Walkers Garage starts the year in style with £1,000 prize

Walkers Garage, based in South Otterington near Northallerton, is celebrating after being named the national winner of the Ring Golden Bulb Grand Prize, which will see the company receive more than £1,000 worth of workshop equipment and accessories.

The Ring Golden Bulb Campaign, hosted by Ring, the leading vehicle lighting, workshop equipment and vehicle accessories supplier to the aftermarket, launched in August and attracted hundreds of entries from workshops and garages throughout the country.

The prize package for Walkers Garage includes inspection lights, battery care equipment, vehicle lighting and accessories including dash cameras.

Service Manager at Walkers Garage, Steve Shaw, comments: “I am both delighted and still coming to terms with actually winning something, I am usually one of those people that never does. I had to speak to our local motor factor to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood. I can’t believe we have all of this Ring equipment free, it’s going to really support the technicians that work here.”

Marketing Manager at Ring, Henry Bisson, comments: “With faulty bulbs up there as one of the main reasons for vehicles failing an MOT, we know that mechanics fit plenty of them. With that in mind, we came up with the Golden Bulb campaign to make this everyday task a little more exciting and to say thank you to our loyal customers for choosing to fit Ring.

He adds: “We are really pleased with the response from the Ring Golden Bulb campaign. Steve and the team at Walkers Garage are worthy winners and we know that they will be putting the equipment to good use.”

The Ring Golden Bulb Prize is part of a wider campaign which has seen hundreds of golden tickets feature in the Ring H7 bulb boxes giving vehicle owners and garage technicians the chance to win individual prizes.

While the grand prize winner has been announced, the campaign to find golden tickets inside Ring autobulb boxes continues.

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Emissions fraud: over 100 operators under investigation

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) examiners found 293 lorries fitted with emissions cheat devices at roadside checks between August and November 2017.

In August 2017, DVSA started to include checks for emissions cheat devices in roadside checks of lorries at 5 locations across Great Britain.

By the end of November 2017, DVSA examiners had searched 3,735 lorries at these locations and found 293 lorries with a cheat device fitted.

Where vehicle registered % vehicles without cheat device % vehicles with cheat device Total
Great Britain 91.50% 8.50% 100%
Northern Ireland 79.60% 20.40% 100%
Outside the UK 95.10% 4.90% 100%
Total 92.20% 7.80% 100%

The drivers and operators were given 10 days to fix the emissions system, or face a £300 fine and having the vehicle taken off the road.

Where a driver or operator repeatedly offends, DVSA can take the vehicle off the road immediately.

Following the roadside checks, DVSA examiners are inspecting more than 100 operators’ vehicle fleets for emission cheat devices. Some of the companies being inspected operate up to 80 vehicles.

DVSA is passing its findings on to the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, who have the power to take away an operator’s licence.

DVSA is also working with its counterpart agencies across Europe to make sure that all offences committed by hauliers from outside Great Britain are dealt with in the country they’re based.

Following the success of this operation, DVSA will start checking for emissions cheat devices at more locations across Great Britain from Spring 2018 and will also be looking at ways to reduce emissions produced by vehicles, including those used commercially.

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AS-PL UK becomes latest IAAF member

The IAAF has welcomed rotating parts supplier AS-PL UK to its ever-expanding network, as it looks set to continue its membership growth in 2018.

As a member, AS-PL is looking to seize advantage of the many networking opportunities and informative events that are held throughout the year, gaining access to a range of IAAF benefits as well as all the latest industry information.

Established in 1992 in Gdansk, Poland, AS-PL forms part of AS-PL Group and employs 200 staff. As a supplier of starter motors, alternators and replacement parts, the company deals with distributors and wholesalers throughout the global aftermarket.

With a product catalogue featuring 200,000 references, AS-PL’s offering includes parts and components for cars, trucks, agricultural machinery, plant, marine and motorcycles.

