IAAF Annual Conference & Awards Dinner 2019 – Photographs now online

Following last week’s Annual Conference and Awards Dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes, which have been hailed as the best ever, it is now possible to view and download images from both the Conference during the day and the Awards Dinner in the evening.

To view the Conference images, CLICK HERE.

To view the Awards Dinner images, CLICK HERE.

You can also access the images via the IAAF website homepage.

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FFR Automotive joins IAAF

Permanent recruitment solutions company FFR Automotive has joined Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF).

FFR specialises in passenger car, commercial vehicle and refinish sectors, being a trusted recruitment partner to major aftermarket businesses including manufacturers, suppliers, motor factors and independent garages.

With more than 20 years combined experience, the FFR team prides itself on offering best in class recruitment solutions for any role within an aftermarket business, also offering free candidate training and a 12-month candidate guarantee.

Directors Gavin Collier and David Jobin, explained the reasons behind joining IAAF: “We are a specialist people business and we want to support all IAAF members with insight and expertise from our unique position, ultimately becoming a key voice on all things aftermarket recruitment related.”

“We also want to keep abreast of all of the latest developments within the industry and support initiatives that the IAAF works hard to promote, as they are key to the survival of the aftermarket as we know it.”

The pair also highlighted the ever-growing skills shortage in the industry, saying: “People are the heart of every great company – the skills shortage is a threat to many businesses. For example, the UK skills shortage has cost companies over £2 billion in increased salaries alone. More concerning still is that more than half of senior business leaders surveyed (53%) expect the situation to deteriorate over the next 12 months. This is a real issue for many aftermarket businesses or certainly will be in the future and we are in a position to help members alleviate these pressures.”

Mike Smallbone, IAAF head of membership development, said: “We welcome FFR Automotive into membership and look forward to their insight and knowledge on recruitment for businesses in the automotive aftermarket.”

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HELLA announces new UK Managing Director

HELLA has announced its new UK Managing Director (MD), Neil Grant, who will officially begin his latest role in January 2020.

Neil has been the financial director (FD) of HELLA UK, based in Chipping Warden, for four years and has a wealth of financial experience behind him.

Neil will be taking over from current MD, Matthew Say, who has been leading the UK operation for the past four and a half years.

Commenting on his appointment, Neil said: “Becoming the MD of a company such as HELLA UK is a huge honour and one that I am very much looking forward to. Having worked for the company for the past four years as the FD, I am well prepared for the role and fully aware of our customer base, product portfolio and of the strengths we have within our team. Working alongside Matthew Say in the strategic decisions and direction of the company over my tenure means that I have also already met many of our key partners.

“In an industry that is constantly changing, it is now my responsibility to ensure that we remain a relevant supplier to our customers, are adaptable to the developing landscape and are well positioned to meet their needs. We will therefore continue to invest in our core product offering, as well as those within the important ADAS and diagnostic fields and to grow our relationships with supply partners and customers.

“I have a great deal of customer knowledge, am aware of the potential growth areas and intend to continue the good work that Matthew has established. I am therefore, very much looking forward to leading HELLA UK through the next chapter in its journey.”

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Dayco appoints Laura Kowalchik as Chief Financial Officer

Dayco has announced that Laura Kowalchik has joined the company, as chief financial officer (CFO).

“Laura is a highly regarded operational finance leader with significant experience in automotive industries, data analytics and steel. Her breadth of experience in multiple ownership structures, and market conditions, as well as her hands-on-leadership style make her uniquely qualified to drive our financial strategy forward to deliver industry leading financial performance across our business worldwide,” said Joel Wiegert, Dayco’s chief executive officer.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Dayco’s investors and stakeholders,” Kowalchik said. “It is exciting to join the Dayco team during this time of transformation to drive strong discipline around financial results that focus on delivering stakeholder value.”

Laura has served as the CFO for Kenwal Steel Corporation and previously for Urban Science, but her career has also included senior level financial and controller positions with organizations such as Kaydon Corporation, Dura Automotive Systems, Microheat, and Metaldyne Corporation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Richmond and a master of business administration degree in finance from Indiana University.

