Garages eligible for £50,000 ‘bounce back loans’ under new government scheme

100 per cent guarantees aim to get credit flowing to businesses affected by Covid-19

Garage business’ are to get access to 100 per cent taxpayer-backed loans after concerns were raised about slow access to existing coronavirus rescue schemes.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons that the scheme would start next week, offering firms loans up to £50,000 within days of applying.

It aims to unlock a backlog of credit checks by banks amid fears many small firms could fold before getting loans.

Companies will be able to apply for the ‘bounce back loans’, free of interest for the first 12 months, up to the value of 25 per cent of their turnover, with a cap of £50,000.

The loans, which will be available from 9am on Monday 4 May, will not be subject to business liability tests or complex eligibility criteria, Sunak said.

Business owners will need to fill in a two-page self-certification form online.

Rishi Sunak said: “These new bounce back loans carefully target that extraordinary level of state support at those who need it most.

“And the £50,000 balances the risk to the taxpayer with the need to support our smallest businesses.”

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

The Parts Alliance shares tips for protecting customers and staff during COVID-19

The recommendations can also be found on the dedicated COVID-19 section of the Parts Alliance website

The Parts Alliance has produced a list of COVID-19 focused garage health and safety tips that owners can follow to protect their customers and staff during the current outbreak.

Following the suggestions will help garages adhere to social distancing guidelines and good hygiene practices.

Remind About Self Isolation

  • Regularly remind staff to only come into work if they are well and no-one in their household is self-isolating

Implement Social Distancing

  • Encourage customers and staff to keep 2 metres between each other
  • Limit the number of customers within your premises. This may require customers to wait outside, whilst observing the 2 metres separation
  • Equally, staff should stay 2 metres apart where possible
  • Place brightly coloured tape on the floor of your reception area to mark a 2 metres space to your reception counter

Receive Car Keys and Fobs Safely

  • Wear disposable latex/nitrile gloves when receiving keys/fobs
  • Encourage customers to provide only their key or fob, as this can be easily sanitised with antibacterial wipes or spray
  • For the key/fob to be transferred without contact, customers should place it onto a surface or container, and then step back to maintain social distancing. The surface or container itself should be frequently sanitised.

Sanitise Vehicles Before and After Repair

  • Wear disposable latex/nitrile gloves when working on vehicles and change them between each vehicle
  • Before turning on the vehicle ignition, switch off air conditioning systems to limit anything being airborne inside the cabin
  • The most frequently touched areas of the vehicle should be thoroughly sanitised before any work starts – these include the steering wheel, gear stick, door handles, handbrake, indicator and wiper stalks, light switches, window switches, seat buckles and entertainment systems. Once work has been completed, sanitise the same areas again
  • The car key/fob should be sanitised as well before being returned to the customer

Request Card Payment Where Possible

  • Request card payment where possible
  • Wear disposable latex/nitrile gloves for any cash transactions
  • Remember to maintain social distancing whilst the customer is making payment

Practice Good Hygiene

  • Provide antibacterial hand wash or soap in all toilets
  • Encourage staff to frequently wash their hands with antibacterial hand wash or soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Remind staff not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid sharing mugs / glasses
  • Provide disposable cups for customers
  • Regularly empty bins

Download Free Posters for Your Workshop

A range of COVID-19 orientated health and safety posters and material can be freely downloaded from the Parts Alliance website.

This includes:

For further COVID-19 guidance, click here.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Peacocks invade garage workshop during partial lockdown closure

Apprentice runs out workshop screaming after returning to work for emergency vehicle repairs

Peacocks have invaded an independent garage workshop in Sheldon, Kent during its partial coronavirus closure.

An apprentice returned to the workshop, which remains open for emergency repairs only, to discover the birds perched on the of an MOT ramp.

Campbells of Deal garage owner, Neil Ewbank said: “We turned up for work as normal and there were these peacocks walking around the estate which I thought was a bit odd.

“My apprentice was working away on a car and all of a sudden he looked up and saw four peacocks standing there staring at him and he ran out screaming.

“By the time we got them to leave through one door, they were walking through another.

“Then one of the lads heard a tip tap on the stairs and they had got inside the office so we pursued them and found them sitting on the chairs.

“Once I got over the initial shock of seeing four great big birds in the office, it was pretty entertaining.’

He added that they had been in the garage ‘all day’, explaining: ‘They have also been sitting on the concrete, I think it’s nice and cool for them.

“There’s been a few accidents here and there but they’re pretty cooperative.’

The birds live 1.5 miles away in Sholden and return to their home every night with owner Paul Louis.

They are usually spotted around the village of Sholden but began venturing further afield during the coronavirus lockdown.

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

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Parts Alliance support for NHS and local causes continues

Parts Alliance branches demonstrate their gratitude to local NHS hospitals and other local causes throughout the Covid-19 pandemic

The West Midlands is one of the most impacted regions in the outbreak, so staff from the company’s Midpoint distribution centre delivered a large quantity of Foxes biscuits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and the Worcester Hospital ICU.

