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Scotland Ash News

  • 7th June 2015

    Look busy – the connected car is coming!

    shutterstock_149029232-3It seems everywhere I look these days, people are talking about driverless or connected cars.

    I’d say the connected car has been here for some time, given the amount of electronics and gadgetry on modern vehicles.

    It’s funny, but since the start of the millennium, independent garages like Scotlands Ash have been told that we’ll be locked out of servicing cars because of the complexity of modern vehicles. Well, we haven’t yet – and we won’t be by parts complexity but computers are a different threat altogether.

    If in the future, Vehicle Manufacturers are to Apple (closed technology) what the independent aftermarket is to Microsoft (open technology), it should come as no surprise to anyone that the VMs are going to do everything in their power to retain a motorist’s business – and so should we!

    The economic recession taught us that consumers still have the power. While new car sales are up, there is a major demand for lower cost, more efficient and ultimately lower spec vehicles. These lower cost vehicles are still mechanical items, subject to wear and tear and require maintenance from a garage.

    Which garage? Well the independent garage far outperforms the VM and dealer on location, service, choice and price.
    But, the connected car has made me concentrate more on being connected to my customers. All too often a customer of 10 years will buy a new car and then I won’t see him for three years, possibly longer. Am I active enough in highlighting that he has a choice and by law can still come back to a garage of his choice? Probably not, but I’m going to start!

    While the connected car represents a threat to the garage trade, it also serves as a reminder to myself and team at Scotlands Ash that we must continue to work hard to keep your business.

    Thank you for your continued support of the garage and also myself and family over the past year.

    Peter Welch