IAAF Golf 2018 – Book now

2018 will see the eighth year of the IAAF Golf Team Challenge and it has proved to be an excellent way for those in the aftermarket to network at a social level and to raise money for the industry charity, BEN.

This year’s two events are at Worsley Park near Manchester and a new venue for the Midlands at The Abbey Hotel & Golf Course near Redditch.  Companies can enter for either or both venues.

As with 2017,  we will once more be accepting entries from teams of four at a cost of £350 per team (plus VAT) and from individuals at a cost of £90 each (plus VAT).  Individuals will be put into teams by our event organiser, Joe Richardson, who has once again kindly agree to co-ordinate these events on behalf of the IAAF.

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

The overall winning team from across the two days’ play will be invited to the IAAF’s Annual Dinner in December where they will be presented with their trophy.

The venues and dates are as follows:
North        10th July             Worsley Park, Nr. Manchester
Midlands 15th August      The Abbey Hotel, Nr. Redditch

 

The cost  includes:

  • Bacon Sandwich and Coffee/Tea on arrival
  • 18 Holes of golf
  • Evening meal served after golf
  • Presentation of prizes to the winners on the day

    The Company Team Challenge will be a four ball format whereby the best two scores on each hole will score and on par three holes all four scores will count. The overall winning team across the two days’ play will be invited to the IAAF’s Annual Dinner in December and will be presented with their prizes.

    Various sponsorship opportunities are available; these are:

  • Longest Drive £100 + cost of trophy (c. £50)
  • Nearest the Pin £100 + cost of trophy (c. £50)
  • Golf Ball and Tee Sponsor £100 + cost of golf balls and tees
  • Light Refreshment Sponsor £100

If you need any further information about these events, please contact either Joe Richardson on 07831 855829 or the IAAF Office.

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Automechanika Birmingham wins ‘Best Trade Show’ at Industry Awards

Automechanika Birmingham has won two industry awards for the hugely successful second edition of the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production industry.

The Automechanika Birmingham team proudly took to the stage to collect two awards on Friday 23rd March for Best Trade Show and the Best Independent Organiser in 2017 at the prestigious Exhibition News Awards.

The 2017 exhibition sold a staggering 5,000 square metres before the 2016 exhibition had even taken place and achieved a 45% increase in the number of exhibitors overall. The exhibition welcomed over 12,000 visitors through the doors to see over 800 exhibitors from the aftermarket and vehicle production sector.

Simon Albert, Event Director said “Now in our third year of Automechanika Birmingham, the team and I are grateful for the support of our exhibitors, visitors, partners in helping to making the industry’s event a huge success. We are now only 10 weeks away from the 2018 event – we have introduced a raft of new initiatives to suit the entire automotive industry. New elements include a dedicated hall for garage businesses as well as areas for retailers and free business advice, a meeting’s programme to encourage business conversations on exhibitor stands, new live demonstrations and free training from the experts! We look forward to welcoming everyone from 5-7 June 2018 at the NEC”

The two awards follow a further four accolades that the team at Automechanika Birmingham have achieved across the previous two years.
Visitors can register free at www.automechanika-birmingham.com

 

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TecAlliance – improving suppliers’ data security

As a result of a long-term agreement signed between TecAlliance and MAM Software, TecDoc’s official data suppliers can simplify the data conversion process into MAM format, confident in the knowledge that it will be carried out efficiently and with the necessary precision.

TecDoc is the world’s leading electronic parts catalogue and identification system, which is why ensuring the quality of data remains at the highest level and is essential for all TecDoc data suppliers, as well as TecAlliance stakeholders. However, pre-agreement, maintaining this standard when converting TecDoc data into other formats, such as MAM for the UK market, had historically caused difficulties.

Shaun Greasley

“This has been a challenging project undertaken at the request of a number of TecAlliance suppliers that need to make their standardised data available to MAM for the UK market,” explains Shaun Greasley, commercial director for TecAlliance UK & Ireland.

“Our suppliers’ data is a precious resource and data processing is a complicated activity. Inaccuracies or mistakes affect their credibility and are potentially costly. However, by coming to an agreement with MAM Software, the two parties responsible for their respective datasets, have made it possible for suppliers to find a safe third-party solution, should they not have the internal resource to undertake the process in-house.

“The solution covers passenger car and light commercial vehicle applications for the UK and Ireland, and the procedure allows the reliable manipulation of our TecDoc data into the format necessary for the MAM platform. This arrangement ensures a smooth conversion process and improves accuracy to the mutual benefit of all parties.”

“We are delighted to announce this agreement, which will allow us to offer simplified data maintenance programmes to the many component suppliers who submit information to both catalogues. We have already performed conversions for a number of high profile suppliers, and the results are extremely positive,” said Nigel Clemett, general manager at MAM Software.

