BM Catalysts and Your Car Your Choice rally round the Aftermarket

BM Catalysts continues to support MP Motorsport with sponsorship of its Subaru Impreza rally car, which is currently competing in the ANEMMC and EMAMC championships, for the third year in a row. Having it’s branding in a prominent position on the impressive vehicle’s livery not only gives the leading manufacturer of aftermarket catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters great exposure at rallies across the UK but also affords it access to the team’s exclusive hospitality days. Speaking at one such recent event, BM Catalysts’ commercial director Mark Blinston commented:

“The MP Motorsport team is going from strength to strength and this year the car is quicker than ever. A shared dedication to engineering excellence, uncompromising quality, and building effective partnerships, means that both teams are exceeding expectations and operating right at the front of our respective fields. It’s great that MP Motorsport have also recognised the importance of Your Car-Your Choice and is supporting the campaign which helps all aftermarket suppliers, including BM Catalysts, and the industry as a whole.”

“Our support is certainly paying dividends and we are really enjoying the exposure the BM Catalysts brand is receiving at the rallies as well as in the national media. Being associated with a trophy winning team is helping promote our brand on social media as well as using our association within our Performance Catalyst marketing material. Then there’s the chance to go round the track in the fantastic Impreza, which is exhilarating!”

Your Comments

IAAF Golf Challenge 2019 tees off at Worsley Park

Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has successfully hosted its Team Golf Challenge at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club near Manchester, in aid of automotive trade charity, BEN.

The event, which took place on 10 July, saw 12 teams taking part to raise a total of £420 for BEN, with the wet weather doing little to dampen team spirits.

The 18-hole course, set in 200 acres of scenic parkland, presented some tricky challenges for participants, which saw Sogefi Filtration being awarded the prize for the winning team, featuring Sam Verity, Paul Merson, Malcolm Gomersall and Gary Dunford. The runner-up team was RRD Automotive, which included Matt Kelly, Vince Gibbons, Andy Reynolds and Mark Kendall.

In addition to the winners and runners-up trophies, there were prizes for ‘Longest Drive’, which went to Andrew Ashcroft from Team Robert Bosch, with Erika Dean from the Automechanika Birmingham Team winning ‘Nearest the Pin’ and Best Individual Score being awarded to the Sogefi Filtration team.

The winning team from Sogefi with Wendy Williamson, IAAF Chief Executive (L-R: Malcolm Gomersall, Sam Verity, Gary Dunford, Paul Merson)
Runners-Up, RRD Automotive receiving their trophies from Wendy Williamson 
Gary Dunford from the Sogefi Team receiving his trophy for the best individual score from Wendy Williamson
Erika Dean from the Automechanika Birmingham team receives her Nearest the Pin trophy from Wendy Williamson
Andrew Ashcroft from the Bosch team achieved the Longest Drive and received his trophy from Wendy Williamson

The overall winners of the IAAF-BEN golf challenge for 2019 will be the team with the best score from this event and the second Team Golf Challenge which is due to take place on 15 August at The Abbey Hotel in Redditch, Worcestershire, which will be unveiled at the IAAF’s Annual Awards Dinner in December, where winners will be invited to receive their prize.

The event sponsors for the day were:

  • Nearest the Pin: Robert Bosch
  • Longest Drive: NGK
  • Light Refreshments: Sogefi Filtration
  • Golf Balls & Tees: Automechanika Birmingham
  • Golf Umbrellas: Euro Car Parts

IAAF chief executive, Wendy Williamson, said: “Congratulations to all the teams and a big thank you to all our supporters and sponsors in making the day such a fantastic success. We look forward to enjoying some more great golf, while raising further funds for such an important cause when we head to The Abbey next month.”

BEN is a charity exclusively available to those who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry, as well as their family dependents.

There are still a few spaces left for the second Team Golf Challenge event on 15 August at The Abbey Hotel, those interested are urged to sign up now before they are allocated by contacting IAAF’s head office: info@iaaf.co.uk.

Clarios launches as a world leader in advanced energy storage solutions

Johnson Controls has sold its global battery division Power Solutions to Brookfield Business Partners and is now formally transitioning from Johnson Controls to new company name Clarios.

Ulrich Eich, VP Aftermarket EMEA says “This is an exciting time for our company, one which we want to share with our customers and the UK Market. Johnson Controls Power Solutions becomes Clarios, a new company in its own right.”

