Mechanics show support

Delegates at the GEA/Aftermarket Technical Workshop vote for garage licensing

Published:  26 June, 2007

AN OVERWHELMING majority of mechanics feel garage licensing could help secure a brighter future for the industry, according to a straw poll at the GEA/Aftermarket Technical Workshop event.

Delegates at the packed conference event in Warwickshire on Monday (June 11) indicated that they believed licensing had an important part to play in the future of independent garages.

Only one delegate disagreed when asked if he thought garage licensing could benefit the the sector. The straw poll was conducted at the end of a full day of presentations on vehicle technology.

The presentations were given by a panel of experts including chairman of Sykes-Pickavant Peter Coombes, Dave Garratt of the Garage Equipment Association and Volkswagen and Peugeot trainer Jason Berkin.

They formed part of the first GEA/Aftermarket Technical Workshop day designed to give technicians and garage owners from across the country the best information, tips and advice on making their businesses a success.

However, the question of whether garages were actually prepared to sign up to a licensing scheme remained unanswered. And it remains entirely possible that mechanics' apparent support for the scheme remains largely theoretical.

The straw poll comes after a survey by component manufacturer Motaquip claimed that almost six out of 10 independent garages are not confident that BSI accreditation schemes can help raise the perception of garage standards with customers.

The national Motaquip survey claimed that 94% of independent garages are not accredited under the BSI Kitemark scheme.

David Higgins, Motoquip's general manager, said the survey was designed to see how the independent garage sector had got to grips with changes within the industry over recent years.

"It has been 18 months since the BSI Product Services Kitemark scheme was launched, so these results are concerning, if not surprising.

"With only 6% of those surveyed actually accredited under the scheme it suggests that independent garages are neither interested in the scheme nor convinced of its worth."

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