Tenneco to create two independent public companies with acquisition of Federal-Mogul

Tenneco, one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of Ride Performance and Clean Air products and technology solutions for diversified markets, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Federal-Mogul, a leading global supplier to original equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket. Federal-Mogul is being acquired from Icahn Enterprises L.P. for a total consideration of $5.4 billion to be funded through cash, Tenneco equity and assumption of debt.

Tenneco also announced its intention to separate the combined businesses into two independent, publicly traded companies through a tax-free spin-off to shareholders that will establish an aftermarket & ride performance company and a powertrain technology company.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and other customary closing conditions, with the separation occurring in the second half of 2019.

“This is a landmark day for Tenneco with an acquisition that will transform the company by creating two strong leading global companies, each in an excellent position to capture opportunities unique to their respective markets,” said Brian Kesseler, CEO, Tenneco. “Federal-Mogul brings strong brands, products and capabilities that are complementary to Tenneco’s portfolio and in line with our successful growth strategies. Unleashing two new product focused companies with even stronger portfolios will allow them to move faster in executing on their specific growth priorities.”

Carl C. Icahn, Chairman of Icahn Enterprises, stated: “Icahn Enterprises acquired majority control of Federal-Mogul in 2008 when we saw an out-of-favor market opportunity for a great company. During that time, we have built one of the leading global suppliers of automotive products. I am very proud of the business we have built at Federal-Mogul and agree with Tenneco regarding the tremendous value in the business combination and separation into two companies. We expect to be meaningful stockholders of Tenneco going forward and are excited about the prospects for additional value creation.”

For the full story CLICK HERE.

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IMI calls for Apprenticeship Levy reform

The IMI has backed calls for the government to reform its Apprenticeship Levy as apprentice numbers continue to decline since it was introduced.

The IMI believes the new system is too complicated and has put many business owners off from going down the apprenticeship route.

Steve Nash, chief executive for IMI, said, ‘With new apprentice numbers still showing a significant decline the government must accept that some of the processes surrounding the levy are too complex, restrictive and inflexible, which is just what the CBI have been saying.

Steve Nash

‘Whilst the apprentice numbers in automotive are not down as much as in other sectors, they are still much lower than they should be and don’t reflect the real demand that exists for new, young talent. A number of our large employers have told us directly that their apprentice recruitment has fallen short of their true business needs, simply because they haven’t found the new processes to be easy to understand and negotiate.

“Overall a more pragmatic approach from the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) – which is the body that governs the new apprenticeships – would help to achieve greater employer engagement across all sectors of business. Too many employers have struggled to get the training they actually want and need for their businesses approved for re-claim against their levy payments.

‘This is why many are simply regarding it as a tax and have disengaged. That’s a great shame because the introduction of the levy should potentially have resulted in new apprenticeships being offered in a great many sectors and occupations where they haven’t previously existed.’

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Ford’s new SmartLink connected upgrade for older vehicles will be available mid-2018 in the USA

Ford of America has announced the availability of FordPass SmartLink accessories, an OBD II plug-in device with Verizon 4G LTE on board, which allows the addition of connected-car features to 2010-2017 Ford vehicles that do not already have built-in native connectivity.

The FordPass accessory will be available in the US, sometime in the middle of this year, with dealer registration now open. Dealers offer the device to end users, offering the installation of the add-on hardware, which then costs users $16.99 per month for 24 months to get telematics services, including remote key fob (via smartphone), auto position and vehicle Health warnings. The Verizon 4G LTE hotspot feature is an additional cost, but users get a free trial for 30 days or until they reach 1 GB of data usage.

This is a way for Ford to build a data business even on the existing vehicles in the market, although it also wants to built 100 percent of its new auto-lineup shipping with connectivity-in the next year. Data is the new “product” in the VM’s value chain, and once is seen as the best way for VMs to prepare for the future.

