Who’s best in the Independent Aftermarket?

The presentation of the IAAF’s Awards is rightly seen as one of the high spots of the year for our members, and once again it will take place at the Federation’s prestigious Annual Dinner on Thursday 5th December at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes. This year’s Awards Programme is now open for nominations and as in previous years we have categories for Distributors and Suppliers in both the car and CV sectors, together with the new category introduced last year for our growing band of Service members.

To make your nomination you can either download the form below, save it and then return it by email to [email protected], or, alternatively you can visit the IAAF website where there are also full instructions. If you wish to nominate more than one company, then further copies can be downloaded from the IAAF website.

IAAF Awards Nomination Form 2019

Please return your nomination by Friday 27th September 2019 – that’s just five weeks away! Alternatively, if you feel you could miss out, you could always nominate your own company. Online voting will commence on Tuesday 1st October 2019, so don’t miss out on your chance to win one of these prestigious awards.

If you still haven’t booked your places at the event, you can download the booking form below, but hurry as places are filling up fast. Details about sponsorship opportunities are available from the IAAF Office.

IAAF Reservation Form Rev 2019

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REPXPERT INA Torque Challenge winner a good omen as Schaeffler clinches DTM victory at Brands Hatch!

Winner of the INA Torque Challenge at Automechanika in June, Eddie Nazarov, enjoyed a fantastic weekend at Brands Hatch, where he and his wife, Innes, witnessed a Schaeffler victory during round-six of the DTM Championship.

Eddie, a REPXPERT member, and Innes were guests of Schaeffler and BMW at the InterContinental Hotel at the O2 in London, from where they were transferred to Brands Hatch to watch Marco Wittmann clinch his fourth win of the season in the Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM after starting race one from pole position.

Despite the rain showers and strong winds, Wittmann was able to navigate his M4 around a greasy track and adapt to the challenging conditions, holding off René Rast in the closing stages to win by less than a second.

While race one clinched BMW M Motorsport’s sixth win of the DTM season, race two on Sunday was a challenging one, as Wittmann, who started from 12th following his victory and pole position on Saturday, risked a second pit-stop in an attempt to make rapid progress on fresh tyres; however, it wasn’t to be for the German driver, as he finished 10th but still scooped valuable points in his DTM title bid.

Sunday’s disappointing performance didn’t dampen Eddie and Innes’s spirits, though, as they were still buzzing from meeting Wittmann in the paddock to get their Schaeffler and BMW goodies signed before watching him top the podium on Saturday.

Eddie said: “Everything has been fantastic, especially meeting Marco and watching him win on Saturday. The Schaeffler and BMW staff looked after us for the whole weekend, making sure that we both had a great time. It was simply amazing.”

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Lumileds collaborates with The Garage Inspector to launch series of Philips lighting videos

Lumileds is delighted to unveil a new series of videos, presented by its brand ambassador, Andy Savva, also known as The Garage Inspector, to highlight the comprehensive Philips automotive and workshop lighting offering, explain how technicians can stay safe and profitable in the workplace, as well as offer more safety and comfort to their customers.

Throughout the five-part series, recently premiered on its YouTube channel – Philips Automotive Lighting Europe – Andy offers technical and business advice, such as how upselling and upgrading headlight bulbs can be a healthy revenue stream, as well as explain how technicians should always change headlight bulbs in pairs and offer a free headlight check to motorists.

In addition, Andy shows how Lumileds is keeping technicians safe and productive in the workshop with its eclectic range of Philips professional workshop lamps.

He also highlights the onus Lumileds, as an OESAA (Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association) member, puts on the importance of original equipment quality and testing.

Lumileds Business Development Manager Automotive – UK and Ireland, Richard Armstrong, said: “These videos are going to prove useful for both technicians and our distributors, as they provide in-depth information about what Philips can offer, not just in terms of using our products in the workplace, such as professional workshop lamps, but also selling our range of headlight bulbs to end-users.

“We’re grateful to Andy, someone who is at the top of his profession and well-qualified to explain the quality of our products, for collaborating with us to launch these videos – someone that technicians around the UK and Ireland will know well. His experience has proved invaluable to us, and we look forward to working with him in future projects.”

