Autoinform Live 2017- Booking Deadline!

With just three weeks to go, bookings for Autoinform Live 2017 on 18th & 19th March in the beautiful city of Edinburgh.

The two days of automotive training will demonstrate how to improve your business, teach you new techniques and give you the chance to network with the best garages across the UK and Ireland.

• Live workshops
• Hands on Training within a garage environment
• Latest technology & industry information
• Both technical & business development seminars

Weekend tickets cost £195 plus vat per person for two days training plus access to an exclusive evening gala meal at the beautiful Dalmahoy Hotel (tickets also include lunches and refreshments).

Training Location- GTG Training, 1A Queen Anne Drive, Lochend Ind Est, Edinburgh, EH28 8PL
Evening Gala Meal- Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club Kirknewton, Edinburgh, EH27 8EB

Plus, Scots Auto Scene, official media partner of Autoinform Scotland, is offering two pairs of business club tickets to any future home fixture to Edinburgh Rugby courtesy of sister publication ‘SCRUM’. The winners of these two fantastic packages will be randomly drawn from all attendees to the event, and announced at the gala dinner on Saturday 18th March.

Please visit for more information on our seminars or to book direct.
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Why car servicing costs could be about to rise

The BBC has published an interview with FIGIEFA’s Neil Pattemore on how the discussions on who should have access to all the data new cars generate are becoming more heated.

Manufacturers want to have total control, but independent repair shops, fleet operators, insurance companies and anyone else who could benefit from this data, argue that this would be blatantly anti-competitive. Policy-makers in the European Union are currently wrestling with the issue.

Neil Pattemore speaking at the 2016 IAAF Conference

Car servicing costs could become more expensive and it may be necessary to pay more for other services that rely on such data, from independent repair centres to “pay-as-you-drive” insurance companies.

Modern cars are effectively computers on wheels, full of sensors measuring everything from the wear and tear on your brake pads to fuel efficiency.
They are capable of communicating wirelessly with manufacturers, traffic management systems, and other vehicles in real time.

Thus the car’s manufacturer probably knows where it’s been, how fast it was driven, and how soon long before it is likely to need a service, and wants to turn this knowledge in to money.

“While the manufacturer is monitoring the car, it has the power to recommend its own spare parts. This is a privileged position and would distort the market,” says Neil Pattemore, technical director at FIGIEFA, the European association representing car parts retailers and repair shops.

“We exist to offer consumers choice – it’s about freedom of where you want to get your car repaired.”

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) is arguing that car makers should be allowed to send all this “in-vehicle” data to their own cloud platforms and control who has access to it and under what terms.

Allowing “direct third-party access to vehicular electronic systems would jeopardise safety, (cyber)security and vehicle integrity”, it argues.

They also fear that allowing third parties to peer in to their cars’ “brains” would jeopardise “trade secrets, know-how or information covered by intellectual property rights”.

But a growing number of industry bodies think this has more to do with manufacturers trying to control a potentially lucrative business.

At the moment all cars have to have an onboard diagnostic (OBD) port. This allows mechanics to plug in a cable and access the data stored in the car’s computer or electronic control unit (ECU).

Under European law every manufacturer has to fit one, primarily so testers can gain access to emissions data and check that the vehicles comply with pollution regulations.

But, obviously, mechanics can only access the OBD when the vehicle is stationary. So unless they can access this diagnostics data wirelessly, they say they will be at a competitive disadvantage.

The ACEA says manufacturers would be prepared to share this kind of data with third parties through their own cloud servers or via “neutral” servers operated by other companies.

The aftermarket industry wants equal access to this wireless in-vehicle data and believes the technology is already here that could provide it securely.

Public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure run programs called hypervisors that create virtual machines on computer servers. These virtual machines enable many different clients to store their data safely and separately on one computer, thereby saving computing resources.

“Cars could also run hypervisors that allow virtual environments and enable third parties to access car data in a safe and secure way,” says FIGIEFA’s Mr Pattemore.

Several other industry bodies – Cecra, FiA, ADPA, Leaseurope and others – agree, saying that an “in-vehicle interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform” would be preferable to preserve a competitive market.

To read the whole BBC article CLICK HERE.

