MAHLE Group To Acquire All Shares Of Behr Hella Joint Venture

The MAHLE Group plans to acquire all the shares in Behr Hella Service GmbH, its current joint venture with Hella, and to distribute Behr Hella Service products via its own aftermarket organization. This step will further strengthen MAHLE’s position in thermal management. Following a transitional period, MAHLE intends to manage the spare parts business for thermal management products on its own, starting on Jan. 1, 2020.

MAHLE and Hella have agreed that MAHLE will take over Hella’s 50 percent share in the joint venture Behr Hella Service. The planned transaction is still subject to the approval by the antitrust authorities.

“Behr Hella Service has been a successful company for many years and is a perfect match for us, both strategically and technologically,” said Arnd Franz, member of the management board of the MAHLE Group and responsible for automotive sales and application engineering as well as for the aftermarket business unit.

Established in 2005, Behr Hella Service GmbH has specialized in the marketing and distribution of products for cooling and air conditioning in the automotive aftermarket. With the complete takeover of business activities, MAHLE will offer wholesalers and workshops the full spectrum of thermal management products from a single source in future.

“With this planned acquisition, we are complementing our aftermarket product range by a business field of great long-term importance,” said Olaf Henning, head of the MAHLE Aftermarket business unit. “Efficient thermal management will play an increasingly important role in future – for all powertrain technologies. This move will allow us to give the best possible support in this very promising area and to ensure the successful operation of workshops.”

“Our long-standing partner MAHLE will continue managing the thermal management business of Bella Hella Service on its own in future. As a result, we will align our aftermarket business more consistently with our strong original equipment competences, particularly in lighting and electronics, and will mesh these areas closely with our expertise in workshop equipment,” said Dr. Andreas Habeck, responsible for Hella’s aftermarket business segment. “Together, we will make the transition of the business activities as smooth as possible for our customers.”

Once the acquisition is complete, MAHLE says it will expand its distribution of thermal management products in the aftermarket outside Europe. The newly added activities are going to benefit from MAHLE Aftermarket’s extensive sales network.

Lighting and electronics specialist HELLA is restructuring its aftermarket business. HELLA will align its aftermarket activities to its own original equipment competencies in the areas of lighting and electronics while closely linking them to the company’s great workshop equipment expertise. The successful repair solutions business will then be further expanded in the areas of diagnostics and calibration. On August 1, 2018, HELLA will establish its new Mobility Solutions business unit for tapping into new digital business models.

“With our restructuring of the aftermarket business and the provision of innovative solutions, we want to expand our position as strong partner for wholesalers and workshops while laying the foundation for further profitable growth,” says Dr. Werner Benade, managing director of the Aftermarket division at HELLA. “As a consequence, we will align our aftermarket activities even more strongly along our core competencies in the future.”

HELLA earlier announced that it will sell the Danish and Polish wholesale companies FTZ and Inter-Team to Swedish company Mekonomen. Strategic options are currently still being reviewed for the existing Norwegian wholesale activities.

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Sponsor packages still available for the 2018 IAAF Annual Dinner

Spaces at this year’s IAAF Annual Conference and Awards Dinner are filling up rapidly.   It is the largest event in the automotive aftermarket and is returning to the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes which overlooks the Stadium MK, home to MK Dons FC.

Once again the IAAF is pleased to be able to offer a number of sponsorship opportunities for the event, which can deliver many benefits to companies.  Packages start from as little as £500 and last year sold out well in advance of the event.  A copy of the sponsor brochure can be downloaded here IAAF-Sponsor-Form-2018.

Both the Principal and Partner sponsor packages include a company logo on the rolling live screen display at the dinner and space in the dinner brochure, which is provided for each guest.  If you have any questions about the availability of packages, you should contact the IAAF office on 0121 748 4600.

Since publication of the sponsor form, the Refreshment Sponsor 2 and Pre-Dinner Drinks packages have been sold.

