Melett Ltd acquired by Wabtec Corporation

Wabtec Corporation has acquired 100% of shares in Melett Limited, a leader in the design, manufacture and supply of high-quality turbochargers and replacement parts to the turbocharger aftermarket.

A complete turbo montage

Melett of Barnsley, England has operations in the UK, Europe, North America and China and is recognised globally as a high-quality supply partner by turbocharger repairers and remanufacturers in more than 100 countries around the world.

Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Melett complements both our overall turbocharger strategy and our product portfolio through its globally recognized brand and comprehensive aftermarket solutions.

“It provides our existing turbocharger business with an extensive and low-cost manufacturing and distribution base in Europe and China. This acquisition represents an excellent strategic fit that expands our aftermarket presence and provides direct access to key international markets.”

Ian Warhurst , owner of Melett will continue as managing director of the company and said: “I am very proud of what we have created at Melett over the past 15 years. The company has been built on strong engineering principles, and a key to Melett’s success has been working closely with our customers and suppliers to understand what the market requires, both now and in the future.

“Becoming a part of the Wabtec Corporation will allow us to take Melett to the next level, and fully exploit opportunities within both new and existing market sectors. Wabtec’s ethos mirrors that of Melett and it will be exciting to explore potential development prospects with our sister companies within the Wabtec Turbocharger business unit.”

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IAAF and FIGIEFA delighted with provisional Type-Approval legislation

The IAAF and FIGIEFA have welcomed the news that crucial provisions on the OBD connector and access to RMI have been included in the proposed EU legislation on Vehicle Type-Approval Regulation, signifying a huge step forward for the aftermarket regarding access to in-vehicle data.

The EU Council’s main preparatory body, COREPER, recognised the need for the independent automotive aftermarket to maintain access to diagnostic and RMI-related data. It also clarified that access will be granted whilst the vehicle is in motion. This is essential to perform diagnostic, repair and maintenance services, at least until a solution is found for telematics access to the ‘connected car’.

However, whilst it has been clarified that the OBD port shall remain open whilst the vehicle is in motion, some vehicle manufacturers have started to introduce new measures, preventing access of independent operators to the OBD port.

FIGIEFA’s aim is to ensure that aftermarket access to in-vehicle data remains possible, with the issue to be swiftly addressed in 2018 by the EU Council.

Concerning the format of RMI information made available to independent repairers, this has often been in an unusable format, hampering the repair process causing significant losses in terms of time and efficiency. The new legislation intends to clarify that RMI and spare parts identification information shall also be provided in a machine readable and electronically processable form.

Aftermarket access to in-vehicle data will increase the competitiveness of automotive servicing and contribute to effective competition, offering motorists freedom of choice in the aftermarket care of their vehicles.

Hartmut Röhl, FIGIEFA president said: “The new vehicle type-approval and its RMI legislation, once approved, will represent a step forward and will have a positive impact for the entire automotive aftermarket and mobility services industries which account for more than 500,000 companies employing more than 4.3 million people across Europe and offering services to 284 million vehicle owners and business operators alike”.

“However, the EU Commission must now find a solution on how to address the telematics access to the ‘connected car’, and we call upon it to start working in 2018 on the interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform.”

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “This is fantastic news, and although not the end game it’s a significant step towards keeping the OBD port alive.

“The missing OBD connector would impact not just on garages but 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 consumers who would no longer have a competitive choice in vehicle servicing and repair. This positive step marks the next stage in our fight and we’ll keep lobbying until we successfully reach that end game.”

The agreement will now need to be approved by the EP IMCO Committee before it is submitted for approval. If approved by the European Parliament, the new regulation will come into play from 1 September 2020.

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DVSA warning to AdBlue emissions cheats

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has issued a warning to commercial fleets after roadside checks uncovered “very high” levels of use of emissions-cheating devices that disable AdBlue systems.

A pilot scheme of emissions checks found drivers were routinely bypassing their AdBlue systems, which are designed to drastically cut pollution levels for harmful emissions such as nitrous oxide.

The DVSA is warning lorry fleets that any evidence of emissions cheating on a tested vehicle will prompt a full inspection of the rest of a company’s fleet.

Already, a number of inquiries are planned into fleets that have been investigated.

In one example, an investigation prompted by a roadside check on a single vehicle revealed the company’s entire lorry fleet had been tampered with.

So-called modular devices are widely available to buy, but fitting them is illegal. DVSA is warning companies not to fit them or remove them immediately if they have been installed.

The DVSA also said there were cases of Euro VI engine management systems being remapped to bypass the AdBlue system.

The DVSA’s Del Evans told delegates at a Freight Transport Association’s Transport Manager conference: “It is disappointing to find really high levels of non-compliance, particularly with fitting AdBlue modulator devices, thereby bypassing the system.

