HELLA – 2019 Workshop Calendar Competition

HELLA is looking for workshops that have ‘something special’ to feature in the company’s 2019 “Experts At Work” calendar to celebrate the dedication and commitment that technicians make to the industry globally.

HELLA, a world renowned manufacturer of automotive components and lighting solutions, is giving workshops the opportunity to enter the competition to show what makes their business extraordinary. Whether it is a team of excellent employees, working with exceptional cars or perhaps it’s in the most unusual location – HELLA wants to hear from you!

To enter, workshops simply need to send in a few photos that really showcase their premises or what makes it different, along with a short description of why they have got what it takes to be featured in the calendar.

The winners will receive a range of top quality prizes including an exclusive photo shoot by a professional photographer, as well as the international “Experts At Work” award from HELLA, with their pictures used in the calendar, which will be distributed worldwide. Last, but by no means least, the winners will also receive a fantastic package worth almost £500 for their workshops.

The competition is underway, but closes on 6th November 2017, so don’t delay, apply today! For all the details about this exciting opportunity visit www.facebook.com/hella.deutschland and like the page. Alternatively you can also access www.hella.com/hella-com/index.html

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Voting begins for The IAAF Annual Awards

Voting opens today for the IAAF’s Annual Awards, with winners set to be unveiled at the association’s annual gathering on 7 December.

Nominations have been received for the awards across the different categories and again, members can have a direct influence on the results as they can vote for their preferred supplier or distributor. Voting is now underway, so it is essential members waste no time in casting their vote.

Votes can be made through the IAAF website: www.IAAF.co.uk. Members simply have to log in, click on the “Voting” tab at the top of the homepage and then 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

  • Autosupplies Chesterfield, Chesterfield
  • Bedale Motor Factors, Bedale
  • Bromsgrove Motor Factors, Bromsgrove
  • CES, Chester
  • CTS (Carparts Trade Supplies), South Shields
  • Fast Parts Wales, Newport

Car Suppliers

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

CV Distributor

  • Allparts Automotive, High Wycombe
  • D B Wilson Jr, Glasgow
  • David Huggett, Waltham Cross
  • Dingbro, Aberdeen
  • F P & S, Dereham
  • K & S McKenzie, Carlisle

CV Suppliers

  • Automint Ltd.
  • Exol Lubricants
  • Bilstein Group
  • First Line Ltd.
  • Moove Lubricants
  • Roadlink International
  • Tenneco
  • TMD Friction
  • ZF Services UK

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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Shirley Garage, presented with prizes as part of celebration for 600th Garage on the AutoCare network

Parent Company, GROUPAUTO are thrilled to announce that their garage network, ‘AutoCare’ has reached 600 garages on their network – making them the largest independent garage programme in the UK.

Out of the 600 garages 103 have joined the network in 2017 alone. The 600th Garage to sign up to the AutoCare network was Shirley Garage in Surrey, who joined on the 21st August 2017. Shirley Garage is aligned to GROUPAUTO distributor Discount Car Spares in Leatherhead. To celebrate, the AutoCare team went to visit the garage on Wednesday 14th September.

Shirley Garage – the 600th Autocare network garage member

The garage was presented by Garage Network Manager, Maria McCullough and their Business Development Manager, Stacey Eade, with some Love2shop vouchers and branded workwear for the technicians at Shirley Garage. Matt Rivett, Managing Director of Shirley garage was pleased with the celebration as it was unexpected. He said: “I’m was very impressed with the AutoCare programme presentation by Business Development Manager, Stacey Eade. I particularly liked the training and technical support that the AutoCare network offers the garages. I am really looking forward to being a part of the AutoCare programme for the long-term, and being the 600th garage on the network is a bonus.”

Matt said he has been at the garage now for just over three years so the training element is very important to him and his staff. The business was previously owned by his father in law and he has now taken over the reins. They have been a customer of DCS Motor Factor for a while now and always receive a good efficient service from them.

