WAI product arrives at Marathon branches

WAI product has begun leaving Bognor Regis and arriving at Marathon Warehouse Distribution’s National Distribution Centre in Redditch and 14-branch network throughout the UK.

Motor factors are already benefiting from improved availability and a frequent same-day delivery service from the new WAI-Marathon agreement, signed at Automechanika Birmingham 2018.

Richard Welland, WAI managing director: “We have been delighted by the aftermarket’s reception to our new agreement and demonstrates our ability to react to market changes and ensure an almost instant parts supply to more than 85percent of the UK population through Marathon.

“Centred around this agreement is our desire to be as easy to deal with as possible and ensure the customers management of stock and core is made simple. We have some exciting developments to announce on this area very shortly.”

Colin Fisher, Marathon Warehouse Distribution sales and marketing director, said: “WAI have been excellent in supporting us with the promotion of the product range and we have received positive feedback from customers.

“Motor factors up and down the UK are already taking full advantage of our range and availability and we are working closely with them to ensure they benefit fully from our partnership with WAI.”

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UK Automotive calls for “business as usual” interim arrangements to avoid cliff edge

At the recent SMMT International Automotive Summit, the UK automotive industry called on government to seek an interim arrangement with the EU that would maintain membership of the single market and customs union until a final agreement on a new relationship with the EU is negotiated and implemented.

The sector accepted that the UK will leave the EU and fully supports a bespoke and comprehensive agreement on a new relationship with the EU. However, a final agreement would be hugely complex and it does not believe such a comprehensive agreement can be reached by March 2019 – just under 12 months’ time. Without agreed interim arrangements, businesses would be faced with the ‘cliff edge’ and forced to trade under the World Trade Organisation rules – the worst foreseeable outcome for the sector, its employees and the British economy.

Speaking as the sector announced its annual performance figures, SMMT said it was time to be pragmatic about what can be achieved in the time available and what the consequences would be if the UK left without a deal. The UK and EU automotive sectors are highly integrated and any new relationship will need to address tariff and non-tariff barriers, regulatory and labour issues, all of which will take time to negotiate.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The UK automotive industry has always maintained the importance of the EU to its prosperity. The EU is by far the UK’s biggest automotive export market, taking over half our finished vehicles, four times as many as our next biggest market. The sector already exports to over 160 different global markets and has a consistent approach to free trade. It needs that trade to be tariff-free, as frictionless as possible to support the ‘just in time’ manufacturing process and with consistent regulation.”

SMMT’s tenth International Automotive Summit, a day-long conference held in central London on 26th June, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer at McLaren Automotive and Ian Robertson, BMW Group as Keynote Speakers.

Panels at the summit covered the following topics:

The Route to 2040
The UK and Europe
The UK – An International Perspective
The Future of Border Logistics

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IAAF’s Williamson re-elected to FIGIEFA board

Wendy Williamson, chief executive of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), has been re-elected to the Board and made Treasurer of FIGIEFA, the association representing the needs of the European aftermarket to governments and legislators of the European Union.

Following her initial appointment as Treasurer and Board member in 2015, Williamson was re-elected at FIGIEFA’s General Assembly held in Brussels on 24 May, where members renewed its board for the upcoming three years.

The IAAF and FIGIEFA have a close working relationship, monitoring and contributing to new European legislation affecting the trade. It is this partnership that works to represent the interests of IAAF members in the UK to European and international institutions, promoting the contribution of the independent automotive aftermarket in order to achieve the EU’s goals for a competitive European economy.

Both organisations work together on a number of issues including type approval, roadworthiness proposals, EU Mobility Package, access to technical information and the Connected Car.

Commenting on her re-election, Williamson said: “I’m delighted that fellow members have selected me to continue working closely with FIGIEFA. It enables IAAF to maintain its key position of taking both the challenges and opportunities in the UK trade to European legislators, and to keep fighting for the independent automotive aftermarket.”

The FIGIEFA Board commented: “The automotive business, including the trade of parts and associated services, will face many great challenges, especially with rising digitalisation and connectivity. Technological development, as well as the threat from vehicle manufacturers trying to use it to secure a monopoly on repair and services, make it necessary to keep campaigning for fair competition and free choice for consumers. Together, we will continue to build on the hard work and momentum that has been accomplished in the last years”.

