IAAF gears up for change at Annual Conference

‘Technology represents both opportunity and threat to evolving automotive aftermarket’

The IAAF Conference 2019 has highlighted the massive technology-led transformation in the global automotive industry and how every business in the independent aftermarket can take full advantage.

Kicking off the sold-out conference – sponsored by PR company Impression Communications and held at DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes – Wendy Williamson, chief executive of IAAF highlighted how technology has dominated the topics tackled by the Federation in 2019, from the Counterfeit Parts Campaign to Cyber Security. She also outlined the work FIGIEFA was doing in securing fair digitialisation opportunities along with other technology led work on Extended Vehicle and SERMI.

“Vehicles are like computers on wheels and we are seeing them becoming increasingly more connected and sophisticated,” Williamson said. “As an industry, we need to steer the supply chain in the right direction to ensure we’re on track to tackle the challenges we face head on and ensure we are equipped with the tools and knowhow to be able to continue to service and maintain the vehicles of tomorrow.”

Williamson stressed the importance of being able to compete fairly and safely in an open market, while ensuring the motorist continues to have the right to choose where they take their vehicle.

With technology driving the conference, delegates were able to post questions via the IAAF-themed Sli.do app. With more than 50 questions posed throughout the day, the app proved a very effective platform for audience participation and dialogue.

Hayley Pells from Avia Garage stepped up to look at how independent garages are ‘coping’ with technological changes, particularly given the rise of hybrid and electric vehicles. Pells said there was still time to prepare for these vehicles but pushed home the need for greater engagement with industry training, recognising that many technicians do not have the correct qualifications and are therefore not in a position to service the latest vehicles on the road.

She also examined the changing face of the independent garage with technology driving new services such as wheel alignment and ADAS.

Sticking with the theme of innovation and change, Andy Hamilton, CEO of Euro Car Parts, explored the digital disruption that is causing the aftermarket to constantly evolve. Stating that 46% of cars are turned away from garages due to being unable to diagnose faults, Hamilton joined Pells in calling on the industry to expand its skillset so it can adapt to the changing needs of motorists and to support garages more, in order to preserve the independent aftermarket.

The message was then reinforced by the next speaker, Dean Lander from Thatcham, who delivered an engaging talk on the history and growth of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), again reiterating the need for garages to have greater access to ever-changing technology in order to avoid handing over all power to vehicle manufacturers.

Lander urged the industry to recognise that autonomous vehicles are already a reality and that change is inevitable. With this in mind, he emphasised how crucial it is that staff are trained properly and legislation is put in place to protect all parties.

Taking a more light-hearted tone, keynote speaker, Richard Noble, captivated attendees with his personal story of how he fulfilled his life-long mission to build the world’s first supersonic car, while going on to break the land-speed record.

In doing so, Noble utilised the platform he’d created to set up the largest STEM programme in the UK, directly targeting the next generation and engaging with more than 129,000 schoolchildren.

Mike Smallbone, Head of Membership Development, then provided a full round-up of the Federation’s activity throughout the year, highlighting IAAF’s commitment to addressing the issues with initiatives such as Your Car – Your Choice. The pilot project in Chesterfield was instrumental in the automotive aftermarket winning business from main dealers, as independent garages felt more confident in the greater use of OE-quality parts.

Neil Barlow and Emma-Jane Morris from DVSA outlined the purpose of the market surveillance unit (MSU) and their activities in the automotive aftermarket around vehicle emissions, emissions control and tyres. They re-iterated their determination to work with the industry to educate companies and clarify the rules.

Before the day came to a close, attendees were left with food for thought as Neil Pattemore from FIGIEFA, the industry’s European federation and political representative, spoke of the immediate threats affecting the automotive aftermarket, such as protecting Block Exemption, the risks surrounding the extended vehicle and the importance of cyber security.

Wendy Williamson concluded: “It’s been a great day of education and innovation, and it’s now clearer than ever that as an industry, we need to remain firmly in the fast lane when it comes to moving towards an inevitably digital future.

“It’s a challenging but also exciting time to be in the aftermarket, and we will need to all work together to ensure we can not only adapt to the challenges that we face, but also maximise the enormous potential in front of us. However, if we’re to continue to thrive, the time for change is now.”

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IAAF Annual Conference & Awards Dinner 2019 – Photographs now online

Following last week’s Annual Conference and Awards Dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes, which have been hailed as the best ever, it is now possible to view and download images from both the Conference during the day and the Awards Dinner in the evening.

To view the Conference images, CLICK HERE.

To view the Awards Dinner images, CLICK HERE.

You can also access the images via the IAAF website homepage.

