The development of modern car technology has accelerated as fast as ever before and manufacturers producing the systems that allow workshops to service these vehicles effectively have also developed at a fast rate. In some cases, the development has been a technological necessity needed to keep pace with vehicle development, but in other cases, the development is driven by the vision to provide a better, more efficient servicing solution.
While sales of eco-friendly electric and hybrid cars have been slowly accelerating for a number of years, figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that for the first time ever, sales of new electric and hybrid cars recently overtook that of diesels for the first time ever. Although we’re probably still some time away from the real tipping point of mass adoption of electric vehicles in the UK, workshops are being advised that they need to prepare for this now, as they will only see more and more EVs and hybrids coming through their doors.
Roughly 18 months after Clive Seabrook joined Pro-Align, Tyres & Accessories caught up with the relatively new CEO in order to find out more about how the right equipment and services can add value to garage businesses, especially in the post-lockdown environment.
Challenging times need innovative solutions, so Pro Align responded to the pressures brought about by lockdown by seeing by choosing not to approach the circumstances as a commercial opportunity, but rather by responding to the customer instead:
Pro-Align is offering two new systems that have been added to an expanded range of equipment to workshops, bodyshops and tyre retailers looking to cut their operating costs and reduce vehicle repair times.
Pro-Align is targeting workshops looking to grow their business in 2020 with a new offer designed to reduce equipment investment costs and lower the bar to improving service capabilities. The £9,999 Ultimate Starter Bundle includes three key workshop systems, offering a saving of almost £2,000 when compared with buying the pieces of equipment individually (which would cost £11,985). Included within the bundle are the Hunter TCX 52 tyre changer, the Hunter SmartWeight Pro wheel balancer and a Teknel Butterfly induction heater, making it an ideal package for those looking to enter tyre servicing, upgrade or replace existing equipment.
UK wheel servicing equipment supplier Pro-Align has launched a new website. Featuring a modern, clean design the new platform puts customers at the heart of the online journey by providing easier navigation, a fully integrated experience and product recommendations based upon their specific business type.
Distributor of the Hunter brand of wheel servicing equipment Pro-Align has introduced the US company’s new wheel alignment inspection system to the UK and Ireland markets. The Hunter Quick Check Drive is one of the industry’s first ‘drive-thru’ non-contact wheel alignment inspection systems, according to the distributor. It adds that the system’s operation without any need to attach sensors or targets, or for the vehicle to stop, means that labour costs are minimised and alignment opportunities can be identified in a matter of seconds.
With all new cars now coming equipped with TPMS, uneven tyre wear as a result of under (or over) inflated tyres should theoretically become a thing of the past. That theory has yet to materialise in practice; the latest Department for Transport figures reveal that around 1,000 casualties are caused every year on the UK’s roads from tyre-related incidents. And perhaps the brave new world of tyre safety promised by required TPMS fitments may have been inspired by too much blue sky thinking anyway. With many drivers now relying on TPMS systems to advise them when to top up their tyres with air, it is possible that some are checking their tread depth even less frequently than before.
For garages looking to increase the number of revenue-generating tasks they can complete, the increased efficiency of their equipment is of paramount importance. Most directly, changing a tyre more quickly and safely means more customers can be served – and of course billed. But the latest changer from Hunter, distributed in the UK by Pro-Align, offers the chance to increase the additional tasks its operator can complete through increased automation of the process.
Without the natural pull of an OEM badge over the door, building a successful aftermarket business can be challenging. However, the role of high-quality workshop equipment shouldn’t be under-estimated in helping identify job opportunities, communicate with customers, improve efficiencies and develop a lean operating environment.
After a winter of discontent in 2017/18, potholes still blight the UK’s roads and causing numerous problems for wheels and tyres alike. Not only can they cause damage to the internal structure of the tyre – wheel rims can also suffer damage too, resulting in imbalance and vibration issues for the driver.
20 members of staff from wheel servicing equipment specialist Pro-Align have received an intensive week of product and service training at equipment supplier Hunter’s head office in St Louis, Missouri. The UK distributor of Hunter wheel alignment, balancing and tyre changing equipment said the largest ever delegation to such an event reflects the growing size of the business. The majority of the group were visiting Hunter for the first time.
Pro-Align has launched a new commitment to visit customers with a valid aftersales agreement within two days of receiving a reported issue on Hunter equipment. For customers where a visit cannot be completed within the agreed time frame, no charge will be made for the resulting repair. The garage equipment distributor said the new commitment has been made in response to a growing number of workshops’ reliance on Hunter wheel servicing equipment for profit maximisation.