First date announced for 2018 IAAF Industry Briefing Sessions

The IAAF has announced that the first event for 2018 will take place on Thursday 15th March at Phocas Software’s premises in Coventry.  This follows on from the very successful sessions held during 2017.

There will be two main topics covered during the session. The first will be the new General Data Protection Regulation which comes into effect in May of this year, which will be covered by Lawgistics who will look at what businesses will need to have in place in order to comply with the Regulation.

The Industry Briefing Session held at FPS’ Northern Distribution Centre in Sheffield

The second topic will look at how PHEVs and the new Fuel Cell Technology vehicles will affect the aftermarket; this will be covered by Steve Carter of Train4Auto consultancy who will be talking about this growing sector of the marketplace.

Mike Smallbone, IAAF’s Membership Development Manager, said: “These sessions are an essential and useful way to engage with members and ensure they are up to date on the most recent issues affecting the aftermarket. We strongly encourage members to attend our other briefings as the year continues.”

The regional sessions begin at 10.00 am offering the chance to network over a coffee, then finishing at 1.00 pm with lunch.

Spaces at these sessions are limited and anyone interested in attending should download and complete the Booking Form and then return it to the IAAF Office, either by EMAIL or by post. Further information is available from the IAAF Office and full details will be provided to all attendees.

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Two new members join IAAF council

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) is delighted to announce that two new members have joined the IAAF council, increasing its pool of experienced industry professionals to further strengthen its ranks.

The council, a voluntary group of aftermarket individuals that come together regularly to debate industry issues and IAAF policy, welcomes both Kevin Kelly, Sales Director at Bosch and Chris Chapman, Head of Sales at Moove Lubricants.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “It is excellent to not only have one new member but two – both of whom I have no doubt will be valuable contributors to the IAAF council.  I’m sure the entire IAAF will benefit from their experience and expertise.”

Kevin Kelly said: “I’m delighted to be playing a very active role in the IAAF and aim to provide both ideas and support that will enable the independent aftermarket to continue to thrive and develop.”

Kevin Kelly

Chris Chapman said: “With so much happening currently, including post-Brexit, type approval legislation and the recent MOT proposed changes being scrapped, there is certainly plenty for me to get my teeth into, and I very much look forward to seeing what we can do further as an organisation to support the aftermarket.”

Chris Chapman

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UK Diesel car sales fell by 25% in January

Sales of new diesel cars were 25.6% lower than in January 2017, dragging overall sales down 6.3%, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The SMMT said confusion over government policy was causing buyers to hesitate.

Diesels have been the focus of air quality concerns, prompting speculation that owners could face higher taxes or limits on where they can be used.

The government has stated a long-term goal to ban the sale of new cars running solely on petrol or diesel by 2040.

In November’s budget, the government announced customers buying new diesel cars will face a one-off tax increase in April, unless the vehicles meet a higher standard on emissions. Company car tax for diesels was also increased.

London has already introduced a higher congestion charge for higher polluting vehicles, and other UK cities including Oxford have discussed limiting their access to city centres.

SMMT said replacing older cars with new diesels would still reduce pollution and emissions as they are cleaner than older vehicles.

The SMMT said demand for cars that run on petrol was 8.5% higher this January than a year earlier, but that positive move was offset by the steep decline in demand for diesels, which account for around a third of the market.

Sales of “alternatively fuelled vehicles” including electric cars rose 23.9%, but they still account for only 5.5% of the market.

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Vehicle Safety Recalls: January 2018

These are the vehicles, parts or accessories recalled by manufacturers for a safety reason during January 2018.

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

DVSA ref no Make & model Issue
R/2017/319 Skoda: Octavia, Superb Rear wheel bearing housings may be incorrectly manufactured and could fail prematurely
R/2017/321 Volvo Bus: B8R, B11R Vehicle can be driven without driver knowing middle door is open
R/2017/298 Mercedes-Benz vans: Sprinter Windshield may not be installed correctly
R/2017/322 Mercedes-Benz: G-Class Electronic stability program (ESP) may malfunction, which may reduce vehicle control
R/2017/325 Fiat: 500L Supplementary heater wiring may become damaged and cause an electrical short circuit
R/2017/326 Citroen: C4 Picasso Bonnet skin may become insecure and could detach
RM/2017/037 MV Augusta: Brutale 800 Dragster RR Defective rear wheel rim can allow spokes to loosen and cause the wheel to fail
R/2017/276 Mercedes-Benz: Actros, Antos Gearshift bolt may loosen
R/2017/297 Fiat: 500 (RHD) Electrical power steering must be replaced
R/2017/320 Jeep: Grand Cherokee The brake booster water shield may be incorrectly installed, which could reduce braking ability

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LUMAG appoints new UK Sales Manager for its BRECK brand

LUMAG – a leading global OE manufacturer and aftermarket supplier of brake friction products – has confirmed that Richard Davies has joined the company as UK Sales Manager for its leading aftermarket brand of brake pads, BRECK.