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Get a head start of the competition in 2020 with Phocas Software

There may not be a more exciting time in the automotive industry. Almost daily, there are headlines about the evolution of the automobile, from electric vehicles, virtual displays and mobile device integration, to new safety features and autonomous driving. Innovation has inspired opportunities as the automotive industry continues to evolve.

Whereas a car used to be a method to get us from point A to point B, today it is a technology platform that has attracted players such as Google, Microsoft and Apple that want to integrate the comforts of home and the convenience of mobile into the everyday-driving experience. With new opportunities, come an increase in competitors and challenges that demand companies work smarter and faster. The secret to better operational efficiency and speed is data. In fact, companies using data analytics are five-times more likely to make faster decisions.

Phocas has many years of first-hand experience helping midmarket automotive manufacturers and distributors. We use this intelligence to continually improve our software to support your industry.

Phocas would like to invite you to join an exclusive live webinar for IAAF members on Tuesday, 21st January at 2pm.

Register now to discover:

  • the top auto industry issues and how Phocas helps solve them
  • how Phocas is used by 100+ UK automotive businesses to monitor and improve all aspects of their business
  • how these business benefits could be applied to your organisation
  • how Phocas creates a return on investment within a matter of weeks.

The aftermarket is facing a dynamic set of challenges: changing market conditions, increased competition, cost, time pressure and the need to stand out. Phocas approaches your data analytics with a clear focus on business issues. Let Phocas show you how your data can deliver a significant competitive advantage.

Register for the exclusive webinar here.

Can’t attend? Register and we will send you the recording.

Contact: Joe Dawber
Phone: 07971 556989
Email: [email protected]

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Award-winning GS Yuasa Academy proves a hit with PMM

The GS Yuasa Academy has received a ‘Top Product’ award from the trade magazine Professional Motor Mechanic (PMM).

The annual awards recognise the products and services that have made waves in the industry over the last 12 months. The GS Yuasa Academy online learning platform was identified for its range of dynamic content, engaging presenters and individualised learning programmes.

PMM said: “Demand for training is constantly growing, with more and more industry professionals wanting to increase their knowledge and develop their skills. However, many simply do not have time to attend physical training sessions. The GS Yuasa Academy offers a solution to this issue, and allows learners to complete courses in the comfort of their own home or office, at any time they feel is necessary.”

Marketing and Product Manager for GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd James Douglas added: “We’re delighted GS Yuasa Academy has received a PMM Top Product award. Having only launched in June this year, the academy has already proven hugely popular with technicians, workshops and distributors across the UK.”

“We’ve worked hard to develop a comprehensive training platform so it’s fantastic to have been recognised by PMM and to receive this award.”

GS Yuasa Academy joins the leading battery manufacturer’s Yu-fit tool as a PMM ‘Top Product’, the battery configuration tool won the award in 2015.

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Technicians delighted with first IMI/Schaeffler REPXPERT Academy LIVE event – 2020 dates announced

Schaeffler has hailed the first-ever REPXPERT Academy LIVE event as a ‘fantastic triumph’ after welcoming more than 70 technicians through the doors of Lincoln College.

At the event, held in partnership with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), delegates participated in training sessions focused on timing belt drive systems, double clutch systems and modern thermal management systems, hosted by renowned REPXPERTs Andrew Vaux, Bob Carter and Alistair Mason.

REPXPERT Brand Ambassador, Andy Savva (AKA The Garage Inspector), presented a well-received session, designed to show workshop owners, in particular, how they can ‘empower their business’.

The classrooms were full throughout the day, with the REPXPERTs reporting high energy levels, excellent participation and enthusiastic discussions.

The Automotive Engineering team at Lincoln College, headed by Pete Jackson, helped to chaperone the delegates to and from sessions, always meeting back at the workshop area ‘hub’ during breaks. Here, they networked over a tea or coffee, whilst checking out the Laser Tools and REPXPERT vans, or receiving an ADAS calibration demonstration from Hella Gutmann Solutions.

IMI Events Officer, Georgia Foley, along with colleague, Michelle Barrett, were also on-hand to provide helpful advice and information to delegates throughout the day.

A draw was held at the end of the event, with IMI veteran, John Derek Milner, winning a Schaeffler Carrera race track and Oleg Buruian, from Tehos Motors, taking home a Leatherman Wingman multitool.

Matthew Develin, who has attended previous REPXPERT training events, commented: “REPXPERT Academy LIVE was informative and gave a great overview of up-and-coming technology, as well as what is currently on the market, which some workshops are shying away from.

“The event gave guidance and support, plus it allowed us to put a face to a company that offers so much help and advice.”

Matthew, an independent technician and MOT tester, revealed classes on thermal management and timing belt drive systems were his particular highlights and he wouldn’t hesitate to visit REPXPERT Academy LIVE in the future.

