Committee of MPs calls for reduction in car use – “lack of Government policies in place to deliver the net zero target by 2050”

Posted by News from ABP on 27/8/19:

  According to new report, the Government wants “almost every car and van to be zero emission” by 2050, which is equivalent to removing almost 20,000 conventional cars every week on average, from now until 2050, whereas around 1,200 new ultra-low emissions vehicles were registered each week in 2018.

A committee of MPs has called for reduction in car use, saying the Government’s target for ‘net-zero’ by 2050 is "undeliverable" unless clean growth policies are introduced.

The Science and Technology Committee report has highlighted the lack of Government policies in place to deliver the net zero target by 2050 and recommends 10 steps the Government should take to meet this legally binding target, including bringing forward the date of its proposed ban on the sales of new ‘conventional’ cars and vans to 2035 at the latest, and ensure that it covers hybrids too.

"In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership therefore does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation," said the Committee. "The Government should not aim to achieve emissions reductions simply by replacing existing vehicles with lower-emissions versions."

Following the publication of the report, RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said:

“RAC research suggests drivers’ dependence on the car is actually growing as they continue to see their own vehicles as the most reliable, comfortable and practical form of travel, something many simply cannot get with public transport at the moment. For more than a decade now drivers have said they would be willing to use their car less if public transport was better, but it remains the case that provision is poor in so many parts of the country.

“The priority for government must be to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles by prioritising both charging infrastructure and promoting take-up at the point of sale – and this can be done to a certain extent by reversing the decision to cut the plug-in car grant or look at options such as lower VAT on the purchase price of a zero emission vehicle.”

From the report:

The Committee welcomes the Government’s decision to strengthen its long-term emissions reduction target, to effectively eliminate all emissions by 2050.

However, the Committee on Climate Change has warned that the UK is not even on course to meet its existing legally binding targets for 2023 to 2032.

The Committee’s Report on clean growth highlights that urgent Government action is needed to reverse the current policy trend of cut backs and slow progress.

Plan for reducing vehicle emissions:

The Government must bring forward the date of its proposed ban on the sales of new ‘conventional’ cars and vans to 2035 at the latest, and ensure that it covers hybrids too. In the near-term, the Government must reconsider the fiscal incentives for consumers to purchase both new and used vehicle models with lower emissions.

The Government should also work with public services and owners of public land, such as schools and hospitals, to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle chargepoints, and introduce measures to ensure that chargepoints are interoperable, compatible with a smart energy system, reliable, and provide real-time information on their current functionality.

Although ultra-low emissions vehicles generate very little emissions during use, their manufacture generates substantial emissions. In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership therefore does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation. The Government should not aim to achieve emissions reductions simply by replacing existing vehicles with lower-emissions versions. 

China: Polestar – opens first production site, in Chengdu, to manufacture launch model: Polestar 1

Posted by International News from ABP on 27/8/19:

Polestar, the electric performance brand jointly owned by Volvo and Geely, today (Monday) opened its first production facility and confirms its World Manufacturing Identifier, which officiates the brand as a standalone car company.

The new Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China, sets a new industry benchmark in electric vehicle manufacture and will produce the Polestar 1 – an exclusive, carbon fibre-bodied Electric Performance Hybrid. The facility, which has been completed on schedule, will produce vehicles for both China and global export markets with first customer deliveries expected before the end of 2019.

The Polestar 1 becomes the most premium new energy vehicle to be manufactured in China, the world’s largest EV market. The inauguration underlines China’s maturing industrialisation, an improving reputation for quality manufacturing, and, crucially, access to the right skills, said the VM.

Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar, said:

“Here in Chengdu we are not only manufacturing a premium hybrid-electric performance car. We have also created an inspirational manufacturing environment, a great place to work and visit. It truly reflects the Polestar brand.

“We promised we would have our first production facility built in 2019, we promised cars would be delivered to customers this year, and we promised we would do things differently – once again we are delivering on our promises. This is a hugely proud moment for the whole team at Polestar.”

The Polestar Production Centre aims to be one of the most environmentally responsible car factories in China. The facility is located in Chengdu – the heart of China’s most technologically advanced, environment-friendly manufacturing base – and incorporates a customer experience centre including a test track and a glazed atrium offering a panoramic view over the factory floor.

Five hundred Polestar 1 cars are planned to be built per year in the new Chengdu facility, with a total of 1,500 planned over a three year production cycle. With early production slots already taken and continued strong demand, interested customers are advised to visit to secure allocation.

Construction of Polestar 1 in Chengdu will be followed by production of Polestar 2 in Luqiao, China, in early 2020.

Audatex – systems back up and working again; some performance issues may remain for a few hours

Posted by News from ABP on 06/8/19:

Audatex have contacted ABP to thank bodyshops for their patience whilst they fixed a system issue this morning which had meant customers were unable to log-on.

