Movers & Shakers: New chairman for VLS

Name: Harald Oosting

Company: Verification of Lubricant Specifications

Role: Chairman

The Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS) has welcomed Harald Oosting as its new chairman. He succeeds Jacquie Berryman.

Currently president and chief executive officer of Olyslager, Oosting has been involved in the lubricants industry for over twenty years. He has been a member of the VLS Board since 2018 and is also currently vice-president and director of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA), a role he has held since 2017.

With many years of lubricants industry experience, Oosting’s previous roles include managing director and, before this, sales and marketing manager at Olyslager, account manager for motor factors at Shell and sales manager at Alcar Benelux.

Oosting is a strong advocate for VLS, it told CAT, and the work it does as an independent trade body.

In his time as chairman, Oosting 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.

“VLS provides certainty and consistency in the treatment of lubricant performance claims of finished lubricants being placed on the open market in the United Kingdom,” he said.

“With my background in Olyslager, I can optimise the value that VLS brings to the lubricant sector in the UK through the use of reliable data to aid better decision-making in the handling of cases under investigation and support the move to a more rigorous process of investigation of companies making claims against market standards and OEM specifications.”

VLS company secretary David Wright added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Jacquie Berryman, and we would like to thank her for her support for VLS. We look forward to working with Harald and continuing VLS’s work to ensure the continued confidence and trust of end users in the lubricant products they use.”

Name: Sky Russell / Steven Woods

Company: Schaeffler

Role: Territory manager

Schaeffler has appointed two new territory managers, both covering the north of the country.

Sky Russell joins Schaeffler following three years at GSF Car Parts, where she progressed to become branch manager.

Russell began her automotive career working at her father’s garage at weekends aged just 14. She went on to pursue a college mechanic course, but at 17 moved over to the factor side, working at Euro Car Parts and Motor Parts Direct.

On her move to Schaeffler, Russell said: “I am unbelievably excited for this new role and feel it is the perfect next step for my career within the automotive world.

“Over the last 12 years I have loved fitting and selling Schaeffler products. I was also lucky enough to join the Schaeffler team on a trip to their incredible factories in Germany where I really saw and felt how phenomenal the business is.”

Meanwhile, Steven Woods, is new to the trade but brings with him 15 years experience in retail as a store manager and regional trainer at Aldi.

He said: “I am extremely excited about the new role. Working in automotive has always appealed to me. I always had a passion for cars which came from seeing my grandfather work on them when I was a young lad and from that I always maintained a keen interest.

“When the role came up at Schaeffler, it felt like the perfect fit. Not only would I get to work and challenge myself in the automotive industry, but I would get to do so for one of the biggest brands.”

Matthew Selby, sales and marketing director at Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket (UK), believes that the enthusiasm expressed by the pair will come across when they meet their customers.

He said: “Both Sky and Steven are passionate about their new roles, and this will be an asset to us as a company, and to the garages and factors they are working with. I welcome them both and wish them the best of luck.”

Name: Leanne Donaghue

Company: GYS

Role: National business development manager

GYS has appointed new national business development manager, Leanne Donaghue.

Donaghue has more than 25 years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry and a background in manufacturing. She joins GYS from Moove Lubricants.

Greg Ball, GYS sales director, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Leanne Donaghue as our new national business development manager.

“This is a very exciting time for GYS, with exceptional growth. 2023 was a record-breaking year for GYS and we’re tremendously grateful to our distributors that have helped us achieve that.

“We are seeing growth in battery charging and induction heating and are looking forward to repeating this success in 2024.”

Donaghue said: “Staying safe and saving cost within the workplace is one of the biggest opportunities in the industry right now. GYS have the solution to make the industry and workplace safer for all.”

Name: Luke Taylor

Company: WAI

Role: Key account manager UK & Ireland

WAI has appointed Luke Taylor as key account manager UK & Ireland as the business continues to grow across all product groups and industries.

Taylor, previously key account manager at Sogefi Group will be tasked with implementing strategies to achieve continued growth and pursue new opportunities for the business in the automotive aftermarket and related sectors.

Reporting to Marc Roder, WAI sales director UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, Taylor will work with the wider UK and European team.

Commenting on his new role, Taylor said: “I’m delighted to be joining WAI at such a pivotal time in its development as a business. Through the UK’s alignment with our European headquarters, we are perfectly positioned to work in partnership with parts distributors and garages on unrivalled access to a full range of product solutions.

“The automotive aftermarket is evolving and WAI is one of the most progressive businesses in the market, always looking to innovate and drive change for the better.”

Roder said: “It’s fantastic to welcome Luke to WAI as we work strategically on the future direction of the market and UK business, being first to market and leading the way in customer service and technical support.”

Name: Marc Wise

Company: Shaftec Automotive

Role: Sales director

Marc Wise has been appointed as sales director of Shaftec Automotive, covering both UK and export customers. He replaces Tom Curtis at the Birmingham-based remanufacturer.

Wise joined Shaftec nine years ago and became sales manager in 2021, with this appointment ensuring continued development and company progression following Tom’s departure.

Wise has strong relationships with customers and buying groups across the UK & Ireland and European Automotive Aftermarket, while he also continues to grow the brand’s reach across Europe.

Wise said: “I’m really happy to have the opportunity to continue the journey I have been on for the last nine years. A lot of this time has been spent working closely with Tom, and I personally thank him for being such a good mentor and friend.

