I spent the morning watching a debate about the National Health Service and in particular the closure of some hospitals. The argument was in support of focusing on highly skilled specialist hospitals. Providing care and services more efficiently and more cost effective. It argued, and I believe correctly, that each hospital could not afford the specialist equipment, and, the supporting skill sets, practiced in sufficient numbers as to provide the very best health care in all cases.
I am sure you are ahead of me here in the parallel analogy with our industry. The other remarkable similarity was in the way the different factions, all passionate about providing the best care, were in effect tearing themselves apart. The result if it continues will hand the NH’s right into the private sector, something I never wish to see.
A close second to that is my wish not to see the government, sorry vehicle manufacturers, take over, arguing that their hospitals, I mean dealerships, are best equipped to provide total care. Did I just say care? There are however many truths in that argument!
Given the increase in complexity, technology, cost, and diversity that the current independent sector has overcome in order to repair and service vehicles, Cannot possibly hope to survive!
Special tools, restrictive access to repair data, encrypted software access, extended warranty, inclusive service with purchase, manufacturer’s training not forgetting marketing and customer perspective.
Wait a minute, have i gone mad or crossed over to the dark side, if you think that, you definitely don’t know me. Dealership training currently relies on assessment from serial data, fault guided diagnostics, and automated test process. Access to highly specialist tools, injector test bench, inductive current measurement, electronic profile evaluation, selective pcm programming, induction pressure testing are just some of the skills training we provide and won’t be found in dealerships. There is an incredible opportunity you simply have to reach out for it.
They have a point, despite many garages investing and providing an excellent service, there are some tearing it apart. We cannot possibly provide all of the services across the entire market, we can however embark on a more cooperative outlook. Sharing resources, knowledge and opportunity, will only help to improve the independent vehicle repair sector.
Unfortunately like the NH’s, there are also some who seek power and influence, not to serve the industry but to serve its self.
Enough of Sunday morning politics, my coffee is cold, my partner a paediatric nurse won’t get up to make a fresh cup, so let’s talk about a very specific problem.
Diesels! Small diesels, in small cars, creating lots of nasty harmful emissions. In particular what the government, no worse than that the EU government is trying to introduce.
Euro 6! So what’s the problem? We are, or I should say our future like the NH’s is facing a future crisis. By that I mean the extinction of the small diesel passenger car why? Diesel does not and will not burn well. It’s a long chain molecule fuel that produces lots of nasty harmful residuals that must be treated in the exhaust system. Post combustion after treatment is not new and am sure many of you are fully employed in repairing them. Long may it continue, because i am one of them.
However with current average bills ranging from £ 5oo to £ 1500, to correctly recover dpf systems, and that statement excludes the cowboys with a Hilti and a 1 meter long masonry drill, will have an impact on future consumer habits.
Given the approaching implementation of euro 6 scr legislation and its additional cost in hardware, technology and repair and maintenance cost, it cannot be too long before the manufacturers and soon to follow, the general public stop demanding small diesel cars.
David and I agree, that in the next 5 to 10 years a reduction in demand and escalating cost will drive the consumer away from diesel. What to we can only speculate, the hybrid is but the Betamax, a good idea with a long long way to go. If you want to track this debate still further go our web site autoinform.co.uk
I would like to focus on how we can help educate the general public away from harmful smoking and drinking habits! This may result in more frequent visits to the technician for check-ups and medication.
We profile our customers , in understanding there driving habits , type of fuel purchased , servicing regime and operating environment , we are able to formulate not only a durable repair but also a mutual beneficial avoidance programme. More frequent oil and filter replacement, additional treatment and recovery products such as BG, better fuel quality and an understanding how to best operate their vehicle.
As for the future? Well if I could predict that my coffee would never go cold!