Friday, 28 August 2009

WIN A ‘3-IN-ONE’ TRACK DAY RACING EXPERIENCE

Lubricants specialist 3-IN-ONE professional is offering one fan the chance to win a track day with leading 2009 Renault Clio Cup driver Philip Glew in an exclusive competition.

3-IN-ONE professional has teamed up with Edge Sporting Events to offer fans the chance to experience the life of a professional racer for a day with Philip Glew, who is currently leading the popular one-make championship by over 70 points with three race meetings left.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience, worth over £1,000, will be a full track day with time in the replica road version of Glew’s Clio Cup.

He said: “I aim to give someone the opportunity to not only be a passenger in the cars, but also drive around the track with my tutoring.

“The fans are so supportive of me when I’m racing, my sponsors and I want to give them something back.”

The 26-year-old from Louth is next in action at Silverstone on 29th and 30th as he looks to strengthen his grip on the 2009 championship.

To enter simply go to
www.3-in-one.co.uk/index.php/competition or visit Phil’s team awning at one of the three remaining championships rounds at Silverstone, Rockingham and Brands Hatch.

The closing date is 31st October 2009 with the winner drawn shortly after.

The 3-IN-ONE brand has been a trusted name among users for well over 100 years.

From the original ‘Toolkit in a can’ to the professional range of 6 high performance formulas, 3-IN-ONE has everything you need to keep your car in tip-top condition.

For further information please contact Richard Knowles, 01902 714 917 or 07595 200 703. E-mail: richard@connect-group.com

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Jason Plato brings home the bubbly!


The familiar sight of Jason Plato with a bottle of champagne will be guaranteed at Silverstone this weekend whatever happens, after he won HiQ’s latest champagne moment award.

Hundreds of HiQ British Touring Car Championship fans voted for the charismatic crowd pleaser for his display at Knockhill earlier in the month, when he roared from the back of the grid to finish second in race three.

The performance has already been labeled as one of the best in recent BTCC history, and captured the imagination of thousands of spectators.

Around 300 fans voted for the Oxford based speedster to win the prestigious award for his stunning drive and fan Laura Allan, of Scotland, was picked at random to win.

Plato secured a whopping 58 per cent of fans’ votes with Racing Silverline team-mate Mat Jackson second (23 per cent) and reigning champion Fabrizio Giovanardi third (11 per cent).

Amazingly, it is the first time Plato has won a HiQ Champagne Moment since the award was introduced last season, despite winning countless races in between.

He said: “It was a great feeling to grab that second place. The car was just fantastic, and to finish on the podium was a nice end to the weekend.

“I look forward to receiving the HiQ champagne, which will give me a nice reminder of Knockhill. Hopefully I can win some more bottles on the podium at Silverstone this weekend.”

BTCC fan Laura Allan, was picked at random to win a bottle of champagne and she will now win a pair of tickets to the forthcoming round of racing, and will present Jason with his prize.

She will also get the chance to see his Racing Silverline car on the grid for one of the races as part of the prize, courtesy of a grid walk with HiQ.

All spectators are invited to log onto HiQ’s official website, http://www.hiqonline.co.uk/ to vote for their star performer from the next round of racing, at Silverstone on Sunday August 30.

The man that receives the most plaudits from the round of racing will be crowned with HiQ’s Champagne Moment award and presented with a magnum of bubbly before the next race at Rockingham on September 20.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Global Success for Connect's Digital Pioneers

NEW JAGUAR LAND ROVER CONFIGURATOR LAUNCHED TO GLOBAL CRITICAL ACCLAIM

A new Jaguar Land Rover configurator, created by Connect’s digital team, has been launched to coincide with the introduction of the new Jaguar XJ.

The vehicle configurator is one of the most advanced in the global motoring industry and has been created by Connect’s chief technical officer Jose Espinosa and head of enterprise IT Adam Perry.

The Connect system is based on a rules engine, similar to a database, which drives the site and the images.

Such is the complexity but brilliance of the new system, other global brands both inside and out of the motoring industry have already enquired about the new technology.

Speaking of the new configurator, Jose Espinosa (pictured), said: “Adam and I brought many years of digital experience to this project. This configurator is built using the experience gained working on other projects for Ford and Jaguar Land Rover. It was designed from the ground up to be easy and simple for clients and other developers to build the front end of the website.”

The new system is totally global. Adam Perry said: “We designed the system with the web in mind, making it cacheable. To this end we worked with Akamai, the world leader in powering dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, which means that the configurator can be copied thousands of times across the world, improving the speed and reliability of the system.

"For example, if you are a consumer in Australia, you will largely be communicating with an Australian based web server (cache), which is obviously much quicker than communicating with a server outside of your region.”

“We’ve been supporting Jaguar Land Rover for six years, and it is great to see this evolution in site design to include an auto configurator run completely over our globally distributed network,” said Brad Rinklin, vice president of global marketing, Akamai. “This highly interactive feature demonstrates Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to leveraging the Internet to maximise the customer experience.

With Akamai, Jaguar Land Rover will be able to offer superior site performance on a global scale, while minimising the resources required at their data center. This ends up being the best of both worlds for their end users and operations teams.”

Connect’s clients include Goodyear Dunlop, Amtico, Volkswagen, Tarmac, Costa, Triton and Bentley Motors.

