Tenneco Europe Aftermarket named GROUPAUTO International Supplier of the Year

During the annual convention of Groupauto International (GAUI), the Tenneco Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Aftermarket Sales Team was recognized with the Supplier of the Year award.

This prestigious award is given based on the outcome of a vote in which all individual GAU EMEA members rate the group’s 50 OE partner suppliers. Tenneco obtained the highest rating in sales support based on a combination of technology, product offering and customer care.

L-R: GAUI hostess; Fabio Fazio, EUAM sales director; Maurits Binnendijk, EUAM sales executive director; Hans Eisner, president and CEO, Groupauto International

GAUI is one of the largest original spare parts distribution and services networks for passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the world.

Its network covers four continents and 52 countries and brings together over 1.417 distributors, 3.985 points of sale, 5.654 garages for passenger cars and 1.133 workshops for commercial vehicles.

Maurits Binnendijk, Sales Executive Director, EUAM, who received the award on behalf of Tenneco from Hans Eisner, President and CEO of Groupauto International, said: “I am extremely proud to receive this award that recognizes the hard work and outstanding performance of the EMEA Aftermarket Sales Team.”


Jonathan Eden appointed as FPS Managing Director

FPS have announced that Jonathan Eden is to take the role of Managing Director, effective from 1st December 2017. Jonathan joined the team in 2013, initially with responsibility for IT, and became Finance and IT Director in early 2016 following the retirement of Peter Blackburn. Prior to working at FPS, Jonathan worked in the aftermarket for 23 years, so brings considerable industry experience to this role.

Jonathan Eden, new MD at FPS

FPS have also announced that Duane Trower will be joining the business from Unipart Rail on 4th December, to take up the position as Director of Logistics. Duane has substantial and broad logistics and aftermarket experience which will support the continued growth of FPS.

This succession follows the planned decision by Neil Davis and Adrian Parker to step down from the business at the end of this year, after a period of handover. Both joined in 2001, having formed part of the leadership team since then.

Neil Davis commented “It’s been a pleasure to work at FPS, a business that really is the sum of the people, and on behalf of Adrian and myself, I’d like to thank all our colleagues who have worked so hard in the business over so many years. We’d also like to congratulate Jonathan on his appointment, and wish everyone all the best for the future”.

Jonathan Eden commented “FPS has seen continuous growth for the last 17 years, and continues to invest to ensure it will keep adding value for both its customer and supplier partners. I’d like to thank Adrian and Neil on behalf of everyone for their contribution to FPS over so many years, and look forward to the future working closely with all my colleagues across the business”.

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Truckstop launch new website

Truckstop have announced the launch of their new Tec-Stop diagnostics website.

The new website will feature the latest diagnostic products for car, truck, bike & agricultural vehicles – all available to buy online.

Alongside the vehicle diagnostics there is also air conditioning service equipment, emissions analysers, oscilloscopes, diesel test equipment and even workshop cleaning equipment.

Visitors to the site can also check out all the training courses and programmes available from Texa, Delphi and Bosch plus Truckstop’s latest news articles.

The new website can be found at: www.tec-stop.co.uk

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DPF removal is not a repair option

A recent investigation has found that thousands of UK drivers are illegally driving modified cars without diesel exhaust filters. Diesel exhaust filters can become clogged and are likely to malfunction and fail because they process large amounts of particulate matter. Replacing a broken filter can cost up to £1000, so to avoid this some drivers have opted to have the filter removed or have been advised to have it removed as a solution to persistant problems.

The procedure to remove the filter is legal but driving the car without it is illegal and any vehicle found with a modified filter will be subject to a fine of £1,000 for a car or £2,500 for a van.

Current emissions tests are unreliable for detecting the presence of the filter, which is one reason drivers are be tempted to remove the filter. Current MOTs have been described by some commentators as unfit for purpose as they only require a visual test of the outside of the DPF to see if the filter is functional.

