IAAF Awards Ceremony “biggest yet” as it celebrates aftermarket success

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) Annual Awards & Dinner 2018 has been hailed as one of the largest of its kind in many years, as it once again welcomed key aftermarket professionals to celebrate another successful year of business, growth and innovation.

The sell-out event, held for the second year running at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes and sponsored by Alliance Automotive UK (AAUK), saw close to 600 guests in attendance, uniting the aftermarket as it gathered under one roof for a special evening of plaudits and entertainment.

Professionals congregated in state-of-the-art surroundings, as they were presented with the opportunity to network over a five-course meal and reflect on the industry happenings and achievements of the past 12 months, including a round-up from Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, as the IAAF bid farewell to Lawrence Bleasdale, who is due to step down as President of the IAAF at the AGM in February before current Vice President Terry Knox takes over the role.

Guests were kept entertained throughout the course of the evening by IAAF’s guest speaker, TV & radio comedian and bestselling author, Tony Hawks.

The IAAF Annual Awards were also announced and runners up and winners were as follows:

Car Distributor of Excellence (sponsored by DENSO Aftermarket Sales UK)
Winner: Melksham Motor Spares
Runner Up: Marathon Warehouse Distribution

Car Distributor Award Winners – Melksham Motor Spares  

Car Supplier of the Year (sponsored by Elcome)
Winner: GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK
Runner Up: M J Allen National Autoparts

Car Supplier Award Winners – GS Yuasa  

CV Distributor of the Year (sponsored by Eminox)
Winner: Robert Carter (MF)
Runner Up: K & S McKenzie

CV Distributor Award Winners – Robert Carter (MF)  

CV Supplier of the Year (sponsored by Boswell Aftermarket)
Winner: Exol Lubricants
Runner Up: TMD Friction UK

CV Supplier Award Winners Exol Lubricants  

Service Supplier of the Year (sponsored by Impression Communications)
Winner: Whocanfixmycar.com
Runner Up: PACT

Service Supplier Award Winner Whocanfixmycar.com  

All guests were able to make a charitable donation to the automotive industry charity, BEN, which, together with money donated from the IAAF Golf Days held over the summer, successfully raised a total of more than £9,400.

Overall Winners of the 2018 IAAF Golf Team Challenge – Elcome Ltd.  

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “It’s been a fantastic evening, topped off by the fact that it was a sell-out and one of our largest Annual Awards & Dinner events in recent memory. It was great to see so many faces gathering in one place to celebrate the achievements of our winners, who we’d like to congratulate wholeheartedly.”

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CD Group appoints a non-executive director

CD Group are pleased to announce the appointment of Neil Davis as a Non-Executive Director.

Neil has over 20 years’ experience in the automotive aftermarket, including 11 years as Managing Director of FPS and of the Lookers Parts Division, which included FPS, Apec and BTN. He was also a main board director of Lookers PLC, the £4bn turnover vehicle retailer, from 2011 to 2016. The Lookers Parts Division was acquired by Alliance Automotive Group in 2016, and Neil led the successful transition of the acquired business before stepping down at the end of 2017.

CD Group is the leading wholesale aftermarket parts distributor in Ireland with long established sites in Belfast, Dublin and Cork. Trading for over 55 years, the company offers market leading logistics for the likes of Apec, Bosch, Schaeffler, Gates, Mann Filter, Kilen, Comma, KYB & Hella, amongst an extensive brand portfolio.

Terry Knox, Managing Director of CD Group, commented “we have known and worked with Neil through our strong relationships with FPS and Apec and also through historical mutual membership of ATR. It is pleasing therefore to have somebody of Neil’s calibre and experience join our Board at a time when there are so many changes and opportunities in the aftermarket.”

Neil, who is also a Chartered Director, takes up his new position at the start of 2019 alongside his CD Group Board colleagues, chaired by former Whale CEO & VP of Wrightbus, Patrick Hurst MBE.

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Melksham Motor Spares invests in freshly enhanced website

One of the South West Region’s largest independent motor factors, Melksham Motor Spares, has launched a new website, offering garage customers key information on its business activities as well as latest products and services available.

