Wendy Williamson on 2018’s Top 100 list of inspirational British women

Wendy Williamson, Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) chief executive, has once again made the shortlist for the 2018 Autocar 100 Great British Women awards, which recognise the most influential British women in the global car industry.

Run by Autocar, in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), and backed by BMW, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, MINI, Nissan and Toyota, the industry’s rising stars were nominated by industry peers, with a judging panel deciding the final shortlist of 100 women, chosen based on seniority and level of influence.

The top 100 were selected from various areas of the automotive industry, including vehicle development, manufacturing, purchasing, retail, marketing, communications, apprentices, motorsport, design and executive. The overall winner was announced at an awards ceremony in London on 20 June.

This isn’t the first time that Williamson has made the list, as she was also recognised in the 2016 Autocar Top 100 Great British Women. Williamson’s established career and wealth of experience has gained further formal recognition after she received the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award at the Car & Accessory Trader (CAT) Awards 2017. This latest industry award nod further strengthens Williamson’s position as an established leader and expert in the independent automotive aftermarket.

Williamson said: “I’m delighted to have made the Top 100 list once again, it’s a great honour. The IAAF continues to grow in stature and this recognition reflects the positive contributions the federation and its members have made, and will continue to make, to the industry.”

IAAF represents the largest number of parts distributors and suppliers in the independent automotive aftermarket, having total representation of the trade. This reinforces the strength of its voice within government departments, increasing its power over legislation affecting the industry.

With the implications of Brexit hitting the industry hard, Williamson is continuing to work alongside similar organisations within the EU to ensure the aftermarket receives the best deal possible.

Williamson is also a vociferous champion of the Your Car, Your Choice (Right2Choose) campaign, urging garages and motor factors to raise awareness of motorists’ freedom to choose where to service their vehicle, as under current legislation, consumers have the right to use any repair workshop for non-warranty work during the warranty period.

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Thriving Automechanika Birmingham 2018 closes its doors until 2019

Automechanika Birmingham, the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production industry, has drawn to a close, with 10,200 automotive industry personnel visiting the highly successful 2018 event.

The event featured 500 exhibitors from 26 countries covering a floor space of 9400 square metres. More than 120 companies exhibited at Automechanika Birmingham for the first time including: AA Garage Guide, Snap-On, Ceramex, GSF Car Parts and Wurth Electronics.

Immediate post-event feedback highlighted a “quality” visitor in attendance and this, coupled with an increased ratio of visitors to exhibitors, meant the event delivered an excellent opportunity for the automotive industry to come together, network and do business.

The event, now in its third year, will run again in 2019 before moving biennially to alternate with Automechanika Frankfurt. Leading suppliers have already signed up to Automechanika Birmingham 2019 including Bosch, ZF, Denso, Hella, Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK, Valeo, Yuasa and Bilstein.

Reflecting the vibrancy of the independent automotive aftermarket, the new for 2018 “Garage Quarter” was a major highlight with independent garages flocking to see the very latest products and services from more than 130 suppliers, as well as a Garage Social area, for visitors to network and meet similar minded businesses.

The Workshop Training Hub attracted a large audience throughout the event, where visitors heard a number of wide-ranging presentations, discussions on the current state of the automotive industry and, live demonstrations on new product technology.

It was also the setting of the much-anticipated Garage of the Year awards final. The winner, Hillclimb Garage of High Wycombe, took to the stage to collect the award and a £1000 cash prize.

With new product launches dominating the Aftermarket hall, along with announcements of key distribution agreements signed between companies, the event offered more than 70 hours of seminars, hosting industry experts who delivered sessions covering daily workplace challenges, industry developments and advanced technology.

Returning for another year, the Vehicle Production hall hosted the increasingly successful “Meet the Buyer” and “Open Forum” events, hosted by SMMT. The events were successful in bringing together automotive buyers and suppliers to build relationships between OEMs, tier one suppliers and the supply chain.
Innovation was also a key theme in the Vehicle Production hall, with an enthralling debate by the Women in Innovation panel, a Who’s Who of key industry influencers.

Other key ‘innovation’ highlights included Motorsport Valley Innovation®. Presented by the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), and sponsored by Staubli, this interactive area demonstrated cutting edge technologies in the motorsport and high-performance engineering industry.

