US Army, GM Collaborate To Improve Automotive Cybersecurity

The US Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) and General Motors have announced a new Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA). The objective of the CRADA is bolstering the US Army’s and GM’s vehicle cybersecurity expertise over the next two years.

Cybersecurity experts from both parties will share best practices, methodologies, tools and approaches focused on conducting penetration testing and cybersecurity risk analysis. Both organisations hope to share key learnings with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for the development of common standards in addition to improving cybersecurity methods.

Two US Army engineers will embed with their counterparts at GM, while a GM expert is scheduled to co-locate with the US Army’s Ground Vehicle Cybersecurity Team.

“Cybersecurity is an area of growing concern to the auto industry and one GM takes very seriously, which is why a partnership with the US Army is crucially important,” said Kevin Tierney, GM Chief Product Cybersecurity Officer.

Uni-Select Announces Sale Of ProColor Franchise To Fix Auto

Uni-Select Inc., a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial paint and related products in North America, announced it has completed the sale of its ProColor franchise programme to Fix Auto.

“Since Uni-Select launched the ProColor banner in Québec in 2001, the network grew from 28 to 172 collision repair shops,” said Brent Windom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Uni-Select. “I wish to extend our gratitude to the ProColor team members who worked with us during the past 18 years and contributed to establish ProColor’s clear leadership position in the Québec market. Fix Auto has a strong global network and a solid reputation in the auto repair industry, especially in the Canadian market, and we are excited that ProColor will continue to grow under their umbrella.”

ProColor will complement Fix Auto’s operations in Québec and the Uni-Select network said it is committed to continuing to support ProColor and furthering expanded growth throughout Canada through a long-term supply partnership agreement.

Uni-Select has also entered into a transition agreement with Fix Auto to ensure an orderly and smooth transition for team members, customers and suppliers.

Equip Auto 2019: Repairing Today, Preparing Tomorrow

Equip Auto, a premier international trade show for automotive aftersales and services for mobility, is expecting to receive 95,000 professional visitors and host 1200 exhibitors at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles from 15 to 19 October 2019.

“Since 2017, Equip Auto has established itself as the unifying meeting for the industry, bringing together all the reference professional organisations,” said Philippe Baudin, Chairman of Equip Auto. “I wish to maintain this commitment so that all visitors have a single event in France, located at the heart of all the major transformations, to meet, exchange, make discoveries and spend an enjoyable time with other professionals.”

Equip Auto organisers say the show has reasserted its ambition to establish itself as the imperative international trade show for aftersales and services for mobility for all vehicles. Positioning itself at the heart of industry issues, the show aims to enables professionals to gain optimal insight into the market by giving them the means to “repair today and prepare tomorrow” – the exhibition’s signature.

Owned by the French Federation of Vehicle Industries and Equipment (FIEV) and the French Bodywork Federation (FFC) while supported by trade body partners, the exhibition says it revolves around three values which make up its DNA: Business, Innovation, Hospitality.

“These three values take the form of numerous actions and new features to enable industry stakeholders to decode the sector’s challenges, find out about current solutions and adopt innovations which are already available to prepare for tomorrow,” organisers said.

For this show edition, organisers aim to balance out visitor flows by focusing on a clear and effective sector organisation to save time and increase contact opportunities on stands. This means each hall will have a specific focus:

  • Hall 1: Vehicle equipment, parts and components; Maintenance and distribution networks; Bodywork and painting; Univers VO (Car remarketing), Washing and service areas, lubricants, vehicle care products
  • Hall 2.2: Vehicle equipment, parts and components; Maintenance and distribution networks; Services for professionals
  • Hall 3: Repairs, maintenance, tools and diagnostics; Tyres, wheel rims and accessories

The organisers are also focusing on having more visible and frequent signage for easier wayfinding, wider aisles to connect the three halls efficiently together, improved entry through hall 3 with direct access from the exhibition centre’s main gate (gate A), and an even balance of leading brands between the three halls.

One of the events relevant to collision repair is Equip Auto’s Bodywork-Paint Village, which will play host to the results and the prize-giving ceremony of the fourth Bodywork-Paintwork Competition. This competition is open to French pilot training centres in the ANFA network in the bodywork and repairs branch, rewarding students who, through their technical and artistic skills, have proven the best in shaping and painting a piece of bodywork.

