Garages flock to Your Car – Your Choice Awareness Day

The Your Car – Your Choice pilot project in Chesterfield has taken another huge step forward following the first ever garage awareness day.

More than 100 people attended the event, held at Bilstein Group, Markham Vale as garages were able to find out more about their rights under block exemption regulations (BER) and hear presentations from automotive aftermarket suppliers supporting their right to service and repair vehicles within the warranty period.

With the next steps being the roll-out of the campaign to the people of Chesterfield, it was important to bring as many garages together as possible from the area – invited to the event by IAAF distributors including Autosupplies Chesterfield, Bullseye Car Parts and Road & Rally – to ensure they are fully up to speed with their rights and are confident in challenging any misunderstandings motorists may have.

Under BER, any independent garage can service and repair any car within the warranty period providing replacement parts used are of OE-matching quality and are recorded as such. Vehicles must be serviced in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer service schedules. (T&Cs apply)

Vehicle Manufacturers have a duty to honour the vehicle’s warranty when it is serviced outside of the dealer network, and non-OE parts fitted onto a vehicle is an insufficient reason for the warranty to be declared invalid.

IAAF Head of Membership Development, Mike Smallbone, said: “The event demonstrated that there is a hunger from independent garages for more information so that they can have the confidence in tackling the misconceptions surrounding this issue. Garages are the first line of defence in promoting this choice and so it’s important that suppliers, motor factors and everyone involved in the supply chain supports this campaign.

“I would like to say a big thank you to our hosts Bilstein Group and supporting distributors and suppliers that made this event and pilot project happen. It is the perfect platform for us to now launch our consumer campaign to the people of Chesterfield.”

Major automotive companies have signed up to support the pilot project. These include: Automechanika Birmingham 2019, Bilstein Group, BM Catalysts, Comline, Comma, First Line, Hella, Impression Communications, Kilen, MAHLE Aftermarket UK, National Auto Parts, SMPE, Tetrosyl, TMD Friction, Johnson Controls (Varta), WAIglobal UK and ZF Aftermarket.

No garage went away empty-handed as suppliers and distributors gave away merchandise and participated in the prize raffle, with over £1000 worth of prizes given away.

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New 500+BAR GDI system slashes particulates by up to 50%, reveals Delphi Technologies at the Vienna Symposium

In a paper presented at the 2019 Vienna Motor Symposium, Delphi Technologies revealed a new 500+ bar GDi system that can reduce particulate emissions by up to 50 percent compared to state-of-the-art 350 bar system without expensive engine design modifications. Reducing the number of exhaust gas particulates, including those smaller than 23 nm, will help manufacturers meet increasingly stringent future global emissions standards.

Reducing engine-out emissions cuts tailpipe emissions in the crucial period before catalyst light-off and reduces the need for costly aftertreatment systems. This reduces emissions in regulated testing including RDE (Real Driving Emissions). At the end of 2016, Delphi Technologies entered production with its industry first 350 bar GDi system, which reduces exhaust particulates by up to 70 percent compared with industry-standard 200 bar systems.

“The industry has long recognized that increasing injection pressure to 500+ bar could substantially cut engine-out particulates while improving CO2 emissions and fuel economy,” explains Walter Piock, chief engineer, Gasoline Systems, Delphi Technologies.

The challenge has been to achieve such pressures without increasing the drive loads from the pump. As most engines power the GDI pump through the camshaft drive, a conventional approach would usually require a costly redesign and strengthening of the camshaft mechanism.

“By designing an innovative new internal sealing system for our GFP3 500+ bar pump, in some applications, we have designed a downsized plunger diameter which prevents increasing the loads in the drive mechanism,” reveals Piock.

With the new Delphi Technologies system, engine designers can benefit from 500+ bar injection pressures without having to make costly changes to the majority of existing camshaft drive systems.

With combined demands for improved urban air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions, the fuel injection system is an important building block for meeting future legislative targets. Delphi Technologies’ 500+ bar system can help vehicle manufacturers meet both challenges.

According to Piock, “Our 350 bar GDi system reduces exhaust particulates by up to 70 percent compared with industry-standard 200 bar systems and we are going one step further with our new 500+ bar GDi system which further reduces these emissions by up to 50 percent compared to the 350 bar system”.