Simon Albert, Managing Director, Automechanika Birmingham, said: “It’s been a fantastic event and has further developed the identity of Automechanika Birmingham going forward, underlining our commitment to unite the entire automotive industry. We are delighted with the quality and quantity of senior professionals who attended, as well as the number of independent garages that visited the hugely popular Garage Quarter.”

Next year’s event at the NEC Birmingham will take place from 4 to 6 June 2019, with more exhibitor and show announcements to follow.

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Fleets running vehicles for longer due to WLTP tax confusion, says Arval

Uncertainty surrounding the impact of the new WLTP fuel consumption and emissions test on company car taxation is resulting in some large fleets extending leasing contracts.

Arval says that, with information on taxation only available up until 2020-21, many drivers and their companies acquiring cars now do not know how much tax they will have to pay over the life of the vehicle.

“Fleets find themselves caught in limbo,” said Shaun Sadlier, Arval’s head of consultancy. “The Government has yet to indicate when it will make a decision on how WLTP is incorporated into company car taxation, and the actual figures are some way off.

“For many years, benefit in kind tax tables have been made available for 3-4 years in advance, so that businesses and their drivers have a good indication of their tax liability and can plan accordingly. But at the moment, we simply don’t know what is happening.”

As a result, Arval says it is seeing an increasing trend of fleets, especially larger corporates that are generally better informed about WLTP, extending lease contracts on a month-by-month basis, effectively sidestepping the situation.

A clearer picture will inevitably create a sudden burst of demand for new car leases, according to Sadlier.

“We have seen new fleet car registrations start to tail off and, while it is probable that some of that is due to general economic slowdown and market uncertainty, some of it will also be due to deferred vehicle replacement,” he said.

“It seems very likely that we are building up a logjam of demand and that, following a Government announcement on WLTP and taxation, we will see a peak in car sales as everyone rushes in to place orders.

“This, in itself, may create knock-on problems because we don’t yet know what types of cars and specific models WLTP will make attractive from a tax point of view, and they may very well be in short supply in the medium term.”

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Correct oils could be key to passing new MOT, says Comma

The key to diesel vehicles passing the new MOT service may be as simple as using the correct low SAPS oil on diesel cars, according to lubricants expert Comma Oil.

MOT vehicle certificate

Taking extra care in using the correct low SAPS oil may reap the rewards for garages across the UK, easing diesel-powered cars through the new MOT and protecting customers from penalties.

Introduced on the 20th May, the new MOT has made substantial changes to the service, tightening the rules for diesel cars in particular.

Chief among those is a hefty £1,000 fine for owners found with a tampered or clogged Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), a device which removes soot from exhaust gas to dramatically lower diesel emissions – when kept in good condition.

Yet most models require specific grades of low SAPS oil, meaning garages need to take extra care when servicing diesel cars during their MOTs.

Using high quality low SAPS oil can optimise diesel engine performance by lowering emissions and prolonging the lifetime of DPFs. This keeps diesel engines running efficiently for longer whilst avoiding costly MOT penalties and replacements.

Mike Bewsey, Sales and Marketing Director at Comma, commented: “When it comes to the diesel engine, the smallest change can often have a big impact. Something as simple as using the right low SAPS oil and opting for a higher-grade version can mean the difference between an MOT pass or fail. But beyond this, it can also mean the difference between a good level of service, and a bad one.

“The new MOT is putting diesel engines under more scrutiny than ever, and garages have a real opportunity to help keep the millions of diesel drivers on the road – reaping the rewards in doing so.”

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Cumbrian motor factor to sell stock for a penny in celebration of 50 year milestone

K&S McKenzie first opened its doors in 1968 in Carlisle. At the time there was a shortage of parts suppliers to the commercial vehicle market in the area and it was this opportunity that Keith and Sara McKenzie knew was too good to let pass them by. They were one of the first businesses to take up residence on Kingstown Industrial Estate back in 1972, and today they are one of the most well-respected motor factors in the North West.

2018 sees K&S McKenzie celebrate a huge milestone – 50 years in business! To mark this occasion, they are holding a Penny Sale that will see them sell off 50 products for just a penny each. Items on offer vary from a 240v compressor worth £99, to socket sets worth over £30, and more general items such as tape measures, spill kits, and car air fresheners. There will also be a 32” TV up for grabs for one lucky prize draw winner at the end of the event.

