The Parts Alliance has been named CAT magazine’s ‘Factor Chain of the Year’. The Award came on Friday 10 February at an industry awards ceremony at Manchester’s renowned Lowry Hotel. The national trading group was represented by the eight branches in its South West region. They were shortlisted in recognition of a dramatic turnaround in fortunes under The Parts Alliance’s ownership. The branches were all previously part of the Unipart network, but have since been developed with significant investment from The Parts Alliance.
First Line has released easy to identify engine mounting layout diagrams for every part number. The brand says the importance of accuracy in fitting engine mountings led it to offer the diagrams, available via the First Line WebCat, and MAM, with TecDoc to follow shortly. The diagrams also help First Line customers make sure they are buying the correct product for their specific needs. With 39 different Engine Mounting positions for both ‘in line’ and ‘transverse’ layouts, product identification can be quite challenging, First Line explains.
Valeo Service UK has launched 14 new steering column switches and four clockspring and steering angle sensors specifically designed for Mercedes models.
Having almost doubled its distributor membership in recent months, A1 Motor Factor Group has stated its intention to continue growth in 2017. 37 sites were added in November 2016 – totalling 77 stores overall – making A1 one of the fastest-growing buying groups in the UK. The company has also welcomed new suppliers to its portfolio.
GSF Car Parts has taken delivery of 12 more Peugeot Partner vans at its Birmingham head office, replacing its local delivery vehicles over four years old. The upgrade also marked the start of a rolling programme to exchange all older vans across the entire GSF Car Parts network of 65 branches during 2017. A total overall investment of £3.5 million is planned on 350 Peugeot Partner vans, which will see around 60 per cent of the current GSF van fleet renewed.
WAI has appointed Christine Smith to the role of marketing and communications manager. Based in Florida, as part of WAI’s US division, Smith joins from a sales and technology background, having worked previously in marketing, operations & management roles with API, Gatekeeper Business Solutions, Universal Health Services (UHS), Fine Lions, & Direct Office Interiors.
Valeo Service UK, a wiper systems specialist, provides the automotive aftermarket with a wide range of exclusive flat blade solutions from its Silencio and HydroConnect brands. Since launching its first original equipment (OE) flat blade in 2004 for Mercedes applications, Valeo supplied nearly half of the European car parc with its OE flat blades in 2016.
HgCapital-owned Parts Alliance Group has acquired Waterloo (Motor Trade) Ltd. The company will continue to trade under its own name, serving customers in the East Riding of Yorkshire, with branches in Hull, Beverley and Bridlington. Waterloo was founded in 1928 by current managing director Jim Munday’s grandfather.
GSF Car Parts’ Vetech braking programme, which offers a trusted brake friction solution to garages for price-sensitive work, has grown quickly throughout 2016 according to the company. The range of pads has been developed significantly over the last 18 months and now includes 550 references, with the focus on covering popular cars that are three years and older.
WAI is encouraging the independent automotive aftermarket to take advantage of the upcoming opportunities in the supply and fit of replacement window regulators. As vehicles begin to exit their manufacturer’s warranty and look to independent garages for cost-effective vehicle maintenance and repair, WAI is focusing minds on the sales potential of its window regulator product range.
GSF Car Parts has taken delivery of a new Valeo branded van for its Stoke branch. The joint-branded livery on the Peugeot Bipper integrates GSF branding alongside key messages from Valeo. The global parts giant’s current ‘multi-specialist’ livery has been designed to reinforce the breadth of product range available to UK garages.
Delphi Product & Service Solutions has launched its new copper-free brake pad range. The parts manufacturer says its new formulas offer improved brake fade performance for increased safety, feel, and refinement as well as the environmental benefits. The range offers 95 per cent car parc coverage of European and Asian applications. The launch comes nine years ahead of 2025 legislation to reduce copper materials in braking components to just 0.5 per cent.
UK automotive buying group A1 Motor Stores has revealed its 12 Days of Christmas campaign. Between 1 and 16 December, all A1 members will receive a daily exclusive offer, featuring some half-price or better deals. Every morning, at 9:00, stores will receive an e-shot detailing that day’s offering, while a teaser featuring the next day’s promotion will also be sent by email at 17:00. All offers run until 31 December, but with limited availability.
The informative Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA) stand at this year’s Mechanex Sandown show proved a real talking point amongst attendees, providing an opportunity to examine ‘like for like’ parts for themselves. The busy stand, staffed by representatives from a wide range of OESAA member companies, featured comparable components from OE and non-OE suppliers to highlight the dramatic differences in quality that can exist between the two, as well as the detrimental impact that fitting sub-standard parts can potentially have on a garage’s reputation.