Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles rolls out free four-year care package to Transporter 6.1 customers

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has announced a free £1,200 four-year care package for Transporter 6.1 and Amarok customers in 2020 to take the pressure off and let owners focus on their business.

The bumper deal includes four free services, a four-year warranty and four years of roadside assistance on new T6.1 models, which feature an enhanced specification, improved on road performance and increased safety and driver assistance systems. The care package is also available for the Amarok, recently crowned ‘Best Pick-Up’ at the What Car? Awards 2020.

As part of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Working With You promise, the deal provides owners with total peace of mind with four free services (two interim, two major and a MOT test), a four-year/120,000-mile warranty and four years of roadside assistance to help keep your van on the road.

In addition, returning customers and their families are eligible for the £1,000 loyalty award, which has been continued from last year. Vans included in the “thank you” bonus are the Volkswagen T6 Shuttle, Commerce and Caravelle (£1,000), Amarok (£750) and Caddy (£500).

Both retail outright purchase and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Financial Services customers are eligible for the offers which are running at participating Van Centres until the end of March 2020.

Tom MacIntyre, Brand Manager for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Financial Services, said: “We are delighted to offer customers of the exciting new T6.1 model and the award-winning Amarok this comprehensive care package. It gives our customers total peace of mind when it comes to maintenance, ensures they avoid unexpected costs and keeps their vans on the road for four years. Furthermore, the loyalty bonus is just one more way that we’re committed to Working With You in 2020 and beyond.”

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Introducing Hive Insurance Services (formerly APRIL UK)

Hive Insurance Services, formerly APRIL UK, is a leading protection and employee benefits provider.  Hive offer a range of plans to suit any business from a small, family-run concern to large, national companies.  This is why the IAAF has partnered with Hive who can assist IAAF members in finding the right solution to suit their particular needs.

The plans include:

  • Medical & Accident cash plans
  • Health insurance
  • Personal Accident
  • Income protection
  • Life insurance/death in service

Some schemes such as medical cash plans can cost less than £1.50 per employee per week, so they have plans to suit all budgets. And even if you have something in place, they might be find a better deal and save you money.

As well as helping your business, all your employees can also use Hive Insurance Services to obtain FREE protection advice. They can ensure your employees have the right plans in place to protect their family should the worst happen – a valuable service which I’m sure your employees will find useful and appreciate.

IAAF members can find details for Maggie Norris, the IAAF’s dedicated Hive contact, in the Product Service page in the Members area of the IAAF website.

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Award-winning garage, Avia Autos, joins IAAF

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has welcomed Automechanika Garage of the Year 2019, Avia Autos, to its list of members.

A small, independent workshop operating in South Wales, Avia is accredited by the RMI, IGA and the Motor Ombudsman.

The forward-thinking business is keen to address common industry issues to prepare for the future of motoring and help to educate its customers by bringing potential problems to light.

As a result, it works closely with government agencies to provide key insight and intelligence. This ability to provide content and information has also been utilised by commercial organisations, such as NGK Spark Plugs and NTK Technical Ceramics.

An enthusiastic Hayley Pells, director of Avia Autos, commented: “The core business of Avia remains the repair and maintenance of light vehicles. Our growing concern for the future of technical information access, the support of the ‘Your Car Your Choice’ campaign, and the IAAF’s representation of the industry, including to both government agencies and the media, prompted Avia’s desire to join the IAAF.”

Hayley is already very familiar with the work of IAAF after recently speaking at its Annual Conference in December 2019.

Exploring the future of the independent aftermarket, she explained how there is still time for independent garages to embrace technological changes, particularly given the rise of hybrid and electric vehicles, so long as the need for greater engagement with industry training is highlighted.

Wendy Williamson, chief executive of IAAF, said: “Technicians such as Hayley and her team are at the heart of everything, we as an industry, do. They’re out in the field, day in, day out, communicating with motorists and receiving a first-hand insight into the issues that we need to continue to resolve. It’s great to have Avia Autos’ support as a member.”

