IAAF looks forward to welcoming delegates and guests to the DoubleTree Milton Keynes

The IAAF is looking forward to welcoming all the delegates and guests to its 2018 IAAF Annual Conference & Awards Dinner, at The DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes on 6th December. Both the Annual Conference and the Awards Dinner are a sellout, and the IAAF would like to thank everyone for their generous support.

Alliance Automotive UK (AAUK) is once again the proud sponsor of this year’s IAAF Annual Awards and Dinner and PR and marketing agency, Impression Communications, is the new headline sponsor of this year’s IAAF Annual Conference.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “We’re genuinely delighted to be welcoming AAUK as sponsor of this year’s Annual Awards and Dinner. They are represented at all levels of the supply chain and are an active supporter of IAAF’s activities, including the Your Car, Your Choice Campaign.”

The evening ceremony will be attended by around 600 aftermarket personnel, where industry-leading motor factors and suppliers are once again competing to win the coveted awards in recognition of their services, as voted for by fellow IAAF members, from a shortlist of aftermarket companies and this year includes a brand new award for Service Suppliers. For this year’s Awards, the voting was simplified to make it easier for members to vote and the IAAF has reported a significant increase in the number of people voting, saying that more members than ever have engaged with the Awards. Guests will be entertained by author, comedian and broadcaster Tony Hawks.

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New acquisitions for Alliance Automotive Group

Alliance Automotive Group UK has recently completed the acquisition of two existing GROUPAUTO members.

Discount Car Spares Ltd (DCS) is a two branch LV business based in Leatherhead and Ashtead, and GL Motor Factors Ltd. is a single branch LV business based in Bolton.

These acquisitions follow hot on the heels of that of Lloyds Motor Spares based in North London.

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IAAF welcomes JRP Distribution

Automotive distributor, JRP Distribution, has joined the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF).

Launched in 1984, JRP Distribution is a family-run company that has grown to become one of the leading automotive distribution companies within the UK, employing almost 40 staff, supplying branded automotive and allied products to nationals and independent automotive accessory shops. JRP Distribution has a portfolio of 5,500 products and growing, including brands such as Simply, FRSH, California Scents, JB Weld, Refresh, Pro-Seal and Tecniks. These are all dispatched from its current distribution centre based in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, which will soon be moving to its new purpose-built distribution facility in June 2019.

Ollie Page, JRP Distribution managing director, said: “Now we’re a member of IAAF we look forward to developing stronger relationships within the sector as well as being able to keep up to date with industry developments and news. We’re very pleased to have joined and recognise the important role that the association plays in supporting the key elements of the UK automotive aftermarket.”

Regular, weekly e-bulletins from IAAF will provide the distributor with the latest aftermarket news and updates, while JRP Distribution will now also be eligible to attend IAAF’s many industry briefings throughout the year, as well as its annual conference set to take place on Thursday 6 December 2018 at DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “We are delighted to welcome JRP Distribution to our burgeoning membership. We are continuing to see leading aftermarket businesses come on board and support the critical work we carry out for the sector. As our annual conference is just around the corner, we will share our latest activity with members to ensure they remain updated on industry threats and the future of their businesses is protected.”

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DVSA targets older truck tyres in new crackdown

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has begun a crackdown on tyres that are more than 10 years old.

As part of Road Safety Week, the DVSA has updated its Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness, to ensure large vehicles remain safe to drive by limiting the use of old tyres.

From Friday November 23, if the DVSA finds a tyre more than 10 years old as part of its routine enforcement work, it will carry out follow up investigations on the vehicle operator.

Operators may be referred to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner if they are unable to provide an adequate explanation for using an old tyre, or their tyre management systems aren’t up to standard.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “This is an important step forward in our efforts to improve tyre safety. The Department for Transport is continuing to work with experts to collect robust evidence on older tyres. This research will report back in the spring.”

The updated Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness builds on previous guidance issued by the Department for Transport in 2013 which strongly discouraged the use of tyres older than 10 years on coaches.

“Tyre safety is vital and DVSA has always taken strong action to protect the public from unsafe tyres of all ages.

“By changing our approach, we’re sending the message that no one should use tyres more than 10 years old,” said Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive.

Earlier this year, the Department for Transport announced a study into the safety of ageing tyres – the first publicly funded research of its kind in the UK.

In 2013, the DfT issued guidance to all operators setting out that tyres that have reached the age of 10 years should not be used on a steering axle, and stipulating strict conditions if they are to be used at all.

Since then, staff from the DVSA routinely check the age of tyres on these vehicles every year, as well as in fleet and roadside inspections.

“Tyre condition is of critical importance to the safety of the vehicle’s driver, their passengers and to others road users.

