Sponsor Link: The Parts Alliance

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As the leading business group in the aftermarket, The Parts Alliance is committed to up-skilling and driving productivity in the industry through its products and services The group, which consists of the leading motor factors in the UK and Ireland, offers national strength while providing a dedication and focus on a local service to workshops and fitting stations.
The Parts Alliance specialises in the national and local supply of O.E. manufacturer branded products and support services, including training programmes, electronic cataloguing, workshop IT systems and customer services.
The Parts Alliance prides itself on promoting the aftermarket at every level through forming professional, strategic partnerships with its customers and suppliers.
For further details, including a list of The Parts Alliance members, visit http://www.thepartsalliance.com/

New Style accounts rejected

Companies House (CH) has said that it rejected the accounts of more than 5,000 companies in August 2016. What’s the reason and what steps can you take to avoid similar trouble?

Accounting standards. New accounting regulations came into force in January 2016 and the largest accounting body in the UK says it’s received a record number of enquiries about submitting the new style accounts to Companies House (CH). Concerns have been raised that the new rules are to blame for the high level of accounts rejected by CH.

Statistics. CH did make a statement saying that “There has not been any significant increase in reject rates” which can be linked to the changes in accounting regulations. In fact, it says that the latest rejection rates are within the normal range. This scotches the idea that the new rules, which your accountant follows when preparing your company’s financial accounts, are behind the trouble.

Simple causes. According to CH, the reason for the majority of rejections are mundane and easily rectified as long as someone spots the problem before the accounts are submitted. When your accountant sends the accounts to you for approval, the mistakes to watch for are – starting with the most common errors – that the:

• “made up date” is duplicated or missing, e.g. the accounting period end date shown is the same date as for the previous accounts
• balance sheet signature is missing – the accounts must be signed by an authorised person, e.g. a director
• company name is invalid – the name shown on the accounts must tie up exactly with that shown in the Companies House register
• company number has been mismatched – the company name shown doesn’t tie up with the company number meaning that either one or both are incorrect.

Tip. The errors above cause roughly 85% of accounts rejections by CH. Keep the list handy when reviewing your company’s accounts. This should greatly reduce the risk.

The majority of rejections are caused by simple errors such as incorrect dates and missing signatures. Keep these in mind when reviewing your financial accounts to substantially reduce the risk of rejection.

People News

The IMI has recruited the DVSA’s MOT specialist, David Easton, to help more testers and managers benefit from their comprehensive training and assessment offer.

Since April 2016, MOT testers and managers have been required to take an annual assessment and 3 hours annual training to remain compliant, while new testers and managers must complete a new qualification.

The IMI has signed agreements to roll out training and assessment to the MOT network with major franchised dealers and larger independent service business that employ some 20,000 MOT testers and managers already.

David Easton has managed DVSA’s MOT training operations for 20 years whilst ensuring technicians are delivering quality vehicle assessments.

Commenting on the recent changes, David said: “I think this is a really exciting time for the MOT industry.
“For the first time since the MOT Scheme began back in the 1960’s, MOT testers and managers now have their own set of national occupational standards and proper regulated qualifications.

Steve Scofield, Head of Business Development at the IMI, said: “Having David join our team demonstrates the IMI’s ongoing commitment to providing the very best training to individuals working in the sector.

“Over the coming months the addition of David’s knowledge and expertise to our team will ensure that all of our centres get the support they need to deliver the very best MOT training to our customers and partners.”

NGK-sponsored driver retains Superkart title

NGK-sponsored garage owner Lee Harpham has retained his British Formula 125 Open Superkart title – the third time he has won the coveted trophy.

The 2016 championship went down to the last lap of the last race of the season at Oulton Park with the 34-year-old taking the title after beating Liam Morley by just 0.090 seconds.

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Lee, who runs John Smith Auto Repairs in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, with his father Rod, said: “It was a fantastic end to the season, with the championship going right down to the wire. It’s great to retain my title and win it for the third time.”

Lee is sponsored by ignition-specialist NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, the supplier of original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs, and NTK Lambda and other engine management sensors, and is a member of NGK’s BoxClever independent garage loyalty scheme.

NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd Marketing Manager Mark Hallam said: “We are delighted to have helped Lee in retaining the championship and adding another landmark in our support of the many individuals and teams that have won titles in the two and four-wheel motorsport competitions.”

