‘Colour for Hope’ competition draws plenty of inspiring entries

The ‘Colour for Hope’ competition, in which children were encouraged to colour Brembo braking parts, has now closed with plenty of entries being received. Joint organisers The Parts Alliance and Brembo have been enthralled with the imagination and talent on display from participants.

“It’s clear that the children have taken great care and effort in this competition as we’ve received many wonderful entries from all ages,” said Simon Moore, The Parts Alliance’s head of marketing. “We’re very grateful to every child that has taken part.”

The competition took its inspiration from the ‘rainbow of hope’ that children have been drawing and displaying throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

“In these challenging times it’s been uplifting to see all the colourful entries, many of them replicating the rainbow of hope theme, as they’ve flowed in”, said Simon. “Now we face the very difficult decision of selecting the winners!”

The Parts Alliance and Brembo will review all the entries and announce the winners next week.

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

In pictures: Independent garages invest in fight against COVID-19

Recommended measures for workshops and what others are doing to protect staff and customers

Independent garages across the country are continuing to adapt, adopting new health and safety measures which allow them to continue operating during the UK’s COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 guidance for garages was published last week ahead of significantly increased demand for MOT tests, servicing, maintenance and repairs as UK lockdown easing begins.

Recommended protective measures for workshops include virus protection screens on service reception counters, personal protective equipment, clear marking or prohibited areas and signage to denote safe social distancing.

WAIglobal’s new vehicle sanitiser kit has received universal praise from independent garages.

The STERI-7 ready-to-use disinfectant can be sprayed inside vehicles to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria, viruses and spores.

Once left to dry, a reactive barrier is created on the surface, regenerating to give up to seven days’ added protection.

Prosol UK has also responded to demand by expanding its range of COVID-19 safety equipment.

It supplies a wide range of safety equipment, warning signs and self-adhesive floor decals.

A Euro Car Parts spokesperson said: “These garages must also then mark out clear ‘customer only’ and ‘technician only’ areas in the workshop.

“When it comes to payment, our advice is to take card payment where possible and steer clear of cash, and to talk through invoices with customers on the phone, to minimise the need for close quarters interaction when they come to collect their vehicles.”

With the majority of independent garages open or about to reopen for business, Garage Wire readers have been sharing pictures of new safety equipment which is allowing them to continue working while adhering to government advice.

In pictures: Measures adopted by GW readers

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.

Schaeffler distributes free workshop essentials packs

Independent garages encouraged to claim free pack while stocks last

With more garages now reopening following a period of temporary closure, Schaeffler is giving away 2,000 ‘workshop essential’ packs.

To help garages get back on track, and make vehicle owners feel safe when they visit, Schaeffler’s ‘essentials pack’ is designed to help workshops get up and running again.

The packs include a floor sticker and tape to mark out the reception and workshop area into two metre blocks to help maintain current social distancing rules.

Personal protective equipment is also included; a washable mask, hand sanitiser and hi-vis vest, along with some prominent A2 posters and some mirror hanging air fresheners to remind both staff and customers about the guidelines.

A Schaeffler spokesperson said: “Getting garages back open, and vehicle technicians working again, is crucial to helping the country get back on its feet, as there will be a backlog of MOT, servicing and urgent repairs to catch up on.

“However, all this work must be done safely and professionally.”

Garages can claim their free pack by filling out their details in Schaeffler’s online form.

Workshop advice

Schaeffler suggests workshops could promote free visual safety checks with any repair, using every available channel to reach current and potential customers.

The spokesperson added: “Emails, text and social media are sure-fire ways to maximise reach while lots of people are still at home.

“Alternatively, placing an old fashioned ad in the local paper saying that your workshop is safe and open for work again can only help.

“It is also a good time to advertise health-related added value servicing – such as fitting HEPA cabin filters and disinfecting air-conditioning systems.

“Off the back of the free visual check, garages can also offer ‘enhanced’ safety checks for a small charge – including fluid top-ups, a battery condition check, plus a visual check of all drive belts and the steering and suspension system.”

COVID-19 guidelines

Garages should minimise contact with customers and suppliers, use new disposable gloves, seat covers and mats for every job and wipe down all contact points throughout the day.

Access to each vehicle should ideally be reduced tojust one technician and all in-vehicle climate control systems should be switched off.

A no-contact drop-off and collection system should be adopted for high risk customers.

All these actions will help customers see the care and attention workshops are taking in providing the best safe and professional service possible.

For further information and to claim your free pack, click here.

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

IGA calls on transport minister to end MOT extension

Now’s the time to end six-month MOT extension, states Independent Garage Association

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, urging him to end the six-month MOT extension put in place on 30 March 2020.

With the government now encouraging the public to go back to work and avoid using public transport where possible, the IGA has said “the time is right” to stop the MOT extension.

Stuart James, IGA chief executive states: “With approximately one third of cars failing their initial MOT, millions of faults will be left unrectified if the full six-month extension goes ahead.

“Small defects that would have been found in the MOT test will worsen, not only leading to an increase in the number of dangerous cars on the road, but an increase in future repair costs for vehicle owners too.”