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PSA Group will cut ‘more than 100’ of Vauxhalls 324 UK retail sites

PSA Group plans to cull more than 100 of Vauxhall’s 324 UK retail locations within the next 12 months, threatening more than 3,800 motor retail jobs, according to Automotive Management.

The manufacturer, which recently announced that it was seeking to cut 650 jobs at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, is trying to increase profitability amid falling demand for Vauxhalls.

The news that PSA Group ‘plans to cut one in three Vauxhall retail sites’ broke on Automotive Management’s website.

Franchisees said they would be forced to make sales, workshop and administrative staff redundant as part of the cull. Based on the AM100 average of 38 staff members per retail outlet, that amounts to more than 3,800 jobs at risk.

“PSA Group has already implemented savage cuts in its manufacturing operations and it looks like that is set to continue in retail. A third of dealerships will go,” said one operator of multiple Vauxhall sites.

The dealer, who asked to remain anonymous, added: “This is action that the brand needs to take quickly to maintain profitability in the network. It will happen within the next 12 months.”

Vauxhall told AM that any reductions in its retail network – currently made up of 324 car sales sites and a further 53 authorised repairers, with 96 sites selling commercial vehicles – would be “part of the normal business cycle”, before insisting that “none are related to the acquisition”.

The statement added: “The Opel/Vauxhall PACE! plan is improving the efficiency of the business in all areas.

“Within the plan, the go-to-market strategy is being carefully reviewed, including the contractual framework with dealers. We have no further comment to make at this stage.”

PSA Group brands suffered stinging volume declines last year, with the SMMT reporting a 16.55% decline in Peugeot sales, a 23.26% decline in Citroën and DS (combined), and a 22% fall for Vauxhall, to 195,137 vehicles.

Vauxhall ended 2017 with its market share at 7.8% – its lowest point this century and a far cry from its 2008 high of 14.02% – as Volkswagen overtook it into second place on the UK best-sellers list.

In February, Vauxhall’s market share fell to 6.01% as it was outsold by Audi and Mercedes-Benz, with the Kia Sportage among the models now outselling its once popular Corsa hatchback. Year-to-date, Vauxhall’s new car registrations are 13.17% behind the same period in 2017, at 17,512.

AM’s dealer source said the declining numbers are having a significant effect on the profitability of a retail network built to handle much higher volumes, which peaked at more than 330,000 in 2007.

“Last year, I think the network ended up at around 0.35% return-on-sales. You cannot sustain that for long. Without the volume there are just too many sites,” he said.

“Whether this is a crisis is a moot point, but either way, many Vauxhall dealers will already be saying ‘enough’s enough’.”

PSA looking for £1bn in cuts by 2020
In January, PSA Group appointed Stephen Norman, its former head of sales and marketing, to succeed Rory Harvey as Vauxhall’s managing director.

Norman told the Financial Times in mid-January that the Ellesmere Port plant’s fortunes were “inextricably linked” with the strength of Vauxhall’s sales in its home territory.

Norman will be implementing the PACE! recovery plan – devised by Michael Lohscheller, the chief executive of Opel Automobile, and his board – in the UK.

It aims to cut almost £1 billion (€1.1bn) of expenditure from the Opel and Vauxhall businesses by 2020 and £1.5bn (€1.7bn) by 2026, without resorting to factory closures.

PACE! also targets a return to profitability for the brands, which have failed to make a profit this century, aiming for a 2% operating margin by 2020 and 6% by 2026.

In the UK, the solution looks like it will come in the form of a reduced push for volume – a process driven by retailers’ pre-registration activity and rental deals from the manufacturer – along with a new range of more desirable cars and a reduced number of outlets to take a share of sales.

In 2017, Vauxhall averaged 602 sales per retail site, compared with 1,097 per site at Volkswagen.

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “As this hasn’t yet been confirmed by PSA – it would be inappropriate for the Government to comment on a commercial matter for the company.”

A spokesman for the SMMT said: “It’s not SMMT policy to comment on commercial decisions/activities of individual members.”

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Cleanest lorries will pay less to use UK roads

Haulage firms will benefit from a cheaper fee if they use less polluting lorries in plans to improve air quality across the UK.

They will pay less under the HGV levy for using cleaner lorries from next year, while those operating lorries that do not meet the latest emissions standards will be expected to pay more. This will encourage hauliers to use less polluting vehicles and help improve air quality.

In a change to the rules that comes into force on 1 February 2019, the HGV levy for Euro VI lorries will be reduced by 10 per cent. All other vehicles will pay 20 per cent more.

The cleanest lorries generate 80% less nitrogen emissions than dirtier ones. Those lorries that do not meet the latest emissions standards will be expected to pay 20% more.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said:  “This government is committed to improving the air we breathe and delivering a green revolution in transport.

