Leading motor factor The Parts Alliance have launched a new forum with the support of the IMI for independent garage owners in the automotive aftermarket
The Accelerate forum is designed for garage owners to discuss and debate the future of the industry and the impact of emerging technology such as electric vehicles (EVs).
The forum is aimed at garage owners from national garage programme Servicesure’s network of 554 members and other independent garage owners.
The group will meet quarterly to discuss and debate topics impacting the aftermarket, with guests from leading manufacturers, industry bodies and trainers in attendance to facilitate discussion, field questions and take on feedback from garage owners.
The first Accelerate forum, held on 28 April 2021, saw representatives from Yuasa Batteries, Fleet Assist, BP Pulse and Autotech Training participate in the discussion with owners from 10 independent garage owners, as well as Servicesure and senior leaders from The Parts Alliance.
The Parts Alliance Head of Garage Programmes Paul Dineen said: “It’s absolutely crucial for garage owners to understand the kind of emerging technology that will fundamentally change the automotive aftermarket in the years ahead, but it’s equally important for these experts to have a voice during the evolution of our industry.
“As EVs and their variants become more prevalent in society, our industry needs to prepare and adapt in order to ensure technicians can still operate safely and to provide independent garage owners with the opportunity to capitalise on this rapidly growing market.
Our Accelerate forums will bring together forward-thinking, passionate and knowledgeable garage owners with representatives from companies and bodies involved in emerging automotive technology in order to stimulate useful and engaging discussion.”
The group used the first Accelerate forum to discuss safety, qualifications and legislation regarding work on EVs, ADAS and Autonomous Vehicles.
With fewer than five per cent of UK technicians currently qualified to work on high voltage systems in EVs, industry training and qualifications are an essential part of this emerging market.
Also discussed was the expansion of EVs in corporate fleets and supply chains, and how this could impact servicing demand. Finally, the forum examined the implications of charging infrastructure and the equipment required to work on EVs for independent garages.