business development managers have adjusted to the ‘Maverick way’.

He said: “Both Matt and Glenn are experts in their field, so, unsurprisingly, they have made outstanding starts to their Maverick careers. We are acutely aware of the need to visit more workshops throughout the UK, showcasing the latest and upcoming technologies and how our OEM dealer tools turn a challenge into a solution.”

Name: Glenn Hopkins

Company: Maverick Diagnostics

Role: Business development manager

Glenn Hopkin has joined Maverick Diagnostics from Opus IVS, and will work with fellow new starter Matt Oddie in representing the OEM diagnostic tool and training specialist throughout the UK – dividing their time between the north and south of the country.

Hopkin said the opportunity to join the company was “too much to resist” and believes the all-encompassing offer of diagnostic tools, training and services is exactly what customers need to “stay ahead of the curve”.

He added: “Most customers are welcoming and want to discuss their struggles and what support they need, especially those workshops that are encountering brands that are bringing their own technology to the fore. This is generating more labour hours or, sadly, is pushing customers back to the main dealer, as they don’t have the right diagnostic tools or technical support.

“I didn’t know I could buy the main dealer tools’ is a regular message, so we are striving to register and setup these workshops, and train staff on how to use our kit to give them a competitive advantage. Our message is to invest in training and the future now!”

Maverick Diagnostics managing director, Andy Brooke said he was thrilled with how the two business development managers have adjusted to the ‘Maverick way’.

He said: “Both Matt and Glenn are experts in their field, so, unsurprisingly, they have made outstanding starts to their Maverick careers. We are acutely aware of the need to visit more workshops throughout the UK, showcasing the latest and upcoming technologies and how our OEM dealer tools turn a challenge into a solution.”

Name: Richard Lyons

Company: Kumho Tyre UK

Role: Managing director

Kumho Tyre UK has appointed Richard Lyons as its new Managing Director. He replaces Keon Park who has returned to Korea to take up a position at the company’s Seoul headquarters.

Lyons joins Kumho from Trelleborg Wheel Systems where was Managing Director of UK and Ireland. Prior to that, the 58-year old served 11 years with the Singapore-based tyre manufacturer Giti, where he was credited with overseeing significant growth and ultimately held the dual positions of Managing Director Europe and Director International Marketing and Sales, Passenger Car.

“Kumho is poised for significant growth in the European market and in the UK our aim is to double our market share,” said Lyons. “With the support of our strong team we plan to achieve that through channel diversification, increased availability of all product groups and first class customer service.”


Name: Julian Goulding

Company: Hella Gutmann

Role: UK sales manager

As part of a wide-reaching restructure at Hella Gutmann, the workshop equipment division of Hella, Julian Goulding has joined the team as UK Sales Manager.

He has been described as “instrumental” to the process by Sales and Marketing Director, Ian Boyle.

Goulding is a “well-known and highly respected professional,” Boyle added, with a “huge amount of knowledge and experience”. 

In his new role,  Goulding will be supported by a longstanding member of the Hella Gutmann family, Key Account Manager, Riccardo Sorano.

The restructure centres around the firm bolstering its UK team (see further appointment below) to meet the growing needs of its customers. The focus is on delivering the best diagnostic tools and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) calibration solutions, backed by top-tier technical support


Name: Steve Fox

Company: Hella Gutmann

Role: Technical and training manager

Steve Fox has joined Hella Gutmann in a newly created role of Technical and Training Manager. 

Sales and Marketing Director, Ian Boyle said: “He has a wealth of experience in diagnostics and ADAS and will be a real asset to ensure we can accelerate the education to the industry in these key areas.”

The firm, which is the workshop equipment division of Hella, has undergone a restructure that centres around the firm bolstering its UK team. 

Name: Murray Silverman

Company: Streetwize

Role: Retiring

Murray Silverman, co-founder of Manchester-based supplier Streetwize Accessories has announced that he is to retire at the end of June.

Silverman established the accessory importer in 1986 with colleague Leslie Millman, with whom he had previously worked as a manufacturers agent named The ACE Supply Company.

Streetwize started as an importer of car accessory and novelty products but later moved into camping and leisure products, with a powered jockey wheel device for caravans known as the E-Moove being a particularly popular range.

Disaster struck in the 2000s when the company suffered a devastating flood. However, Silverman was able to get the business up and running again at a new location and sales have been as strong as ever.

