The latest Industry Briefing Bitesize Zoom session from the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), updated members on IAAF activity and guest speaker Quentin Le Hetet from GiPA explored the short-term and long-term effects of the coronavirus the industry is set to face.
Immediate consequences for garages included organisational changes such as furlough schemes, additional customer services such as vehicle collection/drop-off and mobile work, social distancing measures and cashflow management.
Le Hetet discussed possible long-term changes, firstly urging the aftermarket to prepare for an inevitable spike in MOTs, as well as possible downtime next April and May. From January to June 2020, passenger new car registrations decreased 42 per cent in comparison to the same period last year, which is good news in the short term, as the growth of the aging car parc will lead to a greater need for servicing and vehicle maintenance. However, Le Hetet warned that vehicle manufacturers may seize the opportunity to service these older vehicles and urged the aftermarket to act fast.
The industry will also need to prepare for a change in car usage as more people are continuing to work from home and attend limited social events, as well as ensuring the supply chain is fully prepared to cope with the rise in electric vehicles, as the number of new registrations increased by 22 per cent in 2020 (January – June). The IAAF’s Mike Smallbone wrapped up the session with an update on IAAF activity, looking at how the federation is working with FIGIEFA to tackle the threat from OEMs as they could close the vehicle from virtual updates in the name of cyber security. This would effectively lock out the aftermarket and remove freedom of choice for the motorist.
New legislation for Type Approval was also discussed, which is more good news for the aftermarket as it demonstrates IAAF’s hard work over the past three years to ensure the OBD port remains open to the aftermarket.
Smallbone then covered the dangers of the proposed scrappage scheme, stating it isn’t the answer to financially support the British car market, and the IAAF’s continued activity around Block Exemption Regulation, which is set to be brought up to speed for the digital world in 2023.
The next Industry Briefing Bitesize session will take place on 22nd September. To register for the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.