To book places at the Conference and the Dinner, download the reservation form here IAAF Reservation Form 2018 Rev.

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Euro Car Parts consolidates Euro Academy into Autoeducation

Euro Car Parts has brought together its extensive Euro Academy training offer with Andrew Page’s Autoeducation programme, to create one of the largest technical and training resources in the independent aftermarket. Moving forward, both businesses will work together to deliver a revised Autoeducation prospectus, offering over 75 different training courses to repairers.

The extended Autoeducation programme continues to deliver IMI-accredited training for technicians and includes a dedicated technical phone helpline and online diagnostics database with a reference library of previous faults. The database is growing every day, with in excess of 2,500 repair details added weekly, giving members unrivalled access to information and experience.

Courses available from Autoeducation range from foundational electrics, oscilloscopes, engine management, diesel particulate filters and CAN BUS systems. There is also full MOT course coverage, from Level 3 accreditation to MOT Tester and Managerial Training. Autoeducation’s offering now also includes Euro Academy’s first-to-market ADAS training course, delivered in partnership with diagnostics specialist Hella.

Helen Robinson, marketing director at Euro Car Parts, commented: “Since we acquired Andrew Page, we have been committed to ensuring that this trusted brand continues to thrive in the independent aftermarket. Recognising how popular and successful their Autoeducation programme is, we have boosted the portfolio significantly by merging it with Euro Academy. It is our intention to invest in our training offering to ensure the independent sector is well positioned to work on all types of vehicle.”

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FAI celebrate Queen’s Award with Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire

FAI have celebrated winning the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise by inviting all staff to attend a dinner at the opulent Woburn Sculpture Gallery Woburn, where HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis presented the Queens Royal Warrant to Managing Director, Sean Walker.

The Queens Award is the UK’s most globally acknowledged business accolade, only awarded to qualifying companies able to demonstrate the strict sales requirements and corporate responsibility that you would expect from such a high-profile recipient. The Bedfordshire based automotive company, established in the 1960’s, has enjoyed enormous success within the UK Automotive Aftermarket Parts industry, supplying all major buying groups, motor factors and engine specialists, with an extensive range of premium quality replacement car parts.

Three Deputy Lieutenants were also in attendance, including local businessmen, Nick Kier DL & Vinod Tailor DL, and Professor Sir Les Ebdon CBE DL, who’s known best for his work involving under-privileged students.

After the formal ceremony and a speech made by the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Sean Walker gave a rallying speech which included the announcement of FAI’s continued commitment to charitable organisations. A round of applause rung out in the dining hall when directors informed the audience of over 100, that a sixty-thousand-pound gift was to be split between four charities; Cherry Lodge Cancer Care, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, Shelter and Blesma – organisations working tirelessly to support families suffering loss and hardship. The directors of FAI also took time to celebrate the many long-standing members of staff, along with specific staff who have significantly contributed to the winning of the Queens Award.

“It was an honour to receive the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, who made all around her immediately at ease. I had the privilege of her company throughout dinner, where her knowledge of the business world, especially that of Bedfordshire’s rich network of companies made for fascinating conversation.

The award ceremony was a proud moment, made ever-more special by the whole workforce being in attendance; after all it’s a result of all our hard work.
All this can only be achieved with the support of our loyal customer base, from which our success stems from.” – Sean Walker – Managing Director.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis said “I congratulate FAI Automotive on this outstanding achievement. It was clear at their Queen’s Award celebration party held at the glorious Sculpture Gallery, Woburn, that there is an enthusiastic and innovative culture within their loyal staff and a determination to build on this success”.

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Government kick-starts work on Future of Mobility Grand Challenge

A wave of electric cargo bikes, vans, quadricycles and micro vehicles could replace vans in UK cities as part of plans to transform last-mile deliveries, vastly reducing emissions and congestion around the country.

There are already 300,000 HGVs and over 4,000,000 vans on UK roads and with online sales continuing to increase, this is likely to increase further. But new green delivery vehicles could replace the millions of conventionally-fuelled vans which are currently a common sight in city centres.

