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Further Improvements To Manbat’s Battery Finder Portal

Following the successful launch of its battery look-up website, Manbat Ltd has introduced the second phase of its development plan and added a new trade login area, which will provide factors, workshops and fleet operators with a specific section that will give them access to additional information, such as fitting instructions and product related data.

 

This new look-up website can be found via batteryfinder.manbat.co.uk

and users simply need to enter the registration number of the vehicle in question into the search box and the site will use a sophisticated VRM look-up database to locate the correct car and provide access to its vehicle-specific details.

 

This information naturally includes the exact specification of the battery for which it is designed, and therefore provides an absolute assurance the battery is the precise replacement the vehicle manufacturer has specified for that model.

 

By creating an account, which is completely free, users can login and access other helpful information such as battery specification sheets, as well as battery handling information and do’s and don’ts when it comes to batteries both installed on a vehicle and stored in a warehouse.

 

Naturally, the look-up portal links in with the main Manbat website from where users can find out more about any aspect of the business including its UK branch network and sister companies that operate in Europe.

 

It also contains a raft of information concerning the brands the company distributes and the alternative sectors those brands cater for. This is particularly useful for those exploring the option of expanding their offering to include other sectors such as leisure or marine, where the profit margin is substantially greater than it is in the ultra competitive world of automotive and commercial vehicle batteries.

 

In addition to the VRM look-up, the site allows users to find the correct battery replacement motorcycles and light commercial vehicles, as well as passenger cars, via two alternative routes, should the registration number for some reason not be available. The first is through the vehicle’s own specific identification or VIN number, which it then links through to the database in the same way as the VRM search, the second is a vehicle search menu.

 

Here, users have an easy and intuitive suite of drop-down boxes to locate the vehicle in the shortest possible number of selections. Both routes allow them to make the identification process extremely quick, while maintaining the accuracy they need.

Manbat Brings Clarity To Market Confusion

Manbat Ltd, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and leading member of ECOBAT’s battery distribution division, has shed light on the subject of just why AGM battery sales in the aftermarket have not mirrored their original equipment (OE) presence in the current vehicle parc.

 

In his recent seminar presentation made to visitors at Automechanika Birmingham, Manbat’s technical manager, John Bentley explained that although vehicles fitted with a Stop-Start function, officially known as micro hybrids, have driven the development of firstly, the absorbed glass matt (AGM) battery and latterly, the enhanced flooded battery (EFB), the replacement market has not grown accordingly.

 

This anomaly ultimately comes down to two factors: first, the quality of the batteries that have been designed for micro hybrid applications and second, the driver’s ability to override the Stop-Start system.

 

Addressing the first point, when the micro hybrid vehicle was being developed, the technology employed in the typical starter, lighting and ignition (SLI) battery that had been, and still is, used in traditional applications, was simply not designed to cope with the 20-30,000 engine starts the vehicle manufacturers (VMs) anticipated these vehicles would have to make over a four-year term. To put this into context, AGM batteries have approximately three times the cyclic (charge/recharge/charge) life of a typical SLI battery, while an EFB has double the lifespan.

 

Therefore, the growth in the sale of AGM/EFB batteries in the aftermarket should be clearly evident, as many micro hybrids are four years old or more and, in addition, as 70% of vehicles manufactured since last year fall into the micro hybrid classification, the growth curve should continue to rise steeply.

 

However, instead of reflecting the growth in their OE fitment, aftermarket sales across Europe have been pitiful and the reason simply comes back to the number of starts the batteries are designed to cope with, which is where the second factor comes into play.

 

In common with many of the driver aids now incorporated into contemporary vehicle design, the driver can deactivate the Stop-Start function. So while the system is designed to benefit them, the truth is, most don’t like the idea of being without complete control and so switch it off.

 

As a result, instead of the engine stopping when the vehicle comes to a halt and restarting as it needs to pull away, the engine remains running. Therefore, instead of making the multiple engine starts the battery is designed to undertake on a typical journey, it may only make one and the obvious consequence is that these batteries do not need to be replaced because they are not coming to the end of their design life.

 

The light on the horizon for the aftermarket however comes first in the fact that as drivers become more comfortable with driver assistance systems, they are less likely to override them and second, it is likely that legislation will dictate that second generation Stop-Start systems will not be able to be deactivated. The logical outcome is therefore that these vehicles should need a battery replacement within the VM’s original four-year timeframe, which means factors and their workshop customers need to have a battery partner that is able to supply the high quality replacements they need, when they need them, a forte that Manbat has provided for more than 50 years.

Manbat Start-Stop Battery Installation Tool

In order to compete for business and to develop every profit-making opportunity, the successful workshop needs to keep its eyes open and consider every possible option.

 

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat is able to assist with general advice concerning developments in the market or the changing trends that will affect their businesses, which is why for several years it has been highlighting the impact that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, will have on the aftermarket.

 

In order to develop this philosophy still further, Manbat now offers its own Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool, which allows technicians to put the company’s advice into practice and correctly install batteries.

 

“As is becoming increasingly understood,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement because the system can ‘assume’ the new battery is in the same derogated condition as the old battery it replaced.

 

“Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“When connected to the vehicle’s j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

“Although the tool is capable of many other functions, the primary concern for Manbat is to provide technicians with a viable solution to the challenges of fitting Start-Stop batteries and which allows them to complete the correct battery installation for whatever the vehicle that comes into the workshop.”

A New Company For A Positive Future

 

Automechanika Frankfurt in September will be the venue for the first official appearance of ECOBAT Battery Technologies (hall 4.1 stand C50), a new company that has been formed from the consolidation of three independent businesses operating within the ECOBAT Technologies Group. ECOBAT Battery Technologies is therefore an entirely new entity, which is able to offer a unique and comprehensive battery service across Europe.

 

The three consolidated businesses all have an enviable heritage and superb reputation within their home markets and in the case of Manbat, that heritage, which began in 1952, enabled the company to establish itself as the UK’s largest battery distributor and the country’s sole supplier of Lucas batteries, with a 12 branch network offering a truly national service. Now brought together under a single European identity these businesses are able to benefit their existing customers and influence the far wider market, in a way they would not have been able as individuals.

 

The establishment of ECOBAT Battery Technologies is a strategic development that makes the entity Europe’s number one battery partner, offering a four-fold service from product conception, design and construction, to its regional and local circulation and end of life collection. In the process it is able to provide the most suitable solution for every aspect of the aftermarket battery supply business and demonstrate the power of partnership with its existing and future customers.

 

Alongside the very best in customer service, ECOBAT Battery Technologies is able to back up its offering with the brands that provide the opportunities that workshops need to develop their battery related business and with premium quality products that give their customers complete confidence. Prominent in its portfolio is Lucas, a brand widely recognised across the continent and offering huge potential for future growth.

 

Environmental responsibilities are, quite correctly, a reality for all sectors of industry and the aftermarket is no different. Therefore, this is another area in which ECOBAT Battery Technologies can make a positive difference by providing a truly European closed-loop recycling service that takes care of all the waste management requirements for the workshop and ensures the most environmentally sensitive outcome for battery disposal.

 

As a result of these combined elements and the consolidation of the successful existing businesses, ECOBAT Battery Technologies is able to offer the European aftermarket a positive and unique solution that sets new standards across a wide range of requirements and delivers quality products and a level of service that will make a genuine difference to its customers and the profitability of their businesses.

 

The Power Of Partnership

Successful businesses are built on solid and dependable relationships that allow them to develop and grow. ECOBAT Battery Technologies has made partnership a foundation principle at the heart of its business ethos. Developing partnership is central in its relationship with its product suppliers, with recycling specialists and of course, with its customers. These partnerships provide the environment to power business growth and define ‘the power of partnership’.

VARTA® DYNAMIC RANGE FROM MANBAT LTD

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, has had a successful, long-term distribution relationship with premium quality original equipment (OE) brand VARTA® for more than 30 years.

 

VARTA provides the ideal solution for every conceivable automotive and commercial vehicle battery requirement and with its automotive orientated Dynamic range caters for everything from the super-mini with lower energy demands, to the highly equipped luxury car and SUV that requires a premium battery that delivers consistently high performance. The combination of high quality batteries and excellent customer service makes the Manbat/VARTA partnership a formidable aftermarket team.

 

VARTA Black Dynamic

The range starts with the Black Dynamic, which offers a reliable and trustworthy choice for the standard car with typical energy requirements. It is competitively priced and includes Labyrinth lid technology, which provides safe gas discharge and is more resistant to leaks for an extra safe and maintenance free battery. In common with the rest of the Dynamic range, the Black contains PowerFrame® grid plates, which deliver extremely efficient energy transfer and therefore, reliable cold cranking power and long-term performance. This comprehensive range comes in 40Ah to 90Ah capacities and is ideal for smaller cars.

 

VARTA Blue Dynamic

The Blue Dynamic ups the game by refining extra starting power for dependable performance over a longer time period. Available from 40Ah to 95Ah capacity, the Blue Dynamic benefits from a clean manufacturing process, which uses 20% less energy and causes 20% less air pollution, making it a particularly environmentally friendly choice.

 

VARTA Silver Dynamic

The top of the range Silver Dynamic provides extra power and premium performance, with exceptional starting power that meets the toughest energy demands without compromise. Available in capacities from 52Ah to 110Ah and incorporating its renowned expertise with the latest technology, VARTA has been able to produce a battery that provides the ultimate solution for vehicles with high power demands.

 

The Start-Stop Solution

For vehicles that incorporate a start-stop function (micro-hybrids), which since last year, make up the bulk of Europe’s automotive production, VARTA has two additional batteries in the Dynamic range; the Blue Dynamic EFB, which provides the ideal solution for small to medium sized start-stop enabled cars without regenerative braking technology and the Silver Dynamic AGM, that delivers exceptional performance for the most powerful and highly equipped start-stop enabled cars.

 

In detail, the Blue Dynamic EFB (enhanced flooded battery) is specially designed to manage the stresses associated with continuous discharge and recharge cycles of the engine. The battery delivers a consistently elevated performance for highly equipped cars and produces twice the extended cycle life compared to a conventional battery, which is suitable for cars with higher than normal energy demands and entry level start-stop enabled cars.

 

The absorbent glass mat (AGM) technology incorporated into the Silver Dynamic AGM, is designed to allow it to handle the rigorous electrical loads required in cars that include premium features such as regenerative braking. The battery delivers exceptional performance due to its internal material, which is permeable and holds the battery’s acid like a sponge to ensure constant contact between the plates and the absorbed electrolyte. The battery offers up to three times the extended cycle life compared to a conventional battery and is also designed to ensure the battery will not leak, even in the unlikely circumstance the battery case is broken.

 

Alongside quality products, outstanding customer service and unrivalled availability, Manbat also offers a refined scrap battery service. The package includes scrap storage bins, regular collections and the complete recycling process, as well as help with setting up the initial paperwork to ensure the legal waste disposal requirements are fully satisfied.

VARTA® CV Technology

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, has had a long and successful distribution relationship with premium brand, VARTA®, for more than 30 years. With a century’s worth of knowledge and expertise behind the brand, VARTA batteries provide the ideal solution for every conceivable battery need, including the top of the range VARTA Promotive EFB.

 

This battery is specifically designed for high performance commercial vehicles (CVs) and can endure a high number of charge, discharge, charge ‘cycles’ during its lifetime. Its construction overcomes a common problem associated with deep cycle applications, as it includes an acid circulator that counteracts acid stratification and keeps the acid density consistent, which enhances charge acceptance and ultimately, increases the longevity of the battery.

 

One of the primary benefits of this technology to fleet managers, is a significant reduction in the potential down time of their fleets, as the VARTA Promotive EFB will reliably power the vehicle, even under the most arduous conditions, so they will not encounter battery problems when in service. In addition, its construction will provide a longer life cycle when compared to a conventional battery.

 

Further Improvements To Manbat’s Battery Finder Portal

Following the successful launch of its battery look-up website, Manbat Ltd has introduced the second phase of its development plan and added a new trade login area, which will provide factors, workshops and fleet operators with a specific section that will give them access to additional information, such as fitting instructions and product related data.

 

This new look-up website can be found via batteryfinder.manbat.co.uk

and users simply need to enter the registration number of the vehicle in question into the search box and the site will use a sophisticated VRM look-up database to locate the correct car and provide access to its vehicle-specific details.

 

This information naturally includes the exact specification of the battery for which it is designed, and therefore provides an absolute assurance the battery is the precise replacement the vehicle manufacturer has specified for that model.

 

By creating an account, which is completely free, users can login and access other helpful information such as battery specification sheets, as well as battery handling information and do’s and don’ts when it comes to batteries both installed on a vehicle and stored in a warehouse.

 

Naturally, the look-up portal links in with the main Manbat website from where users can find out more about any aspect of the business including its UK branch network and sister companies that operate in Europe.

 

It also contains a raft of information concerning the brands the company distributes and the alternative sectors those brands cater for. This is particularly useful for those exploring the option of expanding their offering to include other sectors such as leisure or marine, where the profit margin is substantially greater than it is in the ultra competitive world of automotive and commercial vehicle batteries.

 

In addition to the VRM look-up, the site allows users to find the correct battery replacement motorcycles and light commercial vehicles, as well as passenger cars, via two alternative routes, should the registration number for some reason not be available. The first is through the vehicle’s own specific identification or VIN number, which it then links through to the database in the same way as the VRM search, the second is a vehicle search menu.

 

Here, users have an easy and intuitive suite of drop-down boxes to locate the vehicle in the shortest possible number of selections. Both routes allow them to make the identification process extremely quick, while maintaining the accuracy they need.

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

 

ENDS

 

Notes for editors:

 

Manbat Ltd

Originally founded as Manchester Batteries in 1952, Manbat Ltd is a business committed to providing its customers with top quality products that are backed up by exceptional customer service. As a result of these combined strengths, and its 60-year plus aftermarket heritage, Manbat has an unrivalled reputation as the UK’s premier automotive and commercial vehicle power storage product supplier and service provider.

 

Redefining The Standard Of Leisure Batteries

Manbat Ltd, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and leading member of ECOBAT’s battery distribution division, is the company behind the respected Numax brand.

 

Numax has an established reputation for quality and is a prominent brand within the caravan and motorhome community, with thousands of enthusiasts already reliant on its combination of performance, dependability and value.

 

“In order to ensure the Numax range provides the ideal solution across the full spectrum of possible applications, the entire range has been completely revamped to raise its overall capabilities to match or exceed the highest requirements recognised by the industry,” Marketing Manager, Myles Pemberton explained.

 

“The obvious industry standard to use to benchmark the revamp is the NCC’s Verified Leisure Battery Scheme because it is has been specifically designed to provide transparency for the leisure battery marketplace and help consumers select a product that’s right for them.

 

“In addition to conforming to these independent standards, the range now comes in three clearly defined bands, providing a good, better, best progression, which reflects the requirements of individuals across the leisure market.

 

“The LV range consists of two models, the 75 ampere hour (Ah) 22MF and the 110Ah 30MF, both of which are NCC category C rated.

 

“For those that need a battery offering more in the way of cyclic capability, the DC range provides the answer. Beginning with the 80Ah 24MF, which is NCC category C rated, the three remaining models are category B rated.

 

“Specifically designed for motorhome applications, the 25MF is the only battery in the range to also display an EN rating, whereas the equivalent 27MF, which is also 95Ah, does not and therefore remains recommended for leisure applications only. Finally, offering a 105Ah capacity, is the 31MF

 

“The ‘crème de la crème’ of the range comes in the form of the dual purpose XD series: the XDC, which offers extra cyclic performance and is defined by their striking yellow tops, and the super cyclic performance orientated XDT, which features tubular plates and boasts the ability to deliver up to 1,000 plus cycles.

 

“The 80Ah 24MF is the best performing battery available in its size, although due to the constraints of its case, it cannot be rated above category C. The 95Ah 27MF and 105Ah 31MF in contrast have the potential of category A ratings.

 

“At 115Ah, the XDT 30MF is category A rated and features both leisure and canal boat imagery, as it is designed for use in high demand environments such as narrow boats and other equivalent performance orientated applications.

 

“With this fundamental product redevelopment, we are confident that we now have something that hits the mark for every leisure application and we have therefore reinvented the leisure battery to both reflect the needs of today’s enthusiast and which conform with the best in industry standards.”

 

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, has had a successful, long-term distribution relationship with premium quality original equipment (OE) brand VARTA® for more than 30 years.

 

VARTA provides the ideal solution for every conceivable automotive and commercial vehicle battery requirement and with its automotive orientated Dynamic range caters for everything from the super-mini with lower energy demands, to the highly equipped luxury car and SUV that requires a premium battery that delivers consistently high performance. The combination of high quality batteries and excellent customer service makes the Manbat/VARTA partnership a formidable aftermarket team.

 

VARTA Black Dynamic

The range starts with the Black Dynamic, which offers a reliable and trustworthy choice for the standard car with typical energy requirements. It is competitively priced and includes Labyrinth lid technology, which provides safe gas discharge and is more resistant to leaks for an extra safe and maintenance free battery. In common with the rest of the Dynamic range, the Black contains PowerFrame® grid plates, which deliver extremely efficient energy transfer and therefore, reliable cold cranking power and long-term performance. This comprehensive range comes in 40Ah to 90Ah capacities and is ideal for smaller cars.

 

VARTA Blue Dynamic

The Blue Dynamic ups the game by refining extra starting power for dependable performance over a longer time period. Available from 40Ah to 95Ah capacity, the Blue Dynamic benefits from a clean manufacturing process, which uses 20% less energy and causes 20% less air pollution, making it a particularly environmentally friendly choice.

 

VARTA Silver Dynamic

The top of the range Silver Dynamic provides extra power and premium performance, with exceptional starting power that meets the toughest energy demands without compromise. Available in capacities from 52Ah to 110Ah and incorporating its renowned expertise with the latest technology, VARTA has been able to produce a battery that provides the ultimate solution for vehicles with high power demands.

 

The Start-Stop Solution

For vehicles that incorporate a start-stop function (micro-hybrids), which since last year, make up the bulk of Europe’s automotive production, VARTA has two additional batteries in the Dynamic range; the Blue Dynamic EFB, which provides the ideal solution for small to medium sized start-stop enabled cars without regenerative braking technology and the Silver Dynamic AGM, that delivers exceptional performance for the most powerful and highly equipped start-stop enabled cars.

 

In detail, the Blue Dynamic EFB (enhanced flooded battery) is specially designed to manage the stresses associated with continuous discharge and recharge cycles of the engine. The battery delivers a consistently elevated performance for highly equipped cars and produces twice the extended cycle life compared to a conventional battery, which is suitable for cars with higher than normal energy demands and entry level start-stop enabled cars.

 

The absorbent glass mat (AGM) technology incorporated into the Silver Dynamic AGM, is designed to allow it to handle the rigorous electrical loads required in cars that include premium features such as regenerative braking. The battery delivers exceptional performance due to its internal material, which is permeable and holds the battery’s acid like a sponge to ensure constant contact between the plates and the absorbed electrolyte. The battery offers up to three times the extended cycle life compared to a conventional battery and is also designed to ensure the battery will not leak, even in the unlikely circumstance the battery case is broken.

 

Alongside quality products, outstanding customer service and unrivalled availability, Manbat also offers a refined scrap battery service. The package includes scrap storage bins, regular collections and the complete recycling process, as well as help with setting up the initial paperwork to ensure the legal waste disposal requirements are fully satisfied.

Manbat Introduces Start-Stop Battery Installation Tool

In order to compete for business and to develop every profit-making opportunity, the successful workshop needs to keep its eyes open and consider every possible option.

 

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat is able to assist with general advice concerning developments in the market or the changing trends that will affect their businesses, which is why for several years it has been highlighting the impact that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, will have on the aftermarket.

 

In a move that will develop this philosophy still further, Manbat is taking a bold step and introducing its own Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool, which will allow technicians to put the company’s advice into practice and correctly install batteries.

 

“As is becoming increasingly understood,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement because the system can ‘assume’ the new battery is in the same derogated condition as the old battery it replaced.

 

“Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“When connected to the vehicle’s j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

“Although the tool is capable of many other functions, the primary concern for Manbat is to provide technicians with a viable solution to the challenges of fitting Start-Stop batteries and which allows them to complete the correct battery installation for whatever the vehicle that comes into the workshop.”

 

Manbat  – It’s All About Service

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and leading member of ECOBAT’s battery distribution division, will be exhibiting at Automechanika Birmingham this June.

 

For more than 60 years, Manbat has been serving the independent aftermarket by providing it with high quality batteries and accessories, backed up by great availability and excellent customer service.

 

Part of this customer service is a commitment to keeping technicians up to speed with developments and opportunities in the battery market, such as the growth in Start-Stop batteries and the need for their validation when they are replaced, as well as the logic of carrying out complementary battery testing on each vehicle that comes in for service.

 

Alongside the premium brands that Manbat supplies, which include VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, the company also supplies high quality accessories that cater for both the professional and DIY user.

 

Among these accessories is the NOCO Genius range, a truly compact series of intelligent chargers suitable for everything from motorcycle and car to boat and commercial vehicle, plus a ground-breaking range of powerful, but glove box-sized booster packs.

 

Commenting on the company’s commitment to the show, Marketing Manager, Myles Pemberton said: “We are extremely excited by the prospect of Automechanika Birmingham, as it’s a great opportunity to ‘shop window’ our products and service to all levels of the UK trade.

 

“Since becoming part of the ECOBAT Technologies Group, we’ve exhibited at Automechanika Frankfurt and believe some of the vibe of that event will also rub off on the show here in the UK.”

 

Let Manbat Help To Put The Focus On Profit

Busy motor factors are generally very hectic environments that are highly geared to the needs of their customers, which often means they are far less focused on themselves and their own individual requirements.

 

With this fact not withstanding, Manbat Ltd, supplier of premium quality VARTA®, Lucas and Numax batteries will continue to encourage them to take a moment and consider some of the highly profitable opportunities that other non-automotive battery sales can provide.

 

First on the list for factors that are located close to Britain’s thousands of miles of inland waterways or near the coast, could be Numax marine batteries, which are the original equipment (OE) fitment for such well known brands as Sunseeker and Princess Yachts. Marine batteries command a higher price and greater margin than their automotive cousins, which makes them an attractive proposition for factors interested in increasing their profits.

 

Over the last few years there has been a massive increase in the number of people willing to have a camping holiday in the UK, as well as a growing number of ‘young pensioners’ with disposable income to spend on leisure activities such as caravanning and motor caravanning. So alongside marine, the leisure battery market has also grown and these too can yield excellent returns, as they are considered an aspirational purchase that improves a lifestyle, rather than their automotive counterparts, which are a distress purchase that is purely a cost and inconvenience.

 

Other leisure related activities that are also able to open the doors for factors willing to consider the bigger picture include the golf and motorcycle sectors.

 

With new motorcycle registrations continuing to increase year-on-year and the stock of second hand vehicles also on the rise, the opportunity to benefit from the supply of motorcycle batteries grows proportionally.

 

When it comes to motorcycle batteries, in common with its automotive offering, Manbat provides a choice of brands, so in addition to its own Numax Motosport range, it also supplies the renowned Lucas brand, as well as the crème de la crème VARTA OE range.

 

In the same way that there is a clear similarity in the technology incorporated into both automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) batteries, such a link also exists between automotive and motorcycle batteries. Therefore, just as many factors are comfortable in supplying both automotive and CV batteries, motorcycle batteries should hold no fear for those considering new opportunities.

 

Finally, as can be witnessed by the number of batteries that Manbat continues to automotive industry charity BEN, the need for high quality batteries to power the growing number of mobility vehicles and related equipment, shows no sign of slowing down. As a result, there are also opportunities for to supply the batteries to the many mobility retail outlets that are popping up on many a high street.

 

Although many will primarily know Manbat for its automotive and CV batteries and the automotive sector is where the company has its roots, Manbat has been supplying batteries into all the aforementioned sectors, and more, for many years, so it has the knowledge and experience necessary to help factors develop their battery business.

 

NCC Approval

Manbat has long been an advocate for factors to extend their excellent battery knowledge and experience into other complementary sectors, particularly the leisure and marine industries, so the fact that it is now an approved supplier to the NCC, the UK trade body for the tourer, motorhome, holiday home and park home industries, opens even more doors for them.

 

“Although hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts rely on Numax and Lucas products, we believe that NCC membership will provide them with added reassurance of the quality of our products, which will certainly help factors looking to increase their battery sales,” explained Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton.

 

“To provide enthusiasts with the assurance that the products they purchase are fit for purpose, the NCC has a Verified Accessories Register and a Verified Component List, which is where its Verified Leisure Battery Scheme comes in for batteries.

 

“The scheme is designed to bring transparency to the leisure battery marketplace and help consumers select a product that’s right for them, which is why it’s great news for factors that offerings within the Numax and Lucas leisure ranges are approved in all relevant NCC Categories.”

 

The rationale behind the scheme is to provide product verification that batteries used in leisure vehicles (touring caravans and motorhomes) will perform as the manufacturers claim. In addition, the NCC is also encouraging its leisure vehicle member manufacturers to fit NCC verified leisure batteries as original equipment.

 

Battery verification comes following a comprehensive testing process conducted by suitably certified and audited test houses. Batteries are verified, and labelled accordingly, into three categories: A, B and C, depending on their capacity and intended purpose.

 

“Of course, there are many other opportunities beyond the leisure sector,” Pemberton continued “and so with our longstanding experience, allied to the fact that we supply batteries and their accessories across numerous industries, we are fully equipped and able to assist factors expand into any area where they see an opportunity.

 

NCC Approval Opens The Doors For Members

Although it’s the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and leading member of ECOBAT’s battery distribution division, GROUPAUTO members primarily know Manbat as a trusted partner supplying them with great brands such as VARTA®, Lucas and Numax.

 

Manbat has also long been an advocate for members to extend their excellent battery knowledge and experience into other complementary sectors, particularly the leisure and marine industries, so the fact that it is now an approved supplier to the NCC, the UK trade body for the tourer, motorhome, holiday home and park home industries, opens even more doors for them.

 

“Although hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts rely on Numax and Lucas products, we believe that NCC membership will provide them with added reassurance of the quality of our products, which will certainly help GROUPAUTO members looking to increase their battery sales,” explained Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton.

 

“To provide enthusiasts with the assurance that the products they purchase are fit for purpose, the NCC has a Verified Accessories Register and a Verified Component List, which is where its Verified Leisure Battery Scheme comes in for batteries.

 

“The scheme is designed to bring transparency to the leisure battery marketplace and help consumers select a product that’s right for them, which is why it’s great news for members that offerings within the Numax and Lucas leisure ranges are approved in all relevant NCC Categories.”

 

The rationale behind the scheme is to provide product verification that batteries used in leisure vehicles (touring caravans and motorhomes) will perform as the manufacturers claim. In addition, the NCC is also encouraging its leisure vehicle member manufacturers to fit NCC verified leisure batteries as original equipment.

 

Battery verification comes following a comprehensive testing process conducted by suitably certified and audited test houses. Batteries are verified, and labelled accordingly, into three categories: A, B and C, depending on their capacity and intended purpose.

 

“Of course, there are many other opportunities beyond the leisure sector,” Pemberton continued “and so with our longstanding experience, allied to the fact that we supply batteries and their accessories across numerous industries, we are fully equipped and able to assist members expand into any area where they see an opportunity.

 

Automechanika Birmingham

“In order to further highlight these options, Manbat is exhibiting at Automechanika Birmingham in June, so this gives members the chance to explore the possibilities.

 

“In addition, the event also allows their customers to keep up to speed with developments and opportunities in the battery market, such as the growth in Start-Stop batteries and the need for their validation when they are replaced, as well as the logic of carrying out complementary battery testing on each vehicle that comes in for service.

 

“Alongside the premium brands that the company supplies are several high quality accessories that cater for the needs of the professional user. Among these is the NOCO Genius range, a truly compact series of intelligent chargers suitable for everything from motorcycle and car to boat and commercial vehicle, plus a ground-breaking range of powerful, but glove box-sized booster packs.

 

“For all of these reasons, we are extremely excited by the prospect of Automechanika Birmingham, as it’s a great opportunity to ‘shop window’ our products and service to all levels of the UK trade.

 

“Since becoming part of the ECOBAT Technologies Group, we’ve exhibited at Automechanika Frankfurt and believe some of the vibe of that event will also rub off on the show here in the UK.”

More Profit Options With NOCO

The battery is one of the most vital consumables to ensure the correct operation and reliability of a motor vehicle, but according to UK statistics from the RAC, there were no fewer that 379,925 battery related problems reported throughout 2015 and ‘flat’ batteries were at the top of their reasons for call outs.

 

Manbat Ltd, began supplying NOCO’s Genius range of battery chargers and booster packs last year and they have proved an instant hit.

 

These top quality products not only benefit factors, but also their workshop customers and the general motorist, due to their high performance, easy usage and resilience.

 

As the launch of the Genius range was greeted by such enthusiasm, Manbat has introduced additional NOCO products, which have been developed to provide the trade with a broader range that caters for higher loads and a wider variety of vehicles.

 

The original range included the G1100, a versatile 1.1amp charger suited to smaller batteries between 2.2 and 40Ah and the G3500 with the 3.5amp charger that provides charging capacity for any vehicle with a 1.2 to 120Ah battery.

 

When it comes to the more powerful chargers aimed primarily at the ‘professional’ user, the existing G7200 7.2amp unit has been joined by the Genius G15000 and G26000, 15amp models that are able to charge and maintain all types of batteries for everything from motorcycles, cars, boats, and motorhomes to commercial vehicles, agricultural machinery and even construction equipment. These chargers also include a ‘supply’ function to deliver a fixed voltage of 13.6V for vehicle service operations and a ‘boost’ setting, which can recover heavily discharged and sulphated batteries.

 

The entire Genius range are fully automatic ‘intelligent’ chargers and can therefore diagnose the condition of the battery and are able to charge and then exercise the batteries to keep them in optimum condition and maximise their life span, which means that if necessary, they can remain almost permanently connected.

 

In addition, Genius chargers are not only particularly safe, being protected against reverse polarity, overload protection and short circuit on the clamps, but they are also designed to provide double the charge capacity of a traditional battery charger, making them powerful and easy to use.

 

Manbat has long been an advocate of battery testing/charging as a complementary service provided by the workshop to motorists and these professional chargers are the ideal products to fulfil that role. However, they also provide the trade with an attractive option for counter sales.

 

Sales Boost

NOCO has also developed the Genius BOOST range of lithium-ion booster packs with two more offerings alongside of the original GB30 primarily for the DIY market, with the GB70 (BOOST HD) and GB150 (BOOST PRO) aimed at professional users.

 

Utilising the latest technology and encompassing anti-spark engineering and protection against reverse polarity, these two new versions, despite weighing just 2.2kg and measuring only 222mmm x 99mm x 64mm and 315mm x 186mm x 69mm respectively, can be used to start petrol and diesel engines of up to 6-litres in seconds.

 

In common with entire Genius BOOST range, the range topping GB70 and GB150 can hold their charge for up to one year and accept more than 1000 cycles – charge, discharge, charge – due to the powerful, high density NOCO lithium-ion battery.

 

In addition to their other features, Genius booster packs are immensely user friendly, being waterproof, easily chargeable via a USB port and come complete with a powerful LED light, so along the Genius charger range, should also prove popular for over the counter sales

VARTA® CV Technology

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, has had a long and successful distribution relationship with premium brand, VARTA®, for more than 30 years. With a century’s worth of knowledge and expertise behind the brand, VARTA batteries provide the ideal solution for every conceivable battery need, all of which are available through GROUPAUTO G-Truck members, including the top of the range VARTA Promotive EFB.

 

This battery is specifically designed for high performance commercial vehicles (CVs) and can endure a high number of charge, discharge, charge ‘cycles’ during its lifetime. Its construction overcomes a common problem associated with deep cycle applications, as it includes an acid circulator that counteracts acid stratification and keeps the acid density consistent, which enhances charge acceptance and ultimately, increases the longevity of the battery.

 

One of the primary benefits of this technology to fleet managers, is a significant reduction in the potential down time of their fleets, as the VARTA Promotive EFB will reliably power the vehicle, even under the most arduous conditions, so they will not encounter battery problems when in service. In addition, its construction will provide a longer life cycle when compared to a conventional battery.

 

The design also includes vibration resistance properties that ensure that its performance remains unaffected even when on uneven roads and contains additional connector fixtures that hold the plates securely in place.  This reduces the likelihood of the connectors breaking and means the battery can be used in the toughest environment.

 

Finally, the Promotive EFB includes an additional polyester element between the plate and separator called a scrim, which holds the active material in place and avoids erosion of the plate; as a result this provides a greater resistance to deep discharge and superior charge acceptance.

 

The remaining Promotive Range

The core VARTA Promotive range caters for the battery requirements for all sectors of the CV market, whether it’s a smaller vehicle only used locally, right through to the largest trans-European vehicle that travels internationally. Designed to reliably power such diverse fleets, while also reducing on-going overheads, the range is therefore comprehensive.

 

The Promotive Black battery is ideal for vehicles that have lower energy requirements, providing a simple, but effective battery solution with low maintenance needs. The battery has a range of power capacities from 45Ah to 220Ah, representing the wide choice of vehicles that the Promotive Black can be used in.

 

The Promotive Blue and Silver options both include Labyrinth lid technology, which provides safe gas discharge, integral flame arrestors to protect the battery from sparks or flames, terminal guards and special caps that protect against spillage, making the batteries extremely safe. Utilising Calcium-silver technology grid alloys in its plate structure, they deliver increased cyclic stability, consistent performance, with minimal self-discharge.

 

The Promotive Blue is designed for high performance CV’s with standard power demands and comes in 140Ah, 170Ah and 215Ah capacities, to provide the best cold starting performance.

 

The Promotive Silver, which is available in 145Ah, 180Ah and 225Ah capacities, incorporates advanced, zero maintenance features, delivers high cyclic stability and provides a long service life. In addition, it exceeds EN Super Heavy Duty requirements (EN4) standard and vibration resistance (V3), making this battery perfect for fleet managers that rely on high energy using vehicles.

Manbat puts the focus on profit

Busy motor factors are hectic environments that are naturally geared to the needs of their customers, rather than on themselves. This fact not withstanding, Manbat Ltd, supplier of the premium quality VARTA®, Lucas and Numax brands, will continue to encourage them to take a moment and consider some of the highly profitable opportunities that non-automotive battery sales can provide.

 

Factors located close to inland waterways, lochs or near the coast, could consider Numax marine batteries, which are the original equipment (OE) fitment for such well known brands as Sunseeker and Princess Yachts. Marine batteries command a higher price and greater margin than their automotive cousins, which makes them an attractive proposition for factors interested in increasing their profits.

 

Over the last few years there has been a massive increase in the number of people willing to camp, as well as a growing number of ‘young pensioners’ with disposable income to spend on leisure activities such as caravanning and motor caravanning. So alongside marine, the leisure battery market has also grown and these too can yield excellent returns, as they are considered an aspirational purchase that improves a lifestyle, rather than their automotive counterparts, which are looked at purely as a distress purchase causing cost and inconvenience.

 

Further encouragement for factors to extend their excellent battery knowledge and experience into these complementary sectors, comes with the news that Manbat is now an approved supplier to the NCC, the UK trade body for the tourer, motorhome, holiday home and park home industries.

 

“Although thousands of enthusiasts already rely on Numax and Lucas products, we believe that NCC membership will provide them with added reassurance of the quality of our products, which will certainly help factors looking to increase their battery sales,” explained Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton.

 

“To provide enthusiasts with the assurance that the products they purchase are fit for purpose, the NCC has a Verified Leisure Battery Scheme. The scheme is designed to bring transparency to the leisure battery marketplace and help consumers select a product that’s right for them, which is why it’s great news for factors that offerings within the Numax and Lucas leisure ranges are approved in all relevant NCC Categories.”

 

The rationale behind the scheme is to provide product verification that batteries used in leisure vehicles (touring caravans and motorhomes) will perform as the manufacturers claim. In addition, the NCC is also encouraging its leisure vehicle member manufacturers to fit NCC verified leisure batteries as OE.

 

“Of course, there are many other opportunities beyond the leisure and marines sectors,” Pemberton continued “and so with our longstanding experience, allied to the fact that we supply batteries and their accessories across numerous industries, we are fully equipped and able to assist factors expand into any area where they see an opportunity.”

 

More Profit Options With NOCO

The battery is one of the most vital consumables to ensure the correct operation and reliability of a motor vehicle, but battery related problems continue to be one of the most common causes of breakdown.

 

Manbat Ltd began supplying NOCO’s Genius range of battery chargers and booster packs last year and they have proved an instant hit.

 

These top quality products not only benefit factors, but also their workshop customers and the general motorist, due to their high performance, easy usage and resilience.

 

As the launch of the Genius range was greeted by such enthusiasm, Manbat has introduced additional NOCO products, which have been developed to provide the trade with a broader range that caters for higher loads and a wider variety of vehicles.

 

The original range included the G1100, a versatile 1.1amp charger suited to smaller batteries between 2.2 and 40Ah and the G3500 with the 3.5amp charger that provides charging capacity for any vehicle with a 1.2 to 120Ah battery.

 

When it comes to the more powerful chargers aimed primarily at the ‘professional’ user, the existing G7200 7.2amp unit has been joined by the Genius G15000 and G26000, 15amp models that are able to charge and maintain all types of batteries for everything from motorcycles, cars, boats, and motorhomes to commercial vehicles, agricultural machinery and even construction equipment. These chargers also include a ‘supply’ function to deliver a fixed voltage of 13.6V for vehicle service operations and a ‘boost’ setting, which can recover heavily discharged and sulphated batteries.

 

The entire Genius range are fully automatic ‘intelligent’ chargers and can therefore diagnose the condition of the battery and are able to charge and then exercise the batteries to keep them in optimum condition and maximise their life span, which means that if necessary, they can remain almost permanently connected.

 

In addition, Genius chargers are not only particularly safe, being protected against reverse polarity, overload protection and short circuit on the clamps, but they are also designed to provide double the charge capacity of a traditional battery charger, making them powerful and easy to use.

 

Manbat has long been an advocate of battery testing/charging as a complementary service provided by the workshop to motorists and these professional chargers are the ideal products to fulfil that role. However, they also provide the trade with an attractive option for counter sales.

Look No Further Than Manbat’s Battery Look-up

Alongside its premium quality brands, Manbat prides itself on the support services it also provides to its customers in order for them to make the best out of the opportunities that battery and battery related products present them.

 

The company has now launched another support led initiative, with the introduction of its battery look-up website, a battery identification focused tool, that specifically assists users with their battery verification issues.

 

When using the look-up – http://batteryfinder.manbat.co.uk/ – users simply need to enter the registration number of the vehicle in question into the search box and the site will use a sophisticated VRM look-up database to locate the correct vehicle and provide access to its vehicle-specific details. This information naturally includes the exact specification of the battery for which it is designed, and therefore provides an absolute assurance of the precise replacement the vehicle manufacturer has specified for that model.

 

In addition to the VRM look-up, the site allows users to find the correct battery replacement via two alternative routes should the registration number for some reason not be available. The first is via the vehicle’s own specific identification or VIN number, which it then links through to the database in the same way as the VRM search, the second is a vehicle search menu.

 

Here, an easy to use and intuitive suite of drop-down boxes will locate the vehicle in the shortest possible number of selections. So both routes make the identification process extremely quick, while maintaining the accuracy required.

 

“The introduction of a battery look-up facility allows us to expand the level of support we give to our customers with a tangible mechanism that they can use every day,” said Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “Not only does it make the task of finding the correct replacement battery easy and accurate, it also allows them to link into several other useful resources, which can help them and their customers.

 

“By creating an account, which is completely free to members of the trade, users can login and access helpful information concerning several matters including fitting instructions and battery specification sheets, as well as battery handling information and do’s and don’ts when if comes to batteries both installed on the vehicle and in storage.

 

“Naturally, the look-up portal links in with the main Manbat website from where users can find out more about any aspect of the business including its UK branch network and sister companies that operate in Europe.

 

“It also contains a raft of information concerning the brands the company distributes and the alternative sectors those brands cater for. This is particularly useful for customers exploring the option of expanding their offering to include other sectors such as leisure or marine, where the profit margin is substantially greater than it is in the ultra competitive world of automotive and commercial vehicle batteries.”

More Profit Options With NOCO

The battery is one of the most vital consumables to ensure the correct operation and reliability of a motor vehicle, but according to UK statistics from the RAC, there were no fewer that 379,925 battery related problems reported throughout 2015 and ‘flat’ batteries were at the top of their reasons for call outs. These figures are sure to be reflected in the Irish market.

 

Manbat Ltd, began supplying NOCO’s Genius range of battery chargers and booster packs through National Autoparts last year and they have proved an instant hit.

 

These top quality products not only benefit factors, but also their workshop customers and the general motorist, due to their high performance, easy usage and resilience.

 

As the launch of the Genius range was greeted by such enthusiasm, Manbat has introduced additional NOCO products, which have been developed to provide the trade with a broader range that caters for higher loads and a wider variety of vehicles.

 

The original range included the G1100, a versatile 1.1amp charger suited to smaller batteries between 2.2 and 40Ah and the G3500 with the 3.5amp charger that provides charging capacity for any vehicle with a 1.2 to 120Ah battery.

 

When it comes to the more powerful chargers aimed primarily at the ‘professional’ user, the existing G7200 7.2amp unit has been joined by the Genius G15000 and G26000, 15amp models that are able to charge and maintain all types of batteries for everything from motorcycles, cars, boats, and motorhomes to commercial vehicles, agricultural machinery and even construction equipment. These chargers also include a ‘supply’ function to deliver a fixed voltage of 13.6V for vehicle service operations and a ‘boost’ setting, which can recover heavily discharged and sulphated batteries.

 

The entire Genius range are fully automatic ‘intelligent’ chargers and can therefore diagnose the condition of the battery and are able to charge and then exercise the batteries to keep them in optimum condition and maximise their life span, which means that if necessary, they can remain almost permanently connected.

 

In addition, Genius chargers are not only particularly safe, being protected against reverse polarity, overload protection and short circuit on the clamps, but they are also designed to provide double the charge capacity of a traditional battery charger, making them powerful and easy to use.

 

National Autoparts has long been an advocate of battery testing/charging as a complementary service provided by the workshop to motorists and these professional chargers are the ideal products to fulfil that role. However, they also provide the trade with an attractive option for counter sales.

 

Sales Boost

NOCO has also developed the Genius BOOST range of lithium-ion booster packs with two more offerings alongside of the original GB30 primarily for the DIY market, with the GB70 (BOOST HD) and GB150 (BOOST PRO) aimed at professional users.

 

Utilising the latest technology and encompassing anti-spark engineering and protection against reverse polarity, these two new versions, despite weighing just 2.2kg and measuring only 222mmm x 99mm x 64mm and 315mm x 186mm x 69mm respectively, can be used to start petrol and diesel engines of up to 6-litres in seconds.

 

In common with entire Genius BOOST range, the range topping GB70 and GB150 can hold their charge for up to one year and accept more than 1000 cycles – charge, discharge, charge – due to the powerful, high density NOCO lithium-ion battery.

 

In addition to their other features, Genius booster packs are immensely user friendly, being waterproof, easily chargeable via a USB port and come complete with a powerful LED light, so along the Genius charger range, should also prove popular for over the counter sales.

Manbat & NCC Conclude Approved Supplier And Accreditation Agreement

Manbat Ltd, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and the name behind the market leading Numax and Lucas leisure and marine battery brands, is now an approved supplier to the NCC, the UK trade body for the tourer, motorhome, holiday home and park home industries.

 

“Although we have worked with numerous specialist leisure suppliers for many years and hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts rely on Numax and Lucas products, we believe that NCC membership will provide enthusiasts with added reassurance of the quality of our products and our long term commitment to the industry,” explained Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton.

 

“There is no doubt that the NCC does a great deal for the industry and provides it with the framework and the standards necessary to ensure that enthusiasts and providers are both supported and protected. It is therefore entirely appropriate that Manbat is affiliated as a NCC member.

 

“To provide enthusiasts with the assurance that the products they purchase are fit for purpose, the NCC has a Verified Accessories Register and a Verified Component List, which is where its Verified Leisure Battery Scheme comes in for batteries.

 

“The scheme is designed to bring transparency to the leisure battery marketplace and help consumers select a product that’s right for them, which is why I’m delighted to announce that offerings within the Numax and Lucas leisure ranges are approved in an all relevant NCC Categories.”

 

The rationale behind the scheme is to provide product verification that batteries used in leisure vehicles (touring caravans and motorhomes) will perform as the manufacturers claim. In addition, the NCC is also encouraging its leisure vehicle member manufacturers to fit NCC verified leisure batteries as original equipment.

 

Battery verification comes following a comprehensive testing process conducted by suitably certified and audited test houses. Batteries are verified, and labelled accordingly, into three categories: A, B and C, depending on their capacity and intended purpose.

 

Category A is for batteries with a higher storage capacity for people who frequently use their touring caravan or motorhome away from an electrical hook-up. Category B batteries are aimed at those who frequently use sites with hook-up facilities, but require a greater battery capacity to operate devices such as motor movers. Category C batteries are for users that require a lower capacity battery to cover basic operation of their habitation equipment for short periods away from an electrical hook-up.

What Might Be Round The Corner?

Although workshops that deal with the service and repair of passenger cars will be becoming more familiar with micro hybrid vehicles (those fitted with a stop-start system), to date the technology has not really been relevant in the heavy duty sector.

 

Granted, some light commercial vehicles (LCV), such as the Mercedes Sprinter and the Ford’s Transit ECOnetic, incorporate a stop-start system, but beyond these and similar LCV examples, the typical CV workshop has had little exposure to the technology. However, with the launch of Cummins’ new stop-start system for its ISB engines, things could be about to change.

 

Modern batteries such as the Lucas and Numax Supreme CV are designed with a high cyclic capacity and are therefore ideal for the demands of high performance vehicles with large power requirements, as well as for those that feature a stop-start engine, like the new Cummins unit.

 

High output capacity and cyclic performance are linked, both through the design of the lead plates and their number. The Lucas and Numax Supreme CV features multiple plates that have been punched out of solid lead sheet to provide the most efficient method of power transfer, which allows workshops to fit these batteries with confidence.

Look No Further Than Manbat’s Battery Look-up

Alongside its premium quality brands, Manbat prides itself on the support services it also provides to its customers in order for them to make the best out of the opportunities that battery and battery related products present them.

 

The company has now launched another support led initiative, with the introduction of its battery look-up website, a battery identification focused tool, that specifically assists users with their battery verification issues.

 

When using the look-up – batteryfinder.manbat.co.uk – users simply need to enter the registration number of the vehicle in question into the search box and the site will use a sophisticated VRM look-up database to locate the correct vehicle and provide access to its vehicle-specific details. This information naturally includes the exact specification of the battery for which it is designed, and therefore provides an absolute assurance of the precise replacement the vehicle manufacturer has specified for that model.

 

In addition to the VRM look-up, the site allows users to find the correct battery replacement via two alternative routes should the registration number for some reason not be available. The first is via the vehicle’s own specific identification or VIN number, which it then links through to the database in the same way as the VRM search, the second is a vehicle search menu.

 

Here, an easy to use and intuitive suite of drop-down boxes will locate the vehicle in the shortest possible number of selections. So both routes make the identification process extremely quick, while maintaining the accuracy required.

 

“The introduction of a battery look-up facility allows us to expand the level of support we give to our customers with a tangible mechanism that they can use every day,” said Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “Not only does it make the task of finding the correct replacement battery easy and accurate, it also allows them to link into several other useful resources, which can help them and their customers.

 

“By creating an account, which is completely free to members of the trade, users can login and access helpful information concerning several matters including fitting instructions and battery specification sheets, as well as battery handling information and do’s and don’ts when if comes to batteries both installed on the vehicle and in storage.

 

“Naturally, the look-up portal links in with the main Manbat website from where users can find out more about any aspect of the business including its UK branch network and sister companies that operate in Europe.

 

“It also contains a raft of information concerning the brands the company distributes and the alternative sectors those brands cater for. This is particularly useful for customers exploring the option of expanding their offering to include other sectors such as leisure or marine, where the profit margin is substantially greater than it is in the ultra competitive world of automotive and commercial vehicle batteries

More Profit Options With Manbat

The battery is one of the most vital consumables to ensure the correct operation and reliability of a motor vehicle, but according to statistics from the RAC, there were no fewer that 379,925 battery related problems reported throughout 2015 and ‘flat’ batteries were at the top of their reasons for call outs.

 

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, began supplying NOCO’s Genius range of battery chargers and booster packs to UAN members last year and they have proved an instant hit.

 

These top quality products not only benefit members, but also their workshop customers and the general motorist, due to their high performance, easy usage and resilience.

 

As the launch of the Genius range was greeted by such enthusiasm, Manbat has introduced additional NOCO products, which have been developed to provide members with a broader range that caters for higher loads and a wider variety of vehicles.

 

The original range included the G1100, a versatile 1.1amp charger suited to smaller batteries between 2.2 and 40Ah and the G3500 with the 3.5amp charger that provides charging capacity for any vehicle with a 1.2 to 120Ah battery.

 

When it comes to the more powerful chargers aimed primarily at the ‘professional’ user, the existing G7200 7.2amp unit has been joined by the Genius G15000 and G26000, 15amp models that are able to charge and maintain all types of batteries for everything from motorcycles, cars, boats, and motorhomes to commercial vehicles, agricultural machinery and even construction equipment. These chargers also include a ‘supply’ function to deliver a fixed voltage of 13.6V for vehicle service operations and a ‘boost’ setting, which can recover heavily discharged and sulphated batteries.

 

The entire Genius range are fully automatic ‘intelligent’ chargers and can therefore diagnose the condition of the battery and are able to charge and then exercise the batteries to keep them in optimum condition and maximise their life span, which means that if necessary, they can remain almost permanently connected.

 

In addition, Genius chargers are not only particularly safe, being protected against reverse polarity, overload protection and short circuit on the clamps, but they are also designed to provide double the charge capacity of a traditional battery charger, making them powerful and easy to use.

 

Manbat has long been an advocate of battery testing/charging as a complementary service provided by the workshop to motorists and these professional chargers are the ideal products to fulfil that role. However, they also provide members with an attractive option for counter sales.

 

Sales Boost

NOCO has also developed the Genius BOOST range of lithium-ion booster packs with two more offerings alongside the original GB30 primarily for the DIY market, with the GB70 (BOOST HD) and GB150 (BOOST PRO) aimed at professional users.

 

Utilising the latest technology and encompassing anti-spark engineering and protection against reverse polarity, these two new versions, despite weighing just 2.2kg and measuring only 222mmm x 99mm x 64mm and 315mm x 186mm x 69mm respectively, can be used to start petrol and diesel engines of up to 6-litres in seconds.

 

In common with entire Genius BOOST range, the range topping GB70 and GB150 can hold their charge for up to one year and accept more than 1000 cycles – charge, discharge, charge – due to the powerful, high density NOCO lithium-ion battery.

 

In addition to their other features, Genius booster packs are immensely user friendly, being waterproof, easily chargeable via a USB port and come complete with a powerful LED light, so along the Genius charger range, should also prove popular for over the counter sales.

 

 

Battery Validation

For more than 60 years, national battery distributor Manbat has been serving the independent aftermarket by providing it with high quality products, backed up by great availability and excellent customer service.

 

Part of this service is a commitment to keeping technicians up to speed with developments and opportunities in the battery market, such as battery validation.

 

As technicians will be aware, the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the battery.

 

Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’® battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

It is also worth stating that even some vehicles without a Start-Stop function require battery validation when fitting a replacement and here too the ‘Connect + Reset’ tool provides the solution.

 

Battery Charging

Always intent on providing its customers with products that allow them to compete as proactively across as many fronts as possible, alongside premium quality batteries, Manbat offers a superb range of chargers, including the highly respected NOCO brand.

 

“NOCO is the premium brand in the US, where its chargers and battery boosters are the benchmark products for performance, reliability and design,” said marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “.

 

“The charger range all naturally feature smart charging technology, which means they can remain permanently connected, as once they’ve charged the battery, they are designed to maintain it to ensure it remains in the best possible condition, whatever and wherever the application.

 

“The multi range includes amongst others the Genius G1100UK, which is a 1.1-amp charger for smaller batteries between 2 and 40Ah for applications such as motorcycles, ATVs and jet skis. It is suitable for both 6 and 12-volt batteries and also provides an excellent maintenance option for larger applications like cars, motorhomes, boats and even some commercial vehicles.

 

“The G3500UK is a versatile 3.5-amp charger that is the most popular model as it provides the charging capacity for the bulk of normal applications, catering for any vehicle with a battery in the range of 2 to 120Ah. As well as being suitable for 6 and 12-volt batteries, both the G3500UK and G1100UK feature a standby mode and have staged LED charge displays to show the battery’s current state of charge.

 

“The top of the range ‘professional’ charger is the G7200UK, which at 7.2-amps, provides the power required for the largest 230Ah battery in either 12 or 24-volt form. In addition to its immense charge capacity, it also incorporates several specialist charging modes designed to recover severely discharged batteries that will no longer accept a ‘normal’ charge.”

 

Alongside these new chargers, stands a ‘game changing’ booster pack that rewrites the rulebook when it comes to portable jump starters/power units.

 

“The NOCO GB30 Genius BOOST sets new standards when it comes to portable power,” Pemberton continues, “and makes it entirely practical for the average motorist to carry a ‘pocket-sized’ jump starter in case of emergency, because incredibly, the GB30, which contains a high density lithium-ion battery, is capable of starting a petrol vehicle with up to a 6.0-litre engine or a 3.0-litre diesel for as many as 20 times on one charge!

 

“What’s more, it also features spark-proof technology, is reverse polarity protected, holds its charge for a year and fits into the smallest glove box or the seat pocket. Also, as it uses a USB connection, it can charge or be charged from virtually any device: laptop, smartphone, tablet etc. If all this wasn’t enough, it also incorporates an ultra-bright, dual LED flashlight with seven modes including SOS and emergency strobe.”

For more than 60 years, national battery distributor Manbat has been serving the independent aftermarket by providing it with high quality products, backed up by great availability and excellent customer service.

 

Part of this service is a commitment to keeping technicians up to speed with developments and opportunities in the battery market, such as battery validation.

 

As technicians will be aware, the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the battery.

 

Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’® battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

It is also worth stating that even some vehicles without a Start-Stop function require battery validation when fitting a replacement and here too the ‘Connect + Reset’ tool provides the solution.

Alongside premium quality brands such as VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, Manbat is also renowned for the support services it provides GROUPAUTO members in order for them to make the best out of the opportunities that battery and battery related products present them.

 

During 2015, Manbat introduced the NOCO range of battery chargers and booster packs and the ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool, two product extensions that have proved popular among members.

 

In addition, as well as promoting a battery testing campaign to garages through which members can proactively engage with their customers, Manbat has now unveiled its battery look-up search tool, a battery identification focused website, that specifically assists members with their battery verification issues.

 

When using the look-up – batteryfinder.manbat.co.uk – members simply need to enter the registration number of the vehicle in question into the search box and the site will use a sophisticated VRM look-up database to locate the correct vehicle and provide access to its vehicle-specific details. This information naturally includes the exact specification of the battery for which it is designed, and therefore provides an absolute assurance to members that they are supplying the precise replacement the vehicle manufacturer has specified for that model.

 

In addition to the VRM look-up, the site allows members to find the correct battery replacement via two alternative routes should the registration number for some reason not be available. The first is via the vehicle’s own specific identification or VIN number, which it then links through to the database in the same way as the VRM search, the second is a vehicle search menu.

 

Here members use an easy to use and intuitive suite of drop-down boxes to locate the vehicle in the shortest possible number of selections. So both routes allow members to make the identification process extremely quick, while maintaining the accuracy they need.

 

“The introduction of a battery look-up facility allows us to expand the level of support we give to members with a tangible mechanism that they can use every day,” said Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “Not only does it make the task of finding the correct replacement battery easy and accurate, it also allows them to link into several other useful resources, which can help them and their customers.

 

“By creating an account, which is completely free to members of the trade, members can login and access helpful information concerning several matters including fitting instructions and battery specification sheets, as well as battery handling information and do’s and don’ts when if comes to batteries both installed on the vehicle and stored in a warehouse.

 

“Naturally, the look-up portal links in with the main Manbat website from where members can find out more about any aspect of the business including its UK branch network and sister companies that operate in Europe.

 

“It also contains a raft of information concerning the brands the company distributes and the alternative sectors those brands cater for. This is particularly useful for members exploring the option of expanding their offering to include other sectors such as leisure or marine, where the profit margin is substantially greater than it is in the ultra competitive world of automotive and commercial vehicle batteries.”

Batteries’ Core To Profit Opportunities Says Manbat

In common with the passenger vehicle sector, statistics from across Europe confirm that battery related problems are regularly the reason behind commercial vehicle (CV) breakdowns.

 

“Therefore the lessons to learn are two-fold,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor. “First is that batteries are an excellent profit opportunity for both CV motor factors and workshops and second, fleet and owner operators still need to understand the importance of maintaining their batteries.

 

“Naturally, not all battery related callouts will require the purchase of a new battery, but many will. It is therefore very important that factors have access to the good quality batteries their customers need and that they can be certain that their supplier will have sufficient stock to fulfil their requirements, particularly when the weather gets extreme.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more profitable – approach is to supply a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Although fleet operators never want to have to replace their batteries, they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more, rather than pay a bit less and have to replace them a year later! So by supplying a quality product, factors can help their workshop customers to make more profit, while delivering a greater level of customer satisfaction to the operator.

 

“When it comes to operators understanding how they can get the best from their batteries, workshops are ideally placed to help and advise them.

 

“Simple examples such as explaining that 80% of battery failures are a result of poor charge maintenance and that the alternator will often not fully recharge the battery on a vehicle used for short distance, multidrop work. However, regular mains charging can increase the serviceable life of a battery by two years or more!

 

“Despite looking like a simple plastic box, batteries are complex and need care, which is why we want to work with proactive CV factors and their customers to help them develop their battery business and reap the extra profits that will follow.”

 Take Care Of Your Batteries Says Manbat

In common with the passenger vehicle sector, statistics from across Europe confirm that battery related problems are regularly the reason behind commercial vehicle (CV) breakdowns.

 

“Therefore, fleet and owner operators need to understand the importance of maintaining their batteries,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor.

 

“Naturally, not all battery related callouts will require the purchase of a new battery, but many will. It is therefore very important that operators have access to the good quality batteries they need, particularly when the weather gets extreme.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more cost effective – approach is to install a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Although fleet operators never want to have to replace their batteries, generally they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more, rather than pay a bit less and have to replace them a year later!

 

“When it comes to operators understanding how they can get the best from their batteries, workshops are ideally placed to help and advise them.

 

“Simple examples could include explaining that 80% of battery failures are a result of poor charge maintenance and that the alternator will often not fully recharge the battery on a vehicle used for short distance, multi-drop work. However, regular mains charging can increase the serviceable life of a battery by two years or more!

 

“Despite looking like a simple plastic box, batteries are complex and need care, which is why a sound maintenance regime is so important.”

 

What Might Be Round The Corner For Members?

Although workshops that deal with the service and repair of passenger cars will be becoming more familiar with micro hybrid vehicles (those fitted with a stop-start system), to date the technology has not really been relevant in the heavy duty sector.

 

Granted, some light commercial vehicles (LCV), such as the Mercedes Sprinter and the Ford’s Transit ECOnetic, incorporate a stop-start system, but beyond these and similar LCV examples, the typical CV workshop has had little exposure to the technology. However, with the launch of Cummins’ new stop-start system for its ISB engines, things could be about to change.

 

Lets first go back to basics, the logic behind a stop-start system is simple, an engine doesn’t use fuel or produce greenhouse gas emissions when it isn’t running, so the most effective way to reduce fuel consumption and emissions it to only use the engine when it is actually needed.

 

This technology therefore delivers on two fronts: first, a reduction in the fuel consumption of the vehicle saves fleet operators money and second, lower exhaust emissions contribute towards global greenhouse emission targets.

 

However, to put this perfect logic into practice requires incredibly complex design and advanced systems, not just for the mechanical components that physically stop and start the engine and the electronics that control the process, but also for the batteries that provide the stored energy to start the engine over and over again.

 

Pre the stop-start revolution, excessive electrical demand without the engine/alternator charging a typical lead-acid battery, would risk leaving it without sufficient capacity to restart the engine and in addition, a state of discharge to that extent would be detrimental to the overall health of the battery. This is because these batteries are not designed with a high cyclic capacity – the ability to go through a charged, discharged, charged ‘cycle’. Instead they are designed to take a high discharge load to start the vehicle, followed by a constant charge feed while the engine is running.

