‘Your Car – Your Choice’ pilot project begins

The Your Car – Your Choice pilot project has begun in Chesterfield, aimed at raising awareness of the rights that motorists have to get their car serviced anywhere they choose from new.

The campaign, organised by the IAAF, will target independent garages and motor factors with an awareness day in Chesterfield at Bilstein Group, Markham Vale on Thursday 16 May. Here, garages will be able to quiz experts from around the trade and find out where they can go for support in challenging some of the misconceptions on garage repair and servicing within the warranty period and beyond.

The campaign has received a boost with major automotive companies signing up to support the pilot project. These include: Automechanika Birmingham, Bilstein Group, Comline, Comma, First Line, Hella, Impression Communications, MAHLE Aftermarket UK, National Auto Parts, SMPE, TMD Friction, Johnson Controls (Varta), WAIglobal UK and ZF Aftermarket.

All participating companies will feature in the pilot project’s social media campaign to garages and motorists throughout Chesterfield and surrounding areas. In addition, all IAAF distributor members in the area are invited to get involved and spread the campaign message to garages. Currently, motor factors Autosupplies (Chesterfield) and Road & Rally are playing an active role in bringing garages to the awareness day and highlighting the campaign across their own social media platforms and through their teams.

There is still a huge misunderstanding in the UK of the rights that motorists have to get their car serviced anywhere they choose from new. As BER comes to an end in its current format on 31 May 2023, the IAAF believes now is the time to seriously raise awareness as we enter a “digital phase” of car technology and data ownership.

According to GIPA, *72% of consumers believe their vehicle has to be returned to a Franchised Dealer for servicing/repair so as not to invalidate the warranty. And, an IAAF member has also found that *46% of garages are unsure of block exemption regulations (BER) and don’t have the confidence to talk about it to existing or potential customers.

All IAAF motor factor and distributor members in the demographic catchment area covering all the main buying groups, national and local distributors are invited to take part, along with IAAF supplier members wanting to pledge their support. To take part in the pilot project, companies have until 30 April to sign up.

IAAF Head of Membership Development, Mike Smallbone, said: “We’re very pleased and enormously grateful for the support we’ve received from companies in the automotive aftermarket. It underlines the appetite to make a stand and change the perceptions we all have about the rights afforded to the independent aftermarket supply chain and motorists under block exemption regulations.

“The awareness day on Thursday 16 May aims to equip garages with all the information they need to promote the campaign onwards to motorists.”
For further details of the supplier sponsorship package, please contact: Mike Smallbone Tel: 07584 136970 or email: msmallbone@iaaf.co.uk

More information on Your Car – Your Choice can be found here: www.yourcaryourchoice.co.uk

IAAF welcomes new ExVe study proving huge economic loss to aftermarket

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has welcomed a new study showing evidence that the Extended Vehicle (ExVe) concept could potentially lead to €65 billion losses as early as 2030, affecting both the independent aftermarket and motorists.

The European study (1) assessed the long-term economic consequences of current closed data access models promoted by vehicle manufacturers. In particular, it stressed that the negative impact of such models on independent aftermarket service providers will allow for VMs to further integrate themselves into the aftermarket, in turn giving them a stronger foothold over relations with motorists.

This would ultimately reduce consumer choice and competition in the aftermarket, gradually increasing costs and by 2030, would result in €33 billion losses for European independent automotive aftermarket operators and €32 billion in additional costs for motorists.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “Harming aftermarket businesses and motorists to such an extent is simply not acceptable and will require all possible legislative measures to guarantee safe, secure, direct and real-time access to in-vehicle data, and to ensure benefits to consumers, as well as competition and innovation in digital services ‘around the car’”.

Proprietary data access models, where VMs have privileged access to vehicles and third parties can only access in-vehicle data via an external backend server under the manufacturers’ governance have raised concerns among consumers, independent businesses (2) and the European Commission (3) over the last few years.

This recent study also echoes the test study (4) released in November 2018 by AFCAR, the Alliance for the Freedom of Car Repair in Europe, which pointed to several technical and commercial limitations brought about by the ExVe concept. However, it also highlighted a number of VMs developing their own open-telematics platform, accessible only to chosen third parties, which would deal a severe blow to the aftermarket.