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Federal-Mogul Motorparts offers career opportunities through 2017 European graduate recruitment drive

Expanded European Graduate Program provides top graduates with the chance to develop careers in multiple sectors

Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings LLC, is offering graduates a unique career opportunity through the launch of its 2017 European Graduate Program. A total of ten positions are available, spanning six countries and covering specialties in business areas from engineering and research and development, to logistics and finance. The international 24-month program provides graduates with the opportunity to develop skills and expertise working across Europe with globally recognized, market-leading brands. The 2017 program is now open and interested applicants can apply online at

Opportunities exist in engineering, finance, information systems, operations, distribution, manufacturing, research & development, purchasing, sales & marketing, logistics, human resources and eBusiness

Following the success of its inaugural year in 2016 – when it replaced successful country-specific graduate schemes – the 2017 European Graduate Program has expanded in range, providing opportunities to students in the UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Romania. The rotational structure of the program provides graduates with the opportunity to forge careers in their local plant, before experiencing alternative locations throughout Europe during latter project charters. Finally, graduates will continue their employment at their ‘home’ facility or will get the opportunity to be based in an alternative site globally as well.

“We are looking for exceptional graduates who can help maintain Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ position as a renowned automotive industry expert with trusted brands and outstanding components,” said Jordi Borrell, Regional Manager Talent Management, EMEA, Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “In return, we offer the rare opportunity for graduates to benefit from individualised training and personal development plans, helping to build flourishing careers. The European Graduate Program has been designed to reward hard-working graduates not only during the first 24 months of their employment, but throughout their Federal-Mogul Motorparts careers.”

A range of opportunities exist across Europe, including engineering, finance, information systems, operations, distribution, manufacturing, research and development, purchasing, sales and marketing, logistics, human resources and eBusiness.

Three opportunities exist in the UK for 2017 graduates, based at Chapel-en-le-Frith in the Braking and Corporate business units. A Graduate Logistics Engineer will be required to increase customer satisfaction and enhance braking supply chain efficiency, avoiding delays or the use of expedited freight. A graduate Value Stream Engineer will strengthen the company’s manufacturing support team through the Value Stream process, displaying the ability to adapt to existing and new kit in order to optimise efficiencies. An evolving skillset will be required of future engineers, and so this is an exciting opportunity for a qualified and ambitious professional.

As part of Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ corporate business unit, an IT Business Analyst will be required to ease the transition of the company’s plants to QAD, Federal-Mogul’s complimentary ERP system. A graduate with the necessary IT skills and organization can help the business unlock the benefits of QAD, and work towards a long-standing, senior global IT career with the company.

Federal-Mogul Motorparts will begin the recruitment process in the first quarter of 2017. “We contact universities seeking the most suitable candidates, who will then be invited to apply for the European Graduate Program,” added Borrell. “A written application is followed by an interview, an opportunity to meet Federal-Mogul Motorparts management, course leaders and expert mentors, and, if successful to this point, an invitation to attend a one-day assessment center workshop. The rigorous process is designed to find the right people and match them to the right opportunity for long lasting success.”

The European Graduate Program is part of a global initiative from Federal-Mogul Motorparts to support graduates and young professionals starting their career. Further information on Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ European Graduate Program and opportunities that exist can be found at

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People News

A growing company with an expanding workforce – HELLA recruits two more managers

With HELLA enjoying a period of rapid growth, its workforce has had to increase to accommodate for the new business won. Bryan Knott and Mark Adams have both had extensive and varied careers in the aftermarket and bring a wealth of knowledge with them that will benefit HELLA as they join the team.

Bryan Knott has worked in the industry for more than 30 years and is a well-respected member of the aftermarket, after having central roles with several blue chip manufacturing companies. As an endorsement of HELLA’s market leading position, Bryan is continuing his progression by returning to the company in a new position as head of commercial vehicle, a particular area of specialism for the business.

Bryan Knott

Mark Adams joins HELLA after being the UK and Ireland sales manager for Trico Europe. Appointed head of product management, Mark has been in the aftermarket for many years and brings with him considerable knowledge and experience across many product sectors.

Mark Adams

On his new appointment, Mark said: “I am delighted to be joining such a global and well known company like HELLA as they are continuing to develop the brand and are enjoying significant growth at this time, so I’m really looking forward to the exciting challenges ahead!”

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FedEx commits to self-driving future

One of the biggest names in global deliveries, FedEx, has stated that automated technology and self-driving vans will play a major part in its future.

According to FedEx Chief Information Officer, Rob Carter, automated technology and artificial intelligence will completely transform the delivery business. Carter is responsible for setting the technology agenda across FedEx’s various companies, which operate in 220 countries.

FedEx is already working with US technology company Peloton, whose semi-autonomous systems electronically link trucks into platoons. The software, which uses wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communication to enable the driver of a lead truck to control the acceleration and braking of a truck following behind, is designed to reduce wind resistance and save fuel. The technology is considered a significant step toward fully autonomous trucks, and Peloton has said it will release it in late 2017.

In an interview with the US publication Technology Review, Carter revealed that FedEx is also in the early stages of developing an ‘Alexa app’. The artificial intelligence app, developed by Amazon, enables consumers to initiate shipments from FedEx by simply talking to a smart device using commands such as “Alexa, prepare a shipment.”

