IAAF spreads the word on the importance of keeping the OBD connector

Earlier this summer, the IAAF welcomed many of the amendments approved by the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee (IMCO), as part of the forthcoming type approval legislation.

These related to the diagnostics, repair and maintenance of vehicles, which are an important step towards improving the legislative framework for independent operators. Over 184 amendments were approved and importantly for the aftermarket included a number of key revisions, the most important of which is keeping the OBD port to the vehicle open and accessible.

Just some of the coverage received by the IAAF on the importance of retaining the OBD port

The IAAF has continued to work alongside FIGIEFA in Europe to represent the UK aftermarket and ensure its voice is heard. It has led the fight against the proposals and helped to directly influence the type approval amendments approved by IMCO.

As well as garages, which could potentially lose access to vehicle data and would have to depend on VMs, the missing OBD connector would also impact the entire spare parts supply chain including manufacturers, distributors, producers of diagnostic equipment and dedicated software for the OBD connector, as well as millions of drivers who would suffer the consequences of disrupted competition within the market.

Since that time the IAAF’s campaign has received a vast amount of coverage in the trade press, thus ensuring that the importance of this issue is made known to as many people as possible and to encourage them to lend their support.  The IAAF is continuing to lobby the UK government on this key issue.

Your Comments

Ford introduce scrappage scheme

Ford has launched its ‘New For Old’ Scrappage Scheme where customers can save between £2,000 and £4,950 when trading in a car or between £3,650 and £7,000 off a commercial vehicle. Ford are promoting the fact that this will reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy. Ford also assures customers that they will manage the scrappage of old vehicles responsibly.

Vehicles must have been registered before 1st January 2010 and have been owned by the customer for over 90 days; this covers all pre Euro 5 engines. The scheme includes both petrol and diesel engines, unlike some other recent schemes, and also all makes and models. New vehicles need to be registered between 1st September and 31st December 2017.

Your Comments

‘Self-driving’ lorries to be tested on UK roads

Small convoys of partially driverless lorries will be trialled on major British roads by the end of next year, the government has announced.

A contract has been awarded to the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to carry out the tests of vehicle “platoons”.

Up to three lorries will travel in formation, with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle.

The TRL will begin trials of the technology on test tracks, but these trials are expected to move to major roads by the end of 2018.

The lead vehicle in the platoons will be controlled by a human driver and humans will also control the steering in lorries to the rear – though acceleration and braking will be mirrored.

Lorries driving close together could see the front vehicle pushing air out of the way, making the other vehicles more efficient and lowering their emissions.
This could lead to fuel savings for companies that will hopefully be passed on to consumers, Transport Minister Paul Maynard said.

The government has been promising such a project since at least 2014. Last year it announced its intention to carry out platooning trials but was later frustrated after some European lorrymakers declined to participate.

The TRL has announced its partners for the project:

  • DAF Trucks, a Dutch lorry manufacturer
  • Ricardo, a British smart tech transport firm
  • DHL, a German logistics company

Transport Minister Paul Maynard said platooning could lead to cheaper fuel bills, lower emissions and less congestion.

“But first we must make sure the technology is safe and works well on our roads, and that’s why we are investing in these trials,” he said.

Your Comments

Royal Mail trials nine electric trucks

Royal Mail is to trial nine electric-powered commercial vehicles in partnership with Arrival.

The trials, based at Mount Pleasant Mail Centre in London, will begin with three six-tonne trucks from August, followed by three 3.5-tonne vehicles and another three 7.5-tonne trucks later in 2017. The centre has already been fitted with charging stations.

The vehicles will be used to transport mail between mail distribution centres in London and the south east.

Image of the new vehicles which was Tweeted by Royal Mail recently

The co-branded red Royal Mail electric vehicles are the first trial vehicles to be produced at Arrival’s new factory in Banbury.

Paul Gatti, managing director of Royal Mail Fleet, said: “Royal Mail is delighted to be collaborating with Arrival and pioneering the adoption of large electric commercial vehicles.