“We have some great opportunities both in the UK and Ireland, and across the water in Europe, and I’m proud and excited to be leading such a great team we have at Shaftec.”

Name: Henrik Hansen

Company: Duckhams

Role: Head of sales, Europe

Henrik Hansen has been named as oil firm Duckhams’ new head of sales, Europe.

With over fifteen years of experience in the lubricants industry, Hansen has worked in sales and export roles for Comma Oil, Cosan Lubricants and Moove Europe. He has led international sales teams and developed customer relationships in the European, Middle Eastern, African, North, and South American markets.

Most recently, he was head of retail, Europe at Moove Lubricants, developing multi-channel relationships to drive retail sales of branded and own-label lubricants with major retailers, motor factors and workshops.

Since the iconic engine oil brand’s successful UK relaunch in 2017, Duckhams has expanded into 27 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Mike Bewsey, CEO of Duckhams, said: “I am delighted to welcome Henrik to our team. He has an excellent track record of developing strong customer partnerships across international regions. I am confident he will power Duckhams onto the next stage in our business growth. This year’s 125th anniversary is an incredible milestone, giving us a fantastic platform to celebrate everything Duckhams has achieved in 125 years of winning with drivers, workshops and distributors.”

Name: Celine May

Company: First Stop

Role: Business development manager

First Stop has added the final piece to its new-look jigsaw in the shape of business development manager Celine May, who is tasked with driving the network forward across Ireland.

May is a familiar face to many of First Stop Ireland’s partners, having worked in a number of positions for the brand’s former equity stores for seven years, featuring key account manager and procurement roles.

She joins Sarah Gardner, Shaun Sweeney and Nick Salt as business development managers across the UK and Ireland and will report to national franchise manager Brenden Marais. The new-look team is completed by retail managing director Anton Wessels, who was also appointed in mid-2023.

May will be responsible for both Ireland and Northern Ireland regions and believes she has a head start in her role, having built up a unique understanding of the First Stop brand ever since taking up her first position in 2017.

She said: “I have an excellent understanding of the Irish motor industry having previously dealt with some of our partners, suppliers and potential customers. I see this as a great starting point.

“There are so many opportunities to grow our network in Ireland and our retail proposition has never been more attractive. I’m really excited to meet all of our partners and support them with their unique business requirements.”

The 36-year-old Dubliner is a hugely popular figure in the Irish automotive retail industry and highlighted First Stop’s e-commerce offering as a particular strength.

“I can’t wait to get out there and meet all our dealer partners and bring the benefits of our First Stop proposition to life,” added May.

“One of my areas of focus will be digital support and ways to maximise the potential from our e-commerce provision. Dealers need support, new business opportunities and ways to generate additional revenue and that’s what I’ll be looking to bring.”

First Stop’s retail managing director Anton Wessels said: “We’re delighted to welcome Celine. I always say that the success of any network is underpinned by its people and with Celine in place, we have a great professional who will make up one of the best teams I could wish for.

“Celine knows the country as well as anyone, she is a highly respected professional in the industry and know that she will create a great impression with all of our partners.”

Name: Neil Harvey

Company: SMP Europe

Role: Area sales manager

Engine management specialist SMP Europe has appointed Neil Harvey as area sales manager, as the company bolsters its sales team.

In his role, Harvey will be responsible for managing sales and fostering commercial relationships with a diverse range of buying groups and customers across the UK.

Harvey brings with him extensive experience in the automotive aftermarket, having previously held positions at Haldex, Bosal and Banner.

Ross Toomey, managing director at SMP Europe said: “Neil’s wealth of experience and deep understanding of the automotive aftermarket make him a valuable addition to the SMP Europe team, as we continue to strengthen our presence in the market.”

Harvey said: “SMP Europe’s commitment to engineering excellence and dedication to producing and selling high-quality products are what drew me to the position. Everyone has been very welcoming, and I’m looking forward to contributing towards driving growth and success for the business.”

Name: Amanda Webb / Craig Livings

Company: WhoCanFixMyCar

Role: Chief financial officer / chief technology officer

WhoCanFixMyCar has announces the appointment of a new chief technology officer (CTO) and chief  financial officer (CFO).

Amanda Webb, assuming the role of CFO, joins the company as a CIMA Qualified Finance Director with over 20 years’ experience across a diverse range of sectors including Renewable Energy Services, Telco, Professional Services, Software and Financial Services.

Her background covers PE, VC, JV, Owner Managed and Plc Businesses. Having held management positions in EMEA and UK focused roles, Webb’s success record in financial leadership and managing full life-cycle projects from design to completion will be leveraged to support the business’s plans for further growth.

In addition, Craig Livings joins the car maintenance marketplace as CTO and brings a wealth of experience in IT and Software Engineering, spanning almost 20 years. His recent career has seen him leading a team of over 120 people and being responsible for technology strategy, technical coaching and transformation.

Livings’ experience in managing large projects and supporting business transformations, as well as his skill in innovative problem solving, will be an asset to the company in ensuring its platform meets the needs of its customers, both drivers and garages, now and in the future.

Kevern Thompson, CEO at WhoCanFixMyCar said: “We’re very pleased to have Amanda and Craig onboard at such an exciting time for the business. They are fantastic additions to our growing team, and I look forward to the new energy and expertise they will bring to WhoCanFixMyCar.

“With our planned projections for growth, and the innovative way in which we are going to challenge how software development has historically been launched as a Go-to-Market concept, it is essential that we embrace a solid and reliable leadership team and is an absolute necessity for our success. The additions to our team will be huge assets in our strategy for the short- and long- term future of WhoCanFixMyCar.”

