Digital radio summer campaign – On air now

Digital Radio UK have announced details of the new Summer on air industry-wide digital radio campaign which recently launched across BBC and commercial stations. The campaign for commercial stations includes a focus on in car conversion, encouraging listeners to upgrade their car to digital radio, and highlights the availability of a range of devices and tick mark installers.

The campaign central thought is ‘Make the switch to digital radio this Summer and discover a world you’ve been missing out on …’. For analogue listeners, the campaign communicates that if they make the switch to digital radio this summer, they’ll benefit from extra stations and additional features that their old radio does not deliver.

There are two phases to the campaign; Phase 1 from Saturday 1 July – Friday 21 July, and Phase 2 from Saturday 29 July – Friday 18 August. The BBC trails, which are on air during the first 2 weeks of Phase 1, will play across BBC national networks and local stations and feature a host of BBC talent including Sara Cox, Arthur Smith, Mark Radcliffe and Suzie Klein.

The creative trails across BBC and commercial executions highlight the availability of extra stations on digital radio by looking back nostalgically at FM radio before the call to action to make the switch to digital radio this summer to ‘discover a world you’ve been missing out on’. The commercial radio in-car conversion ads look nostalgically at the miles listeners have travelled with their old car radio before highlighting the benefits they’ll receive by upgrading their car to digital radio. The ads communicate the simplicity of in car conversion by emphasising the range of digital radios and adaptors available; that any car can be converted; and that tick mark installers are on hand to help. The call to action again encourages listeners to ‘look for the digital tick on approved products – it means the radio is future-ready’ and to find registered installers, points to the postcode checker for installers on

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Every Volvo launched from 2019 to have an electric motor

Volvo Cars has announced that every vehicle it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, placing electrification at the core of its future business.

It will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars and mild-hybrid cars.

Five fully electric cars will be launched between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high-performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm. Full details of these models will be announced at a later date.

These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid 48-volt options on all models. This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure internal combustion engine (ICE) cars are gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars that are enhanced with electrified options.

“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”

The announcement, it says, underlines its commitment to minimising its environmental impact and making the cities of the future cleaner. Volvo Cars is focused on reducing the carbon emissions of both its products as well as its operations. It aims to have climate-neutral manufacturing operations by 2025.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Samuelsson. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of one million electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”

The decision also follows this month’s announcement that Volvo Cars will turn Polestar into a new separately branded electrified global high-performance car company. Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president design at Volvo Cars, will lead Polestar as chief executive officer.

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IAAF welcomes new members

Two new members have recently joined the IAAF, Lumag and Harp International.

Lumag has joined the IAAF as the friction materials manufacturer looks to have an input on legislation affecting the company.

The company has built up a favourable reputation manufacturing commercial vehicle (CV) brake pads and linings, as well as passenger car (PC) brake pads under the popular Breck brand.

Colin Smit, Lumag managing director, said: “Joining the IAAF will present us with the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into legislation affecting our industry and support IAAF where possible. We are also looking forward to taking advantage of the many network opportunities that IAAF offers.”
IAAF has also welcomed chemical packer, supplier and reclamation specialist, Harp International into membership.

Harp International has been supplying refrigerants for vehicle refrigeration and air conditioning systems for more than 25 years.

With 1000 tonnes of bulk storage and a state-of-the-art packaging facility in Pontypridd, South Wales, Harp distributes to customers throughout UK & Eire, and worldwide through its global distribution network.

Harp automotive® is a range of products specifically developed for the automotive aftermarket and as well as the refrigerants used in vehicle air conditioning, within this portfolio of products Harp automotive® offers a full range of PAG oils, Pure Nitrogen and Tracer Gas.

Harp International commercial director, Walid Zerguine, said: “Joining the IAAF will enable us interact more closely with the automotive aftermarket. We look forward to working with the IAAF and our fellow members.”

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BMW considers Mini production

BMW will decide by the end of September whether to build its new electric Mini car in Britain, according to Reuters.

Mini makes around 70% of its approximately 360,000 compact cars at its Oxford plant in southern England but the car industry is concerned about the effects of Brexit.

BMW is now deciding between its English site, a plant in the Netherlands where it has built more of its conventional line-up in recent years, and its Germany plants at Leipzig and Regensburg.

The electric Mini investment is likely to be worth tens of millions of pounds.

Ian Robertson, BMW board director, said, ‘One of the elements is what is the likelihood of a tax regime and if there’s a tax regime, how would it apply. If you made the motor in a German plant and you then assembled the car in a British plant, and you took the cars back to the German market, then the duty that you would pay would be reclaimed.’

The carmaker is also looking into where the uptake of greener models is strongest and where the best supply chains are, he said. Britain could approve its first major electric battery hub in the next few weeks after officials in central England submitted proposals to ministers in May.

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New car market declines in June as demand stabilises over second quarter

The UK new car market has declined for a third consecutive month with 243,454 new units registered in June, according to figures released by SMMT.

Registrations fell at a slower pace than in the previous two months, by -4.8%, as demand continued to stabilise following a record first quarter and the subsequent market turbulence caused by the recent changes to Vehicle Excise Duty. The market is now more in line with 2017 forecasts.

Demand in the month was down across private, fleet and business registrations, recording falls of -7.8%, -2.4% and -8.3% respectively. Meanwhile, the AFV sector enjoyed notable growth, with demand rising 29.0% to 10,721 units to maintain a record 4.4% market share for a second month. Petrol registrations rose by 2.5% and diesel fell -14.7%.

Compact cars, typically powered by smaller petrol engines, proved most popular for all buyers, with superminis and small family cars accounting for almost 60% of the market. Small family cars and SUVs were the only two segments to register growth in June, up 6.0% and 11.3% respectively.

