Editor’s Viewpoint PMF September 2017.
It seems like a lifetime ago that I jotted down my thoughts for our July/August issue amid the uncertainly of the election result. A deal between the Conservatives and the DUP had all but been agreed at that stage, but we are still not a great deal clearer on what that actually means for the country going forward.
You’d expect the restructuring of the cabinet and the Brexit negotiations to be at the forefront of the Government’s minds, but instead announcements continue to be made which involve the automotive industry. Regular Counter View contributor and Proprietor of Scotlands Ash Garage, Peter Welch, is unimpressed at the level of political involvement.
“The electric vehicle proposals raise more questions than answers and create uncertainty about the future of the combustion engine…”
“I can’t recall a time when so many outside influencers affected the shape of business in our sector. MOT extensions, block exemption, type approval and the growing electric vehicle parc to name but four and all have the ability to significantly change the trade beyond recognition.”
As referenced by Peter, the Government recently announced that new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution. David Clarke, Managing Director at Autosupplies (Chesterfield), is wary of the announcement, but is open to the opportunity that it may bring.
“The electric vehicle proposals raise more questions than answers and create uncertainty about the future of the combustion engine, but the technology is available for the aftermarket to take advantage of this opportunity and stay ahead of the curve.”
The IMI backs up David’s concerns, saying that its data points to the fact that only 1% of all technicians have been trained to work safely on the high-voltage technology, of which almost all of them work exclusively for franchised dealers. You can read the views of both David and Peter in greater detail on page 17.
Elsewhere in the issue, I’d like to draw your attention to a report from GiPA (page 32) which looks at how some of the industry’s big players’ attempts to consolidate market share could affect the IAM and whether independent motor factors still have a place in the industry.
I’d be very interested to hear the thoughts of factors, both independent and members of buying groups, on the subject. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.