“This is fraud and if you have these devices on your vehicles, you need to take them off, because I am sure the Traffic Commissioner is going to take an extremely dim view of this.

“This is a deliberate act and with all the focus on clean air legislation, it is a political hot potato and you don’t want to be caught up in it.”

He added that there may be financial reasons for vehicle operators to consider cheating. For example, if an emission control system was unreliable, it could cost £3,000 to fix, whereas a defeat device can be sourced for just £50.

But Evans cautioned: “This is the same as fitting a switch to bypass your tachograph. The first batch of operators will be facing a public inquiry soon.”

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Fakenham resident, Graham Goodberry gets an early Christmas present for taking his car to his local garage – B C & R Car & Van Centre Ltd!

A very lucky AutoCare customer will be swapping his old car for a brand-new Citroën C3.

Fakenham resident, Graham Goodberry booked his car in at B C & R Car & Van Centre and he was the first out of the draw in the AutoCare Big Winter Giveaway; a prize-draw open to anyone who has taken their vehicle to an AutoCare garage between 1st October and 30th November for an MOT, Service or Repair.

He collected his brand-new Citroën C3 from his local AutoCare garage B C & R Car & Van Centre Ltd in Fakenham, after he was drawn from over 19,288 entries to win the top prize in AutoCare’s Big Winter Giveaway.

Graham and his wife Doreen have been taking their cars to B C & R Car & Van Centre Ltd for years. Hayley from the garage was particularly happy that one of their most loyal customers had won the car; she said, “We always get behind the AutoCare giveaways, as we are located in a very rural part of Norfolk we make sure everyone who visits the garage knows that they have the chance to win a prize. To help them we offer to enter on their behalf and hand them a leaflet to take away with them, this helped us get over 214 entries in the winter giveaway!”

Graham visited B C & R Car & Van Centre for a service on 30th November and was persuaded by the garage to enter online which he did just online just hours before the competition closed, he said, “We have never won anything, you always hear about other people winning, but you never think it will be you. My wife and I are so happy to have won and so grateful to the garage for telling us about the competition.”

Steve Johnson from B C & R Car & Van Centre’s parts distributor A.T. Johnson was at the car handover with Maria McCullough, AutoCare Garage Networks Manager, he added, “We are very pleased for both Mr & Mrs Goodberry and the garage. B C & R Car & Van Centre are a very good customer of ours, and fully embrace the AutoCare proframme.

19,288 motorists entered the competition online after having a service, MOT or repair carried out at one of the 631 garages on the AutoCare network. No other garage network in the UK gives their garages the opportunity to offer their customers the chance to win a brand-new car.

Maria McCullough, also said: “These fantastic promotions that AutoCare run twice a year for all of their garages are a sound way to bring new business to the garages on the network and to give existing customers another reason to keep coming back. I’m pleased to hear a loyal AutoCare customer won the car, but raising awareness about the quality of AutoCare garages amongst new customers is also what we achieve with this promotion. It’s phenomenal how this promotion is growing each year – over 19,000 motorists entered the Big Winter Giveaway which generated more than £2.8m for the network of garages.

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Weeks appointed NBRA Director

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) has appointed Chris Weeks as director of the National Body Repairers Association (NBRA) and the Vehicle Builders Repairers Association (VBRA).

Chris brings 24 years of industry experience to the organisations, and will continue to develop the NBRA brand and further expand the influence of the associations in the sector.

Peter Johnson, RMI chairman said, ‘We are delighted to have someone with Chris Weeks industry experience and background joining the RMI to head the two body repairers associations.’

Chris Weeks added, ‘The UK vehicle body repair sector has some immediate challenges and is in the midst of a period where technology will transform vehicles. Going forward it is vital that we have one influential voice in the industry to ensure our members’ interests and businesses are strongly represented.’

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Midwest donates to local homeless charity

West Midlands based automotive parts distributor, Midwest Motor Factors, has donated much-needed funds to the Good Shepherd Ministry, a local charity that assists the homeless and others in need in Wolverhampton.

Midwest donated £250 to the ministry in memory of popular Bilston Town F.C chairman and community champion Graham Hodson, who died earlier this year.

Simon Hodgkins and Tim Gill from Midwest Motor Factors presenting their £250 donation to Br. Stephen of the Good Shepherd Ministry

It was set up in 1972 by the Roman Catholic religious order, The Brothers of Saint John of God.  The order oversees projects all over the world to help the poor and disadvantaged, including, since 2003, one at Wolverhampton’s Methodist Centre. The money raised helps provide food and support.

