Autoelectro’s Nick Hood to strengthen customer relations by delivering monthly column straight into their inbox

Autoelectro’s UK Sales Manager, Nick Hood, will be putting pen-to-paper throughout 2018, as he shares his automotive aftermarket experiences with the remanufacturer’s customers.

In a monthly column, dubbed ‘Nick Says’, he will write an open letter to Autolectro’s customer network of motor factors and technicians, where he will give his views about industry hot topics, as well as inform readers by highlighting key developments from within the four walls of the company’s remanufacturing facility in Bradford.

Autolectro’s Nick Hood

During his first column, Nick asked: “What’s the real price of old core?”

He also took a trip down memory lane, as he revisited some crucial moments throughout 2017, illustrated some key range introductions and how Autoelectro has embraced new technologies. He also revealed his thoughts about what he and the automotive aftermarket can expect throughout the next 12 months.

Nick said it was “vitally important” that Autoelectro forged even closer and stronger ties with its customers, to ensure they’re fully-up-to-speed with, not just Autoelectro news, but essential and current industry talking points.

If readers have any questions that they would like to ask Nick, they are encouraged to send them to him directly – at [email protected] with ‘Nick Says’ in the subject header – and he will choose the best of them to answer in forthcoming columns, which will be delivered straight to their inbox.

For those already signed-up, they don’t need to do anything; however, those not registered but are interested in receiving this free monthly supplement can do so by, once again, e-mailing [email protected].

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Business Development Manager joins the growing Elcome team

Elcome is pleased to announce and welcome Andy Smith, who has joined the Business Development team, supporting the company’s continued growth. Andy will be responsible for maintaining close working relationships with Elcome’s existing UK and international customer base.

Andy Smith, the new BDM at Elcome

Having accumulated 30 years’ experience in the industry, from both dealerships and the aftermarket within the car, van and HGV sectors, Andy joins Elcome from GSF Car Parts, Birmingham, one of the UK’s leading distributors of replacement car parts. Whilst there he was responsible for the complete product lifecycle management of various product groups and providing a market leading programme. He has also run his own garage and held various business development and product management roles with Comline, HTC and Euro Car Parts, bringing a wealth of experience in parts, cataloguing and application data.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Elcome team. For the most part, my career has been spent in the aftermarket industry and I look forward to continuing that tradition by providing ‘best in class’ solutions to Elcome’s current and future customers”.

Tim Entwistle, Elcome’s Managing Director, states “We are delighted to welcome Andy to our team. He brings an understanding of both cataloguing and customer relationship quality that will be an asset to the company”.

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Preparing for GDPR – consent must not be hidden in terms and conditions

In the previous article produced by our colleagues at Lawgistics looking at the steps to take when preparing for GDPR, the topic dealt with related to the data audit. If as part of that audit a decision was taken that the business would rely on consent as the legal basis for processing personal data, the business must be certain that it meets the high standards contained in the GDPR.

If the business has collected names and email addresses over the years by having a checkbox on sales invoices requiring customers to tick if they do not want to be included in an emailing list, it is almost certain that this will be a breach of the GDPR. Why? Because the criteria for consent has changed.

This type of checkbox asks people to opt in rather than to opt out. The difference is subtle but the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) will want to see that people were very clear on how their information would be used and that the business has given them a well-defined and genuine choice.

The consent must not be hidden within the businesses terms and conditions. It should be separate and clear.

It is not permissible to have a tick already in a box on an online field which requires a person to untick to remove consent. There must be what the ICO calls a positive opt-in.

A company cannot demand or assume consent. For example, it is not possible to assume that the person consented to receiving details of a special offer simply because they previously made a purchase from the business and they submitted their details for the invoice. Keeping the personal data on the invoice is allowable as it is required for the contract and for fulfilment of the legal obligation to keep proper tax records etc, but this does not mean that the same data can be used for marketing purposes. No clear consent to receiving marketing = no marketing.

