IAAF Conference 2019: Sold Out

The IAAF 2019 Conference, which is taking place at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes on 5th December, has now sold out. Due to very high demand, all the places for the event, where the central theme will focus on how technology is transforming the automotive aftermarket, have been filled.

The IAAF will be welcoming a top list of industry speakers to the event, which is being sponsored by automotive aftermarket specialist PR company Impression Communications,and current issues from both the UK and Europe will be explored, highlighting the many changes that are taking place across the industry from a technical, legislative and market perspective.

The agenda will feature some of the industry’s leading names as they gather to share their views on some of these current and future technologies, alongside record breaker, entrepreneur and motivational speaker Richard Noble, OBE, founding Director of The Bloodhound Project and current holder of the World Land Speed Record set in 1983 with the Thrust2 programme.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “We’re delighted that the Conference has sold out, having secured our line-up for this year’s Conference, which is anticipated to be a very popular one, particularly with the addition of Richard Noble to our roster. His life story is a tale of great struggles and success, and our members will no doubt be gripped by his extraordinary achievements as a pioneering explorer and set-up of the Bloodhound Project. We have a fantastic mix of talks lined up from some excellent speakers, and the audience will be treated to a thoroughly absorbing and enjoyable day.”

“The theme of this year’s Conference will provoke some serious and inspiring thought, the automotive industry has always embraced technological advances but the pace of change has accelerated rapidly over the last few years, thanks to 5G connectivity, the emergence of new lifestyle trends such as car sharing and how responsive transport is transforming our industry sector.”

There are also only a handful of places left for the Dinner which takes place following the Conference. If you haven’t already booked your places, you will need to hurry. A booking form can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

IAAF Reservation Form Rev 2019

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ZF Services UK becomes “service ready” on next-generation vehicles and wins Irish Auto Trade ‘Automotive Aftermarket Parts Manufacturer of the Year’ Award 2020 in customer vote

ZF Services UK has become “service ready” on the next generation of commercial vehicles

The company’s UK Centre of Competence in Nottingham – which provides technical support, repairs and servicing – has put technicians through extensive high voltage training and invested in the very latest testing equipment for TraXon fully automatic transmissions and AxTrax AVE electric axles.

ZF Services UK’s expanding Service Partner network is also undergoing training as the company meets the evolving demand for the repair and maintenance of modern vehicles.

ZF’s Nottingham Centre of Competence – which has enhanced its capacity to remanufacturer and repair transmissions and axles – can perform on-site diagnosis, repairs and servicing to ensure vehicle downtime is minimised.

With ZF AxTrax AVE electric portal axles successfully lowering emissions for hybrid buses and trolleybuses, and TraXon providing effective transmission of power and long service life, ZF Services UK is fully equipped to meet the repair and maintenance challenges of the Next Generation Aftermarket.

David Wakeling, ZF Head of Commercial Vehicle, said: “ZF Services UK has invested in additional resources, training and equipment at its Nottingham Centre of Competence to ensure it is ideally placed to service and repair the next generation of vehicles. This investment demonstrates our commitment to customers and ability to support their ongoing commercial vehicle service and maintenance needs.”

Fully ISO accredited, the ZF Services UK Centre of Competence in Nottingham is a dedicated facility and thanks to the recent expansion, now boasts a 6500m² workshop area to further underline the company’s position as a leading industry specialist. With multi-brand capabilities, the centre uses only industry trained technicians who are multi-skilled and work to OEM standards.

And then, for the second year in a row, ZF Aftermarket has driven off with the title of Automotive Aftermarket Parts Manufacturer of the Year at the Irish Auto Trade Awards. The award is a particularly coveted prize as it’s voted for by readers of the Auto Trade Journal, Ireland’s leading automotive magazine.

The business, owner of impressive brand portfolio: Lemförder, Sachs, TRW & Boge beat off stiff competition from several industry greats to take the title for its product quality and excellent customer service. The award was presented at the Irish Auto Trade Awards held on October 17th at Killashee Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare.

