IAAF praises sector as it fights to overhaul MOT extension

The IAAF is continuing to call for the MOT extension to be scrapped and has written to government to get the decision overturned.

In various communications with DVSA and Department for Transport, IAAF chief executive, Wendy Williamson said the decision to extend the MOT “will inevitably have a serious impact on road safety as road worthiness can alter greatly during this period. There is also the obvious concern that due to this postponement there could be thousands of vehicles on the road that are dangerous and unroadworthy.”

Williamson has also written to the NI Assembly challenging the Northern Ireland infrastructure minister’s decision to extend MOT’s there for twelve months.

The IAAF continues to highlight to government some of the incredible work done by suppliers, motor factors and garages in taking all necessary precautions to limit and, in some cases, remove completely any interaction with customers. Williamson also praised automotive aftermarket businesses for their actions in protecting the health and wellbeing of employees during this period.

The latest UK Government advice is to minimise the use of public transport. Essential journeys, such as for food shopping, family support and travel for all workers, will therefore be increasingly entirely reliant on a private car.

“Use of private vehicles, where there is no fear of direct infection from other members of the community, is increasingly the preferred option,” said Williamson. “There is more need than ever to keep cars on the road. Therefore, the MOT is an essential requirement to keep vehicles on the move.”

“The UK Automotive Aftermarket – and our workforce of over 300,000 colleagues – stands ready to provide essential support to UK citizens and businesses during this crisis. In practice, this means the urgent delivery of millions of replacement parts to businesses maintaining and repairing the UK vehicle fleet, both private and public.

Previously, the IAAF has said the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) decision to extend MOTs for a six-month period causes “huge challenges” for the sector, arguing that the industry needs to ensure vehicles continue to be kept safe in these challenging times.

The federation argues that the industry needs to ensure vehicles are running safely in these challenging times and the extension will result in a worrying number of vehicles ‘un-roadworthy’ but in operation.

Our industry is already diligently following Government and NHS Guidelines to minimise the spread of the virus and protect our colleagues and our customers.

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) is the UK trade body for independent companies in the UK motor trade. Members include parts suppliers, distributors, workshops and service companies. As a sector the independent automotive aftermarket is worth £21.6 billion, supporting over 300,000 jobs representing 40,000 outlets across the UK.

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Aspect CPM becomes newest IAAF member

Aspect CPM, specialists in PPE, print, merchandise, clothing and events, has joined the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), as it looks to continue to deliver tailored solutions to the industry.

The company has been a supplier to specific sectors of the motor industry for some 20 years. With a wide portfolio of comprehensive business solutions and products, it specialises in providing branded merchandising, signage, clothing, promotional support literature, print and in more recent times, a wide range of Personal PPE.

The new member will benefit from weekly eBulletins featuring the latest industry news and updates, as well as having exclusive access to several products and services such as a free legal helpline, credit protection and advice and a range of lifestyle protection plans.

Steve Anderson, Commercial Director for Aspect CPM, said: “The team are honoured to join the IAAF and our aim is to generate greater brand awareness of our products and the services that we already provide to a wide sector of highly satisfied customers. Becoming a member will help us to engage more with our customers in the automotive industry, enabling us to better understand their requirements and continue to meet demand. We look forward to becoming an active member and will aim to add value to the organisation wherever possible.
Mike Smallbone, Head of Membership Development at IAAF, said: “Our membership is continuing to grow and welcome a vast range of businesses in the automotive aftermarket. Aspect CPM are an established brand who continue to support the aftermarket with much-needed merchandise and equipment and it’s great to have them on board.”

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IAAF welcomes Cataclean

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has added fuel additive manufacturer, Cataclean Global Limited, to its ever-growing membership.

Cataclean is a complete fuel and exhaust system cleaner for all petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles. Established in 1995, Cataclean now distributes over one million bottles of Cataclean thought the UK, USA and other territories around the world.

With a portfolio of fuel and exhaust cleaning products that can bring down a vehicle’s emissions, restore performance and improve fuel economy, the company is widely recognised as a global market leader in the world of automotive additives.

William Jones, Sales Director at Cataclean, said: “We’re delighted to join the IAAF, and realise that we should have joined many years ago. We are looking forward to becoming an active member and to the increased exposure for our product and brand that this will bring.”

Mike Smallbone, Head of Membership Development at IAAF, added: “We’re continuing to grow month on month, and we welcome Cataclean, who, with plenty of experience working across the globe, we’re sure will be a valuable addition to the membership.”

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GS Yuasa launch new company to service Nordic and Baltic markets

GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd are pleased to announce the establishment of a new sales company to serve their Nordic and Baltic export regions. GS Yuasa Battery Nordic began trading from a new distribution centre in Jönköping, Sweden in December 2019.

The creation of a new sales company and distribution centre in Sweden represents a significant investment from the battery manufacturer, as it aims to increase market share in the Nordic and Baltic regions.