Heavy goods vehicles account for around a fifth of harmful nitrogen oxide emissions from road transport, but they only travel 5% of the total miles.

That’s why we’re changing the HGV levy to encourage firms to phase out the most polluting lorries and bring in the cleanest ones.

We’re encouraging cleaner lorries as part of our £3.5 billion programme to improve air quality.”

The HGV Road User Levy, introduced in 2014, was brought in as a first step to ensure lorries pay a charge to cover the greater wear and tear they cause to road surfaces than other vehicles. This change to the levy will further incentivise the industry to choose less polluting lorries.

When the change comes into effect, more than half of UK vehicles will pay less. As increasing numbers of companies move to cleaner lorries, the UK haulage industry overall will pay less.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:  “Air pollution has improved significantly since 2010, but we recognise there is more to do which is why we have put in place a £3.5 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions.

Poor air quality affects public health, the economy, and the environment, and all motorists, including hauliers, must play their part if we are to clean up our air for the next generation.”

The HGV levy is just one element of the government’s £3.5 billion programme to clean up the air and reduce emissions, which includes £255 million for councils to improve air quality and a dedicated Clean Air Fund of £220 million for those local areas with the biggest air quality challenges.

Changes to the levy

Current rate Euro VI rate from Feb 2019 Euro 0-V rate from Feb 2019
£1,000 £900 £1,200

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Hydrogen mobility gets £8.8m boost

The Department for Transport has released £8.8m to improve and expand hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for fuel cell cars across the UK.

A consortium of companies including Shell, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda won the funding, which will be used to grow Britain’s hydrogen network and increase the number of fuel cell vehicles across the country.

£4.3m of the funding has been allocated to ITM Power, a Yorkshire-based energy organisation that supplies hydrogen electrolysis facilities and pumps. This money will be used to build four additional stations, as well as to increase provisions at existing facilities.

“This project will deliver the largest expansion of the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK and is a very significant step forward for the UK hydrogen industry”, said Dr Graham Cooley, ITM Power CEO.

“The project will fund ITM Power to build four new hydrogen refuelling stations and upgrade five further stations. Our partnership with Shell, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai constitutes a highly coordinated roll out of hydrogen vehicles and refuelling infrastructure.”

New refuelling stations are currently planned for Birmingham, Derby, Southwark and Isleworth. The project also includes procuring hydrogen fuel cell cars for emergency services, including the Metropolitan Police, as well as taxi company Green Tomato Cars and rental firm Europcar.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “Decarbonising our roads is an essential part of meeting our climate targets. The innovative new technologies involved present great opportunities for our increasingly low carbon economy.

“Hydrogen has huge potential, especially for those making longer journeys and clocking up high mileage. That is what makes this project truly exciting. Not only is it demonstrating the technology in action, but it is also developing the refuelling infrastructure needed for the future.”

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VW Group class action hearing at High Court

The court hearing for the legal action brought against the VW Group following the ‘dieselgate’ scandal started at the High Court on Tuesday, March 27.

Lawyers were to outline an application for a Group Litigation Order as part of a three-day hearing to decide the deadline for claims to be brought against the carmaker in England and Wales.

It follows VW Group’s admission in 2015 that so-called defeat devices, aimed at cheating emissions tests, had been fitted to EA189 diesel engines from 2009 to 2015.

Director of Your Lawyers Aman Johal, a solicitor acting for more than 10,000 claimants, was seeking to be appointed a lead solicitor in the pending class action, set to be the biggest consumer class action in England and Wales.

Subject to court approval, the deadline for claims is likely to be in November 2018 for anyone who has bought or leased a diesel vehicle manufactured by the VW Group (which includes Volkswagen, Audi, Seat or Skoda) between 2009 and 2015.

Almost 1.2 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles were affected in the UK.

Johal said: “It is time that victims of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal achieve justice and that their voices are heard.

“Millions of people have been subject to harmful emissions, and consumers have lost money as a result of the scandal.

“We are working hard to seek damages for claimants in the UK who are yet to receive anything, unlike their US counterparts, where Volkswagen agreed a $25 billion settlement with owners, regulators, states and dealers.

“Once we have an agreed deadline, we urge claimants to stand up and put forward their cases to finally get the recognition and compensation they deserve.”

The VW Group has previously commented that a difference in legislation around the world was the reason behind the lack of a ‘goodwill payment’ to vehicle owners in the UK, stating that “there is no buy-back deal or compensation for drivers outside the US. That is because the relevant facts and complex legal issues that have played a role in coming to these agreements are materially different from those in Europe and other parts of the world.

