Parts Alliance members celebrate Christmas Jumper Day!

On Friday 18th December the Parts Alliance got in the festive spirit with staff up and down the country putting on their best Christmas jumpers.

Teams from across Parts Alliance members at Allparts, CES, GMF Motor Factors and SC Motor Factors raised money for charity in “style” by wearing Christmas jumpers and donating to charity for Text Santa’s Christmas Jumper Day 2015.

Have a look at some of our best efforts above!

The Parts Alliance provide UK’s first autoparts vending machines

The Parts Alliance has launched new autoparts vending machines in partnership with the AA. The machines are designed to provide the UK’s biggest breakdown provider with access to parts on the road, 24 hours a day. The PartVend concept is being piloted in a number of strategic locations, with the machines electronically linked so Parts Alliance members can tell instantly which products are being used and when to replenish the stock.

Mike Curry, sales director national accounts for the Parts Alliance said: “Early results are very positive and we hope to ramp up the number of locations significantly and pretty quickly. The vending machines not only allow access to stock out of normal hours but also mean we can get product closer to AA patrols in areas where we currently don’t have branches.” A typical stock item is a battery, the AA patrol gaining access using a secure key code.

Curry added: “It’s another way of extending our reach and increases the number of locations where the AA can quickly pick up parts if they haven’t got them on the van.

“They get what they need, the beleaguered motorist is back on the road more quickly and we have a sale. It’s a win for everyone.”

Peter Sephton, chief executive of The Parts Alliance, said:

“The PartVend vending concept is a world industry first and contributes to our position as a technology leader in the distribution of auto parts in Europe.”

“It integrates with our class leading electronic catalogue and our Parts Alliance Reporting and Compliance tool, , that allows our customers to gain full traceability of their parts in the supply chain.”

The Parts Alliance is the UK and Ireland’s largest group of wholly owned and franchised businesses supplying OE and matching quality autoparts to national and independent garages and workshops. The AA’s patrols attend an average 10,000 breakdowns every day across the UK.

Curry added: “It’s thanks to building up very strong relationships with major companies, and working closely with them, that when we propose innovative concepts they are amenable to them. Having completed the feasibility study we will work with the AA to identify exactly where and how many of these vending machines are needed.”

New and improved DriveTec oil range

The new and improved DriveTec oil range is now available from Parts Alliance distributors. The updated range boasts new look packaging with a fresher feel as well as new additions to the range, product name changes and changes to standard package sizes.

Changes to the product ranges include the introduction of three new oil grades. To keep up with market requirements the DriveTec range now contains the new 5W20 Ecomax, available in both 1 litre and 5 litre sizes, the 0W30 Volmax and 5W30 Renmax, both available in 5 litre bottles.

These new additional oil grades add improved vehicle application coverage for DriveTec engine oil, with new oil products to cover continuously advancing modern engines.

The range now better reflects the demands of customers with the discontinuation of 15W40 and 20W50 mineral oil. Specifications for the 15W40 are already being covered by the existing DriveTec 10W40 oil and the 20W50 has been discontinued due to declining customer requirements, as well as the viscosity specifications being mainly for older vehicles.

To keep in line with industry trends the previous 25 litre packages have been replaced by 20 litre packs.

The improvement of the DriveTec oil range is a reflection of our core business philosophy to evolve and grow as we lead the way in the industry. The enhancements in the DriveTec oil range further complements the extensive range of oil stocked by Parts Alliance members, which includes oil from brands such as Comma, Total and Mobil1.

For further information on the changes to the DriveTec oil ranges, please contact your local Parts Alliance distributor.

The Parts Alliance strengthens as GSF Car Parts joins the group

The Parts Alliance has strengthened its position as an aftermarket leader as GSF Car Parts (GSF) joins the group.

The addition of GSF’s 75 branches brings the total number in the Parts Alliance network to well over 300, 160 under common ownership, giving the Solihull-based business group increased coverage in the UK and Ireland.

HgCapital continues to support the Parts Alliance with the acquisition of GSF which will be a wholly-owned business within group but trade locally under its own brand name. GSF will continue under the Chairmanship of Stan West and his current management team. Stan West will also join the board of Parts Alliance Group.

Commenting on the merger, Stan West, Chairman and founder of GSF, said: “This marks a great new chapter in the evolution of the company that I founded in 1977. GSF’s merger with the Parts Alliance and HgCapital’s investment allow us to maintain not only our culture and brand but also helps to create a true market leader.”

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of the Parts Alliance, said: “This is a hugely significant acquisition which strengthens the product choice, service, value and expertise that we offer to our independent and national customers alike.

“This is a hugely significant acquisition which strengthens the product choice, service, value and expertise that we offer to our independent and national customers alike.

