Weeks appointed NBRA Director

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) has appointed Chris Weeks as director of the National Body Repairers Association (NBRA) and the Vehicle Builders Repairers Association (VBRA).

Chris brings 24 years of industry experience to the organisations, and will continue to develop the NBRA brand and further expand the influence of the associations in the sector.

Peter Johnson, RMI chairman said, ‘We are delighted to have someone with Chris Weeks industry experience and background joining the RMI to head the two body repairers associations.’

Chris Weeks added, ‘The UK vehicle body repair sector has some immediate challenges and is in the midst of a period where technology will transform vehicles. Going forward it is vital that we have one influential voice in the industry to ensure our members’ interests and businesses are strongly represented.’

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Midwest donates to local homeless charity

West Midlands based automotive parts distributor, Midwest Motor Factors, has donated much-needed funds to the Good Shepherd Ministry, a local charity that assists the homeless and others in need in Wolverhampton.

Midwest donated £250 to the ministry in memory of popular Bilston Town F.C chairman and community champion Graham Hodson, who died earlier this year.

Simon Hodgkins and Tim Gill from Midwest Motor Factors presenting their £250 donation to Br. Stephen of the Good Shepherd Ministry

It was set up in 1972 by the Roman Catholic religious order, The Brothers of Saint John of God.  The order oversees projects all over the world to help the poor and disadvantaged, including, since 2003, one at Wolverhampton’s Methodist Centre. The money raised helps provide food and support.

Receiving the cheque on behalf of the Good Shepherd Ministry, Brother Stephen said: “We are incredibly grateful to Midwest Motor Factors for their donation. It is companies like Midwest that make it possible for us to continue providing a vital community service, and without such generosity we wouldn’t be able to provide support to those who really need it.”

Craig McCracken, Midwest Motor Factors group factor manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our support to the Good Shepherd Ministry in Graham’s memory, not only such a worthy cause but a special way to honour his memory. As a regional-based business, we are very much invested in the local community, shown through our various sports sponsorships involving Bilston Town F.C, British Speedway team Wolverhampton Wolves and Walsall F.C.”

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New IAAF member AS-PL achieves half a million views within 24 hours

The AS-PL “ALTER-nator Love Story” movie had over a half million views in 24 hours on Facebook and achieved a million views after 2 days of its premiere on social media.

The movie, in a humorous way, presents an unusual story of sentimental love for the car. This is an emotive and funny story, and the hero’s peripeteia are intertwined with flashbacks from the 90s. In addition, the masterful cast guarantees the viewers a high dose of good energy and humour. The company didn’t anticipate that the movie would enjoy such popularity – the nearly 10,000 likes and more than 6,000 shares obtained exceeded their expectations – says Robert Snider – head of the Marketing, Communication and PR department at AS-PL Ltd., which is based in Gdansk.

The Management of AS-PL gave the producers of the movie a free hand in its creation and they decided to make an advertising film focusing the viewer’s attention on emotions instead of the product (alternator). In the case of the AS brand, known primarily in the Automotive Aftermarket, but less well-known to the general public, the idea for the film was a bit risky, but this approach paid off. Thanks to the bold approach of the company and the confidence that is built at the “production studio-client” level, they achieved a spectacular effect. For years, viewers have been bombarded with advertisements containing just simple, direct messages, with no depth behind them is the view of Mayo Kucharski, script writer and director of Wytwórnia Filmów Kalina in Gdansk, Poland. It’s not surprising that at the moment when something more appears, the viewer spontaneously empathises with the brand, despite the fact that it is an advertisement, and thus also for the product, he added.

To view the video on Facebook CLICK HERE and to see it on YouTube CLICK HERE.

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Automechanika Birmingham 2018 – Latest News

Automechanika Birmingham 2018 is shaping up to be another fantastic event, with over 500 exhibiting companies planned.

Save the date – Exhibitor Day – free to attend – 1st March 2018, 9.30-1pm
Join fellow exhibitors on this day at the NEC so that:

  • You’ll be the first to hear about the new exhibitor competition – a chance to get hugely discounted rates on 2019 stands
  • You’ll hear from a guest speaker offering valuable insight on how to get ROI out of the event
  • You’ll benefit from exclusive on the day discounts on items such as furniture packages, scanners and catering.
  • You’ll  meet the trade press and can set up any editorial in the Event Previews
  • You’ll network amongst other exhibitors, including a free lunch on us!

To reserve your space, CLICK HERE and give details of the name and email addresses of those that would like to attend.

