The UK aftermarket is a competitive environment, comprised of tens of thousands of repairers, roughly half of whom are independent garages. With an estimated car parc of 32.5 million passenger cars, garage visits that will be made in the UK this year create a valuable marketplace. Local, regional and national agents need to understand how to fine-tune their workshops and services to build client loyalty.
Schaeffler is inviting workshop owners to send at least one technician to Automechanika Birmingham 2019, as the global original equipment manufacturer and supplier urges independent workshops to futureproof their businesses.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has published its 2019 report on consumer facing websites seeking to work with independent garages. The 2019 Garage Work Provider Report builds on the detail established in the 2018 report and features significantly more feedback and testimonials from independent garages.
Michelin Auto Professional (MAP) UK dealers have been told improving the overall experience of their customers is more important than ever, in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Business owners and senior managers from 16 independent dealer groups attended the annual MAP conference in Chichester, for a briefing on a new package of benefits being rolled out to members of Michelin’s advocate dealer programme.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) will ensure that independent garages are able to comply with the new Making Tax Digital for VAT legislation by publishing a self-help ‘Garage Guide to Making Tax Digital for VAT’ handbook.
Quentin Le Hetet, general manager of GiPA UK, presented a whistle-stop tour of current global automotive megatrends at the Tyre Industry Conference 2018, focusing on why tyre businesses need to keep on top of developments, despite the challenge posed by the pace of change.
Giti Tire has added 15 independent garages to its GT Radial Performance Centre (GTPC) network. The new dealers were welcomed to the network during the company’s new dealer training events at Horiba Mira, hosted in partnership with exclusive UK distributor Micheldever Tyre Services. The latest additions to the network were all signed in 2018.
Autofirst Network has agreed a deal with WhoCanFixMyCar.com to support its nationwide network of independent garages. The arrangement offers every Autofirst Network member the opportunity to have its own profile on the platform for 12 months, enabling them to receive notifications every time a local motorist requires a quotation for a service or repair.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) said it was “delighted, but not surprised,” to see that independent garages topped consumer satisfaction comparisons in the National Franchised Dealers Association’s (NFDA) Consumer Attitude Survey Spring 2017.
UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond’s spring Budget contained the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) upgraded growth forecasts for 2017, while predicting lower – but rising – figures for the years following the assumed activation of Article 50 as the country leaves the European Union. The government also confirmed an extra £690 million will be added to the £1.3 billion announced in autumn to improve transport networks in urban areas. In other transport news, the freeze on fuel duty has been retained.
Pro-Align has announced independent workshop, K Brown Auto Repairs in Kings Lynn, as the winner of its 25th anniversary competition. The workshop will receive a Hunter PA200 Plus wheel alignment system with a list price of £15,000. Pro-Align states the addition of the aligner will enable K Brown to expand its service offering and grow its wheel alignment business.
Customers who research tyres online, but purchase offline were the major topic of this year’s annual conference for Michelin’s Auto Professional network. Michelin estimates that around 70 per cent of tyre purchases begin online – though actual online tyre purchases remain much lower – so tackling this growth market is now an important aspect of tyre retail, as Mark Meagher, retail programme development manager explains.
Servicesure Autocentres, the garage network run by The Parts Alliance, has welcomed the launch of The Motor Ombudsman. Paul Dineen, the network’s Head of Garage Programmes, said drivers would be given extra confidence knowing the service was there to offer help if things went wrong.