The move means that customers in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will be better served by the business. Benefits include shorter lead times, local support and reduced order quantities meaning customers can order more regularly.

The new distribution centre will stock and supply GS Yuasa’s full product range, increasing year-round availability and improving on current delivery times. A new dedicated specialist team for the region strengthens GS Yuasa’s European operation and includes General Managers for Sales and Marketing, Operations as well as Product and Technical.

James Hylton, Managing Director of GS Yuasa Battery Nordic and GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to be establishing a hub for GS Yuasa in the Nordic-Baltic region with the opening of GS Yuasa Battery Nordic.

We’ve seen sustained growth in the region over the past few years – our Jönköping base will allow us to better serve the territory with our industry-leading battery technology by increasing availability and reducing lead times.

“We’ve appointed a highly-skilled team who have already begun to build on our reputation for quality, reliability and performance.”

“GS Yuasa have achieved significant growth in the Nordic-Baltic region over the past few years, in particular in Sweden & Finland with our distribution partners Batteripoolen & Akkupojat. The opening of GS Yuasa Battery Nordic will build on this excellent partnership and help us to realise the full potential of the market.”.

Johan Lyckow, Managing Director of Batteripoolen, said: “We view this as a natural next step in our close co-operation with GS Yuasa. We will continue to grow in all areas of a market that is dynamic and fast-changing in both the transportation and industrial sectors”

With the creation of the Nordic business, GS Yuasa will increase marketing and sales activity in the region, with a particular focus on large automotive distributors, vehicle & machinery OEMs and UPS & Telecoms manufacturers.

GS Yuasa are the world’s leading battery manufacturer and the UK market leading brand for automotive, motorcycle and industrial batteries. With a wide range of products for varied applications available Yuasa and GS batteries are the number one choice across Europe and trusted by consumers and professionals alike.

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Melett strengthens marketing team

Melett has bolstered its in-house marketing team, welcoming Gareth Flower who will provide maternity cover for Victoria MacMillan.

Flower will take the position as Interim Channel Marketing Manager and will continue to implement Melett’s strategy to strengthen its reputation as the leading supplier of precision-engineered turbochargers and parts.

Flower brings more than 25 years’ experience to the role, beginning his career in the garage equipment sector at Hofmann Balancing Techniques in the early 90s, before moving to MAM software in 2000 for 20 years, and progressing to Marketing Manager.

In his new role, Flower’s primary responsibility is to execute the company’s global marketing plan and PR presence. Working alongside the existing marketing and global sales teams, he will be developing and implementing channel marketing activity that drives sales through direct and indirect channels, both domestically and internationally.

An enthusiastic Flower said: “I’m looking forward to helping deliver some of the exciting new projects that Melett has in the pipeline. The team are busy working on a number of new initiatives that will help the company and its customers attract new business and capitalise on turbo repair opportunities.

“It’s somewhat unusual beginning a new role during these challenging times. Our immediate focus is on ensuring that we continue to meet the demand of our customers who are supporting essential travel requirements. However, we are also working behind the scenes to make sure our customers will have the right products and support when vehicles return to the roads.”

Darren Johnson, head of sales at Melett, added: “Melett has a number of well-defined strategies that Gareth will be working to deliver, and we’re confident that his experience working across the industry will be a valuable asset as the business continues to build on its reputation as the trusted aftermarket brand for precision-engineered turbochargers and parts.”

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Red Dot Award for MAHLE A/C service unit

The jury is in: MAHLE has won the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020 for its ACX 480 air conditioning service unit.

The Red Dot is one of the most sought-after quality marks for good design in the world and the MAHLE A/C service unit has been recognised for its outstanding design quality in the new Smart Products metacategory.

The ACX 480 is characterised by modern and elegant aesthetics and its ergonomic and intuitive operating concept. Maintenance of vehicle air conditioning systems in workshops is thus up to 50 percent faster.

“MAHLE has more than 30 years of experience in constructing A/C service units. When designing the ACX 480, we paid close attention to the needs of workshops: simple operation and a functional design as well as a robust construction capable of withstanding workshop conditions. We are proud to have this recognised and our work confirmed with such a prestigious award,” explained Olaf Henning, Corporate Executive Vice President and General Manager MAHLE Aftermarket.

Moreover, the ACX 480 is also clever: using a smartphone app, workshop technicians can view workflows and the unit status or automatically order a service. The ASA interface on the unit and the integration of the unit in the workshop network enable fast data exchange.

The large touch screen, which is standard on all units, provides the user with a continuous display of all information and programmed procedures, as well as the current status.

The service technician can continue to work on the vehicle while automatic software updates are performed in the background via Wi-Fi. For a time-saving service, the devices can be maintained remotely: workshops are able to obtain fast support directly on the unit via Wi-Fi.

