Notes to editors 1. In August the Alliance & Leicester announced the end of their five-year association with the new car price index, during which time prices fell on average by 9.2 per cent. The Alliance & Leicester noted that after five years, car prices are ‘broadly in line with mainland Europe’.2.http://www.oft.gov.uk/News/Press+releases/2004/85-04.htm 3. MVRA press statement issued on 21 April 2004 – MVRA says block exemption has greatly improved flow of technical info http://www.mvra.com/news/index.htm SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, ‘The fundamentals of this report are good news for the industry. While the sector is not without its problems, the Committee has recognised the steps taken to address issues of competitiveness and skills through organisations like SMMT Industry Forum and the new Automotive Academy. It is accepted that investment criteria for ‘authorised repairer’ status may vary across brands. However, while core criteria are used to guarantee minimum standards of safety and staff competence, it is not unreasonable for the investment made in premium brands to be reflected in additional customer service requirements. Access to technical specifications The comments of the Committee in relation to accessing technical information contradict those made by the trade body for motor vehicle repairers. In April, the MVRA praised manufacturers for access to technical data and claimed to be ‘delighted’ by improvements since the implementation of new block exemption rules.3 This demonstrates the sector’s commitment to improving the flow of information to those outside the traditional dealer network. New car prices In the last five years new car prices have fallen by an average 9.2 per cent.1 The Committee concludes that further price reductions could be made if bulk purchases offered to large retailers were discounted in a similar way to those of fleet purchasers. However, this is already reflected in The Supply of New Cars Order 2000 which requires manufacturers to offer exactly these ‘equivalent discounts’ to bulk buyers. Industry welcomes call for consistent implementation of EU regulations and strict monitoring of EU-wide schemes for emissions trading. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) SMMT Industry Forum and Automotive Academy praised for work in improving competitiveness and addressing the skills shortage. Servicing and repair SMMT rejects the claim that restrictive practices are used to prevent entry to the service and repair market. Over the last year the industry has moved decisively to open up the market for independent service and repair centres. In May 2004 the OFT gave manufacturers a clean bill of health after all car makers removed franchised dealer servicing as a condition of new car warranties.2 ‘By continuing to work closely with government we can ensure that threats identified in the report, such as the cost of regulation and low levels of investment in research and development, do not erode the UK’s significant automobile production and supply base.’ SMMT disappointed by criticism of falling new car prices and action taken to open up the market for independent service and repair outlets. UK is ‘a good venue for automotive production’. Although the report focuses on vehicle production, SMMT is disappointed by some of the conclusions relating to issues on the retail and servicing side of the industry.
MineWare says it is well underway with the installation of 23 of their Argus Hydraulic monitoring systems for Downer – making this the largest single order in MineWare’s history. MineWare Vice President – Marketing & Sales Roy Pater said the adoption of Argus would deliver significant productivity and efficiency gains for Downer as they leverage the benefits of digitisation for their customers.“As one of Australia’s leading mining contractors, Downer has placed a major focus on extending their leadership as a contract miner through the full adoption of technology,” he said. “Our technology will assist Downer to improve productivity and mine compliance across eight Australian sites in coal, gold, magnetite and iron ore.”Argus is an advanced monitoring system for electric and hydraulic loaders. The system is designed to manage payload, mine compliance, machine health and situational awareness. Pater said Argus delivers an increase in the productivity of between 3 to 16% significantly lowering the cost per ton of material moved.“Mining companies like Downer are looking for innovative ways to improve productivity for their customers by leveraging what digitisation has to offer. Our customers that have done this achieve a real competitive advantage.”Downer Technology Support Specialist, Nicholas Duggan said the company selected MineWare because of its deep expertise in both technology and mining, its commitment to exceptional customer support and its flexibility and willingness to integrate with other operational technology platforms.“A key priority for Downer is to have our hydraulic fleet optimising its payload and digging to plan and, more importantly, to have this information visible throughout our organisation, as well as at our mine sites,” he said. “The MineWare Argus system will help us improve how we manage this data, making it more useful for our teams. Our on-site and off-site teams can keep track of what’s happening in real time, allowing sustainable performance at a whole-of-site level. We also know MineWare provides us with dedicated mining engineers to help us continually improve productivity over time and field support teams on the ground to provide rapid response to technical issues.”MineWare says its holistic approach supports productivity improvement across the entire value chain, integrating operating systems and sharing knowledge between departments to break down the silos. Pater said MineWare is constantly working on closing the feedback loop between theupstream and downstream mining processes and making this real-time. “By doing this, our customers will see the real benefits of system integration and collaboration between the various technology vendors, mining contractors and the mine’s departments,” he said.“All of this is key to attaining the next level of productivity gains that mining is looking for. From benchmarking operator performance to optimising machine health, it’s about measuring what’s happening on board and in the pit, and applying those insights to deliver continuous improvement. We are looking forward to working closely with Downer, assisting them to deliver more value added services to their customers and partnering with them to further improve our systems and services offerings.”