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 anns@iaaf.co.uk 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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Klarius directors appear in Court

Five directors of Klarius Products Limited appeared in Manchester Crown Court this week facing trial on charges contrary to section 993 of the Companies Act 2006.

The case has been brought by the DVSA against Douglas Bentley, David Cheetham, Charles Greaves, Paul Hannah and Anthony Wilson.

It is alleged that between 01/02/2013 and 30/08/2015 the business of Klarius Products Limited, carried on for fraudulent purposes, the marketing, distribution and sale of counterfeit and non-type approved catalytic converters.

The case has been adjourned until the 18th November when a full trial will commence.

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Exol welcomes new Aston University student

For the second year running, Exol Lubricants has welcomed a new student on a 12-month placement with the company as part of its ongoing partnership with Aston University, offering invaluable insight into working with one of the leading lubricants businesses in the UK.

Gurpreet Singh has joined the Exol team as Accounts Assistant, where he will work in the accounts department and get a taste of all aspects of accounting including credit control, customer liaison and invoicing processes, while dealing with various admin elements, monthly reporting and supply cost evaluations.

Gurpreet said: “I wanted to work in a large business to get a better understanding of how it operates. I decided that for my first steps into chartered accountancy, it was important for me to gain the best experience possible with a company that has excellent credentials, so Exol seemed to be a natural fit.

“Having met with the team, Exol seems a vibrant place to work and I’m really looking forward to experiencing all aspects of a modern, thriving business.”

This is the second appointment through Exol’s career and placements programme that recruits the university’s students to offer them an in-depth insight into the independent automotive aftermarket and lubricants sector. Last year, marketing student Michal Haileab successfully completed her 12-month placement with the firm, before returning to Aston University to complete her studies.

Aston University has acquired an excellent reputation among top employers, seeking out established businesses that will allow students to develop and progress as individuals.

The institution was recently ranked second in the UK for teaching quality and aspires to be the country’s leading university for industry and the professions. Aston places a strong emphasis on the value of work experience and is aiming to have 100 per cent of undergraduates enrolled on work placements by 2020.

Scott Donaldson Exol finance director, said: “The collaboration affords a fantastic opportunity for all involved, demonstrated last year with Michal’s placement. We’re delighted to welcome Gurpreet to the Exol team and we’re looking forward to seeing him flourish as he develops his skillset while he gains a solid understanding of the Exol brand, work ethic and principles.”

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No room at the inn (well, at the DoubleTree Milton Keynes!)

The IAAF is very pleased to see that the first Industry Briefing of 2019, which is taking place at Stadium MK, home of EFL League Two side MK Dons, in Milton Keynes on Thursday 21 March, is now fully booked.

Sponsored by industry recruitment specialists Autotech Recruit and again steered by Head of Membership Development Mike Smallbone, the session is taking place in the venue’s Performance Suite.   Members will be brought up to speed with the latest developments across the aftermarket within the past few months, with the opportunity to hear from some of the industry’s top guest speakers.

GiPA’s Quentin Le Hetet will lead the morning’s proceedings with a discussion entitled ‘What does the next 5 years hold for the independent aftermarket?’, building on his speech delivered at the IAAF Conference in December.

Also invited to speak is Ben Stockton, from new IAAF member Our Virtual Academy, who will be addressing attendees on upskilling vehicle technicians using video technology to enhance their knowledge and expertise, with the opportunity for IAAF members to potentially engage.

Smallbone will also be giving an update on the Your Car Your Choice campaign, as well as sharing the latest news on IAAF’s activity including Type Approval, the Connected Car and this year’s IAAF Golf Day events in conjunction with automotive industry charity BEN.

Smallbone said: “After a high number of new sign-ups to IAAF’s membership over the past 12 months, we’re relishing the prospect of meeting with our new members and hearing their industry viewpoint. As this is the first Industry Briefing Session since the Conference, we’re very much looking forward to giving aftermarket businesses further opportunity to reunite and network.

“We’re delighted to welcome back seasoned IAAF speaker Quentin, and Ben will no doubt give our members fascinating insight into the latest virtual technology that will enable more technicians to be equipped with the skills this industry needs more of.”