Today K&S McKenzie operates all over the UK from its base in Carlisle and is run by Keith and Sara’s sons, Stuart and Alastair. They are a major supplier of AdBlue across the whole of the UK and also provide an expert chain testing and calibration service, are a BOC Gas agent, and offer a wide-ranging variety of products and services unique to this motor factor.

When speaking about the factors that have helped the business reach this 50-year milestone Stuart McKenzie, Director, says; “I learnt from my father the value of seizing opportunity, having a fantastic supply and distribution chain, and importantly on never swaying from the values and focus on service that formed the foundation of this business all those years ago. It is this that drives us forward, builds our customer base, and makes us more than just a motor factor”.

The K&S McKenzie Penny Sale is open to everyone and runs from 8:30-18:00 on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th June at K&S McKenzie’s headquarters in Kingstown Industrial Estate, Carlisle. For more information call 01228 528218 or visit K&S McKenzie’s Facebook page.

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Autoelectro maintains ISO quality standards

Autoelectro has proudly reported that it has successfully gained recertification/transition to ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 accreditations following its recent annual surveillance visit.

Originally accredited in 1995, Autoelectro continues to flourish and impressed the assessors during a four-day exploration of its Bradford headquarters. Quoting from the report, ‘leadership is clearly demonstrated’ and ‘the business strategy is communicated throughout the company’.

The standard was initially sought more than two decades ago, as Autoelectro wanted to carry out work for original equipment suppliers and original equipment manufacturers, such as Delco Remy, Marelli, Cummins, Caterpillar and MG Rover. It achieved its goal and was one of the first aftermarket companies to secure the standard.

Today, as the UK’s largest independent remanufacturer of starter motors and alternators, it is crucial that Autoelectro consistently demonstrates the quality of its products and services that it offers.

Managing Director, Tony Bhogal, said: “This latest round of ISO accreditation only strengthens our position in the marketplace, as Autoelectro is the only major independent remanufacturer and supplier of rotating electrics in the UK to hold these standards. It also firmly underlines the quality standards and professionalism that Autoelectro adheres to.”

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London Mayor confirms ULEZ extension

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has confirmed that the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand out to the North and South Circular roads from 25 October 2021.

The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the initial Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is to be introduced in the centre of the city from early 2019.

The ULEZ will replace the current T-Charge emissions surcharge applied to older vehicles entering the capital and will see vehicles that do not meet certain emissions standards liable for a daily charge to drive within the zone, ranging from £12.50 for vans and light trucks up to £100 for pre-Euro 6 heavy goods vehicles.

Drivers within the expanded zone using non-compliant vehicles will pay a daily ULEZ charge of £12.50, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These include motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards, petrol cars and vans that do not meet Euro 4 and diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards.

Mayor Khan said: “I promised hard-hitting measures to tackle air pollution and City Hall is confirming the next stage of our plans to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone up to the north and south circular roads.”

The public consultation on expanding the ULEZ was the largest ever recorded by TfL, City Hall said, with 56% of respondents supporting the expansion of the ULEZ boundary from central London.

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Recycled electric bin lorry being trialled in Greenwich

A refuse collection vehicle at the end of its normal working life has been repowered with an electric motor and is due to shortly begin ‘real world’ trials in Greenwich.

It is hoped that ‘repowering’ will greatly extend the working life of high value commercial and local authority vehicles, and cut air and noise pollution in residential areas.

The Greenwich trials will test the viability of the technology and make the economic case for repowering heavy commercial vehicles.

The prototype will be tested alongside the existing refuse fleet, managed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Refuse lorries operate in largely residential areas, with their diesel engines in constant use 14 hours per day, achieving only 2.5-4.5 miles per gallon (MPG), having emissions that include nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (THC and NMHC) and particulate matter (PM), which is essentially soot.

By replacing the diesel engine with an electric motor, the electric Refuse Collection Vehicle (eRCV) produces zero emissions in operation. It also greatly reduces noise pollution – a significant issue for urban residents.

It is estimated that the repowering modification will double the vehicle’s operational life, extending it to 14 years, and generate a lifetime cost saving of up to £300,000 compared to a Euro 5 or older diesel powered model.

The trial marks the culmination of a year-long technical development by a consortium comprised of Magtec, a UK technology firm specialising in the electrification of vehicles, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and its urban innovation agency, DG Cities.

