Connected car data proposals could threaten fleets’ SMR choice

British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) chief executive Gerry Keaney has labelled proposals for car manufacturers to collect and store data from connected vehicles in their servers, and release it only to third parties if there is an agreement, “very dangerous”.

The proposals, known as the Extended Vehicle Concept, could restrict choice over where a vehicle is repaired and could “curtail innovation” in the independent repair sector, in Keaney’s view, affecting those leasing companies and fleet managers that use independents to reduce service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs.

Under the current draft proposals only the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has access to real-time data, potentially giving them an “unfair advantage”, Keaney said.

“If our members own an asset it is up to them where they get that asset repaired or serviced and if they choose to go to an independent repairer they should be fully enabled to do that, and the independent repairer should be fully enabled to make the level of repairs that needs to be done to that vehicle,” he told delegates at the International Auto Finance Network (IAFN) spring conference.

However, car manufacturers have expressed concerns about safety and security issues if third parties are given direct access to vehicle data.

They believe it is neither feasible nor reasonable for them to test, validate and approve all third party applications, devices and services available on the market.

They also believe that data consent rests with the company car driver and not the registered keeper (typically the leasing company).

Who should have access to data has been an ongoing dispute, resulting in some company car drivers taking delivery of vehicles without access to connected services after leasing companies refused to agree to manufacturers’ terms and conditions.

Keaney pointed out that access to vehicle data has been discussed in the EU for more than a year with no agreement, resulting in OEM trade associations, including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), “stepping into that void”.

The SMMT’s recent Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Position Paper states that unless vehicle manufacturers have entered into a specific legal agreement with each of the registered keepers and/or have a contractual obligation to do so, the vehicle user data i.e. personal data is only ever used or shared with the express and prior consent of the vehicle user not the registered keeper. It states vehicle manufacturers do not, by default, have an obligation to provide vehicle data to registered keepers.

It believes that the company car driver registering for the connected vehicle services, and agreeing to the terms and conditions associated with these, “must be put at the heart of any data consent process”.

Keaney said that some OEMs “are much more willing” to discuss data sharing and to “find workarounds to satisfy the needs of our sector”.

“I think some OEMs will be prepared to negotiate, they are prepared to recognise the value chain that is the fleet sector and is a core part of the business in the UK market,” he said.

Factors outside car manufacturers’ control may also mean connected vehicle data is shared in the future. “I would forecast with some degree of confidence that anybody that wants to drive a vehicle into the centre of London, certainly in the next 10 years, and into any other major European city in the next 10 years, will only be allowed to drive that vehicle into the city if they are prepared to share data on that car in terms of its location, its route and its planning,” Keaney said.

Autonomous vehicles will “depend upon data being made available”, he added.

For those reasons, Keaney believes manufacturers will ultimately release the connected data.

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Cricketers required!!! BEN Cricket Day – 22 June 2017 – Dorridge Cricket Club

Due to a few last minute cancellations, SJ Events have put out an appeal to fill the spaces now available.

So calling out to all you budding cricketers – why not come along and join what will be a fantastic day of cricket and networking with fellow industry members whilst enjoying lots of food and the odd drink or two!

If you are interested in supporting this event, please feel free to contact emma@sjevents.co.uk for further details.

Thank you in advance for your support and we look forward to seeing you on the day!

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RHA launches funded legal action against the truck cartel

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is now giving UK haulage and logistics firms (whether or not they are RHA members) the chance to sign up to its legal action for compensation against truck manufacturers found guilty of illegal price fixing. In July last year the European Commission fined MAN, Volvo Group (which includes Volvo Trucks and Renault Truck) Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, Iveco and DAF close to €3 billion (£2.6 billion) for price fixing and other cartel activities between 1997 and 2011. The compensation claim will be brought before the Competition Appeals Tribunal. If successful, haulage and logistics companies will get money back for vehicles sold or leased to them at inflated prices because of the cartel, if they sign up to the claim.

This is the first fully funded group claim against the truck manufacturers on behalf of affected hauliers. All UK truck owners can join the group legal action at www.truckcartellegalaction.com. There will be no cost for hauliers to be part of the group claim.

Early indications are that compensation could be in the region of £6,000 per truck on average. Companies that have purchased or leased new or second-hand trucks direct from manufacturers (including Scania) or dealers from 1997 onwards are eligible to join the claim. During the period the cartel operated we believe around 650,000 new trucks were sold. Although this legal action is being spearheaded by the RHA, non-RHA members are able to join.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “UK truck owners affected by the truck cartel have potentially paid too much for their lorries over a 14 year period and we’re determined to get a fair deal for them. This is a chance to get their compensation with no risk to their business or finances. As the representative body with sole responsibility for UK road freight operators, we are duty-bound to act on behalf of our members’ wishes. They have made it clear that they feel angry about the truck pricing cartel and want us to represent them. Our legal team at Backhouse Jones, Exchange Chambers and Brick Court will seek the best compensation deal that we can on behalf of our members and other UK victims of this cartel. To ensure that as many affected hauliers are able to join the claim, we have secured funding from Therium Capital Management Limited and the largest tranche of After The Event insurance that’s ever been underwritten so there’s no cost to joining the claim, or any other risks if the claim is unsuccessful.”

