Team P R Reilly joins ECP as part of the LKQ family

Euro Car Parts, an LKQ company, has announced that it has acquired the business of Team P R Reilly, a leading, family-owned, car parts, accessories and bodyshop business based out of Dublin, Ireland, and Karkraft (N.I.) Limited of Belfast, UK, a paint and collision repair supply specialist. The agreement expands Euro Car Parts’ operations across Ireland, with a key focus on enhancing product availability, further improving delivery times and expanding into new market sectors.

ECP’s CEO Martin Gray

Euro Car Parts CEO, Martin Gray, said: “A strong track record, significant market expertise and a cultural approach so like our own, meant that the opportunity to work alongside Norbert Reilly and the senior management team at Team P R Reilly was not to be missed. We immediately felt that we had the same goal in mind: to deliver exceptional customer service, keep the independent aftermarket competitive and support the industry in developing its own profile. Over the coming months, we will share best practices and take advantage of the opportunities to learn from one another across market sectors and distribution channels.”

Gray continued: “We are particularly excited about leveraging our global sourcing network to equip our customer partners with unparalleled choice of mechanical and collision parts, paint and specialist equipment.”

UK Chairman and LKQ Board Member, Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Team P R Reilly colleagues to the family and the next stage of the incredible Euro Car Parts journey. Team P R Reilly has a heritage stretching back more than 75 years and we have a duty to our customers, partners, employees and suppliers to ensure that we build relationships that will lead to sustainable and considerable growth. Everyone has a part to play in our ambitious growth plans and I look forward to working with the senior team to support their strategic direction and leadership.”

Following the acquisition, the senior Team P R Reilly management team remains in place while the company’s more than 150 employees will benefit from professional opportunities and training across LKQ Corporation’s global platform, which employs more than 40,000 people worldwide.

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Comline celebrates with Redditch United FC as The Reds officially open their new home

Proud sponsor Comline Auto Parts (Comline) was part of an excited crowd on a sun-drenched Spring afternoon, as The TRICO Stadium, home of Redditch United Football Club, was officially opened.

Guests of honour – Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and Karen Lumley, MP for Redditch – joined Club Chairman, Chris Swan, and representatives from both Comline and TRICO on a day where the Evo-Stik League Southern side officially unveiled its new state-of-the-art floodlit 3G pitch, revamped changing rooms and main stand – now officially ‘The Comline Stand’.

Comline, the award-winning distributor of European, Japanese and Korean components, is a major partner of Redditch United Football Club and has pledged its support to the Club’s ambitious project of climbing the football ladder.

As part of this agreement with the Club, Comline has become the named sponsor of the main stand and houses not only the player changing rooms but Directors Box, conference and banqueting facilities, too.

During the official opening, various youth teams showed off their skills on the immaculate new surface, eager to impress onlookers – which included Redditch United Manager and former Gillingham, Rotherham and Walsall forward, Darren Byfield.

Redditch United hopes the £900,000 facility will inspire the creation of another 17 local teams and for its 3G to become a grassroots hub for youth teams based in and around the native area.

While promotion has escaped The Reds this term, the Club is full of optimism for the 2017-2018 season and hopes to mount a realistic promotion challenge. One thing is certain, the team will be well supported from the comfort of The Comline Stand by its army of loyal fans.

Marketing and Communications Manager, Leigh Davies, pointed to the significant investment being made in the Club and the parallels with Comline:
“Take one look at the quality of this new facility and the magnificent 3G surface and it’s clear to see this is a Club with huge ambition and a determination to succeed.

“From my first visit to The Valley, or The TRICO Stadium as it is now, the synergy between Redditch United and Comline was evident – it’s fantastic that two such forward-thinking, focused and driven organisations have come together to work in partnership.

“Everyone here at Comline is excited to be on this journey with Redditch United, and we’re right behind the Club in its push for promotion next season.”
Redditch United Chairman, Chris Swan, paid tribute to Comline for trusting the Club’s vision of climbing the football ladder and building a grassroots hub for the local community.

He said: “Redditch United is a Club that is ready to progress and move forward, thanks to our key sponsors, like Comline. It’s a company that supports our long-term project and vision – in terms of improving our league position and academy.

