Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) is working to achieve carbon neutrality in its tyre manufacturing processes by 2050, and as part of these efforts recently began examining the possibility of utilising hydrogen energy within its major tyre factories in Japan. In order to “participate more actively in efforts to overcome the challenges involved in bringing about the hydrogen economy while also exchanging useful information with other companies and organisations,” SRI has joined the Japan Hydrogen Association.
Philip Nothard has been elected as the new chair of the Vehicle Remarketing Association, succeeding Sam Watkins, who has held the role for the last two years. With a 30 year career in the used car sector, he is currently insight and strategy director at Cox Automotive, and has also held key positions at Cap HPI as well as other senior roles across the automotive sector.
The Institute of the Motor Industry’s Annual General Meeting on 27 October 2020 saw the announcement of its new president, Professor Jim Saker, as well as the appointment of two new vice presidents: Linda Jackson (PSA) and Sandy Burgess (SMTA). Kevin Finn and Tony Tomsett were also confirmed as chairman and honorary treasurer respectively.
Wessex Truck & Trailer Supplies Limited has joined the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF). The independent commercial vehicle specialist parts supplier has a team of 17 people with over 200 years’ industry experience, and all of the employees are local, all living within a ten-mile radius of the office. The company has a fleet of delivery vehicles, delivering daily to customers six days a week. It also operates a 24/7 call out service and has a vast and ever-growing portfolio of supplier partners with original equipment quality.
The Board of Directors of the European Tyre and Rubber Manufactures’ Association has reconfirmed Franco Annunziato as its president for the next three years. Bridgestone’s vice president and senior advisor was elected for the next three years from 1 January 2021. The ETRMA said the appointment was “a strong signal of commitment and continuity to face the actual macroeconomic scenario.” Joan Vicenç Durán, from Consorcio Nacional de Industriales del Caucho, was also elected vice president at the meeting for the same three-year mandate.
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 Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England is urging the government to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030. The government is in the process of analysing feedback from its consultation on the ban, which has already been brought forward from 2040 to 2035.
The retreading industry has worked hard over the years to compete with the new tyre industry and to be heard on political, economic and product issues at European level. Since the industry is strongly shaped by medium-sized and smaller companies, active and influential advocacy thus plays an important role, as we witnessed during the formulation and successful implementation of UNECE regulations 108 and 109 in 2006, a regulation effectively giving retreads type approval equivalency with new tyres. BIPAVER has spearheaded the retreading industry’s lobbying in Europe for many years now, and in April its administration and technical representation was taken over by the German Tyre Retail and Vulcanisation Trade Association (BRV). The association’s two managing directors, general secretary Yorick M. Lowin and technical secretary Michael Schwämmlein, explain why this change took place, what tasks the future holds and what they both can leverage together with BIPAVER’s committees.
Aftermarket businesses have had to adapt due to the current pandemic, and the way in which professionals connect and engage with one another is no exception. As a result, members of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) are now being offered the opportunity to keep up to date with industry insights, trends and opportunities through a virtual platform.
Fuel additive manufacturer Cataclean Global Limited has joined the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF). Cataclean is a complete fuel and exhaust system cleaner for all petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles. Established in 1995, Cataclean now distributes over one million bottles of Cataclean thought the UK, USA and other territories around the world.
At the same time that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Independent Garage Association (IGA) and Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) published post-lockdown garage reopening advice, they also echoed earlier calls from the tyre aftermarket business to support MOT tests.
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation has gained clarification from government that businesses in the automotive aftermarket supplying garages, namely motor factors and suppliers, can remain open during the Covid-19 lockdown. Garages are exempt from the enforced closure of retailers, but motor factors can stay open in order to supply workshops who continue to support logistics providers, local councils, blue light services and key workers.
The European Tyre Manufacturers’ Association has called the response to the COVID-19 pandemic “one of the biggest challenges our industry has ever faced.” It calls for “constructive dialogue between industry, EU institutions and governments” to support the workforce of around 370,000 people while an “unprecedented” level of temporary closures and shutdowns are in place, and to smooth the transition to restart activities in the sector. Secretary-general Fazilet Cinaralp also said that the tyre sector is “vital… for the European economy at large,” adding that all stakeholders would need to find ways of supporting the sector “to avoid a permanent loss of capacity, research capability and innovation.”
The Institute of the Motor Industry has affirmed that it is ‘open for business’ in support of the motor retail sector during the Coronavirus pandemic. The IMI is emphasising the availability of its online channels during the coming months. It has dedicated business development, quality and product teams available remotely to help partners to continue to innovate and deliver to their learners and members.