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We get under the skin of Lamborghini’s new SUV

Awards 2017 Sponsored by


Williams charges ahead with its electric dream

TngHsatE BEST PgeLsY S’sIgrM eatest gara pick up go UK the first Workshop Magazine Awards

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HEAD OF DESIGN GRAEME WINDELL Twitter: @graemewindell

High achievers: Tears and laughter, glitz and glamour – the inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards were a stunning success



The Judge offers advice on the 2015 Consumer Rights Act

Our Kev: The MOT fail that showed why the ‘hit targets at all costs’ approach is so wrong



On the road: Fresh additions to the Workshop Magazine fleet


Products: New gear for a new year

SALES MANAGER JON HICKEY Twitter: @cardealerjon





CONTRIBUTORS Felicity Bestwick, John Bowman, Jess Ernerth, Tristan Shale-Hester SUBSCRIPTIONS If you know someone who would like a FREE copy of Workshop Magazine, email the details to and we’ll do the rest. DISTRIBUTION Workshop Magazine is distributed to a database of up to 10,000 service and repair sites, franchised car dealers, independents, car manufacturers and suppliers.

Company No. 6473855 VAT No. 933 8428 05 ISSN No. 1759-5444 Workshop Magazine is published by Blackball Media Ltd (Company No 6473855) and printed by Warners. All rights reserved. Conditions of sale and supply include the fact that Workshop shall not, without our consent, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated way or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or affixed to or as any part of a publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. Workshop Magazine is fully protected by copyright. Nothing may be reproduced wholly or in part without permission.


Just the job: Skills training is so vital



IN THE cut-throat world of reporting, there are few opportunities to actually make people happy. Fortunately, we were able to do exactly that recently at the inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards at The Brewery in London. The event was held two weeks after the Used Car Awards, which are staged by our sister publication Car Dealer. The same team are involved in organising both events so, as you can imagine, the end of the year is quite a busy spell for us. Alongside producing our magazines, we also create the presentations for the ceremonies, construct the trophies and write the scripts. In short, there’s lots to do – and it means that when we’re in the planning stages, we don’t really get an opportunity to think in detail about what will actually take place on the night. And what a night the Workshop Magazine Awards turned out to be! I was overwhelmed by the smiling faces and even tears of joy in some cases as the identities of the winners were revealed.

Just deserts: Workshop Magazine founder James Baggott goes on a Moroccan adventure with BMW The Outstanding Achievement and Lifetime Achievement awards stood out for me. I knew who had won but I also knew the recipients had no idea. Our compere for the evening, Johnny Herbert, gave hints and clues as to who the winners were before reading out their names. Both of them received standing ovations for their hard work. Every single award was well deserved, and you can read all about the winners from pages 22 to 49. As I’ve said, the past couple of months have been pretty full-on for us and the new year looks likely to be just as hectic. But we wouldn’t have it any other way! By the time this issue this reaches you I’m sure you’ll have already popped some fizz to celebrate the start of 2018, so from the whole of the Workshop Magazine team – happy new year! Enjoy this bumper edition of the magazine.

Rebecca Chaplin, Head of Editorial

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Lamborghini Urus Jack Healy walks us round an SUV that’s simply unlike any that has gone before it.


The interior finish isn’t compromised, with leather and alcantara available as material options. The ‘Y’ and hexagonal design ethos of the Aventador and Huracan has been applied, giving a sense of familiarity. Almost any combination of colour and materials can be chosen.

Turbo Performance

It has enough character to blow your socks off. A 0-60mph time of 3.4 seconds and top speed of 190mph make it a serious piece of kit, and it can keep up with the rest of the Lamborghini range in a straight line – pretty impressive for a two-tonne car.


By taking the raised ride height of the LM002 – Lamborghini’s first SUV – and dynamic looks of the Countach supercar and Aventador V12 monster, the Urus combines the angular body shape of a sports car and chunkier dimensions of an off-roader. As a result, you get the world’s first ‘Super Sports Utility Vehicle’.

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This is the first Lambo with a turbocharged engine. It’s a newly developed 4.0-litre V8 with two turbochargers to produce 641bhp and 850Nm of torque, letting it blast round tracks in Sport mode and take on trickier conditions off the beaten track. It’s paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.


Even though it has similar features to other Lamborghinis, new research into the design and interior materials was needed, said chief interior designer Manuele Primo, as it was unlike any other model. ‘The lower seating position makes you feel part of the car,’ he said.

Four-wheel drive

Combined with the four-wheel steering first seen on the Aventador S in 2016, the Urus should be agile, offer lots of grip and feel smaller than it actually is on the road. This is paired to adaptive sports suspension that soaks up the bumps on or off road.


A dual-touchscreen central console controls the interior features, such as air conditioning, sat nav and media. Both screens have haptic and noise feedback so you know you’ve pressed them. You can even write the sat nav destination, rather than keying in the individual characters.

Driving modes

There are six modes: Strada (road), Sport, Corsa (track), Neve (snow), Terra (off road) and Sabbia (sand), with an additional Ego mode you can tune yourself. Neve and Sabbia are optional extras, but if you’re splashing the cash you might as well get them for that extra off-road peace of mind.


Robots and humans work together at all-new building

Rear seats Tyres and brakes

The Urus sits on specially-developed Pirelli P Zero sports tyres for on- and off-road use and they’re wrapped around alloys of between 21 and 23 inches. The car also comes with carbon-ceramic performance brakes designed to reduce brake fade and for all conditions.

These can be specified as a three-seat rear bench that can be folded down to extend the 606-litre boot space, or as two sports seats to offer a more dynamic experience for all. These can’t be folded down, though, making this practical Lamborghini slightly less so. No matter, as Urus still offers the most interior space of any Lambo today.

FOR Lamborghini, the Urus is considered ‘mass production’ as it will be more accessible and usable day to day – even if the price tag of circa £165,000 is out of reach of most people. So, to accommodate this new model’s construction process, the Italian brand has an all-new 28,000m2 building that includes some of the latest manufacturing technology. Unlike at the rest of Lamborghini’s production sites, the Urus’s chassis is placed on a robotic stand that moves between the 23 building stations and doesn’t require a fixed line to be built into the floor. Sensors and cameras are placed on each corner of the assembly so that it can move independently without human interaction and be in the right place at the right time. Humans and robots also collaborate during the building process to make the production method more flexible and accurate. Two workers are placed on each station, while job-specific machines scan and assemble the car. Because of this, a Urus can be finished in a day, as opposed to other Lamborghini vehicles, which can take much longer to complete. During pre-production, a Urus is at each checkpoint for 32 minutes, but when it kicks into top gear assembly in January, that time will fall so that more models can be built. Roughly 700 people were employed for the production process, meaning 1,800 people will be on site at the Sant’Agata Bolognese factory in total – a massive step up for Lamborghini.

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Richard swops the RAF for a new role in car mechanics


Late MOTs revealed in figures from DVSA MORE than a quarter of Britain’s cars are overdue vital road safety checks, according to new figures. Some 28 per cent of vehicles are late for their MOT and two-thirds of those are at least a week behind schedule, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). It has launched a free Get MOT Reminders service enabling drivers to receive a text message or email four weeks before their car’s MOT is due. Motorists can be fined up to £1,000 if they’re caught driving a car without a valid MOT certificate. Stuart James, director of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, said: ‘The number of consumers forgetting to MOT their vehicles means that a great many of these are unintentionally breaking the law. ‘We are pleased that the DVSA has developed such a valuable service that will support road safety and help consumers in their busy lives.’


Bentley nominated for Octane Award

„Richard Bolton

EX-SERVICEMAN Richard Bolton is starting a new career in the retail motor sector, thanks to an innovative partnership between the armed forces and Jardine Motors Group. The two organisations have teamed up to give work to personnel who want to offer their skills to UK employers after leaving the military. He is benefiting from the Ministry of Defence’s Career Transition Partnership and has joined Jardine’s Audi dealership in Warrington as a technician, along with former Royal Engineers mechanical fitter Dominic Sherwin, who is now part of Jardine’s Liverpool Audi dealership, as reported last issue. With seven years’ military experience as a technician for the RAF in the UK, Malaysia, Oman and the Falkland Islands, Bolton is now applying his engineering skills to the Audi cars for which he’s responsible. ‘I am delighted to have joined the Jardine Motors Group Audi dealership in Warrington and hope to utilise the engineering knowledge and skills acquired working in the RAF and apply these to the private sector,’ he said. ‘I’m grateful that the innovative partnership has created this very exciting opportunity for me as I look to develop my career.’

Toolkit worth £10,000 is part of scheme incentive Dealership network launches innovative initiative to attract and train aspiring technicians

A 1928 BENTLEY that took more than 1,800 hours to restore from bits and pieces narrowly missed driving off with the title of Restoration of the Year at the Octane Awards in London. The dismantled 4.5-litre car, which had been languishing in a house in London, was painstakingly brought back to life by Liss-based William Medcalf Vintage Bentley – as featured in Workshop issue 25. ‘Overrestoration of this car would have been sacrilege,’ said Medcalf. ‘Being one of the most original vintage Bentleys in the world, I felt it was my duty to keep all of the original finishes where possible, to lightly overhaul as required, so that this car could serve as a benchmark for all future sympathetic restorations.’

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ardine Motors Group has launched an innovative apprenticeship scheme for people looking to embark on a career as a technician. It’s the latest recruitment drive by the group, which is one of the UK’s largest car dealership networks, representing 23 brands at more than 70 locations, and has more than 3,000 employees. Those joining the scheme will not only be able to develop their skills on premium car brands, including Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, McLaren and Maserati, but they’ll also be given a toolkit worth £10,000. In addition, apprentices will have a competitive starting salary that will increase each year, guaranteed for six years, and be part of a bonus scheme. Group HR director Clare Martin,

pictured, said: ‘The car industry is constantly evolving, which is why at Jardine Motors we are passionate about investing in future colleagues who want to join us in being part of a very exciting industry. ‘To us, that means recruiting bright and enthusiastic individuals who want to provide our customers

with an outstanding customer experience. We also recognise that the UK automotive industry is only as strong as the talent within it, so we must continue to invest in our teams if we want to reach our full potential, which is why our apprenticeship scheme also breaks the boundaries set out by traditional schemes. ‘Each new colleague can set the duration of their apprenticeship, allowing them to work at a pace to suit them, and will also be equipped with a toolkit worth £10,000, which they get to keep following successful completion of their apprenticeship course. All we ask is for individuals with passion, enthusiasm and a willingness to succeed.’ Anyone wanting to apply should contact Jardine via hls-apprentices@

NEWS ROUND-UP. What’s been making the headlines at workshops around the United Kingdom?


