Melett to highlight turbo reman opportunities at ReMaTec 2019

Turbocharger specialist Melett will be taking centre stage at ReMaTec 2019, the world’s leading remanufacturing trade show for industry professionals.

The company, exhibiting at stand 8.541, will be using the event to promote its expertise in the turbocharger aftermarket, an industry continuing to experience growth.

The three-day event, taking place at RAI Amsterdam on 23 – 25 June, will also see speaker Darren Johnson, Sales Manager at Melett, address the opportunities available to the turbocharger reman market and the challenges it continues to face. Darren’s presentation will take place on Monday 24 June from 12:30 to 13:00 at the ReMaTec Theatre.

With increased parts proliferation in the turbo market, the level of investment required to produce a comprehensive aftermarket range becomes prohibitive. As a consequence, the opportunities for remanufacturing and specialist expertise in turbochargers increase.

With this increase in opportunities for remanufacturing, Melett – through its “What’s in Your Turbo?” initiative – is encouraging the market to question parts quality even more and look beyond price and appearance. It is risky to assume that parts are identical, even if they look the same.

Darren Johnson, Sales Manager at Melett, said: “We’re very excited at the prospect of engaging with a global audience at ReMaTec, as the world’s leading platform for remanufacturing, to promote the opportunities and continued growth in the turbocharger reman market.

“As illustrated by the Melett Authorised Service Centre network, there is – and will always be – a reliance on businesses that have the specialist equipment and expertise to offer the very highest level of turbocharger repairs.”

Your Comments

Last chance to join the IAAF in Leeds

The IAAF’s second Industry Briefing of 2019 is taking place at Involution’s new company premises in Leeds next Thursday, 20 June, where more aftermarket businesses are expected to gather and glean the latest industry insight.

The event, which is sponsored by Involution, will be kicked off by Head of Membership Development, Mike Smallbone, who will bring attendees up to speed with the latest industry developments, before they hear from some of the industry’s top guest speakers.

Invited to speak at the session will be Ben Stockton from new IAAF member Our Virtual Academy, who will be talking about upskilling vehicle technicians using video technology to enhance their knowledge and expertise.  GiPA’s Eric Devos will also be addressing what the next 5 years might hold for the independent aftermarket, covering a host of topics such as mobility development and the changing dynamics for diesel cars.

The main thrust of Smallbone’s update will be on the Your Car Your Choice campaign, which recently launched its pilot project in Chesterfield involving participation between main suppliers, motor factors and garages from across the region. He will be giving members an update on progress, as the campaign sets to highlight further awareness of consumer rights under Block Exemption to have their car serviced or repaired at any garage or outlet without invalidating the warranty.

There will be networking and coffee available from 9.00 am, with the session promptly starting at 10.00 am before finishing at 1.00 pm with lunch and a tour of the facility. Venue details are: Involution Ltd, Park House Business Centre, Clayton Wood Close, Leeds, LS16 6QE.

As places are limited are being filled fast, the IAAF is advising members to book quickly to avoid disappointment by emailing Ann Silvester at [email protected]. Contact the office if you don’t receive joining instructions.

Your Comments

Book now for the IAAF Conference & Dinner 2019

The IAAF is sending out the brochure and booking form for this year’s Annual Conference and Awards Dinner, which will once again be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes on Thursday 5th December.

The event, the largest of its kind in the automotive aftermarket, is widely regarded as the industry’s premier networking event.

During the daytime, guests will attend an information-packed industry conference that covers all major issues affecting aftermarket businesses. This year’s keynote speaker is Richard Noble, the British entrepreneur who has achieved six world speed records, including breaking the sound barrier on land. In the evening 600+ aftermarket personnel will relax and network at the IAAF Annual Awards dinner, with entertainment provided by radio comedian and writer, Alfie Moore.

The DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes is situated in a convenient, central location that is easily accessible from across the country and has excellent transport links, as well as offering complimentary car parking.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for both the conference and the dinner and information is included with the brochure and booking form.

Your Comments

Organisational Changes Announced for KYB Europe Aftermarket

KYB Europe Aftermarket has today announced changes in the structure of high-level management. These changes follow the appointment of new Vice President Tetsunosuke Nagasawa, joining after a highly successful period being responsible for KYB Russia.

