“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.

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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.

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Autotech Recruit spearheads innovative permanent recruitment drive

Initiative to offer bespoke projects for individual businesses for large scale or multi-site permanent recruitment

Autotech Recruit has launched a pioneering, large-scale permanent recruitment drive, which is set to deliver multiple technicians across multiple sites, revolutionising the way in which national automotive companies recruit permanent vehicle technicians.

Due to the mass delivery of vehicle technicians, each unique permanent recruitment project is set to be extremely cost effective, with a saving of up to 60 per cent per candidate compared to traditional recruitment methods.

Each project will be based on a dedicated SLA agreement, set out by Autotech Recruit, to deliver a specified amount of vehicle technicians over a set period of time – if they do not deliver the full quota, they will refund a percentage of their fee.

“Cost-effective solution”

Gavin White, managing director at Autotech Recruit said: “This is a major shift in the process of permanent recruitment.

“It is a very cost-effective solution as we are not only putting our reputation on the line, however both parties have a deadline to deliver.”

This innovative approach to large-scale permanent recruitment, which will be an extension of Autotech Recruit’s rapidly growing employment solutions offering, will be managed by a dedicated team of permanent recruitment consultants.

The new service will be headed up by Sue Dixon, who spent almost 20 years within the recruitment division of Mercedes-Benz UK.

Online portal

A bespoke, online portal will underpin each permanent recruitment project and be accessible to all members of the client team during the project lifetime.

The permanent team manage every aspect of the recruitment campaign and, after thoroughly vetting each of the candidates, Autotech Recruit will load CVs onto the portal, with an alert sent to the client.

Gavin added: “Through the portal the employer can immediately access information on a highly suitable candidate, who meets their exact needs based on experience, skill set, location, and job flexibility such as part-time.

This is set to significantly reduce the overall recruitment time.

“Garages and dealerships are suffering from a wide-spread shortage of skilled technicians.

“However, they do not have the time to process CVs and find suitable candidates, while head office HR departments do not have the capacity to recruit for individual employers.”

“Our solution to large scale permanent recruitment is an innovative, semi-automated solution which will provide a consistent recruitment approach.”

For further information about Autotech Recruit, click here.

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

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Ring wall chart gives techs and factors latest info for auto lighting

Chart features ECE references, dimensions, tech drawings and part numbers for over 600 replacement bulbs

A new technical 6V and 12V bulb wall chart is now available from Ring, offering quick reference guide for replacement auto bulbs.

The chart includes the most recently created references being fitted to new vehicles, as well as upgrades, so that motor factors can see the brighter, whiter and other high-performance options available for their customers.

It also has guides for ECE references, to show applications for a comprehensive range of road-legal bulbs for 12V and 6V vehicles.

Additional information includes details about Ring’s xenon HID range, which features well-established references as well as the newer D5 bulb that is now being fitted on a growing number of vehicles.

To order a chart, call Ring on 0113 2137389 quoting part number CAT1248 or click here for further information about Ring.

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

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DVSA confirms that ADAS remains out of the scope of MOT

Responsibility of all systems not covered by MOT lies with drivers

The DVSA has confirmed to AutoTorque that ADAS remains out of the remit of the MOT, with all vehicle systems that don’t fall under the MOT being the responsibility of drivers to maintain.

In a statement, Neil Barlow, DVSA’s head of vehicle engineering, said: “Drivers should ensure all vehicle systems, regardless of whether they are covered by MOT, work correctly and should get any problems seen to as soon as possible.

“DVSA’s priority is to help everyone keep their vehicle safe to drive.

“Britain’s roads are amongst the safest in the world and the MOT is key to helping them stay that way.

“ADAS does not yet fall within the scope of MOT.

“We’re constantly reviewing the test to ensure it keeps up with changes in vehicle technology.”

Ahead of fresh legislation on both ADAS and dealing with MOT fraud, Barlow explained how action is currently taken against fraudulent MOT testers. He said: “MOT fraud compromises vehicle safety and will not be tolerated.

Banning fraudulent testers

“There are a range of sanctions that can be carried out against fraudulent MOT testers.

“As well as any legal penalties, DVSA can, and does, ban people guilty for MOT fraud from testing.”

