Evaluation of Block Exemption Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 – Latest News

Following on from the announcement in issue 876 of the eBulletin, the IAAF has now made its submission to the Commission Roadmap. To view the IAAF’s feedback, please CLICK HERE.

The IAAF has also sent a copy of its submission to the Dept. for Transport as this will also be a key piece of legislation for the UK.

It is the intention of the IAAF to put together a BER Working group from the membership to enable the federation to be fully prepared for the BER consultation when it commences next year.  Further details on the working group will follow in a few weeks.

The Commission will now be commissioning a fact-finding study to an external contractor. Future stages in the process include:

• Public consultation of 12 weeks (Q2/2020) to collect in-depth and high-quality evidence on the key competition issues from the perspective of businesses, consumers and EU competition law enforcers.
• The above public consultation will be supplemented by targeted questionnaires where appropriate.
• The findings of the public consultation will be summarised in a report and made available to stakeholders by Q2/2021.
• Political decision on the next steps (such as possible revision, legislative proposal, etc.).

The IAAF will continue to keep the membership updated over the coming months on the progress of this key piece of legislation.

Pre-event registration up 21% following launch of Automechanika Birmingham 2019

Pre-registration for Automechanika Birmingham 2019 is up 21% on the same time last year, thanks largely to the raft of new initiatives being unveiled.

A record number of motor factors and garages are due to descend upon the Midlands once again for the industry’s leading trade exhibition, taking place from 4 to 6 June at the NEC Birmingham.

This year’s event will see the launch of many new points of interest covering all aspects of the automotive industry, including: The Big UK Garage Event, Aftermarket Innovation Showcase, Commercial Vehicle Showcase, Garage Equipment Showcase and, Hosted Garage Programme, all designed to deliver an enhanced visitor experience.

Big UK Garage Event
The Big UK Garage Event offers garages free parking, free breakfast on arrival and ‘Happy Hour’, where technicians can grab a free drink every lunch time.

Other exciting developments this year for garages include CPD accredited training and demos from the industry’s top speakers including Frank Massey, Andy Crook and James Dillon, the Training & Skills Village and the returning Workshop Training Hub. Exhibitors will also be providing a raft of exclusive show offers and giveaways for garages at this year’s event.

Hosted Garage Programme
Motor factors that bring their garage customers to Automechanika Birmingham 2019 will benefit from an exclusive VIP area, enjoy fast track access into the event and support with their travel arrangements.

Innovation will be the leading theme for the 2019 event. Following extensive Automechanika research, “new technology and innovation” were key reasons to attend the event for independent garages, motor factors, retailers and bodyshops and so Automechanika is looking to build on this by highlighting all innovation from within the automotive industry.

Other new initiatives for Automechanika Birmingham 2019 include: Bodyshop Demo Hub, Aftermarket Power Network, Automechanika Garage of the Year Awards and Future Mobility & Innovation Hub in association with Department of International Trade.

Jack Halliday, Event Director, said: “We’ve seen an increase in anticipation from visitors and exhibitors for this year’s event and the excitement is building. Automechanika Birmingham is a must visit for anybody working in the automotive industry and this year’s event is going to be the most engaging yet, cementing Automechanika Birmingham’s position as the meeting place for the UK’s automotive industry.”

Major aftermarket names committed to the 2019 event include: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK, Yuasa, Apec Braking Ltd, BM Catalysts, Draper Tools, GROUPAUTO, Launch Tech UK, Liqui Moly, MAM Software, Marathon Warehouse Distribution, Morris Lubricants, OESSA, Texa UK and Total UK.

Registration is now open and visitors can now book their free ticket here: https://automechanika-birmingham-2019.reg.buzz

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Countdown has begun to Lucas engine management switchover

An additional 1500 parts will be added to the Lucas engine management range when Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE) becomes the official UK & Ireland licensee on 1 May 2019.