As part of the celebration we spoke to a couple of AutoCare Garages who kindly provided us with general feedback as to some of their reasons why they signed up to AutoCare.

From the communication we had with the garages, the training is a huge selling point for AutoCare, especially since the addition of the MOT training to the network. The garages like the fact that AutoCare have an annual set subscription fee with no hidden extras.

They also enjoy the AutoCare regional meetings where they get their chance to provide feedback and an opportunity to see presentations, from the guest speakers that are invited along to present on relevant industry issues. Furthermore, feedback suggested that they love the annual conference with numbers increasing year on year. The garages also appreciate the opportunities given to them, as well as the increase in leads that are coming from Approved Garages, the dedicated website specifically aimed at lead generation.

Maria McCullough, AutoCare garage network Manager said: “I am extremely proud of the fact that we have reached 600 garages; 12 years ago, when I launched the programme and we first started to visit garages to present the programme, it was extremely difficult. At the time, there was a lot of other garage programmes out there, and a lot of negatives about them as they were mainly product related rather than specific garage concepts. Over the years between me and the team of BDM’s we will have visited well in excess of 1,200 garages, and because not many garages sign up after the first visit, that figure will probably reach 2,000 in terms of physical presentations/visits.

That is some number, and it’s extremely pleasing to see that we still have over 70 garages that have been with us since day one; hopefully that is a testament that we are doing something right. I am a big believer in communication and I think that is where we score above other networks, we have the team of 4 ladies in the office and the 6 BDM’s as well as our GROUPAUTO Motor Factor members who regularly speak to and visit the garages to keep them informed of activity in the network.

Finally, I think over the years we have improved on everything and are continuing to add new initiatives to the programme to keep it fresh, having the marketing team and in house digital team has certainly been a massive help and the information and marketing material that we provide is of the highest quality. Big thanks from me to all the AutoCare garage network team as well as the BDM’s and the Marketing Team. We wouldn’t have done it without them and it’s a fantastic achievement.” And of course a big thank you to our garages and our Motor Factor members that help us to continue with the growth of the programme.

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Elcome Announces £¼ Million Pound Investment

In response to the ever-growing need in the automotive aftermarket for precise data, matching part numbers to vehicles, Elcome, the UK-based software company, has seen increased demand for its catalogue management products and data services in the UK, Europe and US.

As a result, Elcome has invested over £¼ Million to provide additional capacity required to meet this business growth. This includes significant investment in both people and infrastructure at its headquarters, located along the M4 corridor in Wroughton, south of Swindon, Wiltshire.

Elcome’s HQ in Wroughton

Tim Entwistle, Elcome’s Managing Director says, “This is an exciting time for Elcome, but our growth has presented real challenges when it comes to providing the necessary capacity to accommodate our ever-expanding customer base”.

Tim adds, “We have recruited numerous people for all aspects of our business, including Data, Development, Sales and Marketing. Many join us with a rich resume in the automotive and IT sectors, but we have also taken on three new Data recruits at an entry level, sharing our expertise and knowledge of the £480 billion global market. The investment is also a necessary part of ensuring that for the longer term we will continue to prosper, delivering solutions essential to our customers and creating high quality jobs in the UK.”

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Lesjöfors acquires new 65,000 sq ft facility

“New UK distribution centre is a strong vote of confidence in our UK business and good news for the UK aftermarket” says MD Robert Glynn

Lesjöfors Springs has acquired and relocated to a brand new purpose-built UK distribution centre at Lindley Moor Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Lesjöfors new UK distribution centre in Huddersfield

Thanks to continued growth in the automotive aftermarket, the UK’s leading spring supplier has moved into a 65,000 sq ft facility, offering almost 50% more storage capacity than its previous premises, with improved transport links to the motorway network and easy access for heavy goods vehicles.