Clarios is a global leader in advanced energy storage solutions, powering one in three of the world’s vehicles. Clarios, the company behind VARTA, the strong OE & Aftermarket battery brand with over a 130 year tradition of innovation and growth, is committed to new technology; 8 out of 10 newly manufactured start-stop vehicles fit with an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery in Europe, come with a Clarios.

All 16,000 employees of Johnson Controls Power Solutions transition to Clarios team members and the company continues to serve the UK and Irish market with the VARTA brand and battery service solutions.

For further details, please visit www.clarios.com

Osram supports public takeover offer from Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group

After detailed discussions, a bidding consortium composed of Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group, has presented to the Managing Board and Supervisory Board of OSRAM Licht AG a legally binding transaction offer for the public takeover of all the shares of Osram. Following a diligent process focussing on the best interests of the company, the shareholders and other stakeholders, the Managing Board and Supervisory Board have decided to support this offer. Osram and the consortium have also concluded an investor agreement that includes comprehensive commitments. “Bain and Carlyle are the right partners for Osram at the right time”, said Olaf Berlien, CEO of Osram. “They support our strategy and facilitate growth. Both are committed to our employees and offer shareholders an attractive premium.”

As part of the public takeover offer, shareholders are to be made a cash offer of 35 euros per share. This represents a premium of roughly 21 percent above the last closing price of Osram shares before the publication of Osram’s ad-hoc announcement regarding the evaluation of a legally binding transaction offer by Bain and Carlyle, and a premium of 22.6 percent on the volume-weighted average price of Osram shares in the past three months. In both cases, it should be noted that talks with Bain and Carlyle have been public knowledge for some time and therefore had an effect on the share price.

The offer values Osram at an equity value of 3.4 billion euros and an enterprise value of roughly 4 billion euros. Bain and Carlyle have announced a minimum acceptance threshold of 70 percent. This threshold does not include the shares owned by Osram Licht AG itself. The offer period is expected to end at the beginning of September. Subject to a further detailed review of the offer documentation, the Managing Board and Supervisory Board of Osram have a positive view on the offer. Both governing bodies assume that they will recommend in their reasoned response that shareholders should accept the offer. The Managing Board intends to sell its own Osram shares to the bidders as part of the takeover.

The ongoing transformation of Osram to a high-tech photonics company is the response to a profound change in the lighting industry. In the case of a successful takeover offer, Osram will have an ownership structure with which the company will be able to continue its necessary transformation in these economically and geopolitically uncertain times. Both private equity firms have extensive experience in supporting companies through transformation processes, have access to an international network and have successfully developed several companies in the past. Peter Bauer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Osram, said: “We welcome the offer from Bain and Carlyle and are convinced that it represents both a fair value for the shareholders and strategic added value for our company.”

In connection with the signed investor agreement, Bain and Carlyle will support the current growth path and, among other things, are making extensive commitments with regard to employees and locations. For example, the investors are committed to the current management plan and the existing strategy with its focus on optical semiconductors, the automotive sector and digital applications. Bain and Carlyle have given assurances that they will fully support the management team and will collaborate closely with the current Managing Board to further the transformation of Osram. Osram will continue to operate under the existing name after the takeover. The corporate headquarters will remain in Munich, and the rights to all patents will remain with Osram. Bain, Carlyle and Osram also acknowledged in the investor agreement that Osram operates in a challenging and volatile market environment, that requires flexible action.

It was agreed that both investors will support all ongoing growth projects, possible acquisitions as well as investments in new product developments. Bain and Carlyle also confirm that existing labour agreements, collective bargaining agreements and other similar agreements, as well as existing pension plans, will remain unchanged. The existing steering committee dealing with labour issues with equal representation between the Managing Board and the workforce representatives will also remain in its present form. The investors are explicitly committed to the cornerstones laid out in the document “Future Concept Germany” which was agreed in July 2017 with the trade union IG Metall and the workforce. In addition, the locations of the essential business units will remain unchanged.

The offer document will be published at a later date in accordance with the requirements of the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Law by Luz (C-BC) Bidco GmbH, a holding company jointly controlled by investment funds, which are advised and/or connected with Bain Capital Private Equity and The Carlyle Group, following approval by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. After publication, the Managing Board and Supervisory Board will carefully review the document in accordance with their legal obligations and submit a reasoned response. Perella Weinberg Partners acted as Financial Advisors and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as legal advisors for Osram.

