Barking up the right tree: canine encounter inspired suspension bushes five times more durable than rubber

What does a dog called Suba have to do with polyurethane suspension bushes? Polybush explains how its products save the automotive industry and the NHS money

Polybush has claimed that its polyurethane suspension bushes have the ability to last up to five times as long as rubber alternatives, reflecting on the humourous beginnings the brand had to inspire its products.

The company essentially started at a Wrexham factory where Suba picked up a piece of polyurethane elastomer which ended up being her favourite chew toy.

Overtime, her owner Roy noticed that the polyurethane was completely untarnished and free of bite marks and this triggered a series of events.

Roy, having worked closely with suspension bushings before, began to think “if only bushes were as tough as that polyurethane, they wouldn’t need to be changed so often.”

Easier to fit

He approached manufacturers Bonaprene Products LTD, and together they began to create polyurethane bushes that – Polybush claims – were not only easier to fit, but far longer lasting than their metalastic counterparts, with varying benefits depending on design.

Very quickly, demand increased and the creation of bushes became a large operation, with many types of bushes being distributed internationally, as far as Columbia, the Middle East, Africa and India.

Due to the business growing so quickly, Roy (and Suba) had to make the difficult decision between selling the business and cruising the Mediterranean in his yacht.

At this point Bonaprene took on the bush business in its entirety and Roy set sail to enjoy his retirement.

Bonaprene kept the division separate from its own industrial activities naming it “Polybush”.

The Polybush division has its own dedicated design, marketing, sales and administrative staff.

The business has continued to grow over the years and is proud to manufacture OE products that are supplied directly into many types of industry including commercial and retail.

Ideal material for suspension bushes

A company statement said: “Polyurethane is an ideal material for suspension bushes as it is a combination of high tensile strength and elasticity, which translates into immense durability even in the toughest conditions.

“As well as no perishability or wear, it will spring back into shape effortlessly to absorb huge levels of shock making for a more comfortable ride.

“They require no special tools for fitment, have four-five times longer life span than rubber bushes, and are generally easier to fit.

“Polybush has solved many issues within different markets ranging from MOT failures, to costly recurring replacements on large fleets.

Huge cost saving

“An example of a huge cost saving is a bush that was designed for the ambulance market.

“The bushes were suffering premature wear due to their intense usage, but the parts required were not available separately meaning a full ARB and spring replacement was needed on a regular basis.

“Polybush was able to design a bush that solved the problem of premature wear, fitted perfectly into the current ARBs, and decreased fitment time significantly.

“This change saved the NHS £700 per-vehicle in parts alone.”

For more information on Polybush, you can call 01978 664316, visit the website here, or even head over to their factory in Wrexham.

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Automotive bulb performance upgrades provide unique sales opportunity for factors

OSRAM releases point of sale (POS) materials for factors and garages to stock latest products and upgrades.

OSRAM, the global automotive aftermarket lighting brand, has released a series of product upgrades and POS materials to support factors and garages, all of which are available from The Parts Alliance.

Lighting and signalling offer some of the most profitable opportunities in the automotive aftermarket, according to the brand.

In a statement, the company explained why their products represented a lucrative sales opportunity for the factors and garages. They said: “OSRAM is able to help garages, workshops and factors supplying and servicing the automotive aftermarket to maximise their profit potential from bulb sales.

“We know a thing or two about lighting.

“At the forefront of traditional and new trends in vehicle lighting, we are experts in the field.

Upgrade alternatives

“The full OSRAM portfolio allows garages and stockists to offer not only the same OSRAM Original Equipment (OE) product that was fitted when the vehicle was built, but also a choice of leading upgrade alternatives.

“Most recently, the relaunched range of PERFORMANCE upgrades – NIGHT BREAKER – allows drivers to maximise light on the road ahead to see further and ultimately be safer as a result.

“To assist garages, workshops and factors in adding value to their businesses, a full range of point of sale materials to stock and present the premium, OE-quality range is available.

Available from The Parts Alliance

“From rotating floor displays to compact counter displays, there is an attractive and organised way to stock, store and display these leading performance upgrade bulbs to suit everyone; all of which are available from The Parts Alliance and its members.