Receiving the cheque on behalf of the Good Shepherd Ministry, Brother Stephen said: “We are incredibly grateful to Midwest Motor Factors for their donation. It is companies like Midwest that make it possible for us to continue providing a vital community service, and without such generosity we wouldn’t be able to provide support to those who really need it.”

Craig McCracken, Midwest Motor Factors group factor manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our support to the Good Shepherd Ministry in Graham’s memory, not only such a worthy cause but a special way to honour his memory. As a regional-based business, we are very much invested in the local community, shown through our various sports sponsorships involving Bilston Town F.C, British Speedway team Wolverhampton Wolves and Walsall F.C.”

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New IAAF member AS-PL achieves half a million views within 24 hours

The AS-PL “ALTER-nator Love Story” movie had over a half million views in 24 hours on Facebook and achieved a million views after 2 days of its premiere on social media.

The movie, in a humorous way, presents an unusual story of sentimental love for the car. This is an emotive and funny story, and the hero’s peripeteia are intertwined with flashbacks from the 90s. In addition, the masterful cast guarantees the viewers a high dose of good energy and humour. The company didn’t anticipate that the movie would enjoy such popularity – the nearly 10,000 likes and more than 6,000 shares obtained exceeded their expectations – says Robert Snider – head of the Marketing, Communication and PR department at AS-PL Ltd., which is based in Gdansk.

The Management of AS-PL gave the producers of the movie a free hand in its creation and they decided to make an advertising film focusing the viewer’s attention on emotions instead of the product (alternator). In the case of the AS brand, known primarily in the Automotive Aftermarket, but less well-known to the general public, the idea for the film was a bit risky, but this approach paid off. Thanks to the bold approach of the company and the confidence that is built at the “production studio-client” level, they achieved a spectacular effect. For years, viewers have been bombarded with advertisements containing just simple, direct messages, with no depth behind them is the view of Mayo Kucharski, script writer and director of Wytwórnia Filmów Kalina in Gdansk, Poland. It’s not surprising that at the moment when something more appears, the viewer spontaneously empathises with the brand, despite the fact that it is an advertisement, and thus also for the product, he added.

To view the video on Facebook CLICK HERE and to see it on YouTube CLICK HERE.

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Automechanika Birmingham 2018 – Latest News

Automechanika Birmingham 2018 is shaping up to be another fantastic event, with over 500 exhibiting companies planned.

Save the date – Exhibitor Day – free to attend – 1st March 2018, 9.30-1pm
Join fellow exhibitors on this day at the NEC so that:

  • You’ll be the first to hear about the new exhibitor competition – a chance to get hugely discounted rates on 2019 stands
  • You’ll hear from a guest speaker offering valuable insight on how to get ROI out of the event
  • You’ll benefit from exclusive on the day discounts on items such as furniture packages, scanners and catering.
  • You’ll  meet the trade press and can set up any editorial in the Event Previews
  • You’ll network amongst other exhibitors, including a free lunch on us!

To reserve your space, CLICK HERE and give details of the name and email addresses of those that would like to attend.

The top two reasons for visitors attending Automechanika are to find new products and suppliers and to network amongst peers.  Over 12,000 professionals are expected to attend Automechanika Birmingham in 2018 and, we are introducing more new initiatives than ever before.

Automechanika Birmingham has already confirmed over 350 exhibiting companies, click here to view the latest LIVE floorplan.

What’s NEW?

  • The Workshop Quarter – attracting more garages to Automechanika Birmingham
  • Retail Accessories Village – dedicated area for focussed retailer product search• Aftermarket VIP reception – THE Automechanika Birmingham event for VIPs of the UK aftermarket
  • Facilitated meetings – meet decision makers from the UK, matched to your capabilities.

Confirmed exhibitors include Snapon, Milwaukee, HELLA, Delphi, MANN+ HUMMEL, Texa, Bosch, Draper Tools, Gates, Liqui Moly, Total, Dura, JHM Butt, Magal Engineering, SLM, TR Fastenings, Coba Plastics, Igus and Group Auto.

Stands are running out!  If you would like to find out more about exhibiting please visit our website, contact us at [email protected] or call 01483 483984.

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Vehicle Safety Recalls: November 2017

These are the vehicles, parts or accessories recalled by manufacturers for a safety reason during November 2017.

You can check for vehicle, part or accessory recalls or find out more about vehicle recalls and faults by CLICKING HERE.