The mobile-responsive website, www.melkshammotorspares.co.uk, has a fresh, modern feel and user-friendly functionality, featuring various sections and demonstrating the factor’s extensive aftermarket portfolio.

The new site also features a News and Offers section so that visitors can keep up to date with the latest developments within Melksham Motor Spares and benefit from some exclusive deals across its extensive range of parts, consumables and equipment.

For Wiltshire motorists, there is also a section on signing up for its popular loyalty card scheme, as well as a page for its newsletter sign-up, which shares news on the latest range additions available to order in store.

Melksham Motor Spares also prides itself on an active social media presence, which visitors can access by clicking on its Instagram, Twitter and Facebook links on the homepage.

A Product section lists all of Melksham’s extensive product groups of OE Quality Components from trusted and recognised suppliers, from braking, electrical, filtration and engine & fuel to transmission, exhaust, tools and consumables.

There is also a Spares Request page, which enables visitors to send their parts request or enquiry on a specific vehicle by simply completing a form and submitting by the click of a button.

The motor factor has a dedicated team to help run the business at its Frome and Melksham branches, and the family firm’s customer-centric ethos is clear from the About Us and Meet the Team sections.

Melksham Motor Spares managing director, Phil Dodd said: “Our new website reflects the integrity of the business which is underpinned by our family values, as well as offering our customers an engaging, user-friendly platform that demonstrates our product quality, capabilities and extensive first-class range available to them, when they need them.”

The motor factor, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, was established in 1968 and is one of the most prominent businesses in the area. Today the business operates from two branches in Melksham and Frome, employing more than 80 members of staff and managing a fleet of 28 delivery vehicles.

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ONCE® is now a registered trademark

Elcome is pleased to announce that ONCE®, the name identified with the company’s flagship replacement parts cataloguing and publishing solution, is now a registered trademark in both UK and European territories.

ONCE® reflects both the product and the fundamental principle upon which all Elcome solutions are built, enabling work tasks to be maintained ONCE® and used many times, thus resulting in a better, more productive way of working for parts manufacturers and distributors.

Commenting on the confirmation of the registered trademark status Tim Entwistle, Managing Director of Elcome said, “The philosophy of doing something once and using it many times is a powerful tool for business transformation. It’s what we as a company believe in and what we are known for. The registration of ONCE® as a trademark will protect our brand name & identity in the global parts replacement aftermarket and help us to deliver our distinctive message in the future”.

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Comline takes on Europe in show-stopping 2018

Automotive parts supplier Comline has seen a record 2018, exhibiting at no less than five major automotive expos across the continent and reaching a staggering combined audience of over 260,000 customers and key decision makers.

Kicking off in style, the show season began in Frankfurt at the world-renowned Automechanica, where Comline showcased its largest-ever exhibition stand to a record-breaking 136,000 visitors over four days. Doubling its footprint from the previous year Comline’s stand covered a vast, 78 square metres, providing show-goers with a clear indication of the brand’s growing stature within the European aftermarket sector.

The next stop was Ireland, home to subsidiary Comline Ireland. Exhibiting at Auto Trade Dublin – Ireland’s largest Automotive Expo – Comline once again displayed why it continues to make its mark in over 40 countries worldwide. The 36 square metre stand was a hit with visitors and picked the notable accolade of ‘best stand’ from the show’s organisers, who praised Comline for combining eye-catching, informative displays and fun activities.

Dublin was quickly followed by Athens, home to subsidiary Comline Hellas, and host to Greece’s Autokinisi. Comline certainly stood out from the crowd at Greece’s national motor show with an impressive 44 square metre stand adorned in the company’s distinctive blue and yellow colours. It was a striking exhibition which gave Comline Hellas and their authorised distributors the perfect backdrop to showcase the Comline brand and its core product lines.

Next came Bulgaria and Automotive Expo Sofia. This show presented an opportunity for Comline to collaborate with its authorised distributor Auto Plus, who dedicated space on their stand to the Comline brand, cementing the strong partnership and highlighting Comline’s multi-range product offering.

Last, but by no means least, the show train arrived in Cyprus for the Boyz Stuff exhibition. Joining forces once again, this time with key customer Psaltis, the two brands worked together to draw in the crowds using engaging tools such as Comline’s distinctive Panik99 rally car, which took centre stage.

