auto:resource, the digital platform launched by the organisers of Automechanika & The UK Garage & Bodyshop Event, recently sat down with the CEO of LKQ Euro Car Parts, Andy Hamilton, to explore the challenges and opportunities being posed by this period of unprecedented change for the UK automotive sector.
The interview is the first in a series of three and offers an insight into how garages can futureproof their businesses, embrace emerging technologies and meet ever-changing demand. Part two of the series covers solutions to effectively run operations, increase profitability and enhance customer experiences. The last in the series explores the advancing trends of electrification, ADAS and digitalisation and what might our industry look like in the future?
These topics are set to be explored further on 8-9 June at the inaugural UK Garage and Bodyshop Event, the UK’s dedicated event serving the latest training, technology and tools to the nation’s garages and bodyshops – of which LKQ Euro Car Parts is a headline Platinum partner and where Hamilton will address garages and bodyshops in a live session. Free tickets available here.
“As technology, equipment and diagnostic capabilities evolve, we expect to see the shift move from individual specialists to a higher number of independent garages embracing evolutions in areas such as electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as ADAS, in order to meet demand,” says Hamilton.
Hamilton also pointed to the challenges garages face, explaining how productivity and capacity can be major factors in the decision whether or not to invest in training, especially as current demand is still relatively low. However, he urged the industry to be ready, stressing that the changes are inevitable, and technicians will need to have the skills required to service and repair all vehicles from all makes.
ADAS, a key topic of discussion at the upcoming UK Garage and Bodyshop Event, was prevalent in the interview, with Hamilton saying: “Although we won’t see an impact for a few years, ADAS is now mandatory for all new vehicles, so it’s set to be a gamechanger in the automotive aftermarket.
“All main diagnostic providers have ADAS capabilities and as garages and workshops can make this investment pay back quickly, it not only offers a significant business opportunity, but it also gives reassurance to the consumer that their vehicle is being thoroughly checked over during a service.”
Hamilton also discussed the benefits of LKQ Euro Car Part’s new online training platform, with independent garages now able to enrol all of their team and access more than 200 courses digitally, as well as face to face.
Individual technicians can use the LKQ Academy training platform to assess their capabilities, and business owners can get a full overview of their entire team, enabling them to identify key strengths as well as opportunities to upskill. The platform is a key part of LKQ Euro Car Parts’ ambition to be a true partner for growth to the workshops it supports.
The UK Garage and Bodyshop Event in June also offers the opportunity for upskilling and learning tips and techniques to take back to the workshop, with 60+ live training sessions, a hardcopy training guide and free business advice from experts in their field.