Mechanex Manchester – 16+17 May

Mechanex 2017 at EventCity in Manchester is taking place next Tuesday and Wednesday, 16 and 17 May.

Visitors will be able to see, touch, try and buy all the latest products from most major parts suppliers and leading manufacturers of diagnostic, air and hand tools.

The show will include:

  • All the industry’s top names on show including Bosch, Continental, Contitech, Dayco, Delphi, Group Auto, Knipex, Launch, NGK, Revive, SKF and Valeo
  • Massive discounts on tools and equipment – only available at the show
  • Free technical seminars to help you keep on top of all the latest developments. See here for timetable.

There is still time to pre-register but you need to be quick. To reserve your free ticket, CLICK HERE.

Once registered, visitors will also receive a Money-Off Voucher Booklet for even more savings at the show plus a a free bacon roll and a free Beanie hat on arrival.

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Can Independents Benefit From VM Recalls?

With the recent revelation, published by respected motoring magazine Auto Express, that most owners ignore VM recalls on their vehicles, TecAlliance calls on the independent to help reverse this trend.

According to Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) statistics obtained by the magazine, less than 48 per cent of the 2.2 million vehicle recalls involving airbags, fire risks and steering failures since 2012, have actually been carried out.

Shaun Greasley

Commenting on the situation, Shaun Greasley from TecAlliance said: “These statistics – that are likely to be replicated across every area of the vehicle – just go to show how difficult it is for the franchised dealer sector to cope with recalls, which opens the door to the independent sector. That said, traditionally it has been very difficult for independents to step in and take advantage of the opportunity, which is where TecAlliance and our RMI technical service data comes to the fore.

“Under normal circumstances, the typical independent might ask how they can reach motorists if the VMs can’t? However, our system provides the answer in the shape of our recall information option, which provides easy access to this information on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis.

“During the course of a normal vehicle service or repair, the RMI system obviously provides the necessary information when it comes to what needs to be carried out and the process to accomplish it, as well as how long it should take and the replacement parts that are required.

“However, what really sets it apart is the service schedule and recall option, that allows users of the web-based subscription service, to check in a matter of seconds, the recall status of every vehicle that comes through the workshop.

“If we were to use Audi as an example, should an S6, S7, RS and RS7 manufactured between January 2012 and August 2013 enter the workshop, interrogation of the system will reveal that due to incorrect manufacturing tolerances, the fuel line can become damaged and cause leakage, which requires replacement of the fuel line.

“Another issue, this time affecting the A4, A5, A6, A7, Q5 and Q7 build over the same period, is a possible reduction of brake performance due to engine oil entering the brake servo via the vacuum feed line, which requires replacement of the vacuum line.

“Armed with this information, RMI users can simply check that the recall has been undertaken and, if it has not, inform the customer and put the problem right, which not only reduces their exposure to any potential risk, but endorses the standard of service that their workshop provides.

“The recall option is unique to RMI and further underlines the range of business solutions that TecAlliance offers the independent sector, which cater for everything from suppliers researching and developing their aftermarket programme, ensuring motor factors are able to supply the right part, first time, to paperless processes and transactions and technical service information for the installer. All this will be on show at Automechanika Birmingham, so come and see us on stand 20F100.”

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Customer-Supplied Parts – Are You Fitting Them?

Professional Motor Mechanic’s online bulletin has recently featured the recurring topic among garage owners, technicians and distributors in relation to the potential dangers that come with fitting customer-supplied parts. This issue has also been raised at meetings of the IAAF Council.

PMM reports that much of this conversation has taken place within the Facebook group, ‘Say NO to Customer Supplied Parts (UK)’, set up to educate those working within the automotive repair sector. The discussion centers on the business and legal ramifications of fitting parts supplied by the customer.

In a survey conducted on the Facebook group set up to educate those working within the automotive repair sector the following results emerged:

  • 69% said they wouldn’t fit customer-supplied parts.
  • 29% said they used to fit customers parts but wouldn’t now.
  • 2% said they would fit customer-supplied parts.