“All of the stands are supplied empty allowing flexibility to choose what bulb portfolio garages and stockists want to offer to their customers.

“Strategically placed, the displays will surely attract impulse buyers.

“‘Offer customers a choice and they are likely to upgrade’ is OSRAM’s motto.

Understanding product differences

“For years now, the tried and tested OSRAM Bulb Menu (available for both Halogen and HID (xenon) lighting technologies) is the perfect tool for understanding the difference between buying and fitting a standard OE bulb, and buying and fitting one that provides brighter, whiter light such as NIGHT BREAKER LASER (next generation) that produces up to 150 per cent more brightness.”

To differentiate between the bulbs on the market today, the Bulb Menu attempts to simplify OSRAM’s bulb offering, allowing consumers to make an informed choice in a bulb that is right for them.

For more details on the OSRAM product portfolio and sales displays, either email the company at automotive@osram.co.uk or visit the website here.

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Don’t miss your chance to be a ‘Garage of the Year’

The industry will gather 5th June to celebrate the achievements of independent garages across nine categories. Don’t miss your chance to win by taking a few minutes to enter – but hurry, there’s only a week to go before entries close…

Automechanika Birmingham’s ‘Garage of the Year’ awards are being hosted in association with Garage Wire at the National Motorcycle Museum on the 5th June. The deadline for entries has been extended until Sunday 5th May.

Sponsored by the Independent Garage Association (IGA) the competition is open to garages from across the UK and Ireland.

It takes just a few minutes to enter as many of the nine
sub-categories as garages want to, with the overall winner once again set to
receive £1,000.

All garages shortlisted in one or more categories will get two free tickets for the awards drinks and dinner at the National Motorcycle Museum. Located little more than a stone’s throw from the NEC, and with the awards event running from 7pm, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of independent garage excellence either before or after a daytime visit to Automechanika Birmingham.

The Parts Alliance are again sponsoring the ‘Best Small Garage’ category. Other categories include ‘Best Large Garage’, ‘Commitment to Training and Standards’, ‘Garage Owner of the Year’, ‘Outstanding Achievement’, ‘Auto-Mechanik’, ‘Best Community Initiative’, ‘Business Innovation’ and ‘Technical Innovation’

“We’re excited to be involved again,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “We’re hoping lots of our garage customers, particularly those around Birmingham, will get involved and enter as it promises to be a great which will help showcase all the great work independent garages do as unsung heroes for UK motorists.”

Automechanika’s Garage of the Year awards forms part of the Big UK Garage Event at this year’s Automechanika Birmingham. This will include exclusive show offers, big giveaways, competitions and some celebrity appearances. The event gives access to over 500 leading suppliers.

Garages will also receive free parking and free breakfast on arrival for their workforce.

Entries can be made online now.

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Suppliers and customers join celebrity guests at Spring Trade Show

A series of technical talks, market developments, profit opportunities for branches and garages, and a surprise awards ceremony awaited guests

The Parts Alliance hosted its first trade of 2019 with motoring celebrities and global suppliers joining over 500 customers at the Spring Trade Show.

On Wednesday 27 March, over 500 customers attended the event, which ran from 5pm at the Centenary Pavilion of Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, taking the opportunity to discuss the latest products, technology, market developments and profit opportunities with more than 50 of the trading group’s supplier partners.

“We thought we should come for a wander around and see because we’ve never had the chance to get to anything like this before,” said David Gilfeather, owner of DG Autos in Rodley, Leeds.

“It’s really great to see so much here and was well worth us coming.”

Branches of BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts and Waterloo Motor Trade all invited customers, who took the opportunity to not only do business but also listen to interviews with special guests.

Celebrity guests

Fuzz Townshend from Car SOS talked about highlights from his TV shows whilst three-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal discussed improvements to his car and hopes for the upcoming season.

So valuable

Fuzz said: “For The Parts Alliance to put on an event where garage owners can meet fantastic suppliers and get a better understanding of their products is so valuable.”

Technical talks were given by Comma Oil on how changes in engine technology are impacting the choice of engine lubricants; Schaeffler discussed DMF technology, whilst Delphi provided numerous insights on keeping up with developing VM digital service record technology.

