AW Repair Group – work starts at AW’s 9th bodyshop site; purpose-built 9,000sq ft site

Posted by News from ABP on 01/8/19:

AW Repair Group is pleased to announce that expansion plans for the group are "well underway" with site nine due to open later this year.

The 9,000sq ft site is situated 30 minutes from major cities, Leeds, York and Wakefield and is only 25 miles from AW’s site in Denaby Main. The latest addition to AW group will create circa 12 jobs in the area with apprenticeship opportunities available.

Work has started this week on the modern detached building, which is just 10 minutes from the A1M and 20 minutes from the M62.

The purpose designed bodyshop utilises the latest technological advances available to maximise efficiency and will feature a 10m drive-through Junair spraybooth with QAD drying technology, Skate & Rail vehicle transfer system to minimise vehicle movements and PPG refinishing system. The site will include full Electric and Hybrid vehicle repair capabilities with all staff trained in EV’s to mirror AW’s other eight repair centres.

The two-story offices will consist of AW corporate Blue and Orange branding throughout reception, admin offices and the meeting room.

The site will include integral Minden Dust Extraction, eco-friendly radiant heating and 1000 Lux LED Lighting, creating a quality working environment for the team who will be moving there from AW’s sister sites, where they have been training.

These expansion plans are announced just weeks after the opening of AW’s second LV= General Insurance sole supply site in Denaby Main which boosts the groups annualised turnover to over £17.5M [which would place them as the 13th largest independent bodyshop group in the UK in the ABP Year Book].

SMMT – UK commercial vehicle production for home market falls -44.7%; exports decline -65.4%

Posted by News from ABP on 01/8/19:

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production fell by -57.2% in June, according to the latest figures released from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Manufacturing for both home and overseas markets experienced declines in the month, falling -44.7% and -65.4% respectively. 3,345 vans, trucks and buses left production lines last month, as key model changeovers continued to impact output.

In the first six months, output fell -15.8% on the same period in 2018. The overall fall was driven by three months of significant decline following a strong start to the year. Home production increased by 11.1%, while exports fell -29.2%, with 19,735 units shipped abroad in the first half of the year. However, exports still account for more than half of all UK CV manufacturing, with the majority destined for the EU.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

“Although model changes and fluctuating fleet buying cycles are behind the recent decline, these half-year results once again demonstrate the importance of exports to UK commercial vehicle production. Exports to the EU account for a substantial part of CV output, therefore a Brexit deal that maintains frictionless trade and secures our competitiveness will be key to the future viability of this valuable UK sector.” 

Motorcycle collision statistics – 92% of crash victims are male; 37% aged <25; most fatal crashes occur on a Sunday; 83% in good weather

Posted by News from ABP on 31/7/19:

Some interesting motorcycle collision statistics from DfT Reported Road Casualties Great Britain and, via road safety organisation, GEM Motoring Assist, who are encouraging drivers to take extra care at junctions, in an attempt to reduce collisions with motorcyclists.

  92% of crash victims are male
  37% of riders are aged 25 and under
  Motorcyclists account for 20% of all road fatalities
  In 2018, 354 motorcyclists lost their lives in road collisions.
  Sunday is the day when most fatal crashes occur
  83% of collisions took place in excellent weather conditions
  58% of all collision claims occur on 50-125cc motorcycles

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said:

“Around 30 motorcyclists are killed or injured every day at junctions, usually because of a driver observation error which some years ago picked up the nickname ‘SMIDSY’ – sorry mate, I didn’t see you.

“Experts point out that as drivers we’re not very good at identifying motorcyclists because they occupy such a small part of our field of vision. What’s more, if we’re not expecting to see one, then the chance of spotting one coming towards us is further reduced, and the risk of a collision is greatly increased.

“Summertime sees many roads becoming busier with weekend riders, but let’s make a point of looking out for them at every junction, on every journey. In doing so, we will be greatly reducing this risk, and helping them to be less vulnerable on their journeys.

“So before pulling out of junctions, look carefully all around. Make a specific check for motorcyclists coming towards you. They’re not always easy to spot – but if you’re expecting them to be there, then you’re far more likely to see them in good time… and prevent a potentially serious collision.” 

SMMT – UK car manufacturing UP in June but down by a fifth in first half of 2019; £330 million cost of “EU departure mitigation measures”

Posted by News from ABP on 31/7/19:

  UK car manufacturing falls by a fifth in first half of 2019, with June decline marking 13 consecutive months of negative growth.
  Downturns at home and in key global markets see YTD production for the UK and export fall -16.4% and -21.0% respectively, with April’s extraordinary Brexit shutdowns adding to losses.
  New data reveals £330 million cost of EU departure mitigation measures, underscoring the need for a Brexit deal.

British car manufacturing output fell by more than a fifth in the first half of 2019, with a -15.2% decline in June marking the 13th consecutive month of negative growth, according to figures released today (Wednesday) by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

666,521 cars rolled off production lines in the first six months, a year-on-year loss of 168,052 units due largely to falling demand in key markets, including the UK, exacerbated by factory shutdowns pulled forward in anticipation of the March Brexit deadline.

In June, output for the UK rose by 2,791 units following an anomalous -47.2% decline in the same month last year when preparation for the new WLTP emissions test impacted volumes. The underlying trend, however, remains downward, with year-to-date production for the domestic market down -16.4%.