Many garages will have experienced the situation where customers arrive at the garage with their own clutch, brake pads or other components with the expectation that the garage will happily fit the parts supplied. However, by doing this the garage will not only missing out on the potential revenue generated from the sale of the parts, but could also be losing out on much more.

The IAAF has been working with some of its members to make garages aware of the potential legal repercussions for a garage should a customer experience any issues with the vehicle as a result of the repair carried out using customer supplied parts. It can be very difficult to authenticate the parts if they purport to be a particular brand and, of course, the quality cannot be verified if they are “white box” parts.

The general interpretation under the law is that it is the obligation of the garage, as the expert, not to proceed with the fitment of any parts supplied to the garage if they are believed to be unfit for purpose or of unknown or questionable quality. A garage could still be successfully sued, even if a signed declaration relinquishes any warranty claims between the garage and the customer. A business contract would be deemed unfair if the garage waived responsibility for:

By accepting to undertake the job, a garage will have assumed responsibility, which includes the acceptance of the reasonable quality of the supplied parts. In order to not be held responsible, a garage would have to prove beyond doubt that it was the parts, and not the involvement of the garage in the repair, which caused the failure. Clearly, this could be difficult.

Many garages are not aware of the legal implications of fitting customer-supplied parts, and many customers are quite unaware what they are asking when supply the parts themselves. Once properly explained, one would hope their minds would change when it comes down to their safety and that of other road users. But, if they are unable to accept the reasoning, it may be necessary to re-assess the value of their business.

However, it’s not just garages that have a part to play here. Factors may need to look at their pricing structure with regard to trade and retail prices. The IFA has, in conjunction with the IAAF, developed a poster for use by its garage scheme members to try to educate members of the public on the dangers of trying to source their own parts.

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Roadlink shortlisted for major local award

Roadlink International has made the final of the ‘Manufacturing Champion’ award at the prestigious Express and Star Business Awards 2017.

Held at Wolverhampton Racecourse on Thursday 8 June, Roadlink International will go up against two other successful manufacturers in the hope of securing the top spot after undergoing a judging process whereby the organisers will visit the Roadlink facilities.

BUSINESS ( JOHN SAMBROOKS ) 14/03/16
The new CV brake calliper remanufacturing facility at Roadlink International, Strawberry Lane, Willenhall.
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Based in the West Midlands, the Express & Star is recognised as the biggest-selling regional evening newspaper in Britain and the ceremony brings together 36 shortlisted companies throughout every sector of commerce and industry to celebrate the strength and breadth of the local economy.

Since investing £700k in its new commercial vehicle (CV) caliper remanufacturing facility in Willenhall, West Midlands just last year, Roadlink has experienced growth.

The larger facility, advanced equipment and increase in staff has enabled the local CV supplier to remanufacture calipers at a faster rate without
compromising quality.

Keith Sedgley, Roadlink joint managing director, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for such a renowned award. In a region that is renowned for its manufacturing talent it is an achievement in itself to be picked among the final three.

“We have had a busy and successful year enhancing the quality of product and service that we provide to customers by carrying out a series of investments. As a direct result of our expansion, we have considerably increased our staff count and have been able to provide an array of job opportunities to members of the local community. This has enabled us to continue to meet high demand while maintaining the level of quality offered.”

Roadlink has also recently updated its distribution and remanufacturing processes to be audited and approved to the new ISO9001:2015 and ISO14001:2015 international standards.

This, along with its ‘Investor in People’ status, demonstrates its commitment to delivering a first-class range and service, from production right through to sales.

As one of the leading suppliers of parts for commercial vehicles, Roadlink currently offers a complete range of new and remanufactured braking solutions, including calipers and brake shoes as well as an extensive range of pads, discs and drums.

