GSF Car Parts Opens New Branches In Bournemouth And Warrington

Branch expansion continues

NATIONAL motor factor GSF Car Parts has opened two new branches in Bournemouth and Warrington this week.

The move is part of the company’s focus on growth and expansion following its recent rebrand from a dozen local trading identities to one nationally recognised brand with 173 branches.

GSF Bournemouth opened on Monday 29 November and is located on Holdenhurst Road, while GSF Warrington opened on Wednesday 1 December and is situated on Bewsey Industrial Estate.

President and COO Mark Eburne said: “We’re delighted to bring our outstanding service, excellent range and quick delivery to customers in Bournemouth and Warrington. This is an exciting time for GSF Car Parts as we forge relationships with customers in new areas to help them capitalise on the strength of the aftermarket.

“GSF Bournemouth is in a prime central location that’s perfect for servicing independent and national customers in this thriving seaside town. We’ve got an experienced team on board who are eager to put their knowledge and passion to good use in order to position GSF as the best option for customers in the area.

“We’ve historically had a fantastic relationship with customers in the north west, so we’re confident that we can build on this with the opening of our GSF Warrington branch. It’s in a spot that gives us ideal access to all major local roads and our team are committed to providing the kind of best-in-class customer service that makes us the first choice for great value, high quality parts.”

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RAC records worst third quarter for pothole breakdowns in 15 years

Number of broken suspension springs, distorted wheels and damaged shock absorbers continue to rise as a result of UK’s pothole problem, RAC suggests

July to September 2021 saw the RAC deal with the largest ever proportion of pothole-related call-outs in any third quarter since 2006.

RAC patrols attended 1,810 breakdowns for broken suspension springs, distorted wheels and damaged shock absorbers which represented 1.2 per cent of all its call-outs over the three-month period.

July to September, along with October to December, are normally the quietest quarters for pothole-related breakdowns, both in terms of pure numbers and in terms of the proportion they represent of all RAC breakdowns.

When looking at the proportion of pothole call-outs as a rolling average of the last four quarters there is a worrying increase in the share of these breakdowns as they represent 1.5 per cent of all RAC call-outs – the highest such figure seen in the RAC’s Pothole Index data since the four quarters to the end of September 2018 (1.5 per cent).

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “With government data showing weekday car traffic is still not quite back to pre-pandemic levels it’s very worrying that our patrols are still attending a higher proportion of pothole-related call-outs in relation to all the breakdowns they go out to.

“While it’s welcome that the sheer number of pothole breakdowns is not as high as we’ve seen in previous years, we see worrying signs in our data that implies little progress has been made in the last 12 months in improving road surfaces for drivers.

“We fear we’re only a bad winter away from seeing a plague of potholes which authorities will struggle to repair.

The RAC Pothole Index is a long-term measure of the condition of roads which is adjusted for weather and seasonal effects.

As of Q3 2021 it stands at 1.48, down from 1.51 in Q2 – it means drivers are nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to breakdown after hitting a pothole today than they were when the RAC first started collecting this data back in 2006.

The RAC Report on Motoring 2021 once again named the poor condition and lack of maintenance of local roads their top concern.

This year, 46 per cent of drivers say that the state of local roads is one of their four biggest motoring-related concerns, sharply up from 38 per cent 12 months ago.

Well over half (58 per cent) of drivers believe local road conditions where they live have deteriorated over the past year, a rise on the 52 per cent recorded in 2020 and 49 per cent in 2019.

Nicholas added: “Relying on just patching potholes is a fruitless task which simply pours good money after bad as it only acts as a sticking plaster.

“This will anger drivers incredibly as they already feel not enough of their motoring taxes are invested in keeping roads up to a respectable standard.”

New research from the RAC Report on Motoring 2021 shows that drivers would very much like to see at least some of the revenues raised from the likes of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) (‘car tax’) and fuel duty ring-fenced for spending on local road maintenance.

This year, 81 per cent of drivers support this idea, an almost identical proportion to 2020 (82 per cent).

At present, revenues from VED in England are used to fund maintenance spending but only on the motorway and high-speed road network. What’s more, three-quarters (74 per cent) take the view that the motoring taxes they already pay are not sufficiently reinvested into local roads.

Drivers are on the whole happier with the state of the UK’s motorways and major A-roads.

Only 11 per cent cite the state of motorways and high-speed roads as a main concern, although 28 per cent still say that the condition of these roads has deteriorated over the past 12 months.

Nicholas Lyes added: “We have long campaigned for national government to recognise the significance of local roads and ring-fence funds over a five-year period to enable councils to plan and deliver longer-term road maintenance.

