With the nation voting to leave the European Union, the proprietor of Scotlands Ash Garage in Didcot, Peter Welch, is beginning to assess the implications this has for independent garages, stressing the importance of transferring EU legislation into UK law.
Nebula Systems says independent garages can “connect with the future of diagnostics” by employing its new MECH5 diagnostics system. MECH5 is a new cloud-based vehicle data analytics platform that can help garages access the wealth of data within the ECUs of modern vehicles. The system is due to be launched commercially in September.
Following its acquisition by the RAC, Nebula Systems is preparing to launch commercially its MECH5 diagnostics platform for independent garages. The platform will initially offer the functionality of Superscan 3 on a pay-as-you-go basis. With the help of the RAC investment, Nebula says it will use the flexibility of scalable cloud-based IT infrastructure to develop MECH5 rapidly.
Delphi Product & Service Solutions has launched its new DS-Flash Pass-Thru package at Automechanika Birmingham. The tool provides independent garages with online access to vehicle manufacturer’s websites, enabling workshop to reprogram and update vehicle electronic control units without expensive dealer-only tools and software.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has announced that access to manufacturer security data for the independent sector has cleared its final hurdle. The body for European Accreditation (EA) has officially ‘signed-off’ the SERMI (Security related Repair & Maintenance Information) scheme and it will now go forward into European Type Approval.
The Independent Garage Association’s (IGA) Trust My Garage (TMG) has described a “flurry of interest” following the announcement that it received final approval from The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
The Independent Garage Association’s Trust My Garage (TMG) Consumer Code of Practice has received final approval from The Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s (CTSI) Consumer Code Approval Scheme (CCAS).
Micheldever Tyre Services’ wholesale business, worth £230 million in annual sales, has taken significant steps to support the on and offline operations of its independent tyre dealer customers in 2015. The added value of MTS’ services has become increasingly important in the light of continued growth in the number of retail branches controlled by the top 20 multiples (as noted in our Tyre Retail feature in the May magazine), and the increased online competition provided by internet specialists, big retail brands from within and outside the traditional tyre sector, and now, with Michelin’s acquisition of Blackcircles.com, major tyre manufacturers themselves. Alan Baldwin, sales director at Micheldever Tyre Services, told Tyres & Accessories, “I’m confident that there isn’t another wholesaler, distributor, and in many cases, manufacturer, in the UK that invests as much money, time and resources in supporting dealers as we do.”
Car owners prefer the independent sector to franchised dealers for servicing and MoTs according to new research from GForces. The results of the study, which sought the opinion of 2,000 car owners on a variety of aftersales topics, found over half of the respondents (50.3 per cent) used independent garages, compared with 34.1 per cent who use main dealers.
The Parts Alliance has launched a national tool hire programme. Designed to allow independent garages and workshops to retain business by improving access to specialist tools, Toolhireclub.com, is described as “a first” for a motor factor group. 300 special service tools and pieces of diagnostic equipment covering every major area of service and repair are available for hire. The Parts Alliance says it will allow garage owners to hire tools at low cost that in some cases would cost thousands of pounds to buy and would otherwise be beyond their budget.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is assisting the Department for Transport (DfT) with a project to reassess statutory MOT test fees. The DfT is analysing garage running costs to validate the justification for an increase in MOT test fees to present to the next government, but to make this happen it needs financial costings for MOT test stations as a starting point to the project.
Oxfordshire’s Scotlands Ash Garage has launched a new website providing an improved interface and updated information about its range of services. Peter Welch, Scotlands Ash Garage owner, said that the site “underlines our commitment to hassle free, safer motoring for Oxfordshire motorists.” Over a year in the making, www.scotlandsashgarage.co.uk is designed to make it easier for customers to book in work and to view the independent garage’s latest developments.
UK automotive parts distributor The Parts Alliance has announced a new partnership agreement with online servicing and repairs aggregator WhoCanFixMyCar.com. The group says the deal will help to provide motorists nationwide with quality parts and value in their vehicle repairs and servicing through their local independent garage. Within the trade, The Parts Alliance says the partnership will result in increased enquiries for its customer garages, while the ease of quoting and auto parts purchasing processes will be increased.
A female mechanic has spoken out against the “patronising and intimidating” treatment of women in garages and hopes that her new book, the Haynes Women’s Car DIY Manual will help more women to develop an understanding of car maintenance. Caroline Lake runs Caroline’s Cars in Norfolk and delivers regular workshops for men and women. She says: “Women shouldn’t be scared to take their car for a service, but the patronising and intimidating environment of many garages makes them an uncomfortable place for women to be.