In a public letter to his contacts past and present, Silverman has written:

Murray Silverman (centre) and the Streetwize team, 2015.

I will be retiring from the business at the end June after starting the business in 1986 with my since-retired seven years ago partner Leslie Millman.  

It is incredible to have been in the business so long as to see so many dramatic changes. Remembering the period where there were so many retail shops and so many Cash and Carries , Regor , Abercorn, Monza , Maccess , Alpha , Rock Bottom, Gordon Spice , GKN Spa , Motor City and Oscott and that’s not mentioning them all large  Retail Chains such as  Motorworld , MDC , Sparesworld .

I am so proud the way Streetwize has developed into the size it is today . It is a company that will continue to expand its extensive range within its sub brands of Automotive, Leisure, Garden, Awnings and E-move  both in the UK and in many countries worldwide. I am sure with my current co directors Dale Silverman and Dave Davis taking over now 100% they will  continue to build on the fantastic job they have done so far.

Murray Silverman

I would like to give my thanks and appreciation to all our customers who have supported the company over the years and for those who would like to keep personally in touch please do so – my email will remain live for some time.   




Name: Nick Hood

Company: AAG

Role: Retail sales director

Following April’s highly publicised announcement that the CAAR buying group was

Nick Hood

to become part of AAG, Nick Hood joins AAG from Autoelectro, having worked for GroupAuto, which is now part of AAG, earlier in his career.   After a short handover period, Hood will replace Dave Owen in heading up the CAAR group activities.






Name: Scott Colquhoun

Company: Osram/Ring

Role: Key Account manager

Scott Colquhoun has recently joined Ring Automotive and will be primarily

Scott Colquhoun

managing existing accounts for both Ring and Osram brands, while exploring new markets, including the agricultural, builders merchants, electrical wholesale, and plumbing and heating sectors.

Previously, Colquhoun was a business development manager for LED Autolamps and 247 Lighting, giving him the ideal technical experience to join Ring, as well as the business contacts in the aftermarket industry.



Name: David Moscovitz

Company: Fischer Panda UK

Role: Sales Executive (Specialist Applications)

Fischer Panda UK is growing its sales team with the addition of Vehicle and Specialist Applications Sales Executive, David Moscovitz.

David Moscovitz

David has joined the team following many years working within the automotive business and brings a wealth of technical knowledge from his experience in the OEM and aftermarket sectors.





Name: Tina Drayson

Company: IAAF

Role: Head of Garage Section

Tina Drayson, Operations Manager at West Sussex-based CCM Garages has become the new Head of the IAAF Garage Section, as well as being appointed to the IAAF Council.

Tina Drayson and Mark Field


As part of the role, Drayson will support the Federation’s expansion into the garage section, which has seen the recruitment of more than 1500 garages so far in 2023, while continuing to bolster its lobbying capability and broaden its support to independent workshops.


Name: Neil Hilton

Company: Core Diagnostics

Role: Technical Sales Director (Remote Diagnostics)

Neil Hilton

Neil Hilton has started a new role at Core Diagnostics, a firm headquartered in the Wirral that offers cloud-based remote diagnostics for vehicles.

Hilton is experienced in business development and vehicle technology, with ADAS being a particular speciality. He will be known to most readers for his 13 years at Hella where he was Head of Business Development and was instrumental in the launch of many diagnostic platforms over the years.



Name: Martin Barron

Company: Ring Automotive

Role: Sales Manager, Scotland & Northern Ireland.


Martin Barron has joined Ring Automotive as Area Sales Manager Scotland & Northern Ireland.

Martin Barron

Barron will be visiting motor factors and developing relationships with them and naturally discuss the needs they have for their businesses.

Helpfully, Martin has vast knowledge on the sector and understands first hand what customers often need, as he spent 19 years in a workshop environment, starting off his career as an apprentice in the motor trade and working his way up to the role of centre manager before venturing into the energy industry, as an engineer.

Name: Nick Entwistle

Company: Elcome 

Role: BDM

There has been something of a role reprisal for Nick Entwistle as he returns to the role he left at software provider Elcome in 2020.

Nick Entwisle

Entwistle has worked within the aftermarket for over 10 years, beginning his career as a Sales Administrator and Catalogue Manager for an aftermarket supplier, before joining Elcome as an Account Manager, Technical Support Manager and then progressing to Business Development Manager, until 2020.