“Off the pitch, I hope our supporters will create a thunderous atmosphere from the comfort of the new Comline Stand, inspiring the players on it.”

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Automechanika Birmingham is recognised for excellence with two industry accolades!

Automechanika Birmingham has won two industry awards for the hugely successful launch of the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and supply chain in 2016.

Winning two accolades at the eleventh Exhibition News Awards, on Thursday 30th March, the Automechanika Birmingham team proudly took to the stage to collect the awards for expanding the Automechanika brand and for the best UK trade show newcomer. Automechanika Birmingham was the only event to win two awards.

The 2016 show was sold out in six months before the doors opened and welcomed over 12000 visitors through the doors to see over 550 exhibitors from the aftermarket and supply chain.

Simon Albert, Event Director said “The awards are a testament to the hard work and support of our exhibitors, visitors, partners, and the event team. We’d like to thank everyone involved making Automechanika Birmingham happen last year but now our focus is fully on 2017 where we have grown from three to five halls with over 800 exhibitors, introduced a new dedicated supply chain zone, new live demonstrations, more expert speakers and longer opening times! We look forward to welcoming everyone from 6-8 June 2017 at the NEC”

For more information, head to www.automechanika-birmingham.com

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Ben Blog: How to manage on a fluctuating income

Whether you work in a job which pays commission or you are self-employed, fluctuation in income can make it hard for anyone to make any future plans.

Ben is often contacted by people whose unpredictable income has caused them to struggle with managing money, become unable to keep up with their repayments, and get into unmanageable debt.

But, there are ways to plan ahead by reducing stress and uncertainty that comes with living with a fluctuating income, without spiralling out of control.

Back to basics
Work out the monthly minimum amount needed. Calculate spending each month on priority debts, these include:

  • Mortgage/rent
  • Utility bills
  • Council tax
  • Arrears

Look through bank statements and work out grocery and transport costs. Also, look at how many times money was withdrawn from ATMs. This will soon add up! Be honest with yourself about how much you spend.

Average income
Next, go through your bank statements and look at how much you earned each month.

Work out an average by adding all your wages together and dividing them by the number of months. For example, if you earned…

£600 in February
£550 in March
£800 in April

…you would add those figures together and divide by three. The more months of pay you can factor in, the more accurate your result will be.

This average is the target you should try to budget to. If it’s smaller than your basic expenses then look to see if you can cut anything back or – if you’re struggling to pay bills and are getting into debt – call our helpline on 08081 311 333.

Extra expenses
Now you know how much you have available each month and how much will go towards everyday expenses, you can sort out the extra costs.

So now work out how much you spend each month on extras:

  • Entertainment subscriptions, such as Sky or Netflix
  • Mobile phone bills
  • Gym membership
  • Clothes shopping
  • Eating out/takeaways
  • Hobbies.

Again, be very honest with yourself about how much you spend on each.

Remember to look at various websites and compare prices for broadband, mobile, insurance, utilities and clothing. Learn to shop smartly, as every little helps.

If the total is more than your budget then look at what you can cut back, for example limiting nights out or getting a cheaper phone. If you’re paying for membership or subscriptions, consider how often you use them and if it’s worth cancelling.

Get saving
If you don’t already have a savings account, consider getting one. Having a separate account without a card linked to it will reduce any spending temptation.

If you spend under your budget, then think about putting the leftover amount into your savings. You could even budget to save extra each month to help cover large expenses such as repairs to your car.

Every month when your pay check comes in, have a look at the amount. If it’s a high-earning month, then leave the amount that you have budgeted for in your main account and move the rest into your savings. If you have earned less, top it up to your budget level using the amount from your savings account.

This way, profitable months will help you to stay afloat during the leaner times. It will also enable you to plan ahead as, in effect; your pay will stay at this average.

Keep tabs on your earnings
If you find that you’re dipping into your savings pot more than you’re putting in, then start the process again.

It’s a good idea to revisit your budget every six months or so to make sure you’re keeping on track.

Stick to it
Sticking to a budget can be tough, but there are tools to help you like free budgeting apps such as Expense Manager for Android or iPhone.