The top two reasons for visitors attending Automechanika are to find new products and suppliers and to network amongst peers.  Over 12,000 professionals are expected to attend Automechanika Birmingham in 2018 and, we are introducing more new initiatives than ever before.

Automechanika Birmingham has already confirmed over 350 exhibiting companies, click here to view the latest LIVE floorplan.

What’s NEW?

  • The Workshop Quarter – attracting more garages to Automechanika Birmingham
  • Retail Accessories Village – dedicated area for focussed retailer product search• Aftermarket VIP reception – THE Automechanika Birmingham event for VIPs of the UK aftermarket
  • Facilitated meetings – meet decision makers from the UK, matched to your capabilities.

Confirmed exhibitors include Snapon, Milwaukee, HELLA, Delphi, MANN+ HUMMEL, Texa, Bosch, Draper Tools, Gates, Liqui Moly, Total, Dura, JHM Butt, Magal Engineering, SLM, TR Fastenings, Coba Plastics, Igus and Group Auto.

Stands are running out!  If you would like to find out more about exhibiting please visit our website www.automechanika-birmingham.com, contact us at [email protected] or call 01483 483984.

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Vehicle Safety Recalls: November 2017

These are the vehicles, parts or accessories recalled by manufacturers for a safety reason during November 2017.

You can check for vehicle, part or accessory recalls or find out more about vehicle recalls and faults by CLICKING HERE.

DVSA ref no Make & model Issue
R/2017/232 Mercedes-Benz: Sprinter, Vito Vehicle control unit may not have been correctly updated
R/2017/251 Toyota: Land Cruiser, Lexus IS200 Driver and/or front passenger airbag may fail to deploy as intended
R/2017/266 Mercedes-Benz: Econic 956 Electronic braking system parameters may be incorrect affecting brake performance and vehicle stability
R/2017/275 Mitsubishi: Shogun Propellant in the driver and passenger side airbag inflators may have deteriorated
R/2017/280 Kia: Sorento Rubber diesel fuel feed pipe may harden or crack
R/2017/283 Fiat: Ducato EGR pipe could fracture due to a potential non-conformity
R/2017/284 TESLA: Model X Seat may not correctly latch
R/2017/285 DAF: LF, CF, XF Propeller shaft may detach which may cause loss of drive
R/2017/286 Toyota: CH-R, Prius Invertor capacitor may not be secure and may be damaged by normal vehicle use which may affect speed and energy usage.
R/2017/287 MAN Truck: TGS, TGX Steering may become restricted
R/2017/292 Porsche: Cayenne Vehicle may not meet required safety standards
R/2017/294 VW: Passat, Arteon, Golf Rear wheel bearing housings may be incorrectly manufactured and could fail prematurely
R/2017/295 Nissan: Qashqai Rear right wheel arch protector may deform and rub against and damage brake hose
R/2017/300 Citroen: DS3 Suspension and steering fixings may not be tightened to the correct torque
R/2017/302 Peugeot: 208 Suspension and steering fixings may not be tightened to the correct torque
R/2017/303 Volvo Bus: B5LH, B5LH(3), B5TL(3) & B8RLE(3) Loss of power assistance to steering
R/2017/304 SEAT: Ateca Rear wheel bearing housings may fail
R/2017/306 Citroen: C Zero A fault in an internal component could affect deployment of the passenger airbag
R/2017/307 Peugeot: iON A fault in an internal component could affect deployment of the passenger airbag
R/2017/308 Scania: P, G, R & S Series Deviation in Engine Control Unit software which may affect power and emissions output

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O-licence exemption on alternatively fuelled vehicles to increase to 4.25 tonnes

Fleets will be able to run alternatively fuelled vans up to 4.25 tonnes GVW without needing an operator licence following a Department for Transport

Currently, organisations can run vans up to 3.5 tonnes GVW without needing an O-licence, but campaigners felt this affected the appeal of alternatively fuelled vehicles as they have heavier powertrains than their diesel counterparts.

More than 90% of respondents backed the change to 4.25 tonnes GVW, and the Government today announced this exemption will become law.

A further change is that electrical goods vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes, except those first registered before March 1, 2015, will no longer be exempt from MOT tests.

Jesse Norman, parliamentary under secretary of state for roads, local transport and devolution, said: “We consulted on removing the blanket exemption for all electrically-powered goods vehicles, but retaining a limited exemption for alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes.

“We have decided to proceed with those plans in order to help incentivise the use of cleaner fuel vans, while avoiding the regulatory ‘payload penalty’
associated with heavier powertrains (including battery weights).

“Alongside this change, we are also taking the common-sense step of bringing electric vans under normal roadworthiness testing rules.

“We intend to bring forward amending legislation to put these decisions into effect.”

