PSA Group confirms £1.13 billion acquisition of Vauxhall/Opel

PSA Group has now confirmed that it will acquire Vauxhall/Opel from General Motors for €1.3 billion (£1.13bn).

With the addition of Vauxhall/Opel, which generated revenue of €17.7bn (£15.33bn) in 2016, PSA will become the second-largest automotive company in Europe – behind Volkswagen Group – with a 17% market share.

The deal will also see GM Financial’s European operation join the PSA Group for a further €0.9bn (£0.78bn).

Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board of PSA, said: “We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround.

“We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage.

“We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalising on their respective brand identities.

“Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.”

Tavares added: “We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees.”

Mary T. Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer, added: “We believe this new chapter puts Opel and Vauxhall in an even stronger position for the long term and we look forward to our participation in the future success and strong value-creation potential of PSA through our economic interest and continued collaboration on current and exciting new projects.”

A joint statement released by GM and PSA Group said the transaction will allow substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D.

Annual synergies of €1.7bn (£1.47bn) are expected by 2026 – of which a significant part is expected to be delivered by 2020, accelerating Opel/Vauxhall’s turnaround.

Leveraging the successful partnership with GM, PSA expects Opel/Vauxhall to reach a recurring operating margin of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026, and to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020.

PSA, together with BNP Paribas, will also acquire all of GM Financial’s European operations through a newly formed 50%/50% joint venture that will retain GM Financial’s current European platform and team.

This joint venture will be fully consolidated by BNP Paribas and accounted under the equity method by PSA.

The transaction is another step in GM’s ongoing work to transform the company, which has delivered three years of record performance and a strong 2017 outlook, and returned significant capital to shareholders.

GM and PSA also expect to collaborate in the further deployment of electrification technologies and existing supply agreements for Holden and certain Buick models will continue, and PSA may potentially source long-term supply of fuel cell systems from the GM/Honda joint venture.

The transaction includes all of Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, comprising Opel and Vauxhall brands, six assembly and five component-manufacturing facilities, one engineering center (Rüsselsheim) and approximately 40,000 employees. GM will retain the engineering centre in Torino, Italy.

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Dingbro partners with Smart Garage Solutions to offer garages in Scotland with a Personalised Customer Video solution

Following a successful customer trial of My Service Trust in 2016, Scotland’s largest independent motor factoring group, Dingbro, has partnered with Smart Garage Solutions to provide their network of 1,000 garage workshops with access to the latest software and technology to create, review and send HD quality personalised customer videos.

Since 1973, Dingbro has become synonymous with excellence in the field of automotive component distribution. With over 1,300 employees in 26 sites throughout Scotland, Dingbro is Scotland’s largest independent motor factoring group servicing an area from Shetland and the Faroe Islands down to the Scottish borders. Dingbro is also a member of the Parts Alliance which further enhances its service.

The My Service Trust product, developed by Yorkshire-based Smart Garage Solutions, is used by garage technicians to highlight any urgent or advisory works that need carrying out on a vehicle following a service or MOT. The product enables technicians to show the legitimacy of repair works and breakdown technical boundaries. Dingbro’s team of sales agents are out covering the length and breadth of Scotland, from the Central Belt and Borders in the South, to Caithness in the North, visiting customers to raise awareness of the My Service Trust product, it’s key benefits and how garages can sign up to start taking advantage of video today.

Ben Smith, Director of Smart Garage Solutions said: “We were introduced to Duncan and Dingbro through the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAFF) who we are proud members of and this is a great example of how the network is producing exciting new business development opportunities for us. We are absolutely delighted to be partnering up with Dingbro, providing the network of garages they supply with enhanced customer service through the use of personalised customer videos. We are also confident My Service Trust will lead to increased parts sales for Dingbro and look forward to working with Duncan and the team, supplementing the range of expertise and support that is available to garages across Scotland.”

Duncan Davidson, Customer Programmes Consultant, Dingbro

Duncan Davidson, customer programmes consultant at Dingbro said: “We are delighted to welcome Smart Garage Solutions as a partner of Dingbro and we are looking forward to working with them for the benefit of our customers. Feedback from the trial of My Service Trust has been fantastic! Customers report back that they really appreciate the video, as it has helped them understand an issue with their car, making it much quicker and easier to authorise any urgent or advisory repair work.

“Innovations like this are just what the sector needs right now, it helps independent garages meet customer expectations as we all rely on digital technology and our mobile phones more and more in our everyday lives.”
Robert Brownlie, owner of Ace Motoring Services Ltd in Fife was one of the garages who took part in the trial and he had the following to say about My Service Trust: “We find these videos a great way to build trust with our customers, whilst making us look very professional and helping us to stand out from the rest. Getting authorisation for additional work is almost guaranteed, because our customers can see at first hand just how worn, broken or dangerous an item attached to their very own vehicle actually is!”

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Truck manufacturers call for action to prevent aftermarket manipulation of emissions controls

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has condemned the advertising, sale and use of any aftermarket device that can be used by truck operators to turn off emission control systems.

The key NOx reduction technology for trucks is Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), which requires the controlled dosing of a diesel exhaust fluid called AdBlue to enable effective NOx reduction.

