Euro NCAP’s Best In Class Cars Of 2017

2017 was Euro NCAP’s busiest-ever year with nearly seventy models assessed and now Euro NCAP has announced the year’s best performers.

Volkswagen emerges with great credit with winners in three categories – the Polo in the supermini class, T Roc in the small off-road category and the prestigious Arteon in the executive class – and Volvo reinforces its reputation for safety with this year’s best overall performer, the large off-road XC60.

The winners, by category, are:

ExecutiveVW Arteon
Large Off-RoadVolvo
Small Off-RoadVW T Roc
SuperminiVW Polo
Small MPVOpel Crossland X
Small Family CarSubaru XV and Subaru Impreza

Most of the models tested in 2017 were new to the market and most of these achieved the maximum five-star rating which, set against Euro NCAP’s increasingly tough assessment regime, reflects the ever-improving safety of modern vehicles. Older, facelifted models fared less well, their ratings, generally poorer than those of newer cars, reflecting a lack of advanced restraint systems and driver-assistance technologies.

Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, “Congratulations to Volkswagen! To win best-in-class in three different categories is a great achievement and underlines the company’s commitment to providing the highest levels of safety to its customers. Subaru and Opel are also offering class-leading products while Volvo continues to underline its reputation for safety. More broadly, though, it is encouraging to see so many new cars performing so well in all areas of safety, and being equipped with greater and greater levels of life-saving technology.”

Pedestrian-detecting autobrake systems, first tested by Euro NCAP in 2016, was already available on 82 per cent of the cars tested in 2017 and standard equipment on 62 per cent of them. Speed assistance was offered on 92 per cent of the new cars tested, and was standard equipment on 82 per cent. Yet these advancements in driver-assistance technology took nothing away from improvements in crash-protection: 96 per cent offered standard two or more seating positions in the car compatible with new i-Size child restraints and 94 per cent of new cars now offer rear seat load limiters and belt tensioners as standard.

INAPA 2018 Jakarta Almost Sold Out

The 10th edition of INAPA 2018 will be taking place from 22 – 24 March 2018 at JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta) together with Tyre & Rubber Indonesia 2018, INABIKE 2016, Bus & Truck Indonesia 2018, RailwayTech Indonesia 2018 and INAFASTENER 2018 to be expanded up to up to 30% bigger scale and expected to attract more than 35,000 professional from 40 countries.

The exhibition area will be divided 7 area:

  1. Automotive Parts & System
  2. Bike, Parts and Accessories
  3. Commercial Vehicle and Parts (Truck, Bus, Forklift, Rail)
  4. Vehicle Equipment, Maintenance, Tool and Fastener
  5. Tyre, Wheel and Rubber Chemical
  6. Automotive Battery
  7. Lubricant (for Transportation & Manufacturing) – Lube Indonesia 2018

Indonesia economic growth in 2018 is targeted to reach 5.4% which is considered very realistic. Improvements occur in the commodity sector (palm oil, cacao, etc), manufacturer expansion, coal, and petroleum price is getting high. On the other hand, the investment for commodities have been rising high. The aggressive of infrastructure development in some remote areas also will drive equitable economic growth. This is good news for automotive industry to supply more Indonesia areas.

In terms of market size, Indonesia is the Biggest Car and Bike Market in SE Asia. Indonesia accounts for about one-third of total annual car sales in ASEAN. Indonesia not only has a large population (over 260 million populations) but is also characterized having a rapid expanding middle class. Together, these two factors create a powerful consumer force. The ratio of cars to the population in Indonesia (12:1) is still low compared with other countries in this region. Therefore, still provides a potential market for car encouraging producers to increase their production capacity.

Thatcham Research Passes Parts Certification To TUV Rheinland AG

Following an in-depth review and assessment of the certification of after-market car parts, and consultation with its Insurance Members, Thatcham Research has decided to hand over all after-market parts certification activities to its current partner TÜV Rheinland AG.

The Thatcham Research/TÜV Rheinland partnership will officially end on 31st March 2018, with Thatcham Research not providing any new after-market parts certification services as of 1 January 2018.

The move allows Thatcham Research to invest more resources into the priority areas of active safety systems and vehicle structures/materials, that are increasingly contributing to repair costs. In parallel, the company is also gearing-up its investment in countering the growing risk of cyber theft of vehicles.

Peter Shaw, chief executive of Thatcham Research comments: “A healthy after-market parts supply is vitally important for the UK repair industry. However, we need to make key strategic decisions to ensure that we are addressing current and evolving challenges for the repair and insurance industries. This move will allow us to achieve this, while at the same time handing over the certification of aftermarket parts to a trusted and qualified partner to ensure consistency now and in the future.”

Massimo Bianchi, Business Stream Manager Mobility TÜV Rheinland Italy, comments: “We believe that certification of equivalent parts is very important to answer the need of the market of high quality spare replacement parts. Voluntary independent certification of products is one of TÜV Rheinland’s core businesses and increases the trust in customers.”

