Automotive Industry News

10May 2017

The PG Automotive team is growing!Today we are pleased to announce the latest edition to the ever-growing PG Automotive team, Rebecca Keohane. Rebecca joins us on the back of 4 successful years as Recruitment and Training Manager for a national marketing business. Rebecca comes into the business to fulfil a new role as Client Relationship Manager, underlining our continued investment in the ongoing relationships with clients both existing and new. Rebecca will be ensuring that all existing clients are getting the most from their partnership with PG Automotive and will also be building new relationships with businesses in the Automotive industry.

If you have any current or future recruitment needs then Rebecca will be more than happy to talk you through the PG Automotive process and how we can help you recruit that key hire in the most efficient way.

You can contact Rebecca in the following ways:

Tel: 0845 643 0497




04May 2017

Welcome to the team - Sean Smith

Well following the exciting Heavyweight Championship contest this past weekend featuring Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, we are pleased to announce our own “Automotive Heavyweight” and latest addition to the team here at PG Automotive. Sean comes from a strong and successful automotive background mainly within the Fleet Management sector working for vehicle manufacturers and rental companies. Sean went on to spend 6 years as a Track Controller for the top-secret Horiba-Mira facility in Warwickshire. This means he has had every day exposure to all major worldwide OE and Aftermarket brands from testing through to full production.

He joins us fresh off the back of a role with Jaguar Land Rover where he was headhunted into the business on an interim basis to manage the yet to be released Range Rover Velar fleet as part of the crucial tool trial process.

Sean truly is automotive through and through and will be a great asset to PG Automotive and to you as a recruitment partner. Welcome aboard Sean!

To contact Sean regarding your recruitment requirements current and future:

13Apr 2017
How big is the Commercial Vehicle sector?

Blink and the first quarter of 2017 is behind us, where did that go? Exciting times at PG Automotive, approaching our 10th anniversary and helping new clients increase the talent base within their businesses. A particular area of growth has been within our Commercial Vehicle Division and I was asked by a candidate – “just how big is the industry?” That’s a difficult one as there are so many different area but here’s some key facts & figures from a report by, Commercial Motor & Texaco along with the SMMT:

  • The total number of commercial vehicles in the UK, according to the Department for Transport (DfT) registration figures, is 473,900. This is the second consecutive year of increase after five years of decline following the market peak in 2007.
  • The market is considered by manufacturers to be primarily a replacement market, but with a significant proportion of revenue coming from the aftermarket sector – i.e. parts and servicing.
  • Over 94,000 new vehicles where manufactured in the UK.
  • Two manufacturers, Daf and Mercedes-Benz account for over 44% of all UK new truck registrations over 6.0 tonnes. A further five: Scania; Volvo; MAN; Iveco and Renault Trucks accounted for over 94% of the total market.
  • The 7.5-tonne HGV is the most popular truck in the UK, with 117,400 units registered with the DfT.
  • According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) a total of 228,286 annual roadworthiness tests were conducted on trailers for commercial vehicles in 2014-5.
  • The average age of an HGV in the UK is 7.5 years. Ten years ago the average age of an HGV was 6.6 years. Vehicle manufacturers have moved from previous positions that vehicles should be replaced every three to five years.
  • There were over 75,000 O-licences (Operator licences) issued.
  • A concentration of vehicle ownership: Just 1.14% of all O-licences are held by operators with fleets of 50 or more trucks, yet they operate over 28.58% of the total UK market.

It’s clear to see from the figures that there are plenty of opportunities within the Commercial Vehicle sector, so if you are an experienced industry professional (Technical, Sales or Management) ready for a career move or an employer wanting to add value to your business with experienced professionals, give me a call in confidence on 07739 078158.

I look forward to speaking with you.

Mark Hewes       How big is the Commercial Vehicle sector?

Head of Technical at PG Automotive (UK) Ltd


03Apr 2017

You thought the original was good……

Jack Hodges 2.0 – The Return of the Refinisher!

Some of you may know Jack Hodges v.1, he worked us at here at PG Automotive until October 2016 covering the refinish marketplace. Placing candidates across the country in roles such as Sales, Technical and Marketing. Working with a selection of Manufacturers, Distributors and Body Shop Groups.

Well he is BACK! and better than ever… Jack Hodges 2.0!

After some time away from PG Automotive, with the door firmly ajar awaiting his return. Jack has experienced amongst other things, other facets of the recruitment industry, the birth of his first child (a beautiful baby boy) and is back in training for his sporting obsession, Rugby.