Elsewhere, snack boxes that were originally intended for a promotion, which was been postponed due the Coronavirus, were given out by branches across the group.

Recipients included local NHS hospitals, medical services, food banks, hospices and children’s charities.

Branches have responded to shortages of protective equipment too.

In Maidstone the team at the SCMF branch donated urgently needed gloves to a local COVID-19 test site, whilst staff from GSF Leicester provided protective seat covers to a nearby hospital and the GSF Ipswich and Colchester branches collaborated to provide PPE to Allington NHS Clinic Community Care Workers and Midwives.

“Now more than ever the NHS, along with many charities need support,” said Simon Moore, head of marketing at The Parts Alliance.

“We were keen to show our immense appreciation for the dedication and hard work of these organisations through a variety of donations.”

To find out more about The Parts Alliance, click here.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

MANN+HUMMEL supports Ford with HEPA filters for medical equipment

Filtration firm to supply HEPA filter for Ford-produced respirator to be worn by healthcare workers

MANN+HUMMEL is to collaborate with Ford Motor Company, one of its key automotive customers, in the rapid development and production of powered air purifier respirators.

MANN+HUMMEL will supply the HEPA filter in the Ford-produced respirator, which will be worn by healthcare workers when treating COVID-19 patients.

To date, MANN+HUMMEL produces, tests and ships 3,500 HEPA filter elements per day for this application, from their manufacturing sites in the USA and Germany.

According to Ford, the automotive manufacturer is able to produce 100,000 respirators over the next two months.

The respirators are equipped with class H13 HEPA filters according to EN 1822 or the international norm ISO 29463.

These filter classes are also used in operating rooms and in the pharmaceutical industry to reliably remove germs, viruses and microbiological contamination from the supply air.

The European standard EN 1822 classifies HEPA filters, and evaluates them according to their performance at the MPPS (Most Penetrating Particle Size).

The micro-glass fiber media used in pharmaceutical/healthcare applications typically has an MPPS close to 0.2 μm.

Respectively, filter class H13 has an efficiency of at least 99.95 per cent.

Kurk Wilks, president and chief executive officer of the MANN+HUMMEL Group said: “These critical times call for extraordinary actions and cooperation.

“Using our state-of-the-art HEPA filter production, in-house cleanroom test labs, and valued relationships with partners around the globe, we can blend our talents and expertise to help people in need.

“Our global teams have been working tireless to adapt to meet critical needs, with rapid development and time to market.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team’s efforts to make a difference.”

With the acquisition of the European Vokes Air Group in 2014, Tri-Dim Filter Corporation in 2018 and Hardy Filtration in 2019, MANN+HUMMEL added almost 90 years of leading air filtration and cleanroom technology expertise as well as a state of the art HVAC and HEPA filtration portfolio to its unmatched portfolio of automotive and industrial filtration products and services.

For further information about MANN+HUMMEL, click here.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Blackpool REPXPERT Academy LIVE registration still open for tickets

Event to be held as planned provided current government guidelines are not extended beyond June 20

Registrations for the next REPXPERT Academy LIVE event, due to be held at Blackpool and The Fylde College on Saturday 20th June, are now open.

It will be the third-running of the roadshow, created to educate workshop owners and technicians on the latest Schaeffler technical training modules, covering timing belt drive best practice, an introduction to double clutch repairs and modern thermal management systems – all in 45-minute segments.

Schaeffler has secured the services of Hayley Pells, owner of Automechanika Garage of the Year, Avia Sports Cars, who will be presenting a session on the hottest topic of the moment: electric vehicles (EV).

Hayley will be discussing how to operate a successful EV and hybrid workshop, along with best practice and safety requirements.

Outside of the classroom, there will be plenty for visitors to sample, with a host of guest exhibitors, as well as displays from Schaeffler, the Institute of the Motor Industry and Blackpool and The Fylde College.

Entry to REPXPERT Academy LIVE is free of charge, with every visitor offered complimentary breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Doors open for registration at 8am, with the event due to end at around 3pm.

To book a place, click here.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

GS Yuasa supplies batteries to NHS Nightingale hospitals

Battery manufacturer contributes to fight against Coronavirus by supplying power

GS Yuasa have supplied Yuasa-branded Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system batteries to the new NHS Nightingale hospitals, including London, Birmingham Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow and Newcastle, which will treat COVID-19 patients.

The largest hospital at The ExCel Centre received its first patients recently and has the capacity to expand to up to 4,000 beds. Y

uasa VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) batteries are used as standby backup power in UPS systems which ensure the power remains on in the event of a mains electricity failure.

The batteries are supplied directly to customers who are installing the UPS systems on site.

GS Yuasa have focused all their resources on supporting critical infrastructure and medical projects during the outbreak.

Orders associated with the fight against the virus are being prioritised over all others, with stock and production ringfenced to ensure good availability and fast delivery is maintained at all times.

James Hylton, managing director of GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd, said: “The enormous impact of Coronavirus has been felt by individuals and businesses around the world.

