Review of the year: Part 3

A look back at the news of 2014

Published:  02 January, 2015


Safety issues which can be caused by clocking were highlighted in a joint investigation between the BBC and HPI. Winding down the mileage on newer vehicles can affect critical ECU readings. Modules such as the airbag, ABS and ignition, create a snapshot, including mileage information, in an event. If this is out-of-sync the warning may not be broadcast causing safety issues.

German company ZF announced its intention to purchase TRW in one of the biggest automotive deals of all times. The deal  would increase ZF's holding in the US and Chinese markets and improve the company's range into braking and safety products. The size of the deal makes it one of the largest acquisitions in the automotive market, with ZF offering $105.60 for each TRW share.

The Parts Alliance completed the acquisition of Car Parts & Accessories, bringing its associate member into its Eastern Alliance division. 12 branches and 120 employees transferred to the new ownership.


October started with a farewell to the tax disc and the move to an online taxation, which caused waits for some of up to 13 hours before vehicle tax could be renewed. A number of ideas were floated for what people could do with old discs, with the Aftermarket team planning a clock.

Over 3,300 drivers took part in face-to-face surveys for Castrol Professional during the first quarter of 2014, showing that the average number of miles covered between trips to the workshop dropped from 6,331 miles in 2012 to 5,921 in 2013, a year-on-year reduction of 6.5%. This is the first major reduction since the start of the recession.

The government announced a funding package to extend the number of hydrogen fuelling stations in the UK, as Toyota announced its FCV concept powered by hydrogen fuel would be sold in the UK.


November saw Aftermarket magazine highlight plans by the DfT to extend classic car MOT exemption to vehicles built before 1988. Under new proposals, in 2018 any car over 30-years old would be exempt from critical safety checks, leading to an increase in the number of potentially dangerous vehicles on the road.

Euro Car Parts announced it was to build a new distribution centre on the same park as its existing facility. The new building would cover 778,000 sq ft and would be an addition to its existing building which would house more collision repair items.

The BBC aired an episode of Inside Out which highlighted the problem of DPF removal on vehicles. While pointing out the problems that is could cause and exposing five garages that offered its removal, aftermarket companies felt it did not highlight the amount of cost-effective aftermarket products available for DPF repair or replacement.


December started with the news that Andrew Page had left the Parts Alliance, just a few months after returning as an associate member, and had signed a deal with Unipart Group which would cover parts supply, joint system developments and combined buying activities with Unipart Autoparts and Unipart Logistics divisions. In addition, the company will open 50 new branches across the UK with a proportion of these to be franchised.

The month also saw publication of The Ricardo Study, a comprehensive report into the current difficulties faced by the independent aftermarket surrounding data access. Lobbying group FIGIEFA welcomed the report and has highlighted its key areas that will help to establish a level playing field between all members of the automotive industry. The report includes a part dedicated to the identification of the issues affecting independent operators' competitiveness, followed by a section containing concrete recommendations on a revised EU framework Regulation.

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  • DfT rules on Klarius 

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  • Automechanika Birmingham grows further 

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  • RMI to open new MOT training centre 

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  • DPF removal still a big problem 

    Despite a government crackdown last year, a large number of garages are still offering DPF removal, according to a new report by the Independent on Sunday.


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