Recent reports have shown that ‘AdBlue emulator’ devices are being installed by truck operators in order to by-pass or stop the AdBlue injection system.

If there is no AdBlue injection, there will be no NOx reduction in the SCR. This saves truck operators the cost of AdBlue refills at the environmental expense of higher NOx emissions. The truck operator may also qualify for lower motorway taxes or other benefits by officially running a Euro VI truck, which in practice will not be operating as it was designed to, because the truck operator chose to fit one of these devices.

There are many websites of suppliers and marketers offering such devices, in several EU member states and also outside the European Union, at a range of prices and capabilities.

ACEA had already raised its concerns in 2012 with the European Commission and the member states, but no action was taken. The issue of aftermarket devices was also raised by Denmark several years earlier, but the general view at that time was that this should be a matter for national enforcement.

ACEA is now calling on the European Commission and member states to:

Ban the advertising and sale of any aftermarket device (hardware or software) that can by-pass vehicle emission control systems or enable the removal of important parts of the emission control system.

Apply random road-side enforcement by police who are authorised to stop and check vehicles, so that truck operators are aware that if they are caught using one of these devices they will face a substantial fine, or their vehicle will be treated in the same way as if vehicle safety systems were defective.

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Roadlink reveals remanufacturing success one year on

Roadlink International is celebrating the one year anniversary of the launch of its brand new commercial vehicle (CV) caliper remanufacturing facility, revealing a significant increase in demand.

The new facility in Willenhall, West Midlands, was officially opened by Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) chief executive, Mike Hawes on Monday 14 March 2016 with more than 50 dignitaries from the trade and local area in attendance.

The new CV brake calliper remanufacturing facility at Roadlink International, Strawberry Lane, Willenhall

Since the £700k investment, Roadlink has had a busy year with its larger facility, advanced equipment and increase in staff allowing the CV supplier to remanufacture calipers at a faster rate without compromising quality.

Roadlink’s distribution and remanufacturing processes are audited and approved to ISO9001 international standards, together with ISO14001 and its ‘Investor in People’ status, demonstrating its commitment to delivering a first-class range and service, from production right through to sales.

Keith Sedgley, Roadlink joint managing director, said: “It has been a busy and successful year with our new facility allowing us to meet the continuing increase in demand for remanufactured calipers. The CV parts trade recognises the beneficial impact of using remanufactured parts and we are keen to promote the process to the wider market.

“The investment has secured our status as a CV caliper remanufacturing leader, enabling us to carry out the labour-intensive reman process in an efficient manner while ensuring quality and traceability. All of our remanufactured calipers are restored back to their original quality after undergoing a series of strict tests and procedures, offering customers considerable savings.”

As one of the leading suppliers of parts for commercial vehicles, Roadlink currently offers a complete range of new and remanufactured braking solutions, including calipers and brake shoes as well as an extensive range of pads, discs and drums.

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Tyre safety systems cause concern

More than 23,000 vehicles required an MOT retest following identification of tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) issues in 2016 – a rise of 212% on the previous year.

TyreSafe, the body set up to promote tyre safety and driver awareness, has aired its concern at the implications for road safety of skyrocketing MOT failure rates caused by defects with vehicles’ TPMS. In 2015, a little over 7,000 MOT retests were required for the issue.

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said, ‘TPMS adds significantly to general tyre safety making it easy for the driver to know if their pressures aren’t at the right level when out on the road. But, clearly, even though Britain’s motorists are being warned there’s a safety issue they’re choosing to ignore it. Regrettably, this leap in MOT failures due to TPMS defects underlines that a poor attitude to tyre safety is not an issue exclusively associated with older vehicles.

‘TyreSafe urges motorists to put tyre safety higher up their list of driving priorities and check their tyres and TPMS are in roadworthy condition.’

TPMS became mandatory on all new passenger vehicles sold after 1 November 2014 as a safety feature to help reduce the number of vehicles being driven with tyre pressures significantly below the recommended settings. As of 1 January 2015, all vehicles first used after 1 January 2012 and equipped with a TPMS by the manufacturer must have a functioning system to pass its MOT.

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Autosupplies announces “Employee of the Year” award

Autosupplies has announced its “Employee of the Year” award with picker, Tyler Clarke, picking up the prestigious accolade presented to him by Bob Ackroyd and Maureen Cole of Alliance UK.

Voted for by the management team, the award honours the member of staff who has gone that extra mile and Clarke’s hard work throughout the year was recognised by the team.

The employee with the most votes receives the award, as well as vouchers and a trophy sponsored by UAN Ltd.

The motor factor is keen to reward staff members that go above and beyond to deliver customer satisfaction and it is very much aware of the significant impact they have upon the business.

The company has enjoyed significant growth over the years, now employing 87 members of staff, from management positions, counter sales, delivery drivers, telesales, administration, field sales and warehouse personnel.

All of the team brings a unique set of skills to their roles and are supported by Autosupplies with on-the-job training and support.

