HiQ Bridgend “bouncing back” with HiQ
A Bridgend garage that lost £10,500 worth of equipment to thieves is bouncing back after joining the HiQ network. Waterton Tyre Services now has the fast-fit franchise’s black and white branding above its forecourt, following a £60,000 investment. The garage, based in Waterton Industrial Estate, was robbed at the start of the year after just five months of trading in the town.
Owner Rod Cowling and his wife have invested £60,000 into the premises, following an approach by HiQ, which says it saw the potential of his centre. The fast-fitter aims to have 300 stores across the UK by 2014.
Cowling said: “We are delighted to bear the HiQ name and think this partnership will represent a new chapter for us all in Bridgend. We were hit badly by the thieves but we do see a bright future for us here, which is why we have moved to work with HiQ, as a franchisee of their network.
“HiQ actually approached us as they said there was no other garage in the premises that offered such an impressive frontage, large car park and spacious waiting area. We think that our local knowledge coupled with the national strength of the HiQ brand will be the perfect combination for a successful future.”
Cowling’s chief mechanic Rhys Eskins has just gained his Automotive Technician Accreditation, becoming one of the first in the region to do so. Regulated by the Institute of Motor Industry, ATA is a regulatory programme that commits technicians to an ethical code of conduct and is regarded as the most prestigious qualification in the fast fit industry.
Eskins, aged 26, passed the programme which requires a theory based module and then practical assessments specific to their field of expertise. He is now listed on the ATA website, which allows consumers to search for their nearest garage with registered technicians, giving peace of mind that work will be carried out correctly.
Regional franchise manager Mark Widdows said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Rod in Bridgend, not to mention Rhys’s achievement. To boast a presence in the town is a big coup for us as a network and we think that with Rod’s dedicated team of technicians, we can look forward to an extremely bright future.”