HELLA to further expand company headquarters in Lippstadt, Germany

Lighting and electronics specialist HELLA has invested in its Lippstadt headquarters with a new visitor, administrative and exhibition centre under construction in the immediate proximity to the company’s historic headquarters, which will transform it into a high-tech location. At the same time, an urban planning competition is scheduled for the future use of the former Steinstrasse company premises.

“With its 125 locations and 40,000 employees, HELLA is already globally positioned and this international network will continue its growth,” says HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach.

“The importance of our Lippstadt headquarters as a control centre for the global HELLA network and its respective responsibilities will further increase. So we must also create the space for this to happen.”

The new visitor, administrative and exhibition centre will be constructed as an extension to the HELLA Globe, along the Rixbecker Strasse in Lippstadt. With a total area of 7,000 square metres, the new four storey-building will not only create state-of-the-art working conditions for 300 employees, but will also feature conference and training rooms, as well as an exhibition centre for customers and visitors.

With its new building, which will house mostly company functions and welcome many visitors, HELLA will continue the development and modernisation of its headquarters. The construction of the new centre is scheduled to start in the summer of 2018, with an anticipated opening expected for mid-2019.

The new HELLA building complex will simultaneously close an urban planning gap on one of the most visited streets in Lippstadt, with the current buildings on the Rixbecker Strasse premises giving way to the construction project. The new building will speak the architectural language of the adjacent HELLA Globe, thus building a conceptual bridge to the company’s headquarters, which is steeped in history.

“For Lippstadt, this is an outstanding development. We therefore welcome the planned construction. We are particularly glad that HELLA, our largest employer, is making a firm commitment in favour of its location, while continuing to invest in it. Furthermore, the move away from the former company grounds on the Steinstrasse will free up a prime piece of real estate in the heart of Lippstadt, which we urgently need for our continued urban planning development. We very much need that space,” says Lippstadt Mayor Christof Sommer.

In relation to the construction developments at the HELLA headquarters, planning is also underway for transforming the 50,000 square metres of the company’s former premises into a mixed-use urban neighbourhood, in close collaboration with the city of Lippstadt. Due to its open location in the city centre and the required inclusion into its urban surroundings, an urban planning competition is currently underway. Construction here will probably start from 2020 following the conclusion of the competition, and following the planning and allocation processes.

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IAAF backs FIGIEFA’s calls for swift implementation of the ‘inter-operable in-vehicle telematics platform’

FIGIEFA member IAAF has welcomed the final report of the High Level Group ‘GEAR 2030’, which has set out its analysis of the key trends and challenges that will affect the future of the European automotive industry.

The Gear 2030 Group brought together the European Commission, several EU Member States and representatives from the entire automotive sector, and represented, as stated by Internal Market Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska “the conclusion of a two years journey on the future of the automotive sector”.

FIGIEFA was part of the High Level Group and used its participation to bring in the independent automotive aftermarket perspective.

The Report sets out the analysis conducted by the High Level Group on the current and future situation of the automotive sector in the actual fast changing landscape and makes recommendations for EU policy initiatives.

It also highlights that the automotive sector will face a profound transformation due to changes in digitalisation, automated and connected driving and societal changes. FIGIEFA, together with other European associations, stressed that access to in-vehicle data is crucial for the development of digital innovation.

The Report includes ‘Recommendation 26’ which calls upon the Commission “to assess whether additional sector-specific legislation is needed for access to vehicle data”.

During the final exchange of view, FIGIEFA President Hartmut Röhl referred to the recently published TRL Report , calling upon “the European Commission to proceed to a swift legislative implementation of the interoperable in-vehicle telematics platform. This is the only solution which enables innovative services for Europe’s motoring consumers, and it thereby improves the competitiveness of Europe’s automotive sector as whole”.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “We, along with FIGIEFA, are extremely encouraged by the final report, and we particularly welcome Recommendation 26 that calls for the consideration of extra sector-specific legislation for vehicle data access.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF Chief Executive at the 2016 IAAF Conference

“Direct access to in-vehicle data is pivotal for the future of the aftermarket. The report’s findings, that the existence of a competitive and functioning automotive aftermarket value chain is key to the proper maintenance of the EU’s 284 million vehicles throughout their lives, is a significant step forward.”