We always knew Jack would be back within the PG family and we are pleased to announce his return officially today.

Jack has used his time away to hone his recruitment skills which will enable him to deliver an improved service to both candidate and clients.

Jack will be experiencing high demand for his services in the Refinish sector and will only work with a select group of candidates and clients. So, if you are looking for your next career move within the refinish sector or looking for your next refinish superstar, there is only one person to call JACK HODGES 2.0…

To get in touch with Jack to discuss your requirements please call: 07960 046 131 (same number as before) – Email: LinkedIn:


17Mar 2017

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo -badge

Speaking at the Volkswagen Group annual conference, CEO Matthias Mueller has confirmed a strong 2016 for all but two of the group’s main brands.

Despite Audi and Volkswagen suffering the sting of dieselgate, Bentley, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche all posted strong profit growth, with the latter now officially the most profitable car brand in the world, pushing profit to €3.9 billion (£3.4bn) – almost twice what PSA PeugeotCitroen recently paid for the entire Vauxhall/Opel brand, and 13.9 per cent up on 2015.

Elsewhere in the group, the core VW brand continued to suffer the sting of dieselgate. While 2016 profits were still €7.1bn (£6.2bn), that came from sales revenue of more than €217bn, allowing €6.4bn (£5.6bn) of losses in order to cover costs associated with the emissions scandal. Although that’s a far cry from 2015’s €16.2bn (£14.2bn) costs and the total bill for the scandal is now up to £19.8bn.

Volkswagen’s growth comes courtesy of developing markets such as China, where the diesel scandal had minimal impact.

Other VW Group brands posted more promising figures, though. SEAT and Skoda both made good profits, with Skoda’s €1.2bn (£1.05bn) profit almost a third up on 2015. Of more interest to evo readers will be Bentley’s growth – the marque shipping 6.4% more vehicles than it did in 2015. However costs associated with the launch of the Bentayga means Bentley’s €112 million (£98m) profit is similar to 2015’s figure.

It’s not all good news though. Audi posted another year of declining profits – the €3bn profit is down from €4.84bn in 2015 and €5.15bn in 2014. This year’s profit comes less a dieselgate bill of €1.8bn (£1.4bn). Two high-profile model launches will also have hurt overall profits, with the Q2 and Q5 taking up plenty of the company’s time and money.

In addition to outlining profits at the conference, CEO Matthias Mueller spelled out his vision for the VW Group going forward. Hoping to put dieselgate behind it, VW is committing funds and research towards electric and battery technology, with Mueller saying “We regard battery technology as another future core competence. In recent months we developed and approved a concrete phased plan to achieve technological leadership in Europe by 2025.”


06Mar 2017

Time for change. How is sales evolving in the Aftermarket?

Technology is advancing at a fantastic rate.

Gone are the days of coffee callers. As related to in my previous post before Christmas, a large proportion of the current crop of sales people will be retiring over the next 5 – 10 years, taking long term relationships with them. With new blood coming into the market, change, whether we like it or not, is being forced upon the industry.

This is not just a change in faces and personnel but an evolution in the actual way sales people work. Sales is less wheeling and dealing now and much more IT and figures focused that is has ever been, meaning that new approaches need to be utilised. Dealing with any customer now requires in depth knowledge and analysis of their business, employing spreadsheets, flow charts and variance graphs which can be analysed to the Nth degree.

Both sides of the industry are changing however as it is also the customer base, which is advancing technologically. Sons and daughters are taking over their parent’s businesses or opening new ones and bringing with them a new way of working and doing things. This isn’t all happening at the flick of a switch as ultimately the aftermarket is still an “old-school” industry and will be for the next few years – I’m sure we are all aware of more than one organisation still using paper based records system.

This current trend is not going to stop and only grow bigger and reach further within the industry as both new blood and techniques establish themselves further within the market. By not future proofing now, either via the employment of new skills or in depth training of current staff, any organisation will find themselves in a difficult situation.

A number of companies are ahead of the curve on this, as I have personally seen a shift away from larger sales teams to a more key account management focused individuals. Tying this in with the fact that a lot more buying / product decisions are made purely at head office means it is now, more than ever, all about the figures and commercials.

There is a requirement for everyone to learn and change, irrespective of “age” within the workplace, or we might just get left behind.