However, from May 2018 the DVSA plans to introduce changes to emission tests that will improve their ability to detect filters that have been tampered with. DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn is quoted as saying: “Vehicles found to have been tampered with or are missing DPF filters will fail their MOT…the DVSA continues to pursue such offences and will take action against any MOT garages found to be conducting illegal modifications.” In September this year two mechanics from Sheffield were banned from MOT testing for two years for carrying out DPF removal and advertising the service as the practice brings the MOT scheme into disrepute.

Since 2014, over 1800 diesel cars in the UK have been found by the DVSA to be on the road without the legally required diesel particulate filters and without action this figure is likely to rise as consumers and those in the trade view it as a potential solution to issues. However, the pollution produced by the particulate matter in the diesel fumes can be damaging to the heart and lungs as well as unborn children. Noxious fumes created by diesel engines have been linked by The World Health Organisation to 38,000 premature deaths every year.

DPF removal is not a remedy or a repair in accordance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and should not be offered as such under any circumstances.

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Start now to think about how your business might be breaching the GDPR

If your business has been following the ICO’s 12 point GDPR plan as detailed in previous issues of the eBulletin, you will already know you need to think about the personal data you hold within the business and how it is kept secure.

Breaches by individuals can attract not just fines but criminal convictions as was seen recently when a recruitment manager who sent out 26 CVs to an external recruitment agency without consent from the data subjects was prosecuted at Birmingham magistrates court under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act. He pleaded guilty and picked up a £994 fine (including costs and a victim surcharge).

If your business wants to avoid such prosecution, you do need to make sure that there are systems in place and that members of staff have a good understanding of how to treat personal data.

Simple and practical actions could include moving filing cabinets of customer invoices to a locked room so that unauthorised people cannot wander in and gain access to files, requiring staff to sign regular memos reminding them not to leave their work ipad unattended and making sure any third party information processors are fully aware of the GDPR.

Your company should start to liaise with any third parties who hold or process your company data since, if you give them personal data, the onus is on your company to ensure the data secure is kept secure and only used for purposes for which consent has been freely given. Some third party organisations are already taking action, for example working towards the ISO27001 qualification, part of the ISO27000 family setting out international standards for keeping information assets secure.

Further articles on GDPR will appear in future issues of the eBulletin.

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Comline officially launches ‘My Comline’

Comline Auto Parts (Comline) has officially launched its ‘My Comline’ marketing portal, which is exclusively available to Comline Factor partners across Europe. My Comline features an array of marketing options including customisable promotions, branded clothing and merchandise, promotional literature, banners, signage and display items.

The award-winning British distributor of all-makes replacement parts has partnered with UK-based promotional goods company, Involution, to develop My Comline with the aim of providing its customers with a simple and efficient way to view, customise and order brand marketing and promotional materials.

A key benefit to the My Comline portal is the ability for Comline customers to access exactly what they need for their business. There are well over 100 merchandise and clothing items to choose from, many of which are available in a variety of colours and are customisable to the specific needs of the customer. Marketing & Communications Manager, Leigh Davies, explains further:

“My Comline will become central to the marketing support offered to Comline partners, and we’re delighted with the platform that Involution has provided. Gone are they days where we take an educated guess as to what our customers want and take a bulk order into stock.

“With My Comline, the majority of items are made-to-order for the customer, ensuring the customer gets something they actually want and that they have access to broader selection of materials with which to develop their Comline business.”

One of the central features of My Comline is a set menu of 12 customisable promotions covering a variety of Comline product categories. These promotions are designed to help Comline Factor customers incentivise purchases and generate incremental sales for their business.

Using the portal’s in-built web-to-print facility, customers can choose from any one of the 12 promotions and quickly customise with their own logo, company name, contact details and their preferred promotional terms. Customisation complete, the customer simply places their order then waits for the promotional leaflets and merchandise to arrive – it couldn’t be easier!