Monday, 24 August 2009

AMTICO WEAVES A LITTLE MAGIC FOR THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRY


Amtico International has created new possibilities for interior designers, specifiers and architects with the arrival of its fabric woven flooring, Fiber.

Two years in the making, this innovative new addition to the Amtico collection has fused together complex metallics and contrasting hard and soft materials to create a smooth flooring tile, which encapsulates real woven fabric.

Available in four colourways, Fiber's two tone threads gives the appearance of a soft textile, which reflects light creating contemporary 3D effects.

A creation of the Amtico’s design team, Fiber’s traditional basket weave effect began as a crochet, addressing the trend towards soft textiles with woven fabrics.

Lorna Williams, Amtico’s Design Manager said: “We are continually developing new and innovative designs that meet the needs of the retail, commercial, hospitality and leisure markets.

“Fiber is effective in large open plan spaces or for feature areas. The way the light dips in and out of the weave is clearly showcased when laid with metallic feature stripping and tessellated in simple squares.”

The choice of Fiber Gold (a bronze lowlight that says glamour not glitz), Fiber Carbon (a charcoal twist that features bronze and chocolate tones), Fiber Mercury (a soft mixture of warm silver and pale bronze) and Fiber Bronze (a strong and vibrant coppery twist) lets designers and architects create a striking yet sophisticated look.

To find out more visit
www.amtico.com


Note to editors:

Images available upon request.

Fiber is available in standard sizes 457mm x 457mm (18”x18”) only.

A smooth finish with a tough urethane coating, Fiber must be installed tessellated (quarter turned) and installed with feature stripping.

For further information, please contact Sue Foster on 01902 714957 or email
suefoster@connect-group.com.

TAXI FIRM HAILS ONLINE EXPORT SERVICE


LTI Vehicles, makers of the world famous London Taxi, has joined the list of British exporters seeking new business partners by securing a working relationship with www.exportuk.co.uk.

The website, which is the only dedicated online resource to promote British products and services, has a primary market position with all major search engines and boasts over 66,500 registered users.

As part of LTI’s silver subscription package, the firm hopes to receive hundreds of enquiries as agents and distributors tap into the powerful database to find a suitable business partner. Last year, the site generated 7,000 sales leads for British companies.

Matthew Cheyne, International Market Development Director for LTI Vehicles, said: “As our operation and reputation grows internationally, we need to find the right dealers and businesses who want to share in our success. exportuk.co.uk allows us to do just that.

“Our TX4 model has already generated lots of interest from international businesses, passengers and operators and we have already secured our iconic product into Bahrain, Poland and Dubai.”

To find out more about LTI Vehicles visit
www.lti.co.uk or email info@londontaxis.co.uk.

ENDS

News release issued on behalf of LTI Vehicles by Connect PR. For further information call Lee Southen on 00 44 (0)1902 714957 or email
lee@connect-group.com.

Friday, 21 August 2009

SALES EXECUTIVES GRADUATE FROM EXCLUSIVE COURSE

Two sales executive from Somerset are celebrating after becoming two of the first in the country to graduate from a new two year training programme.

Gary Phip (36) and Louis Talbot (29) Silver Street Volkswagen in Taunton recently completed the course launched by the Volkswagen training academy to retain some of the top talent in the industry.

The duo, from Bridgwater and Taunton, had to pass tough exams in law, customer service, product knowledge, coaching and recruitment to gain the NVQ Level 4 equivalent qualification.

Gary, who has worked at the retailer for over three years, said: “I am delighted to be one of the first people to complete the course.

“The qualification has given both Louis and I extra knowledge and experience to ensure customers are provided with the service they need from all staff.”

The culmination of the course, which was assessed by exams and interviews, was a three month project, presented to a panel of Volkswagen directors.

Paul Harding, sales manager at Silver Street Volkswagen, said: “We believe having knowledgeable staff is paramount to the success of a business.

“The course is designed to equip some of our senior staff with the very best knowledge to deal with customers and pass on to other employees.”

Gary and Louis are among a group of only 20 graduates from the Volkswagen Academy scheme in the UK.

AMTICO FLOORING MADE EASY


Amtico International’s Spacia Access range is specifically designed to be installed without the need for permanent adhesive and comes with a 10-year commercial warranty guarantee.

The flooring collection includes wood, stone and abstract effects providing the solution for areas with raised access flooring or as the perfect alternative to carpet tiles.

Spacia Access offers complete versatility for commercial applications, whether semi-permanent for offices, promotional areas or permanent floor installations.

The collection comes with a urethane coating as standard making it ideal for use in high footfall commercial environments. This extremely tough layer provides a high level of scratch, scruff and stain resistance.

One such customer who has seen the results of Spacia Access is HMV. Like all retailers HMV is judged by not only what they sell but the appearance of their stores. The interior design and d├ęcor is therefore of great importance, as this ultimately affects the ambience and overall impression of the brand.

Gennaro Castaldo, head of press and PR for HMV said “We have used Amtico International products in a number of our 260 stores around the country. We're pleased with the results and feel that the functionality and maintenance of the flooring meets the practical and aesthetic needs of our stores. We were particularly impressed with the speed of installation, which was finished in just four weeks, with the Spacia Access flooring taking only a week to complete. ”

Check out
www.amtico.com for more information.