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All-expenses paid trip to Formula E race on offer by visiting brand’s social media page

Prize includes flights or train tickets to Berlin, a two night stay at a hotel and tickets to the Berlin E-Prix

ZF Aftermarket brand, Sachs, has announced a new social media sweepstake which will see winners win a trip to a forthcoming Formula E race.

Visitors to the SACHSofficial page on Facebook or Instagram need to follow the instructions to be in with a chance of winning an all-expenses paid trip to the 2019 Berlin E-Prix on 25 May.

Formula E is a class of motorsport that uses only electric-powered cars.

The inaugural championship started in Beijing in September 2014.

Steadily growing in popularity, the series has raced in 19 cities across five continents and is currently in its fifth season.

Using motorsport to pioneer innovative tech

“Innovative technology, pioneering manufacturing techniques and advanced testing processes are cornerstones of the Sachs brand – from motorsport through to the aftermarket,” explained Ben Smart, global marketing director.

“As a true leader in the field of advancing mobility, ZF Aftermarket combines all of the above with relevant technical know-how and a thorough understanding of how to communicate with its market in an electrical and digital age.

“This new campaign maximises social media use to show its support of the newest recruit to racing – Formula E – in which competing team Venturi has utilised ZF parts since 2016.”

How to win

The social media sweepstake is open from 5 April to 4 May, 2019.

To be in with a chance of winning, visitors to ZF Aftermarket’s SACHSoriginal page on Facebook or Instagram simply need to follow the instructions in the sweepstake post.

The prize includes: flights or train tickets to Berlin, a two night stay at a leading hotel and tickets to the 2019 Berlin E-Prix, inclusive of full Boss|Emotion Club hospitality, which will be held on 25 May at the former airport in Berlin-Tempelhof.

Increasing speeds

A supporter of the Formula E championship since the beginning, ZF supplies the Monaco-based Venturi team with shock absorbers for its cars, and for season four developed a new transmission system.

For the fifth and current season the cars competing in Formula E have been upgraded.

In terms of power, this means an increase from 200kW to 250kW (about 335 horsepower) pushing the top speed to about 174 miles per hour; impressive considering Formula E almost exclusively competes on city street circuits.

This extra power will help the new cars shave the 0–60 mph time down to 2.7 seconds.

In line with this, ZF has said it’s developed an electric drive for the Venturi team which not only offers enhanced efficiency and performance, but also increased durability.

This is vital because the drive components of Formula-E race cars have to stand up to 13 races per season with a total of more than 5,000 racing and qualifying kilometres.

The teams can only swap the drive components in each car once because any more would result in drastic time penalties.

Bringing Formula E principles to aftermarket

An electric motor and newly developed transmission offer improved performance and efficiency.

The use of lightweight materials – a metal alloy in the housing and carbon in the power electronics – ensure maximum weight saving.

Furthermore, systems for cooling and lubrication were adapted to realise the weight-saving concept of a high-efficiency transmission ratio.

“The drive concept was conceived, developed and tested in a few short months, illustrating ZF’s commitment to meeting the needs of the customer in a rapidly changing world,” said Tobias Hofmann, project manager for the Formula-E drive.

“An ethos which we carry through into our aftermarket offer, by always being first to market with new applications.”

To take part in the Formula E sweepstake, simply search for @SACHSofficial on Facebook, or find the brand at @SACHSofficial on Instagram.

Find out more about ZF Aftermarket and its products for the independent automotive industry by clicking here.

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

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Neil Croxson named president and COO of The Parts Alliance

The Parts Alliance has announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Neil Croxson has been appointed to the position of president and chief operating officer, with immediate effect.

Neil succeeds Peter Sephton who will be retiring after ensuring an orderly transition over a three-month period.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues in The Parts Alliance, Uni-Select, suppliers and other industry professionals who have helped our journey to build a market leader, and I wish Neil and the team the best of luck in what will be a great onward journey,” said Peter Sephton.

Neil Croxson (below) joined The Parts Alliance as CFO in 2015 and has been playing a pivotal role in the expansion of the network through selected acquisitions and the opening of 15 company-owned stores.

