More scrappage schemes announced

Hyundai, Volkswagen UK and Toyota have all now announced scrappage schemes with discounts off various models, following on from Ford’s recent announcement and that of Vauxhall earlier in the year.

Hyundai’s scheme offers between £1,500 and £5,000 on trade-ins across its model range and will run from now until the end of the year. It will apply to all petrol and diesel cars with Euro 1-4 engines registered before 31 December 2009.

Under the terms of the scheme, Euro 1-3 engine cars will be scrapped, however owners of a Euro 4 model will not have to scrap their car, but can trade in for any model across the Hyundai range.

Volkswagen UK is offering customers discounts of up to £6,000 to trade in diesel vehicles when buying a new car and all the Volkswagen UK brands – including Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – will participate.

VW’s UK scheme is a continuation of the initiative launched in Germany, which offered a discount of up to 10,000 euros (£9,000) to trade in diesel vehicles.

VW’s UK scheme will apply to any diesel vehicle that has emissions standards lower than Euro 5 and was registered before 2010. Incentives range from £1,800 to £6,000. Electric and hybrid vehicles, which attract government grants, will be included in the scheme.

Toyota has also launched a scrappage scheme, offering up to £4,000 off a new Toyota, which runs from 1 September to 31 December and is open to any vehicle more than seven years old. Customers can get a discount of between £2,000 and £4,000 off certain models.

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VW engineer receives prison sentence

The first Volkswagen employee has been jailed for his involvement in dieselgate.

James Liang, who was head of diesel competence in the US, has been sentenced to 40 months behind bars after pleading guilty to charges relating to VW’s use of emissions cheating devices.

Liang admitted that he tried to hide the presence of the device during early meetings with legislators, saying that he did so to protect his £194,000 salary.

He has also been fined £155,000.

US District Judge Sean Cox said, ‘This is a serious crime and involved a massive fraud upon the American consumer. Cooperation or regret doesn’t excuse your conduct.’

However, the judge added that Laing was not responsible for the VW decision to use cheat devices. To date eight VW executives have been charged with criminal offences, with VW facing fines and fix costs of about £19bn.

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Garages poised for 10% MOT increase – but do they have the manpower?

September will bring the skills shortage across the automotive industry into sharper focus when garage owners across the country are faced with an increase in MOT tests by almost 10%. Concerns are being raised as to whether garages are equipped with the sufficient manpower to handle this surge in demand.

The MOT rise is down to the unprecedented car sales boom of 2014, which reached an all-time decade high of 2.48 million. With 400,000 of these cars purchased in September of that year for the new registration, under Government regulation these vehicles require a first MOT after three years, and this date is fast approaching.

“Reports of continued growth within the industry have been gaining traction for some time,” explains Gavin White, MD of Autotech Recruit, the UK’s only specialist agency to supply temporary and permanent MOT testers and technicians. “However, the need to maintain and service the vehicles which originally sparked the sales boom is now starting, but garages do not have the manpower, or technicians sufficiently skilled to fix the vehicles which have become increasingly technical.”

A report by the Automotive Council, which revealed that 5,000 motor industry jobs were vacant in 2016, underpins the full scale of the problem. However, while this shortfall is largely down to the lack of new talent entering the industry, many garages do not realise that there is a ready supply of skilled technicians highly trained and proficient in MOT testing to cover unmanned bays during busy periods.

“Improving workshop productivity is at the heart of our business,” comments Gavin White. “An unmanned MOT bay can cost a garage up to £2,000 per day in lost revenue.”

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The Fellowship of the Motor Industry – something for you?

The FELLOWSHIP of the Motor Industry offers a unique opportunity for people to reacquaint with like-minded colleagues and make new Industry friends at exciting and varying social events. It provides the chance to benefit from a networking environment whilst enjoying the camaraderie of Motor Industry friends. It has been running since 1935 and has around 700 members from all areas of the UK.

NGK’s former Deputy Managing Director, Brian Childs, is the current Chairman of the FELLOWSHIP and cordially invites members of the Aftermarket to become Fellows.

Brian Childs at a recent Fellowship of the Motor Industry private visit to the Robert Lewis Classic Car and Memorabilia Collection

The FELLOWSHIP has been in existence for over 80 years providing Motor Industry colleagues, past and present, with the opportunity to keep in touch and indeed make new acquaintances.

The FELLOWSHIP is open to men and women that have worked in the Industry.

We currently have around 700 members from a wide cross section of the Motor Industry, so which ever sector you are from you will find people with a similar background.

It is especially attractive to those that are approaching retirement or reducing working hours, and have a little more flexibility with diaries.

The FELLOWSHIP organises a varied programme of events across the UK. These include lunches with amusing and interesting speakers, visits to manufacturing plants and motor museums, golf, horse racing and the ability to visit places that would otherwise be difficult to gain entry.

We ensure that the cost of attending events is not prohibitive and very often attract discounts. Typically events cost between £35 and £50.

We are a very open and friendly organisation and will ensure you are made very welcome. No cliques, just a set of people with a love of the Motor Industry and who enjoy fun and fellowship.

Many of our new members have been introduced to the FELLOWSHIP by current members, but if you do not know anyone please make contact with us and we will do the rest.

We have recently seen a good number of people wanting to join the FELLOWSHIP, please read below what Brian Coleman had to say about his experience when attending one or our events as a guest.

“I recently attended the Prodrive visit and I enjoyed the company of other like-minded automotive people and would like to join the FMI.” Brian is now a Fellow.

Cost of membership is very low, only £25 per year, with the first year FOC.

Interested in joining? Please visit the FMI website for more information – or contact Brian Childs on 07770 382371 or Tina Steele on 07836 631233.

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