Don’t miss your chance to be a ‘Garage of the Year’

The industry will gather 5th June to celebrate the achievements of independent garages across nine categories. Don’t miss your chance to win by taking a few minutes to enter – but hurry, there’s only a week to go before entries close…

Automechanika Birmingham’s ‘Garage of the Year’ awards are being hosted in association with Garage Wire at the National Motorcycle Museum on the 5th June. The deadline for entries has been extended until Sunday 5th May.

Sponsored by the Independent Garage Association (IGA) the competition is open to garages from across the UK and Ireland.

It takes just a few minutes to enter as many of the nine
sub-categories as garages want to, with the overall winner once again set to
receive £1,000.

All garages shortlisted in one or more categories will get two free tickets for the awards drinks and dinner at the National Motorcycle Museum. Located little more than a stone’s throw from the NEC, and with the awards event running from 7pm, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of independent garage excellence either before or after a daytime visit to Automechanika Birmingham.

The Parts Alliance are again sponsoring the ‘Best Small Garage’ category. Other categories include ‘Best Large Garage’, ‘Commitment to Training and Standards’, ‘Garage Owner of the Year’, ‘Outstanding Achievement’, ‘Auto-Mechanik’, ‘Best Community Initiative’, ‘Business Innovation’ and ‘Technical Innovation’

“We’re excited to be involved again,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “We’re hoping lots of our garage customers, particularly those around Birmingham, will get involved and enter as it promises to be a great which will help showcase all the great work independent garages do as unsung heroes for UK motorists.”

Automechanika’s Garage of the Year awards forms part of the Big UK Garage Event at this year’s Automechanika Birmingham. This will include exclusive show offers, big giveaways, competitions and some celebrity appearances. The event gives access to over 500 leading suppliers.

Garages will also receive free parking and free breakfast on arrival for their workforce.

Entries can be made online now.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

Watch: ‘Ground-breaking’ DPF cleaner granted patent as motorists saved millions in replacement parts

Patent-approved Vetech DPF Professional Cleaner to prevent inferior copycats being bought or sold anywhere in UK

The Parts Alliance has confirmed that a design patent has been granted for Vetech’s ground-breaking DPF Professional Cleaner, which to-date has treated over 100,000 DPFs and saved motorists millions in replacement parts.

The patent means other ‘copy-cat’ DPF cleaning products can no longer be legitimately bought or sold in the UK.

Vetech’s DPF Professional Cleaner is applied after removing the DPF from the vehicle.

It’s then filled with the cleaner which breaks down and loosens the diesel residues that can contaminate and block the filters, leaving them to simply be rinsed away.

The pour-in liquid has been shown to remove all visible dirt, soot and ash trapped in the filter cores, returning DPFs to over 95 per cent of their ‘as new’ capacity.

Since launched in 2015, the product has been a strong seller for The Parts Alliance, making the decision to invest in legal advice to secure design protection rights relatively straightforward.

Changing the landscape of DPF cleaning solutions

John Wright, product marketing director at The Parts Alliance, explained: “This product really has changed the landscape of DPF cleaning solutions.

“We feel there’s a responsibility as the trail-blazers to ensure garages avoid inferior copy products claiming to perform the same job.

“It is unparalleled in its effectiveness; we simply don’t hear cases where it hasn’t worked – often drivers will have tried numerous other treatments before finding ours actually works.

Tech making life easier for garages

“Unfortunately, as word spread and sales increased, it was only a matter of time before attempts were made to bring sub-standard alternatives to the market and this patent will help to rid the market of the imitators.”

Before The Parts Alliance launched Vetech DPF Professional Cleaner, garages relied heavily on either pour-in or machine-based treatments.

This cleaner requires no new garage equipment and has been proven to completely clean DPFs restoring ‘as new’ performance levels.

For more information or to order, please contact your local branch of The Parts Alliance here.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

Number of MOT testers struck off increases by 82 per cent

178 testers were banned from testing in 2017/18 as quality of inspections declared not ‘as good as it could be’

The number of MOT testers who have been struck off in the UK has dramatically increased with 82 per cent more testers banned in the 2017/18 financial year compared with 2015/16.

