Servicesure celebrates the New Year in style thanks to darts champ partnership

Peter Wright wins world championship for first time.

Servicesure, the national garage network of The Parts Alliance, had reason to celebrate this New Year thanks to its partnership with darts champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright.

The 49-year old Scottish darts player won the 2020 PDC World Darts Championship on New Year’s day.

He scooped his first major title, the biggest event in professional darts, by seven sets to three with sustained high scoring and precision finishing.

The win saw him finally beat number one seed, three-time former champion and bookies favourite Michael van Gerwen.

A raucous Alexandra Palace roared on crowd favourite Peter, helping him realise a resolution that he made back at the beginning of his darts career to win the world title before he was 50.

Servicesure has sponsored Peter, who’s renowned for his colourful ‘mohawk’ hairstyle, since March 2017 when the partnership was launched with a special event at The Parts Alliance head office in Solihull.

Speaking at the sponsorship launch, former tyre fitter Peter said: “I’m thrilled to have the backing of Servicesure for what I hope will be an exciting period of my career.”

Paul Dineen, head of the Servicesure programme, said: “We were thrilled to see Peter get the victory he deserved and we’re proud to be a sponsor of the man who is now the world champion – it’s a brilliant way of getting our brand out there on a global scale.

“Both Servicesure and Peter have enjoyed success since 2017, and we’re excited to be on this journey with him.”

To find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of the fast-growing Servicesure network, click here.

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REPXPERT Academy LIVE: High number of visitors expected at Basingstoke

Technicians advised to book places quickly for training concept held in partnership with the IMI.

With a significant number of places already snapped up, technicians are being urged to sign-up for the first REPXPERT Academy LIVE event of 2020, held at Basingstoke College of Technology, on Saturday 25th January.

The roadshow training concept continues its journey throughout the UK, following a successful debut at Lincoln College in November last year.

In collaboration with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), Schaeffler is primed for a new group of visitors, all of whom are ready to experience a full-day’s training, geared to improve and futureproof their technical and business skills.

Workshop owners and technicians will be offered masterclasses by a team of Schaeffler REPXPERTs, who will be concentrating on LuK clutch technology, INA timing drives and modern thermal management systems.

There will also be a focus on new and upcoming vehicle technologies, such as hybridisation and electrification.

The Garage Inspector

REPXPERT brand ambassador and The Garage Inspector, Andy Savva, will also be hosting a class based on his popular business training sessions.

An award-winning ex-workshop owner, aftermarket commentator and now business advisor, Andy will demonstrate to workshop owners and their staff how they can ‘empower their workshop’.

These four 45-minute sessions will incorporate practical knowledge, theory and discussion elements, all designed to impart as much knowledge as possible.

This will ensure that each delegate will have the opportunity to absorb plenty of valuable technical and business-related information from every session.

There will also be plenty to see in the workshop throughout the day, with guest exhibitors, Laser Tools and TechMan, plus, of course, displays from Schaeffler, the IMI and Basingstoke College of Technology.

Entry to REPXPERT Academy LIVE is free of charge, and every visitor will be offered complimentary breakfast and lunch, as well as refreshments throughout. Doors will open at 9am, with the event due to finish at 4pm.

To book your free place, click here.

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Further reman engine growth expected after record sales in Europe, reports Ivor Searle

Benefits of more sustainable remanufactured components continues to gain traction across aftermarket.

Remanufacturer of major units, Ivor Searle, is predicting a boost in demand for its remanufactured products next year, following record sales of engines in Europe during 2019.

As laws surrounding the recycling of vehicle parts become more stringent in the EU than anywhere else in the world, Cambridgeshire-based Ivor Searle sees further growth opportunities as the benefits of more sustainable remanufactured products continue to gain traction across the aftermarket, both in its home territory and in continental Europe.

In a continually challenging economic climate, which has resulted in a significant slowdown in new car sales, added to the rising cost of insurance that has reduced the threshold for uneconomical repair, the market for remanufacture has developed as a competitive alternative to OEM replacement parts.

