ZF drives the Aftermarket with exceptional customer focus

Effective immediately, Helmut Ernst, Head of ZF Aftermarket, will lead all market and product topics within the organisation. His predecessor Neil Fryer has left the company at his own request to take on a new assignment outside ZF.

Helmut Ernst

Immediately after the acquisition of TRW by ZF in May 2015, the integration of the former two aftermarket organisations began the creation of a united market approach as one ZF aftermarket organization, with effect from 1 January 2017. Ernst emphasized Fryer’s contribution: “He played a decisive role in shaping the ZF Aftermarket organization while simultaneously keeping the customers’ expectations and experience always in the focus. We thank him for his achievements and support in the course of the integration.”

With his team Neil worked continuously on the optimization of the product and service portfolio to secure market growth for the customers. “The dedicated team, all of whom are aftermarket experts, will shape together with me the mobility of the future in the aftermarket”, promised Ernst.

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Euro Car Parts’ response to CMA investigation

Martin Gray, CEO, of Euro Car Parts has issued a response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initial investigation into the acquisition of Andrew Page.

“The UK aftermarket offers a competitive environment for franchised and independent garages, businesses and consumers who purchase a wide variety of parts on a regular basis. As such, we appreciate the importance of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initial investigation and note that the process is proceeding as expected.

“We remain committed to ensuring that the Andrew Page ‘brand’ continues to thrive in the UK. Andrew Page celebrates its UK centenary this year and our intention is that it should continue to grow, with the support of the LKQ Corporation.”

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Future-proofing the independent automotive sector

During the recent Mechanex event held at Event City in Manchester, IAAF member Smart Garage Solutions hosted a panel discussion which looked at future-proofing the automotive aftermarket.

L-R: Mike Smallbone, Ben Smith, Damien Parkes and Gavin White at Mechanex Manchester

Mike Smallbone, IAAF’s membership development manager, was one of the speakers looking at the role of the IAAF, the threat from the VMs pertaining to the Connected Car concept, the relaunch of the R2C in the Digital Age and its importance once the current BER legislation comes to an end in 2023. As it’s a piece of EU legislation and not UK legislation, it is not clear at this stage what the situation will be like in 6 years’ time. In addition, the IAAF response to the recent MOT consultation was covered.

Other panelists, under the chairmanship of Rob Cowling of Smart Garage Solutions, included:

  • Quality & Customer Service – Damian Parkes; ServiceSure
  • Trust & Transparency Issues – Ben Smith; Smart Garage Solutions
  • Shortage of Technicians – Gavin White; Autotech Recruit

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Johnny Herbert to host IAAF Conference and Awards Dinner 2017

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has announced that former British Formula 1 driver, Johnny Herbert, will host its Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony 2017 on Thursday 7 December 2017.

Johnny Herbert poses on the red carpet at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2015 at Battersea Evolution on April 30, 2015. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for BT Sport Industry Awards)

Herbert is world renowned as one of the greatest all-round racing drivers in the history of motorsport and is among an exclusive club of British drivers to have enjoyed a successful career in F1.

Herbert currently works alongside former world champion driver, Damon Hill, and other motorsport experts for Sky Sports F1, to provide specialist analysis during F1 race weekends.

The event, which is to be held at Doubletree by Hilton in Milton Keynes for the very first time overlooking the ArenaMK, home to MK Dons FC, will offer a vast array of new promotional, sponsorship and networking opportunities.

Guests will be able to settle comfortably in one location throughout both the conference and awards ceremony, while enjoying a drink overlooking the fantastic views of the MK Dons stadium.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “We are thoroughly excited to welcome Johnny to what is sure to be the biggest and best IAAF event to date. Johnny has found great success and recognition throughout his career in motorsport and is therefore the ideal candidate to host our prestigious automotive aftermarket event.”

A booking form and more information will be sent out to members shortly.

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Last chance to book for IAAF Industry Briefing in Milton Keynes

The IAAF’s second Industry briefing is being held on Thursday 25th May 2017 at VGroup International in Milton Keynes.

Mike Smallbone, membership development manager, will giving an update on IAAF lobbying activities, including the IAAF’s submission on the MoT consultation, the relaunch of the Right2Choose campaign for the digital age and other networking events.

Quentin Le Hetet speaking at the first Industry Briefing

Guest speaker, Quentin Le Hetet (GIPA UK), will examine the impact of extending the MOT period to four years on the industry, while also looking at the future of parts distribution in the UK and the global consolidation taking place across the automotive aftermarket.

Smallbone said: “These sessions are an essential and useful way to engage with members and ensure they are up to date on the most recent issues affecting the aftermarket. We strongly encourage members to attend our other briefings as the year continues.”

The regional sessions begin at 10.00 am offering the chance to network over a coffee, before finishing at 1.00 pm with lunch.

Anyone wishing to attend should email Ann Silvester at the IAAF as soon as possible.

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MANN+HUMMEL recognised by General Motors as a 2016 Supplier of the Year

MANN+HUMMEL was named a Supplier of the Year by General Motors during their 25th annual ‘Supplier of the Year’ awards ceremony held Thursday, March 30th in Orlando, Florida. This award specifically recognised MANN+HUMMEL’s air induction systems and was the company’s 22nd time receiving the award. For this special achievement, MANN+HUMMEL was recognised with an additional Silver Anniversary Award.

“This recognition as a Supplier of the Year is a clear reflection of MANN+HUMMEL’s commitment to excellence”, said Steve Kiefer, General Motors Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The company has been a Supplier of the Year for 22 of the past 25 years. To honor this great achievement, we also present the GM Silver Anniversary Award to MANN+HUMMEL.”