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Exol invests in key staff member to further enhance customer service

Exol Lubricants has promoted Robert Lundie from within the area sales team to the role of technical services manager where he will play an important role in efficiently communicating with customers.

In addition to continuing to support customers and area sales managers, plus detailed behind the scenes work regarding Exol’s vehicle lookup systems, Lundie will be expanding his role to include regular technical articles for publication in Exol’s customer magazine, Fluid.

Robert Lundie

Lundie said: “I thoroughly enjoy working at Exol and cannot wait to get started in my new position. Exol offers great opportunities to gain the experience and ability to take on additional responsibilities, which in turn helps to broaden my overall industry knowledge and then share this expertise with customers.”

The new role will also involve creating training aids to help customers better understand the products they use and sell, and to generally help clarify the often complex world of lubricants.

Paul Timmis, Exol group technical manager, said: “Robert has an excellent working relationship with both Exol ASMs and our customers and has played an integral part in making the Exol technical department one of the industry’s leading in the lubricants sector. His new role will see him expand on his current work and provide customers with more insight, further supporting their partnership with Exol.”

Exol is the largest independent lubricants company in the UK, manufacturing and supplying a range of lubricants and associated products to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agricultural, industrial, off highway and railway sectors from its bulk-blending plant in Rotherham.

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Commitment to health and safety earns Order of Distinction for Moove Lubricants

Moove Lubricants (Manufacturer of Comma Oil) has distinguished itself for the 20th consecutive year after earning another Gold award and the Order of Distinction, for its exemplary Health & Safety service, at the prestigious RoSPA Awards. The award is due to be presented on Wednesday July 12th.

The annual awards, run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, celebrate organisations with the most outstanding health and safety records. Judges consider entrants with overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

The RoSPA Order of Distinction is awarded for winning 20 consecutive Gold honours, and is the second highest achievement given by the family-safety charity.

SIGO, a 14-part safety control system that effectively protects the health and safety of staff, contractors and other key stakeholders, has allowed Moove to operate for 21 years without an LTI (Lost Time Injury) accident.

Mike Bewsey, Sales & Marketing Director at Moove Lubricants, added: “We have long been pioneering the importance of health and safety in the industry, and to have received our 20th consecutive Gold award is testament to that commitment.

“A major part of our success in manufacturing high-quality lubricants is the level of detail in which we go to at every stage of the process. That intricacy translates directly to our health and safety programme, which goes as far as possible to ensure it is one of the safest places to work in our industry.”

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Parliamentary transport select committee issues reports on Vauxhall and Volkswagen

The parliamentary transport select committee has now issued its final reports on the issues surrounding both the Vauxhall fires and the VW emissions scandal.

Vauxhall
In its report on Vauxhall it was stated that the VM had a “reckless disregard for safety” by letting people drive its Zafira cars which it knew were unsafe and could catch fire, says damning parliamentary report.

The car maker has come under attack from the Transport Select Committee about its actions following a spate of fires in 2015 involving the Zafira B model people-carriers and MPs have said Vauxhall was “too slow to begin an investigation, too slow to address the causes and too slow to alert drivers of real safety concerns. Drivers and their families were needlessly put at risk.”

Louise Ellman, chairman of the committee, added Vauxhall was also too quick to blame the fires on “improper and unauthorised repairs”.  Vehicle fires can be terrifying,” she said. “Vauxhall does not appear to have grasped the seriousness of the problem, placing the blame on third parties.”

More than 230,000 Zafira Bs were sold, but by the time it was realised there was a problem, the model had been superseded and there are no records on the number of cars which caught fire as a result of the issue. The committee was concerned that Vauxhall was willing to attribute blame on incorrect repair by third parties but made no effort to find out where such dangerous practices were being carried out.

An initial recall of the cars for repairs did not totally solve the problem, with MPs saying Vauxhall did not accept there was a wider problem.