David Clarke, managing director said: “I’m delighted to present the award to Tyler. This year has been a big one for the company and our hard work has been recognised across both the sector and local community as we have picked up a number of company awards. However, it’s important that we value every employee’s contribution in helping the business to achieve this fantastic success. Tyler’s hard work deserves recognition and I would like to offer my congratulations!”


The Chesterfield-based motor factor also recognised two members of staff who had each served over 10 years with the company, Allan Dannatt and David Sleney, praising them for their commitment to the company and handing over special prizes.

Autosupplies is a company on the rise and is now considered one of the largest single branch motor factors in the UK. In addition to this, it has recently welcomed a number of new staff members including: Adam Shortt working in the sales office; Paul Marlow as a driver; Ebony Clarke as an admin assistant; Josh Ellis as a picker, and Howard Loftus and Ashley Marples as area sales manager.

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IGA backs Trust My Garage members with £1k guarantee

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has launched a scheme to guarantee the SME work carried out by its 2,800 members.

The Trust My Garage (TMG) £1,000 Guarantee gives financial reassurance to consumers who have service and repair work carried out by a TMG member.

TMG is a Chartered Trading Standard Institute (CTSI) approved code under the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.

Terry Gibson, head of member services, said: “We know our members are the best and with this guarantee we are wholeheartedly supporting the quality and value of their service to consumers.

“In the event of a dispute where the consumer is judged to be in the right by TMG’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider, the National Conciliation Service, the IGA will guarantee payment of any financial award up to £1,000 where the garage is unable to meet its obligation to the consumer.

“Not only does TMG have the backing of the CTSI through its code scheme, by financially backing our members in this way, we can support the sector and continue to raise the consumer perception of independent garages.”

Further details of the scheme and the conditions that apply can be found on the TMG website.

TMG member sites must pass an audit in order to be able to display the TMG badge.

Consumers can search for their nearest TMG member at www.TrustMyGarage.co.uk.

Automechanika Birmingham announces new opening hours

The organisers of Automechanika Birmingham have announced longer opening hours for 2017.

Simon Albert, event director, said: “With over 800 exhibitors at an event which will be 70 per cent bigger, we recognise that a slightly extended day is needed, so that visitors can gain maximum benefit from their visit.

“The new hours will be 9.30am to 5.30pm on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th and 9.30am to 5.00pm on Thursday 8th June.

Automechanika Birmingham 2016

“In addition to the diversity and choice of exhibitors, the show offers extensive learning and networking opportunities at more than 60 seminar sessions across the three days, tailored to the aftermarket, supply chain and workshops.

“With so much going on, we recommend that industry professionals stay for more than one day to ensure that they take advantage of everything that this large-scale event offers.”

A free coffee and pastry will be offered to all visitors who have pre-registered for the event and who arrive before 10am.

The coupon will be distributed at the entrances and can be redeemed at the restaurants in the halls 18, 19 and 20.

The organisers will be revealing new features, events and networking opportunities in the coming weeks as the excitement around the show grows.

Visitors can benefit from 25 per cent off train prices when booking travel in advance to the NEC with the Virgin Trains special offer.

Automechanika Birmingham urges visitors to benefit from cheaper fares by booking early and planning ahead.

Free registration for Automechanika Birmingham can be found by CLICKING HERE.

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FleetCheck to demonstrate vehicle safety check app at CV Show 2017

Software provider FleetCheck will be demonstrating its walkaround check app at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show at the Birmingham NEC on April 25.

Designed for HGVs, vans, buses and coaches, the walkaround check app creates the means to schedule, carry out, confirm, follow-up and audit all kinds of inspections from daily walkarounds to formal weekly or monthly checks.

It delivers a paper-free checking process, visibility of missed checks, uploading of relevant photos from drivers, bespoke checking for specialist equipment and automated mileage collection to enable accurate forward maintenance planning.

The walkaround check app integrates with FleetCheck’s fleet management software, which is used by more than 500 customers operating 50,000 vehicles, providing a complete commercial vehicle safety solution.

Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said: “The new app is, we believe, probably one of the most robust, simple-to-use and effective electronic method of replacing an old school manual commercial vehicle safety process available today.

“We have spent a long time ensuring that it works highly effectively in real world fleet situations where safety processes can easily become a little ragged. The app creates an infrastructure that minimises the chances of this occurring.

“Also, we have designed it to be fully compliant with the DVSA safety and maintenance guide, meaning that it will help fleets to meet their legal obligations.”

The walkaround check app will be demonstrated alongside Policy Manager, a fleet policy platform designed to guide companies of all sizes, but especially SMEs, through creating a compliant and operationally effective framework for their fleets.

Golding said: “In today’s culture of heightened legal awareness, many companies are concerned about their degree of compliance and what would happen if they were faced with an investigation following a road accident.

“Policy Manager is designed to allay these fears by giving companies straightforward tools, processes and guidance that will create a complete fleet health and safety infrastructure.

“The software provides a pathway that guides fleet managers through the fundamentals of creating a highly compliant written fleet policy, whether you already have some elements in place or are starting from scratch.”

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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.

Featuring:
• 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 www.oe-suppliers.org for more information on our seminars or to book direct.
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