“We are proud that our batteries have been chosen to back up these key NHS Nightingale hospitals and humbled that because of the quality of our batteries we are able to make a small contribution to the national effort.”

GS Yuasa has also supplied thousands of Yuasa-branded VRLA batteries for use in critical infrastructure nationwide, including other medical facilities.

Most Yuasa batteries supplied for these projects have been produced at GS Yuasa’s UK manufacturing facility in Ebbw Vale, South Wales.

The UPS systems installed in hospitals, and many other applications, rely on VRLA batteries to supply electricity in the event of a mains power outage.

This power bridges the gap between a mains failure and the moment an emergency generator kicks in.

The UPS system ensures that critical systems remain active despite the failure.

Each UPS system typically contains hundreds of batteries assembled on specialist racking.

James added: “We are prioritising our stock at this time to support these crucial projects and our team have been working hard to ensure we maintain high levels of availability and service in order to provide our partners with coordinated on time delivery.

“Our batteries are a key component for a wide range of emergency back-up infrastructure as well as a critical part for vehicles that are required for essential commuting and the distribution of goods.”

To find out more about Yuasa, click here.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Stay-at-home classic car event set to raise money for NHS

Classic car community to celebrate shared passion while raising money for NHS Charities Together

A stay-at-home classic car show, raising money for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic is to take place on Sunday 3 May.

With all events either cancelled or postponed, the fundraising event hopes to provide some light relief in lock-down, by inviting owners to buy the event’s rally plate and/or sticker, with all proceeds going to NHS Charities Together.

With this affixed to their vehicles, owners are encouraged to display their pride and joy on the drive for others to appreciate while on their daily permitted exercise.

Owners can also share photos of their classics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with #ClassicsForCarers.

Speaking to Classic and Sports Car, event organiser Nick Chivers said: “My inspiration was seeing so many well-known motoring events, that the classic car community thrives on, being cancelled.

“With friends working for the NHS, I am hugely supportive of the stay-at-home measures, so started to think of ways to support the health service by putting people’s love of classics cars and ’bikes to good use, while keeping everyone safe.

“The result is Classics for Carers, which I hope the community embraces and enjoys, as well as raising money for an excellent cause.”

For further fundraising information, click here.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Cars set to be favoured over public transport, survey suggests

Almost half of consumers say they’ll be less likely to use public transport after lockdown

More than half of UK consumers believe owning a vehicle will be more important in the future, with 48 per cent of public transport users admitting that they would be less likely to use it once the current restrictions have been lifted.

The research by Auto Trader also found that ‘transport distancing’ was even more of a concern for younger consumers, with 66 per cent of 18-24-year-olds claiming they’d be less likely to use it.

For those living in a city centre, and typically more dependent on public transport, this increased to 64 per cent.

The research, which was conducted between the 14 – 17 April, consisted of three separate surveys targeting different consumer demographics; in total over 3,000 consumers were surveyed.

Of the 1,067 people asked about their current attitudes towards car ownership, nearly three quarters (74 per cent) said that they are more concerned about having personal space following COVID-19, which is now beginning to shift their views on their personal modes of transport.

Over half (56 per cent) of UK driving license holders surveyed who currently don’t own a vehicle said Covid-19 has made them consider purchasing a car when it’s safe to do so.

Auto Trader’s chief operating officer, Catherine Faiers, said: “Our research highlights just how profound an impact Cocid-19 has had on consumer attitudes towards transport.

“It also confirms that the global pandemic will have far reaching consequences that last after the current restrictions have been lifted.”

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

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Mystery of car dug up in garden is solved

1950s Ford Popular buired by previous home owner as time capsule with artefacts of the time left inside

The mystery behind a 1950s Ford Popular 103E which was discovered buried in a garden in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire has been solved.

The car was uneathered by John Brayshaw just inches beneath the surface of his lawn while gardening in lockdown.

It was buried there in 1964 by previous home owner Harold Lyles because it was too expensive to repair or tow away, The Telegraph and Argus has reported.

John said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have the answers to the mystery. I’m over the moon to have found the car and put a story to it.

“It’s amazing that his family is still around and I’m glad they have got to see this.”

WW2 veteran Harold’s son Nigel got in touch with John after recognising the car on the news and revealed that his father had buried the car in the garden.

He said that Harold, a former electrician, had bought the car when it was just three months old in 1958 for his wife Margaret, but she hated it.

Harold drove it for six years until a a mechanical failure proved too expensive to repair and he was told it would cost to have the car taken away for scrap.

He left it in the garden, where his two sons used it as a play den for a while, before deciding to turn into a time capsule and burying it.

Inside the car, he left a 1940s valve radio with artefacts of the time including milk bottles and a medicine bottle had been used to store paraffin.

Harold, who lived at the house from 1964 until his death 1987 told his sons he hoped they would be of interest to whoever found it.

John added: “If it wasn’t for the lockdown, I would take all the parts round to her so she can see it.

“But she has seen photographs of it and her family said she it put a lump in her throat.”

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

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.