Name: Grant Anderson

Company: First Line

Role: Key account manager

First Line has announced the arrival of Grant Anderson as its new key account manager, bringing over 20 years of extensive aftermarket experience to the company.

​With a proven track record in sales development, Anderson joins First Line to strengthen relationships with key accounts and drive business growth.​

Anderson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role, having previously worked at reputable companies within the UK aftermarket sector. His experience includes roles at Hella, ZF Aftermarket, WAI Global and FAI, where he demonstrated his ability to understand market trends and develop tailored solutions for customers.​

As an experienced professional within the UK aftermarket, Anderson’s understanding of modern methods for reviewing sales and stock, coupled with his skills in presenting results and developing business strategies, make him a valuable asset to the First Line team, the firm said.

“It’s great to join First Line and contribute to its continued success in the aftermarket,” said Anderson. “I am committed to providing exceptional service to our customers, focusing on product value, and building long-lasting relationships based on trust and mutual respect.”

Dan Joyner, managing director at First Line., expressed his confidence in Anderson’s abilities “Grant’s extensive experience and customer-centric approach make him the ideal candidate for this role,” he said. “We’re pleased to have him on board and look forward to seeing the positive impact he will have on our key account management strategy.”

Name: Tony Mason

Company: Elcome

Role: Business development manager

Automotive data and cataloguing specialist, Elcome, has welcomed Tony Mason as its new business development manager.

Mason joins the team with a long history working for automotive component manufacturers and most recently MAM Software. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and a solid understanding of the aftermarket, its supply chain, distribution and how vital accurate catalogue data is in today’s market.

“I’m already really enjoying being part of the Elcome team – the office has a great atmosphere, and everyone has total commitment to the cause,” said Mason.

“I’m looking forward to helping to improve the customer experience and assisting with fresh marketing campaigns to capture the attention of potential clients.

“As ever with catalogue data, helping component suppliers understand the importance of regular updates to data and the issues caused by data latency is crucial. Xchecker truly is a ‘one source of truth’ solution for all data supply and maintenance needs, meaning it provides a single point of use, support and supply.”

Oliver Haywood, head of sales and marketing at Elcome, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome Tony to the team. He has decades of experience working in the industry and we are confident that he will play a pivotal role in driving our business growth further and expanding our reach in the sector.”

Name: Wayne Stevens

Company: GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK

Role: Managing director

GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK has appointed Wayne Stevens as its new managing director.

Stevens brings with him a wealth of business and leadership experience across different market sectors. With a strong focus on the automotive aftermarket, Stevens background “positions him as an ideal leader to drive GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK forward in its continued pursuit for growth and innovation”, said the brand.

Stevens joins the company at a pivotal moment, after the relocation of GS Yuasa’s European headquarters to a state-of-the-art facility in Ignition Park, Swindon last year.

“I am excited to be joining GS Yuasa at this pivotal moment in their journey,” said Stevens. “Assuming the leadership of a passionate and customer-focused team is a privilege, as the company’s vision resonates deeply with my own values. I have long admired GS Yuasa’s commitment to their people and customer-centric approach, which has undoubtedly contributed to their remarkable success.

“I eagerly anticipate collaborating with our valued partners across all sectors of the GS Yuasa customer base and leveraging my expertise to shape the future of GS Yuasa alongside the team. In a rapidly evolving landscape of automotive innovation and AI advancements, the demand for battery supply and cutting-edge technology is unprecedented. GS Yuasa is poised to lead the industry and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

“I extend my gratitude to my colleagues, customers, and suppliers for their warm welcome.”

Andrew Taylor, managing director and CEO of parent company Yuasa Battery Europe, said: “We welcome Wayne to GS Yuasa and look forward to working with him as we continue to realise our growth targets across automotive, motorcycle and industrial battery sectors. Wayne’s extensive leadership and market experience will play a key role in the future success of GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK.”

Name: Michael Gougeon

Company: Valeo Service UK

Role: Key account manager

Valeo Service UK has announced the appointment of Michael Gougeon as key account manager.

With more than 21 years of experience in the automotive industry, including eight years within Valeo, Gougeon “brings a wealth of expertise and a proven track record of success to his new position”, the firm said.

Gougeon will focus on strengthening existing client partnerships while also identifying and pursuing new opportunities.

“I am delighted to take on this new role,” said Gougeon. “I’ll be leveraging my experience and insights to drive value for our key accounts. With a strong team and a renowned brand behind us, we’ll continue to deliver unparalleled service and support to our valued clients.”

Andy Swann, Valeo division general manager, said: “Michael’s appointment as key account manager is a testament to our commitment to building on our existing knowledge, relationships, and customer service levels.

“With his extensive experience and deep understanding of our industry, Michael is perfectly positioned to offer exceptional service to our customers across the UK. We are confident that his dedication and expertise will drive continued success for Valeo Service UK, and we’d like to wish him every success in his new role.”

Name: Kieran Smith / Terri-Louise Ballard

Company: Schaeffler

Role: Territory managers

Schaeffler has expanded its sales team by welcoming two new territory managers.

Kieran Smith, based in Sunderland, will cover Scotland and the North of England, after spending the last three years as a branch manager with Motor Parts Direct.

“I’m eager to share the latest innovations offered by Schaeffler with its clients in the north, whilst keeping them informed about advances in the products and services we offer,” he said.