“The new structure allows us to be a much more flexible, dynamic organisation” explains Nagasawa, “replacing the old geographical structure is in line with the European Aftermarket as a whole, which has developed and grown across country borders. Our structure must also reflect that.”

Juan Carlos Diez, formerly Director South, now assumes the position of European Sales Director. Diez has worked at KYB since 2002, this new role will see him responsible for the overall sales activities in Europe. “The consolidation of the European Aftermarket has seen our customers develop into large, multinational companies and international trading groups” says Diez, “the new structure allows KYB European Aftermarket to deal with this new level of customer by operating with a similar, multinational focus. All the while, our nine branches and their General Managers will report directly to me, ensuring we never lose any attention at a country level and keep improving our support to all customers”.

Also reporting to Diez, the new roles of Business Development Director and Key Account Director. These roles will be taken by Radoslaw Palka, formerly Director East, and Andrew Marpole, formerly Director North, respectively. Palka has been with KYB since 1999, his new role sees him tasked with developing relationships in new markets and with new customers, something he has great experience with, after developing KYB Europe’s Eastern region to the position of market leader. Marpole has been with the company since 2003, his new role gives him the responsibility of managing and supervising the key customers of KYB Europe Aftermarket, helping to develop sales and marketing strategies across Europe and ensuring there is a clear overall strategy for these key customers followed in each of KYB’s nine branches.

Finally, Chris Flood, formerly UK Operations Manager, will take the role of European Logistics Manager. Flood has managed the highly successful UK warehouse for over 10 years and is tasked with replicating the same success across KYB’s five European warehouses.

“I am pleased as the new structure not only allows us to improve our ability to operate on both a European, and a local level, but also moves some high performing staff into areas of the business that are extremely suited to their talents” explains Nagasawa, “re-organising our staff means we can start improving from today, no need for any introductions or time to settle in. The new structure will see huge improvements to our customer support and logistics, further enhancing KYB’s reputation in the European Aftermarket”.

Your Comments

Automechanika Birmingham 2019 attracts highest ever visitor attendance

Automechanika Birmingham has drawn to a close with 12,145 automotive industry professionals visiting the hugely successful 2019 event.

From its blistering start on Tuesday morning, which broke all visitor number records, to its close on Thursday afternoon, the event delivered on its promise of bringing the entire UK automotive industry together against a backdrop of innovation, technology and networking.

Feedback from exhibitors was overwhelmingly positive and, as a result, 87 percent of space has been reserved for 2021 where exhibitors include: Schaeffler, ZF, Valeo, NGK, HELLA, Delphi, Denso, BM Catalysts, Mann Hummel and YUASA.

Martyn Houghton, Senior Manager IAM at ZF Aftermarket, said: “Automechanika Birmingham was a resounding success for us. The event has now established itself as the “must-attend” exhibition for motor factors and garages in the UK automotive aftermarket. We could positively engage with a high-quality visitor and promote our extensive portfolio of brands, products and new technologies. We are already working on plans to engage with visitors for Automechanika Birmingham 2021.”

Nigel Morgan, Managing Director of Schaeffler UK’s Aftermarket division, said: “We had a packed schedule of top training, interactive exhibits and special guests over the three days and our stand was busy throughout, engaging fully with visitors on how we continue to innovate the automotive aftermarket and work with them to support their business. As Schaeffler always delivers one of the most exciting and innovative stands at the event, we are already looking forward to Automechanika Birmingham 2021.”

From extensive research carried out by event organisers Messe Frankfurt UK, it was clear that the market demanded a focussed event for the UK independent garage sector. As a result, the launch of The Big UK Garage Event led to the highest number of independent garages and bodyshops attending an Automechanika Birmingham event.

The Big UK Garage Event attracted key decision makers and owners, who benefitted from an enhanced Seminar Programme offering free CPD technical training and the largest selection of exclusive giveaways, discounts, prizes and deals worth over £26,000.

Jack Halliday, Automechanika Birmingham Event Director, said: “This has been the best attended Automechanika Birmingham to date. Working with exhibitors, we have strived to offer visitors across the entire automotive industry an experience that supports the running of their businesses and one that they will continue to benefit from in the future. The event in 2021 is already shaping up to be another fantastic showcase for the automotive industry.”

