Garages count cost of 20.4% April economic contraction

Published:  12 June, 2020

Garages can now see the scale of the economic challenge ahead, with figures being released today (Friday 12 June) that show the UK economy shrank by 20.4% in April, which was the first full month of lockdown following the imposition of COVID-19 measures.


It’s coming home: Comline kicks off social media competition

Published:  12 June, 2020

Comline has today (Friday 12 June) kicked off a social media competition designed to fill the void left by the postponement of EURO 2020 over the next four weeks.


Tragic monoxide death reinforces DIY dangers

Published:  11 June, 2020

 The potential dangers inherent in some DIY car repairs were laid bare recently at an inquest into the death of an aspiring amateur mechanic who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his own car.


What a difference a year makes – 2019 MOT tester caught driving without MOT

Published:  11 June, 2020

While the current MOT extension means many vehicles are on the road having not had a test for more than a year, and it’s totally legal, back in 2019 this was still a big no-no. It was particularly embarrassing for one MOT testing station then when Lancashire Police stopped its van last May, being driven by one of its MOT testers, only to find it didn’t have a current MOT.


Perfect 10: Absolute Alignment back to pre-lockdown sales levels as it hits landmark anniversary

Published:  09 June, 2020

Absolute Alignment has today (Tuesday 9 June) reported sales for the month of May that match pre-lockdown figures in March, in the same week as the business celebrated its 10th anniversary.


Government apprentice guarantee: Funding needed now says IMI

Published:  09 June, 2020

 Garages could see apprenticeship funding increase as the government looks to offset the risk of high youth unemployment resulting from the impact of COVID-19, but the IMI says that an apprentice guarantee will only work if employers get the funding now.


VLS pivots to proactive testing approach

Published:  09 June, 2020

The monitoring of lubricant standards is stepping up a gear in the UK, as the Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS) shifts from testing reactively following a complaint, to actively seeking out new products hitting the market.


Hotline bling: Schaeffler REPEXPERT phone number changes

Published:  08 June, 2020

Schaeffler has updated its telecoms system, and as a result of thee change there is a new REPEXPERT Hotline number.


Yuasa provides boost for water speed record

Published:  05 June, 2020

Yuasa has announced a new partnership with the Longbow Jet Hydroplane project. Yuasa batteries, which are manufactured by GS Yuasa, will also be used to power up the jet’s engines as it attempts to break the Outright Water Speed Record.


Ring rolls on with new safety measures

Published:  05 June, 2020

 Ring Automotive has fully opened its warehouse, with greater capacity than before.


Computer says “oh no” -Online car maintenance queries up 87% as lockdown eases

Published:  05 June, 2020

Garages may be able to pinpoint the kind of post-lockdown work coming through the door, with new research showing that online searches for how to tackle issues with car brakes, batteries and tyres have grown substantially over the last few months



Scrappage to scupper post-lockdown prospects for garages?

Published:  04 June, 2020

Independent garages expecting a surge in customer demand resulting from motorists being unwilling or unable to buy a new car in the wake of COVID-19 and post-lockdown uncertainty could soon have to contend with a scrappage scheme.


Lowest since 1952: May new car sales 89% down

Published:  04 June, 2020

COVID-19 continued to bite into new car sales in May, with registrations 89% down, according to the latest figures released today (Thursday 4 June) by the SMMT, making it the lowest May for car sales since 1952.


Back to work: ECP launches reopening product packs and more

Published:  03 June, 2020

Euro Car Parts has created a new product bundle to help garages access essential cleaning equipment and PPE, and is also offering free subscriptions to Haynes Pro and ViewMech. For £29.99, garages can buy a ‘Back to Work Pack’ complete with a 500ml antibacterial hand sanitising gel, a 500ml surface disinfectant spray, 25 pairs of gloves, 25 large, heavy duty refuse bags and six 2-ply blue rolls. 