RETAILER IS ONE OF EUROPE’S BEST

A service team from south Yorkshire has been named as one of the top ten in the UK after achieving record levels of customer satisfaction.

The team from Hayselden Volkswagen in Barnsley is also among the top 100 in Europe for the Volkswagen brand.

Positive feedback from customers and excellent customer loyalty figures ensured Hayselden secured its status as one of Britain’s best.

The award is yet another triumph for the retailer after it scooped South Yorkshire Trading Standards’ Franchise Retailer of the Year 2009, last month.

Howard Baker, service manager at Hayselden, said: “To have one of the best service teams in the UK is testament to the expertise of everyone at the retailer.

“The team thoroughly deserves this acknowledgment as they have strived to deliver total customer satisfaction.

“The team’s ethic is to make sure every customer is given the correct information before, during and after their car is in the workshop.”

“Their positive attitude has inspired everyone at the site and is demonstrated with this award.”

Howard will be presented with the award at a ceremony in Germany in September.

If you are interested in this story please contact Richard Knowles on 01902 714 957 or email richard@connect-group.com

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

RETAILER IS ONE OF EUROPE’S BEST

A service team from Swansea has been named as one of the top ten in the UK after achieving record levels of customer satisfaction.

The team at Sinclair Volkswagen Swansea is also among the top 100 in Europe recognised by the Volkswagen brand for its superior after sales service.

Positive feedback from customers and excellent customer loyalty figures ensured Sinclair secured its status as one of Britain’s best.

The award is yet another triumph for the retailer after two of its manager’s took sales manager of the year and service manager of the year at the national Motor Trader Industry Awards 2009, earlier this year.

Sinclair brand manager, Clive Hopkins, said: “To have one of the best service teams in the UK and Europe is testament to the expertise of everyone at the retailer.

“The team thoroughly deserves this acknowledgment as they have strived to deliver total customer satisfaction.

“The team’s ethic is to make sure every customer is given accurate information before, during and after their car is in the after sales department.

“Their positive attitude has inspired everyone at the retailer and is demonstrated with this award.”

Clive will be presented with the award at a ceremony held at Volkswagen’s head office in Wolfsburg, Germany in September.

For further information on the Volkswagen range on Gorseinon Road call Sinclair Swansea on 01792 894951.

For more information contact Sue Foster on 01902 714 957 or
suefoster@connect-group.com

Notes to editor
The award ceremony will take place in Germany on Wednesday 23 September to Friday 25 September 2009.

HARD WORK PAYS OFF FOR SERVICE ADVISOR

Four years of hard work has paid off for Volkswagen service advisor, Emma Botwright.

Emma (23), from Yateley, has joined a small group to have gained Volkswagen’s top qualification for UK service advisors.

The qualification is reward for Emma who joined the Volkswagen retailer, Martins of Camberley, in 2006 as a call centre administrator before progressing the service advisor role.

She said: “I’m delighted to have qualified after a very demanding 12 months.

“I always aim to deliver an excellent service and this qualification has given me the extra knowledge, experience and confidence to further advance my role.

Emma completed a number of courses since embarking on the qualification including role plays and exams on law, customer satisfaction and product knowledge.

The final assessment included a role play interview and a product knowledge exam which Emma passed with flying colours achieving a result of 95 percent.

Martins of Camberley brand manager, Martin Oakley, said: “We believe having knowledgeable staff is paramount to the success of a business.

“The course is designed to equip staff with the very best knowledge to deal with customers and pass on to other employees.”

For more information contact Sue Foster on 01902 714 957 or suefoster@connect-group.com

COVENTRY FIRM GOES GLOBAL


The first London Taxis built in Shanghai have been introduced to drivers and passengers in Saudi Arabia. The news signals exciting times ahead for its makers, LTI Vehicles, as a joint venture in China is set to transform the Coventry-based firm into a global brand.

Ordered by LTI’s Distributor in the Kingdom, Ujra Holdings, they will be operated as the London Taxi Service from the Four Seasons hotel, where ten of the famous black cabs will be carrying guests to the airport, major tourist attractions and conference venues. Further orders have also been received for twenty eight more taxis for Saudi Arabia as they prove so popular with passengers and drivers.

The London Taxi has been specially adapted to cope with the hotter climate. Built with a higher specification of air conditioning, tinted windows and parts that allow for expansion in the heat as well as able to cope with the desert dust, the taxi was chosen to move customers about rather than use more traditional saloon taxis.

For Matthew Cheyne, International Market Development Director for LTI Vehicles, these are exciting times for the whole team. “Our TX4 model is generating a lot of interest from international businesses, passengers and operators. Enquiries are increasing and drivers and passengers are telling us that the London Taxi is providing them with a first class ride and experience.

“Shanghai LTI, our Chinese joint venture with Geely, is quickly transforming us into a global brand as we expand our operation and take our iconic product into countries such as Bahrain, Poland and Dubai.”

As part of the joint venture, Geely has established a new factory unit at its Shanghai site where Chinese employees have been trained by their Coventry counterparts.

Matthew believes both parties have much to gain from the joint venture as commercial production gets underway. “Geely is a very fast moving, highly entrepreneurial business with proven product development and production capabilities.

“The venture will also bring benefits to our UK operation by allowing us to take advantage of more cost-effective components for our current range. This will help us to maintain our price competitiveness and generate profits to invest in the business.”