Schaeffler Managing Director, Nigel Morgan, took time to speak to visitors on what was a landmark event for the market-leading supplier, reserving special praise for the team “delivering the type of training that one would expect from an original equipment manufacturer”.

He said: “It’s absolutely fantastic – a triumph! The attendance shows there is an appetite towards high-quality training and acknowledgement that there is a need for it. Technicians need to invest and so do we, because neither of us can make a living in the future without each other.

“It was important for me to be here; I recognise the work the REPXPERTs and the team behind the scenes are doing – this is their idea! It’s the right initiative, and we need to do more of this.

“REPXPERT Academy LIVE is a long-term project and this is the first of many. From November’s success, we know we’ve got the recipe right; however, it is about visitor experience, and we’ll take all of the feedback on-board to ensure the next event is even better.”

Georgia revealed the success of the event justified the institute’s decision to partner Schaeffler at REPXPERT Academy Live: “At the IMI, we demonstrate the need for professionalism and keeping standards up-to-date, and as our industry is unregulated, it’s important that professionals maintain standards and quality of work.

“We’re advocates of continuing professional development (CPD), and REPXPERT Academy LIVE is a new way for technicians to log their CPD credits against their professional portfolio.

“We’ve been working with Schaeffler for a long time; we’re closely partnered on other projects. Its training courses are IMI-approved, so we enjoy a highly-effective and rewarding working partnership.”

After the success of the inaugural Lincoln event, Schaeffler has confirmed that the next REPXPERT Academy LIVE event will take place at Basingstoke College on the 25th January 2020. Other host venues planned during 2020 include Blackpool, Warwick and Swansea.

Schaeffler is encouraging visitors to register their interest now, so they can receive updates about dates and locations, and also be advised when they can reserve a place at each event.

For photos, click here.

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IGA releases new garage guide to improve ADAS awareness

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has developed an all-encompassing Garage Guide to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that has been released to all its members.

This 48-page guide is aimed at providing clarity around ADAS for garages and includes guidance on identifying these systems and understanding their functions. It contains an outline of the various systems fitted to vehicles, along with the associated components and the symptoms of the systems being out of calibration.

Stuart James, IGA CEO, said “We’ve received a great deal of feedback from garage owners that there is a major lack of awareness about ADAS in any form, and a genuine absence of information in the marketplace. We are tackling this shortfall head on for the good of the industry with this latest garage guide.

“Our guide has been designed as a point of reference to provide an all-round view of ADAS, so garages can be confident when vehicles come in for repair.”

The Garage Guide to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems was distributed to IGA members.

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Dayco appoints Michael Weiss as President, Powertrain Operations

Dayco has announced that Michael Weiss joined the company on December 2, as President, Powertrain Operations, reporting directly to Dayco’s chief executive officer, Joel Wiegert.

“We are very pleased to have such a highly regarded industry executive join Dayco to deliver profitable growth of our powertrain segment,” said Mr. Wiegert. “Michael’s track record of driving operational efficiency and successfully bringing new products into production fit perfectly with the significant opportunities Dayco is capitalizing on in the rapid growth of the hybrid electric vehicle segment”.

“I’m delighted to join Dayco and be able to lead the powertrain team. The business has a great reputation within the industry, so it’s fantastic to be part of delivering its future growth,” said Mr. Weiss.

Previously Michael was the Vice President & General Manager of Schaeffler Group’s Thermal Management & Water Pump Bearings Division, responsible for 13 manufacturing and R&D centers throughout China, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, India and Europe. Before that he was Managing Director of Atesto, based in Japan, working extensively with Toyota and Honda.

Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering from Munich University of Applied Sciences and a master of business administration degree from Georg-Simon-OHM Management Institute, and is fluent in German, English and French.

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Ray Garston, RIP

It is with sadness that we advise of the sudden passing of Ray Garston, who was fomerly Group Manager, Aftermarket at Meritor, on 28th November at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

His funeral service was held in Llay near Wrexham on 10th December.  He is survived by his wife Pam, daughters Rachel and Sarah and his grandchildren.

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First Line Ltd is IAAF’s CV Supplier of the Year

First Line Ltd won the prestigious IAAF ‘Supplier of Excellence’ award last week in the Commercial Vehicle (CV) category, which is voted for by the aftermarket.

The company’s CV brand, Borg & Beck, is renowned for its premium quality products, supported by excellent availability and exceptional customer service and this award demonstrates its superb reputation throughout the aftermarket.

Dan Joyner, Managing Director for First Line Ltd, said: “We’d like to thank our customers and everyone else for voting for us as IAAF’s Supplier of Excellence in the CV category. We’d also like to acknowledge our staff for all their hard work, we take pride in the products and service we provide and it’s great to see this reflected by the market.

“The IAAF awards have always been seen as the most coveted in the industry and to be nominated, and now win an award, is incredible!”

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