GSF Car Parts has continued its branch refurbishment programme with Derby being the latest location to gain an upgrade, following improvements at Smethwick. The Derby site is in a good location in London Road, near Pride Park. The branch employs a total of 10 staff and has five delivery vans serving a thriving trade customer base with regular local deliveries. A complete upgrade of signs has now been completed, with less reliable tube and tray lighting systems replaced with highvisibility LED technology.



A retired Ministry of Defence mechanic turned detective to locate his £65,000 car that had been stolen and hidden 40 miles away. Ronnie Hutton’s Audi R8 was pinched from his home in Stirling, with police telling him shortly afterwards that it had been spotted in Edinburgh. The Herald newspaper reported that he and a friend embarked on a ‘needle-in-a-haystack’ mission to try to find it – and they were successful, discovering it in a street in the city’s Colinton suburb. Ronnie said: ‘I’m a very happy man.’


Leading independent Aston Martin specialist McGurk Performance Cars has opened its new showroom after £50,000 of work that saw it nearly double in size. It now boasts 8,000 sq ft of display area – up from 4,500 sq ft. Every car is fully inspected by McGurk’s factorytrained technicians. ‘It’s important we offer a full service for customers, from the initial sale through to regular maintenance,’ said owner and founder John McGurk. The service department has the latest factory-approved Aston Martin diagnostic system.


Well-known Jaguar restorer and garage owner John Scardifield has died at the age of 72. Scardifield, described by his daughter Leah as ‘one of life’s true gentlemen’, passed away on November 10. He ran Milford Motors in Milford on Sea, which operates a 24-hour breakdown and recovery service in association with the local police. He had a passion for Jaguars and enjoyed racing them as well as doing them up. In his retirement, he bought and restored old tractors. His health deteriorated after a fall in 2010.

Fantastic feedback after new video platform launched EURO Car Parts has launched its own video platform for repairers, which sends a short video explaining what additional work is needed to a customer’s vehicle. The ViewMech workshop video system has been rolled out across the Euro Car Parts network, with early adopters reporting up to 25 per cent more work conversions thanks to the straightforward advisory upselling process. When a technician identifies additional, urgent or advisory work, ViewMech enables them to film a short video and then send it via a text message link to a branded customer landing page. On average, the text messages are opened within two minutes, speeding up quote approval times for repairers. The sign-up kit includes an Apple iPod Touch to run the ViewMech app and film the videos. Users can choose from two monthly subscription packages: Basic, which includes up to 25 video uploads a month, and Premium, which includes up to 150 uploads. Matt Smith, owner of Bridge Autos in Halifax, has already invested in the technology. He said: ‘Sending personalised videos to our customers has a significant impact on the number of additional jobs that we convert. ‘Our customers really appreciate the transparency and it helps them to understand any vehicle issues more easily. The feedback has been fantastic!’


Free winter checks offered to shoppers HERTS:

Eight fire engines were called to a blaze at a Kia garage in Royston on December 12. The fire, which started about 6.27pm, engulfed the building and was eventually put out around 3am the next day. It broke out in the workshop area but also caused extensive damage to the showroom. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but the site isn’t expected to reopen until mid-2018. Cars inside the building will probably be written off and scrapped. Those outside will be fully safety-checked. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

SHOPPERS were given the chance to benefit from a free winter health vehicle check provided by Autocentre Rushden as part of Road Safety Week. Tyre treads, brake lights and windscreens were among the essential vehicle parts highlighted as part of the checks at Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre. The free checks were part of Autocentre Rushden’s campaign urging drivers to stay safe on the UK’s roads this winter. Vic Clarke, proprietor of Autocentre Rushden, said: ‘It’s crucial for motorists to ensure their vehicles are prepared for the change in climate.’

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Charity launches mental health training programme AUTOMOTIVE industry charity Ben has launched a training programme that will see it work with employers to raise awareness about mental health. It will also look to manage mental health in the workplace and provide practical tools for individuals to help them better manage their mental health. A day’s training programme is available for managers to help them support employees, and there is a series of short masterclasses for employees to enable them to cope with life’s challenges. Ben says the courses are designed specifically for people working in the automotive industry and suitable for all organisations. It said it had a 78 per cent increase in requests from people for help about their mental health during 2016-17 compared with 2015-16. A recent government report warned that the UK faced a significant mental health challenge at work and that 300,000 people with a long-term medical health problem lost their jobs each year. Ben said that in the automotive industry that could potentially mean more than 8,000 people. Jools Tait, business development director at Ben, said: ‘We are committed to developing the relevant services needed to prevent people from suffering in silence, as well as help them remain resilient to the challenges that life brings.’

Minister pledges tyre safety research A TRANSPORT minister has committed to further research into how the age of tyres affects safety. John Hayes, pictured, made the pledge under questioning from Labour MP Maria Eagle, who, after the death of a constituent, has tabled draft legislation to take tyres that

are more than 10 years old off the UK’s roads. Michael Molloy, 18, from Liverpool, was killed in 2012 after a coach tyre more than 19 years old exploded on the A3 in Surrey. The tragedy also claimed the lives of two other people – Kerry Ogden, 23, from Maghull, and the 53-year-old

driver, Colin Daulby, from Warrington. Hayes said: ‘My department will engage in further research. The safe and secure passage of people is our absolute first priority, and we will do all that’s necessary to ensure it.’

Three reasons to celebrate as Phil gets lovely surprise 65th birthday, retirement and 15 years of service are all marked on the same day


Girls ‘put off from mechanic jobs’ NEW research has revealed that more than half of UK adults believe that young girls are discouraged from a career in mechanics because it’s a male-dominated industry. According to the poll of 2,007 UK consumers for online car repair marketplace ClickMechanic, 58 per cent said the gender imbalance had a negative influence on a young girl’s decision to enter the workshop profession. Other factors highlighted included 50 per cent feeling that the stereotype of a mechanic would put young girls off, while 40 per cent believed that the lack of role models had a significant influence.

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„Phil Johnston, centre, with group service and bodyshop manager Brian Johnston, service manager June Appleyard and members of the team at Jennings’ service department in Washington


triple celebration was held for a Jennings Motor Group staff member when he marked his 65th birthday, 15 years’ loyalty and retirement – all on the same day. Phil Johnston, from Birtley, began working at the group’s service department in Parsons Road, Washington, in 2002, starting as a workshop controller. In recent years, he also became involved in the parts side of the business, as well as helping out with visual healthcheck work within the service department. On the big day, he was greeted with birthday and retirement balloons plus banners, cards, a cake,

by JOHN BOWMAN gifts, a loyalty certificate plus high street vouchers, courtesy of his colleagues, who wanted to make it a day to remember. He said: ‘It was a lovely surprise and quite an emotional day. I have made many friends over the years at Washington, as well as witnessing a lot of changes within the company as a result of expansion and investment plans plus having to adapt to new technology. ‘I’d like to thank everyone for their very kind wishes and generous gifts.’ Service manager June Appleyard, group service and bodyshop manager

Brian Johnston (who is unrelated) and group manager service analyst Alan Davison have been managers to Phil over the years and they were all delighted to be part of the surprise presentation and party celebrations. Appleyard said: ‘Phil has been an absolute pleasure to work with over the years and he’s going to be tremendously missed in the department. On behalf of the company and all of his colleagues, I would like to congratulate him on his birthday milestone, as well as achieving 15 years’ loyalty, but most important of all I would like to wish him a very healthy and happy retirement. It’s not every day you have three reasons to celebrate!’

Three’s the magic number for youth recruitment drive THE Fix Auto Mid Devon team are hailing their AutoRaise Apprenticeship Showcase a great success. It aimed to encourage much-needed youngsters interested in the motor trade to get hands-on experience. Louise Woolacott, director of the Creditonbased body repair shop, said: ‘The feedback from suppliers, staff and students has been incredible. We have three students who have already asked to be considered for future apprenticeships and many more who we will continue to stay in dialogue with as they progress through their secondary school education. ‘Our staff and amazing suppliers are already asking for us to hold another event next year.’ There were prizes on offer, too, including a £100 Argos voucher for the student who showed the most promise in the spray booth and a £50 Amazon voucher awarded to the person who got closest to the estimated cost of repairing a vehicle on the Audatex stand.

Car repair garage couple are sent to prison for tax and benefit fraud You cannot decide to ignore your obligations and not expect HMRC to take action, says probe service assistant director


Liverpool couple who ran a repair garage and pub in the city have been jailed for a total of seven years for a £470,000 tax and benefit fraud. Members of the Knutsen family ran the car repair garage, which was also an MOT centre, in Hill Street and Chaplin’s Bar in Lodge Lane but failed to pay any VAT, national insurance or income tax while also fraudulently claiming benefits. Bernard Knutsen, 68, of Fell Street, was jailed for four years and his wife Maureen, 62, also of Fell Street, was jailed for three years, while their daughter Kelly, 39, of Ellencliffe Drive, was given a 21-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after the fraud investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court and confiscation proceedings to recover the stolen tax have begun. Investigators found Bernard Knutsen ran the Hill Street garage – known at various times as Able Testing, Hillside Services and The Service Station – and did the same with Chaplin’s Bar, which he ran with the help of his wife. However, the pair failed to declare their income from the businesses when claiming various benefits.