The transition steps will be:

  • TÜV Rheinland will take over all new parts certification operations from 1st January 2018.
  • There will be a gradual removal of the Thatcham Research brand from certified parts.
  • Newly certified parts will carry the sole TÜV Rheinland brand from 1st April 2018.
  • As parts certification remain valid for two years, joint Thatcham Research / TÜV Rheinland branding will remain on certificates issued or renewed before 1 April 2018, until the date they expire

Together Thatcham Research and TÜV Rheinland have provided aftermarket certification services for the past nine years, and there are more than 1800 parts certified under the scheme.

Future Traditions: A Christmas Film By Mercedes-Benz

Driving home for Christmas this year? In other words, are you all set for a spot of tuneless carol-singing with the family, last-minute present-buying stress and enough chocolate to sink a ship? Yes, Christmas traditions can be quite challenging. But look outside and you’ll see that our world is spinning faster than ever, so isn’t it nice to know that some things stay the same?

Mercedes-Benz and EQ show Christmas isn’t the only thing just around the corner. The future is too – with a fascinating vision in which all-electric, autonomously driving EQ models, Volocopters and drones prove that, together, we can change some things for the better. Some people can’t get enough of Christmas. Others can. But Mercedes-Benz and EQ still wish you Happy Holidays.

Help Improve The Quality Of Training In Australia’s Automotive Sector

PwC’s Skills for Australia is working on an exciting project to help better prepare learners to become vehicle body repair estimators, and they are looking for industry feedback to contribute to their work.

Following months of consultation, Skills for Australia has developed draft training products aimed to address skills gaps in existing training for vehicle body repair estimators. Now members of the public have been invited to review these products and provide their feedback.

To contribute to this project, simply visit the Skills for Australia  website and download the draft training products. Then email your comments to [email protected] or arrange a time to speak with a member of the team.

Feedback on the draft training products in the scope of this project will be open until Thursday 21 December 2017.

PwC’s Skills for Australia operates as a Skills Service Organisation, and is responsible for the vocational qualifications and training packages in the automotive industry.

Working with Industry Reference Committees made up of members with experience and expertise covering the entire Australian automotive industry, Skills for Australia’s role is to ensure that training packages reflect the needs of employers and students.

The Training Packages that cover the automotive sector include:

If you are interested in the work PwC’s Skills for Australia is doing, and would like to be kept up to date on new projects in your area of expertise, you can follow them on LinkedIn or subscribe to their mailing list.

BodyShop News Summernats Giveaway

The 31th Street Machine Summernats proudly supported by Rare Spares is the largest annual horsepower party in the Southern Hemisphere, taking place this January 4 – 7, 2018 in Canberra. Featuring the world’s greatest burnout competition; the National Burnout Masters, the colourful City Cruise, the craziest cars in the country and so much more, plus a huge music line up including Wolfmother, Thundamentals and 28 Days. With so much entertainment, Summernats is a motoring lifestyle festival that you need to experience, so make sure you join more than 100,000 fans for an iconic Australian motoring experience like no other. Tickets are on sale at www.summernats.com.au

BodyShop News has four tickets to give away to the first four emails with the right answer to this question: “How many Summernats have there been already?”

Email to [email protected].

Nissan’s Miniature Car Wash Means Better Paint, Worry-Free Washing

A miniature car wash, about the size and shape of a popcorn machine, plays an important role at the Nissan Technical Centre North America in Michigan.

Equipped with a spinning brush that has vibrant blue bristles, this highly specialised machine allows engineers to test paint samples to make sure Nissan’s exterior paints hold up to the tough environment of automatic car washes.

Long before a Nissan ends up on dealer lots, engineers have made sure that every shade of exterior paint will stay looking great, even if customer frequently takes their Nissans through the rigours of an automatic car wash.

To mimic an automatic wash cycle, Nissan’s miniature car wash spins the brush at around 180 rpm, causing the bristles to harshly slap the paint sample as water jets spray and “Arizona dirt” replicates the harsh and abrasive real world.

In the pictures below, the red 1:16 scale model of the 370Z is for illustrative purposes only. In actual testing, Nissan paint is applied to rectangular plates which are placed into the miniature car wash and tested multiple times to ensure a top-quality finish that lasts.

Standox Provides Practical Tips For Repairing Liquid Metal Colours

Liquid metal colours are among the most spectacular car paints, which is why they are frequently used for sports cars or luxury sedans. But the extremely fine pigmentation of liquid metal colours makes their repair quite demanding. Axalta Coating Systems’ National Training Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Polverino, shares tips on how best to approach these specialised colours.

Refinishing liquid metal colours, such as Alubeam by Mercedes or Liquid Metal Silver by Porsche, is an art. The repair demands the highest technical proficiency, as well as precision when preparing the substrate and premium quality paint products.