Ivor Searle claims to save garages up to 40 per cent on the cost of buying OEM by instead, sourcing high quality remanufactured engines, cylinder heads, gearboxes and turbochargers.

The automotive parts remanufacturing market in Europe is valued at around €10 billion and expected to reach €20 billion by the end of 2024.

According to its report, Automotive Parts Remanufacturing Market: Europe Industry Analysis and Forecast 2016-2024, Persistence Market Research projects that Europe’s vehicle parts remanufacturing market will grow by up to 8 per cent annually.

By the end of 2024, the report predicts the number of remanufactured products will surpass 56 million per year.

The emergence of more sophisticated components for controlling vehicle emissions performance, as well as significant growth in the take up of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs), are considered to be key driver for the remanufacturing market’s growth, particularly in regard to diesel remanufactured engines for both cars and vans, the latter of which is the workhorse of the pan-European parcel delivery fleet.

In addition to strong demand for remanufactured engines, Ivor Searle forecasts increased growth for ‘reman’ gearboxes, turbochargers and other components.

Of Europe’s total automotive parts remanufacturing market, more than 40 per cent relates to cars.

With benefits to the consumer, aftermarket and the wider world, remanufacturing will continue to exert an increasing influence on the automotive industry, as David Eszenyi, commercial director of Ivor Searle, said: “Now that all EU manufactured cars have to be at least 95 per cent recyclable, plus billions of euros being poured into the development of AFVs, the automotive sector is looking to a sustainable future.

“Remanufacturing is a fundamental part of a Circular Economy, as it’s a cost-effective alternative to manufacturing brand new products and at the same time saving on raw materials and energy.

“A remanufactured engine from Ivor Searle will save around 55kg in core metal whilst using 85 per cent less energy than manufacturing. It’s a win-win process.”

For further information about Ivor Searle, click here.

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Lesjöfors acquires Metrol Springs Ltd in the UK

The company has a diversified customer base in the UK, Europe, the US, and Asia, serving industrial and automotive customers.

Lesjöfors AB has announced its acquisition of the shares in Metrol Springs Ltd, a leading manufacturer of tooling gas springs, special purpose gas springs, and gas struts, within the UK and other global markets.

The company has enhanced their product offering with the addition of linear actuators and a constantly expanding range of industrial hardware.

A large proportion of the sales are via their catalogue in conjunction with their current websites.

Metrol’s revenues amount to MGBP 7 with good profitability, of which approximately 40 percent are exports to more than 20 countries.

Based in Northampton, Lesjöfors has acquired the real estate on which Metrol’s manufacturing plant is located through shares in Nitro Springs Manufacturing Ltd.

Retiring Lesjöfors President, Kjell-Arne Lindbäck, comments on the transaction: “With its main business areas being gas springs and gas struts, Metrol will broaden the Lesjöfors Group’s offering for both existing and new customers.

“The decentralized, technical and sales-orientated business culture within Metrol mirrors the philosophy we have at Lesjöfors, which will make it easy to work closely in our joint development of this business.”

Recently appointed Lesjöfors President, Ola Tengroth, also commented on the transaction: “I look forward to supporting the development of Metrol going forward along with its strong management team, which is now fully integrated within Lesjöfors.”

Metrol’s principal owners, Andrew Marks and Robert Lamb, and directors Paul Hynes and Chris Pegram, comments on the transaction: “We are incredibly happy for the company to become a part of a group that has a global market presence with extensive knowledge of our business concept and ethos.”

In addition, Paul Hynes and Chris Pegram states: “We appreciate the decentralized structure of Lesjöfors and are looking forward to staying on and continuing to develop the company further.”

Robert Lamb is also enthused by the prospect of his continued involvement in Metrol as part of the expanding Lesjöfors team.

To find out more about Lesjöfors, click here.

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Garage speaks out following “hard-hitting” Trading Standards sting

Family behind Binley Woods urges independents to check quality control processes after being forced to pay £11,150.

The family behind Binley Woods Service Centre has spoken out to tell “our side of the story” after being fined £1,500, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £9,500 and a £150 victim surcharge following a Trading Standards operation.