As the UK’s largest British-owned automotive manufacturer, LTI employs 450 people at its Coventry manufacturing plant and wholly owned Mann & Overton dealerships in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

ENDS
News release issued on behalf of LTI Vehicles by Connect PR. For further information call Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email lee@connect-group.com.

TAXI DRIVER BACK IN BUSINESS THANKS TO TX4

A Plymouth cabbie is back to work as a professional taxi driver having traded in his unreliable Fiat Scudo for a purpose-built TX4 London Taxi.

The vehicle, which had been off the road since Christmas, gave Trevor Joyce a constant headache as he needed a reliable income with flexible working hours to look after his 3½ year old daughter.

Replaced front suspension, four new turbos, two ignition boxes, one gearbox and a steering pump later and Trevor was left with no choice but to opt for the tried and tested TX4.

“These converted vehicles give you no added peace of mind,” said Trevor. “Neither Fiat or the company behind the conversion would take responsibility for any of the vehicle’s faults. It’s left me in a real predicament.

“I’m now back to being a proper taxi driver and no longer feel like a delivery driver. The TX4 has that reliability that I’m looking for along with a reputable name stamped across the product in LTI Vehicles.

“I’m pleased to say that I’ve been very busy since taking delivery of my TX4 over four weeks ago. I’m glad to report no faults and would like to thank M&O Birmingham for making the change happen so smoothly and quickly.”

Gary Thomas, salesman at M&O Birmingham, said: “We’re delighted that Trevor has chosen the TX4. He was off the road so many times with his Fiat Scudo that his earnings really suffered. As many drivers will testify, the reliability of the TX4 is second to none.”

To find out more about LTI Vehicles visit
www.lti.co.uk.

ENDS

News release issued on behalf of LTI Vehicles by Connect PR. For further information call Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email
lee@connect-group.com.

AMTICO WEAVES A LITTLE MAGIC


Amtico International has fused together complex metallics and contrasting hard and soft materials to create Fiber; a smooth flooring tile that encapsulates real woven fabric.

Two years in the making, this innovative new addition to the Amtico collection gives the appearance of a textile, but with a soft, clean finish and the easy maintenance you can expect from Amtico.

Available in four colourways, Fiber's two tone threads create natural variation and movement to give any room setting a burnished gleam and feeling of structured softness.

The choice of Fiber Gold (a bronze lowlight that says glamour not glitz), Fiber Carbon (a charcoal twist that features bronze and chocolate tones), Fiber Mercury (a soft mixture of warm silver and pale bronze) and Fiber Bronze (a strong and vibrant coppery twist) lets home owners create a comfortable, yet elegant look.

Sian Lewis, UK Marketing Manager for Amtico International, said: “Fiber perfectly reflects the trend towards soft textiles with woven fabrics. Great for use in large open living spaces, the way the light dips in and out of the weave is clearly showcased when laid with metallic feature stripping and tessellated in simple squares.”

To find out more visit
www.amtico.com

ENDS

Note to editors:


Fiber is available in standard sizes 457mm x 457mm (18”x18”) only.

A smooth finish with a tough urethane coating, Fiber must be installed tessellated (quarter turned) and installed with feature stripping.

Price guide: premium (£80 per square metre inc. VAT).

Issued on behalf of Amtico International by Connect PR

For further information, please contact Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email
lee@connect-group.com

RETRO




Amtico International's 21st Century take on teak is the ideal backdrop to explore retro designs in all its forms.

Vintage Teak's warmth is the perfect complement to the retro palette of mustards, teals and oranges, while its strong grain works well with bold patterns and curves, which dominate retro interior design.

So now you can carry off this fun style statement with complete confidence.

Check out www.amtico.com for more information.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

COMPOSITE




Inspired by the trend for simple, clean and minimal spaces, Amtico International's Composite is created from a mix of small fragments to give the natural appearance of ceramic tile.

Select from the fresh tones of Calcium, pale grey Pumice and dark grey Flint, for a simple, stylish backdrop.

Check out http://www.amtico.com/ for more information.


Monday, 17 August 2009

BACK TO BLACK








Bold black flooring is the ultimate in stylish flooring statements.

Amtico International’s Back to Black collection adds subtle aubergine, olive and chocolate tones to black floors for an extremely distinctive, contemporary look. Team with chandeliers, boudoir mirrors and damask wallpaper for an environment with real opulence.

Check out
www.amtico.com for more information.

Friday, 14 August 2009

PETROL PRICES CONTINUE TO SOAR - HAS THERE EVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO SWITCH TO LPG?

As the volatility of petrol prices continues and the introduction of an additional two pence per litre tax looms, motorists should consider converting to LPG to enjoy savings of up to 37 per cent(1).

Having started the year positively with petrol prices as low as 85 pence per litre, motorists once again face rapidly rising prices at the pumps as unleaded fuel prices continue to rise.

Prices have slowly been creeping up over the last few months, once again breaking the £1 barrier with a peak of 103.9 pence per litre in early July and threatening to reach last year’s peak of 118 pence per litre. National average prices currently stand at 102.5 pence per litre(2) and the Government will be imposing its additional two pence a litre tax on pump prices on 1 September.

Autogas Limited’s National Marketing Coordinator, Emma Bartle, says the case for LPG has always been strong but more and more people are realising its financial benefits as well as recognising its environmental credentials.

