Aftermarket Magazine April 2023

UK’s Leading Repackager and Distributor for Honeywell Solstice® yf Refrigerant R1234yf 4th Gen HFO Ashrae - A2L GWP- 4 The No.1 magazine for automotive information APRIL 2023 INSIDE The life of a vehicle technician P28 Frank Massey’s new series continues with even greater emphasis this month on battery testing Demystifying misfires P30 2019 Top Technician champ Neil Currie is back, offering up three misfire problems and solutions for the price of one Tale of the UK market P34 Andrew rounds up his look at the state of the automotive sector by considering the potential opportunities for the aftermarket REGISTER FREE FOR AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM, 6-8 JUNE | NEC | SEE PAGE 6

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APRIL 2023 AFTERMARKET 3 CONTENTS BUSINESS 8 Big issue: Cost of working crisis? 14 Car ownership: From most to lease? 16 Filtering out the noise 18 EV charging trends 20 International Women’s day TOP TECHNICIAN/TOP GARAGE 22 Running against the clock 24 Snap-on: Training and skills development TECHNICAL 26 Aftermarket of the future 28 Frank Massey: A month in the life 30 Neil Currie: Demystifying misfires 34 Andrew Marsh: Tale of the UK market 36 Repairify: Remote diagnostics IN FOCUS 38 Wheel and body alignment 42 ADAS 46 Steering and suspension 52 Rotating electrics PLUS... 54 Competition/General products 56 On the road: SMP Europe 58 Garage visit: John Hall 60 EVs and hybrids 62 Training update 64 Recruitment 66 Teabreak THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “HMM…” Editor | Alex Wells | +44 (0) 1732 370 345 Managing Director | Ryan Fuller | +44 (0) 1732 370 340 Contributors Jordan Brompton | Neil Currie | Rick Farrell | Neil Kennett | Andrew Marsh | Frank Massey | Martin Pinnell-Brown Operations Manager | Emma Floyd | +44 (0) 1732 370 340 Marketing Executive | Hope Jepson | +44 (0) 1732 371081 Finance Department | +44 (0) 1732 370 340 Chief Executive | Ian Atkinson | +44 (0) 1732 370 340 Published by | DFA Aftermarket Media Ltd 192 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1BE Alex Wells, Editor Average net circulation July 2021 to June 2022 19,073 @aftermarketmagazine @aftermarket01 @aftermarketmagazine ISSN 2516-9149 Aftermarket is published 10 times a year and is sent free of charge to applicants meeting the publisher’s criteria. All others may subscribe at £60 per anum, £120 Europe and £150 rest of the world. While every care is taken to provide accurate information, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or ommisions, no matter how caused. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior consent of the publisher. The views of contributors do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Copyright: DFA Media Group 2023. Sensors were foremost on my mind lately. SMP Europe recently threw the doors open at its Nottinghamshire base where it does both R&D and manufacturing. It was fascinating to see all the work that goes into the various parts. Actually, humbling was more like it. They spend hundreds of work hours producing these incredible pieces of technology, and when they announce the latest item they are releasing, I will give it the equivalent of 1/27th worth of a 200-word product story that I hide away next to the competition on page 55. The same goes for all other parts makers. What they do is amazing. If only someone would open a magazine that talks about this sort of thing…oh hang on… Anyway, my point is “astonishing things are all around us” and “maintain your sense of child-like wonder” and so on. That, and turn to pages 56-57 for the full visit write-up. So, after being shown what goes on behind the scenes at SMP Europe, I hit the road to head back down south. The drive was pretty uneventful, until about 5pm when on the M25 doing about 2mph the road seemed to hit me back. Out of nowhere, the ABS started doing that off-putting ‘brake-pedal-pushes-back-at-you’ thing and then the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. I had about seven warning lights suddenly come on at once – including ABS and TPMS and I was even getting the steering column warning. Several were apparently so serious the general idea was to stop driving RIGHT NOW! To be honest, I was a little suspicious. If one or two lights came on together with no warning, I would be worried. However, seven? Does that seem likely? I took the hint anyway, went to the Cobham services and parked. As my car was apparently now a death trap, I made a few calls to cancel the next day’s appointments. Then, because it was after 5pm, I went online to book my car in with my local independent garage, because let’s be honest, if I took it to a franchised dealer with that many lights flared up at once they would be so surprised, they would probably accuse my VW of being a witch. Having shook the steering column just to be sure, and then made a visual inspection on the rest of the car and found absolutely nothing wrong, I crossed my fingers and got back on the road to Brighton. Do you know what happened next? Oh, I bet you do. Yes, within about 10 minutes all the warning lights winked out. It was oddly apt following the SMP Europe visit, and I bet if it had been their sensors, it would not have happened. I left it a few days just to be sure, and then went back on BookMyGarage to cancel the appointment. Speaking of BookMyGarage, they are the latest big name to sign up as Full Event Partners for Top Technician and Top Garage 2023, and you can find out more about that in News on pages 4-7. By the time you are reading this, the opening round for Top Technician should have just closed. If you are lucky though and got your April issue early, while also liking to live dangerously by not having entered yet (shame on you), there might just still be time to take part. If Top Garage is your game, you have until the end of the month, but don’t dilly-dally; Head to page 22 now to find out more. Enjoy!