On the consumer side, the value proposition is less clear. Owners of older vehicles are probably less likely to use the value-added features, and those that are included in the $17/month subscription fee, which over the course of two years (i.e. $408 total) are probably nice-to-have, but not essential benefits. The Wi-Fi hotspot is the actual carrot, but there is an additional cost in the monthly data service over the base fee.

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Automechanika Birmingham names new Marketing Manager

Automechanika Birmingham has promoted Chloe Hyland to the role of Marketing Manager, as the show’s marketing campaign gathers momentum ahead of its third successive show in June.

Chloe, who was previously Marketing Executive, joined Automechanika Birmingham two years ago, after spending almost three years overseeing the UK marketing for Automechanika Frankfurt and a portfolio of other key trade events under the UK sales partner for Messe Frankfurt.

Chloe Hyland

Before that, she studied Events Management at Plymouth University where she successfully completed her degree.

In her new role, she will oversee the multi-channel marketing strategy for all exhibitors and visitors, helping raise event awareness and brand exposure, as well as liaising closely with media and association partners.

Chloe said: “I am looking forward to taking on more responsibility, getting stuck into a very busy workload and getting results! I feel very lucky to be able to contribute to the industry’s event by delivering a marketing campaign which reaches over 500 exhibitors and over 12,000 trade visitors each June. With the industry constantly evolving, no day is the same and we aim to develop the event’s offering to give the visitors something new! I have played a huge part in implementing a new Garage Quarter, a facilitated meetings programme to help match visitors to exhibitors as well promoting other new initiatives to suit the needs of visitors.

Simon Albert, Managing Director said: “Chloe’s promotion to Marketing Manager reflects all of the exciting improvements that she has made to this year’s event. She has done this by getting under the skin of the UK automotive industry to fully understand what exhibitors and visitors need from Automechanika Birmingham.”

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Trade groups protest at ‘unfair’ road user levy changes

Transport trade groups have issued strong criticism regarding recently-announced changes to the HGV road user levy, which will see operators pay 10 per cent less via the tax for lorries meeting Euro 6 emissions standards – but 20 per cent more for those at Euro 5 levels and below.

The HGV road user levy, which was introduced in 2014, applies to all lorries of 12 tonnes or more operating on UK roads. The exact figures payable depend on vehicle weight and number of axles, but the current maximum annual rate per vehicle is £1,000. From February 2019, this will fall to £900 for Euro 6 vehicles, and rise to £1,200 for non-Euro 6 trucks.

The change is being promoted by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of the government’s £3.5 billion air quality plan, and as a means of incentivising truck operators to contribute to improving the UK’s air quality.

Indeed, the government estimates overall impact on the Treasury to be negligible until 2020, and to decrease the total tax take thereafter, as more operators shift to newer, cleaner vehicles. More than half of UK vehicles would pay less from the outset of the changes, the DfT said – while the industry overall would pay less in time as increasing numbers of fleets moved to Euro 6.

But the Freight Transport Association (FTA) warned that while the changes were “a step on the road to improving air quality”, they would come at the expense of small and medium-sized businesses, which it said would be unfairly penalised as a result.

“The reduction of 10 per cent in the road user levy for Euro 6 lorries is good news, as it shows recognition for the success of the HGV Euro 6 vehicles, which have 80 per cent lower real world local emissions than previous lorries,” said Christopher Snelling, FTA head of UK policy.

“However, the introduction of the increased levy on pre-Euro 6 trucks will actually hurt those small and medium sized business that already face increased costs, as they need to upgrade to Euro 6 vehicles early to be compliant with the planned clean air zones.”

Snelling said that smaller businesses would be hurt because of the drop in resale value of their older vehicles, making the switch to Euro 6 a greater burden.

“Trucks have been getting cleaner for decades; we are not dealing with an intractable problem but merely the question of how soon do the beneficial changes come,” he continued.

“ The government’s approach to cleaner air risks putting some smaller hauliers’ livelihoods at risk for only a temporary gain on air quality. The reform of the levy was an opportunity to help, and for the most part the government has failed to take it.”