 

In contrast, modern batteries such as the Lucas and Numax Supreme CV are designed with a high cyclic capacity and are therefore ideal for the demands of high performance vehicles with large power requirements, as well as for those that feature a stop-start engine, like the new Cummins unit.

 

In addition to starting the engine, the battery in a typical stop-start vehicle is used to power all of the vehicle’s electrical demands, without necessarily being charged, because running the alternator uses energy and therefore has a detrimental impact on fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

 

As a result, the vehicle’s battery management system will allow the battery to discharge to a predetermined level – obviously still with sufficient capacity to restart the engine – before it engages the alternator in order to recharge the battery for the process to continue once again.

 

Alongside the alternator, some stop-start vehicles are also designed to harvest energy from other parts of the vehicle, such as when braking with a regenerative braking system, which gathers the otherwise wasted energy required to halt the vehicle and stores it in the battery, thus reducing the load on the alternator.

 

To ensure the reliability of its new engine, Cummins has subjected the stop-start system to rigorous testing during a validation programme that has included in excess of four million stop-start cycles. Bearing in mind that it anticipates an engine used in a vehicle driving in London could stop and start between 60 to 80 times an hour, clearly the vehicle’s batteries need to possess huge cyclic capacity.

 

The Supreme CV, which is available to G-Truck members through Manbat Ltd, under both the Lucas and Numax brands, incorporates the high quality internal components necessary to deliver this level of performance.

 

High output capacity and cyclic performance are linked, both through the design of the lead plates and their number. The Supreme CV features multiple plates that have been punched out of solid lead sheet to provide the most efficient method of power transfer.

 

Although other manufacturers boast about plates with a grid-like formation, many ‘roll’ these plates, which can weaken the joints and means they are prone to corrosion, with the subsequent loss of performance.

 

There are however, no such fears with Supreme CV, which means that G-Truck members can supply the workshops with confidence.

 

CV Battery Maintenance & Fitment

In common with the passenger vehicle sector, statistics from across Europe confirm that battery related problems are regularly the reason behind commercial vehicle (CV) breakdowns.

 

The fact is, batteries in the majority of the country’s CV fleets are generally not in great condition as they are almost completely ignored until they present the driver with a problem, be it through not starting or being left stranded. This is a cost that many operators cannot afford and one that almost all could avoid.

 

As statistics from ADAC, the German breakdown organisation, reveal, this is not a problem isolated to the UK, as 30% of CV breakdowns in Germany were caused by some sort of electrical failure and almost a quarter of these were down to the battery. So what can the operator do to improve their lot?

 

“Therefore the lessons to learn are two-fold,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor. “First is that batteries are an excellent profit opportunity for both wholesalers and workshops and second, fleet and owner operators still need to understand the importance of maintaining their vehicle’s batteries.

 

“Naturally, not all battery related callouts will require the purchase of a new battery, but many will. It is therefore very important that wholesalers have access to the good quality batteries their customers need and that they can be certain that their supplier will have sufficient stock to fulfil their requirements, particularly when the weather gets extreme.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more profitable – approach is to supply a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Although fleet operators never want to have to replace their batteries, they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more, rather than pay a bit less and have to replace them a year later! So by supplying a quality product, wholesalers can help their workshop customers to make more profit, while delivering a greater level of customer satisfaction to the operator.

 

“When it comes to operators understanding how they can get the best from their batteries, workshops are ideally placed to help and advise them.

 

“Simple examples such as explaining that 80% of battery failures are a result of poor charge maintenance and that the alternator will often not fully recharge the battery on a vehicle used for short distance, multi drop work. However, regular mains charging can increase the serviceable life of a battery by two years or more!

 

“In a 12-volt system, batteries registering less than 12.5-volts will be working well below their optimum performance and put the operator at risk of an electrical failure. As simple as it sounds, regularly charging the vehicle’s batteries will reduce the risk of failure to a minimum and increase their operating life in the process. However, taking the trouble to equalise the batteries on those vehicles fitted with more than one battery will improve the situation further.

 

“The lifespan of the individual batteries in a multi battery application will vary, so they will rarely be replaced together. Therefore, to avoid the remaining battery having a negative effect on the new battery, operators must try to avoid simply fitting a new battery without first fully charging both. This is because although the most logical view is that the vehicle’s electrical system will charge the remaining battery, most of these systems are not sophisticated enough to monitor the state of charge of the individual batteries, so will simply ‘see’ them as a whole, which could prematurely bring the new battery down.

 

“Despite looking like a simple plastic box, batteries are complex and need care, which is why it is important to highlight the issues to operators and point out the opportunities to help wholesalers and installers develop their battery business.”

 

Battery Validation

Although far more prevalent in passenger cars, micro-hybrid technology is beginning to make an appearance in the commercial sector, albeit mainly at the LCV end of the market in vans fitted with a Start-Stop function.

 

“The battery in these LCVs is central to their electrical systems,” Pemberton continued, “and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and even the premature failure of the battery.

 

“To ensure workshops correctly undertake the process, we have introduced the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’® battery validation tool, which provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“It is also worth stating that even some vehicles without a Start-Stop function now require battery validation when a replacement is fitted and here too the ‘Connect + Reset’ tool provides the solution.”

 

Power in Every Form From Manbat

Always intent on providing its customers with products that allow them to compete as proactively across as many fronts as possible, alongside premium quality batteries, Manbat offers a superb range of chargers, including the highly respected NOCO brand.

 

“NOCO is the premium brand in the US, where its chargers and battery boosters are the benchmark products for performance, reliability and design,” said marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “.

 

“The charger range all naturally feature smart charging technology, which means they can remain permanently connected, as once they’ve charged the battery, they are designed to maintain it to ensure it remains in the best possible condition, whatever and wherever the application.

 

“The multi range includes amongst others the Genius G1100UK, which is a 1.1-amp charger for smaller batteries between 2 and 40Ah for applications such as motorcycles, ATVs and jet skis. It is suitable for both 6 and 12-volt batteries and also provides an excellent maintenance option for larger applications like cars, motorhomes, boats and even some commercial vehicles.

 

“The G3500UK is a versatile 3.5-amp charger that is the most popular model as it provides the charging capacity for the bulk of normal applications, catering for any vehicle with a battery in the range of 2 to 120Ah. As well as being suitable for 6 and 12-volt batteries, both the G3500UK and G1100UK feature a standby mode and have staged LED charge displays to show the battery’s current state of charge.

 

“The top of the range ‘professional’ charger is the G7200UK, which at 7.2-amps, provides the power required for the largest 230Ah battery in either 12 or 24-volt form. In addition to its immense charge capacity, it also incorporates several specialist charging modes designed to recover severely discharged batteries that will no longer accept a ‘normal’ charge.”

 

Alongside these new chargers, stands a ‘game changing’ booster pack that rewrites the rulebook when it comes to portable jump starters/power units.

 

“The NOCO GB30 Genius BOOST sets new standards when it comes to portable power,” Pemberton continues, “and makes it entirely practical for the average motorist to carry a ‘pocket-sized’ jump starter in case of emergency, because incredibly, the GB30, which contains a high density lithium-ion battery, is capable of starting a petrol vehicle with up to a 6.0-litre engine or a 3.0-litre diesel for as many as 20 times on one charge!

 

“What’s more, it also features spark-proof technology, is reverse polarity protected, holds its charge for a year and fits into the smallest glove box or the seat pocket. Also, as it uses a USB connection, it can charge or be charged from virtually any device: laptop, smartphone, tablet etc. If all this wasn’t enough, it also incorporates an ultra-bright, dual LED flashlight with seven modes including SOS and emergency strobe.”

Are you prepared for Winter?

Supplier promises of excellent availability and depth of range are easy to make, particularly when the weather is fine and the demand is low, but it is as the temperatures drop and demand increases, that the substance behind the promises is really tested.

 

It is not by chance that Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor. Rather it’s the result of investment, long term planning and a customer focused business ethos that demands that service is king.

 

When it comes to the batteries themselves, the byword is quality. Quality of manufacture, quality in performance and quality in terms of reliability, as alongside VARTA® stand Lucas and Numax, brands that GROUPAUTO members trust and respect.

 

Both the Lucas and Numax brands provide the depth of range that members need and include classic/standard, premium and supreme versions to cater for everything from a standard commercial vehicle with low energy requirements, through to high performance vehicles with large power demands.

 

Manbat also has the accessories that make any power storage package complete. The NOCO range of battery chargers and booster packs are particularly popular and will become even more so as the winter bites.

 

To help members, Manbat has produced an informative ‘Prepare for Winter’ brochure, available in either Lucas or Numax branding, which sets out the application requirements and highlights the depth of the range.

 

 Numax AGM & EFB Battery Additions

Batteries are the single biggest reason for roadside breakdown in the UK and therefore one of the fastest moving components across the counter and through the workshop.

 

Alongside the everyday replacements that will be required for the vast majority of cases, there is a discernable shift in the battery landscape as the number of batteries specifically designed for vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system are starting to have an impact in the aftermarket, as sales of AGM (absorbed glass mat) and EFB (enhanced flooded battery) batteries are increasing.

 

To cater for this market development, Manbat has added two high quality Start-Stop specific batteries into its popular Numax range, which are available to factors and their workshop customers throughout the Manbat branch network.

 

“Although many factors and battery specialists are aware that we supply them with the market leading VARTA® range, many are extremely loyal to the Numax brand and find its combination of quality and value allows them to provide their customers with a competitive product offering across the board,” said Manbat’s Myles Pemberton.

 

“With the addition of the Numax EFB and AGM models, they will also have a viable Numax solution for those vehicles that by their very nature require a Start-Stop compatible battery that correctly conforms to the vehicle’s specification. These two Numax additions therefore provide them with the ideal replacement for these applications and mean they have at their disposal a Numax solution for all their battery requirements.”

 

Numax, A Brand To Rely On

Whatever the season, Numax has a battery range or ancillary product to fit the requirements of any GROUPAUTO member and with winter around the corner, it pays to trust in a brand with such a proven track record.

 

Launched by Manbat in 2002, Numax was introduced to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary and to provide the highly successful battery distributor, with a brand of its own.

 

The response to the brand’s introduction, from across the aftermarket, was extremely enthusiastic and it took little time to become established and remains a firm favourite with GROUPAUTO members.

 

Since 2002, the initial automotive offering has grown and the number of industrial sectors in which the brand is active, has expanded to include virtually every conceivable area of power storage related requirement. Indeed, in the leisure and marine sectors, Numax is now widely recognised as the market leading brand in terms of both its quality and share of the market.

 

In 2014, Manbat took the automotive and CV offerings through a fundamental review, following which the range grew to encompass three models that reflect the needs of members and their customers.

 

The entire automotive and CV ranges, which both comprise Standard, Premium and Supreme models, are produced on behalf of Manbat by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed and therefore maintenance-free status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology that means they have a level of durability that many other brands simply cannot reach.

 

Among the benefits of offering members a three model range is the ability to supply the most suitable battery for the application, while still enjoying the common values of the brand and the consistent supply logistics provided by a single source supplier.

 

So while certain part numbers are naturally available across the model range, members are able to cater for the everyday variables of the vehicle for which it is intended. In this way, although they are able to supply the Numax Premium, which will generally prove a good solution for most applications, they have the option of supplying the Supreme, which is particularly suitable for diesel vehicles or those with extremely high electrical performance demands. At the other end of the spectrum, they are also able to supply the Standard for the smaller or older vehicle.

 

An additional benefit with the Standard is its ability to provide members with a high quality alternative to the many low quality batteries that presently swamp the market, but at an entry-level price that enables members to compete.

 

Numax Start-Stop Batteries

Members and their customers are now really seeing the market changes as more vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system are starting to enter the workshop, which is why sales of AGM (absorbed glass mat) and EFB (enhanced flooded battery) batteries are on the increase. To cater for this demand, Manbat also offers two high quality Start-Stop specific batteries in the range with the Numax EFB and Numax AGM.

 

Both versions feature higher cyclic stability and recharge more quickly than conventional lead-acid batteries. These characteristics are essential for Start-Stop vehicles, especially when fitted to vehicles that employ advanced systems such as regenerative braking and other fuel-saving technologies.

 

In addition to the significant benefits that are inherent in the range, members choosing Numax also benefit from a level of availability that remains unmatched in the UK aftermarket. So as the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, members would be wise to side with the UK’s leading battery supplier and a brand they can rely on.

Where should you put your trust this winter?

Most GROUPAUTO members will have built their reputations with their customers by their ability to supply the replacement components that workshops need to complete the service and repair work they undertake, in the shortest possible timeframe.  Add into this equation that workshops no longer want to carry much stock, particularly of bulky items, and then product availability becomes a key factor in the success of members’ businesses.

 

When it comes to replacement batteries, availability takes on an even greater emphasis as nowadays it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is no way around a ‘flat’ battery.

 

Supplier promises of excellent availability and depth of range are easy to make, particularly when the weather is fine and the demand is low, but it is as the temperatures drop and demand increases, that the substance behind the promises is really tested.

 

It is not by chance that Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor. Rather it’s the result of investment, long term planning and a customer focused business ethos that demands that service is king.

 

Manbat is able to support members whatever the circumstances because it has built the infrastructure that is required for that level of commitment to its customers and many members will have experienced first-hand how the company has delivered for them when it really counts and their reputation is on the line.

 

The practical reality of this infrastructure investment means that Manbat holds approximately 300,000 batteries in stock throughout its 13 depots, spread across the length and breadth of the county. This stock holding allows the company to cover, to all intents and purposes, 100% of the vehicle parc and therefore provides members with the solution for every conceivable battery related challenge.

 

In addition to having this vast battery resource in its UK warehouses, Manbat also has the means to ensure that these batteries reach their destination when and where they are needed via a fleet of almost 60 wholly owned delivery vehicles.

 

When it comes to the batteries themselves, the byword is quality. Quality of manufacture, quality in performance and quality in terms of reliability as alongside VARTA® stand Lucas and Numax, brands that GROUPAUTO members trust and respect.

 

Each of these brands provide the depth of range that members need and include standard, premium and supreme versions of tradition style lead-acid batteries, as well as AGM and EFB batteries for vehicles that incorporate start-stop technology.

 

A massive stock holding and an excellent level of availability also has benefits when it comes to being able to provide the solution for other business sectors. Although clearly automotive and CV batteries will always make up the vast majority of the sales for GROUPAUTO members, being able to supply batteries for the leisure, marine or motorcycle sectors, for example, also provides great opportunities and these variants are all available in the Lucas and Numax product ranges.

 

Manbat also has the accessories that make any power storage package complete. The NOCO range of battery chargers and booster packs are particularly popular and will become even more so as the winter bites.

 

Well charged batteries save many woes for motorists, but for those who’ve been let down with battery failure, the NOCO GB30 Genius BOOST can get them going and into the nearest workshop.

 

Whether supplied to their workshop customers, or direct to the motorist, this devices sets new standards when it comes to portable power and is practical for both the public and the professional as it is capable of starting a petrol vehicle with up to a 6.0-litre engine or a 3.0-litre diesel for as many as 20 times on one charge.

 

 

For more than 60 years, national battery distributor Manbat has been serving the independent aftermarket by providing it with high quality products, backed up by great availability and excellent customer service.

 

Part of this service is a commitment to keeping technicians up to speed with developments and opportunities in the battery market and this week Manbat looks at battery validation.

 

As technicians will be aware, the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the battery.

 

Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’® battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

It is also worth stating that even some vehicles without a Start-Stop function require battery validation when fitting a replacement and here too the ‘Connect + Reset’ tool provides the solution.

 

Proactively Take The Lead Says Manbat

When it comes to changing technology, workshops are at the frontline, not only when carrying out service and repair work, but also when having to deal with the motorist. It is therefore important that they periodically take a step back and consider the best approach to tackle change.

 

This is where proactive wholesalers can make a difference as they have both the supplier relationships and the wider perspective that can help workshops to take decisions that make a positive difference to their businesses.

 

For many years Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor has been actively encouraging wholesalers to support their customers in this way and by highlighting areas where they can make a difference. Two current examples exist in the shape of AGM/EFB batteries and battery testing.

 

AGM/EFB Batteries

Sales patterns confirm that the move from familiar high output capacity lead-acid batteries in traditional vehicle applications, to specialist cyclic batteries fitted to vehicles with a Start-Stop function has begun.

 

This means that more than ever, workshops need to be prepared to cater for the challenges that the batteries in these vehicles present. However, with some assistance from their supplier, the opportunities far outweigh these challenges.

 

Over the last 25 years, profits from battery sales have fallen, so that a typical battery is now around the same price it was in 1990 and the labour rate a workshop can now charge to change a traditionally battery is zero!

 

With the technology change however, three factors now begin to work in the trade’s favour:

  1. The AGM/EFB batteries required for Start-Stop vehicles command a higher price, which means more of a margin for both wholesalers and their workshop customers.
  2. Workshops can now charge for fitting the replacement because in contrast to a traditional system, this process can sometimes take a couple of hours work.
  3. As the average motorist becomes less knowledgeable from a maintenance and repair perspective, they are less likely to call into question a fitting charge as they have no previous DIY experience on which to base their objection.

 

As a result, workshops and wholesalers together have a real opportunity to use the changing landscape to their advantage and increase their profits.

 

Battery Validation

As technicians will be aware, the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and even the premature failure of the battery.

 

Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’® battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

When connected to the vehicle’s j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

It is also worth stating that even some vehicles without a Start-Stop function require battery validation when fitting a replacement and here too the ‘Connect + Reset’ tool provides the solution.

 

Battery Testing

Motorists are looking for workshops that provide a good service and that they can trust. Battery testing is an easy and effective way of building customer confidence and is very easy to introduce.

 

Whether a vehicle is in the workshop for a service, MOT or repair, it should be automatic that technicians test the condition of its battery.

 

This is a win-win service because:

  1. If the battery is in poor condition, there is the immediate opportunity for a sale.
  2. If it is okay, but might need replacing in the next few months, the garage is providing their customer with helpful timely piece of ‘free’ advice.
  3. If however, the battery is in excellent condition, it’s a good news story that will boost the customer’s confidence that it is a garage they can trust and they’ll be sure to comeback when a new battery is required.

 

Wholesalers can help workshops to maximise these opportunities in two practical ways, first by helping them to explain the facts to motorists and second, by supplying them with the correct specification batteries and the tools they need to fit them and to carry out the battery testing.

 

ECOBAT European Battery Distribution

With production facilities throughout Europe, United States and South Africa, ECOBAT Technologies Ltd is the world´s largest producer of lead and lead alloys, smelting around 840,000 tonnes annually. Each of its operations utilise the latest cutting-edge technologies to assure highly efficient and environmentally responsible production of the highest quality lead and lead alloy for a wide range of industries, including the battery manufacturing sector.

 

The ECOBAT European Battery Distribution division of the organisation is made up of four companies: Manbat France, Manbat UK, Hefra Netherlands and Hefra Belgium. Together, this combined force annually sells in excess of two million batteries from its 21 distribution hubs.

 

The central philosophy that underpins each of these companies and therefore ECOBAT European Battery Distribution as a whole, is to supply the aftermarket with high quality products, backed up with outstanding logistical support and exceptional customer service.

 

The premium brands supplied by the group include Numax, TAB, VMF, Wilco, US Battery, Lucas, Optima, Odyssey, Trojan, Sonnenschein and VARTA®.

 

Primarily because of the health and safety issues surrounding their storage and distribution, supplying the aftermarket with heavy and potentially hazardous products presents distributors with particular challenges. However, ECOBAT European Battery Distribution has the logistical skills and infrastructure to ensure that its customers have access to the batteries they need, when they need them.

 

In addition to excellent product quality and first class supply, ECOBAT European Battery Distribution provides very high levels of customer service. This involves working closely with distributors to assist them to develop battery sales more effectively and includes extensive marketing support, promotional initiatives, technical training and advice.

 

As a group, ECOBAT is acutely aware of its environmental responsibilities, particularly in the area of waste management. However, in addition to the obvious benefit to the world community, proactive environmental policies can also directly benefit the group’s customers.

 

Due to the specialist expertise within the lead smelting and waste collection companies that are also part of the wider ECOBAT group, ECOBAT European Battery Distribution is able of offer its customers a ‘closed recycling loop’ for their scrap lead-acid batteries.

 

The loop begins with the smelting facilities to produce both pure and recycled lead into the ingots required by the battery manufacturers to produce batteries. ECOBAT European Battery Distribution then both distributes these new batteries to its customers throughout Europe and collects their old waste batteries.

 

The waste batteries are then safely dismantled by other businesses in the group and the constituent parts are recycled: the cases into polypropylene, the sulphuric acid into gypsum for the building trade and the lead is returned to the smelting operations to be turned back into ingots for the battery manufacturers.

 

This interconnected process means that ECOBAT European Battery Distribution can recycle more than 95% of every waste battery it collects!

 

Look No Further Than Manbat’s Battery Look-up

Alongside its premium quality brands, Manbat prides itself on the support services it also provides GROUPAUTO members in order for them to make the best out of the opportunities that battery and battery related products present to them.

 

The recent launch of the ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool and the current battery testing campaign are both great examples of this service based philosophy.

 

However, October heralds the launch of yet another support led initiative, with the introduction of Manbat’s battery look-up website, a battery identification focused tool, that specifically assists members with their battery verification issues.

 

When using the look-up members simply need to enter the registration number of the vehicle in question into the search box and the site will use a sophisticated VRM look-up database to locate the correct vehicle and provide access to its vehicle-specific details. This information naturally includes the exact specification of the battery for which it is designed, and therefore provides an absolute assurance to members that they are supplying the precise replacement the vehicle manufacturer has specified for that model.

 

In addition to the VRM look-up, the site allows members to find the correct battery replacement via two alternative routes should the registration number for some reason not be available. The first is via the vehicle’s own specific identification or VIN number, which it then links through to the database in the same way as the VRM search, the second is a vehicle search menu.

 

Here members use an easy to use and intuitive suite of drop-down boxes to locate the vehicle in the shortest possible number of selections. So both routes allow members to make the identification process extremely quick, while maintaining the accuracy they need.

 

“The introduction of a battery look-up facility allows us to expand the level of support we give to members with a tangible mechanism that they can use every day,” said Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “Not only does it make the task of finding the correct replacement battery easy and accurate, it also allows them to link into several other useful resources, which can help them and their customers.

 

“By creating an account, which is completely free to members of the trade, members can login and access helpful information concerning several matters including fitting instructions and battery specification sheets, as well as battery handling information and do’s and don’ts when if comes to batteries both installed on the vehicle and stored in a warehouse.

 

“Naturally, the look-up portal links in with the main Manbat website from where members can find out more about any aspect of the business including its UK branch network and sister companies that operate in Europe.

 

“It also contains a raft of information concerning the brands the company distributes and the alternative sectors those brands cater for. This is particularly useful for members exploring the option of expanding their offering to include other sectors such as leisure or marine, where the profit margin is substantially greater than it is in the ultra competitive world of automotive and commercial vehicle batteries.”

 

A Battery Testing Promotion to drive Growth

As one of Ireland’s largest automotive battery distributors, customer service and business development are core objectives that, along with its range of premium quality Numax batteries, remain at the heart of the National Autoparts business ethos.

 

As a result, the company is always keen for its customers to exploit any and all possible opportunities to increase their battery sales, which is why National Autoparts has embraced the battery testing promotion developed by battery partner Manbat, to stimulate sales through the workshop.

 

Battery testing is an area that Manbat has been encouraging workshops to develop for several years because it yields a return in terms of both their reputation for customer service and sales generation, particular when the figures reveal that when tested, one in 12 batteries needs replacement.

 

The promotion, which will be rolled out with the full participation of National Autoparts and its factor customers, centres on a suite of marketing material that will give workshops the tools to fully process the administrative side of battery testing.

 

So along with battery testing signage, the testing pack will include the test sheets that will allow technicians to carry out and record the results of the battery test and battery stickers that show the date, mileage and scheduled date for the next test, plus have space for the workshop to add their full address and contact details. In addition, the pack includes mirror hangers to show that a battery test has been undertaken and the vehicle’s battery has a clean bill of health.

 

“With this test pack promotion,” explains Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “National Autoparts is able to provide the selected workshops that its customers nominate, with the practical documentation to market and administer battery testing alongside their many other skills.

 

“We know from experience, that proactive testing builds a positive reputation for honesty and integrity in the workshop carrying out the testing because to be able to provide a customer with documentation that states the condition of the battery builds legitimacy in that workshop, whether the battery needs replacing or is in good condition.

 

“The ‘golden egg’ that goes hand-in-hand with a positive reputation however, is an increase in sales because the workshop is proactively searching for a potential battery sale, rather than just hoping they might benefit by being in the right place at the right time when it does fail.

 

“We are very excited about the potential of this promotion and are delighted to be able to work with National Autoparts, who also appreciate its value and want to help their customers develop this aspect of their business.

 

“To complete the promotion, National Autoparts has, through our Numax brand, a premium quality solution for every eventuality.”

Trade Days Exhibition

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is appearing to support its many mobility battery wholesalers and suppliers, while also representing its key brands: Sonnenschein and Lucas.

 

Sonnenschein GEL batteries are widely acknowledged to be the ‘gold standard’ batteries for the mobility sector and are the preferred product for the National Health Service and private medical providers alike. In Lucas, Manbat offers a high quality AGM alternative to the Sonnenschein GEL range.

 

Another important factor is to ensure that interested visitors know where to go locally to find a supplier of these highly regarded brands.

 

Numax To The Fore At EQUIP AUTO

Manbat, under the ECOBAT European Battery Distribution umbrella, will be exhibiting alongside Manbat France, a subsidiary company that was acquired by the group in January 2014, to promote its popular Numax range of batteries and accessories.

 

Launched in 2002 to coincide with Manbat’s 50th anniversary, Numax is now a significant player in the automotive aftermarket and the dominant brand in the UK’s leisure sector.

 

Its introduction into the French market, which was made at EQUIP AUTO ’13 has been warmly received and in tandem with the acquisition, has allowed the brand to grow sales rapidly across all sectors – automotive, CV, leisure and motorcycle – and increase its trade awareness throughout the country.

 

In common with the UK, independent workshops in France are encountering more vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, which means they need the appropriate replacement EFB/AGM batteries and reset tools to service them. Therefore, taking centre stage on stand 6N 075 will be a range of Numax Start-Stop batteries and the ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool.

Are You Proactively Leading Your Customers?

When it comes to changing technology, workshops are at the frontline, which means that sometimes the decisions they make and the planning needed to make those decisions successful suffer as they are unable to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

 

This is where proactive motor factors can make a difference as they have both the relationships and the wider perspective that can help workshops to take a more objective look at the situation and subsequently take decisions that make a positive difference to their businesses.

 

For many years, national battery distributor Manbat has been actively encouraging factors to support their customers in this way and highlighting areas where they can make a difference. Two current examples exist in the shape of AGM/EFB batteries and battery testing.

 

AGM/EFB Batteries

Sales patterns confirm that the move from familiar high output capacity lead-acid batteries in traditional vehicle applications, to specialist cyclic batteries fitted to vehicles with a Start-Stop function has begun.

 

This means that more than ever, workshops need to be prepared to cater for the challenges that the batteries in these vehicles present. However, with some assistance from their supplying factor, the opportunities far outweigh these challenges.

 

Over the last 25 years, profits from battery sales have fallen, so that today a typical battery is the same price now as it was in 1990 and the labour rate a workshop can now charge to change a traditionally battery is zero!

 

With the technology change however, three factors now begin to work in the trade’s favour:

  1. The AGM/EFB batteries required for Start-Stop vehicles command a higher price, which means more of a margin for both motor factors and their workshop customers.
  2. Workshops can now charge for fitting the replacement because in contrast to a traditional system, this process can sometimes take a couple of hours work.
  3. As the average motorist becomes less knowledgeable from a maintenance and repair perspective, they are less likely to call into question a fitting charge as they have no previous DIY experience to base their objections on.

 

As a result, workshops and factors together have a real opportunity to use the changing landscape to their advantage and increase their profits.

 

On a practical level, workshops also need the equipment to liberate the opportunities, as fitting these batteries requires a device such as the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset®’ battery validation tool.

 

Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement. The ‘Connect + Reset tool, which is available only via the factor, provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

Battery Testing

Motorists are looking for workshops that provide a good service and that they can trust. Battery testing is an easy and effective way of building customer confidence and is very easy to introduce.

 

Whether a vehicle is in the workshop for a service, MOT or repair, it should be automatic that technicians test the condition of its battery.

 

This is a win-win service because:

  1. If the battery is in poor condition, there is the immediate opportunity for a sale.
  2. If it is okay, but might need replacing in the next few months, the garage is providing their customer with helpful timely piece of ‘free’ advice.
  3. If however, the battery is in excellent condition, it’s a good news story that will boost the customer’s confidence that it is a garage they can trust and they’ll be sure to comeback when a new battery is required.

 

Motor factors can help workshops to maximise these opportunities in two practical ways, first by helping them to coherently explain the facts to motorists and second, by supplying them with the tools they need to fit the batteries and carry out the battery testing.

 

Workshops are looking for help and factors with an eye on the future, must be willing to provide them with the leadership they need.

Look No Further Than Manbat’s Battery Look-up

Alongside its premium quality brands, Manbat prides itself on the support services it also provides CAAR members in order for them to make the best out of the opportunities that battery and battery related products present to them.

 

The recent launch of the ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool and the current battery testing campaign are both great examples of this service based philosophy.

 

However, October heralds the launch of yet another support led initiative, with the introduction of Manbat’s battery look-up website, a battery identification focused tool, that specifically assists members with their battery verification issues.

 

When using the look-up members simply need to enter the registration number of the vehicle in question into the search box and the site will use a sophisticated VRM look-up database to locate the correct vehicle and provide access to its vehicle-specific details. This information naturally includes the exact specification of the battery for which it is designed, and therefore provides an absolute assurance to members that they are supplying the precise replacement the vehicle manufacturer has specified for that model.

 

In addition to the VRM look-up, the site allows members to find the correct battery replacement via two alternative routes should the registration number for some reason not be available. The first is via the vehicle’s own specific identification or VIN number, which it then links through to the database in the same way as the VRM search, the second is a vehicle search menu.

 

Here members use an easy to use and intuitive suite of drop-down boxes to locate the vehicle in the shortest possible number of selections. So both routes allow members to make the identification process extremely quick, while maintaining the accuracy they need.

 

“The introduction of a battery look-up facility allows us to expand the level of support we give to members with a tangible mechanism that they can use every day,” said Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “Not only does it make the task of finding the correct replacement battery easy and accurate, it also allows them to link into several other useful resources, which can help them and their customers.

 

“By creating an account, which is completely free to members of the trade, members can login and access helpful information concerning several matters including fitting instructions and battery specification sheets, as well as battery handling information and do’s and don’ts when if comes to batteries both installed on the vehicle and stored in a warehouse.

 

“Naturally, the look-up portal links in with the main Manbat website from where members can find out more about any aspect of the business including its UK branch network and sister companies that operate in Europe.

 

“It also contains a raft of information concerning the brands the company distributes and the alternative sectors those brands cater for. This is particularly useful for members exploring the option of expanding their offering to include other sectors such as leisure or marine, where the profit margin is substantially greater than it is in the ultra competitive world of automotive and commercial vehicle batteries.”

Thanks Batteries – Think Numax

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become industry wide and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

 

Numax Start-Stop Batteries

Batteries are the single biggest reason for roadside breakdown in the UK and Ireland and therefore one of the fastest moving components across the counter and through the workshop.

 

Alongside the everyday replacements that will be required for the vast majority of cases, there is a discernable shift in the battery landscape as the number of batteries specifically designed for vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system are starting to have an impact in the aftermarket, as sales of AGM (absorbed glass mat) and EFB (enhanced flooded battery) batteries are increasing.

 

Although there will be no overnight change, this shift can only gain momentum, particularly as it is predicted that this year, in excess of 70% of global automotive vehicle production will incorporate a Start-Stop system and therefore necessitate the inclusion of an AGM/EFB battery.

 

To cater for this market development, Manbat has two high quality Start-Stop specific batteries into its popular Numax range, which are available to factors and their workshop customers throughout the Manbat branch network.

 

“Although many factors and battery specialists are aware that we supply them with the market leading VARTA® range, many are extremely loyal to the Numax brand and find its combination of quality and value allows them to provide their customers with a competitive product offering across the board,” said Pemberton.

 

“With the addition of the Numax EFB and AGM models, they will also have a viable Numax solution for those vehicles that by their very nature require a Start-Stop compatible battery that correctly conforms to the vehicle’s specification. These two Numax additions therefore provide them with the ideal replacement for these applications and mean they have at their disposal a Numax solution for all their battery requirements

Manbat, under the ECOBAT European Battery Distribution umbrella, will be exhibiting alongside Manbat France, a subsidiary company that was acquired by the group in January 2014, to promote its popular Numax range of batteries and accessories.

 

Launched in 2002 to coincide with Manbat’s 50th anniversary, Numax is now a significant player in the automotive aftermarket and the dominant brand in the UK’s leisure sector.

 

Its introduction into the French market, which was made at EQUIP AUTO ’13 has been warmly received and in tandem with the acquisition, has allowed the brand to grow sales rapidly across all sectors – automotive, CV, leisure and motorcycle – and increase its trade awareness throughout the country.

 

In common with the UK, independent workshops in France are encountering more vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, which means they need the appropriate replacement EFB/AGM batteries and reset tools to service them. Therefore, taking centre stage on stand 6N 075 will be a range of Numax Start-Stop batteries and the ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool.

 

A Battery Testing Promotion To Drive Growth

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, customer service and business development are core objectives that, along with its range of premium quality brands, remain at the heart of Manbat’s business ethos.

 

As a result, the company is always keen for GROUPAUTO members to exploit any and all possible opportunities to increase their battery sales, which is why it has developed a battery testing promotion to stimulate sales through their workshop customers.

 

Battery testing is an area that Manbat has been encouraging workshops to develop for several years because it yields a return in terms of both their reputation for customer service and sales generation, particular when the figures reveal that one in 12 batteries tested in the UK need replacement.

 

The promotion, which will be rolled out with the full participation of members, centres around a suit of marketing material that will give workshops the tools to process the full administrative side of battery testing.

 

So along with battery testing signage, the testing pack will include the test sheets that will allow technicians to carry out and record the results of the battery test and battery stickers that show the date, mileage and date for the next test, plus have space for the workshop to add their full address and contact details. In addition, the pack includes mirror hangers to show that a battery test has been undertaken and the vehicle’s battery has a clean bill of health.

 

“With our test pack promotion,” explains marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “we are able to provide the selected workshops that GROUPAUTO members nominate, with the practical documentation to market and administer battery testing alongside their many other skills.

 

“We know from experience, that proactive testing builds a positive reputation for honesty and integrity in the workshop carrying out the testing because to be able to provide a customer with documentation that states the condition of the battery builds legitimacy in that workshop, whether the battery needs replacing or is in good condition.

 

“The ‘golden egg’ that goes hand-in-hand with a positive reputation however, is an increase in sales because the workshop is proactively searching for a potential battery sale, rather than just hoping they might benefit by being in the right place at the right time when it does fail.

 

“We are very excited about the potential of this promotion and are therefore keen to work with members who also see the value in the promotion and want to help their customers develop this aspect of their business. In fact, we are so committed to the promotion and convinced of the return that it will yield, that in addition to the pack, we will also visit five workshops from each participating member, to help sell the concept and initiate the testing procedures.

 

“To complete the promotion, Manbat naturally has the batteries required to fulfil any subsequent sale and with VARTA®, Lucas and Numax in our portfolio, members are assured that we have brands to provide the ideal, premium quality solution for every eventuality.”

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500

Manbat Introduces Start-Stop Battery Installation Tool

In order to compete for business and to develop every profit-making opportunity, the successful workshop needs to keep its eyes open and consider every possible option.

 

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat is able to assist with general advice concerning developments in the market or the changing trends that will affect their businesses, which is why for several years it has been highlighting the impact that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, will have on the aftermarket.

 

In a move that will develop this philosophy still further, Manbat is taking a bold step and introducing its own Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool, which will allow technicians to put the company’s advice into practice and correctly install batteries.

 

“As is becoming increasingly understood,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement because the system can ‘assume’ the new battery is in the same derogated condition as the old battery it replaced.

 

“Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“When connected to the vehicle’s j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

“Although the tool is capable of many other functions, the primary concern for Manbat is to provide technicians with a viable solution to the challenges of fitting Start-Stop batteries and which allows them to complete the correct battery installation for whatever the vehicle that comes into the workshop.”

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500

Don’t Overlook Batteries Says Manbat

In common with the passenger vehicle sector, statistics from across Europe confirm that battery related problems are regularly the reason behind commercial vehicle (CV) breakdowns.

 

“Therefore the lessons to learn are two-fold,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor. “First is that batteries are an excellent profit opportunity for both CV motor factors and workshops and second, fleet and owner operators still need to understand the importance of maintaining their batteries.

 

“Naturally, not all battery related callouts will require the purchase of a new battery, but many will. It is therefore very important that factors have access to the good quality batteries their customers need and that they can be certain that their supplier will have sufficient stock to fulfil their requirements, particularly when the weather gets extreme.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more profitable – approach is to supply a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Although fleet operators never want to have to replace their batteries, they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more, rather than pay a bit less and have to replace them a year later! So by supplying a quality product, factors can help their workshop customers to make more profit, while delivering a greater level of customer satisfaction to the operator.

 

“When it comes to operators understanding how they can get the best from their batteries, workshops are ideally placed to help and advise them.

 

“Simple examples such as explaining that 80% of battery failures are a result of poor charge maintenance and that the alternator will often not fully recharge the battery on a vehicle used for short distance, multidrop work. However, regular mains charging can increase the serviceable life of a battery by two years or more!

 

“Despite looking like a simple plastic box, batteries are complex and need care, which is why we want to work with proactive CV factors and their customers to help them develop their battery business and reap the extra profits that will follow.”

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Test & Validate Says Manbat

In order to compete for business and to develop every profit-making opportunity, the successful workshop needs to keep its eyes open and consider every possible option.

 

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat is able to assist with general advice concerning developments in the market or the changing trends that will affect their businesses, which is why for several years it has been highlighting the impact that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, will have on the aftermarket.

 

In a move that will develop this philosophy still further, Manbat is taking a bold step and introducing its own Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool, which will allow technicians to put the company’s advice into practice and correctly install batteries.

 

“As is becoming increasingly understood,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement because the system can ‘assume’ the new battery is in the same derogated condition as the old battery it replaced.

 

“Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“When connected to the vehicle’s j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

“Although the tool is capable of many other functions, the primary concern for Manbat is to provide technicians with a viable solution to the challenges of fitting Start-Stop batteries and which allows them to complete the correct battery installation for whatever the vehicle that comes into the workshop.”

 

Testing, testing, one, two, three

Manbat is also championing proactive battery testing and recommends that workshops test every vehicle that enters the premises.

 

“By applying a ‘test every vehicle’ principle,” continued Pemberton, “workshops not only provide a valuable service to their customers by allowing them to understand the state of health of their battery, but they are also able to maximise their sales opportunities as they can identify a failing battery in advance and capture the sale.

 

“There are a wide range of battery testing tools on the market, but we’d recommend one that prints out a brief overview so that motorists can keep the printout with their records.

 

“With the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ and a good test tool in their armoury, workshops are in a great position to unlock the profit potential of their battery business, with a minimum outlay.”

Manbat Explores The Opportunities

Most Common Vehicle Breakdown

In common with the passenger vehicle sector, statistics from across Europe confirm that battery related problems are regularly the reason behind commercial vehicle (CV) breakdowns.

 

“Therefore the lessons to learn are two-fold,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor. “First is that batteries are an excellent profit opportunity for both CV motor factors and workshops and second, fleet and owner operators still need to understand the importance of maintaining their batteries.

 

“Naturally, not all battery related callouts will require the purchase of a new battery, but many will. It is therefore very important that factors have access to the good quality batteries their customers need and that they can be certain that their supplier will have sufficient stock to fulfil their requirements, particularly when the weather gets extreme.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more profitable – approach is to supply a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Although fleet operators never want to have to replace their batteries, they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more, rather than pay a bit less and have to replace them a year later! So by supplying a quality product, factors can help their workshop customers to make more profit, while delivering a greater level of customer satisfaction to the operator.

 

“When it comes to operators understanding how they can get the best from their batteries, workshops are ideally placed to help and advise them.

 

“Simple examples such as explaining that 80% of battery failures are a result of poor charge maintenance and that the alternator will often not fully recharge the battery on a vehicle used for short distance, multidrop work. However, regular mains charging can increase the serviceable life of a battery by two years or more!

 

“Despite looking like a simple plastic box, batteries are complex and need care, which is why we want to work with proactive CV factors and their customers to help them develop their battery business and reap the extra profits that will follow.”

 

The Changing Landscape Equals Opportunity

Although the challenges of working with vehicles that incorporate a Start-Stop system are normally associated with the automotive sector, CV factors and workshops need to be aware that the technology is already also in use in the LCV sector.

 

Manbat has raised the subject on many occasions and continues to encourage the trade to look at it as an opportunity, rather than a problem.

 

“Change happens, that’s just a fact of life,” Pemberton continued, “but it’s how the market deals with change that will define the final outcome for businesses and their customers.

 

“Over the last 25 years, profits from battery sales have fallen, so that a typical battery is the same price now as it was in 1990 and the labour rate a garage can traditionally charge to change a battery virtually non existent!

 

“However, the changes can now start to work in the industry’s favour. An AGM/EFB battery required for a Start-Stop equipped vehicle for example, commands a higher price, which means more of a margin for both factor and garage. Also, garages can now legitimately charge for fitting the replacement because in contrast to a traditional system, this process can sometimes take a couple of hours work and will require the battery to be validated, which needs a special tool.

 

“To this end, alongside the wide range of VARTA®, Lucas and Numax batteries that Manbat has been associated with for many years, we have now introduced the ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool, which provides garages with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery, as well the traditional batteries that are beginning to need validation, with confidence.”

Test & Validate Says Manbat

In order to compete for business and to develop every profit-making opportunity, the successful workshop needs to keep its eyes open and consider every possible option.

 

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat is able to assist with general advice concerning developments in the market or the changing trends that will affect their businesses, which is why for several years it has been highlighting the impact that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, will have on the aftermarket.

 

In a move that will develop this philosophy still further, Manbat is taking a bold step and introducing its own Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool, which will allow technicians to put the company’s advice into practice and correctly install batteries.

 

“As is becoming increasingly understood,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement because the system can ‘assume’ the new battery is in the same derogated condition as the old battery it replaced.

 

“Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“When connected to the vehicle’s j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

“Although the tool is capable of many other functions, the primary concern for Manbat is to provide technicians with a viable solution to the challenges of fitting Start-Stop batteries and which allows them to complete the correct battery installation for whatever the vehicle that comes into the workshop.”

 

Testing, testing, one, two, three

Manbat is also championing proactive battery testing and recommends that workshops test every vehicle that enters the premises.

 

“By applying a ‘test every vehicle’ principle,” continued Pemberton, “workshops not only provide a valuable service to their customers by allowing them to understand the state of health of their battery, but they are also able to maximise their sales opportunities as they can identify a failing battery in advance and capture the sale.

 

“There are a wide range of battery testing tools on the market, but we’d recommend one that prints out a brief overview so that motorists can keep the printout with their records.

 

“With the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ and a good test tool in their armoury, workshops are in a great position to unlock the profit potential of their battery business, with a minimum outlay.”

Manbat Introduces The Perfect Tool

GROUPAUTO members that already deal with Manbat will know that the company is dedicated to help them increase their profits from battery sales and with VARTA@, Lucas and Numax, and an excellent reputation for customer service, they have the brands and the experience to allow them to achieve that goal.

 

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat is also able to assist members with general advice concerning developments in the market or the changing trends that will affect their businesses, which is why for several years it has been highlighting the impact that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, will have on the aftermarket.

 

In a move that will develop this philosophy still further, Manbat is taking a bold step and introducing its own battery validation tool, which will allow technicians to put the company’s advice into practice and correctly install the batteries Manbat supplies.

 

“As is becoming increasingly understood,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically connected and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery will cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement because the system will ‘assume’ the new battery is in the same derogated condition as the old battery it replaced.

 

“Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“When connected to the vehicle via its j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

“Although the tool is capable of many other functions and is available with additional packages such as service light, electronic parking brake and diesel particulate filter resets, the primary concern for Manbat is to provide technicians with a viable solution to the challenges of fitting Start-Stop batteries and which allows them to complete the correct battery installation for whatever the vehicle that comes into the workshop.

 

“The Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool complements the recent introduction of NOCO chargers and booster pack and demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to provide members with high quality battery accessories, alongside its premium brand batteries.”

Test & Validate Says Manbat

In order to compete for business and to develop every profit-making opportunity, the successful workshop needs to keep its eyes open and consider every possible option.

 

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat is able to assist with general advice concerning developments in the market or the changing trends that will affect their businesses, which is why for several years it has been highlighting the impact that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, will have on the aftermarket.

 

In a move that will develop this philosophy still further, Manbat is taking a bold step and introducing its own Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool, which will allow technicians to put the company’s advice into practice and correctly install batteries.

 

“As is becoming increasingly understood,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically ‘connected’ and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement because the system can ‘assume’ the new battery is in the same derogated condition as the old battery it replaced.

 

“Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“When connected to the vehicle’s j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

“Although the tool is capable of many other functions, the primary concern for Manbat is to provide technicians with a viable solution to the challenges of fitting Start-Stop batteries and which allows them to complete the correct battery installation for whatever the vehicle that comes into the workshop.”

 

Testing, testing, one, two, three

Manbat is also championing proactive battery testing and recommends that workshops test every vehicle that enters the premises.

 

“By applying a ‘test every vehicle’ principle,” continued Pemberton, “workshops not only provide a valuable service to their customers by allowing them to understand the state of health of their battery, but they are also able to maximise their sales opportunities as they can identify a failing battery in advance and capture the sale.

 

“There are a wide range of battery testing tools on the market, but we’d recommend one that prints out a brief overview so that motorists can keep the printout with their records.

 

“With the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ and a good test tool in their armoury, workshops are in a great position to unlock the profit potential of their battery business, with a minimum outlay.”

Chargers That Do The Business

Always intent on providing its customers with products that allow them to compete as proactively as possible, Manbat is delighted to introduce a brilliant new range of chargers under the highly respected NOCO brand name.

 

“We are delighted to have agreed a distribution arrangement with NOCO for a range of high quality chargers and battery boosters,” said marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “NOCO is the premium brand in the US, where their products are the benchmark for performance, reliability and design.

 

“The chargers all feature smart charging technology, which means they can remain permanently connected, as once they’ve charged the battery, they are designed to maintain it to ensure it remains in the best possible condition, whatever and wherever the application.

 

“The Genius G1100UK, which is a 1.1-amp charger for smaller batteries between 2.2 and 40Ah, is perfect for applications such as motorcycles, ATVs and jet skis. It is suitable for both 6 and 12-volt batteries and will also provide an excellent maintenance option for larger applications like cars, motorhomes and boats.

 

Manbat currently supplies brands including VARTA®, Lucas and Numax for automotive, CV, motorcycle and leisure applications, which makes the addition of the NOCO range a natural fit for wholesalers who supply power storage products to both trade and retail customers.

A Bit About Batteries

Most Common Vehicle Breakdown

In a recent article in consumer motoring magazine Auto Express concerning UK callout figures for the AA for 2014, it was revealed that battery problems were not just the most common cause of a breakdown callout, they were more than four times more likely than any other form of mechanical breakdown.

 

It was a similar story in Ireland, as according to Alliance Global Assistance, a flat battery was the also number one cause of a breakdown callout for Irish motorists during the same period.

 

Again, in Germany, although the most recent ADAC statistics refer to 2013, the battery is the most common cause of a breakdown callout (33%), almost three and a half times more likely than the next most common, which are the fuel injection system at 9.6% and the ignition system at just 9.2%.

 

“The lessons to learn from these statics,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, “are two-fold: the first is that batteries are a vital profit driving commodity for both motor factors and workshops and the second, motorists still need to be educated to the importance of maintaining the battery in their vehicle.

 

“Naturally, of the 427,586 battery related callouts stated in the Auto Express article, not all will require the owners to purchase a new battery. However, many will and many more are likely to be faced with the reality that they’ll have to put their hand in their pocket for a replacement sooner rather than later.

 

“It is therefore very important that factors have access to good quality batteries for their workshop customers to fit on these vehicles and that they can be certain that their supplier will have sufficient stock to fulfil their requirements, even when the weather is cold as it is at the moment.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more profitable – approach is to supply a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Motorists are never going to want to replace their battery, but they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more rather than pay a bit less and have to replace it again a year later! So by supplying a quality product, factors can actively help their workshop customers to make more profit and deliver a greater level of customer satisfaction.

 

“When it comes to motorists understanding how they can get the best from their batteries, workshops are ideally placed to help and advise them.

 

“Simple examples such as explaining that 80% of battery failures are a result of poor charge maintenance and that their car’s alternator will often not fully recharge their battery during everyday, short journey driving. However, regular mains charging will increase the serviceable life of a battery by two years or more!

 

“Despite looking like a simple plastic box, batteries are complex and need care, which is why we want to work with proactive factors and their customers to help them develop their battery business and reap the extra profits that will follow.”

 

It’s All About Service

Motorists are looking for garages that provide a good service and that they can trust. Battery testing is an easy and effective way of building customer confidence and is very easy to introduce.

 

Manbat believes that whether a vehicle is in the workshop for a service, MOT or repair, it should be automatic that the technician working on it tests the condition of the battery.

 

This is a win-win service. If the battery is in poor condition, there is the immediate opportunity for a sale. If it is okay, but might need replacing in the next few months, the workshop is providing their customer with helpful timely ‘free’ advice. If however, the battery is in excellent condition, it’s a good news story that will boost the customer’s confidence that it is a garage they can trust and they’ll be sure to comeback when a new battery is required.

 

The Changing Landscape Equals Opportunity

It is clear that the much predicted shift from familiar high output capacity lead-acid batteries in a traditional application to more specialist cyclic batteries fitted to vehicles that incorporate a Start-Stop system, is gaining momentum.

 

Many garages are reporting that although it may still be a trickle and not yet a flood, the balance is certainly beginning to change and that they need to prepare to cater for the challenge ahead.

Manbat Introduces The Perfect Tool

GROUPAUTO members that already deal with Manbat will know that the company is dedicated to help them increase their profits from battery sales and with VARTA@, Lucas and Numax, and an excellent reputation for customer service, they have the brands and the experience to allow them to achieve that goal.

 

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat is also able to assist members with general advice concerning developments in the market or the changing trends that will affect their businesses, which is why for several years it has been highlighting the impact that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system, will have on the aftermarket.

 

In a move that will develop this philosophy still further, Manbat is taking a bold step and introducing its own battery validation tool, which will allow technicians to put the company’s advice into practice and correctly install the batteries Manbat supplies.

 

“As is becoming increasingly understood,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “the battery in a micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with a Start-Stop function) is central to its electrical systems and is therefore constantly governed by a battery management module, which monitors its voltage, current, temperature and operating time.

 

“This information is processed to determine the battery’s state of charge, starting capacity, electrical consumption, energy reserve and optimum charging voltage, to ensure the system applies the correct charging regime and keeps it in the best possible condition.

 

“Fitting the battery for which the system was designed is therefore crucial, but so also is the process of ‘validation’ to ensure the battery and battery management module are diagnostically connected and able to communicate with one another correctly.

 

“Failure to validate the battery will cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement because the system will ‘assume’ the new battery is in the same derogated condition as the old battery it replaced.

 

“Although technicians already have a host of workshop tools at their disposal, the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

“When connected to the vehicle via its j1962 diagnostic socket, the handheld tool will go through the validation and fault code reset process, so that the battery is introduced and assimilated into the vehicle’s electronic systems and integrated with the battery management module, to ensure the installation is performed correctly and the vehicle/battery combination is able to operate to its intended capability.

 

“Although the tool is capable of many other functions and is available with additional packages such as service light, electronic parking brake and diesel particulate filter resets, the primary concern for Manbat is to provide technicians with a viable solution to the challenges of fitting Start-Stop batteries and which allows them to complete the correct battery installation for whatever the vehicle that comes into the workshop.

 

“The Manbat ‘Connect + Reset’ battery validation tool complements the recent introduction of NOCO chargers and booster pack and demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to provide members with high quality battery accessories, alongside its premium brand batteries.”

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat & NOCO, It’s Genius

Always intent on providing GROUPAUTO G-Truck members with products that allow them to compete as proactively as possible and across as many fronts as they are willing to consider, Manbat is delighted to introduce a brilliant new range of chargers under the highly respected NOCO brand name.

 

“We are delighted to have agreed a distribution arrangement with NOCO for a range of high quality chargers and battery boosters,” said marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “NOCO is the premium brand in the US, where their products are the benchmark for performance, reliability and design.

 

“The charger range consists of several models of various capacities, all naturally with smart charging technology, which means they can remain permanently connected, as once they’ve charged the battery, they are designed to maintain it to ensure it remains in the best possible condition, whatever and wherever the application.

 

“When it come to those suitable for heavy duty commercial vehicle batteries, it’s the three biggest chargers that will be the most appropriate and these start with the G7200UK, which at 7.2-amps, provides the power required for batteries up to 230Ah in either 12 or 24-volt form. In addition to its immense charge capacity, it also incorporates several specialist charging modes designed to recover severely discharged batteries that will no longer accept a ‘normal’ charge. Next is the G15000UK at 15-amps and finally, comes the GS26000UK at 26-amps, both of which can deal with batteries of up to 500Ah capacity.

 

“Among their many outstanding features, it’s worth mentioning that these chargers have the ability to remember their last selected operational mode, apply a high-voltage pulse charge when low-voltage, sulphation or lost capacity is detected and are protected against reverse polarity, sparks, overcharging, overcurrent, open-circuits, short-circuits and overheating.

 

“In addition, they self-adjust the charge based on the ambient temperature, are able to charge the CANBUS system and are suitable for lead-acid, Gel, EFB/AGM and lithium-ion batteries.”

 

Alongside these new chargers, stands a ‘game changing’ booster pack that rewrites the rulebook when it comes to portable jump starters/power units.

 

“The NOCO GB30 Genius BOOST sets new standards when it comes to portable power,” Pemberton continues, “and makes it entirely practical for the average motorist to carry a ‘pocket-sized’ jump starter in case of emergency, because incredibly, the GB30, which contains a high density lithium-ion battery, is capable of starting a petrol vehicle with up to a 6.0-litre engine or a 3.0-litre diesel for as many as 20 times on one charge!

 

“What’s more, it also features spark-proof technology, is reverse polarity protected, holds its charge for a year and fits into the smallest glove box or the seat pocket. Also, as it uses a USB connection, it can charge or be charged from virtually any device: laptop, smartphone, tablet etc. If all this wasn’t enough, it also incorporates an ultra-bright, dual LED flashlight with seven modes including SOS and emergency strobe.”

 

Manbat currently supplies members with VARTA®, Lucas and Numax batteries for automotive, CV, motorcycle and leisure applications, which makes the addition of the NOCO range a natural fit for members who supply power storage products to both their trade and retail customers.

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Chargers That Do The Business

Always intent on providing its customers with products that allow them to compete as proactively as possible and across as many fronts as they are willing to consider, Manbat is delighted to introduce a brilliant new range of chargers under the highly respected NOCO brand name.

 

“We are delighted to have agreed a distribution arrangement with NOCO for a range of high quality chargers and battery boosters,” said marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “NOCO is the premium brand in the US, where their products are the benchmark for performance, reliability and design.

 

“The charger range consists of several models of various capacities, all naturally with smart charging technology, which means they can remain permanently connected, as once they’ve charged the battery, they are designed to maintain it to ensure it remains in the best possible condition, whatever and wherever the application.

 

“When it come to those suitable for heavy duty commercial vehicle batteries, it’s the three biggest chargers that will be the most appropriate and these start with the G7200UK, which at 7.2-amps, provides the power required for batteries up to 230Ah in either 12 or 24-volt form. In addition to its immense charge capacity, it also incorporates several specialist charging modes designed to recover severely discharged batteries that will no longer accept a ‘normal’ charge. Next is the G15000UK at 15-amps and finally, comes the GS26000UK at 26-amps, both of which can deal with batteries of up to 500Ah capacity.

 

“Among their many outstanding features, it’s worth mentioning that these chargers have the ability to remember their last selected operational mode, apply a high-voltage pulse charge when low-voltage, sulphation or lost capacity is detected and are protected against reverse polarity, sparks, overcharging, overcurrent, open-circuits, short-circuits and overheating.

 

“In addition, they self-adjust the charge based on the ambient temperature, are able to charge the CANBUS system and are suitable for lead-acid, Gel, EFB/AGM and lithium-ion batteries.”

 

Alongside these new chargers, stands a ‘game changing’ booster pack that rewrites the rulebook when it comes to portable jump starters/power units.

 

“The NOCO GB30 Genius BOOST sets new standards when it comes to portable power,” Pemberton continues, “and makes it entirely practical for the average motorist to carry a ‘pocket-sized’ jump starter in case of emergency, because incredibly, the GB30, which contains a high density lithium-ion battery, is capable of starting a petrol vehicle with up to a 6.0-litre engine or a 3.0-litre diesel for as many as 20 times on one charge!

 

“What’s more, it also features spark-proof technology, is reverse polarity protected, holds its charge for a year and fits into the smallest glove box or the seat pocket. Also, as it uses a USB connection, it can charge or be charged from virtually any device: laptop, smartphone, tablet etc. If all this wasn’t enough, it also incorporates an ultra-bright, dual LED flashlight with seven modes including SOS and emergency strobe.”

 

Manbat currently brands such as VARTA®, Lucas and Numax for automotive, CV, motorcycle and leisure applications, which makes the addition of the NOCO range a natural fit for wholesalers who supply power storage products to both trade and retail customers.

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

 

A Bit About Batteries

Most Common Vehicle Breakdown

In a recent article in consumer motoring magazine Auto Express concerning UK callout figures for the AA for 2014, it was revealed that battery problems were not just the most common cause of a breakdown callout, they were more than four times more likely than any other form of mechanical breakdown.

 

It was a similar story in Ireland, as according to Alliance Global Assistance, a flat battery was the also number one cause of a breakdown callout for Irish motorists during the same period.

 

Again, in Germany, although the most recent ADAC statistics refer to 2013, the battery is the most common cause of a breakdown callout (33%), almost three and a half times more likely than the next most common, which are the fuel injection system at 9.6% and the ignition system at just 9.2%.

 

“The lessons to learn from these statics,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, “are two-fold: the first is that batteries are a vital profit driving commodity for both motor factors and workshops and the second, motorists still need to be educated to the importance of maintaining the battery in their vehicle.

 

“Naturally, of the 427,586 battery related callouts stated in the Auto Express article, not all will require the owners to purchase a new battery. However, many will and many more are likely to be faced with the reality that they’ll have to put their hand in their pocket for a replacement sooner rather than later.

 

“It is therefore very important that factors have access to good quality batteries for their workshop customers to fit on these vehicles and that they can be certain that their supplier will have sufficient stock to fulfil their requirements, even when the weather is cold as it is at the moment.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more profitable – approach is to supply a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Motorists are never going to want to replace their battery, but they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more rather than pay a bit less and have to replace it again a year later! So by supplying a quality product, factors can actively help their workshop customers to make more profit and deliver a greater level of customer satisfaction.

 

“When it comes to motorists understanding how they can get the best from their batteries, workshops are ideally placed to help and advise them.

 

“Simple examples such as explaining that 80% of battery failures are a result of poor charge maintenance and that their car’s alternator will often not fully recharge their battery during everyday, short journey driving. However, regular mains charging will increase the serviceable life of a battery by two years or more!

 

“Despite looking like a simple plastic box, batteries are complex and need care, which is why we want to work with proactive factors and their customers to help them develop their battery business and reap the extra profits that will follow.”

 

It’s All About Service

Motorists are looking for garages that provide a good service and that they can trust. Battery testing is an easy and effective way of building customer confidence and is very easy to introduce.

 

Manbat believes that whether a vehicle is in the workshop for a service, MOT or repair, it should be automatic that the technician working on it tests the condition of the battery.

 

This is a win-win service. If the battery is in poor condition, there is the immediate opportunity for a sale. If it is okay, but might need replacing in the next few months, the workshop is providing their customer with helpful timely ‘free’ advice. If however, the battery is in excellent condition, it’s a good news story that will boost the customer’s confidence that it is a garage they can trust and they’ll be sure to comeback when a new battery is required.