“Regulations governing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions limits for vehicles in the United States are much stricter than those in other parts of the world and the engine variants also differ significantly. This makes the development of technical measures in the United States more challenging than in Europe and other parts of the world, where implementation of an approved program to modify TDI vehicles to comply fully with UN/ECE and European emissions standards has already begun by agreement with the relevant authorities.”

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Test your technical knowledge now!

Autotechnician magazine has teamed up with GotBoost trainer Andy Crook to deliver online tests throughout 2018 to assess technical knowledge, process and diagnostic capabilities. The Autotech assessments have been created to help entrants identify any weak areas and address them in a confidential and fun format.

Once registered at www.autotechnician.co.uk/registration, users have access to multiple choice tests, covering vehicle systems, theory and diagnostic scenarios. Once completed, score sheets marked with the correct answers are instantly emailed back to the participant, along with supporting learning material.

The first two quizzes of 2018 are now live, with more to follow in the coming months. Andy Crook remarks:  “Diagnostics should be about more than just reading codes, it should be about process and procedure. The first Autotech 2018 case study, where a spark ignition engine has a misfire code stored, is a good example of this.

“A vehicle has been presented with a P0300 fault code stored, it has been to another garage who has suggested that the coil, leads and plugs maybe the cause. The customer is asking you for a second opinion.

“Proving what is or isn’t the cause of the misfire, means using all the tools at the technician’s disposal, not just a code reader, to gather sufficient data to establish the cause and what needs to be done to ensure the fault has been rectified after the repair.”

A second diesel case study has just gone live.

Register or log in to take the case study.  

Organisers will be making a note of high scorers as the Top 5 will have the chance to win cash prizes later in the year.

Subsidised training offered at Autotech’s Big Day Out in June

The Autotech mission is to support technicians in their quest for knowledge and technicians can benefit from hands-on training within Reading College’s workshop on Saturday 30th June. The schedule will include two-hour training sessions from James Dillon of Technical Topics and Andy Crook of GotBoost, delivering their diagnostic expertise at what promises to be another enjoyable day out for independent technicians.

Early Bird tickets are available at £56.50+VAT if purchased before 16th April, remaining tickets will be offered at £69.50 thereafter.

Register for tickets by phone on 01634 816 165 or by emailing admin@autotechnician.co.uk.

This year’s autotech team
In addition to our Technical Partner Andy Crook, we have a great team of sponsors on-board for Autotech 2018, with ACtronics, Dayco and ZF [pro]Tech. Their expertise, business and repair advice is shared on www.autotechnician.co.uk and www.facebook.com/Autotechmagazine.

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A tribute to Alec Morgan

Colleagues, friends and associates are paying tribute to the life and career of one of the UK aftermarket’s most colourful characters, Alec Morgan, following his recent untimely death.

In a career spanning some four decades, Alec will be best remembered for the invaluable and outstanding contribution he made to the industry, and for the enthusiasm he showed across the senior positions he occupied, most recently as Key Account Manager at Banner Batteries (GB) Limited.

Indeed it was Alec’s association with the battery sector, and Banner in particular that he is most widely recognised for. Alec initially became involved with automotive batteries when he worked as Sales Director at his father’s business – Alan A.Morgan Ltd – that distributed brands such as LUK, Banner and SWF. Following the sale of the business in 1995, and having worked for the new operation for the first six months, Alec took the bold step to set up his own business as an agent.

Banner Batteries receiving the 2016 Car Supplier  (Alec Morgan, is second from right)

He continued to develop in this role until April 1997 when Alec was recruited to head-up Banner Batteries in the UK following the Austrian manufacturer’s decision to set up its own IAM operation. It was a position that he occupied until 2013, when he took the decision to take a step back and assume the role of Key Account Manager.

During his 17-year stewardship at Banner, Alec was successful in building a business that today stands as one of the most significant within the IAM sector. Alec was very passionate about the automotive industry and played an active role serving on the IAAF Council, the SMMT Aftermarket Council and was also on the Executive Board of the SMMT.

As Lee Quinney, Banner Batteries Country Manager states: “It is difficult to put into words how much Alec meant to not only me, but to the rest of his colleagues here at Banner Batteries and the UK motor industry per se. He really was one of a kind, and his loss will reverberate around the industry for a very long time.

“Alec was without doubt one the most genuine people I’ve ever met and certainly had the pleasure of working alongside. Our relationship over the last three years at Banner has not only been thoroughly enjoyable but deeply rewarding. His business acumen, fun loving spirit and full-on positivity were matched by a sense of humour that proved to be a winning cocktail.

“He was a larger than life character who was instantly liked by all who met him and he will be remembered with great affection for his professional integrity and the resounding and successful career he enjoyed in the industry over many years.

“Whilst his loss will undoubtedly leave a big hole in the lives of all those who knew him, I shall always remember Alec with great affection, in particular for being a truly great friend. My condolences go to his family at such a sad time,” he concluded.

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