It was during the pandemic that Nick decided to launch his own business, but the lure of the aftermarket has been too great, after being enticed back to the industry to make best use of his expert knowledge of cataloguing and advanced data manipulation.


Name: Jason Hopkins

Company: Altaxa/U-POL

Role: Country Manager UK & Ireland

Altaxa, owner of U-POL body refinish brand since 2021, has appointed Jason Hopkins in the newly created role of UK and Ireland Country Manager. His task will be to bring the two businesses under the same management as the two have been operating separately since the acquisition.

Jason Hopkins

Hopkins is no stranger to the business, having been Sales Director for U-POL for seven years. He said: “I have every confidence that by working closely with our distribution partners and our bodyshop end-users, we’ll deliver mutually beneficial and profitable business growth. I’m looking forward to meeting as many of our customers as possible as quickly as I can.”


Name: Ben Herridge

Company: Point S Tyre & Autocare

Role: BDM


Fast fit Point S Tyre & Autocare has added to its UK business development team with the appointment of Ben Herridge as Business Development Manager for the South West and South Wales.

Ben Herridge

Over the course of his career, Herridge has gained significant automotive industry experience across a variety of positions, including account management and business development roles at ATS Euromaster and Continental Tyres. Herridge’s additional experience working with fleet networks will also be beneficial to Point S as the network continues to grow its fleet proposition.


Name: Richard Giles

Company: SMP Europe

Role: Area Sales Manager

Joining Nottingham-based SMP Europe is Richard Giles, an experienced key account manager.  Although he has been working out of the sector for three years, his contacts in the aftermarket will no doubt recognise him from his years at Delphi where he held a number of positions,  notably UK Sales Manager.

Giles also gained experience at Germany-based Celect Braking where he was Head of Sales and Business Development.



Name: Adam White

Company: Micheldever Group

Role: Operations Director

Adam White has been promoted at tyre wholesaler Micheldever Group. He joined the company in 2021 as Regional Director and now has the title of Operations Director. Prior to Micheldever, White spent eight years at Euro Car Parts where he was variously Regional Sales Manager, Divisional Director and Workshop Solutions Director.

Adam White

Micheldever started as a tyre shop in the Hampshire village of the same name, in the 1970s. After expanding into tyre wholesale in the ’80s and 90’s, the company was sold and got private equity backing in 2006 where it expanded to become one of the largest companies in the tyre business. The company was acquired by Sumitomo in 2017 and currently operates around 150 retail outlets under the ProTyre brand.



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Name: Chris Allen

Company: CAM

Role: Chris Allen

Chris Allen has been promoted to the new role of Chris Allen at tyre bay management software firm CAM. Allen originally joined CAM in October 2015 as an account manager and has swiftly risen through the ranks, becoming Head of Product & People in 2021.

Chris Allen

CAM Director Mark Styles commented: “This new position formalises a role that Chris has been undertaking for some time and the directors are keen to fully harness and officially recognise his leadership position. We have an excellent management team to support Chris and are genuinely excited to see CAM’s potential unfold under his leadership.”

Mr Allen added, “The next 18 months at CAM will be especially exciting as we realign and develop our technical architecture to ensure we continue to anticipate and respond to our customers’ requirements now and in the future.”



Name: Jon Lind

Company: CTEK

Role: CEO (Outgoing)

CTEK CEO Jon Lind has ‘jointly agreed’ with the board to leave the position he has held since 2013.

Jon Lind

Hans Stråberg, Chairman of the Board said: ”The Board of Directors has together with Jon Lind made the assessment that now is the right time to identify a new leader with continued strong execution capabilities and with a track record from leading a business in a fast growing market that is rapidly changing while maintaining focus on profitability. I want to sincerely thank Jon Lind for his efforts for CTEK during his 10 years in the company as President and CEO, during which he has successfully developed and executed extensive and essential changes that have positioned the company for the future”.

CTEK has has a challenging twelve months, with shares in Feb 2023 selling for around a third compared with the same period in 2022.  It was listed on NASDAQ Stockholm in September 2021 following an IPO.

A new CEO will be sought, but in the meantime Ola Carlsson, board member since 2011, has been appointed acting CEO. His earlier experience includes EVP Product Supply for Nobia AB, EVP Global Operations for Munters AB and COO for Electrolux Floor Care and Small Appliances. He holds a degree in in engineering from Linköping University.