Kevin Sharp, Director of Sales UK and Ireland, said: “It’s an honour for us to become the latest member of IAAF. We’ve joined because IAAF’s prime function is to promote and secure the future of the independent automotive aftermarket to the benefit of members and the sector.

“We will offer our full support to IAAF where possible, and we are looking forward to working together for the sustainable development of manufacturers, suppliers, as well as distributors, group purchasing organisations, and workshops.”

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to welcome AS-PL UK to our network. This latest addition heralds the start of the new year, as we anticipate further growth in 2018 with more and more aftermarket specialists recognising IAAF’s important activity. The benefits offered to members are endless and are there to ensure our members are able to run their businesses as efficiently and smoothly as possible.”

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Renault Trucks co-develops zero-emission refrigerated truck

Renault Trucks and Groupe Delanchy have developed the first all-electric refrigerated truck, which will be tested in real operating conditions.

Groupe Delanchy specialises in temperature-controlled transport and logistics and has collaborated with Renault Trucks for more than fifty years.

The two companies have jointly developed a 100% electric experimental vehicle. It is equipped with a Chereau temperature-controlled box and a Carrier refrigeration unit, fully powered by the vehicle’s traction batteries: a first on this type of truck.

The 13-tonne electric truck will be used under real operating conditions in Lyon on a daily basis.

“We are very pleased with the arrival of this new 100% electric truck,” said Joseph Delanchy, President of Groupe Delanchy.

“This ‘zero-emission’ truck is a first step towards new technologies that are evolving very rapidly. We will evolve with them, as we have always done.”

The zero-emission truck can reduce congestion in a city centre because it allows noise-free deliveries to be made during anti-social hours.

This 100% electric rigid chassis vehicle will supplement the 700 Renault Trucks of the Delanchy, group.

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Automechanika Birmingham and The London Motor Show create joint marketing campaign

The London Motor Show and Automechanika Birmingham have joined forces to jointly promote their automotive events. With The London Motor Show providing consumers with the ultimate automotive retail event in the Capital and Automechanika Birmingham hosting the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production sector dedicated to the UK’s automotive industry and trade, it was a natural move to bring the joint marketing abilities of the two together thereby broadening their potential reach to new customers.

Stephen Maitland-Oxley, Event Director for The London Motor Show, said “The combination of Automechanika Birmingham and The London Motor Show reaching out to a combined audience will create new business opportunities and increased visitor attendance for both events. We are greatly looking forward to working together and increasing the UK’s thriving automotive events industry to new levels.”

Simon Albert, Event Director of Automechanika Birmingham, commented “We are delighted to be working in a new partnership with The London Motor Show for 2018. The synergy between the two events will create exciting opportunities for both parties and we look forward to attracting more direct customers and end users from the automotive trade to Automechanika Birmingham”. The joint marketing campaign will consist of an intensive and targeted social media campaign, email marketing and cross platform joint branding exercises driving new customers and contacts bidirectionally.

To book a stand at Automechanika Birmingham 2018 CLICK HERE or phone 01483 483984.

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Technicians now able to sign-up for training courses on REPXPERT

REPXPERT members are now able to sign-up online to attend live hands-on training events which will be held regularly at the REPXPERT Academy in Hereford.

This means that over 10,500 active REPXPERT users in the UK can register for these sessions on the free garage portal, which also features comprehensive technical information and training videos on its LuK, FAG, INA and Ruville brands.

The first session takes place on January 30th, when the well-known REPXPERT, Alistair Mason, will be delivering a course entitled ‘LuK Clutch Basics’. This anything but basic course, though, will contain an introduction to Schaeffler before delving deeper into the world of clutch systems, including the various types, materials and accurate fault diagnosis.

Then, after illustrating the importance of the Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF), its design and how to check wear status and diagnose faults, the session will be handed over to the attendees, who will be tasked with installing a self-adjusting clutch and testing a DMF.