Kai Knickmann, President and General Manager Automotive OEM & Industrial Filtration at MANN+HUMMEL, accepted the award together with Bill Peers, Senior Key Account Manager for GM. “During our decades of partnership with GM, we have never failed to impress with our innovative technology and the unwavering premium quality of our products,” says Knickmann. “Our teams are incredibly proud of this fact and see it as validation of the way in which we work.”

L-R: John C. Berg, Global Commodity Manager Air Induction, General Motors; Bill Peers, Senior Key Account Manager for GM,  MANN+HUMMEL; Kai Knickmann, President & General Manager Automotive OEM & Industrial Filtration, MANN+ HUMMEL; Steve Kiefer, Senior Vice President, Global Purchasing & Supply Chain, General Motors

GM recognised 118 of its best suppliers from 15 different countries who have consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value, or brought new innovations to the company. Winning suppliers were chosen by a global team consisting of members from GM purchasing, engineering, quality, manufacturing, and logistics executives, and were selected based on performance criteria in product purchasing, indirect purchasing, customer care and aftersales, and logistics.

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FleetCheck asked to take part in DVSA Earned Recognition pilot

FleetCheck has been asked to take part in a DVSA pilot scheme that could transform how businesses approach fleet compliance.

Called “Earned Recognition”, it provides commercial vehicle fleets who can prove good compliance track records with the possibility of reducing the number of inspections they undergo, plus a range of other benefits.

The DVSA is currently working with a handful of industry companies to trial the initiative – and FleetCheck has been asked to recruit fleets from within its customer base.

Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said: “This is a quite a significant development and one that could have a genuine operational impact on the way commercial vehicles fleets handle compliance.

“Fundamentally, the thinking is that the DVSA will move its inspection resources away from fleets that it knows to have a strong safety culture and, instead, target those that represent a likely safety risk much more closely.

“We have been working closely with them on the scheme and are now in a position where we can start to roll it out to interested fleets on a trial basis. We already have many who are very interested.”

To take part in Earned Recognition, fleets will have to make key information available to the DVSA and third party auditors electronically, covering areas such as vehicle road-worthiness, other work undertaken by drivers and driver hours.

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Free MOT update for local garages – Automechanika Birmingham to host IMI meeting

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) will be providing a free MOT update at Automechanika Birmingham, to take place on Thursday 8 June from 9–11.30 a.m. in Concourse Suite 1, NEC Birmingham.

Technicians can register to attend and discuss the evolution of MOT training with MOT tester training expert, Kate Street here: reg.buzz/imi
The breakfast meeting will offer local garages an insight on the latest MOT training requirements, the impact it may have on workshops and how to prepare testers for the future.

IMI works to protect and develop the automotive trade, keeping the industry and customers up to date with the latest changes and technology, as well as providing the necessary training to ensure the highest standard of service is delivered throughout the supply chain.

The institute offers a variety of options for existing testers, including MOT annual training and assessment for classes 1 and 2 (Motorcycle) and classes 4 and 7 (Light Vehicle).

More than 800 companies will be exhibiting at the 2017 event and 250 companies are set to exhibit at Automechanika Birmingham for the first time, as they look to meet with automotive parts distributors, garages, tyre fitters, retailers, dealerships and vehicle manufacturers.

What’s more, while visiting, workshops can benefit from a comprehensive programme of more than 60 seminar sessions, technical talks, topical discussions on current industry issues and inspiring new technology, as well as live demonstrations, all presented from industry experts.

Birmingham will welcome the largest automotive trade exhibition for the UK’s aftermarket and supply chain during 6-8 June 2017 at the NEC in halls 6 and 17-20.

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Mechanex 2018 dates announced

Mechanex have announced the reintroduction of Alexandra Palace as a venue for 2018. This will see the event calendar expand to four different regions for the auto repair professionals’ tradeshow.

The confirmed venues and dates for 2018 are as follows:

Alexandra Palace, London – 20th – 21st March
Event City, Manchester – 15th – 16th May
Ricoh Arena, Coventry – 10th – 11th October
Sandown Park, Surrey – 6th – 7th November

Exhibitor sponsorship opportunities available for 2018 include:

  • Goodie bag sponsor
  • T – shirt sponsor
  • Lanyard sponsor
  • Registration sponsor
  • Bacon roll sponsor
  • Direct mail leaflet insert
  • Show guide advert
  • Digital newsletter sponsor
The 2017 event at Event City, Manchester

All exhibitors signing up in advance would be featured editorially in Professional Motor Mechanic Magazine, PMMonline, Professional Motor Factor Magazine and PMFonline. Prices quoted for exhibiting at the events are £185 per square meter. Any company wishing to exhibit at two shows would receive a 5% discount, for three shows 7.5% and 10% for any company exhibiting at all four events.

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Volvo partners with Google to develop connected car

Volvo has announced a partnership with Google to develop the next generation of its in-car infotainment and connectivity solution based on the Android platform.

It will launch on new Volvo models within two years, offering a wide array of apps and services.

“Google’s platform and services will enhance the user experience by enabling more personalisation possibilities, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president research and development at Volvo Car Group.

A catalogue of popular Android apps – developed by Google, Volvo or third-party app developers – will offer connected and predictive services in and around the car.

Patrick Brady, vice president of android engineering at Google, said: “This partnership gives us the opportunity to deliver a more seamless experience to Volvo drivers through a full-featured infotainment platform and rich ecosystem of Android applications and Google services.”

Volvo is also collaborating with Google on another initiative to update recent Volvo models by adding Google Local Search, a location-based service. This will be released through an update to customers with Sensus Navigation.

Further details of the partnership and Android OS were announced at Google’s annual tech show.

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