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Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket upgraded to autonomous division

Schaeffler AG has announced that its automotive aftermarket business will be upgraded to full divisional status following a prolonged period of growth.

Effective from the 1st January 2018, the Schaeffler Group will comprise of three separate divisions – Automotive OEM, Industrial and the newly-created Automotive Aftermarket (AAM) – which will be run autonomously within Schaeffler from its headquarters in Langen, Germany.

Schaeffler’s Langen HQ

The move has led to the internal appointment of Michael Söding to the Board of Managing Directors, who has been the President of the Automotive Aftermarket business unit since 2009.

As an autonomous division within Schaeffler, AAM will be given more momentum to proceed with necessary improvements and changes faster and more effectively – for the benefit of its customers, including those in the UK.

Schaeffler UK Managing Director, Nigel Morgan, explained why the British AAM organisation will also benefit from this strategic move:

“We will remain an ambitious and reliable partner to the UK Aftermarket, but this improved position within the Schaeffler group will allow us to become more efficient at developing and delivering our fantastic range of LuK, INA, FAG and Ruville repair solutions, all backed-up by the unrivalled levels of service that our customers have come to expect.”

CEO of Schaeffler AG, Klaus Rosenfeld, said: “The decisions taken by our Supervisory Board underline the ambitions we have in shaping the future of Schaeffler Group in an ever-evolving and competitive marketplace.

“These steps will allow us to strengthen our global automotive aftermarket business, simplifying our structures and enabling faster decisions.”

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Philips RacingVision is 2017 Headlamp of the Year

Philips RacingVision headlight bulbs, developed by Lumileds, has been named Auto Express Headlamp Bulb of the Year.

Auto Express is the UK’s best-selling weekly motoring magazine and the only publication in the UK to regularly test automotive upgrade products and accessories. Auto Express is a sister publication of Auto Plus, Auto Bild and other associated national titles.

Richard Armstrong (centre) is presented with Auto Express award for Philips RacingVision by Auto Express’ Graham Hope (L) and Kim Adams (R)

The Auto Express Product Awards presentations were introduced twelve years ago and during that time, Philips bulbs have won Headlamp Bulb of the Year seven times, in addition to being awarded for overall best Car Accessory of the Year.

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Closing date for the IAAF Annual Awards draws closer

Voting for the IAAF’s Annual Awards will close on Friday 10 November 2017, so it is essential members waste no time in casting their vote.  The winners will then be unveiled at the association’s annual Awards Dinner on 7 December.

Nominations have been received for the awards across the different categories and members can have a direct influence on the results as they can vote for their preferred supplier or distributor.

Voting is achieved via the IAAF website: www.IAAF.co.uk. Members simply have to log in, click the link provided and follow the step-by-step guide before choosing the supplier or distributor of their choice (suppliers can only vote for a distributor and distributors can only vote for a supplier).
Suppliers will rate distributors using five criteria ranging from poor to excellent in 10 categories including: How it promotes suppliers’ brands; whether it’s open to and works towards mutual efficiencies and, if it takes time to engage in meetings.

Similarly, distributors will also rate suppliers using the same criteria in categories such as: Range, marketing and cataloguing; its availability performance and also its sales and promotion support.

The 2017 award categories include:

  • CV Supplier of Excellence
  • CV Distributor of Excellence
  • Car Supplier of Excellence
  • Car Distributor of Excellence

Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes, the award ceremony will see close to 600 aftermarket personnel in attendance, with motor factors and suppliers eager to win arguably the most prestigious awards in the industry.