If you go over budget one month work out why you couldn’t stick to it and see how you can do improve during the next month. You can find more tips on budgeting in our downloadable helpsheet.

We’re here
If you’re struggling to make ends meet– we’re here for you. You can contact us through our web chat or call our free and confidential support line on 08081 311 333.

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Last chance to sign petition before consultation deadline

IAAF is supporting an official petition to urge government to rethink the proposed changes to current MOT legislation. The petition offers the trade another chance to have its voice heard and highlight its level of concern. This has now been registered and we are urging all members to sign up to this on the following link as soon as possible.

All members are encouraged to support the petition.  The government’s consultation period ends this Sunday, April 16th, so this is the last opportunity to sign up to the petition prior to then.

To sign the petition CLICK HERE.

To respond to the government’s online consultation, CLICK HERE.

The government is promoting the proposed MOT test extension in a positive light, claiming motorists could save up to £100m a year, but the IAAF is arguing that this could lead to an increase in road accidents and fatalities as there will be no formal inspection of a vehicle’s road worthiness for a further 12 months.

By extending the test frequency there will more non-roadworthy vehicles on the road for a further year with no official mileage or emissions recorded until after four years. The federation is working alongside other industry bodies to combat the proposed legislation and protect the safety of all road users and the future of the automotive aftermarket.

Official figures from 2015-2016 reveal that around 17% of cars fail their first MOT on their initial attempt, so extending a car’s first MOT to four years could result in an extra 411,958 unsafe cars on the roads and risk higher accident rates. The current three-year-for-first MOT system ensures vehicle defects are picked up and remedied quickly, to ensure the safety of all road users.

In 2016, technicians identified over 400,000 potentially fatal vehicle defects, including 24,628 suspension failures and 47,138 brake failures. In the same year, 92,938 fewer car accidents were recorded in the UK compared to the same 2005 statistics, a result that has been attributed to improved vehicle safety, a standard that is enforced by the current MOT system.

Furthermore, 85,720 failures on cars taking their first MOT are due to tyres. Tyresafe, in partnership with Highways England, found that millions of motorists only replace tyres when required in order to pass the MOT. If the MOT deadline is extended by an additional year, this could mean 28,573 extra unsafe tyres on UK roads.

Our thanks go to Euro Car Parts Ltd. for its support in pulling this initiative together.

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Updated FIGIEFA video released

FIGIEFA has released the updated version of its Connected Car video.

The video explains how different telematics solutions – Extended Vehicle or the Interoperable Telematics Platform – will affect the aftermarket value chain and other related industries. A broad stakeholder coalition of vehicle dealers, test centres, aftermarket operators, the European insurance industry and motorist representatives worked together on a robust regulatory framework for an Interoperable Telematics Platform to ensure fair competition, innovation, independent entrepreneurship and consumer choice in Europe.

The video can be viewed HERE or via the IAAF website.

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IFA raise funds for Macmillan

The IFA were delighted this week to be visited by Jo-Anne Wilson from Macmillan Cancer Support. Jo-Anne addressed the group for a few minutes to explain about the wonderful work the organisation carries out.

Jo-Anne Wilson receiving the cheque from IFA Chairman, Gary Kennett

A cheque was then presented by the IFA Chairman, Gary Kennett, for £4,565 which had been raised through the generosity of the attendees at the IFA Awards Dinner Dance held at Cameron House Loch Lomond in Scotland last December. The annual event was one of the most glamorous to date, with the IFA being joined by their suppliers from all across the UK Automotive Industry.

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Connected and autonomous vehicles will improve quality of life for people with limited mobility, finds SMMT

Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will transform the lives of six out of every 10 people in the UK, according to new research published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Revolutionising Mobility in Society, the first UK-based study of the human impact of CAVs, canvassed the views of more than 3,600 respondents and found that this new technology will offer freedom to some of society’s most disadvantaged, including those with disabilities, older people and the young.

The research, conducted with Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting arm, shows CAVs have the potential to significantly reduce social exclusion. Six out of 10 (57%) people surveyed said this new technology would improve their quality of life. For young people, the impact could be even greater, with 71% of those aged 17 to 24 believing their lives would be improved. Consumers are increasingly seeing the benefits of CAVs, with 56% feeling positive about them. Young people were most excited, with almost half (49%) saying they would get into a CAV today if one were available.

