The Alliance Automotive Group has acquired the United Aftermarket Network (UAN) from shareholders Andrew and Rachael Dickinson. As a result of the acquisition, Jim Mazza, the current managing director of Groupauto, will move to a new role of managing director of Alliance Automotive Group UK trading groups. A new Groupauto MD will be recruited, Alliance adds. Andrew and Rachael Dickinson will remain with the business to transfer ownership efficiently, while Phil Dodd will immediately fill the Managing Director’s position at UAN. Both UAN and Groupauto will continue to operate as separate networks; Alliance says both brands will play to their strengths.
Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, has been a long-standing and practical supporter of the automotive industry charity, BEN. However, rather than undertaking well publicised, but sporadic, short-term money raising events, Manbat has adopted a consistent, service-centric and below the radar approach in the form of a supply agreement. Under this agreement, whenever a beneficiary that uses some form of battery-powered mobility equipment requires a new battery for it, Manbat will deliver a replacement and collect the failed battery, anywhere in the country and completely without charge.
While Cologne is gaining a new tyre show with the 2018 launch of a new rival for Reifen, it is also losing one with the departure of Tire Technology Expo. As of next year, the annual tyre manufacturing technology exhibition and conference will take place at the Deutsche Messe site in Hanover, Germany. Tire Technology Expo, which is scheduled for 16 to 18 February 2016, will take place in two halls.
A number of big motocross names have visited Worcester’s Apex Motocross to try Bridgestone’s new X30 tyre. Multiple British champion Paul Malin appeared as a star guest, with guest appearances by Motors TV commentator Amy Dargan and Bike Channel presenter Suzy Taylor. Two Kawasaki KX250Fs and a pair of Kawasaki KX450s were available to ride on the day, and the tyre was given a tricky workout in torrential rain. The manufacturer will add the new X20 soft terrain tyre to its 2015 motocross range in April.
The super wide segment, which refers to tyres with a tread width exceeding 325mm, has been grown exponentially all over the world in recent years. These tyres have been used in Europe as trailer tyres for many years, however more recently they have also gained favour in North America and their applications have progressively extended to cover drive and front axle fitments.
Winter means different things to different people depending on where they live, and thankfully tyre makers are acknowledging this. Both Pirelli and Michelin recently added summer/winter tyres for temperate European climates to their portfolios, and winter tyre pioneer Nokian Tyres has now introduced a product it describes as a “versatile chameleon for winter roads” – a tyre that not only performs well in snow and slush (real winter weather, to use Nokian’s own words), but also in the wet weather that many of us more commonly encounter in the colder months. The Nokian WR D4 is scheduled for release in autumn 2015 and is promoted as the “world's first premium winter tyre for passenger cars” to achieve an ‘A’ European tyre label rating for wet grip.
Mitas a.s. reports that Milan Šindelář took over from Jaroslav Musil as sales director of Mitas International last month following Musil’s decision to retire after a 17-year tenure with Mitas. Šindelář joined the tyre maker in 2011 as an original equipment key account manager for Mitas Tires North America, and in his new role is responsible for business growth in all markets outside of Western Europe and North America.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is assisting the Department for Transport (DfT) with a project to reassess statutory MOT test fees. The DfT is analysing garage running costs to validate the justification for an increase in MOT test fees to present to the next government, but to make this happen it needs financial costings for MOT test stations as a starting point to the project.