The nominations are:

Car Distributor

  • Autoparts UK
  • Autosupplies Chesterfield
  • Bedale Motor Factors
  • Bromsgrove Motor Factors
  • CES
  • CTS (Carparts Trade Supplies)

Car Suppliers

  • Apec Braking Ltd.
  • BTN Turbo
  • Elta Automotive Ltd.
  • Exol Lubricants
  • Federal Mogul
  • First Line Ltd.
  • G-Logix
  • Lesjofors
  • Mahle Aftermarket
  • Moove Lubricants (Comma)
  • NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd.
  • Remy Automotive
  • Valeo Service UK
  • ZF Aftermarket

CV Distributor

  • Allparts Automotive
  • D B Wilson
  • David Huggett
  • Dingbro
  • F P & S
  • K & S McKenzie

CV Suppliers

  • Automint Ltd.
  • Exol Lubricants
  • Ferdinand Bilstein
  • First Line Ltd.
  • Moove Lubricants
  • Roadlink International
  • Tenneco
  • TMD Friction
  • ZF Aftermarket

All award winners will be announced in the evening, after dinner, at the IAAF Annual Award Ceremony on Thursday 7 December 2017.

If any member experiences any difficulties in accessing the Members Area of the website, they should contact the IAAF Office either by email or by phoning 0121 748 4600.

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Automechanika Birmingham launches new website

Automechanika Birmingham has launched a new website to showcase the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production sector.

The new website hosts dedicated information for professionals from the aftermarket and vehicle production sector, announcing developments for the 2018 event, including a wide-ranging seminar programme covering key industry issues, a newly introduced facilitated meetings programme, improved zones and several networking events for key players of the industry.

‘As the event has established itself as the most important meeting place for the automotive industry, we are delighted to launch a new website which reflects the latest event information for suppliers and senior professionals from the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production sectors. With our plans for the 2018 event creating many more opportunities for both exhibitors and visitors, we recognise that a new website is the best vehicle to deliver information to the industry,’ commented Simon Albert, Event Director.

Automechanika Birmingham takes place from 5-7 June 2018.

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Bill to boost EV charging infrastructure and insure driverless cars

Motorway services and large petrol retailers will be required to install chargepoints for electric cars, under plans announced in the House of Commons on Wednesday, 18 October by transport minister John Hayes.

It aims to increase the access and availability of chargepoints for electric vehicles (EVs), while giving the Government powers to make it compulsory for chargepoints to be installed across the country.

The bill also paves the way for drivers of automated cars to be insured on UK road.

The Government says that automated vehicles have the potential to greatly reduce road traffic accidents.

In 2016, 85.9% of collisions causing injury involved human error, while official research estimates that the market will be worth £50 billion to the UK economy by 2035.

Hayes said: “We want the UK to be the best place in the world to do business and a leading hub for modern transport technology, which is why we are introducing the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill in Parliament and investing more than £1.2 billion in the industry.

“This bill will aid the construction of greater infrastructure to support the growing demand for automated and electric vehicles as we embrace this technology and move into the future.”

Drivers of EVs will be able to easily locate and charge at any chargepoint, using information from sat navs or mobile apps, regardless of the vehicle make or model.

All chargepoints will have to be ‘smart’, meaning they can interact with the grid in order to manage demand for electricity across the country.

Roads minister Jesse Norman said: “Automated and electric vehicles will help improve air quality, cut congestion, boost safety and create thousands of skilled jobs in the UK.

“We have already supported the purchase of 115,000 ultra-low emission cars and there are already more than 11,500 publicly available chargepoints, but the demand continues to grow as more people purchase electric vehicles to cut fuel costs and boost the environment.”

The bill received its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday 23 October.

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Schaeffler and the automotive industry unite for BEN’s annual Hats On 4 Mental Health Day

Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket (UK) was proud to join fellow members of the automotive industry in raising money for the automotive charity, BEN – by wearing hats to work to promote awareness about the growing potential for mental health issues to affect industry colleagues both at work and at home.

Members of staff, based at Schaeffler’s Minworth and Hereford offices, delved into their wardrobes and cupboards to find a hat for the occasion on Friday 13th October, before making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation.

The Schaeffler team at Minworth sporting their hats

Schaeffler’s REPXPERT Twitter page – @REPXPERT_UK – was crammed with photos from the day, including technical trainer, Alistair, who went one step further with the inclusion of an inflatable ghetto blaster, while warehouse administrator, Chelsey, obviously didn’t think wearing one hat was enough, so she wore five!

