ELTA MBO leads to Lucas change

Published:  14 September, 2018

Changes  in the way the Lucas brand reaches the market in the UK and Ireland were announced at Automechanika Frankfurt this week.

ELTA Automotive has recently been the subject of a management buy-out, and as part of the new set-up the company has expanding its Lucas licence agreement for bulbs, wipers and switchgear to include continental Europe, as well as the UK and Ireland, while relinquishing its UK and Ireland Lucas licence for engine management to  Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE), the brand's existing European licence holder.

ELTA

The ELTA MBO was formally agreed on 11 September, and sees managing director Ian Hallam, who has worked with ELTA since the company was incorporated 25 years ago, become the company’s co-owner, alongside long-term European partner Luxline spol. s r.o – lead by Vladimír Palacka. Ian Hallam and Luxline become equal shareholders of a new holding company, ELTA Investments replacing the previous holding company, Claverdon Fields.

“During a year of notable milestones, which has included our 25th anniversary, the launch of the PRO brands in the UK and now into the European market, “ said Ian Hallam, “the MBO is the highlight, not just from a personal perspective, but for what it brings to the overall package and what the company can deliver to its customers across all regions.

“We are collectively very proud of what the company has achieved so far, but in order to continue our upward trajectory over the next 25 years, there needed to be a fundamental change and that was only possible through a negotiated MBO, which although respectful of the successes of the past, is completely new and therefore able to move in the direction we believe is necessary.”

 On the Lucas shift, Ian observed “Although the PRO brand addition will provide many new opportunities in new territories throughout the world for ELTA, our relationship with the iconic Lucas brand remains extremely important and will be a cornerstone of our European offering. However, as would be expected, a change of ownership inevitably requires a new licence agreement with the brand owners, which is why we are particularly delighted to be able to announce that this has been secured and on a mutually positive basis for both parties. As a result, we are thrilled to have secured a new UK, Eire and continental European licence for automotive bulbs, wiper blades and switchgear. . “By ensuring the continuity of our product specialisms, with the added benefit of a significantly wider territory, allied to the ability to control our own destiny, not only with our own brands, but through a new corporate mind-set, we are on the cusp of great things.

“We can therefore, look to the future with confidence and optimism as it will allow us to continue to grow and launch into new markets, introduce more products and consequently make the ELTA proposition an even more powerful and effective offering for the changing face of the aftermarket and in so doing, ensure success for the next 25 years,” concluded Ian.

SMPE

As a result of the changes, Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE) is becomes the official UK and Ireland licensee for the Lucas brand of engine management.

Since acquiring the rights to distribute the Lucas brand in Europe, SMPE has invested considerable resources in range re-profiling, packaging and cataloguing. Now, as part of this new, wider agreement, motor factors and garages throughout the UK & Ireland will have access to the programme under the Lucas brand image.

There will now be a period of transition as customers migrate over to the SMPE managed Lucas engine management programme, which includes Ignition coils, cam/crank sensors, air mass meters, lead sets, coolant temp sensors and oil pressure switches, engineered by SMPE in the UK and Poland.

SMPE Commercial Director Richard Morley said: “This is fantastic news for the UK and Ireland aftermarket, home of the Lucas brand. Through our continued success in developing the Lucas brand to customers throughout Europe, we are delighted to be able to offer UK and Ireland stockists the same benefits as we look to grow their sales of engine management products.  

“With the range at its best, our wider plans are to ensure the Lucas brand builds on its heritage and remains synonymous with quality and performance. Under SMPE’s stewardship, we are confident of achieving this.”

SMPE were also the principal suppliers of Lucas branded engine management during the 1990s. Going forward, SMPE will also be working closely with other Lucas licence holders of complementary product programmes.

Related Articles

  • Andrew Page to supply new Castrol GTX range  

    Andrew Page and Castrol have entered into a partnership to supply the new Castrol GTX range, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018.

  • Ethanol: flexible friend or biohazard? 

    I am starting to get the impression that governments and vehicle manufacturers are beginning to panic. Let’s begin by accepting that personal transportation vehicles will not be powered by hydrocarbon fuels for much longer. This statement includes hybrid and battery powered vehicles for the same reason. We are being subject to a whole raft of short term impractical solutions, the latest of which and the subject of this topic is bio-ethanol fuels.

