Global Opportunity Rising
CARS and IRT prove that it is a small world of auto recycling.
Over 700 delegates from all over the world arrived in Liverpool for the CARS Show, featuring the International Roundtable on Auto Recycling. Guests from Japan, Malaysia, Australia, India, Brazil, United States, Canada, Europe, and the UK enjoyed Lancashire hospitality, which included food, drink and, of course, plenty of rain.

The international visitors were treated to a tour of the JCB World Headquarters. JCB – a UK success story as one of the world’s top three manufacturers of construction equipment – began in 1945 with one product, and is now a multi-billion dollar business, producing over 300 different models. With factories all over the world, they employ over 10,000 people, yet is still family-owned and operated. They served as the main sponsor of the CARS Show.

Once the tour and equipment demonstration was complete at JCB, they moved some of the vehicles used to Hills Salvage and Recycling Ltd., where the CARS Show was being hosted for the weekend, in order that they could be further used for demonstrations. Attendees explored the indoor exhibition area, the outside main demonstration area, where vehicles could be seen being de-polluted, crushed, or head into in the ‘big boys toys’ arena, where cars were literally being pulled apart by Overtons Auto Dismantling System.

Every now and then, a loud bang was heard as Autodrain fired another airbag with their deployment tool and the sounds of wheel crushers separating wheels and tires was heard almost constantly. Combi-lift lost count of how many times they re-arranged the same three cars on their racking system.

Training seminars gave attendees many opportunities to hear some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry speak about fuel safety, electric and hybrid vehicle dismantling, profit, sales, green parts and much more. The trade show was supported by over 50 of the biggest names in the industry, including Manitou, Vortex Depollution, SEDA, Green Car Depollution, Crowe Environmental, Actual Systems, and others.

World Talks

The International Roundtable held two sessions during the event, receiving news and updates from country representatives and industry specialists. It was during the country reports that perhaps the most memorable comment came. Captain Mohan Ram, representing India, spoke about his country’s desire to have a full end-of-life vehicle industry, explaining that India has many producers of vehicles, but very few businesses that take vehicles out of use.

It was very clear that all the countries represented are facing similar issues back home: lack of enforcement, poor legislation, and too many illegal operators who drive salvage values up. As an industry, the need to take a stand locally, nationally, and internationally to eradicate these undesirable activities is imperative, and failure to do so will impact all genuine law abiding auto recycling businesses. No one could achieve this individually, rather a collective effort from many is needed to make a difference.

The specialists reports to the IRT included Paul Fox of EGARA, who highlighted how auto recycling could change in the next 10 years, and Anja Tomazic from GM Europe who spoke about the information that manufacturers give to assist auto recyclers dismantle vehicles, and focused on the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera (Chevrolet Volt) and its recycling potential in 10 to 12 years.

Steve Fletcher from Automotive Recyclers of Canada graciously accepted the request to chair the IRT meetings, and also provided an overview of the Canadian Auto Recyclers Environmental Code.

Minoru Gouku from Japan presented a short video that showed the effects of the Tsunami in 2011 and the combined efforts of so many businesses and individuals to clean up the affected areas. The whole meeting was very quiet and hushed as this video played, reflecting on the devastating toll this natural event took on people, families, and communities.

Social Highlights

The organizers wanted to give everyone plenty of  opportunity for networking and relaxation. Friday evening found most of us sheltered from the rain and enjoying food and entertainment. The live band was enjoyed by many – especially after England beat Sweden in the Euro 2012 soccer championships. That same evening, an auction raised over £10,000 for our chosen charities, and by the end of the event other fundraising activities boosted that figure to nearly £14,000.

Football (i.e.; soccer) was the focus of our attention as we ended the weekend at Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club. The evening started with a tour of the grounds followed by a meal and dancing to Imagine, The Beatles, an excellent tribute band that was enjoyed by over 150 delegates and guests.

This was the first time that a show of this type has ever been staged in the UK; one of the aims of the organizers was that it must be beneficial to the Auto Recycling industry. From the following e-mail we received, we think we got it right.

Dear Andy & the CARS Team

Just wanted to congratulate you on the success of the CARS event. It was fantastic to see the industry being pulled together from all dimensions.

The event gave us a good opportunity to explore and compare new equipment while proving a great networking opportunity. The seminars I managed to attend were also in-
valuable, hearing from such knowledgeable figures in the industry, which really made me step back and evaluate the way in which we operate our business.

We left the show with a complete buzz not only from what we had learn, but of what we wanted to achieve.

Thank you so much and congratulations once again. The hard work really paid off!

I must also pay tribute to Ian Hill and all the staff at Hills Salvage and Recycling Ltd. who hosted the event and worked so hard to clear and clean the space for the show. They had to move over 900 motorbikes to clear the indoor arena – erecting stands, hanging banners, cleaning, sweeping, and then emptying bins, welcoming delegates and guests, and serving food and drink during the show, all the time wearing a smile. Every visitor commented on the quality of the yard, the operation, and the staff, and those that were able to get on the yard tour raved about the operation that Ian has built, a facility that is possibly the best in the UK, and certainly matches some of the best around the globe.

Please allow me to finish with the one word e-mail that was received from Steve Fletcher.

"Brilliant! "

Andy Latham is Compliance Manager for Bluecycle, one of the UK’s leading online salvage auction and auction technology specialists. They have been trading for over 10 years and specialize in car salvage, end of fleet, motorcycle, plant, equipment and commercial salvage, selling hundreds of vehicles each week throughout the world. Andy is a motor vehicle engineer who has been working in the industry for 33 years, starting as an apprentice, moving into senior management before joining the UK’s biggest insurer and subsequently Bluecycle.

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