A further three meetings will be held and announced throughout the year, with details of the next meeting to follow in due course.

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InAutomotive looking for support in Bangers4Ben 2018

From 5th-9th October, the InAutomotive team will be attempting to travel 1500 miles across Europe in a car worth no more than £750.00 to raise money for automotive charity, Ben Support for Life.

Bangers4Ben is a 4 day event by Car Dealer Magazine and motor industry charity BEN, where participants have to travel to Italy in a banger worth no more than £750.00. Once back in the UK, the cars are sold at auction with all the proceeds being donated to Ben.

Ben Support for Life is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the automotive industry to provide support for life to its people & their families.

Ben provides a range of services, covering a person’s core well-being from financial and social support to physical and mental well-being and provides this care to anyone related to the industry and that falls in need. In addition, Ben’s services also extend right through to that person’s immediate family ensuring far reaching support.

This will be a very challenging but no doubt entertaining event for InAutomotive’s representatives Thomas Lowcock and Shuhel Miah, who are eagerly awaiting the challenge. Thomas and Shuhel will be giving daily updates on their progress and experience throughout the competition. There will be plenty of pictures, video diaries and more from the event itself throughout its course, and InAutomotive are looking for help to reach their goal of raising £2,000!

When they get back to the UK, the car will be sold at auction with all of the proceeds being donated to Ben Support For Life. But exactly what car is it that they will be using for the challenge? InAutomotive are almost ready to announce the car …so watch out for the big reveal on their social media channels!

So, if you’re working in the automotive industry and would like to back us for this excellent cause, all you have to do is head over to our donation page, and please, only give what you can!

DONATE NOW

Don’t forget to wish Tom and Shuhel luck on our JustGiving page – we’re sure they’ll need it!

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Only one week to submit nominations for the IAAF 2018 Annual Awards

Recognising the best in the industry!

There is just one week left to submit nominations for this year’s awards, the closing date being 28th September 2018.

2018 sees the introduction of a new award for companies in the Service Member category. This category covers companies offering services such as insurance, lifestyle protection, trade journals, legal assistance, HR services, and software systems, amongst others.

This year, the presentations will be taking place during the IAAF Awards Dinner on 6th December 2018 at the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Stadium MK in Milton Keynes. The IAAF Awards Dinner is the premier event for the aftermarket industry, providing great networking opportunities for guests.

Categories and Sponsors

Distributor of the Year
sponsored by Denso Aftermarket
CV Distributor of the Year
sponsored by Eminox
Supplier of the Year
sponsored by Elcome
CV Supplier of the Year
sponsored by Boswell Aftermarket
And, new for 2018, Service Supplier of the Year

How to submit your nomination

Print out, complete and return the nomination form to the IAAF office, either in the post or scan and email it to anns@iaaf.co.uk. Companies may nominate themselves.

The voting process will go live on the IAAF website from 2nd October, closing on 31st October.

The winners in each category will be announced at the IAAF Awards Dinner on 6th December.

For a full list of the IAAF service suppliers, please go to the IAAF Website.

IAAF Awards 2018

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Just one month to next IAAF Industry Briefing Session

The third IAAF Industry Briefing Session of 2018 will be held on 18th October at ECCO Safety Group’s EMEA HQ in Leeds. There is just one month to go and as places are limited, anyone wishing to book a place should complete and return the form as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment.

The agenda for the session will be very much the same as for previous events, with IAAF Membership Development Manager Mike Smallbone giving an update on the latest industry developments.

The main guest speaker will be Julian Lloyd, managing director of ProVQ, one of the largest approved motor industry training providers. Their research has confirmed that companies focussing on the skills, knowledge and competencies of their staff do perform better. Government policy has recently shifted significantly to financially encourage companies of all sizes to actively embrace this through the sourcing of quality training programmes. Julian Lloyd will explain how to fully exploit this change in policy to help make staff the best they can be.

The session will finish at around 1.00 pm with lunch, when delegates will have the opportunity to network with fellow members and to tour ESG’s facilities, which include their testing and design & manufacturing functions, as well as sales and distribution for the UK.

To book your place(s), download the booking form here and once completed return it to Ann Silvester at anns@iaaf.co.uk.

Booking Form

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