Increased market coverage

He has worked in close collaboration with Peter Sephton to deliver the group’s financial strategy and increase market coverage in the U.K. and Ireland.

“Neil Croxson has already demonstrated great leadership capabilities and we are delighted to see him progress into such a strategic role,” said André Courville, interim president and ceo of parent company Uni-Select.

Market leader in UK autoparts distribution

“I also wish to thank Peter for building The Parts Alliance into a formidable force and market leader in the UK autoparts distribution industry and help us grow the business further after Uni-Select acquired it in 2017.

“We are glad that Peter will continue to work with us as a special advisor and represent our interests in associated trade bodies, such as Nexus International.”

“I am honoured to be taking on this new role,” said Neil Croxson, president and COO of The Parts Alliance.

“We had an excellent performance during our first full-year under the Uni-Select umbrella, and under Peter’s leadership, we implemented strong foundations to enable us to capture future market opportunities.

“I look forward to building on this momentum.”

An Interim CFO at The Parts Alliance will be named for the transition period and until the conclusion of the executive search for this position.

Find out more about The Parts Alliance and its UK-wide network of parts distributers by clicking here.

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DIY car repairs on the rise as drivers end up paying £170 to fix their mistakes, study shows

Almost 40 per cent of ‘home mechanics’ have had to take their car into a garage to correct their mistakes, costing them as much as £170 to get the work done professionally, new research suggests.

The study also claims that a growing number of British motorists attempting to repair their own vehicle with 57 per cent now buying spare vehicle parts.

Two-fifths of drivers have had to get their issues rectified at costs between £80 and £170, the research from Consumer website, Money Saving Heroes shows.

Just 30 per cent say they don’t attempt any repairs themselves because they ‘don’t trust’ themselves to do the work, 24 per cent ‘have a friend’ who does it for them cheaper than garages charge and 21 per cent ‘want it done properly the first time’.

Head gasket replacement

Common jobs carried out by ‘home mechanics’ included head gasket replacement and bodywork repairs.

Asked if it would have been cheaper to take the car to a garage in the first instance, 42 per cent said it would have been cheaper.

George Charles, a spokesperson Money Saving Heroes said: “It is no surprise that people end up paying more to rectify their car DIY jobs than it would have cost to get a trained mechanic to do the job, what with the average Briton not being a mechanic and understanding the ins and outs of a car.”

Do you think garages are having to correct more bodged car repairs? Are more customers coming to you for parts to undertake DIY maintenance? Share your comments and experiences below.

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Making Tax Digital to come into effect from 1 April

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) hosted its latest members’ event recently and reminded garages and beyond about the forthcoming Making Tax Digital (MTD) rollout.

Notwithstanding garages, any business that has a taxable turnover above £85,000 and is VAT-registered will need to keep digital records of tax and VAT returns after 31 March 2019.

To do this, businesses will need to begin using MTD-compatible software, which supports their ability to exchange data records digitally between themselves and HMRC.

If more than one application is being used, data that flows between those applications must also be exchanged digitally, called ‘bridging software’.

Digital records can be kept in a range of compatible digital formats.

They do not all have to be held in the same place or on one piece of software.

For example, a spreadsheet can be a component of digital record keeping provided the product that consolidates records, or summary records from the spreadsheet, can exchange data digitally with HMRC.

Time to make changes

HMRC will give businesses until 31 March 2020 to make sure there are digital links between software products.

Before that date, cut and paste will be an acceptable way to transfer information.

A list of all software providers businesses and agents can use can be found here.

What do you think of MTD? Will it be a help or hinderance to your business? Let us know

The post Making Tax Digital to come into effect from 1 April appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

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Watch: What’s life like for an Autotech vehicle technician contractor?

Autotech Recruit provides contractor, temporary and permanent cover for autocentres, garages and workshops throughout the UK, but what happens when you need a contractor?

This video explores what garages can do to deal with the unexpected need to bring in a temporary or other member of staff and what it’s like to be a contractor technician.

For garages looking to recruit staff, you can find answers to the frequently asked questions that surround technician recruitment; for technicians, find out what goes into the process of contracting.

Find out more about Autotech recruit and its services to the independent automotive industry by clicking here.

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