FTA added that the government should have applied the increase only to the most polluting lorries (Euro 3 and below), which would have helped create a short-term market for Euro 4 and 5 vehicles being sold on by firms delivering to city centres.

Announcing the changes, roads minister Jesse Norman said that the government was “committed to improving the air we breathe and delivering a green revolution in transport”.

“HGVs account for around a fifth of harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from road transport, but they only travel five per cent of the total miles,” he said.

“That’s why we’re changing the HGV levy to encourage firms to phase out the most polluting lorries and bring in the cleanest ones.”

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Vehicle Safety Recalls: March 2018

These are the vehicles, parts or accessories recalled by manufacturers for a safety reason during March 2018.

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

Recall No. Make Model(s) Issue
R/2018/011 FORD Focus, C-Max Casting defect may cause alloy wheel(s) to crack
R/2018/026 FIAT 500 Instrument cluster may display incorrect information
R/2018/039 FORD Fiesta Brake servo may fail
R/2018/045 NISSAN NV400 (X62) Fuel filter support may break
R/2018/052 JAGUAR XF Sportbrake (2018 Model Year) Supplementary restraint system (SRS) may not perform as intended in a collision
R/2018/060 SEAT Ibiza, Leon, Altea, Alhambra Starter motor may malfunction and overheat
R/2018/061 AUDI A3 Starter motor may malfunction and overheat
R/2018/062 VW Beetle, Eos, Golf, Jetta, Passat, Scirocco, Sharan, Tiguan, Touran Starter motor may malfunction and overheat
R/2018/063 VAUXHALL Movano B Steering column joint may not be secure
R/2018/064 VW T6 Replace front passenger airbag
R/2018/065 VW T6 Replace front passenger airbag
R/2018/066 VW T-Roc Key information about passenger protection systems is not included in owner’s manual
R/2018/067 MERCEDES-BENZ CARS UK LTD AMG GT R Roll bar configuration does not meet legal requirements
R/2018/071 SUZUKI Baleno, Ignis, Swift Battery may fail to charge which could cause engine to stall and lights to fade
R/2018/072 MERCEDES BENZ BUS Evobus: Citaro C2 Step 3 Connection in fuse box may be insecure
R/2018/073 BMW X3 (G01) Rear spoiler may be insecure
R/2018/074 VW Golf, Tiguan Front brake discs may not be correct thickness
R/2018/075 NISSAN NV400 (X62) Steering column joint may not be secure
R/2018/076 DACIA Logan Front wheel hubs may crack
R/2018/077 RENAULT Captur Front wheel hubs may crack
R/2018/078 SUZUKI Baleno, Swift, Ignis Integrated starter generator belt belt may fail
R/2018/079 RENAULT Master Steering column joint may not be secure
R/2018/084 NISSAN Micra (K14) Front wheel hub may not be manufactured to correct specification
RM/2018/008 SUZUKI MOTORCYCLES GSX-R1000/R L7, L8 Drive chain may stretch, come off or break
RM/2018/011 HARLEY DAVIDSON Touring / CVO & VRSC models Potential loss of brake function on bikes fitted with ABS

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Government remains committed to developing self-driving vehicles on British roads

Self-driving vehicle tests will not be halted in the UK after a pedestrian was killed by a fully autonomous car operated by Uber in the US.

A 49-year-old woman was struck by the vehicle as she crossed the street in Tempe, Arizona. The cause of the incident is being investigated.

The Department for Transport (DfT) confirms that safety remained paramount to UK tests, which is why it said it was investing more than £250 million to support the industry with “full and proper trials and safe testing environments”.

“We will continue to work closely with industry to ensure the UK remains one of the best and safest places in the world to test self-driving vehicles,” said a Government spokesman.

Uber suspended all North American tests of its autonomous vehicles after the fatal collision on March 18. Its partner, chipmaker Nvidia, said it has also suspended all self-driving tests.

Arizona state governor, Doug Ducey, also ordered officials to suspend Uber’s right to operate autonomous vehicles on local roads pending the outcome of inquiries by national transport safety regulators.

