NTDA reaffirms its support for 3mm Tread Safety campaign

The NTDA has announced that it remains firmly committed to its Tread Safety campaign, an initiative designed to raise awareness among motorists of the importance of changing tyres when they reach a 3mm tread depth rather than the lower, legal limit of 1.6mm, which was launched in partnership with ROADSAFE in 2005.


The campaign followed the 2003 research by the British Rubber Manufacturers Association (BRMA) which commissioned MIRA to study the effects of tread depth on stopping distances. The study was carried out on MIRA’s test track in Nuneaton, and 5 different tread depths were tested – 6.7mm, 4.1mm, 2.6mm, 1.6mm (the legal minimum) and 0.9mm.

This research was conclusive and showed that the stopping distances in the wet start to increase dramatically at tread depths of below 3mm. It also showed that at the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, the stopping distance increased by 36.8% on hot rolled asphalt and 44.6% on smooth concrete.

NTDA Chief Executive Stefan Hay commented: “Naturally, the NTDA does not want to become embroiled in a difference of opinion between manufacturers or comment on specific products and we are certainly not going to be distracted by a debate on wastefulness, individual product performance or fuel consumption. We are looking at this purely from a safety perspective and decades of both independent and manufacturer’s research shows that generally performance, particularly wet grip, gets worse as the tread wears. This is more marked as the tyre wears below 3mm of tread and approaches the legal limit. Let’s be clear, this is not
about selling tyres, this is about the safety of UK motorists!”

Many subsequent research projects have confirmed the results and safety organisation RoSPA, for example, still recommends that tyres are changed once the tread reaches 3mm in depth. The RAC still states that motorists need to be aware that even though the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, in the rain anything less than 3mm can affect performance and the AA says check tread depth more often once it gets down to 3mm and aim to replace tyres before the tread wears below 2mm.

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WhoCanFixMyCar.com – new collaboration

WhoCanFixMyCar.com (WCFMC) will be making Shell’s high quality lubricant products available to customers for the first time on its platform.

Having recently retained market-leading position in the UK lubricants market (Kline 2016), Shell’s collaboration with a leading aggregator promises to offer a new proposition to both drivers and garage members alike.

Shell and WCFMC understand the importance of customer retention for workshop owners, and workshops will have access to Shell technical support, including OEM approvals and specifications support as well as offering oil solutions in a challenging and technical environment.

(L) Al Preston, cofounder WCFMC and (R) Roger Moulding, Shell Lubricants VP EMEA
(L) Al Preston, cofounder WCFMC and (R) Roger Moulding, Shell Lubricants VP EMEA

Roger Moulding, Shell Lubricants, VP EMEA Sales said: “We recognise that mobile and tablet platforms are now the default for many of our customers and this includes finding the best deals for high quality lubricants like Shell Helix motor oil and for all types of car servicing.

“WCFMC is a leading online player in the UK and we look forward to working with them on this exciting project to grow our online offering to today’s connected customers.”

Al Preston, WCFMC Co-Founder said: “Shell’s brand is synonymous with drivers and its products are recognised by both drivers and garage technicians as being world class.

“Vehicle lubricants are at the heart of all workshop activity and we are delighted to be working with a company whose products are market-leading and are associated with quality and innovation.

“We have a clear plan forward for the next year in how this collaboration will come together, benefit both businesses and offer increased value to our drivers and garage members.”

WCFMC’s core business connects drivers to locally rated garages and dealerships, with over 8,500 suppliers registered on its platform.

As mobile digitisation of the automotive aftermarket continues to evolve WCFMC sees almost 70 per cent of all its website activity flow through mobile or tablet devices – it has received over 350,000 individual service, maintenance and repair jobs posted on its platform.

Drivers select local garages based on their customer reviews, speed of response and price point. WCFMC has also developed an integrated service plan product for the aftermarket which will offer customers the confidence of choosing Shell lubricants for their service, and another for a vehicle manufacturer to use on new car sales. Its aftermarket version sees the platform itself procure all the engine oil, and other service items on behalf of the driver and garage.

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Schaeffler stars at technical and training weekend

The best independent garages from all over the UK and Ireland have hailed the third annual Autoinform LIVE weekend of innovative technical and hands-on training a massive success.

The event – organised by training specialists ADS and supported by the Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA), which promotes the benefits of fitting original equipment (OE) parts – featured technical presentations by some of the automotive industry’s leading companies, including global technology giant Schaeffler (UK) Ltd.