Meanwhile, Terri-Louise Ballard, from Portsmouth, will cover the South of England. Ballard started her career as a parts apprentice at GSF Car Parts.

She said: “My decision to join Schaeffler was influenced by the company’s well-established reputation for delivering genuine OE quality products and services to independent workshops through its customer base.

“I am also excited to be joining a team that shares my values, such as a commitment to excellence.”

Matthew Selby, sales & marketing director at Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket said: “I’m delighted to welcome both Kieran and Terri to the team, I’m sure they will both prove to be valuable assets within our already strong UK sales team.”

Name: Kevern Thompson

Company: WhoCanFixMyCar

Role: CEO

WhoCanFixMyCar has appointed Kevern Thompson as its new CEO. He takes the reins from interim CEO David Loy.

Thompson joins the company after eight years working in software, bringing a blend of knowledge from across multiple sectors and 38 years of automotive experience.

“His background in vehicle manufacture, insurance and crash repair, and some of the largest global brands, positions him well to lead WhoCanFixMyCar in delivering greater strategic initiatives to enhance its brand, add value to customers and strengthen commercial partnerships,” the brand said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at WhoCanFixMyCar at such an exciting time for the business,” said Thompson. “The company is looking to the future, with an experienced team across automotive and technology and a strong foothold at the centre of the automotive repair ecosystem.

“I see ample opportunities for WhoCanFixMyCar to strengthen this position further, creating a community through technology and being agile in how it provides effective solutions during significant sector transformation.”

Having worked with both global brands and start-ups, Thompson’s success record in global leadership and brand development, will be leveraged to ensure the business is agile in providing technology and products to meet changes in vehicle ownership and reducing friction in the supply chain for customers.

David Loy, general manager of global aftermarket and digital business at Niterra EMEA said: “WhoCanFixMyCar is at a turning point and with new leadership and new energy comes many new opportunities. We are looking to the future, not just in terms of business growth, but in how the automotive industry is evolving. Our focus is to cement WhoCanFixMyCar’s place in that future, and Kevern’s appointment as CEO marks an important step towards that goal.”

Name: Paolo Cataldi

Company: UFI Filters

Role: general manager, Aftermarket Business Unit

UFI Filters has appointed Paolo Cataldi as general manager, Aftermarket Business Unit.

Cataldi, 55, a graduate in Economics and Marketing from Italy’s University of Bari, has more than 25 years of management experience and a strong background in the automotive aftermarket.

Cataldi has a profound knowledge of the aftermarket, having held various strategic positions over the years for leading companies in the spare parts business, from sales, product and marketing to managerial leadership roles and business unit management, both for the Italian and international markets.

“I would like to thank Chairman Giorgio Girondi and UFI Group CEO Stefano Gava for their trust,” Cataldi said.

“I am honoured to join a leader in the European and international automotive aftermarket sector. At a moment of great transformation, challenging goals await me, which I will carry out with the support of a professional and well-established team.”

Gava, CEO of the UFI Filters Group, said: “We welcome Paolo Cataldi to our Group. We are confident that thanks to his solid experience he will be able to take the UFI and SOFIMA Aftermarket business to new heights.

“Paolo has the important objective of consolidating and strengthening our market leadership in Italy and to drive other countries in the same direction. UFI is aiming for double-digit growth in the next three years worldwide.”

Name: Mark Hallam

Company: ZF Aftermarket UK

Role: Marketing manager

ZF Aftermarket UK has announced the appointment of Mark Hallam as marketing manager. He will oversee the company’s marketing function for the UK and Ireland market, supporting all sales channels including passenger car, commercial vehicle, and industrial sectors.

With a background in the automotive aftermarket, Hallam joins ZF from Niterra UK (formerly NGK Spark Plugs).

His expertise in aftersales marketing for vehicle manufacturers and creative services strengthens ZF’s marketing capabilities, the brand said.

“I am excited to join ZF and take on this exciting opportunity to help lead the marketing strategy within the team,” said Hallam.

“I am particularly drawn to the wide scope of the role, which includes supporting sales channels across passenger car, commercial vehicle, and industrial sectors.

“ZF’s commitment to next-generation mobility projects and the passion of its people were key factors that attracted me to this position.”

When joining, Hallam said he was excited about the opportunity for professional growth and the broader scope of responsibilities offered by the role.

“One thing that sets ZF apart from its competitors is the quality of its products and the dedication of its people,” added Hallam. “I am proud to be part of a company that prioritises excellence and customer satisfaction.”

Name: David Forbes

Company: Fleet Operations

Role: Operations director

In a strategic move to bolster its executive team, Fleet Operations, an independent specialist in fleet and mobility management, has announced the promotion of David Forbes to operations director.

Forbes’ elevation follows more than a decade of service at Fleet Operations, where he has “consistently exhibited exceptional skill and leadership”, said the brand.

“As the head of the operations division for the past five years, he has been instrumental in driving significant improvements across all departments, notably in establishing and expanding the company’s technical services division”, it added.

“His leadership has been crucial in not only enhancing operational efficiency, but also in supporting the development of a 70-strong team.”

Forbes will now chair the senior leadership team, playing a crucial role in the strategic direction and daily management of the company.

“David’s promotion resonates deeply with our core values and vision at Fleet Operations,” said managing director Richard Hipkiss.

“His journey from a dedicated team member to a leadership role exemplifies the ethos of hard work, innovation, and strategic foresight we cherish.

