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).


Webinar from Gates on cooling system hose issues

Published:  05 May, 2020

Gates will tackle cooling system hose problems in a new technical webinar being held on Thursday (7 May).


New car sales crash by 97.3% in April as Coronavirus shuts showrooms

Published:  05 May, 2020

 UK new car registrations fell by a whopping 97.3% in April, the lowest point since 1946, according to figures published today (Tuesday 5 May) by the SMMT.   Just 4,321 new cars were registered in the month, some 156,743 fewer than in April 2019. The last time sales were so low was in February 1946, when 4,044 new cars were sold.


May the 4th be with you: Small business Bounce Back loans go live

Published:  04 May, 2020

Garages can from today (Monday 4 May) take up small business lending 100% backed by the Treasury through the new Bounce Back Loan scheme. Businesses can look to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with the cash arriving within days.


ECP offers swimming pool range for lockdown

Published:  04 May, 2020

Wanting to make sure its workshop customers have all their options open for lockdown, Euro Car Parts’ amazingly wide stock range now includes a collection of pop-up swimming pools.


PM: “Comprehensive plan” on lockdown lift next week

Published:  01 May, 2020

Garages could be able to be open in greater numbers, if the Prime Minister’s aim to begin lifting lockdown restrictions soon is achieved.


DENSO launches online auction to fund PPE for medical staff

Published:  30 April, 2020

DENSO Aftermarket has provided a stock of promotional merchandise, ranging from electrical to clothing items, originally intended for marketing campaigns, to a charity silent auction platform. DENSO employees and customers will be able to bid on bulk or individual items, with proceeds to be distributed to medical organisations in affected areas.  


Execute order 66: Kent mechanic jailed for fake MOTs

Published:  30 April, 2020

 A Kent mechanic who made £10,000 in less than three months by issuing fraudulent MOT certificates for 66 cars, has been sent to prison for a year.


Covid-19 Pre-MOT safety check gets rolling

Published:  30 April, 2020

 The Covid-19 pre-MOT car safety check launched by B2C price comparison website BookMyGarage is being taken up by customers, with garages offering the service seeing a good response.


Ben support through COVID-19 crisis

Published:  30 April, 2020

Ben says it has seen a marked increase in the number of people turning to the charity seeking support for their mental health and money concerns as COVID-19 has unfolded, and the organisation says it is supporting people through the crisis in a number of ways.


COVID-19 causes UK car production fall

Published:  30 April, 2020


IGA calls for furlough flexibility

Published:  29 April, 2020


The IGA has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, suggesting a furlough scheme enhancement that would allow employees to partially return to work as the country prepares for the next phase of lockdown restrictions.
 
IGA Chief Executive Stuart James said: “As businesses ready themselves for the next stage of lockdown, we are asking the Chancellor for a level of flexibility within the furlough scheme so businesses can be supported throughout their reopening.
 
“Garages have been classified as an essential service throughout this crisis, however it has been very difficult for many of them to remain open in the current climate. It is common for garages to have staff dedicated to the role of MOT testing who do not repair cars. Due to the drop off in work volumes caused by the MOT extension and lockdown restrictions, garage owners have been left with no choice but to furlough these dedicated staff and, in many cases, close their business.
 
“Most MOT tests are booked in advance, so if testers were able to return to work part-time with the help of a enhanced furlough scheme it would reduce the costs to the government, help garage businesses reopen in a phased, progressive manner, and help the economy work its way back to normality.”
 
He added: “We urge the Chancellor to consider a system similar to the French furlough system that gives businesses the flexibility to bring in employees as and when they are needed, while claiming back a percentage of their salary for any hours not worked.”


Apprenticeship Levy rethink urged as COVID-19 impacts on funding

Published:  29 April, 2020

The IMI is warning that COVID-19 could be the cause of a spike in the skills shortage in five years time, due to with employers and training providers currently impacted by the coronavirus being unable to draw down Apprenticeship Levy funding  as usual, and the organisation is urging a government rethink on usage.


Autoglass donates 2,000 protective masks to local care homes

Published:  29 April, 2020

Autoglass has donated 2,000 protective masks to six care homes and hospices to protect frontline staff during the Coronavirus crisis.


NGK’s MO70 Dragmower wins award

Published:  29 April, 2020

NGK’s MO70 Dragmower,  which recorded two unusual speed records last year, was named Best Marketing Initiative at the company’s EMEA (Virtual) Convention.


COVID-19: Brakes start to come off for Brembo

Published:  28 April, 2020

 This morning in Italy (Tuesday 28 April), Brembo has resumed some activities in its Curno, Mapello and Sellero plants. Operations were temporarily suspended on 16 March, due to the COVID-19 emergency.


Garages to gain access to 100% Treasury-backed loans

Published:  27 April, 2020

Garages will from next week be able to access small business loans, 100% backed by the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced this afternoon (Monday 27 April).



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