“GSF is a dynamic and successful business and I’m delighted to welcome Stan West and his 1,000 colleagues to our growing group. It’s a great match. We share the same values and both believe in building lasting relationships with customers and suppliers.

“This deal gives us unrivalled coverage: ensuring delivery on the ground to national and independent garages and workshops by people who really understand their local market.” Stan West added: “I am looking forward to working with Peter and the board to position the group as a class-leading supplier to the automotive aftermarket.”

Strategic partnership with the IFA announced

The Parts Alliance and the IFA (Independent Motor Trade Factors Associated Ltd) have agreed a market changing strategic partnership that significantly increases the business group’s national footprint.

Under the agreement the IFA becomes a Key Supply Partner working with the Parts Alliance’s own distribution network of 160 branches to increase coverage to 240 distribution locations.

The IFA will provide service from over 80 distribution locations, working in partnership to provide a uniform approach on National Account contracts held by the Parts Alliance.

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of the Parts Alliance, said the agreement underlines the Parts Alliance’s position as a leader in the aftermarket, providing unrivalled service to national customers, with the highest quality product offer and best on-demand service throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

He also revealed other options were being explored that would see the network very quickly increase to over 330 distribution locations.

He said: “The IFA is well-established and respected within our industry, sharing similar values and ethics to the Parts Alliance, where we are both committed to supplying quality products to market, delivering outstanding customer service and are easy to deal with.”

Peter added that with the backing of investor HgCapital, the Parts Alliance has the funding to build through acquisition. But, he said: “Growth can also be achieved through partnership and I am delighted with this new partnership agreement.”

Mike Curry, Sales Director National Accounts for the Parts Alliance, said: “The Parts Alliance has a track record of outstanding service to both national and independent workshops across the UK and Eire.

“In addition, we have a proven capability of working with and integrating supply partners to provide a one stop shop solution for national account customers. This has been a key factor in us gaining and retaining supply contracts and agreements within a very competitive market.”

Steve Parker, General Manager of the IFA, said: “Everyone knows the aftermarket is changing and staying ahead needs bold thinking. Through working closely together there will be benefits for both organisations and our customers.”

Fourth award in six years is ‘CAT’s whiskers’ for GMF Motor Factors

Employees with GMF Motor Factors may well be purring with delight after the business was voted Large Factor of the Year for the fourth time in six years in the annual CAT Awards.

Held at Twickenham, the home of English rugby, the awards are run by Car Accessory Trader magazine and voted for by suppliers, independent garages and others involved in the automotive aftermarket.

GMF, an owned distributor within the Parts Alliance, has its headquarters in Swansea and distributes parts and garage equipment through 14 branches in South Wales, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. A 15th branch is due to open in Haverfordwest in June.

Wyn Jones, Sales Director for GMF, said: “This win is a massive boost for the company and recognises a great team effort once again by all 200-plus staff.

“While we are now part of a larger group, with the advantages that go with that, the award shows we have maintained our individual identity with the garages and workshops who are our customers through delivering quality local service.”

Other contributing factors to the success included a 99% staff retention rate, a passionate and dedicated sales force who are ‘second to none’, and having a team of experts with specialist knowledge in areas such as diagnostics, hand tools and garage equipment, said Wyn.

The Parts Alliance supports Bucks young mechanics

The Parts Alliance has added its support to a charity that provides training in motor mechanics to young people of all abilities to increase their employment prospects in Buckinghamshire. Allparts Automotive, a Buckinghamshire based member of the Parts Alliance’s Eastern Alliance, helped to deliver the equipment. Another Parts Alliance member CES UK also supports a classic car restoration charity in the north of England.

The automotive buying and distribution group has supplied, at a considerable discount, three vehicle lifts, two tyre changers and a wheel balancer to Skidz, the High Wycombe based organisation that works with young people from 13 to 19-years-old.

The equipment will be used by the students to help gain valuable qualifications in the automotive industry and is specifically needed for IMI Level 1 and 2 courses.

Garry Phillips, technical sales manager of the Eastern Alliance, said: “Skidz is a brilliant charity helping young people to develop key skills and aiding their progression into employment or further education.

“There is a shortage of qualified technicians in our industry and we are pleased to be able to assist Skidz by supplying garage equipment which will be used in the development of future technicians.”

Emma Louise Singh, head of fundraising at Skidz, said: “Skidz is delighted with its purchase from Allparts Automotive of new equipment to help support its new post-16 courses.

“The tyre changers and wheel balancer have been and will be used extensively by the IMI Level 1 students. The new lifts were urgently needed to accommodate the new Level 2 course which SKIDZ introduced in September 2014 as well as being used by all students who attend Skidz to gain vocational skills and improve their future prospects.

“We are grateful to the donors who made the purchase of the new equipment possible and urge anyone else who can help us purchase more much needed equipment for our students to get in touch.”