Automatic braking and parking and the car’s ability to self-diagnose faults were cited as features most likely to reduce stress – the biggest attraction of owning a CAV among all groups. Freedom to travel spontaneously and socialise with friends and family were also seen as life-changing benefits, with 88% of people who believe CAVs will improve their social life saying a CAV would help them get out of the house more regularly.

Mobility is a challenge for many young people, with more than a quarter (29%) saying the cost of car ownership, particularly high insurance premiums, restricts their freedom. All groups cited the frequency of public transport as a barrier. More than two in five (43%) also cited the high cost and infrequency of public transport (33%) as a restriction. The potential for saving money, therefore, was highlighted as a key benefit of connected and autonomous vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles are life-changing, offering more people greater independence, freedom to socialise, work and earn more, and access services more easily. While fully autonomous cars will be a step change for society, this report shows people are already seeing their benefits. The challenge now is to create the conditions that will allow this technology to thrive, given how it will deliver wider societal advantages.”

Although fully connected and autonomous vehicles aren’t expected to become mainstream until 2030, most new cars are now connected via sat nav or Bluetooth, and more than half are available with safety systems such as collision warning or autonomous emergency braking.

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MECHANEX EventCity date announced

The UK’s only dedicated aftermarket regional tradeshow, MECHANEX, kicks off in Manchester for the first of this year’s shows, bringing with it leading industry experts to give you the latest information on market trends, workshop best practice and industry legislation.

MECHANEX EventCity takes place on the 16th & 17th of May and features some fantastic technical and business seminars, as well as on stand demonstrations and product fitment advice from the likes of Sealey Tools, Delphi, Dayco and Continental. This unrivalled opportunity to meet parts and equipment suppliers face-to-face makes MECHANEX a must attend event.

Furthermore, visitors can take advantage of a host of special ‘show only’ offers, discounts and special attractions.

5 Reasons To Attend

  • Fantastic technical seminar programme covering the subjects that matter to you
  • Product fitment advice and demonstrations that will help you save time and money
  • Bag yourself a bargain with a host of exclusive show offers
  • Meet parts and equipment suppliers face-to-face as well as having the opportunity to network with fellow industry professionals
  • Free bacon roll and special edition MECHANEX t-shirt for those that pre-register.

All seminars at MECHANEX are FREE to attend with no need to pre-book and attendees are invited to come along to see and hear all the latest industry developments and techniques.

Registration is FREE and includes a FREE bacon roll for all those who pre-register ahead of the event.

To register online visit www.MECHANEX.info or call 01923 237799 to secure your tickets.

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Automechanika Birmingham & Garage Wire partner to launch Garage of the Year

Automechanika Birmingham, 6-8 June 2017, is set to deliver a bigger and better offering for workshops owners and technicians at the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and supply chain. New for 2017, the organisers, in partnership with Garage Wire, have launched a Garage of the Year competition with a cash prize of £1000.

The organisers are now calling for entries, with a simple application process. Workshops can either submit 150 words or send a one minute video clip explaining why they should be Garage of the Year. Entries should include information about improvements to their garage service such as: new equipment, special customer promotions, and examples of excellent customer service. Garages could also mention ways they have increased profit, staff training or incentives and improvements to the building or facilities.

Automechanika Birmingham 2016

Simon Albert, Event Director said “Workshop owners and technicians are a key visitor group for us to welcome to Automechanika Birmingham 2017 so we have introduced a bigger programme for them. It is the place to look for new garage equipment and tools at special show prices, get free training and advice while keeping up to date with the industry’s changes in MOT and new technologies. The Garage of the Year competition aims to recognise and reward the best!”

Albert and James Onions, Director of Garage Wire make up the judging panel who will present the winner of the Garage of the Year with a cash prize of £1000 during Automechanika Birmingham 2017, NEC Birmingham. As they say, you’ve got to be in it, to win it!

Head to www.automechanika-birmingham.com to find out more and get your entry form! All entries MUST be received by 21st April 2017 and completed entry forms should be sent to chloe.hyland@uk.messefrankfurt.com.

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