Name: Lee Hewlett

Company: Motus Aftermarket Parts (owner of MPD)

Role: Chief Procurement Officer (UK and Europe)

Lee Hewlett

As part of an international expansion drive, South Africa-based Motus Aftermarket Parts has hired Lee Hewlet As Chief Procurement Officer for UK and Europe. Hewlett has a track record in high-level procurement, having been Procurement Director at First Line for over nine years, and prior to that Head of Procurement at Unipart Commercial Vehicles.




Name: Craig McCracken

Company: IAAF

Role: President


Craig McCracken, group factor manager at Arnold Clark Autoparts, has taken up the term as president of the IAAF.

McCracken succeeds Richard Welland in the two-year role at the aftermarket federation. He is well known in the aftermarket, having worked in senior roles for Arnold Clark Autoparts and its predecessors.

Craig McCracken

READ: First Line scoops Arnold Clark award

Commenting on his appointment, Craig said: “Having been on the council for a number of years and vice-president for the past two years, I have seen in more detail the challenges the automotive aftermarket faces and also witnessed the incredible work the IAAF does to overcome these and to ensure we all remain in business.
“I’m excited about the future direction of the federation, as we look to offer more tangible benefits to existing members and expand our membership to independent garages.”

Mark Field, IAAF chief executive, said: “I would like to pay tribute to immediate past president Richard Welland. The IAAF’s drive to modernise and ensure it integrates itself firmly into member businesses is as a result of the passion and enthusiasm Richard has shown for our trade, and I’m delighted he will continue as a board member.
“Craig is also a passionate supporter of our trade and has both the experience and character to lead the Federation, as we continue our drive forward in protecting, strengthening and promoting the automotive aftermarket.”



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Name: Dale Brown

Company: OEC

Role: Area Manager (North)

Dale Brown has started a new role at parts software provider OEC (OE Connection). He’ll be managing the North of the UK.

Dale Brown

Previously, Brown had worked at Euro Car Parts since 2011 in a number of senior sales roles. Before that, he worked at Unipart for a whopping 26 years.




Name: Steering Committee

Company: Amerigo International

Incoming Chairman of  France-based trading group Amerigo international has set up a new Steering Committee.

Amerigo appoints new Steering Committee

In charge of the operational management of the Group, the members of the
Committee are:
– Alexandra Laurent: Managing Director.
– Mathieu Losson: Sales & Marketing Director.
– Farid Gougam: Information Systems Manager.
– Christophe Redaud: Director of logistics sites.



Name: Gareth Flower

Company: Melett

Role: Marketing Manager

Gareth Flower has been promoted to the role of Marketing Manager at turbocharger supplier Melett. He previously held a more junior role in the marketing department, and was hired in 2020.

Gareth Flower

Commenting on the role, Flower said: “I am delighted to be starting my new role at Melett at this exciting time. Thanks to the recent growth of small-capacity turbocharged engines, the repair market remains buoyant, and I’m looking forward to working with our customers to capitalise on the opportunities available.”


Name: Andy Lees

Company: Mahle

Role: Head of Western Europe Aftermarket

​​Mahle Aftermarket has promoted its UK General Manager Andy Lees within its senior leadership team, in a combined role that will see him lead aftermarket operations in western Europe.

Andy Lees

While Lees’ responsibilities expand with his promotion to Head of Western Europe Aftermarket (MESW), he will remain in his role as UK general manager, overseeing relationships with valued customers across the country and guide the company’s UK aftermarket strategy.

Sales and Marketing Manager Jason Smith will continue to support Andy Lees in his new position.


Name: Mike Bewsey

Company: Moove Lubricants

Role: Retiring

Mike Bewsey, Business Unit Director for Moove Lubricants’ Pro-Brands division in Europe has announced his retirement from the business. Mike’s career has spanned four decades in the lubricants industry, leading the development of the Comma Oil & Chemicals business for much of the last 30 years.

Mike Bewsey

Announcing his retirement, Bewsey commented: “My family’s business was in the aftermarket and after graduating, I joined the family firm. We developed the business beyond being a ‘family concern’, sold it and from there, like so many, I had the chance to really grow at Unipart.”

