ZF [pro]Tech members get IAM video check service at discounted rates

In a bid to further level the competitive playing field between the main dealers and the independent aftermarket (IAM), ZF Aftermarket has teamed up with software provider PECUVi Automotive to offer its ZF [pro]Tech members access to ‘My Service Trust’ video check service, at special rates. This solution allows technicians to send customers, via an iOS compatible device, HD video clips and quotes for additional work they’ve identified during a service or repair; building customer confidence by increasing transparency and value for money.

Matt Shakespeare, technical sales manager, ZF Aftermarket explained: “The founding philosophy of the ZF [pro]Tech initiative is to ensure that the IAM has the same competitive access as the main dealers to the technical information which will enable them to cater for the vehicles of the future – and secure business growth.

“This opens the door to another service which the vehicle manufacturer main dealers have had access to for some time.”

Designed specifically for independents
There are two levels of support available from the ‘My Service Trust’ video solution: ‘Base’ includes 30 HD quality videos – to highlight detailed urgent and advisory repairs – per month and ‘Premium’ 150. Both are offered to ZF [pro]Tech Plus & Start members at a reduced price – making the cost of this a fraction of the price of the number one system used by main dealers. This offer includes unlimited users per subscription, no licence fee and a customer landing page that can be branded to the garage’s individual business.

For those without access to iOS hardware, there is a sign up kit which includes: 32GB iPod Touch 7th generation, charger, protective case and a hand-held grip. Again, with discounts for ZF [pro]Tech members.

Level the playing field
According to PECUVi Automotive, more than 80 percent of franchised businesses use a similar system, and during 2019 in the region of 10 million videos were sent. This affordable service from PECUVi is a game changer, with figures suggesting average work conversion rates of up to 25 percent.

Ben Smith, Co-Founder and Director at PECUVi Automotive added: “Video is fast becoming an expectation when it comes to workshop repairs and servicing. For the changing customer, millennials in particular, personalisation is fundamental to them and using technology like their smart phone to communicate is key to the whole customer experience.”

Matt Shakespeare concluded: “Having affordable access to such a system is fantastic news for the IAM. Transparency instills customer confidence – not only by the fact that their chosen garage has the foresight to look beyond the initial problem to give advance warning – but so they can actually see they are being offered a fair price. And with a free trial period, nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

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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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“The Car Aftermarket in Europe 2019” report series now available

The 2019 edition of “Car Aftermarket Europe” by Wolk After Sales Experts encompasses 35 European countries – from the automotive powerhouses of France, Italy and Germany through Central European tigers like Poland, Czechia, and Romania to the smallest but also important markets like Baltic countries or Macedonia. Sharing the common structure of the report, for every country Wolk provides a unique deep dive into its local intricacies to make sure they bring the best, most up-to-date knowledge about the local aftermarket.

Each of 35 European countries (including Russia and Turkey) is presented in a booklet which can be bought separately or as a full set.

“The Car Aftermarket 2019” country report content highlights:

  • International and National Trade Groups overview
  • TOP car parts distributors
  • TOP Truck parts distributors
  • TOP Garage marketing systems for mechanical repairs
  • TOP car dealers/car dealers groups
  • Aftermarket Volume by 10 product groups
  • Number of IAM garages per specialization (with total turnover and number of employees)
  • Direct marketers
  • E-commerce companies
  • Trade marketing systems, Auto Centers, Fast-Fitters
  • Tables, graphs and company profiles.

Each country is provided with up to 166 company profiles containing:

  • Name
  • ITG affiliation (if applicable)
  • Turnover
  • Business fields
  • Number of outlets
  • Number of employees
  • Address (Street, Zip code, City)
  • Contact person (position, e-mail, phone and fax numbers)

    Click here to check available countries and prices.

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IAAF kicks off year with first 2020 Industry Briefing Session

Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) members are invited to attend its first free-of-charge Industry Briefing Session of the year, to be held at the IAAF’s offices in Birmingham on 26th March.

The keynote speaker will be Adrian Botham, Founder & MD of Servispart Consulting, a specialist aftermarket consultancy, providing strategy, change and systems advice for OEMs, parts and equipment manufacturers, and distributors.

Botham will be presenting some of his latest parts management research findings and, talking about how to achieve aftermarket excellence and growth acceleration in members’ parts and service businesses.

Emma-Jane Morris from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will also be on hand to discuss the issue of market surveillance and how its ongoing development will affect the automotive aftermarket.