EV infrastructure: Some cities more plugged-in than others

Published:  01 June, 2020

Garages with an eye on the electric vehicle future may want to consider if the local infrastructure could support major motorist take-up, and new research shows that Bristol, Milton Keynes, Dundee, Oxford and Brighton & Hove are the UK towns and cities with the highest current ratio of EVs to charging points.


Oil up for summer: The Parts Alliance runs June Petronas promotion

Published:  01 June, 2020

The Parts Alliance is running a June promotion on Petronas oil that will see two popular Petronas Syntium grades supplied in limited edition Formula One 200 litre barrels.


Franchised dealers back in business

Published:  01 June, 2020

While garages were able to remain open through COVID-19 lockdown, new car showrooms were required to shut, but from today (Monday 1 June), franchised dealers in England are able to fully reopen.


Furlough shifts, self employment support extended

Published:  29 May, 2020

 The furlough scheme is shifting from August. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has confirmed tonight (Friday 29 May) that businesses, including garages using the scheme, will be taking on an increasing share of the pay for workers, but also see them return to work part-time.


UK engine production down 99.5% in April

Published:  29 May, 2020

Just 830 engines were produced in the UK in April, down from 178,022 in 2019, representing a precipitous 99.5% output decline, according to the latest figures from the SMMT, as the COVID-19 lockdown’s impact on car production continues to be felt.
 
A small number was produced at the end of the month, ahead of some automotive plants restarting in May.
 
SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes commented: “The nationwide lockdown and closure of vehicle manufacturing plants across Europe and beyond has had an expected but devastating effect on engine production, with output all but wiped out in April. With markets and key factories starting to reopen, it’s crucial to encourage demand for new cars worldwide, which will in turn drive manufacturing and help reboot the UK economy.”


Radio Garage: IMI campaign to promote MOTs and servicing

Published:  29 May, 2020

 A nationwide radio campaign advising motorists coming out of lockdown that their car may need a MOT and service before going back into daily use is to be rolled out by the IMI next month.



Mini-lockdowns next challenge for garages?

Published:  27 May, 2020

 Highly-localised mini-lockdowns are likely to be deployed in COVID-19 hotspots as the nationwide lockdown is gradually rolled back, the government has warned, meaning garages could find themselves within one if Coronavirus begins to spread in their area.


Retail re-opening to push up car usage: Garages get ready

Published:  25 May, 2020

Car usage is likely to increase when the further easing of lockdown restrictions announced by the Prime Minister today (Monday 25 May) comes into play from the middle of next month, meaning garages could see demand for their services increase from that point.


Furlough set to shift towards employer contributions from August

Published:  23 May, 2020

 Garages with staff on furlough are set to find out in the next few days the details of the next phase of the job protection scheme, as Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak looks set to ask employers to pay at least 20% towards wages from August.


MAHLE adjusts to ‘new normal’

Published:  22 May, 2020

MAHLE Aftermarket UK says is adjusting to the new ‘normal’ to support its wide customer base of distributors and independent garages.


MOT extension: More than a million unsafe cars on the road

Published:  22 May, 2020

 There could be more than a million unroadworthy vehicles hitting the road due to the MOT extension it has been projected, with 49% of drivers covered by the extension waiting for the extension to end before they get a test for their car.


Dealer showroom closures costing £61m per day

Published:  22 May, 2020

 While around 40% of garages remained open through the lockdown, with more re-opening as restrictions have eased, the franchised dealer sector has been mostly shut. With the cost of keeping dealerships closed running at £61 million per day according to the SMMT, government is being asked to allow the country’s 4,900 showrooms to reopen.


COVID-19 compliance scheme launched by IGA

Published:  21 May, 2020

The IGA is adding to the argument against continuing the MOT extension by launching a COVID-19 compliance certification scheme for garages, which will be made available to IGA members from June.


Resistance to MOT extension ramps up

Published:  21 May, 2020

 The MOT extension continues to see harsh resistance from the sector, as the IAAF writes to government arguing for the measure to be overturned.


Get ‘Back on track’ with Schaeffler essentials pack

Published:  21 May, 2020

Garages reopening and ramping up for greater customer demand as lockdown eases are being provided with useful items via a Schaeffler ‘Back on Track’ essentials pack.


