Halfway house? 50% of garages operating well below capacity

Published:  23 June, 2020

Over 50% of garages in the UK are still running at half their usual capacity, a survey has revealed.

56% of garages are also operating with a reduced workforce, with the remainder of staff on furlough. On the positive side, 87% of respondents said their garage successfully  received financial support from government, according to the poll.

The survey was carried out by automotive aftermarket PR and marketing agency Impression, in order to assess the current state of the marketplace as restrictions to halt the spread of Coronavirus ease.

The survey also asked what social distancing measures had been put in place and 85% are carrying out vehicle sanitisation, while 73% of garages are offering PPE for staff and customers.

30% said they were buying more parts online and seeing motorists do the same, with some garages pointing to a breakdown in communication with their parts suppliers. On the subject of sales visits, 53% said they were not accepting a visit, while 31% were only doing so by appointment.

Finally, when asked if they would be confident with dealing with the increased level of MOTs when the extension ends, 72% of garages said yes.

Commenting on the results, Impression Director Mark Field said: “The survey shows a more gradual return to normality for the automotive aftermarket and also highlights just how tough it has been for garages throughout the UK. Garages have also been very effective in putting in place social distancing measures to protect both employees and customers.”

He added: “With confidence growing, the sector is more than able to cope with an increase in MOT demand when the extension ends.”

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