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DENSO tackling automotive aftermarket challenges: a look at future trends affecting independent workshops

Few industries operate at such a rapid pace as the European aftermarket. From servicing new vehicles with increasing use of electrical systems, to the struggle to attract top talent and compete with main dealers, independent workshops across Europe are consistently upskilling and adapting their business models to remain competitive.

However, as the industry continues to seek out new forms of mobility, adapts to changing political landscapes and moves ahead designing the car of the future, independent workshops must embrace further change and evolve their businesses to keep up. DENSO Director of Independent Aftermarket Sales, Luca Govean, counts down five key challenges facing the European aftermarket, to help workshops prepare for the future.

5. Advanced Driver Systems (ADAS)

What was once a new innovation has quickly become commonplace in new vehicle design and while workshops may not have overwhelming demand for ADAS-related work now, it will in the future. The European Commission recently announced that ADAS systems will become mandatory on all new cars from 2021, as they become an integral part of autonomous and electric vehicle design. According to Luca Govean, an understanding of how these systems work and how they are affected by more standardised repair and servicing work is key if workshops are going to take advantage of the new vehicle parc.

“An increase in ADAS-related work means workshops need to pay serious consideration to their floor space and equipment,” he explained. “Unlike when the industry transitioned into computer-controlled engine management systems and some repairers chose to become undercar specialists, there will be no avoiding ADAS technology. Even a job as straightforward as a windscreen repair will become a specialist job, since the way that ADAS systems are tied into the windscreen means cameras and sensors will inevitably be disrupted, rendering safety systems inefficient.”

Not only are specialist calibration and diagnostics tools required to successfully service ADAS systems, but the right training is also essential for technicians. Workshops may also need to ensure their business liability is up-to-date, follow factory procedures and document work at every step.

DENSO has been helping to develop the latest safety technologies for more than 20 years and is behind some of the most innovative ADAS technologies, including the world’s first two-dimensional light detection and ranging system (LIDAR) in 1996. More than two decades ago, DENSO introduced a linear radar that scans an area in front of a vehicle horizontally to identify potential collision risks. Such technologies are becoming the norm in the aftermarket and presenting lucrative profit opportunities for workshops that have the skills, equipment, space and confidence to work on these systems.

4. Electric and hybrid vehicles

It’s hard to believe the electric Nissan Leaf has been available for more than five years and yet many still consider electric and hybrid vehicles a relatively new innovation. In addition to the safety precautions that must be taken to work on an electric vehicle, hybrid vehicles – which many experts expect to become the norm – have further requirements.

Luca explained: “Lower viscosity oils required by hybrid vehicles will lead to shorter oil change intervals; however, while some forms of service will become more important, when you remove a traditional combustion engine from a vehicle, you also remove most of the components that are subject to wear, meaning many workshops will have to diversify into other, new service areas.”

The crash repair industry will need to undergo significant upskilling to counter the dangers associated with electric vehicles.

“Simply removing the battery takes time and specialist care since they are typically protected within an integrated, secure casing to shield against vibration and impact. Even with hybrid vehicles, it’s rarely enough to simply turn the petrol or diesel off as this does not necessarily disengage the battery,” Luca advised.

“The repainting and recoating process must also be reconsidered, as vehicle electrical systems will not respond well to the high levels of heat generated by drying booths.”

Lithium-ion batteries typically used in electric vehicle applications need to be treated with huge respect and must be kept within a specific voltage and temperature range to minimise the risk of explosion in the workshop. There will also be new stipulation pertaining to how these components are disposed of to ensure safe handling at all times.

While electric vehicle development is still in its early stages, many early iterations of electric car, such as the Nissan Leaf, are now finding their way into the aftermarket and technicians need to be ready to convert these opportunities into regular custom.

3. Digitalisation

These days nearly every vehicle has built-in telematics capability, with digital connectivity set to transform vehicle maintenance and repair. Digitalisation has already changed the way repairers order parts and the next few years will see the focus shift to servicing. New technologies will allow repairers to move even closer to customers, with the proliferation of new channels and interfaces disrupting the norm and opening up new business opportunities. Services, such as remote diagnostics, are among the high-margin opportunities that car-generated data creates.