    The reason I express this opinion is the true impact on emissions, from production, refinement, and transportation are not included in statistics on their environmental effect. Bio-mass fuel for electricity generation is a perfect example of this. The EU has decreed that emission monitoring of stack emissions need not be published, also excluded are the felling, drying, production and transportation influences.

    Political initiative
    I will begin with the political initiative, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, reduction in fossil fuel dependency, alternative fiscal revenue for the farming community, and a reduction in EU farming subsidies. Try not to laugh it’s all true. As third world nations starve, we grow fuel!

    Ethanol is a hydrocarbon c2h5oh. Octane 104. The fuel is produced from a fermentation process from fast growing energy crops, sugar cane, wheat, maize, and sometimes bio-degradable waste animal feed and timber. The claim is that due to the renewable factor it has an advantage over fossil fuel. Vehicles can operate with up to 85% bio-content, with no operational disadvantages with high CO2 reduction. I can confirm from my European motorcycle tour this year, that e10 bio-ethanol fuel is widely available.

    Considerations
    Just before you dash out to join the Green Party, there are some technical considerations the government seems to have overlooked. Bio-ethanol fuel is corrosive, copper, aluminium, plastics and rubber list among its appetite. Just before I forget, there is a critical lubrication service update; this is due to an increase in fuel oil contamination.

    I think you’re starting to get the picture, now let’s focus on its combustion problems. It has a unique evaporation envelope around 78ºC. It also requires a significant increase in fuel quantity on cold start, often requiring a pre-heater system, and a much-modified ignition profile. However, on the positive side once efficient combustion is achieved the knock resistance affords a more aggressive ignition angle and increased cylinder pressures.

    I am going to focus on Audi who have offered a flexi fuel A4 since 2009! It could operate up e85 with no modification. To my knowledge there are no or very few bi-ethanol vehicles in the UK. You may have noticed warning stickers in the fuel filler cap on most vehicles, expressing non- bio compatibility.

    So, back to my point: Why is the uk government considering a pilot trial for e10? Currently all gasoline sold in the uk can have e5 content without any notification at the pumps.

    Requirements
    Moving on to the technical requirements, the Audi flexi-fuel engine is based on the 2.0 tfsi, with Bosch med 17.1 control. Sequential mapped ignition, with knock control, digital hot film air mass measurement. Fuelling is homogenous direct injection, with port injection on cold start. Intake cam adjustment with avs on the exhaust cam.

    Due to low vaporisation when cold, ‘autarkic cold start’ ,the air fuel mixture cannot form the required composition for ignition. Significant modification to con rods and bearings are required to withstand higher cylinder pressure. Modifications to the variable load in- tank pump components and wiring prevent corrosion damage. An additional digital fuel quality sensor is fitted to the
    low-pressure fuel line, this enables critical adjustment to thermodynamic fuel properties and ignition maps.
     
    Bosch injection control strategy includes injection on intake and compression, with multiple strike on compression when cold, with additional injection pressure of 150 bar. A new aluminium manifold with a port injector is fitted to avoid pre-heaters on cold start.
    The point I am trying to make here is not based on a simple pessimistic naivety, but a serious concern that not enough focus is being applied to a long-term strategic solution. Two key prerequisites will have to be recognised, the first is a reconstruction of social order around a coherent public transport system, and the second a recognition that private vehicle transport is a privilege and not an automatic right.


  • Ben appoints Steve Nash as Chair of its Board of Trustees  

    Ben has announced the appointment of Steve Nash as Chair of its Board of Trustees.

  • Top Garage 2019 launches 

    Top Garage is back for 2019, and is open for entries.

  • New drop bracket tool from Absolute Alignment  

    Absolute Alignment’s newly launched drop bracket tool allows users to carry out wheel alignment on a two-post lift or chassis lift. It has been developed specifically for use with Bluetooth Pro and Bluetooth Lite wheel aligners, currently Absolute Alignment’s most popular products. This wheel alignment equipment upgrade is available now. Absolute Alignment supplies an array of wheel alignment equipment to suit workshops of all sizes, and is the only UK provider with a full range of Bluetooth wheel aligners suitable for cars and commercial vehicles – including those equipped with the latest generation of ADAS.

Most read content


Search

Sign Up

For the latest news and updates from Aftermarket Magazine.


Poll

Where should the next Automechanika show be held?



Facebook


©DFA Media 1999-2018