With an improved visitor layout, Automechanika Birmingham featured over 500 exhibitors from 21 countries. 120 companies exhibited at Automechanika Birmingham for the first time.

There was also an abundance of well-known faces at this year’s show, with celebrity appearances from Lord Sebastian Coe, Guy Martin, Nicholas Hamilton, Edd China and some of British Touring Car Championship’s (BTCC) top drivers.

For the automotive aftermarket, the new Aftermarket Power Network event brought together the most influential leaders across the full breadth of the UK automotive aftermarket, as Lord Coe joined the launch event to address and network with leading industry peers.

The Aftermarket Hall featured the Retail Accessories Village, Bodyshop Zone and the debut of the Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships. Returning for the second year, Automechanika Connect provided the ultimate match-making tool, allowing visitors the opportunity to pre-plan meetings with exhibitors to maximise their time.

With new product launches dominating the Aftermarket hall, along with announcements of key distribution agreements signed between companies, the event offered more than 100 hours of training seminars and debates, hosting industry experts who delivered sessions covering daily workplace challenges, industry developments and advanced technology.

Returning for another year, the Vehicle Production hall hosted the increasingly successful “Meet the Buyer” and “Open Forum” events, hosted by SMMT. The events were successful in bringing together automotive buyers and suppliers to build relationships between OEMs, tier one suppliers and the supply chain.

Automechanika Birmingham will return to the NEC on 8 to 10 June 2021.

Your Comments

Additional Member Benefit – HR Manager® Lite

The IAAF’s legal helpline provider Lawgistics has released HR Manager, their new software, which gives business owners the power to delegate human resource, health & safety and GDPR responsibilities to designated people within their company.

For IAAF Members, Lawgistics has included a lite version of HR Manager® as part of the membership benefits.

Key Features of HR Manager Lite:

  • Employee Database – Add employee profiles, record personal and work details. All your employee records held in one place giving you better control and security.
  • Contracts, Company Handbook and Policies – Employment contracts are automatically generated when completing employee profiles and a company handbook or policies can be easily created.
  • Holidays and Absences – Track and manage employee holidays, lateness and absences. Record notes on employee profiles and schedule reminders for important dates. HR Manager also uses an automated Bradford Factor to identify absence trends.
  • Data Protection – Complete and review your data audits. Issue your data processors with contracts and create privacy notices.

Backed up with the IAAF’s existing legal helpline, HR Manager® Lite will be a great resource to manage employee records, holidays and absences, and help businesses comply with their legal obligations.

If you think HR Manager® Lite could benefit your business, please email [email protected] or call 01480 4555500 and get your HR Manager Lite account set up today.  Details are also available in the Members area of the IAAF website.

Your Comments

Avia Autos crowned Garage of the Year 2019

Avia Autos in Bridgend has been named Garage of the Year at this year’s awards ceremony held at the National Motorcylce Museum this week.

Left to right: Fuzz Townshend, Robin Reed of AutoLogic, Hayley Pells of Avia Autos, Jack Halliday of Automechanika Birmingham and James Onions of Garage Wire

Collecting the Garage of the Year award and £1,000 cash prize, Hayley Pells described the moment as a complete shock.

She said: “I was listening to all of the categories, waiting in anticipation and thinking that we might stand a small chance of winning one of these but I certainly didn’t expect to win the overall award.”

Garage of the Year 2019 award winners
Community Initiative, sponsored by Gallagher: Sufari at Newberry Road Garage
Training and Standards, sponsored by ZF: Community Motors CIC
Automechanik, sponsored by Automechanika: Matthew Pestridge, D&D Autos
Business Innovation, sponsored by TechMan: Cleevely Motors
Tech Innovation, sponsored by EDT: AAK
Outstanding Achievement, sponsored by Delphi: Bee Cool ACS
Garage Owner, sponsored by Launch UK: Lorraine Amor
Best Small Garage, sponsored by The Parts Alliance: Performance 3000 (South), Brian Swales (North)
Best Large Garage, sponsored by Autologic: Jackson & Phillips (South), Chelt. & Glos Autocentre (North)
Garage of the Year: Avia Autos

This year’s competition featured a total of nine categories.