From backpacks to banners
Inside My Comline customers will discover an eclectic mix of clothing, merchandise and literature, as well as branding items, such as banners, posters and signage. Leigh comments:

“Over the past 12 months, the Comline marketing team have been working hard to develop a toolbox of marketing items which customers can tap into. My Comline offers our customers fantastic array of branded merchandise which can be used as promotional incentives, workwear and as brand promotion tools. From backpacks and baseball caps to overalls and air fresheners, plus a raft of banners, signage and display items, My Comline has choice aplenty.”

One of the Comline jackets

With winter all but here, My Comline is already geared up with a wide selection of items designed to keep customers toasty and warm. Beanie hats, sweatshirts, body warmers, a selection of jacket options and a new ‘First for Filters’ mug are all available to Comline partners throughout the winter months.

Vehicle branding
Another option showcased via My Comline is vehicle branding with visitors to the portal being able to see a few examples of Comline liveries currently in use across Europe. According to Leigh, branded vehicles can make a huge impact:

“Branded vehicles are, quite literally, mobile billboards. Having our name emblazoned alongside our customer on their delivery vans is a fantastic way of generating brand awareness and a very public way for our customer to endorse the Comline brand. We’ve seen the positive impact of such vehicle graphics all across Europe and believe it’s a fantastic way to underline the partnership we have with a customer.”

A guest version of My Comline is available to browse at www.comline.uk.com/marketing but the materials listed within this portal are exclusively available to Comline Factor partners only.

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Tesla unveils electric Semi truck with 500-mile range

Tesla has unveiled its electric Semi truck which has a range of 500 miles with a full 36.3-tonne load.

It does 0-60 mph in 20 seconds with a full load, a task that takes a diesel truck about a minute. Without a trailer, the Tesla Semi achieves 0-60 mph in five seconds, compared to 15 seconds in a comparable diesel truck.

Most notably for truck drivers and other road users, it climbs 5% grades at a steady 65mph, whereas a diesel truck maxes out at 45mph on a 5% grade.

The Tesla Semi requires no shifting or clutching for smooth acceleration and deceleration, and its regenerative braking recovers 98% of kinetic energy to the battery, giving it a basically infinite brake life.

The cabin features a centered driver position for optimal visibility. Two touchscreen displays positioned symmetrically on both sides of the driver provide easy access to navigation, blind spot monitoring and electronic data logging.

Built-in connectivity integrates directly with a fleet’s management system to support routing and scheduling, and remote monitoring.

Megachargers, a new high-speed DC charging solution, will add about 400 miles in 30 minutes and can be installed at origin or destination points and along heavily trafficked routes, enabling recharging during loading, unloading, and driver breaks.

The Tesla Semi’s all-electric architecture is designed to have a higher safety standard than any other heavy-duty truck on the market, with a reinforced battery that shields the Semi from impact and gives it an exceptionally low center of gravity.

Surround cameras aid object detection and minimise blind spots, automatically alerting the driver to safety hazards and obstacles.

With Enhanced Autopilot, the Tesla Semi features Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping, Lane Departure Warning, and event recording.

Tesla Semi can also travel in a convoy, where one or several Semi trucks will be able to autonomously follow a lead Semi.

Production is expected to begin in 2019.

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Driverless cars will be on UK roads by 2021, says Chancellor

Driverless cars could be on UK roads within four years under Government plans to invest in the sector.

In his budget on Wednesday, Chancellor Philip Hammond annouced that driverless cars will be able to be tested without any human operator inside or outside the car, and without the legal constraints and rules that apply in many other EU nations, and much of the US.

He told the BBC: “Some would say that’s a bold move, but we have to embrace these technologies if we want the UK to lead the next industrial revolution.”

Asked about the potential loss of jobs for drivers, he said the country could not “hide from change” and the Government had to equip people with the skills “to take up new careers”.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said it was good news that the Government was taking a lead by making the UK attractive to those seeking to develop, test and build an entirely new generation of cars.