To complete the new 500+ bar system, Delphi Technologies has developed all system components including Multec 16 injectors, pumps, forged rail as well as the appropriate engine control system and software. These components, which further improve durability and reliability, also require no or only minor physical changes to existing engines because they match existing packaging constraints and interfaces. The 500+ bar system could be used in production from 2022 onwards.

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Hosted Garage Programme set for success

Motor factors that bring their garage customers to Automechanika Birmingham 2019 will benefit from an exclusive VIP area, enjoy fast track access into the event and support with their travel arrangements.

Automechanika Birmingham 2019 is designed to bring the entire automotive industry together and with the Hosted Garage Programme, the event is doing that literally by assisting motor factors with bringing their customers to the event.

All motor factors have to do is simply invite, register and bring five or more garage customers to the event to receive free parking and free breakfast too.

The Hosted Garage programme is a great opportunity for motor factors to introduce garages and technicians to their supplier base. What’s more, garages that take up the offer of attending with their motor factor will visit The Big UK Garage Event, where they will access hundreds of suppliers and brands from across the industry covering areas such as accessories, components, tools and garage equipment. There will also be CPD accredited training taking place and demos from the industry’s top speakers including Frank Massey, Andy Crook and James Dillon, the Training & Skills Village and the returning Workshop Training Hub.

Exhibitors will also be providing a raft of exclusive show offers and giveaways for garages at this year’s event.

One motor factor bringing garages to the Automechanika Birmingham is Midwest Motor Factors of Walsall. Group Factor manager, Craig McCracken, said: “This is a fantastic idea and really ties in everybody in the automotive industry. Much of the event’s content is geared towards independent garages and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us as their local motor factor to bring them to an event that will ultimately benefit their business.

This was echoed by Autosupplies managing director, David Clarke, who said: “Each year we bring garages to the event and this year we’ve been inundated with requests to join our team at the event. As a motor factor, we have a responsibility to support our suppliers exhibiting at the event and bring garages to them. Such dialogue and feedback helps all in the supply chain and so we’re delighted to be bringing more garages than ever before to Automechanika Birmingham as part of the Hosted Garage Programme.”

There is still time for motor factors to sign up to the Hosted Garage Programme and they can do so by emailing [email protected]

Major aftermarket names committed to the 2019 event include: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK, Yuasa, Apec Braking Ltd, BM Catalysts, Draper Tools, GROUPAUTO, Launch Tech UK, Liqui Moly, MAM Software, Marathon Warehouse Distribution, Morris Lubricants, OESSA, Texa UK and Total UK.

Registration is now open and visitors can now book their free ticket here:

Platooning can be “used extensively” finds trial

The first real-world platooning trial has found that operating electronically linked trucks on German motorways is safe, technically reliable and easily applicable in the routine of a logistics company.

The finding comes from a joint project involving logistics company DB Schenker and two MAN trucks.

As part of the research project, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), professional drivers drove the two electronically linked vehicles on the Autobahn 9 between the Nuremberg and Munich branches of DB Schenker over the course of seven months.

The trucks covered more than 21,000 miles, at a distance of between 15 to 21 meters apart.

Drivers praised the driving comfort and the general sense of safety. The field test also demonstrated savings in fuel consumption of 4%.

Andreas Scheuer, federal minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said: “The mobility of the future will be automated and networked. Of course, this is also true for logistics. I therefore fully support the industry in bringing technologies such as platooning to market maturity. We want to make the processes even safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly, all along the value chain. The drivers have a key role to play here. In a digital truck they will be modern logistics specialists. This will open up new prospects for the profession.”

According to DB Schenker’s research, platooning can be used extensively in the logistics network. Alexander Doll, member of the Management Board for Finance, Freight Transport and Logistics at Deutsche Bahn AG, said: “We have analysed our European transport network and it is safe to say that around 40% of the kilometres travelled could be carried out in platoons.”