Laura is also active in the community and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

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Nutexa Frictions appoints new regional sales executive

Commercial brake manufacturer Nutexa Frictions Ltd has expanded its team with the appointment of Russell Baker as regional sales executive for the North West of England.

Russell will be focusing on looking after the light commercial side of the automotive/industrial braking sector and also introducing bicycle, motorcycle and performance car brakes into a already existing wide range of commercial vehicle brakes and clutch manufacturing/refurbishing at their factory in Hoylake.

Russell brings with him a significant knowledge from his 20yr background in mechanical engineering, working closely with the rest of the team at Hoylake to bring their customers the stopping power they require.

Janet Sergeant, Joint Managing Director at Nutexa Frictions Ltd, said “this is a great addition to growing our catalogue of commercial/light commercial brake range and expanding our growth as a business”.

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FIGIEFA and IAAF are working hard to protect the rights of the aftermarket under proposed cybersecurity legislation

A very large proportion of the legislative and regulatory framework for automotive aftermarket businesses is decided at European Union or even at United Nations levels.

FIGIEFA represents independent automotive parts distributors amongst European and international legislators. It monitors their legislative proposals and is in constant contact with them, with the aim of securing legislative framework conditions that allow you to operate your business in an open market, with free competition and a fair, level playing field. FIGIEFA is a participant in UNECE, a body of the United Nations which deals with mobility issues (amongst others) and work has started on creating a Regulation on cyber-security which is proposed to be finalised early next year, this would then be referenced into the European Union as vehicle type approval legislation.

The IAAF is one of the two bodies representing the UK in FIGIEFA, this cooperation is particularly important as it ensures that the UK automotive aftermarket retains an input into legislative and regulatory decisions that will impact the rights of UK businesses to conduct routine and legitimate work practices when repairing and maintaining businesses.

A PDF leaflet can be downloaded below which explains the issues in more detail.

201910 Cybersecurity

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Volvo Cars and Geely intend to merge their combustion engine operations

Volvo Cars and Geely intend to merge their existing combustion engine operations into a stand-alone business in order to establish a new global supplier that will seek to develop next-generation combustion engines and hybrid powertrains.

The proposed new business would clear the way for Volvo Cars to focus on the development of its all-electric range of premium cars. Volvo Cars is building an entirely electrified product range, as part of the company’s ambition to put sustainability at the core of its operations. By the middle of the next decade it expects half its global sales to be fully electric and the other half hybrid, supplied by the new unit.

For Geely, the planned new entity means technologically advanced and efficient combustion engines and hybrid powertrains would be available to Geely Auto, Proton, Lotus, LEVC and LYNK & CO. The planned new stand-alone business can also supply third-party manufacturers, providing possible growth opportunities.

The planned new business would represent a significant industrial collaboration between Volvo Cars and Geely, with substantial operational, industrial and financial synergies.

The proposed new business is intended to be an attractive employer for approximately 3,000 employees from Volvo Cars and around 5,000 employees from Geely’s combustion engine operations, including research and development, procurement, manufacturing, IT and finance functions. No reductions in the workforce are anticipated.

Both Volvo Cars and Geely are in the process of carving out their ICE (internal combustion engine) operations into new units within their respective organisations, as a first step towards a merger of the two into a combined new stand-alone business.

Volvo Cars believes the electrification of the automotive industry will be a gradual process, meaning there will be significant ongoing demand for efficient hybrid powertrains alongside fully electric offerings.

“Hybrid cars need the best internal combustion engines. This new unit will have the resources, scale and expertise to develop these powertrains cost efficiently,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars’ President and Chief Executive.

The detailed plans of the new business are under development and subject to union negotiations as well as board and relevant authority approvals.

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Clarios launches as a world leader in advanced energy storage solutions

Johnson Controls has sold its global battery division Power Solutions to Brookfield Business Partners and is now formally transitioning from Johnson Controls to new company name Clarios.

Ulrich Eich, VP Aftermarket EMEA says “This is an exciting time for our company, one which we want to share with our customers and the UK Market. Johnson Controls Power Solutions becomes Clarios, a new company in its own right.”

Clarios is a global leader in advanced energy storage solutions, powering one in three of the world’s vehicles. Clarios, the company behind VARTA, the strong OE & Aftermarket battery brand with over a 130 year tradition of innovation and growth, is committed to new technology; 8 out of 10 newly manufactured start-stop vehicles fit with an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery in Europe, come with a Clarios.

