While 2020 was a challenging year for the aftermarket, Autogem has reflected on a number of positives amid the turbulence which have cemented its position as a supplier of automotive chemicals, fasteners, hand tools, tyre and workshop consumables and exhaust fittings. Indeed, the firm’s TPMS programme represents a key highlight, with the company can lay claim to being “genuine innovators” in this segment.
Autogem has launched a new, advanced TPMS handheld solution, the I-sensor Pro, in an online event for customers. The device upgrades the original I-sensor, offering customers increased time-saving and potential revenue generation. The I-sensor Pro features Wi-Fi connectivity, wireless Bluetooth and an integrated auto-focus camera, allowing for instant, personalised tyre pressure reporting. It also features a completely integrated tread depth measuring device. The original i-sensor handheld TPMS servicing device was launched in 2013, and has since sold more than 3,500 units in the UK.
Autogem has created a triple-layer, reusable anti-bacterial facemask. The new product has been added to the TPMS and workshop consumables supplier in response to the needs of customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The ‘gemCare’ masks, which are non-medical grade and will therefore not affect the supply chain to the NHS, are designed by medical professionals. Autogem added that the masks are intended to complement other protective measures, such as washing hands and maintaining social distancing.
Autogem has appointed a new specialist business development manager to complement its range of industry leading aftermarket products. Adam Livett brings 23 years of main vehicle dealer experience to the new role and is already pledging to “fulfil customers’ needs and look after them”, rather than simply sell them products alone.
Autogem has unveiled its second generation Treadspec drive-over scanners, offering a more efficient and simplified way to perform simple tyre checks for wear, alignment issues and inflation. The Treadspec 2.0 supplements the company’s Groove Glove, which allows garage mechanics to scan all four tyres on any given vehicle and discover the tread depth and alignment of each within 50 seconds.
Autogem states that it is using online ordering and training platforms to assist customers in mitigating potential disruption amid the disruption caused by the Covid-19 virus. “We have never worked in such unprecedented times, with each day presenting potential new challenges and concerns,” said Autogem managing director Prashant Chopra.
Autogem has begun 2020 with an exclusive agreement to become sole trade distributor of Michelin Pro-Series Hybrid wiper blades. Autogem said the new addition to its portfolio fits its philosophy of assisting its installer partners with industry-leading products which save time, improve engagement and increase revenue streams. Examples of this can also be seen in Autogem’s Groove Glove and i-sensor TPMS tools, which the company states are amongst the fastest selling universal TPMS solutions anywhere.
Autogem has launched a new replacement tyre pressure monitoring system for commercial vehicles. Its universal TPMS sensor is designed to increase efficiencies for fleet operators with in-house fitters and tyre dealer networks, promising greater flexibility and convenience. Autogem said the system was developed to address a number of issues in the market, including regular breakages of internal valve mounted sensors at tyre dismount, the difficulty in identifying sensors from the outside of the wheel, and battery failure due to higher mileage and high usage. Autogem adds that it has found original equipment batteries are depleted by “up to 30 per cent” on the shelf before they are fitted.
Autogem will unveil its second generation Treadspec drive-over tread scanner at Automechanika Birmingham (4-6 June, NEC Birmingham). The ramp, which the company states has been “extremely well-received” in its domestic USA market, offers a “no labour” diagnostic tool for the aftermarket. It supplements the company’s Groove Glove, also developed by Treadspec manufacturer Tire Profiles Inc, which allows garage mechanics to scan all four tyres on any given vehicle and discover the tread depth and alignment of each within 50 seconds.
With expansion, a new headquarters and business growth, 2017 was an exciting year for Autogem. In addition the company reports that increased word-of-mouth i-sensor recommendations and hundreds more TPMS installations are adding to the 1000s the firm already work with in the UK.
When it became a legal requirement for all new vehicles produced and sold in Europe to be fitted with TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) back in November 2014 the concept was still unfamiliar to the majority of motorists. In the main it was drivers of early adopter, generally high-end, marques such as BMW and Mercedes who got the benefits in terms of enhanced safety, tyre life and fuel economy. Indeed, even three years ago those manufacturers had been fitting TPMS as standard for more than two decades.
It has been a busy year for Autogem. First managing director Prashant Chopra was named chairman of the NTDA. Then the company launched its innovative groove glove laser tyre tread scanning system at AutoMechanika in Birmingham. Shortly afterwards, the company relocated to new modern premises in Wembley, north London. Tyres & Accessories caught up with Prashant Chopra at the new headquarters and found out more.
As our environment becomes increasingly technologically driven, it is no surprise to learn that as many as 15 per cent of tyres are being bought online. At the same time tyres are becoming more and more “intelligent” with built-in sensors such as TPMS. However, for a long time the business of checking tyre tread depth has been a relatively imprecise affair. A few years back standards improved with the development of digital tread depth probes, some of which even bluetoothed data to cloud-based systems. However, the latest technology takes routine tread depth checks and fleet audits to the next level.