A second recall to fix the problem was needed and MPs also said the vehicle registration body the DVSA should have worked more closely with Vauxhall to deal with the problem, as well as carrying out independent tests to discover the true cause of the fires.

Volkswagen
The Transport Committee is  also demanding further answers in the aftermath of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Committee chairman Louise Ellman said: “UK consumers must not be the poor relations while the US benefits from proper redress. They deserve a full response to their concerns.

“The Transport Committee has consistently pushed for fair treatment for Volkswagen customers and for the general public. Paul Willis, managing director of Volkswagen UK, has repeatedly failed to provide satisfactory answers to our questions. Dr Pötsch, who has oversight for Volkswagen’s worldwide operations, must explain Volkswagen’s conduct.

“Given Volkswagen’s previous reluctance to account for itself, I have also written to the Minister of State calling for the Department to take stronger action to ensure that customers and taxpayers do not bear the brunt of Volkswagen’s actions. The Department must not be able to wash its hands of this issue.”

Throughout the committee’s work on the VW emissions scandal, MPs have maintained that VW has failed UK customers and that the Department for Transport (DfT) should be more forceful on behalf of the UK. Without adequate reform of the vehicle type approval system in Europe and proper sanctions against manufacturers who cheat, there is little to stop a similar crisis from happening again, it claims.

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Vauxhall and Brown Brothers agree deal

Vauxhall and Brown Brothers Distribution have signed a new long term agreement which sees the distributor become the preferred supplier of paint and dry goods for the Vauxhall Approved Bodyshop Programme in the UK.

Brown Brothers Distribution was selected by Vauxhall for the supply of both Nexa Autocolor and PPG paint products to Vauxhall retailers and their network of approved bodyshops in the UK.

Alongside Nexa Autocolor and PPG paint systems, Vauxhall retailers and bodyshops will also benefit from access to Bodyline, Brown Brothers’ consumables range. Approved Bodyshops can purchase all products via the Vauxhall central billing programme.

Paul Tranter, PPG Automotive Refinish UK national business development manager, said, ‘We are very proud to have gained a preferred distribution partner status from Vauxhall with Brown Brothers. This approval demonstrates our commitment to providing our customers with a professional distribution solution for high quality paint systems and an outstanding consumables range. We look forward to continue our strong working relationship with Vauxhall.’

PPG, parent of Brown Brothers, is the only paint supplier that has a combined paint and dry goods offer to Vauxhall.

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Delphi Announces Plans for Tax-Free Spin-Off of Powertrain Segment

Delphi Automotive PLC today (3rd May 2017) announced its intention to execute a tax-free spin-off of its Powertrain Systems segment into a new, independent publicly traded company (“Powertrain”). Immediately following the transaction, which is expected to be completed by March 2018, Delphi shareholders will own shares of both companies.

“Today’s announcement represents an exciting opportunity for our businesses by creating two independent companies, each with a distinct product focus, a proven business model, and the flexibility to pursue accelerated investments in advanced technologies that solve our customers’ most complex challenges,” said Kevin Clark, president and chief executive officer. “At a time of unprecedented industry change, the underlying strength of both our operating businesses and strategic partnerships will allow each company to focus even more sharply on its unique opportunities, continue to develop the very best advanced technologies, and help our customers navigate the road ahead.”

The convergence of technologies underpinning industry megatrends is driving greater demand for advanced electronics and increased computing power to meet consumer preferences for more safety, efficiency, and connectivity. At the same time, regulations for emissions and fuel economy are becoming increasingly stringent globally, requiring advanced engine management and electrification systems to enhance vehicle performance and meet customer demand.