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InAutomotive joins IAAF

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has welcomed the automotive specific job board InAutomotive.com as the latest addition to its burgeoning network of industry professionals.

The Preston-based specialist recruitment website that employs over 50 people has joined as a Service Member, and in an effort to further support the industry’s employment needs is offering fellow IAAF members 10% off all job advertising.

Supporting the motor trade for more than 15 years, InAutomotive.com is the UK’s leading job website for automotive professionals who are looking for relevant work opportunities within the automotive industry.

Ian Partington, InAutomotive.com Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to join the ranks of IAAF, a fast-growing hotbed of industry talent and expertise. InAutomotive recognises a great opportunity in joining the IAAF to offer a specialist, extensive and tailored approach by supporting other members.”

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “I’m delighted to welcome InAutomotive as a Service Member. The automotive industry provides more than 135,000 jobs in Production alone, generating nearly half a million more in the retail and maintenance sectors, and is responsible for an impressive diversity of professions, including MOT testers, technicians and engineers, to name just a few.

“Having InAutomotive on-board means that members who have work opportunities available can benefit from having excellent access to jobseekers with a wide range of backgrounds and specialisations.”

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Road & Rally Chesterfield celebrate 40th anniversary

A high turnout was recorded at the first Trade Show held by Road & Rally in Chesterfield to celebrate 40 years of trading.

The event was held at the Proact Stadium and had a variety of suppliers representing all the areas of the motor trade that Road and Rally participate in. Guests were mainly customers from the six Road and Rally branches which are based across Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

Louisa Mitchell, Company Director said: “I could not let such a milestone pass by without marking the great achievement that trading for 40 years is. My Dad, Ian Mitchell began this journey in 1978 when I was 6 and I have grown up with Road and Rally. From his first shop in Shirebrook to the 6 branches and Warehouse distribution company we now are, I am extremely proud of his journey and I wanted to share that with our customers, suppliers and staff who ensure our success”.

The mix of suppliers included brands like Yuasa, First Line and Schaeffler as well as Ring, Tetrosyl and Spectrum Brands which encompass the wide range of products Road and Rally sell within the industry as well as the Draper Tool Van and representation from MAM and the IAAF.

To mark the occasion, Road and Rally staff voted for their preferred Supplier of the Year with the award for Chemical and Accessory Supplier going to Comma and Component Supplier to Mahle.

Guests at the event were treated well with plenty of show special offers, on the spot cash prizes and over £5,000 worth of prizes awarded including an iPad and Amazon Echo’s as well as diagnostic equipment and tools.

In conclusion, Managing Director Ian Mitchell summed up the night by saying “Thank you to all the staff, to all the suppliers and to all the customers, thank you very, very much”.

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Autoelectro premieres its ‘behind the scenes’ video online

Autoelectro has released its new ‘behind the scenes’ video, filmed at its Bradford headquarters and remanufacturing facility, that illustrates the company’s journey to becoming the UK’s largest independent remanufacturer and supplier of starter motors and alternators.

Within the two-and-a-half-minute video is a comprehensive guide to the remanufacturing process, from stripping down the old core all the way through to packaging and distributing the remanufactured component in Autoelectro’s bright red box.

Managing Director, Tony Bhogal, provides an insightful commentary and is the man in-front of the camera. He explains how the business has developed over three decades, which includes an emphasis on product development, technical information and recruiting expert auto-electricians and fuel injection engineers. He also clears up any confusion between remanufacturing and reconditioning.

Tony said: “I was proud to let in the cameras into our home and showcase a warehouse that continues to expand and homes some of the best remanufacturing and testing equipment. Our family of staff members buy into our business philosophy of ‘fit and forget’, which allows us to produce and distribute quality products and fulfil a 100% order rate.

“We have more than 4,000 individual references that cover more than 100,000 applications, with a guarantee of meeting or exceeding original equipment specifications.”

“Our recent ISO standard reaccreditation strengthens our position in the marketplace, and our doors are always open to those that want to visit a professional and efficient company on top of its game.”