Although differing in size, and focal points, each exhibition stand was consistently designed to provide a dynamic representation of Comline’s all-marque, multi-line, high-quality product portfolio in an informative yet engaging manner, incorporating eye-catching fun activities and a relaxed setting for customer engagement. Thanks to physical displays of the brand’s key product lines, filtration, braking, steering & suspension, and activities such as ‘spin to win’, a game which gave visitors the chance to win prizes, the winning formula delivered at every location.

In addition to the large expos Comline also worked together with its many distributors to deliver numerous local events in places such as Bosnia and Macedonia helping customers to wave the blue and yellow flag at every opportunity.

“2018 truly has been a whirlwind year for the Comline Brand,” said Leigh Davies, Comline’s Marketing Manager. “Our ever-growing presence in Europe made it possible – and frankly essential – for us to be present at a record-number of Automotive exhibitions across the continent.

“The aim was to underline our market position and promote the brand’s core values of supplying high-quality parts and genuine value for money. I feel we have achieved what we set out to do surpassing expectations in every country, a view which was shared by others, and confirmed by the award we received in Dublin. Looking back on our achievements, I am delighted to declare our 2018 show season was a resounding success – bring on 2019!”

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Automechanika Birmingham 2019 – Why book before Christmas?

When the industry gathers, where will you be? Join leading suppliers at Automechanika Birmingham 2019 – your last chance to exhibit until 2021.

Why book now?

The TOP reason why securing space now is better than waiting until New Year is that there are only eleven spaces remaining in a prime location on the “Visitor Highway” or “Front of Show”.  View Floorplan.

To find out more, click links below to take a look at the website or review exhibitor listings



If you have already selected your stand – please call one of the team today to ensure you don’t miss out.

Contact the Automechanika Birmingham team on 01483 483984 or email info@automechanika-birmingham.com.

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Tesco to install thousands of FREE electric car chargers in its store car parks

Volkswagen and Tesco has announced the development of the largest UK retail electric vehicle (EV) charging network.

The two companies will roll out more than 2,400 EV charging bays across 600 Tesco stores within the next three years.

The charging bays will be based in Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks throughout the United Kingdom, and will be installed by independent public charging network operator, Pod Point.

Customers will be able to charge their electric cars using a standard 7kW fast charger for free, or benefit from the use of a rapid 50 kW charger for a small cost in line with the market rate.

The ambitious initiative underlines Volkswagen’s commitment to becoming a leading player in e-mobility and deliver on its pledge to sell one million electric cars a year worldwide by 2025.

The ID. family of all-electric models, based on the Volkswagen Group’s new MEB electric platform, will begin coming to market here in the UK next year as order books open for the ID. hatch – a fully electric Golf-sized model that will be followed from 2020 by production versions of the ID. BUZZ (MPV) and ID. CROZZ (SUV) concept cars.

Geraldine Ingham, head of marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “This incredibly exciting partnership with Tesco, powered by Pod Point, underlines the scale and ambition of our electric car programme in the UK.

“Working with these partners to provide such an extensive network of EV chargers should leave no one in any doubt about the Volkswagen brand’s wholehearted commitment to an electric future.”

Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, said: “This is part of our wider commitment to addressing the environmental challenges that matter most to our customers, colleagues and communities.

“We want to be the leading electric vehicle energy provider and to support our customers with more sustainable solutions. Our EV network provides a sustainable choice for our customers and charging while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier.”

Erik Fairbairn, CEO of Pod Point, said: “This agreement represents a 14 per cent increase in the number of public charge bays in the UK and is a monumental day for electric vehicle drivers.

“It is a massive leap forward for the UK and a significant step in our mission to put a Pod Point everywhere you park.”

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Fleets say electric vehicles will become “dominant” in next 10 years

Electric vehicles are expected to become dominant in 89% of fleets before the end of the next decade, according to a new study by Geotab.

Almost half of today’s surveyed fleets (46%) in the UK have no electric vehicles but nine out of 10 UK-based fleet managers expect them to play a dominant role in their company’s fleet before 2028.