“As we stand on the cusp of new opportunities and challenges, David’s role will be integral to our strategy, guiding our operations with a vision that ensures both resilience and growth. It is a testament to his invaluable contribution and is a clear indicator of our confidence in his ability to help steer the company to ever greater success.”

Name: James Thompson

Company: MAHA UK

Role: Regional sales executive

MAHA UK has appointed James Thompson as the company’s newest regional sales executive.

With his extensive experience in the automotive sector Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the team, MAHA said.

In his role, Thompson will be responsible for expanding the firm;’s presence in northern regions of the UK, nurturing relationships with both existing and potential clients, and promoting its premium products and services.

“I am thrilled to join the MAHA UK team and contribute to the company’s continued success,” said Thompson. “MAHA has an outstanding reputation for delivering quality garage equipment, and I am eager to leverage my skills and experience to drive growth and build lasting partnerships with our customers.”

Prior to joining MAHA UK, Thompson gained valuable experience working in a dealership environment within a major automotive manufacturer.

“His passion for sales and dedication to customer satisfaction make him a strong addition to the team,” said the brand.

Managing director Neil Ebbs said: “We are delighted to welcome James to MAHA UK. His sales acumen and commitment to excellence align perfectly with our company values.

“We look forward to working together with James, as we continue to provide outstanding workshop solutions to our customers.”

Name: Todd Sale

Company: Fueltone Pro

Role: Advisor to the board

Fueltone Pro is bolstering its team with the addition of Todd Sale as a new advisor to the board to help support the brand with its 2024 business strategy.

With a long history in the industry, Sale is a “huge asset”, the firm said, bringing with him a “wealth of knowledge and a unique skillset” that will help strengthen the company.

His role will involve working with the board members to help shape Fueltone’s strategy and business model over the next year with his knowledge of the industry’s landscape.

Sale’s previous experience includes five years at Ford, 10 years as major accounts cirector at GSF Car Parts working with national motor factors, and most recently he spent the last five years on the board at the Tyre Group, building relationships with a large network of independent garages.

Sale said: “I’m delighted to be an advisor to the board at Fueltone; the product is best-in-class, the brand is excellent, and I’m looking forward to working with the team to form the strategy of the business for future success.”

Robbie Grey, chairman at Fueltone Pro, said: “Todd’s experience and knowledge are invaluable to the business, with relationships spanning both independent garages and motor factors he will only enhance our business plans further. We’re delighted to welcome Todd to the Fueltone board.”

Name: Jodie Mullard

Company: LKQ Bodyshop Division

Role: Channel and technical director

LKQ Bodyshop Division has appointed Jodie Mullard as its new channel and technical director.

Mullard moves to the post after 18 months as head of channel, before which she was director of digital customer experience at LKQ Europe.

In her new role, she will support and contribute to the LKQ Bodyshop Division’s strategic vision, overseeing the development, implementation and execution of new solutions that align to its customer propositions and the wider LKQ UK & Ireland plan.

Mullard said: “Our business achieved a huge amount last year thanks to the commitment, skills, passion and expertise of all of our colleagues, who go above and beyond to be there for customers as their supportive partner in a changing world.

“We’ve come into 2024 with real momentum – voted by repairers as their Paint Distributor of the Year – and I’m looking forward to working with the team to keep leveraging our brilliance and difference to help customers of all sizes unlock sustainable and profitable growth.”

Established in 2013, the LKQ Bodyshop Division sits alongside LKQ Euro Car Parts, LKQ Leisure & Marine and Digraph as part of the LKQ UK & Ireland group of businesses.

Chris O’Rourke, managing director of LKQ Bodyshop Division, said: “Jodie has been instrumental in the achievements of our bodyshop business in recent years, developing and implementing a strategy and long-term proposition designed around what bodyshops want and need – underpinned by the guiding principles of our Customer Promise.”

Name: Matt Hume

Company: A1 ADAS Solutions

Role: UK sales manager

A1 ADAS Solutions has appointed Matt Hume as its UK sales manager.

The ADAS, diagnostic and calibration specialist has also announced the launch of its garage equipment business, following demand from its customers to supply an all-encompassing garage set-up service.

Matt will drive the national sales strategy for the company’s ADAS and diagnostic offering, as well as head up the new garage equipment business.

With over 18 years’ experience in the automotive aftermarket, latterly with Alliance Automotive Group, Matt’s appointment will support A1 ADAS Solutions’ growth throughout the UK as demand for its ADAS and diagnostics ‘done for you’ service, either in person or remotely, and its ‘set up for you’ service as a product distributor, expands.

Matt said: “Having worked for some of the biggest names in the aftermarket, I’m looking forward to bringing my expertise to this brand new role.

“It’s a unique opportunity to join a well-respected business that’s leading the way in how garages and bodyshops manage the demands of an increasingly technical car parc. And to be able to bring specific expertise to its new garage equipment business is really exciting.”

Iain Molloy, A1 ADAS Solutions’ managing director, said: “Bringing Matt onboard adds another valuable string to our bow. He’ll be a key player in our growth plans.

“His passion for the sector, vast experience and knowledge of tools, parts and garage equipment makes him an ideal addition to the team.”

Name: Gary Ponsford

Company: Thomas Group

Role: Sales team

Gary Ponsford, well known in the aftermarket sector, has joined Thomas Group as it bolsters its sales team.

The diesel fuel injection business specialises in OE parts distribution, filtration and fuel additives.