Experts say dodgy testers could be issuing fake MOTs to written-off cars that should be scrapped, which has been met with swift action from the DVSA.

The organisation said it would contact the owners of the vehicles affected by a recent testing scandal in Devon, which led to more than 300 fraudulent certificates being issued alone, and would also open a proceeds-of-crime investigation to determine if any money earned by the fraud from the dodgy MOT tests could be recouped.

Some 178 nominated MOT testers previously authorised by the DVSA were struck off in 2017/18, up from 98 in 2015/16.

Banned examiners rising too

41 per cent more authorised examiners, who oversee testing stations, had their status withdrawn over the same period.

Testers can be warned or banned for issuing fraudulent certificates, as well as improper or careless testing.

AA president Edmund King said: “While most MOT inspectors do a great job, the rise in inspectors being struck off is worrying.”

King highlighted the essential role the MOT test plays in vehicle safety, and said that cars should never pass an MOT because they have been “fraudulently ticked through as a favour for a friend”.

He added: “The wider concern is that written-off vehicles could have entered into the second-hand car market, when all they were really good for was scrap.”

DVSA spending more on enforcement

Jim Punter, editor of MOT Testing magazine, believes the number of improper testers caught by the DVSA is related to how much the agency spends on enforcement. He said: “The DVSA’s own analysis shows the average quality of MOT inspections isn’t as good as it could be.

“But the number of testers and testing stations taken out of the MOT scheme each year isn’t a reliable measure of the quality of MOT testing.

“It’s more to do with the amount of money DVSA spends rooting out bad testing, and encouraging honest testers and testing stations to do better.”

Neil Barlow, the DVSA’s head of vehicle engineering, said: “Using intelligence and enforcement, we are taking action against testers who put people’s lives at risk.”

Do you think the quality of enforcement is leading to more fraudulent testers being banned? Is this good for the industry? Let us know in the comments

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

Servicesure Autocentre of the Year Award winner announced

M M Autos named Servicesure’s ‘Autocentre of the Year’ at eagerly anticipated evening ceremony

Servicesure has named M M Auto Services Ltd in Dundee as its ‘Autocentre of the Year’ during an exclusive awards evening which took place at Coombe Abbey on Thursday 11 April.

Launched last year, the competition was created to shine a light on best practice and performance from within the Servicesure Autocentre network.

Around 80 guests – comprising of garage winners, sponsors and managers from The Parts Alliance – were in attendance, dining on a three-course meal as the winners were announced.

As the attendees dined, new president and COO Neil Croxson spoke on the development of The Parts Alliance, before handing over to Paul Dineen, head of garage programmes, to present the awards.

Speaking at the event, Paul said: “Tonight’s winners are a real credit to the Servicesure network, and it’s a pleasure to be able to pay tribute to your professionalism and hard work.

“The network continues to expand rapidly: in October 2018, Manor Motor Company became the 500th member, and numbers have since risen to 540 garages.

Exciting time for garages

“It’s an exciting time for the business, and it’s reassuring to know that we have garages in our network setting such a high standard.”

Each shortlisted garage was recognised for their excellence during the ceremony: Burntwood Auto Centre received the ‘Best Newcomer’ award and Simon Graeme Auto Service Centre took home The Motor Ombudsman’s ‘Customer Service’ trophy, while Lowgate Garage, Chester Auto Services, Gordon’s Garage and A1 Motorist Centre were the winners in their respective regions.

After earlier awarding garage owner Murdo MacIntosh with the ‘Winner for Scotland’ prize, the judges also named M M Auto Services Ltd as the ‘National Winner’ for 2019.

Taking to the stage, a delighted Murdo thanked his hard working staff and loyal customers, as well as paying tribute to Duncan Davidson and Dingbro for their continued support.

The awards were sponsored by a number of Servicesure partners including Bollington Insurance, The Motor Ombudsman, Autotech Recruit, Auto Service Finance, Garage Services Online, Slicker Recycling and Our Virtual Academy.