“If the coming winter proves to be colder than normal as some are predicting we could sadly see our roads crumbling yet further, costing drivers hundreds of thousands of pounds in repairs.

“We’re sounding the alarm now so that this doesn’t happen, but we badly need the Transport Secretary and the Treasury to take a fresh look at how local roads are funded.”

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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Aston Martin Bulldog hits three amazing milestones in just over a week

Concept car driven at speed for first time in over 40 years

The Aston Martin Bulldog supercar, which is being restored by Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, has hit three major milestones in just nine days – The car won the Royal Automobile Club restoration of the year award, CMC won specialist of the year at the Octane Historic Moring Awards, and on Saturday November 27 the car hit 162 miles an hour on its first shake-down session.

Nigel Woodward managing Director of CMC said: “The last few days have been something of a whirlwind, to win two prestigious awards within a week is fantastic and is a great tribute to the team at CMC who have worked so hard on the car for the last 18 months.

“But to cap that by accelerating through 162 on our first time out with the car is just the icing on the cake.”

The car was privately testing at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton in Somerset.

This was part of a series of Royal Naval activities which has seen the car unveiled at the Hampton Court Concours by two Royal Naval apprentices from the Royal Naval Air Station.

The car was showcased on board HMS Prince of Wales, Britain’s latest Aircraft carrier and the next testing taking place back at RNAS Yeovilton once analysis of Saturdays testing takes place and the conditions are right.

Richard Gauntlett, who represents the owner of the car Phillip Sarofim, and who sent the car to CMC for the restoration was elated: “Seeing the car run like this for the first time in forty years is a dream come true.

I grew up with the car, I had a poster of it on my bedroom wall. I cannot thank the team at CMC enough for the hard work that they have put into this Project.”

Victor Gauntlett, Richard’s father, was Chairman at Aston Martin when the supercar which was planned to be the first production car to exceed 200 mph.

But the project was axed after the car reached nearly 192 miles per hour in 1980.

The car was then sold and disappeared occasionally surfacing around the world.

It was purchased by Phillip Sarofim two years ago.

Richard added: “The car will be tested again either this year or at the beginning of next at the Royal Naval air Station before we go for the 200-mph record that it never did in 1980. The location of that attempt is still being discussed.

Nigel added: “There is still much to do but Saturdays session not only validated the car but also provided a lot of very useful data.

“The fact that without trying, and in the teeth of a 50 mph crosswind we sailed through the 160 mph mark in only ¾ of a mile, at reduced boost and on partial throttle says much.

“It was only a lack of bravery on my part and the fact that we were still evaluating the car that prevented us going faster”.

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Schaeffler and DENSO partners in FEAD-focused ‘tea-break training’

Latest tips and advice on timing and front end auxiliary drive belt drive systems and air conditioning

The Schaeffler REPXPERT technical team was back in action recently, with a slightly different ‘tea-break training’ session, this time teaming up with fellow original equipment (OE) manufacturer DENSO, to deliver a Front End Auxiliary Drive system (FEAD) special.

Schaeffler Technical Manager and REPXPERT, Alistair Mason said: “It was great to be back online and to also introduce the DENSO team to our enthusiastic REPXPERT members.

“Together, we were able to present a detailed and interesting FEAD training session that covered not only the belt drive system, which is our speciality, but also AC compressors – which are DENSO’s.

“FEAD systems are becoming ever more complex, particularly when it comes to the type and design of the pulleys used to drive components such as alternators and compressors.

“There are now also Torsional Vibration Dampers (TVDs) fitted on the crankshaft, which in some cases are just like a small dual mass flywheel, very similar to those fitted in transmission systems.

“Being able to provide comprehensive training that covered the entire FEAD system, presented by two of the principal OE players, which addressed the real-world issues that can affect them, added a new dimension to our usual type of session and was very well received.

“However, this wasn’t just our opinion, it was backed up by the positive feedback we received back from the many online attendees, so I’m sure it’s a format we’ll revisit moving forward.”

Technicians can register online by clicking here.

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OSRAM COOL BLUE range updated for winter

New part numbers will become available as old stock gets phased out

OSRAM has revamped its well established COOL BLUE range of Halogen and HID bulbs, relaunching its portfolio with a new look, enhanced features and new part numbers.

The changes to the range will mean the new CBN (COOL BLUE NEXT GENERATION) part numbers will become available and phased in when old stocks of CBI (COOL BLUE INTENSE) part numbers have been phased out and sold through.

The products will now also be boxed in freshly updated turquoise colour packaging, with a more modern design, including the integration of a QR code on the backside of the packs for easy access to additional product information online.