Richard Davies

Richard joins LUMAG with over 20 years relevant market experience, most recently having worked with Juratek and Truckwise within a senior sales role. It is this knowledge and experience that will help Richard develop the sales and retail routes, as well as brand awareness of BRECK’s product range.

Talking about Richard’s appointment, LUMAG’s Managing Director Colin Smit, said: “It’s great to be able to welcome Richard to the team. His previous experience is not only relevant, but also vital in helping to grow the BRECK brand. Our market share is increasing year-on-year due to organic growth, but now with Richard on board we are able to invest more time and resources in taking the brand to the next level across both B2B and B2C platforms.”

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First businesses to benefit from DVSA transport scheme announced

Thirty businesses and public sector organisations are now benefiting from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) earned recognition pilot.

John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and a district council are among 30 organisations to start benefiting from a new way of recognising safe and responsible vehicle operators.

DVSA earned recognition for vehicle operators is a new way for organisations with lorries, buses and coaches to prove they meet driver and vehicle standards.

They’ll regularly share performance information with DVSA, such as their MOT initial pass rates and if their drivers have broken drivers’ hours rules.

In return, their vehicles are less likely to be stopped for roadside inspections. DVSA will still stop vehicles if they’re in an obviously dangerous condition.

Vehicle operators taking part in a pilot of the scheme will no longer have their vehicles routinely stopped at the roadside by DVSA.

This will let DVSA target its inspections and roadside checks at drivers and vehicles most likely to be a danger to your safety.

The 30 private and public sector organisations on the pilot are responsible for over 6,000 lorries, buses or coaches.

The organisations include:

  • British Telecommunications
  • the City of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
  • CT Plus – a social enterprise
  • DPD Group
  • John Lewis
  • Sainsbury’s

They’re all different sizes – the smallest having 2 vehicles, with the largest having more than 3,500 vehicles.

The scheme is being designed to help safe and responsible businesses go about their business unhindered, which will save them time and money.

It also means DVSA can spend more time taking unsafe drivers and vehicles off the roads.

Vehicle operators can still apply to join the DVSA earned recognition pilot until 28 February 2018. Those applying to join the pilot will get extra help through the application process.

The full scheme is expected to launch later in 2018.

When it’s launched, vehicle operators who have joined will be able to:

  • prove they’re an exemplary operator, which can help when they bid for contracts, and raise their profile with potential customers
  • use the DVSA earned recognition marque in their marketing and publicity, showing they’re serious about road safety
  • have their details shown on GOV.UK, so people know they’ve achieved the high standards needed to join the scheme
  • get access to a dedicated DVSA earned recognition team to discuss issues and ideas to help their business
  • Their vehicles will continue to be less likely to be stopped at the roadside for checks.

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Schaeffler REPXPERT hails recent ‘LuK Clutch Systems’ training event a resounding success

Schaeffler REPXPERT was delighted with the positive attendance for its ‘LuK Clutch Systems’ training event, held at the REPXPERT Academy in Hereford on Tuesday 30th January.

Technicians, many of whom had travelled far to take part, participated in an engaging session, presented by well-known REPXPERT, Alistair Mason. Throughout the day, the group were provided with a thorough introduction to Schaeffler, before immersing themselves in the world of clutch systems.

Finally, each member of the group was tasked with installing and testing a Schaeffler dual mass flywheel. It proved to be the perfect opportunity for the technicians to show off what they’d learned during the course.

Alistair said: “The course was a resounding success for everyone involved, and I’m looking forward to the LuK 2CT Double Clutch training course on 19th March.”

Graeme Thompson, one of the technicians who attended the training course, said: “I gained invaluable information regarding the manufacture, fitting and reasoning behind some of the more advanced clutches and dual mass flywheels. I was very impressed with Schaeffler’s commitment to the aftermarket and support it is giving the industry, most importantly to the people who are fitting the product.”

Those that wish to enrol on one of Schaeffler’s free training courses, held at the REPXPERT Academy in Hereford and orchestrated by a member of the REPXPERT team, can book their place on the REPXPERT website now at

The live training course schedule can be found underneath the ‘LEARN’ section of the website, where details of each course can be found.

The next two courses – the first focusing on INA and FAG products, the other a 2CT Double Clutch course including IMI assessment – will be held on the 21st February and 19th March respectively.

Interested technicians are encouraged to sign-up as soon as possible to ensure they don’t miss out.

Users can follow REPXPERT on Facebook and Twitter  and there is also a UK-specific playlist on the REPXPERT YouTube channel.

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East Sussex garage customer wins car with Servicesure

The Parts Alliance garage programme, Servicesure Autocentres, has announced Daniel and Stacey Grant from East Sussex as the lucky winners of a brand new Suzuki Celerio thanks to its ‘Win a Car for Christmas’ competition.

The giveaway, which was free for all customers to enter, ran across every garage within the Servicesure network.

Paul Dineen (L) hands over the car keys to Daniel Grant

All visitors to a Servicesure Autocentre were eligible to enter, either through entrance forms available on site or via the website.