“We were delighted by the turnout on our first visit to Leeds with a show of this scale,” said Simon Moore, head of marketing at The Parts Alliance.

Response from garages

“We had some great comments from the garages and lots of the suppliers seem to have had some really good discussions and done brisk business; our thanks go to everyone who supported the show.”

Nick Nafahran, of Vehicle Repairs UK in Leeds, was interested in a Tecalemit tyre changer and said: “I’ve got to see it and got all the information that I need, so it’s been useful.”

The evening ran until nearly 10pm with an extensive prize draw seeing around 20 prizes, generously donated by suppliers, given away to garages on the night.

Andrew Wood of APW Cars in Otley, Leeds added: “I’m here to see new technology.

“I’ve just been inside the REPXPERT van, it’s a real eye opener to see where the industry is going; I’d definitely recommend others to try to get to one of these events if they have the chance.

“I’ve only got a little garage and I’m usually in the workshop until late but I’m glad I made the time for this – free food and drink too, so what’s not to like?”

Customers are advised to look out for more events in 2019, said The Parts Alliance.

Find out more about The Parts Alliance and its national network of branches by clicking here.

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

The post Suppliers and customers join celebrity guests at Spring Trade Show appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

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Some motorists can no longer afford to drive as ULEZ introduced in London

31 per cent of drivers have said they won’t be able to afford to drive in London anymore

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has launched the UK’s first Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), leaving many drivers without the funds to be able to drive.

Bikesure, a motorbike insurer, recently surveyed 1,000 commuters in London to find out how the ULEZ will impact them.

Among the questions, respondents were asked how the ULEZ will affect them.

Asked if they have changed or thought about changing their usual mode of transport in preparation for the ULEZ:

Changing mode of transport

  • 37 per cent of commuters have already changed their usual mode of transport
  • 46 per cent have thought about changing their usual mode of transport
  • 18 per cent will not be changing their usual mode of transport

Can’t afford to drive

  • 31 per cent of commuters won’t be able to afford to drive/ride in the ULEZ anymore
  • 32 per cent won’t drive/ride in the ULEZ as much as they used to
  • 29 per cent won’t be affected by the ULEZ
  • 7 per cent don’t know how it will affect them

How did they feel about the ULEZ?

  • 47 per cent of Londoners think it is a good idea and they don’t mind it being brought in
  • 45 per cent can understand the reasons, but feel frustrated by it
  • 8 per cent think it’s a bad idea

Find out more about the findings and the rest of the Bikesure survey by clicking here.

What do you think of the ULEZ? Is it necessary to combat the levels of C02 and nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere, or does it pose a threat to the levels of business factors and garages can receive and deliver?

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

The post Some motorists can no longer afford to drive as ULEZ introduced in London appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

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VIP experience on offer from Schaeffler at Automechanika Birmingham

Members and non-members of REPXPERT can still register for the VIP experience

Schaeffler has invited its REPXPERT members to register as VIP guests for Automechanika Birmingham 2019 for the three-day event at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) on 4 June, with a variety of prizes and rewards available.

REPXPERT members and non-members can now sign-up online to receive hospitality from Schaeffler, which includes lunch, a premium REPXPERT messenger bag full of workshop goodies, including a ‘magnaband’ wrist magnet, sports bottle, leaflet, pen and REPXPERT bonus points – plus all the benefits of Automechanika’s ‘Big UK Garage Event’ – all free-of-charge.

Range of benefits

Automechanika’s Big UK Garage Event adds breakfast, free car park voucher, as well as CPD-accredited training opportunities, live demonstrations and business advice.

Nigel Morgan, managing director of Schaeffler UK’s aftermarket division, said: “Schaeffler is delighted to be returning to Automechanika Birmingham and is back with a packed schedule full of top training, interactive exhibits and special guests over the three days.

“We are especially excited to again welcome REPXPERT VIPs to our stand which will make their show even more special.

“REPXPERT VIP registration is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so we urge members to sign-up quickly by logging in at www.repxpert.co.uk and clicking the Automechanika VIP button.