 

The Changing Landscape Equals Opportunity

It is clear that the much predicted shift from familiar high output capacity lead-acid batteries in a traditional application to more specialist cyclic batteries fitted to vehicles that incorporate a Start-Stop system, is gaining momentum.

 

Many garages are reporting that although it may still be a trickle and not yet a flood, the balance is certainly beginning to change and that they need to prepare to cater for the challenge ahead.

 

Manbat has spoken about this forthcoming challenge on many occasions and is encouraging garages to look at it as an opportunity, rather than a problem.

 

“Change happens, that’s just a fact of life,” Pemberton continued, “but it’s how garages deal with change that will define the final outcome for their businesses and their customers.

 

“The truth is that over the last 25 years, profits from battery sales have fallen, so that a typical battery is the same price now as it was in 1990 and the labour rate a garage could traditionally charge to change a battery, non existent!

 

“However, with the change, three factors will now start to work in the industry’s favour. First, the AGM/EFB batteries required for Start-Stop equipped vehicles command a higher price, which means more of a margin for both motor factors and their garage customers. Second, garages can now charge for fitting the replacement because in contrast to a traditional system, this process can sometimes take a couple of hours work. And finally, as the average motorist becomes less knowledgeable from a maintenance and repair perspective, they are less likely to call into question a fitting charge as they have no previous DIY experience to compare it with.

 

“These factors provide a real opportunity for garages to use this change in battery technology to their advantage and combined with the implementation of a proactive battery testing service, can result in an upturn in profits, which can only be good news.

 

“We are always keen to work with garages that are looking to develop their battery business and would be delighted to speak with like minded people and realise the potential together.”

 

New Lucas AGM

To further help motor factors and their garage customers make the necessary transition in the changing battery landscape and to respond to the requirement to supply the growing number of vehicles designed to use Start-Stop specific batteries, Manbat is introducing a high quality AGM battery into the acclaimed Lucas range, which will shortly be available throughout the Manbat branch network.

 

“Although we are well known in the trade for supplying the market leading VARTA® battery range, many of our customers like to supply the Lucas brand as they find the name is so familiar across the industry and has a great reputation for quality and that allows them to provide their customers with a highly reputable product offering across the board,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton.

 

“Therefore, with the addition of this new model, they will now also have a viable Lucas solution for those vehicles that by their very design require a Start-Stop compatible battery that correctly conforms to the vehicle’s specification.  As a result, with the inclusion of the Lucas AGM, they are now fully equipped to provide their customers with the ideal replacement for each and every application.”

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

 

“Think Batteries – Think Numax” Says Manbat

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become industry wide and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

 

To equip the brand for the next decade and to support CAAR members supplying it, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity and introduced new models to expand the depth of the range offering.

 

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

 

“Therefore, although we will still not compromise in the quality of the range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the requirements of CAAR members and their customers. As a result, alongside the existing Numax Premium offering, the revised automotive line up now includes Standard and Supreme versions, with Start-Stop additions to follow.

 

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

 

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that the cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

 

“Although the price should come way behind the quality factor, the reality of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level to enable members to compete.

 

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides CAAR members with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

 

“Thanks Batteries – Think Manbat,” Says Manbat

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become industry wide and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

 

Numax Start-Stop Batteries

Batteries are the single biggest reason for roadside breakdown in the UK and Ireland and therefore one of the fastest moving components across the counter and through the workshop.

 

Alongside the everyday replacements that will be required for the vast majority of cases, there is a discernable shift in the battery landscape as the number of batteries specifically designed for vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system are starting to have an impact in the aftermarket, as sales of AGM (absorbed glass mat) and EFB (enhanced flooded battery) batteries are increasing.

 

Although there will be no overnight change, this shift can only gain momentum, particularly as it is predicted that this year, in excess of 70% of global automotive vehicle production will incorporate a Start-Stop system and therefore necessitate the inclusion of an AGM/EFB battery.

 

To cater for this market development, Manbat is introducing two high quality Start-Stop specific batteries into its popular Numax range, which will shortly be available to factors and their workshop customers throughout the Manbat branch network.

 

“Although many factors and battery specialists are aware that we supply them with the market leading VARTA® range, many are extremely loyal to the Numax brand and find its combination of quality and value allows them to provide their customers with a competitive product offering across the board,” said Pemberton.

 

“With the addition of the Numax EFB and AGM models, they will also have a viable Numax solution for those vehicles that by their very nature require a Start-Stop compatible battery that correctly conforms to the vehicle’s specification. These two Numax additions will therefore provide them with the ideal replacement for these applications and mean they have at their disposal a Numax solution for all their battery requirements.”

 

For further details about the new Numax EFB and AGM, or any other product in the Manbat portfolio, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – The Complete Battery Service

It is a sad reflection of the times that environmental concerns and responsible waste disposal can still play second fiddle to making a fast buck. However, as is evident from a criminal prosecution in 2014 that resulted in four convictions, as well as being irresponsible, it’s also a risky business.

 

In the case in question, four men from Gloucestershire received a combination of custodial sentences and community service for their part in a £100,000 scrap battery fraud. Posing as genuine collectors, they visited sites countrywide and stole waste batteries and then sold them on to scrap metal dealers.

 

“Despite being in the UK, this case illuminates the issues,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager of the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor, Manbat Ltd. “Due to the escalating price of the lead that goes into, among other products, batteries, there is an intrinsic value attached to a scrap battery.

 

“This is good for motor factors and their garage customers because it provides them with an additional revenue stream, but too many businesses want to be paid cash ‘on the side’, rather than put the money through the company books.

 

“Part of the problem is down to the rules and regulations connected with waste management, which can sometimes seem complicated and time-consuming and make the whole procedure ‘more trouble than it’s worth’, particularly when someone is offering cash to make the problem ‘go away’!

 

“However, waste batteries are a serious matter for workshop and motor factor alike, so when it comes to the responsible disposal of batteries, they both have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally.

 

“It is for this reason that we work closely with our Irish distributors to help their customers help workshops through the process, which often includes dealing with all the necessary paperwork, but also allows them to earn money at the same time.

 

“Manbat also has a great story to tell when it comes to the recycling process, because in conjunction with some of the other businesses in the ECOBAT Technologies Group, we are able to let our customers know that 99.97% of every battery we collect and process is recycled, which is one of the highest rates of conversion across any industrial sector.”

 

ECOBAT is the world’s largest producer of lead, which is processed through its 13 lead facilities located strategically across the globe. More than 80% of its total lead production comes from recycled lead and this means that it annually converts literally thousands of tons of lead waste into high quality lead products such as ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelting operations.

 

Among its many customers are large-scale battery manufacturers and these companies purchase huge quantities of ECOBAT’s lead ingots, which they then process to form the plates that go into their batteries. Their finished products are then distributed through Manbat’s Irish distribution partners to wholesalers and battery specialists who in turn need a legitimate outlet for the waste batteries they collect from their customers when they supply a new battery.

 

These scrap batteries are then collected by leading waste battery collection specialist, G & P Batteries, who dismantle the batteries into their core elements, the lead from which goes back into the lead smelting process.

 

However, it is not just the lead that is recycled: the sulphuric acid from the battery’s electrolyte is converted into gypsum for the construction industry and the cases are reprocessed into polypropylene, which is a highly sought after element for many industries.

 

“We believe that Manbat and its key distribution partners provide a scrap battery-recycling scheme that is the benchmark for the industry. Together we offer a complete service that not only takes the worry out of battery waste, but can also turn that waste into extra profits, which can be ploughed back into the business,” concluded Pemberton.

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

 

Manbat & VARTA Working For Members

 

Manbat Ltd is the UK’s largest supplier of automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) batteries and therefore has long-standing and highly successful business relationships with many GROUPAUTO G-Truck members.

 

As the country’s primary distribution partner for Johnson Controls Inc., the company behind the famous VARTA® brand, Manbat is perfectly placed to provide members with the replacement batteries they need, when they need them.

 

New Technology

In September 2014, VARTA announced two new developments, which are now available through the Manbat branch network. The first is the VARTA Promotive EFB heavy-duty battery and the second, although less relevant to the CV sector, was the addition of the new EFB and AGM models into the Dynamic automotive range.

 

Nowadays, the power requirement placed on a typical heavy-duty commercial battery is huge as most trucks are now equipped with a multitude of electronic devices such as wide-ranging entertainment systems, fridges and even microwave ovens.

 

To address this demand, the new VARTA Promotive EFB is an innovative battery that incorporates EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery) technology to meet the needs of today’s owner-driver and fleet operators.

 

The Promotive EFB is the first heavy-duty EFB battery with a unique acid circulator and is specifically designed for high-performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and intense vibration resistance requirements. Its technological features guarantee improved performance and reliability over previous models and the innovative acid circulator effectively prevents acid stratification, a major cause of battery failure.

 

As a result, the Promotive EFB, which is manufactured to the highest quality standards in Europe, is designed to last longer than any other battery on the market and will therefore provide reliable and dependable power for commercial vehicle fleets and dramatically reduce their unscheduled downtime.

The unique acid circulator is a benchmark VARTA technology that guarantees better acid circulation and keeps charge acceptance at the highest level. The battery will therefore last much longer and the risk of failure is significantly reduced.
Commenting on the range additions, Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton said” “With the new VARTA Promotive EFB battery, GROUPAUTO members are now able to provide their customers with an innovative technology that is designed to suit the requirements of today’s fleet operators by providing increased levels of reliability.

 

For further details of any of the products in its comprehensive range, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Battery Solutions from Manbat

In a recent article in consumer motoring magazine Auto Express concerning UK callout figures for the AA for 2014, it was revealed that battery problems were not just the most common cause of a breakdown callout, they were more than four times more likely than any other form of mechanical breakdown.

 

It was a similar story in Ireland, as according to Alliance Global Assistance, a flat battery was the also number one cause of a breakdown callout for Irish motorists during the same period.

 

Again, in Germany, although the most recent ADAC statistics refer to 2013, the battery is the most common cause of a breakdown callout (33%), almost three and a half times more likely than the next most common, which are the fuel injection system at 9.6% and the ignition system at just 9.2%.

 

“The lessons to learn from these statics,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, “are two-fold: the first is that batteries are a vital profit driving commodity for both GROUPAUTO members and their workshop customers and the second, motorists still need to be educated to the importance of maintaining the battery in their vehicle.

 

“Naturally, of the 427,586 battery related callouts stated in the Auto Express article, not all will require the owners to purchase a new battery. However, many will and many more are likely to be faced with the reality that they’ll have to put their hand in their pocket for a replacement sooner rather than later.

 

“It is therefore very important that members have access to good quality batteries for their workshop customers to fit on these vehicles and that they can be certain that their supplier will have sufficient stock to fulfil their requirements, even when the weather is cold as it is at the moment.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more profitable – approach is to supply a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Motorists are never going to want to replace their battery, but they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more rather than pay a bit less and have to replace it again a year later! So by supplying a quality product, like Numax, Lucas or VARTA®, members can actively help their workshop customers to make more profit and deliver a greater level of customer satisfaction.”

 

Numax AGM

Alongside the everyday examples that make up the vast majority of cases in the AA, AGA and ADAC statistics, there is a discernable shift in the battery landscape as the number of batteries specifically designed for vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system are starting to have an impact in the aftermarket as sales of AGM (absorbed glass mat) and EFB (enhanced flooded battery) batteries are increasing.

 

Although there will be no overnight change, this shift can only gain momentum, particularly as it is predicted that this year, in excess of 70% of global automotive vehicle production will incorporate a Start-Stop system and therefore necessitate the inclusion of an AGM/EFB battery.

 

To cater for this market development, Manbat is introducing a high quality AGM battery into its popular Numax range, which will shortly be available to members throughout the Manbat branch network.

 

“Although members will be aware that we supply them with the market leading VARTA range, many are extremely loyal to the Numax brand and find its combination of quality and value allows them to provide their customers with a competitive product offering across the board,” said Pemberton.

 

“With the addition of the Numax AGM, they will also have a viable Numax solution for those vehicles that by their very nature require a Start-Stop compatible battery that correctly conforms to the vehicle’s specification. The Numax AGM will therefore provide them with the ideal replacement for these applications.”

 

For further details about the new Numax AGM, or any other product in the Manbat portfolio, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – A Glimpse Of The Future Through The Reality Of Today

“Although, just like the latest supercar or luxury express, fully electric and advanced electric hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai ix35 fuel cell dominate the headlines in the motoring press, it is difficult to see that either will really have a significant impact on the UK vehicle parc and therefore GROUPAUTO members in the short term,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton.

 

“The challenges concerning the investment required to convert the national infrastructure to fully support a significant number of plug-in electric vehicles, let alone the environmental impact on the national grid to charge them for several hours a day, should not be underestimated.

 

“Equally, despite the obvious attraction of a virtually zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle, the magnitude of the task to add several hydrogen pumps alongside their petrol and diesel counterparts in the average filling station, let alone the cost in both monetary and energy consumption terms to extract hydrogen from the environment, means they are no ‘quick fix’ for the entire vehicle parc.

 

“Simply in relation to the batteries, there is also a question mark over the real-world environmental credentials of both fully electric and advanced hybrids. This is because the cost to produce the advanced batteries they utilise is considerable and the extent to which they can be truly recycled is not as great as a traditional lead-acid battery, which now stands at an impressive 99.97%.

 

“Despite this ‘reality check’ there is also no question that both vehicle manufacturers (VMs), in concert with their specialist supply partners and national governments, including here in the UK, are moving, albeit cautiously, in the direction of an electric/hydrogen electric fuel cell future.

 

“Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) is one of those specialist supply partners and as one third of all the vehicles currently in production utilise a JCI battery, it is clearly at the forefront of battery developing technology. Therefore, as the predominant UK distribution partner for its renowned VARTA® brand, Manbat is strategically aligned with JCI and well positioned to provide the necessary support to GROUPAUTO members and their workshop customers as the technology develops and the nature of the batteries used in these futuristic vehicles leaves the utopia of the design studio and enters the reality of the aftermarket.

 

“However, the logical conclusion for VMs and the average motorist, both faced with the huge costs associated with developing and purchasing these ‘alternative fuel’ vehicles, is that vehicles based around the current technology will continue to dominate the market for many years to come.

 

“This will inevitably mean that the number fitted with a Start-Stop system will continue to rise, as it is currently the only affordable way for VMs to meet the emission reduction targets that legislation around the world is beginning to demand.

 

“For battery suppliers, distributors like Manbat and GROUPAUTO members, this will mean that the big change will come with the transition between supplying mainly traditional flooded lead-acid to the EFB/AGM batteries required for Start-Stop vehicles.

 

“However, with one in three of the 30 million plus cars on the UK’s roads estimated to be more than 10 years old, the vast majority of the service and repair work for the foreseeable future, will be with the batteries that remain very familiar.

 

“Therefore we remain totally committed to members with a comprehensive range of products to allow them to cater for every possible requirement from the most cutting edge VARTA, to the most modest Powerstart. Whatever is required, Manbat is ready for action!”

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Battery Solutions from Manbat

In a recent article in consumer motoring magazine Auto Express concerning UK callout figures for the AA for 2014, it was revealed that battery problems were not just the most common cause of a breakdown callout, they were more than four times more likely than any other form of mechanical breakdown.

 

It was a similar story in Ireland, as according to Alliance Global Assistance, a flat battery was the also number one cause of a breakdown callout for Irish motorists during the same period.

 

Again, in Germany, although the most recent ADAC statistics refer to 2013, the battery is the most common cause of a breakdown callout (33%), almost three and a half times more likely than the next most common, which are the fuel injection system at 9.6% and the ignition system at just 9.2%.

 

“The lessons to learn from these statics,” says Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, “are two-fold: the first is that batteries are a vital profit driving commodity for both motor factors and workshops and the second, motorists still need to be educated to the importance of maintaining the battery in their vehicle.

 

“Naturally, of the 427,586 battery related callouts stated in the Auto Express article, not all will require the owners to purchase a new battery. However, many will and many more are likely to be faced with the reality that they’ll have to put their hand in their pocket for a replacement sooner rather than later.

 

“It is therefore very important that factors have access to good quality batteries for their workshop customers to fit on these vehicles and that they can be certain that their supplier will have sufficient stock to fulfil their requirements, even when the weather is cold as it is at the moment.

 

“Although some might opt for a ‘whatever will do’ approach to battery replacement, a more responsible – and I might add, more profitable – approach is to supply a quality product that will prove reliable over the longer term.

 

“Motorists are never going to want to replace their battery, but they’d be far happier to pay 50% more for something that will last three years or more rather than pay a bit less and have to replace it again a year later! So by supplying a quality product, factors can actively help their workshop customers to make more profit and deliver a greater level of customer satisfaction.

 

“When it comes to motorists understanding how they can get the best from their batteries, workshops are ideally placed to help and advise them.

 

“Simple examples such as explaining that 80% of battery failures are a result of poor charge maintenance and that their car’s alternator will often not fully recharge their battery during everyday, short journey driving. However, regular mains charging will increase the serviceable life of a battery by two years or more!

 

“Despite looking like a simple plastic box, batteries are complex and need care, which is why we want to work with proactive factors and their customers to help them develop their battery business and reap the extra profits that will follow.”

 

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

 

 

Lucas – The Byword For Quality Batteries

As the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat Ltd is keen to provide Fast Parts and its customers with more details to help them understand just what powerful a proposition the Lucas brand provides.

“The battery is one of the few components that by their outward appearance are almost impossible to gauge the condition of,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “We obviously put a lot of thought into the design of our labels so that they look attractive and contain the important information that is needed to ensure that each battery is appropriate for the application, but it’s what is under the surface that makes the difference and that’s difficult for both factors supplying and technicians fitting batteries to judge.

“It is because of this difficulty that we wish to provide a transparent explanation of what is under the surface of the typical Lucas lead-acid battery and the technology behind the lead plates that are central to its quality, reliability and power.

“As we often say, as a general rule, the only way to make a battery cheap is to reduce the amount of lead it contains, because that is the most expensive component. However, the flip side is that the fewer and thinner the lead in the cells, the less powerful and long-lasting will be its ultimate performance.

“By contrast, our Lucas Premium and Supreme batteries are manufactured on our behalf by one of the most respected global battery manufacturers, Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), the company behind the famous VARTA® brand.

“These JCI manufactured products are manufactured without compromise and incorporate a revolutionary lead plate design that ensures the most efficient energy transfer and therefore delivers powerful consistent performance.

“This performance is achieved by a manufacturing process that allows the plates to be produced from a single sheet of precision rolled and stamped lead, which ensures a punched plate that is consistent to within 0.0254 of a millimetre and optimises conductivity, while also increasing its resistance to corrosion. This is why we can guarantee the long-term reliability of these batteries and why factors can have complete confidence in supplying, and technicians in fitting, a Lucas battery.

“Although other batteries might utilise a plate design that is formed into a grid-like structure, unless the holes in the lead are stamped out and to the most efficient design, they cannot produce consistent power and are prone to corrosion, particularly at the points where the lead is ‘stretched’ and ‘split’ to form its grid. This leads to the breakdown of the plate within the battery’s cell.

“As this short piece makes clear, there’s so much more to a battery than its outward appearance so we hope this explanation proves to be useful and we challenge readers to give Lucas a try. We know they won’t be disappointed!”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

MANBAT INDUSTRIAL

The Business Behind The Name

Manbat Industrial
With the August 2014 acquisition of PowerCell Industrial Battery Engineers reinforcing the 2011 purchase of Battery Power Systems, Manbat Industrial has become a major force in the industrial battery supply and maintenance sector.

The invisible thread that linked these previously independent businesses – Manbat/Battery Power Systems/PowerCell – was their shared desire to provide exceptional customer service and support, alongside a range of quality products. This common ethos has made the transition into a single entity far less problematic than might have been and has meant that the triumvirate’s existing customers have not been disaffected by the change.

In fact the reverse is the case as many are already experiencing the additional benefits of the new organisation, that has, rather than reduce the size of its combined sales force, a practice automatically enforced following the majority of similar acquisitions, the Manbat Industrial team has grown to respond to the opportunities in the market and provide a truly national service.

Market Overview
In order to control costs, the industrial battery market, in common with many other industries, has undergone a reduction in both the number of those employed directly, as well as those employed by independent service providers, which has led to a decline in specialist market knowledge within the industry.

In addition to this loss of experience, many businesses have also extended the replacement cycle on their equipment to further reduce overheads, a combination that can lead to equipment failure and the inevitable knock on effect of disruption to the orderly running of the business.

Manbat Industrial however exists to resolve these issues for its customers and has a wealth of experience that it can bring to bear in order to deliver a level of support to its customers that can make a tangible difference to their businesses.

Making A Difference
With 32 national engineers, all of whom have substantial experience in the power storage sector, Manbat Industrial can provide its customers with a full package of benefits derived from its service driven business ethos.

Batteries represent a sizable investment for a business, but without the correct maintenance regime, there is a danger they will not return the anticipated number of cycles – charge, discharge, charge – during their planned lifespan, which means they would need to be replaced early, with the subsequent cost that the business would incur. The correct charging package is therefore vital.

MI’s field engineers have the knowledge and experience to choose the right battery/charger combination to be the most effective. Looking after this important investment with the best care package can prolong the lifespan of the batteries considerably and result in less down time and therefore will deliver greater warehouse efficiency.

It should go without saying, that customers need to have the right battery for the right application to begin with. However, this is often where difficulties can arise because there can be a tendency to look at the short-term cost of the initial purchase of the batteries, rather than the long-term cost to the business over the projected lifespan of the batteries.

As a general rule, a cheap battery to purchase will not provide a cheap solution over the long-term because it will probably require topping up more regularly or will just not last as anticipated and need to be replaced, therefore negating its lower initial purchase price.

Manbat Industrial has very close relationships with several quality battery manufacturers, so in addition to its market experience that ensures it will specify a battery and maintenance regime that is suitable for the application, it is also able to support the package by being able to offer a competitive initial purchase price for the batteries.

Partnership
In order to deliver the full benefits of its customer service orientated approach to business, Manbat Industrial is committed to working with its customers in a true partnership.

By investing in experienced people, it is able to build the relationships that are necessary to work in partnership and to be able to provide a flexible tailored solution for each and every one of its customers. This business ethic serves to both prolong the service life of the power storage package, but also build a long-term sustainable business relationship with is partners.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Numax – Think Inside The Box

Following the rebranding of the Numax automotive and commercial vehicle ranges and the introduction of additional models in the summer, Manbat is keen to provide GROUPAUTO members with some more information that will help them understand just how powerful a proposition the Numax brand provides them.

“The battery is one of the few components that by their outward appearance are almost impossible to gauge the condition of,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “We obviously put a lot of thought into the design of our labels so that they look attractive and contain the important information that is needed to ensure that each battery is appropriate for the application, but it’s what is under the surface that makes the difference and that’s difficult for both factor members supplying and technicians fitting batteries to judge.

“It is because of this difficulty that our latest campaign is to invite members to ‘think inside the box’ as we wish to provide a transparent explanation of what is under the surface of the typical Numax lead-acid battery and the technology behind the lead plates that are central to its quality, reliability and power.

“As we have previously stated to members, as a general rule, the only way to make a cheap battery is to reduce the amount of lead it contains, because that is the most expensive component. However, the flip side is that the fewer and thinner the lead in the cells, the less powerful and long-lasting will be its ultimate performance.

“By contrast, our Numax Premium and Supreme batteries are manufactured on our behalf by one of the most respected global battery manufacturers, Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), the company behind the famous VARTA® brand.

“These JCI manufactured products are manufactured without compromise and incorporate a revolutionary lead plate design that ensures the most efficient energy transfer and therefore delivers powerful consistent performance.

“This performance is achieved by a manufacturing process that allows the plates to be produced from a single sheet of precision rolled and stamped lead, which ensures a punched plate that is consistent to within 0.0254 of a millimetre and optimises conductivity, while also increasing its resistance to corrosion. This is why we can guarantee the long-term reliability of these batteries and why GROUPAUTO members can have complete confidence in supplying, and technicians in fitting, a Numax battery.

“Although other batteries might utilise a plate design that is formed into a grid-like structure, unless the holes in the lead are stamped out and to the most efficient design, they cannot produce consistent power and are prone to corrosion, particularly at the points where the lead is ‘stretched’ and ‘split’ to form its grid. This leads to the breakdown of the plate within the battery’s cell.

“As can be seen, there’s so much more to a battery than its outward appearance so we hope this explanation proves to be useful and we challenge members not yet doing so, to give Numax a try. We know they won’t be disappointed!”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

MAKE THE MOST OF LEISURE WITH NUMAX

Super Show Offer

Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and the company behind the market leading Numax leisure battery brand, which is why it’s exhibiting at this important event in the leisure enthusiast’s calendar.

The team will be ready to welcome visitors to stand 01a in hall 8, where they can not only take a detailed look at the entire Numax range, but also benefit directly when they pick up a voucher that entitles them to a 5% discount when they purchase a Numax leisure battery.

The voucher can then be redeemed from their local Numax distributor, but if they are unsure where the nearest distributor is located, staff on the Numax stand will be only too pleased to locate their nearest stockist from their postal code.

Numax is also present at the show in order to support its network of leisure battery distributors. These stockists are at the frontline when dealing with those seeking advice regarding power storage matters and naturally when their existing battery needs replacing. The vouchers given out during the show therefore directly benefit those stockists when the bearer makes a purchase.

Originally founded as Manchester Batteries in 1952 by Harry Pemberton, Manbat has been at the centre of the battery business for more than 60 years. During that time it has witnessed many product developments, not least the launch of the leisure battery, a product designed primarily for the leisure market, which is able to meet the particular demands of the motorhome and caravan fraternity.

Manbat introduced the Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate its 50th anniversary and over the last decade it has grown the brand into a significant player within the automotive sector, whilst also establishing it as the UK’s premier range for the leisure sector.

For more information concerning the Numax range, or to find you nearest stockist, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

NUMAX LEISURE BATTERIES

The Premium Leisure Brand

The Numax XV range of leisure batteries is the UK’s leading leisure brand and includes the mighty DC27MF, which provides users with extra cyclic capability compared with the original XV27MF, making it ideal for applications that need extra power.

Although the Ampere hour (Ah) capacity and the battery’s dimensions are identical to the XV27MF, its thicker plates and therefore higher reserve capacity enable it to run for even longer and power more heavy duty applications. The battery is ideal for caravans that are fitted with a motor-mover or those leisure and marine applications where extra reserve capacity is required.

The DC27MF is part of the11-model XV range, which provides leisure enthusiasts with a multitude of choice starting from the 75 Ah XV23 to the range topping to 235 Ah XV80.

The entire range is manufactured using state-of-the-art plate design, semi-traction paste, envelope construction and gas recombination technology, which means that they will last substantially longer than a conventional flooded leisure battery. As a result, every Numax XV and the new DC battery come with a three-year warranty.

Naturally, all also come with ergonomically designed carrying handles for ease of handling, dual terminals for both clamp and screw lead connection, battery condition ‘windows’ to show the battery’s state of charge, and maintenance free sealed cells for maximum safety and convenience.

Alongside Numax, Manbat Ltd also offers the Lucas Leisure range, which although broadly comparable to the Numax range does include an even more powerful alternative for those that need the ultimate leisure battery.

NUMAX MAINTENANCE RANGE

Numax Continual Use Battery Chargers

One of the essential requirements to prolong the life of a leisure battery is to ensure that it is regularly charged and not allowed to stand in a discharged condition.

In order to help enthusiasts carry out this responsibility easily and conveniently, Numax has developed a range of battery chargers that use state-of-the-art smart technology to deliver an ‘intelligent’ charging solution.

The Numax ‘connect + forget’® range is specifically designed to charge and maintain batteries at their peak performance and features deep discharge recovery, fast cycle charging and long term battery maintenance.

This means that they quickly and efficiently charge discharged or part discharged batteries, but also convert automatically from ‘charge’ to ‘maintenance’ mode once the charging cycle is complete. As a result, Numax chargers can be connected indefinitely, without damage to the battery or danger to the unit, to ensure that the battery is always ready for use and in optimum condition.

For more information concerning the Numax ‘connect + forget’® range, or to find you nearest stockist, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

NUMAX BOXES CLEVER

Safe Battery Storage From Numax

The Numax Battery Box is the ideal solution when portable power is required for leisure activities as it allows users to connect 12-volt accessories quickly, easily and safely.

The impact resistant polypropylene box accommodates batteries up to 356mm (L) x 208mm (W) x 228mm (H) and features external terminals, a battery power meter, an accessory power socket and a 100amp current rating main on/off switch.

The Numax Battery Box is the safest way to transport a battery for portable power, particularly when an older style non-sealed lead acid battery is being used. The durable construction will keep any accidentally spilt acid away from people, animals and clothing and it incorporates both centre and side handles and an adjustable strap for maximum convenience.

For more information concerning the Numax Battery Box, or to find you nearest stockist, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

NUMAX POWER INVERTERS

AC/DC Made Simple

One of the products to show no signs of losing its popularity with the leisure enthusiast is the power inverter. It is little wonder therefore that these products are prominent among the comprehensive range of battery related products that are available under the renowned Numax brand.

Alongside its leisure battery range, sits the Numax ‘connect+convert’® range of power inverters, a line-up that comprises four models: two ‘Modified’ and two ‘Pure Sine Wave’ (PSW) versions.

The purpose of a power inverter is to allow users to operate most of their AC appliances from the DC current supplied by the battery. Particularly useful for powering TV’s, radios, DVD/CD players or satellite systems, these innovative products come into their own in the leisure sector, but can equally be used when using equipment such as laptops and phone chargers.

Modified inverters provide a simple but efficient low-cost alternative to the more complex PSW models. They mimic the key voltage parameters and are therefore good for the operation of pumps, motors and general electrical equipment.

PSW inverters, however, are used for more sensitive equipment such as TV’s, satellite controllers and sound systems. The PSW inverter eliminates the interference that can occur through monitors, radios and hi-fi systems and so also work well with CD and DVD players.

Manbat’s Myles Pemberton said: “Power inverters are an important part of the Numax power storage range. The Numax ‘connect+convert’® range provides the leisure fraternity with inverters of both high quality and reliability, which are both hallmarks of the Numax brand.”

Powerstart Proves To Be A Winner

Last year, alongside its existing brands of VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, Manbat was awarded a supply contract for the Powerstart brand. Such has been the popularity of the range with GROUPAUTO G-Truck members and Top Truck workshops during the intervening 12 months, that this initial agreement has now been extended and they can enjoy the substantial benefits of continuity in both the quality and availability of the brand.

“Members fully appreciate that batteries are always subject to tremendous price pressure and that many suppliers tackle the issue by offering a low quality product at the cheapest possible price,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “but this does nothing for the reputation of the aftermarket in the eyes of operators who find they have been sold a battery that fails prematurely.

“However, as members supplying Powerstart are very well aware, this is not an issue that has affected these batteries, because although the product is very competitively priced, their quality is first class.

“Traditionally, the only way to produce a cheap battery is to reduce the amount of lead it uses in its construction through fewer and thinner plates. Lead is the most expensive element in a battery, so the less lead the lower the cost. However, the lower the lead content, the lower the battery’s efficiency and overall quality. Hence, you generally get what you pay for.

“However, because Manbat is part of the ECOBAT Technologies group, which includes the world’s largest producer of lead and is supplier to many of the world’s original equipment (OE) battery manufacturers, we have the quantities of scale and the relationships to ensure our batteries can be competitively priced, but without compromising on their quality.

“So, in keeping with our core principles, all the models in the Powerstart range, whether for CV or automotive application, are quality products, produced to our specification by a reputable OE battery manufacturer. This allows us to supply them with a two-year warranty, which matches or betters most batteries in the market.”

Available through the G-Logix distribution centre, the Powerstart range provides members with a quality product at extremely competitive prices, which means they have a brand at their disposal that allows them to react to the demands of their customers when price becomes the central issue.

Unlike some of the other products in the distribution centre, the Powerstart range is supplied to members directly by Manbat in the same way that it delivers orders for the other brands in its portfolio. This is primarily because of the health and safety issues surrounding the storage and distribution of more hazardous products like batteries, but also because the group as a whole recognises the excellent level of service that Manbat provides to the members on a daily basis and therefore knows that the product distribution is in safe hands.

As well as developing the range, which now sits at 14 part numbers and increasing its specification, product availability is also excellent and members are able to vary their orders from pallets to single orders, depending on their requirements.

To place an order, please call 01274 854212 or fax 01274 854210. For more information visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – Battery Power Systems

Manbat Ltd is the UK’s largest supplier of automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) batteries and therefore has long-standing and highly successful business relationships with many CV parts wholesales, workshops and fleet operators.

As the country’s primary distribution partner for Johnson Controls Inc., the company behind the famous VARTA® brand, Manbat is perfectly placed to provide CV businesses with the replacement batteries they need, when they need them. Generally these batteries will be supplied from one of its 12 regional branches, but on occasion, direct from its main distribution centre in Shrewsbury.

For more that 60 years, customer service has been the byword for Manbat and this service related ethos remains as strong today and is one of the reasons behind the strength of the relationships between the companies it supplies.

Alongside customer service, Manbat also has a well-earned reputation for the quality of the products it supplies and few can match the pedigree of the VARTA brand. As the market leading original equipment (OE) battery for the European CV manufacturers, VARTA is at the forefront of battery technology and many of the developments it has pioneered have set the benchmark for the industry.

CV operators from the one-man-band to the multi-vehicle operation need to manage their fleets professionally to maximise their returns in a fiercely competitive industry. Although at first glance batteries might be considered to be of little relevance in the overall picture, choosing the right battery is in fact a very important step to increasing profitability.

A low initial purchase price may seem tempting at first glance, but it seldom delivers low costs in the long run. This is because operators often forget to include the cost of the downtime and maintenance that can be associated with conventional starter batteries.

The battery servicing costs for even a small fleet fitted with two conventional batteries can have a significant impact on profitability, so the cost argument for fitting better quality batteries is powerful. However, to clearly demonstrate these savings, VARTA has developed a cost savings calculator on its website (www.varta-automotive.com), which will reveal the cost savings that can be realised for specific operators.
Operators that opt for VARTA Promotive CV batteries will benefit from the long-term advantages these highly advanced batteries provide. Cost intensive periods of vehicle idleness and maintenance intervals become a thing of the past, as these completely maintenance-free batteries are perfectly suited to the unique challenges that come with running a commercial vehicle in today’s fiercely competitive environment.

Numax – High On Quality & Competitive On Price
Manbat introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity, as well as the product offering within both the automotive and CV range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the Numax range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the contemporary requirements of our automotive and CV customers. As a result, we have refreshed the Numax image and extended the range provide a three-model line up to include the Standard and Supreme products alongside the existing Premium.

Although the majority of sales will continue to be of the Premium offering, as both the automotive and CV versions are high quality batteries that provide a long service life, the Standard and Supreme models respectively provide the solution for reliable and trustworthy performance at a lower cost and the crème de la crème, when peak performance is the prime concern.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular OE fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that the cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should always come way behind the quality factor, the presence of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level that enables our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing of the Standard model to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax Standard range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

Top Of The Range Lucas CV Battery Addition
Manbat is also pleased to announce the introduction of a new range topping commercial vehicle battery offering under the renowned Lucas brand.

The new Lucas Supreme range of four part numbers, which are available with 140, 170, 180 and 225 Ah capacities, are designed for high performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and high vibration resistance requirements.

Each model in the Supreme CV range incorporates the very latest in original equipment technology, such as a specialist lid design to minimise water consumption by recycling condensed water vapour back into the electrolyte and punched plate grids, to optimise conductivity and ensure low resistance and reduce power loss.

This means that the batteries within the Supreme CV range not only provide high starting efficiency and possess exceptional corrosion resistance, they are also extremely economic for CV operators to run as they are totally sealed and completely maintenance free.

The high performance nature of the Supreme range is reflected in their specification, which exceeds EN4 V3 SHD (Super Heavy Duty) requirements for extreme vibration resistance.

The Supreme range supplements the existing 28-strong Lucas Premium CV and Lucas Classic CV offerings, which together provide CV operators with a complete range of options to satisfy the requirements of their entire fleet.

For further details of any of the products in its comprehensive range, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

ECOBAT European Battery Distribution

ECOBAT is the world’s largest producer and recycler of lead, with smelting operations across the globe that supply lead in its various forms to a wide range of industries, the most significant of which is battery manufacturing.

The ECOBAT European Battery Distribution division of the organisation is made up of four companies: Hefra Netherlands, Hefra Belgium, Manbat UK and Manbat France. Together, this combined force annually sells approaching two million batteries from its 21 distribution hubs.

The central philosophy for each of these companies and therefore for ECOBAT European Battery Distribution as a whole, is to supply the aftermarket with high quality products backed up with outstanding logistical support and exceptional customer service.

The premium brands supplied by the group include VARTA®, Lucas, Numax, VMF, Wilco, Optima, Odyssey, US Battery, Trojan, Sonnenschein, and TAB.

Supplying the aftermarket with heavy and potentially hazardous products requires expertise. This is primarily because of the health and safety issues surrounding their storage and distribution, which present distributors with particular challenges. However, ECOBAT European Battery Distribution has the logistical skills and infrastructure to ensure that its customers have access to the batteries they need, when they need them.

In addition to excellent product quality and first class supply, ECOBAT European Battery Distribution provides very high levels of customer service. This involves working closely with distributors to assist them to develop battery sales more effectively and includes extensive marketing support, promotional initiatives, technical training and advice.

A significant additional benefit to customers of ECOBAT European Battery Distribution is its waste management policy, which allows them to utilise the scrap battery expertise inherent within the specialist lead and waste collection companies that are also part of the ECOBAT group.

The group is particularly aware of its environmental responsibilities. As a result, ECOBAT European Battery Distribution is capable of offering a ‘closed recycling loop’ for lead-acid batteries.

This unique attribute is possible because within the ECOBAT group are businesses that specialise in the necessary fields of expertise to make the complete process possible.

The loop begins with the smelting facilities to produce both pure and recycled lead into the ingots required by the battery manufacturers to produce batteries. ECOBAT European Battery Distribution then both distributes these new batteries to their customers throughout Europe and collects their old waste batteries.

The waste batteries are then safely dismantled by other businesses in the group and the constituent parts are recycled: the cases into polypropylene, the sulphuric acid into gypsum for the building trade and the lead is returned to the smelting operations to be turned back into ingots for the battery manufacturers.

This interconnected process means that ECOBAT European Battery Distribution can recycle an incredible 99.97% of every waste battery it collects.

For further information about the products, distribution resources and customer service ethos that combine to make ECOBAT European Battery Distribution such a powerful force, visit stand 3.1 G65 at Automechanika or: www.ecobatgroup.com www.hefra.nl www.manbat.co.uk www.batteries-accus-tecnologies.com

For further press information, please email Myles Pemberton at: myles@manbat.co.uk

Europa Battery Distributors Ltd

Europa will be exhibiting a wide range of Lucas batteries for both automotive and commercial vehicle applications.

The Lucas name is an iconic brand in the automotive aftermarket and the quality of the products in the range reflects the position the brand is held in the market. Under the surface the batteries incorporate the latest in advance battery technology, which means they have the power and the capacity to withstand the demands of the modern vehicle.

Available in five models from Classic to Supreme, Lucas provides workshops with the depth of range to find the perfect battery for the application.

Although not launched as a stand-alone Efficient Dynamics model until 2011, the BMW 5 Series incorporated Efficient Dynamics technology, including the company’s Start-Stop system, from as early as 2007.

As these early examples are well within reach of the independent sector, workshops and the technicians undertaking service and repair work on these variants, need to bear in mind that they are not fitted with traditional lead-acid starter batteries. Instead these models use an AGM battery such as a VARTA® Silver Dynamic AGM and will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator and starter motor, as well as the Start-Stop system, means that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise, to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the BMW 5 Series, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Renault introduced a Start-Stop system on several of its power units for the Mégane in early 2012 and they now feature strongly throughout the range on both petrol and diesel variants.

As a result, early examples will now begin to be within reach of the independent sector, so workshops and the technicians undertaking service and repair work on these models, need to bear in mind that they are not fitted with traditional lead-acid starter batteries. Instead these models use either an EFB or AGM battery such as a VARTA® Blue Dynamic EFB or Silver Dynamic AGM and will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator and starter motor, as well as the Start-Stop system, means that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise, to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the Renault Mégane, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

History and Formation of the ECOBAT Group


Although the ECOBAT name is relatively new, the group is founded on centuries of experience in the lead industry with smelters such as its Braubach operations in Germany having historic links going right back to the 14th century.

ECOBAT brings some of the world’s most renowned lead operations together under one name, tapping into continuous innovations and making it the technology leader in lead production, which benefits its clients, employees and the environment.

ECOBAT’s core product, lead, is used across a wide range of industries, including the lead-acid battery, building, chemical and nuclear fields. Each of these industries has its own particular requirements, often demanding an in-depth understanding of the functionality of the product within a given application. Not only is ECOBAT able to support these various applications, it can offer high quality ‘superior products’ such as bismuth-enhanced and SuperSoft® soft lead, calcium/silver and complex barium/strontium alloys.

Besides lead, ECOBAT also produces a number of other non-lead products, including sulphuric acid, polypropylene, sodium sulphate and gypsum, as well as silver. In addition, its South African operations produce zinc, aluminium, industrial minerals, plastics and poly foams. All ECOBAT lead smelting operations are certified to the internationally recognised quality standard ISO 9001 and TS 16949.

The ECOBAT recycling cycle
As the world’s largest producer and recycler of lead, ECOBAT is currently the only global organisation offering a ‘closed recycling loop’ for lead-acid batteries.

That loop begins and ends with specialist ECOBAT group member companies, four of which are battery collection companies located in Europe, that collect, transport and store waste lead acid batteries and battery powered appliances ready for recycling.

The core lead material extracted from these products is then processed by its smelters to manufacture lead and lead alloys of the highest quality. Additional facilities process the remaining products derived from the lead recycling operations to produce a further range of industrial products.

The ECOBAT European Battery Distribution division incorporates group companies that retail new batteries into several sectors including the automotive and heavy-duty vehicle industries and which also take back waste batteries for group recycling.

The ECOBAT lead-acid battery ‘closed recycling loop’ is shown in the diagram below.

For further details, please contact ECOBAT on: +44 (0)1629 736100 or visit: www.ecobatgroup.com

Numax – Technology You Can Trust


Following its recent announcement concerning the rebranding of the Numax automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) ranges and the introduction of additional models, Manbat is keen to provide members of the trade with some more information that will help them understand just how powerful a proposition its brand provides them.

“The battery is one of the few components that by their outward appearance are almost impossible to gauge the condition of,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “We obviously put a lot of thought into the design of our labels so that they look attractive and contain the important information that is needed to ensure that each battery is appropriate for the application, but it’s what is under the surface that makes the difference and that’s difficult for both factors supplying and technicians fitting batteries to judge.

“It is because of this difficulty that our latest campaign is to invite the trade to ‘think inside the box’ as we wish to provide a transparent explanation of what is under the surface of the typical Numax lead-acid battery and the technology behind the lead plates that are central to its quality, reliability and power.

“As we have previously stated, as a general rule, the only way to make a cheap battery is to reduce the amount of lead it contains, because that is the most expensive component. However, the flip side is that the fewer and thinner the lead in the cells, the less powerful and long-lasting will be its ultimate performance.

“By contrast, our Numax Premium and Supreme batteries are manufactured on our behalf by one of the most respected global battery manufacturers, Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), the company behind the famous VARTA® brand.

“These JCI manufactured products are manufactured without compromise and incorporate a revolutionary lead plate design that ensures the most efficient energy transfer and therefore delivers powerful consistent performance.

“This performance is achieved by a manufacturing process that allows the plates to be produced from a single sheet of precision rolled and stamped lead, which ensures a punched plate that is consistent to within 0.0254 of a millimetre and optimises conductivity, while also increasing its resistance to corrosion. This is why we can guarantee the long-term reliability of these batteries and why factors can have complete confidence in supplying, and technicians in fitting, a Numax battery.

“Although other batteries might utilise a plate design that is formed into a grid-like structure, unless the holes in the lead are stamped out and to the most efficient design, they cannot produce consistent power and are prone to corrosion, particularly at the points where the lead is ‘stretched’ and ‘split’ to form its grid. This leads to the breakdown of the plate within the battery’s cell.

“As can be seen, there’s so much more to a battery than its outward appearance so we hope this explanation proves to be useful and we challenge the trade to give Numax a try. We know they won’t be disappointed!”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Powerstart Proves To Be A Winner


Last year, alongside its existing brands of VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, Manbat was awarded a supply contract for the Powerstart brand. Such has been the popularity of the range with GROUPAUTO members during the intervening 12 months, that this initial agreement has now been extended and members can enjoy the substantial benefits of continuity in both the quality and availability of the brand.

“Members fully appreciate that batteries are always subject to tremendous price pressure and that many suppliers tackle the issue by offering a low quality product at the cheapest possible price,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “but this does nothing for the reputation of the aftermarket in the eyes of motorists who find they have been sold a battery that fails prematurely.

“However, as members supplying Powerstart are very well aware, this is not an issue that has affected these batteries, because although the product is very competitively priced, their quality is first class.

“Traditionally, the only way to produce a cheap battery is to reduce the amount of lead it uses in its construction through fewer and thinner plates. Lead is the most expensive element in a battery, so the less lead the lower the cost. However, the lower the lead content, the lower the battery’s efficiency and overall quality. Hence, you generally get what you pay for.

“However, because Manbat is part of the ECOBAT Technologies group, which includes the world’s largest producer of lead and is supplier to many of the world’s original equipment (OE) battery manufacturers, we have the quantities of scale and the relationships to ensure our batteries can be competitively priced, but without compromising on their quality.

“So, in keeping with our core principles, all the models in the Powerstart range, whether for automotive or CV application, are quality products, produced to our specification by a reputable OE battery manufacturer. This allows us to supply them with a two-year warranty, which matches or betters most batteries in the market.”

Available through the G-Logix distribution centre, the Powerstart range provides members with a quality product at extremely competitive prices, which means they have a brand at their disposal that allows them to react to the demands of their customers when price becomes the central issue.

Unlike some of the other products in the distribution centre, the Powerstart range is supplied to members directly by Manbat in the same way that it delivers orders for the other brands in its portfolio. This is primarily because of the health and safety issues surrounding the storage and distribution of more hazardous products like batteries, but also because the group as a whole recognises the excellent level of service that Manbat provides to the members on a daily basis and therefore knows that the product distribution is in safe hands.

As well as developing the range, which now sits at 14 part numbers and increasing its specification, product availability is also excellent and members are able to vary their orders from pallets to single orders, depending on their requirements.

To place an order, please call 01274 854212 or fax 01274 854210. For more information visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Numax Leisure Batteries


Numax is the battery for the leisure sector and visitors to this year’s show can walk away from the Numax stand (8-01a) with a 5% discount voucher, which will be redeemed when purchasing one of its popular XV batteries – available from 75 to 235 Ah capacities – from an official Numax stockist.

As well as pointing out the challenges that workshops face with the increasing number of vehicles that are fitted with Start-Stop systems, Manbat will also highlight the opportunities that the technology provides to businesses looking to future-proof their battery business. In addition, it will also be showing the latest in battery tester technology from VARTA®

Manbat, the UK’s largest supplier of automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) batteries and Normac Spares, Scotland’s premier CV parts distributor, have a long-standing and highly successful business relationship.

As the country’s primary distribution partner for Johnson Controls Inc., the company behind the famous VARTA® brand, Manbat is perfectly placed to provide Normac Spares with the replacement batteries it needs, when it needs them. Generally these will be supplied from its regional branch in Glasgow, but on occasion direct from its main distribution centre in Shrewsbury.

For more that 60 years, customer service has been the byword for Manbat and this service related ethos remains as strong today and is one of the reasons behind the strength of the relationship between the two companies.

Alongside customer service, Manbat also has a well-earned reputation for the quality of the products it supplies and few can match the pedigree of the VARTA brand. As the market leading original equipment (OE) battery for the European CV manufacturers, VARTA is at the forefront of battery technology and many of the developments it has pioneered have set the benchmark for the industry.

CV operators from the one-man-band to the multi-vehicle operation need to manage their fleets professionally to maximise their returns in a fiercely competitive industry. Although at first glance batteries might be considered to be of little relevance in the overall picture, choosing the right battery is in fact a very important step to increasing profitability.

A low initial purchase price may seem tempting at first glance, but it seldom delivers low costs in the long run. This is because operators often forget to include the cost of the downtime and maintenance that can be associated with conventional starter batteries.

The battery servicing costs for even a small fleet fitted with two conventional batteries can have a significant impact on profitability, so the cost argument for fitting better quality batteries is powerful. However, to clearly demonstrate these savings, VARTA has developed a cost savings calculator on its website (www.varta-automotive.com), which will reveal the cost savings that can be realised for specific operators.


Operators that opt for VARTA Promotive CV batteries will benefit from the long-term advantages these highly advanced batteries provide. Cost intensive periods of vehicle idleness and maintenance intervals become a thing of the past, as these completely maintenance-free batteries are perfectly suited to the unique challenges that come with the commercial vehicle operation.

Manbat, Normac Spares and VARTA, the perfect combination for CV operators throughout Scotland.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Flying The Flag For ECOBAT


This year Manbat were exhibiting at Automechanika under the ECOBAT European Battery Distribution banner, as it joined its three sister companies based in mainland Europe, to provide visitors with a truly multinational battery distribution solution.

With the quantities of scale the group brings to bear, it is able to deliver distributors and wholesalers quality brands at competitive prices and across a multitude of sectors in addition to its automotive and commercial vehicle mainstay.

For its part, Manbat were naturally representing the VARTA®, Lucas and Numax brands, for which it is so widely known. It was also the first exhibition appearance of the recently relaunched and extended Numax automotive and commercial vehicle range, which received a great deal of interest from visitors of all nationalities.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Numax – Technology You Can Trust


Following its recent announcement concerning the rebranding of the Numax automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) ranges and the introduction of additional models, Manbat is keen to provide members of the trade with some more information that will help them understand just how powerful a proposition its brand provides them.

“The battery is one of the few components that by their outward appearance are almost impossible to gauge the condition of,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “We obviously put a lot of thought into the design of our labels so that they look attractive and contain the important information that is needed to ensure that each battery is appropriate for the application, but it’s what is under the surface that makes the difference and that’s difficult for both factors supplying and technicians fitting batteries to judge.

“It is because of this difficulty that our latest campaign is to invite the trade to ‘think inside the box’ as we wish to provide a transparent explanation of what is under the surface of the typical Numax lead-acid battery and the technology behind the lead plates that are central to its quality, reliability and power.

“As we have previously stated, as a general rule, the only way to make a cheap battery is to reduce the amount of lead it contains, because that is the most expensive component. However, the flip side is that the fewer and thinner the lead in the cells, the less powerful and long-lasting will be its ultimate performance.

“By contrast, our Numax Premium and Supreme batteries are manufactured on our behalf by one of the most respected global battery manufacturers, Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), the company behind the famous VARTA® brand.

“These JCI manufactured products are manufactured without compromise and incorporate a revolutionary lead plate design that ensures the most efficient energy transfer and therefore delivers powerful consistent performance.

“This performance is achieved by a manufacturing process that allows the plates to be produced from a single sheet of precision rolled and stamped lead, which ensures a punched plate that is consistent to within 0.0254 of a millimetre and optimises conductivity, while also increasing its resistance to corrosion. This is why we can guarantee the long-term reliability of these batteries and why factors can have complete confidence in supplying, and technicians in fitting, a Numax battery.

“Although other batteries might utilise a plate design that is formed into a grid-like structure, unless the holes in the lead are stamped out and to the most efficient design, they cannot produce consistent power and are prone to corrosion, particularly at the points where the lead is ‘stretched’ and ‘split’ to form its grid. This leads to the breakdown of the plate within the battery’s cell.

“As can be seen, there’s so much more to a battery than its outward appearance so we hope this explanation proves to be useful and we challenge the trade to give Numax a try. We know they won’t be disappointed!”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat Acquires PowerCell Industrial Battery Engineers Ltd

ECOBAT Technologies Ltd, through Manbat Ltd, its specialist UK battery distribution subsidiary, is pleased to announce that it has acquired PowerCell Industrial Battery Engineers Ltd, a leading industrial battery specialist based at Rayne in Essex that supplies and services batteries and chargers for all types of industrial applications.

“This acquisition is the perfect fit with our existing industrial battery business and strengthens our position within the industrial sector,” said Steve Sheppard, Manbat Ltd’s Managing Director. “It also further adds to the group’s battery distribution businesses, which are now based in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium & France.”

“Derek & Ingrid Anderson will stay within the business and will play an important role in the integration of PowerCell and Manbat Industrial, as well as in the general development of Manbat’s growing Industrial Division.”

Derek Anderson added: “The synergies between the businesses will make an incredible portfolio, one that will be well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that are arising in the UK, so we are excited by the possibilities.

“Manbat is now in a position to offer a truly national industrial division. I am looking forward to expanding this specialist side of the business by offering the market place a professional and knowledgeable sales team supported by a fully qualified and dedicated service team.”

The Industrial Division will continue to report to Steve Sheppard, Managing Director of Manbat Ltd.

The acquisition is also in line with the wider ECOBAT Technologies Ltd strategy to develop value added businesses both up and down stream of its core lead recycling and production business, which encompasses new battery distribution opportunities.

Manbat Ltd


Originally founded as Manchester Batteries in 1952, Manbat Ltd is a business committed to providing its customers with top quality products that are backed up by exceptional customer service. As a result of these combined strengths, and its 60-year plus aftermarket heritage, Manbat has an unrivalled reputation as the UK’s premier automotive and commercial vehicle power storage product supplier and service provider.

ECOBAT Technologies Group


ECOBAT Technologies is the world’s largest producer of lead, producing over 800,000 metric tonnes per year from over 15 facilities in Europe, the USA and South Africa. ECOBAT maximises the value of its operations by producing the highest quality lead and lead alloys, specifically designed for the battery, mining and other industries both from recycled and primary materials. In addition, ECOBAT processes and supplies, in various forms, silver, lead anodes and sheet, zinc, aluminum, industrial minerals, plastics, polyfoams, and provides services including spent battery collection and distribution of new batteries. Excellence is the watchword throughout all operations, but particularly in customer service, technical expertise and health, safety and environmental matters.

www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat, Numax & The Workshop

Although its connection with the workshop has traditionally been via its wholesale motor factor customers, Manbat Ltd – the UK’s largest automotive and commercial battery distributor and the primary UK distributor for VARTA® – is keen to reach workshops with a quality products and customer service message.

For more than 60 years Manbat has been serving the automotive aftermarket and throughout that period it has traded on the principle of supplying a quality product, backed up with excellent customer service.

In 2002, to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, it introduced Numax, a brand that has become very well known in the aftermarket and the premium battery for the leisure sector and marine industry, where it is the original equipment (OE) fitment for a number of yacht manufacturers including Sunseeker.

Unfortunately, along with many other segments of the UK aftermarket, the battery market is becoming increasingly driven by price, rather than by quality. This is a philosophy that is alien to Manbat, because it will not compromise on the quality of the batteries it supplies – its hard earned reputation is far too valuable.

However, low quality cheap batteries coming into the market are having a negative effect on workshops as many are simply not up to the task and are failing prematurely and leaving motorists far from impressed by the garages who’ve supplied and fitted these batteries.

To provide workshops with a solution to this problem Manbat has introduced two new models – Standard and Supreme – into its automotive range, which sit on either side of its existing Numax Premium offering.

Both Supreme and Premium, the later of which is still likely to retain the bulk of Numax sales, are manufactured for Manbat by Johnson Controls Inc (JCI) – the company behind the VARTA® brand – and utilise the latest punched plate battery technology.

The Standard however, while still being a high quality product and sourced from a major OE battery manufacturer, is pitched slightly under these top two models to provide garages with an amazingly high quality battery, which will keep their customers happy, but at a price that can compete more easily with the cheap, low quality imports.

Traditionally, the only way to produce a cheap battery is to reduce the amount of lead it uses in its construction through fewer and thinner plates. Lead is the most expensive element in a battery, so the less lead the lower the cost. However, the lower the lead content, the lower the battery’s efficiency and overall quality. Hence, you generally get what you pay for.

However, because Manbat is now part of the ECOBAT Technologies group, which includes the world’s largest producer of lead and is supplier to many of the world’s OE battery manufacturers, it has the quantities of scale and the relationships to ensure its batteries can be competitively priced, but without compromising on their quality.

This is great news for workshops because it gives them the products at a price that enables them to compete, but with the kind of quality normally associated with a more expensive battery.

In addition to the poor quality issues, another problem with buying cheap batteries is the lack of customer support the battery supplier can provide and when demand is high, as the nights draw in and it gets cold, their stock tends to dry up.

Manbat however, holds thousands of batteries in stock in its central warehouse in Shrewsbury and with 12 regional branches and its own fleet of delivery vehicles, it has the confidence to know that its supply of batteries to the workshop won’t be affected, even in the depths of winter. Cheap battery suppliers just can’t compete with this level of customer service.

So beyond its ability to supply quality products, at competitive prices and with the stock availability and delivery network to ensure the product is delivered when it’s needed, what else can Manbat offer the workshop?

Motorists are looking for garages that provide a good service and that they can trust. Battery testing is an easy and effective way of building customer confidence and is very easy to introduce.

Manbat believes that whether a vehicle is in the workshop for a service, MOT or repair, it should be automatic that the technician working on it tests the condition of the battery.

This is a win-win service. If the battery is in poor condition, there is the immediate opportunity for a sale. If it is okay, but might need replacing in the next few months, the workshop is providing their customer with helpful timely ‘free’ advice. If however, the battery is in excellent condition, it’s a good news story that will boost the customer’s confidence that it is a garage they can trust and they’ll be sure to comeback when a new battery is required.

Due to the price of lead, scrap batteries can be a valuable source of revenue for garages. Manbat has an excellent scrap collection scheme and will work with its customers to ensure that all the paperwork to substantiate the responsible disposal of waste batteries, is correctly processed.

In addition, as it is part of the ECOBAT Technologies group, Manbat is able to state that it (ECOBAT) can recycle more than 99.9% of every battery collected within the group.

Within this ‘closed recycling loop’ the lead goes back to the smelters to make new lead products, including lead ingots for new battery production, the cases are recycled into polypropylene and even the acid is recycled into gypsum for the building trade.

In addition to automotive batteries, Manbat supply batteries in virtually every sector and is keen to work with garages to help them grow their battery sales by working in partnership based on quality products and reliable customer service.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat, Numax & The Workshop

Although its connection with the workshop has traditionally been via its wholesale motor factor customers, Manbat Ltd – the UK’s largest automotive and commercial battery distributor and the primary UK distributor for VARTA® – is keen to reach workshops with a quality products and customer service message.

For more than 60 years Manbat has been serving the automotive aftermarket and throughout that period it has traded on the principle of supplying a quality product, backed up with excellent customer service.

In 2002, to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, it introduced Numax, a brand that has become very well known in the aftermarket and the premium battery for the leisure sector and marine industry, where it is the original equipment (OE) fitment for a number of yacht manufacturers including Sunseeker.

Unfortunately, along with many other segments of the aftermarket, the battery market is becoming increasingly driven by price, rather than by quality. This is a philosophy that is alien to Manbat, because it will not compromise on the quality of the batteries it supplies – its hard earned reputation is far too valuable.

However, low quality cheap batteries coming into the market are having a negative effect on workshops as many are simply not up to the task and are failing prematurely and leaving motorists far from impressed by the garages who’ve supplied and fitted these batteries.

To provide workshops with a solution to this problem Manbat has introduced two new models – Standard and Supreme – into its automotive range, which sit on either side of its existing Numax Premium offering.

Both Supreme and Premium, the later of which is still likely to retain the bulk of Numax sales, are manufactured for Manbat by Johnson Controls Inc (JCI) – the company behind the VARTA® brand – and utilise the latest punched plate battery technology.

The Standard however, while still being a high quality product and sourced from a major OE battery manufacturer, is pitched slightly under these top two models to provide garages with an amazingly high quality battery, which will keep their customers happy, but at a price that can compete more easily with the cheap, low quality imports.

Traditionally, the only way to produce a cheap battery is to reduce the amount of lead it uses in its construction through fewer and thinner plates. Lead is the most expensive element in a battery, so the less lead the lower the cost. However, the lower the lead content, the lower the battery’s efficiency and overall quality. Hence, you generally get what you pay for.

However, because Manbat is now part of the ECOBAT Technologies group, which includes the world’s largest producer of lead and is supplier to many of the world’s OE battery manufacturers, it has the quantities of scale and the relationships to ensure its batteries can be competitively priced, but without compromising on their quality.

