Ben, the not-for-profit organisation that partners with the automotive industry to provide support for life to its people and their family dependents, reveals the main financial worries for people who work, or have previously worked, in the automotive industry. In 2017, 42% of people Ben supported had money problems, with ‘low income’ accounting for 52% of this. Other key financial concerns were around debt and money management. Mental health issues were the second biggest concern for people last year, accounting for 31%. In addition, 17% of individuals who contacted Ben were worried about their physical health and 10% had social health concerns such as relationship breakdowns, isolation and loneliness. NEW financial tools available now! In response, Ben has launched two new online
The UK’s used vehicle market saw a drop in sales during 2017, although the market remained strong compared to the country’s new registration figures. During the year, used car sales fell by just 1.1%, with more than 8.1 million vehicles changing hands, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Despite a 5.1% fall in the market in the fourth quarter, annual transactions were at their second highest level, following the record set in 2016. The country’s new car market dropped in 2017, sales falling by 5.7% compared to the previous year. This has been driven by a collapse in the diesel market, due to demonisation in the media and increased vehicle excise duty (VED) rates being implemented by the country’s government. The new diesel market share dropped by 1
The Parts Alliance says the Vetech DPF Professional Cleaner launched in 2015 by GSF Car Parts has proved so successful that they will be enforcing recently acquired design protection rights to help garages avoid ‘inferior copy products’, after successfully patenting the product. Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) are a leading technology to reduce emissions of fine particles – named diesel particulates – contained in exhaust fumes. Unfortunately, as garages know, but most motorists don’t, the DPF filters themselves are prone to getting congested with this material. The soot-like particulates are produced in high volumes when engines are cold. DPF ‘regeneration’ cycles, designed to clear the DPF by burning off accumulated soot deposits, rely on prolonged higher engine temperatures
Euro Car Parts has announced a first-to-market ADAS training course as part of its Euro Academy offering. Working in partnership with diagnostics specialist Hella, the one-day course aims to help repairers understand how to accurately service and calibrate camera and radar-based Advanced Driver Assist Systems. The intermediate course is the only one of its kind to be accredited by the IMI Quality Assurance Programme. ADAS systems have been fitted to vehicles since the early 1990s. Since 2016, new vehicles require a minimum of two ADAS systems installed to qualify for a five-star NCAP Safety Rating. These consist of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Departure Warning, both of which are covered by the Euro Academy course. Bill Stimson, technical sales directo...
The European Parliament’s IMCO committee have approved several key amendments to Vehicle Type-Approval legislation proposals, which include the aftermarket maintaining in-vehicle data access via the OBD port. The approval follows ongoing campaigning from within the industry and also government quarters both at home and abroad, which has collectively championed the rights of the aftermarket in the fight to keep access open to the OBD port. West Midlands MEP Daniel Dalton visited an independent garage in Birmingham in 2016, along with IAAF’s Chief Executive Wendy Williamson, GEA’s Dave Garrett, IGA’s Stuart James, FIGEIFA’s Sylvia Gotzen and Neil Pattemore. Here, Dalton gained insight first hand on how crucial it was that aftermarket access to in-vehicle data remains possible. D
Garage chain Kwik Fit has made national news once again, after charging a student for repairs to her vehicle’s air conditioning system, despite it not being fitted to the car. Stevie Stowell was told her Citroen C1 would need £685 worth of repairs following a diagnostics check. According to the garage, a noise when the engine was running was caused by the air conditioning system. However, following the large quote, the student’s father suggested she take the car to another garage for a second opinion. Upon realising the vehicle did not have air conditioning, the garage diagnosed and fixed a water pump bearing, with the full cost of repair at £450. The student had already paid Kwik Fit a £50 fee for the diagnostic work which returned the wrong results. However, the company has sinc
Following a ruling from the UK Competitions and Mergers Authority (CMA), LKQ has closed 10 Andrew Page stores with immediate effect. The US company, owner of Euro Car Parts, purchased Andrew Page and its 102 branches in October 2016. However the acquisition caught the eye of the UK authorities, which was concerned that the company would own a monopoly in the industry. Preliminary findings, published in September last year, revealed that customers could lose out in ten areas by limiting competition. A statement released by the chair of the CMA enquiry, Alasdair Smith, at the time said: “Andrew Page was in administration and would have closed down if a purchaser had not been found. The only two other purchasers would have bought a much smaller number of depots. We think that in mos
UK new car registrations declined for the first month of 2018, as the year gets off to a shaky start following the first annual drop in figures for six years during 2017. The figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that in January, 163,615 vehicles were driven off the country’s forecourts, a fall of 5.3% compared with the same month last year. This represents the 10th consecutive month of decline in the country’s market. Demand fell across all sectors of the industry, with business registrations down 29.7%, fleet purchases falling 1.8% and private sales dropping 9.5%. Meanwhile, continuing trends seen towards the end of the year, the SUV market was the only vehicle segment to register growth, with demand up 6.6% and a market share of 20.2%
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has been made aware of a new advertising scam that is targeting independent workshops. Members have notified the industry body about phone calls received, claiming to be from a local newspaper, asking if they would like to place a low cost advert (around £25) as an offer in conjunction with the RMI. Callers apparently know a lot about the business they are targeting, including staff names and other trade associations they belong to. In addition, the scam is only contacting garages that have already placed newspaper adverts. The caller is encouraging businesses to secure their advertising place by paying for it over the phone but attempts to take a large amount, in some cases up to £5,000, from the account. The banks have been able to bl
The UK has seen investment in its automotive industry halve since the country voted to leave the European Union, new figures reveal. As the process continues, there are still no answers as to how the country will trade with Europe. Any deal that does not offer free trade routes would see World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs introduced, which could mean a 10% charge on every product that enters and exits the country. During 2017, investment in the UK industry fell by 33.7%, according to new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This equates to £1.1 billion (€1.25 billion) put into the country’s various vehicle manufacturing plants and development centres, down from £1.7 billion (€1.9 billion) in 2016, and £2.5 billion (€2.85 billion) in 2015.