The ICO says consent must be specific and granular. This means, for example, a business cannot rely on consent to all marketing, just because the customer has consented their details being sent to one specific third party. It must be made clear to the customer, exactly what will happen to their data. There is no one size fits all consent.

If the customer’s details are to be sent to a third party, This third party must be named. A customer must be aware of where their information is to be sent.

If asked, the business will need to be able to prove to the ICO that consent has been given and thus it is necessary for the business to ensure that it’s record keeping is in good order. It will need records of who consented, what exactly they consented to, the date of consent and how the customer consented.

In addition to all the above, the customer must be advised that they can withdraw consent at any time and informed on how this can be done.

In summary, if a business relies on consent which will most usually be for marketing purposes, it must ensure records are sufficient to prove to the ICO that the customer clearly understood the nature of the consent. By following these steps a business can avoid a fine.

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Audi ordered by Germany’s KBA motor transport authority to recall 127,000 cars and VW in Canada reach settlement deal

A report in Bild am Sonntag says that Germany’s KBA motor transport authority has ordered Audi to recall 127,000 vehicles (77,600 of them in Germany) after illicit emission-control software was detected in the manufacturers latest Euro 6 diesel models.

The recall involves A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8 sedans and Q5 and Q7 SUVs, the German transport ministry told the DPA news agency, confirming a report in Bild am Sonntag.

The KBA has found that the affected cars’ engine management systems turn off emissions-reducing measures in real-world traffic while allowing them to work on a test bench, the paper said

The KBA is threatening to withdraw type approval for the latest generation of Audi’s A8 range-topping sedan, Bild am Sonntag said.

Audi said the models had been included in a voluntary recall of 850,000 diesel vehicles with V-6 and V-8 TDI engines announced in July.

“The engine control software for the vehicles in question will be completely revised, tested and submitted to the KBA for approval,” Audi said in a statement.

Audi said it has been examining its diesel cars for potential irregularities for months in close cooperation with the KBA.

“As part of this systematic and detailed assessment, the KBA has now also issued a notice regarding Audi models with V-6 TDI engines,” it said.

In November, Audi announced a recall of 5,000 cars in Europe for a software fix after discovering they emitted too much nitrogen oxide.

Last month, Audi dissolved the task force it set up to investigate how many of its diesel cars have manipulated software.

In a separate deal in Canada said to be worth $290 million, Canadian settlement class members and U.S. customers with eligible Volkswagen and Audi vehicles originally sold or leased in Canada can submit claims for benefits under the Settlement Program.  The company has set up an online portal where vehicle owners can register their claims.

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DuoCall offer disaster recovery solution

IAAF service member DuoCall have recently highlighted the fact that 70% of businesses that suffer a major data loss are out of business within 18 months.

This is a scary but serious thought. Making back-ups of files is an essential element of data management and and more often than not it can get overlooked.

Regular backups protect a business against accidental or malicious data loss. Without disaster recovery in place, how would your business react to the loss of important and sensitive data?

To download DuoCall’s free guide to Cloud Backup CLICK HERE.

DuoCall can provide businesses of all sizes with the piece of mind that their data is always available and secure.

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Get MOT reminders

The DVSA has now launched its new service where vehicle owners can sign up to get free reminders by text message or email when the vehicle’s MOT is due.

A reminder will be sent one month before the MOT is due and then another if the vehicle still has not been tested 2 weeks before the MOT is due.

There is a fine of up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

In order to complete the online registration service, vehicles owners need the following information:

the vehicle’s number plate (registration number)
a mobile phone number or email address

Vehicle owners will have to unsubscribe to stop getting reminders for a vehicle if it has been:

  • sold
  • transferred to someone else
  • scrapped or written-off
  • registered as off the road

To unsubscribe from text reminders there will be the cost of a standard text message.

To register for the new service CLICK HERE.

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Truck Parts Distributors in Europe 2017 – New report from wolk

German after sales experts, wolk, have launched their latest update of their multi-client report regarding the independent truck aftermarket.German after sales experts, wolk, have launched their latest update of their multi-client report regarding the independent truck aftermarket.