All 16,000 employees of Johnson Controls Power Solutions transition to Clarios team members and the company continues to serve the UK and Irish market with the VARTA brand and battery service solutions.

For further details, please visit www.clarios.com

Osram supports public takeover offer from Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group

After detailed discussions, a bidding consortium composed of Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group, has presented to the Managing Board and Supervisory Board of OSRAM Licht AG a legally binding transaction offer for the public takeover of all the shares of Osram. Following a diligent process focussing on the best interests of the company, the shareholders and other stakeholders, the Managing Board and Supervisory Board have decided to support this offer. Osram and the consortium have also concluded an investor agreement that includes comprehensive commitments. “Bain and Carlyle are the right partners for Osram at the right time”, said Olaf Berlien, CEO of Osram. “They support our strategy and facilitate growth. Both are committed to our employees and offer shareholders an attractive premium.”

As part of the public takeover offer, shareholders are to be made a cash offer of 35 euros per share. This represents a premium of roughly 21 percent above the last closing price of Osram shares before the publication of Osram’s ad-hoc announcement regarding the evaluation of a legally binding transaction offer by Bain and Carlyle, and a premium of 22.6 percent on the volume-weighted average price of Osram shares in the past three months. In both cases, it should be noted that talks with Bain and Carlyle have been public knowledge for some time and therefore had an effect on the share price.

The offer values Osram at an equity value of 3.4 billion euros and an enterprise value of roughly 4 billion euros. Bain and Carlyle have announced a minimum acceptance threshold of 70 percent. This threshold does not include the shares owned by Osram Licht AG itself. The offer period is expected to end at the beginning of September. Subject to a further detailed review of the offer documentation, the Managing Board and Supervisory Board of Osram have a positive view on the offer. Both governing bodies assume that they will recommend in their reasoned response that shareholders should accept the offer. The Managing Board intends to sell its own Osram shares to the bidders as part of the takeover.

The ongoing transformation of Osram to a high-tech photonics company is the response to a profound change in the lighting industry. In the case of a successful takeover offer, Osram will have an ownership structure with which the company will be able to continue its necessary transformation in these economically and geopolitically uncertain times. Both private equity firms have extensive experience in supporting companies through transformation processes, have access to an international network and have successfully developed several companies in the past. Peter Bauer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Osram, said: “We welcome the offer from Bain and Carlyle and are convinced that it represents both a fair value for the shareholders and strategic added value for our company.”

In connection with the signed investor agreement, Bain and Carlyle will support the current growth path and, among other things, are making extensive commitments with regard to employees and locations. For example, the investors are committed to the current management plan and the existing strategy with its focus on optical semiconductors, the automotive sector and digital applications. Bain and Carlyle have given assurances that they will fully support the management team and will collaborate closely with the current Managing Board to further the transformation of Osram. Osram will continue to operate under the existing name after the takeover. The corporate headquarters will remain in Munich, and the rights to all patents will remain with Osram. Bain, Carlyle and Osram also acknowledged in the investor agreement that Osram operates in a challenging and volatile market environment, that requires flexible action.

It was agreed that both investors will support all ongoing growth projects, possible acquisitions as well as investments in new product developments. Bain and Carlyle also confirm that existing labour agreements, collective bargaining agreements and other similar agreements, as well as existing pension plans, will remain unchanged. The existing steering committee dealing with labour issues with equal representation between the Managing Board and the workforce representatives will also remain in its present form. The investors are explicitly committed to the cornerstones laid out in the document “Future Concept Germany” which was agreed in July 2017 with the trade union IG Metall and the workforce. In addition, the locations of the essential business units will remain unchanged.

The offer document will be published at a later date in accordance with the requirements of the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Law by Luz (C-BC) Bidco GmbH, a holding company jointly controlled by investment funds, which are advised and/or connected with Bain Capital Private Equity and The Carlyle Group, following approval by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. After publication, the Managing Board and Supervisory Board will carefully review the document in accordance with their legal obligations and submit a reasoned response. Perella Weinberg Partners acted as Financial Advisors and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as legal advisors for Osram.

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