IAAF kicks off year with first 2020 Industry Briefing Session

Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) members are invited to attend its first free-of-charge Industry Briefing Session of the year, to be held at the IAAF’s offices in Birmingham on 26th March.

The keynote speaker will be Adrian Botham, Founder & MD of Servispart Consulting, a specialist aftermarket consultancy, providing strategy, change and systems advice for OEMs, parts and equipment manufacturers, and distributors.

Botham will be presenting some of his latest parts management research findings and, talking about how to achieve aftermarket excellence and growth acceleration in members’ parts and service businesses.

Emma-Jane Morris from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will also be on hand to discuss the issue of market surveillance and how its ongoing development will affect the automotive aftermarket.

With a busy, and uncertain, year ahead, the IAAF will outline its plans for 2020 and its efforts to tackle current industry issues, including the most recent developments with the connected car, Block Exemption Regulation and the progress of Your Car Your Choice campaign.

Mike Smallbone, IAAF Head of Membership Development, said: “We’re gearing up for an exciting year of change within the automotive aftermarket, and this session will provide a real insight into any significant industry developments. As ever, IAAF will continue to fight any potential issues affecting our members and the wider sector, and we look forward to sharing more information at the event.”

Further information, including timings and the day’s agenda, will be confirmed closer to the date.

As limited spaces are available, IAAF is advising members to book early to avoid disappointment by emailing Ann Silvester at [email protected].

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SMMT response to government’s 2035 end of sale announcement

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, has issued a statement in response to the governments announcement that it is bringing forward the date to end the sale of new petrol and diesel engine cars from 2040 to 2035.

“It’s extremely concerning that government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue,” he said. “Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020. However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment. This is about market transformation, yet we still don’t have clarity on the future of the plug-in car grant – the most significant driver of EV uptake – which ends in just 60 days’ time, while the UK’s charging network is still woefully inadequate.

“If the UK is to lead the global zero emissions agenda, we need a competitive marketplace and a competitive business environment to encourage manufacturers to sell and build here. A date without a plan will merely destroy value today. So we therefore need to hear how government plans to fulfil its ambitions in a sustainable way, one that safeguards industry and jobs, allows people from all income groups and regions to adapt and benefit, and, crucially, does not undermine sales of today’s low emission technologies, including popular hybrids, all of which are essential to deliver air quality and climate change goals now.”

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Production stoppages at China factories lead to worldwide shortages in components as coronavirus outbreak spreads

The global car industry is facing a stress test as the coronavirus outbreak in China continues to spread and thus disrupts the supply of components from transmissions to steering systems.

Parts manufacturers across China have suspended production for this week and, in the case of Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, factories will remain shut until 13 February or later. This leaves car plants in both China – the world’s largest market – and beyond at risk. On Tuesday of this week Hyundai became the first global carmaker to halt production outside China because of component shortages caused by restrictions put in place as a result of the virus.

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, is one of the top auto-industry hubs in China, alongside Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chanchun, where global manufacturers make both cars and components in conjunction with partner companies.

Hundreds of suppliers have factories in Hubei, including more than half of the top 20 global parts makers, with Robert Bosch, Valeo and ZF Friedrichshafen among those producing components there, according to the China Automotive Technology & Research Centre.

“Carmakers will face severe parts supply issues, something that wasn’t encountered during the SARS outbreak,” said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of China’s Passenger Car Association, referring to the 2003 incident. “Wuhan is the most cost competitive among China’s car industry hubs, therefore many component manufacturers produce components there and supply their clients around the world.”

General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota Motor are among companies that have closed China plants up to at least February 9, following information issued by several provinces advising companies not to resume operations any sooner than an extended holiday break.

Tesla one of the companies saying they are also monitoring potential supply-chain interruptions for cars built outside China.

The outbreak may reduce vehicle output by more than 1.7 million cars due to plant closures, according to IHS Markit. Hyundai halted all of its output in South Korea because of a wiring-part shortage caused by one worker at a supplier in China getting infected by the virus.

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Walker Products joins IAAF

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has kickstarted 2020 by welcoming manufacturer, supplier and distributor of engine management components, Walker Products, to its growing membership.

Bringing more than 50 years’ experience to the IAAF, the new member began supplying the fuel system needs of the industry in 1946, serving Original Equipment Suppliers (OES), co-manufacturers and motor factors in the fuel, engine management and exhaust sensor markets worldwide.

Today, Walker Products is one of the largest privately owned manufacturers in its sector.

Excited about the company’s future with the federation, Paul Earley, Walker Products managing director, said: “We are one of the biggest brands worldwide that not many people recognise in the UK. The IAAF will create more exposure and generate greater brand awareness of our products within the independent automotive aftermarket.”

Wendy Williamson, chief executive of the IAAF, added: “It’s going to be a busy year, and we’re pleased to have Walker Products on board to share its wealth of experience with the rest of the members. We will work together to push the industry forward, while ensuring the company is in front of its core target market”.