From this date, UK customers will benefit from the considerable resources invested by the company in range re-profiling, packaging and cataloguing. For example, the range of ignition coils will increase by 15percent, cam/crank sensors by 20percent, oil pressure switches by 18percent and, the ignition leads range will increase by 34percent. Under SMPE, the Lucas engine management programme will also introduce a range of fuel vapour valves.

SMPE, which has recently announced additional investment in its Nottingham Centre of Engineering Excellence, is also the license holder for the Lucas brand of engine management in Europe.

Currently, all customers are gearing up for the switchover to the SMPE managed Lucas engine management programme, which includes: Ignition coils, cam/crank sensors, air mass meters, lead sets, coolant temp sensors and oil pressure switches.

Richard Morley, SMPE Commercial Director, said: “Since acquiring the Lucas license for engine management in Europe, we have invested heavily in its development. From 1 May 2019, UK customers will immediately benefit from this investment as we make clear our commitment to drive the Lucas brand forward to new heights.

SMPE were also the principal suppliers of Lucas branded engine management during the 1990s and into 2000 and beyond. Going forward, SMPE will also be working closely with other Lucas licence holders of complementary product programmes.

SMPE offers one of the strongest OE matching quality European aftermarket engine management programmes available, through its commitment to quality and performance, underpinned by its ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.

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IAAF Industry Briefing highlights fast-evolving technological landscape

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) held its first Industry Briefing of 2019 at Stadium MK, home of EFL League Two side MK Dons, in Milton Keynes on Thursday 21 March.

Sponsored by industry recruitment specialists Autotech Recruit, the sold-out event in the venue’s Performance Suite welcomed seasoned speaker Quentin Le Hetet from GiPA and Virtual Academy’s Ben Stockton, both addressing technology’s fast-growing role in the aftermarket, now and in the future.

The session was kick-started by IAAF Head of Membership Development Mike Smallbone, who updated members on all the latest industry developments including the Your Car, Your Choice campaign and its new pilot project in Chesterfield, as well as a policy and lobbying update on key areas including Type Approval legislation, the Extended Vehicle concept and the Block Exemption Regulations review. There was also a reminder of this year’s IAAF Golf Day events in conjunction with automotive industry charity BEN, to be held this summer.

Ben Stockton from new IAAF member Our Virtual Academy then took the speaker’s slot, addressing attendees on upskilling vehicle technicians using video technology to enhance their knowledge and expertise. During his presentation, he showcased the advancement in training that was now available at the click of a button, with virtual reality enabling ‘1-2-1’ professional training with technicians.

This was followed by GiPA’s Quentin le Hêtet who gave the audience a glimpse of the future thanks to after-sales market intelligence, with a discussion on what the next 5 years held for the independent aftermarket. In it, he covered mobility development, the VMs’ strategy, tapping into the potential brought by new marketplaces and the changing dynamics for diesel cars.

Smallbone said: “Our fantastic speakers have helped us deliver another highly useful and insightful session to our members. The fact that this was a sell-out proves just how popular these sessions are becoming, which provide not just an excellent networking opportunity but also invaluable information and data relating to the industry that our members can benefit from.”

The session then finished at 1.00 pm with lunch, where delegates had the opportunity to network with fellow members.

The next meeting will be hosted by Involution at their new premises in Leeds on Thursday 20 June.

As limited spaces are available, IAAF is advising members to book early to avoid disappointment by emailing Ann Silvester at anns@iaaf.co.uk.

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TecAlliance buys JNPSoft: Strengthens position in North America and worldwide

TecAlliance has purchased the Canadian software supplier JNPSoft. The company, based in Montreal and led by Nat Di Censo [far left] and Jacques Michel [near left], is one of the leading suppliers of product information software (PIM) in Canada and the US. “We are pleased that we have acquired JNPSoft’s team, which brings us considerable aftermarket expertise”, stated Jürgen Buchert, CEO of TecAlliance GmbH. “This move significantly strengthens our competence in advising our customers in North America, as well as those in Europe and Asia. JNPSoft’s software “PartCat” is used daily by more than a quarter of the top 100 companies in the US automotive industry.