David Jobin       Don't Tie yourself in knots in an interview!
Key Account Manager at PG Automotive (UK) Ltd



10Jan 2017

Bosch wants to take the pain out of finding a parking space

It seems like a completely foreign concept today, but in the future, your fellow drivers may be able to help you find a parking space faster. At this year’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, Bosch revealed that the company is testing technology that crowdsources available parking space dataon surface streets and directs vehicles towards open spots, in a bid to reduce time wasted searching for a place to park.

As part of its new so-called “community-based parking” pilot program, Bosch has equipped a number of test vehicles with ultrasonic sensors that scan curbs for free parking spaces, measures them, and transmits that information to cloud-based digital street maps. Bosch’s high-performance algorithms calculate the likeliness that the space will be available based on real-time data from vehicles in the vicinity, and drivers using the maps can navigate directly to an open space rather than circle one block after another.

Bosch is already testing this feature in Germany and a few other European cities, and the company says pilot projects in the United States are planned for later in 2017. The company is initially working with Mercedes-Benz to test this technology, but says it is actively searching for other manufacturers to participate in the development of the time-saving system.

The company also used CES to announce a separate new initiative that’s destined for the mass market a little sooner than the parking spot helper. Bosch will soon begin offering an aftermarket version of its eCall automatic emergency notification system that plugs into any vehicle’s 12V outlet;  in the event of an accident, will contact either the automobile’s owner or emergency responders.


03Jan 2017

You might have seen those novelty T-shirts in American tourist resorts that change colour when they get warm. Now, imagine one of those on a car.
Cars can change their spots

It seems Ford has done exactly that, after American site Autoguide reported that the brand had filed a patent for an invention that allows an image to show up when exposed to moisture. Put simply, it means a car could, theoretically, change colour in the rain.

Cars can change their spots

Autoguide says this patent shows a graphic on the car’s bonnet that will suddenly reveal itself if it comes into contact with condensation or precipitation.

It’s a bit more than a sticker, though, using objects mysteriously described as ‘thermal structures’ to activate it and then using moisture as a kind of switch. If science makes your brain hurt, look at it this way: it’s magic.


09Dec 2016
UK tech firm unlocks secret to charging EVs in seconds

© Provided by Auto Express

A revolutionary material has been revealed that can make charging an electric car as quick as filling up with fuel. The scientific supercapacitor breakthrough announced by UK-based Augmented Optics could make existing battery tech defunct and transform the EV market.

The new material has been tested by experts at the University of Surrey and University of Bristol, with their analysis estimating it to be 1,000 times more effective than current supercapacitors.

Engineers are now working to produce a prototype that would give a car 150 miles of range from a recharge taking seconds – just like a petrol or diesel pump – as opposed to the hours currently needed.

Dr Donald Highgate, technical director at Augmented Optics, said: “If these are half as good as we think they are, and with more experience, they may take over entirely. Disruptive, yes – it would be a terrible shock to car manufacturers – but cars could be built on the same factory lines.”

UK tech firm unlocks secret to charging EVs in seconds

© Provided by Auto Express

Currently, supercapacitors can’t hold charge as efficiently as batteries, with some existing examples used on buses in China requiring charging every three miles. The new material brings them closer to the storage capacity of a lithium-ion battery, but with the added benefits of immediate recharging and cheaper production costs.

Should the prototype be successful, it’s believed that a test mule using a supercapacitor as its power source could be in operation as early as next year.

BMW, Mercedes, Ford and VW all join forces in electric venture

University of Bristol’s Dr Ian Hamerton, a scientist on the project, said: “Although we didn’t initially look at the automotive industry, as the results came in, it became apparent the car industry could be one of the first ones to adopt this technology.”

The new material is suitable for mass production, with aims to create a UK factory to manufacture the system. As an added benefit, it can be moulded into different shapes, making it more versatile in design than a standard battery stack.


14Nov 2016
Chinese city punishes full-beam motorists in an odd way

Police in the Chinese city of Shenzhen have come up with a novel way of punishing drivers who leave their full beams on at inappropriate times.

When motorists leave their full-beam headlights on in built-up areas it can dazzle oncoming vehicles, so police have decided to give the offending drivers a taste of their own medicine.

When officers spot a car with its full beams on, they pull it over and ask the driver to stare into their own headlights for 60 seconds. The idea is to make them realise what they’re putting other drivers through.

They are also given a fine of 300 yuan (about £36).

This isn’t the first time Shenzhen police have come up with a unique punishment. Last year the city made jaywalkers wear a hi-visibility jacket and help direct traffic.