Additionally, for visitors from factors and the wider automotive aftermarket, the Retail Accessories Village will be open with the latest products and technology for suppliers of vehicle accessories.

Non-members can sign up

“Any technician that isn’t already a REPXPERT member can register for free at the site now to access the VIP link, or can sign-up at the show to become an instant VIP.

“The REPXPERT VIP package is just one small part of what visitors can expect from Schaeffler at Automechanika Birmingham 2019, and we will reveal further details of what else will be happening on our stand soon – watch this space.”

Schaeffler is a global supplier of OE-quality parts to the automotive aftermarket.

Find out more about REPXPERT and signing up for the VIP package by clicking here.

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

The post VIP experience on offer from Schaeffler at Automechanika Birmingham appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

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Why you should recommend cabin air filter replacement to customers this spring

MANN-FILTER cabin air filters offer protection against particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and allergens

Changing the cabin air filter in good time is particularly important in spring, when the peak pollen count season starts, global filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL has said.

Global filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL, based in Ludwigsburg Germany, provides effective protection against allergens, harmful gases and particulate matter with its MANN-FILTER FreciousPlus cabin air filters.

A MANN+HUMMEL spokesperson said: “A vehicle ventilation system draws in huge volumes of air from outside the vehicle into the passenger compartment.

“Each hour, several hundred thousand litres of this polluted outside air pass through the vehicle’s ventilation system into the interior, bringing with them not only allergens but also particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and other harmful gases that pose a threat to the health of the vehicle occupants.

Health threat

“This means that the air in the interior of the vehicle is often much more polluted than the ambient air.

“Thorough purification of the outside air by means of a cabin air filter is therefore essential, especially for frequent drivers, allergy sufferers, and children.”

MANN+HUMMEL say its MANN-FILTER cabin air filters in original equipment quality frees the air from outside the vehicle of nearly 100 per cent of particles and harmful gases.

The MANN-FILTER FreciousPlus filters out particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 micrometres (PM 2.5), almost completely.

For comparison: These particles are up to 30–40 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

Its sources include the abrasion of tyres and brake disks.

Odours and poisonous gases

In addition, the FreciousPlus cabin air filter adsorbs unpleasant odours and poisonous gases such as nitrogen oxides and ozone.

This reduces the nitrogen oxide concentration in the vehicle interior.

The biofunctional and antimicrobial coating on the FreciousPlus also traps the allergens which can be released from pollen as well as blocking the growth of bacteria and mould fungi.

With over 100 different types of FreciousPlus cabin air filters in original equipment quality, MANN-FILTER covers nearly 70 per cent of the European passenger car and transporter fleet.

For further information about MANN-FILTER, click here.

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

The post Why you should recommend cabin air filter replacement to customers this spring appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

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“Leading-edge product innovation” supported by OSRAM takeover of Ring

The takeover has been welcomed by Ring as “very positive news” for customers

OSRAM has completed a takeover Ring, the aftermarket manufacturer of automotive lighting, electronics and accessories, as the company expands its product range in the automotive sector.

“With the acquisition of Ring Automotive, we are further expanding our aftermarket portfolio and can at the same time use stable distribution channels in the United Kingdom,” Hans-Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO OSRAM Automotive, said.

With 160 employees, Ring Automotive achieved annual sales of around £40 million in 2017.

By acquiring Ring Automotive, OSRAM has said it is investing in the future; the British company has an established, valuable brand and a well-placed sales model in the automotive aftermarket sector.

In addition, Ring’s product portfolio goes far beyond classic automotive lighting and complements OSRAM’s product range.

Ring, for example, manufactures electronic car accessories and is represented by over 3000 dealers in over 60 countries with around 6,000 products.

Positive news for garage and factor customers

In addition, OSRAM will give the ring portfolio access to the US market via the established OSRAM Sylvania channels and opens up new sales potential in Europe and the rest of the world with a differentiated brand strategy.

George Skalski, managing director of Ring Automotive, said: “We look forward to working alongside OSRAM and believe that the transaction is very positive news for all of our colleagues and customers.

