IAAF Conference leads discussion on aftermarket threats

Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) successfully hosted its best Annual Conference to date on 15 December with the high turnout of members benefitting from numerous discussions exploring IAAF’s key theme, ‘How to survive and thrive – post Brexit’.

The conference, held at the ICC in Birmingham and sponsored by Autoparts UK, welcomed a vast array of speakers to discuss a number of topical subjects affecting the industry and also offer essential advice to ensure the future of the aftermarket is protected, producing a lively debate for conference guests, while John Sergeant, the well-known BBC television and radio journalist, hosted the event.

IAAF chief executive, Wendy Williamson opened the proceedings summarising the political impact of the past year such as that of Brexit, while reassuring members that the federation is now looking to the future and exploring how it can embrace the changes and continue to thrive.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF Chief Executive

Williamson also provided an update on IAAF’s annual activity including its meeting with West Midlands MEP, Daniel Dalton to demonstrate first-hand the faults of parts identification at a local garage, as well as discussing the dinner IAAF hosted with IMCO to communicate its viewpoint on the implications of Euro 5 and IV to MEPs. Williamson also reflected on the threats affecting the aftermarket including the connected car, insisting that these challenges are not new but the pace of change is accelerating and the aftermarket has to gear up and adapt for what is around the corner.

Niranjan Thiyagarajan from Frost & Sullivan then examined the importance of the aftermarket to the UK economy, presenting the results of a recent report carried out looking at the aftermarket in numbers. Thiyagarajan emphasised the power of convenience revealing that customers prefer ease over cost and although the industry should offer a broad range of parts, he urged the sector to specialise in service.

Alison Martin and Ian Bartlett from DVSA then stepped up to give an overview on the topical matter of vehicle safety defects and the UK’s approach to vehicle recall, explaining key legislation and regulations in detail while also exploring ongoing revisions. Once again, Bartlett highlighted rising customer expectations, insisting that it is no longer just about safety and that the aftermarket should be involved in the entire customer journey to ensure the audit trail can be tracked efficiently.

IAAF membership development manager, Mike Smallbone, gave an in-depth update on the Right2Choose campaign and the launch planned for 2017, emphasisng the need to rejuvenate the market and catch up with the rest of Europe by raising awareness to block exemption legislation and overcoming huge customer ignorance surrounding this topic.

Delegates also learned more about the threats of cybercrime and how to better protect their business with Iain O’Brien from Triple Wood Associates on hand to provide critical advice. The IAAF is now advising the industry to prepare their businesses against these dangers, encouraging its members to manage the potential threat of cybercrime at senior management level by training, briefing and practicing the danger with employees.

After lunch, Julian Lloyd from ProVQ, IAAF’s newest member, took to the stand to discuss the benefits that changing legislation to apprenticeship programmes will offer the aftermarket while providing positive real-life examples.

Neil Pattemore from FIGIEFA was also on hand to discuss the latest emerging threats to the aftermarket and the implications of Brexit, giving an end-of-term report from Brussels and a summary of legislation changes such as revised type approval and the federation’s commitment to highlighting the problems of the revision. Pattemore also explored the threat of the connected car and the complicated proposals that give vehicle manufacturers (VMs) sole access to in-vehicle data.

Alexander Haid from Caruso then issued a direct warning to the aftermarket urging the industry to act now and begin to find a solution to the connected car. Focusing on the Caruso telematics platform, Haid warned that the technology is already available and therefore the aftermarket should capitalise on this opportunity by “moving, investing and exploring” this huge market to find a single platform solution and ensure the future of the aftermarket, warning that if the aftermarket waits long, the VMs will take a bigger share.

Alexander Haid of Caruso

Lawrence Bleasdale brought the proceedings to a close outlining the key messages of the conference and thanking all members for attending, as well as the organisers for successfully arranging the event.

A number of sponsored presentations were also delivered by Nick Chambers from Boswell on insurance, Joel Coombes from LAWGISTICS and Jeanette Breckles from GTG on health and safety offering delegates an informative insight into the many benefits of IAAF membership.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “Once again the conference was a huge success and we have already received great feedback from attendees. This event is not only a great way for us to communicate with members and offer essential advice on the most relevant topics, but it also enables them to network with other like-minded professionals throughout the day.

“As an industry we still face a number of threats with technological advances continuing to enter the market, as well as facing challenges of the changing economic climate and therefore it is more important than ever that we continue to work alongside FIGIEFA in Europe post Brexit. However, despite this year full of change we are making progress and will face all threats head on while continuing to search for solutions.”