The firm said that Ponsford’s “vast experience” in business development was key to his appointment. His experience also stretches to technical sales with prominent roles within buying groups and the motor factor business.

Kevin O’Sullivan, sales director, said: “We are very lucky and pleased to have the opportunity to have Gary onboard with such experience and standing in the aftermarket,

“I look forward to our next phase working with suppliers, customers and building our team”.

Name: Paul Gibson / Marshall Peters

Company: Fras-le

Role: CV sales manager / Product manager

Fras-le, owner of the Juratek braking brand, has announced two new appointments to support its growth in the UK automotive aftermarket.

Paul Gibson has joined the company as CV sales manager working across the product portfolio of Fras-le and Juratek brands.

Gibson brings a “proven sales track record in the commercial vehicle aftermarket” and his role will be “pivotal” in driving Juratek sales and introducing Fras-le products in the UK, the brand said.

Matt Leeming, marketing manager at Juratek said: “Paul’s extensive experience in commercial vehicle friction channels positions him well to make a significant impact in the company and we wish him lots of success.”

Additionally, Marshall Peters, previously a junior product manager and warehouse operative at Juratek, has been promoted to the role ofpProduct manager. In this new capacity, Peters will focus on managing and developing Juratek’s product range, ensuring competitiveness and relevance in the market.

Leeming said: “We’re delighted to see Marshall move up the ranks as his dedication and skillset make him an asset to the company. We’re building on our team, knowledge, relationships, and customer service to fully support the business for the future.”

He added: “These new appointments represent a strategic alignment of values and objectives between Fras-le and Juratek, aimed at driving growth and market expansion.

“As the transportation landscape evolves, Fras-le’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge CV braking solutions ensures that it will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of brake systems in the UK.”

Name: Laurence Abbott / Darren Dowling

Company: Autotech Group

Role: Managing director, Autotech Connect / Client services director

Autotech Group has announced the appointment of Laurence Abbott as managing director of its Autotech Connect division, along with Darren Dowling as client services director.

Moving from his original position of group marketing and technology director, Abbott has also become Autotech Group’s chief technology officer, joining the company’s group leadership team.

Instrumental in the initial launch of Autotech Connect last year, in his new position Abbott is set to drive the division forward, spearheading new partnerships and opportunities, the brand said.

While officially joining Autotech Group back in 2020, Abbott previously worked extensively alongside the company from when it was founded in 2010 as director of digital agency, FNSCreative. Over the years Abbott has played a significant role in the creation of solutions for the company, underpinned by technology and cutting-edge digital tools.

Supporting Abbott is Dowling, who brings a wealth of automotive aftermarket experience to the role. With a career spanning 30 years, from apprentice to director, Dowling holds a considerable amount of knowledge, particularly within the commercial fleet sector, and will be fundamental to the growth of Autotech Connect.

The Autotech Connect team will also be boosted later this year with further appointments as the division scales up.

“Autotech Connect is entering a phase of growth,” said Abbott. “Since its initial launch last year, the team has been building partnerships with technological specialists and leveraging their expertise to create solutions to help aftermarket businesses run as effectively as possible while helping them build a robust digital infrastructure.

“This work has enabled us to build successful proof points following a series of trials. Now, with the support of Darren and the growing Autotech Connect team, I am looking forward to sharing this amongst the wider sector and demonstrating to them how, by effectively harnessing technology and Assisted Reality, they can overcome skills shortages and run more efficiently as a business.”

Name: Stefano Gava

Company: UFI Filters

Role: Group chief executive officer

UFI Filters has named Stefano Gava as its new group CEO, succeeding Rinaldo Facchini.

Gava, born in Vittorio Veneto 43 years ago, was previously COO (Chief Operating Officer) EMEA of UFI Filters. The Italian national graduated in economics and finance at the University of Udine. In 2015, he joined UFI Filters as group chief financial officer, based in the Shanghai office in China, where he was able to count on many years of experience working in finance for companies in the architecture, engineering and construction sectors in China and South-East Asia.

Gava has occupied a number of top positions within the UFI Group, and in 2020 he was promoted to chief operating officer Americas, based in Detroit, before moving to the group’s Italian headquarters to assume the role of COO EMEA in 2022. Last year in June, Gava was recognised as a 2023 Rising Star by the industry publication Automotive News Europe.

Stefano Gava succeeds Rinaldo Facchini, who has been CEO of UFI Filters Group for the past 10 years, having held increasingly important managerial roles within the group’s Administration and Finance units since 1986.

Giorgio Girondi, chairman of the UFI Filters Group, said: “UFI Filters is well recognised for actively promoting the most talented among us, thanks to mentoring and “cross-fertilisation” programmes that aim to enhance the group’s experience in different regions and contexts, while developing strong leaders.

“The appointment of Stefano Gava makes us proud because he represents the best example of our people-centred corporate culture. I would also like to thank Rinaldo Facchini for having contributed to the company’s growth in relation to the future of mobility. It is now Stefano’s turn to continue along this path, which I am sure he will be able to follow successfully”.

Stefano Gava, the new CEO of the UFI Filters Group, comments: “I would like to thank Chairman Girondi and the Board of Directors for their trust. I am honoured to receive this appointment and to take up the baton in leading the company through the challenges that the ongoing technological transition is setting us.

“Regarding this transformation, I consider it fundamental to continue investing in the technological innovations that will support the future of the company, and at the same time, integrate the new sustainability models promoted by our customers”.