Launched last summer, the nationwide competition which gave motorists the chance to drive home in a new Suzuki worth £7,249 ran until November 2017 and received over 13,000 submissions.

Husband and wife, Daniel and Stacey, who reside in East Sussex, entered after visiting their nearest site; A & D Motors in Uckfield. A family-run business with over 24 years’ experience, A & D Motors’ proprietor, Andy Gray, has operated within the industry for 16 years and garnered extensive knowledge on all makes and models during that time.

Commenting on his win, Daniel said: “We’ve never won a competition before in our lives! We’re still in complete shock; it really hasn’t sunk in yet.

“The car will be invaluable to us, as Stacey is going to use it to do the school run as well as her commute to work. We’re so grateful to Servicesure as this is going to make life so much easier.”

Head of Garage Programmes at The Parts Alliance, Paul Dineen said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of interest in this competition, and I would like to thank all of the garages in the network for working so hard to promote it to our customer base.

“On behalf of Servicesure, I extend my congratulations to Daniel and Stacey, and hope that they have many years of happy motoring!”

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Digital listening tantalisingly close to 50% boosted by commercial radio

Digital listening reached a new record share of 49.9%, a percentage share growth of 10% compared to 45.2% in Q4 2016, according to RAJAR Q4 2017 data released recently. The growth was driven by a surge in digital listening for commercial radio stations, which for the first time exceed 50% at 51.6%, up from 45% in Q4 2016.

Digital listening grew across all platforms, with the fastest growth this quarter being to online/apps which increased by 13.2% in hours to account for 8.5% share of all radio listening and 17% of digital listening. The majority of digital listening is via DAB digital radio which grew 9.2% in hours to account for 36.3% share of all radio listening or 72.8% of digital listening. Listening via digital television grew 3.3% in hours to account for 5.1% share of all listening and for 10.2% of digital listening.

In car digital listening hours have grown by 25% year on year, an increase of 15.9 million hours, and reached a new record share of 32%. DAB digital listening in cars contributed to 50% of all DAB digital listening growth.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “Listening on a digital platform is fast becoming the norm for all age groups with nearly 50% of all listening now being digital. This quarter we have seen a strong surge in digital listening for commercial radio stations, which is now 51.6%, boosted by the strong audience growth of a number stations including Radio X, Kisstory, Kiss Fresh, Virgin Radio, and the success of new station Heart 80s, to name a but a few. On the BBC, it’s great see the iconic BBC Radio 4 having over 50% digital listening for the first time and a new record audience for its sister station, BBC Radio 4 Extra.”

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Take control of your finances by budgeting – Advice from BEN

Ben’s latest News Blog focuses on putting together a budget to give a snapshot of outgoings and help spot how to save money. When there a goal such as buying  a house, reducing debt or saving for a holiday, then budgeting is a good place to start.

To get the most out of a budget, it should be reviewed regularly to make sure it still accurately reflects income and expenses.

Before starting, take some time to dig out any information that could help calculate income and expenses. This could include:

  • Payslips
  • Rent/mortgage payments
  • Bills
  • Insurance
  • Grocery receipts

The Ben website has a useful online tool that can be used to calculate expenses. It produces a handy downloadable pie chart that shows the proportions of income spent on each outgoing.  CLICK HERE  to give it a go.

If you’re not sure how much you spend on smaller outgoings, such as snacks and going out, try making a note of everything you buy for a month or keep receipts and add them all up after a few weeks. You might be surprised at how much you spend on the little things.

Identify potential cuts
Are there any expenses that can be reduced? Do you have a gym membership you don’t use? Can you reduce the number of coffees you buy each week? You might not realise that if you spend £2.20 on a latte five times per week, then it will cost you over £570 each year!

Keep these things in mind when putting together a budget. Rather than cutting them out completely, try setting a spending limit. Allowing some wiggle room may help achieve targets.

Putting a budget together
When budgeting, be as realistic as possible. Set money aside for essential expenses, such as food, bills and rent, and then divide up the rest between savings and treats.

If possible, allow some leeway for more expensive times of the year, for example Christmas time or when you need to buy essential items like a new pair of glasses.

Shop around
For most people, household bills make up a huge chunk of spending. Check to see if there are any providers that could offer cheaper services and see if they have any deals on for new customers.

The website, Which? has some great tips for reducing energy bills, including a tool to help find the best providers in your area.

Sticking to your budget
A good way to monitor day-to-day expenses is to download a budgeting app to your phone such as Expense Manager for Android or iPhone. You can set budgets for different types of expenses and monitor how much money you have left to play with.

If you go over budget one month, don’t beat yourself up about it. Work out why you couldn’t stick to it and see what you can do to improve during the next month. You can find more tips on sticking to budgets on Ben’s downloadable helpsheet.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet and find yourself slipping into debt, then seek advice as soon as possible. You can find more advice on subjects including priority debt and credit scores in Ben’s financial health section.

You can also contact Ben’s support team through their web chat or call the free and confidential Ben support line on 08081 311 333.

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