The project was part funded by Innovate UK, the Government’s research and development lead.

The eRCV is a 26-tonne battery-powered, zero-emission refuse vehicle designed to do a 14 hour ‘double shift’ duty-cycle without needing to recharge. It can reach a top speed of 56mph on its 300kWhr battery.

Magtec, a supplier of electric vehicle drive systems, replaced the diesel engine and associated components of the Royal Borough of Greenwich-owned Mercedes Econic vehicle with an electric vehicle drivetrain, designed and manufactured in the UK.

The company also replaced the engine-driven hydraulic system, which drives the rubbish compaction and bin lift systems, with an electric-powered system that is more efficient and quieter.

The project supports Greenwich Council’s commitment to improving air quality as is demonstrated by the authority’s release of the Greener Greenwich Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan in 2016.

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MAM announces Gary Copeland as new head of VRM sales

MAM Software is pleased to announce Gary Copeland as its new head of VRM sales. Gary will be responsible for the leadership and development of MAM’s vehicle registration number plate lookup business, creating customised solutions for enterprise-level users.

Gary is a well-respected figure within the parts aftermarket and insurance sectors. He has a wealth of experience with over 10 years in this industry, most recently as general sales manager at Carweb.

Commenting on Gary’s appointment, MAM Software’s general manager Nigel Clemett said:

“We are thrilled to welcome Gary to the team at MAM Software. Gary has a proven record of facilitating long term relationships with both customers and industry stakeholders. His knowledge and experience will be vital as we continue to grow our range of vehicle and parts data services.”

Gary said of his appointment:

“I am delighted and excited to have joined MAM Software. I am very much looking forward to being part of the team and developing our VRM business into existing and new territories. We will deliver new innovations, exceptional data quality backed up with unrivalled customer service commitment.”

MAM’s VRM (vehicle registration marque) lookup services provide fast and reliable access to comprehensive and accurate vehicle data. Solutions are available for a number of industries and applications including aftermarket parts sales, insurance services, vehicle sales & servicing and car parking.

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DENSO congratulates historic TOYOTA GAZOO racing victory at Le Mans 24 Hours and hails technical partnership

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) and sponsor and technical partner DENSO returned to the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 17-18 2018 with one ambition: to take their first victory. On the 86th Le Mans race this aim became a reality as the TGR teams secured the perfect one-two victory at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe.

The Le Mans 24 Hours, Round 3 of the FIA World Endurance Championship, remains one of the world’s most famous motor races, and one that had previously eluded the team until now.

Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and F1 star Fernando Alonso drove the #8 TS050 HYBRID vehicle, steering it to victory as they crossed the line first. Not far behind was the team of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, who led for long periods in the #7 TS050 HYBRID, making it a perfect result for TGR – and technical partner DENSO – when they secured the second-place finish in front of over 250,000 fans.

On his debut Le Mans race, Fernando Alonso made an impressive contribution to the victory of the #8 car. Following two stop-go penalties for the vehicle Alonso had to put in an impressive night time stint to put the vehicle back in contention on a day when all TGR drivers performed exceptionally in a high-pressure environment.

The two TS050 HYBRIDs were evenly matched throughout the 5,286km and victory was never certain until the very end when a late fuel issue dropped the #7 car off the lead so Kazuki, in the #8 car, could take the chequered flag. The #3 Rebellion finished third, 12 laps behind.

It was a test of nerves, not just for the drivers, but also for the mechanics on hand, who knew that Le Mans is an unforgiving, relentless environment for the whole team and vehicles. On its long road to victory at Le Mans, the TS050 Hybrid vehicle has remained at the forefront of hybrid vehicle technology, using a whopping 35% less fuel at this Le Mans compared to the same race in 2012.

For the Hybrid energy system, DENSO componentry has helped drive the efficiency and performance of the TOYOTA GAZOO team, with the TS050 fitted with several DENSO components, including the rear hybrid motor, the inverter, Hybrid ECU, spark plugs as well as the oil and water coolant.

After 388 tense laps, TGR’s victory at Le Mans leaves the #8 TGR team at the top of the FIA World Endurance Championship with an impressive 28 points lead ahead of the next non-TGR team in the competition.

The TGR teams will head to the next race at Silverstone, looking to build on their impressive lead and replicate their victory at the thrilling contest which took place in 2017.

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