This is great news for workshops because it gives them the products at a price that enables them to compete, but with the kind of quality normally associated with a more expensive battery.

In addition to the poor quality issues, another problem with buying cheap batteries is the lack of customer support the battery supplier can provide and when demand is high, as the nights draw in and it gets cold, their stock tends to dry up.

Manbat however, holds thousands of batteries in stock in its central warehouse in Shrewsbury and with 12 regional branches and its own fleet of delivery vehicles, it has the confidence to know that its supply of batteries to the workshop won’t be affected, even in the depths of winter. Cheap battery suppliers just can’t compete with this level of customer service.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat Ltd – Battery Power Systems

Numax – High On Quality & Competitive On Price
Manbat Ltd, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity, as well as the product offering within both the automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the Numax range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the contemporary requirements of our automotive and CV customers. As a result, we have refreshed the Numax image and extended the range provide a three-model line up to include the Standard and Supreme products alongside the existing Premium.

Although the majority of sales will continue to be of the Premium offering, as both the automotive and CV versions are high quality batteries that provide a long service life, the Standard and Supreme models respectively provide the solution for reliable and trustworthy performance at a lower cost and the crème de la crème, when peak performance is the prime concern.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that the cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should always come way behind the quality factor, the presence of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level that enables our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing of the Standard model to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax Standard range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

Top Of The Range Lucas CV Battery Addition
Manbat, is also pleased to announce the introduction of a new range topping commercial vehicle battery offering under the renowned Lucas brand.

The new Lucas Supreme range of four part numbers, which are available with 140, 170, 180 and 225 Ah capacities, are designed for high performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and high vibration resistance requirements.

Each model in the Supreme CV range incorporates the very latest in original equipment technology, such as a specialist lid design to minimise water consumption by recycling condensed water vapour back into the electrolyte and punched plate grids, to optimise conductivity and ensure low resistance and reduce power loss.

This means that the batteries within the Supreme CV range not only provide high starting efficiency and possess exceptional corrosion resistance, they are also extremely economic for CV operators to run as they are totally sealed and completely maintenance free.

The high performance nature of the Supreme range is reflected in their specification, which exceeds EN4 V3 SHD (Super Heavy Duty) requirements for extreme vibration resistance.

The Supreme range supplements the existing 28-strong Lucas Premium CV and Lucas Classic CV offerings, which together provide CV operators with a complete range of options to satisfy the requirements of their entire fleet.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat, Numax & The Workshop

Although its connection with the workshop has traditionally been via its wholesale motor factor customers, Manbat Ltd – the UK’s largest automotive and commercial battery distributor and the primary UK distributor for VARTA® – is keen to reach workshops with a quality products and customer service message.

For more than 60 years Manbat has been serving the automotive aftermarket and throughout that period it has traded on the principle of supplying a quality product, backed up with excellent customer service.

In 2002, to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, it introduced Numax, a brand that has become very well known in the aftermarket and the premium battery for the leisure sector and marine industry, where it is the original equipment (OE) fitment for a number of yacht manufacturers including Sunseeker.

Unfortunately, along with many other segments of the aftermarket, the battery market is becoming increasingly driven by price, rather than by quality. This is a philosophy that is alien to Manbat, because it will not compromise on the quality of the batteries it supplies – its hard earned reputation is far too valuable.

However, low quality cheap batteries coming into the market are having a negative effect on workshops as many are simply not up to the task and are failing prematurely and leaving motorists far from impressed by the garages who’ve supplied and fitted these batteries.

To provide workshops with a solution to this problem Manbat has introduced two new models – Standard and Supreme – into its automotive range, which sit on either side of its existing Numax Premium offering.

Both Supreme and Premium, the later of which is still likely to retain the bulk of Numax sales, are manufactured for Manbat by Johnson Controls Inc (JCI) – the company behind the VARTA® brand – and utilise the latest punched plate battery technology.

The Standard however, while still being a high quality product and sourced from a major OE battery manufacturer, is pitched slightly under these top two models to provide garages with an amazingly high quality battery, which will keep their customers happy, but at a price that can compete more easily with the cheap, low quality imports.

Traditionally, the only way to produce a cheap battery is to reduce the amount of lead it uses in its construction through fewer and thinner plates. Lead is the most expensive element in a battery, so the less lead the lower the cost. However, the lower the lead content, the lower the battery’s efficiency and overall quality. Hence, you generally get what you pay for.

However, because Manbat is now part of the ECOBAT Technologies group, which includes the world’s largest producer of lead and is supplier to many of the world’s OE battery manufacturers, it has the quantities of scale and the relationships to ensure its batteries can be competitively priced, but without compromising on their quality.

This is great news for workshops because it gives them the products at a price that enables them to compete, but with the kind of quality normally associated with a more expensive battery.

In addition to the poor quality issues, another problem with buying cheap batteries is the lack of customer support the battery supplier can provide and when demand is high, as the nights draw in and it gets cold, their stock tends to dry up.

Manbat however, holds thousands of batteries in stock in its central warehouse in Shrewsbury and with 12 regional branches and its own fleet of delivery vehicles, it has the confidence to know that its supply of batteries to the workshop won’t be affected, even in the depths of winter. Cheap battery suppliers just can’t compete with this level of customer service.

So beyond its ability to supply quality products, at competitive prices and with the stock availability and delivery network to ensure the product is delivered when it’s needed, what else can Manbat offer the workshop?

Motorists are looking for garages that provide a good service and that they can trust. Battery testing is an easy and effective way of building customer confidence and is very easy to introduce.

Manbat believes that whether a vehicle is in the workshop for a service, MOT or repair, it should be automatic that the technician working on it tests the condition of the battery.

This is a win-win service. If the battery is in poor condition, there is the immediate opportunity for a sale. If it is okay, but might need replacing in the next few months, the workshop is providing their customer with helpful timely ‘free’ advice. If however, the battery is in excellent condition, it’s a good news story that will boost the customer’s confidence that it is a garage they can trust and they’ll be sure to comeback when a new battery is required.

Due to the price of lead, scrap batteries can be a valuable source of revenue for garages. Manbat has an excellent scrap collection scheme and will work with its customers to ensure that all the paperwork to substantiate the responsible disposal of waste batteries, is correctly processed.

In addition, as it is part of the ECOBAT Technologies group, Manbat is able to state that it (ECOBAT) can recycle more than 99.9% of every battery collected within the group.

Within this ‘closed recycling loop’ the lead goes back to the smelters to make new lead products, including lead ingots for new battery production, the cases are recycled into polypropylene and even the acid is recycled into gypsum for the building trade.

In addition to automotive batteries, Manbat supply batteries in virtually every sector and is keen to work with garages to help them grow their battery sales by working in partnership based on quality products and reliable customer service.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

ALL ROADS LEAD TO FRANKFURT

Manbat Shows Its Pedigree At Automechanika

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) battery distributor, will be making its second appearance at Automechanika after a successful debut last time the trade fair was held in September 2012.

Once again its stand will be in hall 3 (3.1 G65), but this year it will be substantially larger, up from 12m2 to 56m2 and instead of being the sole representative of parent company, the ECOBAT Technologies group, Manbat will be one of three ECOBAT businesses, which will allow the group to showcase its many facets.

From a purely Manbat perspective however, the event provides the perfect platform from which to reacquaint visitors with the distributor and its many brands, as well as to bring them up to speed with its latest developments, which include the rebrand of the Numax automotive and CV product ranges.

Due to the number of batteries that Manbat annually distribute and the excellent relationship it has with many original equipment battery manufacturers, including Johnson Controls Inc, for whom it is the UK’s primary distribution partner for the VARTA® brand, Manbat has the quantities of scale to be able to bulk order high specification batteries and therefore operate its business on a similar basis a battery manufacturer.

As a result, Manbat has introduced two new models into both the Numax automotive and CV product ranges that have allowed it to respond to the needs of its many wholesale customers and which will have their first official showing at Automechanika. Therefore, either side of the existing Premium model, the company has now introduced the Standard and Supreme, to make a three-model family.

Although the majority of sales will continue to be of the Premium offering, as both the automotive and CV versions are high quality batteries that provide a long service life, the Standard and Supreme models respectively provide the solution for reliable and trustworthy performance at a lower cost and the crème de la crème, when peak performance is the prime concern.

Alongside these additions, visitors will be able to find out more about the entire Numax range, which includes leisure, marine, motorcycle, golf and mobility batteries and also its other brands, such as Lucas, VARTA and Sonnenschein.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – Start-Stop Battery Systems

Introduced in late 2008, the BlueEFFICENCY versions of the Mercedes C-Class incorporated the company’s Start-Stop system.

As these vehicles begin to drop out of the franchised dealer network and enter the independent sector, workshops, and the technicians undertaking service and repair work on these variants, need to bear in mind that they are not fitted with traditional lead-acid starter batteries. Instead these models use an AGM battery such as a VARTA® Silver Dynamic AGM and will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator and starter motor, as well as the Start-Stop system, means that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise, to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the Mercedes C-Class, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Numax – High On Quality & Competitive On Price


Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity, as well as the product offering within both the automotive and commercial vehicle range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the Numax range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the contemporary requirements of our automotive customers. As a result, we have refreshed the Numax image and extended the range provide a three-model line up to include the Standard and Supreme products alongside the existing Premium.

Although the majority of sales will continue to be of the Premium offering, as both the automotive and CV versions are high quality batteries that provide a long service life, the Standard and Supreme models respectively provide the solution for reliable and trustworthy performance at a lower cost and the crème de la crème, when peak performance is the prime concern.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that the cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should always come way behind the quality factor, the presence of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level that enables our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing of the Standard model to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax Standard range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

Top Of The Range Lucas CV Battery Addition


Manbat, is also pleased to announce the introduction of a new range topping commercial vehicle battery offering under the renowned Lucas brand.

The new Lucas Supreme range of four part numbers, which are available with 140, 170, 180 and 225 Ah capacities, are designed for high performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and high vibration resistance requirements.

Each model in the Supreme CV range incorporates the very latest in original equipment technology, such as a specialist lid design to minimise water consumption by recycling condensed water vapour back into the electrolyte and punched plate grids, to optimise conductivity and ensure low resistance and reduce power loss.

This means that the batteries within the Supreme CV range not only provide high starting efficiency and possess exceptional corrosion resistance, they are also extremely economic for CV operators to run as they are totally sealed and completely maintenance free.

The high performance nature of the Supreme range is reflected in their specification, which exceeds EN4 V3 SHD (Super Heavy Duty) requirements for extreme vibration resistance.

The Supreme range supplements the existing 28- strong Lucas Premium CV and Lucas Classic CV offerings, which together provide CV operators with a complete range of options to satisfy the requirements of their entire fleet.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat

Automechanika


Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) battery distributor, will be making its second appearance at Automechanika after a successful debut last time the trade fair was held in September 2012.

Once again its stand will be in hall 3 (3.1 G65), but this year it will be substantially larger, up from 12m2 to 56m2 and instead of being the sole representative of parent company, the ECOBAT Technologies group, Manbat will be one of three ECOBAT businesses, which will allow the group to showcase its many facets.

From a purely Manbat perspective, however, the event provides the perfect platform from which to reacquaint visitors with the distributor and its many brands, as well as to bring them up to speed with its latest developments, which include the rebrand of the Numax automotive and CV product ranges.

Due to the number of batteries that Manbat annually distributes and the excellent relationship it has with many original equipment battery manufacturers, including Johnson Controls Inc, for whom it is the UK’s primary distribution partner for the VARTA® brand, Manbat has the quantities of scale to be able to bulk order high specification batteries and therefore operate its business on a similar basis to a battery manufacturer.

As a result, Manbat has introduced two new models into both the Numax automotive and CV product ranges that have allowed it to respond to the needs of its many wholesale customers and which will have their first official showing at Automechanika. Therefore, either side of the existing Premium model, the company has now introduced the Standard and Supreme, to make a three-model family.

Although the majority of sales will continue to be of the Premium offering, as both the automotive and CV versions are high quality batteries that provide a long service life, the Standard and Supreme models respectively provide the solution for reliable and trustworthy performance at a lower cost and the crème de la crème, when peak performance is the prime concern.

Alongside these additions, visitors will be able to find out more about the entire Numax range, which includes leisure, marine, motorcycle, golf and mobility batteries and also its other brands, such as Lucas, VARTA and Sonnenschein.

Lucas Supreme CV


Manbat has also announced the introduction of a new range topping commercial vehicle battery offering under the renowned Lucas brand.

The new Lucas Supreme range of four part numbers, which are available with 140, 170, 180 and 225 Ah capacities, are designed for high performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and high vibration resistance requirements.

Each model in the Supreme CV range incorporates the very latest in original equipment technology, such as a specialist lid designed to minimise water consumption by recycling condensed water vapour back into the electrolyte and punched plate grids, to optimise conductivity and ensure low resistance and reduce power loss.

This means that the batteries within the Supreme CV range not only provide high starting efficiency and possess exceptional corrosion resistance, they are also extremely economic for CV operators to run as they are totally sealed and completely maintenance free.

The high performance nature of the Supreme range is reflected in their specification, which exceeds EN4 V3 SHD (Super Heavy Duty) requirements for extreme vibration resistance.

The Supreme range supplements the existing 28- strong Lucas Premium CV and Lucas Classic CV offerings, which together provide CV operators with a complete range of options to satisfy the requirements of their entire fleet.

Corporate Identity


Since leaving the ownership of the Pemberton family in 2009, Manbat has gradually become more aligned with the internal structure of the ECOBAT Technologies group, while remaining faithful to its core principals of supplying its customers with high quality products, which are backed up with an exceptional level of customer service.

So subtle have the changes been over the last five years, that many may well be unaware that Manbat is part of a larger group, which is testament to the ‘business as usual’ approach the team originally intended.

However, the most visible change is now about to begin, as the company has modified its famous logo to one more in keeping with the identity of the ECOBAT Technologies group as a whole.

“Our original logo is very well recognised right across the industry,” explains marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “so it was important for us to ensure that the new version is recognisable and familiar, while also incorporating the corporate identity of the ECOBAT Technologies group.

“We are really pleased with result of our design work as the new logo identifies Manbat as part of the group, but we’ve managed to keep the mountain image, which dates back to 1970, while also introducing a new ‘Battery Power Systems’ strapline, that recognises our acquisition of industrial battery specialists BPS in 2012.

“Although the development of a new logo does not directly benefit our customers, Manbat’s commitment to quality, service and value certainly does. It’s also worth reaffirming the fact that as part of a group of companies specialising in the supply of lead, Manbat is able to recycle almost 100% of each scrap battery it collects, which means that Manbat’s customers have access to a very powerful environmental message to relay to their customers.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Numax – High On Quality & Competitive On Price

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity, as well as the product offering within both the automotive and commercial vehicle range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the Numax range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the contemporary requirements of our automotive customers. As a result, we have refreshed the Numax image and extended the range provide a three-model line up to include the Standard and Supreme products alongside the existing Premium.

Although the majority of sales will continue to be of the Premium offering, as both the automotive and CV versions are high quality batteries that provide a long service life, the Standard and Supreme models respectively provide the solution for reliable and trustworthy performance at a lower cost and the crème de la crème, when peak performance is the prime concern.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that the cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should always come way behind the quality factor, the presence of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level that enables our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing of the Standard model to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat

Lucas Supreme CV


GROUPAUTO members that also supply batteries to the commercial vehicle and construction industry will be interested to know that Manbat has introduced a new range topping commercial vehicle (CV) battery offering under its renowned Lucas brand.

The new Lucas Supreme range of four part numbers, which are available with 140, 170, 180 and 225 Ah capacities, are designed for high performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and high vibration resistance requirements.

Each model in the Supreme CV range incorporates the very latest in original equipment technology, such as a specialist lid design to minimise water consumption by recycling condensed water vapour back into the electrolyte and punched plate grids, to optimise conductivity and ensure low resistance and reduce power loss.

This means that the batteries within the Supreme CV range not only provide high starting efficiency and possess exceptional corrosion resistance, they are also extremely economic for CV operators to run as they are totally sealed and completely maintenance free.

The high performance nature of the Supreme range is reflected in their specification, which exceeds EN4 V3 SHD (Super Heavy Duty) requirements for extreme vibration resistance.

The Supreme range supplements the existing 28- strong Lucas Premium CV and Lucas Classic CV offerings, which together provide CV operators with a complete range of options to satisfy the requirements of their entire fleet.

Automechanika


Manbat will be making its second appearance at Automechanika after a successful debut last time the trade fair was held in September 2012.

Once again its stand will be in hall 3 (3.1 G65), but this year it will be substantially larger, up from 12m2 to 56m2 and instead of being the sole representative of parent company, the ECOBAT Technologies group, Manbat will be one of three ECOBAT businesses, which will allow the group to showcase its many facets.

From a purely Manbat perspective, however, the event provides the perfect platform from which to reacquaint visitors and those GROUPAUTO members attending the event with the distributor and its many brands, as well as to bring them up to speed with its latest developments, which include the rebrand of the Numax automotive and CV product ranges.

Due to the number of batteries that Manbat annually distributes and the excellent relationship it has with many original equipment battery manufacturers, including Johnson Controls Inc, for whom it is the UK’s primary distribution partner for the VARTA® brand, Manbat has the quantities of scale to be able to bulk order high specification batteries and therefore operate its business on a similar basis to a battery manufacturer.

As a result, Manbat has introduced two new models into both the Numax automotive and CV product ranges that have allowed it to respond to the needs of its many wholesale customers and which will have their first official showing at Automechanika. Therefore, either side of the existing Premium model, the company has now introduced the Standard and Supreme, to make a three-model family.

Although the majority of sales will continue to be of the Premium offering, as both the automotive and CV versions are high quality batteries that provide a long service life, the Standard and Supreme models respectively provide the solution for reliable and trustworthy performance at a lower cost and the crème de la crème, when peak performance is the prime concern.

Alongside these additions, visitors will be able to find out more about the entire Numax range, which includes leisure, marine, motorcycle, golf and mobility batteries and also its other brands, such as Lucas, VARTA and Sonnenschein.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Top Of The Range CV Battery Additions

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor, is pleased to announce the introduction of a new range topping commercial vehicle battery offering under the renowned Lucas brand.

The new Lucas Supreme range of four part numbers, which are available with 140, 170, 180 and 225 Ah capacities, are designed for high performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and high vibration resistance requirements.

Each model in the Supreme CV range incorporates the very latest in original equipment technology, such as a specialist lid design to minimise water consumption by recycling condensed water vapour back into the electrolyte and punched plate grids, to optimise conductivity and ensure low resistance and reduce power loss.

This means that the batteries within the Supreme CV range not only provide high starting efficiency and possess exceptional corrosion resistance, they are also extremely economic for CV operators to run as they are totally sealed and completely maintenance free.

The high performance nature of the Supreme range is reflected in their specification, which exceeds EN4 V3 SHD (Super Heavy Duty) requirements for extreme vibration resistance.

The Supreme range supplements the existing 28- strong Lucas Premium CV and Lucas Classic CV offerings, which together provide CV operators with a complete range of options to satisfy the requirements of their entire fleet.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Numax Leisure Batteries

Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and the company behind the market leading Numax leisure battery brand, which is why it’s exhibiting at this important event in the leisure enthusiast’s calendar.

The Numax team will be ready to welcome visitors to stand 01a in hall 8, where they can take a detailed look at the entire Numax product range, including the popular XV leisure battery range, which now includes 11 models in capacities from 75 to 235 A/h and the heavy duty DC27MF, launched at last year’s show.

In addition, visitors can also benefit personally if they pick up a discount voucher, which entitles them to claim a 5% reduction when they purchase a Numax leisure battery from their local Numax stockist.

If however, they are unsure where their nearest distributor is located, staff on the Numax stand will be only too pleased to locate their nearest stockist from the their postal code.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Man on a mission


With a reputation for quality products and good old fashioned service, PMM speaks to Manbat to find out why these values remain as strong today as when the company was first founded over 60 years ago.

Originally named Manchester Batteries when Harry Pemberton started trading in 1952 from Turnpike Cottages in Abergele, North Wales, Manbat remained in the family until five years ago. During that period the company grew steadily, establishing itself as a business committed to providing its customers with top quality products that are supported by exceptional customer service.

In 2009 Roger Pemberton retired as Manbat’s Managing Director and Steve Sheppard took the helm, as the company started a new era under the ownership of the ECOBAT Technologies group.

The Pemberton family name, however, has certainly not been consigned to the past as Roger’s son, Myles, plays a prevalent part in the company’s day-to-day activities through his role as Marketing Manager, while his nephew, Mark Pemberton, is Manbat’s Purchasing Manager.

Subconsciously or not, the duo’s involvement in the business serves as a daily reminder of the principles that have helped elevate the company to its lofty status as the UK’s leading supplier of automotive batteries. Indeed, it is the tried and trusted ethos of offering ‘expert local service on a truly national basis’ that will continue to be at the heart of Manbat’s offering, however ambitious future growth plans might be.

Eco warriors


In 2009 the world’s largest producer of lead and lead alloys – ECOBAT Technologies – recognised that it could significantly strengthen its own business model by acquiring a major player in the battery market. That its area of specialism (lead smelting) sits nicely alongside the need for, and use of, lead in the manufacturing of quality, modern-day batteries meant that Manbat was the ideal fit when it came to identifying an acquisition candidate in the UK.

As Myles explains, the synergy between the two companies has proved a natural fit: “They recognised from the outset that there is a fantastic opportunity in selling batteries and, in turn, their involvement has essentially allowed us to create a ‘closed-loop’ model.

“Basically they recycle used batteries – by breaking the batteries up and smelting the lead – and then they sell this back to the battery manufacturers (including those that supply our ranges), so the cycle is never-ending. This allows us to be very cost-efficient as well as environmentally friendly, because over 99% of the used battery is recycled.”

He continues: “The buy-out has also given us access to substantial funds, which means if we choose to expand, invest or develop then we can move very quickly to do so. The first evidence of this was in the purchase of our 3,000m2 distribution centre in Shrewsbury – the biggest battery warehousing facility in the country.”

“This provides us with the perfect base from which to serve our 12 UK-wide branches and means that factors and garages, particularly during unpredictable winter seasons, have no need to stockpile, as our fleet is so effective at quickly turning around product deliveries.

“The old Manbat model of customer service and quality was established long before our acquisition by ECOBAT and fortunately they’ve allowed us to continue running the business in a way that allows us to maintain that winning formula.”

THREE TIERS FOR NUMAX!


With a recently launched range of ‘refreshed’ Numax products for automotive applications, Manbat highlights the strategies that could mean ‘hip hip hooray’ for your battery sales growth.

In simple terms Manbat doesn’t manufacture any products itself, but instead sources high-quality components from trusted original equipment (OE) battery manufacturers. Over the years, it has established itself as the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and the principle distribution partner for VARTA® – a brand that is OE on 85% of European vehicle manufacturers and is right at the forefront of Start-Stop technology and applications – as well as gaining the sole UK distributor rights for the iconic Lucas brand of batteries.

NUMAX, the company’s own-branded offering, has a strong reputation in the leisure battery sector where it is seen as the market leading premium brand, but, according to Myles, has required ‘modernising’ to meet the changing requirements of the IAM. The result is a brand new, three-product range, which supersedes the lone ‘Premium’ offering that was previously available.

He says: “The first thing we want to make clear is that all three models – Standard, Premium and Supreme – are manufactured to a very high level of quality. What the three-tiered structure of batteries does, however, is allow us to compete at a similar price level with the more spurious, poorly manufactured products that have unfortunately flooded the market in recent times.

“The top two ranges (Premium and Supreme) are both sourced from Johnson Control Inc (JCI) and feature the latest JCI battery technology, such as punched lead plates etc., whereas, the Standard is still sourced from an OE supplier but, due mainly to one or two aesthetic differences, allows us to offer an amazingly good quality battery that we can price sensibly so that garages have a solution for the more cost-conscious customer.

“In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level to provide buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

TWO TOP WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR BATTERY SALES


1. Put it to the test


“Even to this day the number of independent garages that offer a battery test as part of their routine servicing procedures is in the minority, but there’s little to lose and so much to gain by doing so,” says Myles.

“If your customer is coming in for an MOT or even a brake replacement then pop open the bonnet and do a quick test during any downtime. A good tester will provide you with a comprehensive print-out reading to show your customer and it is something that you can do for FREE every time a vehicle enters the workshop.

“Even if the battery doesn’t need replacing, they’ll be delighted that you’ve told them their battery is in good health and it adds some extra value to the service you’re offering.”

2. Sow the ‘specialist’ seeds


“There is little doubt that with the changing technologies associated with batteries for electric, full hybrid and micro-hybrid vehicles – and the servicing challenges that come as a result – to be a battery ‘specialist’ is going to become a more prominent requirement in the aftermarket,” says Myles.

“Once you’ve established yourself as a battery specialist in your customer’s eyes, you can start to target other areas of their life – such as the sale of batteries for leisure and golfing applications. These offer great potential for bigger profit margins and consumers just don’t resent these purchases like they do with an automotive battery because they’re buying something that they see is actually going to benefit their leisure time.

He concludes: “A pro-active approach to training and investment, as well as partnering with pro-active suppliers and factors, is the best way to help you achieve ‘specialist’ status.”

ARE YOUR BATTERY PURCHASES PRICE-‘LEAD’?


Lead is an expensive material to buy, so a good rule of thumb to remember is that the higher the quality of battery, the more lead it is likely to utilise. If you’re offered a cheap battery and are unsure of the quality, always contact the supplier directly to get more details.

Numax – High On Quality & Competitive On Price

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity, as well as the product offering within both the automotive and commercial vehicle range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the Numax range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the contemporary requirements of our automotive customers. As a result, we have refreshed the Numax image and extended the range provide a three-model line up to include the Standard and Supreme products alongside the existing Premium.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that the cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should always come way behind the quality factor, the presence of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level that enables our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Numax – High On Quality & Competitive On Price

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity, as well as the product offering within both the automotive and commercial vehicle range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the Numax range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the contemporary requirements of our automotive customers. As a result, we have refreshed the Numax image and extended the range provide a three-model line up to include the Standard and Supreme products alongside the existing Premium.

Although the majority of sales will continue to be of the Premium offering, as both the automotive and CV versions are high quality batteries that provide a long service life, the Standard and Supreme models respectively provide the solution for reliable and trustworthy performance at a lower cost and the crème de la crème, when peak performance is the prime concern.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that the cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should always come way behind the quality factor, the presence of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level that enables our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing of the Standard model to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Battery Waste Management From Manbat

Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor, providing parts wholesalers and their workshop and fleet customers with not only the very best in terms of the quality of the products it supplies, but also in the level of service and support it delivers alongside them.

Therefore, in addition to its high quality product portfolio, which includes the VARTA®, Lucas and Numax brands, Manbat provides customer focused services such as battery training, marketing support, battery advice and a comprehensive waste management programme.

Particularly now, as we are all quite rightly far more environmentally aware, it is vital for a genuine ‘customer service’ package to include a reliable waste management policy that ensures that the environmental and legislative responsibilities of those selling batteries to their trade customers are taken seriously and fulfilled completely.

This is another area in which Manbat excels and where being part of the ECOBAT Technologies group brings great benefits to its customers. as it allows Manbat to be able to state that its ‘closed-loop’ waste management policy ensures that 99.97% of each battery it collects is recycled.

This amazing statistic is only possible because within the group there are companies that specialise in all the processes that are necessary to enable automotive, commercial vehicle and related batteries to be recycled fully and responsibly. So in addition to Manbat, whose primary function is to distribute and sell new batteries, there are also businesses that dismantle, separate and process the elements that make up each battery.

The processed elements are then resupplied into a number of industries as important core products. These include the sulphuric acid in the battery’s electrolyte, which is recycled into gypsum, the battery cases which are recycled into polypropylene and of course the lead, which is processed though ECOBAT’s own lead smelting facilities to be supplied as lead strip, wire or shot and also as lead ingots to many of the world’s battery manufacturers, so completing the circle.

It is for these reasons that Manbat believes it provides a scrap battery-recycling scheme that is the benchmark for the industry. It can offer its customers a complete service that not only takes the worry out of battery waste, but can also turn that waste into extra profits, which can be ploughed back into the business.

As unfortunately seems to be the case with every piece of government legislation, there is an inevitable bundle of paper work that accompanies the disposal of waste batteries. However, Manbat can help its customers deal with the time-consuming and confusing administration process by completing the Environment Agency scrap registration form and ensuring that is then updated annually.

For customers that supply a lot of batteries and therefore collect a large number of scrap batteries, Manbat can provide a scrap battery bin, which can be conveniently located on the premises. When the bin is full, a phone call is all that is required to have the full bin collected and a new scrap bin delivered. Smaller customers however can simply arrange for the collection of the old battery when the new one is being delivered.

Bearing in mind the high rate of recycling efficiency that can be achieved from a scrap battery and the high cost of lead on the global metal markets, scrap batteries can yield several hundred pounds per ton. Therefore, sensible waste management can be a profitable exercise as well as being a highly responsible approach to a potentially hazardous waste product.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – The Complete Battery Partner

Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor whose 12-branch network strategically located across the length and breadth of the country allows it to supply a top quality range of batteries to motor factors and their garage customers nationwide.

Its three core brands are VARTA®, for which Manbat is the primary UK distribution partner, Lucas, for which it is the sole UK distributor and Numax, which is a brand wholly owned by Manbat itself. Together these brands provide workshops with the solution for all their battery needs, whether the requirement is for traditional flooded lead-acid batteries or top-of-the-range AGM batteries for vehicles fitted with the most sophisticated Start-Stop systems.

Alongside these premium bands, Manbat is renowned for its customer service, which ensures that as well as the product offering, its customers also have access to the products they need when they need them and the support to enable them to maximise the profit potential they provide.

Manbat’s central distribution hub in Shrewsbury has a storage capacity of almost 3,000m2, which ensures that product availability is first rate, not just in the summer when demand is low, but also in the autumn and winter when the demand for batteries is at its greatest and many lesser suppliers struggle to supply their customers due to a lack of stock.

In addition to the products and their availability, another area in which Manbat excels is its customer support. With more than 60 years experience in the battery industry, Manbat’s internal infrastructure and knowledge of the market allows it to provide a comprehensive level of support to its customers through advice, training (sales and technical) and marketing support.

When it comes to battery technology for example, Manbat has been at the vanguard when informing workshops of the challenges that the increase in the number of vehicles fitted with a Start-Stop system and now entering the workshop will have on the typical independent and subsequently, equipping them with the solution to enable them to turn these challenges into profit making opportunities.

While new technology is constantly moving the industry forward, the basics concerning traditional battery handling and testing cannot be ignored and again here Manbat provide the information the workshop needs.

Whether the message is for technicians to understand how to test, maintain and handle batteries, or to design and implement a battery management programme for a fleet operator, Manbat has the experience to provide the solution for each and every requirement.

Perhaps the final element in Manbat’s all round offering is waste management policy.

Manbat is part of the ECOBAT Technologies group, which allows it to offer its customers a unique ‘in-house’ environmental recovery programme. In practice, this means that Manbat is able to state that 99.97% of each and every battery it collects through its waste management scheme, will be recycled into polypropylene, gypsum or lead for use in a variety of industries, which is a truly impressive statistic, particularly for a potentially hazardous product!

For further details of any of the services that Manbat provides, please call Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat & GROUPAUTO – Perfect Partners

Following the renewal of its status as an approved GROUPAUTO supplier, Manbat is pleased to be able to set the scene in advance of some very exciting developments, which will help members to grow their battery sales and therefore their profits.

As was recently announced through the pages of Inform and the trade press, Manbat has fundamentally overhauled and relaunched the Numax product offering to reflect the need for members to continue to deliver a first rate product when if comes to quality, but at a price to allow them to compete in the current tough trading conditions.

Over the next few months Manbat will produce a series of articles that will give members a greater understanding of the products in the Numax range, where they fit in the overall market and what makes them distinct. In addition to increasing their knowledge and therefore further equipping members to develop their sales, Manbat will bring some other added value opportunities into play, which will further strengthen the already good relationship it has with members.

Technology is one of the areas that always seems to raise the interest of those that make a living from the automotive aftermarket, but it’s often difficult to relate to technology in a product such as a battery that has no obvious moving parts and just looks like a plastic box. However, the technology utilised under the surface is impressive and the plan is to also try to bring this aspect of the product into focus.

Customer service is one of the most important weapons Manbat has in its considerable armoury, which is why it will also be developing its offering to members from a marketing perspective.

In addition to Numax, Manbat also distribute Lucas and VARTA® as well as GROUPAUTO’s own Powerstart brand, so there are many opportunities through which members can develop their product offering to their customers and Manbat is 100% behind them to help them exploit every possible angle to do so.

The future is bright together!

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat Develops Its Corporate Identity

Since leaving the ownership of the Pemberton family in 2009, Manbat has gradually become more aligned with the internal structure of the ECOBAT Technologies group, while remaining faithful to its core principals of supplying its customers with high quality products, which are backed up with an exceptional level of customer service.

So subtle have the changes been over the last five years, that many may well be unaware that Manbat is part of a larger group, which is testament to the ‘business as usual’ approach the team originally intended.

However, the most visible change is now about to begin, as the company has modified its famous logo to one more in keeping with the identity of the ECOBAT Technologies group as a whole.

“Our original logo is very well recognised right across the industry,” explains marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “so it was important for us to ensure that the new version is recognisable and familiar, while also incorporating the corporate identity of the ECOBAT Technologies group.

“We are really pleased with result of our design work as the new logo identifies Manbat as part of the group, but we’ve managed to keep the mountain image, which dates back to 1970, while also introducing a new ‘Battery Power Systems’ strapline, that recognises our acquisition of industrial battery specialists BPS in 2012.

“Although the development of a new logo does not directly benefit our customers, Manbat’s commitment to quality, service and value certainly does. It’s also worth reaffirming the fact that as part of a group of companies specialising in the supply of lead, Manbat is able to recycle almost 100% of each scrap battery it collects, which means that Manbat’s customers have access to a very powerful environmental message to relay to their customers.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

ANOTHER SUPREME LAUNCH FROM MANBAT

Top Of The Range CV Battery Additions

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor, is pleased to inform GROUPAUTO G-Truck members of the introduction of a new range topping commercial vehicle battery offering, under the renowned Lucas brand.

The new Lucas Supreme range of four part numbers, which are available with 140, 170, 180 and 225 Ah capacities, are designed for high performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and high vibration resistance requirements.

Each model in the Supreme CV range incorporates the very latest in original equipment technology, such as a specialist lid design to minimise water consumption by recycling condensed water vapour back into the electrolyte and punched plate grids, to optimise conductivity and ensure low resistance and reduce power loss.

This means that the batteries within the Supreme CV range not only provide high starting efficiency and possess exceptional corrosion resistance, they are also extremely economic for CV operators to run as they are totally sealed and completely maintenance free.

The high performance nature of the Supreme range is reflected in their specification, which exceeds EN4 V3 SHD (Super Heavy Duty) requirements for extreme vibration resistance.

The Supreme range supplements the existing 28- strong Lucas Premium CV and Lucas Classic CV offerings, which together provide CV operators with a complete range of options to satisfy the requirements of their entire fleet.

In addition to Lucas, Manbat distributes several other brands that are available to members and these include Numax, VARTA® and G-Truck’s own Powerstart brand.

Manbat also offers members product training, general battery advice and a battery waste management programme that it believes is the best in the industry and allows it to state that 99.97% of every scrap battery it collects is recycled into reusable resources.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat

Training is an incredibly wide subject area, so in addition to hands-on fitting procedures and technical ‘best practice’, it must also include sales development.

Over the last couple of years Manbat has been raising awareness of the seismic changes that will hit the workshop as the number of vehicles that incorporate start-stop technology mushroom.

Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton explains: “When it comes to dealing with the batteries in these (start-stop) vehicles, workshops will be faced with some real challenges because they can’t adopt the current practices they use when dealing with traditionally lead-acid batteries and just ‘swap the battery’.

“The relationship between the battery and the electrical system is far more intimate and the fitting process far more complicated as it requires specialist equipment, which is totally different to what many workshops are used to.

“This is why we’ve teamed up with industry training experts eXponentia to help workshops understand the issues and get to grips with the processes.

“When is comes to sales training,” continues Pemberton, “our area managers work with our customers to help them to think outside the traditional constraints of the automotive battery season and look at how they may extend their battery business into new more profitable areas and over a longer timescale.

“Nowadays batteries are required for all manner of equipment, from mobility to leisure. This means that there is clearly a large battery market, so it’s really just a case of how our customers can position themselves to benefit.

“Manbat supplies batteries into virtually every sector, so it has the knowledge and experience necessary to help its customers develop their battery business, which is part of the service we offer.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat Q & A

Numax rebranding

In a press release sent out on 28 May, Myles Pemberton said that in recent years a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the market and disrupted its balance. What aspects of these batteries make them low quality or otherwise unsuitable for the vehicles they are fitted to?

Many batteries are thought to have entered into the market with capacities listed that are not necessarily delivered after their installation. Other products have been openly reduced in capacity to be able to meet an unrealistic pricing point demanded by many customers, particularly in the automotive sector.

What are the risks motorists face if they fit these batteries?

It is inevitable that the fitting of a battery with a capacity that is not suitable for the intended application will offer a reduced service life and increase the potential for premature failure. This would be particularly true for those who use the vehicle regularly, but only for short journeys, or where the vehicle is only used periodically.

Do the entry-level products in the rebranded Numax range go head to head against the cheap competition in terms of price? How do they differ qualitatively?

All Numax batteries are produced on our (Manbat’s) behalf by original equipment (OE) supplying battery manufacturers. The majority of the types (case sizes/terminal configuration etc. in contrast to the capacity, which is measured in A/h) within the Premium and Supreme ranges are produced by Johnson Controls (JCI), which is globally the largest OE manufacturer. The Numax Standard range offers a high build quality with a power capacity that you would not normally expect to see in an entry-level product, and at a price that offers good value.

What share of the UK battery market do cheap, low quality batteries hold? What share does the Manbat family of products hold?

As we are not concentrating our efforts in the cheap low quality end of the market, we tend not to over analyse it. The Numax brand is one of the strongest in the UK and as a result of consumer confidence in its quality, is the market leader in the leisure and marine sectors. Whilst we accept there is a demand for lower cost products, our aim is to maintain consumer support for our customers by concentrating on good value products without compromising on quality. We believe that our Numax Standard range achieves this objective.

Manbat battery range

The automotive battery range Manbat offers includes a number of brands. Is it inevitable that some of these products compete against other batteries in the Manbat portfolio, or do you strive wherever possible to avoid covering the same market segments with more than one product line?

Having three strong brands actually helps to ensure that none of them are over distributed in any given area. The Numax, Lucas and VARTA® brands each have different appeal to enable us to match more closely our brands to the customers requirement and market positioning.

Do you have any new products or developments to report from any of your battery brands?

Manbat has recently introduced a new range topping commercial vehicle battery under the renowned Lucas brand.

The new Lucas Supreme range of four part numbers, which are available with 140, 170, 180 and 225 Ah capacities, are designed for high performance commercial vehicles with large power demands and high vibration resistance requirements.

Each model in the Supreme CV range incorporates the very latest in original equipment technology, such as a specialist lid design to minimise water consumption by recycling condensed water vapour back into the electrolyte and punched plate grids, to optimise conductivity and ensure low resistance and reduce power loss.

This means that the batteries within the Supreme CV range not only provide high starting efficiency and possess exceptional corrosion resistance, they are also extremely economic for CV operators to run as they are totally sealed and completely maintenance free.

The high performance nature of the Supreme range is reflected in their specification, which exceeds EN4 V3 SHD (Super Heavy Duty) requirements for extreme vibration resistance.

The Supreme range supplements the existing 28- strong Lucas Premium CV and Lucas Classic CV offerings, which together provide CV operators with a complete range of options to satisfy the requirements of their entire fleet.

Manbat and Ecobat

Manbat recently updated its corporate logo to bring it more in line with the Ecobat Technologies identity. Why do you consider it important to have a logo that makes you more identifiable as an Ecobat company?

It was not a requirement to align our corporate logo more closely to that of our parent company, but it was time to refresh it and was therefore an opportunity to combine the identities of both organisations. The new logo retains its heritage by keeping the Snowdonia mountains (beneath which the company was first created), whilst changing the style to mirror that of our parent company ECOBAT, therefore reflecting the strength that exists behind Manbat today.

In what other ways has Manbat changed since 2009 in order to align it more with Ecobat? What, if any, changes are planned for the future?

Although aligned in all things financial, governance and administration systems, Manbat has been pretty much allowed to retain its ‘family’ type operating style. Since 2009 ECOBAT has invested in our aspiration to grow the business within the UK and Ireland, whilst using our knowledge to assist in its own aspiration to expand in Europe. During this time Manbat’s annual turnover has grown from £34m to approaching £50m and ECOBAT has acquired businesses in Holland, France and Belgium, and taken European battery volumes close to the 2 million units per year mark.

A key benefit of being part of the ECOBAT Technologies group is our association with sister company G&P batteries. G&P is the leading collector of scrap batteries in the UK and we work very closely with them to ensure that the scrap that we recover from our customers is done so in a legally compliant and efficient way, which allows us to recycle 99.97% of each battery. Scrap batteries represent a strong profit opportunity for our customers and we are keen to help them to unlock this.

Battery market

What are the main opportunities Manbat sees in the battery market?

With the growth in vehicles fitted with Start-Stop technology, which next year is expected to reach 70% of all the cars manufactured for sale in Europe, there will be a seismic shift in the workshop as technicians come to terms with the requirements for replacing the batteries on these vehicles.

Gone will be the days of a simple five-minute one out and another in ‘swap’ that many workshops carry out as a free service, to be replaced by a far more complicated procedure that could take several hours and require specialist equipment to enable the replacement battery to communicate with the vehicles battery management system and prevent the activation of a host of warning lights on the dashboard.

It is therefore very important for workshops to be up to speed with the technology and able to explain why these installations will no longer be a free service, but require trained professionals with specialist knowledge. Once this reality is understood, Start-Stop battery replacement then becomes a legitimate revenue opportunity for the workshop whilst providing peace of mind to the motorist.

What products does Manbat offer for hybrid vehicles?

By far the most common ‘hybrid’ vehicle is, and will remain, the micro-hybrid, otherwise known as a vehicle fitted with a start-stop system (see the answer above). Traditional lead-acid batteries are not appropriate for these vehicles as they are unable to deal with the demands the system puts on them. Instead the batteries are specifically designed to be able to deal with multiple engine starts and possess a high cyclic capacity (the ability to charge/discharge/charge). Entry-level vehicles tend to use enhanced flooded batteries (EFB), whereas vehicles with a high specification use absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries.

Manbat is the primary UK distribution partner for the VARTA® brand, whose owner JCI is the global leader in start-stop battery technology. As a result it stocks the complete range of VARTA® Blue Dynamic EFB and Silver Dynamic AGM, which provide the solution for any start-stop battery replacement.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

NUMAX: Heavy On Quality, Light On The Pocket

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity as well as the offering within the automotive products range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the requirements of our automotive customers. As a result, the new three model line up comprises the Standard, Premium and Supreme.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that these cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should come way behind the quality factor, the reality of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level to enable our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – Start-Stop Battery Systems

Introduced in 2008, the ‘BlueMotion’ version of VW’s ultra successful Golf incorporate the company’s Start-Stop system.

As these vehicles begin to drop out of the franchised dealer network and enter the independent sector, workshops, and the technicians undertaking service and repair work on these variants, need to bear in mind that they are not fitted with traditional lead-acid starter batteries. Instead these models use an AGM battery such as a VARTA® Start Stop Plus and will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator and starter motor, as well as the Start-Stop system, means that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise, to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the VW Golf, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

NUMAX: Heavy On Quality, Light On The Pocket

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity as well as the product offering within the automotive range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the requirements of our automotive customers. As a result, the new three model range comprises the Standard, Premium CXT and Supreme CXT Plus.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that these cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should come way behind the quality factor, the reality of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level to enable our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high levels of quality and provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Garage Message Series One

20th May – Nationwide battery distributor Manbat is on a mission to help technicians get their heads around the challenges they are beginning to face as an increasing number of the vehicles that come into the workshop are fitted with a Start-Stop system.

The primary objective behind Manbat exhibiting at the MECHANEX Manchester show at Event City on 20th & 21st May is to engage with technicians and ensure that they are fully aware of the changing shape of the battery market and how that will affect them in the workshop.

It’s also important for those technicians and workshop managers who have the responsibility to interact with customers understand the reasons behind the growth in micro-hybrid vehicles, which is the official name for those that incorporate a Start-Stop system.

Globally, the vehicle manufacturers are having to comply with legislation that forces them to reduce the average level of exhaust emissions that their model range produces. The only current technology that allows them to reach these fleet average requirements is to fit more of their vehicles with a Start-Stop system.

Despite the complicated nature of the systems themselves and the alternative routes with which manufacturers have approached the restarting mechanism, all a Start-Stop system does is to switch off the engine whenever possible and therefore prevent it from producing exhaust emissions.

Providing there is sufficient power in the battery to restart the engine, the system will switch off the engine when the driver comes to a halt and puts the gearbox into natural, whether at traffic lights, junctions or even in a queue of traffic. Once the clutch pedal is depressed and first gear engaged, the system will automatically restart the engine so the driver can pull away as normal.

3rd June – Nationwide battery distributor Manbat is on a mission to help technicians get their heads around the challenges they are beginning to face as an increasing number of the vehicles that come into the workshop are fitted with a Start-Stop system.

Although visually the battery used in a modern micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with Start-Stop technology) will look no different to a traditional lead-acid battery from a vehicle with older technology, they are in fact very different.

It is imperative that technicians are aware of the performance, operational and installation differences between the two batteries, otherwise they are in danger of fitting the wrong battery, which will have negative consequences for both the workshop and the vehicle owner.

Whereas in the past, fitting the wrong amperage battery may not have caused an immediate problem, nowadays, fitting a traditional battery into a vehicle with a Start-Stop system is a far more serious issue. Such a mistake is now likely to result in a roadside failure, that’s if it even starts the engine without an array of the vehicle’s dashboard warning lights being set ablaze!

It is therefore imperative to reach the technicians that are at the coalface having to install these new batteries and pass on the message that gone are the days of simply disconnecting the leads from the terminals, changing the battery and reconnecting it.

The battery fitted to a Start-Stop vehicle is integrated into the engine management system and uses complicated battery management technology to ensure that the vehicle doesn’t allow the battery to discharge beyond a predetermined minimum.

17th June – Nationwide battery distributor Manbat is on a mission to help technicians get their heads around the challenges they are beginning to face as an increasing number of the vehicles that come into the workshop are fitted with a Start-Stop system.

In the previous two editions we’ve set out the reason why vehicle manufacturers have chosen to incorporate Start-Stop technology into their vehicles and why that decision means fitting the correct battery to these vehicles is now so crucial. We now need to address the fitting process itself.

One of the first issues that technicians could well face is the location of the battery, as in many applications it’s not in its traditional position under the bonnet! Therefore, they need to have access to technical information such as TecRMI, or similar workshop related technical data, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery, be it in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

As the battery is intrinsically linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so a replacement has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment.

Manbat recommends that technicians use a service tool such as the VARTA® VSSP 2.1 because without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

To prevent these error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the vehicle’s BMS/ECU.

1st July – Nationwide battery distributor Manbat is on a mission to help technicians get their heads around the challenges they are beginning to face as an increasing number of the vehicles that come into the workshop are fitted with a Start-Stop system.

The following step-by-step guide allows technicians to appreciate the key features of the VARTA® VSSP 2.1 tool and how it helps lead them through the installation process.

The device is connected to the vehicle via the central EOBD interface and the Start-Stop diagnosis function is selected from a choice of four functions on the on-screen menu. The vehicle is then identified through the VIN number either automatically or manually to ensure the exact vehicle match. VSSP then runs through the Start-Stop system via the vehicle’s ECU and the error codes selected.

The battery is then tested following a series of on-screen instructions and the comprehensive test results, which include the status of the battery, alternator and starter motor, are then printed out to provide the technician with a report that contains all the details required to ensure the correct resolution. It is also able to demonstrate the legitimacy of the diagnosis to the customer and as a quotation for the replacement battery should one be required.

If this is the case, the VSSP 2.1 will then delete the vehicle’s error codes and using the camera built into the back of the device, the technician can scan the 2D code on the battery. The code is then verified to ensure the battery is the exact match for the vehicle.

As the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle can often be positioned in an unconventional location, the VSSP 2.1 first directs the technician to the correct location and then clearly explains the process for the removal, replacement and reconnection of the battery. Once installed, the exchange is confirmed on the VSSP 2.1 and the battery is then confirmed by the vehicle’s electric systems, after which, a final battery test should be undertaken. These results can also be printed to confirm the successful installation.

15th July – Nationwide battery distributor Manbat is on a mission to help technicians get their heads around the challenges they are beginning to face as an increasing number of the vehicles that come into the workshop are fitted with a Start-Stop system.

In the concluding edition of the series, it is time to look at the positive side of the Start-Stop revolution and explain the profit making opportunities that come with this latest development in battery technology.

Traditionally, many workshops have not charged their customers for the fitting when replacing the battery. However, as the previous editions have made clear, installation of a Start-Stop battery is a far more complicated and time consuming process and as workshops in essence sell time, the fitting time must be charged to the customer.

In addition to the entirely legitimate charge for the time spent removing the old battery and installing the replacement, workshops can also benefit from the cost of the battery itself, as they are more expensive than their traditional flooded lead-acid cousins and should therefore yield a greater margin as well as having a greater list price.

A traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for a Start-Stop application and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery, with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist battery like those use for mobility vehicles.

The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner. Another alternative is the enhanced flooded battery (EFB), which has similar characteristics to an AGM battery, but is designed for entry-level Start-Stop vehicles that require less electrical capacity.

Within the VARTA range these two specifications are represented by the entry level BLUE DYNAMIC EFB and the top of the range SILVER DYNAMIC AGM. However, in addition to VARTA, Manbat also distribute high quality alternatives in the Lucas and Numax brands.

For more information, please call Manbat customer services on 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat Develops Its Corporate Identity

Since leaving the ownership of the Pemberton family in 2009, Manbat has gradually become more aligned with the internal structure of the ECOBAT Technologies group, while remaining faithful to its core principals of supplying members with high quality products, which are backed up with an exceptional level of customer service.

So subtle have the changes been over the last five years, that many members may well be unaware that Manbat is part of a larger group, which is testament to the ‘business as usual’ approach the team originally intended.

However, the most visible change is now about to begin, as the company has modified its famous logo to one more in keeping with the identity of the ECOBAT Technologies group as a whole.

“Our original logo is very well recognised right across the industry,” explains marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “so it was important for us to ensure that the new version is recognisable and familiar, while also incorporating the corporate identity of the ECOBAT Technologies group.

“We are really pleased with result of our design work as the new logo identifies Manbat as part of the group, but we’ve managed to keep the mountain image, which dates back to 1970, while also introducing a new ‘Battery Power Systems’ strapline, that recognises our acquisition of industrial battery specialists BPS in 2012.

“Although the development of a new logo does not directly benefit GROUPAUTO members, Manbat’s commitment to quality, service and value certainly does. It’s also worth reaffirming the fact that as part of a group of companies specialising in the supply of lead, Manbat is able to recycle almost 100% of each scrap battery it collects, which means that members have access to a very powerful environmental message to their customers.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Show Profile

As well as pointing out the challenges that workshops face with the increasing number of vehicles that are fitted with Start-Stop systems, Manbat will also highlight the opportunities that the technology provides to business looking to future proof their battery business. In addition, it will also be showing the latest in battery tester technology from VARTA®

Lucas Motorcycle Batteries From Manbat

The Lucas brand is one of the most well known and respected in British automotive history with a host of vehicles from trucks, vans, cars and, of course, motorcycles featuring Lucas as one of their original equipment (OE) components.

Although no longer a volume OE supplier, the Lucas name remains iconic and its motorcycle batteries, a premium quality range of products.

Distributed countrywide by Manbat, the UK’s largest specialist battery distributor, the Lucas range encompasses Classic, AGM Liquifix, VRLA and GEL batteries, which between them cater for the requirements of virtually every motorcycle, scooter, quad bike and jet ski available in the UK.

The main purpose of the motorcycle battery is to provide a strong energy output to enable the starter motor to powerfully crank the engine over and start the engine from cold. High compression performance engines, as well as single cylinder and long-stroke engines require a large burst of energy to start, so a good, reliable battery is essential to supply the necessary power.

Lucas motorcycle batteries combine leading edge technology, robust design and precision engineering to provide a solution for most motorcycle, off-road and performance bike applications. The built-in qualities of exceptional starting power – up to 30% more than traditional batteries – and the high resilience to deep, repeated discharge, make this range of batteries the power source of choice for a growing number of owners.

In addition to the great range and first-class image that comes as standard from Lucas, those in the trade also get exceptional customer service from Manbat.

Operating from 12 wholly owned sites across the length and breadth of the British Isles, Manbat has built its reputation on the service it provides to its customers.

For more than 60 years it has been supplying batteries, providing advice and supporting its customers to allow them to develop their own expertise and specialism within their field or sector.

With a fleet of delivery vehicles attached to its branch network, Manbat has the logistics as well as the stock availability to ensure they can provide the battery that’s needed, when it’s needed and to where it’s needed.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

NUMAX: Heavy On Quality, Light On The Pocket

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity as well as the offering within the automotive products range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the requirements of our automotive customers. As a result, the new three model line up comprises the Standard, Premium and Supreme.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that these cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should come way behind the quality factor, the reality of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level to enable our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high quality, but is now priced at an entry level and so provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

NUMAX: Heavy On Quality, Light On The Pocket

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, introduced its Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Since its launch, the awareness of the brand has become almost universal and it has established itself as one of the country’s most popular aftermarket brands.

To equip the brand, and those distributing it, for the next decade, Manbat has refreshed its visual identity as well as the offering within the automotive product range.

Marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, explains the rationale: “The quality of the Numax product has never been in question, which is one of the reasons behind the brand’s great success. However, we recognise that there has been a shift in the market in recent years as a host of very cheap, low quality batteries have flooded the aftermarket and disrupted its balance.

“Therefore, although we will not compromise in the quality of the range, we have refreshed the product offering to reflect the requirements of our automotive customers. As a result, the new three model range comprises the Standard, Premium and Supreme.

“As would be expected of a brand with such strong consumer awareness, particularly in the leisure and marine sectors, where it is the premium brand and the most popular original equipment (OE) fitment with many luxury yacht builders, each model incorporates the latest battery technology.

“The entire Numax automotive range is produced on our behalf by OE battery manufacturers, so in addition to their sealed status, these batteries also feature market leading punch-plate technology, which means they have a level of durability that these cheap alternatives simply cannot reach.

“Although the price should come way behind the quality factor, the reality of many low quality and cheap batteries in the market means that we have to price the range at a level to enable our customers to compete.

“So the final benefit of the refreshed range is our ability to realign the pricing to a level that makes such a high quality product competitive. In short, the new Numax automotive range delivers high levels of quality and provides buyers with an awful lot of battery for a very small outlay.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat & VARTA® Target The World Cup!

To celebrate the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this June, the winning team of Manbat and VARTA® have joined forces to help their joint customers enjoy the tournament and make money to boot.

The VARTA Battery Champion competition combines battery training and increased market knowledge, with a sales incentive to provide customers with a great opportunity to benefit from the world’s most famous sporting competition, whilst also having fun.

The competition comprises six knowledge-building modules or ‘rounds’, which feature a short film that explains a specific area of battery technology or VARTA product information and is then followed by five multiple-choice questions.

Round 1 introduces the learning programme and the launch of the new VARTA Blue Dynamic EFB and Silver Dynamic AGM Start-Stop batteries, as well as the VSSP 2.1 service tool.

Round 2 addresses the VARTA brand and its brand values.

Round 3 looks at technology and how VARTA is keeping pace with the requirements of vehicle manufacturers, the market and its customers.

Round 4 covers selecting the right battery for the right customer and how each product range is designed for each customer segment.

Round 5 concerns the Start-Stop revolution that will influence the industry’s future and what preparations need to be made.

Finally, round 6 examines VARTA’s Start-Stop Service Program for battery service in the workshop and new business opportunities it provides.

“We are encouraging Manbat customers that supply VARTA to enter this fantastic competition and take advantage of the excitement that will inevitably surround the tournament,” said Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat. “The objective is to earn as many points as is possible, and as the old motto goes, points make prizes!

“On sign up, they will earn 5,000 points and with every question in each of the six rounds worth 1,000, it is possible to earn 35,000 points before a single battery is purchased. However, with Black, Blue and Silver Dynamic battery purchases worth 1,000 each and Blue Dynamic EFB and Sliver Dynamic AGM worth 2,000 and 3,000 points respectively, some serious points totals are achievable.

“On reaching the 35,000 target, they will win a tournament football, at 45,000 a black trophy and a tournament football, at 55,000 a blue trophy, national scarf and tournament trophy and 65,000 a silver trophy, an original football shirt, national scarf and tournament football.

“As well as these championship points and prizes, garages can also enter the ‘Workshop of the Month’ competition for the chance to win a brand new VSSP 2.1 service tool and battery tester. So all in all, this is a massive competition with some really exciting opportunities and we really encourage our customers to get on board by visiting the VARTA website – www.varta-automotive.com

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

A Life On The Ocean Waves

Among the many business sectors in which Manbat Industrial is playing an active role, few are as unusual as the cruise liners that ply their trade on the tourist routes of the world’s oceans.

For those not familiar with these vast floating communities, it’s easy to overlook just what a logistical exercise it really is to replenish supplies and re-organise the whole vessel while the returning passengers disembark and a new cohort of holiday makers board ready to begin their ‘holiday of a lifetime’ adventure.

However, with just a four-hour window, the process starts as soon as the ship is safely moored and is run like a military operation to ensure that nothing holds up the ship and it is ready to go when it is scheduled to depart.

Dockside the new supplies, food, drink, duty-free products or whatever, are moved by the diesel forklifts operating on the dockyard, but once aboard, it’s a fleet of Still electric ride-on pallet trucks, often between 10 and 15 in number, that the crew rely on to ensure everything is quickly and efficiently stowed in the ship’s hold.

With such a short operating window before the ship sets sail, it is imperative that these pallet trucks are fully functional and able to do what’s required of them during the intensive operation. To that end, Carnival Cruises, which incorporates such well-known fleets as Cunard, Costa, Princess, Seabourn, Holland American Line and Carnival, relies on the Manbat Industrial supplied batteries that power these Still pallet trucks to enable them to do the job.

The batteries themselves, which are manufactured by Manbat Industrial’s long-term partner, TAB, are maintenance-free sealed GEL units with a typical operating life of approximately five years. Each cell has a voltage of 2-volts and although all of these Still pallet trucks are 24-volt and so utilise 12 cells, the amperage may vary depending on the individual specification of the truck.

Therefore, alongside an end-of-life battery replacement plan, the most important factor is the charging regime, rather than the maintenance programme that would typically be in place with a forklift fleet in a traditional warehouse. As a result, Manbat Industrial has also supplied the chargers that are necessary to keep the batteries in the best possible condition.

For ease, it has even fitted the latest pallet trucks with an S.P.E. Elettronica Industriale CBHF2 high frequency on-board charger, which is conveniently mounted so that the crew can simply plug into the ship’s main power supply via a standard three-pin plug while the truck is not being used.

This not only allows the batteries to fully recharge, but because the chargers are designed to cater for long-term connection to the power supply, whether attached to the pallet truck or standing alone, they automatically switch over to a maintenance mode once the battery is fully charged. This ensures that the battery is ‘exercised’, which both prolongs its service life and optimise its performance.

Commenting on the arrangement, Manbat Industrial’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton said: “This interesting supply agreement just goes to show that the industrial sectors in which batteries are required to work are as varied as one could possibly imagine.

“Although our expertise is not in sea-borne logistics, expert battery advice and support is vital to the smooth running of the vessels in the Carnival Cruises fleet, which means that we need to work together to provide the solution that this niche area demands.

“This supply agreement with Still has given us a great opportunity to do just that and we look forward to growing the relationship further in the months and years to come.”

For more information, please call Manbat customer services on 01473 218500 or visit www.manbat.co.uk

New Identity, Same Reliable Service

Since the acquisition of BPS in late 2011, Manbat has been busy integrating its business systems and highly experienced sales and technical teams into one powerful organisation operating under the title Manbat Industrial.

Manbat Industrial has also increased the number of its branches to four, which now include Washington and Bristol, in addition to its original site in East Kilbride and Manbat’s head office in Shrewsbury. This development has given the business a truly national reach.