With 359 company profiles, the profile manual “Truck Parts Distributors in Europe 2017” provides a comprehensive overview of the largest and most important truck parts wholesalers in the independent truck aftermarket in Europe.

The handbook consists of a ranking of the top 20 truck parts wholesalers, an overview of international wholesalers, workshop systems specialized in commercial vehicles and 35 country reports.

The first chapter presents and compares the international truck parts wholesalers (countries supplied, number of branches, purchasing co-operation, and head office).

In another chapter, there is a brief analysis of major international purchasing cooperation.

In the country reports, the most important truck parts wholesalers are presented in detailed company profiles.

SIZE: 303 pages
PRICE: 1.250,- EUR

Order online

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Government should introduce dynamic road-user pricing, says ACE report

The Government should introduce dynamic road-user pricing which takes into account a driver’s journey, the time of day, congestion on the network, and even their financial situation, suggests a new report released on 24 January.

Funding Roads for the Future, released by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), says that the existing model based on raising funds through fuel duty, vehicle excise duty, and the HGV levy is failing in the face of new technology and changing social trends, such as zero-emission vehicles, ride sharing, and increased urbanisation.

It urges short-term reforms to the existing road taxation system, pushing it towards the longer-term aim of dynamic road user pricing.

The ACE report comes after the Government launched a consultation on reforming the current heavy goods vehicle (HGV) levy, which is used to pay for wear and tear on the roads. Lorries could be charged under a new pay-per-mile regime to cover the cost of damage to the road network.

The report can be downloaded from ACE’s website.

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Save the dates – IAAF announces 2018 golf events

The IAAF  has released the dates for its two 2018 golf events, with a new venue for the Midlands event.

The IAAF is returning once more to Worsley Park near Manchester for the Northern event on 10th July 2018 but has found a new venue for the Midlands event on 15th August at The Abbey Hotel & Golf Course near Redditch.

Members of the winning Midwest team receiving their trophy from Johnny Herbert and IAAF President Lawrence Bleasdale

Further information will be released with a booking form in due course.  The two days will follow the same format as in previous years, with a bacon roll for competitors at the start of the day, then 18 holes of golf and ending with an informal dinner.  As usual there will be trophies for the winners and runners-up at each venue and the team with the overall highest course will be invited to attend the IAAF’s Annual Awards Dinner in December.

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SMPE secures agreement to supply iconic Lucas brand

Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE), one of the UK’s largest independently owned automotive parts manufacturers and suppliers, has secured the rights to supply its engine management programme under the iconic Lucas brand.

Under the new licence agreement, SMPE will export the Lucas brand programme to develop and grow sales in Europe, outside of UK and Eire. The Lucas brand will also reach the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Russia.

SMPE’s Head Office and Engineering Facility

The new-look Lucas product line-up will feature key engine management ranges including ignition coils, cam/crank sensors, air mass meters, lead sets, coolant temp sensors and oil pressure switches, engineered by SMPE in the UK.

From its East Midlands home, SMPE has successfully established a thriving export business and so the addition of the Lucas brand, built on an impressive heritage of over 140 years in the automotive industry, will fully complement its strategy of widening its reach on a global scale.

SMPE were also the principal suppliers of Lucas branded engine management during the 1990s, which included caps, rotor arms, contact sets and condensers.

Richard Morley, SMPE Commercial Director, said: “We have some very ambitious plans to grow the Lucas brand and significantly increase its global reach. With 50 years expertise in developing, producing and supplying high quality products and brands to international markets, SMPE is the perfect partner to develop the Lucas brand for many years to come.

“It is also a reflection of our confidence in – and commitment to – the independent automotive aftermarket. It means we can further boost our product engineering and stay ahead of the market with a truly world-class proposition to customers.”

The OE matching quality parts supplier will also be working closely with other Lucas licence holders of complementary product programmes.

In 2018, SMPE is celebrating 50 years in business. The company offers one of the strongest OE matching quality European aftermarket engine management programmes available, through its commitment to quality and performance, underpinned by its ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.

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