„ Bernard Knutsen and Maureen Knutsen Their daughter received unexplained money from both businesses into her bank account. She also claimed benefit to cover her rent but failed to declare a second property that she owned and rented out. Bernard Knutsen admitted the fraudulent evasion of income tax, national insurance and VAT, three offences of failing to declare that he was working and owned property other than his home address while claiming benefits, dishonestly making false representations to the DWP to receive pensions credits, and dishonestly making a false representation to the DWP for income support. Maureen Knutsen had denied but was found guilty of the joint fraudulent evasion of VAT with her husband, and failing to declare that she was working and owned property other than her

home jointly with her husband while claiming benefit. Kelly Knutsen had denied but was found guilty of three charges of concealing, possessing and using criminal property (£51,000 in cash) between 2007 and 2014, ie, the untaxed income from her parents’ joint businesses, and paying it into her own bank accounts, and three charges of failing to notify the DWP and Liverpool City Council of a change in circumstances affecting her entitlement to income support and housing benefit. Sandra Smith, assistant director at the HMRC Fraud Investigation Service, said: ‘This family thought they were exempt from the law. ‘You cannot decide to ignore your tax obligations and not expect HMRC to take action. We are determined to maintain a level playing field for all local businesses and will not tolerate fraud like this. ‘Tax evasion isn’t a victimless crime. Tax fraud is theft from the public purse. ‘It takes money out of public services that everyone in the UK relies upon.’ A DWP spokesman said: ‘Only a small minority of benefit claimants are dishonest, but cases like this show how we are rooting out the unscrupulous minority who are cheating the system and diverting taxpayers’ money from those who really need it.’

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Safeguarding the motor industry workforce with lifelong learning


he motor trade needs a shift in attitude from the expectation of having a job for life to instilling the value of continuous learning. This will ensure the present and future workforce will remain relevant and as agile as the evolving industry in which they work. At the start of this year, the automotive industry experienced its busiest six months on record. The value of both manufacturing vehicles in the UK and aftermarket care has risen considerably, and the number of jobs in the latter area alone is expected to rise by almost 17 per cent to 400,000 roles by 2022. However, the economy thrives on supply and demand, and we are functioning within an industry where the demand has undoubtedly increased, but the current workforce supply is straining under the weight of it. We are in the midst of a skills shortage across a lot of industries, and the automotive industry is potentially feeling this more keenly. Combine this with the anticipated exodus of the retiring, ageing workforce, and the present, skilled MOT testers and technicians are quickly realising their worth. They recognise the opportunities for progression this booming industry can bring and, in the case of permanent recruitment, we see that skilled technicians are very much aware of their value and continue to seek new job opportunities.

Many are taking the freelance route, as garage owners are realising they could face a large financial hit if they have an unmanned MOT station, and are taking on temporary, highly skilled technicians to avoid any losses. But motor industry bosses should be doing more to safeguard their workforce and realise the importance of lifelong learning. Vehicles are becoming increasingly digitalised and electric vehicles are starting to flood the market. The industry is moving at such a pace that ongoing training is essential. Testing and servicing vehicles today demands digital skills — a diagnostician needs to be able to solve

puzzles without physical clues, such as an engine knocking or an oil leak. But if employees aren’t given the provision of training, they may well seek employment elsewhere with an employer who will. A recent report revealed that across the entire UK workforce, 39 per cent of employees would be willing to sacrifice a job offer if there was no prospect of receiving further training, while 78 per cent described themselves as ‘ambitious’. Tellingly, 90 per cent of technicians seeking employment through us cite lack of progression as the overriding factor for them wanting to move on. Surprisingly, money is lower down the list. Garages and dealerships must facilitate resources, tools and time to become better placed to face the challenges ahead. Greater training resources in place will result in engaged staff and a business that can remain innovative and ready for whatever the future might bring. According to reports, 65 per cent of children today will end up in careers that don’t even exist yet. But everyone will still need a vehicle, so making training an integral cog in the heart of a motor business rather than a mere add-on is vital. Only then will we begin to close the skills gap and attract the workforce of tomorrow from an early age, so vehicle technician roles will seamlessly evolve along with the technology.

Who is Gavin White? After spotting a gap in the market for a recruitment agency dedicated to placing temporary workers in the motor trade, Gavin established Autotech Recruit in 2010. As an agency solely focused on the automotive aftermarket, Autotech Recruit supplies MOT testers and vehicle technicians on a contract and permanent basis. Seven years on and Gavin now employs more than 20 staff at the company’s head office, with a contractor network of 300 MOT testers and vehicle technicians, supplying workshops across the UK.

When you’re an MOT tester short, trust us to provide temporary cover. Fast.

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Class of 2017 honoured at ceremony Suzuki holds graduation event at Rockingham circuit to celebrate culmination of years of hard work by apprentices


uzuki GB hosted a prestigious ceremony at Rockingham Motor Speedway that saw 25 people graduate from the manufacturer’s advanced apprenticeship programme. The annual event celebrates the successful completion of the practical hands-on learning initiative that takes place over three years for automobile and motorcycle technicians and 24 months for aftersales service and parts advisers. Those taking part undertake block release tuition at the dedicated and state-of-the-art Suzuki training centre, while also enjoying support and a structured career path during their fulltime employment at one of the company’s dealerships in the UK.

The 19 students able to attend the ceremony came from the length and breadth of the country and proudly collected their Apprenticeship Completion Certificate and NVQ/VCQ Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship Award from Suzuki GB managing director Nobuo Suyama, automobile director Dale Wyatt and aftersales director Denis Houston. Of the 19 attendees, 17 were from the automobile section and two from the motorcycle section. Houston said: ‘We would like to congratulate all of this year’s apprentices on their fantastic achievement – a great reward for all their hard work and dedication to the programme. ‘Each of these individuals have always demonstrated a real passion

for our products, as well as the desire to provide an excellent service to our customers, which are both central to the ongoing success of our brand. ‘The apprentices are worthy ambassadors of Suzuki, and they

will be able to apply and share the valuable learning that they have gained during their work with others and continue to evolve in line with the fast-paced automotive sector. We wish them the very best for the next chapter of their careers.’

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Williams’ electric ambition Adam Weller finds out more about the pioneering work of an engineering team spun off from an iconic F1 name.


or anyone with even the most fleeting interest in Formula One, Williams is an iconic name. Since the team was founded in 1977, Williams has taken nine constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ championships, while playing host to iconic drivers such as Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Ayrton Senna. In recent years, the company’s aspirations have extended beyond the race circuit, with the foundation of the separate Williams Advanced Engineering firm in 2010. This new business has led the team to explore new areas of engineering, producing everything from James Bond cars for Jaguar to energy-saving fridges for Sainsbury’s. Now, Williams has revealed the FW-EVX: a base that will be made available for manufacturers of low-volume performance cars in the near future. We went to Williams Advanced Engineering’s base in Grove, Oxfordshire, to take a close look at FW-EVX. Numbers are important for a performance car, electric or otherwise, and in this sense, Williams’ project does not disappoint. A total of 652bhp (486kW) of electric power is on tap thanks to Williams’ batteries, which borrow technology from its work on Formula One ‘ERS’ hybrid systems and Formula E’s electric motors. The power is generated by three Yasa motors, with two powering the rear wheels and one driving the front. This is a large amount of power for a car that sits on a wheelbase of just 2,800mm, which is comparative to BMW’s 3 Series and Jaguar’s XE. The wheelbase can be modified by removing or adding battery modules, as explained by Williams Advanced Engineering’s technical director, Paul McNamara. ‘The next step up [5 Series, XF] is

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2,940mm, and that’s also the wheelbase that the Tesla Model S is on. The modules are 140mm each, so if you delete a module you get 2,660mm, which is what the Golf, Focus and many roadsters are roughly on.’ One failing of most electric performance cars to date is heaviness. For instance, Tesla’s Model S P100D weighs 2,241kg and Fisker’s Karma weighs some 2,400kg. Williams’ FW-EVX base weighs 955kg, and McNamara anticipates that a car built on it will weigh as little as 1,750kg. That’s not only very good for an electric car, but it also bests some notable conventional performance cars, too. The Aston Martin DB11 V12, for example, weighs in at a hefty 1,875kg. On the subject of light-weighting, McNamara said: ‘We’ve got the situation out there where the motor industry is pushing really hard on electrification. We need to make it happen. ‘And so, a number of cars have got the so-called ‘‘skateboard’’ configuration, Tesla being the most obvious example. You put all the batteries under the floor, the weight’s low in the car, and away you go. ‘We decided to approach this problem from the standpoint of a Formula One team and lightweighting expert and try to innovate. ‘What we’ve tried to do is make it as lightweight and high-performance as we reasonably can, and try to put in a number of technologies that will excite the industry and get people talking to us about it. Also, if you are a low-volume manufacturer with aspirations of launching into the electrified vehicle market, then here’s something ‘‘off the shelf’’ that you

Williams Advanced Engineering’s FW-EVX base can work with to launch your dream of getting a car out there.’ The most commonly uttered word while we were at Williams was ‘innovation’. While sometimes that word is often applied liberally and not terribly accurately, there is certainly good reason for Williams to use it. The FW-EVX features no radiators, as cooling is integrated in the structure of the base. Channels run from the front to the back of the chassis, with air being initially drawn in via the silver ‘crash-cans’. The air circulates through channels and around the sills, which then cools the batteries. Water also circulates throughout the chassis in a separate channel and is cooled by the air that comes in through the crash-cans. In the event of a crash, the side sills also double as crumple zones to protect the batteries. Being a Formula One team, a heavy focus on carbon composites was applied during design, which plays a big part in the FW-EVX’s relative lightness for an electrified base. An example of this is the exoskeleton that each battery module sits in, which is formed of

What we’ve tried to do is make it as lightweight and high-performance as we reasonably can. PAUL McNAMARA

a 2D composite shape then ‘folded’ around the batteries to create a 3D structure that adds to the structural integrity of each module. This is dubbed ‘223’. The project is aimed at the higher echelons of the electric car world, with the target audience being manufacturers wishing to create a performance, premium EV with – to quote McNamara – ‘a price tag north of £150,000’. However, the team behind FW-EVX are careful to note that some of the ideas exhibited on it will see use elsewhere, such as the 223 exoskeleton and the cooling channels/sills. These concepts are also joined on the list of transferable ideas by the ‘RaceTrak’ wishbone concept, which is produced using oriented fibres, allowing for greater ease in automated production. As 80 per cent of the part is made

of recycled carbon fibre, the cost of producing it could be as low as £20 – some £50 cheaper than a conventional aluminium wishbone. So, while cars using the FW-EVX base in its entirety will be rarities, there could well be an extensive number of models – electric and otherwise – taking on Williams’ technologies in the near future. McNamara and Williams Advanced

„Nigel Mansell

Engineering believe that the process of getting an FW-EVX-based car on the road would take two years once a manufacturer was in place, and as of talking to them, two manufacturers were showing ‘serious interest’. The FW-EVX presents an interesting time for the company, which is stretching away from Formula One more than any other team on the grid – unless you count Ferrari and its body wash kits that weird relatives buy for car enthusiasts on their birthdays. Even McLaren, which is making massive strides in the road car market, is well behind Williams, which is willing to apply its motorsport expertise to everything and anything. In this business climate, companies need to expand their horizons to survive. Williams has set out to make sustainability exciting, and if FW-EVX is anything to go by, the team at Grove are on to a winner.