Robert Glynn, Managing Director of Lesjöfors Springs UK, said: “The acquisition of a new, purpose-built facility for Lesjöfors UK is great news for the company, our customers and the UK automotive aftermarket. It underlines our ongoing commitment to developing the business in the coming years, and goes hand in glove with our growing UK manufacturing presence.

“We continue on a ‘journey of improvement’ and this new facility means customers will experience even greater levels of service, backed up by our commitment to help them grow their sales of Lesjöfors products, through continued stock management support and regular promotions.

“The increased space, improved materials handling and warehouse management solutions, position us well to maintain our 99% service rate and to meet whatever demands the market throws at us, whilst allowing us to remain competitive through efficiencies.”

The new unit has been designed and built to Lesjöfors’ exact specification, with potential to extend the warehouse by a further 15,000 sq ft should the need arise.

The new site is exceptionally well-located, right on the motorway network, beside the M62, with a dedicated entrance, providing privacy and security.

Lesjöfors Automotive produces an extensive range of springs for the European car and light commercial vehicle market, manufacturing the world’s largest range of coil springs for the automotive aftermarket. In addition to replacement coil springs, Lesjöfors also supplies market leading ranges of gas, leaf and sport springs.

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Scania fined £770m for price fixing

The European Commission (EC) has fined Scania more than €880 million (£770m) for its participation in a truck cartel.

Scania was the sixth and final manufacturer implicated in the price-fixing scandal, but decided against settling with the EC last year.

The five other truck manufacturers – MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), Iveco and DAF – were collectively fined €2.93bn (£2.57bn) after admitting wrongdoing.

It means the EC has fined the six companies a total of €3.8bn (£3.3bn) – a record fine for a cartel in the EU’s 60-year history.

The EC investigation found that the first meeting between senior managers of all six truck producers took place in Brussels, in January 1997. This was the beginning of a collusion that continued for 14 years.

The truck producers met regularly to manage the cartel. For the first few years of the cartel, this involved senior managers from the companies’ head offices meeting frequently. From 2004 onwards the cartel was organised at a lower level by the truck producers’ subsidiaries in Germany.

Scania was an active member of the cartel and was responsible for organising some of the meetings. For example, one of the invitations for a meeting sent by Scania openly stated their purpose. It read: “An exchange of information should always be the basis of our meeting and therefore I expect from every member of our group a proper preparation.”

“Our group” here really means “our cartel”. A properly organised one.

The discussions between the companies in the cartel focused on two main topics. Firstly, the truck producers discussed the “gross price list” increases they were planning for medium and heavy trucks and coordinated these with each other. These gross list prices are the basis for pricing in the trucks industry. The final price paid by buyers is then based on further adjustments, done at national and local level, to these gross list prices.

Secondly, the truck producers also discussed their response to increasingly strict European emissions standards. These have been progressively tightened over the years, reducing the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions from trucks.

The truck producers coordinated both on the pricing for the new technologies that were needed to meet the stricter standards and on when to actually introduce new technologies.

MAN revealed the cartel, and so received immunity from fines. Volvo/Renault, Daimler and Iveco also cooperated by providing evidence and so had their fines reduced.

These five trucks producers who settled in July last year also had their fines further reduced by 10% under our settlement procedure.

Scania chose not to cooperate with the Commission during the investigation and therefore did not benefit from any fine reduction.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) welcomed the fine the EC has imposed on Scania, but pointed out it does nothing to pay UK hauliers back for the money they’ve spent on overpriced lorries.

The RHA is leading the way in the UK to obtain compensation for the haulage industry and has almost 2,000 operators signed up to its group claim.

Operators interested in finding out more about the RHA’s claim can do so at www.truckcartellegalaction.com.

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Top Technician 2017 winner named – Karl Weaver

Top Technician has crowned Kent-based mechanic Karl Weaver as its 2017 winner, marking him as the Top Technician in the UK automotive industry.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017, Top Technician saw one of the closest-run finals in its history, with Karl, of Bull Lane Garage in Boughton-under-Blean, near Faversham, taking the title by showing superior diagnostic prowess and fault finding skills on a range of cars.

