Monday, April 23Serving the aftermarket

Features

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
The future of motoring?

The future of motoring?

Autonomous, Features
A few years ago, the idea of a driverless car was ‘pie in the sky’ thinking, a fad that would never become mainstream. If the words sound familiar, it’s probably because they’ve also been linked to the electric vehicle (EV), hybrid technology, diesel and petrol before it. Manufacturers are taking the idea of autonomous driving very seriously. In fact, the new Audi A8 features ‘Level 3’ autonomy. This means that the car can control itself in certain situations, although the driver must remain alert and prepared to take control at any time. There are five levels, and the interesting stuff begins at Level 4. Therefore, we’re not far away from science-fiction becoming science-fact. Aftermarket choices What does this mean for the aftermarket? Well, in terms of vehicle repair, the need
Diesel – what went wrong?

Diesel – what went wrong?

Diesel, Features, Product features
Until three years ago, diesel was the fuel of choice for drivers. The government backed it, the oil companies backed it and thanks to the complexities of the servicing and intricacies of the parts, the aftermarket backed it. Then, one September morning in 2015, everything changed. During the IAA motor show in Frankfurt, news broke that Volkswagen had been found to be cheating emissions testing in the US, with software fitted to vehicles that could detect when it was being run in a laboratory, and alter the emissions profile accordingly. Therefore, out in the real world, their cars were more polluting that figures showed. The dominoes fell quickly. First, other manufacturers were pointed out, with Renault and Daimler having their offices searched for any evidence of emissions cheating...