Malcolm Short, Technical Services Manager for Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket in the UK, said the event proved popular with the 450 delegates who attended.

He said: “We had around 200 delegates participate on our courses and we received many favourable comments. A lot of people said that this year’s event was the best yet and it was good to have so many people keen to learn about our products and how they can help them in their businesses.

“It is vital that independent garages get the right hands-on training and this year we have all worked hard to put on the right level of courses, not only for the new delegates, but also for those who have attended in previous years.”

This year’s event, which was held at the state-of-the-art GTG Academy in Wolverhampton, was split into three packages designed to streamline and improve the overall experience of delegates.

First-time visitors attended the ‘Green’ band module, which included popular sessions from previous shows, while second-timers took part in the ‘Amber’ band featuring some new and updated training modules.

For third-time delegates there was the ‘Red’ band which provided a new programme of topics.


Schaeffler provided courses on a number of topics.

These included presentations on:
• the INA GearBOX
• E-Mobility, Thermal Management & the E-Arc Stabiliser
• Twin Clutch Technology including diagnostics
• There were also details of REPXPERT (www.repxpert.co.uk), Schaeffler’s online tool for professional garage mechanics

The event attracted a lot of positive comments from delegates who praised the organisers and the content of the show – some taking to Social Media to register their approval.

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A logical choice: Euro Car Parts strengthens partnership with Autologic

Euro Car Parts, the UK’s leading distributor of car and LCV parts, has renewed its contract with automotive diagnostics specialist Autologic, following last year’s exclusive agreement to add Autologic Assist, a fully integrated diagnostic support system, to its Workshop Solutions portfolio.

The ongoing relationship gives Euro Car Parts the sole, indirect, rights to distribute all Autologic products in the UK. A recognised world-leader in automotive diagnostics software, Autologic offers comprehensive coverage for brands including Audi, BMW, Citroën, Dacia, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, Peugeot, Renault, Volvo and VW.

Utilising state-of-the art technology, Autologic Assist is the UK’s first fully integrated system, combining comprehensive diagnostics with third-party data and industry-standard aftersales support. In total, Autologic comprises eight service strands – AssistMobile, Assistportal, AssistOnline, AssistChat, Assistcall, Assistrescue, Assistcapture and Assist Pass-Thru Support. This is all backed up by an extensive, round-the-clock Vehicle Diagnostic Support service.


Bill Stimson, marketing director at Euro Car Parts, commented: “Autologic has a proven track record in driving up efficiency, customer satisfaction and overall revenue, and is exactly the sort of technology in which garages should be investing. With high-spec technology playing an increasing role in automotive design, it is vital that independent garages arm themselves with the very latest devices, enabling them to continue servicing ever-evolving vehicles and vehicle technology. Investing in Autologic enables them to stay a step ahead of the competition, so we’re absolutely delighted that we can continue to offer it to our customers.”

Autologic’s Fault 2 Fix team, consisting of 50-plus, UK, in-house technicians, is able to supply vehicle diagnostic support at all levels for system users. This includes technical and device support, as well as regular upgrades to ensure the diagnostics provision is always up-to-date.

The extension of the Autologic contract complements a number of new initiatives launched by Euro Car Parts this year. Last month, Euro Car Parts announced the launch of Euro Academy, a unique and innovative technical resource designed specifically to support the independent garage.

The business has also announced it will be offering a first-to-market lifetime warranty on a wide range of mechanical parts. The new programme offers peace of mind to customers when it comes to purchasing major units such as clutch kits, rotating electrics and steering racks, as customers can rest assured that they will only have to pay for it once.

PAC recommends simpler approach

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons (PAC) has recommended that the government adopt a much simpler approach to the setting up of the new apprenticeship standards.

This echoes earlier calls from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), which believes that without urgent action the government’s three million target for apprenticeship starts by 2020 is unachievable.

The cross party committee that oversees all government policy and spending plans identified the complexity of the process required to create and approve the employer led ‘Standard’ as an obstacle likely to derail government apprenticeship plans.

The PAC’s recommendation is: ‘The Department for Education (DfE) should streamline the process for devising, implementing and reviewing standards.’