Name: Lee Gratton

Company: Tetrosyl Group Ltd

Role: UK trading director

Tetrosyl Group has appointed Lee Gratton as its new UK trading director.

Gratton moves to the car care products firm from Spartan Motor Factors, a company he founded in 2011 and which was bought out by Tetrosyl in 2020.

From the takeover, he held the position of sales director at Spartan, helping to open a further 22 sites across the UK.

Gratton, who has 27 years of experience within the industry, said: “I am honoured to join Tetrosyl as the UK trading director. Tetrosyl is a prestigious company in the automotive aftermarket industry with a heritage dating back to 1954.

“I am excited to bring my expertise and passion to this new role and look forward to working with the talented team at Tetrosyl.”

Name: David Hanslip

Company: ELTA Automotive

Role: Business development manager

ELTA Automotive has announced David Hanslip as its new business development manager.

Hanslip joins after spending 30 years at BRT/Rolman World, during which he crafted a “formidable reputation” within the automotive aftermarket.

The brand said Hanslip woll play a “crucial role” in furthering the development of business and raising awareness of its portfolio.

Hanslip said: “I am thrilled to be part of the ELTA team. The company’s commitment to range development and quality aligns perfectly with my professional values, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success of ELTA Automotive.”

Craig O’Neil, ELTA Automotive sales director, said: “David is truly a great addition to the ELTA family. His wealth of knowledge in the industry, combined with his passion and professionalism, make him an invaluable asset. I am confident that David will play a key role in helping our company grow, and we are excited to have him on board.”

Name: Mike Bewsey

Company: Duckhams

Role: CEO

Duckhams, the British motor oil firm founded in 1899, has appointed Mike Bewsey as its new CEO.

Bewsey has many years of experience managing multi-national lubricant brands and has been brought in to lead the company through its next stage of global operations.

As Duckhams enters its 125th year, Bewsey will direct the engine oil brand during a pivotal period in its development.

“Duckhams is a great brand with a rich heritage, well-loved by mechanics and motorists,” Bewsey said.

“Since its successful relaunch in 2018, Duckhams has received strong support from distributors and partners across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The brand is now available in twenty-seven countries, having doubled its global network over the past twelve months.

“The 125th anniversary is an incredible milestone, giving us a fantastic platform to celebrate everything Duckhams has achieved in 125 years of winning with drivers, workshops and distributors. It is an exciting time to be joining the Duckhams family.”

Bewsey appointment comes after Rajat Moitra joined the business as global chief marketing officer, and Chris Clarkson became global technical and procurement officer at the end of 2023. These senior-level engagements have created a new leadership team with decades of experience leading multi-national lubricants brands.

Name: Alex Jenner

Company: Factor Sales

Role: New business development manager

Factor Sales has appointed Alex Jenner as its new business development manager.

With a rich background in the automotive industry, contributing to roles within a group of motor factors then Mercedes-Benz, Jenner has a proven track record in business development.

Jenner said: “I was drawn to Pearson Ham’s compelling business vision, which aligned with my own professional values. The enticing job description, coupled with the company’s commitment to flexible working, provided the perfect opportunity for me to balance home and work life. As a father with young children, this was vital to me.

“The chance to contribute to Factor Sales, as well as the wider Pearson Ham Group team, fuelled my excitement further.”

His background on both sides of the automotive spectrum, coupled with his business development expertise, positions him uniquely to make a substantial impact on Factor Sales, the brand said.

Jenner’s plan for contributing to Factor Sales’ growth involves leveraging the “phenomenal work” the company has done in recent years – both from attracting suppliers to subscribe to comprehensive data insights and demonstrating the value that motor factors can also access when they share their transactional data with Factor Sales.

He added: “I want to raise industry awareness about the quantity and power of available data via Factor Sales.”

Ben Martin, director of parent company Pearson Ham, welcomed Alex to the organisation: “We are excited to have Alex join our growing team, becoming the conduit between the brand and our loyal partners, as we look to solidify our position in the industry as the go-to aftermarket measurement data provider.”

Name: Ross Keeling

Company: Launch Tech UK

Role: Technical support and training manager

Launch Tech UK has appointed Ross Keeling as its new technical support and training manager.

In his role, Keeling will lead the charge in providing comprehensive technical assistance and devising innovative training programmes. With a background in educational institutions and deep-rooted experience with major automotive manufacturers, Keeling brings a wealth of knowledge in teaching and diagnostics training to Launch Tech UK.

Dave Richards, managing director at Launch Tech UK, said: “We’re excited to have Ross join us as. His expertise and dedication align perfectly with our commitment to delivering top-tier technical support, enhancing our training provisions, and advancing Launch Tech UK’s standing in the automotive diagnostics sector.”

Keeling’s appointment reinforces Launch Tech UK’s dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation, it says, ensuring exceptional technical support, and nurturing a progressive approach to training and development within the industry.

Keeling said: “I’m delighted to join the Launch Tech UK team and strengthen the technical support structure. Having worked with many manufacturers and diagnostic tools, I’m looking forward to sharing my skills and knowledge with Launch Tech UK customers.”

Name: Les Kershaw

Company: SMP Europe

Role: Sales director

Engine management specialist SMP Europe, the home of Intermotor, Lemark and Lucas brands, has announced the appointment of Les Kershaw as sales director.

This new appointment comes as Kershaw returns to the brand after four years away to head up the sales team and push the brand into future success. His new role will involve directing the strategy of the UK and export, as well as building and strengthening customer relationships.