Schaeffler shared the images with other members of the automotive industry on social media by adding the hashtag #HatsOn4MentalHealth, which was trending on Twitter by Friday afternoon.

BEN exists to provide support to UK automotive industry employees and their families, with the aim of making a positive difference to their lives. Every single one of the 800,000 people working in our industry may one day need the excellent care offered by BEN’s passionate volunteers – so every penny raised is important. Please donate £1 to BEN by texting HATS97 £1 to 70070 or visit www.justgiving.com/BEN

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BMW headquarters raided in collusion inquiry

The European Commission has confirmed that its officials, together with Antitrust investigators, conducted a surprise raid on the headquarters of a car manufacturer in Germany as part of an investigation into possible illegal collusion among German vehicle manufacturers.

European antitrust authorities said in July that they were looking into allegations that Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW conspired to hold down prices of crucial technology, possibly including emissions equipment. The raid, which took place on Monday but did not come to light until Friday, is a sign that the investigation — which has not led to any formal charges — may be intensifying.

Following the raid BMW issued a statement seeking to dispel any implication it was embroiled in the emissions scandal that has badly damaged Volkswagen’s reputation and spread to other carmakers.

“The BMW Group wishes to make clear the distinction between potential violations of antitrust law on the one hand and illegal manipulation of exhaust gas treatment on the other hand,” the company said. “The BMW Group has not been accused of the latter.”

In a related development, Daimler said Friday that it had offered to provide evidence about the suspected conspiracy to antitrust investigators in return for lower penalties. Under its so-called leniency policy, the European Commission can reduce the fines imposed on companies if they volunteer information.

European carmakers are trying to cope with a public backlash against diesel engines, until recently the most popular powertrain option in Europe. Research by Germany and other European governments has revealed that almost all diesel cars produce far more harmful nitrogen oxide emissions in everyday use than in official tests.

German carmakers have for years met routinely to discuss technical standards for components. Such discussions might be illegal if, for example, the manufacturers agreed among themselves to limit competition in certain areas, such as the effectiveness of emissions systems.

The European Commission described the raid, which also involved German antitrust officials, as a preliminary step in the investigation related to Commission concerns that several German car manufacturers may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the German national competition authority.

The Commission has stated that whilst it carries out inspections, this does not mean that the inspected companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself. The Commission respects the rights of defence, in particular the right of companies to be heard, in antitrust proceedings.

The Commission has no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anti-competitive conduct.

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Hauliers will be hit hardest by toxin tax says RHA

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is warning that the London economy risks being damaged by the new Toxin Tax and the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone being imposed by mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

With effect from Monday 23 October, all diesel vehicles registered in 2006 or earlier that enter the central Congestion Charge zone, face paying an additional £10 toxin tax on top of the Congestion and Low Emission Zone charges. These vehicles already pay £200 per day for driving into London’s Low Emission zone – so the RHA, which represents Britain’s hauliers, sees it as just another tax on business in the capital; TFL estimates that around 188,000 HGVs enter London each year, and the fines hauliers will face are very high.

Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said, ‘We fully appreciate Mayor Khan’s vision for a cleaner, healthier London. It’s a City that is justifiably proud of its position as one of the world’s great business centres and tourist attractions. However, to further penalise the industry that is responsible for keeping the shelves of its stores, restaurants and tourist attractions is not the way to do it. It’s wrong to punish the lorry industry that moves the UK Economy.

‘The road freight industry is responsible for the movement of 98% of all the foods we eat and an overwhelming proportion of everything consumed in the UK – yet once again we are the ones getting penalised for doing a crucial and essential job; keeping the economy – especially the economy of London moving.

‘The T-Charge on lorries is a modest tax, but the coming changes the mayor plans for ULEZ in 2019 will be a massive tax burden. It will impose taxes on those operators of lorries just a few years old who simply cannot afford replace nearly new lorries – we will see jobs lost and hauliers put out of business to achieve very modest air quality improvement. It will mean prices consumers have to pay rising at a time of uncertainty over Brexit that’s a threat to the UK economy.’

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