Your Comments

Roadlink lends its voice to SMMT Remanufacturing Showcase

Leading commercial vehicle parts supplier Roadlink International has been championing the benefits of remanufacturing to some of the industry’s top influencers as part of SMMT’s Remanufacturing Showcase, which has been taking place from 8th -19th July.

The showcase saw some of the country’s leading personnel gather in London for the annual initiative, aimed at building industry and political awareness for the vital role remanufacturing plays – and can play – in the automotive industry, while highlighting the excellent environmental and economic impacts that remanufacturing delivers.

Alongside other big industry names, Roadlink was exhibiting components and processes used in remanufacturing for the automotive industry to effectively illustrate the benefits of the remanufacturing process.

Remanufacturing in itself has significant social, economic and environmental potential in the UK, if the right measures are set in place to support the industry and its development. The value of remanufacturing in the UK is c. £2.4 billion, with a potential to increase to £5.6 billion alongside the creation of thousands of skilled jobs. Alongside economic opportunities, remanufactured products also emit fewer greenhouse gases and consume less materials, resources and water.

Roadlink has long been a fervent believer in the remanufacturing process, reflected in the company’s ongoing investment in reman and its commitment to helping reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

The supplier remanufactures its brake calipers and shoes with the entire vehicle lifecycle in mind. Roadlink’s remanufactured calipers are fully-tested and produced to the highest standards thanks to its extensive state-of-the-art production facility and distribution operation, which are certified to the latest ISO9001:2015 quality and ISO14001:2015 environmental standards.

Keith Sedgley, Roadlink joint managing director, said: “As proud champions of remanufacturing, we’re delighted to have been approached to contribute to this initiative. It provides the perfect platform for some of the country’s top movers and shakers to learn more about the work our business, and the wider automotive remanufacturing sector, are doing, while understanding how much potential opportunity for growth and helping the environment remains untapped.

“The perception of remanufacturing is gradually changing and we are getting the remanufacturing message through, but there is still plenty of work to be done.”

Alongside its calipers and brake shoes, Roadlink offers a comprehensive range of new and remanufactured braking solutions, including brake pads, discs, drums and riveting machines.

Your Comments

No company car tax on electric vehicles, says Government

The Government says that company car drivers choosing a pure electric vehicle will pay no benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax in 2020/21.

In its long-awaited response to its review of WLTP and vehicle taxes, HM Treasury has scrapped the previously published BIK rates for 2020/21.

Instead it has created two new BIK tables for company car drivers; a table for those driving a company car registered after April 6, 2020, and one for those driving a company car registered before April 6, 2020.

HM Treasury says that for cars first registered from April 6, 2020, most company car tax rates will be reduced by two percentage points.

That means for a pure electric vehicle with zero tailpipe emissions, company car drivers will be taxed at 0%, paying no BIK tax at all.

Furthermore, the zero percentage rate is also extended to company car drivers in pure electric vehicles registered prior to April 6, 2020, who were already looking forward to a much reduced rate of 2% for 2020/21.

The 0% rate will also apply to company cars registered from April 6, 2020, with emissions from 1-50g/km and a pure electric mile range of 130 miles or more.

Both will then increase to 1% in 2021/22 and 2% in 2022/23.

Pure electric company cars registered before April 6, 2020, will also increase to 1% and 2% in subsequent years, 2021/22 and 2022/23.

However, company cars registered before April 6, 2020, with emissions from 1-50g/km and a pure electric mile range of 130 miles or more attract a 2% BIK rate in 2020/21 and stay the same for the two subsequent tax years.

From 2023/24, fleets will have one BIK tax table again as the rates are realigned.

The Government says that “by providing clarity of future the appropriate percentages, businesses will have the ability to make more informed decisions about how they make the transition to zero emission fleets”.

It added: “Appropriate percentages beyond 2022-23 remain under review and will be announced at future fiscal events.

“The Government aims to announce appropriate percentages at least two years ahead of implementation to provide certainty for employers, employees and fleet operators.”

The fleet industry was asked earlier this year to respond to a series of questions around whether vehicle tax changes are required once the new emissions testing regime, WLTP, is adopted for tax purposes from April 2020.

Initial evidence provided by manufacturers suggested that more than 50% of cars will see an increase from NEDC-correlated emissions values to WLTP of between 10% and 20%.