Emma explains: “LPG currently retails at around half the price of petrol and diesel(3) and we have seen more and more people switching to LPG mainly due to reduced payback periods, the desire to be more environmentally aware and, of course, the cost savings LPG can offer.

“Converting a vehicle to run on LPG can be done quickly and easily by an approved converter and costs around £1,800. Based on current fuel prices and an annual mileage of 20,000 miles it would take around 22 months to recoup this initial cost(4).”

LPG is by far the most widely available alternative fuel available in the UK. Vehicles running on LPG produce far fewer harmful emissions that contribute to environmental and health problems than traditional road fuels. LPG vehicles produce 17 per cent less carbon dioxide than petrol and 2 per cent less than diesel; 120% less NOx than petrol and a staggering 2,000 per cent less than diesel; and up to 120 times less small particle (PM10) emissions than diesel vehicles5.

Although LPG achieves slightly fewer miles per gallon than petrol or diesel, the cost of refilling far outweighs any shortfall and there is no noticeable loss of power or performance. LPG vehicles can also benefit from up to 100 per cent exemption from the London Congestion Charge.

For further information on fuel supplies and bulk tank installation, contact Calor on 0800 216 659 or visit www.lpg-vehicles.co.uk.

Notes to Editors
There are now more than 1,400 public access sites with the majority of these on petrol forecourts.

Autogas Limited, a joint venture between Calor and Shell, currently supplies around 220 outlets in the UK. A full list can be found at www.autogas.ltd.uk. In addition, Calor supplies autogas from over 150 outlets through its Calor Centres, Morrisons supermarkets and other independent sites. Details of the Calor supplied sites can be found at www.lpg-vehicles.co.uk .

To make it even easier to find your nearest LPG refuelling site, Autogas offers a free to download point of interest file for leading satellite navigation systems. Users can log onto www.autogasfinder.co.uk or www.lpg-vehicles.co.uk/satnav to upload the Autogas locator file so that no matter where you are in the UK you can find your nearest Calor Autogas site.

Calor and Autogas advise that conversions should always be carried out by an LPGA Approved Installer and, as there are around 200 outlets currently registered in the UK, it is easy to find your nearest specialist – a full list of Approved Installers can be found at http://www.autogas.ltd.uk/lpg-conversion/lpg-vehicle-conversion.htm.

1 Savings are based on official combined consumption figures published on www.renault.co.uk for 2.0 16V Laguna Sport Tourer assuming a 20% reduction for LPG. National average fuel prices taken from www.fleetnews.co.uk. In order to calculate potential fuel savings, Autogas has made a savings calculator available on its web site: www.autogas.ltd.uk.

2 www.fleetnews.co.uk

3 www.fleetnews.co.uk: Prices correct at 10.08.09
Petrol 102.5 pence per litre
LPG 51.5 pence per litre

4 Calculation assumes conversion fee of £1,800 including VAT with an annual mileage of 20,000 miles. Payback period equates to 22.03 months based on calculation for Renault Laguna above.

5 Small particle emissions are related to health effects including increased risk of heart and lung disease and problems such as asthma. All figures taken form the European Emissions Testing Programme 2003

The following LPG powered vehicles are available for road testing:

Saab 93 saloon Linear SE 1.8 manual
Saab 93 estate Linear 1.8 manual
Renault Laguna Expression Sport Tourer 2.0 manual
Vauxhall Astra 1.4 sxi estate manual
Vauxhall Astra 1.4 sxi 5 door hatch
Renault Megane Sport 2.0 manual 225 5 door hatch
Vauxhall Insignia 1.8 Exclusive 5 door Hatch
Honda Civic Type R

BACK OF THE NET! JOHNSTONE’S TO UNVEIL NEW WEBSITE


To celebrate its fourth season of sponsorship, the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy has unveiled an action packed new website in time to kick off the new season.

The new website offers fans the “ultimate coverage” experience, from exclusive news, manager interviews and team awards, to goal footage from each round of games with opportunities to win sought after prizes.

Fans can also access the match centre zone to view live statistics, listen to text commentary and monitor results via the match centre scoreboard.

The website is designed to engage with more supporters than ever before through a variety of means, including surveys, polls, and competitions, as well as keeping fans abreast of all the daily on-goings, via twitter and facebook social networking websites.

What’s more, the site now has an enhanced photo gallery, which includes images and video clips from past and present Johnstone’s Paint Trophy competitions and events.

In addition, the site contains a community section to showcase the community-led activities carried out during the season such as projects with local schools and community makeovers.

And finally, to offer fans a personal touch, there is the option to select individual team colours, which are then displayed on each click and reappears every time fans return to the site.

Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Sponsorship Co-ordinator Sally Binns said:

“We wanted to revolutionise the website by injecting colour and life into one of the most vital communication tools, allowing us to engage with more and more fans and followers of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy”

“We spent a great deal of time working on this site with fans and we think it has kicked off the new season perfectly for us. We now look forward to engaging with more and more fans as they sign up to the site!”

To visit the new website go to www.johnstonespainttrophy.com

Johnstone’s. Bringing colour to the beautiful game.

Issued on behalf of Johnstone’s by Ben Smallman, Connect PR, ben@connect-group.com ( 01902 714957

Notes to editor:

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, speciality materials, glass and fibreglass. The company has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

TROPICAL THINKING WITH AMTICO


Amtico International is bringing the beauty of the world’s rainforest into customers’ homes without the need to sacrifice a single tree.