To find out more about becoming a member of the fast-growing Servicesure network, please click here.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

Suppliers and customers join celebrity guests at Spring Trade Show

A series of technical talks, market developments, profit opportunities for branches and garages, and a surprise awards ceremony awaited guests

The Parts Alliance hosted its first trade of 2019 with motoring celebrities and global suppliers joining over 500 customers at the Spring Trade Show.

On Wednesday 27 March, over 500 customers attended the event, which ran from 5pm at the Centenary Pavilion of Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, taking the opportunity to discuss the latest products, technology, market developments and profit opportunities with more than 50 of the trading group’s supplier partners.

“We thought we should come for a wander around and see because we’ve never had the chance to get to anything like this before,” said David Gilfeather, owner of DG Autos in Rodley, Leeds.

“It’s really great to see so much here and was well worth us coming.”

Branches of BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts and Waterloo Motor Trade all invited customers, who took the opportunity to not only do business but also listen to interviews with special guests.

Celebrity guests

Fuzz Townshend from Car SOS talked about highlights from his TV shows whilst three-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal discussed improvements to his car and hopes for the upcoming season.

So valuable

Fuzz said: “For The Parts Alliance to put on an event where garage owners can meet fantastic suppliers and get a better understanding of their products is so valuable.”

Technical talks were given by Comma Oil on how changes in engine technology are impacting the choice of engine lubricants; Schaeffler discussed DMF technology, whilst Delphi provided numerous insights on keeping up with developing VM digital service record technology.

“We were delighted by the turnout on our first visit to Leeds with a show of this scale,” said Simon Moore, head of marketing at The Parts Alliance.

Response from garages

“We had some great comments from the garages and lots of the suppliers seem to have had some really good discussions and done brisk business; our thanks go to everyone who supported the show.”

Nick Nafahran, of Vehicle Repairs UK in Leeds, was interested in a Tecalemit tyre changer and said: “I’ve got to see it and got all the information that I need, so it’s been useful.”

The evening ran until nearly 10pm with an extensive prize draw seeing around 20 prizes, generously donated by suppliers, given away to garages on the night.

Andrew Wood of APW Cars in Otley, Leeds added: “I’m here to see new technology.

“I’ve just been inside the REPXPERT van, it’s a real eye opener to see where the industry is going; I’d definitely recommend others to try to get to one of these events if they have the chance.

“I’ve only got a little garage and I’m usually in the workshop until late but I’m glad I made the time for this – free food and drink too, so what’s not to like?”

Customers are advised to look out for more events in 2019, said The Parts Alliance.

Find out more about The Parts Alliance and its national network of branches by clicking here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

The post Suppliers and customers join celebrity guests at Spring Trade Show appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

Some motorists can no longer afford to drive as ULEZ introduced in London

31 per cent of drivers have said they won’t be able to afford to drive in London anymore

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has launched the UK’s first Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), leaving many drivers without the funds to be able to drive.

Bikesure, a motorbike insurer, recently surveyed 1,000 commuters in London to find out how the ULEZ will impact them.

Among the questions, respondents were asked how the ULEZ will affect them.

Asked if they have changed or thought about changing their usual mode of transport in preparation for the ULEZ:

Changing mode of transport

  • 37 per cent of commuters have already changed their usual mode of transport
  • 46 per cent have thought about changing their usual mode of transport
  • 18 per cent will not be changing their usual mode of transport

Can’t afford to drive

  • 31 per cent of commuters won’t be able to afford to drive/ride in the ULEZ anymore
  • 32 per cent won’t drive/ride in the ULEZ as much as they used to
  • 29 per cent won’t be affected by the ULEZ
  • 7 per cent don’t know how it will affect them

How did they feel about the ULEZ?

  • 47 per cent of Londoners think it is a good idea and they don’t mind it being brought in
  • 45 per cent can understand the reasons, but feel frustrated by it
  • 8 per cent think it’s a bad idea

Find out more about the findings and the rest of the Bikesure survey by clicking here.