Lee is full of praise for NGK’s products and for the sponsorship help he has received from NGK’s local Sales Representative Paul Wheatley.

He said: “NGK’s products are brilliant. I never have any problems with them. Paul has been great too, supplying me with racing plugs and promotional gear. He regularly drops in to see me at the garage to make sure everything is going OK.”

Lee, who lives in Grimsby, has been karting since he was aged seven, having been introduced to the sport by his father, who was a well-known club racer.

He said: “I’ve gone up through the ranks and have competed at European level in the 250 series. I really enjoy the 125 championship and our success shows that you can compete at a top level on a budget. Although the karts only produce around 46bhp they can reach 121-122mph and the cornering speeds are amazing.”

A1 Motor Stores and Motor World Ltd agree landmark deal that sees 38 stores join A1 motor factor network

UK automotive buying group A1 Motor Stores has confirmed the addition of Motor World Ltd to its motor factor network.

Effective immediately, A1 has added 38 branches to its motor factor membership of 40. The move represents a major milestone for the group, with the newest stores ideally placed around England and Wales to ensure even greater coverage to its customers.

Simon Salloway
Simon Salloway

In a statement, A1’s Head of Operations, Simon Salloway, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Motor World Ltd to A1 Motor Stores.

“Over the coming weeks, the A1 Support Team will work alongside the team at Motor World Ltd to integrate into the A1 set-up, and I’m sure all approved suppliers will join me in formally welcoming the organisation into the group.”

Motaquip: Supplier raises hat and cash, as it supports BEN’s ‘Hats on 4 Mental Health Day’

The Motaquip team has lent its support to automotive charity BEN by wearing hats to work and selling cakes, all raising money on behalf of ‘Hats on 4 Mental Health Day’.

The Nuneaton parts supplier answered the call of the not-for-profit organisation, with every employee generously donating money to wear a hat to work, while also purchasing a variety of cakes and doughnuts.

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The mental health campaign, the automotive charity’s first-ever national fundraising event, was launched in-line with World Mental Health Day.

The day was designed to shine light on how mental health can affect any individual, and BEN is a key partner in helping people in the automotive industry tackle mental health challenges and raise awareness.

Motaquip is a strong supporter of BEN, whose campaign has gone viral on social media. The hashtag #HatsOn4MentalHealth was included in copious amounts of Tweets by suppliers, industry bodies and distributors.

Motaquip’s Celine Myler, who orchestrated the day for the company, said: “I’m delighted that every member of the Motaquip team has backed this important and worthy campaign by donating money.

“While we’ve enjoyed taking photos and laughing at the different hats colleagues have worn, it’s crucial that we remember why we’ve worn them. This event has also introduced our newer employees to BEN and the work the organisation does, and we will be partaking in more events in the future.”

Valeo Service, awarded “Best Supplier of the Year 2016” by Groupauto International Trading Group

Valeo Service has been awarded on October 19th during the GroupAuto International suppliers meeting held in Faros – Portugal.

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Hans Eisner, President and CEO of the 8.5 billion sales International Trading Group presented this prize to Eric Schuler, President of Valeo Service and his managing team. The reward is the symbol of GAU’s recognition for an unparallelled overall performance in terms of long-term partnership and the supplier’s capacity to deliver outstanding products and services for passenger cars and trucks. Over 50 suppliers were competing in 5 categories: “Logistics” “Marketing” “Quality”, “Sales” and the most coveted “Best Supplier of the Year”.

Valeo Service has been particularly congratulated for its ability to support and care for GroupAuto International expansion around the world with each one of the 35 GroupAuto members. The aftermarket specialist, strengthened by the new 2017 Valeo Service “We Care for You” strategy sets the rules for the future by furnishing a flawless value added partnership and will continue to support the upcoming new GroupAuto members, namely China and Mexico.

Autoparts celebrates 25 years in business

Autoparts UK, one of the fastest growing motor factors, has reached its 25th anniversary of trading in the automotive aftermarket.

After reaching this milestone, the motor factor is investing more resources in order to raise awareness of its exclusive brands, products and services such as its Loyalty Link rewards programme, all of which are designed to support the running of an independent garage.

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The business began in 1991 as part of dealership group Arnold Clark and has since grown at a considerable rate, now operating a network of 12 sites throughout Scotland, Northern England and the Midlands.