For company car drivers and fleet operators choosing a new car from April 2020, this could have resulted in an increased tax liability, compared to an identical model. The Government hopes this new approach avoids that anomaly.

The 4% diesel premium on published BIK rates remains, but cars classed as RDE2 will still be exempt from the charge.

Today’s changes, however, do not affect the lease rental restriction, capital allowances or any other CO2 related taxes and incentives, but will include fuel benefit charge.

The Government says that existing vehicle excise duty (VED) rates – also not part of this review – will stay the same from April 6, 2020, despite the introduction of WLTP values for tax purposes from this date.

A call for evidence for VED will be published later this year, seeking views on moving towards a “more dynamic approach to VED”, which recognises smaller changes in CO2 emissions.

Your Comments

E10 fuel change would cut fleet C02

Doubling the ethanol in the UK’s fuel mix would cut carbon by as much as taking 700,000 cars off the roads, according to a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APGG) for British Bioethanol.

The APGG report also states that without the swift introduction of E10 fuel – a mixture of 10% ethanol with 90% petrol, which is double the current permitted maximum – the UK economy will “likely soon lose” its £1bn biofuel industry.

The report follows an inquiry in March of this year into the lack of progress made by the DfT to publish its consultation into E10, which closed in September 2018.

The APPG report states that “while the UK purports to be a global leader in tackling the climate crisis … the reality is that the UK falls far behind many other countries”.

Furthermore, is claims that if the British bioethanol industry is lost, “the UK will likely become dependent on increasingly scarce and less sustainable biofuel from abroad including used cooking oil (UCO) from China”.

In July last year, the Government launched a low carbon fuels consultation. However, this was swiftly criticised by renewable energy experts who were “immensely frustrated by the ongoing delays” the consultation caused.

Nic Dakin, the chair of the APPG, said “Through this inquiry, we have sought to surface and explore the facts – taking written and oral evidence from the widest possible range of stakeholders from fuel producers and farmers – in order to identify concerns which stand in the way of introducing E10 in the UK.

“While the Department for Transport was invited to contribute to the work of this Inquiry via written or oral evidence, they declined to do so, which is regrettable.

“Nonetheless, I hope the department now takes heed of the findings and recommendations in this Final Report, and the collective efforts of this Group and those who has contributed to our work, will help progress discussions and dislodge a positive decision on this issue by the Department in the very near future, facilitating the managed introduction of this cleaner, greener fuel by 2020 at the latest. A development which members of this APPG as well as its Chair believe is a ‘no-brainer’.”

Your Comments

Managing ADAS in Repair – Deadline reminder for submissions

Anyone wishing to submit feedback into Thatcham’s development of a Code of Practice for managing ADAS in repair is reminded that the first window closes on Friday 26th July.

The ADAS systems on a vehicle provide critical safety functions. Repairers, therefore, must ensure that any repairs that directly involve, or impact ADAS sensors, are carried out so that the safety and functionality of the vehicle is not compromised.

With the rapid expansion of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in the automotive market it has become imperative that the repair industry increases technical capability and capacity to manage these systems in all forms of vehicle repair.

It is widely recognised within the industry that without any form of standardisation the automotive industries capability to manage ADAS in repair, of any kind, is being severely compromised. This is a situation that Thatcham believes all sectors of the industry, including repairers, insurers, equipment suppliers and vehicle manufacturers are experiencing and all will be essential parties in forming the solutions required to protect the consumers safety.

With this recognition in mind in May 2019 Thatcham Research produced a position paper entitled “Managing vehicle repairs involving Advanced Driver Assistance Systems”. At the same time Thatcham Research commenced work on developing a Code of Practice that will support and inform the industry to meet this challenge. However, to ensure the outcome provides an implementable solution industry wide consultation is being sought.

By working with industry membership organisations – Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), National Body Repairers Association (NBRA), Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), Independent Garage Association (IGA), Garage Equipment Association (GAE) British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and representations from the Motor Insurance Engineers Technical Committee (ETC) Thatcham is seeking to gain industry input. They have invited representatives from these groups to form a committee to support a review of industry feedback to help make a robust and fit for future Code of Practice.

The committee’s aspiration is to publish a code of practice in December 2019. To achieve this, your support as a member of this industry is being sought to provide timely input with actionable comments on the drafts as they are circulated.