The range includes the HID (Xenon) XENARC COOL BLUE INTENSE (Next Generation), now offering extra white light for that LED look, colour temperatures of up to 6200K and up to 150 percent more brightness.

These will replace the current XENARC COOL BLUE INTENSE (CBI) range, but the bulbs themselves will have the same optical appearance.

Meanwhile, the halogen COOL BLUE INTENSE (Next Generation) also features extra white light for that LED look, and a colour temperature of up to 5000K and up to 100 percent more brightness.

Additionally, OSRAM’s DIADEM CHROME range will also take on the new packaging design changes, which will be phased in when stocks of the old packaging have phased out.

The bulbs in the DIADEM CHROME range only appear amber when switched on, and will otherwise remain almost invisible in the headlamp unit, giving an homogenous appearance.

It also features a slick, cutting-edge interference and absorber coating.

These can be used to replace amber bulbs in indicator applications.

For further details, please click here.

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Car makers given new marketing guidelines for driverless vehicle technology

Manufacturers will need to differentiate between ‘automated’ and ‘assisted’ systems

The automotive industry has committed to a new set of “guiding principles” for the marketing of vehicles with autonomous technology, published by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Developed and agreed by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ AV-DRiVE Group, the principles provide an outline for responsible advertising and communication relating to automated vehicles and their capabilities.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to make journeys safer, greener and more accessible for all, which is why we want to make the UK the best place to trial, develop and deploy their technology, to ensure we are among the first to realise their benefits.”

The industry-led initiative aims to ensure consumers receive consistent and clear information regarding automated driving features, ahead of their expected introduction to British roads in 2022.

Guiding principles for marketing automated vehicles

  1. An automated driving feature must be described sufficiently clearly so as not to mislead, including setting out the circumstances in which that feature can function.
  2. An automated driving feature must be described sufficiently clearly so that it is distinguished from an assisted driving feature.
  3. Where both automated driving and assisted driving features are described, they must be clearly distinguished from each other.
  4. An assisted driving feature should not be described in a way that could convey the impression that it is an automated driving feature.
  5. The name of an automated or assisted driving feature must not mislead by conveying that it is the other – ancillary words may be necessary to avoid confusion – for example for an assisted driving feature, by making it clear that the driver must be in control at all times.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “It is essential that this revolutionary technology is marketed accurately and responsibly, and we are delighted to have brought together industry, government and other key stakeholders to develop a series of guiding principles that will ensure consumers will have clarity and confidence over their capabilities from when these advanced vehicles first make their way into showrooms.”

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ZF services appoints new partner manager

Appointment highlights commitment to technical expertise and sales support

ZF Services UK has promoted Alex Acosta to Partner Manager.

Acosta will also be responsible for implementing training plans for existing ZF products and for Service Readiness Orders in conjunction with OE Sales, while ensuring that the service network is able to satisfy market requirements for the commercial vehicle industry.

A key part of the role is building a strong rapport with ZF’s service partners and therefore Acosta will hold annual reviews to evaluate performance and evaluate growth in business areas.

To support this, Acosta will take a more active role in service partner account management, auditing service partner processes and procedures in line with the ZF Aftermarket Division model, as well as carrying out argumentation against service partner invoices.

Acosta will remain in contact with ZF’s customers in the UK and Ireland to assist with sales requirements and opportunities in the form of new accounts sales, preventative pre-failure overhaul campaigns and electric retrofit projects.

On his new role, Acosta said: “ZF is the prime example of the perfect service partner within the bus and coach industry.

“I thoroughly look forward to taking on this new challenge and working even more closely with customers to communicate future technologies and how ZF can work alongside them to overcome the challenges of tomorrow.”

David Wakeling, ZF Head of Commercial Vehicle, said: “I’d firstly like to congratulate Alex, as the technical knowledge and expertise that he has developed from his time at ZF’s Centre of Competence in Nottingham makes him the ideal candidate for this role.

“We wish him well in his new position and look forward to his continued growth within ZF.”

For further information, please click here.

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Consultation on plans to ban vehicle ‘tampering’ closes

Government proposes “new offences for tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road”

A government consultation on plans to stop the “tampering” of road vehicles for safety and environmental reasons has now closed and is now being analysed.

A proposed shake-up of car modification rules could land drivers with fines worth hundreds of pounds, under the plans entitled Modernising Vehicle Standards.

It would “create new offences for tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road.”

The consultation report reads: “We will create new offences for tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road.

“This will enable us to address existing gaps in the legislation, ensuring cleaner and safer vehicles.

“We will also create new offences for tampering with non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) and for advertising ‘tampering’ services or products.”