The plans now being outlined as part of two government documents which offer a glimpse into how technology could transform transport, making it safer, more accessible and greener than ever.

Travel around the UK could dramatically change with the introduction of flying vehicles or widespread use of self-driving cars, all while data helps to delivers better journeys.

And the potential increased use of self-driving vehicles and shared travel could also allow the majority of parking spaces to be removed in city centres, opening areas up for redevelopment and potentially hundreds of thousands of new urban homes.

The ground-breaking developments are referenced in the government’s Last Mile and Future of mobility call for evidence documents.

The documents fire the starting gun on the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, which aims to make the UK the world leaders in the movement of goods, services and people.

The work is all part of the government’s Industrial Strategy and the work could help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make travel safer, improve accessibility, and present enormous economic opportunities for the UK.

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Schaeffler redesigns packaging for all key products

Schaeffler has launched a brand-new packaging design that retains the familiar LuK, INA and FAG colour scheme and logos, but with a look and feel that shouts ‘Schaeffler Quality’.
The reworked design is being introduced step-by-step at all Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket production sites around the world. To highlight the quality of the components inside, the boxes now feature high-resolution product photos, and the Schaeffler brand logo has been added in a more prominent position.
Each carton has a colour-keyed band too, so that motor factors and workshops can continue to identify each product brand quickly: LuK yellow, INA green and FAG red. The trusted brand logos also feature next to the colour band and product name on the front of the box.
Rouven Daniel, Marketing and Communications Director at Schaeffler’s Automotive Aftermarket division in Germany, said: “You’ll find high quality in every detail of our products – from a complete clutch assembly to simple ancillary parts, such as the bolts and seals found in many of our repair solutions.
“It is precisely this commitment to quality that we are expressing in our new packaging design.
“The Automotive Aftermarket organisation also became more closely integrated into the Schaeffler Group when it was made a stand-alone division in January, so we are now proud to feature the Schaeffler logo more prominently. At the same time, we are making sure that our product brands, and the history and tradition associated with them, remains recognisable at workshops and distributors.”
In line with its ‘Responsibility for Tomorrow’ sustainability strategy, Schaeffler chose the materials and manufacturing of the new packaging carefully, with a focus on the highest environmental standards. All of the new packaging is easy to recycle or dispose of.

Cumbrian motor factor shortlisted for prestigious business award

Cumbrian motor factor, K&S McKenzie Ltd., have been shortlisted as finalists in the prestigious in-Cumbria Business Awards 2018.

The award ceremony will take place in November and will be hosted by BBC’s Jeremy Vine. K&S McKenzie was founded by Keith and Sara McKenzie and is today run by their sons Stuart and Alastair.

Stuart McKenzie said; “We are extremely proud to have been shortlisted as finalists in this year’s in-Cumbria Business Awards and it is fantastic to be seen amongst some of the finest businesses in the north west of the country. Our shortlisting is testament to the great work and high level of customer service that each member of the K&S McKenzie team delivers each day.”

K&S McKenzie celebrate 50 years in business this year and operate all over the UK from its base in Carlisle. They are a major supplier of AdBlue across the whole of the UK and also provide an expert chain testing and calibration service, are a BOC Gas agent, and offer a wide-ranging variety of products and services.

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Autoelectro boss invited to chair Bradford Classic judging panel

Autoelectro Managing Director, Tony Bhogal, has been appointed as Chair of the Judging Panel when deciding the Best in Show at the Bradford Classic, an annual classic car show with a wide range of cars from different eras.

Taking place on Saturday 11th August, Tony will lead a trio of a racing driver and motoring journalist when choosing the winner of the prestigious category. On the day of judging, Tony and his team will choose and award from the following categories: Best in Show winner and runner-up, Highly Commended and Spirit of the Classic.

Contenders include a 1973 Triumph 2500s, 1971 Jensen Interceptor, 1959 Austin A30, 1978 MBG GT and many more.