The current process determines that to create a standard apprenticeship, a group of 10 employers must agree a draft plan for the apprenticeship. This has to be approved by the DfE and then the 10 employers must go away and develop it. This can take up to two years, based on existing new Standards. The DfE then has to approve that.

After that prospective end point assessment (EPA) bodies have to apply to and be approved by the DfE. There are currently not enough EPAs for the new standards based apprenticeships that are available now.

Steve Nash IMI CEO said, ‘The recommendation from the PAC for the government to simplify the new apprenticeship process is welcome. We can only hope the Minister is minded to listen. Whilst we have a number of new Standards under development there are only a couple which are actually finalised and this falls well short of meeting the broad requirements of our sector. It was originally predicted that 1,600 Standards would be in existence by 2017, but given the complexity and time taken to initiate and complete the process, the government have now moved this target out to 2020, so it’s clear that a slicker process is required.’

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Apple reveals self-driving car plans

Apple has acknowledged for the first time that it is investing in self-driving car tech, following a long period of unacknowledged rumours.

Writing to US transport regulators, Apple said it was “excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”, commenting that it felt there were “significant societal benefits of automated vehicles” to be realised.

Ford, which itself plans to have self-driving cars on the road by 2021, has said it was working on the basis that Apple was building one; Apple already has several car-related internet domains registered, including apple.car and apple.auto.

A company spokesman for Apple said that the letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was prompted by its “heavy investment in machine learning and autonomous systems” and that it wanted to help define best practices in the industry.

The five-page letter, written by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, urges the regulator to not introduce too many rules on the testing of self-driving cars, saying that “established manufacturers and new entrants should be treated equally.”

It also proposes that companies in the industry share data from crashes and near-misses in order to build a more comprehensive picture than one company could manage alone, and therefore enable the design of better systems.

However, it adds that an individual’s privacy should not be compromised by the sharing of such data. It suggests that the industry and regulators “address privacy challenges associated with the collection, use, and sharing of automated vehicle data”, with collaboration from privacy experts outside the automotive industry.

Apple’s letter does not state whether it actually intends to build a self-driving car of its own. There has been speculation that the firm had switched focus from work on a physical product to creating an autonomous driving system that could be used by others.

Google is already testing self-driving cars on the roads. In October, electric carmaker Tesla announced that all the cars it now builds will have the hardware installed to drive on their own.

In the UK, an autonomous vehicle was test-driven in Milton Keynes in the summer, with further trials in London planned.

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Car Parts Distributors in Europe 2015

The profile manual “Car parts distributors in Europe” gives a comprehensive overview of the largest car parts wholesalers in Europe. The number of the introduced companies was expanded in this third release to 477 profiles.



Pan-European overview
40 largest distributors with a turnover above 100 million Euro are shown in a separate view with their international cross-ownership.

Country profiles
The company profiles of the largest national wholesalers are presented for 35 countries. Each profile contains contact data and turnover figures as well as the information about the membership in a trade and buying group and the used garage marketing systems or trade marketing concepts.

• Company name
• Address (street, postal code, city)
• E-mail
• Telephone / fax
• Homepage
• Contact person
• Ownership
• Buying Group
• Marketing concepts
• Number of outlets
• Number of employees
• Turnover (2014)

Language: English
Format: Flippingbook, PDF
Price: starting from 1,250.- EUR

Sample report & further information
For further questions and interests phone or by e-mail:

wolk after sales experts gmbh
Tel.: +49 (2204) 8425-35
Email: jonathan.steinke@wolk-aftersales.de

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Success for FPS in the Supply Chain Excellence Awards

The 20th Anniversary of the Supply Chain Excellence awards saw industry leaders from across Europe gather at The London Hilton to celebrate outstanding achievements in the sector.

FPS was highly commended for their logistics and distribution capabilities, narrowly missing out on the top spot to 17 Port Maritime Regiment RLC. In the Warehouse Initiative category, the company placed in the top 6 contenders, alongside VE Commercial Vehicles and Aldi with Crown Lift Trucks.


FPS has full ownership over the logistics process from sourcing and managing product ranges to delivering to customers. This approach sees the company’s 1st pick availability continue to exceed 97%, despite growth of more than 10,000 part numbers year-on-year.

In the last year, FPS made major improvements to their distribution infrastructure, with the introduction of 3 new mega trailers, VW Crafter vans and bespoke electric Moffetts improving delivery capacity and efficiency for the business. This is supported by the company’s unparalleled driver infringement performance which is consistently better than the national average. These are just some of the initiatives which set FPS apart in the Logistics and Distribution category.