“Although commercial drivers are responsible for ensuring they check the general condition of their tyres daily, a more in-depth inspection should be undertaken by vehicle engineers or tyre inspectors.

The Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness has also been updated to help resolve bridge strikes which cause significant disruption for the rail network and are often caused by drivers failing to appreciate the height of their vehicle.

The revision provides further guidance for drivers to help make sure they record the height of their vehicle during their daily walk around checks. By improving guidance in this area, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency aims to see a reduction in disruption to travellers.

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Automotive businesses fear Brexit future

Three quarters of UK automotive businesses fear a ‘no-deal’ Brexit will threaten their future viability, according to a new member survey announced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

74.1% of companies with UK operations responding to the survey said that a ‘no-deal’ scenario would damage their business, with fewer than nine per cent foreseeing any positive impact. More than half said their operations have already suffered as a result of uncertainty about future trading arrangements. Almost a third said they had postponed or cancelled UK investment decisions because of Brexit, with one in five having already lost business as a direct consequence.

More than half of firms said contingency plans are being executed, with over one in 10 (12.4%) relocating UK operations overseas and the same proportion already reducing employee headcount. Many have also made alterations to logistics and shipping routes, investment in warehousing and stock and adjustments to production schedules.

SMMT members also outlined the further and long-term damage that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would do to their businesses. Almost seven in 10 (68.5%) said their profitability would be negatively affected, with 53.9% concerned about their ability to secure new overseas business and a similar number worried about maintaining investment in their UK operations. A further half said a ‘no-deal’ scenario would undermine their ability to maintain their existing workforce.

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WAIglobal comes to rescue of independent garage

WAIglobal has come to the rescue of independent garage Lodge Motors when its aftermarket window regulator range proved a perfect fit over the original equipment part.

Peter Wrathall, Workshop Manager of the garage, based in Lutterworth, explains: “We’d been using original equipment window regulators from the dealer for many years and on a visit to Automechanika Birmingham, I came across WAI. After listening to what the company had to say, I thought okay, next time I would give them a try.”

Shortly after, Peter encountered a fitting issue with the original equipment window regulator of a vehicle he was working on. “I contacted my local motor factor – All Vehicle Parts – and they supplied me with a WAI window regulator, which fit perfectly – and I’ve be using them ever since.”

News of this triumph for the aftermarket came after Lodge Motors, an AutoCare garage, visited the WAI stand at the recent AAUK Trade Show in Liverpool, providing much welcomed feedback to the team.

Research carried out by WAI has identified vehicles prone to window regulator failure and, as a result, 50 percent of the range covers fast-moving part numbers for General Motors, Nissan, Mercedes, Volvo, Renault, Ford, PSA Group, Volkswagen, BMW, and Fiat applications. Highlights of the range include Asian models such as Mitsubishi, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, as well as popular North American and European cars.

As vehicles begin to exit their manufacturer’s warranty and look to independent garages for cost-effective vehicle maintenance and repair, WAI has been working to focus minds on the sales potential of its window regulator product range.

WAIglobal UK managing director, Richard Welland, said: “This news is another victory for the independent automotive aftermarket and underlines the hard work the company puts in to its development of window regulators. As garages are unaware of this product group via aftermarket distribution channels, there is a real opportunity for motor factors throughout the UK.”

In total, the WAI window regulator range offers 1800 parts covering 73,000 vehicle applications, quickly establishing the company as a leader in the supply of all types of window regulators namely: Scissor, cable, Bowden and double bowden offers a quality aftermarket solution for window regulators.

WAI window regulators are available on a same day supply from Marathon branches, which are strategically located to cover most key UK conurbations and offer a service to motor factors of up to 8 times a day. The expanding distribution centre network is supported by a national distribution centre situated in Redditch, West Midlands.

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Innovation key theme of Automechanika Birmingham 2019

Automechanika Birmingham has announced that “Innovation” will be the leading theme for the 2019 event, held at Birmingham NEC on 4 to 6 June.

Following extensive Automechanika research, “new technology and innovation” were key reasons to attend the event for independent garages, motor factors, retailers and bodyshops and so Automechanika is looking to build on this by highlighting all innovation from within the automotive industry.

New initiatives for Automechanika Birmingham 2019 include: Bodyshop Demo Hub, Wheels & Tyres Zone, Enhanced Networking Lounge, Aftermarket Networking Reception, Expanded Garage of the Year Awards and, Tomorrow’s Mobility.

This is all in addition to the hugely popular Garage Quarter and the automotive industry’s largest seminar programme, comprising both business and technical advice and information.