The premium flooring specialist firm continues to invest in the sustainability of its business and has recently introduced a new tropical wood collection, which serves as a realistic alternative to the endangered timber species.

From mangroves to jungles, international demand for woods such as bamboo, tigerwood, rosewood and merbau are stripping the world's rainforests bare.

In response, Amtico International has launched the Amtico Tropical Woods Collection to perfectly replicate the exquisite quality, beauty and versatility of these woods. The result is a range of rich beautiful colours and striking patterns.

Sian Lewis, UK Marketing Manager for Amtico International, said: “We want consumers to be able to indulge in the exotic without harming the environment.

“The collection comprises of four designs; Tigerwood, Brazilian Rosewood, Merbau and Caramel Bamboo, each bringing flooring to the forefront of design.

“At Amtico International we understand the importance of respecting and sustaining the wonders of nature and continue to invest in developing new designs which truly reflect the natural characteristic of these woods.”

To find out more visit
www.amtico.com

ENDS

Issued on behalf of Amtico International by Connect PR

For further information, please contact Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email
lee@connect-group.com

PETERHEAD FC SCORE NEW SPONSORSHIP DEAL


Peterhead FC is geared up for the season after confirming a new sponsorship deal.

Aberdeen’s Volkswagen retailer, Specialist Cars, is helping to improve the second division club’s transport needs by providing them with three new Volkswagen cars.

The Blue Toon fleet comprises of a Passat, Golf and Polo and will provide the coaches, managers and players with a reliable and cost effective solution for the club.

The vehicles will be used for daily club activity in addition to attending competitor matches and helping to reduce the clubs transportation costs.

Peterhead FC manager, Neale Cooper, said: The Club is really pleased to have Specialist Cars on board and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them.

“Support from local businesses is vital for the future sustainability of Peterhead Football Club and in continuing to develop talent from the under 12’s through to the elite first team.”

Specialist Cars Volkswagen retailer’s sales manager, Tony Lanni, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Peterhead Football Club and wish them success for the season.


Picture caption: (l-r) Peterhead FC collects the keys of their new cars Peterhead FC manager, Neale Cooper, Specialist Cars Volkswagen retailer’s sales manager, Tony Lanni and Peterhead FC Youth and Community coach Scott McKenzie

For more information contact Sue Foster on 01902 714 957 or email
suefoster@connect-group.com

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A SHORT STORY SUMMER CHALLENGE


Award winning writer, Michelle Harrison is encouraging children to keep the art of handwriting alive this summer.

The winner of the 2009 Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize has teamed up with leading stationery brand uni-ball to offer budding authors the chance to complete a short story that opens with a specially penned introduction:

I only found out by accident. Ever since, I’ve been on edge. Waiting. A bit like when there’s a sluggish day in the summer: grey, too warm, airless, and the only thing that will clear the atmosphere is a good storm.

Half of the problem is what I know, and the other half is how I know it. I wasn’t supposed to find out – because I shouldn’t have been there. Now I don’t know what to do or how to act. I’ve never been much good at pretending.

Whatever I do, I need to think fast. I can hear footsteps on the stairs and I’m pretty sure I know who it is. Do they know that I know? Something tells me I’m about to find out . . .

The competition, open to children under the age of 16, not only keeps them busy during the school summer holidays, but it also follows the National Curriculum to serve as preparation for the back to school period.

Stuart Barker, marketing manager at uni-ball, said: "As soon as we read Michelle's opening paragraph, we wanted to find out more. This competition provides children with a wonderful opportunity to finish the story and be credited alongside one of the country's brightest authors.

"To survive going back to school children need to exercise their minds during long periods of leave. We look forward to reading interpretations of Michelle's work and wish all the entrants the very best of luck."

Details on how to enter can be seen by visiting www.writeasummerstory.blogspot.com. The deadline for entries will be September 25 2009. Prizes up for grabs include a signed copy of Michelle’s book Thirteen Treasures, Waterstone’s vouchers up to the value of £150 and back to school stationery kits.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of Mitsubishi Pencil Co. by Connect PR

For further information, please contact: Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email
lee@connect-group.com.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

THE SELF-SHARPENING PENCIL IS SET TO HIT THE UK WRITING MARKET


The latest craze in writing instruments is on its way to the UK this year after proving to be a huge success in Japan and across the globe.

The uni Kuru Toga is a new mechanical pencil from Mitsubishi Pencil Co., owner of the uni-ball brand. It's leading the way with its revolutionary core rotation engine that continually rotates as you write; guaranteeing its lead will always stays sharp.

"After two and half years in development, the rotating mechanism of the uni Kuru Toga marks the end for mechanical pencils which break and fail to deliver a consistent thickness," says marketing manager, Stuart Barker.

"Following its launch in Japan last year, the uni Kuru Toga was responsible for increasing Mitsubishi Pencil Company’s mechanical pencil market share from 34% to 69%."

With its innovative design, the pencil is ideal for technical applications such as drawing and writing. By maintaining a sharp point, this new product eliminates the common chiseled edge that can result in a change in thickness as you write. Watch this space as the uni Kuru Toga is set to be launched in the UK in summer 2009.