You will now be able to log into the Audatex systems again, however, you may experience some performance issues over the course of the morning, for which they apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

Sytner Cardiff – new BMW dealership and workshop in Cardiff due to open in next few months

Posted by News from ABP on 05/8/19:

Sytner's new BMW dealership in Cardiff is continuing to take shape, with the interior now also coming together, said the ninth largest franchised dealer bodyshop group in the UK [ABP Year Book figures].

The new Sytner Cardiff BMW will feature the newest version of BMW's corporate identity, rooftop car storage, a state-of-the-art aftersales area and two interior storeys.

"Continuing our commitment to offer both customers and colleagues the best experience possible, the light and airy dealership will serve as a stunning place to work or explore the entire range of BMW new cars and a variety of Approved Used vehicles," said Sytner. 

Bodyshops: EU Staff and Brexit – five questions for every business; guidance for businesses looking to support staff impacted by Brexit

Posted by News from ABP on 05/8/19:

Together with Deloitte, the CBI has published 'Guidance for businesses looking to support staff impacted by Brexit'– a 46-page resource for any UK business on which to base strategic HR discussions and to answer the questions employers and employees may have.

Since the referendum result, businesses of all sizes are considering how they continue to staff their UK operations, including both current EU employees and potential new hires from the EU.

From the 30 March the EU Settlement Scheme will open to all EU nationals living in the UK. Whilst Brexit holds many uncertainties, the EU Settlement Scheme is fixed in UK law and is a basis for immediate practical action, whether we leave the EU with a deal or not.

Produced in collaboration with Deloitte, this guide is for UK employers in any sector – from multinationals to SMEs – who want to understand best practice and the role they could play in communicating information and supporting their staff. It is structured around answering five key questions which every businesses who employs someone from the EU should consider asking themselves:

  What rights do our EU staff have?
  What will our EU staff have to do to stay in the UK?
  How should we help EU staff understand their situation?
  Should we actively support EU staff through the EU Settlement Scheme process?
  What are our legal obligations?

SMMT – new car market declines in July but pure EV registrations almost triple; #1 Ford Fiesta, #2 VW Golf and #3 Nissan Qashai

Posted by News from ABP on 05/8/19:

  UK new car market declines by -4.1% to 157,198 registrations – the lowest July market since 2012.
  Battery electric car registrations almost triple to take record monthly market share as new EV forecast suggests full year share could double in 2020.
  Year-to-date performance down -3.5%, with more than 1.4 million new cars joining British roads since January.

Best sellers: July 2019

1.  Ford Fiesta
2.  VW Golf
3.  Nissan Qashai
4.  Ford Focus
5.  Mercedes Benz A Class

The UK new car market declined again in July, with 157,198 vehicles leaving showrooms, according to figures released today (Monday) by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Registrations fell by -4.1%, the fifth consecutive month of decline, as political and economic uncertainty and confusion over future government policy on different fuel types continued to knock consumer and business confidence, said the SMMT.

Declines were seen across all sectors, with private demand falling -2.0%, while deliveries for fleet and business customers were down -4.7% and -22.5% respectively. Luxury saloons and specialist sports cars experienced a rise in registrations in the month with volumes driven by increased demand for dual purpose vehicles, up 12.8% to take nearly a quarter (24.4%) of the market. All other segments experienced declines in the month, with the biggest falls seen in executive (-21.6%) and supermini (-12.1%) segments.

Registrations of diesel vehicles fell for the 28th month, down -22.1%, while petrols remained stable, with 2,646 more registrations than in July 2018. Hybrid electric cars increased by a substantial 34.2%, with 7,758 of these low-emission vehicles joining UK roads. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles continued their recent decline, down -49.6%. Demand for battery electric vehicles shot up by a massive 158.1%, resulting in a 1.4% market share, the highest monthly market share on record.

Manufacturers have invested heavily in a growing range of powertrain options, with British drivers now having the choice of advanced low emission petrols and diesels, and an ever-greater number of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and even hydrogen cars. There are currently more than 350 models available in the UK – around 80 of them alternatively fuelled, including 21 battery electric, with more expected to arrive in showrooms later this year.

SMMT forecasts this ongoing investment into new, ever more advanced powertrain technology will result in battery electric vehicles doubling their market share next year, with 51,000 registrations in 2020. However, this will still represent only 2.2% of the overall market. For the UK is to meet its zero emission ambitions, we need world-class, long-term incentives, supportive policies and substantial investment in infrastructure.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

"Despite yet another month of decline in the new car market, it’s encouraging to see substantial growth in zero emission vehicles. Thanks to manufacturers’ investment in these new technologies over many years, these cars are coming to market in greater numbers than ever before.