NEWS Garages are seeing access to data and repair and maintenance information (RMI) become increasingly restricted, according to ongoing research from UK AFCAR. The coalition which includes sector trade associations the GEA, IAAF, NTDA and UKLA among others, has asked independent garages to record and report any restrictions they face. Marques that keep coming up include Mazda, Hyundai, BMW, Audi, Range Rover, Porsche, Citroen, Bentley, ALFA ROMEO, Mercedes, Peugeot and Vauxhall. One garage was unable to access a Hyundai online service record, meaning they could not record servicing or repair work. Another had difficulty finding information to update a Citroen vehicle’s digital service records, and this problem was never solved. The same issue was described on a Mazda CX-5. Mark Field, UK AFCAR Chairman and IAAF CEO said: “The findings have confirmed what we already knew; Independent garages are being locked out of repair and maintenance activities by some vehicle manufacturers. It’s imperative that the independent aftermarket works on a level playing field – as detailed in legislation – and can provide drivers with an effective choice of where they take their vehicle to be repaired or serviced, and it’s clear that as it stands, this is not the case in a number of instances." Mark added: “We encourage technicians to continue to come forward so we can continue to collate solid evidence and lobby the government to ensure this ongoing issue is resolved and the aftermarket remains protected.” To log an issue with access to data or RMI, please use the UK AFCAR report form: 4 AFTERMARKET APRIL 2023 Access to data: Independents increasingly shut out UK MVBEO: Make motorists aware of their rights, IGA urges With vehicles increasingly able to direct drivers to VMpreferred service points, motorists will need to be made much more aware that via the upcoming UK Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MVBEO) they will be free to choose where they get their vehicle repaired, the IGA has warned. IGA Chief Executive Stuart James observed: “While the draft MVBEO legislation strengthens many areas of the existing MVBER, there are several areas which could be detrimental to consumers unless further clarifications are made. “Of particular concern is the lack of requirement for in-vehicle messaging to inform customers that they have an alternative solution for servicing via an independent operator. We would also like to see a requirement for authorised repairers to make it clear to consumers that they can choose who services, maintains and repairs their vehicle without invalidating its warranty.” Another major concern is access to information for repairers, as Stuart noted: “In addition, the MVBEO makes no reference to a mechanism for independent operators to access security related information for repairs. Whilst we understand access to such sensitive information needs an element of control, it is vital that there is a recognised system in place for vetted businesses or individuals to provide these services to consumers to ensure fair competition and timely access to vehicle repairs.” He added: “As the voice of the UK’s independent garage sector, the IGA has responded to the MVBEO technical consultation with a comprehensive set of recommendations and will continue to provide feedback at every step to ensure that the MVBEO safeguards freedom of choice and fair competition for UK motorists.” For more information, visit: mption-order-2023-mvbeo

MONTH 2017 AFTERMARKET 3 APRIL 2023 AFTERMARKET 5 teams up with Top Technician and Top Garage 2023 BookMyGarage is the latest Full Event Partner to back Top Technician and Top Garage 2023. Karen Rotberg, Co-founder of BookMyGarage, said: “We looked at all the annual awards and selected this particular event as the criteria and judging truly represented a genuine process to identify the best mechanics and garages appropriate to win.” She added: “At BookMyGarage, garages are rewarded for excellence constantly by positive customer reviews which also helps garages with their Google ranking.” At the Top Technician & Top Garage Awards evening 2023, taking place on Saturday 14 October following the finals for both competitions, BookMyGarage will also recognise the best reviewed garage from their own network, who has achieved the highest scores out of the thousands listed on their site. Top Technician and Top Garage 2023 come to you in association with the Garage Equipment Association (GEA), the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). Full Event Partners: Snap-on, TOPDON, TechMan, Delphi Technologies and BookMyGarage. For more on Top Technician and Top Garage, turn to page 22. GSF Car Parts parent bought by LKQ Corporation GSF Car Parts’ Canadian parent company Uni-Select Inc has been bought by U.S-based LKQ Corporation, the owners of LKQ Euro Car Parts. For now, both companies, including GSF Car Parts’ network of 180 outlets, will continue to operate as usual, but LKQ’s intention is to sell off the GSF network in the UK. Uni-Select Executive Chair and CEO Brian McManus said: “The passion, commitment and quality of our GSF colleagues has shone through time and again, and we will support the team during the divestment process to ensure they continue their excellent progress.” GSF Car Parts President and COO Sukhbir Kapoor observed: “There is no material change to the day-today business of GSF Car Parts because of Uni-Select’s announcement, so our network of 180 branches and our growing online retail service remains open for business as usual.” President and Chief Executive Officer of LKQ Corporation Dominick Zarcone added: “We look forward to welcoming Uni-Select’s employees to the LKQ team. Importantly, we believe that our combined efforts will create tremendous long-term value for our customers, shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders as we continue to focus on our operational excellence initiatives.” Uni-Select and GSF will continue to operate as independent companies until the completion of the deal. Full Event Partners:

NEWS 6 AFTERMARKET APRIL 2023 Car mechanics are among the essential workers being urged to take up a life Down Under, following a UK visit by a delegation from the state of Western Australia looking for a host of professionals to take up hard-tofill roles on the other side of the world. The UK is not the only country experiencing acute skills shortages across a number of industries, and vehicle technicians are among those where the state, which includes Perth, the most remote city on Earth, needs more people. Others on the list include police officers, dentists, teachers, midwives, miners, nurses and doctors. Police and Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia said: "Safety, stability and sunshine – Western Australia has a lot to offer UK and Irish workers. Now is the time to move and be part of Western Australia's bright future." He led a team of recruiters on a tour of the UK during February, taking in Bristol, Edinburgh and London, along with Dublin in Ireland. Also on the mission were representatives from the Western Australia government, as well as Australia’s Motor Trade Association. The mission was also promoted via a £172,000 promotional campaign using the motto 'Western Australia - It's Like No Other', that included pub takeovers and other events. Pied Piper of Perth luring UK mechanics Down Under Automechanika Birmingham: Unprecedented visitor demand Automechanika Birmingham 2023, taking place 6-8 June at the NEC, is seeing unprecedented visitor demand, with registration figures 112% higher among garage professionals than before the previous 2019 event. There are also 168% more bodyshop and collision repair professionals than before the 2019 show. Meanwhile, visitor registrations for supply chain stakeholders are nearly 300% higher than show organisers Messe Frankfurt UK were expecting. Major names exhibiting include Bilstein Group, Bosch, Brembo, Castrol, Delphi, HELLA, LIQUI MOLY, MANN & HUMMEL and ZF Aftermarket. The show will also include a Workshop Training Hub, as well as a new EV Training Hub. Messe Frankfurt UK Marketing Director Alex Jones observed: “With so much on offer it’s no wonder that the exhibitor line up is the strongest it’s been since launch and the visitor registrations are at record breaking levels.” Ticket registration is sponsored by To claim your free ticket, visit: MOT tester prosecuted A Bristol MOT tester who claimed he was coerced into logging more than 800 fraudulent MOTs at a garage in the city has been prosecuted and banned from MOT testing for five years, and the type of brake tests being submitted for the fake tests helped DVSA catch him. David Stephen Carden was convicted on 23 February of recording MOTs to vehicles which had not entered Auto Scuderia garage in Bristol between 1 August 2021 and 14 January 2022. Many of the registered keepers of the vehicles were not local, with some living up to 279 miles away. Many of the bogus tests also included a decelerometer brake test, instead of the required roller brake test, which helped give him away. Robert Morgan-Jones, defending said Mr Carden had been pressed into performing the tests by a man who had previously lent him money, and was given a “kicking” when he tried to back out. It was also suggested that he paid for the fake tests himself. DVSA Director of Enforcement s Marian Kitson commented: “Mr Carden issued MOT certificates to vehicles he had not seen or tested. He was both defrauding the MOT system and the public who rightly expect the MOT to help keep them and their families safe while using the roads. We will ensure that anyone who compromises safety in pursuit of personal gain feels the full force of the law.” David Carden was sentenced to eight months in prison on each of 12 counts of fraud, to run concurrently and suspended for 12 months. He also has to do 150 hours of unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation days and was ordered to pay a contribution towards prosecution costs of £2,250. 809 other cases were taken into consideration. He has kept his job at the garage however. To report MOT fraud, go to: COMING IN AFTERMARKET’S JUNE EDITION: Our full Automechanika Birmingham 2023 preview.