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DS 7 Crossback

The French are well known for their wacky designs – and the new DS 7 Crossback certainly doesn’t disappoint. Not only does it debut a unique design for premium SUVs but it’s also packed with cool tech. Darren Cassey takes a closer look at the bits that caught our eye on the new £39,335 DS 7.

DS Active Scan Suspension To help it ride smoothly, the DS 7 Crossback has a trick bit of kit hidden in the windscreen. A camera, which has height sensors and accelerometers built in, analyses the road ahead and prepares the suspension for imperfections. The result is an extremely comfortable ride that would make the DS 7 an ideal long-distance companion. This sort of technology is normally only seen on the likes of the Mercedes S-Class, so the fact it’s here – and actually works – is impressive.

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Cat pawing seats As part of the car’s ‘Sensorial Drive’ options, the driver and passenger can opt for a massage called ‘cat paw’, which feels like a feline kneading your back. Yes, we thought it was a bit weird too. The cabin ambience settings are called ‘My Cashmere’ and ‘My Titanium’ and also adjust the interior lighting intensity and colour, the tone of the music playing out of the speakers and the drive mode.

Night vision Selected via a dial on the steering wheel, the digital screen in the instrument binnacle (which is standard on all but the entry-level trim) can be switched to a heat-sensing view of the road ahead. Cars, people, animals and other sources of heat appear bright white on the screen, with people highlighted in yellow – it’s all very impressive. There’s also a beep if it looks like you might hit them.

BRM clock DS Automobiles has a partnership with luxury watchmaker BRM Chronographs. There’s an analogue clock on top of the dashboard, which swivels to hide away when the car is turned off, moving back into place when the engine is started. Useful for security, because if a shady observer spots a BRM clock sitting proudly on the dashboard they might just be tempted to break in.

Swivel headlights This is one of those things you just have to trust works. The LEDs twist and turn to light the road ahead and adapt to the environment you’re in to illuminate exactly what you need to see. There are different settings for city driving, country roads and motorways, which activate based on your speed. There’s even a different light profile when the windscreen wipers are on, to improve visibility in adverse weather.

FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Price: Engine: Power (bhp): Torque (Nm): Max speed (mph): 0-60mph: MPG: Emissions (g/km):

DS 7 Crossback Prestige £39,335 2.0-litre diesel 174 400 134 9.7 seconds 57.6 128

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Audi A8

Traffic Jam Pilot The new A8 features Audi AI technology so advanced you can’t actually use it yet. Using radar and on-board cameras, it can take charge of driving completely in slow-moving traffic at speeds up to 37mph, on roads where a physical barrier separates carriageways. The driver is able to take their hands off the steering wheel as the car manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking. The system is so good, the driver could watch TV instead. However, the technology can only be used in countries that allow it – and as yet, that list doesn’t include the UK.

All rise To help passengers get into the car, the adaptive air suspension springs up by 4cm when a door is opened to make it easier to get in. The clever system also uses a camera to monitor the road ahead to smooth out lumps and bumps. Although it won’t cope with potholes, it does spot speed bumps and adjusts each end of the car to keep it as flat as possible. Each corner is electronically controlled so pitch and roll under acceleration and in bends is drastically reduced. The only problem is, the bump-spotting camera doesn’t work at night…

Crash test Taking advantage of the A8’s clever adaptive air suspension, the car can sense an imminent side impact thanks to its 360-degree camera and radar and protect the occupants further. In the event of an impending crash, the car lifts the side of impact’s suspension by 8cm so the force is dissipated through the floor pan, the strongest area of the car. Audi says this won’t affect the chances of it rolling as it doesn’t change the centre of gravity.

Interview James Baggott meets the Audi designer creating car interiors of the future


udi designer Daniel de Jong is standing in front of the world’s media explaining the amazing new technology inside the brand’s most futuristic road car to date. But as the Press get the chance to pore over his hard work inside the new flagship A8 – complete with a twin touchscreen interior and clever autonomous functions – de Jong, pictured right, already has an eye on what’s coming next. ‘I’m proud to be showing off this new interior and to be finally revealing our hard work, but it’s strange already knowing what we’re working on

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for the future,’ he explained. ‘We started work on the new A8’s interior back in 2012 and our work was pretty much done by 2015 – it’s been in preparation for a while. I’ve already moved on to the next big project.’ As one of the key designers at Audi’s Ingolstadt head office, de Jong has worked on some exciting projects. Some he can reveal, others he can’t. ‘I was one of the team that first worked on the Virtual Cockpit,’ he said. That’s the digital screen replacement for Audi’s dash, which lets drivers change the view behind the steering wheel from dials to sat nav at the touch of a button.

‘We took an old-shape Audi TT, ripped out the dashboard, and added the digital version to it,’ he said. ‘We played with the functions, worked out what it could do and that was incredibly exciting.’ Now his handiwork has seen that Virtual Cockpit take centre stage in the new A8 alongside two large touchscreens that have replaced the car’s MMI system. Sat nav, media and heating are all controlled with a digital display with ‘haptic’ feedback, the same sense of touching a real button you get on your smartphone. But what’s next? De Jong admitted it can be strange working all day on a new car’s interior

Parking Pilot The Audi AI tech will also help you park. Using a smartphone app, the driver can hop out and the car will park itself in a space. A live feed of the parking manoeuvre is taken from the car’s 360-degree camera and fed back to the phone as you help guide it into a space. Unlike the traffic jam technology, this doesn’t require any legislation changes – BMW already has a similar system with cars you can park using the key – so this will be rolled out on A8s early in 2018.

Interior tech Both driver and passenger are treated to amazing luxury inside the new A8. Up front, two huge screens dominate the centre console and replace almost all buttons. The system works fantastically well with the bottom one acting as a huge writing panel to input destinations when needed. Heating, media, phone and all other functions are controlled on the screens which provide ‘haptic’ feedback, that’s the feel of pushing a button even though you’re not. The air vents are controlled by sliding scale buttons too and, in the back, the passenger has reclining seats and a tablet-style controller to enjoy.

Four-wheel steering Although not a new concept, the four-wheel steering helps to reduce the car’s turning circle. We attended the car’s launch recently and tackled a tight, city-style driving circuit in a speciallymodified car that allowed the engineers to turn the system on and off. The difference was stark – with it on, there were far fewer turns lock to lock, and on a tight hairpin it made it round without reversing, and failed to make it with it off. Audi says the system – which turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts at low speeds, and in the same way at high speeds – improves stability and gives the car the same turning circle as the far smaller A4.

‘At present, the rear-seat passenger in the A8 is the king.’ that won’t be around for five years. ‘When you leave work and get back to the ‘‘real’’ world, it feels strange – especially as I know what’s coming next,’ he said. ‘But it’s also very exciting. The cars we’re working on now might not necessarily be focused around the driver. Autonomous cars will mean we use our vehicles in different ways. ‘Perhaps in the future it won’t be as important to control cars the way we do as we’ll have more time to take our eyes off

the road. In-car entertainment may play a bigger part as we’ll be able to watch the TV as the cars drive for us. ‘We’re thinking now about what the interiors of cars will look like without steering wheels too. At present, the rear-seat passenger in the A8 is the king, but in future we could treat all occupants the same.’ He also revealed his next major project will be launched in 2021 and will debut on an all-new model for the manufacturer.

‘I worked on the electric Audi R8 project – the eTron – a while back which was very enjoyable,’ said de Jong. ‘I can’t tell you what my next project looks like, but I can assure you we will be continuing to innovate just as we have done on this latest A8.’ Expect to see this twin-screen set-up rolled out in the A7 and A6 next, but how far it will trickle down the range is unknown. ‘We know it fits in some cars, but others will be a challenge,’ added de Jong. One thing’s for certain, if anyone knows how to work it out – it’s him.

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MARRAKESH EXPRESS This was a trip featuring searing sunshine, sand, and a certain amount of tyre trauma in north Africa – but boy, was it worth it... Words: James Baggott


he wheels are spinning but the BMW isn’t going anywhere. Every revolution of the static alloys fails to be converted into forward momentum and instead acts as a spade, shovelling sand and sinking the new X3 deeper into the huge blood-orange dunes. Usually this wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but this isn’t a seaside resort: this is 25 miles from civilisation, in the Sahara – the world’s largest hot desert. We’ve spent the last hour tackling one of the toughest off-road routes I’ve ever experienced – from deep, rolling dunes to sharp, rocky trails – and the fact that only now, just a few feet from our final destination, one of my colleagues has managed to half bury a BMW is a testament to the X3’s abilities. Nestling in a lunar landscape, beneath a carpet of stars so bright they look superimposed on the sky, is our camp. A series of Bedouin tents have popped up between the dunes, rugs laid out across the sand, and the sweet smell of mint tea is wafting through the rapidly cooling air. Over a lamb tagine and chicken kebab dinner, we chat under canvas about a day of adventure. It started off in luxury in the incredible Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh. Outside the site’s gates, the roads were full of hundreds of noisy scooters, darting in and out of battered cars and rammed-full buses. Inside, the complex is a retreat fit for a king. Huge marble arches, rich gardens and luscious lakes surround a myriad huge villas – each with their own pools, steam rooms and Jacuzzis, and bigger than most London flats. Pampered and relaxed, we set off on our epic drive towards the Atlas Mountains, thrown headfirst into the madness of Marrakesh. It’s an assault on the senses and tests defensive driving skills to the limits. It subsides as quickly as it erupted, the roads opening up into out-of-this-world landscapes. Soon we’re crossing the Tizi n’Tichka mountain

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pass, one mighty hairpin after another. Our X3 30d – with a new 260bhp, 620Nm engine – is by far the pick of the range, and on roads like this, it’s swift and enjoyable. Morocco might only be a stone’s throw from Gibraltar and the European mainland but it still feels a long way from home. The scenery is breathtaking, the people fascinating and the temperature testing. The roads, meanwhile, are far from ruined – fresh asphalt and comforting Armco line the Atlas Mountain passes, and the reassurance they give is welcoming. At midday we arrive in Ouarzazate and the famous Atlas Film Studios. It’s here where Hollywood brings flicks such as Gladiator and Cleopatra to life, building huge towns and cities out of wood and plaster of Paris. We drive around the sandy site in our BMWs, entering the gates of Game of Thrones, a huge city set brought to life by thousands of extras that are bussed in from the surrounding villages when they’re needed. By dusk we’ve covered nearly 300 miles and have

taken in the stunning Anti-Atlas Mountains. We filter our way through M’Hamid, the last conurbation before the desert, in a dusty convoy. To the locals we look like aliens, 15 brand-new BMWs disappearing off into the darkness. Our camp, not far from the Algerian border, is an hour of off-roading away. We play follow the leader as our X3 drifts and slips its way like a rally car across the challenging terrain. It would be great fun if only we could see where we were going. Just the lights of the cars in front illuminate the impenetrable darkness. It’s this swamp of blackness that unbalances the rhythm of one of our colleagues when approaching the camp. They fail to give a sand dune the run-up it deserves, beaching the BMW in a position that takes seven men and shovels to retrieve it from. After a night listening to the chorus of exhausted snoring upsetting the local wildlife, we wake before sunrise to experience the subtle light of the pre-dawn hour. Out here, far


The scenery is breathtaking, the people fascinating and the temperature testing.

 From the Atlas Mountains to the set of Game of Thrones, BMW let journalists put the new X3 through its paces. Obviously, they got one stuck...

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After a night suffering the gentle hum of grown men’s flatulence in a makeshift camp in the Sahara, we set about ruining BMW tyres in the desert from anywhere, it’s a magical hue that gently illuminates the ripples of satsuma-coloured sand as far as the eye can see. Over a breakfast of spicy egg omelette and sickly coffee that you could erect a spoon in, we’re told that today will be tougher than yesterday. Five hours of harsh off-roading will be followed by a dash back across the mountains to the airport – and even leaving at dawn is pushing check-in for our 6pm flight. Warning soon forgotten, we’re quickly back in the off-road groove, drifting the off-roader around sandy corners and clattering over sharp rocks. As the desert eases, we experience the barren, flat, dry beds and dunes of the Oued Draa, Iriki Lake and Erg Chigaga, all stages of the famous Dakar Rally. Huge plumes of dust billow out of the back of the convoy, spreading rooster tails of dust high into the sky, as we chuckle at the spectacle. As we approach Foum Zguid, on the edge of the desert, our BMW calmly tells us our nearside rear wheel has lost pressure. The X3 wasn’t lying – the rubber is well and truly past its sell-by date. BMW chaperones soon arrive out of the dust and whip the ruined wheel off, and we once again make our way back on to Tarmac – after five

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hours of bumping and crashing, the X3 feels like it’s riding on a cloud. Back in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, we start to make good progress, giving us time to enjoy the X3’s comfy new interior and smart multimedia system. But 100 miles in, we hear a popping and a hiss, and the now all-too-familiar warning chime caused by another tyre losing pressure. This time, though, Team BMW isn’t close, and with no phone reception we’re left waiting in the searing heat for help to arrive. An hour later, the support car pulls up – but out jump some very worried-looking PR personnel. We’ve got 130 miles to go, back across the challenging Atlas Mountains, and even without hold-ups it looks like we’ll miss the only flight out of Marrakesh today. What’s more, we’re not the only ones to have lost a tyre – two colleagues are stranded further down the road and will need collecting. And so begins a rush to the airport quite unlike any that I’ve experienced before. In a village at the foot of the mountains, we find the national newspaper scribe and his snapper, marooned by a tyre that’s seemingly disintegrated. We throw their kit in the X3 and head off on a three-hour rally stage. From screeching hairpin bends to

blink-and-you’ll-miss-them overtakes, the BMW takes it all in its stride. Through sweat, tears and clenched body parts we hurtle into the Marrakesh airport car park with just minutes to spare. I throw the keys into the hands of the waiting BMW team and we run to the check-in desk. The flight is closing, but we manage to get our boarding passes and dash to the gate. Sat perspiring, exhausted but elated on the plane, I look across to the newspaper hacks who’ve endured the pan-Moroccan mad dash with me and we smile. While at times it was close, often mad, and quite frequently very scary, we made it. The BMW X3 may have two new tyres but it’s been returned unscathed and we’re taxiing down the runway just 25 minutes after we barrelled into the airport car park. All credit to BMW. There aren’t many firms that’d put their cars, or a bunch of journalists, through what we experienced, but I’ve got more respect than ever for the X3 and the company for doing it. It’s proven it’s a truly capable car, able to transport you and your family on any adventure – and I for one am certainly looking forward to the next one.

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What a night! Winners galore on an evening to remember FIVE STEPS TO AWARD HEAVEN

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WOW – what a night! The inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards exceeded all our expectations. I was thrilled and delighted to see so many service and repair professionals there – not to mention representatives of the companies and organisations who work with them. It really was a fantastic occasion – and if you missed it, you missed out! During the evening, we handed over trophies and certificates to a host of thoroughly deserving winners – everyone from brilliant small independent workshops, right up to the major car manufacturers and suppliers. We decided to organise the event to recognise the efforts and achievements of everyone working in the UK aftermarket. After all, its importance cannot be overstated. According to experts


Throughout the year, we receive hundreds of nominations from garages and their business partners and customers from across the UK

from the SMMT, the sector generates an incredible £21.6 billion a year – £12.5 billion of which directly benefits the UK economy. With new car sales hitting record levels last year – and likely to top 2.5 million by the end of 2017 – the aftermarket’s value is likely to rise to £28 billion. The garage industry now supports a whopping 347,000 jobs and it’s thought the sector will need to find another 30,000 technicians, parts retailers and support staff over the next seven years to keep up with the pace of growth. Customers now spend an average of £706 on servicing or repairing their car annually, with the industry working on more than 30 million vehicles every year. And although the number of workshops in the UK has fallen marginally in the last 12


Each entry comes under scrutiny and our first task is to eliminate workshops who don’t come up to scratch in our first round of mystery shopping


months, the number of visits is up to 35.1 million per year. However, Brexit is looming large on the horizon and experts warn that without the right deal, the cost of the average service could rise in price by 10 per cent. Whatever our departure from the EU brings, there’s no doubt the aftermarket industry will continue to work in the tireless and professional manner that our judges have observed first-hand. The Workshop Magazine Awards wouldn’t have taken place without the invaluable support of our sponsors – chief among them our headline partner the Independent Garage Association. Thank you to the IGA and also to the sponsors of individual categories. And thanks to the legendary Johnny Herbert. We were delighted that we were able to persuade Johnny to be our


After more exhaustive phoning, emailing and visiting workshops, we work out our shortlist in each category – lists of five potential winners

MC for the evening and he did an absolutely terrific job. Now to our award winners – and on behalf of Workshop Magazine, many congratulations to you all. We were swamped with entries from right across the UK – and our judges had an incredibly tough time whittling them down to the final three in each category. You really are the best of the best and fully deserve your success. We look forward to seeing you at the Workshop Magazine Awards next year!

James Baggott Founder, Workshop Magazine


These lists go forward to the big night itself – who will be the winner and two highly commended winners in each category?


At the awards ceremony, their identities are revealed and trophies and certificates are handed over. Then it’s time to celebrate!

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by Grippaz Presented by Dave Jagga, UK sales and marketing manager, Grippaz ƒSophie Bailey, sales director at Westgate Tyres, with Dave Jagga and Johnny Herbert

Winner: Westgate Tyres Highly commended: Fast-Fit Tyres & Exhausts (Norwich) & Fastfit Service Centre (Basingstoke) THERE’S a lot of competition in the fast-fit business, so it wasn’t a surprise that this was a difficult category to judge. Our finalists all seemed to be firms looking to attract customers by offering the best prices, but a good-quality job makes all of the difference. The two highly commended winners were Fast-Fit Tyres & Exhausts, Norwich and

Fastfit Service Centre, Basingstoke so well done to them. However, there can only be one winner and judges awarded the accolade to Westgate Tyres. Serving Morecambe and the surrounding area, the company offers personal service and local knowledge along with an excellent range of tyre brands. As well as tyres, the business offers wheel-balancing

and tracking, air conditioning recharge, MOTs and wheel alignment. Sales director Sophie Bailey said: ‘Winning this award feels amazing because I didn’t even know we were nominated for it! I’m really glad that we have won because it means we are doing a good job. We provide the best training we can and we have a good work ethic.’


Winner: Euro Car Parts Highly commended: GSF Car Parts & Melksham Motor Spares EVERY day, motor factors play a key role in the smooth running of workshops and our three winners in this category were all praised for their extensive ranges of stock, speedy deliveries and excellent customer service. Guests at the inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards were first of all asked to put their hands together for the two highly commended winners: GSF Car Parts and Melksham Motor Spares. Great achievements, so well done!

While both of those companies scored highly with our judges, there can only be one winner – and for 2017 it was Euro Car Parts. Readers gave them shining reviews and they impressed our judges too. The firm is probably justified in claiming that it’s the UK’s number-one supplier of car parts with more than 200 branches nationwide and 140,000 different products available for all makes and models. Congratulations!

Euro Car Parts specialises in all major parts – and every car maintenance essential you can think of

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by the IGA Presented by Dave Garratt, chief executive of the Garage Equipment Association ƒFrom the left: Dave Garratt, Mark Ost from Snap-on with his company’s trophy, and Johnny Herbert

Winner: Snap-on Highly commended: Draper Tools & Ring Automotive TOP-QUALITY equipment is vital to the success of any garage, Johnny Herbert told his audience at The Brewery. Let’s face it, we all need tools that meet our needs, machinery that functions properly when we need it to and day-to-day essentials that always come up to scratch. Guests were first asked to put their hands together for our

two highly-commended winners in this category: Draper Tools and Ring Automotive – both of whom were praised for offering top-quality products at reasonable prices. However, they couldn’t beat our winner – Snap-on – a brand that defines quality and is the benchmark for professional tool users.

This company is held in the highest regard in the industry, with fantastic products and excellent customer service. Joseph Johnson and William Seidemann formed the Snapon Wrench Company in 1920. The company manufactured sockets that would ‘snap on’ to five interchangeable handles, a concept that revolutionised the tool industry.


Winner: Highly commended: Micheldever Tyre & Auto Services & Westgate Tyres THERE aren’t many car components that are more crucial for everyone’s safety than its tyres. After all, they represent a vehicle’s only points of contact with the road surface, so they deserve motorists’ full attention (which is sometimes sadly lacking, as we all know). Having a great supplier of tyres means that customers are happy and cars can move in and out of your bays swiftly. Guests were first of all asked to put their hands together

for our two highly commended winners in this category: Micheldever Tyre & Auto Services, Hampshire and Westgate Tyres of Morecambe, Lancashire. But our winner was extremely quick to respond to an inquiry and organised an appointment that was convenient and fast when our mystery shoppers got in touch. It was a big ‘well done’ to – although they weren’t able to be at The Brewery to collect their trophy.

Sophie Bailey, sales director at Westgate Tyres, picked up the firm’s‘highly commended’ award

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by Progress Recruitment Solutions Presented by Laura Rycroft, director ƒWinner Samuel Warren with Laura Rycroft and Johnny Herbert on stage

Winner: Samuel Warren – Eurovans Eastbourne Highly commended: Josh Belcher (Vans North West) & Dylan Russell (Kerr Bros Bodyshop, Omagh) WHEN you’re studying for an apprenticeship and working fulltime, the pressure really is on. In this category, our judges were looking for someone who is passionate about the trade and truly goes above and beyond the call of duty to be the best they can be. It was extremely close between our highly commended apprentices and our winner. Our two runners-up work hard to impress their bosses, with one of their employers telling us that their apprentice had even worked for free to prove himself and change opinion. Proof that hard graft really does pay off! Guests put their hands together for Josh Belcher from Vans North West in St Helens, Merseyside, and Dylan Russell of Kerr Bros Bodyshop, Omagh. But our winner rose above the others, having demonstrated himself to be a top technician. It was

congratulations to the Apprentice of the Year for 2017 – Samuel Warren of Eurovans Eastbourne, part of the JCB Group. The business is based in Pevensey, East Sussex, and there you will find the latest new Volkswagen vans alongside top-quality approved used vans. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have a great reputation for combining plenty of practicality with reliability and a stylish edge. If anyone is looking to trade in their old work van or add a new van to the fleet, the friendly team at Eurovans Eastbourne will be able to help. Samuel said: ‘Winning this award feels crazy! I was just sitting at my table and when my name was read out I couldn’t believe it. I think I won because I have a full-on passion for the industry – and not just during working hours. ‘I’m 100 per cent dedicated to what I’m learning and this award is definitely something to celebrate.’

Some great reading was provided for guests at the Workshop Magazine Awards!

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by Snap-on Presented by Mark Ost, general manager ƒAward winner Nigel Spalding with Mark Ost of Snap-on and Johnny Herbert

Winner: Nigel Spalding – MOT City Highly commended: Matthew Copp (Cedar Garage) & Joe Stevenson (Delilahs Mobile Mechanics) INTRODUCING this award, Johnny Herbert pointed out that this was definitely one of the most highly coveted trophies of the whole evening. Here, the judges were looking for someone who works hard to the benefit of his or her colleagues, is fast and efficient, and is great with customers, too. Following the format of the other award announcements, Johnny first revealed the two highly commended winners in this category: Matthew Copp from Cedar Garage, Worthing and Joe Stevenson from Delilahs Mobile Mechanics based in Finchampstead, Berkshire. He went on to say that our winner has really shown his best side in 2017, receiving high praise from his colleagues and our judging panel, too. The Workshop Magazine Awards Technician of the Year was revealed to be Nigel Spalding of MOT City, Wokingham!

Founded in 1995 by Sean Bradbury, MOT City began life as an MOT centre, but soon began to expand in response to clients’ requirements and now offers servicing, repairs and full vehicle diagnostics. In March 2017, the business celebrated its 22nd birthday and things are as busy as ever. The team believe this is down to the fact that the customer is always put first. The workshop’s technicians and mechanics are all highly skilled and undertake regular training to ensure they are able to offer the best quality possible when it comes to repairs and servicing. More than this though, they are passionate about what they do. Many team members have been with the company for 10 years or more – which shows their dedication to the cause and also that they must be happy in their work! Well done to Nigel – and also to Matthew and Joe, our two ‘highly commendeds’. Great stuff.

Matthew Copp was thrilled to receive a‘highly commended’ award

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by traka ASSA ABLOY Presented by Paul Smith, director ƒAward-winner Simon Cook flanked by Paul Smith, left, and Johnny Herbert

Winner: Simon Cook – ACC UK Ltd Highly commended: Ben Dewar (Redgate Lodge) & Jemma Thorne (Brixham Garage & Body Repair Centre) THERE’S certainly no shortage of things to think about for the modern-day workshop manager. Check out any job ad for such a role and the list goes on and on! Making sure every job is executed properly and promptly, thinking about parts and product supplies; maintaining good relationships with customers; trying to make everything run as efficiently as possible... it’s a wonder they’re not driven to distraction half the time! Unsurprisingly, the judges were hugely impressed with many of the entrants in this category and it proved to be extremely competitive. Guests at the inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards were first asked to put their hands together for our two highly commended winners… Ben Dewar and Jemma Thorne! Well done indeed and many congratulations. It was great that Ben was with us on the night to pick up his certificate, too.

Our winner in this category runs a tight ship and has done a fantastic job within his workshop this year. In the run-up to the awards ceremony, he impressed judges and mystery shoppers alike. Our Workshop Manager of the Year Award 2017 was revealed to be Simon Cook, the boss (and tea boy!) at ACC UK Ltd of Farnborough. Simon started ACC UK Ltd in 2003 after becoming disillusioned that people were being over-charged for a sub-standard service and wanted to dispel the myths that independent garages were not the place to take your car if you wanted a great job doing. He has spent more than 30 years in the motor industry and spends his time working in his business as well as on his business. Simon has embraced emerging technology and is on a continuous learning and development programme.

Highly commended: Ben Dewar (centre) with Redgate Lodge boss Scott Sibley, right, and Johnny Herbert

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by Lawgistics Presented by Ian Gardner, sales manager ƒFrom the left, Bob Barringer, Ian Gardner from Lawgistics, aka‘The Judge’, and Johnny Herbert

Winner: Bob Barringer – SMaRT Garage Services JOHNNY Herbert welcomed a familiar face to the stage to present the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award – Ian Gardner from Lawgistics. As ‘The Judge’, Gardner hands out valuable advice to readers of Workshop Magazine every month (and in this edition can be found on pages 50 & 51). Herbert explained that our Outstanding Achievement winner would be someone who helps and supports others through his or her business. In the case of our winner, his firm is a social enterprise run by a charity to provide work experience and employment opportunities for those excluded from working life because of mental health problems and other disadvantages. That charity is First Step Trust and its chief executive Ronnie Wilson said our winner is ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘committed to giving something back’.

Our winner has been in the trade repairing, servicing and MOT testing vehicles for more than 34 years, having passed his City & Guilds way back in 1983. Guests were asked to put their hands together for Bob Barringer, garage development and training manager at SMaRT Garage Services. The business operates in Crayford/Bexley, West Norwood and Woolwich in the London area, and Salford in the northwest of England. It provides MOT testing and vehicle repair and servicing to all makes and models, including work on brakes, steering, suspension and engines. After receiving his award, Barringer said: ‘Winning this award feels fantastic but it’s not just for me, this is for all my colleagues and the workforce that work with us. This is an achievement for all of us. I will be taking this award back with pride and it will definitely take pride of place in our workshop.’

Guests were keen to make sure they had photographic mementos of the Workshop Magazine Awards!

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by Aston Scott Presented by Jem Emirali, account executive ƒFrom left: Jem Emirali, Terry Gibson with his award and Johnny Herbert

Winner: Terry Gibson – The Independent Garage Association THE winner of the first Workshop Magazine Awards Lifetime Achievement Award was Terry Gibson, head of member services at the IGA. As explained on the IGA website, Gibson is responsible for all aspects of membership, with a particular focus on aspects such as member events, Trust My Garage and the Car Repair Plan. He also represents the organisation on a number of industry groups including the Apprentice Trailblazer project board. Gibson has worked in the motor industry for more than 30 years. He spent the first 15 of them at the AA where he rose from being a patrol on a motorcycle in London to head of technical information when he left in 2001. After a stint running the workshops of an independent classic car restorer in central London specialising in Aston Martins, he joined Retainagroup where he became an expert

in the security marking of vehicles and components as well as the identification of cloned vehicles and the analysis of theft and recovery patterns using the Police National Computer. He has been with the IGA since 2012 and is a keen motorcyclist and photographer. Awards host Johnny Herbert said: ‘This is a very special award for someone who has achieved a great deal in their career and made a difference to the industry.’ And Gibson commented: ‘I was surprised and honoured to receive this award. ‘My current job working to support independent garages in an increasingly complex technical and legislative automotive landscape has been the high point of my motor industry career and I am delighted to be recognised in a ceremony which highlights and celebrates the work of the independent sector.’

The Brewery is an amazing venue and really wowed guests at the awards

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Armchair Marketing

Sponsored by Armchair Marketing Presented by Lee Manning, founder

Braintree Motor Works, Essex, were highly commended in this category

„Lee Manning from Armchair Marketing, left, with Scott Sibley and Ben Dewar from Redgate Lodge and Johnny Herbert

Simon Cook from ACC UK Ltd collects his firm’s‘highly commended’ award

Winner: Redgate Lodge Highly commended: Braintree Motor Works & ACC UK Ltd IF YOU’RE canny with social media, it can really help you reap benefits business-wise. In fact, many garages and workshops see it as a vital part of their operation. When it comes to informing customers about your latest offers and promotions – or reminding them about seasonal checks that need to be done on their vehicles and presenting

the friendly side of automotive repair, it’s an ideal tool. So, who were our highly commended firms who the judges found to be posting and sharing to their hearts’ content? The answer to that question is: ACC UK Ltd of Farnborough and Braintree Motor Works! Like them, our winner in this crucial category has a very

strong presence online. With an impressive 48,000 likes on Facebook they’re clearly doing something right! The Social Media User of the Year 2017 was revealed to be Redgate Lodge of Newcastle upon Tyne. It wasn’t the business’s only success of the night as you can read elsewhere in our coverage of the 2017 Workshop Magazine Awards.


Winner: Cedar Garage Highly commended: Anderson Clark Motor Repairs & Garage Express A WORKSHOP’S website is the first impression most customers will get of your business, so having one that’s clear, easy to navigate and full of useful information is vital. Our two highly commended winners in this important category were Anderson Clark Motor Repairs, Inverness, and Garage Express of north-west London. Our winner, though, ticks all the boxes with a simple yet effective design. Congratulations to the Workshop Magazine Awards Website of the Year winner – Cedar Garage, an independent business established in Worthing in 1982 that rivals main dealers with its levels of capability and equipment.

Kevin Pearce and Matt Copp of Cedar Garage with Lee Manning, left, and Johnny Herbert

Highly commended: Graham Clark from Anderson Clark, left

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by RAC Approved Garages Presented by Mario Dolcezza, head of RAC Networks

Rob Collison of Collison Motoring Services which was highly commended

„Mario Dolcezza, left, and Johnny Herbert with Debra Farmer of the IGA, who picked up the award on behalf of Russell Automotive Centre

Dave and Cath Whittle of Whittles Garage, St Helens, with Johnny Herbert

Winner: Russell Automotive Centre Highly commended: Whittles Garage (St Helens) & Collison Motoring Services MOT WORK is crucial to the success of many garages across the UK and we all know they carry out this important job day in, day out, with skill and care. Our three winners keep customers happy while performing the important test, and thoroughly impressed our judges. Our two highly commended winners were revealed to be: Collison Motoring Services, Waterlooville, Hampshire and

Whittles Garage, St Helens, Merseyside. But our overall winner in this category specialises largely in German products, and after the great customer service our mystery shoppers received, we weren’t surprised to discover that this isn’t the first award they have picked up over the years. Celebrations were in order for our MOT Centre of the Year for 2017 – Russell Automotive Centre! The family-owned

company is London’s leading independent Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda and Bentley specialist. A delighted Jane Russell said: ‘ We were avidly watching Twitter because we weren’t there and it was the best way for us to know what was happening. We were really surprised. ‘It was fabulous. Obviously any award is a fantastic achievement and this is a new award for us as well.’


Winner: Cedar Garage Highly commended: Bond Motor Services & Autolink Vehicle Solutions CUSTOMER care is so important for garages who want to keep motorists coming back time after time. If you let a punter down with poor service, they could tell their friends and neighbours and damage your reputation. Less-thancomplimentary messages on social media are also unhelpful. Thankfully, our three winners in this category don’t have to worry about any of that since they really look after people by being polite and courteous and keeping the lines of

communication open at all times. Our two highly commended winners were: Autolink Vehicle Solutions of Bristol and Bond Motor Services of Horsham. Congratulations! Our top dog, though, went above and beyond the call of duty and really impressed our mystery shoppers and judges. It was a big well done to Cedar Garage of Worthing – and this wasn’t their only success on the night of the Workshop Magazine Awards as you can read on page 39!

Kevin Pearce and Matt Copp of Cedar Garage collect their trophy for delivering great customer service

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by Autologic Presented by Kevin Finn, managing director ƒAndrew Windsor, Tom Sage and Julian Watts collect AW Motor Sport’s trophy from Kevin Finn and Johnny Herbert

Winner: AW Motor Sport Ltd Highly commended: Gumtree 4x4 Ltd & Bee Cool Air Conditioning Services IT CAN be a tough old job running a specialist garage, but our finalists in this category are keeping busy doing exactly that while maintaining the highest standards. They may be working on the more unusual models out there, but the way they keep customers smiling is admirable indeed. Our highly commended winners specialise in very different things – one SUVs and the other air conditioning. They were revealed to be Gumtree 4x4 Ltd of West Sussex & Bee Cool Air Conditioning Services of Northamptonshire. Our winner specialises in something different again – particularly performance cars and especially Porsches. They wowed the judges with their service and willingness to help. It was a big ‘well done’ to AW Motor Sport Ltd of West Sussex and Johnny Herbert was only too pleased to hand the guys their well-deserved trophy on stage.

John Bowden from Gumtree 4x4 Ltd celebrates being‘highly commended’ with Johnny Herbert

Brett Hay, left, from Bee Cool Air Conditioning Services – and a brace of‘highly commended’ certificates!

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Hamish McCowan with Kia’s award. Also pictured are Rebecca Chaplin of Workshop Magazine and awards host Johnny Herbert


No-one from the winning manufacturer Nissan could be with us on the night but Hyundai was happy to be highly commended!

Winner: Kia Motors (UK) Ltd

Winner: Nissan GB

Highly commended: Ford & Renault

Highly commended: Hyundai & Ford

KIA Motors (UK) Ltd was delighted to receive the Manufacturer Warranty Scheme of the Year award. The judges commended Kia for its quick resolution time and availability of parts. Commenting on the win, Hamish McCowan, aftersales director, said: ‘We are delighted to receive this award. Since its launch in 2007, our customers have benefited from the security and peace of mind our seven-year warranty provides. We are yet to be matched in terms of the level of cover and simplicity of our warranty scheme.’

GETTING hold of the parts you need fast is vitally important to any workshop, but when you’re representing a big-name brand, expectations are even higher. Not only do those components need to arrive swiftly so that garages can get on with the work, but they also need to be the right part, first time. Our two highly commended winners were Ford and Hyundai – with our overall winner revealed to be Nissan! Sadly, the Sunderland-based manufacturer couldn’t be with us on the night of the awards, but we’ll make sure it gets its trophy very soon.


Rebecca Chaplin, head of editorial at Blackball Media, with AV Classics’ trophy, which will be heading to the garage very soon!


Jon Mepham and Phil Murton from Volvo collect the company’s award for manufacturing the most reliable car

Winner: AV Classics

Winner: Volvo V40

Highly commended: New Forest Classic Cars & C&S Coachworks

Highly commended: Skoda Superb & Mazda MX-5

C&S Coachworks of Hampshire and New Forest Classic Cars were highly commended in this category. And like them, our winner – AV Classics – does an exceptional job when it comes to restoring some of the finest classic cars around. It says it is ‘obsessed’ with creating the best-quality finish and is totally devoted to delivering excellent customer service. Unfortunately, no-one from the company was able to be with us on the night of the awards, but the trophy will be winging its way to the Dunstable firm shortly.

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THIS was a category aimed at the cars that don’t spend a lot of time in workshops. When it comes to common faults they’re almost flawless, and when things do go wrong they’re simple to fix. Guests were first asked to put their hands together for our pair of highly commended winners – the Mazda MX-5 and Skoda Superb. Our winner though – the Volvo V40 – was way ahead in the voting, and was clearly the favourite among workshops. Its reputation as a ‘strong and stable’ motor is certainly well deserved.

Awards 2017 Sponsored by



Matthew Carpenter, Jordan Watson and Julie Rae collect Honda’s Car of the Year award from Rebecca Chaplin, left, and Johnny Herbert

Julie Rae, customer retention section manager at Honda, collects the manufacturer’s award from Rebecca Chaplin and Johnny Herbert

Winner: Honda Jazz

Winner: Honda UK Highly commended: Hyundai UK & Ford UK

THE Honda Jazz took the Car of the Year trophy at the inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards. Readers voting for the Jazz praised the car’s logical design, which makes it simple to repair. It was also noted that parts are readily available from the manufacturer. The current Jazz builds on the strong reputation of its successful predecessors. The global car, also known as the ‘Fit’ in some markets, has sold more than five million units worldwide since the first-generation model was introduced in 2001. It will receive a facelift in the new year.

HONDA enjoyed a double triumph at the Workshop Magazine Awards. As well as picking up the Car of the Year trophy for the Jazz (see left) it was also judged to be Manufacturer of the Year. It was commended for its efficiency and strong relationships with workshops. Rebecca Chaplin, head of editorial at Blackball Media, said: ‘Honda should be delighted with the Manufacturer of the Year award because it’s testament to what the workshop industry believes is the best manufacturer to work with.’


Winner: Hyundai Workshop Automation Highly commended: ClickMechanic & Snap-on for VERUS Edge HYUNDAI UK’s innovative Workshop Automation system took top honours in the Product Innovation category – just a few weeks after winning a similar trophy at our Workshop Power Awards. A fully embedded and digital, modular system, it combines the key workshop processes into one simple, intuitive solution, using the latest technologies. Starting with one of the industry’s quickest online booking systems, with full integration to menu pricing for more than 15,000 maintenance and repair operations, Hyundai Workshop Automation ensures a seamless customer journey, enhanced transparency, workshop loading and improved customer communication. Number plate recognition alerts the service team to a customer’s arrival, and the details of their previous visit enable a more personalised welcome. The tablet-based interactive check-in aids the identification of fully costed scheduled and additionally authorised work, with added transparency for customers through progress tracking either in the dealership or through their smartphone.

Hyundai’s Ben Sargeant, second left, and Nick Tunnell, second right, with their award The integration of an automated, paperless quality check with full traceability helps to reduce repeat repairs, identify training needs and enhance the ethos of Fix Right First Time. Instant customer feedback and ongoing post-visit communications mean that the system continues to work for the garage even after the customer has left. Rebecca Chaplin, the editor of Workshop Magazine, praised the innovative nature of the system and said that it was much appreciated by those who used it.

A delighted Chris Glover, left, and Felix Kenton, right, of ClickMechanic

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Awards 2017 Sponsored by

Sponsored by the IGA Presented by Stuart James, director


Winner: S & J Garage Highly commended: Revs Motors & Interserve Auto Repairs Phil and Tracey Lewis from Revs Motors, which was highly commended

THIS was where we came to the business end of the evening. In partnership with our fantastic headline sponsor, the IGA, the UK was divided into five regions – and for each of those regions, we awarded a trophy for Independent Garage of the Year. Then, one of those five winners was crowned our overall champion for the UK (see page 49). When it came to Wales, our two highly commended winners were Interserve Auto Repairs, Swansea, and Revs Motors of Ammanford, Dyfed. Our winner, though, has been established for 15 years, building a loyal customer base thanks to its top-notch levels of customer service. Our Welsh Independent Garage of the Year was revealed to be S & J Garage, Carmarthen. Managing director Stephen Senogles said it felt good to win the award and added: ‘I didn’t think we would get it. ‘We’re a small workshop and we try to carry out quality work and deliver customer satisfaction.’ It certainly seems to be a successful formula! Well done.