Another element in the company’s integration is its marketing and support material, which has been fundamentally overhauled and rebranded to reflect the change in its corporate identity.

The Manbat Industrial presentation pack contains nine individual leaflets, which cover the batteries, watering systems, chargers and accessories it supplies, as well as detailing the company’s nationwide service package and some useful battery maintenance advice. All are available now, either separately or in a robust presentation folder.

Perhaps the most eye opening is the company’s environmental information, which sets out how Manbat Industrial is able to demonstrate its ability to recycle very nearly 100% of its battery waste.

This impressive statistic is made possible by the fact that Manbat is part of the ECOBAT Technologies group and within the group there are lead smelters, battery collection specialists, as well as battery distributors, like Manbat.

Despite its hazardous reputation, the components of a lead-acid battery can all be recycled. The lead can be re-smelted into a multitude of products including lead shot, strip and wire, the battery cases into polypropylene and the sulphuric acid into gypsum for the building trade.

“One of our guiding principles,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “is to integrate the companies that come into the ECOBAT Technologies group in an orderly manner. Like Manbat, BPS was privately owned company with a great reputation, so preserving that reputation, while coming into the group was extremely important.

“However, now that we have aligned the businesses, it was important to align all the marketing and support material to correctly reflect the future direction of the business as a whole. We have therefore designed the material in a way that delivers the right information, but looks forward to the growth that we believe will continue apace.”

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

World Cup Fever With Manbat & VARTA®

To celebrate the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this June, the winning team of Manbat and VARTA® have joined forces to help GROUPAUTO members enjoy the tournament and make money to boot.

The VARTA Battery Champion competition combines battery training and increased market knowledge, with a sales incentive to provide members with a great opportunity to benefit from the world’s most famous sporting competition, whilst also having fun.

The competition comprises six knowledge-building modules or ‘rounds’, which feature a short film that explains a specific area of battery technology or VARTA product information and is then followed by five multiple-choice questions.

Round 1 introduces the learning programme and the launch of the new VARTA Blue Dynamic EFB and Silver Dynamic AGM Start-Stop batteries, as well as the VSSP 2.1 service tool.

Round 2 addresses the VARTA brand and its brand values.

Round 3 looks at technology and how VARTA is keeping pace with the requirements of vehicle manufacturers, the market and its customers.

Round 4 covers selecting the right battery for the right customer and how each product range is designed for each customer segment.

Round 5 concerns the Start-Stop revolution that will influence the industry’s future and what preparations need to be made.

Finally, round 6 examines VARTA’s Start-Stop Service Program for battery service in the workshop and new business opportunities it provides.

“We are encouraging GROUPAUTO members that supply VARTA to enter this fantastic competition and take advantage of the excitement that will inevitably surround the tournament,” said Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat. “The objective is to earn as many points as is possible, and as the old motto goes, points make prizes!

“On sign up, members will earn 5,000 points and with every question in each of the six rounds worth 1,000, it is possible to earn 35,000 points before a single battery is purchased. However, with Black, Blue and Silver Dynamic battery purchases worth 1,000 each and Blue Dynamic EFB and Sliver Dynamic AGM worth 2,000 and 3,000 points respectively, some serious points totals are achievable.

“On reaching the 35,000 target, members will win a tournament football, at 45,000 a black trophy and a tournament football, at 55,000 a blue trophy, national scarf and tournament trophy and 65,000 a silver trophy, an original football shirt, national scarf and tournament football.

“As well as these championship points and prizes, garages can also enter the ‘Workshop of the Month’ competition for the chance to win a brand new VSSP 2.1 service tool and battery tester. So all in all, this is a massive competition with some really exciting opportunities and we really encourage members to get on board by visiting the VARTA website – www.varta-automotive.com

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

More Opportunities From Manbat

As has been highlighted to GROUPAUTO members in previous issues of Inform, Manbat supplies its batteries into many other sectors beyond the automotive and CV aftermarket. However, few are as unusual as the cruise liners that ply their trade on the tourist routes of the world’s oceans.

For those not familiar with these vast floating communities, it’s easy to overlook just what a logistical exercise it really is to replenish supplies and re-organise the whole vessel while the returning passengers disembark and a new cohort of holiday makers board ready to begin their ‘holiday of a lifetime’ adventure.

However, with just a four-hour window, the process starts as soon as the ship is safely moored and is run like a military operation to ensure that nothing holds up the ship and it is ready to go when it is scheduled to depart.

Dockside the new supplies, food, drink, duty-free products or whatever, are moved by the diesel forklifts operating on the dockyard, but once aboard, it’s a fleet of Still electric ride-on pallet trucks, often between 10 and 15 in number, that the crew rely on to ensure everything is quickly and efficiently stowed in the ship’s hold.

With such a short operating window before the ship sets sail, it is imperative that these pallet trucks are fully functional and able to do what’s required of them during the intensive operation. To that end, Carnival Cruises, which incorporates such well-known fleets as Cunard, Costa, Princess, Seabourn, Holland American Line and Carnival, relies on batteries supplied by Manbat (through its industrial division, Manbat Industrial) to power these Still pallet trucks and to enable them to do the job.

“So what’s all this got to with members and theirs businesses I can hear readers ask,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “Although our expertise is plainly not in sea-borne logistics, it does demonstrate that expert battery advice and support is vital to the smooth running of the vessels in the Carnival Cruises fleet and that businesses need to work together to provide the solution that niche areas demand.

“To maintain an industrial battery theme, many members will use either a forklift or pallet truck in their own warehouses, so we would like to remind them that we are able to support them with batteries for their own vehicles. Beyond this however is the business opportunity that these batteries provide members should they be willing to look beyond their automotive and CV specialism.

“On every industrial estate or business park, including the neighbours of GROUPAUTO members, there are businesses that will need industrial batteries. What would be better for them to have a local supplier of industrial batteries?

“As well as the great brands that members associate us with in the automotive sector, we also supply high quality brands to the industrial sector. We also provide training and excellent point-of-sale material, which includes our latest industrial battery leaflets and support literature.

“Now more than ever, at the end of the traditional automotive battery season, is the time for members to look beyond the low price, low margin automotive model and see how they can integrate a high cost, high margin opportunity to run alongside it.”

For more information, please call Manbat customer services on 01473 218500 or visit www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – Start-Stop Battery Systems

Introduced in 2012, the second-generation Hyundai i30 Blue Drive variants incorporate the company’s Start-Stop system.

As these vehicles begin to drop out of the franchised dealer network and enter the independent sector, workshops, and the technicians undertaking service and repair work on these variants, need to bear in mind that they are not fitted with traditional lead-acid starter batteries. Instead these models use an AGM battery such as a VARTA® Start Stop Plus and will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator and starter motor, as well as the Start-Stop system, means that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise, to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the Audi A1, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

AN INTRODUCTION TO MANBAT

Specialist Battery Distributor

Manbat is the UK’s largest distributor of automotive derived batteries and related stored energy products, and at Naidex National, which runs from 29th April to 1st May, it will be supporting its many mobility battery customers by raising awareness of its brands to those visiting the industry’s premier trade show at NEC, Birmingham.

Although some visitors may not be familiar with the name of Manbat, they are sure to know the Sonnenschein brand of batteries for which Manbat is a key UK distributor, and Lucas, an iconic brand that is solely distributed throughout the UK by Manbat.

Naturally, Manbat will be exhibiting the latest additions from both of these quality manufacturers, but another important element of their participation in the show is to ensure that interested visitors know where to go in their locality to find a supplier of either one of these highly regarded brands.

Sonnenschein GEL batteries are widely acknowledged to be the ‘gold standard’ batteries for the mobility sector and are the preferred product for the National Health Service and private medical providers alike. The range caters for multiple applications and encompasses capacities from 15 to 200 Ampere hour (Ah) and provides the ultimate in mobility battery performance.

In Lucas, Manbat offers a high quality AGM alternative to the Sonnenschein GEL range, which also provides users with fully sealed and maintenance free technology, with extra deep cycle (the ability to charge, discharge and charge again) capability.

Supporting these quality batteries, Manbat will also display its comprehensive range of battery chargers, which include its own Numax ‘connect+forget’® models. These chargers feature smart design and intelligent technology, which means that they manage the battery’s charging process to ensure the battery always performs at its best and can be left attached almost indefinitely.

Exhibiting in hall 19 on stand E90, the Manbat team will be delighted to meet visitors wishing to discuss their mobility battery requirements, in need of general battery advice or just want to find their nearest battery stockist.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT Technologies group, which comprises lead smelting operations, the manufacture of lead products for the building industry, battery collection, recycling and waste management and of course, in the case of Manbat, battery distribution.

For more information, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

SONNENSCHEIN

The First Name In Mobility Batteries

For those that rely on powered vehicles or mobility equipment to aid them in their daily lives, ensuring that they also have a reliable power source for the equipment isn’t just useful, it’s an absolute necessity.

Manbat is proud to be the mobility sector’s largest supplier of Sonnenschein GEL batteries, which are widely regarded to be the premium battery brand for the mobility and healthcare sectors.

The range provides users with a completely maintenance-free battery that uses an electrolyte made from a gel formulation, which means that it is safe, robust and reliable, and cannot spill or leak.

Available in 6 or 12-volt versions and with capacities from 15 to 200 Ampere hour (Ah), the range caters for multiple applications and provides the ultimate solution for virtually all the sector’s stored power requirements.

It is little wonder therefore that Sonnenschein is the preferred battery solution for the National Health Service and private medical providers alike.

For more information about Sonnenschein batteries, or to find your nearest stockist, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

LUCAS MOBILITY BATTERIES

Quality & Range From A Great British Name

Lucas is an iconic brand that many show visitors will instantly recognise and trust, as it has a long and proud history across many sectors.

Powered wheelchairs and scooters are only as reliable as the source of power driving them and with Lucas that power source is tested, guaranteed and quality assured to BS EN ISO9001: 2000 certification.

Every battery in the Lucas range is a quality product, manufactured to the most exacting standards and users can relax in the knowledge that it won’t let them down.

Lucas mobility batteries are designed to deliver up to 30% more deep cycling capacity (the ability to be charged, discharged and charged again) than many other standard mobility batteries. This makes them a reliable source of power and enables users to enjoy more trips over a longer battery lifespan.

Also, every battery is completely maintenance free and totally sealed, so there is no possibility of spillage and is therefore safe to transport.

With a broad variety of voltages and capacities in the range, Lucas mobility batteries give users the choice they need to cater for any number of powered wheelchair, electric scooter, lift or hoist requirements and provides the power to suit their individual lifestyles.

For details of the Lucas mobility battery range, or to find your nearest stockist, please visit www.manbat.co.uk or call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500

NUMAX BATTERY CHARGERS

Maintaining The Power

Choosing the best battery to power vital mobility equipment is only half of the story because without a good quality charging system, it’s ultimately worth nothing.

Good quality mobility batteries are designed to deliver deep cycle performance over a long service life, which means that although they can be almost completely discharged after prolonged use, they can be recharged and restored to a fully charged state ready to be discharged again. However, users need to rely on a quality battery charger designed for the purpose to sufficiently charge these batteries to really get the best results.

The Numax ‘connect + forget’® range provides users with the solution. Designed specifically for charging, and importantly maintaining a battery, Numax chargers boast ‘deep discharge recovery’ and ‘fast cycle charging’ features alongside their long term battery maintenance function.

This means that they quickly and efficiently charge discharged, or part discharged batteries, but also convert automatically from ‘charge’ to ‘maintenance’ mode once the charging cycle is complete. As a result, Numax chargers can be connected indefinitely, without damage to the battery or danger to the unit, which means that the battery is always ready for use and in optimum condition.

For more information concerning the Numax ‘connect + forget’® range, or to find your nearest stockist, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

MANBAT AND BEN WORKING TOGETHER

Practical Charity Support

Over the last few years Manbat, the UK’s largest battery distributor, has been supporting BEN, the UK’s primary motor trade benevolent charity, by providing its beneficiaries with a new replacement battery when the existing one used to power their mobility equipment fails or comes to the end of its life.

BEN is a national charity that operates from offices in Ascot, Birmingham and Scotland, with ten welfare officers working across the regions. Its welfare beneficiaries use more than 700 battery powered mobility products and in addition to the individual welfare cases, BEN also requires batteries for its residential care centres.

As Manbat is a genuinely national distributor with multiple branches across the length and breadth of the country, it is particularly geared to be able to quickly respond to the need, irrespective of where it arises. However, being a business that is also based on traditional values of support and care for one another, its overriding desire is to do its bit to try to improve the lives of those who need support.

Commenting on the on-going arrangement Fiona Gorman, BEN’s head of welfare said: “The impact of what Manbat does for us has been enormous. In common with many charity organisations we are being asked to help more people every year, in fact last year the number of beneficiaries increased by 10%.

“However, not only does the free battery service help us financially, but the whole process has been made so easy. Instead of having to find the right battery and carry the cost, we simply call Manbat and the new battery is delivered direct to where it’s needed.

“It’s made such a difference to the lives of our beneficiaries, it’s amazing!”

For Manbat marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, said: “BEN is close to our hearts because unfortunately all too many people from within the automotive sector find themselves having to rely on their expert care. We are therefore really pleased to hear that what we are doing is playing a part in making the lives of those in need just that little bit easier.

“The world of business today can be so all-consuming that it’s very easy to lose the perspective and concentrate only on what drives the bottom line. However, by working with BEN it helps us to focus the mind on the bigger picture and realise we should all be helping one another for the welfare of everyone.”

To find your local Manbat branch or stockist, or to find out more about the products it offers, call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat On The Exhibition Trail

Customer Support Is The Order Of The Day

After a successful day at the AutoCare show at the Telford International Centre, Manbat already has its sights on the next events in the pipeline as it heads first to Birmingham for the Naidex show and then to Manchester for MECHANEX.

The primary objective of exhibiting at the AutoCare show and the forthcoming MECHANEX show at Event City is to engage with technicians and ensure that they are fully aware of the changing shape of the battery market and how that will affect them in the workshop.

Although visually the battery used in a modern micro-hybrid vehicle (one fitted with Start-Stop technology) will look no different to a traditional lead-acid battery from an older vehicle, they are in fact very different.

It is imperative that technicians are aware of the performance, operational and installation differences between the two batteries, otherwise they are in danger of fitting the wrong battery, which will have undesirable consequences for the workshop and the owner of the vehicle.

Whereas in the past, fitting the wrong amperage battery may not cause an immediate problem, nowadays, fitting a traditional battery into a vehicle with a Start-Stop system is a far more serious issue and is likely to result in the roadside failure of the vehicle, that’s if it even starts the vehicle without an array of its dashboard warning lights being set ablaze!

“Although our day-to-day contact is with our customers, the factors, who supply batteries to the workshop,” explains marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “exhibiting at shows like AutoCare and MECHANEX is important as it allows us to reach those that are at the coalface and have to install these new batteries.

“Gone are the days of simply disconnecting the leads, changing the battery and reconnecting it. So we need to help technicians through the process and also explain the profit making opportunities that come with the latest battery technology too.”

In addition to the automotive sector, Manbat supplies batteries across many industries and it is to support its customers serving the mobility sector that it is present at Naidex National, the UK’s largest disability, rehabilitation and homecare event.

“Naidex National provides us with an excellent opportunity to raise the awareness of our brands and support our customers that specialise in the mobility sector,” continues Pemberton.

“Manbat doesn’t, and shouldn’t, mean anything to those individuals who visit the show, but the brands we supply: Sonnenschein, the healthcare professional’s choice, and Lucas, the quality alternative, are very relevant and important for them to be aware of. We can also support our customers on a practical level by providing visitors with battery tips and advice, and by directing them to their local mobility battery specialist.”

For more information, please call Manbat customer services on 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

CAAR TRADE TALK MAY ‘14

More Opportunities From Manbat

As has been highlighted to CAAR members in previous issues of Trade Talk, Manbat supplies its batteries into many other sectors beyond the automotive and CV aftermarket. However, few are as unusual as the cruise liners that ply their trade on the tourist routes of the world’s oceans.

For those not familiar with these vast floating communities, it’s easy to overlook just what a logistical exercise it really is to replenish supplies and re-organise the whole vessel while the returning passengers disembark and a new cohort of holiday makers board ready to begin their ‘holiday of a lifetime’ adventure.

However, with just a four-hour window, the process starts as soon as the ship is safely moored and is run like a military operation to ensure that nothing holds up the ship and it is ready to go when it is scheduled to depart.

Dockside the new supplies, food, drink, duty-free products or whatever, are moved by the diesel forklifts operating on the dockyard, but once aboard, it’s a fleet of Still electric ride-on pallet trucks, often between 10 and 15 in number, that the crew rely on to ensure everything is quickly and efficiently stowed in the ship’s hold.

With such a short operating window before the ship sets sail, it is imperative that these pallet trucks are fully functional and able to do what’s required of them during the intensive operation. To that end, Carnival Cruises, which incorporates such well-known fleets as Cunard, Costa, Princess, Seabourn, Holland American Line and Carnival, relies on batteries supplied by Manbat (through its industrial division, Manbat Industrial) to power these Still pallet trucks and to enable them to do the job.

“So what’s all this got to with members and theirs businesses I can hear readers ask,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton. “Although our expertise is plainly not in sea-borne logistics, it does demonstrate that expert battery advice and support is vital to the smooth running of the vessels in the Carnival Cruises fleet and that businesses need to work together to provide the solution that niche areas demand.

“To maintain an industrial battery theme, many members will use either a forklift or pallet truck in their own warehouses, so we would like to remind them that we are able to support them with batteries for their own vehicles. Beyond this however is the business opportunity that these batteries provide members should they be willing to look beyond their automotive and CV specialism.

“On every industrial estate or business park, including the neighbours of CAAR members, there are businesses that will need industrial batteries. What would be better for them to have a local supplier of industrial batteries?

“As well as the great brands that members associate us with in the automotive sector, we also supply high quality brands to the industrial sector. We also provide training and excellent point-of-sale material, which includes our latest industrial battery leaflets and support literature.

“Now more than ever, at the end of the traditional automotive battery season, is the time for members to look beyond the low price, low margin automotive model and see how they can integrate a high cost, high margin opportunity to run alongside it.”

For more information, please call Manbat customer services on 01473 218500 or visit www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – Start-Stop Battery Systems

Introduced in 2010, all versions of the popular A1 incorporate the company’s Start-Stop system.

As these vehicles begin to drop out of the franchised dealer network and enter the independent sector, workshops, and the technicians undertaking service and repair work on these variants, need to bear in mind that they are not fitted with traditional lead-acid starter batteries. Instead these models use an AGM battery such as a VARTA® Start Stop Plus and will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator and starter motor, as well as the Start-Stop system, means that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise, to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the Audi A1, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

Training is an incredibly wide subject area, so in addition to hands-on fitting procedures and technical ‘best practice’, it must also include sales development.

Over the last couple of years Manbat has been raising awareness of the seismic changes that will hit the workshop as the number of vehicles that incorporate start-stop technology mushroom.

Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton explains: “When it comes to dealing with the batteries in these (start-stop) vehicles, workshops will be faced with some real challenges because they can’t adopt the current practices they use when dealing with traditionally lead-acid batteries and just ‘swap the battery’.

“The relationship between the battery and the electrical system is far more intimate and the fitting process far more complicated as it requires specialist equipment, which is totally different to what many workshops are used to.

“This is why we’ve teamed up with industry training experts eXponentia to help workshops understand the issues and get to grips with the processes.

“When is comes to sales training,” continues Pemberton, “our area managers work with our customers to help them to think outside the traditional constraints of the automotive battery season and look at how they may extend their battery business into new more profitable areas and over a longer timescale.

“Nowadays batteries are required for all manner of equipment, from mobility to leisure. This means that there is clearly a large battery market, so it’s really just a case of how our customers can position themselves to benefit.

“Manbat supplies batteries into virtually every sector, so it has the knowledge and experience necessary to help its customers develop their battery business, which is part of the service we offer.”

For more information, please call Manbat customer services on 01473 218500 or visit www.manbat.co.uk

Broaden Your Battery Horizons

With Spring well and truly with us, Manbat is again challenging GROUPAUTO members to think outside of the traditional constraints of the automotive battery season and look at how they may extend their battery business into new more profitable areas and over a longer timescale.

Winter may not have been the season many members may have hoped for from a battery sales perspective, but that is no reason to turn away and spurn the opportunities that batteries can deliver with a little support and helpful advice.

Nowadays batteries are required to fulfil the needs of so many people, whether that is because of a physical need through some sort of aid, like a mobility scooter or motorised wheelchair, or for a leisure pastime such as golf or camping. This means that there is clearly a market for these batteries, so it’s really just a case of how members can position themselves to benefit from it.

Although members will primarily know Manbat for its automotive and commercial vehicle batteries and it is in the automotive sector that the company originated, Manbat has in fact been supplying batteries into multiple sectors for many years, so it has the knowledge and experience necessary to help members develop their battery business.

Those members that are still not convinced by the proposition could do well to consider that whereas in the automotive sector the first question asked about a replacement battery is the price, in these other sectors the first question is suitability and what’s the best battery for the job.

This change of mind set from a distress purchase (what’s the quickest, cheapest solution) to an aspirational purchase (how’s this going to further improve a lifestyle choice) makes a fundamental difference to the profit margin available for members in comparison to automotive batteries.

If one of the issues holding members back from expanding their battery portfolio is dealing with unfamiliar products, the answer could be to begin with motorcycle batteries, which share a common technology and design to their automotive cousins.

Alongside VARTA®, which similar automotive, is the gold standard battery for the motorcycle sector, Manbat can offer members its own Numax MotoSport range or Lucas Motorcycle batteries.

Since becoming custodians of the brand in 2009, as well as re-establishing its credibility and reputation for quality, Manbat has also introduced the Lucas brand into several other sectors, with motorcycle one of these first ‘brand extensions’.

Also sharing similar technology is the leisure battery, which although modified in its performance characteristics to deliver a broad spread of power over a prolonged period rather than the short bursts of high power needed for an automotive starter battery, the case sizes will be very familiar to GROUPAUTO members.

The opportunities for leisure battery sales and business development are large. The combination of increasing numbers of people holidaying in the UK and a growing ‘retired and at leisure’ population has meant that the demand for leisure batteries, whether for caravans and motorhomes or marine applications, has rocketed.

Again Manbat can offer members a choice of brands with Lucas providing a high quality alternative to the market leading Numax product range.

Although batteries for golf enthusiasts and the mobility sector are perhaps less familiar as they tend to be sealed GEL batteries, they are nonetheless profitable products to supply.

Fears about dealing directly with customers or mobility users can be averted by building relationships and supply arrangements with mobility specialists and the golf shop that almost every course has on site.

Members also need to remember that they would not be entering into this new venture in isolation as Manbat is ready and willing to help, not just with the required products and accessories, but with market knowledge and experienced professionals who are able to develop these new opportunities alongside them.

For more information, please call Manbat customer services on 01473 218500 or visit www.manbat.co.uk

BEHIND THE SCENES EXPERTISE KEEPS MANBAT POPULAR WITH MOTOR FACTORS AND GARAGES IN SCOTLAND

One of the most infuriating problems for the workshop is downtime on jobs that eat into valuable ramp time or workshop space. When undertaking service work or general repairs, being unable to source the correct replacement part costs the garage money in lost time and aggravates the vehicle owner when it is not returned to them when expected.

Motor factors across the country hold impressive levels of stock for fast-moving items but it is unrealistic for them to be expected to hold stock levels for specialist items, as this is just not practical. Therefore, it is necessary for motor factors to deal with manufacturers and suppliers of replacement parts that can provide a next day service on non-standard items, ensuring factors do not have to hold excess stock levels.

For more than 60 years Shrewsbury-based Manbat Ltd has been at the forefront of the battery industry in this country, with a reputation for quality products, which include the VARTA®, Lucas and Numax brands and good old-fashioned service that remains as strong today as it was in 1952.

Manbat, the UK’s largest distributor of automotive, leisure and marine batteries with a network of 12 branches, first opened a branch in Scotland in 2002 in Kirkintilloch, prior to moving to their current location at Taywood Enterprise Centre in Rutherglen in 2004.

Scots Auto Scene were intrigued to see for ourselves how the Manbat process worked with particular reference to the VARTA product line, from the initial call by the garage to the motor factor, right through to the fitment of the battery to the customer’s car.

Broomhead Garage in Dunfermline is a small independent operation with five employees carrying out MoT’s, servicing and general repairs for their customers in the local area. One vehicle that was recently booked in for work was a Land Rover Discovery. The owner, a keen ‘off-roader’, has been gradually upgrading the vehicle over the years to enable him to tackle more and more difficult terrain at weekends. A heavy-duty remote controlled winch had been fitted to the front bumper along with an impressive cluster of additional lights and a top of the range Sat Nav system were proving problematic as a result of additional drain on power being required to run these optional extras.

Broomhead Garage’s Proprietor, Kevin Grace who has 26 years experience in the trade, contacted his local VARTA distributor and Manbat customer, Essport Car Accessories on Miller Road, which is located only half a mile from Broomhead Garage. Essport’s directors Martin Best and Ian Smillie have over 30 years experience of the motor factor and car accessory trade in Dunfermline and are located only a stones through from the ‘Dunfermline Motor Mile’ at Rumblingwell.

Looking into the options available for battery upgrade, Martin recommended the VARTA 250H as a replacement for the standard battery fitted as OE on the Land Rover Discovery at Broomhead Garage as it is designed to cope with the additional strains of retro fitted products.

However, as this was not a common battery, Essport did not have it in stock, but advised Kevin that it would be ordered overnight and with them by noon the next day.

Martin called Manbat in Rutherglen and placed the order for the VARTA 250H through branch manager Peter McBride to be despatched to them next day. Peter used Manbat’s electronic ordering and stock management system to place the order with head office in Shrewsbury, which was processed by one of its five customer service representatives.

Under normal circumstances, once an order is on the system, it is added to the other batteries on order, or required for replenishment, for each branch of the Manbat network. A picking note is then printed for each of these branches that lists in a planned order all the batteries that are required to be sent to each branch. The orders are then scheduled for fulfilment and the batteries on the order are then assembled from Manbat’s stock of some 350,000 batteries (100,000 of which are VARTA), by the picking team following a planned location by location flow management system, which maximises warehouse efficiency. Each order is then despatched to the branch via one of its planned delivery schedules aboard one of the vans in the Manbat fleet.

However, due to the urgent nature of this particular order, the single VARTA 250H battery was picked from stock and as no scheduled delivery was suitable, the battery was transported by a third party directly to Rutherglen for immediate delivery the next day. In exceptional circumstances, deliveries can even be made to the customer direct.

The next day Manbat’s Rutherglen branch received the VARTA 250 at 9am and it was despatched immediately to Dunfermline in one of their delivery vans and arrived at Essport at 11.30am. The battery was delivered to Kevin at Broomhead Garage before noon and fitted to the Land Rover Discovery, ready for the owner to enjoy another fun packed weekend ‘off-roading’.

The whole part ordering process was smooth and very customer friendly allowing Essport Car Accessories to supply the right part at the promised time and Broomhead Garage were able to satisfy the needs of another customer with the minimum of fuss and downtime.

For more information: 0141 647 9700 or www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat

Managing Waste Batteries

These days, waste management is a serious matter for workshop and motor factor alike, so when it comes to the responsible disposal of batteries, they both have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally.

However, on the positive side (no pun intended!) they should also be aware that they can benefit financially from responsible battery disposal as batteries have a growing scrap value.

As well as being the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, Manbat Ltd is a member of the ECOBAT Technologies group of companies, which also includes specialist waste battery businesses and its own lead smelting mills.

ECOBAT is the world’s largest producer of lead, which is processed through its 13 lead facilities located strategically across the globe. More than 80% of its total lead production comes from recycled lead and this means that it annually converts literally thousands of tons of lead waste into high quality lead products such as ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelting operations.

Within the worldwide ECOBAT Technologies group there are several individual businesses that specialise in areas that complement ECOBAT’s core lead smelting origins. Therefore, there are those that produce lead commodities such as rolled lead sheet products, which are primarily used in the construction industry, others like Manbat that distribute finished products to a multitude of business sectors and still others like G & P Batteries, that concentrate on the collection and disassembly of products that contain lead.

This spread of businesses allows ECOBAT Technologies to apply what it describes as a ‘closed recycling loop’ for lead acid batteries, which it operates in the following way.

Among its many customers are large-scale battery manufacturers and these companies purchase huge quantities of ECOBAT’s lead ingots, which they then process to form the plates that go into their batteries. Their finished products are then distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network to wholesalers and battery specialists who in turn need a legitimate outlet for the waste batteries they collect from their customers when they supply a new battery.

These scrap batteries are collected by G & P Batteries, the country’s leading waste battery collection specialist, who dismantle the batteries into their core elements, the lead from which goes back into the lead smelting process.

However, it is not just the lead that is recycled: the sulphuric acid from the battery’s electrolyte is converted into gypsum for the construction industry and the cases are reprocessed into polypropylene, which is a highly sought after element for many industries. This closed recycling loop waste management policy ensures that 99.97% of each battery collected is recycled.

The numerous incidents of metal theft that have affected rail commuters and church congregations over the last two or three years have been well documented, but the main reason for both is the relatively high value of scrap metal.

For the aftermarket this rise has meant that there is money to be made from scrap batteries, but to ensure that the trade remains the right side of The Treasury as well as the environment, the right battery partner is vital.

Manbat believes it provides a scrap battery-recycling scheme that is the benchmark for the industry. It can offer its customers a complete service that not only takes the worry out of battery waste, but can also turn that waste into extra profits, which can be ploughed back into the business.

By working alongside its sister company G & P Batteries, Manbat is able to offer its customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all its customers’ environmental responsibilities are fulfilled and certified.

For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

ENTENTE CORDIALE!

BAT ( Batteries Accus Technologies ) et Manbat joignent leurs forces.

La croissance de la Division de Distribution Globale de Batteries d’Ecobat Technologies Ltd ne montre aucun signe de ralentissement avec l’annonce du rattachement au groupe du distributeur français de batteries BAT ( Batteries Accus Technologies), dernier spécialiste de batteries à rejoindre le groupe.

L’acquisition, finalisée le mardi 17 décembre 2013, apporte une 4ème société européenne de distribution de batteries dans l’escarcelle de distribution d’Ecobat qui se compose de Manbat ( Royaume-Uni et Irlande), Hefra ( Pays-Bas), ACA ( Belgique) et maintenant, Batteries Accus Technologies ( France).

Basée à Varennes-Vauzelles en Bourgogne, BAT est un vrai spécialiste batteries, fournissant la plupart des secteurs du marché dans tout le pays et est un partenaire stratégique de choix pour Manbat et sa marque reconnue Lucas, qui sera maintenant disponible pour compléter l’offre en Varta et TAB de BAT.

Commentant l’acquisition, le Directeur de BAT, Frédéric Levert-Frébault , a déclaré : « L’acquisition démontre la volonté d’Ecobat de développer sa Division de Distribution de Batteries et permet à BAT de travailler de concert avec Manbat pour mener à bien sa stratégie actuelle de développement ».

“Bien que nos sociétés fonctionneront de manière indépendante, Manbat, qui a plus de 60 années d’expérience dans le secteur des batteries et un service marketing et commercial efficients, nous aidera certainement à réaliser la croissance que nous avons prévue dans le marché de la rechange en France ».

Pour plus de details, appelez Frédéric Levert-Frébault au: 06 88 88 63 15

ou visitez le site www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat – The Future’s Bright

2013 was a busy year for Manbat, as it introduced a new leisure battery range, took the initiative to move into new markets, won the group’s own-label business and grew its unit sales and operating profits to boot.

After a couple of challenging years for the battery market as a whole, Manbat’s battery sales grew significantly in 2013, particularly with its brands at the premium end of the market, such as VARTA® and Lucas.

This growth came partly as a general improvement in the sector, but largely because Manbat has continued to invest in its stock, branch network and staff to ensure that it can provide the very best in support services, like marketing and training, to back up its high quality product offering.

This approach has paid dividends with CAAR members looking for a long-term battery partner on whom they can truly rely. Many members will testify that the level of customer service provided by Manbat sets it apart from any other battery supplier, and it does it all year round, not just when the demand for batteries is low!

When it comes to developing business in new markets, Manbat was very active, exhibiting at events at home and abroad. In the UK it was present at IMHX with its industrial division, Naidex, the country’s largest mobility focused show and the Motorhome & Caravan Show, where it took the wraps off its latest high performance leisure battery, the Numax DCXV27.

Manbat also continued its export push by making its first appearance at Equip Auto in France, where it generated a great deal of interest from both an automotive and leisure perspective, for the Lucas and Numax brands respectively.

As members will be aware, in 2013 Manbat introduced the Numax Value brand, an exclusive arrangement with CAAR among the buying groups.

The range provides members with a quality product at extremely competitive prices and also comes with the benefit of a two-year warranty. As a result, members have a brand that will allow them to react to the demands of their customers when price becomes the central issue.

Numax Value batteries are supplied directly to members via the Manbat branch network in the same way that it delivers orders for its existing brands. Recognised across the industry for its excellent level of customer service, Manbat provides members with a daily service, which gives them peace-of-mind knowing that product distribution is in safe hands.

When it comes to 2014, Manbat is already implementing a growth strategy that will bring benefits to its customers and its commitment to CAAR members is central to these plans. Member events remain important elements in the process and will again be focal points through which to communicate and to develop even stronger relationships with members for 2014 and beyond.

ECOBAT Technologies, the European market leader in lead based battery collection and component recycling, has bought the battery collection division from the Lower Saxon company; Must GmbH in Germany. Through this acquisition, ECOBAT Technologies will increase its presence in Northern, Eastern and Central Germany. Must GmbH; located in Vienenburg is a leading waste management company, specialising in process scrap and ferrous/non-ferrous metals.

The acquisition is in line with ECOBAT Technologies strategy of expanding its collection activities throughout Europe to offer their customers a pan-European lead acid battery component recycling service.

Two strong partners
The German ECOBAT Technologies company BERZELIUS Logistik Service GmbH (BLS) and Must, who have been co-operating very successfully for almost 30 years, and will continue their partnership in the future. “We are proud that Ingo Must, Managing Director of Must, will stay the contact person for the customers and takes care of their demand with regard to lead battery collection and component recycling services,” says Matthias Ernst, BLS Managing Director and European Director for ECOBAT Technologies scrap lead and component collection and recycling activities.

“I’m delighted that ECOBAT Technologies and Must GmbH have successfully completed this transaction and ratified their future commitments to each other; and most importantly their suppliers and customers; into the future. This new entity will provide world-class collection and recycling services,” adds Ingo Must.

Further expanded service
Previous customers of Must’s scrap lead based battery collection division will now benefit from the knowhow and comprehensive service of the European market leader; ECOBAT Technologies. The portfolio includes consulting, logistic, collection, transport, intermediate storage, container-management, recycling and waste disposal.

The collected batteries are recycled completely in the secondary smelters and processing plants of the ECOBAT Technologies group. The European ECOBAT Technologies companies make the most of the lead battery scrap with a recycling efficiency of 95 per cent, which is unique in the market.

“As the world’s leading lead producer, we are excited to expand our scrap lead collection activities in North West Europe and reinforce our reputation as the customer’s choice for collection and recycling services” notes Rob Harris, President and Managing Director – ECOBAT Technologies Europe and Asia.

In recent years, the company has been establishing a deeper presence in collection activities in Europe. “Our increasing commitment to this activity will enable us to continue to support and complement our customers’ growing demand for high-quality lead products, alloys and services,” he continues. “This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to our customers in developing this sector.”

About the ECOBAT group:
ECOBAT Technologies is the world’s largest producer of lead, producing over 800,000 metric tonnes per year from over 15 facilities in Europe, the USA and South Africa. ECOBAT maximizes the value of its operations by producing the highest quality lead and lead alloys, specifically designed for the battery, mining and other industries both from recycled and primary materials. In addition, ECOBAT processes and supplies in various forms silver, lead anodes and sheet, zinc, aluminium, industrial minerals, plastics, polyfoams, and provides services including spent battery collection and distribution of new batteries. Excellence is the watchword throughout all operations, but particularly in customer service, technical expertise and health, safety and environmental matters.

Manbat – CV Battery Maintenance & Fitment

The batteries in the majority of the country’s commercial vehicle (CV) fleet are generally not in great condition as they are almost completely ignored until they present the driver with a problem, be it through not starting or being left stranded. This is a cost that many operators cannot afford and one that almost all could avoid.

As statistics from ADAC, the German breakdown organisation, reveal, this is not a problem isolated to the UK as 30% of CV breakdowns in Germany were caused by some sort of electrical failure and almost a quarter of these were down to the battery. So what can the operator do to improve their lot?

Batteries registering less than 12.5-volts will be working well below their optimum performance and put the operator at risk of an electrical failure. As simple as it sounds, regularly charging the vehicle’s batteries will reduce the risk of failure to a minimum and increase their operating life in the process. However, taking the trouble to equalise the batteries on those vehicles fitted with more than one battery will improve the situation further.

The lifespan of the individual batteries in a multi battery application will vary, so they will rarely be replaced together. Therefore, to avoid the remaining battery having a negative effect on the new battery, operators must try to avoid simply fitting a new battery without first fully charging both. This is because although the most logical view is that the vehicle’s electrical system will charge the remaining battery, most of these systems are not sophisticated enough to monitor the state of charge of the individual batteries, so will simply ‘see’ them as a whole, which could prematurely bring the new battery down.

Due to the nature of their daily use, some vehicles such as multi drop delivery vehicles fitted with a tail-lift, are particularly prone to battery failure. For these vehicles a very useful and cost effective addition to prevent the battery discharging to the point where it will not start the vehicle, is to fit a battery protection unit. The idea behind such a unit is to ensure that despite any power drain – deliberate or accidental – there is always sufficient power left in the battery to start the vehicle and therefore avoid the need for an expensive recovery.

These devices, such as the Numax ‘connect + protect’® battery brain, fit directly onto the positive side of the battery, between the terminal and the positive lead, where they monitor the condition of the battery and ensure that it still has enough power to start the engine. If the power falls below this level, the battery brain will isolate the battery from any further power drain and will only be reactivated by the vehicle operator when they activate the reconnection button, which means that they can still start the engine.

Another simple but effective precaution is to ensure that the correct battery specified for the vehicle is in fact fitted. As many operators look at batteries as a distress purchase and something that needs to be dealt with urgently, it is remarkably common for the wrong specification battery to be fitted during the course of a vehicle’s life. This generally happens because the pressure to get the vehicle back on the road quickly is so great that an ‘anything in stock will do’ attitude can result.

Cases of incorrectly specified batteries like this are rarely replaced with the correct version at a later date, which makes subsequent like for like replacement a flawed practice. The correct procedure therefore is to consult a battery specification guide, such as the Lucas or Numax battery catalogues, which list the correct battery for the application. They also include schematics of the battery orientation, the layout of its terminals and importantly, their dimensions, as there have been instances where the batteries fitted to commercial vehicles have physically been too big for the battery tray and have fallen through them and on to the road as they’ve been in use.

Manbat – CV Battery Maintenance & Fitment

The batteries in the majority of the country’s commercial vehicle (CV) fleet are generally not in great condition as they are almost completely ignored until they present the driver with a problem, be it through not starting or being left stranded. This is a cost that many operators cannot afford and one that almost all could avoid.

As statistics from ADAC, the German breakdown organisation, reveal, this is not a problem isolated to the UK as 30% of CV breakdowns in Germany were caused by some sort of electrical failure and almost a quarter of these were down to the battery. So what can the operator do to improve their lot?

Batteries registering less than 12.5-volts will be working well below their optimum performance and put the operator at risk of an electrical failure. As simple as it sounds, regularly charging the vehicle’s batteries will reduce the risk of failure to a minimum and increase their operating life in the process. However, taking the trouble to equalise the batteries on those vehicles fitted with more than one battery will improve the situation further.

The lifespan of the individual batteries in a multi battery application will vary, so they will rarely be replaced together. Therefore, to avoid the remaining battery having a negative effect on the new battery, operators must try to avoid simply fitting a new battery without first fully charging both. This is because although the most logical view is that the vehicle’s electrical system will charge the remaining battery, most of these systems are not sophisticated enough to monitor the state of charge of the individual batteries, so will simply ‘see’ them as a whole, which could prematurely bring the new battery down.

Due to the nature of their daily use, some vehicles such as multi drop delivery vehicles fitted with a tail-lift, are particularly prone to battery failure. For these vehicles a very useful and cost effective addition to prevent the battery discharging to the point where it will not start the vehicle, is to fit a battery protection unit. The idea behind such a unit is to ensure that despite any power drain – deliberate or accidental – there is always sufficient power left in the battery to start the vehicle and therefore avoid the need for an expensive recovery.

These devices, such as the Numax ‘connect + protect’® battery brain, fit directly onto the positive side of the battery, between the terminal and the positive lead, where they monitor the condition of the battery and ensure that it still has enough power to start the engine. If the power falls below this level, the battery brain will isolate the battery from any further power drain and will only be reactivated by the vehicle operator when they activate the reconnection button, which means that they can still start the engine.

Another simple but effective precaution is to ensure that the correct battery specified for the vehicle is in fact fitted. As many operators look at batteries as a distress purchase and something that needs to be dealt with urgently, it is remarkably common for the wrong specification battery to be fitted during the course of a vehicle’s life. This generally happens because the pressure to get the vehicle back on the road quickly is so great that an ‘anything in stock will do’ attitude can result.

Cases of incorrectly specified batteries like this are rarely replaced with the correct version at a later date, which makes subsequent like for like replacement a flawed practice. The correct procedure therefore is to consult a battery specification guide, such as the Lucas or Numax battery catalogues, which list the correct battery for the application. They also include schematics of the battery orientation, the layout of its terminals and importantly, their dimensions, as there have been instances where the batteries fitted to commercial vehicles have physically been too big for the battery tray and have fallen through them and on to the road as they’ve been in use.

Manbat

Although fully electric and advanced hybrid vehicles dominate the headlines in the motoring press, it is difficult to see that either will have a significant impact on the UK vehicle parc in the short term. The challenges over the investment required to convert the national infrastructure to support fully electric vehicles, let alone the environmental impact to charge them for several hours a day, means that it is no ‘quick fix’ for the entire vehicle parc. There is also a huge question mark over the environmental credentials of both fully electric and advanced hybrids as the cost to produce and recycle just the batteries they utilise is substantial.

The logical conclusion for vehicle manufacturers (VMs) and motorists, both faced with the huge costs associated with developing and purchasing these ‘alternative fuel’ vehicles, is that vehicles based around the current technology will continue to dominate the market for many years to come. This will inevitably mean that the number fitted with Start-Stop systems will continue to rise, as it is currently the only affordable way for VMs to meet the emission reduction targets that legislation around the world is beginning to demand.

For battery suppliers, and distributors like Manbat, this will mean that the change from supplying mainly traditional flooded lead-acid to the EFB/AGM batteries required for Start-Stop vehicles will continue. However, with one in three of the 30 million plus cars on the UK’s roads estimated to be more than 10 years old, the vast majority of the service and repair work for the foreseeable future, will be with batteries that look and function in a familiar manner and also have the environmental benefit of achieving a recycling capacity of 99.97%!

Manbat – Real World Battery Solutions

For many years the technology incorporated into the typical car battery remained relatively static, so while the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was running. As far as the workshop is concerned, a traditional battery replacement is a simple and straightforward process.

In contrast, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to enable them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery, with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner. Another alternative is the enhanced flooded battery (EFB), which has similar characteristics to an AGM battery, but is designed for entry-level Start-Stop vehicles that require less electrical capacity.

Technical training is particularly important for these vehicles because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. As the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle pulls away or when the battery’s state of charge drops to a predetermined level, the battery management system (BMS) is extremely complicated.

Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital and when the battery needs replacing, technicians cannot go about it as the have traditionally. Instead, as the battery is integrated into the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a BMS or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), the replacement has to be paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without this equipment to assist the technician to ‘introduce’ the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

Another complication comes because there is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will be found under the bonnet. Therefore, technicians need to have access to reliable technical data such as TecRMI, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery whether that’s in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Manbat’s ethos is to work alongside its customers in partnership to not only identify and supply the most suitable battery from its portfolio of VARTA, Lucas or Numax, but to also determine the best support programme to help factors in turn support their workshop customers.

Through its long term relationship with VARTA, Manbat has access to both the training, which is delivered by industry specialists eXponentia, and the VSSP 2.0 diagnostic and installation tool that are necessary for workshops to face the battery challenges posed by Start-Stop vehicles and to develop their ability to profit from them.

When it comes to responsible disposal, workshops have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, as well as benefiting financially from their inherent ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies Ltd, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Through its efficient smelting facilities across the globe, ECOBAT annually converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot. Among its many customers are several of the major battery manufacturers, and some of their brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

As a result of these combined strengths, allied to its 60-year plus aftermarket heritage, Manbat is fully justified in its claim to be the country’s premier automotive and commercial vehicle power storage product supplier and service provider.

Manbat – The Future’s Bright

2013 was a busy year for Manbat, as it introduced a new leisure battery range, took the initiative to move into new markets, won the group’s own-label business and grew its unit sales and operating profits to boot.

After a couple of challenging years for the battery market as a whole, Manbat’s battery sales grew significantly in 2013, particularly with its brands at the premium end of the market, such as VARTA® and Lucas.

This growth came partly as a general improvement in the sector, but largely because Manbat has continued to invest in its stock, branch network and staff to ensure that it can provide the very best in support services, like marketing and training, to back up its high quality product offering.

This approach has paid dividends with GROUPAUTO members looking for a long-term battery partner on whom they can truly rely. Many members will testify that the level of customer service provided by Manbat sets it apart from any other battery supplier, and it does it all year round, not just when the demand for batteries is low!

When it comes to developing business in new markets, Manbat was very active, exhibiting at events at home and abroad. In the UK it was present at IMHX with its industrial division, Naidex, the country’s largest mobility focused show and the Motorhome & Caravan Show, where it took the wraps off its latest high performance leisure battery, the Numax DCXV27.

Manbat also continued its export push by making its first appearance at Equip Auto in France, where it generated a great deal of interest from both an automotive and leisure perspective, for the Lucas and Numax brands respectively.

As members will be aware, in 2013 Manbat was awarded the supply contract for the Powerstart brand, an exclusive arrangement with GROUPAUTO among the buying groups.

Available through the G-Logix distribution centre, the Powerstart range provides members with a quality product at extremely competitive prices and also comes with the benefit of a two-year warranty. As a result, members have a brand that will allow them to react to the demands of their customers when price becomes the central issue.

Powerstart batteries are supplied directly to members via the Manbat branch network in the same way that it delivers orders for its existing brands. This is primarily because of the health and safety issues surrounding the storage and distribution of more hazardous products like batteries, but also because the group as a whole recognises the excellent level of service that Manbat provides to the members on a daily basis and therefore knows that the product distribution is in safe hands.

As well as developing the range, which now sits at 14 part numbers, and increasing its specification, product availability is high and members are able to vary their orders from pallets to single orders, depending on their requirements.

When it comes to 2014, Manbat is already implementing a growth strategy that will bring benefits to its customers and its commitment to GROUPAUTO members is central to these plans. The member and AutoCare trade exhibitions remain important elements in the process and will again be focal points through which to communicate with members and to develop even stronger relationships for 2014 and beyond.

Manbat – The Future’s Bright

2013 was a busy year for Manbat, as it introduced a new leisure battery range, took the initiative to move into new markets, won new own-label business and grew its unit sales and operating profits to boot.

After a couple of challenging years for the battery market as a whole, Manbat’s battery sales grew significantly in 2013, particularly with its brands at the premium end of the market, such as VARTA® and Lucas.

This growth came partly as a general improvement in the sector, but largely because Manbat has continued to invest in its stock, branch network and staff to ensure that it can provide the very best in support services, like marketing and training, to back up its high quality product offering.

This approach has paid dividends with businesses looking for a long-term battery partner on whom they can truly rely. Many customers will testify that the level of customer service provided by Manbat sets it apart from any other battery supplier, and it does it all year round, not just when the demand for batteries is low!

When it comes to developing business in new markets, Manbat was very active, exhibiting at events at home and abroad. In the UK it was present at IMHX with its industrial division, Naidex, the country’s largest mobility focused show and the Motorhome & Caravan Show, where it took the wraps off its latest high performance leisure battery, the Numax DCXV27.

Manbat also continued its export push by making its first appearance at Equip Auto in France, where it generated a great deal of interest from both an automotive and leisure perspective, for the Lucas and Numax brands respectively.

As GROUPAUTO members will be aware, in 2013 Manbat was awarded the supply contract for the Powerstart brand. Available through the G-Logix distribution centre, the Powerstart range provides members with a quality product at extremely competitive prices and also comes with the benefit of a two-year warranty. As a result, members have a brand that will allow them to react to the demands of their customers when price becomes the central issue.

When it comes to 2014, Manbat is already implementing a growth strategy that will bring benefits to its customers and its commitment to maintain its highly regarded customer service remains central to these plans for 2014 and beyond.

Manbat – The Future’s Bright

2013 was a busy year for Manbat, as it introduced a new leisure battery range, took the initiative to move into new markets, won new own-label business and grew its unit sales and operating profits to boot.

After a couple of challenging years for the battery market as a whole, Manbat’s battery sales grew significantly in 2013, particularly with its brands at the premium end of the market, such as VARTA® and Lucas.

This growth came partly as a general improvement in the sector, but largely because Manbat has continued to invest in its stock, branch network and staff to ensure that it can provide the very best in support services, like marketing and training, to back up its high quality product offering.

This approach has paid dividends with businesses looking for a long-term battery partner on whom they can truly rely. Many customers will testify that the level of customer service provided by Manbat sets it apart from any other battery supplier, and it does it all year round, not just when the demand for batteries is low!

When it comes to developing business in new markets, Manbat was very active, exhibiting at events at home and abroad. In the UK it was present at IMHX with its industrial division, Naidex, the country’s largest mobility focused show and the Motorhome & Caravan Show, where it took the wraps off its latest high performance leisure battery, the Numax DCXV27.

Manbat also continued its export push by making its first appearance at Equip Auto in France, where it generated a great deal of interest from both an automotive and leisure perspective, for the Lucas and Numax brands respectively.

When it comes to 2014, Manbat is already implementing a growth strategy that will bring benefits to its customers and its commitment to maintain its highly regarded customer service remains central to these plans for 2014 and beyond.

Manbat – Start-Stop Battery Systems

Originally introduced in 2009, the ecoFLEX versions of the popular Vauxhall Insignia series now incorporate the company’s Start-Stop system.

As these vehicles begin to drop out of the franchised dealer network and enter the independent sector, workshops, and the technicians undertaking service and repair work on these variants, need to bear in mind that they will not be fitted with traditional lead-acid starter batteries. Instead these models will use an AGM battery such as a VARTA® Start Stop and will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator and starter motor, as well as the Start-Stop system, mean that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise, to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the Vauxhall Insignia ecoFLEX, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

Manbat – A Review Of 2013

2013 has been a busy year for Manbat, as during the last twelve months it has introduced a new leisure battery range, taken the initiative to move into new markets, won own-label business and grown its unit sales and operating profits to boot.

After a couple of challenging years for the battery market as a whole, Manbat’s battery sales grew significantly in 2013, particularly with its brands at the premium end of the market, such as VARTA® and Lucas.

This growth has come partly as a general improvement in the sector, but largely because Manbat has continued to invest in its stock, branch network and staff to ensure that it can provide the very best in support services, like marketing and training, to back up its high quality product offering. This approach has paid dividends with customers looking for a long-term battery partner on which they can truly rely.

When it comes to developing business in new markets, Manbat has been active exhibiting at events at home and abroad. In the UK it has been present at IMHX with its industrial division, Naidex, the country’s largest mobility focused show and the Motorhome & Caravan Show, where it took the wraps off its latest high performance leisure battery, the Numax DCXV27.

Manbat has also continued its export push by making its first appearance at Equip Auto in France, where it generated a great deal of interest from both an automotive and leisure perspective, for the Lucas and Numax brands respectively.

Manbat – Battery Maintenance & Fitment

The batteries in the majority of the country’s commercial vehicle (CV) fleet are generally not in great condition as they are almost completely ignored until they present the driver with a problem, be it through not starting or being left stranded. This is a cost that many operators cannot afford and one that almost all could avoid.

As statistics from ADAC, the German breakdown organisation, reveal, this is not a problem that is isolated to the UK as 30% of their CV breakdowns were caused by some sort of electrical failure and almost a quarter of these were down to the battery. So what can the operator do to improve their lot?

Batteries registering less than 12.5-volts will be working well below their optimum performance and put the operator at risk of an electrical failure. As simple as it sounds, regularly charging the vehicle’s batteries will reduce the risk of failure to a minimum and increase their operating life in the process. However, taking the trouble to equalise the batteries on those vehicles fitted with more than one battery will improve the situation further.

The lifespan of the individual batteries in a multi battery application will vary, so they will rarely be replaced together. Therefore to avoid the remaining battery having a negative effect on the new battery, operators must try to avoid simply fitting a new battery without first fully charging both. This is because although the most logical view is that the vehicle’s electrical system will charge the remaining battery, most of these systems are not sophisticated enough to monitor the state of charge of the individual batteries, so will simply ‘see’ them as a whole, which could prematurely bring the new battery down.

Due to the nature of their daily use, some vehicles such as multi drop delivery vehicles fitted with a tail-lift, are particularly prone to battery failure. For these vehicles a very useful and cost effective addition to prevent the battery discharging to the point where it will not start the vehicle, is to fit a battery protection unit. The idea behind such a unit is to ensure that despite any power drain – deliberate or accidental – there is always sufficient power left in the battery to start the vehicle and therefore avoid the need for an expensive recovery.

These devices, such as the Numax ‘connect + protect’® battery brain, fit directly onto the positive side of the battery, between the terminal and the positive lead, where they monitor the condition of the battery and ensure that it still has enough power to start the engine. If the power falls below this level, the battery brain will isolate the battery from any power drain and will only be reactivated by the vehicle operator when they activate the reconnection button, which means that they can still start the engine.

Another simple but effective precaution is to ensure that the correct battery specified for the vehicle is in fact fitted. As many operators look at batteries as a distress purchase and something that needs to be dealt with urgently, it is remarkably common for the wrong specification battery to be fitted during the course of a vehicle’s life. This generally happens because the pressure to get the vehicle back on the road quickly is so great that an ‘anything in stock will do’ attitude can result.

Cases of incorrectly specified batteries like this are rarely replaced with the correct version at a later date, which makes subsequent like for like replacement a flawed practice. The correct procedure therefore is to consult a battery specification guide such as the Lucas or Numax battery catalogues, which list the correct battery for the application. They also include schematics of the battery orientation, the layout of its terminals and importantly, their dimensions, as there have been instances where the batteries fitted to commercial vehicles have physically been too big for the battery tray and have fallen through them and on to the road as they’ve been in use.

Manbat Asks: Are You Prepared For Winter?

With the busy winter season fast approaching for everyone involved in the automotive and commercial vehicle replacement battery market, GROUPAUTO members can be reassured by the fact that Manbat has made sure it is well prepared for the period, no matter what the weather throws at us.

During the last two winters the country has had to deal with some very cold weather, with temperatures well below freezing for prolonged periods of time. These events seem unlikely to be freak occurrences as there are already predictions of early frosts and unseasonable weather on the horizon.

As members will know, weak or failing batteries are greatly affected by the sub-zero temperatures, and, more often than not, such conditions will be enough to kill off a weak battery.

This is obviously great news across the group as it creates a huge demand for batteries as motorists turn to workshops, and they in turn rely on members to supply their battery needs. It is here that Manbat is able to help members make sure they have what they need in terms of their battery stock, as well as providing them with additional supplies when they need them.

With more than 100,000 square feet of fully stocked warehousing space, and its own fleet of 70 plus delivery vehicles, Manbat is well able to service members with all their battery requirements, wherever in the country they may be located.

With its three ‘signature’ brands of VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, which are all sourced from European original equipment factories, Manbat provides members with a top quality solution that no other supplier can offer.

VARTA products are completely unmatched with regards to the technology they employ and the quality they provide members and their customers. In Lucas they have a brand that is widely recognised, is associated with premium quality and fits well with the other quality products like the bulbs, wipers and rotating electrics that come under the same brand name, and which create one of the UK’s most widely recognised multi-product brand offerings. Finally, Manbat has the Numax brand, which it wholly owns and which once again offers members the very best in terms of quality and performance.

In anticipation of the onset of the cold weather Manbat has some incredible winter stock deals on all its brands and product lines, which gives members the opportunity to purchase their winter stock before the cold weather really takes hold.

AN INTRODUCTION TO MANBAT

Manbat Ltd, Shrewsbury, Great Britain

Manbat Ltd is the UK’s largest distributor of batteries for the automotive, commercial vehicle, leisure and marine sectors. It is also a major player in the industrial battery sector, as well as the mobility, motorcycle and golf markets.

Originally founded as Manchester Batteries in 1952 by Harry Pemberton, the business remained in the Pemberton family until 2009. During that period the company grew steadily, establishing itself as a business committed to providing its customers with top quality products, backed up by exceptional customer service and a national network of 12 branches across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

In 1982 Manbat began its association with the VARTA® brand, which is now owned by Johnson Controls and this successful partnership has continued to develop as the two respective businesses have grown.

In 2009, following three years of particularly close cooperation, the two companies formalised a revised distribution agreement, which meant that Johnson Controls’ UK warehouses no longer supplied Manbat’s individual branches. Instead, containers were sent directly to Manbat’s main warehouses from Johnson Controls’ factories in Europe. In turn, with its increased levels of stock and significant investment in service enhancement, Manbat was asked to assume responsibility for servicing many of Johnson Controls’ existing customers through its nationwide distribution network.

The strengthening of the relationship with VARTA supported a much earlier change in the company’s direction as it began to concentrate on the supply of top quality brands rather than produce its own batteries. This successful move has led to the company’s current position as the predominant or sole UK distributor for brands such as US Battery, Optima, Odyssey and Sonnenschein, as well as for CTEK battery chargers.

In 2009 Roger Pemberton retired as Manbat’s managing director and Steve Sheppard took the helm as the company started a new era under the ownership of the ECOBAT Technologies Ltd.

As part of a global organisation, Manbat concluded its move into a 2,880m2 distribution centre in Shrewsbury and has gone on to acquire a large industrial battery specialist: Battery Power Systems Ltd of Scotland. As a result of this acquisition, Manbat’s industrial division is now one of the UK’s largest suppliers of industrial related batteries and has an annual turnover in excess of £9 million.

Another major benefit of being part of this worldwide organisation is that Manbat can offer its customers what it describes as its closed loop recycling programme. This initiative means that within the ECOBAT group there are businesses that sell and distribute batteries, others that collect and dismantle batteries, as well as those that recycle batteries from their constituent parts and resupply the battery manufacturing process and into other industries that use products, such as gypsum, which comes from the treatment of sulphuric acid and polypropylene that comes from recycled battery cases.

In July 2012 ECOBAT Technologies Ltd acquired Hefra B.V., an independent Dutch-based battery distributor that supplies 600,000 units a year throughout the Benelux region. Naturally, as there are similarities between the two companies in their respective markets, the acquisition brings opportunities for common distribution and sales models for both Manbat and Hefra in the long-term.

The Numax brand is an important part of the Manbat offering as it provides buyers with a wide range of products to choose from, and gives them a premium value solution for the automotive, commercial vehicle, leisure and marine sectors.

Manbat introduced its Numax brand in 2002 and over the last decade it has built the brand into a significant player within the automotive sector, whilst also establishing it as the UK’s premier range of leisure and marine batteries. The Numax commitment to original equipment standard production, coupled with the buying power afforded by being a major European player allows Manbat to offer its customers a comprehensive range of good quality automotive and commercial vehicle batteries at extremely competitive prices.

Manbat is also the sole UK distributor for Lucas batteries and was instrumental in the relaunch of the brand into the UK market in 2009 as well as the complete re-branding of the automotive and commercial vehicle packaging last year.

In short, Manbat provides battery wholesalers and distributors with a compete range of products for the entire power storage industry, which means they are able to provide their customers with everything they need when it comes to the battery supply, advice, waste collection and customer support.

Next Stop Paris For Manbat

Following its debut appearance at Automechanika last year, Manbat, the UK’s largest battery distributor, now has the French show on its agenda as it shifts its European focus to Equip Auto, Paris in October.

Situated on stand 3 E075, the specially designed stand will provide Manbat with a prominent site from which to demonstrate its position as part of the ECOBAT group and promote the Lucas and Numax brands to the European aftermarket.

Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat said: “We believe Equip Auto gives us an excellent platform through which to reach a new audience of European buyers with some truly great products.

“The brands in our portfolio provide those visitors looking for genuine profit opportunities with a tremendous range of products with which they can make a substantial impact on a number of power storage markets. Whether they wish to develop the leisure sector with Numax, the quality automotive and commercial vehicle sectors with Lucas, or are simply committed to supplying their customers with the very best with VARTA, Manbat is able to respond with the products and support to fulfil their individual requirements.

“The exhibition also affords us the opportunity to express Manbat’s environmental credentials and explain how in conjunction with some of the other companies within the ECOBAT group, we can achieve a recycling level of 99.9% with a typical lead acid battery and therefore contribute to the sustainable use of the earth’s finite resources.”

In addition to its three core brands, Manbat is also a major distributor of lower volume specialist batteries such as the dry cell Odyssey range and the fast charging/deep cycle Optima range, as well as being the primary UK distributor of Sonnenschein mobility batteries. With more than 60 years of experience in all forms of power storage, Manbat has a wealth of knowledge that can help to develop battery sales and maximise the opportunities that its brands can offer.

NUMAX

A World Of Opportunities

Launched in 2002 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the business, the Numax brand is now a significant player in the automotive sector and the dominant brand in the UK’s leisure and marine sectors.

Combining a commitment to original equipment manufacturing standards with volume buying power has ensured that Manbat can provide its customers with a comprehensive range of good quality batteries at extremely competitive prices.

In addition to automotive and marine/leisure batteries, the Numax range also encompasses commercial vehicle, motorcycle (including utility vehicle, jet-skis and quads etc.), mobility and golf batteries, as well as batteries for specific applications like the ‘Fit One, Charge One’® electric fence battery unit for controlling livestock.

There are also a multitude of supporting accessories in the Numax range and among these are the ‘connect & forget’® range of intelligent battery chargers, ‘connect & convert’® power inverters, ‘Extreme Rescue’ emergency high power starter pack, the ‘connect & protect’® battery protection device and the ‘Accubox’® battery box.

Manbat has extended its market leading Numax XV leisure range with the introduction of the new DC27MF, which has its first official appearance at the Motorhome & Caravan Show in Birmingham, England this week.

The DC27MF provides users with extra cyclic capability compared with the existing XV27MF, which makes it ideal for applications that need extra power. Although the Ampere hour (Ah) capacity and the battery’s dimensions are identical to the XV27MF, its thicker plates and therefore higher reserve capacity enable it to run for even longer and power more heavy duty applications. The battery is ideal for caravans that are fitted with a motor-mover or those leisure and marine applications where extra reserve capacity is required.

The DC27MF fits alongside the existing 11-model XV range to provide leisure enthusiasts with a multitude of choice starting from the 75 Ah XV23 to the range topping to 235 Ah XV80.

Naturally, all XV batteries come with ergonomically designed carrying handles for ease of handling, dual terminals for both clamp and screw lead connection, battery condition ‘windows’ to show the battery’s state of charge and maintenance free sealed cells for maximum safety and convenience.

The range is manufactured using state-of-the-art plate design, semi-traction paste, envelope construction and gas recombination technology, which mean that they will last substantially longer that a conventional flooded leisure battery. As a result, every Numax XV battery comes with a three-year warranty.

LUCAS

Range, Quality And Heritage

Since taking over responsibility for the Lucas brand in March 2009, Manbat has completely rebuilt its reputation for quality, reliability and value by putting together a range of batteries that deliver the performance the motorist requires, the confidence in the product that the technician is looking for and a profit margin the makes sense for both the factor and the workshop.

Manbat has also made its presence felt when it comes to the visual impact of the brand, thoroughly revising the product packaging to reflect the green that the brand has been historically associated with, through an attractive design that stands out from the competition and emphasises the brand’s heritage.

In the process it also introduced a new labelling regime that makes identifying the correct battery for any particular application a simple task through an easy-to-read series of icons that ensure that factors, workshops and retailers select the correct battery for the task. These descriptive icons always appear on a clearly defined band at the bottom of the label, which also carries the battery model name, from Classic through to Fusion.

The icons convey whether the battery is maintenance free, for petrol or diesel vehicles, for vehicles with increased power equipment demands or for Start-Stop vehicles. They also indicate the level of warranty provided with the battery. This formula is also applied to the Lucas commercial vehicle range, but with additional icons to define batteries with maximum power, long distance performance, extreme temperature resistance and frequent starting ability.

Combining the maximum amount of information through the simplest possible visual message means that factors, workshops and retailers can clearly identify the battery that suits the purpose and is an easy way to back up the Lucas application guide, which is the ultimate reference tool to ensure that the precise battery required is selected.

“Manbat’s overriding concern has always been to help our customers increase their battery business, while also providing them with a level of service that separates us from other battery suppliers,” said marketing manager Myles Pemberton.

“We believe that by keeping the product range looking fresh and up-to-date will help our customers to grow their battery sales, as good packaging supports the brand and provides a powerful visual impact on the shelf and in the warehouse.

“We also believe that by simplifying the identification process to show what each individual battery is capable of by using a series of logical icons is helpful to speed up the selection process, and even more importantly, ensures that the right battery is supplied for the purpose that it is to be used for.”

The Lucas automotive range covers virtually every battery configuration, to cater for almost every application. The range starts with Lucas Classic and the specifications progressively increase with the matching original equipment (OE) specification Premium, followed by Supreme, which exceeds OE specification.

However, in addition to automotive batteries the Lucas portfolio also includes commercial vehicle, motorcycle, mobility, golf and industrial batteries to give wholesalers a competitive solution for virtually any power storage requirement.

NUMAX LEISURE BATTERIES

Super Show Offer

Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and the company behind the market leading Numax leisure battery brand, which is why it’s exhibiting at this important event in the leisure enthusiast’s calendar.

The team will be ready to welcome visitors to stand 24 in hall 6, where they can not only take a detailed look at the entire Numax range, but also benefit directly when they pick up a voucher that entitles them to a 5% discount when they purchase a Numax leisure battery.

The voucher can then be redeemed from their local Numax distributor, but if they are unsure where the nearest distributor is located, staff on the Numax stand will be only too pleased to locate their nearest stockist from the their postal code.

Numax is also present at the show in order to support its network of leisure battery distributors. These stockists are at the frontline when dealing with those seeking advice regarding power storage matters and naturally when their existing battery needs replacing. The vouchers given out during the show therefore directly benefit those stockists when the bearer makes a purchase.

Originally founded as Manchester Batteries in 1952 by Harry Pemberton, Manbat has been at the centre of the battery business for more than 60 years. During that time it has witnessed many product developments, not least the launch of the leisure battery, a product designed primarily for the leisure market, which is able to meet the particular demands of the motorhome and caravan fraternity.

Manbat introduced the Numax brand in 2002 to commemorate its 50th anniversary and over the last decade it has grown the brand into a significant player within the automotive sector, whilst also establishing it as the UK’s premier range for the leisure sector.

NUMAX RAISES THE BAR

A Big Brother Joins The All-Star Line-Up

The market leading Numax XV range of leisure batteries has been further strengthened by the introduction of the new DC27MF, which has its first official appearance here at the Motorhome & Caravan Show.

The DC27MF provides users with extra cyclic capability compared with the existing XV27MF, which makes it ideal for applications that need extra power. Although the Ampere hour (Ah) capacity and the battery’s dimensions are identical to the XV27MF, its thicker plates and therefore higher reserve capacity enable it to run for even longer and power more heavy duty applications. The battery is ideal for caravans that are fitted with a motor-mover or those leisure and marine applications where extra reserve capacity is required.

The DC27MF fits alongside the existing 11-model XV range to provide leisure enthusiasts with a multitude of choice starting from the 75 Ah XV23 to the range topping to 235 Ah XV80.

The entire range is manufactured using state-of-the-art plate design, semi-traction paste, envelope construction and gas recombination technology, which means that they will last substantially longer than a conventional flooded leisure battery. As a result, every Numax XV and the new DC battery come with a three-year warranty.

Naturally, all also come with ergonomically designed carrying handles for ease of handling, dual terminals for both clamp and screw lead connection, battery condition ‘windows’ to show the battery’s state of charge, and maintenance free sealed cells for maximum safety and convenience.

Alongside Numax, Manbat Ltd also offers the Lucas Leisure range, which although broadly comparable to the Numax range does include an even more powerful alternative for those that need the ultimate leisure battery.

ON A CHARGE WITH NUMAX

Numax Continual Use Battery Chargers

One of the essential requirements to prolong the life of a leisure battery is to ensure that it is regularly charged and not allowed to stand in a discharged condition.

In order to help enthusiasts carry out this responsibility easily and conveniently, Numax has developed a range of battery chargers that use state-of-the-art smart technology to deliver an ‘intelligent’ charging solution.

The Numax ‘connect + forget’® range is specifically designed to charge and maintain batteries at their peak performance and features deep discharge recovery, fast cycle charging and long term battery maintenance.

This means that they quickly and efficiently charge discharged or part discharged batteries, but also convert automatically from ‘charge’ to ‘maintenance’ mode once the charging cycle is complete. As a result, Numax chargers can be connected indefinitely, without damage to the battery or danger to the unit, to ensure that the battery is always ready for use and in optimum condition.

NUMAX POWER INVERTERS

Get Converted To Numax

One of the products to show no signs of losing its popularity with the leisure enthusiast is the power inverter. It is little wonder therefore that these products are prominent among the comprehensive range of battery related products that are available under the renowned Numax brand.

Alongside its leisure battery range, sits the Numax ‘connect+convert’® range of power inverters, a line-up that comprises four models: two ‘Modified’ and two ‘Pure Sine Wave’ (PSW) versions.

The purpose of a power inverter is to allow users to operate most of their AC appliances from the DC current supplied by the battery. Particularly useful for powering TV’s, radios, DVD/CD players or satellite systems, these innovative products come into their own in the leisure sector, but can equally be used when using equipment such as laptops and phone chargers.

Modified inverters provide a simple but efficient low-cost alternative to the more complex PSW models. They mimic the key voltage parameters and are therefore good for the operation of pumps, motors and general electrical equipment.

PSW inverters however, are used for more sensitive equipment such as TV’s, satellite controllers and sound systems. The PSW inverter eliminates the interference that can occur through monitors, radios and hi-fi systems and so also work well with CD and DVD players.

Manbat’s Myles Pemberton said: “Power inverters are an important part of the Numax power storage range. The Numax ‘connect+convert’® range provides the leisure fraternity with inverters of both high quality and reliability, which are both hallmarks of the Numax brand.”

NUMAX BOXES CLEVER

Safe Battery Storage With Numax

The Numax Battery Box is the ideal solution when portable power is required for leisure activities as it allows users to connect 12-volt accessories quickly, easily and safely.

The impact resistant polypropylene box accommodates batteries up to 356mm (L) x 208mm (W) x 228mm (H) and features external terminals, a battery power meter, an accessory power socket and a 100amp current rating main on/off switch.

The Numax Battery Box is the safest way to transport a battery for portable power, particularly when an older style non-sealed lead acid battery is being used. The durable construction will keep any accidentally spilt acid away from people, animals and clothing and it incorporates both centre and side handles and an adjustable strap for maximum convenience.

Manbat – Real World Battery Solutions

Life Before Start-Stop Batteries
For many years the technology incorporated into the typical car battery remained relatively static, so while the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was running.

As far as the factor and its workshop customers are concerned, a traditional battery replacement is a simple and straightforward process, only complicated by the fact that nowadays a supply current has to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and the vehicle’s other electrical equipment is not lost.

The Start-Stop Revolution
In contrast, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to enable them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery, with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner. Another alternative is the enhanced flooded battery (EFB), which has similar characteristics to an AGM battery, but is designed for entry-level Start-Stop vehicles that require less electrical capacity.

In The Workshop
With a Start-Stop vehicle, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery. Instead as the battery is integrated into the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so the replacement has to be paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician to ‘introduce’ the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

Another complication comes because there is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will be found under the bonnet. Therefore, technicians need to have access to reliable technical data such as TecRMI, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery whether that’s in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Training is also particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. As the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle pulls away or when the battery’s state of charge drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital.

The Factor’s Responsibility
In addition to receiving the correct battery for the application, workshops look to their factors for sound advice and the necessary support to guide them through the transition from the familiar traditional technology to the Start-Stop future. So as well as having the right products in stock when they’re required, factors need to pair up with a battery partner that is able to help them to deliver the support, and supply the technical back up, to make that possible.

Therefore alongside the ability to provide a wide range of quality batteries across a number of competitive price points, factors need also to consider whether their battery partner has the stock capacity to meet fluctuations in demand, the technical knowledge and ability to deliver the training necessary to empower the workshop, the access to the equipment required for the task and a robust environmental policy to correctly deal with disposal of scrap batteries.

How Can Manbat Help?
Manbat’s ethos is to work alongside its customers in partnership to not only identify and supply the most suitable battery from its portfolio of VARTA, Lucas or Numax, but to also determine the best support programme to help factors in turn support their workshop customers.

Through its long term relationship with VARTA, Manbat has access to both the training, which is delivered by industry specialists eXponentia, and the VSSP 2.0 diagnostic and installation tool that are necessary for workshops to face the battery challenges posed by Start-Stop vehicles and to develop their ability to profit from them.

When it comes to responsible disposal, factors have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, as well as benefiting financially from their inherent ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies Ltd, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Through its efficient smelting facilities across the globe, ECOBAT annually converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot. Among its many customers are several of the major battery manufacturers, and some of their brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

As a result of these combined strengths, allied to its 60-year plus aftermarket heritage, Manbat is fully justified in its claim to be the country’s premier automotive and commercial vehicle power storage product supplier and service provider.

Exhibition Marathon Delivers For Manbat

As the dust settles after an exceptionally busy couple of weeks for the Manbat team supporting three major events in Telford, Birmingham and Paris, the outlook is positive and the future looks very bright on all fronts.

The first event of the three was the GROUPAUTO trade show at the Telford International Centre, where members of the trading group came in record numbers and were brought up-to-date with latest developments with the three approved brands of VARTA®, Lucas and Numax. However, it was also the first opportunity for Manbat to explain the details of the supply agreement and the products in the Powerstart range, as it is now the custodian of the brand.

Second event on the schedule was The Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC, Birmingham, which gave Manbat the opportunity to support its many Numax leisure battery distributors. The assessment of the event was that it was a rip-roaring success as the team gave out more than 1,000 discount vouchers on the purchase of a Numax leisure battery to visitors on the Manbat stand.

The final destination on the tour was Paris for Equip Auto 2013 at Parc des expositions, Paris Nord. Here Manbat found visitors with a great appetite for the company, its pedigree, its reputation for good service, and of course, its brands.

Summing up the three event marathon, marketing manager Myles Pemberton said: “Despite the complication of the timing of the events, two of which ran simultaneously, I’m delighted to say that all three exhibitions were a great success.

“It was nice to kick off with the GROUPAUTO show as it is always friendly and good fun, and it gives us a great opportunity to cement our relationships with the members and show our support for the group as a whole.

“Our presence at the Motorhome & Caravan Show on the other hand is a little different as it is for public awareness of the Numax brand and the support of our leisure distributors that we exhibit. It is for this reason that we give visitors to the Numax stand a voucher for a 5% reduction on purchase of their next Numax leisure battery, and this year we gave out more than we have ever done before.

“When it comes to Paris, well, this was the biggest surprise of the three. We knew Telford and Birmingham would be good as we know the history of the events, but Paris was a leap of faith. However, we came away with a fistful of very interesting leads from companies that ranged from small to large businesses, which if even just a few convert into business, we’ll be more than happy.”

Who says that successful exhibitions are a thing of the past? Certainly not Manbat.

Making Mobility Batteries Go The Distance

The independence of those that use mobility scooters, motorised wheelchairs or similar electric powered equipment to aid them in their daily lives, greatly depends upon the reliability of the power supply for their equipment. Anything less than complete reliability has huge ramifications for users and carers alike.

It is therefore important for users to choose their batteries carefully so that they suit the application for which they are intended. Furthermore, once purchased, these batteries need to be properly maintained to allow the equipment to perform as intended, while also extending their useable life for as long as possible.

Many users probably won’t appreciate that their mobility battery is rather like a living organism, which needs to be given some care and attention to deliver its best performance over the long term. If a little care is taken, then it will provide many hours of trouble-free power, whereas if neglected, then the battery could fail prematurely.

Although not an exciting subject, practical advice as to how to maximise battery life will nonetheless reduce the likelihood of users being left housebound, or worse still being stranded away from home. So here are some practical tips from Manbat, the UK’s primary distributor of the Sonnenschein, Lucas and Numax brands, to ensure users get the best from their batteries.

Always start the day with a fully charged battery.
Always charge the battery as soon as possible after use, even if the equipment has been used sparingly.
Always try to charge the battery continuously for a number of hours, preferably overnight.
Always use an ‘intelligent’ or continual use charger that has the capacity to be left connected indefinitely.
Never leave the battery standing on a cold concrete floor
Never leave the charger connected to the mains without the battery attached.
Never leave the charger connected to the battery without it being connected to the mains.

By following these simple guidelines, users will extend the life of their batteries to the maximum and therefore ensure their equipment runs reliably.

Sonnenschein® GEL batteries are widely acknowledged to be the ‘gold standard’ batteries for the mobility sector and are the preferred product for the National Health Service and private medical providers alike. The range caters for multiple applications, encompasses capacities from 15 to 200 Ampere hour (Ah) and provides the ultimate in mobility battery performance.

In Lucas, Manbat offer a high quality AGM alternative to the Sonnenschein GEL range, which also provides users with fully sealed and maintenance free technology, with extra deep cycle (the ability to charge, discharge and charge again) capability.

Supporting these quality batteries, Manbat also offers a comprehensive range of battery chargers, which include its own Numax ‘connect+forget’® models and the market leading CTEK brand. All these chargers feature smart design and intelligent technology, which means that they manage the battery’s charging process and can be left attached virtually indefinitely to ensure the battery performs to its best.

Both brands are widely available through many mobility specialists and these experts will be able to provide the information users need to ensure that they purchase a battery suitable for the equipment they are using. Batteries are expensive, so it is always wise to seek professional advice when the time comes to replace the battery.

Another advantage of using a specialist is that as old batteries must be disposed of responsibly and an official outlet will make sure that they are recycled by a certified organisation, rather than finding their way into the wrong channels and dealt with inappropriately.

Manbat – Effective Battery Management That Saves Money

Of all the components that come together to make up the commercial vehicles that travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, the battery is arguably the least understood and the most commonly overlooked. As a general rule, providing the battery starts the vehicle, the common assumption, even among experienced technicians, is that it’s ‘okay’.

However, the breakdown evidence from the UK and our cousins in Germany points to the fact that all is not well with this assumption because battery failure is in fact one of the major causes of roadside breakdown in both these countries. Moreover, far from being confined to the open road, battery failure can even occur in the workshop during the vehicle’s service or repair!

As part of its on-going commitment to its customers to provide them with more than simply a replacement battery service, Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor and leading battery management specialist Rozone, have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and point out the benefits that efficient battery management can bring to operators and workshops alike.

“A great analogy,” says Manbat’s Myles Pemberton, “is to consider a vehicle entering the workshop with a flat tyre. There is no way that the vehicle would leave the workshop in the same condition because for one thing it is a sales opportunity, but more to the point, it’s an obvious visual problem!

“Batteries, however, pose an altogether different challenge as they look the same whether fully charged or completely discharged, there is not the visual fall back there is tyres or indeed for many other components. The vast majority of battery failures could be prevented and a huge reduction in business overheads obtained through correct management of the vehicle’s batteries.

“By taking a couple of minutes to check the battery’s state of charge for example, a technician is able to assess its condition and take the necessary remedial action, which could simply be to fully charge the battery, make an adjustment to the system or rectify a more serious fault. Either way, they could ultimately prevent the operator from incurring the cost, in both time and money, of a roadside breakdown.

Did You Know?
• Two out of three commercial vehicles entering the workshop have a battery/batteries that require attention, whether it just needs charging or replacement
• Up to 80% of battery failures are a result of poor maintenance or ‘Sulphation’, which is caused by sustained low battery voltage (12.4-volts or less) over prolonged periods and results in the build up of crystals on the lead plates in the battery and reduces its performance and service life
• Batteries loose 0.1-volts every month, which increases two-fold during winter
• Often the alternator will not fully recover the power taken from the battery, through everyday use
• Regular mains charging will increase and prolong the “serviceable” life of the average battery by two years or more

How Can Manbat Help?
Manbat, through its partnership with Rozone, will work alongside its customers to not only identify and supply the most suitable batteries from its portfolio of VARTA®, Lucas or Numax, but will also determine the best battery management programme to support the purchase.

Manbat’s long held mantra is service, service, service and this ‘end-to-end’ battery management programme provides its customers with the support they need from the initial purchase, through care and maintenance advice and life extension and finally, over the course of time, to battery replacement.

By implementing such a tried and tested battery management programme, which uses state-of-the-art testing & charging platforms, Manbat can deliver simple yet effective, bespoke programmes for workshops.

Customers using these programmes are achieving significant increases in battery efficiencies and the subsequent reduction in operating costs that are associated with battery and electrical system failures. This is perhaps most dramatically brought into focus with the cost of a motorway ‘jump-start’ for a lorry sometimes costing as much as £300.

Battery Management At A Glance
• Extends service life of commercial vehicle batteries
• Increases workshop efficiencies – minimising costs through accurate pro-active diagnosis and remedial action
• Reduces battery and associated electrical system costs by up to 50%
• Minimises ‘non-starts’ and ‘vehicle off-road’ defects
• Reduces unnecessary premature battery replacement costs
• Bespoke ‘end-to-end’ programmes designed for the needs of individual workshops

Conclusion
“Replacement batteries represent a significant cost to an operator,” says Pemberton, “so they want to ensure that they purchase a quality product that’s up to the job. However, without an on-going battery management programme in place, they are not protecting their investment or ensuring they get the best return on it.

“By contrast, our partnership with Rozone means that we can not only supply the high quality products our customers need, but we can work with our them in the most pro-active way possible. This allows us to review their individual working practices and processes, create personal training programmes and fully meet their individual company requirements, to ensure they maximise the long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their battery purchase.”

Manbat – Effective Battery Management That Saves Money

Of all the components that come together to make up the vehicles that travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, the battery is arguably the least understood and the most commonly overlooked. As a general rule, providing the battery starts the vehicle, the common assumption, even among experienced technicians, is that it’s ‘okay’.

However, the evidence from surveys carried out by both the AA and Which? point to the fact that all is not well with this assumption because they found that battery failure is in fact the number one cause of vehicle breakdown in the UK. Moreover, far from being confined to the open road, battery failure can even occur in the workshop during the vehicle’s service or repair!

As part of its on-going commitment to its customers to provide them with more than simply a replacement battery service, Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor and leading battery management specialist Rozone, have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and point out the benefits that efficient battery management can bring to motorists, fleet operators and workshops alike.

“A great way to look at it,” says Manbat’s Myles Pemberton “is to consider a vehicle entering a workshop with a flat tyre. There is no way that the vehicle would leave the premises in the same condition because for one thing it is a sales opportunity, but more to the point, it’s an obviously visual problem!

“Batteries, in contrast, pose an altogether different challenge. As they look the same whether fully charged or completely discharged, there is not the visual fall back there is with tyres or indeed for many other components. However, the vast majority of roadside battery failures could be prevented through the correct management of the vehicle’s batteries.

“By taking a couple of minutes to check the battery’s state of charge for example, a technician is able to assess its condition and take the necessary remedial action, which could simply be to fully charge the battery, make an adjustment to the system or rectify a more serious fault. Either way, they could ultimately prevent a costly roadside breakdown and provide a welcome sales opportunity.”

Did You Know?
Two out of three vehicles entering the workshop will have a battery that requires attention, whether it just needs charging or complete replacement. In addition, up to 80% of battery failures are a result of poor maintenance or ‘sulphation’, which is caused by sustained low battery voltage (12.4-volts or less) over prolonged periods and results in the build up of crystals on the lead plates in the battery and reduces its performance and service life.

Batteries left without maintenance lose 0.1-volts every month, which increases two-fold during winter and even used regularly, an alternator will often not fully recover the power taken from the battery, through everyday use. However, regular mains charging will increase and prolong the “serviceable” life of the average battery by two years or more

How Can Manbat Help?
Manbat will work alongside its customers to not only identify and supply the most suitable battery from its portfolio of VARTA®, Lucas or Numax, but will also determine the best battery management programme to support the purchase.

Manbat customers using these programmes are achieving significant increases in battery efficiencies and the subsequent reduction in costs that are associated with battery and electrical system failures.

Battery Management At A Glance
• Extends service life of vehicle batteries
• Increases workshop efficiencies – minimising costs through accurate pro-active diagnosis and remedial action
• Reduces battery and associated electrical system costs by up to 50%
• Minimises ‘non-starts’ and ‘breakdown’ defects
• Reduces unnecessary premature battery replacement costs
• Bespoke ‘end-to-end’ programmes designed for the needs of individual workshops

Conclusion
“Replacement batteries represent a significant cost to the motorist, so workshops want to ensure that they supply a quality product that’s up to the job. However, without an on-going battery management programme in place, they are not protecting their investment or ensuring they get the best return on it.

“By contrast, customers initiating a battery management programme are not only supplying the high quality products their customers need, but are working in the most pro-active way possible and ensuring they maximise the long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their batteries,” concludes Pemberton.

Manbat

Numax Value
Sadly, along with the many other products within the aftermarket, batteries are always subject to tremendous price pressure. As a result, many suppliers simply resort to offering substandard products at rock bottom prices, which does nothing for the reputation of the market or the supplier.

The good news for CAAR members is that this is not, nor will it ever be, the policy of approved supplier Manbat, who alongside its existing brands of VARTA®, Lucas and Numax has now developed a new brand, Numax Value, to allow members to compete when price becomes the central issue.

In keeping with Manbat’s principles, Numax Value is a quality battery range, produced by a reputable manufacturer and comes with the benefit of a two-year warranty, which matches or betters most batteries in the market.

To exemplify this fact, the 063 has a 44 Ampere hour capacity, which is excellent for a budget brand. The range is also available to members in the same way that they order the existing brands in its portfolio, and is delivered through its 12 branch national network.

Commenting on the supply agreement, sales director Paul Payne said: “We greatly value our existing supply agreements for VARTA, Lucas and Numax, but it is also very satisfying to play a role in assisting members when their need is for a fighting brand.

“Because of our long term business relationships and our buying power with the global battery manufacturers, we are able to provide a good quality product at very competitive prices, which means that members get a great package when the going gets tough. In addition, we are also able to back it up with a level of service that would not generally be available to products targeted at this position in the market. So for members, there’s simple nothing to lose.”

Winter Promotion
To introduce the Numax Value range, Manbat has put together an exciting winter promotion on four popular part numbers: the 017, 063, 075 and 096/100.

On a sliding scale from a minimum order of 10 units, orders from 100 to those in excess of 300, can earn members an extra 1, 2 or 3% discount on the already highly competitive prices of £36.85, £17.50, £24.25 and £29.50 respectively.

Members including the VARTA@, Lucas or Numax brands in their order can increase the level of discount still further, so they should make sure they contact their Manbat area sales manager to find out how to best maximise the discount benefit they can earn.

Leisure Range Addition
Members that have developed their power storage business to include a leisure battery offering will also be pleased to learn that Manbat has extended its market leading Numax XV leisure range with the introduction of the new DC27MF, which had its first official appearance at the Motorhome & Caravan Show in Birmingham.

The DC27MF provides users with extra cyclic capability compared with the existing XV27MF, which makes it ideal for applications that need extra power. Although the Ampere hour (Ah) capacity and the battery’s dimensions are identical to the XV27MF, its thicker plates and therefore higher reserve capacity enable it to run for even longer and power more heavy duty applications. The battery is ideal for caravans that are fitted with a motor-mover or those leisure and marine applications where extra reserve capacity is required.

The DC27MF fits alongside the existing 11-model XV range to provide leisure enthusiasts with a multitude of choice starting from the 75 Ah XV23 to the range topping to 235 Ah XV80.

Manbat

Sadly, along with the many other products within the aftermarket, batteries are always subject to tremendous price pressure. As a result, many suppliers simply resort to offering substandard products at rock bottom prices, which does nothing for the reputation of the market or the supplier.

The good news for members is that this is not, nor will it ever be the policy of approved supplier Manbat, who alongside its existing brands VARTA®, Lucas and Numax has now been awarded the supply contract for the Powerstart brand, an exclusive arrangement with GROUPAUTO among buying groups.

In keeping with Manbat’s principles, the models in the range are quality batteries, produced by a reputable manufacturer and come with the benefit of a two-year warranty, which matches or betters most batteries in the market.

Available through the G-Logix distribution centre, the Powerstart range provides members with a quality product at extremely competitive prices, which means they have a brand at their disposal that will allow them to react to the demands of their customers when price becomes the central issue.

Unlike some of the other products in the distribution centre, the Powerstart range is supplied to members directly by Manbat in the same way that it delivers orders for the existing brands in its portfolio. This is primarily because of the health and safety issues surrounding the storage and distribution of more hazardous products like batteries, but also because the group as a whole recognises the excellent level of service that Manbat provides to the members on a daily basis and therefore knows that the product distribution is in safe hands.

As well as developing the range, which now sits at 14 part numbers, and increasing its specification, product availability will also improve and members will be able to vary their orders from pallets to single orders, depending on their requirements.

Commenting on the supply agreement, sales director Paul Payne said: “We greatly value our existing supply agreements for VARTA, Lucas and Numax, but it is also very satisfying to play a role in assisting members when their need is for a fighting brand.

“Because of our long term business relationships and our buying power with the global battery manufacturers, we are able to provide a good quality product at very competitive prices, which means that members get a great package when the going gets tough. In addition, we are also able to back it up with a level of service that would not generally be available to products targeted at this position in the market. So for members, there’s simple nothing to lose.”

Members that have developed their power storage business to include a leisure battery offering will also be pleased to learn that Manbat has extended its market leading Numax XV leisure range to the introduction of the new DC27MF, which had its first official appearance at the Motorhome & Caravan Show in Birmingham last month.

The DC27MF provides users with extra cyclic capability compared with the existing XV27MF, which makes it ideal for applications that need extra power. Although the Ampere hour (Ah) capacity and the battery’s dimensions are identical to the XV27MF, its thicker plates and therefore higher reserve capacity enable it to run for even longer and power more heavy duty applications. The battery is ideal for caravans that are fitted with a motor-mover or those leisure and marine applications where extra reserve capacity is required.

The DC27MF fits alongside the existing 11-model XV range to provide leisure enthusiasts with a multitude of choice starting from the 75 Ah XV23 to the range topping to 235 Ah XV80.

Manbat – Real World Battery Solutions

Life Before Start-Stop Batteries
For many years the technology incorporated into the typical car battery remained relatively static, so while the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was running.

As far as the factor and their workshop customers is concerned, a traditional battery replacement is a simple and straightforward process, only complicated by the fact that nowadays a supply current has to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and vehicle’s other electrical equipment is not lost.

The Start-Stop Revolution
In contrast, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to enable them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery, with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner. Another alternative is the enhanced flooded battery (EFB), which has similar characteristics to an AGM battery, but is designed for entry level Start-Stop vehicles that require less electrical capacity.

In The Workshop
With a Start-Stop vehicle, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery. Instead as the battery is integrated into the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so the replacement has to paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician to ‘introduce’ the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

Another complication comes because there is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will be found under the bonnet. Therefore, technicians need to have access to reliable technical data such as TecRMI, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery whether that’s in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Training is also particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. As the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle pulls away or when the battery’s state of charge drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital.

The Factor’s Responsibility
In addition to receiving the correct battery for the application, workshops look to their factors for sound advice and the necessary support to guide them through the transition from the familiar traditional technology to the Start-Stop future. So as well as having the right products in stock when they’re required, factors need to pair up with a battery partner that is able to help them to deliver the support, and supply the technical back up, to make that possible.

Therefore alongside the ability to provide a wide range of quality batteries across a number of competitive price points, factors need also to consider whether their battery partner has the stock capacity to meet fluctuations in demand, has the technical knowledge and ability to deliver the training necessary to empower the workshop, has the access to the equipment required for the task and has a robust environmental policy to correctly deal with disposal of scrap batteries.

How Can Manbat Help?
Manbat’s ethos is to work alongside its customers in partnership to not only identify and supply the most suitable battery from its portfolio of VARTA, Lucas or Numax, but to also determine the best support programme to help factors in turn support their workshop customers.

Through its long term relationship with VARTA, Manbat has access to both the training, which is delivered by industry specialists eXponentia, and the VSSP 2.0 diagnostic and installation tool that are necessary for workshops to face the battery challenges posed by Start-Stop vehicles and to develop their ability to profit from them.

When it comes to responsible disposal, factors have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, as well as benefiting financially from their inherent ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies Ltd, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Through its efficient smelting facilities across the globe, ECOBAT annually converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot. Among its many customers are several of the major battery manufacturers, and some of their brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

As a result of these combined strengths, allied to its 60-year plus aftermarket heritage, Manbat is fully justified in its claim to be the country’s premier automotive and commercial vehicle power storage product supplier and service provider.

A Big Brother Joins The Line-Up

The market leading Numax XV range of leisure batteries has been further strengthened by the introduction of the new DC27MF, which will have its first official appearance at the forthcoming Motorhome & Caravan Show in Birmingham, where Numax will be present on stand 6.24.

The DC27MF provides users with extra cyclic capability compared with the existing XV27MF, which makes it ideal for applications that need extra power. Although the Ampere hour (Ah) capacity and the battery’s dimensions are identical to the XV27MF, its thicker plates and therefore higher reserve capacity enable it to run for even longer and power more heavy duty applications. The battery is ideal for caravans that are fitted with a motor-mover or those leisure and marine applications where extra reserve capacity is required.

The DC27MF fits alongside the existing 11-model XV range to provide leisure enthusiasts with a multitude of choice starting from the 75 Ah XV23 to the range topping to 235 Ah XV80.

The entire range is manufactured using state-of-the-art plate design, semi-traction paste, envelope construction and gas recombination technology, which means that they will last substantially longer than a conventional flooded leisure battery. As a result, every Numax XV and the new DC battery come with a three-year warranty.

Naturally, all also come with ergonomically designed carrying handles for ease of handling, dual terminals for both clamp and screw lead connection, battery condition ‘windows’ to show the battery’s state of charge, and maintenance free sealed cells for maximum safety and convenience.

Alongside Numax, Manbat Ltd, the owner of the Numax brand, also offers the Lucas Leisure range, which although broadly comparable to the Numax range does include an even more powerful alternative for those that need the ultimate leisure battery.

Next Stop Paris For Manbat

Following its debut appearance at Automechanika last year, Manbat, the UK’s largest battery distributor, now has the French show on its agenda as it shifts its European focus to Equip Auto, Paris in October.

Situated on stand 3 E075, the specially designed stand will provide Manbat with a prominent site from which to demonstrate its position as part of the ECOBAT Technologies group and promote the Lucas and Numax brands to the European aftermarket.

Myles Pemberton, marketing manager for Manbat said: “We believe Equip Auto gives us an excellent platform through which to reach a new audience of European buyers with some truly great products.

“The brands in our portfolio provide those visitors looking for genuine profit opportunities with a tremendous range of products with which they can make a substantial impact on a number of power storage markets. Whether they wish to develop the leisure sector with Numax, the quality automotive and commercial vehicle sectors with Lucas, or are simply committed to supplying their customers with the very best with VARTA, Manbat is able to respond with the products and support to fulfil their individual requirements.

“The exhibition also affords us the opportunity to express Manbat’s environmental credentials and explain how in conjunction with some of the other companies within the ECOBAT Technologies group, we can achieve a recycling level of 99.9% with a typical lead acid battery and therefore contribute to the sustainable use of the earth’s finite resources.”

In addition to its three core brands, Manbat is also a major distributor of lower volume specialist batteries such as the dry cell Odyssey range and the fast charging/deep cycle Optima range, as well as being the primary UK distributor of Sonnenschein mobility batteries. With more than 60 years of experience in all forms of power storage, Manbat has a wealth of knowledge that can help to develop battery sales and maximise the opportunities that its brands can offer.

Manbat The Start-Stop For VARTA

GROUPAUTO members will be interested to know that according to the latest survey by ADAC (German Automobile Club) and the Stiftung Warentest, the German consumer organisation that carries out impartial comparative product tests, the best battery for vehicles with advanced Start-Stop technology and regenerative braking is the VARTA® Start-Stop Plus.

Not only did the VARTA Start-Stop Plus with AGM technology take top spot in a cross-market survey, the judges also rated the VARTA Start-Stop with EFB technology – designed for vehicles with standard Start-Stop functions – as ‘good’. The good news for members of course, is that both these versions are available to the membership through approved supplier Manbat.

The ADAC and Stiftung Warentest joined forces to put the two VARTA batteries through their paces against five other Start-Stop batteries from well-known manufacturers. Both excelled, with the VARTA Start-Stop Plus achieving the top score against two other AGM batteries. The AGM and EFB versions also boast impressively high reserve capacity and low water consumption and the judges rated their partial discharge cycles and charge acceptance ‘very good’.

The judges’ verdict, which backs up Manbat’s longstanding assertion, is that conventional batteries are just not suitable for modern vehicles with a Start-Stop function. According to the ADAC, normal wet-cell batteries are not able to cope with being discharged for such long periods, which leads to their failure.

In light of this impressive performance, Manbat continues to encourage members to make a conscious effort to gear up for the increase in the demand for Start-Stop batteries that is shortly to impact the industry.

The VARTA Start-Stop Plus is an AGM battery that is completely leak-proof, 100% maintenance-free and delivers three times the cyclic stability as a conventional battery. These properties are of particular importance when fuel-saving and regenerative braking technologies are involved. With AGM technology, almost all the battery acid is held within a glass-fibre mat, which means that AGM batteries boast a considerably longer service life and are known for their outstanding performance.

The VARTA Start-Stop battery with EFB technology was specially developed for basic Start-Stop functions found in such popular small cars as the Fiat 500 and Toyota Yaris. This technology restarts the engine in a fraction of a second and ensures a reliable power supply even when the engine is switched off. It also boasts twice the cyclic stability of conventional batteries, meaning it can be discharged more deeply without suffering any loss in functionality.

Manbat – Effective Battery Management That Saves Money

Of all the components that come together to make up the vehicles that travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, the battery is arguably the least understood and the most commonly overlooked. As a general rule, providing the battery starts the vehicle, the common assumption, even among experienced technicians, is that it’s ‘okay’.

However, the evidence from surveys carried out by both the AA and Which? point to the fact that all is not well with this assumption because they found that battery failure is in fact the number one cause of vehicle breakdown in the UK. Moreover, far from being confined to the open road, battery failure can even occur in the workshop during the vehicle’s service or repair!

As part of its on-going commitment to its customers to provide them with more than simply a replacement battery service, Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor and leading battery management specialist Rozone, have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and point out the benefits that efficient battery management can bring to motorists, fleet operators and workshops alike.

“A great way to look at it,” says Manbat’s Myles Pemberton “is to consider a vehicle entering the fast fit with a flat tyre. There is no way that the vehicle would leave the premises in the same condition because for one thing it is a sales opportunity, but more to the point, it’s an obviously visual problem!

“Batteries, in contrast, pose an altogether different challenge as they look the same whether fully charged or completely discharged, there is not the visual fall back there is with tyres or indeed for many other components. However, the vast majority of roadside battery failures could be prevented through the correct management of the vehicle’s batteries.

“By taking a couple of minutes to check the battery’s state of charge for example, a technician is able to assess its condition and take the necessary remedial action, which could simply be to fully charge the battery, make an adjustment to the system or rectify a more serious fault. Either way, they could ultimately prevent a costly roadside breakdown and provide a welcome sales opportunity.”

The Startling Facts

Two out of three vehicles entering the workshop will have a battery that requires attention, whether it just needs charging or complete replacement. In addition, up to 80% of battery failures are a result of poor maintenance or ‘sulphation’, which is caused by sustained low battery voltage (12.4-volts or less) over prolonged periods and results in the build up of crystals on the lead plates in the battery and reduces its performance and service life.

Batteries left without maintenance lose 0.1-volts every month, which increases two-fold during winter and even used regularly, an alternator will often not fully recover the power taken from the battery, through everyday use. However, regular mains charging will increase and prolong the “serviceable” life of the average battery by two years or more

How Can Manbat Help?

Manbat will work alongside its customers to not only identify and supply the most suitable battery from its portfolio of VARTA®, Lucas or Numax, but will also determine the best battery management programme to support the purchase.

Manbat customers using these programmes are achieving significant increases in battery efficiencies and the subsequent reduction in costs that are associated with battery and electrical system failures.

Battery Management At A Glance

• Extends service life of vehicle batteries

• Increases workshop efficiencies – minimising costs through accurate pro-active diagnosis and remedial action

• Reduces battery and associated electrical system costs by up to 50%

• Minimises ‘non-starts’ and ‘breakdown’ defects

• Reduces unnecessary premature battery replacement costs

• Bespoke ‘end-to-end’ programmes designed for the needs of individual workshops

Conclusion

“Replacement batteries represent a significant cost to the motorist, so workshops want to ensure that they supply a quality product that’s up to the job. However, without an on-going battery management programme in place, they are not protecting their investment or ensuring they get the best return on it.

“By contrast, customers initiating a battery management programme are not only supplying the high quality products their customers need, but are working in the most pro-active way possible and ensuring they maximise the long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their batteries,” concludes Pemberton.

The Motorhome and Caravan Show – Online
Numax is the battery for the leisure sector.

This year, Numax will supplement its popular XV range with the launch of the DC27MF. Although the Ah capacity is identical to the XV27MF, its thicker plates and extra cyclic capability mean it has a higher reserve capacity, making it ideal for caravans with a motor-mover.

The market leading XV range covers 75 to 235 Ah capacities. All feature a three-year warranty, comfortable carrying handles, dual terminals for both clamp and screw lead connection, battery condition ‘windows’ to show the state of charge and maintenance free sealed cells for safety and convenience.

The Motorhome and Caravan Show
Numax is the battery for the leisure sector.

At the show, Numax will supplement its popular XV range with the launch of the DC27MF. Although the Ah capacity is identical to the XV27MF, its thicker plates and extra cyclic capability mean it has a higher reserve capacity, making it ideal for caravans with a motor-mover.

Manbat

For more than 60 years, Manbat has been providing its customers with trustworthy and reliable service. Everything it does revolves around this central service orientated principle and it effects every aspect of its business, from the quality of the products in its portfolio, the support it provides to its customers throughout the trade and the commitment it makes to the environment.

In these challenging times, when the battery market is poised to undergo its biggest change since the invention of the motor car, who better than one of the aftermarket’s most longstanding businesses to steer it through the transition to supply, handle and fit Start-Stop batteries and the revolution the technology will bring upon the trade.

In its support for Autoparts Ecosse, the Manbat team will be on hand and keen to discuss the impact of the anticipated arrival of Start-Stop vehicles in the independent workshop and how the Manbat/Autoparts Ecosse combination can help workshops gear up for, and benefit from, the challenge ahead.

Manbat is committed to helping its customers grow their battery sales, so the show also provides the ideal opportunity to discuss how workshops can benefit from extra business on the back of their automotive expertise.

Manbat

For more than 60 years, Manbat has been providing its customers with trustworthy and reliable service. Everything it does revolves around this central service orientated principle and it effects every aspect of its business, from the quality of the products in its portfolio, the support it provides to its customers throughout the trade and the commitment it makes to the environment.

In these challenging times, when the battery market is poised to undergo its biggest change since the invention of the motor car, who better than one of the aftermarket’s most longstanding businesses to steer it through the transition to supply, handle and fit Start-Stop batteries and the revolution the technology will bring upon the trade.

In its support for Autoparts Ecosse, the Manbat team will be on hand and keen to discuss the impact of the anticipated arrival of Start-Stop vehicles in the independent workshop and how the Manbat/Autoparts Ecosse combination can help workshops gear up for, and benefit from, the challenge ahead.

Manbat is committed to helping its customers grow their battery sales, so the show also provides the ideal opportunity to discuss how workshops can benefit from extra business on the back of their automotive expertise.

Manbat – Real World Battery Advice

Overview
For many years the battery market remained relatively static when it came to the technology that was incorporated into the typical car battery. While the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was running.

As far as the workshop was concerned, providing the battery was maintained properly – topped up with de-ionised water, kept from excessive discharge and regularly charged etc. – it would provide a reliable source of power until at some point it inevitably needed to be replaced.

Replacement was a simple and straightforward and only complicated by the fact that in more recent years a supply current had to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and related equipment wasn’t lost.

However, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to enable them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

Dealing With AGM Batteries
With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery, where the greatest challenge was simply to ensure a supply feed was maintained.

Instead as the battery is intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

To prevent these error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle pulls away or when the battery’s state of charge drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital. This is also complicated by the fitting challenges mentioned above.

As with every aspect of the trade, fitting the correct battery for the application is paramount. For entry-level or smaller Start-Stop vehicles for example, an AGM battery might not be the appropriate replacement as the original fitment could be an enhanced flooded battery (EFB). Although these batteries have similar characteristics to AGM batteries, they are not the same and the two should not be interchanged. Likewise, just installing a larger capacity lead-acid battery is no solution for Start-Stop battery replacement.

Another complication comes because there is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will be found under the bonnet! Therefore, technicians need to have access to reliable technical data such as TecRMI, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery whether that’s in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Waste Managemen
When it comes to responsible disposal, workshops have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, but they should also be aware that they could benefit finically from responsible battery disposal as batteries have a ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Annually ECOBAT converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network, which in Ireland includes National Autoparts for Numax and Europa Battery Distributors for Lucas.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Selling Points
Manbat always recommends that workshops choose a quality battery when undertaking replacement, but this is even more important when working on Start-Stop vehicles for the reasons previously discussed. It also recommends the use of an application guide such as the Lucas Battery Catalogue, to ensure the correct specification battery is selected.

Only when a vehicle has been fitted with additional electrical equipment or when the vehicle has been modified to cope with extreme conditions, such as mountain rescue or other emergency vehicles, does the battery need to be upgraded. In this instance the enhanced performance of an AGM battery could be an advantage even though the vehicle doesn’t utilise a Start-Stop system.

Other Opportunities
AGM batteries may be suitable for leisure purposes where a deep discharge product is required, but leisure specific batteries like Manbat’s Numax XV range dominate this sector and provide a far more suitable solution for the majority of leisure battery requirements.

However, with their obvious battery knowledge, workshops as well as factors and retailers are in the ideal position to develop their battery sales beyond the automotive ‘distress purchase’ boundaries and benefit from the ‘aspirational purchase’ opportunities the leisure, marine and golf sectors provide.

Manbat – Effective Battery Management That Saves Money

Of all the components that come together to make up the vehicles that travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, the battery is arguably the least understood and the most commonly overlooked. As a general rule, providing the battery starts the vehicle, the common assumption, even among experienced technicians, is that it’s ‘okay’.

However, the evidence from surveys carried out by both the AA and Which? point to the fact that this is a dangerous assumption because they found that battery failure is in fact the number one cause of vehicle breakdown in the UK. Far from being confined to the open road, battery failure can even occur in the workshop during the vehicle’s service or repair!

As part of its on-going commitment to its customers to provide them with more than simply a replacement battery service, Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor and leading battery management specialist Rozone, have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and point out the benefits that efficient battery management can bring to motorists, fleet operators and workshops alike.

“A great way to look at it,” says Manbat’s Myles Pemberton “is to consider a vehicle entering the workshop with a flat tyre. There is no way that the vehicle would leave the workshop in the same condition as it arrived because for one thing it is a sales opportunity, but more to the point, it’s an obvious visual problem!

“Batteries, however, pose an altogether different challenge as they look the same whether fully charged or completely discharged, there is not the visual fall back there is with a tyre or indeed for many other components. The vast majority of roadside battery failures could be prevented through correct management of the vehicle’s batteries.

“By taking a couple of minutes to check the battery’s state of charge for example, a technician is able to assess its condition and take the necessary remedial action, which could simply be to fully charge the battery, make an adjustment to the system or rectify a more serious fault. Either way, they could ultimately prevent a costly roadside breakdown.

The Startling Facts
• Two out of three vehicles entering the workshop have a battery that require attention, whether it just needs charging or complete replacement
• Up to 80% of battery failures are a result of poor maintenance or ‘sulphation’, which is caused by sustained low battery voltage (12.4-volts or less) over prolonged periods and results in the build up of crystals on the lead plates in the battery and reduces its performance and service life
• Batteries lose 0.1-volts every month, which increases two-fold during winter
• An alternator will often not fully recover the power taken from the battery, through everyday use
• Regular mains charging will increase and prolong the “serviceable” life of the average battery by two years or more

How Can Manbat Help?
Manbat will work alongside its customers to not only identify and supply the most suitable battery from its portfolio of VARTA®, Lucas or Numax, but will also determine the best battery management programme to support the purchase.

Manbat customers using these programmes are achieving significant increases in battery efficiencies and the subsequent reduction in costs that are associated with battery and electrical system failures.

Battery Management At A Glance
• Extends service life of vehicle batteries
• Increases workshop efficiencies – minimising costs through accurate pro-active diagnosis and remedial action
• Reduces battery and associated electrical system costs by up to 50%
• Minimises ‘non-starts’ and ‘breakdown’ defects
• Reduces unnecessary premature battery replacement costs
• Bespoke ‘end-to-end’ programmes designed for the needs of individual workshops

Conclusion
“Replacement batteries represent a significant cost to the motorist, so workshops want to ensure that they supply a quality product that’s up to the job. However, without an on-going battery management programme in place, they are not protecting their investment or ensuring they get the best return on it.

“By contrast, customers initiating a battery management programme are not only supplying the high quality products their customers need, but are working in the most pro-active way possible and ensuring they maximise the long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their batteries.”

Manbat – Effective Battery Management That Saves Money

Of all the components that come together to make up the vehicles that travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, the battery is arguably the least understood and the most commonly overlooked. As a general rule, providing the battery starts the vehicle, the common assumption, even among experienced technicians, is that it’s ‘okay’.

However, the evidence from surveys carried out by both the AA and Which? point to the fact that all is not well with this assumption because they found that battery failure is in fact the number one cause of vehicle breakdown in the UK. Moreover, far from being confined to the open road, battery failure can even occur in the workshop during the vehicle’s service or repair!

As part of its on-going commitment to its customers to provide them with more than simply a replacement battery service, Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor and leading battery management specialist Rozone, have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and point out the benefits that efficient battery management can bring to motorists, fleet operators and workshops alike.

“A great way to look at it,” says Manbat’s Myles Pemberton “is to consider a vehicle entering the workshop with a flat tyre. There is no way that the vehicle would leave the workshop in the same condition because for one thing it is a sales opportunity, but more to the point, it’s an obvious visual problem!

“Batteries, however, pose an altogether different challenge as they look the same whether fully charged or completely discharged, there is not the visual fall back there is with tyres or indeed for many other components. The vast majority of roadside battery failures could be prevented through correct management of the vehicle’s batteries.

“By taking a couple of minutes to check the battery’s state of charge for example, a technician is able to assess its condition and take the necessary remedial action, which could simply be to fully charge the battery, make an adjustment to the system or rectify a more serious fault. Either way, they could ultimately prevent a costly roadside breakdown.

The Startling Facts
• Two out of three vehicles entering the workshop have a battery that require attention, whether it just needs charging or complete replacement
• Up to 80% of battery failures are a result of poor maintenance or ‘sulphation’, which is caused by sustained low battery voltage (12.4-volts or less) over prolonged periods and results in the build up of crystals on the lead plates in the battery and reduces its performance and service life
• Batteries lose 0.1-volts every month, which increases two-fold during winter
• An alternator will often not fully recover the power taken from the battery, through everyday use
• Regular mains charging will increase and prolong the “serviceable” life of the average battery by two years or more

How Can Manbat Help?
Manbat will work alongside its customers to not only identify and supply the most suitable battery from its portfolio of VARTA®, Lucas or Numax, but will also determine the best battery management programme to support the purchase.

Manbat customers using these programmes are achieving significant increases in battery efficiencies and the subsequent reduction in costs that are associated with battery and electrical system failures.

Battery Management At A Glance
• Extends service life of vehicle batteries
• Increases workshop efficiencies – minimising costs through accurate pro-active diagnosis and remedial action
• Reduces battery and associated electrical system costs by up to 50%
• Minimises ‘non-starts’ and ‘breakdown’ defects
• Reduces unnecessary premature battery replacement costs
• Bespoke ‘end-to-end’ programmes designed for the needs of individual workshops

Conclusion
“Replacement batteries represent a significant cost to the motorist, so workshops want to ensure that they supply a quality product that’s up to the job. However, without an on-going battery management programme in place, they are not protecting their investment or ensuring they get the best return on it.

“By contrast, customers initiating a battery management programme are not only supplying the high quality products their customers need, but are working in the most pro-active way possible and ensuring they maximise the long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their batteries.”

Manbat – Start-Stop Battery Systems

Introduced in 2010, the EfficientDynamics versions of the popular BMW 3 series incorporated the company’s Start-Stop system.

As these vehicles begin to drop out of the franchised dealer network and enter the independent sector, workshops, and the technicians undertaking service and repair work on these variants, need to bear in mind that they will not be fitted with traditional lead-acid starter batteries. Instead these models will use an AGM battery such as a VARTA® Start Stop Plus and will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator and starter motor, as well as the Start-Stop system, mean that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise, to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the BMW 3 Series EfficientDynamics, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

Manbat

Overview
For many years the battery market remained relatively static when it came to the technology that was incorporated into the typical car battery. While the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were all generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was in use.

As far as the workshop was concerned, providing the battery was maintained properly – topped up with de-ionised water, kept from excessive discharge and regularly charged etc. – it would provide a reliable source of power until it inevitably needed to be replaced.

Replacement was a simple and straightforward process, which was only complicated by the fact that in more recent years a current had to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and related equipment wasn’t lost.

However, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop, otherwise known as micro hybrid, engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to follow in order for them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

Dealing With AGM Batteries
With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery where, as mentioned earlier, the greatest challenge was simply to ensure a supply feed was maintained.

Instead as the battery is intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

To prevent these error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle needs to move off or when the state of charge of the battery drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital. This is also complicated by the fitting challenges mentioned above.

As with every aspect of the trade, fitting the correct battery for the application is paramount. For entry-level or smaller Start-Stop vehicles for example, an AGM battery might not be the appropriate replacement as the original fitment could be an enhanced flooded battery (EFB). Although these batteries have similar characteristics to AGM batteries, they are not the same and the two should not be interchanged. Likewise, just installing a larger capacity lead-acid battery is no solution for Start-Stop battery replacement.

Another complication comes because there is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will reside in the engine bay! Therefore, technicians need to have access to technical information such as TecRMI, or similar workshop related technical data, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery, be it in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Waste Management
When it comes to responsible disposal, workshops have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, but they should also be aware that they could benefit finically from responsible battery disposal as batteries have a ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Annually ECOBAT converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Selling Points
Manbat always recommends that workshops choose a quality battery when undertaking replacement, but this is even more important when working on Start-Stop vehicles for the reasons previously discussed. Allied to this, VARTA is the largest original equipment battery supplier to Europe’s vehicle manufacturers and has led the development of Start-Stop battery technology. As a result, by fitting VARTA a like for like replacement is highly likely, but whatever the original battery, the necessary quality is guaranteed.

For non Start-Stop applications Manbat recommends the use of an application guide like its just-launched Lucas Battery Catalogue, to ensure the correct specification battery is selected. Only when the vehicle has been fitted with additional electrical equipment or when the vehicle has been modified to cope with extreme conditions, such as mountain rescue or other emergency vehicles, does it suggest the battery should be upgraded. In this instance the enhanced performance of an AGM battery could be an advantage even though the vehicle doesn’t utilise a Start-Stop system.

Other Opportunities
AGM batteries are suitable for leisure purposes where a deep discharge product is required, but leisure specific batteries like Manbat’s Numax XV range dominate this sector and provide a far more suitable solution for the majority of leisure battery requirements.

However, with their obvious battery knowledge, workshops as well as factors and retailers are in the ideal position to develop their battery sales beyond the automotive ‘distress purchase’ boundaries and benefit from the ‘aspirational purchase’ opportunities the leisure, marine and golf sectors provide.

Manbat: Committed To GROUPAUTO Members

AutoCare Trade Show

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, was on hand at Stoneleigh Park for the AutoCare Trade Show and Conference, where the team were able to catch up with those actually tasked with fitting the batteries it supplies through GROUPAUTO members nationwide.

As well as taking visiting technicians through the products in the VARTA®, Lucas and Numax ranges, which are Manbat’s approved brands to GROUPAUTO members, the show also provided the team with the perfect opportunity to raise the question of battery technology and how it will affect them in the workshop over the next few years.

Start-Stop, otherwise known as micro hybrid, engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to follow in order for them to reduce the fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions. It is therefore, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles that has driven the major change in battery technology.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA®, for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the same way as a traditional battery. Instead as the battery is directly linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS), it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will not function correctly and is at risk of running in ‘limp’ mode or may not start at all.

To prevent these error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle needs to move off or when the state of charge of the battery drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital, and this is why Manbat has joined forces with eXponentia via its association with VARTA.

Experience Professional To Head The Team

Another development that will assist GROUPAUTO members is the appointment of Paul Payne as Manbat’s new sales director to replace Jon Bailey who recently returned to VARTA®. Paul has come from DENSO International Europe, where he spent five successful years as the company’s regional manager for UK and Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: “I know it sounds like a cliché, but I’m really excited to join such a well known and respected aftermarket business. Manbat has a reputation for doing things right and following ethical policies, which adds great value to the business.

“In every role in which I have had responsibility, I have overseen an increase in the sales and turnover of the business. I therefore believe that with the skills I have gained in the aftermarket over the last 20 years and the tremendous experience of the existing team, I can help continue the company’s expansion.

For Manbat, managing director, Steve Sheppard said: “In the current tough trading conditions it is important that we have a strong and experienced leader who can help to motivate and direct our team of knowledgeable sales managers and continue the growth of the business.

“Paul brings with him these attributes and an appreciation that our business is built on the twin pillars of providing our customers with exceptional service and high quality products. Over the last 60 years, this philosophy has allowed Manbat to grow from a local battery specialist to a major distributor within a global organisation.

“Paul’s previous experience with a number of aftermarket businesses, including large multinational companies like Unipart and DENSO will benefit Manbat by bringing a fresh approach, while maintaining those traditional core values. We are delighted therefore to welcome him aboard.”

Members Get To Grips With Start-Stop Technology

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, was at Stoneleigh Park for the recent AutoCare Trade Show and Conference, where the team were able to catch up with those actually tasked with fitting the batteries it supplies through GROUPAUTO members nationwide.

As well as taking visiting technicians through the products in the VARTA®, Lucas and Numax ranges, which are Manbat’s approved brands to GROUPAUTO members, the show also provided the team with the perfect opportunity to raise the question of battery technology and how it will affect them in the workshop over the next few years.

Start-Stop, otherwise known as micro hybrid, engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to follow in order for them to reduce the fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions. It is therefore, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles that has driven the major change in battery technology.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA®, for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the same way as a traditional battery. Instead as the battery is directly linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS), it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will not function correctly and is at risk of running in ‘limp’ mode or may not start at all.

To prevent these error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle needs to move off or when the state of charge of the battery drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital, and this is why Manbat has joined forces with eXponentia via its association with VARTA.

Experience Professional To Head The Team

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor has recruited respected aftermarket professional Paul Payne as its new sales director to replace Jon Bailey who recently returned to VARTA®. Paul has come from DENSO International Europe, where he spent five successful years as the company’s regional manager for UK and Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: “I know it sounds like a cliché, but I’m really excited to join such a well known and respected aftermarket business. Manbat has a reputation for doing things right and following ethical policies, which adds great value to the business.

“In every role in which I have had responsibility I have overseen an increase in the sales and turnover of the business. I therefore believe that with the skills I have gained in the aftermarket over the last 20 years and the tremendous experience of the existing team, I can help continue the company’s expansion.

For Manbat, managing director, Steve Sheppard said: “In the current tough trading conditions it is important that we have a strong and experienced leader who can help to motivate and direct our team of knowledgeable sales managers and continue the growth of the business.

“Paul brings with him these attributes and an appreciation that our business is built on the twin pillars of providing our customers with exceptional service and high quality products. Over the last 60 years, this philosophy has allowed Manbat to grow from a local battery specialist to a major distributor within a global organisation.