He said: “We support Government’s measures to make the UK one of the best places in the world to develop, test and sell connected and autonomous vehicles.

“These vehicles will transform our roads and society, dramatically reducing accidents and saving thousands of lives every year, while adding billions of pounds to the economy.

“We look forward to continuing industry’s collaboration with government to ensure the UK can be among the first to grasp the benefits of this exciting new technology.”


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Scania to build new UK HQ

Scania GB Limited has confirmed development and construction of a new UK headquarters and support centre in Milton Keynes.

The development, designed and built by UK construction firm Kier, will be based on the existing site where Scania has been present for 36 years, and the current office facilities and car park will be joined by a new 54,754sq ft three-storey HQ with a 4,718sq ft facilities building. Work is expected to be completed by the summer of 2018, and when finished the outgoing facilities building will be demolished to leave a modern and welcoming work environment. The building will be mostly open-plan, with steel and composite metal construction and a three-storey open atrium.

Scania currently employs more than 230 people in Milton Keynes and the ongoing relationship with the city as one of its major employers is one of the key reasons for the firm retaining its existing location.

Claes Jacobsson, managing director for Scania GB Limited commented, “As one of the UK’s leading commercial vehicle suppliers and one the longest established companies in Milton Keynes, this development reconfirms our commitment to both our industry and the area in which we are based. The premises are being constructed to an extremely high environmental standard, and as such will serve us for many years into the future as we continue to support our customers with an ever-growing and developing range of innovative and sustainable transport solutions.”

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IAAF promises lively post-Brexit flavour to Conference

The IAAF will adopt a post-Brexit theme at its Annual Conference next month, with a host of influential key speakers from across the automotive industry taking centre stage to discuss important issues involving ‘tomorrow’s’ aftermarket and future technology.

The Conference – sponsored by Autoparts UK – will be held on 7 December at DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes and aims to examine current issues from both the UK and Europe, highlighting the many changes that are taking place across the industry from a technical, legislative, market and Brexit perspective.

Wendy Williamson speaking at the 2016 Conference in Birmingham

The theme – ‘Facing a post Brexit world in the automotive aftermarket’ aims to address all these issues and produce a lively debate for conference guests.

The Conference will be facilitated by Johnny Herbert, widely recognised as one of the greatest all-round racing drivers in the history of motorsport.

An array of speakers will be invited to engage the audience of around 100 attendees, most of whom will include parts suppliers, distributors, garages, as well as representatives from the industry and aftermarket trade press.

Dr Julia Saini, Vice President Consulting of Frost & Sullivan will be addressing the Conference on the importance of the UK aftermarket to the UK economy and Brexit’s impact on the sector, followed by Quentin Le-Hetet, General Manager of GIPA discussing how global influences are impacting on the distribution structure of the UK aftermarket. Alistair Preston, Co-Founder of Whocanfixmycar will be tackling the rise of online service providers & the impact on the UK aftermarket and Caroline Lake, Founder of Caroline’s Cars will be talking about life running a garage in 2017 and the main challenges for the future.

As the Conference heads into the afternoon session, technology will be very much the focus as Olaf Henning, Corporate Executive Vice President of MAHLE Aftermarket speaks on how F1 technology is being used to drive developments in the automotive parts aftermarket. The audience will also get to hear about future technologies and their impact on the aftermarket from Steve Nash, Chief Executive of IMI and Neil Pattemore, Technical Director of Figiefa will follow, sharing his view on the latest technical threats emerging from the UK and Europe, before the Conference draws to a close with President of the IAAF, Lawrence Bleasdale.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “This year’s Conference is anticipated to be a lively one and we hope shall provide some valuable, fresh insight to our members, as we cap off a roller-coaster year for the industry and UK economy in general. We have a fantastic mix of talks lined up from some excellent speakers, and no doubt Johnny’s presence will only heighten the sense of anticipation. The audience can expect a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable day.”

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