What do you think of the ULEZ? Is it necessary to combat the levels of C02 and nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere, or does it pose a threat to the levels of business factors and garages can receive and deliver?

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

The post Some motorists can no longer afford to drive as ULEZ introduced in London appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

VIP experience on offer from Schaeffler at Automechanika Birmingham

Members and non-members of REPXPERT can still register for the VIP experience

Schaeffler has invited its REPXPERT members to register as VIP guests for Automechanika Birmingham 2019 for the three-day event at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) on 4 June, with a variety of prizes and rewards available.

REPXPERT members and non-members can now sign-up online to receive hospitality from Schaeffler, which includes lunch, a premium REPXPERT messenger bag full of workshop goodies, including a ‘magnaband’ wrist magnet, sports bottle, leaflet, pen and REPXPERT bonus points – plus all the benefits of Automechanika’s ‘Big UK Garage Event’ – all free-of-charge.

Range of benefits

Automechanika’s Big UK Garage Event adds breakfast, free car park voucher, as well as CPD-accredited training opportunities, live demonstrations and business advice.

Nigel Morgan, managing director of Schaeffler UK’s aftermarket division, said: “Schaeffler is delighted to be returning to Automechanika Birmingham and is back with a packed schedule full of top training, interactive exhibits and special guests over the three days.

“We are especially excited to again welcome REPXPERT VIPs to our stand which will make their show even more special.

“REPXPERT VIP registration is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so we urge members to sign-up quickly by logging in at www.repxpert.co.uk and clicking the Automechanika VIP button.

Additionally, for visitors from factors and the wider automotive aftermarket, the Retail Accessories Village will be open with the latest products and technology for suppliers of vehicle accessories.

Non-members can sign up

“Any technician that isn’t already a REPXPERT member can register for free at the site now to access the VIP link, or can sign-up at the show to become an instant VIP.

“The REPXPERT VIP package is just one small part of what visitors can expect from Schaeffler at Automechanika Birmingham 2019, and we will reveal further details of what else will be happening on our stand soon – watch this space.”

Schaeffler is a global supplier of OE-quality parts to the automotive aftermarket.

Find out more about REPXPERT and signing up for the VIP package by clicking here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

The post VIP experience on offer from Schaeffler at Automechanika Birmingham appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

Why you should recommend cabin air filter replacement to customers this spring

MANN-FILTER cabin air filters offer protection against particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and allergens

Changing the cabin air filter in good time is particularly important in spring, when the peak pollen count season starts, global filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL has said.

Global filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL, based in Ludwigsburg Germany, provides effective protection against allergens, harmful gases and particulate matter with its MANN-FILTER FreciousPlus cabin air filters.

A MANN+HUMMEL spokesperson said: “A vehicle ventilation system draws in huge volumes of air from outside the vehicle into the passenger compartment.

“Each hour, several hundred thousand litres of this polluted outside air pass through the vehicle’s ventilation system into the interior, bringing with them not only allergens but also particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and other harmful gases that pose a threat to the health of the vehicle occupants.

Health threat

“This means that the air in the interior of the vehicle is often much more polluted than the ambient air.

“Thorough purification of the outside air by means of a cabin air filter is therefore essential, especially for frequent drivers, allergy sufferers, and children.”

MANN+HUMMEL say its MANN-FILTER cabin air filters in original equipment quality frees the air from outside the vehicle of nearly 100 per cent of particles and harmful gases.

The MANN-FILTER FreciousPlus filters out particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 micrometres (PM 2.5), almost completely.

For comparison: These particles are up to 30–40 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

Its sources include the abrasion of tyres and brake disks.

Odours and poisonous gases

In addition, the FreciousPlus cabin air filter adsorbs unpleasant odours and poisonous gases such as nitrogen oxides and ozone.

This reduces the nitrogen oxide concentration in the vehicle interior.