DVSA ref no Make & model Issue
R/2017/232 Mercedes-Benz: Sprinter, Vito Vehicle control unit may not have been correctly updated
R/2017/251 Toyota: Land Cruiser, Lexus IS200 Driver and/or front passenger airbag may fail to deploy as intended
R/2017/266 Mercedes-Benz: Econic 956 Electronic braking system parameters may be incorrect affecting brake performance and vehicle stability
R/2017/275 Mitsubishi: Shogun Propellant in the driver and passenger side airbag inflators may have deteriorated
R/2017/280 Kia: Sorento Rubber diesel fuel feed pipe may harden or crack
R/2017/283 Fiat: Ducato EGR pipe could fracture due to a potential non-conformity
R/2017/284 TESLA: Model X Seat may not correctly latch
R/2017/285 DAF: LF, CF, XF Propeller shaft may detach which may cause loss of drive
R/2017/286 Toyota: CH-R, Prius Invertor capacitor may not be secure and may be damaged by normal vehicle use which may affect speed and energy usage.
R/2017/287 MAN Truck: TGS, TGX Steering may become restricted
R/2017/292 Porsche: Cayenne Vehicle may not meet required safety standards
R/2017/294 VW: Passat, Arteon, Golf Rear wheel bearing housings may be incorrectly manufactured and could fail prematurely
R/2017/295 Nissan: Qashqai Rear right wheel arch protector may deform and rub against and damage brake hose
R/2017/300 Citroen: DS3 Suspension and steering fixings may not be tightened to the correct torque
R/2017/302 Peugeot: 208 Suspension and steering fixings may not be tightened to the correct torque
R/2017/303 Volvo Bus: B5LH, B5LH(3), B5TL(3) & B8RLE(3) Loss of power assistance to steering
R/2017/304 SEAT: Ateca Rear wheel bearing housings may fail
R/2017/306 Citroen: C Zero A fault in an internal component could affect deployment of the passenger airbag
R/2017/307 Peugeot: iON A fault in an internal component could affect deployment of the passenger airbag
R/2017/308 Scania: P, G, R & S Series Deviation in Engine Control Unit software which may affect power and emissions output

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O-licence exemption on alternatively fuelled vehicles to increase to 4.25 tonnes

Fleets will be able to run alternatively fuelled vans up to 4.25 tonnes GVW without needing an operator licence following a Department for Transport

Currently, organisations can run vans up to 3.5 tonnes GVW without needing an O-licence, but campaigners felt this affected the appeal of alternatively fuelled vehicles as they have heavier powertrains than their diesel counterparts.

More than 90% of respondents backed the change to 4.25 tonnes GVW, and the Government today announced this exemption will become law.

A further change is that electrical goods vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes, except those first registered before March 1, 2015, will no longer be exempt from MOT tests.

Jesse Norman, parliamentary under secretary of state for roads, local transport and devolution, said: “We consulted on removing the blanket exemption for all electrically-powered goods vehicles, but retaining a limited exemption for alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes.

“We have decided to proceed with those plans in order to help incentivise the use of cleaner fuel vans, while avoiding the regulatory ‘payload penalty’
associated with heavier powertrains (including battery weights).

“Alongside this change, we are also taking the common-sense step of bringing electric vans under normal roadworthiness testing rules.

“We intend to bring forward amending legislation to put these decisions into effect.”

The consultation into electrically-propelled vehicles attracted 15 respondents, including operators of such vehicles, trade bodies and public bodies.

Seven respondents either agreed in full with the proposal or had no objections to it.

Seven other respondents broadly agreed with the proposal to remove the blanket exemption but to retain a limited exemption for alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes.

However, they disagreed that this exemption should be limited to own-account haulage only, preferring that it also be applied to hire or reward operations.

One respondent disagreed entirely on the grounds of safety and security concerns.

The reasons submitted for preferring the limited exemption to apply to hire or reward haulage included:

  • The vast majority of new vans are used for hire or reward haulage
  • The need to obtain an operator’s licence and the costs associated with this, especially around financial standing and operating centres, would discourage many hire or reward firms from taking up clean vans.
  • Larger companies may already hold operator’s licences but the bases out of which they may wish to operate clean vans are not necessarily already operating bases.
  • A differential approach between hire or reward and own-account haulage would disadvantage certain commercial models and competition.

The report said: “Having listened to stakeholder feedback, we have decided to:

  1. remove the current exemption for all electrically-propelled vehicles, except for those first registered before March 1, 2015; and
  2. to introduce a new exemption for alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes, that are not used internationally.”

This new exemption will apply to both hire or reward and own-account haulage operations.

The report added this exemption “is without prejudice to the Government decision on the proposed driving licence derogation for alternatively-fuelled vans up to 4.25 tonnes, which will be issued separately in due course”.

The policy changes will be implemented through amendments to the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995, the Motor Vehicles (Test) Regulations 1981, and through the administrative issuance by the Vehicle Certification Agency of vehicle Special Orders.

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