Backhouse Jones, solicitors, and barristers from Exchange Chambers and Brick Court will lead the claim. The group legal action is being funded by litigation funder Therium Capital Management Limited, who will cover the costs, including significant insurance cover. The RHA has therefore carefully organised the claim so as to avoid any cost or risk to hauliers joining the legal action.

On behalf of the legal team, David Went of Exchange Chambers said: “We are taking this case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal as it is the specialist court in the UK that deals with these types of claims and is an effective way to see redress for operators. The initial stage involves asking the Tribunal to authorise the RHA to act as industry representative and to set out the basis on which operators can opt into the claim. The first hearing is expected to be later this year.”

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Midwest Motor Factors bids farewell to Paul Yardley

Paul Yardley of Midwest Motor Factors has bid farewell to staff, customers and suppliers following the successful transition of the business to independent dealership group Arnold Clark.

Midwest Motor Factors started in 1980 by Ray and Maureen Bennett and Paul and Carol Yardley. After being acquired by Arnold Clark in 2015, Yardley stayed on to ensure a smooth transition while continuing to achieve business growth throughout its five branches.

Yardley said: “We feel the time is right for us to move on and leave Arnold Clark to drive the business forward. We’d like to thank all customers and suppliers for the help given to our staff over the past 37 years, as it has played a pivotal part in enabling us to build a strong company.”

Craig McCracken, Arnold Clark’s group factor manager, added: “It has been a real pleasure working with Paul these past few years. Going forward, we will carry on the good work at Midwest Motor Factors to ensure it continues to dominate parts supply in the West Midlands.”

Starting in Willenhall, West Midlands, Midwest Motor Factors employs 80 staff and has more than 40 vans operating out of a number of branches across the West Midlands alongside the award-winning Monmore Auto Parts branch, which is based in Wolverhampton.

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Changes to EU roaming charges for mobiles

DuoCall, the IAAF service member, has advised that as of Thursday 15 June 2017 EU roaming charges were abolished, which means that British traveller to EU countries will no longer have to pay higher rates when making calls, sending texts and using data abroad.

The change will only occur within EU countries, although some suppliers may include other countries. The change will allow mobile users to use their UK minutes, texts and data when travelling abroad.

By eradicating EU roaming charges current roaming plans such as Vodafone’s EuroTraveller, Three’s Feel at Home (for European countries) and O2’s O2 Travel (European bolt-on) will no longer be necessary. However, it should be noted that these changes do not apply when making a call from the UK to someone in a European Union country.

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ReMaTec 2017, RAI, Amsterdam, 18-20 June

Over one million product solutions and technical innovations will be on display at the show when it opens on Sunday 18 June, with more than one fifth of exhibitors showing at ReMaTec for the first time.

Automotive products and services remain at the heart of ReMaTec. Whether you’re interested in parts cleaning, turbocharger balancing, alternator testing, electronic steering diagnosis or cylinder honing – it will all be there. There will also be parts and components from heavy commercial, agricultural, non-road and other industries; on the show floor and in the speaker program at the ReMaTec Theatre there are a number of representatives from remanufacturing in sectors such as aviation, medical devices and marine.

A new feature of ReMaTec 2017 is the Guided Tours and Discovery. ReMaTec 2017 is introducing four tours to highlight the following topics: ‘Introduction to the remanufacturing industry’, ‘Remanufacturing in the maritime industry’, ‘Remanufacturing equipment’ and ‘Remanufactured turbochargers’.

Also new are the Meet the Expert Sessions. A team of reman industry veterans will be available for informal chats in comfortable surroundings one the problems and solutions facing remanufacturers. Their areas of expertise include succession planning, core return, reverse logistics and reman finance.

Anyone interested can register for free at www.ReMaTec.com/register and save €40.00 on the on-site entrance fee.

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A legendary brand at an historical event

Lucas, the globally recognised brand is back on the world stage this month as it teams up with James Winslow and GRAFF Racing to tackle this year’s gruelling Le Man 24-hour race in the team’s brand new Gibson V8 powered ORECA 07 LMP2 racer.

Although this is the second occasion that ECOBAT Battery Technologies (EBT) – the European custodian of the Lucas battery brand – has stepped forward to support James in the 24-hour race, 2017 is the first with GRAFF Racing and follows last year’s encouraging showing in the Race Performance Megatron ORECA 03 Judd LMP2.

Commenting on the association, EBT’s Steve Sheppard said: “Since the formal consolidation of our various battery businesses spread throughout Europe, which was completed last year, we have been looking for an opportunity to promote the pan-European nature of EBT.

“Le Mans is a truly global event and therefore provides us with just such a platform, while also providing the opportunity to raise awareness of the Lucas battery brand to both our many trade customers and the wider motoring public.