On behalf of the team, ZF Aftermarket Senior Manager IAM – UK & Ireland, Martyn Houghton said: “To be voted by our customers for this title for the second time in a row is a real achievement. The team that sits behind the brand and brings it all together should be extremely proud.”

Padraic Deane, Publisher and Managing Editor of the Auto Trade Journal commented: “ZF Aftermarket proves that by delivering the complete package it is the best again, on this occasion.”

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SMPE successfully achieves ISO certification

Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE), one of the UK’s largest independently owned automotive parts manufacturers and suppliers, has successfully achieved the management system standard ISO14001:2015, underlining the company’s commitment to tier 1 customers and improved environmental performance.

SMPE’s Head Office and Engineering Facility

The standard, which is in addition to the company’s ISO:9001 certification, applies to both its Nottingham Centre of Excellence and Poland manufacturing facility. The new standard provides SMPE with an environmental management system framework in order to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner, contributing to greener sustainability, covering criteria including recycling, lower carbon footprint and waste reduction.

The updated 2015 standard includes the latest requirements relating to the context of the organisation, leadership, strategic environmental management, risk and opportunities, life-cycle perspective, performance evaluation and auditing.

Richard Morley, SMPE Commercial Director, said: “This achievement demonstrates both our professionalism and reliability as a company and signals to new and existing customers that SMPE is a perfect partner to do business with.

Congratulations to everyone at SMPE in the UK and Poland.”

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CAT Awards 2020: Nominations open

The CAT Awards recognise the top teams and individuals who have shaped our industry over the last year. Nominations are currently open for the following categories:

Retailer of the Year
The UK’s top accessory vendor.

Factor Chain of the Year
(In association with UFI Filters)
The best multi-site factor.

Factor Branch Team of the Year
(In association with Boswell Aftermarket)
We celebrate the achievements of an individual branch team.

Supplier of the Year
(In association with Automechanika)
This highly-contested Award recognises the UK’s best supplier.

Achievement Award
Recognising an outstanding contribution to the aftermarket.

Rising Star
New talent in our industry.

Independent Garage of the Year
(In association with Toyota First)
The finest garage in the UK.

Garage Concept Award
Open to all garage schemes, fast-fits and autocentres.

Industry Partner Award
A special Award, voted on by CAT readers to celebrate the best customer, supplier or service provider from anywhere in the industry.

Please send nominations to [email protected]

Also, have you ever wanted to come to the CAT Awards? Well, now you can! Previously the industry’s premier awards and networking event was a strictly invite-only affair, but now the event held in Manchester’s swanky Lowry Hotel on February 5th is open for all aftermarket professionals to attend. Just go to www.catmag.co.uk/awards to secure your place.

Your ticket will get you access to the pre-lunch drinks reception, lunch at the Awards itself, which this year will feature a guest speaker. There’s another reception with a cash bar after the show, and if you’re around for the evening you are more than welcome to accompany other guests and the CAT team into Manchester. See you there!

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GS Yuasa Academy online learning system proves a resounding success

GS Yuasa Academy, the revolutionary online battery training platform launched earlier this year has proven to be a success with thousands of learners now receiving industry leading battery training through their device. Featuring over 20 certified courses tailored to different job roles, the academy is proving to be a hit with technicians, distributors and educational institutes alike.

GS Yuasa Academy is the first system of its type for comprehensive online battery training. Aimed at improving customer service, reducing warranty returns and maximising battery business potential, each course on the academy is broken down into easy-to-follow, bite-sized modules with downloadable completion certification. Course topics range from ‘Correct Application & Technology’ to ‘Battery Testing & Warranty Handling’.