The International Grands Prix for Automotive Innovation, revolving around seven categories with a gold trophy winner in each of them, is awarded by a judging panel of 48 journalists from 10 countries. Helping boost brand awareness and trigger new business, organisers says the International Grands Prix for Automotive Innovation pay tribute to emerging technologies in aftersales and are acknowledged as a prestigious accolade in many countries, reflecting an international dynamic around the know-how, skills and innovations of firms.

The competition is open to all exhibitors across all sectors represented at the show. The categories are as follows:

  • Bodywork equipment and paint
  • Lubricants, vehicle care products, washing, roadside services
  • Original equipment
  • Parts, equipment and components (replacement)
  • Tyres – Wheel accessories and services
  • Repairs, maintenance, garage equipment
  • Services for professionals (IT, software publishers, DMS, management solutions, etc.), services for connected mobility.

Equip Auto will host a gala evening to be held at Collège des Bernardins in the centre of Paris, which will bring together nearly 300 guests for a friendly and festive celebration. The awards for the International Grands Prix for Automotive Innovation will be presented at this evening.

NSF Discontinues Automotive Parts Certification Programmes

In a surprising announcement, global certifier NSF International will discontinue its Automotive Parts Certification programme and affiliated automotive certification and registration programmes at the end of September.

“NSF International continually evaluates its programmes and services and we considered many factors when making this decision,” said Lori Bestervelt, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of NSF International. “Ultimately, we are choosing to focus on programmes and services that are more directly aligned with our long-term, strategic vision for the organisation.”

NSF launched its aftermarket parts certification programme covering structural parts in 2010, expanding into programmes to certify the business processes of parts distributors, recyclers and ultimately collision repair shops.

NSF announced its collision repair facility certification programme in 2016 and expanded its parts certification programme to China. In 2017, NSF expanded into Australia for parts and recycler certification programmes.

The programmes will all be discontinued by 30 September 2019.

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 Embraces The Evolving Automotive Ecosystem

The upcoming 15th edition of Automechanika Shanghai is set to take place at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) on 3 to 6 December 2019 (Tuesday to Friday). The show expects to host over 6,270 exhibitors across the impressive 350,000 sqm of exhibition space, which will occupy the venue’s current exhibition area. A growing number of special sectors, zones and fringe programme events will amplify many of the latest advancements and rising trends throughout numerous areas of the industry.

Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, said: “Over the past 14 editions, Automechanika Shanghai has continued to thrive alongside Asia’s automotive industry; China has now become the world’s largest auto market.  When the show first opened its doors back in 2004, it hosted just 235 exhibitors and 9,000 visitors. In 2018, a staggering 150,568 visitors filtered through every corner of the NECC. It has continued to embrace change and nurtured development by way of new themes and elements. Looking to the future, we plan to collaborate further with research institutes, universities, industry organisations, finance and insurance firms, and the wider automotive community, so that we can work together and advance the fair’s automotive ecosystem.”

Developing an automotive ecosystem

Automechanika Shanghai will echo the progressing concept of the automotive ecosystem. The developing term comes as a result of rapid advancements in the industry that are currently remapping the automotive value chain. It zooms in on the concept of connectivity; not just through emerging technology, but also the notion of networks and knowledge sharing. As a result, Automechanika Shanghai will place more focus on digitalisation, future technologies and services, as well as shaping more opportunities in the fringe programme, to work closer with research institutes and the wider auto community.

Digital trends spark new opportunities

The Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility sector will, once again, become a central area of the fair to demonstrate the show’s strengthened ability for emphasising digital trends and connectivity. As such, the sector shines a light on communication between the vehicle, infrastructure, pedestrians and networks. With this in mind, exhibitors will cover the latest innovations for electromobility, intelligent vehicle technology, car connectivity, mobility services, as well as lightweight materials and more.

The evolving supply chain and aftermarket

The automotive service sector continues to be one of the most important aspects of the fair, as many maturing automotive markets, like China, are becoming more established. The rise of China’s automotive aftermarket will bring forward new business opportunities to its underlying sectors and will rely on the continuous smart transformation of the supply chain. On account of this, the Supply Chain and Chain Store zone returns to address many of the changing needs in the transforming local auto market.