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Tony Fyfe crowned IFA Car Product Manager of the Year

Buying group Independent Motor Trade Factors Associated (IMTFA) has awarded Tony Fyfe of Fyfe Vehicle & Engineering Supplies the Car Product Manager of the Year Accolade at its annual gala dinner dance and awards ceremony at the K Club in Country Kildare, Ireland.

It was a double celebration for three time winner Tony as he is also product manager for the Bilstein Group, who picked up the Car Supplier of the Year award.

More than 180 IMTFA members and suppliers attended the event, which lasted the entire weekend and included a host of networking opportunities and activities such as a trip to Dublin city, a wine tasting afternoon, clay pigeon shooting and, the IFA golf tournament held on the famous Ryder cup course.

The IMTFA awards presented were as follows:

CV Supplier of the Year awards – joint winners TMD Friction UK and Winnard & Sons Ltd
CV Product Manager of the yearSteve Wright from Wrightpart Truck & Trailer Spares
Car Supplier of the Year winnerBilstein Group
Car Supplier of the Year runner upGS Yuasa
Car Product Manager of the YearTony Fyfe of Fyfe Vehicle & Engineering Supplies.

A table raffle and silent auction held on the evening raised a staggering £7000 for Willow Foundation, the only National charity who works with seriously ill young adults to provide uplifting and unforgettable special days.

Tony Fyfe, Fyfes Managing Director, said: “The automotive industry is all about partnerships and I’m delighted to have played a key role in the success of the Bilstein Group within the IFA membership.”

Trading in Ballymena for over 100 years, Fyfes now employs more than 200 staff, boasting 15 branches in Northern Ireland along with a depot in Drogheda, Ireland. Offering a range of vehicle components, tools, consumables and engineering supplies, Northern Ireland’s largest motor factor has continued to develop and improve its portfolio of quality products.

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Impression hit the mark at 2020 CAT Awards

IAAF’s PR agency Impression Communications has won the inaugural Industry Partner Award at the Car & Accessory Trader (CAT) awards 2020, held at the Lowry Hotel, Manchester.

The award was voted for industry members and the Impression team of Mark Field, Hayley Evans, Lindsey Field and Angela Neale were present to collect the winner’s trophy.

Mark Field, Impression’s Director, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Impression has won this award and a massive thank you to everyone who voted for us. We’re fully invested in the automotive industry and aim to make a real, positive influence on businesses we work with and the wider market.”

Impression works with businesses across the automotive aftermarket supply chain including parts suppliers, warehouse distributors, motor factors and independent garages. Covering all aspects of automotive aftermarket marketing including digital marketing & social media, event marketing, customer newsletters and PR to name but a few, Impression is able to quickly establish itself within a client’s business and work towards their objectives.

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UPS orders 10,000 Arrival electric trucks

Logistics giant UPS has ordered 10,000 purpose-built electric vehicles from Arrival in an order worth “hundreds of millions of Euros” as part of its global project to transition to a zero emissions fleet.

These vehicles will be rolled out in the UK, Europe and North America from 2020 to 2024 with the company having an option to purchase a further 10,000 models.

UPS’s venture capital arm also announced an investment in Arrival of an undisclosed sum.

Carlton Rose, president of UPS global fleet maintenance and engineering, said: “Our investment and partnership with Arrival is directly aligned with UPS’s transformation strategy, led by the deployment of cutting-edge technologies.

“These vehicles will be among the world’s most advanced package delivery vehicles, redefining industry standards for electric, connected and intelligent vehicle solutions.”

Arrival first announced a partnership with UPS to develop EVs in 2016. The vehicles have been co-developed by the two companies to exactly match UPS’s specifications and include the latest advanced control and safety features.

Denis Sverdlov, founder and CEO of Arrival added: “UPS has been a strong strategic partner of Arrival, providing valuable insight to how electric delivery vans are used on the road and how they can be optimised for drivers.

“Together our teams have been creating bespoke electric vehicles, based on our flexible skateboard platforms, that meet the end-to-end needs of UPS from driving, loading/unloading, depot and back office operations.

“We are pleased that today’s investment and vehicle order creates even closer ties between our two companies.”

In October, UPS added 15 Tevva range-extender 7.5-tonne trucks to its UK fleet, joining the 100 electric vehicles it already operated in the UK.

The vehicles were part-funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK.

They feature new hybrid electric vehicle technology, which increases route range while maintaining the cargo capacity (23m³) of traditional diesel vehicles of the same weight class.

They are equipped with a 150kW electric motor (providing 2,000Nm of torque) supported by a lithium-ion 74kWh battery that provides an EV range exceeding 60 miles.

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REPXPERT Academy LIVE visitor: ‘Nothing compares to the opportunity to hear from an expert’

An eager but patient queue of technicians and workshop owners could be seen snaking out of the doors of Basingstoke College of Technology 20 minutes before the official registration time on Saturday, as Schaeffler held its latest REPXPERT Academy LIVE event – the first of 2020.

In collaboration with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), plus guest exhibitors, Laser Tools and TechMan, more than 70 technicians sampled the latest Schaeffler technical training modules, covering timing belt drive best practice, an introduction to double clutch repairs and modern thermal management systems.