For those unable to attend that session, or who wish to try an alternative, the first combined INA and FAG training course will take place on the 21st February – again at the REPXPERT Academy in Hereford. INA and FAG product specialist and familiar REPXPERT face, Tim Adams, will focus on timing systems, front end auxiliary drive systems (FEAD) and wheel bearings.

Within that course, there will be interactive theory and discussions about how the various systems work, how they’ve evolved over the years and how technicians can adapt their skills accordingly. These will culminate in several practical sessions where the REPXPERT members can show what they’ve learned and pick on Tim’s advanced knowledge.

For those that can’t enrol onto one of the first courses, don’t worry as more dates will be added to the calendar throughout the year, including some for the extremely popular – and very limited access – IMI-approved 2CT Double Clutch training.

Interest is already growing in the events, especially since they were added to the REPXPERT Training calendar, which is something Tim is particularly pleased with:

“It’s great to see that mechanics still want to learn new things to stay ahead of the game, and as a leading OE supplier, Schaeffler is well-placed to offer training on the latest components and systems. We believe that offering members live training is a great addition to the REPXPERT portfolio, with the aim of encouraging more forward-thinking technicians to sign-up for free to take full advantage of everything that the portal can offer.”

The training course schedule can be found in the ‘LEARN’ section of REPXPERT, where members can also take advantage of a plethora of technical solutions, such as detailed installation guides for the LuK RepSet 2CT and FAG WheelSet LCV repair solutions.

Users can find REPXPERT on Facebook and Twitter at Schaeffler REXPERT UK and @REPXPERT_UK respectively; and there is also a UK specific playlist on the REPXPERT YouTube channel. Those wishing to sign-up to REPXPERT can do so at www.repxpert.co.uk.

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Autoelectro outlines its vision for 2018

‘With our one stop shop offer, we want to consolidate ourselves as the market leader whilst continuing our excellent range development and technical support’: That’s the message emanating out of Autoelectro, as the British company intends to begin 2018 in the way 2017 ended.

During the final few months of last year, the rotating electrics remanufacturer unveiled a small but important range of non-exchange units. Initially consisting of more than 120 individual references, the surcharge-free NEX range of starter motors and alternators covered 70% of the UK car parc and the fastest-moving references.

Autoelectro UK Sales Manager, Nick Hood, revealed that feedback from the company’s network of motor factors customers has “far exceeded” the company’s expectations. So much so that the decision has been made to stretch the number of references from 127 to 150, and it’s likely that number will increase further over the coming months.

Nick said: “In recent years, surcharge-free units have become more accepted in the automotive aftermarket. NEX has allowed us to enter the market with a sensible net price, not hindered by complicated commercial rebates and, therefore, shows how competitive we can be in meeting the market price point but maintaining a quality product.

“Ironically, the current attitude in the market to new units has devalued the old core for these imported references to a point where we can factor the core cost into the overall price and support a surcharge-free offer. Today, Autoelectro is the only UK-based volume remanufacturer and supplier to offer a surcharge-free range.”

Leading from the front

Range, availability and quality are three key attributes for Autoelectro. It’s a motto that has served the company well for over a quarter of a century and, today, sits as the UK’s largest independent remanufacturer of starter motors and alternators.

The challenge is to maintain the high standards set as a precedent and improve, but Nick explained how the senior management team will continue with its formula which has stood the test of time:

“A few years ago, they (brothers Tony, Paul and Nicky Bhogal) used their considerable experience to predict the direction of market price and range, and they spotted an opportunity outside of chasing price on the popular part numbers.

“In focusing our efforts, we created a unique selling point and raised our brand profile. This is a path that has taken time to build and succeed, but we have done it and are at the forefront in this particular market.”

Impact of Brexit – but no concerns for Autoelectro

Brexit is never far from the headlines; many businesses have expressed their concerns, with some announcing that they may have to relocate to EU-friendly nations to guarantee security. In the automotive aftermarket, Autoelectro assured its customers that Brexit – whenever it becomes official – would not harm its business model.