Year-to-date, overall performance remains strong, falling slightly by -1.3% to 1,401,811 units and putting the market on track to meet 2017 forecasts. Fleet and business buyers drove demand across the first six months with registrations up 1.5% and 2.7% respectively in contrast to a -4.8% drop in private purchases, although almost 650,000 consumers have chosen a new car this year.

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IAAF seeks views on parts identification within new Type Approval legislation

The IAAF has recently contacted its supplier, wholesaler and data publishing members as the automotive aftermarket is facing a crucial time with the forthcoming Vehicle Type-Approval legislation currently being worked on by the European Commission, Parliament and Council.

Members’ help is being urgently sought to ensure the views of the aftermarket are represented as a decisive phase will be reached in the next few months.

The legislation, which includes the right of access to Diagnostic, Repair and Maintenance Information (RMI), is currently being modified and will impact on the rights of the independent aftermarket to continue to access the information that needed for spare parts identification in the format required.

For this reason FIGIEFA, together with the European Association of Automotive Suppliers CLEPA, have commissioned a survey with UK-based consultancy ‘Ricardo-AEA’. The survey is designed for parts suppliers, wholesalers and data publishers involved in the spare part identification for their catalogue products. It intends to evaluate:

  • How well the system of access to vehicle repair and maintenance information is operating in regards to parts identification
  • Impacts on the functioning of the aftermarket.

The findings will be crucial in helping to secure these important provisions.

If anyone else would like to take part in this short survey to ensure consideration of their views in this important piece of future legislation, the survey can be found BY CLICKING HERE.

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Lorry emissions checks to start at the roadside

From August 2017, roadside checks of lorries carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will include an emissions check.

DVSA will be targetting lorry drivers and operators who try to cheat vehicle emissions. The new checks will target those who break the law and will help to improve air quality.

In May 2017, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published a draft plan to improve air quality by reducing nitrogen dioxide levels in the UK. This included looking at ways to reduce emissions produced by vehicles, including those used commercially. A final plan will be published by 31 July.

Fraudulent emissions readings
DVSA’s enforcement staff, and their European counterparts, have found evidence that drivers and operators use emissions cheat devices to cut the cost of operating. These include:

  • using devices designed to stop emissions control systems from working
  • removing the diesel particulate filter or trap using cheap, fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid
  • using illegal engine modifications which result in excessive emissions
  • removing or bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve

Taking action against emission cheats
DVSA enforcement officers will give the driver and operator 10 days to fix the emissions system if they find a vehicle with tampered emissions readings.

If the emissions system isn’t fixed within 10 days, DVSA will issue a fine and stop the vehicle being used on the road.

DVSA enforcement staff can insist that a vehicle be taken off the road immediately if they find a driver or operator is repeatedly offending.

Working with the EU
DVSA will investigate all Great Britain operators cheating emissions and pass the findings to the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, who have the power to remove operator licences.

DVSA will also continue to work with counterpart agencies across Europe, and further afield, to make sure that all offences committed by non-Great Britain hauliers are dealt with locally.

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BEN Cricket – The Results

The annual cricket spectacular organised by SJ Events and sponsored by FPS Distribution took place on 22nd June at Dorridge Cricket Club.

After a series of hard-fought matches, FPS & Friends achieved a well-deserved victory and the Best Player award went to Jonathan Alexander of FAI.

The winning team – FPS & Friends

FPS had sponsored this year’s event and £5,735 was raised for BEN, the best total today since the event started.

This event was originally founded by Alan Seal of Autoparts & Diagnostics and then six years ago Elliott Seal took over the reins. The Seal family has had a long-standing relationship with Dorridge cricket club and Elliott now deals with them directly in arranging the day.

SJ Events would like to thank everyone involved for their support and look forward to seeing everyone soon.

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Sedgley goes the extra mile for the Brain Tumour Charity

Keith Sedgley, joint managing director of Roadlink International, a leading commercial vehicle parts supplier, has successfully cycled 133 miles in a day from Wolverhampton to Aberdovey in aid of the Brain Tumour Charity.

The Aberdovey Bike Ride 2017 took place on Friday 16 June and is officially 105 miles long but Sedgley decided to ‘go the extra mile’ and take on another two-hour mountain climb as part of an extended ride.

Keith Sedgley during his bike-ride

Everyone taking part in the annual charity bike ride, which has taken place every year since 1992, is obliged to raise at least £75 for an official cause of their choice.

Sedgley, who is a keen fundraiser and took on the challenge as a personal goal in memory of a dear friend, has already raised close to £900 and is hoping to reach the £1000 mark. People can donate here.

The Brain Tumour charity’s main aim is to defeat the dangers of brain tumours by funding pioneering research and providing life-changing support to individuals and families affected.

Sedgley said: “It was a tough task and took many weeks of preparation to ensure I was up for the challenge but ultimately it was more than worth it. The Brain Tumour Charity is a cause close to my own heart and I’d like to thank everyone who has donated towards this incredibly worthy charity and supported me throughout my journey.”

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Ben launches new Impact Report 2016-17

Ben has just published its new annual Impact Report 2016-17 and is proud to report that they supported over 3,000 people with their health and well-being last year, an impressive 14% increase on the previous year.

To view the full report click here.

The report highlights the fact that financial health remains the main challenge for people in the automotive industry, accounting for 49% of requests for assistance. Perhaps the most telling statistic is the 78% (year on year) increase in people asking for help with their mental health.

Thanks to the continued support from companies and individuals in the industry, Ben’s fundraising income increased by 10% on the previous year, which is fantastic and Ben would like to thank all its supporters, for ensuring the continued provision of vital support to those facing life’s toughest challenges.

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