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards carried out an under-cover operation at the Coventry-based independent in 2018 and was found guilty of an offence contrary to regulation 9 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at Coventry Magistrates Court in November of this year.

Full service/ major service discrepancy 

Charnjit Sekhon, manager at Binley Woods, told Garage Wire that the issue was largely down to a discrepancy between a ‘full service’ and ‘major service’.

He said: “Trading Standards booked a vehicle in for a major service over the phone but, for some unknown reason, our receptionist booked the vehicle in for a full service.

“We changed the oil, filter, provided a comprehensive vehicle check and bill £132 for a full service.

“That’s why we didn’t replace the fuel filter and sparks plugs.

“But how could we prove it?

“The court required due diligence proof.

“The only thing that saved us was an advertisement on our website, which showed that we charge £190 for a major service.”

Immediate change

Charnjit first became aware of the undercover operation three days later when he was interviewed by Trading Standards about the recent service and, after seeking advice from the Independent Garage Association (IGA), immediately made changes to the business.

He said: “We’ve changed the telephone system to record incoming and out-going calls, so we have some reference to check any future discrepancies.

“Our workflow process, from initial booking through to when the vehicle leaves the site is now recorded.

“Over the last few months we’ve had a complete new system – it’s the only thing that will save our bacon in the law of court, which asks what processes we have in place to avoid issues.”

“An opportunity to improve”

Speaking to Garage Wire, head of member services at the IGA, Frank Harvey said: “It’s the easiest thing in the world to point fingers but when somebody needs help, that’s when we have to prove our worth.

“It can’t have been a comfortable situation but rather than shy away from it they took it as an opportunity to improve their business which really shows their worth.

“We visited the garage, understood what had gone wrong and helped them to put new processes into place.”

Managing the fallout

Since the case was made public, Charnjit admits that the investigation has impacted business but explained that he’s trying to managing the situation.

He said: “We hold our hands up, mistakes were made but since 2018 we have invested substantial sums in training and quality control processes

“After it came out in the press we had two cancellations.

“Now we’re trying to manage it and calling any other cancellations to explain the situation and what improvements we’ve made.”

“Scapegoats”

Charnjit urges other independent garage owners to “up their game in quality control” and said that “we’re used to Trading Standards making scapegoats out of Halfords and Quick Fit but we never expect anything like this to happen to us”.

He added: “Everything was verbal in our business

“We had nothing in place to record what happened and to demonstrate that the employee was properly trained.

“We were asked what the process was from the initiation of a job to completion.

“Verbally, they weren’t interested, they wanted to see something scripted and we now admit that our quality-control was very lapse.

“We’ve learnt from this sting.”

“Intelligence led enforcement”

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards declined to answer questions put forward by Garage Wire but did state that it seeks “to protect road users by carrying out intelligence led enforcement operations including car servicing projects, forecourt checks and unroadworthy vehicle test purchases.”

It added: “We direct our limited resources using a range of information, including consumer complaint data.”

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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REPXPERT Academy LIVE: Registrations open for Basingstoke College event

Roadshow continues with second training day to be held on 25 January 2020.

Following a resoundingly successful debut in Lincoln, registration is now open for the second REPXPERT Academy LIVE event at Basingstoke College of Technology – again hosted by Schaeffler and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

Taking place on Saturday 25th January, visitors will be offered masterclasses by a team of Schaeffler REPXPERTs, who will be focusing on LuK clutch technology, INA timing drives and modern thermal management systems.

There will also be a focus on new and upcoming vehicle technologies, such as hybridisation and electrification.

Business training

REPXPERT brand ambassador, Andy Savva, aka ‘The Garage Inspector’, will also be hosting a class based on his popular business training sessions.

Andy is an award-winning ex-workshop owner, aftermarket commentator and now business advisor, who will demonstrate to workshop owners and staff how they can ‘empower their workshop’.

These four sessions will incorporate practical knowledge, theory and discussion elements – all designed to impart as much knowledge as possible in just 45 minutes.