Jon Pritchard, General Sales and Marketing Manager at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK, said: “We are delighted to have so many people now receiving high quality learning online through GS Yuasa Academy. We received a fantastic reaction to GS Yuasa Academy when we launched the online learning platform, and the response has been consistently positive ever since!

“An understanding of batteries is essential for anyone who is dealing with batteries in a professional context, be that fitting or sales. Through GS Yuasa Academy’s engaging content, we hope to deliver essential battery training in as an accessible way as possible – fulfilling an industry-wide need for more automotive training and development.”

Designed for both individual learners and organisations, GS Yuasa Academy provides valuable knowledge and skills. The courses feature useful support material and a downloadable certificate upon completion.

Ian Newham, Training Manager at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK, and one of the presenters of the academy, said “With a dedicated team of specialist engineers and technicians, GS Yuasa has long been renowned for its excellent customer support and technical training.

We’ve had tonnes of great feedback from a wide range of users. Workshops, technicians and garages are all getting behind the GS Yuasa Academy. They love the comprehensive training courses and animated video content. The fact that users can simply leave the site and then pick up where they left off is a real bonus for technicians and workshop owners with a busy work schedule.

We already had an extensive training programme in place, but GS Yuasa Academy offers industry leading training to as many workshops as possible.”

In addition to courses in a dynamic, video-based format, GS Yuasa Academy provides various multiple-choice tests along the way. Individuals can both reflect on learning and check their understanding as they progress.

This type of assessment, along with the ability to unlock special team leader features, means the academy is particularly useful for large distributors, motor factors and colleges. GS Yuasa Academy allows organisations to easily manage and monitor the learning of users through additional business functionality, including a bulk team upload, progress dashboards, downloadable reports and specific learning paths.

As market leader in the UK for automotive, industrial and motorcycle batteries, GS Yuasa is proud to have introduced the original and only complete battery training solution to the market. GS Yuasa Academy will help increase sales, reduce warranty claims, save money, highlight upselling opportunities and ensure batteries leave the shelf in the best possible condition.

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CD Group awarded ‘Wholesale Parts Distributor of the Year’ for second year in a row

CD Group has been awarded ‘Wholesale Parts Distributor of the Year’ for 2020 following its 2019 win for the same award. The Irish Auto Trade Awards seeks to recognise ‘the best operators in all sectors of the Irish auto aftermarket’ and is a national event comprising a 3 stage process made up of a nomination followed by two rounds of voting.

Receiving the award was Iain Knox, Sales Director of CD Group who said, “It’s a testament to the continued hard work of our dedicated staff that we should receive this honour two years in a row. We were delighted to be named winners last year but back to back success highlights the quality of our team.”

Staff at all CD Group’s locations celebrated together with a pizza day for all 200 team members across sites in Mallusk, Dublin, and Cork.

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BER update: The IAAF is working with FIGIEFA to ensure the rights of the aftermarket are maintained

For for over 10 years, the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MV-BER) has set out the legal framework which allows parts distribution and repair companies to provide competitive aftermarket services, in direct competition with the vehicle manufacturers’ networks. However, this crucial piece of legislation is due to expire in May 2023 and the European Commission is questioning the benefits of renewing this sector-specific legislation and is currently assessing the achievements of MV-BER and its potential future.

There is therefore a major risk that the MV-BER could simply disappear. Alternatively, it could be extended in its current format, thus maintaining the status quo. Lastly, it could be updated, with two different possible scenarios: it could be watered down, eliminating some safeguarding measures for the independent aftermarket’s competitiveness, or, on the other hand, it could be upgraded to take into consideration all the new developments.

As a member of FIGIEFA, the IAAF participated in the establishment of the current version of MV-BER, and, with FIGIEFA, is advocating to the European Commission that the existing legislation be extended and upgraded. In particular, the IAAF is active in the consultation process set up by the European Commission where there are regular meetings with European officials, particularly the Directorate General for Competition, which is responsible for the legislation.