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Autotech Recruit celebrates 10th anniversary with rebrand and ambitious growth announcement

Ten years after its inception, Autotech Recruit has started the new decade by announcing an enhancement to its management team and a company rebrand, which will cement its status as the leading employment solutions provider for the automotive industry.

The company has moved to larger premises, reflecting its increased headcount and onsite training provisions, and increased the management team in line with business growth. The existing divisions of the company – Autotech Recruit, Autotech Training and Autotech Apprentice – have now been repositioned under an umbrella group – Autotech Group.

The new company branding now clearly defines each of these three divisions under the Autotech Group, as a modern, professional brand family synonymous with the sophistication of the company’s offering. Easily identifiable, each logo will stand out across the many marketing channels the company uses to reach its clients, and the entire automotive industry.

Under the new corporate structure, the three founding members of the company make up the executive board with Andrew Sly becoming CFO, Stephen Hughes, COO, while former Managing Director, Gavin White now heads up the company as CEO.

Simon King, who initially joined Autotech Recruit last year as New Concepts Manager following almost 20 years with Kwik-Fit, takes over as Managing Director of the recruitment division. A well-known figure within the automotive industry, Simon was brought on board to drive company strategy, and forge new partnerships within the automotive aftermarket and with OEMs.

Under Simon’s direction as MD, a core team of recruiters will continue providing the UK’s automotive industry with temporary vehicle technician and MOT tester cover through its unique network of contractors, who filled over 370,000 hours for the industry last year alone, while also driving the permanent side of the business.

Focus will also be on equipping Autotech Recruit’s growing network of over 450 contractors with further training and technical information which will boost their employability.

“Temporary recruitment is a core element of our offering, as it was the catalyst for the establishment of the company,” Simon explains. “However, over recent years the company has responded to industry demands for recruitment, both temporary and permanent, training and apprenticeships by creating separate divisions. Now, due to the individual success of these divisions, the company is strengthening the teams behind each and providing greater provisions, which will fuel further growth as we enter a second decade in business.”

Currently working with over 80% of Motor Trader’s Top 200 dealerships, Autotech Recruit has launched several initiatives in response to demand from OEMs and dealerships. From the launch of its Manufacturer Led Programme, supplying manufacturer trained vehicle technicians on a temporary basis to the UK’s authorised repairers, to its bespoke recruitment process outsourcing solution, Hybrid RPO, delivering multiple technicians across multiple sites – potentially saving an automotive company or OEM up to 74% of its permanent recruitment costs per year.

This initiative is testament to Autotech Recruit’s ability to create cost saving, efficient solutions to meet the employment needs of the industry.

Running parallel to Autotech Recruit are Autotech Training and Autotech Apprentice. Stephen Kirk, who was previously National Sales Manager, has become Managing Director of these two divisions.

Mandla Ndhlovu will remain as Head of Training & Apprentice. “The Training and Apprentice divisions of Autotech Recruit were originally developed as part of the company’s organic growth in line with industry demands,” Stephen explains. “However, with garages increasingly seeking skilled workers coupled with the progression of vehicle technology, it is vital that all technicians have access to high quality training and, for younger generations, apprenticeship programmes which will ensure the future of the industry is sustained.”

Last year alone Autotech Training delivered 287 days of training and, with training partnerships already established with leading providers including Bosch and ZF Training and further partnerships in the pipeline, Autotech Training is setting out an ambitious plan which will see them double the size of this over the course of 2020.

Significantly, the company’s new offices within Milton Keynes, a city which is renowned for being a hub for leading automotive companies, will feature a dedicated training suite.

“This is an exciting time for the entire company,” CEO, Gavin White concludes. “We founded Autotech Recruit in 2010 after seeing first-hand the effect the skills shortage was having on the industry. We have developed strong ties with leading automotive companies and associations which has enabled us to stay on top of the issues facing the industry, while creating solutions to support them. As the industry continues to evolve, we, as a company, tailor our approach to suit, and we are now looking forward to our next successful chapter.”