1 Study “The automotive digital transformation and the economic impacts of existing data access models” (March 2019)
2 Manifesto “For fair digitalisation opportunities” (April 2018)
3 Commission’s Communication “On the road to automated mobility: An EU strategy for mobility of the future” (May 2018)
4 General Analysis “OEM 3rd party telematics” (December 2018)

IAAF’s membership swells with latest member The Wheel Specialist

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has welcomed new member The Wheel Specialist on board, as it becomes the latest in a recent flurry of aftermarket names to sign up.

The new enrolee is the UK’s only alloy wheel refurbishment company to operate from fixed premises with national coverage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. working with thousands of auto trade businesses across the UK, including some of the largest insurers, dealerships and bodyshops.

Established in 1955 in Birmingham under the company name Lap-Tab Ltd, the company has a long-standing reputation for its service, quality, and fast turnaround times, now employing over 75 staff across the UK. It offers same day total service, drive-in or drop-off, with a wide range of finishes including bespoke and original manufacturer matches available, backed up by a 12-month guarantee.

The Wheel Specialist will now gain access to a wide range of membership perks including a range of lifestyle protection plans, ADR cover and HR Manager Lite, a new, free service designed to assist employers with legal matters relating to Employment Law, HR, Health & Safety and Data Protection. There is also the chance for the company to attend the IAAF Annual Conference and Awards Dinner plus become actively involved in the many network meetings held across the year.

Ginny Murphy, CEO, said: “The Wheel Specialist fully welcomes the opportunity to become a member of the IAAF. We recognise that the IAAF is a well-established force within the automotive aftermarket that provides a cohesive network of inter-brand communication and advocacy.

“We look forward to contributing constructively and working with the IAAF, its existing and future membership base.”

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “We have welcomed an increasing number of new members to our ranks over the past few weeks and we are seeing growing representation from all sectors of the aftermarket. We’re delighted that The Wheel Specialist sees the merits in joining and we are confident that through sharing their knowledge and meeting with fellow members, everyone will get to benefit.”

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UK in pole position in £62 billion self-driving car race

A new report published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Frost & Sullivan has found that the UK could be set for a £62bn windfall from connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) by 2030.

The report, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Winning the Global Race to Market, has found that the UK is in pole position in the global race to market for CAVs.

The UK is in a strong position to capitalise, with more than £500m already committed by industry and government to CAV research and development and testing. Autonomous driving trials are taking place in UK towns and cities, while the UK is home to four major CAV test beds and three additional sites focused on highways, rural and parking, with more than 80 collaborative R&D projects underway. The next game-changing step is to move from testing CAV technologies to deployment in the real world.

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), combined with the gradual introduction of automated vehicles from 2021, is expected to deliver massive safety benefits. Over the next decade, the technology is set to prevent 47,000 serious accidents and save 3,900 lives. At the same time, some 420,000 new jobs will be created, including in the automotive industry and other sectors such as telecoms and digital services. Driving commuters, meanwhile, will gain back the equivalent of a full working week thanks to more ‘downtime’ and smoother traffic flows during their commute.

The report identifies three critical areas that will help CAV roll-out and in which the UK has a significant advantage: supportive regulation, enabling infrastructure and an attractive market. With the world’s first insurance legislation for autonomous vehicles already in place, the most comprehensive review of road transport underway and more miles across motorways, urban and rural roads able to be driven autonomously, the UK is already ahead of global rivals in its readiness to commercialise self-driving technology. The report ranks the UK above other major automotive countries, including Germany, US, Japan and South Korea as a global destination for the mass rollout of CAVs.

To realise this potential, however, the conditions must be right, and sustained support from government will be vital. The report’s key recommendations for government include updating road traffic laws, improving 4G coverage across all road networks, encouraging local authorities to work with industry to implement urban mobility services and influencing future harmonisation of international regulations to ensure these new vehicles can operate seamlessly between the UK and abroad.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘A transport revolution stands before us as we move to self-driving cars and the UK is in pole position in this £62bn race. Government and industry have already invested millions to lay the foundations, and the opportunities are dramatic – new jobs, economic growth and improvements across society. The UK’s potential is clear. We are ahead of many rival nations but to realise these benefits we must move fast.’

Sarwant Singh, senior partner and head of mobility, Frost & Sullivan, said, ‘The UK already has the essential building blocks – forward thinking legislation, advanced technology infrastructure, a highly skilled labour force, and a tech savvy customer base – to spearhead CAV deployment over the next decade. However, it will require sustained and coordinated efforts by all key stakeholders, especially the government, to realise the significant annual economic benefits forecast for the UK from CAV deployment by 2030 and drive the vision of safe, convenient and accessible mobility for all.’

