A coalition of trade associations (including the NTDA) and commercial organisations (including Halfords and Kwik Fit) has been formed to lobby the UK government to uphold “the rights of the independent aftermarket and consumers in the post-Brexit era.” The UK Alliance for the Freedom of Car Repair (AFCAR), which derives its name from the European group of the same name, will primarily lobby on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations (MV-BER), Vehicle Type Approval (including access to Repair & Maintenance Information) and Cybersecurity.
The Garage Equipment Association (GEA), Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT) have published a best practice guide outlining the necessary steps for garages exiting lockdown.
In addition to the news that the Maha Duo+1 scissor lift if the model behind the Northern Ireland MOT crisis, GEA chief executive Julian Woods has pointed out that these Irish lifts are different to UK equivalents: “Vehicle lifts used for performing MOT tests in Ireland are of a different design/specification to those required in the UK MOT market and as such we cannot compare the situations.”
On 12 August DVSA announced that, from 1 October, anyone buying a roller brake tester will have to ensure it can connect to the MOT testing service. This includes buying one as a replacement for an old or broken roller brake tester, or as part of the process of opening a new MOT station.
The Automotive Aftermarket Liaison Group (AALG) presented its new lobbying position on European issues that affect the aftermarket in a post-Brexit Britain at a press launch today (Tuesday 23 May) at Silverstone race track.
Garage Equipment Association members recently raised £2500 for BEN at their annual Charity Golf Day. The event, which has been running for over 20 years was set up to allow GEA members and non-members to network whilst raising money for charity.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) director Stuart James and Garage Equipment Association (GEA) chief executive Dave Garratt have agreed to meet Rory Stewart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, in early March to discuss concerns related to changes to the guidance for the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010.
NTDA national chairman Roger Griggs used his speech at the 86th NTDA Annual Dinner to echo many of the sentiments expressed at the Tyre Industry Conference, calling especially for unified voices in tackling industry-wide issues. Encompassing cheap imported products, the under-regulated part-worn tyre market, MOTs and road safety, and the importance of attracting young talent to the industry, Griggs’ speech outlined the evolution of the NTDA’s position over the past year and, most crucially the work it is doing in attempting to bring together a variety of disparate voices. Reinforcing the association’s “growth and renewed energy,” according to Griggs, the dinner was the “biggest… in recent decades, with 620 guests in attendance,” indicating the “value…we all place on spending time together as an industry.
After a decade-long hiatus, the National Tyre Distributor Association (NTDA) resurrected the concept of having an annual tyre industry conference, with a new location and new format at the start of October. The new conference sees the association position its gathering as an industry-wide professional event alongside the NTDA dinner. The decision to re-launch the conference comes at a time when the NTDA dinner has itself evolved significantly – this year some 600 people attended (see complete coverage in the preceding section of this issue). But the most noticeable thing was the concerted effort, especially on the part of various industry associations participating, to present a united front. By doing this they showed that the associations are now more interested in highlighting where they stand together as opposed to where they differ.
Neil Ebbs, of MAHA UK, was appointed president of the Garage Equipment Association, (GEA), at the association’s AGM, which was held at the GEA offices in Daventry on 3 April 2014.
Ebbs’ experience in running the UK division of MAHA is likely to be beneficial to the progression of the association as it seeks to “improve safety and standards in the garage equipment industry”. MAHA is an abbreviation of MAschinenbau HAldenwan, which roughly translates as manufacturer from Haldenwan. (Haldenwan is a small Bavarian town, however, today MAHA are one of the largest European equipment manufacturers). Neil Ebbs takes over from Andrew Bates of Straightset, who has served as president for the past two years.