The expected time-frames for the consultation are as follows:

  • Committee formed, and principals of consultation agreed: 20th June 2019
  • 1st Industry feedback window: 1st July 2019 to 26th July 2019
  • Feedback to be collated and reviewed by: 27th August 2019
  • ADAS Committee convening: 28th August 2019
  • Refine code to reflect committee agreements: 2nd September 2019
  • 2nd Industry feedback window: 9th September 2019 to 27th September 2019
  • ADAS Committee convening: 29th October 2019
  • Refine code to reflect committee agreements: 15th November 2019.

A draft copy of the proposed code of practice, which has been indexed to allow for easy reference, is attached as is a supporting spreadsheet designed to structure feedback into a common format. When providing feedback, Individuals are encouraged to think more in relation to how they feel the market should work to ensure all vehicles are repaired safely ensuring all functions and features are reinstated to their expected performance.

Only feedback received in the format given and sent to adasfeedback@thatcham.org, can be accepted.

ADAS Consultation Letter Final
ADAS in repair COP draft V3.1 – review1
ADAS CoP Feedback June 19

Your Comments

DVSA Annual Review and Report

The DVSA has recently published its annual review, and over the last year, DVSA staff have worked hard to help everyone stay safe on Britain’s roads.

The annual review tells the stories of how some of the DVSA’s staff, through their commitment and professionalism, have made a difference to road safety. It also highlights some of the work the DVSA will be doing over the next year.

To read the DVSA annual review 2018 to 2019 CLICK HERE.

The DVSA has also published our annual report and accounts which sets out what they achieved last year.

The read the DVSA annual report and accounts 2018 to 2019 CLICK HERE.

The DVSA will also be sharing highlights from last year and promoting the work their staff do every day, on their new Instagram account, @DVSAGOVUK.

Your Comments

Ben launches Annual Impact Report 2018-19

Automotive industry charity, Ben, has just published its annual Impact report 2018-19 which highlights the positive impact its support has had on automotive industry people during the year. The report reveals insights about the health and well-being issues faced by automotive industry people and thanks supporters who donated over £3m to Ben during the year.

The report highlights that over 3,000 people contacted Ben’s helpline for support and over 13,000 accessed online support content. There was a 29% increase YOY on the number of cases managed by Ben’s support services team.

The report also reveals some findings from Ben’s most recent annual Industry Survey. Results show that a huge 91% of employees in the automotive industry have been affected by a health & well-being issue in the last year. Sleep and stress in the workplace are the most commonly reported issues that impacted the health and well-being of automotive employees in 2018, with 64% reporting to have suffered with poor sleep and 57% having reported stress in the workplace (1 in 3 are stressed both at home and at work.) Anxiety has had the most detrimental impact on the health and well-being of individuals overall.

The charity has continued to help more and more people with mental health issues, representing 52% of all helpline enquiries, compared to 29% in 2017-18. New online self-help support content on topics such as anxiety and depression proved popular, providing tips, advice and sign-posting to people in need. Other reasons why people contacted Ben for help were varied; from money problems and bereavement to redundancy and loneliness.

During the year, Ben organised counselling sessions for 433 people, with a total of 1,359 sessions provided – 3 x more than the previous year and helped people in need access £529,000 worth of benefits that they were entitled to. In addition, just under 100 people went through Ben’s life coaching & mentoring programme with 97% of people reporting positive progress and just under 6,000 people signed up to receive regular tips, advice and tools from Ben to their email.

The report highlights how Ben has continued to extend its partnerships with automotive organisations across the UK, helping them support their employees, to build a stronger, more resilient industry together. Ben worked with 241 automotive companies through its Ben4Business programme in 2018-19, an increase of 68% on the previous year.

The report outlines that, thanks to the continued support from over 250 companies and many individuals in the industry, Ben’s fundraising income totalled an impressive £3.36m, during such a challenging year for many sectors.

Zara Ross, Ben’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to be sharing our Impact Report 2018-19 with you. The purpose of the report is to demonstrate the impact Ben has made on the lives of so many automotive industry people, to thank our supporters and to highlight the key health and well-being issues facing people in the industry today.

“With the ongoing support from our community, we continue to help automotive industry people through life’s toughest challenges. We are very grateful to each and every person and company for their loyal, continued support in what has been a challenging year for many. However you’ve supported Ben this year, thank you – with your help we have provided life-changing support to thousands of automotive industry people. For that, we can’t thank you enough.”

Your Comments