Workshops have the option of upgrading the A/C service units with the MAHLE vehicle diagnostics tool—the new MAHLE TechPRO® or BRAIN BEE Connex from MAHLE Aftermarket.

The diagnostic system can detect and eliminate faults in the electronics or air conditioning system and check the status of the system and individual components. To better diagnose complex faults, the system can also activate compressors, valves, and fans.

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HSE Safety Alert issued

HSE has issued a safety alert for those carrying out or responsible for work on vehicles with air suspension systems.

HSE has investigated several serious incidents involving air suspension systems on vehicles.

The two main causes are collapse of inadequately supported vehicles and unintended rupture or release of components from the air suspension system

The safety alert has more information, as well as action required for those it may concern.

To view the full details of the alert and what action is requred, please CLICK HERE.

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Coronavirus: Scrappage scheme may be required to jump start car industry

Car makers are calling on the UK Government to introduce a scrappage scheme or other incentives to boost new car sales in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The PSA Group is already in talks with the Government about the possibility of incentives to boost the automotive retail sector, with managing director Alison Jones telling BBC Newsnight that, while she did not expect demand among car buyers to “come back” until Q4, a CO2 emission-based scrappage scheme was being discussed.

The new car market fell by 97.3% in April, with just 871 cars registered to private motorists in the month, compared to 67,783 in April 2019.

There were 3,450 new cars registered to fleet and business – an all-time low but still represented four out of five cars (79.8%) registered last month.

Earlier this month, automotive retail research organisation ICDP published a ‘clean cars for a post-COVID recovery’ report, which called for the introduction of an OEM-backed CO2 emissions-reducing car scrappage scheme.

It said that such an incentive was needed in order to avoid a “perfect storm of stalled sales” and “soaring fines” from stringent new EU regulations driving carmakers “to the edge”.

The report said: “Without intervention in the market a recovery is likely to be protracted and this will lead to business failures amongst dealers, and potentially with manufacturers.”

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World’s first “invisible” trailer recognised with award

Valeo has won a 2020 PACE Award for the Valeo ‘XtraVue Trailer’, the world’s first system enabling drivers to see-through the trailer or caravan they are towing.

This unique and innovative driving assistance technology makes towing objects simpler and safer for drivers.

The Valeo technology allows users to visualise the environment behind a towed vehicle.

Using cameras and software developed by Valeo, the system combines the data recorded by the vehicle and trailer cameras into a single, homogenous image.

The image is displayed on screen in front of the driver, enabling them to see what’s going on behind their vehicle as if they could see right through the trailer or caravan.

Driving and maneuvering becomes easier than ever, whatever the size of the vehicle being towed. Drivers can change lanes, reverse and park, all with complete control over their environment.

Unveiled as a world first at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the trailer was brought to the US market for the first time at the end of the same year.

Marc Vrecko, president of the comfort and driving assistance systems business group, said: “Valeo ‘XtraVue Trailer’ is a unique innovation that gives drivers a full and clear view of their vehicle’s surroundings, making towed objects appear totally transparent.

“This award attests to the creativity, expertise and agility of our teams who developed this unprecedented technology, which makes driving simpler and safer.”

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KYB Corporation partners with REE Automotive to develop next-generation modular EV platform

REE Automotive (REE) and KYB Corporation (KYB) announced today a strategic partnership to develop suspension capabilities for future electric vehicle (EV) platforms. Automotive Tier 1 supplier KYB’s unparalleled semi-active and active suspension systems will boost REE’s next-generation EV platform, which delivers complete design freedom and cost-effective, scalable solutions in e-mobility. The combined expertise of REE, a pioneering technology company and leader in electric vehicle platforms, and KYB, a leading global hydraulics manufacturer, will reshape the movement of goods, people and services by revolutionizing electric vehicle design.

REE’s partnership with KYB further expands REE’s global manufacturing capabilities. It also ignites a new level of suspension technology within the REEcorner™ architecture solution, which integrates all drivetrain vehicle components (steering, braking, suspension, e-motor) into the wheel. The REEcorner™ combines with the REEboardTM – a completely flat platform – allowing complete freedom of design, improved performance and safety, and modular applications for any vehicle type – from last mile delivery to heavy duty shipping.

The KYB-REE partnership marks the first time KYB has formally collaborated on EV platforms with a technology company. “KYB has vast experience in developing and manufacturing advanced suspension systems, and we are excited to partner with REE Automotive and share its revolutionary EV vision by engineering a suspension subsystem that supports the needs of tomorrow’s mobility ecosystem” said Kazunori Masumoto, General Manager of Engineering Headquarters at KYB Automotive Component Business Division .

REE’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Barel said, “REE is delighted to welcome KYB to our unique network of global strategic automotive partners, bringing world-class expertise in advanced suspension systems. KYB’s technology will play a crucial role in the rapid development of our next-generation EV architecture, which reinvents the electric vehicle with a completely flat, scalable and fully modular platform, ready to carry the future of e-mobility.”

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