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Emissions specialist names new director

UK-based emissions reduction specialist Eminox has appointed Martin Edwards as operations director.

Martin brings more than 15 years’ experience in the automotive industry, from passenger cars to heavy-duty vehicles, having worked for Autoneum, Parker Hannifin and Kongsberg Automotive.

He said, ‘I was really attracted by the growth potential at Eminox. I’m looking forward to continuing to drive this, while working to anticipate the markets. Eminox has already established a global footprint with a joint venture in China, and I will be building on it.’

In 2018, Eminox celebrated its 40th anniversary and nearly doubled its annual turnover. Since 1978, the privately-owned company has grown from three employees to more than 350.

‘I believe staff are key to the success of any business,’ Martin added. ‘In my previous roles, I was known for working with people and bringing teams together. That’s really where my strength and key interest lies. I am looking to push and grow the teams here, providing plenty of opportunity for individual training and personal development to make sure our employees are the best they can be.

‘Eminox is focused on becoming a world leader in emissions control systems and branching out into new markets. It is an exciting time for the industry, as there is a fundamental shift on the horizon for emissions control.’

Eminox offers a range of emissions reduction solutions to original equipment manufacturers, as well as providing retrofit and aftermarket products for heavy-duty industries. It supports its customers with in-house research and development services, which allows for extensive testing of products before final production.

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Les Kershaw joins National Auto Parts

Leading clutch and brake specialist National Auto Parts has appointed Les Kershaw as its new Sales Manager, bringing a wealth of experience in the automotive aftermarket sector to the company.

Les has joined from SMPE and in his new role will be working alongside the major buying groups and key customers to help grow sales of National’s expanding product range, while generating new business.

With a strong track record in the industry, Les brings a vast range of knowledge to the company, gained from previous roles at Valeo, Allied Signal and SMPE, and is excited by the opportunities ahead.

Les commented: “I’m looking forward to being a part of such a fast-growing business and assisting in developing the National brand even further. I am determined to help the company reach new heights and highlight the unrivalled quality offered to our customers.”

“The market is currently seeing increased demand for high quality braking solutions and I will work alongside customers to ensure National are at the forefront in this specialist field.”

David Houlden, National Auto Parts managing director, said: “I am delighted to welcome someone of Les’s calibre on board. As an industry specialist his knowledge and experience will prove beneficial to the company as he helps to raise brand awareness and increase engagement with our customers.”

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Automechanika Garage of the Year open for entries

Automechanika Birmingham’s Garage of the Year competition is now open for entries. Sponsored by the Independent Garage Association (IGA) and run in partnership with Garage Wire, the competition is open to garages from across the UK and Ireland.

Entries can be made online https://garagewire.co.uk/garage-of-the-year-2019-entry-form/ but must be submitted before the deadline of 26 April 2019.

Entrants may enter more than one category, explaining why their garage deserves to win the much-coveted prize, with the chance to walk away with £1,000.

Winners from each category will be announced at a special evening dinner to be held at the National Motor Cycle Museum on 5 June 2019, with drinks available from 7pm after the second day of the show.

Automechanika’s Garage of the Year awards forms part of the Big UK Garage Event at this year’s Automechanika Birmingham, providing more benefits to thousands of garages planning to visit. With the garage audience growing year on year, the aim of this year’s event is to deliver more opportunities for garage businesses at the industry’s event.

The Big UK Garage Event will feature more for garages and will include exclusive show offers, big giveaways, competitions and some celebrity appearances. The event gives access to over 500 leading suppliers such as: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK and Yuasa.

Garages will also receive free parking and free breakfast on arrival for their workforce. Other points of interest this year for garages will also include free technical training on hybrid and electric vehicles – CPD accredited by Global Skills Provider IMI. Garages will also see live demos from the industry’s top speakers and partners including Frank Massey, Andy Crook and James Dillon, the returning Workshop Training Hub, Technical Talks as well as the new Garage Equipment Showcase.