“Because of the composition of the liquid metal colours, even the smallest deviations from the original colour tone are immediately noticeable,” said Polverino. “Their aluminium flakes are considerably thinner and flatter than the ones used in conventional metallic paints and they reflect the light with greater intensity, so they are unforgiving of the smallest imperfection in the substrate, which must be taken into account in the preparation stages.”

How to get it right with Standoblue using a Mercedes liquid metal colour Alubeam repair.

Step 1 – Preparation

Apply a Standox VOC filler, please refer to the car manufacturer’s approvals. Drying and sanding should be carried out as normal. Then apply Standocryl VOC Xtra Clear K9560 onto the sanded filler to obtain a smooth surface. The clear coat must dry thoroughly, so give it a little more drying time than usual.

Step 2 – Sanding of the Clear Coat

Sand the clear coat surface of the repaired part and the old coating using P1000 to P1500, but sand corners and edges by hand with P3000. Very important: under no circumstance sand through!

Step 3 – Applying the Colour Blend

Apply Standoblue Colour Blend or Standoblue Color Blend Long to the blending zone. The product should be applied up to approximately 10 – 20 centimetres from the repaired area.

Step 4 – Blending In

Blend in. The ready-for-use setting for Standoblue is as follows: mixed Standoblue colour Alubeam + 50 per cent Standoblue Adjustment Additive Long. Apply the first spray pass up to the edge of the still wet Color Blend. With this spray pass you should almost entirely cover the area of repair.

Step 5 – Fading In

Apply the effect spray pass to the repair area and into the still wet Color Blend at a greater spray gun distance. As long as the Color Blend and Standoblue Basecoat are still wet, this step can be repeated, if required. The basecoat must have dried completely until it is matt before the clear coat can be applied.

Step 6 – Application of the Clear Coat

Apply the Standocryl VOC Xtra Clear K9560 to the entire repair area and then dry it according to the instructions on the technical datasheet.

Full, illustrated guidelines for repairing liquid metal colours can also be found in the Special Colours Standothek. It can be downloaded from www.standox.com.au/standothek. For specific information, the new online reference tool www.standox.com.au/standopedia is extremely useful for practical expert refinish advice. It covers the most important technical topics and is continually updated and expanded by professional Standox refinishers.

LKQ Corporation Announces Agreement To Acquire Stahlgruber GmbH

LKQ Corporation has signed an agreement to acquire Stahlgruber GmbH for approximately €1.5 billion (A$2.35b). Headquartered in Germany, Stahlgruber is a leading European wholesale distributor of aftermarket spare parts for passenger cars, tools, capital equipment and accessories with operations in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia with further sales to Switzerland. Stahlgruber’s facilities include 228 sales centres, six warehouses, and an approximately 128,000 square metre advanced logistics centre that is strategically located in Germany, serving more than 100,000 professional clients and offering over 500,000 SKUs.

LKQ expects to complete the transaction late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2018, subject to required regulatory approvals.

“This transformative acquisition solidifies LKQ as a leading Pan-European aftermarket mechanical parts distributor, and further enhances our global diversification strategy,” stated Dominick Zarcone, President and Chief Executive Officer of LKQ Corporation. “Stahlgruber has a history of delivering above-market growth and its stellar industry reputation is an ideal fit with our culture; we are extremely proud to welcome the approximately 6600 Stahlgruber employees to the LKQ family. Importantly, we believe that our combined efforts will create tremendous long-term value for our customers and stockholders and growth opportunities for our collective team members.”

Automechanika Shanghai 2017 Closes With Record Breaking Figures

The 13th edition of Automechanika Shanghai, which took place from 29 November to 2 December 2017, has posted its most successful results to date. The event is Asia’s largest for the automotive parts, accessories and services industries, and represents the entire supply chain for business exchange, marketing, networking and education on a global scale. This year’s edition once again demonstrates the show’s impressive growth path, with the final figures for this year exceeding all expectations:

  • Visitors: 130, 928 (2016: 120,671) – 9 per cent increase
  • Exhibitors: 6,051 (2016: 5,756) – 5 per cent increase
  • Scale: 340,000 sqm (2016: 312,000) – 9 per cent increase

The success of the fair and its expanded sector representation was clearly reflected on the show floor, particularly through the brand new REIFEN Zone for tyres, wheels and rims, as well as in the expanded Electronics & Systems sector and the E-Mobility & Infrastructure Zone. Visitors were impressed with the exciting displays within the Motorsports & High Performance Zone, and also with the increased number of international pavilions on offer during the fair.

On top of this, even more positive feedback came from Automechanika Shanghai’s many concurrent fringe events, which this year totalled 57. These included the highly anticipated Connected Mobility Conference, as well as the AIAG Auto Parts Purchasing Leadership and Suppliers Summit and the 3rd Summit: Merger and Acquisition Strategies for Chinese Automotive Corporations in the Overseas Markets. The fair’s participants considered each of these aspects to be a vital source for expanding their business across Asia’s entire automotive industry, and have expressed their satisfaction with this year’s edition.

The next edition of Automechanika Shanghai will take place from 28 November – 1 December 2018.