"If the UK is to meet its environmental ambitions, however, government must create the right conditions to drive uptake, including long-term incentives and investment in infrastructure. The fastest way to address air quality concerns is through fleet renewal so buyers need to be given the confidence to invest in the new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs, regardless of how they are powered." 

Axalta – Barry Snyder is new Senior VP & Chief Operations & Supply Chain Officer, and Robert Roop promoted to VP & Chief Technology Officer

Posted by News from ABP on 02/8/19:

Axalta Coating Systems announced Barry Snyder as Senior Vice President and Chief Operations and Supply Chain Officer, and confirmed Robert Roop has been promoted to Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, effective immediately.

The two leaders will drive Axalta's commitment to innovation and growth in their new roles, said the company. Dr. Snyder will continue to serve on Axalta's leadership team, while Dr. Roop will be added to the leadership team, both reporting directly to Axalta Chief Executive Officer Robert Bryant, who said:

"We are excited about these two new moves on Axalta's leadership team and are proud to be able to promote from within our organisation.

"Barry's contributions as Axalta's Chief Technology Officer for the past four plus years have helped the Company continue as the innovation leader in our industry and have supported our growth globally. Our technology organisation is as strong as it has ever been thanks to Barry's commitment and drive to keep Axalta on the leading edge. Barry shares my commitment to operating Axalta's sites safely and efficiently and to driving operational excellence throughout our organisation. We are thrilled to have him in this role.

"Robert has been a critical strategic leader in Axalta's technology organisation for the past ten years,"continued Robert Bryant. "His technical expertise combined with strong business acumen will make him an outstanding new Chief Technology Officer as we continue to focus on differentiating ourselves through innovations that our customers want. Robert is committed to the development of a pipeline of new products and services to meet our customers' evolving needs, and I look forward to working with him to realise our technology goals."

Dr. Snyder was previously Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Axalta. Before joining Axalta, Dr. Snyder was Senior Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer at Orion Engineered Carbons where he was responsible for global R&D and quality assurance. From 2008 through 2012, Dr. Snyder was Vice President, Marketing & Technology and Chief Technology Officer at H.B. Fuller Company where he oversaw 15 laboratories on four continents. At Celanese between 2007 and 2008, he was Global Technology Director for the company's emulsions and polyvinyl alcohol division.

From 1990 to 2006, he held a number of positions of increasingly broad scope and responsibility at Rohm and Haas. Dr. Snyder holds a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Harvard University, a M.B.A. from Temple University and B.S. and M.S degrees in chemistry from Emory University.

Dr. Roop has been with Axalta since 2013 in expanding roles of responsibility in the technology organisation. He began at Axalta as Technology Director, North America and most recently served as Vice President, Technology Development for the Company's Refinish and Industrial businesses. Prior to those roles, Dr. Roop spent more than twenty years in technology and operations positions at DuPont in various polymer and chemical businesses, including DuPont Performance Coatings. Dr. Roop received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from West Virginia University and holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Picture: Barry Snyder, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations and Supply Chain Officer 

Zurich – 25% increase in female applicants after advertising every vacancy as potential part time, job share or full time role

Posted by News from ABP on 02/8/19:

Zurich UK said it is "tackling the gender pay gap head on" with a newly launched first of its kind initiative to advertise every vacancy as a potential part time, job share or full time working opportunity along with agile working.

This, coupled with the use of gender neutral language in every job advertisement, has already generated significant change. Just three months on, the business has seen a 25% increase in the number of females applying for jobs across all levels of the business.

This is particularly prominent around senior management roles which has seen a more pronounced percentage increase of 45%, said the insurer.

The initiative was introduced in March following internal analysis of Zurich’s gender pay gap [Zurich's Gender Pay Gap reduced to 22.8% in 2018 from 27.3% in 2017]. The business worked with an external research agency to help identify the underlying causes of the gender pay gap and ways in which to reduce it. The research highlighted the need to attract more women to senior and technical roles at Zurich.

Many of these roles have not previously being available on a part-time or flexible basis.

Both new and existing Zurich employees also have the option to request to work on a part time, job share or FlexWork basis. Already, (72%) almost three out of four Zurich employees enjoy Flexwork"This sets out to empower employees to work where, when and how they choose to optimise productivity and wellbeing and balance professional and personal commitments," said Zurich. Take-up is high and it’s agreed on an individual to manager or team basis. When it comes to working part time 11% of Zurich employees already do this and half of these opt for a four day week.

Steve Collinson, Head of HR for Zurich UK, said:

"It’s reassuring that we’ve already managed to shift the dial on some of the symptoms behind our gender pay gap. We completely understand this isn’t a silver bullet as the gender pay gap is a deep rooted and complex issue. We are committed to taking concrete steps to make Zurich and our industry a more attractive place to work for the broadest range of people.

