With yet another raft of measures to curb the spread of Covid 19 being introduced by government, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has intervened in an attempt to clarify the situation vis-à-vis car dealerships.
We are continually being told that electric vehicles are the future – indeed, petrol and diesel-engined vehicles are scheduled to be phased out in the UK market; the original deadline was 2040, but this was brought forward to 2035, and there is talk of possibly introducing the ban in 2030. This last date is regarded by many as unachievable – when the deadline was brought forward to 2035, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, described the situation as “extremely concerning” and accused the Government of “moving the goalposts.”
TyreSafe launches Tyre Safety Month campaign with online briefing
TyreSafe has launched its 2020 Tyre Safety Month campaign with its first online briefing. Following the success of its previous ‘Get Into The Groove’ campaign, TyreSafe has prepared a fresh batch of cultural parodies with which to publicise its ACT acronym – standing for Air pressure, Condition, Tread. A range of movie poster parodies, including ‘Judge Tread’, ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Under Inflated’, and ‘Done in 60 Seconds’, are available for garages, businesses and other organisations to encourage motorists to take better care of their tyres. The distribution of the materials will reflect the digitalisation trend of this year, driven by the necessity of adapting to Covid-19 Crisis conditions; a wide variety of banners formatted for each of the major social media networks will be available. The briefing featured a panel discussion with Stuart Lovatt, Highways England strategic road safety lead; Tony Crook, National Fire Chief Council lead officer road safety; Simon Turner, Driving for Better Business campaign manager; and James Luckhurst, Project EDWARD founder.
European tyre industry to help achieve new EU climate goals
The European Commission’s new target of a 55 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has been welcomed by the tyre industry. The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association said that the industry is ready to “ready to contribute” to the latest decarbonisation goals. The association added that its “members have been committed to reducing their CO2 footprint throughout the tyre life cycle and investing in innovative and sustainable mobility technologies for many years now.” The association was responding to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s 16 September State of the Union address.
On 7 August the government shared some results from its recent type approval consultation. That four-week consultation period came to an end on 26 June 2020 and sought views from across the automotive industry relating to what statutory instrument should supersede European type approval Regulation (EU) 2018/858, which covers new vehicle safety. The result? Low performing car tyres and van tyres will be illegal from 1 May 2021. The government type approval consultation supports 30-month grace period for running down such stocks. And OBD ports will remain open for independent garages to access repair and maintenance information.
The UK government has launched an audit into the mapping of potholes in England. Aided by data from on-road businesses such as Uber, Deliveroo and Tesco in addition to local highway authorities and highway data and mapping company Gaist, the Department for Transport will identify ‘pothole hot-spots. The scheme intends to better target road improvements as people return to work and school. According to the most recent research published by Kwik-Fit on the subject, potholes caused £1.25 billion of damage to vehicles in 2019, with the average bill for affected motorists £115. Potholes damage most frequently afflicts tyres, wheels, suspension, and steering.
The National Body Repair Association, the trade association for the UK’s vehicle body repair shops, calls on the government to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Despite bodyshops being permitted to remain open during the lockdown, as they provided an essential service, the 80 per cent reduction in accident repair claims meant almost all had to close and place their staff on furlough.
UK government announces Automated Lane Keeping System call for evidence
The UK is taking steps forward in automated technology in vehicles with the launch of a call for evidence on 18 August 2020 to help shape how innovative new systems could be used in future on GB roads. The call for evidence will look at the Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) – an automated system that can take over control of the vehicle at low speeds, keeping it in lane on motorways.
Tyre recycling and energy generation – why the time is now
Early in 2020 the UK government suggested a tentative plan to ban the export of all end of life tyres (ELTs). The timing was unfortunate, with the challenges of the rest of 2020 becoming increasingly apparent at the start of spring. However, with strict recycling, energy from waste, and environmental targets to meet over the next twenty years or so, many companies are pressing ahead in raising awareness and innovating within the broad recycling sector. ELTs represent a particularly important part of the new era in recycling introduced by the UK’s Environment Bill, not least because of new and incoming measures internal and external against used and end of life tyre exports, a popular, yet often damaging solution to the problem. Rory Hughes, technical director at IRR Waste 2 Energy, and a waste and recycling expert with more than 35 experience in the industry, told Tyrepress why adopting a more holistic approach to tyre recycling is the way forward.
‘Suspend apprentice levy contributions’ IMI urges Government
Virtually every day reveals some new effect of COVID-19 on everyday life and on the automotive and associated industries. The latest gloomy news comes from the Department for Education, which has focussed the spotlight on the impact of the pandemic on apprentice recruitment. And the automotive sector appears to be one of the hardest hit. Across all sectors, apprenticeship starts in June 2020 fell by 57 per cent, compared to the same time period in 2019.
NFDA calls for government support on combustion ban
In its response to the consultation on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans, the National Franchised Dealers Association has highlighted dealers’ concerns and provided the Government with detailed recommendations to ensure that the transition to zero-emission vehicles can be sustained. The Government has proposed that the original 2040 date be brought forward to 2035 or perhaps earlier, yet no clear strategy has been defined.
PRA outlines forecourts’ concerns with combustion engine ban
Ending the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars and vans by 2035 or earlier would not only be unfeasible but seriously economically damaging, particularly at a time when the economy is struggling to recover from the Coronavirus lockdown. The original date of 2040 is already a very tough ask”, said Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).
Old tyre ban could result in better part worn regulation – TyreSafe
TyreSafe has welcomed the outcomes and initiatives of the “Government response to the consultation to ban tyres aged 10 years or older”. The Department for Transport’s (DfT) response includes legislation banning the fitment of tyres over 10 years of age to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches. The ban also extends to all wheels of minibuses unless they have a ‘twin axle’, which means they would have two wheels on each side at the rear.
The National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) welcomed the news that 10-year-old truck and bus tyres will be banned. Speaking personally and on behalf of the association, chief executive Stefan Hay said: