As the world continues to struggle with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the automotive industry, in particular the aftermarket, could find itself slowing down for some time, even after the outbreak eases. The global pandemic began in one of China’s busiest manufacturing hubs, and spread throughout a country that is synonymous with producing many of the parts the aftermarket relies on. However, now it is spreading through Europe, even more factories could face closure for prolonged periods, hampering supply chains around the world. When these factories do open again, it is likely that those who produce components for both OEM and the aftermarket, will focus more on getting carmakers stocked up before the factor shelves. British spirit While the situation is
Even if you are not suffering from the coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be suffering with your mental health. It’s natural – everywhere you look there is doom and gloom. News channels are constantly reporting numbers, social media is going mad with rumours, and shop shelves are emptying at an alarming rate. Personal experience I understand how the news surrounding COVID-19 can affect you. You may think that being an automotive journalist, I would not need to have in-depth knowledge of the situation, but you would be wrong. In fact, I’ve been tracking this since December last year, when it first came to the attention of the World Health Organisation (WHO). You see, China is responsible for a large majority of the automotive supply chain, and Wuhan in particular is home to many
Sitting in a workshop in the middle of a technical college in Gloucestershire is a car, but not just any car. This particular vehicle has inspired students of all ages to get involved in engineering, and in the next 12-18 months could become the fastest land vehicle in the world. Yet less than a year ago it all looked like the car would end up as scrap. Bloodhound LSR, as it is now known, has come on in leaps and bounds from its previous incarnation as Bloodhound SSC. Under the ownership of Ian Warhurst, former owner of Melett, a turbocharger manufacturer, there is renewed optimism in the project. It is this enthusiasm that has carried the project to its latest stage, where later this month the car and its team will fly to Hakassan Pan in South Africa for high-speed testing. ht...
Brexit seems to have everyone confused, especially the UK Government. Despite the votes of the last week we are still no cleared to how, or even when, the country will cease to be part of the European Union. The situation has unnerved the automotive industry for some time, with manufacturers and suppliers calling for clarity, and the continuation of a frictionless trade agreement which will not add to the costs of parts and cars. Despite the vote against a ‘hard-Brexit’ this situation could still happen if the EU decides enough is enough. The other question currently on the minds of the British public and the automotive industry is ‘when will Brexit happen?’ The current 29 March deadline is looming, although MPs have voted to extend this, should the EU also agree. Myths buste
Phil Curry took a trip to Switzerland to profile some of the upcoming models and find out how the industry is reacting to enforced change... The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) is opening its doors for the 89thtime this year. This event is very different to the first running, and indeed, different to more recent runnings, taking place in a changing automotive landscape. The automotive market, which has been growing steadily since the global recession of 2009, has come to a halt. Sales are fluctuating, caused by turbulent markets, unpredictable political situations and a campaign against diesel technology that has caused sale to drop drastically since 2015, the same time that Dieselgate broke and the eyes of the world focused on nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. ...
For those who work in garages, coming into contact with contaminants, grease and grime is a daily occurrence. Which means that getting your hands dirty is part of the job! The likelihood is that a tub of industrial hand cleaner is always on hand, and most days end with a good scrub at the sink. A tin of Swarfega has become iconic to most automotive workers. But this workplace is about to go through a transformation. “The industry will totally change as we see more and more EVs on the road,” Mick, a technician at Manchester Hybrids said. By 2040, the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned – although hybrid vehicles will be exempt. These changes signal a huge shift away from the internal combustion engine, which has been a daily sight for auto workers acros
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
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
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 ...
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