NTDA Chief Executive calls for total UK ban on sale of part worn tyres

The NTDA Chief Executive Stefan Hay took the opportunity to formally call for a total ban on the sale of part worn tyres at the Association’s recent Tyre Industry Conference.

In front of an audience of 200 delegates from the tyre manufacturing, wholesale, retail and associated sectors, he said: “We have tried being nice and polite, we have tried working in partnership with various enforcement agencies, we have tried collaborating with other trade bodies, but the situation is now out of control. Dealers, consistently, ignore the regulations and sell tyres that have not been tested under inflation and inspected for damage. They do not mark the tyres as part worn, they often store them in tyre mountains in yards open to the elements causing further deterioration and they are fitted by people who are very rarely, if ever, qualified tyre technicians”.

The NTDA has been working closely with the consumer charity TyreSafe and local trading standards officers over the past three years to raise public awareness of the dangers of part worn tyres. During that time, numerous part worn dealers have been visited and in every case non-compliance with the regulations has been found. Among the most recent visits were businesses that have already been prosecuted within the last 12 months. Alarmingly, trading standards found further evidence of non-compliance leading to many further prosecutions.

Hay continued: “Part worn tyres are, in the majority of cases, not fit for reuse, are a cancer to our business and a menace to the public. We want a total ban, it may not happen today, tomorrow or even this year, but we are ready to take this campaign forward for as long as it takes and we call on all existing and future members to join the fight and if that means drilling holes in the side walls of tyres we remove to stop them being sold as part worns, then bring it on!”

Two VMs announce scrappage schemes FIAT introduces new Swap Programme

A new end-of-year campaign, designed to help customers swap their current Fiat car for a new one, has been launched by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK.

Called ‘The Big Swappage Deal’ the initiative offers drivers an extra incentive to trade in their current vehicle, with a range of extra ‘swappage’ bonus offers on top of any value the participating Fiat dealer has put on the customer’s car.

The deal covers the entire range of Fiat models – except the new 124 Spider – and includes the award-winning 500, the 500L and 500X, as well as Tipo, Panda, Punto, Qubo and Doblo.

‘The Fiat Swappage Scheme will appeal to customers with cars of any age, make or model,’ said Paul Runza, brand manager Fiat UK. ‘However the offer is still available for customers who do not have a part exchange vehicle – they will be eligible for a Swappage cash discount.’

Vauxhall relaunches Scrappage Scheme

Vauxhall has relaunched a scrappage scheme intended to encourage drivers to trade-in older, more polluting cars for models that are more environmentally friendly.

It is offering customers up to £2,000 towards a new car if they trade-in a vehicle registered before 31 December, 2016 for scrap.

The Scrappage Allowance scheme covers Astra, Mokka, Mokka X, GTC, Zafira Tourer, Insignia and Cascada models and runs until the end of the year.

Leon Caruso, Vauxhall’s retail sales director, said, ‘We are pleased to welcome back our Scrappage Allowance Scheme, helping customers to fund their new car with up to £2,000 for their old model. Not only can customers potentially receive more for their outgoing model, but they can also use this in conjunction with some of Vauxhall’s great finance offers, making their new Vauxhall even more affordable.’

The scheme also ran last year, when Vauxhall scrapped nearly 15,000 older vehicles. Vauxhall’s scrappage programme also has a provision for recycling parts of pre-1991 models for owners of classic models.

Euro Car Parts celebrates everyday heroes with new TV ad campaign

Euro Car Parts, the UK’s leading distributor of car and LCV parts, is to shine a spotlight on local heroes as part of it’s first-ever television advertising campaign. The commercial will feature a real mechanic from an independent motor trader (IMT) in Glasgow, which is a customer of Euro Car Parts.

Set to Bonnie Tyler’s 1980s classic Holding Out For A Hero, the advert tells the story of a woman driving home to see her parents. Prior to setting off, she visits her local garage where Stuart, an IMT mechanic and the hero of the story, inspects her car. After recommending she change her brake pads, Stuart calls Euro Car Parts – which ensures a speedy delivery of the part so she can be back on her way. This proves helpful later on in the journey, when she is forced to make an emergency stop in front of a flock of wild sheep.

The campaign, which was shot in the Scottish highlands, was produced by the world-famous Ridley Scott Associates, behind classic films such as Alien, Gladiator and Blade Runner. Directing the advert was Jamie Delaney, a talented young director who has won a number of industry awards. Post-production was supplied by the Oscar-winning Framework, which previously provided its expertise to Hollywood blockbusters such as Gravity, Jungle Book and the Harry Potter series.

A key focus of the advert was to a highlight a real hero. The IMT mechanic featured in the campaign works at Drivers Auto Centre Glasgow, a customer of Euro Car Parts. The piece also includes a nod to Scotland’s motorsport heritage, as the majority of the advert was filmed at Rest and Be Thankful – a famous hillclimb just outside Glasgow that was previously used by the likes of Jimmy Clark and Jackie Stewart, and was a stage of the RAC Rally in the 1960s.

Martin Gray, CEO of Euro Car Parts, commented: “The launch of our first-ever television advertising campaign is the start of an exciting new chapter for Euro Car Parts. Through this new creative, we’re highlighting the fantastic work being carried out every day by mechanics and IMTs up and down the country. We are proud and humbled to partner with them.

“We were especially thrilled to secure the services of Jamie Delaney and Ridley Scott Associates. Delaney is a fantastic young talent who was instrumental in giving this advert its cinematic feel, while Ridley Scott Associates has produced some of the most memorable commercials of recent times.”

The advertising campaign is one of a number of new initiatives unveiled this year by Euro Car Parts in support of the independent repairer. Earlier this month, Euro Car Parts announced the launch of Euro Academy, a unique and innovative technical resource designed specifically to support the independent garage.

The business has also announced it will be offering a first-to-market lifetime warranty on a wide range of mechanical parts. The new programme offers peace of mind to customers when it comes to purchasing major units such as clutch kits, rotating electrics and steering racks, as customers can rest assured that they will only have to pay for it once.

Airing from Wednesday, 2nd November 2016, the Euro Car Parts Heroes advert can be seen on channels including E4, BT Sports, Sky One, Channel 5 and Film4.

Sad News

Two figures from the automotive aftermarket who will be sadly missed:

David Bennett

David Bennett, a well-known, well-respected and much-loved figure in the automotive aftermarket, sadly passed away on Saturday 30th October. He was a staunch and enthusiastic supporter of the ADF and then the IAAF, serving on the ADF Council for seven years during the 1990s, four of them as Treasurer, and still offered advice and support to the Secretariat after retiring from Council. During his time as Treasurer he oversaw the reorganisation of the financial reporting function within the Secretariat and also the transition to limited company status.

David had a life-long passion for vintage cars and attended many historic car rallies and was also to be seen at the BEN Cricket Matches. His funeral arrangements are being finalised and will be included in next week’s issue.

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Phil Parkin

We recently learned also of the sudden death of Phil Parkin of Butlers Automotive. Phil Parkin was everyone’s friend and a larger than life character in the trade. He loved playing golf and attended many company and trade golf dates, including the IAAF golf days at Worsley Park.

Phil passed away on a golf course in Spain surrounded by many of his friends. May he rest in peace. Details of his funeral, which is likely to be some time next week, are awaited and will be confirmed in next week’s issue.