Karl Weaver with his trophy

Shaun Miller of Miller’s Garage in Newbury was named as runner-up.

This year saw almost 1,000 techs take the initial online test, with that number brought down to ten for a practical semi-final and five for the final, where contestants have to show their skills fixing faults placed on vehicles by a team of industry experts. The annual event ends with Top Tech Live,a seminar day held at the Henry Ford Academy, where Karl was announced as winner.

Commenting on his win, Karl said: “I was so surprised to get to the final but never thought I would end up winning the competition. I entered as I am passionate about my job and the industry and always want to expand my knowledge. I was in shock when my name was announced.”

The contest is run byAftermarket Magazine. Editor Alex Wells observed: “Top Technician is a great competition which aims to find the best automotive techs in the UK, and Karl is a fantastic winner, more than worthy of the title. He is certainly one of the best in the country.”

As well as the title and trophy, Karl also received a £1,000 cheque from Aftermarket Magazine, a Verus Edge scanner from Snap-on and a prize bundle of garage equipment from Ring Automotive. Karl also received £500 of training from industry training provider Auto IQ. Pico Automotive Technology gave the choice of a WPS kit, NVH kit, or a voucher equivalent to spend on Pico products.

Runner up Shaun received a £500 cheque from Aftermarket Magazine, a Solus Edge scanner from Snap-on, and a Ring Automotive product prize bundle. Pico Automotive Technology gave the choice of a 30A or 2000A current clamp, sight block kit or a voucher equivalent.

Top Technician 2017 is sponsored by Snap-on and Ring Automotive.

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Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Part 1 of our series on steps all businesses should take in preparation for the GDPR legislation which comes into force in May 2018.

Business should make sure that decision makers and key people in the organisation are aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have and identify areas that could cause compliance problems under the GDPR. A useful to start would be to look the organisation’s risk register, if there is one.

Implementing the GDPR could have significant resource implications, especially for larger and more complex organisations. It may become more difficult to ensure compliance if preparations are left until the last minute.

Information held
Each business should document what personal data is held, where it came from and who it is shared with. It may be necessary to organise an information audit across the organisation or within particular business areas.

The GDPR requires that records of your processing activities be maintained and it updates rights for a networked world. For example, if  inaccurate personal data is held and this has been shared this with another organisation, then the other organisation will have to be notified about the inaccuracy so it can correct its own records. This cannot be done without knowing what personal data is held, where it came from and who it has been shared with. This should all be documented.  Carrying out this excercise will also help with compliance with the GDPR’s accountability principle, which requires organisations to be able to show how they comply with the data protection principles, for example by having effective policies and procedures in place.

Communicating privacy information
Current privacy notices should be reviewed and a plan put in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation.

When personal data is collected, currently people have to be given certain information, such as the identity of the business and how it intends to use the information. This is usually done through a privacy notice. Under the GDPR there are some additional things that will have to be told to people. For example, an explanation of the business’ lawful basis for processing the data, data retention periods and that individuals have a right to
complain to the ICO if they think there is a problem with the way their data is being handled. The GDPR requires the information to be provided in concise, easy to understand and clear language.

The ICO’s Privacy notices code of practice reflects the new requirements of the GDPR.

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Professional Motor Factor Magazine launches brand new website

PMF, the essential business magazine aimed solely at motor factors, has launched its new website, designed to bring market intelligence and regular business updates to trade motor factors.

The website, www.pmfmag.co.uk, provides all the latest industry news, exclusive business and training information from leading aftermarket parts suppliers, as well as comment and analysis on motor trade issues. You can also find the latest parts and product updates along with information surrounding new company campaigns, which could benefit your business.

PMF can be followed on Twitter for all their latest updates @PMFmag.

Coming soon
People will be able to sign up to receive the PMF e-newsletter which will include regular business intelligence straight to their inbox. 

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