“According to the auditing and consulting company, PwC, there will be more than 470 million connected vehicles on the roads by 2025,” Luca explained. “Besides intelligent connectivity of diagnostic systems, future vehicles will provide more data-driven insights which enable repairers to more accurately predict future servicing and repair requirements, making for more accurate business forecasts and more effective work scheduling.”

A recent McKinsey report, The Changing Aftermarket Game, suggests that digital-driven products and services will account for a growing share of overall value within the aftermarket. It predicts that their share of aftermarket revenue will increase by a factor of three with growth achieved through hardware, such as telematics devices, sensors and displays.

It’s not just parts and servicing where digitalisation promises to disrupt the aftermarket but in the customer journey as well. As the world continues to adopt remote devices, motorists are turning towards the convenience of the Internet to purchase products and services.

“The 9-5 of the service world is being forgotten – we’re now used to ordering groceries at whatever time we feel like and receiving rapid delivery at a time we choose. The same will be true of vehicle repairs, as motorists expect new service levels and a 24/7 garage experience. Independent workshops can capitalise on this trend by offering an around-the-clock service, such as any-time secure vehicle drop-offs or remote servicing,” said Luca.

2. Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

With a new type of vehicle comes a new ownership model and as forecasters predict a trend towards autonomous driving, the model of traditional car ownership as we know it is deteriorating. Instead, the roll out of autonomous vehicles as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is most likely to be controlled by fleets. While this will create a steadier income stream for independent workshops, fleets typically demand lower cost servicing and the highest quality parts, forcing independent workshops to adapt their existing business models.

With this new form of mobility comes a critical mass of Big Data which independent workshops can use to their advantage. Luca explained: “By regularly analysing the data collected from customer vehicles, they can begin to understand in depth the behaviours, preferences and needs of their customers and utilise this information to tailor marketing campaigns and service offerings.”

It’s not just in customer relationships that data such as this can prove valuable but in a workshop’s own purchasing habits as well. Many large motor factors are already analysing vast data pools to upsell products based on previous activity and help workshops get the very best price for parts. This, in turn, helps make parts ordering more cost-effective for repairers and more profitable when sold on to customers at a higher rate.

1. Access to the customer

The convergence of technologies in the future of the aftermarket is exciting but perhaps the biggest challenge to independent workshops, according to Luca, is the same one that has been faced for decades: access to the customer.

“With more franchised main dealers attempting to lock customers into servicing agreements to protect warranties and an increase in the number of work provider websites that act as middle-men between a garage and its customers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to offer the personal service that independent workshops have built their reputation upon. The solution lies in effective marketing and the ability to offer a service that far outweighs that delivered by competitors. The right equipment, parts, staff and location will all play a part,” Luca summarised.

During an age when consumer choice has never been greater, the biggest threat facing an independent repairer is in not being able to access the customer directly to build mutual long-term relationships. It is for this reason that the independent sector needs to embrace new technologies and trends more than ever.

Luca explained: “Independent repairers can no longer afford to turn down work because they’ve not kept up with changes in the automotive industry. Investment in skills, people and equipment is a must. By working closely with major parts manufacturers and staying abreast of new products entering the market, technicians can stay one step ahead of their customer’s future servicing and repair needs. By harnessing technology and embracing digitalisation, the independent sector can deliver more personalised services, predictive maintenance and support throughout the lifecycle of a vehicle.”

While several trends may seem light years away from the type of work technicians receive at their workshop today, the industry travels at such a pace that we never truly know what tomorrow might bring. By remaining agile, responsive and alert, Europe’s independent sector can continue to thrive no matter what the future has in store.

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Two important employment law changes on the horizon

Although Brexit is currently dominating the headlines, our colleagues at Xecutive Search have highlighted two important employment law developments in 2019.