To find out more about Mitsubishi Pencil Co. visit
www.uniball.co.uk

ENDS

Issued on behalf of Mitsubishi Pencil Co. by Connect PR

For further information, please contact: Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email
lee@connect-group.com.

RETAILER IS ONE OF EUROPE’S BEST

A service team from West Cumbria has been named as one of the top ten in the UK after achieving record levels of customer satisfaction.

The team from Walkingshaw Volkswagen in Workington is also among the top 100 in Europe for the Volkswagen brand.

Positive feedback from customers and excellent customer loyalty figures ensured Walkingshaw secured its status as one of Britain’s best.

The award is yet another triumph for the retailer after the sales team scooped a similar honour earlier this year.

Andy Walkingshaw, brand manager at Walkingshaw, said: “To have one of the best service and sales teams in the UK is testament to the brilliance of everyone at the retailer.

“The service team thoroughly deserves this acknowledgment as they have strived to deliver total customer satisfaction.

“The team’s ethic is to make sure every customer is given the correct information before, during and after their car is in the workshop.”

“Their positive attitude has inspired everyone at the site and is demonstrated with this award.”

Andy will be presented with the award at a Volkswagen ceremony in Germany in September.

If you are interested in this story please contact Richard Knowles on 01902 714 957 or email richard@connect-group.com

O'Neill makes Champagne Moment history


Crowd favourite British Touring Car Championship driver Paul O’ Neill has reinforced his status as one of the most popular men in the series, after winning the HiQ Champagne Moment with a record number of votes.

More than 300 fans voted for the Widnes speedster to win the prestigious award for his
headline grabbing display in the last round of the BTCC at Snetterton, when he finished on the podium in race one.

O’Neill achieved his first top-three result since 2003 when he guided his sunshine.co.uk-sponsored Tech-Speed Honda Integra to third place and backed that up with fifth and sixth places in races two and three.

He polled a whopping 63 per cent of fans’ votes with Jason Plato second with 24 per cent and reigning champion Fabrizio Giovanardi third (6 per cent).

The 29 year-old, who received a huge roar from fans when stepping up to the podium at Snetterton, said: “It’s a fantastic honour to win HiQ’s Champagne Moment, and to receive so many votes in the process is just great.

“It was a wonderful feeling to be back on the podium and the reception I got was one that will live with me for a long time. HiQ’s Champagne Moment will give me a permanent reminder and I am so grateful for all the support received.”

BTCC fan Tracy Blake, of Frome, Somerset, was picked at random to win a bottle of champagne and she will now win a pair of tickets to the forthcoming round of racing at Knockhill, where she will present Paul with his prize.

Tracy will also get the chance to see Paul’s Sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport car on the grid for one of the races as part of the prize, courtesy of a grid walk with HiQ.

She said: “What emotion from Paul on the podium. I had tears in my eyes watching him.

“He deserves this HiQ Champagne Moment award for a fabulous display at Snetterton. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”

All spectators are invited to log onto HiQ’s official website, http://www.hiqonline.co.uk/ to vote for their star performer from the next round of racing, at Knockhill on Sunday August 16.

The man that receives the most plaudits from the round of racing will be crowned with HiQ’s Champagne Moment award and presented with a magnum of bubbly before the next race at Silverstone on August 30.

One lucky fan who has logged his or her details onto the website will be picked at random to present the prize to the driver and complimentary race tickets will also be provided, along with a grid walk of the track before one of the races.

HiQ’s BTCC marketing manager Geraldine McGovern said: “We are delighted for Paul and his team. He is certainly a worthy winner, and polled more votes than any other driver has.

“He deserves all the success in the world and we wish him well for the remainder of the season.”

Friday, 7 August 2009

MIDLANDS BUTCHER REARS PARTNERSHIP WITH STATELY HOME

A West Midlands butcher is expanding its business as it embarks on a partnership with a stately home’s Granary Farm Shop.
Robinsons of Tettenhall, butchers for over 100 years, will be operating the Butchery at Weston Park’s recently launched, Granary Farm Shop.

The family butcher, located in Wolverhampton, has developed a renowned reputation for supplying the finest quality fresh meats from locally sourced farmers.

Established in 1905, Robinsons has continually invested in its business to ensure premium quality produce and unrivalled customer service. Its traditional butchery techniques and practices have created award winning sausages and black pudding, dry-cured bacon and homemade pork pies.

Speaking of the expansion Robinsons owner, Steve Robinson, said: “We are very excited to be expanding our business and believe Weston Park’s Granary Farm Shop is the ideal venue to showcase our produce to a wider audience.”

To launch the joint partnership, Weston Park and Robinsons hosted a sausage sizzle evening allowing customers to sample the award winning products for themselves.

Welcoming the Robinsons team Weston Park’s chief executive, Colin Sweeney said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve and his team to the Granary Farm Shop. Their expertise and passion will help to position the Granary as the place to shop for the regions best local produce.”

“We want to thank Martyn and Helen Rowley of Buttercross Farm Foods who initially managed the butchery since the Granary Farm Shop launch in April.”


The Granary Farm Shop is located in the former 1767 Granary building on the Weston Park estate. The building has been sympathetically restored with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands.


The total award, of just over one million pounds, was granted on the basis of repairing and restoring the North face of the listed building.