Customisation continues to soar

Customisation is another area that is seeing a steady progression. Sitting side-by-side, Customising will span across Hall 6.2 and 7.2, to cover an expansive total of 44,000 sqm of space. The sector is set to include the latest trends for exterior, interior and high-performance customisation. It will feature sport exhaust systems, sport air filters, and sport chassis, as well as engine tuning, audio modification, seats, recreational vehicles (RV) and off-road vehicle modification. Personalisation will also be a key element in the sector with interior design, body work elements, car wrapping, spray painting, and airbrush systems on display.

Additionally, the automotive lighting industry has undergone a new wave of transformation. Organic light-emitting diode (OLED), laser and intelligent lights have led to more creative and technological innovation throughout the sector.

In addition to the Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility and Customising sectors, the exhibition will host thousands of other exhibitors across five other product categories. Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Accessories, Repair & Maintenance and REIFEN (Tyres & Wheels) will offer comprehensive coverage of the entire supply chain.

Meguiar’s MotorEx Looking Forward To Big Event

Meguiar’s MotorEx, to be held at the Melbourne Showgrounds on 11-12 May, says it will showcase the best the automotive aftermarket industry has to offer, along with some of the country’s “finest” show cars and performance machinery.

The event is also expected to feature drifting demonstrations, dyno sessions, automotive celebrities, gourmet food vendors and live music, as well as a new initiative, the VCM MotorEx Seminar Series, where a group of industry experts will present a variety of topics in 12 sessions.

In addition, Flying Spanners – an initiative of Summernats/MotorEx – will pit teams of apprentice mechanics from TAFE and other training providers against each other and the clock as they strip and rebuild an engine.

“The skill and passion of automotive technicians and the aftermarket industry underpins events like MotorEx and Summernats. Our events are unique platforms to contribute to foster the future of the industry,” said Andy Lopez, MotorEx and Summernats co-owner.

To further attract and inspire the next generation of automotive technicians, MotorEx says it will offer automotive trade apprentices half price entry to the event using the promotional code ‘APPRENTICE’.

Fix Auto Australia Appoints Scott Holden As Regional Head Of Sales

Fix Auto Australia has announced the appointment of Scott Holden to the role of Regional Head of Sales, effective immediately.

Holden brings to Fix Auto over 30 years’ experience in the automotive industry. Having started his career in the sale of paint and consumables, he moved on to manage his family’s body shop for almost 20 years before assuming ownership in December 2007, running through to 2017.

In addition to his real-world repair experience, Holden possesses business consultancy and project management skills, working with TTi Global in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as with luxury OE manufacturers. As a consultant, he delivered business improvement coaching, along with dealership assessments to the OEM core standards while providing recommended action plans for attaining OEM ‘approved’ status.

In his new role, Holden is responsible for supporting network development for Fix Auto in Queensland and New South Wales, and helps liaise with and manage relationships with work providers and various industry stakeholders.

Holden says he believes Fix Auto’s value proposition is a sure point of difference for independent repairers looking for the benefits of joining a managed network.

“Following my onboarding with the Fix Auto Australia team and network, as well as a recent visit to Fix Automotive Network Canada, I know I have joined an organisation with a genuine interest in delivering value for its members. I look forward to bringing more quality-driven repairers into our fold and growing as a national solution,” he said.

“Scott is a welcomed addition to our team, he has in-depth understanding of our industry and can navigate the complex mechanics and business needs of independent repairers in a time of change,” said Stuart Faid, Regional Head of Business for Asia, Australia and New Zealand at Fix Auto.

“We are pleased to welcome him onboard.”

Automechanika Frankfurt Broadens Its Scope

The leading international trade fair for the automotive aftermarket is creating new structures for the 2020 event, both thematically and physically, on the exhibition site. Organisers say the portfolio will now be more clearly organised, particularly in the fields of workshop equipment and future mobility.

Automechanika Frankfurt will feature a strongly differentiated portfolio when it takes place from 8 to 12 September 2020. The event is taking advantage of the reconstruction of Hall 5 to “create important synergies” on the exhibition grounds and bring related themes together in the same locations. In future, products and solutions in the ‘Accessories & Customizing’ area will be grouped together in Hall 12, ensuring that this theme can be found in the direct vicinity of the workshop exhibition in Halls 8 and 9, which will now be called ‘Diagnostics & Repair’.

For the first time, the product groups based in Hall 11 will receive their own designation from the next Automechanika – ‘Body & Paint’. They will be supplemented by a comprehensive supporting programme in the adjacent Portalhaus.