NEWS APRIL 2023 AFTERMARKET 7 ... Read how website Speciali es work... st garage Car Care Tet ike costs.” customers, more t ’ e seen a live, we v highly enough. Sin Cannot recomme M “Brilliant experienc “ i i bury than covering the great number of new nce the s te went i end this compa y t ce The webs te looks i n k time; th y deli ere e v efficient, quick, an “They prom sed th AJ Auto Ser ndy itself too!” generating good l amazing, is doing Brilliant exper enc A i ed.” nd not a dra n o y i n m rocess would be vices in or leads so payi g f g its thing already, and ce. The webs te loo s r e p Swift Car Care Mo P&W Autos isha since ha ing our b vi has gone from str commun c on s iati i “The pricing is ve y Tr r e bespoke website.” rength to strength s brilliant. My business y competitive an the s d ant to know Broadwa W esley penny of the mon quality work. It’s b “The webs te has b W y i Garage Services thly cost.” been worth every rought us so much y b q no-obligation F Scan to get a how easy it is? Want to know quote FREE 014 Call us: garage-servic 423 855 902 Three of the best: New JLM products from Kalimex Kalimex is now stocking three new JLM products, Air Refresh, Octane Booster and AdBlue Plus. JLM distributors worldwide were told these products were on their way at the company’s recent annual conference, as Mike Schlup, MD at UK distributors Kalimex observed: “JLM founder Gilbert Groot spoke about the new products that were being lined up for release in the first six months of 2023. These three in particular really got us excited because we know from anecdotal feedback from stockists, technicians and motorists, there’s a real demand for them. Indeed, with the AdBlue Plus, we have been at the front of the queue in asking JLM to develop the formulation.” Commenting on the three products, Mike said: “The AdBlue Plus cleans and prevents crystal formation in the AdBlue dosing system. It also conditions the AdBlue fluid for a longer time to ensure proper working of the AdBlue and SCR system. The Air Refresh is a one-shot aerosol which removes in car odours no matter how persistent by neutralising them. The Octane Booster delivers several benefits. It boosts the octane number by four points depending on the type of fuel used. It also optimises engine performance, reduces fuel consumption and eliminates irregular idling.“ Mike added: “JLM Lubricants products are renowned internationally with top-flight technicians for their quality and performance. These three products are no exception.” For more information, email:

8 AFTERMARKET APRIL 2023 BIG ISSUE The automotive sector has been experiencing a skills shortage for many years now. With the academic higher education route often given higher priority and a sense that there is a higher prestige attached to those who emerge from it clutching a degree, this is unsurprising. Undertaking an apprenticeship by comparison is seen as the lesser path by parents and schools. The fact that you are paid while you are learning might be an inducement for some, particularly with the very high cost of a degree these days, with thousands of pounds worth of debt being the inevitable outcome in many cases. The recent surge in inflation has exacerbated this situation, and university students were exposed to the ravages of higher energy and fuel bills. Indeed, in February the University of Swansea announced that it had opened a foodbank for its students. In response, the government recently boosted funding for students in straightened financial circumstances. Students in need would have access to an even larger pot of money. As a result of rising costs resulting from higher inflation, in January the government increased hardship funding available for universities to help its students by £15 million for the current academic year. The Office for Students already had £261 million available for universities to access for the 2022/23 academic year, from which universities can increase their own hardship funds. At the same time, the government also increased loans by 2.8% for the 2023/24 academic year. For those who have already graduated, the government also cut interest rates for new students to RPI only so, graduates do not repay more than they originally borrowed, when adjusted for inflation. Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “We recognise students continue to face financial challenges, which is why we are increasing loans and grants for living and other costs for a further year. For the sixth year in a row, we have frozen tuition fees for a full-time undergraduate course at a maximum of £9,250 which will reduce the initial amount of debt students will take on. I’m really pleased to see that so many universities are already stepping up efforts to support their students through a variety of programmes. These schemes have already helped students up and down the country and I urge anyone who is worried about their circumstances to speak to their university. For the sixth year in a row, the government has confirmed it COST OF WORKING CRISIS? With government looking to support university students with the cost of living crisis, is on-the-job training becoming unaffordable?


10 AFTERMARKET APRIL 2023 BIG ISSUE will freeze tuition fees for a standard full-time course in the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic year in England at a maximum of £9,250. This move will help provide better value for students by reducing the initial amount of debt students will take on.” Misplaced understanding While university students are getting additional support, apprentices seem to have been excluded. Why are apprentices being treated less favourably than university students? According to IMI Policy Manager Hayley Pells, there is little logic in offering support to one group of learners, while excluding another group: “It’s great to see government recognising the financial hardships being faced by students. But we fear there is a serious misplaced understanding of the financial position of apprentices. Ignoring this group sends another message that they are the poor relations to full-time students and could deter young people from taking this route in the future. With the skills shortage already critical, this is the last thing any sector needs. Of course, apprentices are earning while learning. But the reality is that most apprentices are on either the minimum or living wage – and some may even face redundancy or reduced working hours when economic conditions put pressure on employers.” There is definitely an argument for supporting apprentices through the cost of living crisis as far as Hayley is concerned, particularly against the backdrop of the skills crisis: “Now more than ever we need to make workplace learning attractive and there is much the government could do to support employers of apprentices, especially the small and medium sized enterprises which make up such a large proportion of the automotive retail sector. For example, a skills tax credit could be introduced for SMEs, as proposed by the Learning and Work Institute. SMEs could also benefit from a well-publicised service and central portal of information to help them understand how to take on an apprentice. The Super Deduction which was planned to end on 31 March 2023 could be continued to prompt much needed investment in capital equipment required to support the transition to the technologies of a greener transport future. “ Parallel issues Even if apprentices received the same level of support as University students, the number of people coming into the sector as an apprentice is too low. This is exacerbating the existing staff shortage the sector, as Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton observed: “Like many businesses, one of the biggest challenges we face is recruitment. Put simply, we can’t get enough qualified technicians into our garages to meet demand. There are parallel issues in many other parts of the economy where large skills gaps are opening up. “There are many contributory factors, including the well-publicised issue of older people withdrawing from the workforce through the pandemic. We have initiated a Later Life Apprenticeship programme to attract returning retirees, and this is starting to bear fruit, though progress is slow. We are also focusing on attracting more women and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into automotive apprenticeships.” Graham continued: “There are three practical steps that would help us – and other employers – fill the skills gap. First, the Apprenticeship Levy could be expanded to make it easier to use funds to train existing employees on new technologies. In our case that would mean being able to use the Levy to train colleagues on electric vehicles, advanced driver assisted systems and autonomous vehicles. Second, sectors like automotive have been very narrow in attracting new skills. We need to widen our horizons and reach all communities. Awareness programmes jointly sponsored by industry and government could play a big part in that. Third, under the current arrangements when a 16-year-old begins an apprenticeship their parents stand to lose some of their benefits. They can no longer claim Child Benefit, or the equivalent Universal Credit allowance. Other benefits may be affected including Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax reduction. The apprentice may be able to claim If apprentices were treated in the same way as young people in education or training it could have a transformative effect ”