Leading-edge product innovation

“The acquisition secures continued investment in the business, which will support our future growth plans and our leading-edge product innovation.”

The parties, including the seller Rubicon Partners, have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.

Find out more about OSRAM and their aftermarket brands by clicking here.

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

The post “Leading-edge product innovation” supported by OSRAM takeover of Ring appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

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Yuasa to give away Honda Fireblade in new consumer motorcycle competition

Scratch card comp to run until October 2019 with £25,000 worth of prizes up for grabs

Battery manufacturer and OE supplier to top motorcycle brands, Yuasa is launching an exciting motorcycle scratch card competition this spring.

With prizes including a Honda Fireblade, a Honda Fourtrax ATV, ten MDS helmets and 100 Yuasa smart chargers up for grabs, consumers are encouraged to choose a Yuasa motorcycle and powersports battery to secure their place in the prize draw.

The impressive range of prizes is worth over £25,000.

Consumers simply need to buy a qualifying Yuasa motorcycle and powersport battery and collect their entry scratch card.

Cards will be available from hundreds of participating retailers across England, Scotland and Wales.

Customers must also keep a copy of their receipt and then visit www.yuasa.co.uk/winabike to enter.

Here they will need to complete a form, enter their unique code plus upload an image of their till receipt on the Yuasa website.

James Douglas, marketing and product manager, said: “This is the biggest competition we’ve ever run.

“We can’t wait to see the level of interest.

“All our prizes are fantastic, but to win a Honda Fireblade or a Honda Fourtrax ATV could really make some lucky person’s year.

“Good luck to everyone who enters.”

All Yuasa motorcycle and powersport batteries qualify for the competition including Yuasa’s high performance maintenance free GYZ, YTZ and YTX types, maintenance free YTX and YIX ranges Yumicron, Yumicron CX, conventional 6 volt and conventional 12 volt ranges.

To find out more about the competition and Yuasa batteries, click here.

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

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Autotech Recruit spearheads innovative permanent recruitment drive

Initiative to offer bespoke projects for individual businesses for large scale or multi-site permanent recruitment

Autotech Recruit has launched a pioneering, large-scale permanent recruitment drive, which is set to deliver multiple technicians across multiple sites, revolutionising the way in which national automotive companies recruit permanent vehicle technicians.

Due to the mass delivery of vehicle technicians, each unique permanent recruitment project is set to be extremely cost effective, with a saving of up to 60 per cent per candidate compared to traditional recruitment methods.

Each project will be based on a dedicated SLA agreement, set out by Autotech Recruit, to deliver a specified amount of vehicle technicians over a set period of time – if they do not deliver the full quota, they will refund a percentage of their fee.

“Cost-effective solution”

Gavin White, managing director at Autotech Recruit said: “This is a major shift in the process of permanent recruitment.

“It is a very cost-effective solution as we are not only putting our reputation on the line, however both parties have a deadline to deliver.”

This innovative approach to large-scale permanent recruitment, which will be an extension of Autotech Recruit’s rapidly growing employment solutions offering, will be managed by a dedicated team of permanent recruitment consultants.

The new service will be headed up by Sue Dixon, who spent almost 20 years within the recruitment division of Mercedes-Benz UK.

Online portal

A bespoke, online portal will underpin each permanent recruitment project and be accessible to all members of the client team during the project lifetime.

The permanent team manage every aspect of the recruitment campaign and, after thoroughly vetting each of the candidates, Autotech Recruit will load CVs onto the portal, with an alert sent to the client.

Gavin added: “Through the portal the employer can immediately access information on a highly suitable candidate, who meets their exact needs based on experience, skill set, location, and job flexibility such as part-time.

This is set to significantly reduce the overall recruitment time.

“Garages and dealerships are suffering from a wide-spread shortage of skilled technicians.

“However, they do not have the time to process CVs and find suitable candidates, while head office HR departments do not have the capacity to recruit for individual employers.”

“Our solution to large scale permanent recruitment is an innovative, semi-automated solution which will provide a consistent recruitment approach.”

For further information about Autotech Recruit, click here.

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

The post Autotech Recruit spearheads innovative permanent recruitment drive appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

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