"We believe that a culture of ‘last in the office’ is fairly antiquated and by offering people the opportunity to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances we can open up a whole new talent pool. This isn’t just about attracting more women into senior positions, we want to give everyone the opportunity to pursue their chosen career regardless of their personal circumstances. This could range from working mums, fathers with young children, people with dual careers or those with elderly or dependent relatives. We believe that if you increase the number of part time senior level roles, it radically changes the challenges businesses face when sourcing top talent.”

Minister of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions, Alok Sharma, said:

“Flexible working can have a massive impact on helping people into good careers. With an estimated 2 million people in the UK who could return to work, but often struggle with the commitment of a traditional 9 to 5 job, there is a huge pool of talent out there. It’s great to see a major employer like Zurich taking the initiative and offering all roles with a flexible, part time or job-share option. It’s something my department also offers and this has helped us attract excellent candidates at all levels.” 

National Accident Repair Group – sole supplier to LV= GI for HGV and Motorhome repairs appointed as car repairer in Northern

Posted by News from ABP on 02/8/19:

National – one of the largest networks in the UKwith in excess of 415 repair locations and 500 manufacturers approvals covering car, LCV, HGV and specialist vehicle repairs – has expanded its relationship with LV= General Insurance (LV= GI).

  For some time, National has been the sole supplier to LV= GI for HGV and Motorhome repairs, said the repair network. Building on this success, LV= GI has now chosen National to be one of its providers of car repair solutions and commencing with conducting on all repairs in Northern Ireland.

Chris Ryder, Commercial Director for National, said:

“LV= GI has for some time been a key client partner for us in the HGV and Motorhome repair sector. Through robust performance this has provided us a solid foundation and we are delighted that LV= wish to expand our relationship to car repair. We will continue our obsession to deliver value within the repair cycle and customer service excellence to LV= into the future.”

Michal Golding, LV= GI Network Manager, said:

“We are pleased to extend our relationship with the National Accident Repair Group and allow our customers to benefit from their high levels of service in Northern Ireland. Our values and shared ambitions are fully aligned, and their performance driven network fits our focus for delivering the very best in service for our customers.” 

C&C Vehicle Services – open new CV bodyshop near Chesterfield; 3rd site for C&C who are due to open bodyshop number 4 later this year

Posted by News from ABP on 01/8/19:

C&C Vehicle Services has opened the doors to a brand new commercial vehicle accident repair centre near Chesterfield – marking the next step in its plans to build a national network – and with a fourth location set to open later this year.

The new 6,500 ft² site in Clay Cross has created six new jobs initially, with room on site for further team expansion. Fitted out at a cost of more than £100,000, it features 10 working areas for handling everything from minor repairs to major accident damage.

C&C has added a 16-metre spray booth to accommodate even the largest bus, coach, truck or trailer, although the firm expects the greatest local demand will be for body repairs to the UK’s booming light commercial vehicle parc.

Mark Newnes, Managing Director of C&C Vehicle Services, said:

“We identified Derbyshire as a hot spot where several of our existing customers indicated a need and required our support, making it the perfect location for our second new site of the year.

“The location we’ve found offers huge potential too; it’s a brand-new building which we’ve been able to tailor to our exact requirements. Plus, we’ve got plans to create an additional six new jobs over the coming months.”

C&C’s new Chesterfield base will be supported by the company’s larger facilities in Oldham and Wolverhampton. Workflow between the three sites is controlled centrally from head office, using the latest generation EMACS bodyshop management system and cloud-based computing.

Situated near junction 29 of the M1, the new site offers an additional 6,000 sq. ft of hard-standing space for customer and staff vehicles. It is also home to one of C&C’s own recovery vehicles, which allows staff to collect accident damaged vehicles and bring them directly to the workshop. Vehicles can also be transferred between sites to ensure the fastest repair times for customers; plus vehicles can be taken to Oldham or Wolverhampton if they require more complex work.

Mark added:

Our Wolverhampton site has been open for six months and business has been very strong. We’ve already grown the size of our team at this site from the 25 we started with, to 35 today. With Chesterfield now trading and another new workshop to open this year, we’re taking all the right steps to achieving our national network ambition.”

C & C Vehicle Services' (North) bodyshop in Oldham, Lancashire, was winner of the Sopp and Sopp HGV Bodyshop of the Year at last year's British Bodyshop Awards (BBA).

The Chesterfield branch will be managed by Keith Tindall, who has been promoted to the role after five years at C&C’s Oldham site. It will be open from 7am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

The address is:

Unit 5A
Railway View Business Park
Clay Cross
S45 9HZ
Tel: 01246 587832