Start Gathering Evidence For Executive Pay Reporting
Rules effective on 1 January 2019 mean that UK quoted companies with more than 250 employees will have to report on ratios between the CEO and employees’ pay and benefits.

The requirement applies to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2019 so the first tranche of reporting will start in 2020. However, affected companies should gather their evidence in good time to be able to calculate their pay ratios by the deadline.

The information will have to be included in the directors’ remuneration report.

Start preparing for parental bereavement leave and pay
The government has confirmed that it intends to introduce a right for bereaved parents to take paid time off work.

Under the current proposals, bereaved parents will be able to take leave as a single two-week period, as two separate periods of one week each, or as a single week. They will have 56 weeks from their child’s death to take leave.
The new right is expected to come into force in April 2020, but employers should start preparing for it during 2019, and could decide to introduce their own bereavement leave policy if they don’t already have one.

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Hella Gutmann Solutions announces WhoCanFixMyCar.com partnership

Diagnostics expert, Hella Gutmann Solutions (HGS) and online car repair marketplace, WhoCanFixMyCar.com, have joined forces to provide motorists with the best diagnostic solution for their vehicles.

HGS is a global leader in diagnostic technology and the preferred supplier to many workshops around the world with its renowned mega macs range.

Drivers who use WhoCanFixMyCar.com to find a workshop will now be able to differentiate between those that utilise HGS tools, thereby providing a comprehensive diagnostic service and those who don’t, by seeing the HGS logo on the workshop’s profile and choosing accordingly.

By becoming a workshop partner of HGS, technicians have access to market leading diagnostic equipment, as well as expert advice. They will also benefit from motorists recognising their diagnostic expertise and selecting the workshop as a preferred choice.

The WhoCanFixMyCar.com website has already been updated with HGS details, with 130 workshops already part of the network and more sure to follow.

Neil Hilton, HGS’ head of business development, said, “With the already high level and complexity of vehicle technology increasing with every new model, keeping abreast of the latest developments and being equipped to find the answer and fix the problem is more difficult than ever, which is why, drawing on our reputation for quality and unrivalled market experience, we have developed a range of state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment that can interrogate these vehicles quickly and accurately.

“By partnering with WhoCanFixMyCar.com, alongside those workshops that already use our equipment, we’ll have access to thousands that may be unsure of which diagnostics tools are the best for them. We can assist them in this task by introducing them to our market leading products, which will allow them to future-proof their businesses and maximise this revenue stream.”

Al Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, said, “We’re excited that HGS is joining us: workshops need to prepare themselves for the future and that means investing in the right diagnostic equipment.

“We have always focused on assisting our workshops and providing them with the tools to improve their business and we think that our partnership with HGS will benefit them hugely.”

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EU Exit Update

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Automotive Unit has sent through to the IAAF a number of updates relevant to the automotive sector for dissemination to the membership.

1. Free movement of EU citizens in a no deal
There have been reports in media and on social media regarding the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK after the UK leaves the European Union. The Home Office has released a fact sheet explaining the status of EU citizens if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement. (Link)

2. Guidance for automotive businesses
To support companies preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU, including a potential exit without an agreement, a range of guidance has been produced by the Government. The document below includes relevant guidance to the automotive industry.

Automotive guidance EU Exit

3. Existing programmes of support and funding
The Government continues its ongoing support for the UK automotive industry and its supply chain. There are a range of existing programmes that the Government its partners and others operate which provide support or funding for the industry. Further details of these programmes are outlined in the document below.

Automotive business funding

4. Importing and exporting guidance
NEW – Department for International Trade have provided documents relating to the new trade arrangements the UK has signed or is discussing, to replace the current EU agreements if there’s a no-deal Brexit: UK trade agreements with non-EU countries in a no-deal Brexit

NEW – Department for International Trade have provided documents that clarifies overall rules but your members are encouraged to look at country-specific pages on how to trade with other countries if there is a no UK trade agreement in place: Trading under WTO rules.

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ZF Services to unveil latest capabilities at Coach & Bus Show 2019

ZF Services will be exhibiting at the ultimate aftermarket showcase for the coach and bus industry when it attends Coach & Bus UK on 2 – 3 October 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham.

