Recent data released by the DVLA and Department for Transport (DfT) has illustrated that the UK car parc is older than it has ever been. Older cars are undoubtedly popular, and as a result aftermarket support will be required for these vehicles long into the future.
It isn’t news to say that the tyre and autocentre sector is becoming an increasingly technological business. However, two recent trends confirm the need for garages to be properly equipped – increasing electric vehicle take-up and, in the short term, booming MOT demand.
In January 2019, we predicted a 5 per cent increase in MOTs during the course of the year. One calculation suggested this would work out as 2.6 million extra MOT tests during 2019, which equates to something like 50 extra MOTs per site per month. The latest DVSA numbers suggest that MOTs actually went up by an estimated 6.2 per cent last year, rising from 29.560 million in 2018 to 31.405 million last year. So far DVSA have only released data relating to the first nine months of 2019, so the final figure could go down, but in all likelihood it now looks like 5 per cent was a conservative estimate.
Continental has manufactured tyres for more than 120 years, and these decades in the business have given it considerable brand recognition. It now intends to leverage the widespread awareness of the Continental name to aid its aftermarket vehicle electronics and mechatronics business. Going forward, its VDO line will be rebranded.
Automechanika Birmingham 2021 has been postponed. The organisers, Messe Frankfurt UK, said the leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket would return on 7-9 June 2022. The company’s Frankfurt headquarters had already announced the postponement of Automechanika Frankfurt to September 2021. The decision to postpone the UK event follows several months of discussion with exhibitors and host venue the NEC.
With the clocks going back soon, it’s time for workshops to think of the products that will sell most at this time. Wiper blades are one such candidate. Following the long, bright summer, UV rays from the sun could have damaged blade rubber, so these need to be checked to ensure they’re in optimum condition. Indeed, a poll commissioned by Halfords found that 6.5 million cars are being driven by motorists with faulty wiper blades.
The increasing use of smartphones in everyday life is reflected in the growing popularity of tablets in modern workshops. Sales of Android devices in particular are booming because they are considered to be fast, affordable, and – due to the multitude of apps available – versatile. As a result, Hella Gutmann Solutions (HGS) is launching mega macs ONE, a new system, which transforms a tablet with Android 6.0 or higher and minimum 7-inch screen, into a fully-fledged diagnostic tool.
Excel Automotive Group (EAG) has been appointed as exclusive distributor of the Celect range of brake pads and discs within the UK. With an extensive range of brake pads and brake discs in their Leeds-based distribution centre, EAG says it is able to offer “a braking range that has been developed to provide the marketplace with an affordable, full specification offering”.
The UK is at risk of losing out to the rest of Europe when it comes to the automotive lithium ion battery recycling market, according to a new research report published this week by WMG at the University of Warwick and backed by the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Faraday Battery Challenge at Innovate UK.
Delphi Technologies has added eight additional first-to-market brake pads in its aftermarket braking programme. According to the company, together with the existing range, these latest applications means its brake pad line-up offers more than 98.5 per cent coverage for the European car parc.
A third of UK motorists (32%) have put off getting their car serviced because COVID-19 financial pressure, according to BookMyGarage.com.
BookMyGarage surveyed 10,000 of its subscribers and found that, in addition, a similar number (29%) of drivers delayed servicing procedures simply because their car had covered far fewer miles during lockdown.
VARTA has joined The Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA) in the UK. Technical sales manager at VARTA, Andy Cook, has confirmed the new association with the organisation, saying: “Clarios, the Company behind the VARTA brand, is the largest battery manufacturer in the world, and that status naturally comes with longstanding and successful OE partnerships on a global basis, so joining OESSA makes perfect sense for us. Our new membership will help us support the independent garage further, especially in the area of new technology, where we have battery expertise on features like start-stop, where 8 out of 10 start-stop cars fitted with an AGM technology battery, is one of ours.”
The automotive replacement parts manufacturer, Trico Group, has announced its new name: First Brands Group, along with the addition of two new brands to its growing portfolio. The company said the adoption of its new identity “reflects its position as a multi-brand global player.” First Brands Group also announced the acquisition of two market-leading US manufacturing companies: brake parts specialist Brake Parts Inc (BPI) and filtration expert, Champion Laboratories Inc (Champ Labs).