Consumer interests ‘not at centre’ of access to vehicle data discussions

A group of European automotive associations have expressed concerns that consumers’ interest are not being placed at the centre of discussions around the possible technical solutions to access in-vehicle data. In addition to undermining free consumer choice, the solution promoted by some stakeholders would also undermine competition, innovation and independent entrepreneurship.

With European parts suppliers and vehicle manufacturers (VMs) recently presenting a common technical architecture to access in-vehicle data, the coalition comprising Figiefa, which IAAF is a member of, has critiqued the proposal and is now calling upon the European Institutions to create a robust, regulatory framework for a standardised, secure and safe digital in-vehicle telematics platform.

The initial platform intended by the eCall Mandate was promised to ensure true consumer choice, independent entrepreneurship, competition and to maintain innovation for all services ‘around the car’.

However, the option put forward would not allow the automotive aftermarket direct communication with the vehicle and still grants VMs full control to decide how, when and to whom data access will be granted.

In addition to undermining free consumer choice, the coalition’s view is that the solution promoted would also undermine competition, innovation and independent entrepreneurship.

The undersigned coalition consists of powerful and influential aftermarket associations including: European Independent Data Publishers Association (ADPA), European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA), European Garage and Test Equipment Association (EGEA), Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Automotive Aftermarket Distributors (FIGIEFA), European insurance and reinsurance federation (Insurance Europe) and finally European Federation of Leasing Company Associations (Leaseurope).

The coalition has suggested that the platform is based on the existing VMs’ telematics systems using the highest possible security standards as many manufacturers allow chosen partners to operate their own systems and applications in their vehicles, thus proving that safe and secure, direct access is possible without interfering with the vehicle’s functions.

With a firm stance to guarantee safety and security in the deployment of connected vehicles, the coalition believes that an ‘in-vehicle interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform’ would ensure the same high level of safety, security, liability and data protection as the VMs’ solution, while safeguarding competition, innovation and consumer choice.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “The common technical architecture currently presented by European parts suppliers and VMs does not offer vehicle owners the freedom to choose who they share their data with and for what purpose. It also threatens the future of the independent aftermarket as workshops are not offered the opportunity to access a vehicle’s in-vehicle data in real-time. We will continue to work alongside the coalition to ensure the rights of the consumer and aftermarket are heard and protected against this immediate threat.”

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How to avoid the Night Walkers

Technology to boost pedestrian safety and prevent traffic accidents at night has been developed after DENSO announced it had made significant advances to its in-vehicle vision sensors.

In-vehicle sensors are used to identify white lines on roads and objects ahead, and DENSO’s continued development of Advanced Driver Assistant Systems (ADAS) has meant a breakthrough in the sensors’ ability to now detect pedestrians even during night-time conditions.

The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) is considering including night-time pedestrians within the scope of collision avoidance in its safety performance evaluation standards for automatic braking systems, as traffic accidents at night can often involve pedestrians and cause severe injuries. The newly developed vision sensors will help meet and exceed these upcoming safety standards and reduce the rate of night-time collisions.

DENSO’s development was boosted after working alongside Sony Semiconductor Solutions. Sony holds the largest share of the global image sensors market; manufacturing highly sensitive image sensors used in digital cameras, smartphones and other home electronics, to enable cameras to take clear images of objects even at night.

DENSO has improved the quality of Sony’s image sensors, providing increased ease of installation, greater heat resistance and vibration resistance to support its integration onto vehicle-mounted vision sensors. Through using Sony’s image signal processors (ISPs), DENSO has also reduced noise and further optimised camera exposure parameters to take clearer images and identify pedestrians at night.

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Sad News

We have recently been advised that Peter Webber former CEO of Partco and GKN Autoparts passed away on Tuesday 6th December at Coventry hospital. It appears that he went into hospital for an operation but never recovered.

The funeral will be on the 29th at Oakley Wood Crematorium, Leamington Spa at noon. Anyone who wishes to attend will be welcome, the family would be very pleased to see Peter’s old colleagues there.

The address of the crematorium is:

Oakley Wood
Bishops Tachbrook
Leamington Spa
CV33 9QP

A map and directions can be found by CLICKING HERE.

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Vauxhall faces continued pressure over Corsa fire scandal

It has been reported that DVSA inspectors are to visit Vauxhall’s Luton HQ to check that it is doing everything it can to ensure safety.

DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “It is vital Vauxhall swiftly rectifies its problems.

“It has taken too long for them to protect consumers.

“We are visiting Vauxhall to make certain it is doing all it can to ensure the safety of its customers.”