“The JNPSoft product range ideally complements those of our US TecAlliance subsidiary OptiCat. Due to a similar customer structure, we expect immediate synergies in sales and IT management, for example,” says David Winter, EVP Sales & Marketing. He welcomes the further commitment of both JNPSoft founders to the company, which will provide continuity and promote further growth.

Nat Di Censo, co-founder and president of JNPSoft, is pleased to join the TecAlliance group. “It is a huge inspiration to us that we can contribute even more directly to the digitisation of the industry by working with TecAlliance data specialists.” Jacques Michel, vice president of JNPSoft, sees new opportunities to improve the company’s solutions and further expand the product range to benefit customers. These will come from integration in the worldwide TecAlliance group and closer collaboration with its US subsidiary OptiCat. “We couldn´t have found a better strategic partner than TecAlliance”, he said. “This step opens up new international perspectives to us”.

In the past three years JNPSoft, whose 42 employees include a qualified team of PIM programmers, achieved a growth rate of around 40% by delivering “PartCat”, data management solutions for spare-parts manufacturers and other solutions. JNPSoft has invested heavily in the last two years, particularly in original equipment (OE) data research for the US, Canada and Mexico. Customers of JNPSoft include large manufacturers such as Delphi, Standard Motor Products, Walker Products and Denso Corporation.

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WAI aim high at Automechanika Birmingham 2019

WAIglobal UK will occupy its largest ever presence at Automechanika Birmingham 2019, as part of the Marathon Warehouse Distribution village.

The company, which signed a national distribution agreement with Marathon Warehouse Distribution at last year’s event, is exhibiting, as part of the Marathon Village at stand H120.

Since last year’s event, the WAI brand has experienced unprecedented growth and Richard Welland, WAIglobal UK managing director, believes it proved the catalyst for change in the rotating electrics market.

“As an ever-present exhibitor at Automechanika Birmingham, visitors have seen our presence grow as each time we come to the event with increased ranges, new products and services. This year will be no exception as we continue to build on the growing reputation of WAI’s brand, service, quality and excitement.”

The WAI supply agreement sees motor factors receive a frequent same day delivery service through Marathon’s expanding distribution centre network. Marathon’s 14 branch network stocks WAI’s 2500 starter motors and alternators, clutch pulleys, ignition coils, MAF sensors, wiper motors and window regulators.

With recent investment in WAI’s computer systems and an improvement in cataloguing data, WAI is perfectly positioned to raise its profile among Automechanika Birmingham visitors.

Welland added: “For the aftermarket, Automechanika Birmingham is all about the people and we attend with the right attitude, which is to entertain, inform and educate the expanding and diverse audience.”

Automechanika Birmingham takes place from 4 to 6 June 2019 at NEC Birmingham. WAI will also be attending the Automechanika Birmingham Exhibitor Day on 21 March at NEC Birmingham.

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Shaftec will celebrate leading remanufacturing position at ReMaTec 2019

Shaftec will use its first visit to ReMaTec as a platform to highlight its position as a leading remanufacturer of braking, steering & transmission automotive parts. In addition to showcasing impressive portfolio developments, experts from the business will be on hand to answer questions at the biennial exhibition’s tenth anniversary show.

ReMaTec is Europe’s biggest remanufacturing trade show and will take place at the RAI in Amsterdam on 23-25 June 2019. Supported by among others, leading industry Bodies: APRA (Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association) and FIRM (International Federation of Engine Remanufacturers & Rebuilders), the show is expected to attract more than 3000 visitors and will showcase in excess of a million parts and components.

A dynamic 36m² stand will highlight Shaftec’s complete remanufacturing solution, offered from its centre of excellence in the heart of Birmingham’s industrial region; from its engineering capabilities, to its stringent testing processes through to its warranty offer – matching those for new products.