The Festhalle will continue to serve as the stage for “tomorrow’s mobility” and will now focus in particular on ‘Mobility as a Service & Autonomous Driving’ and ‘Alternative Drive Systems & Fuels’. Organisers say the classic cars business was extremely popular at Automechanika 2018 and will be expanded further. Synergies were also achieved for workshop and tyre retailers at the last event, so Automechanika 2020 will be expanding to include the new ‘Tires & Wheels’ product group. This theme will remain in Hall 12, where it will be found alongside ‘Car Wash & Care’.

New brand presentation

Every two years Automechanika revamps its brand presentation, which features on the cover of the current trade fair catalogue, as well as in the event’s advertisements, posters and websites.

“‘Excellence in every detail’ – our kick-off campaign offers our customers a clear brand promise,” said Olaf Musshoff, Director of Automechanika Frankfurt. “We want our presentation to showcase the wide variety of products at the trade fair, an array that has long since moved past cars.”

The new theme now features three types of vehicles for the first time: cars, trucks and motorcycles. The vehicles have been composed from car parts and accessories that were made available for photographs by Automechanika exhibitors. The theme comprises hundreds of car parts that have been photographed and combined digitally.

Automechanika Jeddah 2019 Announces Extended Hours And New Venue

The countdown to Automechanika Jeddah 2019 has begun, with more than 80 exhibitors from 15 countries making their final preparations ahead of Saudi’s dedicated trade fair for the automotive aftermarket next week in Jeddah.

Taking place at a new venue – from 26-27 February 2019 at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel – Automechanika Jeddah is set to present the latest trends and innovations from some of the biggest names in the global automotive aftermarket and services industry.

The Automechanika brand’s Sub-Licensor Messe Frankfurt Middle East and Saudi-based organiser ACE Group also announced extended timings for the biennial event, with thousands of expected Saudi trade buyers and auto professionals granted free entry from 10am – 9pm on both days.

“The extended timings will ensure visitors can maximise the time to meet more exhibitors over these two days,” said Nathan Lloyd, Chief Operating Officer of Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “There is plenty to look forward to, including innovative product launches, industry workshops, seminars, and of course valuable business networking.”

Automechanika Jeddah returns with its Truck Competence initiative for products dedicated to the entire value chain in the truck sector, while the global presence is underlined by five country pavilions from Turkey, Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Also returning is Automechanika Academy in partnership with Autolink and Institute of the Motor Industry, where C-Level recruitment in the automotive industry and developments in electric and hybrid vehicles are among the key topics discussed by industry experts.

More information is available at www.automechanikajeddah.com.

Axalta’s “Sahara” Is 2019 Automotive Colour Of The Year

For the first time in its five-year history, Axalta’s Automotive Colour of the Year is showcasing a colour primed for vehicle customisation both at manufacturing facilities and in the aftermarket. The company says Sahara, a golden-bronze tone, radiates warmth, richness and strength for vehicles of all sizes – especially the expanding global truck and SUV markets – and can serve as the principal colour for two-tone possibilities including black roofs.

“At Axalta, we are seeing car designers leaning toward options for two-toning, accent roofs and stripes,” said Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Global Colour Marketing Manager. “When it comes to mass customisation, Sahara is the type of colour that can serve as the foundation for these premium options.”

Borne from Axalta’s ChromaDyne line of colour coats formulated for global automotive manufacturers, Sahara is partly inspired by global trends for warmer shades highlighted in the company’s Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report. Yellow/gold vehicles are most popular in India and China, while the number of brown/beige vehicles increased in North America more than any other region.

Sahara is Axalta’s fifth Colour of the Year following Radiant Red (2015), Brilliant Blue (2016), Gallant Gray (2017) and StarLite (2018). StarLite, a pearlescent white, introduced coatings technology into the autonomous vehicle discussion. Axalta says its colours under development are tested for readability by autonomous sensors, and Sahara is formulated for visibility.

According to Dan Benton, Axalta Refinish Colour Marketing Manager, Axalta’s Colour of the Year is another example of how Axalta transfers OEM technology to the aftermarket and repair businesses.

“We get calls every year from some of the industry’s best custom builders looking to use colour to differentiate their products,” he said. “We have Sahara formulated and ready-to-go in our industry-leading refinish brands including Cromax, Standox and Spies Hecker.”