Garage of the Year 2019 categories include:

  • Best Small Garage – Southern & Northern regional winners
  • Best Large Garage – Southern & Northern regional winners
  • Best Community Initiative
  • Auto-mechanik of the Year
  • Technology Innovation
  • Business Innovation Award
  • Commitment to Training and Standards
  • Outstanding Achievement
  • Garage Owner of the Year

Jack Halliday, event director for Automechanika Birmingham, said: “As part of our expanded Big UK Garage Event, we are confident that Automechanika’s Garage of the Year 2019 awards will be the best yet.

“With visitor registration for the event up and leading suppliers offering more for visitors, we’re pulling out all the stops to deliver a big day out for garages to improve their business on a daily basis. This is the last chance to visit Automechanika Birmingham because it won’t return until 2021. Why not try your hand at some of the competitions offered at Automechanika Birmingham and win some big prizes?”

Visitors can register to attend the event by booking their free ticket here: https://automechanika-birmingham-2019.reg.buzz.

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New battery makes a 1,000km electric vehicle a reality, claims Innolith

Innolith has announced it is developing the world’s first 1,000Wh/kg rechargeable battery whichwould allow an electric vehicle to travel 1,000km – some 600 miles-plus – on a single charge.

Under development in the company’s German laboratory, the company claims the Energy Battery’s high energy density would also radically reduce costs due to the avoidance of exotic and expensive materials.

Sergey Buchin, CEO of Innolith AG, said: “The EV revolution is currently stymied by the limitations of available batteries.

“Consumers want an adequate range on a single charge in an affordable EV and confidence that it is not going to catch fire.

“The Innolith Energy Battery is the breakthrough technology that potentially can deliver all these needs.”

The Innolith battery uses a non-flammable inorganic electrolyte, unlike conventional EV batteries that use a flammable organic electrolyte.

Innolith will be bringing the Energy Battery to market via an initial pilot production in Germany followed by licensing partnerships with major battery and automotive companies.

It anticipates the completion of development and commercialisation of the battery will take between three and five years.

Alan Greenshields, chairman of Innolith, added: “This new breakthrough has been made possible by years of dedicated research into all aspects Inorganic Electrolytes and their application to rechargeable batteries.

“Simply put, the experience gained in how to build high power batteries with exceptional robustness and cycle life has proved to be the right basis for building high energy products too.

“The absence of organic materials, crucial for stability of Innolith’s high power product, removes the key source of safety risk and chemical Instability of high energy batteries.

“It all fell into place in 2018 from an R&D perspective, with several extraordinary breakthroughs.”

Innolith has patents pending for the key inventions of the Energy Battery and is also maintaining commercial confidentiality on the cell chemistry mechanism.

Under all licensing agreements for the Energy Battery, Innolith will also retain control of all speciality chemical supply in order to protect its intellectual property.

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TecAlliance is celebrating 25 years of the TecDoc Standard – recognised worldwide as the seal for the highest quality data in the independent automotive aftermarket (IAM)

TecAlliance is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the TecDoc Standard, which allows for the quick and precise identification of spare parts and vehicles and is a byword for the highest quality data in the IAM. It is also the foundation for the future development of intelligent applications for mobility concepts.

David Winter, EVP Sales & Marketing

TecAlliance is celebrating 25 years of the TecDoc Standard. The globally active data specialist introduced the data standard in 1994 in order to create a uniform data format for the collection, publication and distribution of high-quality spare part product information. Today, the TecDoc Standard allows for the quick and precise identification of spare parts and vehicles, as well as optimised automated and digitised process solutions along the entire IAM supply chain. With the launch of version 3.0 of the TecDoc Catalogue – one of the world’s leading spare parts catalogues, which is naturally based on the data standard – TecAlliance is setting new benchmarks in spare part identification, to celebrate this 25-year success story.

“Data was and is our passion, so we shall consistently refine and maintain the TecDoc Standard, because it is an important building block in the standardisation and digitisation of the automotive aftermarket”, states Jürgen Buchert, CEO of the TecAlliance GmbH. “Due to this data standard, today a spare part can be identified and therefore sold, worldwide. Tomorrow, it will be the basis for the development and implementation of intelligent applications for the mobility concepts of the future.”

Comparability and transparency of product data worldwide
Then as now, TecDoc Standard is a byword for the highest quality data. It allows for comparability, efficiency, transparency and quality of the product data in the global automotive aftermarket. Until the mid-1990s, spare parts data was not standardised and was not checked as to whether its allocation to a vehicle type is correct. There was therefore, considerable uncertainty in the identification of vehicles and spare parts, which not only cost time, but, due to the high error rate, was bad for business and customer satisfaction.