APRIL 2023 AFTERMARKET 11 Universal Credit but the net effect on household income may well be negative and it transfers the benefit from the household to the child.” Graham added: “There is, therefore, a disincentive for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue the apprenticeship path. If apprentices were treated in the same way as young people in education or training it could have a transformative effect.” Unfortunate truth Kevan Wooden, Chief Commercial Officer at LKQ Euro Car Parts observed: “Much ink has been spilled exploring the skills shortage affecting the aftermarket, and the key reasons underpinning its existence. Whether it’s down to the lack of viable routes into the sector, the comparatively low rate of pay for apprentices or the absence of government support, the stark reality is that, according to the IMI, there are 23,000 job vacancies in the sector. This constitutes 4% of the total workforce and is continuing to rise year on year. The sector has a problem attracting young people, and women in particular. Only 1% of the industry’s workforce is female. Even a modest increase here would have a big impact on the overall size of the talent pool. Whether to young men or young women, and from all backgrounds, we need to continue to promote the breadth and excitement of roles in this great industry.” Kevan continued: “While boosting the sector’s curb appeal is a priority, the path for those beginning their journey through training isn’t smooth, and many have no option other than to drop out before their careers begin. I spoke to someone from a vocational college who told me that every year, about three quarters of his students left the course because the college couldn’t secure the work experience or apprenticeship opportunities they needed to gain their qualifications. Fixing this disconnect between educators and garages and bodyshops would clearly have a very immediate and tangible impact on the pipeline of talent entering the sector. Taking on work experience or apprenticeships can be time-intensive and expensive, especially as training must be kept current so students learn how to work with the latest vehicle technology. The risk of failure at the end of it all can make it feel a huge and unnecessary gamble. This is especially the case given the current market context – inflation is impacting both garages’ margins and customers’ pockets, meaning that it is hardly the time to be taking un-costed risks.” Kevan added: “The unfortunate truth is that – much like in many other sectors – the aftermarket needs more support. And this doesn’t just apply to the government – at one level there is a matchmaking job to be done, too. Connecting small garages with busy colleges isn’t always straightforward, even when there is willingness on both sides. But it is an issue that we in the industry, with both the resources and willingness to collaborate, need to help fix.” Strategies The sector needs to attract people, including those it has previously not seemed like a good option for. It also needs to stem the flow out of the industry. Simon King, Managing Director of Autotech Recruit believes many of the issues around staffing can be overcome through applying new methods and technology to attract talent: “For the automotive industry, retention has been a problem for some time and attracting the right talent is an ongoing issue. We are starting to see salaries rise, particularly for vehicle technicians, and, whilst this does put additional pressure on employers, it is incredibly positive and long overdue. As the saying goes, ‘money talks’, but people, especially those with sought after skills, recognise their worth and the industry needs to keep up with new technology, while exploring all potential avenues, to ensure they attract and keep hold of the right people. “Last year was a candidate’s market and 2023 is likely to follow suit. People are seeking a greater level of flexibility and employment on their own terms. If they don’t get it in their current job, they are very likely to look elsewhere, and retention rates have become a real problem for most organisations. “According to the Future World of Work Report 2023, the structure of the UK workforce is changing profoundly. Flexibility is the key driver of this change, and 65% of businesses surveyed revealed they understood the need to play the ‘flexibility game’ to attract the right people as it opens them up to a much wider pool of talent. But flexibility isn’t a one size fits all solution, and of course, for the automotive industry, working from