“I joined Comma Oil & Chemicals in 1994 – the company had been recently acquired by ExxonMobil and was transitioning from being a ‘family-owned’ company. The Comma brand hadn’t been properly defined or consistently managed and so we embarked on a journey to do that and really put workshops at the heart of our offer – and the partnership with our motor factor partners was a key part of that offer.”

Bewsey added: “In 2012, when the Comma business was acquired by Brazilian-based Cosan group, everything changed. By that time we had built Comma into a very strong position but the additional energy and investment that the new parent company brought, allowed us to go to the next level. The last decade has been hugely fun and full of learning – growing the business, building new teams and expanding the presence of the Comma brand across Europe and into Asia.”

Name: Trevor Johnson

Company: Ingeni

Role: Sales Director

Trevor Johnson has joined specialist FCA compliance and car dealer insurance provider Ingeni Services as Sales Director.

Trevor Johnson

Johnson has 38 years of experience in the automotive industry.  He worked at various dealerships for more than 20 years, and moved into FCA compliance 16 years ago, specifically dealing with the motor sector.  His experience in offering FCA compliance support and blending it into day-to-day processes makes him a great fit with the Ingeni team.

Ingeni CEO Jonathan Davis said ‘Trevor joins us as we are taking the next step to further improve our support to our customers.  We are rolling out our Consumer Duty service and he will be part of our drive to help dealerships deliver excellent consumer and business outcomes’.






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Name: Sukhbir Kapoor

Company: GSF Car Parts/ Uni Select

Role: Prsident/COO/ Executive Director

In one of the biggest appointment stories of recent years, Motor factor chain GSF Car Parts has announced that Sukhbir Kapoor has been appointed as its President and COO, and as an Executive Director of parent company Uni-Select Plc, effective 3rd January 2023.

Mr Kapoor, known to all simply as Sukhbir, has more than 30 years’ experience in the automotive aftermarket industry and is a highly respected leader in the sector, having been Supply Chain Director at Euro Car Parts, and a similar position at LKQ Europe. He also headed up CV distributor Digraph Transport in 2018.

Sukhbir Kapoor

As President and COO, Sukhbir will lead a business that currently runs 180 branches across the UK, supplying independent garages, national chains and retail customers with parts for all vehicles. GSF‘s branch network is supported by a National Distribution Centre in Birmingham and specialist support teams in Birmingham, Chester and Swansea. The business also operates successful national garage programme Servicesure.




Name: Jack Guilor

Company: GSF Car Parts

Role: Business Development Manager

Jack Guilor

Jack Guilor has been promoted to BDM having joined GSF just eight months ago in a customer services role. Guilor is no stranger to the aftermarket having worked for both suppliers and factors through his career to date. Most recently he was Regional Sales Manager for Aztec Oils and before that he was Branch Manager for CES in Derby, having previously worked for TPS in the same town.







Name: David McKinless

Company: Ring Carnation

Role: UK Specialist Sales Manager


Osram-owned Ring Carnation has expanded its UK sales team with the appointment of David McKinless as specialist sales manager for vehicle conversion.

David McKinless

McKinless’s role will be to provide sales support to existing customers, while also seeking out unexplored sales areas, and engaging with new customers. He joins Ring Carnation from a UNVI, a Spanish vehicle conversion and manufacturing company where he oversaw a bus and coach sales operation.

“There’s a real dynamism at Ring, a general sense of optimism and positivity that emanates throughout the business, which also extends to our customers making the role extremely fulfilling,” he said.



Name: Martin Hurley/ Steve Parker

Company: IFA buying group

Role: Rep to ADI

Martin Hurley replaces Steve Parker (who has retired after 20 years of involment with the buying group) as the IFA buying group’s representative with international trading group partner ADI (also known as Autodistribution International or Autodis).  Hurley brings many years of experience to the role and is currently a director at Stockport-based Autofactors.



Name: Kris Halliwell

Company: AAG

Role: Director of European Key Accounts

Kris Halliwell

Kris Halliwell has been promoted to Director of European Key Accounts at AAG, effective from the New Year. Halliwell has been with AAG for nearly 4 years, during which time he has developed the key accounts business in both the LV and CV segments. Halliwell joined the AAG team as part of the Platinum International acquisition in 2018, where he had been an Executive Board Director since 2007, undertaking leadership roles in logistics, supply chain and key account strategic development.