It could see the supply, installation and/or advertising of a “tampering product” for a vehicle or NRMM become illegal – this would apply where a principal effect of the product is to bypass, defeat, reduce the effectiveness of or render inoperative a system, part or component.

The removal or modification to reduce the effectiveness of a part or component for a vehicle/NRMM and advertising such services could also become an offence.

The BBC reports that the proposed changes have sparked concern among car enthusiasts who restore old vehicles.

Barry Guess, organiser of the Car-nival event in Abingdon, Oxfordshire said it could impact races, rallies and classic car restoration said: “There are elements which rings alarm bells.

“We could find ourselves in a situation that valid restrictions that are brought in for safety could impact the day-to-day operations of companies and the motorsport community.

“As they stand, the proposals would stop a competitor from removing the normal seat and fitting a purpose-built competition seat which is much, much safer than the original.

“Components like seatbelts and various components get changed – they could be deemed as being tampering.”

Transport minister Trudy Harrison was reported to have said the consultation looked at future technology to prevent alterations that “negatively impact on road safety, vehicle security and the environment.”

She said: “Department for Transport officials have been instructed to ensure that proposals do not prevent activities such as restoration, repairs or legitimate improvements to classic cars, or do any damage to the motorsports businesses involved in these activities.”

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BG Automotive celebrates success with Prince Charles at Windsor

Firm gets highest Royal recognition for any business in the UK for the second time

HRH The Prince of Wales hosted a Reception on behalf of The Queen, for The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise Winners at Windsor Castle on the evening of Wednesday 10th November 2021.

BG Automotive (BGA), a supplier of over 40,000 premium quality aftermarket parts and components was awarded the highest Royal recognition for any business in the United Kingdom for the second time ‘The Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2020.’

This award was for BGA’s excellence in international trade, dominating European, Middle east, African, Asian, Russian markets and are experiencing high demand from countries as far as Australia for their popular, renowned premium quality aftermarket parts and components.

Davide Piaser, head of export sales at BGA said: “It was an honour to attend the Queens Award reception last week on behalf of BGA.

“An incredible experience in a location rich in history and tradition.

“It felt surreal drinking aperitif in a castle with a prince, but the conversation with Charles was very natural and relaxed with him interested in finding out more on the company and how proud BGA should be for receiving this prestigious award twice.”

BGA states they are ‘only just getting started’ and will continue to fly their flag high and create partnerships with Automotive distributors over the globe who look for a high quality, competitive value-added aftermarket brand.

Matthew Greener, marketing director at BGA said: “the digital innovation and budgets being put in place for enhancing BGA’s brand awareness will push BGA to new heights this year within the Global Aftermarket.

“To support the growth, significant investment is being made in resources, stock and further developing the research development center, who are now focused on the next era for BGA and electric vehicles.

“BGA will also be exhibiting across the world in countries such as Dubai, Hungary, Australia, Moscow, Frankfurt, Italy, and South Africa to name a few – giving current and new partners a chance to meet us in person locally to discuss the opportunities, advantages and ground-breaking solutions BGA have to offer.”

For further details, please click here.

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New homes in England to have EV chargers by law

New-build supermarkets, workplaces and buildings undergoing major renovations will also require chargers under new law

New homes and buildings in England will be required by law to install electric vehicle charging points from next year, the prime minister has announced.

The move will see up to 145,000 charging points installed across the country each year.

The move comes as the UK aims to switch to electric cars, with new petrol and diesel cars sales banned from 2030.

At the Confederation of British Industry’s conference on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This is a pivotal moment – we cannot go on as we are.

“We have to adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution.”

AC director of EVs Sarah Winward-Kotecha said: “Future-proofing new build houses by ensuring they include electric car charge points wherever feasible is a welcome move by the Government, and one that can give future homeowners the confidence they’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a fully-charged car before they leave the house.

“Additional commitments to workplace charging will also benefit those who perhaps don’t have home charging facilities but park their vehicle for several hours a day at work.

“But as positive as today’s announcement clearly is, it’s important to remember that a lot of new housing stock – especially in cities – doesn’t even come with any car parking at all, let alone provision for electric charge points.

“It’s for this reason that the RAC continues to call for the installation of rapid charging hubs to also be a priority.

“By supplementing points already installed in places like forecourts and supermarkets with rapid chargers, drivers without off-road parking will have a realistic opportunity to go electric. In addition, it gives those needing to recharge on longer journeys greater flexibility to do so.

“It’s also important that all charge points – particularly at motorway services – are always working.

“Unfortunately, we’re increasingly being called out to use our EV Boost technology by drivers who have reached public charge points only to discover they are out-of-order.”

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