In 1994 therefore, 21 leading companies from the international automotive spare parts industry, established the standardisation initiative, under the name, TecDoc. Each vehicle type was clearly and unmistakably defined and linked with the associated spare parts. Thanks to the TecDoc Standard and the TecDoc Catalogue based on it, there has now been no doubt, which spare part matches which vehicle and that also applies all over the world, because the international standard enables smooth co-operation, not just in Germany and Europe, but in South America and Asia as well.

The highest quality vehicle and spare parts information available
All the players in IAM benefit from the TecDoc Standard, the reliable seal for high-quality spare parts, parts information and data. In the wholesale sector, the TecDoc Standard facilitates excellent quality data and web services for effective e-business, as well as customised online catalogues. Via the TecDoc Catalogue, workshops have the benefit of precise spare parts identification, in addition to comprehensive and correct repair and maintenance information (RMI). As for the parts manufacturers, the TecDoc Standard opens access to new markets and provides an entirely new global reach. In the competition for customers, visibility in the market is decisive and with the TecDoc Catalogue, one of the world’s largest spare part catalogues, TecAlliance data suppliers are able to reach them all over the world.

A strong international standard is the basis for the digital future. By launching the new version 3.0 TecDoc Catalogue at the beginning of 2019, TecAlliance is simultaneously, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the TecDoc Standard and setting new benchmarks in spare parts identification. The TecDoc Catalogue is one of the world’s leading aftermarket catalogues, and covers more than 110,000 vehicle types, data for 6.6 million articles from more than 700 brands, 254 million links and 48 article groups.

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Lucas brand World Championship sponsors of GB ice hockey team

Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE) has announced that the Lucas brand is now proud sponsor of Team GB for the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

As part of the sponsorship agreement, Lucas branding will appear on the GB World Championship Jersey and all replica jerseys, in addition to tapping into the sport’s increasingly popular marketing platforms such as social media and game merchandise.

The tournament, which takes place in Slovakia between 10-26 May, will be broadcast globally to a TV audience of 1.9 billion across 130 territories including Europe, USA, Canada, Russia and China. Ice hockey has grown increasingly popular in the UK over the past 12 months to become the most watched indoor sport in Britain, with higher visitor attendance at live games and a surge in the number of social media followers.

This is the first time in 26 years that Great Britain has qualified for the top-level championship after winning two successive Gold Medals in 2017 and 2018 to gain promotion from Division 3 and 2 respectively.

This comes one month after the iconic Lucas brand made history when it sponsored the first ever free-to-air live ice hockey match between Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils on 26 January, which saw the Panthers triumph 2-1.

Team GB are in Group A and will go head to head with Germany in their first World Cup match on Saturday 11 May, before facing Canada on Sunday 12 May.

The Lucas engine management brand is distributed to customers throughout Europe by Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE). From 1 May 2019, the company will also acquire the license to supply the Lucas brand to customers in the UK & Ireland, with many expected to benefit from SMPE’s considerable investment in range re-profiling, packaging and cataloguing.

Ross Toomey, Standard Motor Products Europe’s managing director, believes the Lucas sponsorship hails the beginning of what promises to be an exciting partnership, as it strengthens its ties with the sport. “We’re delighted to partner with Ice Hockey UK to support all GB teams to create a legacy off the back of the men’s return to the top level,” he said.

“By sponsoring the team under the iconic Lucas brand, SMPE hopes to increase the awareness and development of the sport on a national level. This partnership also forms part of the next exciting chapter for Lucas, as we shortly become official Lucas licensees in the UK & Ireland, to match our current licence agreement in Europe.”

Ice Hockey UK general secretary, Andy French, said: “We are very excited by the sponsorship deal with Lucas. We are proud to have them on-board with Ice Hockey UK and the Great Britain national team. Lucas is a well-known brand and we are really looking forward to linking up with them.

“It is major sponsorship deal in the history of IHUK and GB – and we look forward to working with Lucas. We hope this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship between Lucas and Ice Hockey UK.”

The Lucas engine management programme includes: Ignition coils, cam/crank sensors, air mass meters, lead sets, coolant temp sensors and oil pressure switches, engineered by SMPE in the UK and Poland.

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