In 2010, Autoparts UK moved into a new head office – the 70,000sqft Albion Parts Centre – which holds over 60,000 parts and holds a stock value of more than £2.5million.

In 2015, Midwest Motor Factors became part of the network. The company employs 80 staff and has more than 40 vans across a five branch network throughout the West Midlands.

To commemorate its anniversary year, Autoparts UK is planning a number of events and initiatives, starting with its sponsorship of the IAAF conference, the industry’s largest automotive aftermarket event of the year.

Craig McCracken, Autoparts UK Group Factor Manager, said: “This is an incredible accomplishment for Autoparts UK and we must thank the support received from customers and suppliers as part of our journey. We have always tried to excite customers with automotive parts supply, bringing to their attention the very latest products and services to ensure they remain competitive.

“As we proceed with our rapid growth plans, our aim is to continue to provide independent garages with the best products and brands in the market, coupled with exceptional service at all times.”

NTDA Chief Executive calls for total UK ban on sale of part worn tyres

The NTDA Chief Executive Stefan Hay took the opportunity to formally call for a total ban on the sale of part worn tyres at the Association’s recent Tyre Industry Conference.

In front of an audience of 200 delegates from the tyre manufacturing, wholesale, retail and associated sectors, he said: “We have tried being nice and polite, we have tried working in partnership with various enforcement agencies, we have tried collaborating with other trade bodies, but the situation is now out of control. Dealers, consistently, ignore the regulations and sell tyres that have not been tested under inflation and inspected for damage. They do not mark the tyres as part worn, they often store them in tyre mountains in yards open to the elements causing further deterioration and they are fitted by people who are very rarely, if ever, qualified tyre technicians”.

The NTDA has been working closely with the consumer charity TyreSafe and local trading standards officers over the past three years to raise public awareness of the dangers of part worn tyres. During that time, numerous part worn dealers have been visited and in every case non-compliance with the regulations has been found. Among the most recent visits were businesses that have already been prosecuted within the last 12 months. Alarmingly, trading standards found further evidence of non-compliance leading to many further prosecutions.

Hay continued: “Part worn tyres are, in the majority of cases, not fit for reuse, are a cancer to our business and a menace to the public. We want a total ban, it may not happen today, tomorrow or even this year, but we are ready to take this campaign forward for as long as it takes and we call on all existing and future members to join the fight and if that means drilling holes in the side walls of tyres we remove to stop them being sold as part worns, then bring it on!”

Two VMs announce scrappage schemes FIAT introduces new Swap Programme

A new end-of-year campaign, designed to help customers swap their current Fiat car for a new one, has been launched by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK.

Called ‘The Big Swappage Deal’ the initiative offers drivers an extra incentive to trade in their current vehicle, with a range of extra ‘swappage’ bonus offers on top of any value the participating Fiat dealer has put on the customer’s car.

The deal covers the entire range of Fiat models – except the new 124 Spider – and includes the award-winning 500, the 500L and 500X, as well as Tipo, Panda, Punto, Qubo and Doblo.

‘The Fiat Swappage Scheme will appeal to customers with cars of any age, make or model,’ said Paul Runza, brand manager Fiat UK. ‘However the offer is still available for customers who do not have a part exchange vehicle – they will be eligible for a Swappage cash discount.’

Vauxhall relaunches Scrappage Scheme

Vauxhall has relaunched a scrappage scheme intended to encourage drivers to trade-in older, more polluting cars for models that are more environmentally friendly.

It is offering customers up to £2,000 towards a new car if they trade-in a vehicle registered before 31 December, 2016 for scrap.

The Scrappage Allowance scheme covers Astra, Mokka, Mokka X, GTC, Zafira Tourer, Insignia and Cascada models and runs until the end of the year.

Leon Caruso, Vauxhall’s retail sales director, said, ‘We are pleased to welcome back our Scrappage Allowance Scheme, helping customers to fund their new car with up to £2,000 for their old model. Not only can customers potentially receive more for their outgoing model, but they can also use this in conjunction with some of Vauxhall’s great finance offers, making their new Vauxhall even more affordable.’

The scheme also ran last year, when Vauxhall scrapped nearly 15,000 older vehicles. Vauxhall’s scrappage programme also has a provision for recycling parts of pre-1991 models for owners of classic models.