With a busy, and uncertain, year ahead, the IAAF will outline its plans for 2020 and its efforts to tackle current industry issues, including the most recent developments with the connected car, Block Exemption Regulation and the progress of Your Car Your Choice campaign.

Mike Smallbone, IAAF Head of Membership Development, said: “We’re gearing up for an exciting year of change within the automotive aftermarket, and this session will provide a real insight into any significant industry developments. As ever, IAAF will continue to fight any potential issues affecting our members and the wider sector, and we look forward to sharing more information at the event.”

Further information, including timings and the day’s agenda, will be confirmed closer to the date.

As limited spaces are available, IAAF is advising members to book early to avoid disappointment by emailing Ann Silvester at [email protected].

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SMMT response to government’s 2035 end of sale announcement

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, has issued a statement in response to the governments announcement that it is bringing forward the date to end the sale of new petrol and diesel engine cars from 2040 to 2035.

“It’s extremely concerning that government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue,” he said. “Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020. However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment. This is about market transformation, yet we still don’t have clarity on the future of the plug-in car grant – the most significant driver of EV uptake – which ends in just 60 days’ time, while the UK’s charging network is still woefully inadequate.

“If the UK is to lead the global zero emissions agenda, we need a competitive marketplace and a competitive business environment to encourage manufacturers to sell and build here. A date without a plan will merely destroy value today. So we therefore need to hear how government plans to fulfil its ambitions in a sustainable way, one that safeguards industry and jobs, allows people from all income groups and regions to adapt and benefit, and, crucially, does not undermine sales of today’s low emission technologies, including popular hybrids, all of which are essential to deliver air quality and climate change goals now.”

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Production stoppages at China factories lead to worldwide shortages in components as coronavirus outbreak spreads

The global car industry is facing a stress test as the coronavirus outbreak in China continues to spread and thus disrupts the supply of components from transmissions to steering systems.

Parts manufacturers across China have suspended production for this week and, in the case of Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, factories will remain shut until 13 February or later. This leaves car plants in both China – the world’s largest market – and beyond at risk. On Tuesday of this week Hyundai became the first global carmaker to halt production outside China because of component shortages caused by restrictions put in place as a result of the virus.

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, is one of the top auto-industry hubs in China, alongside Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chanchun, where global manufacturers make both cars and components in conjunction with partner companies.

Hundreds of suppliers have factories in Hubei, including more than half of the top 20 global parts makers, with Robert Bosch, Valeo and ZF Friedrichshafen among those producing components there, according to the China Automotive Technology & Research Centre.

“Carmakers will face severe parts supply issues, something that wasn’t encountered during the SARS outbreak,” said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of China’s Passenger Car Association, referring to the 2003 incident. “Wuhan is the most cost competitive among China’s car industry hubs, therefore many component manufacturers produce components there and supply their clients around the world.”

General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota Motor are among companies that have closed China plants up to at least February 9, following information issued by several provinces advising companies not to resume operations any sooner than an extended holiday break.

Tesla one of the companies saying they are also monitoring potential supply-chain interruptions for cars built outside China.

The outbreak may reduce vehicle output by more than 1.7 million cars due to plant closures, according to IHS Markit. Hyundai halted all of its output in South Korea because of a wiring-part shortage caused by one worker at a supplier in China getting infected by the virus.

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Walker Products joins IAAF

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has kickstarted 2020 by welcoming manufacturer, supplier and distributor of engine management components, Walker Products, to its growing membership.

Bringing more than 50 years’ experience to the IAAF, the new member began supplying the fuel system needs of the industry in 1946, serving Original Equipment Suppliers (OES), co-manufacturers and motor factors in the fuel, engine management and exhaust sensor markets worldwide.

Today, Walker Products is one of the largest privately owned manufacturers in its sector.

Excited about the company’s future with the federation, Paul Earley, Walker Products managing director, said: “We are one of the biggest brands worldwide that not many people recognise in the UK. The IAAF will create more exposure and generate greater brand awareness of our products within the independent automotive aftermarket.”

Wendy Williamson, chief executive of the IAAF, added: “It’s going to be a busy year, and we’re pleased to have Walker Products on board to share its wealth of experience with the rest of the members. We will work together to push the industry forward, while ensuring the company is in front of its core target market”.

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Tony Fyfe crowned IFA Car Product Manager of the Year

Buying group Independent Motor Trade Factors Associated (IMTFA) has awarded Tony Fyfe of Fyfe Vehicle & Engineering Supplies the Car Product Manager of the Year Accolade at its annual gala dinner dance and awards ceremony at the K Club in Country Kildare, Ireland.