The Shop also features locally sourced food and drinks from regional suppliers and sells produce such as seasonal fruit and vegetables, cheese, local beers and bakery products.
For further information contact Sue Foster on 01902 714957 or email suefoster@connect-group.com

LISTERS SHOWCASES A REALLY WILD ANIMAL SHOW FOR FAMILIES

Families from across Worcester are invited to a Really Wild Show taking place this weekend (Saturday 8th August) at Listers Volkswagen in association with West Midlands Safari Park.

The Safari lady will present a variety of exotic creatures from around the world at the free of charge family fun day held at the Bromyard Road dealership in Worcester.

Children will have the opportunity to get up close with unusual animals such as
corn snakes, giant African land snails, Madagascan hissing cockroaches, giant African millipedes and Caribbean hermit crabs.

The family event will also include a treasure hunt around the Volkswagen showroom, a bouncy castle and test drives for the big kids. Refreshments will be provided with a free hog roast.

Richard Newbold, brand manager at Listers Volkswagen, said: “We are delighted to be offering this free event to families in the area and very pleased to welcome the West Midlands Safari team.

“Hands on experience is often the most memorable and with the supervision of the Safari lady children or adults will have the opportunity hold the animals and have their photos taken with them. The Safari experts will be available throughout the day to answer any questions people may have.”

In addition to the family fun activities Listers Volkswagen will be offering free vehicle safety checks followed by a wash and a vacuum for any make of car on the day. To take advantage of this service visitors are asked to book in advance by calling 01905 424242.

Listers Really Wild Show will start at 10am to 4pm taking place on Bromyard Road, Worcester, WR2 5EA

For further information call Sue Foster on 01902 7149 57 or email suefoster@connect-group.com

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Connect is now a happy word

As communication, language and literacy are vital to our work here at Connect PR, and many of us in the office understand the importance of children's education (being parents ourselves), our hearts were warmed when we heard about the latest initiative from the I CAN charity.



Adopt a Word, aims to help change the lives of children with speech, language and communications difficulties. Through the scheme, the whole of the English Language is up for adoption and celebs such as Stephen Fry, Mel C, Cherie Booth QC and Nicholas Parsons OBE have each adopted their own words.



In support of the charity, we too have once again become proud parents and are now official guardians of the word 'Connect'. We will make sure it is nurtured and well looked after whilst it is in our care and remains a happy word. Our adoption certificate will be given pride of place in the office for all to see.



You can Adopt a Word and support the charity at http://www.adoptaword.co.uk/.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

TOP MARKS FOR VOLKSWAGEN PARTS MANAGER

A parts manager at a Macclesfield car retailer is celebrating after passing a new management training course with some of the highest marks in the country.

Martin Pointon, who works for Gilbert Lawton Volkswagen, recently completed the parts managers aftersales qualification programme, launched by Volkswagen’s Training Academy.

The 29-year-old is the first and only parts manager to successfully complete all elements of the course.

Thrilled Martin, who lives in Macclesfield, said: “I am absolutely overjoyed and relieved to have passed the course and really proud to have done so well.

“The course taught me so much that will help me in my role as head of the parts department and for my future development.”

To pass the course Martin had to complete practical and theoretical assessments, take part in an interview and conduct a presentation on a project he was responsible for running over a 12-week period.

Having worked at the retailer on Winterton Way for almost seven years, Martin is now planning to start working towards an aftersales manager position.

Gilbert Lawton’s brand manager, Nick Ashton, said: “We believe that having knowledgeable staff is paramount to the success of a business.

“We are all very proud of Martin and I think the fact that he gained some of the highest marks in the country shows that we have the best parts manager out there.”

Issued on behalf of Gilbert Lawton Volkswagen by Connect PR. For more information contact Natasha Brown on 01902 714 957 or email natasha@connect-group.com

Reeves seeking some iconic images

One of Britain’s best loved art brands is asking community groups up and down the UK to commemorate the last decade in style – by creating some iconic images of the last ten years to celebrate the end of the ‘noughties.’

Whether it is a provocative image of 9/11, or the memorable sight of Sir Steve Redgrave winning his fifth Olympic gold, Reeves want to see as many exhibits as possible as it strives to fill an end of year charity gallery.

Any group or organisation interested is being asked to get in touch with the Midlands based brand, who will then send out some canvases and paints for them to get started with.

It is hoped that the unique initiative will not only capture the imagination, but will form a moving memento of the last 10 years for future generations to enjoy.
All entries will be sent back to us, and we will shortlist them down before organising a ‘Reeves in the Noughties’ exhibition.

The pieces of art will then be auctioned off for an official charity of our choice in an attempt to swell the coffers of a worthy cause.

Communications manager Rachel Smallman said: “We didn’t think we could let the end of a decade pass without commemorating it in style, which is why we came up with this unique idea.

“There is no real criteria for entry – only that any piece of work is created on the back of a memorable moment in the last 10 years. It really is down to interpretation and we can’t wait to see the artwork come in to us.

“The advent of 2010 will be upon us before we know it, and being a brand with over 200 years of experience, we want to look forward to the future too. The interest generated in this initiative will be perfect to showcase our plans moving forward, so it really is the perfect time to engage with the public.”

Any community groups interested in receiving an art pack to get started should email paintings@connect-group.com

Once a pack is received, the deadline for entries will be October 5 2009.


For more information about this press release and all other Reeves news, please contact lee@connect-group.com ben@connect-group.com or call Ben and Lee on 01902 714957.