Tuesday, January 22Serving the aftermarket

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UK car market drops in November

UK car market drops in November

News, SMMT
New car sales in the UK fell again in November, according to the latest data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The figures reveal a modest 3% drop in the eleventh month of the year, with 158,639 units registered. The society blames stalling consumer confidence, supply delays due to the implementation of the new WLTP emissions test and model replacement by some manufacturers combined to affect overall sales. Reflecting recent trends, demand for petrol vehicles rose by 3.5%, while alternatively fuelled vehicle sales increased by 24.6%. However, these increases failed to offset a 16.7% decline in diesel sales as the market continues to suffer. Fleet registrations fell by 0.7%, with private sales down 6.4%. Business sales rose by 8.6% compared to t
Automechanika Birmingham adds more names

Automechanika Birmingham adds more names

Automechanika Birmingham, News
More major automotive industry players have signed up to exhibit at Automechanika Birmingham 2019, with a raft of top-quality names targeting even more garage and motor factor visitors next year. For the fourth year running, the UK’s leading automotive event returns to Birmingham NEC on 4 to 6 June. Few spaces remain for companies to sign up to exhibit as Automechanika looks to deliver on its pledge of providing the perfect ratio of visitors to exhibitors. Boosted by an Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO) study that found that exhibiting at events brings about increased sales, brand awareness and more recommendations, new names signed up to exhibit in 2019 include: Apec Braking Ltd, BM Catalysts, Draper Tools, GROUPAUTO, Launch Tech UK, Liqui Moly, MAM Software, Marathon W
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
MOT failures drop after stricter rules implemented

MOT failures drop after stricter rules implemented

MOT, News
Car MOT failure rates have fallen (rather than risen) since new, more stringent MOT rules came into force on 20th May 2018. This unexpected finding was revealed on analysis of DVLA data obtained by car buying comparison website Motorway.co.uk, through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. The request, submitted to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in October 2018, asked for the total number of MOT tests, fail and pass rates, every month since January 2017. The data was obtained to see if tougher rules had increased failure rates, but actually revealed the opposite. Across June, July and August 2018 – the months following the shake-up in MOT rules - the average failure rate was 34.1%, compared to 34.5% between January 2017 and April 2018 (preceding the changes).
Tyres responsible for plastic pollution state Friends of the Earth

Tyres responsible for plastic pollution state Friends of the Earth

News, Tyres
Car tyres responsible for thousands of tonnes of UK plastic pollution according to a Friends of the Earth report Up to 19,000 tonnes of microplastic pollution could be entering UK waterways every year from vehicle tyres, says a new report for Friends of the Earth published today. The environmental campaign group is calling on the government’s resources and waste strategy - expected later this month - to include measures for tackling microplastics as part of a comprehensive action plan. Vehicle tyres shed tiny bits of plastic (a mixture of natural and synthetic rubber, and well as various additives) during driving, and are believed to be responsible for the greatest proportion of microplastic pollution entering EU surface waters. Microplastics can also absorb and concentrate
Johnson Controls sells Varta Battery

Johnson Controls sells Varta Battery

Batteries and Chargers, News
Johnson Controls has sold its Power Solutions business to Qubec-based Brookfield Business Partners, in a deal worth $13.2 billion (£10.3 billion). The move means that the company is exiting the automotive industry, and will see the Varta brand transfer to Brookfield. "This announcement marks a significant milestone in the ongoing transformation of the Johnson Controls portfolio," said chairman and chief executive officer George Oliver. "The sale of our Power Solutions business will create value for investors by streamlining our portfolio and giving us increased financial flexibility to strengthen our balance sheet, return capital to shareholders and create optionality in our Buildings business. This focused portfolio will allow us to capitalize on secular growth trends and to del
Study finds false accusations against technicians rising

Study finds false accusations against technicians rising

News
A new study has found that over three quarters of UK-based mechanics have been falsely accused of lying by customers in a bid to rip them off. What’s more, of these participants, one in twelve (8%) have had a customer become aggressive and threatening. Mechanics are skilled workmen and yet they are not treated with respect, a new survey has found, with three quarters admitting they have been accused of lying. What’s more, 1 in 10 mechanics have had a customer withhold payment before. The team at www.Fixter.co.uk carried out the study in a bid to find out more about Britons attitudes towards the automotive industry. For the purpose of the study, 701 UK-based adults aged 18 or over were quizzed, all of whom revealed that they currently work as a mechanic full-time. Initially all
Schaeffler shutting UK plants over Brexit worries

Schaeffler shutting UK plants over Brexit worries

News
Schaeffler, a supplier of transmission components, bearings, belts and other drivetrain products, is to shut two of its UK manufacturing plants as part of a ‘reorganisation’ of its UK business. This is part of its ‘Agenda 4 plus One’ programme examining strategic and economic competitiveness and long-term sustainability of all Schaeffler locations worldwide. In a statement, the company says it will retain a meaningful presence in the UK but will reduce its overall footprint and relocate some production to other facilities outside the country. It is estimated that the plans will take around two years to implement. The global footprint analysis focused on how best to structure the business in the UK based on various factors including economic conditions, supply and demand, and the
IMI launches ADAS Accreditation

IMI launches ADAS Accreditation

IMI, News
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has contributed to a 38% reduction in accidents, with around 10% of the UK’s car parc featuring some form of windscreen mounted technology. These statistics from Euro NCAP also suggest that 40% of UK vehicles could feature ADAS by 2020. While this technology is certified at manufacture, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) believes there is room for improvement to ensure that all automotive technicians understand the systems, so that ADAS is properly calibrated after servicing and is safe for use on the road. The body has therefore launched a new IMI ADAS Accreditation to help ensure technicians have the expertise to work with ADAS features in vehicles, protecting the safety of drivers when this technology is activated. The accred
UK registrations drop slightly in October

UK registrations drop slightly in October

News, SMMT
The UK’s new car market declined again in October as the market shows some signs of recovery following the introduction of WLTP. According to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), registrations in October fell by 2.9% with 153,599 vehicles sold. With various carmakers still struggling with model shortages due to the new emissions test regime, the figures suggest the spike in August and decline in September are helping to balance the market out. Declines were seen in both private and fleet sectors, with registrations down 1% and 5.2% respectively. Meanwhile, continuing uncertainty over government policy on diesel saw demand fall by a further 21.3%. Registrations of petrol cars rose 7.1%, while the market for alternatively fuelled veh