“We are pleased to be the first fleet operator to take delivery of and trial these new larger payload vehicles which will complement the 100 electric vans we recently ordered.

“We will be putting them through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites.

“Royal Mail is trialling a variety of vehicles to see which work best for us and are keen to share our experience with other fleet operators who may be considering introducing electric vehicles.

“We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of design and look forward to see what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”

Your Comments

Illegal CV Sharing Ends In Court

Our colleagues at Xecutive Search have drawn attention to the prosecution of a recruitment manager for giving their candidate’s personal information to other employment agencies, which sparked warnings over data sharing.

Staurt Franklin, a Recruitment Manager at HomeServe Membership Ltd, was prosecuted under the Data Protection Act in Birmingham for sharing his candidate’s CVs with other agencies.

He was found to have sent copies of 26 CVs to external recruitment firms without a business need to do so.

The sharing of this personal data, without permission, was discovered when applicants, who had already submitted applications with Homeserve, then had applications submitted from third party recruiters.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement, had the following warning for recruiters: “Passing on other people’s personal information that you have access to as part of your job can often be against the law, unless you have their consent or valid grounds for doing so. We’re asking people to stop and think about the consequences before taking or sharing information illegally. Most people know it’s wrong but they don’t seem to realise it’s a criminal offence and they could face prosecution.”

Franklin was fined £573 and ordered to pay costs of £364 and a victim surcharge.

The Data Protection Act 1998 prevents the unlawful disclosure or obtaining of personal data without the consent of the person who controls that data.

Your Comments

Potential tax return trouble for DIY companies

HMRC has dropped its old, free-to-use corporation tax account filing system. Unfortunately, the new version has limitations which means you might not be able to use it. What’s the full story?

In the process of forcing all taxpayers to manage their tax affairs digitally, HMRC has been working on new tax return software for companies and organisations which pay corporation tax (CT). For a while this has run alongside the old system, but is no longer available.

The new version is simpler to use and has the option to file the company’s accounts (which is a part of the CT tax return process) simultaneously with Companies House. However, the types of company allowed to use the new system are currently limited.

HMRC’s list of exclusions, updated on 31 May 2017, is long and wide-ranging, so many small companies will be prevented from using the software. For example, the exclusions include companies with a turnover exceeding £632,000, those with significant investment income, e.g. property rental, and those where a loan to a participator, such as a director’s loan account, has been repaid more than nine months after the end of an accounting period.

For those wanting to use HMRC’s online system, the advice is to check the list of exclusions well in advance of the deadline for submitting the CT return. If a company is excluded, it will be necessary either to purchase commercial software (this starts at around £50 – search for “CT600 software” online) or pay an accountant to do it.

Whilst not on HMRC’s list, because of changes included in the abandoned part of the Finance Bill 2017, if the submission is for a CT return for an accounting period ending after 1 April 2017, which includes carried forward losses set against total company profits, it will be necessary to wait until HMRC updates its software in October 2017.

This story was brought to our attention by our colleagues at Xecutive Search.

Your Comments

Celebrity mechanic Edd China stars in TMD Friction training series

Global OE friction manufacturer, TMD Friction, has joined forces with celebrity mechanic, Edd China, to produce a series of best practice videos for its aftermarket brake brand, Mintex, and OE brake specialist, Textar.

The videos, which will outline a variety of brake-related processes, have been developed as training aids for mechanics to help support the independent garage trade.

They will also provide those working on vehicles with immediate access to trouble-shooting content.

The guides will focus on FIT Shim technology, how to work on a vehicle with an electronic parking brake, the brake replacement process and the importance of checking brake fluid.

One of the videos will also cover Textar’s latest innovation, the Q+ Shim, and how its unique characteristics help to dampen brake noise.

Scott Irwin, technical manager at TMD Friction, said: “Working with Edd to produce the training resources was an absolute pleasure.