FPS Director of Logistics, Charlie Weale, said, “We constantly review our logistics and distribution capabilities, drawing on the latest technology and processes to benefit our customers, and are thrilled that our recent enhancements were recognised in the awards.”

Organised by Logistics & Supply Chain magazine, the awards celebrate companies at the forefront of innovations in supply chain and logistics, regardless of the sector, size or age of the organisation. This year, there were over 120 entries and the general quality was considered to be better than ever. MAN Truck and Bus was awarded the overall prize, beating off competition from Shell, Argos (with LLamasoft) and Tesco Distribution.

FPS will continue to drive innovation in logistics, distribution and warehousing initiatives to maintain the industry-leading service it provides to customers.

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FPS gets dressed for success

If you’ve visited an FPS branch recently, you may have seen some weird and wonderful sights. The company has got behind some very worthy causes in the last few weeks, raising money for cancer and mental health charity campaigns.

On 21st October, teams were resplendent in pastel onesies, magenta tutus and fuchsia wigs, raising funds for Breast Cancer Now’s annual Wear It Pink day, a cause very close to many of their hearts.

The Pink Team
The Pink Team

Ben, the automotive industry charity, this year launched its first national fundraising event, ‘Hats on 4 Ben’, to raise awareness and support for its mental health services. FPS was delighted to get involved, with colleagues around the country sporting hats from trilbies to turkeys on 10th November.

FPS Managing Director, Neil Davis, said, “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of all customers and suppliers who also contributed to our fundraising, really helping to make a difference for those benefiting from the great work both of these charities do every day.”

In recognition of the fantastic efforts made, the company has matched the totals raised for each of these events. Well done and thank you to all who got involved.

Comline wins Large Business of the Year award

Comline Auto Parts (Comline) is delighted to have been named Large Business of the Year at the inaugural Bedfordshire Business Awards during a formal ceremony held at Bedford Corn Exchange on Thursday 17th November.

The Luton-based supplier of European, Japanese and Korean aftermarket parts fought off tough competition from an initial 200 entries, nominated by members of the Bedfordshire community, to emerge victorious and claim this prestigious award.

The awards were launched by Bedfordshire on Sunday and backed by headline sponsor Barclays to recognise hardworking, successful businesses that achieve success in the community.

Bedfordshire Business Awards 2016  Large Business of the Year Comline Auto Parts - pic Andy Handley
L-R: Charles Little, Director, KSK Accountants; Ruta & Leigh Davies; Richard Duxbury, MD LSN Media

The ‘Large Business’ category specifically recognised exceptional businesses operating an annual turnover in excess of £5 million. The judges were impressed by Comline’s ‘significant growth’ and close ties to the local community, including dedicated support of Luton Town Football Club.

Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Cheryl Smart MBE, one of the judging panel for the awards, commented: “Comline is not just a fantastic Bedfordshire business – it is a world-class operation.”

Marketing and Communications Manager, Leigh Davies, was on-hand to collect the award and said: “Comline is thrilled and privileged to be recognised by the Bedfordshire Business Awards.

“Receiving nominations from within the Bedfordshire community is hugely gratifying, and we were delighted to be shortlisted as one of the finalists. To actually come out on top ahead of some truly outstanding Bedfordshire businesses is a huge feather in the cap for Comline.”

He also congratulated all parties on a superb event: “Everyone at Comline would like to thank Bedfordshire on Sunday, and headline sponsor Barclays for this incredible award and for executing such a fantastic awards event.”

Editor of Bedfordshire on Sunday, Sarah Cox, was delighted with the first-ever Bedfordshire Business Awards: “We were bowled over by the standard of entries in our first year and were thrilled to be joined by hundreds of fantastic business on awards night.”

A short interview with Leigh Davies, recorded at Comline’s Luton headquarters and broadcast during the awards ceremony, can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B58t0VGOmtoJZno1aHJxWDViSjg

This award is the latest in a long line of recent successes for Comline, most notably becoming a proud recipient of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2016 and ranking a highly-credible 70th in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table.

In addition to wider commercial awards, Comline has also been recognised from within the automotive aftermarket. In September, Comline was voted A1 Motor Stores Component Supplier of the Year by the members of the well-established UK buying group.