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Emissions experts Eminox recognised nationally

Emissions control specialist Eminox has been recognised at the Make UK national manufacturing awards, where it was shortlisted in the high-profile Business Growth and Strategy category, sponsored by RSM.

Eminox designs, manufactures and supplies emission control systems, both to heavy-duty vehicle and equipment manufacturers and for retrofit to existing buses, trucks and coaches, helping bring down emissions and improve air quality. It has a workforce of 300 people, with the majority in the UK.

The Make UK awards were set up to recognise excellence among manufacturing companies, with high-profile names such as BAE Systems, Nissan, Siemens, Olympus and JCB all shortlisted across the eight categories.

Eminox had already picked up gold in the Business Growth and Strategy category at the Midlands and East regional awards, as well as being highly commended in the Sustainability category.

Mark Runciman, MD of Eminox, said: “The Make UK awards are recognised for highlighting excellence across the sector. Competition is fierce, so we were delighted to win in our region and reach the national shortlist. Our achievement is testament to the strength of our strategy, and most of all to the skills and commitment of our people in shaping and delivering our ongoing success.”

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OSRAM backs garages with latest sponsorship

OSRAM has announced its sponsorship of the prestigious WhoCanFixMyCar.com Awards 2019 and will be presenting the award for Best Garage North West at the event.

Nominees within the category include:

  • Piston&Rotor The Garage
  • Awan Auto Tec
  • CarGo Mobile Services
  • N & J AUTOCARE
  • Manchester Auto Cars Ltd

Now in its fourth year, the annual award ceremony, which will be held in Birmingham at Hilton Metropole on 13th February, celebrates the hard work, commitment and forward-thinking attitude of local garages and their team of technicians.

Terri Clark, marketing manager at OSRAM and who will be attending the awards, said: “Workshops are the lifeblood of the industry and it’s great to be a part of this nationwide celebration. We look forward to meeting the nominees and winners and wish them all the best of luck.”

Winners will be judged on the number of jobs won on WhoCanFixMyCar.com in 2019, as well as the quality of customer feedback and their dedication to delivering an outstanding service.

To find out more information on the awards and the other categories, please visit here.

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Autoinform LIVE 2020 tickets on sale now

The Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA) has announced that tickets are now on sale for the first of two Autoinform Live events for 2020, to be held once again at the fantastic GTG Academy in Wolverhampton on Saturday 25th April.

Taking place over two full days and set to be bigger and better than ever, OESAA is recommending that anyone interested in attending should reserve their tickets now to avoid disappointment.

Industry renowned technical trainers from OESAA members, plus some familiar faces from the aftermarket, will all be on hand to deliver comprehensive and valuable hands-on training and seminars, which have all been tailored to enhance each delegate’s knowledge and skillset in this ever-evolving industry.

Following the show’s previous format, Autoinform has been divided into three groups, allowing members to book the course schedule which best suits their needs, with seminars covering a diverse range of topics such as diagnostics, electric vehicles, staff recruitment and marketing.

Single day tickets are £120 + VAT, with full weekend attendance starting from £220 + VAT. Extras such as additional tickets to the gala dinner and/or overnight accommodation for one or two nights can be added to your booking at extra cost.

More information on the groups and courses available can be found at https://www.oe-suppliers.org/, where you can also purchase tickets to this eagerly-anticipated event.

Autoinform Live will be back again later this year, this time returning to Ireland and a new venue; the National Show Centre (NSC) in Dublin. The event is planned for the weekend of the 26th and 27th September.

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MAHLE ‘braces’ for increased demand with two new Regional Sales Managers

MAHLE Aftermarket UK has expanded its team, hiring two new Regional Sales Managers, Jonathan Brooke (below right), who will cover Midlands and Ireland, and Jason Cottam (below left), who will be looking after North of England and Scotland.