The consultation into electrically-propelled vehicles attracted 15 respondents, including operators of such vehicles, trade bodies and public bodies.

Seven respondents either agreed in full with the proposal or had no objections to it.

Seven other respondents broadly agreed with the proposal to remove the blanket exemption but to retain a limited exemption for alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes.

However, they disagreed that this exemption should be limited to own-account haulage only, preferring that it also be applied to hire or reward operations.

One respondent disagreed entirely on the grounds of safety and security concerns.

The reasons submitted for preferring the limited exemption to apply to hire or reward haulage included:

  • The vast majority of new vans are used for hire or reward haulage
  • The need to obtain an operator’s licence and the costs associated with this, especially around financial standing and operating centres, would discourage many hire or reward firms from taking up clean vans.
  • Larger companies may already hold operator’s licences but the bases out of which they may wish to operate clean vans are not necessarily already operating bases.
  • A differential approach between hire or reward and own-account haulage would disadvantage certain commercial models and competition.

The report said: “Having listened to stakeholder feedback, we have decided to:

  1. remove the current exemption for all electrically-propelled vehicles, except for those first registered before March 1, 2015; and
  2. to introduce a new exemption for alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes, that are not used internationally.”

This new exemption will apply to both hire or reward and own-account haulage operations.

The report added this exemption “is without prejudice to the Government decision on the proposed driving licence derogation for alternatively-fuelled vans up to 4.25 tonnes, which will be issued separately in due course”.

The policy changes will be implemented through amendments to the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995, the Motor Vehicles (Test) Regulations 1981, and through the administrative issuance by the Vehicle Certification Agency of vehicle Special Orders.

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IAAF Annual Conference and Dinner 2017

Following last week’s successful event held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes, it is now possible to view the images from the event by visiting the homepage of the IAAF website.

IAAF President, Lawrence Bleasdale, addressing guests at the 2017 IAAF Dinner

In addition, IAAF members can log in to the Secure Area of the website to download presentations from the Conference. These can be found in the General Members area.

The IAAF is very grateful for the generous support from all the sponsors of the 2017 event.

The 2017 Award winners were:

Car Distributor of Excellence – Sponsored by Denso Aftermarket
Winner: Autosupplies (Chesterfield)
Runner Up: Fast Parts Wales

Car Supplier of Excellence – Sponsored by Elcome
Winner: MAHLE Aftermarket Ltd
Runner Up: Apec Braking

CV Supplier of Excellence
Winner: Roadlink International
Runner Up: Exol Lubricants

CV Distributor of Excellence – Sponsored by Boswell Aftermarket
Winner: David Hugget Motor Factors
Runner Up: DB Wilson & Co.

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TfL says hydrogen key to 2050 zero-carbon target

Transport for London says hydrogen-fuelled commercial vehicles could play a key role in the aim of making the capital a zero-carbon city by the year 2050.

Speaking at a recent event showcasing hydrogen technology in vans and HGVs for freight operators, TfL Freight Environment Programme Manager Fergus Worthy said, “If you look at the mayor’s transport strategy that came out for consultation over the summer, you will see that the long-term vision for London is to be a zero-carbon city by 2050. To do that, we would need to have zero-emission transport across the capital by that date. From our understanding of technology on the market, or in development, there are really only two options that would be in scope on that date: battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”

The Department for Transport is already supporting trials of gas-powered HGVs under the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, with operators such as John Lewis Partnership and Wincanton taking part.

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ECP parent to acquire Stahlgruber

Euro Car Parts’ parent company LKQ Corporation has entered an agreement to acquire Stahlgruber GmbH in a deal valued at roughly €1.5bn.

Stahlgruber is one of Germany’s largest factor chains and, as was discussed at last week’s IAAF conference, it was known to be for sale.

A report in the October issue of CAT highlighted how Stahlgruber recently invested in a vast automatic warehouse using robotics from TGW Logistics. The firm has over 500,000 SKUs and 100,000 clients on its books.

LKQ plans to complete the deal in March or April of next year, subject to usual regulatory approvals.

John S. Quinn CEO of LKQ said: “The LKQ Europe management team and I look forward to working with Stahlgruber’s management team and leveraging our combined best practices to maximize the benefits of scale across the continent.”

Heinz Reiner Reiff, CEO of Stahlgruber Otto Gruber AG, added: “I am very excited about the meaningful benefits that will occur by combining our complementary cultures and industry leading management, which together position Stahlgruber to achieve the continued growth of its European businesses. Our acceptance of LKQ shares as part of the consideration emphasizes our belief in the value of this combination.”

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