The biofunctional and antimicrobial coating on the FreciousPlus also traps the allergens which can be released from pollen as well as blocking the growth of bacteria and mould fungi.

With over 100 different types of FreciousPlus cabin air filters in original equipment quality, MANN-FILTER covers nearly 70 per cent of the European passenger car and transporter fleet.

For further information about MANN-FILTER, click here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

The post Why you should recommend cabin air filter replacement to customers this spring appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

“Leading-edge product innovation” supported by OSRAM takeover of Ring

The takeover has been welcomed by Ring as “very positive news” for customers

OSRAM has completed a takeover Ring, the aftermarket manufacturer of automotive lighting, electronics and accessories, as the company expands its product range in the automotive sector.

“With the acquisition of Ring Automotive, we are further expanding our aftermarket portfolio and can at the same time use stable distribution channels in the United Kingdom,” Hans-Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO OSRAM Automotive, said.

With 160 employees, Ring Automotive achieved annual sales of around £40 million in 2017.

By acquiring Ring Automotive, OSRAM has said it is investing in the future; the British company has an established, valuable brand and a well-placed sales model in the automotive aftermarket sector.

In addition, Ring’s product portfolio goes far beyond classic automotive lighting and complements OSRAM’s product range.

Ring, for example, manufactures electronic car accessories and is represented by over 3000 dealers in over 60 countries with around 6,000 products.

Positive news for garage and factor customers

In addition, OSRAM will give the ring portfolio access to the US market via the established OSRAM Sylvania channels and opens up new sales potential in Europe and the rest of the world with a differentiated brand strategy.

George Skalski, managing director of Ring Automotive, said: “We look forward to working alongside OSRAM and believe that the transaction is very positive news for all of our colleagues and customers.

Leading-edge product innovation

“The acquisition secures continued investment in the business, which will support our future growth plans and our leading-edge product innovation.”

The parties, including the seller Rubicon Partners, have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.

Find out more about OSRAM and their aftermarket brands by clicking here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

The post “Leading-edge product innovation” supported by OSRAM takeover of Ring appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

Yuasa to give away Honda Fireblade in new consumer motorcycle competition

Scratch card comp to run until October 2019 with £25,000 worth of prizes up for grabs

Battery manufacturer and OE supplier to top motorcycle brands, Yuasa is launching an exciting motorcycle scratch card competition this spring.

With prizes including a Honda Fireblade, a Honda Fourtrax ATV, ten MDS helmets and 100 Yuasa smart chargers up for grabs, consumers are encouraged to choose a Yuasa motorcycle and powersports battery to secure their place in the prize draw.

The impressive range of prizes is worth over £25,000.

Consumers simply need to buy a qualifying Yuasa motorcycle and powersport battery and collect their entry scratch card.

Cards will be available from hundreds of participating retailers across England, Scotland and Wales.

Customers must also keep a copy of their receipt and then visit www.yuasa.co.uk/winabike to enter.

Here they will need to complete a form, enter their unique code plus upload an image of their till receipt on the Yuasa website.

James Douglas, marketing and product manager, said: “This is the biggest competition we’ve ever run.

“We can’t wait to see the level of interest.

“All our prizes are fantastic, but to win a Honda Fireblade or a Honda Fourtrax ATV could really make some lucky person’s year.

“Good luck to everyone who enters.”

All Yuasa motorcycle and powersport batteries qualify for the competition including Yuasa’s high performance maintenance free GYZ, YTZ and YTX types, maintenance free YTX and YIX ranges Yumicron, Yumicron CX, conventional 6 volt and conventional 12 volt ranges.

To find out more about the competition and Yuasa batteries, click here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

The post Yuasa to give away Honda Fireblade in new consumer motorcycle competition appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

Subscribe for FREE to the Auto Torque e-Bulletin
Auto Torque from BBC Superfactors & The Parts Alliance brings you the latest news and buzz from around the automotive aftermarket, including business advice, technical tips and industry interviews.

Subscribe for FREE today to receive fortnightly industry news delivered directly to your inbox!
It's easy to unsubscribe from these communications at any time.