“Looking ahead, new mobility will be defined by the convergence of automated driving, increased electrification, and connected infotainment, all enabled by exponential increases in computing power and smart vehicle architectures,” Clark added. “As a result of our strategy to grow and expand through organic investments, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships aligned to the safe, green and connected industry megatrends, our Electrical/Electronic Architecture and Electronics & Safety businesses are well positioned for significant growth as the only global provider of an integrated ‘brain and nervous system’ of the vehicle. We have the advanced technologies, engineering capabilities, and cost structure to be a global leader in the rapidly evolving mobility sector.”
Advanced Connectivity, Autonomy and Mobility (E/EA and E&S)
Upon completion of the transaction, E/EA and E&S will remain global technology leaders with unparalleled strengths in signal and power distribution, centralized computing platforms, advanced safety and autonomous driving systems, enhanced infotainment and user experience, vehicle connectivity and electrification, and data services. With a focus on these strengths, the company is positioned for profitable growth with our industry-leading cost structure, 15,000 engineers and 145,000 global employees.

E/EA and E&S will continue to focus on its portfolio of safe, green and connected technology solutions and satisfying the increasingly complex needs of its customers. The company operates a flexible and lean business model, delivering value to shareholders through disciplined and profitable growth, strong cash generation and balanced and accretive cash deployment.

Powertrain
Powertrain is a global technology leader focused on optimizing vehicle propulsion systems by enhancing environmental efficiency and vehicle performance. The company is a global supplier to original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket customers with 20,000 global employees, 5,000 engineers and revenues of approximately $4.5 billion in 2016.

Powertrain’s portfolio of advanced propulsion technologies benefits from increasingly stringent regulatory standards and consumer demands for increased fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions. With its global engineering capabilities and lean and flexible manufacturing footprint, the company is focused and positioned to deliver above market, sustainable and profitable growth.

Timothy Manganello, currently an independent Director on the Delphi Board, will become non-executive chairman of the new Powertrain company’s board of directors upon separation. Manganello was most recently Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BorgWarner, Inc. Liam Butterworth, currently senior vice president and president, Powertrain Systems, will become president and chief executive officer of the new entity.

“As a standalone business, Powertrain will be well positioned to pursue a focused global growth strategy while further enhancing its portfolio of advanced propulsion technologies, power electronics solutions and aftermarket business. Tim and Liam are talented, well-respected leaders with decades of experience in Powertrain businesses, longstanding customer relationships and proven track records in operations management, making them ideally qualified to lead Powertrain into the future and to create long-term value for all of its stakeholders,” said Clark.

Transaction Details
Upon completion of the planned spin-off, Delphi shareholders will receive shares of Powertrain via a pro rata special distribution. Details of the distribution will be included in the initial Form 10 registration statement, which is expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2017, and the spin-off is expected to be completed by March 2018, subject to customary market, regulatory and other conditions. There can be no assurance regarding the timing of the spin-off or its completion. Powertrain intends to have its ordinary shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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GSF Car Parts open new branch in Bristol

GSF Car Parts has opened a new branch to cater to booming demand in the South West’s biggest city. Bristol North opened its doors for the first time on Monday 24th April, to be met with a queue of curious customers.

The network addition joins the established Bristol South and Central branches as trade continues to grow in the region for the national motor factor. Bristol North is conveniently located on the Aztec West Business Park, neighbouring the M5 at Junction 16, within striking distance of the M4 interchange.

“We’ve got an experienced team in place who know Bristol well,” said Simon McMullen, Regional Director at GSF Car Parts. “We’re sure there’s even more potential for us around the area and we’ve been excited by the enthusiastic response already.”

The drive to motivate trade customers to try the new branch has been headed by GSF’s Business Development Manager Leighton Phillips, who has been visiting local independent garages in the weeks running up the opening.

However, he hasn’t had a long lead time; amazingly the entire project has taken just 8 weeks from inception to completion.

“We’re delighted to have got it done so quickly,” said Simon. “It’s been a great team effort to find and fit out suitable premises, put the staff in place and open with stock on the shelves – all in under a couple of months!”

You can find out more, including the address, opening hours and phone number for the new Bristol North branch of GSF Car Parts at www.gsfcarparts.com/bristolnorth.

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