Tony said he was “honoured” to be invited, before adding: “The Bradford Classic is a great event for the city, and it appeals to a wide range of people, young and old, from all communities.

“With Autoelectro an automotive company and based in Bradford, this event combines our interest in motor vehicles and supporting our local community. We are delighted to be helping the organisers deliver this fantastic event.”

Meanwhile, as part of the Bradford Classic, Autoelectro will be sponsoring a VIP showing of a film dedicated to Ferrari and its golden era of motor racing. Held at the recently-opened Light Cinema, The Broadway, Ferrari: Race to Immortality will be shown at 7pm, Friday 10th August.

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Bosch subsidiaries Beissbarth and Sicam acquired by Stargate Capital

Bosch Automotive Aftermarket has sold its two subsidiaries, Beissbarth GmbH and Sicam SrL, to the Munich-based equity investment company Stargate Capital.   The deal closed on 18 July 2018. The intention to sell the two companies was initially announced in May 2017.

Bosch has confirmed that all 330 employees will be taken on by Beissbarth and Sicam. The purchase price has not been disclosed. The transaction is still subject to approval from the antitrust authorities.

Stargate Capital is already active in the automotive sector through its subsidiary Werther International SpA, which is headquartered in Reggio Emilia, Italy.   Werther International supplies workshop equipment and lifting platforms for motor vehicles. With the acquisition of Beissbarth and Sicam, Stargate Capital plans to expand its portfolio in the automotive sector.

Beissbarth supplies automotive manufacturers and garages worldwide with precision gauges, while Sicam is one of the major manufacturers of tyre service equipment for tyre dealers and garages. The product portfolio of Beissbarth and Sicam includes tyre changers, balancing machines, brake testers and test lanes as well as wheel alignment equipment.

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Carmakers may be ‘cheating’ emission tests to lower CO2 targets

The European Commission (EC) says car manufacturers may be attempting to ‘cheat’ new vehicle emissions tests in a bid to ‘manipulate’ future targets imposed by the EU.

Through data collected in member states and assessed by the EC’s Joint Research Centre, the Commission says it has detected manufacturers may be using the transition from the old emissions testing regime – the NEDC test – to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) – to inflate WLTP emission levels.

In November, The European Commission demanded that car manufacturers cut CO2 emissions by 15% between 2020 and 2025, and 30% by 2030.

“Inflated WLTP emissions in 2020 would result in less strict WLTP CO2 emission targets applying in 2021,” Commissioners Miguel Canete and Elzbieta Bienkowska say in a joint letter to the sustainability minister Elisabeth Kostinger. “As the 2021 WLTP targets also act as the starting point for the 2025 and 2030 targets, such inflation would in turn lead to lower real life emission reductions in the target years.

“As only some manufacturers might inflate the starting point, this could also lead to distortion of the level playing field between manufacturers.”

Responding to the allegations, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said it fully agrees that CO2 values “should not be artificially increased on purpose in any way that would undermine the post-2020 CO2 targets”.

All parties, it said, should ensure that these future CO2 reductions will be delivered in practice and “not through any optimisation of the testing
procedure”.

The trade body added that it was ready to work with the European Commission to help make the current regulation even more robust if that proves necessary.

However, it stressed that artificially increasing WLTP figures was not an industry-wide problem. Indeed, it said that increasing CO2 emissions on purpose to inflate the WLTP baseline would not only be counterproductive in the current CO2 discussions, but may also hinder a manufacturer’s competitiveness.

In fact, it said the majority of EU member states have a taxation scheme based on CO2 emissions and higher CO2 emissions would therefore result in higher costs for the customer – making such vehicles less attractive.

Furthermore, manufacturers are competing on fuel consumption values (which are directly related to CO2 emissions). Therefore, the ACEA says that a manufacturer that would over-declare CO2 values could “dramatically lose their competitiveness and market share, which is in no one’s interest”.

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