home really isn’t an option. It may be choosing the hours they work and when they work to strike a better work life balance. We have contractors working for us who prefer seasonal work so they can spend time indulging their hobbies or working on their other side businesses. People want greater choice today. It’s why there are now over 4.2 million selfemployed workers in the UK.” Freelance revolution So, more freelancers then? Simon continued: “Sparked by the financial crisis and the unemployment that followed, freelancing became one of the biggest trends of the 2010s. At the time, it was a necessity for many but, when the pandemic hit, it became a choice. People had a taste of hybrid working and they wanted more of it. For employers, 64% say that using contractors helps them to address the skills gap, while enabling them to turn the tap on and off as needed when it comes to specialist support. This sentiment fits the automotive industry exactly, and it’s one we have been beating the drum about for over a decade. Using temporary vehicle technicians and MOT testers to cover resource gaps, whether brought on by sick leave, holiday or a lack of available talent, is a solution automotive bosses are tapping into time and again. These contractors are in charge of their own destiny, they know that training and being skilled in the latest automotive technology will help them remain agile and employable. “It’s widely known that the automotive industry is fishing for talent in a rapidly depleting pool. While there are initiatives in place to upskill existing workers and harness a new generation, we also need to look at those who left the sector and lure them back in. So many new contractors who join our ranks left permanent automotive employment to work on wind farms or re-trained as lorry drivers, ‘we wanted to give the automotive industry one last chance,’ is a familiar cry. We need to reach out to the people who did leave and sell the industry to them and the opportunities which now exist, including the potential to contract. Your people are your best advocates and it’s likely that they will no exautomotive employees so use them to pass the message on. It’s an exciting time within the sector and, for those who are prepared to train and bring themselves up to date to service and repair vehicles today, the opportunities are limitless.” Then there is the issue of technology seeming like it is running away from some older workers: “Of course, aside from tempting people back from other sectors, there is another cohort of people that the industry could be tapping into. Technicians who, faced with the evolution of vehicles, opted to retire early rather than upskill, are now starting to return to working and flexibility is key. Rising inflation, and the cost of living crisis is fuelling a reversal of the Great Resignation, people of retirement age who are using flexibility to return to the workforce in ways that work better for them. We need to reach out to these people and bring them back into the automotive industry.” Coming back to the issue of money, this often comes down to having inward regular cashflow: “While contracting is undeniably on the rise, for many, job security can be a real deal breaker. With mortgages to pay and mouths to feed, particularly during the cost of living crisis, taking the plunge to become a contractor can be daunting and bring a host of concerns. It’s why we have recently enhanced our offering to introduce ATech and ATester. A unique blend of freelancing, while having the assurance of full-time employment with guaranteed work. “When we started the business back in 2010, it was a contractor revolution. Freelancing within the automotive industry was relatively unheard of, today while our network continues to grow, demand is outstripping supply and the contracts are becoming more long term. Any fears of not having enough work are unfounded. But to appeal to more people and reach out to those who left the sector in a bid to entice them back, we are offering full-time permanent employment, with all the benefits that entails, and the variety of work that comes with being a 12 AFTERMARKET APRIL 2023 BIG ISSUE There is much the government could do to support employers of apprentices ”

APRIL 2023 AFTERMARKET 13 freelancer. From the more experienced to the recently trained, to creating opportunities for contractors and permanent staff, there are so many routes to attracting talent which needs to be explored and employers should be exhausting each of them. thoughts also need to be given over to the line of communication used when reaching these audiences though.” Technology can also bring people in, and help keep them with us, as Simon noted: “For years, we have talked about the rapid digitalisation of the automotive industry but using automation to recruit is a relatively new phenomenon. If used effectively though, recruitment technology can significantly cut down on repetitive, time-consuming work, affording the employer time to build a better rapport with potential candidates. “Through intelligent systems, employers can widen the net and reach a greater audience through a multitude of channels, online job boards, databases and social media platforms, giving employers great choice, while enabling them to filter through and drill into the right talent. While recording and monitoring the progress of potential candidates, through the power of tech employers can also complete the initial screening process, schedule interviews, and handle background checks – all in real time.” Simon concluded: “There are interminable routes available today to attracting and gaining talent, employers just need to broaden their reach and tap into the technology available to them, you never know, these incremental changes made across the whole industry might just start to fill the skills gap void.” Final thought In a world where university degrees are so commonplace, there is an argument that those with professional qualifications earned on-the-job may have a competitive advantage. Student squalor has been a standard comic trope for decades, combined with the idea that living badly in poor housing is both appealing in the shortterm, and character-building too. However, when Johnny B.A Hons crosses that invisible line separating elegantly wasted from actual poverty, considering how much many university students are paying to be there, he may start to wonder what the point of it all is. As an industry we need to start bringing young people on in a more structured way, pay them better, and build up a workforce for the sector of tomorrow. The Garage Equipment Association e Upholders of Industry standards since 1945 ard ! reditation c for hisac Ask your engineer f cr IS Y . Y ent A For peace of mind always use a Garage Equipm Association member. GEA accredited engineers work to an industry code of conduct Your assurance their skills and knowledge have been independently assessed. YOUR EQUIPMENT ENGINEER GEA ACCREDITED? Th .c xp Dat GEA ACCREDITED ENGINEER Name Company Discipline E te ID Number XX123456 XX123456 XX123456 XX123456 XX123456