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) were the main sponsor once again whilst Autologic, The Parts Alliance, Delphi Technologies, ZF, Gallagher, Launch UK, EDT Automotive and Techman all supported categories.

Your Comments

Banner Batteries posts record financial year

During the 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 period, Banner saw sales revenue increase to €307 million, with output of battery units reaching the 4.8 million mark, the highest posted by the Austrian-based manufacturer in a history dating back over 80 years.

“The record sales and production output figures posted year on year for Banner Batteries’ is attributable to the quality and reliability of our product offering, which today is more important than ever,” states Andreas Bawart, Banner’s commercial CEO.

And so too is the company’s ongoing and developing relationship its enjoys as an original equipment supplier to many of the leading manufacturers in the automotive sector, such as Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, SEAT, Volvo and VW, not to mention those in the commercial vehicle, plant and leisure markets.

Certainly the most significant development within the OE arena emanated from BMW extending its OE contract with Banner in 2018 to cover not only absorbent glass mat (AGM0 batteries, but now enhanced flooded batteries (EFB).

“Alongside Banner’s batteries featuring prominently at O/E level in the automotive sector, the same is equally applicable in the CV and plant arena with Banner supplying to the likes of Caterpillar, Jungheinrich, Kässbohrer and Liebherr,” added Andreas.

It is against this backdrop that Banner today enjoys an export quota of over 95 per cent, having a global presence in over 60 countries.

In 2018/2019 Banner further underlined its strengths in the export field with double-digit sales growth on both the Iberian Peninsula and in the Far East, plus Banner saw sales double in Portugal.

Investment success
Banner says that central to its success over recent years has been its ongoing commitment to the field of ongoing capital investment across the business.

Since 2015 Banner has invested over €40 million in its Leonding main manufacturing plant.

This has centred on creating additional production capacity, in particular for its environment-friendly start-stop batteries.

As Andreas Bawart stresses: “We are convinced that we can raise the sales of these innovative batteries still further, not just within our domestic market but across all export territories.”

Ongoing environmental focus
With 100 per cent of all used batteries being recycled, Banner will also continue to focus on its responsible approach to resource-protective and sustainable business practice.

This is evidenced by its EFB and AGM technologies, which are employed in so-called micro-hybrid drives and purely start-stop applications.

Future development
In addition to its AGM/EFB technologies, Banner is also focusing on E-mobility by working towards creating the next generation of standard starter batteries, with every e-car still requiring a conventional starter battery for the supply of its electrical system.

Your Comments

Hybrid training: start now or get left behind

There are already over 620,000 battery electric, plug-in hybrid or conventional hybrid vehicles on UK roads. This will only rise, with manufacturers set to dramatically increase production of these vehicles over the coming decade. Therefore, it’s surprising many garages have neither the skills or tools to safely service them.

Volvo Cars has just signed a multi-billion-dollar battery deal through to 2025, signalling a strong commitment to electric and hybrid vehicle production. In fact, its battery order is so large, it’s more or less equivalent to the entire global production in 2018. This means by 2025 half of Volvo’s global sales, some 500,000 vehicles, will be fully electric. At the start of this year, Ford announced a $15 billion investment and 40 electrified vehicle models by 2022. BMW Group plans to offer 12 full-electric models by 2025. The list goes on and the point is clear, vehicle manufacturers are investing heavily in hybrid and battery electric vehicle technology and it is time to follow suit.

“The biggest threat to the independent aftermarket is also its greatest opportunity,” explains Adam White, director of Workshop Solutions at Euro Car Parts. “The greatest risk during this period of transition is that independent workshops slip behind, and customers have no option but to service their vehicles at main dealers. While we see some switched-on garages and younger technicians getting involved with hybrid and EV training, we have a significant amount of data showing a serious industry-wide deficiency in hybrid and EV knowledge and skills.”

Many garages do not see the required investment in training or equipment as worthwhile, believing there to be very few of these vehicles on the road. White suggests the numbers tell a different story. Industry predictions suggest a short-sighted approach to the hybrid and EV market may be damaging to workshops in the long term. While optimistic about the aftermarket’s ability to adapt, White cautions workshops to approach the opportunity with the right frame of mind and an awareness of the dangers involved with high-voltage systems.