The audit will be part of the DVSA’s Quality Assurance Programme for all major firms.

The inspection follows renewed concerns about Vauxhall fires.

The issue surrounding the Corsa fires was reported on the BBC’s Watchdog programme, aired on 7 December. The programme suggested that there is a link between the cars that don’t have air-conditioning but instead a four-speed fan and those which have caught fire.

The show also reported on six fires in Corsa D models that had not been covered under recalls of the 1.4-litre turbocharged engines in April.

In a statement to Watchdog, Vauxhall said: “Vauxhall Corsa D is one of our most popular models, with over 700,000 sold in the UK between 2006 and 2014.

“Earlier this year we identified a potential fire related issue with a specific Corsa D variant equipped with the 1.4 Turbo petrol engine.

“Nine cases had previously been reported to us, which we investigated.

“Two of these cases had resulted in a fire.

“A Safety Recall to address this issue was initiated in April 2016 for the 2,767 vehicles affected.

“Vauxhall is not aware of a fire risk to any other variant of Corsa D.

“Fires can occur in all makes of cars and it is important that thorough investigations are carried out before determining if there is a manufacturing defect that can relate to fire.”

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Changes to sending technical applications to the DVSA

From Sunday 1 January 2017, technical applications for the HGV, PSV, trailer and Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) must be sent through GOV.UK.

From 1 January 2017, applications sent by email will no longer be processed.

DVSA state that applying online should speed up the whole process.

The recent blog post about changes for submitting technical applications gives details on how to:

• apply for an Individual Vehicle Approval tests
• apply for a test certificate for a lorry or trailer
• apply for a test certificate for a bus or coach
• tell us about a change to a bus or coach

To view all the details, CLICK HERE.

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UK new van market achieves 20-year high in November

The UK’s new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market achieved a record-breaking performance in November, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 29,784 new vans hit the roads last month – the most for two decades.

A 43.1% uplift in smaller vans weighing 2.0-2.5T drove growth in the month, while demand for versatile pick-ups also continued to rise – by a significant 36.7%. Demand for heavier vans, meanwhile, fell for the second consecutive month, with registrations for vehicles weighing 2.5-3.5T down -4.4%. However, year-to-date this segment remains strong, up 7.0% in the first 11 months of the year, and accounting for 62% of the market.

(c) SMMT

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

“The new van market’s growth in November is welcome news and an encouraging sign of ongoing business confidence. With almost 350,000 light commercials registered so far this year, the sector remains on track to beat 2015’s record-breaking performance. For this success to continue in 2017 and beyond, however, it is essential that the economic conditions that have kept this sector so buoyant in recent years are maintained.”

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Vehicle safety recalls: November 2016

These are the vehicles, parts or accessories recalled by manufacturers for a safety reason during November 2016.

DVSA Ref. Make and model Issue
R/2016/067 Ford: Kuga Risk of fire
R/2016/184 Toyota: GT86 Power steering assistance may be lost
R/2016/199 Renault: Scenic Rear bolts on front seat runner may not be torqued correctly
R/2016/203 Renault: Trafic III Steering may be adversely affected
R/2016/237 Toyota: Prius Parking brake may fail
R/2016/243 Renault: Trafic III Egr pipe may crack and allow exhaust gases to leak
R/2016/245 Hyundai: Azera Power-adjustable driver’s seat may move unintentionally
R/2016/246 Vauxhall: Mokka Tail lights may fail if rear bicycle carrier is folded back incorrectly
R/2016/247 Fiat: 500 Reduced brake performance
R/2016/248 Jaguar: F-TYPE SVR Vehicle stability may be compromised
R/2016/252 BMW: 3 (Sedan, Touring, Coupe, Convertible and M3(, 5 (Sedan, Touring and M5) and X5 (with sport steering wheel) Drivers airbag may deploy incorrectly
R/2016/253 Mercedes-Benz: Actros, Antos, Aroc, Axor Tyre may delaminate due to overheating
R/2016/254 Mercedes-Benz: Sprinter Seat belt restraint may be impaired
R/2016/255 Mercedes-Benz: E-Class Vehicle may cut out
R/2016/260 Volvo Truck: FH Possibility of fire
RM/2016/043 Suzuki Motorcycles: GW250 Brake and tail lights may fail
RM/2016/044 Polaris: Slingshot (3-Wheel Motorcycle) 1. Brakes may fail 2. Risk of fire 3. Loss of control

You can check for vehicle, part or accessory recalls or find out more about vehicle recalls and faults by CLICKING HERE.

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