Tom Curtis, Shaftec director explained: “Top quality remanufacturing is not a poorer substitute for new, and sensibly the remanufacture of automotive parts continues to grow as a global business. This method offers a more efficient use of energy and resources and it’s often the only aftermarket alternative to keep older vehicles on the road – essential in markets with aging vehicle parcs. By offering remanufactured products Shaftec provides a vital service and creates sustainability.”

Shaftec has invested heavily in its remanufacturing facilities in recent years. Business growth was the driver behind its 2015 facility expansion and subsequent mezzanine floor addition in early 2018. The business now operates from a site totaling 4000m².

Advances in technology increasingly widen the scope of components and systems suitable for remanufacture, as shown in the clear industry shift towards mechatronic components. Demand increases the scale. Sales of Shaftec branded remanufactured Electric Power Steering (EPS) racks, up 33 percent this January compared to last clearly illustrate this.

Marc Wise, Shaftec Export Sales Manager explains: “Remanufacturing is the way forward for those who want to hold a broad range of product. At Shaftec we offer a variety of parts from fast moving to niche references and by keeping a close eye on build costs, we’re able to remain competitive and confident we’re providing a quality product.

“While there new options are available more cheaply on the market, in the long term it may not make commercial sense to go down this route. In terms of quality, these parts don’t have the integrity of using OE core to offer performance as the VM intended, nor can you guarantee the re-engineering expertise or the stringent testing procedures; central to our quality process and in which we invest heavily to instil confidence in the brand.”

Tom concludes: “For Shaftec, with quality remanufacturing at its heart, ReMaTec is the most important exhibition of its kind. It allows the major players to regroup, gives us the opportunity to learn of important developments and demonstrates our capabilities as an important player on the European Remanufacturing stage.”

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HGVs ‘ignored’ by Government in urban strategy

The government has published its ‘Future of Mobility Urban Strategy’ report. After highlighting mobility trends towards increased take-up of electric vehicles, increased amounts of vehicle connectivity and increased ecological consciousness, the strategy focuses on four “next steps”: Implementing a flexible regulatory framework, Supporting industry and local leaders, Ensuring government decision-making is robust; and continuing established technology- specific plans, however, the Government has been accused of ignoring the freight industry, with no mention of HGVs in the report.

The document, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA), fails to make a single substantive mention of HGVs, despite the fact that they are, and will remain, the major method of urban delivery.

The future regulatory framework is particularly of interest to the automotive industry as three of the four areas of focus are already seen as key trends: Mobility as a Service (MaaS); Transport data; and modernising bus, taxis and private hire vehicles legislation.

Owing to the fact that the market is aiming for “zero tailpipe emissions”, as particulate emissions from exhausts have been decreasing, “brake wear, tyre wear and road wear have become the largest source of particulate emissions from road transport, and are expected to become increasingly important.”

In what it is describing as the biggest review into transport in a generation, the Future of Mobility Urban Strategy says the Department for Transport (DfT) will explore regulations around new types of vehicles including e-scooters and e-cargo bike trailers.

The DfT says it will also explore how sharing data can improve services by reducing congestion, and how journey planning and payments can be simplified.

At the same time, the Government is launching a competition for up to four new ‘future mobility zones’, with funding of £90 million available to test ideas to improve journeys.

Ideas, it says, will tap into widespread smartphone use and will include smoother payment systems, better, more up-to-date travel information and the use of innovative forms of transport, with the aim of making travel in towns and cities more convenient, more reliable and cheaper.

The Government says it remains committed to supporting the increased uptake of electric vans. In December, it announced continuing support for the sector through the Plug in Van Grant, which provides 20% of the purchase price of an eligible van, up to a maximum of £8,000, or £20,000 for the first 200 eligible large vans or trucks.

It will make a further announcement on the future Plug-in Van Grant rate shortly and is also considering extending the Workplace Charging Scheme entitlement from 20 sockets per company to 20 sockets per site to increase the availability of charging infrastructure.

