Tuesday, February 19Serving the aftermarket

Features

Why Honda closures spell change for the aftermarket

Why Honda closures spell change for the aftermarket

Electric Vehicles, Features
Honda has announced a major restructuring program, closing its plants in Swindon, UK, and Kocaeli, Turkey, citing the challenge of modern automotive conditions as its reasons – and it is a warning that even the aftermarket should be heeding. While many may think that the closure of Swindon is to do with Brexit (and more on that in a moment), the closure of the plant at Kocaeli in Turkey should highlight that this is more to do with a big change in vehicle technologies, one which is causing manufacturers around the world a number of financial and logistical problems. CO2 levels By 2021, manufacturers need to meet a European target of 95g/km average for their fleets. This is down from the 130g/km target for 2015. However, in 2017, the average manufacturer CO2 level was 118
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Tracey Crouch MP on safety for roadside workers

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Tracey Crouch MP on safety for roadside workers

Features, News
The Campaign for Safer Roadside Rescue and Recoveryis driven by Sam Cockerill, whose partner Steve Godbold was killed after being hit by a lorry on the hard shoulder of the M25, as he was loading a vehicle onto his flatbed. It has gained the support of a number of groups, including the recovery Industry Support Charity (RISC). Now, a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been established to discuss roadside recovery operator (RRO) safety, following the issue being raised by Tracey Crouch MP in the House of Commons. Auto Repair Focus spoke to her to find out more about the campaign she is supporting, and what can be done to improve conditions. Can you tell me a bit about the cause you’re highlighting? It’s been well documented what happened to Steve Godbold, and Sam, hi
WLTP – what is the new emissions test?

WLTP – what is the new emissions test?

Exhaust system, Features
  One of the outcomes of the Dieselgate scandal in 2015 was a heightened awareness of vehicle emissions. Suddenly, the general public was questioning the level of emissions that vehicles put out of their exhausts. More worryingly, various research companies and media outlets conducted their own tests, finding that published emission figures were massively out of touch with the real world. Old methods The previous test, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is a laboratory based emissions check. Manufacturers send in a vehicle which is then tested using a rolling road. Emissions output is measured and these are the official figures that follow that model throughout its life. The NEDC was established in 1980. Back then, there were very few model variants and optional ...
Automechanika Birmingham 2018

Automechanika Birmingham 2018

Automechanika Birmingham, Features
With over 10,000 visitors, it has to be said that this year’s Automechanika Birmingham was a success. The event featured 500 exhibitors from 26 countries covering a floor space of 9,400 square metres. More than 120 companies exhibited at Automechanika Birmingham for the first time including: AA Garage Guide, Snap-On, Ceramex, GSF Car Parts and Wurth Electronics. Immediate post-event feedback highlighted a “quality” visitor in attendance and this, coupled with an increased ratio of visitors to exhibitors, meant the event delivered an excellent opportunity for the automotive industry to come together, network and do business. The Auto Repair Focus team was hard at work, meeting a number of exhibitors from well-established companies to new players in the aftermarket, finding out what
What goes into a Le Mans engine?

What goes into a Le Mans engine?

Bearings, Engine, Features
The Le Mans 24-hour race is a high endurance, day-long race that puts the world's best race cars to the test. In 2017, jaws dropped when an LMP2 car was placed second and third overall. But, why was this a poignant moment for this engine type and why is this significant to the design and development of these race car engines? And how does miniature bearing specialist, SMB Bearings fit in to this? A Le Mans Prototype (LMP) is the type of sports prototype race car used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series(ELMS) and Asian Le Mans Series. For a car to be compliant for entry in either the LMP1 or LMP2 category, certain design criteria must be fulfilled. In a previously LMP1 dominated race,
GDPR – What do garages need to know?

GDPR – What do garages need to know?

Business, Features
Mark Lloyd from The Automotive Academy discusses what the new data protection regulation will mean for garages The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25thMay 2018, and applies to all businesses who interact with EU and UK citizens. This means that if your garage hasn’t started preparing for this new legislation yet, you don’t have long to make sure you’re compliant. Much of the advice surrounding the GDPR focusses on the penalties for ignoring the legislation, but while these can include significant fines (up to £17 million!), focusing on the negative aspects of the GDPR means businesses are overlooking the benefits of making sure they’re compliant. The GDPR gives individuals more rights over the information companies hold about them. Following the G
Why are new car sales falling?

Why are new car sales falling?

Features, SMMT
The UK’s new car market is struggling, with sales down last year, and a further drop already forecast for 2018. March saw the 12th consecutive month of decline, but why have the sales of new vehicles gone from record highs to such lows? The first thing to remember is that despite what the mainstream press states, the market is not really ‘struggling’. Last year, over 2.5 million vehicles were sold in the UK, compared to 2.69 in 2016. A drop of around 200,000 vehicles cannot really be called a crisis, especially as 2016 was a record year, with the highest sales figures ever recorded. It is a case that over time, sales figures will ebb and flow. Yet in this instance, there are a few factors which are inorganically causing a seismic shift in the industry, and this could end up being goo
The best automotive ‘fools’

The best automotive ‘fools’

Features
As you’re no doubt aware by the number of Twitter and Facebook posts, today is not only Easter, but April Fools as well. With this in mind, Auto Repair Focus has rounded up some of the best automotive themed gags… Ancient by-law means cattle & sheep now able to graze Castle Combe infield Castle Combe's owners have been delving into the history books and have managed to unearth a series of unknown bylaws from the medieval period. Drafted around 500AD, the laws make clear that local landowners have the right to graze livestock in the field overlooking the ancient village of Castle Combe itself. Keen to maintain its prominent position within the local community and only too aware the historical significance of its location, Castle Combe Circuit has opted to adhere to the newl
Helping out, whatever the weather

Helping out, whatever the weather

Features
During the severe weather that gripped the UK last week, some garages took the decision to close their doors. But while some spent time with their families, or took advantage of downtime to do a bit more training, for Kris Sheridan, driving around in the snow was much more useful. With a 4x4 on his driveway, Kris, owner of Intelligent Autoelectrics, offered to ferry those who work with elderly and vulnerable people to the places they needed to be, in an example of community spirit that swept the nation during the ‘Beast from the East’. “We took the decision to close the garage due to the location of where my Staff live,” Kris said. “Not only that, our garage is on a road that didn't have any attention from the council so was pretty treacherous! I couldn't risk staff or customers
Ben – the Four Pillars Challenge

Ben – the Four Pillars Challenge

Charity, Features
Ben, the industry support organisation, offers its services across what it calls the four pillars: Financial, Social, Physical and Mental. For one of their employees, these areas became not just areas of support, but an opportunity for a fundraising endurance challenge. Dave Garrett recently completed a challenge of 4,000 miles during 2017, 1,000 miles for each of the four pillars. “In November 2016, a set of ‘PRIDE’ [Passionate, Respectful, Inclusive, Driven, Empowered] values were launched for all colleagues working at Ben to underpin its mission of making a positive difference to people’s lives,” says Dave. “I was quite new to the organisation at the time and wanted to do my bit to help launch the PRIDE values, so I decided that a personal challenge would best reflect these whils