Not only did he bring his natural charm and energy to the set, we have produced a selection of videos that are informative, engaging and easy to follow.

“As a company, we are fully committed to supporting the independent garage network, which is moving towards using more online resources.”

With technology in the automotive sector constantly evolving, TMD’s investment into the best practice videos shows a shift towards online content, and how this can be used within the industry.

Your Comments

It’s back! – Hats on 4 Mental Health Day

HIP HIP BERET! Hats on 4 Mental Health Day is back for a second year, on 13th October 2017!

Join the rest of the automotive industry and sign your company up to raise awareness about mental health challenges, while also raising funds to help Ben support industry colleagues who may be suffering in silence.

I want my hat pack!

How to take part:

  • Sign up at www.hatson4ben.co.uk
  • Wear a hat to work on 13th October
  • Tag Ben in a photo #Hatson4MentalHealth
  • Donate £1 to Ben

Your Comments

IAAF-BEN Golf challenge concludes at Forest of Arden

The second round of this year’s IAAF-BEN Company Team Golf Challenge was held this week at The Forest of Arden near Birmingham, with even more teams taking part than in 2016.

Joe Richardson, event organiser on behalf of the IAAF and ably supported by his wife Chris, was delighted with the way the day went and the sun shone long enough for the players to enjoy a fantastic day of golf.

The winning team from Midwest Motor Factors

The Aylesford course, renowned for its tough challenges, tested the mettle of all the partipants and congratulations go to the eventual winners, the team from Midwest Motor Factors. The runners up were the team from BTN Turbo.

The valliant runners-up from BTN Turbo

The overall winners of the IAAF-BEN golf challenge for 2017 will be the team with the best score from the two events and they will be invited to the Awards Dinner in December to receive their prize.

Gavin White from Autotech Recruit who achieved the Longest Drive
Jack Hiscock from the Elcome team who got Nearest the Pin

The prizes were presented after the meal in the Club House.  In addition to the winners and runners-up trophies, there were prizes for ‘Longest Drive’, which went to Gavin White from the Autotech Recruit team, and for the ‘Nearest the Pin’ which was won by Jack Hiscock from the Elcome team.  Jim Sharma from the Midwest team achieved the best score of the day.

Jim Sharma from the Midwest Motor Factors team who achieved the best overall score of the day

Congratulations to all the teams and a big thank you to all our supporters and sponsors of the event.

Your Comments

New Wolk Report “Automotive supplier, Assortment Optimizer, and company brands in the European Aftermarket“

This new report from Wolk looks at European aftermarket companies that optimize their product portfolio by sourcing components from external manufacturers and distribute and market them under an own brand.This new report from Wolk looks at European aftermarket companies that optimize their product portfolio by sourcing components from external manufacturers and distribute and market them under an own brand.

The report discusses the following three different business fields and shows you which companies are enriching their portfolio with external products:

  1. Component manufacturers
    parts manufacturers that enlarge their portfolio with products of other manufacturers and distribute them under the own brand
  2. Assortment-optimizers (repacker)
    companies that bundle the products of other manufacturers and are specialized in distributing and marketing them under their own brand
  3. Parts distributors
    distributors/wholesalers that offer private label brands to the market and source the components from external manufacturers.

    The individual company profiles include:
    • Company data with contact person
    • Sales figures from 2013, 2014 and 2015
    • Number of warehouses in Europe
    • Geographical representation of the sales markets in Europe
    • Overview of the product portfolio
    • Corporate Development
    • Number of employees
    • Number of products offered
    • Company History
    • Core business segments (passenger cars, vans, trucks, trailers, buses, tractors)
    • Complete product range divided into:
    o Engine and transmission
    o Brakes and steering
    o Electrics and electronics
    o Cooling system
    o Oil and chemicals
    o Body and paint
    o Other

    Size: 66 distributor profiles on 430 Powerpoint charts
    Format: PDFPrice: 1.750,- EUR

    For more information and to order online CLICK HERE.

    Your Comments