The platooning system installed in the MAN trucks operated smoothly 98% of the time. Active interventions by the driver were necessary only once every 1,200 miles, which is much less than expected.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has concluded that there is no business case for truck platooning, saying that the technology failed to deliver appreciable fuel savings in its on-the-road tests.

Although the manufacturer will remain committed to ongoing platooning projects with partners, such as Ensemble in Europe, it now plans to refocus its resources on developing autonomous, self-driving technologies in its trucks.

It told delegates at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that results show fuel savings, even in perfect platooning conditions, were less than expected.

Savings were further diminished when the platoon was disconnected and the trucks had to accelerate to reconnect.

In at least four US long-distance applications, analysis showed no business case for driving platoons with new, aerodynamic trucks.

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Greater number of automotive recalls than ever recorded in 2019 Q1

A dramatic spike of 75% meant there were more automotive recalls in the first quarter of 2019 than ever before.

There were a total of 158 automotive recalls in the first quarter of the year, with 152 of those in the motor vehicle category. Both are the biggest figures in the history of Safety Gate, the EU’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products.

Within the passenger vehicle sub-category, the top cause for recalls was engine issues which was cited in 13 separate cases. As is usually the case, injuries were named as the top hazard and accounted for 132 recalls.

In total, 37 different brands recalled passenger vehicles in January, February and March. The most common country of origin was Germany (56) followed by France (21), Italy (13), United Kingdom (12) and United States (10). Germany was also the top notifying country with 104 recalls and notifications.

Analysts have pointed out that whilst the increase in the number of recalls across all sectors could seem to be of concern, this does not necessarily mean an increase in unsafe products. What may be happening is that manufacturers are demonstrating an increased willingness to remove unsafe products.

‘That would be a positive development. After all, recalls are part and parcel of business and we should applaud any manufacturer who is willing to put customer safety first and remove products even if the risk posed by them is not significant. One thing is also clear – with so many recalls occurring, companies must have clear strategies in place for handling them as the risk of not doing so effectively is a serious dent in brand reputation.’

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VW’s first electric ID model named ID3

Volkswagen has revealed that its first model in the fully electric ID range will be called the ID3.

The car will receive its official world premiere at the IAA international motor show in Frankfurt and, according to Volkswagen, will be as important to the brand as the Beetle and the Golf.

While the Beetle once mobilised the masses and the Golf, as the class leader, featured great innovations in each generation, the ID will make pure electric motoring accessible to a broad spectrum of customers, said the manufacturer.

“With the ID3, we are starting from the centre, the Volkswagen brand’s core, in which the majority of the models and sales volume can be found,” explained Jurgen Stackmann, member of the board of management Volkswagen brand for sales, marketing and after sales.

“The number 3 also signals expandability into the segments above and below it. We have a lot in the pipeline.”

The ID3 will be available in three battery options, with a ‘real world’ range starting from around 200 miles rising to 340 miles and a starting price of under €30,000 (£25,800) in Germany. No UK pricing has yet been announced.

Customers can pre-book an ID3 at by paying a registration deposit of £750. In its first-year, there will be 30,000 vehicles available Europe-wide

Volkswagen’s new fully electric car will also be carbon neutral. Both battery cell production and ID production are oriented towards this goal, for example, with the consistent use of power from renewable sources. Unavoidable emissions in the production process will be compensated for by certified climate projects.

Production of the ID3 is to start at the end of this year and the first vehicles are to be delivered to customers in mid-2020.

Volkswagen UK is offering the car in special edition ID3 Plus form, which features large wheel rims and comprehensive equipment, including voice control and navigation system, IQ Light and bi-color exterior and interior design.

In most markets, the ordering phase for pre-booking customers will start just after the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

Customers will then be able to place a binding order for an ID3 Plus with the Volkswagen retailer they prefer. Up to that point, customers will be able to cancel their registration at any time without any charge, in which case the registration deposit will be immediately refunded.

Pre-booking is being offered in 29 European markets. The most important markets in Europe for the ID3, says Volkswagen, will be Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, France, the UK and Austria. On average, Volkswagen plans to deliver more than 100,000 vehicles per year to customers.

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Honda confirms Swindon closure after phase one of consultation

Honda has confirmed that it will be closing its Swindon plant in 2021. The closure will cause the loss of 3,500 jobs.