“Paul’s previous experience with a number of aftermarket businesses, including large multinational companies like Unipart and DENSO will benefit Manbat by bringing a fresh approach, while maintaining those traditional core values. We are delighted therefore to welcome him aboard.”

Manbat

Overview

For many years the battery market remained relatively static when it came to the technology that was incorporated into the typical car battery. While the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were all generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was in use.

As far as the workshop was concerned, providing the battery was maintained properly – topped up with de-ionised water, kept from excessive discharge and regularly charged etc. – it would provide a reliable source of power until it inevitably needed to be replaced.

Replacement was a simple and straightforward process, which was only complicated by the fact that in more recent years a current had to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and related equipment wasn’t lost.

However, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop, otherwise known as micro hybrid, engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to follow in order for them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

Dealing With AGM Batteries

With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery where, as mentioned earlier, the greatest challenge was simply to ensure a supply feed was maintained.

Instead as the battery is intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

To prevent these error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle needs to move off or when the state of charge of the battery drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital. This is also complicated by the fitting challenges mentioned above.

As with every aspect of the trade, fitting the correct battery for the application is paramount. For entry-level or smaller Start-Stop vehicles for example, an AGM battery might not be the appropriate replacement as the original fitment could be an enhanced flooded battery (EFB). Although these batteries have similar characteristics to AGM batteries, they are not the same and the two should not be interchanged. Likewise, just installing a larger capacity lead-acid battery is no solution for Start-Stop battery replacement.

Another complication comes because there is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will reside in the engine bay! Therefore, technicians need to have access to technical information such as TecRMI, or similar workshop related technical data, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery, be it in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Waste Management

When it comes to responsible disposal, workshops have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, but they should also be aware that they could benefit finically from responsible battery disposal as batteries have a ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Annually ECOBAT converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Selling Points

Manbat always recommends that workshops choose a quality battery when undertaking replacement, but this is even more important when working on Start-Stop vehicles for the reasons previously discussed. Allied to this, VARTA is the largest original equipment battery supplier to Europe’s vehicle manufacturers and has led the development of Start-Stop battery technology. As a result, by fitting VARTA a like for like replacement is highly likely, but whatever the original battery, the necessary quality is guaranteed.

For non Start-Stop applications Manbat recommends the use of an application guide like its just-launched Lucas Battery Catalogue, to ensure the correct specification battery is selected. Only when the vehicle has been fitted with additional electrical equipment or when the vehicle has been modified to cope with extreme conditions, such as mountain rescue or other emergency vehicles, does it suggest the battery should be upgraded. In this instance the enhanced performance of an AGM battery could be an advantage even though the vehicle doesn’t utilise a Start-Stop system.

Other Opportunities

AGM batteries are suitable for leisure purposes where a deep discharge product is required, but leisure specific batteries like Manbat’s Numax XV range dominate this sector and provide a far more suitable solution for the majority of leisure battery requirements.

However, with their obvious battery knowledge, workshops as well as factors and retailers are in the ideal position to develop their battery sales beyond the automotive ‘distress purchase’ boundaries and benefit from the ‘aspirational purchase’ opportunities the leisure, marine and golf sectors provide.

Manbat

Overview

For many years the battery market remained relatively static when it came to the technology that was incorporated into the typical car battery. While the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were all generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was in use.

As far as the workshop was concerned, providing the battery was maintained properly – topped up with de-ionised water, kept from excessive discharge and regularly charged etc. – it would provide a reliable source of power until it inevitably needed to be replaced. Replacement was a simple and straightforward process, which was only complicated by the fact that in more recent years a current had to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and related equipment wasn’t lost.

However, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop, otherwise known as micro hybrid, engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers in order for them to reduce the fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

Question
What challenges do technicians face when changing AGM batteries compared to lead-acid based batteries?

Answer
With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, the technician cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery where, as mentioned earlier, the greatest challenge was simply to ensure a supply feed was maintained.

Instead as the battery is intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle could illuminate error messages on the dash, fail to charge the battery or simply not start at all.

Question
Is dedicated training as to how to test, diagnose and fit these new batteries a requirement?

Answer
Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle needs to move off or when the state of charge of the battery drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital. This is also complicated by the fitting challenges mentioned previously.

Question
Will any AGM battery do the job?

Answer
As with every aspect of the trade, fitting the correct battery for the application is paramount. For entry-level or smaller Start-Stop vehicles for example, an AGM battery might not be the appropriate replacement as the original fitment could be an enhanced flooded battery (EFB). Although these batteries have similar characteristics to AGM batteries, they are not the same and the two should not be interchanged. Likewise, just installing a larger capacity lead-acid battery is no solution for Start-Stop battery replacement.

To prevent error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Question
Are there any specific procedures for the removal, fitting or disposal of AGM batteries?

Answer
Technicians working on Start-Stop vehicles will find that is no guarantee that the battery will be under the bonnet! Therefore, they need to have access to accurate technical information such as TecRMI, or similar workshop related technical data, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery, be it in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Handling AGM batteries themselves is no more hazardous than their traditional lead acid cousins, in fact as they are general completely sealed units, chemical spillage is actually less likely. However, they are heavy, so health and safety procedures should obviously be followed carefully.

When it comes to responsible disposal, workshops have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, but they should also be aware that they could benefit finically from responsible battery disposal as batteries have a ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Annually ECOBAT converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Question
Are there any specific maintenance requirements?

Answer
Providing the vehicle’s BMS is working as it is intended, these batteries require no specific maintenance. They are fully sealed and maintenance free.

Question
Will garages need to upgrade their equipment top work on Start-Stop vehicles?

Answer
Without the correct equipment workshops cannot test the battery and the associated elements in the Start-Stop system. This equipment allows them to diagnose whether a fault lies with the battery, alternator, BMS, IBS or elsewhere.

Question
What advices should garages give their customers when their battery needs replacing?

Answer
Workshops should choose a quality battery when undertaking replacement, but this is even more important when working on Start-Stop vehicles for the reasons previously discussed. VARTA is the largest original equipment battery supplier to Europe’s vehicle manufacturers and has led the development of Start-Stop battery technology. As a result, by fitting VARTA a like for like replacement is highly likely, but whatever the original battery, the necessary quality is guaranteed.

For non Start-Stop applications Manbat recommends the use of an application guide like its just-launched Lucas Battery Catalogue, to ensure the correct specification battery is selected.

Only when the vehicle has been fitted with additional electrical equipment or when the vehicle has been modified to cope with extreme conditions, does the battery need to be upgraded. In this instance the enhanced performance of an AGM battery could be an advantage even though the vehicle doesn’t utilise a Start-Stop system.

Manbat – Start-Stop Battery Systems

Although not yet a common sight in the independent workshop, technicians nonetheless need to be aware that the 116PS 1.6 TDCi and 160PS 1.6 EcoBoost engines fitted in the ECOnetic models introduced in June 2011, feature Ford’s Auto-Start-Stop technology. This means that the batteries used for these variants are not traditional lead-acid starter batteries and those undertaking battery replacement will therefore require specialist knowledge and equipment to ensure the correct removal and installation process is followed.

In addition, as the battery in the system is integrated with the vehicle’s battery management system and its ECU, thorough diagnosis is required to discover whether the battery needs to be replaced or if there is an underlying cause that might have led to its premature failure.

Having the ability to cancel and reset the fault codes that may be required for associated components like the alternator, starter motor or even the Start-Stop system itself, mean that workshops would be wise to invest in the necessary tooling and training to allow them to tackle these issues.

Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor, is also the primary distributor for VARTA®, Europe’s leading Start-Stop battery manufacturer. Together they have the products, equipment, and in association with eXponentia, the technical expertise to ensure that workshops are fully prepared and have the confidence to service not only the Mondeo ECOnetic, but any other Start-Stop vehicle they may encounter.

Manbat & Rozone – Effective Battery Management That Saves Money

Of all the components that come together to make up the commercial vehicles that travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, the battery is arguably the least understood and the most commonly overlooked. As a general rule, providing the battery starts the vehicle, the common assumption, even among experienced technicians, is that it’s ‘okay’.

However, the breakdown evidence from the UK and our cousins in Germany points to the fact that all is not well with this assumption because battery failure is in fact one of the major causes of roadside breakdown in both these countries. Moreover, far from being confined to the open road, battery failure can even occur in the workshop during the vehicle’s service or repair!

As part of its on-going commitment to its customers to provide them with more than simply a replacement battery service, Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor and leading battery management specialist Rozone, have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and point out the benefits that efficient battery management can bring to operators and workshops alike.

“A great analogy,” says Rozone’s Ken Clark, “is to consider a vehicle entering the workshop with a flat tyre. There is no way that the vehicle would leave the workshop in the same condition because for one thing it is a sales opportunity, but more to the point, it’s an obvious visual problem!

“Batteries, however, pose an altogether different challenge as they look the same whether fully charged or completely discharged, there is not the visual fall back there is tyres or indeed for many other components. The vast majority of battery failures could be prevented and a huge reduction in business overheads obtained through correct management of the vehicle’s batteries.

“By taking a couple of minutes to check the battery’s state of charge for example, a technician is able to assess its condition and take the necessary remedial action, which could simply be to fully charge the battery, make an adjustment to the system or rectify a more serious fault. Either way, they could ultimately prevent the operator from incurring the cost, in both time and money, of a roadside breakdown.

The Startling Facts

Two out of three commercial vehicles entering the workshop have a battery/batteries that require attention, whether it just needs charging or replacement

Up to 80% of battery failures are a result of poor maintenance or ‘Sulphation’, which is caused by sustained low battery voltage (12.4-volts or less) over prolonged periods and results in the build up of crystals on the lead plates in the battery and reduces its performance and service life

Batteries loose 0.1-volts every month, which increases two-fold during winter

An alternator will not fully recover the power taken from the battery, through everyday use

Regular mains charging will increase and prolong the “serviceable” life of the average battery by two years or more

How Can Manbat Help?

Manbat, through its partnership with Rozone, will work alongside its customers to not only identify and supply the most suitable batteries from its portfolio of VARTA®, Lucas or Numax, but will also determine the best battery management programme to support the purchase.

Manbat’s long held mantra is service, service, service and this ‘end-to-end’ battery management programme provides its customers with the support they need from the initial purchase, through care and maintenance advice and life extension and finally, over the course of time, to battery replacement.

By implementing such a tried and tested battery management programme, which uses state-of-the-art testing & charging platforms, Manbat can deliver simple yet effective, bespoke programmes for workshops.

Customers using these programmes are achieving significant increases in battery efficiencies and the subsequent reduction in operating costs that are associated with battery and electrical system failures. This is perhaps most dramatically brought into focus with the cost of a motorway ‘jump-start’ for a lorry sometimes costing as much as £300.

Battery Management At A Glance

Extends service life of commercial vehicle batteries

Increases workshop efficiencies – minimising costs through accurate pro-active diagnosis and remedial action

Reduces battery and associated electrical system costs by up to 50%

Minimises ‘non-starts’ and ‘vehicle off-road’ defects

Reduces unnecessary premature battery replacement costs

Bespoke ‘end-to-end’ programmes designed for the needs of individual workshops

Conclusion

“Replacement batteries represent a significant cost to an operator,” says Manbat’s, Myles Pemberton, “so they want to ensure that they purchase a quality product that’s up to the job. However, without an on-going battery management programme in place, they are not protecting their investment or ensuring they get the best return on it.

“By contrast, our partnership with Rozone means that we can not only supply the high quality products our customers need, but we can work with our them in the most pro-active way possible. This allows us to review their individual working practices and processes, create personal training programmes and fully meet their individual company requirements, to ensure they maximise the long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their battery purchase.”

Manbat

Overview

For many years the battery market remained relatively static when it came to the technology that was incorporated into the typical car battery. While the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were all generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was in use.

As far as the workshop was concerned, providing the battery was maintained properly – topped up with de-ionised water, kept from excessive discharge and regularly charged etc. – it would provide a reliable source of power until it inevitably needed to be replaced.

Replacement was a simple and straightforward process, which was only complicated by the fact that in more recent years a current had to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and related equipment wasn’t lost.

However, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop, otherwise known as micro hybrid, engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to follow in order for them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

Dealing With AGM Batteries

With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery where, as mentioned earlier, the greatest challenge was simply to ensure a supply feed was maintained.

Instead as the battery is intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

To prevent these error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle needs to move off or when the state of charge of the battery drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital. This is also complicated by the fitting challenges mentioned above.

As with every aspect of the trade, fitting the correct battery for the application is paramount. For entry-level or smaller Start-Stop vehicles for example, an AGM battery might not be the appropriate replacement as the original fitment could be an enhanced flooded battery (EFB). Although these batteries have similar characteristics to AGM batteries, they are not the same and the two should not be interchanged. Likewise, just installing a larger capacity lead-acid battery is no solution for Start-Stop battery replacement.

Another complication comes because there is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will reside in the engine bay! Therefore, technicians need to have access to technical information such as TecRMI, or similar workshop related technical data, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery, be it in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Waste Management

When it comes to responsible disposal, workshops have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, but they should also be aware that they could benefit finically from responsible battery disposal as batteries have a ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Annually ECOBAT converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Selling Points

Manbat always recommends that workshops choose a quality battery when undertaking replacement, but this is even more important when working on Start-Stop vehicles for the reasons previously discussed. Allied to this, VARTA is the largest original equipment battery supplier to Europe’s vehicle manufacturers and has led the development of Start-Stop battery technology. As a result, by fitting VARTA a like for like replacement is highly likely, but whatever the original battery, the necessary quality is guaranteed.

For non Start-Stop applications Manbat recommends the use of an application guide like its just-launched Lucas Battery Catalogue, to ensure the correct specification battery is selected. Only when the vehicle has been fitted with additional electrical equipment or when the vehicle has been modified to cope with extreme conditions, such as mountain rescue or other emergency vehicles, does it suggest the battery should be upgraded. In this instance the enhanced performance of an AGM battery could be an advantage even though the vehicle doesn’t utilise a Start-Stop system.

Other Opportunities

AGM batteries are suitable for leisure purposes where a deep discharge product is required, but leisure specific batteries like Manbat’s Numax XV range dominate this sector and provide a far more suitable solution for the majority of leisure battery requirements.

However, with their obvious battery knowledge, workshops as well as factors and retailers are in the ideal position to develop their battery sales beyond the automotive ‘distress purchase’ boundaries and benefit from the ‘aspirational purchase’ opportunities the leisure, marine and golf sectors provide.

Manbat

Lucas Battery Catalogue

CAAR members will be pleased to hear that Manbat, the UK’s leading automotive battery distributor, has launched its latest product directory in the form of the 2013/14 Lucas Battery Catalogue, which is the first edition to be completely designed and compiled by Manbat.

The high quality publication is produced in full colour throughout and each Lucas battery product group – automotive, commercial vehicle & agricultural, industrial, golf, motorcycle, leisure & marine, mobility and emergency standby power (fire, security & electrical systems) – is superbly presented with colour photographs and a detailed description of the specifications, benefits and applications that are most appropriate to that particular group of batteries.

In order to ensure that members specify the correct battery to their customers, there is also a comprehensive model-by-model application list that covers almost 300 manufacturers across each of the Lucas battery product groups.

A detailed product specification section that provides full details of battery dimensions, terminal size and terminal orientation, is followed by important COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) information, to ensure the safe transportation and storage of batteries.

However, the comprehensive publication is more than a simple product catalogue, it’s a complete battery specification and application guide and therefore provides members with an easy-to-use reference tool. Manbat has applied its unrivalled battery knowledge to produce a publication that covers every aspect of battery specification so the batteries are listed by vehicle make and model, battery capacity, type and case size.

Also featured are sections focusing on battery characteristics and fault diagnosis, battery testing procedures, health and safety information, CCA testing with digital testers and Manbat’s environmental policy.

One of the most important subjects covered however is that of battery scrap and recycling. In this section members can find out how Manbat can help them with their battery waste management and where Manbat fits in the ECOBAT Technologies group.

Being part of this organisation, allows Manbat to adopt its closed recycling loop policy, which ensures that the waste batteries it collects are 99.97% recycled, and the lead content refined and fed back into the lead battery industry for the production of new batteries thus, completing the loop.

To accompany this excellent publication, Manbat has also produced a range of point-of-sales (POS) material to inform members and their customers to the depth of the range and the many practical applications that the products are compatible with.

Myles Pemberton, Manbat’s marketing manager said: “The full Lucas battery range is manufactured to an extremely high quality and it caters for the entire power storage sector. It is therefore important that we support the range with a superb catalogue and we are confident that this new product sets new standards for this type of publication.”

Experience Professional To Head The Team

Another development that will assist CAAR members is the appointment of Paul Payne as Manbat’s new sales director to replace Jon Bailey who recently returned to VARTA®. Paul has come from DENSO International Europe, where he spent five successful years as the company’s regional manager for UK and Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: “I know it sounds like a cliché, but I’m really excited to join such a well known and respected aftermarket business. Manbat has a reputation for doing things right and following ethical policies, which adds great value to the business.

“In every role in which I have had responsibility, I have overseen an increase in the sales and turnover of the business. I therefore believe that with the skills I have gained in the aftermarket over the last 20 years and the tremendous experience of the existing team, I can help continue the company’s expansion.

For Manbat, managing director, Steve Sheppard said: “In the current tough trading conditions it is important that we have a strong and experienced leader who can help to motivate and direct our team of knowledgeable sales managers and continue the growth of the business.

“Paul brings with him these attributes and an appreciation that our business is built on the twin pillars of providing our customers with exceptional service and high quality products. Over the last 60 years, this philosophy has allowed Manbat to grow from a local battery specialist to a major distributor within a global organisation.

“Paul’s previous experience with a number of aftermarket businesses, including large multinational companies like Unipart and DENSO will benefit Manbat by bringing a fresh approach, while maintaining those traditional core values. We are delighted therefore to welcome him aboard.”

Manbat – Effective Battery Management That Saves Money

Of all the components that come together to make up the vehicles that travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, the battery is arguably the least understood and the most commonly overlooked. As a general rule, providing the battery starts the vehicle, the common assumption, even among experienced technicians, is that it’s ‘okay’.

However, the evidence from surveys carried out by both the AA and Which? points to the fact that all is not well with this assumption because they found that battery failure is in fact the number one cause of vehicle breakdown in the UK. Moreover, far from being confined to the open road, battery failure can even occur in the workshop during the vehicle’s service or repair!

As part of its on-going commitment to GROUPAUTO members to provide them with more than simply a replacement battery service, Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor and leading battery management specialist Rozone, have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and point out the benefits that efficient battery management can bring to motorists, fleet operators and workshops alike.

“A great way to look at it,” says Manbat’s Myles Pemberton “is to consider a vehicle entering the workshop with a flat tyre. There is no way that the vehicle would leave the workshop in the same condition because for one thing it is a sales opportunity, but more to the point, it’s an obvious visual problem!

“Batteries, however, pose an altogether different challenge as they look the same whether fully charged or completely discharged, there is not the visual fall back there is with tyres or indeed for many other components. The vast majority of roadside battery failures could be prevented through correct management of the vehicle’s batteries.

“By taking a couple of minutes to check the battery’s state of charge for example, a technician is able to assess its condition and take the necessary remedial action, which could simply be to fully charge the battery, make an adjustment to the system or rectify a more serious fault. Either way, they could ultimately prevent a costly roadside breakdown.

The Startling Facts

Two out of three vehicles entering the workshop have a battery/batteries that require attention, whether it just needs charging or replacement

Up to 80% of battery failures are a result of poor maintenance or ‘Sulphation’, which is caused by sustained low battery voltage (12.4-volts or less) over prolonged periods and results in the build up of crystals on the lead plates in the battery and reduces its performance and service life

Batteries lose 0.1-volts every month, which increases two-fold during winter
An alternator will often not fully recover the power taken from the battery, through everyday use

Regular mains charging will increase and prolong the “serviceable” life of the average battery by two years or more

How Can Manbat Help?

Manbat will work alongside members to not only identify and supply the most suitable batteries from its portfolio of VARTA®, Lucas or Numax, but will also determine the best battery management programme to support the purchase.

Members using these programmes are achieving significant increases in battery efficiencies and the subsequent reduction in costs that are associated with battery and electrical system failures.

Battery Management At A Glance

Extends service life of vehicle batteries

Increases workshop efficiencies – minimising costs through accurate pro-active diagnosis and remedial action

Reduces battery and associated electrical system costs by up to 50%

Minimises ‘non-starts’ and ‘breakdown’ defects

Reduces unnecessary premature battery replacement costs

Bespoke ‘end-to-end’ programmes designed for the needs of individual workshops

Conclusion

“Replacement batteries represent a significant cost to the motorist, so members want to ensure that they supply a quality product that’s up to the job. However, without an on-going battery management programme in place, they are not protecting their investment or ensuring they get the best return on it.

“By contrast, members initiating a battery management programme are not only supplying the high quality products their customers need, but are working in the most pro-active way possible and ensuring they maximise the long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their batteries.”

Manbat

Overview

For many years the battery market remained relatively static when it came to the technology that was incorporated into the typical car battery. While the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were all generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was in use.

As far as the workshop was concerned, providing the battery was maintained properly – topped up with de-ionised water, kept from excessive discharge and regularly charged etc. – it would provide a reliable source of power until it inevitably needed to be replaced.

Replacement was a simple and straightforward process, which was only complicated by the fact that in more recent years a current had to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and related equipment wasn’t lost.

However, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop, otherwise known as micro hybrid, engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to follow in order for them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

Dealing With AGM Batteries

With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, technicians cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery where, as mentioned earlier, the greatest challenge was simply to ensure a supply feed was maintained.

Instead as the battery is intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

To prevent these error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle needs to move off or when the state of charge of the battery drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital. This is also complicated by the fitting challenges mentioned above.

As with every aspect of the trade, fitting the correct battery for the application is paramount. For entry-level or smaller Start-Stop vehicles for example, an AGM battery might not be the appropriate replacement as the original fitment could be an enhanced flooded battery (EFB). Although these batteries have similar characteristics to AGM batteries, they are not the same and the two should not be interchanged. Likewise, just installing a larger capacity lead-acid battery is no solution for Start-Stop battery replacement.

Another complication comes because there is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will reside in the engine bay! Therefore, technicians need to have access to technical information such as TecRMI, or similar workshop related technical data, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery, be it in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

Waste Management

When it comes to responsible disposal, workshops have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, but they should also be aware that they could benefit finically from responsible battery disposal as batteries have a ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Annually ECOBAT converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Selling Points

Manbat always recommends that workshops choose a quality battery when undertaking replacement, but this is even more important when working on Start-Stop vehicles for the reasons previously discussed. Allied to this, VARTA is the largest original equipment battery supplier to Europe’s vehicle manufacturers and has led the development of Start-Stop battery technology. As a result, by fitting VARTA a like for like replacement is highly likely, but whatever the original battery, the necessary quality is guaranteed.

For non Start-Stop applications Manbat recommends the use of an application guide like its just-launched Lucas Battery Catalogue, to ensure the correct specification battery is selected. Only when the vehicle has been fitted with additional electrical equipment or when the vehicle has been modified to cope with extreme conditions, such as mountain rescue or other emergency vehicles, does it suggest the battery should be upgraded. In this instance the enhanced performance of an AGM battery could be an advantage even though the vehicle doesn’t utilise a Start-Stop system.

Other Opportunities

AGM batteries are suitable for leisure purposes where a deep discharge product is required, but leisure specific batteries like Manbat’s Numax XV range dominate this sector and provide a far more suitable solution for the majority of leisure battery requirements.

However, with their obvious battery knowledge, workshops as well as factors and retailers are in the ideal position to develop their battery sales beyond the automotive ‘distress purchase’ boundaries and benefit from the ‘aspirational purchase’ opportunities the leisure, marine and golf sectors provide.

Manbat Industrial

Following its acquisition of Battery Power Systems (BPS) in late 2011, Manbat has been working intensively with the BPS team to further develop their combined industrial battery presence. With more than 27 years of sales and service expertise BPS is able to offer both the materials handling and floor care sectors a bespoke battery solution, rather than simply selling them replacement batteries.

One of Manbat Industrial’s primary messages is for industrial battery buyers to put quality before price. This principle will pay dividends over the long-term as a cheap low quality product will simply not stand up to the rigours of everyday use like a quality battery. Put plainly, although it may cost a little more, a quality battery will last a lot longer.

In addition to the quality products that it can supply, Manbat Industrial can also offer a full battery management programme which encompasses everything from the original assessment of the customer’s battery requirements, through product maintenance planning, to the eventual battery replacement. This programme maximises the lifespan of each battery and delivers the most cost-effective solution to the customer’s battery needs.

Manbat and BPS are both members of the ECOBAT group. ECOBAT Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead, annually converting millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat Industrial’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Manbat

Overview

For many years the battery market remained relatively static when it came to the technology that was incorporated into the typical car battery. While the major manufacturers obviously invested in improving the performance of their batteries, they were all generally lead-acid batteries designed to cater for large current discharge when starting the engine and subject to continuous charging while the vehicle was in use.

As far as the workshop was concerned, providing the battery was maintained properly – topped up with de-ionised water, kept from excessive discharge and regularly charged etc. – it would provide a reliable source of power until it inevitably needed to be replaced. Replacement was a simple and straightforward process, which was only complicated by the fact that in more recent years a current had to be maintained in the system to ensure the power to the ECU and related equipment wasn’t lost.

However, the introduction of Start-Stop vehicles has driven a major change in battery technology. Start-Stop, otherwise known as micro hybrid, engines have become the preferred route for most of the vehicle manufacturers to follow in order for them to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of their vehicles and achieve the European Union requirement for fleet average vehicle emissions.

The traditional lead-acid ‘starter’ battery is not suitable for this type of engine and therefore cannot be used. Instead it requires a battery that can deliver the starting power of a traditional automotive battery with the cyclic (charge, discharge, charge etc.) capacity of a specialist mobility battery. The result is the absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery, which was first developed by VARTA® for whom Manbat is the UK’s largest supply partner.

CAT Questions

What challenges do technicians face when changing AGM and gel based batteries compared to lead acid based batteries, also the key differences in performance between the types of batteries within modern day cars.

With a Start-Stop vehicle fitted with an AGM battery, the technician cannot just replace the battery in the way that they have done with a traditional battery where, as mentioned earlier, the greatest challenge was simply to ensure a supply feed was maintained.

Instead as the battery is intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS), so it has to be integrated into the system and paired with the BMS/IBS, which requires specialist equipment. Without the equipment to assist the technician and introduce the battery into the system, the vehicle will at best illuminate error messages on the dash or fail to charge the battery, at worst, simply not start at all.

Regarding Gel batteries, these are a ‘red herring’ as they not really suitable for automotive use and for the performance difference between lead-acid and AGM batteries, please refer to the comment in the overview.

The significance of receiving dedicated training in how to test, diagnose and fit these new batteries

Training is particularly important because the number of potential faults in a Start-Stop system is far greater than for a traditional electrical system. Because the engine is switched off as frequently as possible and only restarts when the vehicle needs to move off or when the state of charge of the battery drops to a predetermined level, the BMS is extremely complicated. Therefore the correct testing procedure and fault diagnosis is vital. This is also complicated by the fitting challenges mentioned above.

Any key areas that independents or the aftermarket need to be aware of with these new types of batteries (e.g. coding the ECU to recognise the battery, etc.).

As with every aspect of the trade, fitting the correct battery for the application is paramount. For entry-level or smaller Start-Stop vehicles for example, an AGM battery might not be the appropriate replacement as the original fitment could be an enhanced flooded battery (EFB). Although these batteries have similar characteristics to AGM batteries, they are not the same and the two should not be interchanged. Likewise, just installing a larger capacity lead-acid battery is no solution for Start-Stop battery replacement.

To prevent error messages and other installation related problems, quality Start-Stop batteries should be the first thought when being replaced, as these will have the necessary 2D codes to ensure the battery is a ‘match’ for the vehicle and be ‘accepted’ by the BMS/ECU.

Any key pointers or tips regarding safety of removing, fitting or disposing of AGM and gel based batteries.

There is little guarantee that the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle will reside in the engine bay! Therefore, technicians need to have access to technical information such as TecRMI, or similar workshop related technical data, to pinpoint the exact location of the battery, be it in the boot floor or, as it is in at least one application, beneath the front passenger seat!

When it comes to responsible disposal, workshops have to understand their environmental responsibilities and ensure batteries are disposed of legally, but they should also be aware that they could benefit finically from responsible battery disposal as batteries have a ‘scrap’ value.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT group, which includes specialist waste battery businesses and lead smelter ECOBAT Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Annually ECOBAT converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group, and therefore Manbat, is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Any key considerations for garages to be in mind with maintaining these batteries.

Providing the vehicle’s BMS is working as it is intended, these batteries require no specific maintenance. They are fully sealed and maintenance free.

How vital is it for garages to upgrade their equipment in preparation for cars arriving with these batteries.

It is absolutely vital. Without the correct equipment workshops cannot test the battery and the associated elements in the Start-Stop system. This equipment allows them to diagnose whether a fault lies with the battery, alternator, BMS, IBS or elsewhere.

How do these kind of batteries affect the leisure sector, and how do operate within this sector.

AGM batteries are suitable for leisure purposes where a deep discharge product is required, but leisure specific batteries like Manbat’s Numax XV range dominate this sector and provide a far more suitable solution for the majority of leisure battery requirements.

However, with their obvious battery knowledge, factors, workshops and retailers are in the ideal position to develop their battery sales beyond the automotive ‘distress purchase’ boundaries and benefit from the ‘aspirational purchase’ opportunities the leisure, marine and golf sectors provide.

Also any key selling points that garages and independents should know when advising a customer to replace their battery for an AGM or gel based battery.

Manbat always recommends that workshops choose a quality battery when undertaking replacement, but this is even more important when working on Start-Stop vehicles for the reasons previously discussed. Allied to this, VARTA is the largest original equipment battery supplier to Europe’s vehicle manufacturers and has led the development of Start-Stop battery technology. As a result, by fitting VARTA a like for like replacement is highly likely, but whatever the original battery, the necessary quality is guaranteed.

For non Start-Stop applications Manbat recommends the use of an application guide like its just-launched Lucas Battery Catalogue, to ensure the correct specification battery is selected. Only when the vehicle has been fitted with additional electrical equipment or when the vehicle has been modified to cope with extreme conditions, such as mountain rescue or other emergency vehicles, does it suggest the battery should be upgraded. In this instance the enhanced performance of an AGM battery could be an advantage even though the vehicle doesn’t utilise a Start-Stop system.

Manbat Enjoys The Show

The Manbat stand at the CAAR member’s show in the Forest of Arden was a hive of activity as the team met and spoke with members from up and down the country. The event was very well supported and members were not just talking, they were placing orders too.

Those members that actually placed an order on the day benefitted from a 5% discount on every product included on it, regardless whether it was a Lucas, Numax of VARTA® branded product, which meant that at the end of the show both Manbat and the members left the venue on a positive note.

“We have traditionally been a big supporter of trade shows anyway, but to come to an event with the buzz and a willingness to commit to purchase like the CAAR show has had this year, makes it an even more positive experience,” said marketing manager, Myles Pemberton.

“It might sound an unusual thing to say, but as important as the sales made on the day were, having the chance to discuss forthcoming issues such as the latest battery technology and the impact it will have on members, and particularly their garage customers, was also a very worthwhile and rewarding side to the event.

“Although not here at the Forest of Arden, without question we’ll be exhibiting again next time and we look forward to experiencing a similar level of enthusiasm from CAAR members!”

Manbat Industrial

Following its acquisition of Battery Power Systems (BPS) in late 2011, Manbat has been working intensively with the BPS team to further develop their combined industrial battery presence. With more than 27 years of sales and service expertise BPS is able to offer both the materials handling and floor care sectors a bespoke battery solution, rather than simply selling them replacement batteries.

One of Manbat Industrial’s primary messages is for industrial battery buyers to put quality before price. This principle will pay dividends over the long-term as a cheap low quality product will simply not stand up to the rigours of everyday use like a quality battery. Put plainly, although it may cost a little more, a quality battery will last a lot longer.

In addition to the quality products that it can supply, Manbat Industrial can also offer a full battery management programme which encompasses everything from the original assessment of the customer’s battery requirements, through product maintenance planning, to the eventual battery replacement. This programme maximises the lifespan of each battery and delivers the most cost-effective solution to the customer’s battery needs.

Manbat and BPS are both members of the ECOBAT group. ECOBAT Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead, annually converting millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of major battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat Industrial’s comprehensive branch network.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT group is able to be exceptionally environmentally aware and is currently the only global company offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

Manbat Revs Up ABC And Its Customers

As part of its campaign to mobilise members and help them to inform their customers of the forthcoming challenges they are likely to face in their businesses, GROUPAUTO approved supplier Manbat recently joined forces with VARTA® to present the vision of the future to around 20 valued garage customers of Abergavenny Brake & Clutch (ABC).

Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton kicked things off by running a short introductory video, which can be viewed on the homepage of the Manbat website – www.manbat.co.uk – that set out a brief history of the company and how over the last 60 years it has grown from a small business repairing and refilling batteries, to become the UK’s largest automotive and commercial battery distributor, providing members with quality brands such as Numax, Lucas and of course, VARTA.

The video and Myles’ subsequent presentation also gave ABC’s customers a glimpse of how Manbat has managed its extraordinary growth and that customer service, product availability and marketing support are all integral to its strategy to help members like ABC grow their battery business and provide the right support though to the workshop. These core principles have ensured that members and their customers understand that Manbat is not merely a ‘box shifter’ instead it is a valued partner that is interested in its customers and wants them to grow and benefit from their battery sales too.

Myles then gave way to VARTA’s Steve Jones whose primary focus was to highlight the changes that will undoubtedly have an effect on those attending as vehicles that incorporate non-traditional battery systems begin to come into their workshops.

The ‘big three’ developments in relation to batteries/battery systems are fully electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles (mild and full) and vehicles that incorporate a Start-Stop system. VARTA is at the heart of the battery technology that is required for each of these developments, but without question it is the increase in Start-Stop vehicles that will have the greatest impact on the average workshop.

In order to achieve the emissions targets that the European Union have already enshrined in legislation and to reduce the fuel consumption of their vehicles, the vehicle manufacture’s have committed to Start-Stop systems, which is why as the market leader VARTA has invested €520 million in the necessary battery technology to allow these systems to operate efficiently.

The batteries in these systems undergo extreme fluctuations in their state of charge and require a high cyclic (charge/discharge/charge), as well as deep discharge capacity. They also need to communicate with advanced battery management systems that often incorporate regenerative braking technology that allows electrical energy to be harvested and which contributes to the charging of the battery.

On entry level Start-Stop vehicles, the battery is likely to be an enhanced flooded battery (EFB), such as the VARTA Start-Stop, whereas for vehicles fitted with more electrical equipment, or for larger vehicles, it will be an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery such as the VARTA Start-Stop Plus, that will be the standard fitment. The major issue for workshops however, is that irrespective of the battery type, both will require technicians to undergo training and utilise specialist equipment to correctly diagnose faults, test and ultimately replace the battery in a Start-Stop vehicle.

As this is a fundamental difference when compared to dealing with a traditional battery, Steve spent time explaining how and why training and the use of the correct diagnostic tool is required for Start-Stop vehicles, and this proved to be particularly well received by the garage owners and technicians present on the evening.

Summing up the event, Myles said: “It is always good to support our customers as we have with ABC this evening, but what makes it even better is being able to pass on valuable information which will help the independent garage compete effectively against the franchised dealer. We’ve been able to do that with ABC tonight and we look forward to taking the message to other GROUPAUTO members and their customers in the coming months.”

Lucas Battery Catalogue

Manbat, the UK’s leading automotive battery distributor, has launched its latest product directory in the form of the 2013/14 Lucas Battery Catalogue, which is the first edition to be completely designed and compiled by Manbat.

To accompany this excellent publication, Manbat has also produced a range of point-of-sales (POS) material to inform the trade and consumers alike to the depth of the range and the many practical applications that the products are compatible with.

Myles Pemberton, Manbat’s marketing manager said: “The full Lucas battery range is manufactured to an extremely high quality and it caters for the entire power storage sector. It is therefore important that we support the range with a superb catalogue and we are confident that this new product sets new standards for this type of publication.”

The high quality publication is produced in full colour throughout and each Lucas battery product group – automotive, commercial vehicle & agricultural, industrial, golf, motorcycle, leisure & marine, mobility and emergency standby power (fire, security & electrical systems) – is superbly presented with colour photographs and a detailed description of the specifications, benefits and applications that are most appropriate to that particular group of batteries.

LUCAS BATTERY CATALOGUE

The Best Just Got Better!

Manbat, the UK’s leading automotive battery distributor, has launched its latest product directory in the form of the 2013/14 Lucas Battery Catalogue, which is the first edition to be completely designed and compiled by Manbat.

To accompany this excellent publication, Manbat has also produced a range of point-of-sales (POS) material to inform the trade and consumers alike to the depth of the range and the many practical applications that the products are compatible with.

Myles Pemberton, Manbat’s marketing manager said: “The full Lucas battery range is manufactured to an extremely high quality and it caters for the entire power storage sector. It is therefore important that we support the range with a superb catalogue and we are confident that this new product sets new standards for this type of publication.”

The high quality publication is produced in full colour throughout and each Lucas battery product group – automotive, commercial vehicle & agricultural, industrial, golf, motorcycle, leisure & marine, mobility and emergency standby power (fire, security & electrical systems) – is superbly presented with colour photographs and a detailed description of the specifications, benefits and applications that are most appropriate to that particular group of batteries.

In order to ensure that its customers specify the correct battery to their customers, there is also a comprehensive model-by-model application list that covers almost 300 manufacturers across each of the Lucas battery product groups.

A detailed product specification section that provides full details of battery dimensions, terminal size and terminal orientation, is followed by important COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) information, to ensure the safe transportation and storage of batteries.

However, the comprehensive publication is more than a simple product catalogue, it’s a complete battery specification and application guide and therefore provides the trade with an easy-to-use reference tool. Manbat has applied its unrivalled battery knowledge to produce a publication that covers every aspect of battery specification so the batteries are listed by vehicle make and model, battery capacity, type and case size.

Also featured are sections focusing on battery characteristics and fault diagnosis, battery testing procedures, health and safety information, CCA testing with digital testers and Manbat’s environmental policy.

One of the most important subjects covered however is that of battery scrap and recycling. In this section users can find out how Manbat can help them with their battery waste management and where Manbat fits in the ECOBAT Technologies group.

Being part of this organisation, allows Manbat to adopt its closed recycling loop policy, which ensures that the waste batteries it collects are 99.97% recycled, and the lead content refined and fed back into the lead battery industry for the production of new batteries thus, completing the loop.

Manbat

Numax Moto-Sport

Modern machines are complex feats of engineering excellence that utilise the best of today’s technology to optimise their performance and efficiencies. To ensure that these thoroughbreds remain reliable and ready to go, Manbat has a broad range of VRLA and AGM batteries that cater for the most popular part numbers.

Numax Moto-Sport batteries provide motorcycle dealers with a great product to supply to the motorcycle service market and consumer alike. The range is available with capacities from 2.5 to 30 Ah/20hr and provides maintenance free ‘sealed’ technology and superb performance for more than 90% of the UK’s motorcycle applications.

For easy handling, Numax Moto-Sport batteries are supplied dry, with the acid packed separately into the box and which is only added to the battery immediately before fitting. As a result, the shelf life of the battery is greatly extended and the chance of ‘on-the-shelf’ sulphation is completely eliminated.

In addition to batteries, Shrewsbury-based Manbat supplies a comprehensive range of world-class continuous use battery chargers through its Numax ‘connect+forget’® range.

Lucas

The Lucas motorcycle battery range caters for virtually every motorcycle application, from road and sport to scooters, and it gives the trade an iconic brand to take to market and one that still resonates with the general public. In addition to motorcycles, the range also covers many motorcycle related applications such as ATV’s, Jet Ski’s and snowmobiles.

Lucas motorcycle batteries bring together a winning combination of leading edge technology, robust design and precision engineering. This gives the batteries exceptional starting power – up to 30% more than many traditional batteries – and a high resilience to deep, repeated discharge.

The range covers conventional flooded, VRLA sealed and high performance Gel Liquifix batteries, with capacities from 2.3 to 32 Ah/20hr. Lucas battery chargers are also available in the motorcycle range

The Lucas motorcycle range combines durability, performance and value and dovetails perfectly with the full range of VARTA batteries, for the specialist motorcycle and other relevant off-road applications, which are also supplied by Manbat, the UK’s largest battery distributor.

Manbat

Manbat was present with a stand at each of the recent UAN trade shows and although Reading was a little quiet, the show at Lancashire County Cricket Club was busy, which made the overall event a big hit with the team.

UAN members placing orders during the event enjoyed a 5% discount on any products from the VARTA®, Lucas or Numax brands, but they also had the chance to talk with the team to get a handle on some of the challenges that their customers are beginning to face as the latest battery technology begins to come into their workshops.

Commenting on the events, marketing manager, Myles Pemberton said: “There is always a lot to do to prepare and set up for these type of events, but they are invaluable when it comes to actually getting face-to-face with the members, and we are delighted to be able to report that they were a success for us.

“There is nothing like meeting customers in an environment when they have time to talk and give us feedback when it comes to the brands we represent and the way that we can continue to support them as they try their best to help their own customers. We’ll certainly be back against next time and I’m sure the new contacts we made during the show will develop into long standing business relationships.”

The Best Just Got Better!

Manbat, the UK’s leading automotive battery distributor, has launched its latest product directory in the form of the 2013/14 Lucas Battery Catalogue, which is the first edition to be completely designed and compiled by Manbat.

To accompany this excellent publication, Manbat has also produced a range of point-of-sales (POS) material to inform the trade and consumers alike to the depth of the range and the many practical applications that the products are compatible with.

Myles Pemberton, Manbat’s marketing manager said: “The full Lucas battery range is manufactured to an extremely high quality and it caters for the entire power storage sector. It is therefore important that we support the range with a superb catalogue and we are confident that this new product sets new standards for this type of publication.”

The high quality publication is produced in full colour throughout and each Lucas battery product group – automotive, commercial vehicle & agricultural, industrial, golf, motorcycle, leisure & marine, mobility and emergency standby power (fire, security & electrical systems) – is superbly presented with colour photographs and a detailed description of the specifications, benefits and applications that are most appropriate to that particular group of batteries.

In order to ensure that its customers specify the correct battery to their customers, there is also a comprehensive model-by-model application list that covers almost 300 manufacturers across each of the Lucas battery product groups.

A detailed product specification section that provides full details of battery dimensions, terminal size and terminal orientation, is followed by important COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) information, to ensure the safe transportation and storage of batteries.

However, the comprehensive publication is more than a simple product catalogue, it’s a complete battery specification and application guide and therefore provides the trade with an easy-to-use reference tool. Manbat has applied its unrivalled battery knowledge to produce a publication that covers every aspect of battery specification so the batteries are listed by vehicle make and model, battery capacity, type and case size.

Also featured are sections focusing on battery characteristics and fault diagnosis, battery testing procedures, health and safety information, CCA testing with digital testers and Manbat’s environmental policy.

One of the most important subjects covered however is that of battery scrap and recycling. In this section users can find out how Manbat can help them with their battery waste management and where Manbat fits in the ECOBAT Technologies group.

Being part of this organisation, allows Manbat to adopt its closed recycling loop policy, which ensures that the waste batteries it collects are 99.97% recycled, and the lead content refined and fed back into the lead battery industry for the production of new batteries thus, completing the loop.

Powerful Leisure Batteries To Suit Every Need

Over the last decade, Numax has established itself as one of the most prominent battery brands in the highly demanding leisure sector and its wide range of specialist batteries provide the outdoor enthusiast with the opportunity to find the perfect product for their needs.

The standard Leisure range consists of three conventional flooded lead acid batteries of 75, 90 and 110-Ampere hour (Ah) capacity. Each is manufactured to match original equipment specification and provides a high quality maintenance free solution for general leisure applications and comes with a two-year guarantee.

However, where there is a requirement for more power or longer service life, it’s the Numax XV range that is the battery of choice for many enthusiasts.

The 11-model range provides enthusiast with a multitude of choice starting from the 75 Ah XV23 to the range topping to 235 Ah XV80. All versions combine a large starting current, which is usually only found in a starter battery, with a very high cyclic capacity (the ability to be charged, discharged and charged again) that is normally associated with a conventional leisure battery.

The range is manufactured using state-of-the-art plate design, semi-traction paste, envelope construction and gas recombination technology, which means that they will last substantially longer than a conventional flooded leisure battery. As a result, every Numax XV battery comes with a three-year guarantee.

Naturally, all XV batteries come with ergonomically designed carrying handles for ease of handling, dual terminals for both clamp and screw lead connection, battery condition ‘windows’ to show the battery’s state of charge, and maintenance free sealed cells for maximum safety and convenience.

With a range as extensive as the XV family, Numax has now made a clear distinction within the range to help users identify the ‘best of the best’. By setting apart the XV 24 and 35 and naming them XV Plus, consumers can easily identify the two most powerful options that are available in the two ‘standard’ battery case sizes of 257mm x 172mm and 330mm x 172mm.

Alongside Numax, Manbat Ltd, the owner of the Numax brand also offers the Lucas Leisure range, which although broadly comparable to the Numax range does include an even more powerful alternative for those that need the ultimate leisure battery.

The Lucas Traction XC range provides a higher peak capacity as well as an increased initial capacity, which it achieves through its fortified plate construction. Other benefits include a full deep cycle capacity and improved cyclic life, along with an enhanced recharge ability.

The Best Just Got Better!

GROUPAUTO members will be pleased to hear that Manbat, the UK’s leading automotive battery distributor, has launched its latest product directory in the form of the 2013/14 Lucas Battery Catalogue, which is the first edition to be completely designed and compiled by Manbat.

The high quality publication is produced in full colour throughout and each Lucas battery product group – automotive, commercial vehicle & agricultural, industrial, golf, motorcycle, leisure & marine, mobility and emergency standby power (fire, security & electrical systems) – is superbly presented with colour photographs and a detailed description of the specifications, benefits and applications that are most appropriate to that particular group of batteries.

In order to ensure that members specify the correct battery to their customers, there is also a comprehensive model-by-model application list that covers almost 300 manufacturers across each of the Lucas battery product groups.

A detailed product specification section that provides full details of battery dimensions, terminal size and terminal orientation, is followed by important COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) information, to ensure the safe transportation and storage of batteries.

However, the comprehensive publication is more than a simple product catalogue, it’s a complete battery specification and application guide and therefore provides members with an easy-to-use reference tool. Manbat has applied its unrivalled battery knowledge to produce a publication that covers every aspect of battery specification so the batteries are listed by vehicle make and model, battery capacity, type and case size.

Also featured are sections focusing on battery characteristics and fault diagnosis, battery testing procedures, health and safety information, CCA testing with digital testers and Manbat’s environmental policy.

One of the most important subjects covered however is that of battery scrap and recycling. In this section members can find out how Manbat can help them with their battery waste management and where Manbat fits in the ECOBAT Technologies group.

Being part of this organisation, allows Manbat to adopt its closed recycling loop policy, which ensures that the waste batteries it collects are 99.97% recycled, and the lead content refined and fed back into the lead battery industry for the production of new batteries thus, completing the loop.

To accompany this excellent publication, Manbat has also produced a range of point-of-sales (POS) material to inform members and their customers to the depth of the range and the many practical applications that the products are compatible with.

Myles Pemberton, Manbat’s marketing manager said: “The full Lucas battery range is manufactured to an extremely high quality and it caters for the entire power storage sector. It is therefore important that we support the range with a superb catalogue and we are confident that this new product sets new standards for this type of publication.”

Battery Training Matters!

Manbat is the UK’s largest battery distributor and the brands in its portfolio – VARTA®, Lucas and Numax – satisfy all the requirements for quality, performance, range and value that both CAAR members and their workshop customers demand.

Manbat is also a very active supply partner that is committed to the task of working with individual members in order to help them sell more batteries and subsequently increase their profits.

Battery training is a vital part of this process and Manbat therefore offer on-site training that is tailored to cover the specific requirements of the business. However, generic training starts with a basic knowledge-based programme aimed at defining the relevant terminology such as CCA (Cold Cranking in Amperes), Ah (Ampere Hour) capacity, battery type (VRLA, GEL AGM) and battery characteristics (starting, cyclic etc.).

“Effective training will ensure that factors, garages and retailers make the most of their battery sales,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “and that begins by making sure they supply their respective customers with the most suitable battery for the purpose.

“That is why it is risky just to assume that a direct like-for-like replacement is the correct solution for the application. In many cases the incorrect battery could have been previously fitted and therefore the correct procedure is to use an application guide such as the Numax Application Guide or Lucas Battery Catalogue, to check the battery is the correct for that particular vehicle.

“There is however an opportunity to upgrade the battery when a unit of a higher specification is more suitable for the vehicle and how it is being used and training helps our customers match the most appropriate battery to each particular application and allows them the opportunity to explain why cheaper is not necessarily better.

“Battery testing is a valuable service for garages to offer their customers, but it can also reveal a great deal about any underlying fault that may have caused the battery to fail. Many companies will simply replace a failed battery without any diagnosis of why a perfectly good battery may have lasted only a matter of months.

“Manbat by contrast will train technicians to address these matters with sound battery testing procedures, because they know that good diagnosis both saves the customer money and helps to build their own reputation for customer service.

“Our training will also help technicians to carry out battery work on the growing number of vehicles that are fitted with Start-Stop technology. These vehicles use AGM or EFB batteries and require specific training and specialist tools such as the VARTA® Start-Stop Service Program (VSSP 2.0) device, in order to be serviced and repaired correctly.

“The training also tackles the subject of waste management by ensuring that customers know that they can make a profit from waste batteries and by encouraging them to offer their retail trade customers an exchange service for their old batteries, which in turn also helps the environment.”

This approach, in conjunction with a superb portfolio of brands and products ensures that rather than being seen as mere a box shifter, its customers look upon Manbat as a problem solver, providing all manner of power storage solutions.

Manbat – Battery Training Matters!

Manbat is the UK’s largest battery distributor and the brands in its portfolio – VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, – satisfy all the requirements for quality, performance, range and value that both UAN members and their workshop customers demand.

Manbat is also a very active supply partner that is committed to the task of working with individual members in order to help them sell more batteries and subsequently increase their profits.

Battery training is a vital part of this process and Manbat therefore offer on-site training that is tailored to cover the specific requirements of the business. However, generic training starts with a basic knowledge-based programme aimed at defining the relevant terminology such as CCA (Cold Cranking in Amperes), Ah (Ampere Hour) capacity, battery type (VRLA, GEL AGM) and battery characteristics (starting, cyclic etc.).

“Effective training will ensure that factors, garages and retailers make the most of their battery sales,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “and that begins by making sure they supply their respective customers with the most suitable battery for the purpose.

“That is why it is risky just to assume that a direct like-for-like replacement is the correct solution for the application. In many cases the incorrect battery could have been previously fitted and therefore the correct procedure is to use an application guide such as the Numax Application Guide or Lucas Battery Catalogue, to check the battery is the correct for that particular vehicle.

“There is however an opportunity to upgrade the battery when a unit of a higher specification is more suitable for the vehicle and how it is being used and training helps our customers match the most appropriate battery to each particular application and allows them the opportunity to explain why cheaper is not necessarily better.

“Battery testing is a valuable service for garages to offer their customers, but it can also reveal a great deal about any underlying fault that may have caused the battery to fail. Many companies will simply replace a failed battery without any diagnosis of why a perfectly good battery may have lasted only a matter of months.

“Manbat by contrast will train technicians to address these matters with sound battery testing procedures, because they know that good diagnosis both saves the customer money and helps to build their own reputation for customer service.

“Our training will also help technicians to carry out battery work on the growing number of vehicles that are fitted with Start-Stop technology. These vehicles use AGM or EFB batteries and require specific training and specialist tools such as the VARTA® Start-Stop Service Program (VSSP 2.0) device, in order to be serviced and repaired correctly.

“The training also tackles the subject of waste management by ensuring that customers know that they can make a profit from waste batteries and by encouraging them to offer their retail trade customers an exchange service for their old batteries, which in turn also helps the environment.”

This approach, in conjunction with a superb portfolio of brands and products ensures that rather than being seen as mere a box shifter, its customers look upon Manbat as a problem solver, providing all manner of power storage solutions.

A Premier Supplier For A Premier Show

Manbat, the UK’s largest battery distributor, will make another appearance at Naidex National, the industry’s premier trade show, by exhibiting at the event held at NEC, Birmingham 30th April – 2nd May 2013.

The company will again be supporting its many mobility battery wholesalers and suppliers, while also representing its key brands: Sonnenschein, for which it is a key UK distributor and Lucas, for which it is the sole UK distributor.

They will, of course, be exhibiting the latest additions from both of these quality manufacturers, but another important element in their participation in the show is to ensure that interested visitors know where to go locally to find a supplier of these highly regarded brands.

Sonnenschein GEL batteries are widely acknowledged to be the ‘gold standard’ batteries for the mobility sector and are the preferred product for the National Health Service and private medical providers alike. The range caters for multiple applications and encompasses capacities from 15 to 200 Ampere hour (Ah) and provides the ultimate in mobility battery performance.

In Lucas, Manbat offers a high quality AGM alternative to the Sonnenschein GEL range, which also provides users with fully sealed and maintenance free technology, with extra deep cycle (the ability to charge, discharge and charge again) capability.

Manbat also plan to use the show to launch its latest product; the Lucas Super GEL range, which will set new standards in the Lucas mobility range.

Supporting these quality batteries, Manbat will also display its comprehensive range of battery chargers, which include its own Numax ‘connect+forget’® models and the market leading CTEK brand. All of these chargers incorporate smart design and intelligent technology, which means that they manage the battery’s charging process and can be left attached virtually indefinitely without harm to the battery being charged.

A Premier Supplier For A Premier Show

Manbat, the UK’s largest battery distributor, will make another appearance at Naidex National to support its many mobility battery wholesalers and suppliers, while also representing its key brands: Sonnenschein and Lucas.

As well as exhibiting the latest additions from both of these quality manufacturers, another important element is to ensure that interested visitors know where to go locally to find a supplier of these highly regarded brands.

Manbat also plan to use the show to launch its latest product; the Lucas Super GEL range, which will set new standards in the Lucas mobility range.

Manbat

UAN members will be given a warm welcome to the Manbat stand at both the Madejski Stadium in Reading and at Lancashire County Cricket Club when they come to see the latest from its three premier brands: VARTA®, Lucas and Numax.

Although many will be well aware of the quality of these brands and the reputation for first class service that Manbat has throughout the aftermarket, there may be some that have not yet had the opportunity to experience this first hand, or are unfamiliar with the latest vehicle technology and what impact it will have on their customers.

The UAN Shows are the perfect place for members to get to know the Manbat team and get the inside track on the implications of this technology and how to help their customers gear up to face the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Manbat is also offering members a special show discount of 5% off every purchase made during the combined events.

WHO IS MANBAT?

Specialist Battery Distribution

Manbat is the UK’s largest distributor of automotive derived batteries and related stored energy products, and at Naidex National, which runs from 30th April to 2nd May, it will be supporting its many mobility battery wholesalers and suppliers visiting the industry’s premier trade show at NEC, Birmingham.

Although some visitors may not be familiar with the name of Manbat, they are sure to know the Sonnenschein brand of batteries for which Manbat is a key UK distributor and Lucas, a brand that is solely distributed throughout the UK by Manbat.

Naturally, Manbat will be exhibiting the latest additions from both of these quality manufacturers, but another important element in their participation in the show is to ensure that interested visitors know where to go in their locality to find a supplier of either one of these highly regarded brands.

Sonnenschein GEL batteries are widely acknowledged to be the ‘gold standard’ batteries for the mobility sector and are the preferred product for the National Health Service and private medical providers alike. The range caters for multiple applications and encompasses capacities from 15 to 200 Ampere hour (Ah) and provides the ultimate in mobility battery performance.

In Lucas, Manbat offer a high quality AGM alternative to the Sonnenschein GEL range, which also provides users with fully sealed and maintenance free technology, with extra deep cycle (the ability to charge, discharge and charge again) capability.

Supporting these quality batteries, Manbat will also display its comprehensive range of battery chargers, which include its own Numax ‘connect+forget’® models and the market leading CTEK brand. All of these chargers feature smart design and intelligent technology, which means that they manage the battery’s charging process and can be left attached virtually indefinitely to ensure the battery performs to its best.

Exhibiting in hall 19 on stand E104 and the Manbat team will be delighted to meet any visitor wishing to discuss their mobility battery requirements or find their nearest stockist.

Manbat is a member of the ECOBAT Technologies group, which comprises lead smelting, the manufacture of lead products for the building industry, battery collection, recycling and waste management and of course, battery distribution.

SONNENSCHEIN

The First Name In Mobility Batteries

For those that rely on powered vehicles or mobility equipment to aid them in their daily lives, ensuring that they also have a reliable power source for the equipment isn’t just useful; it’s an absolute necessity.

Manbat is proud to be the mobility sector’s largest supplier of Sonnenschein GEL batteries, which are widely regarded to be the premium battery brand for the mobility and healthcare sectors.

The range provides users with a completely maintenance-free battery that uses an electrolyte made from a gel formulation, which means that it is safe, robust and reliable, and cannot spill or leak.

Available in 6 or 12-volt versions and with capacities from 15 to 200 Ampere hour (Ah), the range caters for multiple applications and provides the ultimate solution for virtually all the sectors stored power requirements.

It’s little wonder therefore that Sonnenschein batteries are the preferred product for the National Health Service and private medical providers alike.

For more information about Sonnenschein batteries, or to find your nearest stockist, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

LUCAS MOBILITY BATTERIES

Quality & Range From A Great British Name

Lucas is a brand that many show visitors will instantly recognise and trust, as it has a long and proud history across many sectors.

Powered wheelchairs and scooters are only as reliable as the source of power driving them and with Lucas that power source is tested, guaranteed and quality assured to BS EN ISO9001: 2000 certification.

Every battery in the Lucas range is a quality product, manufactured to the most exacting standards and users can relax in the knowledge that it won’t let them down.

Lucas mobility batteries are designed to deliver up to 30% more deep cycling capacity (the ability to be charged, discharged and charged again) than many other standard mobility batteries. This makes them a reliable source of power and enables users to enjoy more trips over a longer lifespan.

Also, every battery is completely maintenance free and totally sealed, so there is no possibility of spillage and is therefore safe to transport.

With a broad variety of voltages and capacities in the range, Lucas mobility batteries gives users the choice they need to cater for any number of powered wheelchair, electric scooter, lift or hoist requirements and provides the power to suit their individual lifestyles.

For details of the Lucas mobility battery range, or to find your nearest stockist, please visit www.manbat.co.uk or call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500

NUMAX BATTERY CHARGERS

Maintaining The Power

Choosing the best battery to power vital mobility equipment is only half of the story because without a good quality charging system it’s ultimately worth nothing.

Good quality mobility batteries are designed to deliver deep cycle performance over a long service life, which means that although they can be almost completely discharged after prolonged use, they can be recharged and restored to a fully charged state ready to be discharged again. However, users need to rely on a quality battery charger designed for the purpose to sufficiently charge these batteries to get the best results.

The Numax ‘connect + forget’® range provides users with the solution. Designed specifically for charging, and importantly maintaining a battery, Numax chargers boast ‘deep discharge recovery’ and ‘fast cycle charging’ features alongside their long term battery maintenance function.

This means that they quickly and efficiently charge discharged or part discharged batteries, but also convert automatically from ‘charge’ to ‘maintenance’ mode once the charging cycle is complete. As a result, Numax chargers can be connected indefinitely, without damage to the battery or danger to the unit, and that the battery is always ready for use and in optimum condition.

MANBAT AND BEN WORKING TOGETHER

Practical Charity Support

Over the last few years Manbat, the UK’s largest battery distributor has been supporting BEN, the UK’s primary motor trade benevolent charity by providing its beneficiaries with a new replacement when the existing battery used to power their mobility equipment fails.

BEN is a national charity that operates from offices in Ascot, Birmingham and Scotland with ten welfare officers working across the regions. Its welfare beneficiaries use more than 700 battery powered mobility products and in addition to the individual welfare cases, BEN also requires batteries for its residential care centres.

As Manbat is a genuinely national distributor with multiple branches across the length and breadth of the country, it is particularly geared to be able to quickly respond to the need irrespective of where it arises. However, being a business that is also based on traditional values of support and care for one another, its overriding desire is to do its bit to try to improve the lives of those who need support.