The IGA states that 580,000 vehicles will have illegal tyres today, which will rise by another 290,000 by the end of the MOT extension – each driver could face a fine of up to £2,500 for each tyre and three penalty points if caught.

Stuart James added: “This is a simple defect which could have been easily rectified if an inspection was carried out, but could now cost the driver dearly and put themselves and others at risk.

“Stopping the MOT extension without delay will ensure that many more cars are roadworthy, and another major step will be taken in helping the UK economy recover.”

The DVSA has previously said that it continues to review the situation, adding that it expects to end the six-month extension as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.

For further information about the IGA, click here.

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

Choose to be cool with TEXA’S KONFORT air conditioning service stations

TEXA’s KONFORT 700 series allows technicians to diagnose, maintain and recharge air conditioning systems in cars, heavy goods vehicles and buses

All the service stations in the KONFORT range are covered by eight international patents with a 95% efficiency for refrigerant recovery.

TEXA says that there is an option in the KONFORT range to suit every workshop’s needs, allowing fully automatic recovery on both R134a and R1234yf refrigerants.

The top of the range 780R BI-GAS incorporates two separate tanks and circuits for recovery, recycling and recharging which allows it to function with both refrigerants simultaneously.

The entire recharge process is completely automatic thanks to the hermetically sealed oil tanks, a scale locking and release system as well as automatic refrigerant weighing.

The 780R is the ideal solution for workshops dealing with new and old vehicles regularly and can be customised with optional extras.

Find out more by clicking here.

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

New Ring dashcams offer added protection for fleets

New state-of-the-art dashcams specifically developed for commercial vehicles

Ring Automotive has added two new additions to its range of dashcams – the Trade PRO1 and Trade PRO2 dash cameras.

The dash cams, which have been designed specifically for the commercial vehicle market, will record vital evidence in the result of a collision, which in turn removes the risk of insurance fraud and in some cases, can even reduce insurance costs, enabling the driver to focus on the job in hand.

Both the TradePRO1 and Trade PRO2 dash cameras are designed with a streamlined profile to be discreet within the vehicle and feature a fully adjustable lens to fit all windscreen types, as well as a 2.4” screen.

Cabin cameras are also available, and the devices include a lockable micro SD slot and are hard wired into the fuse box to prevent users from unplugging the camera while travelling.

The Trade PRO1 dash camera includes an adjustable 110º lens with 720p HD resolution, along with 32GB of storage, while the Trade PRO2 dash camera comes with a 120º lens, offering 1080p and double the storage with 64GB.

State-of-the-art additions are available with the Trade PRO2 such as a GPS function, stamping the location onto the video recording to help log journeys being made and, password-protected firmware to prevent unwanted alteration of the captured footage.

Henry Bisson, marketing manager for Ring Automotive: “When involved in a collision, it’s understandable to miss key details, and even harder to secure evidence that will help settle insurance claims.

“As a result, we’re seeing a growing awareness around the benefits that an in-vehicle camera can offer motorists, particularly those who are required to drive regularly for work.

“By embracing new and advanced technology entering the market, we’re able to not only protect those driving the vehicle, but also provide operators with complete visibility across their fleet.

“This has led to greater efficiencies when solving disputes, and in some cases, improved driving.”

Both of products are compatible with 12V and 24V applications and have been specially designed for all motorists, from commuters in passenger cars, to CV drivers.

For further information about Ring, click here.

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

All new Volvos to be limited to 112mph

Move is latest in firm’s aim to reduce deaths and serious injuries in road traffic accidents involving Volvos to zero

Every new Volvo car now comes with a limited top speed of 112mph, as Volvo Cars delivers on its promise made last year to introduce such a limitation.

As well as the speed cap, its cars will now also come with a ‘care key’, which allows Volvo drivers to set additional limitations on the car’s top speed.

The features come as part of the carmaker’s ambition to achieve zero traffic fatalities.

Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre said: “The speed cap and care key help people reflect and realise that speeding is dangerous, while also providing extra peace of mind and supporting better driver behaviour.”

The top speed limit has proven to be controversial since it was announced, with some observers questioning the rights of car makers to impose such limitations through available technology.

Yet Volvo Cars believes it has an obligation to continue its tradition of being a pioneer in the discussion around the rights and obligations of car makers to take action that can ultimately save lives, even if this means losing potential customers.

Volvo warns that in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are no longer enough to avoid severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident while speeding.

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.

GS Yuasa launches new company for Nordic and Baltic markets

GS Yuasa Battery Nordic to help realise ‘full market potential’

GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK has established a new sales company to serve their Nordic and Baltic export regions.

GS Yuasa Battery Nordic began trading from a new distribution centre in Jönköping, Sweden in December 2019.

The move means that customers in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will be better served by the business. Benefits include shorter lead times, local support and reduced order quantities meaning customers can order more regularly.

The new distribution centre will stock and supply GS Yuasa’s full product range, increasing year-round availability and improving on current delivery times.

A new dedicated specialist team for the region strengthens GS Yuasa’s European operation and includes general managers for sales and marketing, operations as well as product and technical.