“James is clearly a driver with considerable talent and a track record of success in a multitude of series’ from his formative years, when he was a five-time British karting champion, through success in a number of Formula 3 championships and other outings in various series in the States and Australia, to his current sportscar endeavours.

“This multi-discipline ability also sits well with the multi-category nature of the Lucas battery range, which caters for everything from the familiar automotive and commercial vehicle applications, to include the motorcycle, leisure, marine and mobility sectors.

“When it comes to the aftermarket, Lucas is a highly regarded brand, which is why we have invested in the range to ensure it is able to provide our customers with the ideal solution to their needs, whether that be for a standard lead-acid battery for a low demand application, to the latest Start-Stop enabled vehicle with regenerative braking.

“Back to Le Mans and we naturally wish all the competitors well as they set off in anger at 14:00 UK time on Saturday 17th June, but clearly our focus will be on James, his fellow drivers and the team, as we look forward to great result at the conclusion of the toughest or tough events.”

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Wendy Williamson offers aftermarket insight at Automechanika

At Automechanika Birmingham 2017 Wendy Williamson, chief executive of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), provided an overview of the latest challenges facing the industry in 2017 and how the aftermarket is responding to these issues.

In a keynote speech, Williamson discussed a variety of topics, following up on recent developments and a changing political landscape that have captivated interest since last year’s event.

Wendy Williamson addressing a packed Aftermarket Pavilion

The impact of new Type Approval legislation was highlighted and Williamson expressed IAAF’s active role to ensure the industry gets the best deal.

Over the last year, the IAAF has hosted several meetings with Dan Dalton, MEP for the West Midlands, and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) who are drafting the report, and as a result of this it has been successful in pushing through a number of key amendments, including keeping the OBD port alive for RMI information and ensuring that information continues to be made available in an electronic form.

The threat of the connected car was also discussed as Williamson conveyed that the aftermarket could potentially lose all unmonitored access to the vehicle with the extended vehicle and become solely reliant on vehicle manufacturers (VMs) for information.

The IAAF believes current proposals do not offer consumers a level playing field and with the growing number of vehicles now being connected, IAAF told visitors that it is currently raising its concerns to the legislators in both the EU and the UK.

Next on the agenda was the proposed MOT changes from 3-1-1 to 4-1-1 and the dangers this could cause. Williamson argued that although great technological progress has been made in modern vehicles, the main causes of MOT failures are still wear and tear items such as tyres, brakes and lamps, all of which would go unchecked for a further year on newer vehicles.

An insight into the automotive industry’s future was also provided including the topic of the inevitable autonomous vehicle and the challenges surrounding it, as well as air pollution with Williamson calling for a co-ordinated response across all sectors instead of just targeting older diesel cars.

Finally, the seminar ended on a positive note promoting the relaunch of ‘Your Car, Your Choice’ as Williamson urged the aftermarket to get behind the campaign and raise awareness of motorists’ rights concerning block exemption legislation.

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IAAF launches Your Car, Your Choice campaign

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) is raising awareness of motorists’ rights by launching the ‘Your Car, Your Choice’ campaign, supporting key legislation providing motorists with freedom to choose where to service, maintain and repair their vehicle.

The campaign, formally called Right2Choose, has been relaunched by IAAF to reflect developments in the digital age and to refocus the industry’s attention on the importance of choice in regards to vehicle maintenance and repair work.

Under Block Exemption legislation, consumers have the right to use any repair workshop for non-warranty work during the warranty period.

The aftermarket can utilise the rebranded promotional support and materials available, including an easy-to-navigate website, merchandise, literature explaining key legislation and information, and a social media campaign.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “Many motorists are unaware of this legislation and it’s our duty as an industry to inform the general public and give them the opportunity to choose the best option for their own requirements.

“We will now work alongside the aftermarket to tackle misconceptions within the industry and beyond. This message is incredibly important, not just for motorists but for the future of the independent aftermarket and we encourage the sector to get behind and spread the word.”

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BEN Cricket Day – 22 June 2017 – Dorridge Cricket Club

Stop the Press………Teams are now full for this year’s BEN Cricket Day, and SJ Events are delighted to confirm that they will be welcoming back some familiar faces, along with several new budding cricketers and cricket fans! As previously mentioned the event is again being kindly sponsored by FPS Distribution, and supported by many other companies; a huge thank you to you all.

It is always a fantastic day, with lots of food, drink, laughter and of course, games of cricket; so why not come along and show your support for your fellow industry colleagues, whilst supporting a great charity.

It is only £30.00 per person to come along for the day; and this includes welcome tea or coffee with biccies, tasty buffet lunch, afternoon tea with homemade scones, cream and jam, and a hot meal at the end of the day – not bad hey!!

The date of the event is Thursday 22nd June 2017, and the venue is Dorridge Cricket Club.

If you are interested in supporting this event, please feel free to contact emma@sjevents.co.uk for further details!

Thank you in advance for your support and we look forward to seeing you on the day!

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