Kershaw brings with him over 20 years’ experience in the industry in various sales roles, including a 12-year stint at SMP Europe as UK Sales Manager from 2007 to 2020. He comments: “I am delighted to return to SMP Europe as Sales Director. I look forward to renewing previous relationships and forging new ones in the UK, Europe and beyond!”

Ross Toomey, managing director at SMP Europe, says: “It’s great to have Les back on the sales team to lead from his many years of experience in the sector. He already knows our products and a lot of our customers, so is well versed in communicating our quality, value and engineering expertise to the market.”

Kershaw will join the team at the brand’s Centre of Engineering Excellence headquarters in Nottingham, UK, which designs and produces its engine management range of products.

This office is supported by its European distribution facility in Poland, which provides shipping for customers worldwide and is now able to offer a next-day service for faster parts delivery to meet increased demand.

Name: Paul Middlemiss

Company: Draper Tools

Role: Automotive sales manager

Draper Tools has appointed Paul Middlemiss as automotive sales manager.

Reporting to Adam Pike, Draper’s head of automotive sales, Middlemiss will “help oversee the company’s continuing growth and expansion in the sector”, the firm said.

Middlemiss, who has over 20 years experience in the sector, said: “Draper is a brand with a strong history and heritage behind it and I’m looking forward to contributing to the company’s continued success. The role has already seen me getting out on the road, connecting with my existing automotive network and getting to know Draper’s valued customers in the sector too. I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, together with the automotive team here, Draper’s got some ambitious plans and I can’t wait to start putting these into action.”

It has been a year of change for Draper with a number of new hires, kicked off with the appointment of Matt Sheen as CEO in January. Sheen said: “It’s been a really exciting year at Draper Tools and having Paul join the team is a key part of that. The automotive sector is hugely important to us and Paul’s knowledge and experience will help us to thrive and grow in an industry that we’re really passionate about. I’ve no doubt he’ll be an asset to the business.”

Name: Sam Robinson

Company: Simply Brands

Role: Business development manager

Simply Brands, a leading global consumer and trade products supplier since 2010, has appointed of Sam Robinson as business development manager.

CEO Ollie Page said: “The company has continued to grow and it was clear we needed help to support this across Europe. Bringing Sam Robinson into the structure is just what we needed to help the Simply brand portfolio continue to succeed and expand.” 

Robinson brings considerable product knowledge to the role having spent the past 10 years at Trico, and previously to that he was at CurrentCare. 

Robinson said: “My role at Simply Brands is primarily to help build new and existing customer relationships, as well as helping the team drive forward new and innovative product lines, so the knowledge and experience gained over my career in the aftermarket to date will certainly help.

“For me, the love of the automotive aftermarket and the contacts I’ve made has always been the main driver in my ongoing enthusiasm for the industry, but hopefully my ability to analyse and understand trends to help customers identify opportunities, allows me to put it to practical use.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision to leave Trico (First Brands) but joining such a successful organisation is a very exciting opportunity for me, as Simply Brands offers an insight into the future of the aftermarket through its focus on existing and new products and subsequently, its ability to support the global independent sector over the long term.”

Welcoming Sam to the Simply Brands team, Page added: “I am delighted that we have secured the services of an aftermarket person of Sam’s calibre. His management style is complimentary to that within our business and his existing customer relationships as well as the respect and reputation he brings from his years working in various roles for Trico in the UK and Europe means he can hit the ground running. I look forward to working closely with him and to the next chapter for our company.”

Name: Rajat Moitra

Company: Duckhams

Role: Global chief marketing officer

British oil firm Duckhams has appointed Rajat Moitra as global chief marketing officer.

Moitra, who will be based out of the Dubai office, has over twenty-four years of experience in marketing, sales and strategy across multiple categories, including lubricants, tyres and consumer durables. Most recently, he was head of regional sales and global marketing for GP Petroleums, a major lubricant industry player.

Firoz Patel, Duckhams managing director, said: “Rajat has worked for market-leading and challenger brands, including Castrol, Petronas, Repsol, Philips, Fevicol, and Ceat tyres. He has significant expertise in business scale-ups, building brand saliency, sales operations, route-to-market, and managing large teams.

“We are delighted to welcome Rajat to the Duckhams family as we approach our 125-year milestone in 2024.”

Duckhams, founded in 1899, delivers high-performance engine oils formulated to keep engines of all ages moving. Their passenger and commercial vehicle lubricants are available in over twenty countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Name: Chris Clarkson

Company: Duckhams

Role: Global technical and procurement officer

Chris Clarkson has been appointed global technical and procurement officer of British oil firm Duckhams.

Clarkson joins from Moove Europe, where he was the technical and procurement manager, leading the Technical, Procurement and Chemical Regulatory Compliance teams. Taking ownership of EU sourcing strategies, Chris developed partnerships with strategic technical suppliers to achieve efficient, sustainable outcomes.

He will be based in the UK office.

Firoz Patel, Duckhams managing director, said: “Chris has over 13 years of experience in the lubricant industry with a focus on technology, supply and operations. He brings with him valuable skills in strategic sourcing, formulations, chemical regulations, improving processes and developing teams.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris to the Duckhams family as we approach our 125-year milestone in 2024.”

Duckhams, founded in 1899, creates high-performance engine oils for both passenger and commercial vehicles. Its products are sold in over twenty countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

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.”



********* January Entries ***********


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’.






Older entries:


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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