Carter says FedEx is also “very much interested in” completely autonomous trucking and has partnered with several vehicle makers that specialise in such technology, including Daimler and its Freightliner truck division and Volvo.

One of the partners – Daimler – is also the parent company of Mercedes-Benz vans, which demonstrated its proposals to use autonomous vans and robots for urban deliveries at last month’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The proposed solution would use the company’s driverless vans to navigate to designated delivery areas for commercial customers and launch drones from their roofs to deliver packages, or pre-loaded and programmed robots from inside the load bay.

However, FedEx says legislative reform is needed in order to accommodate new technologies, with the company’s CEO, Fred Smith, calling on the US government to find ways of funding a complete infrastructure review to accommodate the new technologies.

“We must recognise that due to changes in vehicle technologies, fuel taxes cannot alone fund the system,” he said. “Alternative vehicles such as electric and natural gas need to also pay a highway user fee. This can now be easily done through technology. Consequently, FedEx supports a broad mix of revenue sources in order to avoid over-reliance on a single option.”

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London motorists put off ULEVs

High insurance premiums for electric and hybrid vehicles are putting 65% of drivers off making the switch from diesel to low emission vehicles, according to research commissioned by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

London mayor, Sadiq Khan, is introducing a ‘Toxicity Charge’ – or T-Charge – this October to help tackle pollution.

Although 70% of the capital’s motorists have shown grave concerns about air pollution, 65% of Londoners are unwilling to pay the increased insurance premiums.

Insurers are charging up to 50% more to cover electric and hybrid vehicles due to higher prices and lack of skilled technicians. Currently only one per cent of mechanics in the UK have the necessary qualifications to carry out work on the high-voltage systems of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs).

The IMI has called on ministers to help with this skills shortage with a £30m investment in training from a £600m fund created to promote ULEVs.


The government has also, this week, announced new measures to improve the provision of electric vehicle charge points as part of the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill.

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Autotech Apprentice, a division of Autotech Recruit, organises motor trade open evening in Coventry

The new IAAF service provider member has announced a Motor Trade Open Evening which they are holding in conjunction with Coventry City College on the 15th March 2017, when the IAAF’s Membership Development Manager, Mike Smallbone, will be presenting.

Autotech Apprentice is concerned at the worryingly low amount of skilled vehicle technicians, body repair technicians and MOT testers currently available in the market place and they feel that the road ahead is looking increasingly tough. They recognise that there are many reasons for this, internally and externally, but with an ageing work force and other industries attracting a larger amount of school, college and university leavers, the automotive aftermarket needs to improve at engaging with the next generation.

Research has shown that FE Colleges on the whole struggle to engage with the trade and inherently the trade on the whole is not great at engaging with fully skilled individuals, never mind apprentices. Autotech Apprentice is, therefore, embarking on a mission to remove some of these barriers and to increase the amount of young people coming in to the great industry, so they and the college have been contacting garage owners within a 30-mile radius of Coventry to attend the event.

Other speakers and topics are:

Mark Armitage, IMI, Senior Apprenticeship Manager – Apprenticeship Levy and How It Works
Ben Smith, Smart Garage Solutions, Managing Director – How to Improve Customer Retention, Referrals and Conversions
Mike Smallbone, IAAF, Membership Development Manager – Aftermarket Threats and What the Future Holds
Tim Howes, NGK Spark Plugs, Deputy General Manager – The Challenges of the Downsized Engine
Lucy Burnford, AA Good Garage Guide, Director – Getting the Recognition and the Business That Your Workshop Deserves
Ian Marsh, DVSA Trade Engagement Manager – Technical Update from DVSA

Anybody interested in attending the event should CLICK HERE for further information.

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Fast Parts Wales to donate £30,000 for 30th anniversary

Fast Parts Wales, a leading automotive motor factor in Wales, has revealed its plans to raise more than £30,000 through its Fast Parts Grand Rainbow Tour for Welsh children’s hospice, Ty Hafan, as part of the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

Taking place on from Saturday 29 April to Monday 1 May 2017, all are welcome to participate in the family-orientated event and will have a budget of £300 to purchase a car and paint it in rainbow colours, being as creative as possible.

The 2016 Fast Parts Rally in Barry

This year’s enhanced route will allow children and adults alike to get involved in plenty of ‘fun’ challenges while stopping off at designated check points and camping overnight in both Aberystwyth and Tenby.

In last year’s activity, Fast Parts Wales far exceeded its original target, raising more than £20,000 in total thanks to an incredibly generous effort from the public and automotive aftermarket industry.

Ty Hafan helps provide a safe and nurturing place for the children to find pleasure and relaxation with minimum help from the government, and the Grand Rainbow Tour is the perfect way to involve families in the fundraising while still keeping the theme relevant to Fast Parts Wales’ area of work.