The Future of Mobility Urban Strategy is a key part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. It sets out nine key principles that aim to guide
Government decision-making going forward, ensuring that emerging transport technologies are safe, accessible and green. These include being: safe, secure and guarded against cyber threats; accessible to older people and those with visible and non-visible disabilities; and in line with the government’s ambition for a zero-emission future. To view the document, CLICK HERE.

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60 seconds with Rob Skelton, CV Show director

What can visitors expect to see at The CV Show this year?
Well, more than four hundred exhibitors spanning the whole road transport, distribution and logistics supply business. You will see everything from truck, van and trailer manufacturers through to fork lift trucks, insurers, tyre manufacturers, telematics and training providers, fuels and lubricants suppliers, and a whole lot more.

The CV Show is the largest and most comprehensive commercial vehicle event held in Britain and provides business solutions for every operator looking to boost productivity and profit.

What value does a visitor get from attending the CV Show?
The future of the industry is always at the forefront of the CV Show. Central to this year’s show offering will be the latest technological innovations, advances in design and manufacturing, and concepts for the products of tomorrow. This year we’ll see a growing number of alternative fuel commercial vehicles on display.

The Show will help anyone involved in the sector best prepare their business for the years ahead.

How do you see the show evolving over the next few years?
The CV Show never stands still and will continue to evolve to meet the changing requirements of both visitors and exhibitors. Increasingly, the CV sector is leading the way in the development and implementation of technology to improve operational efficiency, to make our roads safer and our environment greener.

The CV Show is the chosen showcase for these advances and always supports the industry in any way possible. New exciting elements to the show proposition are already being planned for 2020 and beyond, to ensure the show remains relevant and stakeholders truly benefit from their attendance. Watch this space!

To register for a free ticket, CLICK HERE.

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Experienced Sales Professional Steve Martin joins MWD/WAI

Marathon Warehouse Distribution & WAIglobal have jointly appointed Steve Martin to the role of Business Development Director.

Steve has been in the industry for more than 30 years, enjoying selling roles with First Line, Veco, Juratek and more recently Rolling Components. His multi-product selling experience combined and strong customer relations will prove beneficial to both Marathon & WAI alike.

Steve has an extensive insight into the rotating electrics market which clearly is a great fit for WAI & indeed for Marathon based on the WAI same day distribution agreement announced back in June 2018 which has resulted in huge same day availability for factors of all of WAI’s products.

In his new role, he is tasked with further developing the significant growth of the Marathon business, ensuring motor factors and buying groups take full advantage of Marathon’s growing product portfolio, increased service levels and availability not to mention their impressive EMPOWER factor trading platform. He will also support WAI as the brand currently enjoys a very buoyant sales period.

Commenting on his new role, Steve said: “The opportunities for Marathon as an independent national warehouse distributor in an ever-changing market are enormous and I’m extremely excited by the opportunity to be part of their impressive growth and plans for the future.

“WAI is a brand with deep roots in the automotive aftermarket and is highly regarded for its forward-thinking approach. My expertise in this product group and relationships with customers will ensure the brand cements its position in the trade.”

Marathon Warehouse Distribution currently has 14 strategically located Regional Distribution Centres across the country offering factors and accessory shops fast, frequent same day access to an ever-expanding product portfolio of leading aftermarket brands.

With further geographic expansion planned, Marathon is committed to providing full same day coverage to motor factors and their network is supported by a huge national distribution centre located in Redditch, Worcestershire.

Richard Welland, WAIglobal UK Managing Director, said: “Steve is well-respected, very knowledgeable and we’re delighted to have him on board to open up new opportunities for the WAI brand.”

Colin Fisher, Marathon Warehouse Distribution’s Sales & Marketing Director, added: “This is a very exciting time for us and we are seeing huge growth as we continue to develop and strengthen our product ranges, availability, service levels & our EMPOWER selling platform. Steve’s introduction to our business could not have come at a better time and I look forward to working closely with him in accelerating our growth, based on his knowledge and motor factor relationships.”

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