The video can be found on Autoelectro’s website: http://www.autoelectro.co.uk/autoelectro-behind-scenes

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Digraph ‘Leeds’ the Way – first of 16 planned new Digraph branches opens in Leeds

The first of 16 planned new Digraph branches has opened in Leeds as the commercial vehicle (CV) factor makes good on its growth promise.

The new branch, situated close to Leeds city centre, occupies a 10,000 sq ft site, with a newly installed mezzanine floor, stocking an extensive range of original quality parts from all leading manufacturers.

Officially opened on June 11, 2018, the new Leeds branch is already providing fast, off-the-shelf deliveries to commercial vehicle fleet operators and truck and trailer repairers. It is the first of 16 new branches that Digraph has pledged to open within the space of just six months, as part of its aggressive growth strategy. The company is also busy building new supplier partnerships and planning several acquisitions of similar businesses as it transforms the CV industry, helping customers to reduce downtime, cut costs and increase efficiency.

Digraph CEO, Sukhbir Kapoor, commented: “As a business, Digraph is well known for its exceptional customer service and the dedication of the team to do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure the quick and efficient delivery of parts. Our new team in Leeds will continue to live by this ethos.

“Opening our Leeds branch is a major milestone as we implement our aggressive growth plans and 15 new branches will follow throughout the UK. By investing in our network, our range and our people, Digraph is transforming the commercial vehicle industry with faster access to parts, quicker deliveries and exceptional customer service.”

Mitsubishi L200 recall: Security flaw leads to June recall

Thousands of Mitsubishi L200 pick-ups are being recalled over a security flaw that may result in the doors not latching correctly or opening in the summer heat.

The safety fault affects all single and double cab L200 models built between December 2015 and July 2016; Mitsubishi is in the process of contacting all 4676 owners to ask them to return their vehicle for free recall work.

The problem is thought to involve the locking mechanism in the latch assembly, with the door not operating properly in high temperatures. This could cause the door to not latch correctly or unintentionally open whilst driving. To rectify the fault Mitsubishi will replace the entire door latch mechanism.

Peugeot is also recalling Partner vans over an airbag problem, after it discovered an internal component within the airbag triggering ECU may have been damaged which could result in the airbag not inflating in the event of an accident. Peugeot has promised to replace the ECUs in affected vans for free.

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ECCO Safety Group EMEA appointed Laurent Couderc as Sales Director

ECCO Safety Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Laurent Couderc as the new Sales Director for France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

With over 20 years of automotive industry experience, Laurent joins ECCO Safety Group following his career at JCB. He has previously held several sales manager roles in the OE market (Iveco, CNH). Laurent has a proven track record of being a strong and successful sales team leader with robust connections to the French OE market.

“We are happy to welcome Laurent on board and we are convinced that his 20 years of experience and proven reputation in the automotive industry will help us to achieve our targets in the French speaking regions.” – said Enrico Vassallo, Managing Director at ESG EMEA.

“I am extremely excited to take on this new challenge at ESG and with my enthusiasm and result oriented approach I am sure that together with the team, we will make a success.” – stated Laurent Couderc.

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RING recruit delivers international product push

Ring, the leading supplier of vehicle lighting, workshop equipment and vehicle accessories to the aftermarket, has appointed Lizzy Sebine as International Product Manager.

Responsible for delivering growth within retail accessories and portable lighting for international markets, Lizzy will work closely with Ring’s International team to develop and introduce products within these two core categories.

Lizzy Sebine comments: “Ring is a great place to work! It has a good mix of people and a collaborative, open approach to business where everyone is valued and respected. It also has a fantastic reputation for delivering great service and products, which is testament to its ability to build such long standing relationships.

“With our international focus, Ring operates across multiple, diverse markets. Whilst many would see this as a challenge, I am really looking forward to managing the needs of our business and customers across a range of territories.”

With over 12 years of experience as a Product Manager, Lizzy will take her knowledge and the skills she has developed while working for independent lighting retailers within the UK to drive international products and support ongoing market growth.

Lizzy continues: “This role provides me with a great opportunity to diversify into a new product area in a well-respected and established business with a clear strategy for growth.”

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