Name: Mark Eburne

Company: GSF Car Parts

Role: COO (outgoing)

Mark Eburne has left GSF Car Parts with Companies House showing that he resigned as Director on September 15. No statement has been issued, [UPDATE: A statement has been issued by GSF. Read it here ] but CAT understands that parent company Uni-Select’s Executive Chair and CEO Brian McManus is currently working as GSF’s Interim President and COO to support the GSF leadership team while a successor is sought.

Mark Eburne









Name: Andy Davis

Company: Spartan Motor Factors

Role: Operations and Audit Manager

Andy Davis

After a long stint at GSF Car Parts, Andy Davis has taken a new role at Spartan Motor Factors where he’ll be Operations and Audit Manager.

Davis started his career in the aftermarket at Roy Chapman in Chesham in 1988. In 1996 he moved over to ECP before joining GSF in 2000. At the company, which was then still a specialist distributor of parts for German and Swedish marques, he occupied a number of senior roles relating to audit and management operations for more than two decades.





Name: Tobias Lowen

Company: Mahle

Role: Filtration Category Manager

Tobias Lowen joins Mahle Aftermarket having been in similar roles at Schaeffler Aftermarket and Jaguar Land Rover. He will be responsible for managing the firm’s filter business as well as developing the tier one aftermarket supplier’s value proposition to customers.

Tobias Lowen


Lowen said: “I’m excited to work on developing the strategy for marketing our filtration products, whilst navigating the challenges of the current economic environment, which bring with them material price increases and supply chain disruptions.”





Name: Ehsan Ali

Company: Osram/Ring

Role: Workshop Solutions Van Sales Manager

Ehsan Ali

Osram has appointed a new Workshop Solutions Van Sales Manager, Ehsan Ali, after receiving ‘widespread interest’ throughout the UK and Ireland for the joint initiative since it hit the road earlier this year.






Name: Simon Robson

Company: NGK Spark Plugs (UK)

Role: Key Accounts Manager

NGK has appointed Simon Robson as Key Accounts Manager UK & Ireland.

Simon Robson

The 49-year-old, who joins from NSK Europe where he held the position of OEM & Aftermarket Manager for the UK & Ireland, will take responsibility for a number of NGK’s key aftermarket customer groups.

Robson has more than 25 years’ experience in the automotive industry and has developed extensive aftermarket experience across several sales and business development roles within parts, chemicals, and the tyre sectors, including at ZF Automotive UK Ltd.



Name: Lee Wright

Company: PCL

Role: Managing Director

Pneumatics manufacturer PCL has appointed Lee Wright as Managing Director to lead the company’s move towards a more market-driven approach.

Lee Wright

Following a thorough recruitment process, supported by external consultants, Lee has taken the helm at the Sheffield-based HQ. Previously, the position was part of Joerg F Mayer’s remit as Group Managing Director at PCL’s parent company, Horngroup Holding.

Joerg F Mayer has assumed the role of Non-Executive Chairman, whilst Roz Shepherd and Dean Battersby remain as Finance Director and Company Secretary and Operations Director respectively.





Name: Hayley Pells

Hayley Pells

Company: IMI

Role: Policy Manager

Hayley Pells has been hired by the IMI to become its new Policy Manager. Her workshop, Avia Sports Cars in Bridgend, which will now be looked after on a day to day basis by lead technician Connor Holland. Hayley Pells will be a name familiar to many in the aftermarket as she has written numerous articles for industry magazines, including CAT. In 2021 she co-authored a book with Tom Denton. In the new role, she will be responsible for forming the IMI’s strategy, aligned to government ambitions and sector transition.


Name: Alan Povey

Alan Povey

Company: Mahle

Role: Technical Manager

The new addition to the Mahle team will be responsible for maintaining and improving the aftermarket brand’s technical and quality response, and will develop product training to all levels of the market. Alan Povey will be a familiar face to many readers as he has spent his career to date in technical and business development roles with companies including Gates, Denso and Ring.



Name: Paul Dukes

Paul Dukes

Company: Eclipse Diagnostics

Role: Area Sales Manager

Paul Dukes is joining Derbyshire-based Eclipse Diagnostics this month. No stranger to sales, Dukes worked for Manchester-based Streetwize Accessories for over 18 years. Like so many in the aftermarket, he had joined after spending years working behind a branch counter. In Dukes’ case, it was a branch of Motorworld.