Commenting on the on-going arrangement Fiona Gorman, BEN’s head of welfare said: “The impact of what Manbat does for us has been enormous. In common with many charity organisations we are being asked to help more people every year, in fact last year the number of beneficiaries increased by 10%.

“However, not only does the free battery service help us financially, but the whole process has been made so easy. Instead of having to find the right battery and carry the cost, we simply call Manbat and the new battery is delivered.

“It’s made such a difference to the lives of our beneficiaries, it’s amazing!”

For Manbat marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, said: “BEN is close to our hearts because unfortunately all too many people from within the automotive sector find themselves having to rely on their expert care. We are therefore really pleased to hear that what we are doing is playing a part in making the lives of those in need just that little bit easier.

“The world of business today can be so all-consuming that it’s very easy to lose the perspective and concentrate only on what drives the bottom line. However, by working with BEN it helps us to focus the mind on the bigger picture and realise we should all be helping one another for the welfare of everyone.”

Manbat Launch New Website

Manbat is proud to announce to GROUPAUTO members the launch of its new website, which is designed to engage visitors and quickly provide them with detailed information about the company, the services it can provide, the products it supplies and its parent company, Eco-Bat Technologies.

The site will go live in April and as well as providing information in these key areas, members can also simply find the nearest branch within its twelve branch national distribution network or view the company’s latest news and developments.

Adopting Manbat’s revised company imagery and incorporating its new ‘The Difference Is Clear’ strapline, members will only need to glance at the home page to clearly find their destination from the seven main headings, allowing easy navigation. These areas: Company, Markets, The Brands, Media, Information, Marketing and Contact, allow members to access the specific information they need with the minimum number of ‘clicks’.

As result the site provides members with a single point to discover that Manbat not only supplements their automotive range with commercial vehicle batteries, but with batteries for the motorcycle, leisure, marine, golf, mobility and industrial sectors too. With a portfolio of brands that include VARTA®, Lucas, Numax, Odyssey, Optima, Sonnenschein and US Batteries, members can be assured that every need has the perfect solution.

Under the ‘Information’ heading members can update themselves with Manbat’s scrap battery policy or with its warranty details. It is here that they can also find vital technical information and the details of its ‘closed loop’ recycling policy, which allows members to see how the company can assure its customers of its environmental credentials in that the entire recycling process is contained within the Eco-Bat Technologies group of companies and how the process ensures that 99.7% of each scrap battery it collects is recycled.

There are also links to some of the other company’s within the group, notably BPS, a business Manbat acquired in late 2011 as part of its strategy to grow its industrial battery presence.

Members will also be able to download Point-Of-Sale material such as the recent posters, headers and A4 leaflets for both the Lucas and Numax brands and which were promoting their respective automotive, CV, leisure and marine ranges. In addition there is a comprehensive range of product catalogues and other promotional material, and to ensure peace-of-mind, there is also a detailed product application guide to ensure the correct battery is specified for the purpose.

Even the media is catered for with an area dedicated to the press, which contains press releases, news stories and feature articles relating to the company.

In addition to power storage products, Manbat is also the first place for members to come for their associated accessories. So if the need is for state-of-the-art Numax ‘connect+forget’® battery chargers, solar panels, DC/AC current inverters, battery boxes or battery protectors, a visit to this new site is guaranteed to provide the answer.

www.manbat.co.uk

Manbat is proud to announce the launch of its new website, which is designed to engage visitors and quickly provide them with detailed information about the company, the services it can provide, the products it supplies and its parent company, ECOBAT Technologies.

The site is now live and as well as providing information in these key areas, visitors can also simply find the nearest branch within its twelve branch national distribution network or view the company’s latest news and developments.

Adopting Manbat’s revised company imagery and incorporating its new ‘The Difference Is Clear’ strapline, visitors need only to glance at the home page to clearly find their destination from the seven main headings, allowing easy navigation. These areas: Company, Markets, The Brands, Media, Information, Marketing and Contact, allow them to access the specific information they need with the minimum number of ‘clicks’.

As result the site provides visitors with a single point to discover that Manbat not only supplements their automotive range with commercial vehicle batteries, but with batteries for the motorcycle, leisure, marine, golf, mobility and industrial sectors too. With a portfolio of brands that include VARTA®, Lucas, Numax, Odyssey, Optima, Sonnenschein and US Batteries, customers can be assured that every need has the perfect solution.

Under the ‘Information’ heading visitors can update themselves with Manbat’s scrap battery policy or with its warranty details. It is here that they can also find vital technical information and the details of its ‘closed recycling loop’ policy, which allows them to see how the company can assure its customers of its environmental credentials in that the entire recycling process is contained within the ECOBAT Technologies group of companies and how the process ensures that 99.97% of each scrap battery it collects is recycled.

There are also links to some of the other company’s within the group, notably BPS, a business Manbat acquired in late 2011 as part of its strategy to grow its industrial battery presence.

Customers can also download Point-Of-Sale material such as the recent posters, headers and A4 leaflets for both the Lucas and Numax brands, which were promoting their respective automotive, CV, leisure and marine ranges. In addition there is a comprehensive range of product catalogues and other promotional material, and to ensure peace-of-mind, there is also a detailed product application guide to ensure the correct battery is specified for the purpose.

Even the media is catered for with an area dedicated to the press, which contains press releases, news stories and feature articles relating to the company.

In addition to power storage products, Manbat is also the first place for visitors to come for their associated accessories. So if the need is for state-of-the-art Numax ‘connect+forget’® battery chargers, solar panels, DC/AC current inverters, battery boxes or battery protectors, a visit to this new site is guaranteed to provide the answer.

Battery Training Matters!

Manbat is the UK’s largest battery distributor and the brands in its portfolio – VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, – satisfy all the requirements for quality, performance, range and value that both GROUPAUTO members and their workshop customers demand.

Manbat is also a very active supply partner that is committed to the task of working with individual members in order to help them sell more batteries and subsequently increase their profits.

Battery training is a vital part of this process and Manbat therefore offer on-site training that is tailored to cover the specific requirements of the business. However, generic training starts with a basic knowledge-based programme aimed at defining the relevant terminology such as CCA (Cold Cranking in Amperes), Ah (Ampere Hour) capacity, battery type (VRLA, GEL AGM) and battery characteristics (starting, cyclic etc.).

“Effective training will ensure that factors, garages and retailers make the most of their battery sales,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “and that begins by making sure they supply their respective customers with the most suitable battery for the purpose.

“That is why it is risky just to assume that a direct like-for-like replacement is the correct solution for the application. In many cases the incorrect battery could have been previously fitted and therefore the correct procedure is to use an application guide such as the Numax Application Guide or Lucas Battery Catalogue, to check the battery is the correct for that particular vehicle.

“There is however an opportunity to upgrade the battery when a unit of a higher specification is more suitable for the vehicle and how it is being used and training helps our customers match the most appropriate battery to each particular application and allows them the opportunity to explain why cheaper is not necessarily better.

“Battery testing is a valuable service for garages to offer their customers, but it can also reveal a great deal about any underlying fault that may have caused the battery to fail. Many companies will simply replace a failed battery without any diagnosis of why a perfectly good battery may have lasted only a matter of months.

“Manbat by contrast will train technicians to address these matters with sound battery testing procedures, because they know that good diagnosis both saves the customer money and helps to build their own reputation for customer service.

“Our training will also help technicians to carry out battery work on the growing number of vehicles that are fitted with Start-Stop technology. These vehicles use AGM or EFB batteries and require specific training and specialist tools such as the VARTA® Start-Stop Service Program (VSSP 2.0) device, in order to be serviced and repaired correctly.

“The training also tackles the subject of waste management by ensuring that customers know that they can make a profit from waste batteries and by encouraging them to offer their retail trade customers an exchange service for their old batteries, which in turn also helps the environment.”

This approach, in conjunction with a superb portfolio of brands and products ensures that rather than being seen as mere a box shifter, its customers look upon Manbat as a problem solver, providing all manner of power storage solutions.

Manbat Launch New Website

Manbat is proud to announce to CAAR members the launch of its new website, which is designed to engage visitors and quickly provide them with detailed information about the company, the services it can provide, the products it supplies and its parent company, Eco-Bat Technologies.

The site is now live and as well as providing information in these key areas, members can also simply find the nearest branch within its twelve branch national distribution network or view the company’s latest news and developments.

Adopting Manbat’s revised company imagery and incorporating its new ‘The Difference Is Clear’ strapline, members only need to glance at the home page to clearly find their destination from the seven main headings, allowing easy navigation. These areas: Company, Markets, The Brands, Media, Information, Marketing and Contact, allow members to access the specific information they need with the minimum number of ‘clicks’.

As result the site provides members with a single point to discover that Manbat not only supplements their automotive range with commercial vehicle batteries, but with batteries for the motorcycle, leisure, marine, golf, mobility and industrial sectors too. With a portfolio of brands that include VARTA®, Lucas, Numax, Odyssey, Optima, Sonnenschein and US Batteries, members can be assured that every need has the perfect solution.

Under the ‘Information’ heading members can update themselves with Manbat’s scrap battery policy or with its warranty details. It is here that they can also find vital technical information and the details of its ‘closed loop’ recycling policy, which allows members to see how the company can assure its customers of its environmental credentials in that the entire recycling process is contained within the ECOBAT Technologies group of companies and how the process ensures that 99.97% of each scrap battery it collects is recycled.

There are also links to some of the other company’s within the group, notably BPS, a business Manbat acquired in late 2011 as part of its strategy to grow its industrial battery presence.

Members are able to download Point-Of-Sale material such as the recent posters, headers and A4 leaflets for both the Lucas and Numax brands and which were promoting their respective automotive, CV, leisure and marine ranges. In addition there is a comprehensive range of product catalogues and other promotional material, and to ensure peace-of-mind, there is also a detailed product application guide to ensure the correct battery is specified for the purpose.

Even the media is catered for with an area dedicated to the press, which contains press releases, news stories and feature articles relating to the company.

In addition to power storage products, Manbat is also the first place for members to come for their associated accessories. So if the need is for state-of-the-art Numax ‘connect+forget’® battery chargers, solar panels, DC/AC current inverters, battery boxes or battery protectors, a visit to this new site is guaranteed to provide the answer.

Battery Training Matters!

Manbat is the UK’s largest battery distributor and the brands in its portfolio – VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, – satisfy all the requirements for quality, performance, range and value that both factors and workshops demand.

Manbat is also a very active supply partner that is committed to the task of working with individual customers in order to help them sell more batteries and subsequently increase their profits.

Battery training is a vital part of this process and Manbat therefore offer on-site training that is tailored to cover the specific requirements of the business. However, generic training starts with a basic knowledge-based programme aimed at defining the relevant terminology such as CCA (Cold Cranking in Amperes), Ah (Ampere Hour) capacity, battery type (VRLA, GEL AGM) and battery characteristics (starting, cyclic etc.).

“Effective training will ensure that factors, garages and retailers make the most of their battery sales,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “and that begins by making sure they supply their respective customers with the most suitable battery for the purpose.

“That is why it is risky just to assume that a direct like-for-like replacement is the correct solution for the application. In many cases the incorrect battery could have been previously fitted and therefore the correct procedure is to use an application guide such as the Numax Application Guide or Lucas Battery Catalogue, to check the battery is the correct for that particular vehicle.

“There is however an opportunity to upgrade the battery when a unit of a higher specification is more suitable for the vehicle and how it is being used and training helps our customers match the most appropriate battery to each particular application and allows them the opportunity to explain why cheaper is not necessarily better.

“Battery testing is a valuable service for garages to offer their customers, but it can also reveal a great deal about any underlying fault that may have caused the battery to fail. Many companies will simply replace a failed battery without any diagnosis of why a perfectly good battery may have lasted only a matter of months.

“Manbat by contrast will train technicians to address these matters with sound battery testing procedures, because they know that good diagnosis both saves the customer money and helps to build their own reputation for customer service.

“Our training will also help technicians to carry out battery work on the growing number of vehicles that are fitted with Start-Stop technology. These vehicles use AGM or EFB batteries and require specific training and specialist tools such as the VARTA® Start-Stop Service Program (VSSP 2.0) device, in order to be serviced and repaired correctly.

“The training also tackles the subject of waste management by ensuring that customers know that they can make a profit from waste batteries and by encouraging them to offer their retail trade customers an exchange service for their old batteries, which in turn also helps the environment.”

This approach, in conjunction with a superb portfolio of brands and products ensures that rather than being seen as mere a box shifter, its customers look upon Manbat as a problem solver, providing all manner of power storage solutions.

Manbat – Battery Training Matters!

Manbat is the UK’s largest battery distributor and the brands in its portfolio – VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, – satisfy all the requirements for quality, performance, range and value that both factors and workshops demand.

Manbat is also a very active supply partner that is committed to the task of working with individual customers in order to help them sell more batteries and subsequently increase their profits.

Battery training is a vital part of this process and Manbat therefore offer on-site training that is tailored to cover the specific requirements of the business. However, generic training starts with a basic knowledge-based programme aimed at defining the relevant terminology such as CCA (Cold Cranking in Amperes), Ah (Ampere Hour) capacity, battery type (VRLA, GEL AGM) and battery characteristics (starting, cyclic etc.).

“Effective training will ensure that factors, garages and retailers make the most of their battery sales,” says marketing manager, Myles Pemberton, “and that begins by making sure they supply their respective customers with the most suitable battery for the purpose.

“That is why it is risky just to assume that a direct like-for-like replacement is the correct solution for the application. In many cases the incorrect battery could have been previously fitted and therefore the correct procedure is to use an application guide such as the Numax Application Guide or Lucas Battery Catalogue, to check the battery is the correct for that particular vehicle.

“There is however an opportunity to upgrade the battery when a unit of a higher specification is more suitable for the vehicle and how it is being used and training helps our customers match the most appropriate battery to each particular application and allows them the opportunity to explain why cheaper is not necessarily better.

“Battery testing is a valuable service for garages to offer their customers, but it can also reveal a great deal about any underlying fault that may have caused the battery to fail. Many companies will simply replace a failed battery without any diagnosis of why a perfectly good battery may have lasted only a matter of months.

“Manbat by contrast will train technicians to address these matters with sound battery testing procedures, because they know that good diagnosis both saves the customer money and helps to build their own reputation for customer service.

“Our training will also help technicians to carry out battery work on the growing number of vehicles that are fitted with Start-Stop technology. These vehicles use AGM or EFB batteries and require specific training and specialist tools such as the VARTA® Start-Stop Service Program (VSSP 2.0) device, in order to be serviced and repaired correctly.

“The training also tackles the subject of waste management by ensuring that customers know that they can make a profit from waste batteries and by encouraging them to offer their retail trade customers an exchange service for their old batteries, which in turn also helps the environment.”

This approach, in conjunction with a superb portfolio of brands and products ensures that rather than being seen as mere a box shifter, its customers look upon Manbat as a problem solver, providing all manner of power storage solutions.

Manbat Industrial/BPS/G & P Batteries

Following its acquisition of Battery Power Systems (BPS) in late 2011, Manbat has been working intensively with the BPS team to further develop their combined industrial battery presence. With more than 27 years of sales and service expertise BPS is able to offer both the materials handling and floor care sectors a well-tailored package solution, rather than simply selling replacement batteries.

As a result, IMHX 2013 has been selected as the ideal event to debut not only BPS/Manbat’s industrial business, but also sister company G & P Batteries, with a shared stand under their parent company’s ECOBAT Technologies group banner.

ECOBAT Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead, annually converting millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of the world’s largest battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through BPS/Manbat Industrial’s comprehensive branch network.

Working alongside G & P Batteries, BPS/Manbat Industrial is able to offer its industrial battery and floor care customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all its customers’ environmental responsibilities are fulfilled and certified.

One of BPS/Manbat Industrial’s primary messages for IMHX is for industrial battery buyers to put quality before price. This principle will pay dividends over the long-term as a cheap low quality product will simply not stand up to the rigours of everyday use like a quality battery. Put plainly, although it may cost a little more, a quality battery will last a lot longer.

Both TAB, one of the leading manufacturers and innovators of lead acid and Gel traction products and S.P.E Electronica, who manufacture an extensive range of 50Hz and high frequency battery chargers, are whole heartedly in support of the growth of BPS/Manbat Industrial. Both manufacturers were brought together by BPS to offer a bespoke solution that ensures the customer’s requirements and correct application are matched to provide the solution that reduces the cost of ownership.

Where the assimilation work done with BPS during 2012 has really come to the fore to provide particular benefits to its customers is in the additional support that it is now able to offer them. As a result, in addition to the quality products that it can supply and the responsible disposal process it provides, BPS/Manbat Industrial can offer them a full battery management programme.

The programme encompasses everything from the original assessment of the customer’s battery requirements, through product maintenance planning, to the eventual battery replacement. This programme maximises the lifespan of each battery and delivers the most cost-effective solution to the customer’s battery needs.

ECOBAT Technologies

ECOBAT is the world’s largest producer of lead, which is processed through its 13 lead facilities located strategically across the globe. More than 80% of its total lead production comes from recycled lead and this means that it annually converts literally thousands of tons of lead waste into high quality lead products such as ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelting operations.

Globally, within the wider ECOBAT Technologies group there are several individual businesses that specialise in areas that complement ECOBAT’s core lead smelting origins. Therefore, there are those that produce lead products such as rolled lead sheet products, which are primarily used in the construction industry, others like Manbat that distribute finished products to a multitude of business sectors and still others like G & P Batteries, that concentrate on the collection and disassemble of products that contain lead.

This spread of businesses allows ECOBAT Technologies to operate a ‘closed recycling loop’ for lead acid batteries, which operates in the following way.

Among ECOBAT’s many customers are a number of large-scale battery manufacturers and these companies purchase lead in the form of ingots, which they then process to form the plates that go into their batteries. Their finished products are then distributed nationally through BPS/Manbat Industrial’s comprehensive branch network to wholesalers and battery specialists who in turn need a legitimate outlet for the waste batteries they collect from their customers.

These scrap batteries are collected by G & P Batteries, the country’s leading waste battery collection specialist, who dismantle the batteries into their core elements, the lead from which goes back into the lead smelting process. However, it is not just the lead that is recycled: the sulphuric acid from the battery’s electrolyte is converted into gypsum for the construction industry and the cases are reprocessed into polypropylene, which is a highly sought after element for many industries.

By working alongside its sister company G & P Batteries, BPS/Manbat Industrial is able to offer its industrial battery and floor care customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all its customers’ environmental responsibilities are fulfilled and certified.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT Technologies group is able to close the environmental loop.

A Lifetime Of Experience

Manbat Ltd is the UK’s largest distributor of batteries for the automotive, commercial vehicle, leisure and marine sectors, as well as being at the forefront of the mobility, motorcycle and golf markets. Its acquisition of Battery Power Systems (BPS) has now also established itself as a major player in the industrial battery sector.

Originally founded in 1952 as Manchester Batteries by Harry Pemberton and located at Turnpike Cottages in Abergele, South Wales, the business remained in the Pemberton family until 2009 and during that period the company grew steadily, establishing itself as a business committed to providing its customers with top quality products backed up by exceptional customer service. Despite the passing of 60 years, Manbat’s reputation for quality and service remains undiminished.

In 2009 Roger Pemberton retired as Manbat’s managing director and Steve Sheppard took the helm as the company started a new era under the ownership of the ECOBAT Technologies group.

As part of this global organisation, Manbat has been able to expand its operation even more rapidly and add new elements to the business that have continued to benefit its customers. Two notable examples include its move into a 3,000m2 distribution centre in Shrewsbury, which has ensured excellent product availability and the BPS acquisition mentioned earlier.

When it comes to the products in its range, few companies can even come close to the quality, availability or variety of brands it offers. So in addition to VARTA® for which it is the UK’s primary distributor, Manbat also supplies its own brand, Numax as well as Lucas, Sonnenschein, US Battery, Odyssey, Optima, and now through BPS, the TAB brand.

Manbat introduced the Numax name in 2002 and over the last decade the brand has become a significant player within the automotive sector whilst also establishing itself as the UK’s premier range of leisure and marine batteries. The Numax commitment to original equipment standard production coupled with the buying power of being a major European player, allows Manbat to offer a comprehensive range of good quality batteries at extremely competitive prices.

Manbat is also the sole UK distributor for Lucas batteries and it has been instrumental in the revival of the brand that has taken place since it won the distribution contract in 2009. As a trusted partner, Manbat was also responsible for the recent rebranding of the range.

In short, Manbat provides a complete range of products that can cater for every conceivable power storage requirement. In addition to this unchallenged level of battery supply, it offers sound advice, reliable waste collection, environmentally responsible recycling processes and excellent marketing support, with a level of customer service that only an established business with a great reputation can offer.

When Equipment Reliability Counts

Industrial battery manufacturer TAB is another of Manbat Industrial’s distribution partners and together they ensure that these high quality products, which are the ideal solution for the demands of the materials handling industry, are just a phone call away. Established in 1965, TAB now manufactures more than 1.2 million industrial cells annually.

The relationship with TAB was originally initiated with Battery Power Systems (BPS), but this longstanding partnership has taken a further step forward now that BPS is the leading company within Manbat’s growing industrial battery division.

The industrial battery market is broadly split into three segments: materials handling, which comprises of power pallet trucks, counterbalance, reach trucks and VNA; access equipment such as general-purpose scissor lifts and cherry pickers; and floor care machinery. The smaller machines will generally use multiple 6-volt & 12-volt ‘traction mono-bloc’ batteries, which range from 25 – 400 amp/h in capacity. When full traction is required TAB offer a comprehensive range of wet lead acid and gel cells in British Standard and DIN sizes, in addition we offer PzRM waterless cells, which allows the application freedom of up to 120 cycles between topping and ATEX flame proof and zoned cells.

TAB industrial batteries are engineered to provide an extremely high level of performance under deep discharge and heavy duty cycling conditions, which is the norm in the demanding forklift sector. Employing fortified plate construction, TAB industrial batteries provide a high peak capacity and increased initial capacity, while still returning an enhanced ability to recharge, which is particularly suitable for these demanding markets.

In addition to the batteries themselves, BPS/Manbat Industrial also supplies power storage accessories such as chargers and ‘auto-fill’ automated distilled water top-up systems, which prove invaluable in busy warehouse environments.

Industrial Batteries To Rely On

Manbat is the exclusive distributor of the US Battery range for the UK, which means that businesses in need of quality industrial batteries for floor sweepers and scrubbers, lifts and access equipment or similar heavy duty applications need to make Manbat their first port of call.

There are several design features that set US Battery products apart and make them particularly suitable for industrial usage. Naturally the quality of their manufacture and the materials used in the process ensure that each battery is of the highest standards. However, the Diamond Plate Technology® that is integral to the XC Xtreme Capacity range, is the key to the power and the deep cycling capacity they are capable of delivering.

Without going into the minutiae of the processes adopted by US Battery during manufacture, the Diamond Plate Technology allows it to ensure a uniformly fine crystal structure throughout the plate structure, which provides enhanced performance, charging and increases the battery’s lifespan.

Manbat is therefore keen to encourage industrial battery buyers to put quality before price and consider the US Battery XC range when replacing their existing batteries. This principle will pay dividends over the long-term as a cheap low quality product will simply not be able to stand up to the rigours of everyday use like an XC. So, although it may cost a little more, it will last a lot longer.

The latest addition to the US Battery line up is the XC2 range, which has a number of major ‘real world’ advantages over the majority of products in the market. These include a higher initial capacity, the highest possible total energy delivery over the lifespan of the battery, fast charging up to its full rated capacity – which saves both time and money – and compatibility with a wide range of chargers.

Toyota Material Handling supports the environment by embracing used battery recycling process for forklift truck batteries

As part of its ongoing drive to be more environmentally aware, Toyota Material Handling UK has implemented a process to recycle forklift truck batteries.

In what is believed to be an industry first, Toyota has worked with WB Powersource and
G & P Batteries to create a triage system that maximises the life of traction batteries and also the recycling potential of spent batteries.

The three way partnership enables Toyota Material Handling UK to recondition and recycle ex-rental contract forklift truck batteries and has resulted in an environmentally friendly, auditable process whilst also delivering significant cost savings over a twelve month period.

Paul Bradshaw, Fleet Centre Manager for Toyota Material Handling UK conducted a review of its operations and identified an opportunity to recondition and recycle the trucks’ spent batteries instead of just selling them for their scrap lead value. Toyota has a long established relationship with WB Powersource, based in West Bromwich, which supplies new batteries and is also responsible for specialist repair and maintenance. Together the companies explored the opportunities to maximise the shelf life of the batteries used by the Toyota Fleet Management Centre (FMC).

Toyota’s Fleet Management Centre based in Old Dalby, Melton Mowbray, handles up to 1,000 trucks each month, undertaking major repairs and maintenance, plus the refurbishment of Toyota and BT equipment for resale.

“Historically we have always disposed of our battery cell assets for scrap value only. The sheer volumes of used cells passing through the FMC made it almost impossible to install any practical management or recycling system. We were aware that we could maximise our assets and also be more environmentally aware if we could develop a quality testing and recycling system. A partnership with a reputable company in the battery supply and maintenance field was the best option so working closely with WB we began to explore the possibilities and developed the process we now have in place.” comments Paul Bradshaw.

WB has a long association with the Darlaston based battery collection and recycling company, G & P Batteries. Part of Ecobat Technologies, the world’s largest producer of lead, G & P works closely with sister company, Derbyshire based lead smelting company HJ Enthoven and Sons, which is responsible for recycling the vast majority of lead acid batteries scrapped in the UK.
Enthoven ensures that up to 99% of the battery components are recycled, with the majority being turned into raw materials to create new batteries in a powerful closed loop recycling initiative.

In January 2012, Toyota launched a scheme with WB where all used cells are examined under a triage system. This involves a rigorous testing process to determine whether the cells are suitable for second life use or need to be disposed of via G & P. Cells passing the testing criteria are stored and maintained by WB ready for Toyota to call off as required. End of life batteries are sold as scrap with Toyota receiving market rate for the lead value. These cells are collected by G & P and then sent on for smelting by Enthoven’s.

“The reconditioned batteries come with a full service warranty, which mirrors the overall guarantee offered on the refurbished forklifts,” said Vic Worthington from WB Powersource. “That means Toyota have peace of mind that they are offering reliable refurbished trucks.”
Over a 12 month period Toyota Material Handling UK has achieved significant cost savings through the battery reconditioning and recycling initiative, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the forklift truck market.

“The process relies on robust monitoring systems to ensure visibility of the disposal route and that the quality of the reconditioned cells is not compromised,” explained Paul Bradshaw. “As a responsible company we needed to be comfortable with the process and be able to monitor the process from the FMC right through to disposal. We have an excellent working relationship with WB and in the initial 12 month period we have had only two small warranty issues, which were rectified immediately. We’re really delighted that this initiative is working on a number of fronts for us”.

Michael Green, Managing Director for G & P Batteries said: “Lead acid batteries are classed as Hazardous Waste and therefore must be treated with respect when storing and transporting them. We created the routes for recycling them many years ago and now we are proud to be part of the world’s only company that offers true closed loop recycling of lead and lead based products. Nearly 100% of the components in batteries collected by G & P are recycled and many of them end up in new batteries, ready to begin the cycle all over again.”

Manbat Industrial/BPS/G & P Batteries

Following its acquisition of Battery Power Systems (BPS) in late 2011, Manbat has been working intensively with the BPS team to further develop their combined industrial battery presence. With more than 27 years of sales and service expertise BPS is able to offer both the materials handling and floor care sectors a well-tailored package solution, rather than simply selling replacement batteries.

As a result, IMHX 2013 has been selected as the ideal event to debut not only BPS/Manbat’s industrial business, but also sister company G & P Batteries, with a shared stand under their parent company’s Eco-Bat Technologies group banner.

Eco-Bat Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead, annually converting millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of the world’s largest battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through BPS/Manbat Industrial’s comprehensive branch network.

Working alongside G & P Batteries, BPS/Manbat Industrial are able to offer its industrial battery and floor care customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all its customers’ environmental responsibilities are fulfilled and certified.

G & P Batteries is the country’s leading waste battery collection specialist. Its expert advice, combined with prompt and reliable collections, which are available nationwide, mean that it is able to guarantee that waste batteries are safe in their hands.

The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and lead reintroduction into the manufacturing process, means that the Eco-Bat Technologies group is able to close the environmental loop.

One of BPS/Manbat Industrial’s primary messages for IMHX is for industrial battery buyers to put quality before price. This principle will pay dividends over the long-term as a cheap low quality product will simply not stand up to the rigours of everyday use like a quality battery. Put plainly, although it may cost a little more, a quality battery will last a lot longer.

Both TAB, one of the leading manufacturers and innovators of lead acid and Gel traction products and S.P.E Electronica, who manufacture an extensive range of 50Hz and high frequency battery chargers, are whole heartedly in support of the growth of BPS/Manbat Industrial. Both manufacturers were brought together by BPS to offer a bespoke solution that ensures the customer’s requirements and correct application are matched to provide the solution that reduces the cost of ownership.

Where the assimilation work done with BPS during 2012 has really come to the fore to provide particular benefits to its customers is in the additional support that it is now able to offer them. As a result, in addition to the quality products that it can supply and the responsible disposal process it provides, BPS/Manbat Industrial can offer them a full battery management programme.

The programme encompasses everything from the original assessment of the customer’s battery requirements, through product maintenance planning, to the eventual battery replacement. This programme maximises the lifespan of each battery and delivers the most cost-effective solution to the customer’s battery needs.

Get Set For A New Season

Although UAN members that promote quality products to their customers have enjoyed growing business with the VARTA and Lucas brands, there is no getting away from the fact that the market’s obsession with price means that profit margins on traditional lead acid batteries are limited. Combine this with the seasonable nature of traditional battery sales, which are particularly affected by mild weather and members are faced with a classic double-whammy.

However, it’s not all bad news for members, as Manbat has a specific strategy to help them overcome this effect and turn their battery business from a seasonal distress purchase model, to an all-year-round aspirational purchase alternative that provides them with a reliable and regular revenue stream.

The starting point is not complicated, it just requires members to change their mind set and be willing to ask Manbat to help them look at batteries in a different light and consider the opportunities they provide for additional sales, often with very attractive profit margins.

A different approach allows members to benefit from the better weather in the Spring and Summer seasons because although the traditional automotive battery market drops, the motorcycle, golf, leisure and marine battery market’s begin.

In addition, those purchasing these batteries are looking for batteries that improve their lifestyle, so out goes the ‘anything will do as long as it’s cheap’ attitude of the motorist and in comes the ‘I want the best’ attitude of an enthusiast looking to make the most of their leisure experience.

Manbat has been at the centre of the battery business for more than sixty years, which means that with its wealth of market knowledge, it is more than able to help members develop their battery business in these complementary markets.

Those members already working with Manbat will know that they pride themselves on the service they provide and their professional attitude towards their customers. This allows them to guide and advise members in the kind of products that are most appropriate and how best to begin to integrate these new products into their businesses.

Motorcycles are an obvious sector for members to begin to branch out and Spring is the perfect time as many a ‘fair-weather’ biker will be dusting off their machines, only to be frustrated by a flat battery. These motorcyclists are potential customers for both a quality battery and an intelligent charger, for which Manbat can supply either a VARTA®, Lucas or Numax battery combined with a Numax ‘connect+forget’® battery charger.

The leisure and marine sectors are also profitable avenues for members to follow as the typical caravanner, motorcarvanner or boater is not averse to spending money on a product that will give them a good return on their investment.

In Numax, Manbat has built a brand that has an enviable reputation and is without doubt the leading brand in these markets. It commands a premium price and provides generous margins and although products like the XV range utilise specialist technology to provide a dual function (high cyclic capacity/prestigious starting power), their similarity with automotive batteries makes them a manageable addition for members used to dealing solely in the automotive sector.

To pursue a diversification agenda while remaining a specialist is sometimes a difficult combination to fuse together, but with Manbat, UAN members have an experienced player with which to partner. Manbat has worked with numerous businesses during this sort of transition and has a proven track record of successfully transforming their battery sales from a seasonal contributor to a constant and reliable source of monthly revenue.

For this reason Manbat cannot merely be looked at as a battery ‘box shifter’, but rather as a total battery service provider that supplies the products, the advice, the support and the waste management to solve every battery problem and open every battery opportunity.

Manbat

Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and provides parts wholesalers and their garage customers with the very best in the quality of products it supplies – VARTA®, Lucas and Numax – and the level of service support it delivers – training, marketing and advice.

Nowadays however, these important elements also need to be backed up by a reliable waste management policy that ensures that the environmental and legislative responsibilities of those selling batteries to their trade customers are taken seriously and fulfilled completely.

This is another area in which Manbat excels and where being part of the Eco-Bat Technologies group brings even greater benefits to its customers. It also allows Manbat to be able to state that its ‘closed-loop’ waste management policy ensures that 99.7% of each battery it collects is recycled.

This is only possible because within the group there are companies that specialise in all the processes that are necessary to enable automotive, commercial vehicle and related batteries to be recycled fully and responsibly. So in addition to Manbat, whose primary function is to distribute and sell new batteries, there are also businesses that dismantle, separate and process the elements that make up each battery.

The processed elements are then resupplied into a number of industries as important core products. These include the sulphuric acid in the battery’s electrolyte, which is recycled into gypsum, the battery cases which are recycled into polypropylene and of course the lead, which is processed though Eco-Bat’s own smelters to be supplied as lead strip, wire or shot and as lead ingots to many of the world’s battery manufacturers, so completing the circle.

It is for these reasons that Manbat believes it provides a scrap battery-recycling scheme that is the benchmark for the industry. It can offer its customers a complete service that not only takes the worry out of battery waste, but can also turn that waste into extra profits, which can be ploughed back into the business.

As unfortunately seems to be the case with every piece of government legislation, there is an inevitable bundle of paper work that accompanies the disposal of waste batteries. However, Manbat can help its customers deal with the time-consuming and confusing administration process by completing the Environment Agency scrap registration form and ensuring that is then updated annually.

For customers that supply a lot of batteries and therefore collect a large number of scrap batteries, Manbat can provide a scrap battery bin, which can be conveniently located on the premises. When the bin is full, a phone call is all that is required to have the full bin collected and a new scrap bin delivered. Smaller customers however can simply arrange for the collection of the old battery when the new one is being delivered.

Bearing in mind the high rate of recycling efficiency that can be achieved from a scrap battery and the high cost of lead on the global metal markets, scrap batteries can yield several hundred pounds per ton. Therefore, sensible waste management can be a profitable exercise as well as being a highly responsible approach to a potentially hazardous waste product.

Get Set For A New Season

Although CAAR members that promote quality products to their customers have enjoyed growing business with the VARTA and Lucas brands, there is no getting away from the fact that the market’s obsession with price means that profit margins on traditional lead acid batteries are limited. Combine this with the seasonable nature of traditional battery sales, which are particularly affected by mild weather and members are faced with a classic double-whammy.

However, it’s not all bad news for members, as Manbat has a specific strategy to help them overcome this effect and turn their battery business from a seasonal distress purchase model, to an all-year-round aspirational purchase alternative that provides them with a reliable and regular revenue stream.

The starting point is not complicated, it just requires members to change their mind set and be willing to ask Manbat to help them look at batteries in a different light and consider the opportunities they provide for additional sales, often with very attractive profit margins.

A different approach allows members to benefit from the better weather in the Spring and Summer seasons because although the traditional automotive battery market drops, the motorcycle, golf, leisure and marine battery market’s begin.

In addition, those purchasing these batteries are looking for batteries that improve their lifestyle, so out goes the ‘anything will do as long as it’s cheap’ attitude of the motorist and in comes the ‘I want the best’ attitude of an enthusiast looking to make the most of their leisure experience.

Manbat has been at the centre of the battery business for more than sixty years, which means that with its wealth of market knowledge, it is more than able to help members develop their battery business in these complementary markets.

Those members already working with Manbat will know that they pride themselves on the service they provide and their professional attitude towards their customers. This allows them to guide and advise members in the kind of products that are most appropriate and how best to begin to integrate these new products into their businesses.

Motorcycles are an obvious sector for members to begin to branch out and Spring is the perfect time as many a ‘fair-weather’ biker will be dusting off their machines, only to be frustrated by a flat battery. These motorcyclists are potential customers for both a quality battery and an intelligent charger, for which Manbat can supply either a VARTA®, Lucas or Numax battery combined with a Numax ‘connect+forget’® battery charger.

The leisure and marine sectors are also profitable avenues for members to follow as the typical caravanner, motorcarvanner or boater is not averse to spending money on a product that will give them a good return on their investment.

In Numax, Manbat has built a brand that has an enviable reputation and is without doubt the leading brand in these markets. It commands a premium price and provides generous margins and although products like the XV range utilise specialist technology to provide a dual function (high cyclic capacity/prestigious starting power), their similarity with automotive batteries makes them a manageable addition for members used to dealing solely in the automotive sector.

To pursue a diversification agenda while remaining a specialist is sometimes a difficult combination to fuse together, but with Manbat, members have an experienced player with which to partner. Manbat has worked with numerous businesses during this sort of transition and has a proven track record of successfully transforming their battery sales from a seasonal contributor to a constant and reliable source of monthly revenue.

For this reason Manbat cannot merely be looked at as a battery ‘box shifter’, but rather as a total battery service provider that supplies the products, the advice, the support and the waste management to solve every battery problem and open every battery opportunity.

Manbat Industrial/BPS/G & P Batteries

Alongside its sister company G & P Batteries, Manbat is able to offer its industrial battery customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all their battery requirements and environmental responsibilities are fulfilled. Premium brands and sixty years of service round off the complete package.

A Local Presence For Sixty Years

Manbat is the UK’s largest automotive battery distributor and its impressive facility situated in Lancaster Road, Shrewsbury is both the location of its primary logistics operation and the company’s head office.

The company was established by Harry Pemberton in Abergele, South Wales in 1952 and therefore has more than sixty years experience in the battery industry. In 1980 it opened its first branch in Shrewsbury and two years later it began its association with VARTA Batteries of Germany, an association that remains stronger than ever.

To mark its 50th anniversary, Manbat launched the Numax brand and over the last decade this has developed to become the UK’s premier range of leisure batteries for the caravan, motorhome and boating enthusiast.

In 2010, Manbat finally left the Pemberton family and became part of Eco-Bat Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead. Eco-Bat annually converts millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of the world’s largest battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through Manbat’s comprehensive branch network.

Being part of the Eco-Bat Technologies group allows Manbat to be able to offer its customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all of its customers’ environmental responsibilities are fulfilled and certified.

With these assurances in place, many are surprised to learn that it is possible to recycle 99.7% of a scrap lead-acid battery, which makes it one of the recycle-efficient components on a vehicle! The lead element is naturally resupplied into the battery manufacturing process, while other products like gypsum, which comes from the treatment of the sulphuric acid and polypropylene, which comes from recycling the battery cases, is a valuable resource for many other industries.

Manbat Industrial/BPS

Following its acquisition of Battery Power Systems (BPS) in late 2011, Manbat has been working intently with the BPS team to further develop their combined industrial battery presence to offer the best possible products with an even greater level of service to the industrial battery market generally and the Access market in particular.

One of Manbat’s primary messages is for customers to put quality before price. This principle will pay dividends over the long term as a cheap low quality product will not be able to stand up to the rigours of everyday use like a quality battery. Put simply, it may cost a little more, but a quality battery will last a lot longer.

A quality product such as the US Battery XC2 range has a number of major advantages over a product manufactured to a price. These include a higher initial capacity, the highest total energy delivery over the life of the battery, fast charging up to its full rated capacity, which saves both time and money and compatibility with a wide range of chargers.

Working with several other companies that are also part of the Eco-Bat Technologies group, Manbat is able to offer its industrial battery customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all of its customers’ environmental responsibilities are fulfilled and certified.

Where the assimilation work done during 2012 has really come to the fore to provide particular benefits to its customers is in the additional support that it is now able to offer them. As a result, in addition to the quality products that it can supply and the responsible disposal process it provides, Manbat can offer them a full battery management programme.

The programme encompasses everything from the original assessment of the customer’s battery requirements, through product maintenance planning, to the eventual battery replacement. This programme maximises the lifespan of each battery and delivers the most cost-effective solution to the customer’s battery needs.

Get Set For A New Season

Although GROUPAUTO members that promote quality products to their customers have enjoyed growing business with the VARTA and Lucas brands, there is no getting away from the fact that the market’s obsession with price means that profit margins on traditional lead acid batteries are limited. Combine this with the seasonable nature of traditional battery sales, which are particularly affected by mild weather and members are faced with a classic double-whammy.

However, it’s not all bad news for members, as Manbat has a specific strategy to help them overcome this effect and turn their battery business from a seasonal distress purchase model, to an all-year-round aspirational purchase alternative that provides them with a reliable and regular revenue stream.

The starting point is not complicated, it just requires members to change their mind set and be willing to ask Manbat to help them look at batteries in a different light and consider the opportunities they provide for additional sales, often with very attractive profit margins.

A different approach allows members to benefit from the better weather in the Spring and Summer seasons because although the traditional automotive battery market drops, the motorcycle, golf, leisure and marine battery market’s begin.

In addition, those purchasing these batteries are looking for batteries that improve their lifestyle, so out goes the ‘anything will do as long as it’s cheap’ attitude of the motorist and in comes the ‘I want the best’ attitude of an enthusiast looking to make the most of their leisure experience.

Manbat has been at the centre of the battery business for more than sixty years, which means that with its wealth of market knowledge, it is more than able to help members develop their battery business in these complementary markets.

Those members already working with Manbat will know that they pride themselves on the service they provide and their professional attitude towards their customers. This allows them to guide and advise members in the kind of products that are most appropriate and how best to begin to integrate these new products into their businesses.

Motorcycles are an obvious sector for members to begin to branch out and Spring is the perfect time as many a ‘fair-weather’ biker will be dusting off their machines, only to be frustrated by a flat battery. These motorcyclists are potential customers for both a quality battery and an intelligent charger, for which Manbat can supply either a VARTA®, Lucas or Numax battery combined with a Numax ‘connect+forget’® battery charger.

The leisure and marine sectors are also profitable avenues for members to follow as the typical caravanner, motorcarvanner or boater is not averse to spending money on a product that will give them a good return on their investment.

In Numax, Manbat has built a brand that has an enviable reputation and is without doubt the leading brand in these markets. It commands a premium price and provides generous margins and although products like the XV range utilise specialist technology to provide a dual function (high cyclic capacity/prestigious starting power), their similarity with automotive batteries makes them a manageable addition for members used to dealing solely in the automotive sector.

To pursue a diversification agenda while remaining a specialist is sometimes a difficult combination to fuse together, but with Manbat, members have an experienced player with which to partner. Manbat has worked with numerous businesses during this sort of transition and has a proven track record of successfully transforming their battery sales from a seasonal contributor to a constant and reliable source of monthly revenue.

For this reason Manbat cannot merely be looked at as a battery ‘box shifter’, but rather as a total battery service provider that supplies the products, the advice, the support and the waste management to solve every battery problem and open every battery opportunity.

Introduction

Manbat is one of the names that has been spoken within the aftermarket for as long as anyone can remember and the company’s reputation for quality products and good old-fashioned service remains as strong today as it was in 1952, when the business was founded.

Originally named Manchester Batteries when Harry Pemberton started trading from Turnpike Cottages in Abergele, South Wales, the business remained in the Pemberton family until 2009. During that period the company grew steadily, establishing itself as a business committed to providing its customers with top quality products that are supported by exceptional customer service.

In 2009 Roger Pemberton retired as Manbat’s managing director and Steve Sheppard took the helm as the company started a new era under the ownership of the Eco-Bat Technologies group.

As part of this global organisation, Manbat has been able to expand its operation even more rapidly and add new elements to the business that have continued to benefit its customers. Two notable examples include its move into a 2,880m2 distribution centre in Shrewsbury, which has ensured excellent product availability and the acquisition of Battery Power Systems Ltd, a nationwide industrial battery specialist that has brought a new customer base to the company and opened additional opportunities to those wishing to expand their existing battery specialism.

Another major benefit of being part of this worldwide organisation is that Manbat is part of what it describes as its ‘closed loop’ recycling programme. This initiative results from the fact that within the Eco-Bat group there are businesses that deal with every aspect of the battery supply and recycling business. These include Manbat that obviously sells and distributes batteries, but also those that collect and disassemble batteries and those that recycle the batteries from their constituent parts and resupply them into a multitude of sectors. So the lead is supplied as ingots for the battery manufacturing industry or as wire, shot or strip for various industries. Other by-products like gypsum, which comes from the treatment of sulphuric acid or polypropylene, which comes from recycled battery cases are also highly sought after.

When it comes to the brands in the Manbat portfolio, few companies can even come close to the quality, availability or variety offered. These include VARTA® for which it is the UK’s primary distributor and with whom they are in the process of introducing the VSSP 2.0 start-stop battery tester and diagnostic tool, as well as the Numax and Lucas range.

Manbat introduced its Numax brand in 2002 and over the last decade the brand has become a significant player within the automotive sector whilst also establishing itself as the UK’s premier range of leisure and marine batteries.

As a major European battery business Manbat has considerable buying power and is therefore also able to commit to original equipment standard battery production in sufficient quantities to offer the market a comprehensive range of good quality automotive and commercial vehicle batteries at extremely competitive prices.

In addition, Manbat is the sole UK distributor for the Lucas range of batteries and it has been instrumental in the revival of the brand since it won the distribution contract in 2009. As a trusted partner, Manbat was responsible for the recent rebranding of the automotive and commercial vehicle range, which was undertaken to coincide with its debut at Automechanika in Frankfurt.

In summary, Manbat provides its customers with a complete range of products that can cater for every conceivable power storage requirement. In addition to this unchallenged level of battery supply, it gives them sound advice, reliable waste collection, environmentally responsible recycling processes and excellent marketing support, with a level of customer service that only an established business with a great reputation can deliver.

Testing Procedures For Flooded Batteries

Despite the obvious development in battery technology, particularly in the use of AGM batteries in micro hybrid or Start-Stop vehicles, it is still the traditional ‘flooded’ lead acid battery that makes up the bulk of sales, so it is for these batteries that the following principles apply.

Preparation

Remember the phrase ‘safety first’ so always wear goggles, rubber gloves, and a rubber apron and ensure that the maintenance is carried out in a well-ventilated area. Always follow the correct handling protocols when lifting or moving batteries, so keep a straight back and if in any doubt seek assistance from a colleague. Never smoke or use a naked flame when around batteries.

Inspection

Examine the outside of the battery, looking for cracks in the case and ensure that the posts and connections are free of dirt, fluids and corrosion. Any fluids on or near to the battery could indicate that the electrolyte is spilling or leaking out of the battery. Spilt electrolyte can cause serious damage, so cannot be ignored.

Open Circuit Voltage Testing

It must be noted that to gain an accurate voltage reading, batteries must have been idle for at least 6 hours prior to testing.

Disconnect all loads from the battery and measure the voltage with a DC voltmeter. Consult the table below for the state of charge and charge the battery if it is 80% or less of its full capacity.

Specific Gravity Testing

Do not add water to the cells prior to testing the specific gravity.

Fill and drain the hydrometer three or four times prior to testing and then ensure that you have enough sample electrolyte in the hydrometer to completely support the float, keep the pipe submerged in the electrolyte.

Take a reading, and return the electrolyte to each cell after testing. The readings should be between 1270 and 1280. If any of the cells read below 1240, then put the battery on a complete charge, and retake the specific gravity readings again afterwards. Should the cells still read low then perform an equalising charge (detailed below).

If any of the cells still read low after performing the complete charge and a subsequent equalising charge, then the battery is likely be reaching the end of its life and should be replaced.

Watering

Prior to charging, there should be enough electrolyte to cover the plates. If the battery has been discharged (partly or fully), the liquid level should also be above the plates. If necessary, top up the cells before charging with distilled or deionised water to cover the plates. A thorough charge will ensure the water is fully absorbed into the electrolyte.

Charging

The key to charging batteries requires administering the correct amount of current at the right voltage. The vast majority of modern charging equipment automatically regulates these values, however some chargers do allow the user to set these values. A non-automatic charger should be set at 10% of the Ampere Hour (Ah) capacity of the batter, e.g. 10 amps for a 100 Ah battery.

Battery Tips

There are several myths when it comes to ensuring the longevity of a battery, but to cut through the confusion, here are some practical tips that will help to maximise battery life.

Traditionally lead acid batteries have tended to fall into two categories: starter batteries, which are generally for automotive use and where engine starting performance is the most important factor, and leisure/marine batteries, which are primarily designed to deliver a more continuous, but far lower current and are able to reach a lower state of discharge, but can still fully recharge without any ill effects.

Motorhomes without dual battery systems tend to need a combination of high starting capacity and deep cycling ability, so for these applications a new range of high performance leisure and marine batteries such as the Numax XV and Lucas XV Supreme range have been developed to provide this dual function.

Unless the vehicle in which the battery is to be used has uprated electrical equipment and there is the need to increase the capacity of the battery/batteries, the best place to ascertain the correct battery capacity needed for the vehicle is from a battery application guide or in the case of a caravan or motorhome, the manufacturer.

The legislation for automotive and commercial vehicle batteries means that the capacity of every battery must be clearly stated in Ampere Hours at the 20-hour rate and be complemented by an indication of the ability of the battery to start an engine in cold climate, i.e. the “Cold Cranking Amperes” (CCA).

Although the same legal requirement does not also apply to leisure or marine batteries, Manbat has voluntarily adopted the policy to ensure that those purchasing its leisure and marine batteries are not deceived or misled when it comes the actual capacity of the battery.

After its purchase, a good quality and well maintained battery should deliver years of faithful service. However, things can sometimes go wrong and although the battery could well be found to be the problem, it is also only one part of the vehicle’s electrical system, so the underlying cause for its failure could lie elsewhere. In addition, the battery is simply a storage system for electrical energy and if more is taken out than is put in, it will end up without power.

It may be difficult to imagine, but a battery is almost like a living organism and it will perform better if taken care of. So, in order to maximise the life of the battery it is sensible to follow a number of practical guidelines.

Try and keep it warm and dry. Although this is sometimes difficult, leaving it in a cold and damp environment over winter, particularly directly on a cold concrete floor is one of the quickest ways to reduce battery life.

Always charge the battery as soon as is practical: leaving it after use and charging it just before it is needed will have a negative impact. So although it is good to let the battery cycle – charge, discharge, charge – leaving it without recharging after use negates the benefits of the charge cycle.

Charge batteries regularly and if possible, use an intelligent continuous use charger and leave it connected whenever the battery is not in use. As well as charging the battery, these chargers manage the charge rate and frequency and gently exercise the battery to ensure that it remains in its optimum condition.

Avoid discharging your battery beyond 50% of its fully charged state, which for a 12-volt battery is about 12-volts and not the 6-volts that at first thought might appear logical! Ideally deep cycle batteries should cycle between 75% and 100% of full charge.

TRAINING

Manbat is the UK’s largest battery distributor and the brands in its portfolio – VARTA®, Lucas and Numax, – satisfy all of the requirements for quality, performance, range and value that both factors and workshops demand.

It is also a very active supply partner that is committed to the task of working with individual customers in order to help them sell more batteries and subsequently increase their profits.

Sound battery training is a vital part of this process and Manbat therefore offer on-site training that is tailored to cover the specific requirements of the business. However, generic training starts with a basic knowledge-based programme aimed at defining the relevant terminology such as CCA (Cold Cranking in Amperes), Ah (Ampere Hour) capacity, battery type (VRLA, GEL AGM) and battery characteristics (starting, cyclic etc.).

To make the most of battery sales, distributors need to provide customers with the most suitable battery for the purpose. It is risky to assume that a direct like-for-like replacement is the correct application. In many cases the incorrect battery could have been previously fitted and therefore the correct procedure is to use an application guide such as the Numax Application Guide or Lucas Battery Catalogue, to check the battery is correct for that particular vehicle.

However, there is an opportunity to upgrade the battery when a unit of a higher specification is more suitable to the vehicle and how it is being used. Manbat training helps customers match the most appropriate battery to each particular application and to explain why cheaper is not necessarily better.

Battery testing is a valuable service and it can reveal a great deal about the underlying causes that can result in battery failure. Many companies will simply replace a failed battery without any diagnosis of why a perfectly good battery has lasted only a matter of months. Manbat by contrast will train technicians to address these matters with sound battery testing procedures, because they know that good diagnosis both saves the customer money and helps to build their own reputation for customer service.

The training also tackles the subject of waste management by ensuring that customers know that they can make a profit from waste batteries and by encouraging them to offer their retail trade customers an exchange service for their old batteries, which in turn also helps the environment.

This approach, in conjunction with a superb portfolio of brands and products ensures that rather than being seen as mere a box shifter, its customers look upon Manbat as a problem solver, providing all manner of power storage solutions.

The Challenge And Opportunity For The Aftermarket

With all the hype surrounding the term, it’s important to understand what hybrid technology actually means in terms of the automotive aftermarket. Hybrid vehicles are defined as those with the ability to use two forms of power, which in most cases in the automotive sector means an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. Therefore, contrary to popular assumption, fully electric or plug-in electric vehicles (EV’s) are not actually hybrids at all.

Hybrid vehicles tend to be divided into three categories: full, mild and micro hybrid. Full hybrids can operate by using just the engine, just the electric motor or a combination of both, whereas mild hybrids can only use the electric motor for short periods to back up the engine, but can’t operate solely on electric power. Micro hybrids on the other hand cannot draw on any form of electric propulsion, but use ‘Start-Stop’ technology to reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption.

Although the battery is at the heart of all hybrid vehicles and integral to the technology they employ, realistically it is only Start-Stop vehicles that incorporate absorbent glass mat (AGM) or enhanced flooded batteries (EFB), that will be within the reach of the typical workshop (for battery related work): other hybrids and EV’s, which rely on nickel-metal hydride or lithium-ion battery technology are likely to be out of reach for the time being.

Although the demand is yet to truly develop in the workshop, there is no question that the technology is here to stay. As it stands, Start-Stop vehicles represent the only viable solution for vehicle manufacturers to achieve the 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) fleet average emission target the current EU legislation demands for all new cars by 2015, and which also provides the motorist with the range and usability that they need from their vehicles. Moving forward the EU plan is to reduce this average to just 95 g/km per car by 2020.

It is clear therefore that although the traditional lead acid battery will remain the most common battery seen in the workshop for some time to come, the growth in Start-Stop vehicles will inevitably bring technicians face-to-face with AGM/EFB batteries.

This will present workshops with a challenge because fault diagnosis and battery replacement in Start-Stop vehicles is not comparable to traditional battery work and requires special equipment and technical training to be able to successfully undertake repair and replacement work.

The AGM/EFB batteries these vehicles use are intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS). Therefore, to be fully proficient when working on these systems, workshops will need to invest in the equipment and training necessary to properly service these systems.

However, the complicated nature of this work also presents the market with an opportunity because these batteries will generate twice the unit revenue and three times the margin of a conventional flooded lead-acid battery, which is great news in an environment where profit margins are under pressure.

VARTA® is Europe’s leading original equipment supplier of AGM/EFB batteries for Start-Stop vehicles and is at the forefront of product research and development, which is why as its major distribution partner, Manbat is perfectly placed to supply the batteries and equipment that the trade needs to fully develop the opportunities Start-Stop technology provides the aftermarket.

More Profit With Manbat

What really motivates the Manbat team is to help their customers improve their profitability and sell more batteries. By working closely with the team many customers have reaped the benefits that the combination of top quality products, great brands and excellent service can provide.

Obviously the core automotive products are very familiar to all of its aftermarket customers, but it is the development of batteries for Start-Stop batteries and products that allow access to other markets that are the ones that can make the biggest impact of the balance sheet of a business. By adding a broad spectrum of products they are able to develop their power storage offering and prolong the battery season to become an all-year-round revenue stream.

The obvious sectors that aftermarket customers are well placed to develop are the commercial vehicle, motorcycle, leisure, marine, mobility and golf markets, all product groups in which Manbat excel.

With the clear similarities that exist between automotive batteries and the commercial vehicle and motorcycle equivalents, it is a relatively small step for businesses to offer these products alongside their existing automotive range.

For these sectors Manbat distribute the premier brand VARTA@, ably supported by a comprehensive Lucas and Numax offering to provide a good, better and best portfolio.

Leisure battery sales are attractive, as consumers do not see them as a distress purchase, but as means to improve their lifestyle. Through Numax, Manbat customers have access to the undisputed market-leading brand in this valuable sector. Those wishing to develop additional battery sales can do very well with leisure batteries, particularly during the current tough economic climate, when many people will cancel their holiday overseas in favour of an outdoor experience in the UK.

Although a smaller market than leisure, marine batteries provide a very profitable niche product for those businesses that are strategically located close to Britain’s many inland waterways and water sports centres. Numax marine batteries are very prominent in the sector and are also original equipment fitment with a number of luxury yacht manufacturers.

Golf is never far away from the thoughts of many in the trade and is another sector in which excellent margins are possible, along with mobility, which is only going to grow as ever greater numbers of disabled people begin to benefit from the freedom that mobility equipment provides.

Manbat

When the market is at best flat, those selling batteries need a supplier that can support them across every area of their battery business, which is why Manbat has been encouraging it’s customers to embrace the opportunities that come with the challenges that micro hybrid or Start-Stop technology present to both the factor and the workshop.

As the number of Start-Stop vehicles entering the independent workshop grows, so will the potential for them to encounter a battery problem that they are simply unable to resolve without specialist knowledge and equipment.

However, with the VARTA® Start-Stop Service Program device from Johnson Controls, combined with the eXponentia training that Manbat can facilitate, workshops have the complete solution for Start-Stop battery fault diagnosis, dependable application reference and installation information.

An additional benefit at every level of the supply chain is that the AGM batteries required for Start-Stop vehicles command a higher premium and deliver a greater margin than a standard lead acid battery, which is something to cheer for the new year!

Marketing Support Across All Brands

Businesses that supply VARTA®, Lucas or Numax batteries are now able to benefit from brand new point-of-sale (POS) material designed by Manbat to help them raise the profile of the brands they sell and to assist them to grow their overall battery sales..

The new material is specifically designed to embrace the current imagery of each of the brands and follows the introduction of completely new packaging for the Lucas automotive and commercial vehicle ranges during 2012. Available as posters, product header boards or as A4 leaflets, the material is highly versatile and suitable for workshop waiting rooms and retail product displays, can be hung in a window or placed on the trade counter and therefore allows Manbat’s customers to deploy them in the most convenient and effective locations.

In line with its long held policy of supporting its customers across multiple sectors, Manbat has not just limited the POS material to the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors. Instead it has expanded the reach to cover the marine and leisure sectors too as these sectors are ones that many of its automotive customers have already developed, but also represent the most easily accessible sectors for those who presently only supply automotive batteries and are looking to expand their influence and wish to attack new markets.

In keeping with its desire to provide its customers with clear and straightforward imagery and packaging, Manbat has used the icon system it introduced as part of the Lucas rebranding exercise to clearly indicate what type of vehicles the batteries are suitable for. This means that those seeing the material can tell at a glance whether the batteries featured suit their particular application or need.

Each version (poster, header or A4 leaflet) features a group image of the models in the range. So the Lucas automotive/CV material features the Classic, Premium, Supreme, Fusion and Premium CV, the Lucas leisure features the Leisure and XV Supreme and the marine, the Lucas Marine and XV Supreme. For the Numax brand the automotive/CV version features both the automotive and heavy duty examples of the Premium Silver, while the leisure and marine versions identify the companies standard and XV models. When it comes to VARTA, the batteries features are the Black, Blue and Sliver versions of the VARTA Dynamic range.

Numax and Lucas Catalogues

The revised Numax catalogue, which was released just prior to Automechanika, has proved to be a great hit with customers with many appreciating the comprehensive nature of the publication.

One of its particular benefits is that it includes additional information alongside its battery specification and application guide, with sections focusing on battery characteristics and fault diagnosis, battery testing procedures, health and safety information, CCA testing with digital testers and Manbat’s environmental policy.

It also contains details of some of the other brands in the Manbat range. These include Odyssey, Optima and U.S. Battery, which alongside Numax will cater for virtually every battery application in the automotive, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, leisure, marine, industrial and mobility sectors.

The full-colour catalogue provides an easy-to-use reference tool and Manbat has applied its unrivalled battery knowledge to produce a publication that covers every aspect of battery specification; so the batteries are listed by vehicle make and model, battery capacity, type and case size.

Manbat customers also need to keep an eye out for the new Lucas battery catalogue, which will be the most comprehensive update for the Lucas brand since Manbat became the steward of the iconic brand in 2009.