The free-to-attend trade show will welcome almost 200 of the industry’s leading suppliers that will see the team from ZF (Stand J53) unveil its wealth of technical knowledge, while promoting the benefits of its reman and repair facilities, based at its Nottingham Service Centre of Excellence.

In response to a rise in market demand, the company’s repair centre has been developed to ensure customers further benefit from a complete range of support solutions from overhaul and remanufacture, to parts and technical support for transmissions, axles and gearboxes, backed by a specialist team.

As a global leader in driveline and chassis technology, ZF’s technical experts will be at the show to demonstrate how fleet customers benefit from a robust bus and coach service partner support network that is fully equipped to meet the repair and maintenance challenges of the future.

The team will also be on hand to answer any technical questions and discuss its latest product portfolio.

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Textar’s Newell & Wright Motorsport moves up to fourth in BTRC Championship

Textar sponsored Newell & Wright Motorsport continued to progress in Division 1’s latest leg of the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) at Donington with driver John Newell now sitting fourth overall in the championship.

Taking place at Donington’s Convoy in the Park – the ultimate celebration of trucks, drivers and life on the road with hours of truck racing, live music and entertainment, the event welcomed visitors in their thousands, with more than 150 guests including Textar distributors joining the team at the event.

Having finished fifth in the division one race of the weekend on Saturday, Newell battled home in the first truck race on Sunday in 10th position after a technical issue.

In the second race, Newell responded strongly, navigating the wet 2.4-mile Donington track and enjoying some wheel to wheel action to finish in fourth place. Then, in the third and final race of the day, Newell continued to challenge, finishing sixth to rise to fourth in the British Truck Racing Championship.

TMD Friction has demonstrated its commitment to partnering with one of BTRC’s rising teams through sponsorship, with its market-leading Textar brake pads and discs fitted to the 2019 1100BHP truck, which is nicknamed Winnie and weighs 5.3 tonnes.

Driver John Newell said: “It was a brilliant weekend of racing and great to see so many people coming to support Textar and the team. With such heavy demands on performance, the components need to be robust and to work efficiently and effectively in all environments. We have found over the course of the season that Textar braking performs superbly during races to offer a quick recovery, so that the pads are ready to brake as efficiently again at the next corner.

“With most teams having to change their pads over the course of the weekend, Textar’s last an entire weekend, which is over four races. What’s more, data gathered from our onboard telemetry system provides data from previous pad temperature readings so we can calculate the accurate braking distances required for the upcoming race. In other words, Textar pads tell me when I need to brake to offer optimum braking performance.”

Newell & Wright Motorsport’s first appeared on the truck racing scene in 2001. In 2018, the company decided to make a return to the professional circuit with a brand-new custom-built MAN racing truck, built from scratch with the help and expertise of Stefan Honens Racing Services and MAN.

Next up for Textar and Newell & Wright Motorsport is racing at Snetterton on 7 & 8 September. Featuring eight race weekends, 2019’s BTRC will wind down at Brands Hatch on November 2/3 for the season finale.

Sue McKay, Global Category Manager CV, TMD Friction UK Ltd, said: “We welcomed more than 50 guests to Convoy in the Park and this underlines the growing popularity of truck racing and also the desire for customers and end users to see the Textar brand put through its paces in the most of demanding of environments.”

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Ben Cricket Match – Reminder

Readers of the eBulletin are reminded that this year’s Ben Charity Cricket Match, kindly sponsored by FPS Distribution, is taking place at Dorridge Cricket Club on Thursday 12th September 2019 and support for the event would be much appreciated by the organisers.

There are various options for people who would like to take part on the day, either playing or spectating. There are also opportunities to advertise in the programme or to have a banner on display. For those unable to attend it is also possible to make a donation to Ben.

The first game is scheduled to start at around 9.30 a.m., but there will be refreshments available beforehand. Teams and the format will be announced on the day and play is due to finish at about 6.30 p.m. Complimentary car parking is available at the venue.

Full details and the registration form can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

BEN Cricket Day – Invitation and Registration Form 2019

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