It was a double celebration for three time winner Tony as he is also product manager for the Bilstein Group, who picked up the Car Supplier of the Year award.

More than 180 IMTFA members and suppliers attended the event, which lasted the entire weekend and included a host of networking opportunities and activities such as a trip to Dublin city, a wine tasting afternoon, clay pigeon shooting and, the IFA golf tournament held on the famous Ryder cup course.

The IMTFA awards presented were as follows:

CV Supplier of the Year awards – joint winners TMD Friction UK and Winnard & Sons Ltd
CV Product Manager of the yearSteve Wright from Wrightpart Truck & Trailer Spares
Car Supplier of the Year winnerBilstein Group
Car Supplier of the Year runner upGS Yuasa
Car Product Manager of the YearTony Fyfe of Fyfe Vehicle & Engineering Supplies.

A table raffle and silent auction held on the evening raised a staggering £7000 for Willow Foundation, the only National charity who works with seriously ill young adults to provide uplifting and unforgettable special days.

Tony Fyfe, Fyfes Managing Director, said: “The automotive industry is all about partnerships and I’m delighted to have played a key role in the success of the Bilstein Group within the IFA membership.”

Trading in Ballymena for over 100 years, Fyfes now employs more than 200 staff, boasting 15 branches in Northern Ireland along with a depot in Drogheda, Ireland. Offering a range of vehicle components, tools, consumables and engineering supplies, Northern Ireland’s largest motor factor has continued to develop and improve its portfolio of quality products.

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Impression hit the mark at 2020 CAT Awards

IAAF’s PR agency Impression Communications has won the inaugural Industry Partner Award at the Car & Accessory Trader (CAT) awards 2020, held at the Lowry Hotel, Manchester.

The award was voted for industry members and the Impression team of Mark Field, Hayley Evans, Lindsey Field and Angela Neale were present to collect the winner’s trophy.

Mark Field, Impression’s Director, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Impression has won this award and a massive thank you to everyone who voted for us. We’re fully invested in the automotive industry and aim to make a real, positive influence on businesses we work with and the wider market.”

Impression works with businesses across the automotive aftermarket supply chain including parts suppliers, warehouse distributors, motor factors and independent garages. Covering all aspects of automotive aftermarket marketing including digital marketing & social media, event marketing, customer newsletters and PR to name but a few, Impression is able to quickly establish itself within a client’s business and work towards their objectives.

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UPS orders 10,000 Arrival electric trucks

Logistics giant UPS has ordered 10,000 purpose-built electric vehicles from Arrival in an order worth “hundreds of millions of Euros” as part of its global project to transition to a zero emissions fleet.

These vehicles will be rolled out in the UK, Europe and North America from 2020 to 2024 with the company having an option to purchase a further 10,000 models.

UPS’s venture capital arm also announced an investment in Arrival of an undisclosed sum.

Carlton Rose, president of UPS global fleet maintenance and engineering, said: “Our investment and partnership with Arrival is directly aligned with UPS’s transformation strategy, led by the deployment of cutting-edge technologies.

“These vehicles will be among the world’s most advanced package delivery vehicles, redefining industry standards for electric, connected and intelligent vehicle solutions.”

Arrival first announced a partnership with UPS to develop EVs in 2016. The vehicles have been co-developed by the two companies to exactly match UPS’s specifications and include the latest advanced control and safety features.

Denis Sverdlov, founder and CEO of Arrival added: “UPS has been a strong strategic partner of Arrival, providing valuable insight to how electric delivery vans are used on the road and how they can be optimised for drivers.

“Together our teams have been creating bespoke electric vehicles, based on our flexible skateboard platforms, that meet the end-to-end needs of UPS from driving, loading/unloading, depot and back office operations.

“We are pleased that today’s investment and vehicle order creates even closer ties between our two companies.”

In October, UPS added 15 Tevva range-extender 7.5-tonne trucks to its UK fleet, joining the 100 electric vehicles it already operated in the UK.

The vehicles were part-funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK.

They feature new hybrid electric vehicle technology, which increases route range while maintaining the cargo capacity (23m³) of traditional diesel vehicles of the same weight class.

They are equipped with a 150kW electric motor (providing 2,000Nm of torque) supported by a lithium-ion 74kWh battery that provides an EV range exceeding 60 miles.

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