There will also be plenty to see in the workshop throughout the day, with guest exhibitors, Laser Tools and TechMan, plus, of course, displays from both Schaeffler and the IMI.

Future-proofing workshops

Schaeffler managing director, Nigel Morgan said: “We received some amazing visitor feedback from the Lincoln event, and believe we can deliver an even better visitor experience in Basingstoke.

“We are confident of attracting large numbers of technicians from the region, and as we can only cater for a set amount of people I urge everybody to sign-up quickly to avoid disappointment.

“Lincoln proved that technicians have a hunger to improve and to learn about new technologies or systems that they weren’t previously aware of.

“That’s the beauty of REPXPERT Academy LIVE: we’re offering technicians the opportunity to bolster their knowledge and to also think about investing in more comprehensive training, in order to future-proof their workshop business.”

Schaeffler national accounts manager, Matt Selby said: “The key thing for us is engaging with workshops; with all the different Schaeffler product lines and new technologies to talk about, we believe REPXPERT Academy LIVE is the perfect place to share some of that valuable information.

“We want to welcome workshop staff that are keen to give up their time to gain knowledge and expertise.

“To complement the OE brand of Schaeffler, we want premium facilities to match, so we’re delighted to be hosting our next event at Basingstoke College of Technology, an IMI-approved facility.

“We work very closely with the IMI and have done for a number of years; this is a long-term partnership, and with three REPXPERT events in 2020 and more due in 2021, we’re really excited about the potential of this project.”

Entry to REPXPERT Academy LIVE is free of charge, and every visitor will be offered complimentary breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout.

Doors will open at 9am, with the event due to finish at 4pm.

To register a place, click here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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Autotech Recruit MD reveals how he came to supply temp workshop cover

Skills shortage to remain “for at least another decade” says Gavin White.

Autotech Recruit’s managing director, Gavin White reveals how the firm has diversified its recruitment services, from short-term contracts, medium-to-long-term fixed placements, and permanent recruitment to meet the needs of the automotive industry.

While working as an aftersales manager at Thomson Motor Group, Gavin became aware of a lack of an agency which provided a “a get-out-of-jail technician” to cover staff sickness, holidays and training commitments.

It was a thought that prompted Gavin to borrow £40,000 from his grandmother and his life-long friend Andrew Sly to borrow £25,000 from his father to create what would become Autotech Recruit in 2010.

The agency today employs 30 people at its Milton Keyenes office, has 500 contractors and boasts a turnoever in the region of £10 million.

Supplying temporary technicians

Gavin said: “We started out doing permanent recruitment to get cashflow moving before moving into the temporary contractor element of the business.

“Our first big client was Kwik-Fit.

“Over their 600-garage network, they had a high attrition rate.

“They needed MOT testers and there was an abundance because of the economic climate at the time.

“That really got us going, but it’s really just in the past two to three years that we have really expanded with the manufacturer and large retail groups.

“In the early days, 90 per cent of our work was with the fast-fit chains, but dealerships are now 70-80 per cent of our business.

“A lot of our growth with retailers can be traced to the back end of 2017, when we started talking to Volvo, Renault and Ford about our manufacturer-led programmes.

“What we do is take the technicians that we know and trust and then put them through the manufacturer training courses.

“We issue them with the manufacturer’s uniform and we have a portal that the BMW network, say, can log into, select dates on the calendar and we then send them a temporary technician who is fully trained and qualified.”

Autotech Recruit works with Ford, BMW, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, PSA Group and Renault and has 120 people that have been through the manufacturer programmes.

In 2018, the total number of hours filled by vehicle technicians under the manufacturer-led recruitment programme was 43,917.

Up to the end of May this year, it had already surpassed that, with a further 50,669 hours.

The total number of hours filled by Autotech Recruit contractors in the 12 months between May 2018 and April 2019, was 336,455.

Skills shortage

Gavin said: “What we are seeing is the result of a complete lack of investment in apprenticeships over the past two decades.