Honda says that it has reached the conclusion that no viable alternatives to the proposed closure of the Swindon plant have been identified.

It has done so following a consultation process, which included contributions from collective consultation groups, the UK government and external consultants engaged by UNITE.

This concludes the first phase of the collective consultation process. The second phase, which includes agreeing associate redundancy packages and identifying the impact on individual roles up until production ceases in 2021, will begin immediately.

Honda will also up its engagement with the Swindon Task Force set up by Secretary of State Greg Clark to work with government and a broad range of stakeholders to mitigate the impact of this decision on the wider community.

Honda of the UK Manufacturing director, Jason Smith, said; “It is with a heavy heart that today we confirm the closure of Honda’s factory in Swindon.

“We understand the impact this decision has on our associates, suppliers and the wider community. We are committed to continuing to support them throughout the next phases of the consultation process.”

In late March it was reported that BMW was said to be looking at taking over the Honda Swindon plant in 2021, with sources apparently revealing that BMW is looking at transferring more car production to the UK because of an increasing demand for the X1 SUV, among other models.

The manufacturer sold 200,000 units of the X1 SUV globally last year, amounting to 13% of its worldwide sales. It was also reported that BMW has obtained outline planning permission to extend its Swindon pressing facility.

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NGK’s Stuart Bayne completes marathon charity challenge

NGK employee Stuart Bayne has competed for the second time in the Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for charity.

Stuart, who is Sales Manager – North for NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, completed the course in 5 hrs 44 mins, beating his last year’s time by more than thirty minutes.

His efforts have raised more than £1800 for the Downs Syndrome Association (DSA), which continues to support people with Downs Syndrome to live full and active lives, through programmes such as Workfit, enabling people to find employment, and the DSA Active activity programme.

Stuart, who over the past few years has raised a staggering £62,500 for the DSA via a number of fund-raising exploits including sponsored cycle rides in Europe and New Zealand, said: “It was really hard work this year. I had hoped to complete the marathon in under five hours, but I set off too fast as I got caught up in the atmosphere and suffered after running the first 11 miles in two hours one minute. Having said that I’m pleased to have beaten last year’s time by more than half-an-hour.

“I knew what to expect having competed last year and once again the crowds were fantastic and really supportive. It was estimated about one million people were on the streets cheering on the runners which is amazing.”

If you wish to donate to Stuart’s fund-raising page, you can still do so until May 28 by logging on to and entering his name.

Lucas seals GB women’s ice hockey win with sponsorship deal

Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE) has announced that Lucas has further strengthened its partnership with ice hockey through its latest sponsorship agreement with GB Women’s Ice Hockey Team, as the brand increases its foothold in the UK aftermarket.

Great Britain recently won silver in the Women’s World Championship Division II Group A with a 2-1 victory over North Korea, held in Dumfries from 2-8 April.

This comes after the recent announcement of Lucas’ sponsorship of Team GB for the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, due to take place in Slovakia between 10 – 26 May.

The sport’s burgeoning popularity in the UK combined with the growing momentum of sponsorship in women’s sport is cited as an ideal opportunity for SMPE to grow Lucas’ brand awareness throughout the UK and Europe.

Following the women’s Silver medal win, SMPE presented the team with a cheque for £5000, in addition to its sponsorship, for investment in the GB Women’s programme.

Ice hockey has enjoyed a surge in popularity 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.

The Lucas engine management brand is distributed to customers throughout Europe by Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE). Since 1 May 2019, the company also has the license to supply the Lucas brand to customers in the UK & Ireland, with many customers benefiting from SMPE’s considerable investment in range re-profiling, packaging and cataloguing. A further 1500 parts have been added to the Lucas engine management programme, resulting in a 65 percent increase in vehicle parc coverage.

Ross Toomey, Standard Motor Products Europe’s managing director, said: “We were delighted to be a part of the GB Women’s team silver medal campaign, and believe that there is significant potential for this team to go on to achieve at a high level. We were delighted to be able to present Ice Hockey UK with a cheque for £5000 on top of our sponsorship specifically for investment into the GB Women’s programme.’

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