The charity is very close to the Fast Parts team’s hearts and over the years it has carried out a number of fundraising initiatives, including donating £10 per person for every training event it holds.

Nathan Travis, director at Fast Parts Wales, said: “The rally is back by popular demand, except this year we’ve got a brand new name and it is going to be even bigger and better. £30,000 might seem like a tall feat but after experiencing the success and support of last year, we believe that anything is possible for this fantastic cause and we’re sure that our customers and the public will work harder than ever before to meet this target.

“The Grand Rainbow Tour is very much a family event and we welcome all members of the local community to join us on this fun-filled weekend as we travel around Wales raising money for this great cause.”

With the event drawing nearer, Fast Parts is asking for the community’s support in its efforts to raise money by donating HERE.

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Upcoming changes to VED

Changes to VED on cars first registered after 1 April 2017

In the 2015 Summer Budget it was announced that the rates of VED on new vehicles registered from 1 April 2017 were to be changed.

First Year Rates of VED will vary according to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the vehicle. A flat Standard Rate of £140 will apply in all subsequent years, except for zero-emission cars for which the standard rate will be £0. Cars with a list price above £40,000 will attract a supplement of £310 on their standard rate for the first 5 years in which a standard rate is paid. All cars first registered before 1 April 2017 will remain in the current VED system, which will not change. The new rates and bands for the post-2017 VED system are set out in the table below:

New VED system – for cars registered from 2017
Emissions (g/CO2/km) First year rate Standard rate*
0 £0 £0
0-50 £10 £140
51-75 £25 £140
76-90 £100 £140
91-100 £120 £140
101-110 £140 £140
111-130 £160 £140
131-150 £200 £140
151-170 £500 £140
171-190 £800 £140
191-225 £1,200 £140
226-255 £1,700 £140
over 255 £2,000 £140
*cars over £40,000 pay £310 supplement for 5 years

The current VED structure based on CO2 bands was introduced in 2001 when average UK new car emissions were 178 gCO2/km. The Band A threshold of 100 gCO2/km below which cars pay no VED was introduced in 2003 when average new car emissions were 173 gCO2/km. Since then, to meet EU emissions targets, average new car emissions have fallen to 125 gCO2/km. This means that an increasingly large number of ordinary cars now fall into the zero- or lower-rated VED bands, creating a sustainability challenge and weakening the environmental signal in VED. This is set to continue as manufacturers meet further EU targets of 95 gCO2/km set for 2020. Additionally, the system results in significant unfairness as owners of newer cars pay little or no VED while owners of older cars generally pay higher rates.

The reformed VED system retains and strengthens the CO2-based first year rates to incentivise uptake of the very cleanest cars whilst moving to a flat standard rate in order to make the tax fairer, simpler and sustainable. To ensure those who can afford the most expensive cars make a fair contribution, a supplement of £310 will be applied to the standard rate of cars with a list price (not including VED) over £40,000, for the first 5 years in which a standard rate is paid.

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Call from EU battery manufacturers to develop a ‘Battery Strategy for Europe’

Batteries are at the heart of the shift towards a decarbonized society, enabling energy storage of renewables, energy efficiency and hybridization and electrification of transports. EUROBAT, the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, publishes today its call for the development of a ‘2030 Battery Strategy for Europe’. Such a strategy would lead to more coherence between the several EU policies in the field of energy, transport and environment.

For Europe as a whole, EUROBAT says it is important to enable the future of its entire battery sector and ensure coherence between EU, regional and national policy initiatives. In particular, keeping and expanding the manufacturing base of all battery technologies in Europe will be of paramount importance for the industrial development of the European Union.

A variety of battery chemistries and technologies exists today: lead, lithium, sodium and nickel batteries. They all answer to different demands in terms of performance, capabilities and applications, and all of them are an important part of the solution to the challenges that climate change and energy dependence are presenting us with. Batteries respond to demands in different industrial sectors, from energy storage and grid stability to warehouse and port logistics, telecommunication and all modes of transport. European battery manufacturers have and will continuously create added value for European jobs, know-how and research & development. They are active in all battery market segments to various degrees, supplying batteries to European and international customers and directly employing more than 30.000 people.

With this initiative, EUROBAT is asking European policy makers to cooperate with all stakeholders, including manufacturers, suppliers, value chain partners, users and civil society, to develop such ‘2030 Battery Strategy for Europe’. Such overall strategic EU policy framework would provide business certainty for European battery manufacturers, create new opportunities for all battery technologies and deliver jobs, growth and innovation in Europe. The coming two years of the current EU Parliament and Commission should be used to develop the ‘2030 Battery Strategy for Europe’.

The full text of the EUROBAT call is available here.

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