While the risks of working with hybrid and EV vehicles can be safely mitigated, much like conventional vehicles, safety training is critical. For those wishing to test the waters, he points out that technicians can be taught how to make the vehicle safe, without the more intensive training on servicing the actual high voltage system. This means if a workshop has one or two technicians who can isolate the vehicle, the rest of the team can safely work on other systems like steering and suspension or air conditioning.

“Many workshops are turning away hybrid vehicles, even when the problem is unrelated to the high-voltage system,” explains White. “While this approach may be sustainable now, we’re at the turning point. Even if workshops aren’t willing to completely commit, having a few staff qualified to make the vehicle safe opens other servicing opportunities. Those who start working on hybrid and electric vehicles now will be ahead of the curve, gaining customers, experience and a reputation for the work. It could be a make or break difference in the coming decade.”

White explains the Auto Education Academy, Euro Car Parts dedicated training platform offers several appropriate courses, including GED 13 – an IMI Level 2 Award in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Operation and Maintenance. The course teaches technicians how to maintain and repair hybrid vehicles but not the hybrid or electric powertrain itself. Technicians learn about the dangers of high-voltage systems and the differences between HEV, PHEV, EREV and EV. It also covers the various approaches used by manufacturers to power down the high-voltage system and the safety equipment required.

For those looking to repair and replace hybrid vehicle parts, a more detailed and comprehensive course is required. GED 14 is an IMI Level 3 Award in Hybrid Vehicle System Repair and Replacement, giving technicians the skills and knowledge to effectively service and repair EV and hybrid systems. This course lays the foundation for further advanced training.

Both courses can be booked through Auto Education Academy. It’s free to join, and repairers can log in to their own skills portal to view the content of more than 75 different courses. Users can also assess their strengths and identify weaknesses in nine key areas: petrol engines, diesel engines, engine management and emissions, vehicle electronics, air-conditioning, brakes, powertrain, tyres, steering and suspension, as well as hybrid and electric cars. Results are automatically added to an interactive skills diagram; which technicians can compare with the national average to gauge where they stand.

“Users can see for themselves the serious hybrid and EV knowledge deficiency that exists within the UK,” explains White. “Anyone can go online and complete the skills overview; it’s a great way to understand your personal strengths and weaknesses. It can be a useful tool for managers looking to assess the core competencies of their staff or potential new hires. The data we have suggests knowledge about hybrid and electric vehicles lags far behind other core areas, a growing concern we hope to change.”

Your Comments

NEXUS joins the World Economic Forum to champion the automotive aftermarket

NEXUS Automotive International (N!) has joined The World Economic Forum, the widely respected international organisation that provides a platform for the world’s leading companies ‘committed to improving the state of the world’.

The alliance will use its position to promote the aftermarket, championing key issues such as ‘the education challenge’ – the need to attract the best people and build skill levels within the industry.

Being accepted as a member of the Forum underlines NEXUS’s growing influence as a major player on the global stage.

NEXUS will take part in the Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC) taking place 1-3 July in Dalian (Summer Davos), and in The World Economic Forum in Africa, taking place 4-6 September in Cape Town. NEXUS is also invited to being an active member of the The World Economic Forum – Mobility Project India.

N! CEO Gael Escribe said that NEXUS will share its vision on potential solutions to the challenges of tomorrow, including new mobilities such as connected vehicles and driverless cars.

He said: “The World Economic Forum is the place to open doors and form new partnerships with people and companies that aim to progress together. NEXUS, as a creative and progressive company, wants to put the key issues of our industry at the heart of the education and mobility discussions of The World Economic Forum.

“We will bring to the automotive practice our vision on how to attract new talents into mature markets and address the essential question of increasing the skills and know-how in emerging markets.”

Eric Gillard, Head of Automotive Industry at The World Economic Forum, said: “The future of mobility and efforts towards the cleaner, safer and more inclusive movement of people and goods is a key challenge and opportunity of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are looking forward to working with NEXUS Automotive International to realise that vision.”

Your Comments