Jack Halliday, Event Director of Automechanika Birmingham, explains: “The level of innovation carried out by companies and individuals every day is hugely underestimated and so Automechanika Birmingham 2019 will address this head-on.

“Whether it is the Garage of the Year awards or the introduction of a new product or service, innovation extends to all practices in the automotive sector and we will look at everything including innovative products, parts distribution, vehicle repair and technology to name but a few.”

Few spaces remain for companies to sign up to exhibit as Automechanika looks to deliver on its pledge of providing the perfect ratio of visitors to exhibitors.

Major automotive names already committed to the 2019 event include: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK and Yuasa.

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HELLA and Faurecia enter into strategic collaboration

HELLA, the lighting and electronics specialist and the French technology supplier Faurecia will cooperate in a strategic partnership for the development of innovative interior lighting solutions. Within this cooperation, both companies will jointly develop lighting solutions with high-technology content in the area of surface and dynamic-lighting for a comprehensive, personalised cockpit environment. Faurecia contributes its expertise as a complete system integrator for vehicle interiors, HELLA supplies innovative products in the field of interior lighting.

“Trends such as autonomous driving and individualisation will completely redefine vehicle interiors. We are therefore already working intensively on concepts for vehicle interior lighting that enable a variety of new functionalities and which can be adapted to the different needs of passengers and driving situations,” said HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. “The collaboration with Faurecia will provide us with additional opportunities to drive the development of innovative interior lighting solutions in a comprehensive manner.”

Patrick Koller, CEO of Faurecia: “In the rapidly changing automotive industry, we need to create value through innovations with rapid time to market. As a systems integrator in the vehicle interior, we have created partnerships to expand our technology expertise and become more agile. Our strategic collaboration with HELLA is the latest example of this approach. Alongside our partnerships with MAHLE and ZF, we are uniquely positioned to offer safe, connected and personalised user experiences, which can be integrated into today’s vehicles and will be critical for tomorrow’s cars.”

At the Paris Motor Show held in October 2018, Faurecia and HELLA showcased a first demonstration of a unique ambient lighting experience for a more comfortable, dynamic and versatile environment integrated into a cockpit of the future. On entering the vehicle, occupants were welcomed by personalised interior lighting on the instrument panel, door panels and seats. Faurecia and HELLA have also worked on the autonomous driving scenario to devise a series of dynamic lighting features to enhance driver information and safety.

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BSI secures membership of CEN and CENELEC

On 23 November, the General Assemblies of the European Standards Organisations CEN and CENELEC approved a plan to secure BSI’s full membership post-Brexit.  BSI welcomed the outcome as a pragmatic solution that provides stability for the European standards system while meeting the needs of its stakeholders.

The decisions, taken separately in both organisations, will enable UK industry and other stakeholders to continue their important work shaping and maintaining best practice standards used across Europe and internationally. They also mean that UK experts will continue as chairs, convenors, committee members and policy experts to work on maintaining and developing the 20,000 European standards that are managed by CEN and CENELEC. Standards users in the UK can continue to be confident that these standards will meet their needs as they will be influenced, as now, by UK stakeholders.

Furthermore, these decisions are a welcome confirmation of BSI’s policy position, in place since the UK referendum, that its membership and continued influence in the development and maintenance of European standards should not be affected by Brexit.

BSI’s position has enjoyed overwhelming support among UK stakeholders. UK manufacturers, service providers, trade associations, consumer bodies and others have been clear and consistent in their message that they want to continue to work within the European standards system and that the continued membership of BSI in CEN and CENELEC is therefore critical. UK membership of CEN and CENELEC provides influence over market access conditions in 33 other European countries. In addition, CEN and CENELEC members play a vital role in the international standards system through ISO and IEC. Influencing international standards is crucial in ensuring the future global competitiveness of the UK.

The support of government for maintaining the UK position within the European standards system has been vital to secure this outcome. Government support for BSI’s position was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark in June and in the July 2018 Brexit White Paper, and is reflected in the Withdrawal Act and ‘no deal’ technical notices. The latest version of the political declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU also stresses alignment on technical barriers to trade issues, including standards.

CEN and CENELEC members supported proposals to facilitate BSI’s continuation as a full member and recognised that although there is an important link between their work and European and national regulation, pan-European technical cooperation in the development and maintenance of standards is primarily a market-led activity. The General Assemblies agreed a transition period for their statutes until the end of 2020, including a derogation for BSI from certain eligibility clauses, during which time BSI will undergo an independent review of its processes and both CEN and CENELEC will agree any necessary revisions to their statutes. The situation will be monitored closely through this period.

Further information and a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) are available on the BSI Brexit and standards webpage. For any specific query, please contact the BSI Brexit and standards team using europeanpolicy@bsigroup.com.

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