In 2021, London won the unenviable reputation of being the most congested city in the world. As things stand drivers populating the roads of our capital can expect to waste 148 hours at the wheel on average due to blocked-up traffic jams. Not only does this consume motorists’ precious time, but long vehicle queues don’t do the environment any favours either. Mindful of the negative effects of traffic pollution, ministers have plans to decrease these figures in the (not so) long run. In the meantime, more and more people are opting for different ways to get around. Motorists are starting to realise, in fact, that they do not need to own a car to comfortably move from A to B. Leasing vehicles, for instance, is one of the most prominent alternatives, offering drivers an array of general and ecofriendly benefits. Here, we delve into 14 AFTERMARKET APRIL 2023 BUSINESS CAR OWNERSHIP; FROM MOST TO LEASE? The experts at Van Ninja look at the decline in private car ownership, and ask if leasing is taking over the rising popularity of hiring your own car or van, while outlining what actions are being taken to shrink the number of private vehicles. Rates of car ownership in London are significantly lower than in the rest of the UK. In the capital, each household owns an average of 0.74 cars. Meanwhile, households in the South East and South West regions of the country possess 1.41 and 1.39 vehicles respectively. Still, Londoners – as well as drivers in large cities across Britain – are being incentivised to limit their car journeys or refrain from buying new vehicles altogether. The implementation of Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) is contributing to the mission. First launched in London in April 2019, and now extended to populous centres in the UK, ULEZ are areas within cities where residents are required to abide by certain emission standards. Only electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as ones that satisfy Euro 5 (petrol) and Euro 6 (diesel) standards, are allowed to circulate in these zones for free. If drivers want to journey through ULEZ with a car that fails to meet these requirements, they have to pay a daily charge of £12.50. For regular commuters, this can soon become a hefty expense. A solution would be to buy an electric car, but there is no hiding that this would be a costly purchase. Leasing an EV, instead, would allow drivers to circulate inside city centres in a sustainable and affordable way without breaking the bank. Hence, it is fair to say that it is an effective green measure to discourage people from purchasing and relying on their own private cars. Additionally, London mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans to introduce smart road pricing. This means that, from 2024, motorists across the whole of London may be charged every time they jump behind the wheel of their own vehicle. The aim is to minimise carbon emissions and

APRIL 2023 AFTERMARKET 15 enhance air quality, spurring residents to travel from A to B in more sustainable ways. In this respect, more than one-third of car journeys in London could be walked in less than 25 minutes, and two-thirds could be cycled in under 20 minutes. What’s more, ministers hope to favour lower private car ownership figures by pushing for more public transport all over the country. The government has set aside £5 billion to fund and level up local transport connections across the UK, which can play a significant role in helping Britain achieve its netzero target by 2050. By investing in efficient public transportation while also supporting ride-sharing platforms and e-scooter services, there is a good chance that pollution levels will gradually drop. Leasing: an alternative solution For those who like the freedom and comfort of driving a vehicle, what is the best and most popular option? Car and van leasing represents a great way for drivers to get around city roads in a more strategic and sustainable fashion. Leasing benefits do not end here. How can it aid workers and commuters with their day-to-day travels? One of the main advantages of leasing a vehicle is that you have the opportunity to choose the model that best suits your needs. Do you require a spacious van? Do you care about the well-being of our environment? Electric vehicles can be a pricey investment if you decide to buy one from the outset. Instead, leasing an EV is an affordable alternative that allows you to hit the streets without having to splash out a considerable amount of money. Another factor that makes car and van leasing an appealing option is that you do not have to commit to a specific vehicle for years and years. Has a greener, more sustainable vehicle made its debut on the market? You can hand back your old model and get behind the wheel of a more appropriate alternative. Hence, leasing offers motorists the opportunity to stay on top of attractive updates. Likewise, if you have reached a stage in which you do not require a vehicle to cater for your business or personal commutes, you do not have to keep a dormant automobile on your driveway. Return the car or van keys, reduce the number of vehicles on the street, and start travelling by bike, by foot, or on public transport. With specific measures in place, as well as sustainable plans in the pipeline, the future of private car ownership doesn’t seem too bright. In fact, additional commuting fees and increased funding for public transport are favouring more eco-friendly ways of roaming around the roads of British towns and cities. For those who require a vehicle to carry out their daily duties, however, car and van leasing is becoming a handy, popular solution. From shorter commitments to more affordable and sustainable options, leasing is an appealing alternative that ticks all the right boxes. For more information, visit: ELE CONTROLE E EL CAMSHAFTS – SHAPED WITH PRECISION FOR EMENTS R OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE PASSION FOR TECHNOLOGY. SHAPED WITH PRECISION FOR OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE

BY Rick Farrell, President, Garages can be noisy places. The sound of engines, tools, and people working can be deafening at times, and the noise can cause hearing damage if you are not careful, especially for those working long hours in the workshop. Here are some noise cancellation tips to help reduce the effects of workshop noise and create a healthier environment for you, your team, and your customers. Foam panels are a great way to reduce the overall noise in an auto shop. Foam panels absorb the sound and can help keep the noise levels down significantly. You can find a reputable business to install foam panels along shop walls where possible – the more locations you can install them, the more sound they will absorb. Foam panels are also an excellent option for your reception to minimise the noise that travels from the workshop and ensure you can clearly communicate with customers. You can find foam panels that look nice, much like decor, to add to the aesthetic of your customer waiting area. Stand on rubberised flooring Another way to reduce noise in an auto shop is to ensure your workers stand on rubberised flooring. Rubber flooring material helps deaden the sound of your footsteps and reduces the overall noise level in the shop. While it might not be possible to install wall-to-wall rubber floors, you can use rubber floor mats at service stations to reduce the sound. Rubber mats also add more cushion beneath your workers to soften the weight they put on their joints, especially when standing for long hours. 16 AFTERMARKET APRIL 2023 BUSINESS FILTERING OUT THE NOISE There are a number of ways to reduce the effects of workshop noise on staff

APRIL 2023 AFTERMARKET 17 Use noise canceling headphones or earplugs If you are working in an garage for long periods, consider investing in noise-cancellation devices, like headphones or earplugs. Noise cancellation devices allow you to hear any important announcements or questions but noticeably reduce the overall noise level. Noise-canceling headphones can also help reduce distractions and allow you to focus more on your work. Plus, who doesn't love getting to listen to music while you work? Some headphones can hook up to phones or other devices via Bluetooth to add an element of entertainment to the sound reduction. Upgrade old windows Want to minimise the effects of auto shop noise for your workers? Upgrade the windows. Windows that are old or not properly installed can let additional noise in that adds to the cacophony of sounds. Replacing the windows with double-paned, soundproof windows can help reduce the amount of noise that comes into the garage. You may also want to consider adding soft textiles window treatments like curtains to absorb even more sound. Upgrading your windows can be an expensive task, but it's a worthwhile investment for your shop and employees. If you can afford the new windows, you'll notice a big improvement in sound. Apply soundproof blankets Soundproof blankets are a great way to help reduce the noise in an auto shop. You can hang them on walls or doors to help absorb sound and keep it from bouncing around the room. Soundproof blankets come in many sizes, so you can find ones that fit your needs and budget. Soundproof blankets are also a good option for covering up tools or other equipment (as long as it's safe) that create a lot of noise. By covering the tool, you can help muffle the sound it makes and make it more bearable for those working nearby. Require protection for certain tools Some tools in garages can create a lot of noise, even when they are being used correctly. To help reduce the noise levels in your workshop, you may want to require that workers use hearing protection when using certain tools. Designated hearing protection tools could include earplugs or earmuffs that fit over the ears. Hearing protection is crucial for all workers, but it is especially important for those that are going to be using noisy tools for many hours. By requiring hearing protection, you can help reduce the overall noise in your workshop and protect the hearing of your staff. While you might not want to be the enforcer of such new policies, explaining to your team that it's for their benefit to protect their health will help your employees implement these changes seamlessly. Most workers will recognise the true intention of the new rules and adhere to the guidelines not only to obey their employer but also because they want to protect their hearing for the long term. Use a decibel meter to measure damaging noise Noise levels in a garage can vary depending on what is going on. To get an accurate measurement of the noise levels, you'll need to use a decibel meter. A decibel meter measures the sound pressure level and can tell you how loud the noise is. You can use a decibel meter to find out if the noise levels in your workshop are too high and if so, take steps to reduce the noise. Many decibel meters come with a ‘hold’ function that allows you to get an accurate reading even if the noise level fluctuates. Noise levels in an garage should be kept below 80-85 decibels (dB) to protect workers' hearing. If the noise level is consistently above 85 decibels, you'll need to take steps to reduce it. In the U.S.A, the CDC has reported that any noise over 70 dB over a long time can create hearing damage, but some tools and machines used in garages are naturally louder than that. Noises over 120 dB can cause immediate harm, so use your decibel meter to ensure nothing reaches that point. Final thoughts: Keeping quiet for hearing health There are several ways to reduce the noise in a garage. By taking some noise cancellation steps like the ones listed here, you can make a big difference in the noise level and create a more pleasant working environment for your team. You'll also protect their hearing health longterm, which they'll be grateful for. For more information, visit: About Rick Farrell Rick Farrell has been President of for the last 18 years. He has provided consulting services with the majority of Fortune 500 industrial corporations improving group communication dynamics of all types in industrial environments. By taking some noise cancellation steps … you can make a big difference in the noise level and create a more pleasant working environment for your team ”