Cottam has more than 20 years’ automotive aftermarket experience having worked for First Line and Trupart, while Brooke has extensive experience in the filters market, thanks to his role at Sogefi Filtration as Field Sales Manager.

The pair will work with customers in their respected regions to grow sales of the MAHLE brand, which, in addition to filters, also includes engine and thermal management solutions.

As a brand heavily specified by independent garages throughout the UK, the duo will also work closely with MAHLE distributors to ensure they take full advantage of the brand’s OE-quality expertise across a number of product groups.

Speaking about his new role, Brooke said: “I can’t wait to push this company forward, communicating MAHLE’s core brand messaging and promoting our wide range of products to our customer base.”

Cottam added: “MAHLE is a well-known brand within the automotive aftermarket, and I’m looking forward to working closely with our customers to grow the company.”

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Longstanding TecAlliance team member takes on the full responsibility for TecDoc and its associated products throughout the territory

As the number of TecDoc users had increased significantly during the previous few years, in 2010, Jason Meade joined Shaun Greasley, the brand’s then regional manager, to become the UK and Ireland’s full-time technical support representative assisting official data suppliers and catalogue users with a multitude of enquiries from product upload matters, to fine-tuning the most efficient search method in order to identify the most unusual of replacement components or repair time information.

As the company grew and was rebranded as TecAlliance, Jason also took on some of the sales duties, which increased further as Shaun’s role had developed to encompass central and eastern Europe for TecAlliance as a complete entity.

Now within the TecAlliance Business unit of DM-T (Data Manager Trade), Jason holds the title of Key Accounts Manager for the UK and Ireland. While still working alongside Shaun, Jason has the day-to-day responsibility for the TecDoc offering in the UK and Ireland, and is thoroughly enjoying he challenge.

“Having been closely associated with TecDoc pretty much since its introduction into the UK and Irish markets, I’m very much part of the furniture,” said Jason, “and as the company has grown, so have my responsibilities and, equally importantly, the relationships I’ve formed with both users and suppliers. Having such an in-depth knowledge of the product also helps me in my sales role and I’m delighted that the number of customers using our varied services continues to increase annually, across the whole of the UK and Ireland.”

“From the very start, Jason has been a great addition to the TecDoc team,” Shaun added, “always willing to go the extra mile to ensure our customers have what they need to enjoy the benefits the system provides to parts suppliers and both motor factors and workshops. His promotion is a natural progression for someone with such great qualities and means the brand is in great hands as we move to develop new territories.”

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Andy Savva “The Garage Inspector” becomes Brand Ambassador for VARTA Batteries

VARTA Batteries are thrilled to announce Andy Savva as an official ambassador for the brand. Much of Andy’s training focusses on the benefits of a technician fitting the highest quality parts and components within the workshop, and so it’s a natural fit to be working with VARTA; the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive batteries and number one partner to European vehicle manufacturers for conventional and start stop batteries.

Andy has been involved in the automotive industry for over 30 years having owned and managed some of the most successful independent garages in the UK. He’s helped many garage owners take their businesses to the next level, and he has also helped many industry-leading OE parts suppliers and distributors understand how garage owners think and what they want from their suppliers.

“Andy is the perfect partner for VARTA as he demonstrates the advantages of fitting Original Equipment product to vehicles that need replacement parts” said a VARTA spokesperson. “Andy is very well known and respected in the repairer industry, and helps deliver training and know-how to workshop businesses”.

Andy will be supporting the network of VARTA specialist workshops focusing on the latest developments in battery testing and replacement, and advocating using OE replacement parts. Andy will also support the VARTA Technical Team at upcoming training events and seminars.

The Garage Inspector, Andy Savva, added: “I’ve always endorsed the use of OE parts and I’m really excited to be working with VARTA, a brand which I’ve respected for many years. For me, this was an obvious partnership – I’ve always been confident to fit VARTA and know it as a brand that’s well trusted by the trade. This new, direct connection I now have with the battery experts at VARTA will bring a new dimension to my support for workshops”.

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