Name: Brian Lavery

Brian Lavery

Company: SMP Europe

Role: Sales Director

SMP Europe has appointed Brian Lavery as Sales Director at the company.

Lavery brings over 25 years’ experience in automotive, engineering and product development, having previously worked for companies including Delphi, Snap-on and Ford. He will be responsible for directing the strategy of the UK, export, and tier one sales teams, and  help to build and strengthen customer relationships.


Name: Mike Carter

Mike Carter

Company: Launch Tech UK

Role: Technical Manager

Diagnostic tool supplier, Launch Tech UK, has announced the appointment of Mike Carter as Technical Manager to help the company deliver key product support and technical training.

As the new Technical Manager, Carter’s role will involve providing technical support and demonstrations to customers, sales support and producing educational content for YouTube. Carter had previously worked  in training roles for a number of automotive businesses including ATS Euromaster and ProTyre.


Name: Mark Raines

Company: Klarius

Role: Associate Marketing Director

Mark Raines

Klarius has appointed Mark Raines as Associate Marketing Director. Raines started his career in 2005, spending the first six years working in industrial consumables sales, before having the opportunity to move into a marketing role for the same business. In 2014 he joined Bosch Power Tool Accessories in Switzerland where he worked with a team of product managers, development engineers and key account managers looking after a globally sold, multi-million Euro portfolio. After building strategic experience and involving himself in market research, competitor analysis and user experience projects, Mark returned to the UK in 2020 as Head of Marketing at C.K Tools, building an agile in-house marketing team there.


Name: Sean Palmer

Company: Point S

Role: BDM

Sean Palmer

The Point S Tyre & Autocare Network has appointed Sean Palmer as Business Development Manager for the South East.

Palmer brings more than 40 years’ experience in the automotive industry to his new position, having worked in a variety of roles managing garages and fastfit operations. Palmer has also held management, sales and business development roles for major motor factors and parts manufacturers across the UK. His appointment follows the recent addition of Nigel Hampson to the team, with Hampson having assumed responsibility for the South West region.


Name: Tony Valentine

Company: Point S

Role: Fleet Manager

Tony Valentine

Sean Palmer’s (above) appointment was made possible by existing BDM Tony Valentine being promoted to the role of Fleet Manager. He will be responsible for establishing and growing the firm’s presence in the fleet market. This will involve building close relationships with fleet managers and working closely with network members to develop the proposition.

Previously, Valentine has held senior sales and operational roles at the likes of Yokohama, Goodyear, ATS Euromaster and Dunlop Tyres.



Name: Claire Tonks

Company: PCL

Role: BDM

Claire Tonks

Replacing Olly Shortland, who had been Development Manager at Pneumatic Components for 15 years, Claire Tonks joins the company having gained experience in similar roles from firms including Limesquare Vehicle Rentals, ICD Energy and Sheffield-based Airflow Group.





Name: Ian Matthews

Company: KMT

Role: General Manager

KMT, the machine tool division of exhaust manufacturer Klarius, has hired Ian Matthews as GM.

Ian Matthews

Matthews has previously worked for a number of high-profile engineering firms, including  aircraft component producer Hans Lingl UK. Later, he joined Broxap Ltd in 2005 eventually becoming Head of Design.  Next, Matthews moved to Westgate, a manufacturer of industrial partitions, joining initially as Technical Manager, before quickly progressing to become General Manager in 2018.



Name: Peter Johnson


Role: Chairman (Stepping down) 


Peter Johnson

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) Chairman, Peter Johnson, has announced his retirement and stepped down from his duties at the RMI Board Meeting.

Peter Johnson has been RMI Chairman since June 2015, having previously been NFDA Chairman from July 2011.

Over 10 years working within the RMI sphere, Peter has played a key role in the progression of the Retail Motor Industry, particularly through difficult times such as COVID-19 and Brexit.

Peter Johnson commented: “I wish my successor and the RMI team all the best for the future.”



Name: Gareth Newbery

Company: Reparify UK

Role: National Sales Manager

Gareth Newbery

Gareth Newbery has been promoted to national sales manager for Repairify UK, responsible for building the sales team and driving growth of the asTech and Red Digital ADAS products. Newbery joined the group in 2019 initially working on the Red Digital side of the business.

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