According to the study, government incentives (48%), improvements in charging infrastructure (48%) and an improved selection of models by vehicle manufacturers (32%), are the leading motivators in the transition to a fully electric fleet.

The majority of fleet managers (88%) also anticipate the government to bring in regulations regarding the implementation of EV fleets – similar to the ‘Road to Zero’ initiative.

With sustainability top of mind, one in six respondents agree that the main benefit of electrification is the environmental impact.

Fleet managers are still facing major barriers, including high vehicle costs, long charging times and the low distance range of today’s vehicles, however.

Less than 2% of all fleet managers surveyed claimed there are no benefits to electrifying their fleets

“These survey results help to demonstrate that the government’s call for an EV future is not something businesses are taking lightly,” said Edward Kulperger, VP Europe at Geotab.

“With most fleet leaders looking to have a fully EV-dependent fleet over the next few years, it’s no longer a question of if, but rather how soon a complete overhaul can take place.

“Based upon the outcome of this survey, it’s clear that businesses and fleets feel they now need additional government initiatives and smart updates to critical infrastructure across the UK. If this can be made a priority, as a nation, Geotab is confident that the UK can take a spot as one of the most innovative global leaders trying to help push the widespread adoption of green transportation in the coming years,” he added.

The research, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Geotab, was a UK-wide study of 250 fleet managers. The majority of those surveyed are in charge of fleets of over 25 vehicles, which range from passenger cars, vans and also trucks.

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New tax returns legislation to come into effect from April 2019

HM Revenue and Customs is to change the way businesses submit VAT returns to meet the Making Tax Digital for VAT legislation, which comes into effect from 1st April 2019.

Businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold, which is currently £85,000, will be required to keep their records digitally, and provide their VAT return information to HMRC through Making Tax Digital (MTD) functional compatible software.

Preparing for Making Tax Digital
The IGA has said MTD does not require businesses to keep additional records for VAT, but they will need to keep records digitally from the start of their accounting period.

Introduction to Making Tax Digital
Making Tax Digital is a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs.

HMRC’s ambition is to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. Making Tax Digital is making fundamental changes to the way the tax system works.

HMRC’s pilot service is open to around half a million businesses whose affairs are up to date and straightforward, and this will be extended to most other business types over the coming months.

VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns from 1 April 2019.

The exception to this is a small minority of VAT-registered businesses with more complex requirements. As part of planning for the VAT pilot, HMRC has continued to engage with stakeholders and listen to their concerns about business readiness for Making Tax Digital and has made the decision to delay mandation for these customers until 1 October 2019 to ensure there is sufficient time to test the service with them in the pilot before they are mandated to join.

Income Tax
Some businesses and agents are already keeping digital records and providing updates to HMRC as part of a live pilot to test and develop the Making Tax Digital service for Income Tax. If you are a self-employed business or landlord you can voluntarily use software to keep business records digitally and send Income Tax updates to HMRC instead of filing a Self Assessment tax return.

Helping businesses, self-employed people and landlords get it right first time
The majority of customers want to get their tax right but the latest tax gap figures show that too many find this hard, with avoidable mistakes costing the Exchequer over £9 billion a year. The improved accuracy that digital records provide, along with the help built into many software products and the fact that information is sent directly to HMRC from the digital records, avoiding transposition errors, will reduce the amount of tax lost to these avoidable errors.

Having listened to concerns about the pace of change, particularly for small businesses, the government announced in July 2017 that the pace of mandation would be slowed and that Making Tax Digital will not be mandated for taxes other than VAT until at least April 2020.

The primary legislation for Making Tax Digital relating to VAT and Income Tax is contained in the Finance (No.2) Act 2017, providing certainty about the broad framework in which Making Tax Digital will operate, with secondary legislation for VAT laid in February 2018, coming into force from April 2019.

HMRC has published a VAT Notice which explains the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT and about the digital information that must be kept.

They have also published a communication pack which supports their partnership working arrangements with stakeholders, who can use the contents to inform their own communications activity and key messages for their clients, customers or members.

Help and support
HMRC provides a wide range of digital services and support for businesses and the self-employed.

For further information, CLICK HERE.

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