“We don’t engage with schools and colleges well enough as an industry and I still don’t think many businesses are working hard enough to attract the next generation of technicians.

“We’re just not very good as an industry at introducing new blood.

“In my opinion, ‘skills shortage’ is a term that we will be with us for at least another decade.”

For further information about Autotech Recruit, click here.

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Yuasa issues cold weather battery warning

“Always check the battery” kit produces quick, accurate results.

Over a half a million batteries are replaced by breakdown recovery services every year and battery related faults are the number one reason for vehicle starting problems and winter callouts, Yuasa reports.

At 0°C, even a healthy battery will lose about 30 per cent of its cold cranking performance.

This does not mean that the Ah has disappeared, merely that its availability has been reduced by cold temperatures.

Furthermore, vehicles have a much-increased electrical demand to start during the cold.

What’s more, it takes greater power for a starter motor to turn a cold engine over and freezing temperatures slow down the chemical process inside a battery, reducing its ability to hold a charge.

“To combat the effects of capacity loss, it is advisable for workshops to always fit a reliable, high quality battery,” explains Ian Newham, training manager for GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd.

“If the battery has a higher capacity to begin with – before any drop in temperature – it is more likely that the vehicle will start and the battery will last much longer compared to a budget battery.

“For example, the Yuasa YBX5000 range offers 50 per cent more power, over double the number of starts and is typically sold with a longer guarantee than the YBX1000 range.

“AGM and EFB batteries have more power and can withstand a much wider temperature range.”

The older a battery is, the less performance it will have and the weaker it will be, according to Yuasa.

An older battery that seems fine in the warm summer temperatures will often discharge or go flat very quickly, as soon as the weather turns colder.

In most cases, this will then lead to a non-start situation.

Infrequent vehicle use

Yuasa says that battery discharge can also occur if a vehicle is used infrequently or only for short distances.

It advises drivers to take a longer journey at least once a month for the battery to re-charge.

Yuasa recommends independent workshops adopt their ‘always check the battery’ scheme and stresses that this preventative maintenance measure is as important as changing tyres, refilling fluids and testing lights.

The popular scheme encourages garages to significantly improve customer service and drive customer loyalty by testing the battery of every vehicle serviced or repaired.

The idea was born following a major workshop trial which discovered that 11 per cent of all vehicles required a battery replacement and a further 27 per cent needed recharging.

Yuasa’s ‘always check the battery’ kit, which includes a GS Yuasa battery tester, mirror hangers, a guide book and varied POS material, is ideal as part of a standard winter check and produces quick, accurate results for garages.

Find out more about Yuasa’s YBX automotive battery here.

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Polybush reports on successful Classic Motor Show

Enthusiasts flock to find out more about Polyurethane suspension bushes.

Polybush has exhibited at the Classic Motor show for more than ten years has hailed 2019’s event a success.

The firm also supplied bushes for Practical Classic Jaguar e-type which was being restored live on stage during the show.

A Polybush spokesperson said: “As always, it is great to see a few familiar faces, and some new who we were thrilled to welcome to the wonderful world of Polyurethane suspension bushes.

“And to have our existing customers explain to them the benefits from switching from the OE rubber parts is the reason we do what we do.”

For further information about Polybush, click here.

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Replace head bolts every time they’re removed, advises BG Automotive

Many garages are still failing to replace head bolts, risking engine damage and failiure.

Workshops are advised to always replace head bolts after removal, BG Automotive has said.

A BG Automoive spokesperson said: “The majority of head bolts are ‘torque to yield’, which means that during the original tightening process, they are stretched past the elastic phase of the metal into the plastic phase.

“This is where the bolt will offer the best resistance to fatigue in high frequency and high load situations.

“This results in the highest clamping and even sealing to head.

“As a part of this process, the bolts become permanently elongated.

“If they are re-used and tightened to yield again they will become weak and potentially snap
during or after installation.

“They are designed as single use items.”

BG Automotive stock a large range of head bolts for all of their head gaskets to make sure any can be carried out by automotive technicians correctly and confidently, covering over 18,000 different vehicles.

For further information, click here.

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