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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Autosupplies Group to acquire Leisureways UK Ltd

Autosupplies Group, comprising leading motor factors Autosupplies (Chesterfield) and Butlers Automotive, has entered into an agreement to purchase Leisureways UK Ltd of Rotherham.

The purchase is part of the Autosupplies Group’s continuing expansion plans throughout Yorkshire and East Midlands with the size and location of Leisureways fitting perfectly into the group’s portfolio.

Leisureways Ltd is a long established family business, serving customers in Rotherham for more than 60 years.

Work has already begun to integrate Leisureways into the Autosupplies Group of Companies, with the deal expected to complete on 1 October 2019.

Autosupplies Group managing director, David Clarke, said: “The acquisition of Leisureways fits strategically into our ongoing expansion plans and work has already begun with staff, customers and suppliers to ensure a seamless integration into the group. Leisureways is a business with a proud history – mirroring that of Autosupplies and Butlers – and we look forward to continuing its tradition of exceptional customer service as part of the Autosupplies Group.

Autosupplies Chesterfield is one of the single largest motor factor sites in the UK with over 100 staff and 70 vans. In October 2017, the Autosupplies Group of Companies purchased Butlers Automotive of Barnsley.

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Eminox celebrates 5,000 fitment

Emissions reduction specialist Eminox Limited has reached a major milestone with more than 5,000 fitments.

The 5,000th SCRT system was provided to Arriva London as part of its project to upgrade over 700 buses ready for the introduction of ULEZ.

Eminox SCRT systems are proven to reduce NOx and NO2 by up to 99%, and particulate matter by up to 95%, in real world urban operations.

Mark Runciman, managing director of Eminox, said, ‘Having over 5,000 buses fitted with our SCRT retrofit system is a fantastic achievement and we are thrilled it is in on a TfL vehicle.’

Eminox’s expertise and dedication to retrofit systems, when other companies have backed out of the market, has proven to build trust within the industry. The company was first to be approved by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).

Carlos Vicente, retrofit sales director for Eminox, said, ‘Fleet operators have a number of choices when it comes to operating in clean air zones, but financially it’s clear Euro VI retrofit is the most economical path to becoming compliant at the fraction of the cost of buying a new vehicle.

‘The number of operators considering our Euro VI retrofit technology continues to grow as it means they can comply with London ULEZ and the ever-growing national CAZ requirements. We design and manufacture our products in the UK, which provides reassurance in the quality and consistency of our systems and that we’re here to offer long term service and support.’

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Fiat merger with Renault proposed to save technology costs

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has proposed a merger with Renault, which would save €5 billion (£4.4bn) a year by sharing development costs on technology such as electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

The combined business would be 50% owned by Fiat shareholders and 50% by Renault. Combined vehicle sales would be 8.7 million units.

Renault’s Board of Directors met yesterday (Monday, May 27) to examine the proposal.

After reviewing the terms, the Board agreed to study the offer, which it said would create additional value for the Alliance.

It said: “A further communication will be issued in due course to inform the market of the results of these discussions, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.”

Shares in both companies rose strongly following the announcement.

Carmakers have faced pressure to consolidate amid major industry shifts, including towards electric vehicles.

In a statement, FCA said that the planned merger would create a “world leader in the rapidly changing automotive industry with a strong position in transforming technologies, including electrification and autonomous driving”.

Fiat said that if the firms’ 2018 financial results were totted up, the combined company’s annual revenues would be nearly €170bn (£149.6bn), with operating profit of more than €10bn (£8.8bn) and net profit of more than €8bn (£7bn).

No plant closures would be caused as a result of the tie-up, it said.

If the plan goes ahead, Nissan and the French government will own about 7.5% apiece of the new, merged company.

Renault already has an alliance with Japan’s Nissan, in which research costs and parts are shared. The companies own shares in each other, too. Renault owns 43.4% of Nissan’s shares and Nissan owns 15% of Renault.

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Regulatory proposals for the IoT

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is consulting on regulatory proposals regarding consumer Internet of Things security.

Who is this consultation for?

  • Device Manufacturers: The entity that creates an assembled final internet-connected product. A final product may contain the products of many other different manufacturers.
  • IoT Service Providers: Companies that provide services such as networks, cloud storage and data transfer which are packaged as part of IoT solutions. Internet-connected devices may be offered as part of the service.
  • Mobile Application Developers: Entities that develop and provide applications which run on mobile devices. These are often offered as a way of interacting with devices as part of an IoT solution.
  • Retailers: The sellers of internet-connected products and associated services to consumers.
  • Those with a direct or indirect interest in the field of consumer IoT security, including consumer groups, academics and technical experts.

This consultation document is complementary to the consultation stage impact assessment Mandating security requirements for consumer Internet of Things (IoT) products.

If you would like the IAAF to pull together your views on this please could you e-mail [email protected] by Friday 24th May as the consultation closes on June 5th.

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Schaeffler partners with WhoCanFixMyCar.com to launch specialist garage networks

Schaeffler has partnered with WhoCanFixMyCar.com to launch specialist networks of garages for their LuK, INA and FAG brands.

Members of the networks will receive technical on-site training, online branding and access to a technical helpline.

The online branding will provide transparency to drivers on the quality of parts that are being used in their car, with this increased confidence also helping to channel additional work into members of the networks.

WhoCanFixMyCar.com and Schaeffler will build three specialist networks of garages including an LuK transmission systems specialist network, an INA engine systems specialist network and FAG chassis systems specialist network.

Each of the three networks’ members will be considered a specialist in fitting their parts once they have completed the required training available through the programme.

Al Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com said: “We are ecstatic to be partnering with one of the most renowned brands in the industry.

“It is another step towards offering greater transparency to our drivers and empowering our garage network to offer an unrivalled service to their customers.”

Nigel Morgan, managing director of Schaeffler (UK) Ltd’s aftermarket division, said: “Schaeffler has always strived to give garages access to the best products, tools and training so that they can remain competitive as the market continues to evolve.

“WhoCanFixMyCar.com gives us a platform to help even more workshops wanting to deliver consistently professional and high quality repairs.”

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K & S McKenzie’s new monster

Carlisle based motor factor, K&S McKenzie Ltd. are continually investing in their fleet to ensure that they are able to provide the best service to their customers up and down the UK. Their newest addition, however, is something a little different to their usual delivery vans and AdBlue trucks – their latest addition is a monster truck!

K&S McKenzie’s new monster truck will be used to display their range of vehicle LED lighting and will also appear at shows and events across the country with the aim of raising money in support of local charities. Last Saturday saw the truck, dubbed #McKenzieMonster, enjoy its first outing in Penrith, Cumbria where it helped to raise money at the A-Roads for Autism event.

To find out more about K&S McKenzie, or to find out if their monster truck will be at an event near you, contact 01228 528218 or visit www.kandsmckenzieltd.co.uk.

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