There will be regular updates on the progress of the legislation which, even after the UK leaves the EU, will nevertheless impact UK businesses since we operate in a global market. To read a more detailed account of FIGIEFA’s work, please download the FIGIEFA document.

201910 Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation

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Autoparts UK opens new Manchester branch

Autoparts UK has opened a new Manchester branch, on the industrial estate of Trafford Park.

The branch has more than £500,000 worth of stock in place to serve customers across the Greater Manchester area, a highly skilled and experience team and, a fleet of Autoparts vans in operation.

The branch holds many globally recognised brands and will also stock exclusive Autoparts names including Disctech, Padtech, Ultratec oils, Dynomach rotating electrics and Goliath batteries.

Group Factor Manager, Craig McCracken, said: “The opening of our Manchester branch is part of our wider expansion plans and cements our position in an area where we have been active for some time. We continue to ‘buck the trend’ in the automotive aftermarket, investing in all areas of the business for the benefit of independent garages.”

The introduction of Manchester takes the number of branches to 14, the number of Autoparts vans to well over 100 and underlines the company’s position as one of the most progressive motor factors in the UK.

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Last chance to vote in the IAAF awards – Voting closes Friday 1 November

There are just days left to vote in the IAAF’s Annual Awards, with winners set to be unveiled at the association’s highly respected annual gathering held on 5 December.

Held at the at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Milton Keynes for the third year running, the IAAF Annual Awards and Dinner, sponsored by Alliance Automotive UK (AAUK), will see around 600 aftermarket personnel in attendance, with motor factors and suppliers eager to win arguably the most prestigious awards in the industry.

There are more than 60 aftermarket companies contesting the awards, with members having a direct influence on the results as they can vote for their preferred supplier or distributor.

Votes can be made through the IAAF website: www.IAAF.co.uk/voting Members simply have to click on the link for each category they wish to vote in and select the supplier or distributor of their choice, then fill in their own details and click on ‘Done’ to cast their vote.

There are five awards categories including: Car Distributor of the Year, CV Distributor of the Year, Car Supplier of the Year, CV Supplier of the Year and Service Supplier of the Year.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “Last year, votes reached into the thousands and so we’re expecting the same volume this year in what has become very competitive awards.”

All award winners will be announced in the evening, following dinner, at the IAAF Annual Award Ceremony on Thursday 5 December 2019. The dinner would be hosted by Alfie Moore, England’s most loved police officer, writer, stand-up comedian and radio performer.

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NCD UK signs up to IAAF membership

Nationwide Clutch Distributors (NCD) UK Ltd has become the latest automotive aftermarket company to join Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF).

The clutch and automotive parts distributor is a family run business, founded in 2004. Initially specialising as a mail order supplier of clutch products for passenger car and light commercial vehicles, the business has grown steadily, building up a reputation for excellent customer service on both branded and own brand clutch components. The company employs 15 people and operates from three warehouses in the Blackpool business park.

Joining IAAF is part of the NCD UK long term growth strategy as managing director John Fisher explains: “We want to promote the positive contribution professional “distance sellers” make to the aftermarket. The IAAF is the voice of the automotive aftermarket and they are very effective across a number of fronts – it is only right that we support them in their fight to champion the independent aftermarket.”

As part of IAAF membership, NCD UK will gain access to a wide range of benefits including a range of lifestyle protection plans, ADR cover and HR Manager Lite, a new, free service designed to assist employers with legal matters relating to Employment Law, HR, Health & Safety and Data Protection. There is also the opportunity for the company to attend the IAAF Annual Conference and Awards Dinner plus become actively involved in the many network meetings held across the year.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “We welcome Nationwide Clutch Distributors into membership and look forward to them playing an active role in supporting IAAF’s work across many fronts. We have a growing membership of distance and e-commerce sellers as the automotive aftermarket continues to embrace emerging technologies available to them. As a result, technology will be the central theme of our upcoming conference in December.”

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