With MOT tests hitting peak season, thanks largely to the MOT exemption brought into place as part of them first UK coronavirus lockdown, Reynolds said the sector should embrace the positivity of being busy.
“Without question, a garage’s peak time has now changed to the second half of the year. We should embrace it more and use it to our advantage. If we bemoan having to cope with the number of MOTs now, we risk firstly driving business back into the dealerships and secondly, telling the government that a change in MOT frequency will be needed to cope with this new demand.”
Reynolds went on to confirm that garages were however struggling with access to relevant parts, meaning vehicles were on the ramp for longer than usual. “For the larger workshops it’s less of a problem,” he said, “but those with only two ramps will find it difficult to have one preoccupied for several days by one car.
“Garages therefore have to be proactive, keeping customers informed on their vehicle’s progress. We can’t blame suppliers, we are well aware of the global supply issues and the automotive aftermarket is not immune to this.”
Reynolds then went onto say that more work needs to be done at college level to address the skills shortage.
“The automotive aftermarket is having its HGV driver moment,” he said, “and like this, the problem hasn’t occurred overnight. We have to think differently now and work hard to encourage a career path within our trade that touches every part of the supply chain.
“Suppliers should look to provide more tools and equipment to colleges – IAAF will provide more of its content also, so that it informs the entire market and encourages a pathway into our trade.”