James Hylton, managing director of GS Yuasa Battery Nordic and GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd, said: “We’ve seen sustained growth in the region over the past few years – our Jönköping base will allow us to better serve the territory with our industry-leading battery technology by increasing availability and reducing lead times.

“GS Yuasa have achieved significant growth in the Nordic-Baltic region over the past few years, in particular in Sweden and Finland with our distribution partners Batteripoolen and Akkupojat.

“The opening of GS Yuasa Battery Nordic will build on this excellent partnership and help us to realise the full potential of the market.”

For further information about GS Yuasa, click here.

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

Volkswagen launches first all-electric Transporter

ABT eTransporter 6.1 offers 82-mile range with prices starting from £42,060

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has launched its first fully electric van in the UK with prices for the ABT eTransporter 6.1 starting from £42,060.

Developed in collaboration with Premium Partner ABT e-Line, the model offers an all-electric range of up to 82 miles with a cargo space of 6.7m3.

Flexible charging options allow for 80 per cent charge in just 45 minutes.

Performance and efficiency

The ABT eTransporter 6.1 delivers a maximum power output of 110PS (83kW), with a 0-62mph time of just 17.4 seconds.

The technically-advanced and lightweight electric motor provides smooth and quiet driving, low maintenance requirements and instant maximum torque.

This is connected to the battery via the power electronics that supply energy to both the on-board electronics and the electric motor.

The compact battery is fitted underneath the load area to avoid compromising the cargo area of 6.7m3 and payload of up to 1,001kg.

The ABT eTransporter 6.1 is also fitted with regenerative braking, switching the drive motor to generator operation to recover energy lost when braking.

The resulting current is fed back into the battery and stored for later use.

The driver is able to see the battery status from the instrument cluster, where the usual rev counter dial has been replaced with a power meter.

When the needle is in the green, the battery is being charged by recuperating energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.

The blue area denotes the optimum speeds and acceleration for the most economical driving, while the charge level indicator states the current charge in the battery.

The ABT eTransporter 6.1 features a modified dual clutch transmission DSG, combining the conventional system with the requirements of an electric drive to develop sufficient power in any driving situation.

When Drive is selected, the motor will deliver 75 per cent power to maximise range, with the kickdown function on the gear shift providing 100 per cent power and torque, maximising performance.


The combined charging system (CCS) socket on the new ABT eTransporter provides a flexible charging solution, combining the ability to charge via both AC and DC.

Any device that has either a CCS (DC charging) or type two (AC charging) plug type can be used.

A type two charging cable is included with the vehicle as standard.

The new ABT eTransporter 6.1 supports up to 50kW DC charging using a CCS connector, which means the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery can achieve a charging state of 80 per cent within approximately 45 minutes. This is ideal for vans working a busy shift pattern which need to be on the road and working.

The new ABT eTransporter can support AC charging up to 7.2kW.

This can be done by using a wallbox, which will charge the lithium-ion battery in approximately five and a half hours.


The ABT eTransporter is equipped as standard with a DAB+ radio system with 6.5-inch touchscreen and four loudspeakers, SD card slot, Bluetooth handsfree and two USB interfaces in the dashboard.

Volkswagen AppConnect, which allows you to bring smartphone apps onto the infotainment system’s touchscreen, is also standard alongside a comprehensive suite of advanced driver assistance systems, including front assist with city emergency braking system, rear parking sensors and crosswind assist.

Pricing and running costs

Pricing for the ABT eTransporter 6.1 Panel van starts from £42,060 + VAT with the advance trim from £45,360 + VAT.

The kombi crew van and kombi crew van Advance are priced from £46,375 + VAT and £49,985 + VAT, respectively.

Advance trim adds design, comfort and safety options, including 17” alloy wheels, electrically foldable door mirrors, automatic LED headlights, rain sensing windscreen wipers, heated windshield, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and front and rear parking sensors.

With its zero-emission status, all variants of the ABT eTransporter 6.1 are exempt from road tax and afforded unrestricted access to the London Ultra Low Emission Zone and Clean Air Zones.

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.

Final Call: Still time for children to enter ‘Colour for Hope’ competition

The Parts Alliance is reminding technicians there are still a few days remaining for their children to enter their ‘Colour for Hope’ competition.

The competition, which is being run in conjunction with Brembo, closes this Friday 22nd May. Afterwards five winners will each receive a fantastic Brembo goody bag.

“We’re been delighted to have received plenty of entries into our ‘Colour for Hope’ competition,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “There’s been an abundance of creativity on display and we thank every child who has participated.

“With the competition finishing on Friday, there’s still time for any children to enter if they would like to.”

The ‘Colour for Hope’ competition features six line-drawings depicting the manufacturers brake pads, discs and calipers.  Children aged between 4 and 16 are encouraged to print out their favourite drawing and then be as creative as possible in colouring it.

There is no restriction in how the pictures are coloured, so children can use paint, pencil, crayon – whatever they enjoy using. Entrants are encouraged to showcase their imagination and colour both the brake part and background.

The competition is called ‘Colour for Hope’ because it takes its inspiration from the rainbow pictures being displayed in windows across the country during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In addition to the colouring competition, Brembo have produced a collection of activities for children to print out. This can be downloaded from here.

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