Here, roads minister Jesse Norman had already announced a three-year review of driving laws by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission to enable autonomous cars to be developed and tested in the UK.

The Government spokesman said the “extensive regulatory reform programme” would make sure that “the right laws are in place before the widespread use of these vehicles on UK roads”.

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Allianz provides electric vehicle training to road rescue firms

Allianz Partners in the UK and Ireland is providing training on Electric, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle for road rescue members of the Institute of Vehicle Recovery (IVR).

Six, 12-delegate courses will run across the year, covering the history of hybrid and EVs, principles and range of operation, how to identify EV, Hybrid and PHEVs, as well as the potential hazards.

Course attendees will also learn how to keep themselves and others safe at the scene of a disabled or damaged vehicle.

The course is available free of charge to all independent recovery operators on the Allianz Partners network, however, there is a minimal certification fee should they wish to formally receive the IVR VR27 Module accreditation.

Allianz network manager Mark Debenham, said: “The latest SMMT figures show that the UK saw a 34.8% increase in electric and hybrid vehicle registrations in 2017.

“We are responding to the rapid growth of this market, working with the IVR to deliver first class training for the independent recovery operator sector, raising standards and meeting industry demand.”

Chris Hoare, chairman of the Institute of Vehicle Recovery, said: “This course will provide attendees with a basic but much needed overview of EV and hybrid vehicles and the associated health and safety requirements as it affects them and anyone else at the scene of a breakdown and repatriation.”

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Garage Structures in the European Aftermarket 2017

This new report from Wolk presents the different characteristics of the garage landscapes in every single European country.

It supplies information about the structure for each country such as:

– general information about the most important garage concepts
– the split by independent and OEM affiliated garages
– the number of specialised garages (tyres, glass, body paint)

Download the Wolk Teaser here:  Garages Struktur in Europe 2017_Teaser.pdf

Garage service concepts

In 2017 there were 396 garage concepts in Europe, an increase from the 2015 figure of 384.

These maintain more than 100,000 outlets for mechanical, body & paint, tyres, car glass and fast fit. The European-wide share of garages belonging to a particular concept is 30%, which differs from country to country.

Garage structure in Europe

82% of the garages in Europe are independent garages. 51% of these specialise in tyres, auto glass, body and paint, fast-fit or another specialisation.

Mechanical repairers, with a share of 49%, represent the largest part.

More sample data relating to garage structures can be found on the Wolk website.

The content of the report include:

  •  Structure of automotive garages in Europe
    – mechanical repairers
    – body and paint specialists
    – tyre specialists
    – auto glass specialists
  • Major service concepts in Europe with the number of outlets by country
  • Garage and concept density per country

FORMAT: PDF and printed version (+95,- €)
SIZE: 404 pages
PRICE: starting from 2.500,-€

further information

Wolk after sales experts GmbH
Antti Wolk
+49 2204842535

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Ford to launch new direct parts sales operation – Parts Plus

Ford is set to launch Parts Plus, a direct sales channel for trade parts.

Ford has become the first manufacturer to offer a full range of parts directly to independent repairers. In addition to supplying Ford and Motorcraft parts, Parts Plus will also provide access to the all-new Omnicraft range, which includes competitive products and prices for all major UK brands.

Operated by Ford, the 84 Parts Plus Centres planned will have defined customer focussed territories and improved service levels. The first Parts Plus Centre opens in the summer, with each Parts Plus Centre selected and created to ensure there is customer service continuity from the current Ford Dealer partners.

Focussed on meeting the needs of trade customers, Parts Plus Centres will hold tailored, competitively-priced stock of genuine Ford, Motorcraft and Ommipart parts, supplied through a reliable and regular distribution service. Based on local business knowledge, customers can expect friendly and helpful advice from product experts and take advantage of an ongoing marketing programme.

Parts Plus customers will also receive a wide range of benefits, including technical support on how to repair Ford vehicles and marketing advice on how to grow their business in an increasingly complex and competitive market.

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