The company was unequivocal, despite admitting ‘unchartered waters’ for the majority of the UK, that it had the ability to steer its customers through potentially challenging times; in fact, at the time, Nick insisted that Brexit could signal new opportunities for Autoelectro as it wasn’t a net importer.

More than a year later, heading into a pivotal 12 months of Brexit negotiations, Nick is fascinated to see how companies, which rely on the ‘pound to the dollar value’ to entice customers with low-cost imported products, fare. He added: “Let’s see how the progression of the UK’s exit from the EU unfolds and affects imported market prices, but I am confident Autoelectro will continue to thrive because we are not a net importer and have total control over all aspects.”

More importantly for Autoelectro, though, said Nick, is the introduction of a new surcharge and inventory management concept: “Based online this new service will give our customers the ability to view and manage their surcharge account, dispelling the myths of core discrepancies, whilst at the same time, helping us to manage their stock investment through regular profiling and inventory management.

“We know this is an area that, with continuing part number proliferation across all products, will become more important. It will ensure the best return on stock investment and the best stock return.

“Customers can expect more information on this new online concept shortly.”

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New car registrations fell -5.7% in 2017

New car registrations fell -5.7% in 2017 to 2,540,617 units, the first decline in six years.

The SMMT, which released the figures, described the market as “very volatile” and with “lacklustre economic growth” it expected further weakening in the market for 2018.

The -14.4% fall in December marked the ninth consecutive month of decline. Registrations to private buyers fell -6.8%, fleets saw a fall of -4.5% decline and registrations to business with less than 25 vehicles on their books fell -7.8%.

Diesel registrations saw a -17.1% decline in 2017 as consumers switched to petrol vehicles, up 2.7% and from a low base AFVs, up 34.8%.

The most popular vehicle choices were superminis, small family cars and SUVs with the latter the only segment to grow demand in 2017. one in every five new cars sold in the UK is now a SUV up from one in 10 five years ago.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “2017 has undoubtedly been a very volatile year and the lacklustre economic growth means that we expect a further weakening in the market for 2018. The upside for consumers, however, is some very, very competitive deals.”

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GS Yuasa appoints new commercial director

GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd has announced the appointment of James Hylton as commercial director.

James has been with the company for over 12 years and has been in the battery industry for 21 years and has been general manager, sales and marketing at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd since 2011.

James Hylton, commercial director GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK

Commenting on James’ appointment, Andrew Taylor, managing director and chief executive officer of Yuasa Battery Sales Europe Ltd said: “James has played a key part in GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd’s growth over the past 12 years.

“He now takes this experience into director level to help continue the company’s development across all market sectors.”

James Hylton said: “I am delighted at being appointed commercial director of GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd and am looking forward to the challenges of my new role.

“I’m proud to work alongside such a dedicated team of professionals, who are committed to providing the best possible products, service and supply to our customers.

“It is their dedication and customer focus that has seen GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd become the leading supplier of batteries into the markets it serves.

“As commercial director, I’m looking forward to continuing GS Yuasa’s growth both within the British Isles and our other areas of responsibility; Nordics, Baltics and CIS regions.”

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Maurits Binnendijk named Tenneco Vice President and General Manager, EMEA Aftermarket

Tenneco has announced that Maurits Binnendijk has been appointed vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Aftermarket. He succeeds Bruce Ronning who has been appointed vice president and general manager, Tenneco North America Aftermarket.

Maurits Binnendijk

Ronning assumes the North America leadership role following the decision by Joe Pomaranski, senior vice president, Global Aftermarket, to retire from Tenneco. Pomaranski was managing the North America Aftermarket on interim basis.

Binnendijk joined Tenneco in 2004 as district manager for the Netherlands. Since then he has held positions of increasing responsibility in Europe including executive sales director, Tenneco EMEA Aftermarket, a role he assumed in 2013.

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