Meanwhile, the number of cars built for export fell by -19.8% in June and by -21.0% in the first half of the year, with just over half a million units shipped overseas given softening of key overseas markets and global trade tensions. Exports to the sector’s top global markets fell by double digits, with the US down -12.9%, China down -53.1%, Japan -10.5% and Turkey -93.0%. Demand in the UK’s biggest market, the EU, also fell, by -15.6%. However, the EU still accounts for 57% of all UK car exports – the highest first half dependence since 2016.

The news comes as new SMMT research, also released today, reveals the substantial cost to industry of ‘no deal’ Brexit preparations. At least £330 million has already been spent by the sector on contingency plans. Most major UK manufacturers have tied up working capital stockpiling materials and components, securing warehousing capacity and investing in new logistics solutions, additional insurance and training in new customs procedures. Significantly, many manufacturers have moved annual plant shutdowns from the summer to April, a measure which cannot be repeated for the proposed October departure date.

Meanwhile, latest figures show inward investment into the sector effectively stopped in the first half of the year. In the period January-June, newly pledged investment was down more than 70% to £90 million, contrasting with the average annual investment figure of £2.7 billion over the previous seven years. While the welcome announcement by Jaguar Land Rover earlier this month was exceptional good news, this is something of an outlier as the vast majority of manufacturers have suspended plant and product spending in the UK amid ongoing uncertainty.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

“Today’s figures are the result of global instability compounded by ongoing fear of ‘no deal’. This fear is causing investment to stall, as hundreds of millions of pounds are diverted to Brexit cliff-edge mitigation – money that would be better spent tackling technological and environmental challenges.

“The industry’s foundations are fundamentally strong, however, and we’re ready to work with the new government to build on these through the industrial strategy. We need an internationally competitive business environment to encourage more investment, more innovation and more growth. That starts with an ambitious Brexit deal that maintains frictionless trade and we look to the new administration to get a deal done quickly so manufacturers can get back to the business of building cars and helping deliver a brighter future for Britain.”

Automotive manufacturing is one of the UK’s most important economic assets, delivering an annual £18.6 billion to the economy, supporting local communities and employing 168,000 people in high value jobs, with the average salary some 40% higher than the national average. The sector is also one of the UK’s most productive, with automotive output per job now worth some £100,900.

Automotive remains the UK’s single biggest exporter of goods, trading with some 160 countries worldwide and accounting for more than 14% of total exports.

This success is dependent on free and frictionless trade afforded by the EU single market and customs union. A ‘no deal’ Brexit would mean the immediate imposition of tariffs costing some £4.5 billion a year and an end to the seamless movement of goods.6 Any potential disruption at the border would throw Just-in-Time manufacturing into chaos, undermining the sector’s competitiveness and putting profitability and jobs at risk. 

Worleys Garage – new Suzuki dealership and Suzuki Authorised Repairer opens in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Posted by News from ABP on 31/7/19:

Family-owned and run Worleys Garage has been appointed to operate a new Suzuki dealership and Suzuki Authorised Repairer facility in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Suzuki has the eighth largest VM approved bodyshop network with 141 bodyshop sites (ABP Club Year Book figures)

The seven-car Suzuki showroom forms part of the motor retailer’s existing central franchise location on Hamilton Road.

The 240 square metre premises feature MOT, servicing and tyre fitting facilities and a display of the latest Suzuki new car range.

As a Suzuki Authorised Repairer, the dealership has dedicated parts and servicing desks, and its five-bay workshop is able to provide vehicle owners with MOTs, tyre fitting, full and intermediate services, as well as general repairs.

Located close to the centre, it will serve motorists in a catchment area that spans West Wycombe to Amersham.

Dale Wyatt, Director of Automobile at Suzuki GB, said:

“Being headquartered in Buckinghamshire, we understand first-hand the importance of this region for our bottom line, and we are therefore encouraged to see our retail presence expanding in the county. Thanks to their family-orientated values, Worleys Garage has a long-established and first-class reputation for delivering exceptional service and always going the extra mile for their loyal customers. Having already made a name for themselves in High Wycombe, this puts Suzuki in a very strong position from the very start of the franchise. We are delighted that they are part of the family and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Nigel Findlow, Dealer Principal of Worleys Garage, explained:

“The Suzuki brand is an exciting proposition for our organisation, and with an award-winning model range, and a vehicle manufacturer that ranks very highly for mechanical reliability, it was the obvious choice to apply for the franchise. This is a new offering for customers in High Wycombe, and we are extremely encouraged by the response from the public to Suzuki’s arrival in town.” 

IMI member event in Oxford – ‘high voltage vehicles’ event for repairers; with Andy Latham FIMI, Managing Director, Salvage Wire

Posted by News from ABP on 31/7/19:

The IMI is hosting an event for members next month in Oxford aimed at repairers working with high voltage vehicles.

Date: Wednesday 25 Sep 2019 at 7:30pm
Speaker: Andy Latham FIMI, Managing Director, Salvage Wire

More info here.


High voltage vehicles carry a number of risks for those working on the vehicles.

This evening will give an overview of how these vehicles operate, the benefits to the owner and user, alongside the risks involved to those working on the vehicles; how to minimise these risks and keep staff, customers and the business safe.

It is a snapshot of the awareness and level 3 training available from Salvage Wire and is an ideal opportunity for vehicle repairers, dealers, recovery agents, recyclers and first responders to learn more.