Hayley Pells, owner of Automechanika Garage Of The Year, Avia Sports Cars, was full of praise for the training day: “I am a strong advocate of the need to normalise continuous professional development (CPD), and I was not alone with my attitude, judging by the strong visitor numbers and the quality of the training seminars provided at REPXPERT Academy LIVE.

“I was particularly intrigued by Alistair Mason’s lecture on thermal management systems. I was surprised by the number of seemingly retro ideas that were employed to create elegant solutions to the age-old quandary of the nuisance of heat and how this affects power.

“Coupled with the particularly hot topic, emissions standards and how to meet them whilst not compromising the motorist’s experience, has led to some cooling systems utilising solenoids and vacuums integrated with signals from the accelerator – enabling, as one delegate summarised, to ‘dump the pump’ when a demand for hard acceleration was introduced.

“I am quite comfortable with the idea of solenoids, and Alistair’s fault-finding tips for these systems were easy to understand. The REPXPERT platform is an enormously useful tool, but nothing compares to the opportunity to hear the information straight from the experts, to see and handle the components, and ask questions ensuring a full understanding is achieved – I would highly recommend attending REPXPERT Academy LIVE.”

REPXPERT Brand Ambassador, Andy Savva, was also in attendance, as he presented a business seminar. The Garage Inspector, who is a former workshop owner and now aftermarket commentator, delivered a session on how workshop owners can ‘empower their business’.

DMG Autocare Owner, Dean Peters, was one of the attendees, and he was particularly impressed with Andy’s delivery: “REPXPERT Academy LIVE was a very well organised event that was compact enough for some great interaction but big enough to have plenty going on and lots of information available.

“The sessions were full of content and Andy Savva, in particular, gave me a lot of information that gives me a lot to think about when looking to move my business forward.

“I can see REPXPERT Academy LIVE growing into a sought-after event, complemented by the fact it is free-of-charge. I’ve never attended an event as good as this for free!”

At the conclusion of the day, there was a draw for a variety of prizes: IMI veteran, Glyn Watkins, can now sit in both style and comfort after winning the star prize, a rally-style office chair, courtesy of Laser Tools.

Rob Obourne walked away with a Schaeffler IMI double clutch training day, including achievement certificate and IMI affiliate membership, worth £175, while Dave Ashby, of A.N.D. Autos, was the recipient of a Leatherman Wingman multi-tool after posting the best score during the INA torque challenge.

The next event will be held in May, at a venue to be confirmed, where yet more technicians and workshop owners will be offered the opportunity to absorb the very latest in technology and innovation from Schaeffler, and to enjoy the whole REPXPERT Academy LIVE experience.

Numbers are limited so technicians are urged to register for a ticket as soon as full details of the event are released.

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Autotech Recruit publishes guidance on overcoming garage staffing problems

Autotech Recruit has published guidance for garage owners on how to overcome automotive talent shortages.

The specialist recruitment agency says the guide in the first publication of its kind and identifies the different solutions available to employers.

The brochure features articles by industry expert, Andy Savva; Quentin Le Hetet of GiPA; Paul Binks of European Tyre Enterprise; James Osborne of The Recruitment Network; and Autotech Recruit’s own Gavin White and Mandla Ndhlovu.

You can either download a free copy of the guide by CLICKING HERE or email [email protected] to get a printed version.

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90 years of Bosch fuel filters

Way back the early days of the last century, impurities contained in fuel caused quite a few engine breakdowns. Bosch solved this issue in 1930 by means of fuel filters protecting the injection systems of diesel – and later on also gasoline – engines against contaminants. Although the Bosch fuel filter first used 90 years ago was already pretty effective, it had to be cleaned quite often. A few years later, Bosch also found a solution for this: In 1936, a special paper was first used as filter medium. Although it has, of course, been improved and further developed since then, this material is still used to the present day because of its high cleaning efficiency.

Thanks to their high competence in the areas of injection systems and filters, Bosch development engineers also found solutions for other challenging issues related to engine technologies. In 1998, for instance, the Bosch common-rail diesel filter with water separator was launched onto the market. A special gasoline filter for in-tank units was developed in 2001 and a common-rail diesel filter for biodiesel engines in 2009. Fuel filters reliably separate particles and water from fuel and contribute to optimum engine performance. High-quality materials, thorough processing and stringent quality controls make sure filters for the workshop market meet the same standards as OE ones.

Filters for tomorrow’s mobility
Hybrid, electric or fuel-cell drives also need these unremarkable heavy workers in the engine compartments. After all, all of these powertrain systems need clean fuel, air, water or oil as a coolant or lubricant for their batteries and/or engines. In order to ensure flawless propulsion and high mileages, filters will thus remain indispensable – even in future. And cabin filters will also continue to ensure clean air inside the cabin.

For this purpose, Bosch offers an aftermarket filter range with a market coverage for passenger cars in Europe exceeding 95 percent – a range drivers also rely on. At the German magazine “auto motor und sport” reader’s poll 2019, Bosch was thus voted “Brest Brand” in the Filters category for the 14th consecutive time.

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