IMI urges Apprenticeship Levy clawback pause

Published:  21 May, 2020

 With 91% of larger employers in the sector being forced to change their apprentices training plans as a result of COVID-19, the IMI has written to government to ask that the usual practice of taking back unused Apprentice Levy funding be suspended until 2022. 


Buying power: ECP’s ‘Fit it For Me’ to tap post-lockdown demand

Published:  21 May, 2020

 Euro Car Parts has launched Fit it For Me, a new service that enables motorists to order parts online, and then as part of the process identify a garage that will undertake installation for them at an agreed upfront labour cost.


Don’t “brake” that crayon – Textar colouring activities

Published:  20 May, 2020

With children stuck at home as a result of Coronavirus lockdown school closures, Textar has created a series of colouring-in activities based on the Textar-sponsored Newell & Wright Motorsport trucks, who the brand is sponsoring throughout the 2020 British Truck Racing Association (BTRA) Championship.


End MOT extension IGA urges Transport Minister

Published:  19 May, 2020

 Higher traffic levels and a growing backlog of faulty cars on the roads has prompted the IGA to urge Transport Minister Grant Shapps to end the MOT extension as soon as possible.


Children ‘Colour for Hope’ with Brembo and The Parts Alliance

Published:  15 May, 2020

The Parts Alliance and Brembo have teamed up to give children the chance  to win prizes through its ‘Colour for Hope’ competition.


Over half of apprentices furloughed says IMI

Published:  15 May, 2020

53% of apprentices in the overall automotive sector have been furloughed according to an ongoing IMI survey, and 83% of those have said they are unable to continue to study in the same way they had been prior to lockdown


COVID-19 guidance issued to automotive aftermarket

Published:  14 May, 2020

Garages looking to ramp up their operations as the lockdown is gradually eased can now refer to new sector-specific guidance issued by the GEA, IAAF,  IMI,  SMTA and the SMMT.


Safety guidance publication supports dealer re-openings

Published:  13 May, 2020

While almost half of the UK’s independent garages have continued to operate through the COVID-19 lockdown, most of the franchised dealer network shut its doors, including workshops, at the end of March. The dealer sector is now looking to fully reopen, and guidance from the NFDA and SMMT has been published to help them do so.  


Furlough scheme gets four-month extension

Published:  12 May, 2020

Garages could keep staff on furlough until October now, although more flexibility from August will mean businesses begin to share the burden, while also beginning to bring people back in part-time.


Top Technician 2020 semi-finalists named

Published:  11 May, 2020

The semi-finalists for Top Technician 2020 have been announced.


PM encourages car use for workers

Published:  11 May, 2020

Garages in England could see an increase in demand from motorists, as the government shifts its emphasis on COVID-19 and encourages people to return to work, preferably by car.


ECP addresses delivery delays

Published:  07 May, 2020

 ECP CEO Andy Hamilton took to social media today (Thursday 7 May) to speak directly to customers of Euro Car Parts, to thank them for their patience across the COVID-19 crisis.


Northern Ireland MOTs extended for full year

Published:  06 May, 2020

 MOTs in Northern Ireland are being extended for a full year, it has been announced. The measure, related to the Coronavirus lockdown,  applies to Northern Ireland only.



Government eyes furlough wind-down

Published:  06 May, 2020

 Garages that have put staff on furlough under the government scheme are likely to see the programme gradually scaled back from July.


Hats on 4 Ben supports mental health through COVID-19 and beyond

Published:  06 May, 2020

Automotive industry charity Ben has announced that this year’s Hats on 4 Ben is taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week from 18 - 24 May, and will be a virtual event for 2020.


Autoparts UK and Midwest Motor Factors gradual reopening unfolds

Published:  05 May, 2020

Autoparts UK and Midwest Motor Factors have gradually started to reopen branches. Autoparts Inverness, Newcastle, Stoke, Aberdeen, Trafford Park Manchester and Sighthill Edinburgh all opened yesterday (Monday 4 May).



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