The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has launched a new training academy, designed to train, develop and upskill new and existing people working within the automotive aftermarket. The academy will evolve substantially when the new IAAF website goes live later this year, but IAAF has moved quickly to implement and promote initiatives and courses that support its growing membership.
Gone are the days of stable pricing for UK manufacturing as the cost of energy and raw materials continues to fluctuate wildly, with the underlying trend being relentlessly upwards. Like most manufacturers, the Klarius Group of Companies (including Klarius, Emissco and KMT) has absorbed increased price pressures wherever possible, offering customers a degree of product price stability. Tackling monthly and even fortnightly supplier price changes, usually with only a few days’ notice, is no mean feat. Now as energy and raw material prices are set to reach record levels, the burden will be felt throughout the supply chain.
Michelin will showcase its non-tyre vehicle accessories at Automechanika in Frankfurt (13-17 September 2022, Stand D88 in Hall 12.1). The brand had 52 licensees in around 130 countries in 2021, together selling more than 31 million Michelin branded products. Michelin says that this puts Michelin Lifestyle Limited at number 46 in a ranking of the world’s most successful licensors. Highlights of the Michelin Automechanika stand will include high-pressure washers, Michelin Eco cleaning and car care products, the new Michelin Jump Starter range, windscreen wipers, snow chains, car mats, and hydraulic vehicle jacks capable of lifting up to three metric tons, making them particularly suitable for SUVs.
Halfords Autocentres’ recent expansion into the top-table of tyre retail is indicative of a wider move towards mechanical work in tyre-orientated garages. Now, many fast fits generate somewhere around 50 per cent of their income from non-tyre business.
According to the latest SMMT data, the UK aftermarket turns over an annual £21.1 billion – making it the ninth largest in the world. And what’s more there are said to be north of 40,000 points of sale in the UK, which means the wider tyre business’s recent shift towards more mechanical work means that aftermarket space is as competitive as ever. Still, the ongoing outlook is good and the aforementioned growth figures are increasing at the same rate as the UK’s growing car parc. As a result, SMMT projections suggest the UK aftermarket sector’s value is set to rise to £28 billion by 2022.
Independent garages are embracing online parts supply in greater numbers as they look to access a wider range of available products from leading brands, according to one online automotive parts distributor. PartsInMotion.co.uk says that garages are “switching on” in greater numbers and accessing high quality parts online from distributors instead of, for example, going to the dealership. Demand for quality braking, clutch, steering and suspension as well as exhaust systems are said to be particularly high.
BM Catalysts has boosted its investment in the latest exhaust system manufacturing technology via a “six-figure investment in new additional hi-tech machinery”. According to the company, the investment will “help further increase productivity and capacity, and in its research and development of new-to-range parts”.
Brembo and Chinese brake manufacturer Gold Phoenix have signed a 50:50 Joint Venture agreement to create Shandong BRGP Friction Technology Co. Ltd, the first large scale Brembo manufacturing facility fully dedicated to producing aftermarket brake pads. Brembo and Gold Phoenix have agreed to invest 35 million euros in the project over the next three years. Shandong BRGP Friction Technology Co., Ltd is expected to start operations in early 2023 in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China.
With record temperatures across the UK, demand for air conditioning servicing has boomed. During repair work, or changing the air compressor, it’s crucial that the air conditioning system is cleaned out, as harmful substances and solids can form in the refrigerant circuit, leading to component damage. In its latest technical messenger bulletin, Mahle offers six key prompts to clean the system and avoid consequential damage.
Catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter (DPF) and front pipe manufacturer, BM Catalysts, has added 26 new references covering 138 more vehicle fitments to its range. A leading supplier of emissions control devices across Europe, the company’s latest additions offer coverage to a further 3.9 million vehicles in the European car parc.
Independent garages can now register any restrictions they face on access to vehicle manufacturer repair and maintenance information with a new form produced by UK AFCAR.
UK AFCAR is working to ensure the rights of the independent aftermarket are upheld in the post-Brexit era; specifically to enable all multi-brand operators to be able to access technical information, supply spare parts of matching quality to original equipment (OE) parts, and perform service, maintenance and repair (SMR) – with which to provide vehicle owners with a choice of the supply of repair and maintenance services as part of an open, competitive, and transparent marketplace.
The team at Autosupplies Chesterfield were given a specialist Mintex Masterclass training evening by TMD Friction’s technical training team, detailing the braking company’s manufacturing processes and product care advice.
Last summer, EBC Brakes was one of the first aftermarket brake companies to offer uprated pads for the 2021 BMW M3 and M4 variants. The Northampton-based firm is now expanding on that range with the introduction of EBC Brakes Racing’s stunning fully floating two-piece discs for the front axle of these sports cars.
Repairify is unifying its brands under the single name Repairify, with its new website www.repairify.co.uk designed to simplify its market proposition.
As a result, RED EU and RED Autocentres will be consolidated under the brand name Repairify, while the asTech remote solution will continue to be leveraged as a diagnostic brand name, driven by Repairify.