ƒStephen Senogles and Kanjana Senogles receive the Independent Garage of the Year trophy for Wales


Winner: Toal Truck Services Highly commended: German Motor Works (Banbridge) & AEC Motors (Newtownabbey) OUR two highly commended winners in Northern Ireland were AEC Motors and German Motor Works. Both establishments proved popular with our judges and scored well in our rounds of mystery shopping. But our winner specialises in larger vehicles: those essential workhorses that are the backbone of many companies and which can’t afford to be off the road for too long. Guests at the inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards were asked to put their hands together for the Northern Ireland Independent Garage of the Year: Toal Truck Services of Middletown, Co Armagh. The company has evolved from being a small one-bay garage to become a market leader in HGV sales and servicing. The trophy was picked up by Francie Toal, second-hand parts manager at the company, who described the experience of winning the award as ‘exhilarating’ and said he was ‘very surprised.’ He added: ‘A lot of hard work and patience over a long period of time has paid off.’ It certainly has – a big well done to Toal Truck Services and also our two highly commended winners in Northern Ireland.

ƒFrancie Toal receives the trophy from Stuart James and Johnny Herbert

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INDEPENDENT GARAGES OF THE YEAR Sponsored by the IGA Presented by Stuart James, director


Winner: Whittles Garage Highly commended: Bee Cool Air Conditioning Services & M-Tech Autocentre ENGLAND was split in two for the purposes of the 2017 Workshop Magazine Awards, with lots of great garages in the northern part of the country in the running for honours. Guests at The Brewery were first of all asked to put their hands together for our two highly commended winners: Bee Cool Air Conditioning Services of Kettering and M-Tech Auto Centre, Darlington! However, our winner in this category really shone out, with perfect service on the phone and on email. They also impressed us with the quality of the work they did. The Independent Garage of the Year for northern England was revealed to be... Whittles Garage of St Helens, Merseyside. Asked about the secret of the company’s success, Dave Whittle said: ‘We just keep it simple and look after people – we do our best.’ It’s certainly an approach that seems to be working... so keep up the good work, everyone!

M-Tech Autocentre picked up a highly commended award

ƒWhittles Garage took top honours in this category, with Dave Whittle collecting the trophy


Winner: Field’s Car Centre Highly commended: Russell Automotive Centre & Masters Garage COMPETITION was fierce in the southern half of England. After all, it’s a busy part of the UK, with several major cities all bristling with great independent garages keen to be in contention for honours. Our two highly commended winners were Masters Garage, Bristol, and Russell Automotive Centre, London! But our winner, Field’s Car Centre of Woking, was a garage with glowing reviews online, and one which really impressed our mystery shoppers. Staff were found to be very quick to diagnose faults and explained things clearly. Director Richard Field said: ‘This is amazing, it really is. We’ve got an amazing workshop and we just want to say to all our guys in Woking that we recognise it’s a joint effort. We’re really pleased to have won this award.’ Asked about the secret of the company’s success, Field said: ‘We try to get our staff involved. We operate as a team. And we look to the customer. We put ourselves in their position and I think that is one of the reasons we have done so well.’

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ƒLeaders in their field! The team from Field’s Car Centre with Stuart James, far left, and Johnny Herbert, right

Awards 2017 Sponsored by

SCOTLAND AND OVERALL WINNER ƒGraham Clark, owner of Anderson Clark Motor Repairs, with the trophy awarded to his business for being the UK’s Independent Garage of the Year

Winner: Anderson Clark Motor Repairs Highly commended (Scotland): D&G Autocare & Krypton Garage and MOT Centre AS WE explained on page 47, we awarded Independent Garage of the Year trophies to five regional winners from around the UK – with one of those five going on to be crowned the overall champion. That overall champion for the UK – and regional winner for Scotland – was Anderson Clark Motor Repairs of Inverness. It meant two trips to the stage for the business’s owner, Graham Clark, who was clearly delighted by the double triumph. He said: ‘This is absolutely fabulous, winning the

title, it means so much to us. It’s not me who’s won this award, it’s the whole team who’s won this award… and they will be delighted.’ Asked about the secret of his business’s success, Clark told us that he and his staff tried to make ‘small improvements on a daily basis’. He added: ‘I know we do things pretty well but I didn’t anticipate being garage of the year. Winning the award for the whole of Scotland is one thing, but being judged to be the best in the whole of the UK is a different kettle of fish

altogether. Customer service is a huge part of our business. It’s the kingpin of our business. ‘I always believe that if we get our customer care right, the rest will follow nicely.’ One final thing to mention here and two great achievements of note – our highly commended garages for Scotland were D&G Autocare, Dunfermline, and Krypton Garage and MOT Centre, Bathgate. Well done everyone and keep up the good work in 2018!

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ASK THE JUDGE: Ian Gardner, sales manager at automotive legal experts Lawgistics, continues with his advice about sexual harassment in the workplace.

n the previous edition of Workshop Magazine, I stated that any allegation of sexual harassment, or of any harassment for that matter, should be taken seriously and should be investigated. If the investigation has not been properly undertaken, according to the ACAS Code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, the employer will find itself in a weak position if the employee in question starts an employment tribunal claim. The employee affected may have grounds to claim constructive dismissal. Another point to beware of is that the complainant must not be put to any detriment for raising the complaint. If the employee suffers some form of retaliation, this can be deemed as victimisation and a separate form of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. The Act recognises different forms of harassment: l Sexual harassment l Unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic


which has the purpose or effect of either: – Violating the employee’s dignity or – Creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the employee. The only difference between sexual and general harassment is that in sexual harassment, the unwanted conduct is of a sexual nature. The definition of sexual harassment is broad and covers not only physical actions but also verbal and non-verbal conduct. Two male colleagues downloading and sharing pornographic images in the presence of female colleagues is likely to constitute sexual harassment, unless of course the female colleagues wilfully participated. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has stated that sexual harassment should be defined on a common-sense basis and by reference to the facts of each particular case. For example, there was once a case involving a restaurant owner who persistently attempted to have conversations with

the waitresses about sex and kept showing them photographs and catalogues of sex toys and gadgets. The waitresses were also required to wear short skirts, which made them feel uncomfortable as they believed the owner liked to look at their legs. It is not surprising that the tribunal found sexual harassment in this case, as it did in a case where a manager greeted a female employee with the words, ‘Hiya, big tits.’ The more subtle comment, ‘You get really embarrassed when I talk to you about sex, don’t you?’ was also found to be an instance of sexual harassment. By contrast, no sexual harassment was established in a case where a female employee asked her supervisor, ‘Can I ask you for a favour?’ to which he responded, ‘As long as it’s not a sexual favour.’ Importantly, the claimant had worked with her supervisor for more than two years without any problem. The tribunal took the view that the comment could only be regarded as a joke.

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The Consumer Rights Act, car repairs and servicing Q

When a consumer buys a car from a trader, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies. What about car repairs and servicing? The first point to consider is whether you are doing the work for an actual consumer. For example, you may be approached by another garage to work on a car belonging to their customer. As long as their customer doesn’t pay you for that work, your contract is with the instructing garage, which will not be considered to be a consumer. However, the only thing that changes is the legislation that covers the standard of the work you do – the standard itself does not change. Whether it is for a consumer or for another business, you must still undertake the work with ‘reasonable care and skill’ – that being to the reasonable standard of a competent and qualifed mechanic. You must also supply parts that are of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. Often it is hard to establish (when something fails to work) whether it is down to the component or the fitter. However, it is often an academic point,

because if a repairing garage supplied the part and fitted it, the responsibility to sort it out lies with them. The bigger problem arises when a part is supplied by the consumer and they ask you to fit it. In that case, they can only assert that you have not done the installation correctly and it is for them to prove what they allege. If you do repair work for another business and you are in breach of contract by not doing the repairs with ‘reasonable care and skill’, you are liable to pay compensation only. However, if the work that you do for a consumer falls below that standard, they may also be legally entitled to insist upon ‘repeat performance’ (ie, do it again!) or a reduction in price. Repairers also need to be aware that if a time for repair is not stated, the time deemed acceptable has to be a ‘reasonable’ time, and if no price is agreed in advance, the price to be paid is to be ‘reasonable’. Unhelpful in many ways but difficult to put into a form of legal wording that could apply in all cases. What is ‘reasonable’ is for a court to decide. Wherever possible, try to fix timescales and prices as soon as possible.

Discount on software & free health check app

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Dragon2000’s dealer management system is one of the most versatile and easy-to-use products on the market. The software can help manage supplier and customer details, help you keep on top of your costs and ensure that your business is running as smoothly and as profitably as possible. Workshop Club members are eligible for a 10 per cent discount on their first year of a Dragon2000 software subscription – and they get the free Vehicle Health Check app too.

As part of your membership, you will have a free telephone consultation with Lawgistics worth £100. You will also be signed up to Lawgistics’ basic membership package worth £95, have 25 per cent discount off Lawgistics products, get access to guidance notes and document templates and enjoy a discount off membership upgrades – £100 off the Small Business pack and £250 off the Professional membership pack – to better suit your needs.






Strength in Quality

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Laser Tools COB Work Lamp How much: £88.32 (inc VAT) Where from: This three-watt work lamp from Laser Tools has a 360-degree rotating body with a magnet and wall-fixing bracket, as well as a swivel nylon hook with a one-watt UV bulb for leak detection. It boasts a brightness of 260 lumens, a working time of 2.5 hours and a charging time of four hours.

New for you Clarke IRD20B Diesel Infra-Red Heater How much: £395.98 (inc VAT) Where from: The Clarke IRD20B is a compact diesel-fired fan heater with a power output of 20kW. It’s highly effective for on-site spot and space heating, as well as for warming up ventilated indoor areas. It uses a heat combustion system that is not only both clean and safe, but also produces low emissions.

Obart R-ABL24K AdBlue Transfer Pump Kit How much: £376.80 (inc VAT) Where from: This Obart pump can be used for pumping AdBlue and diesel. The pump end is made of nylon, while the internal components are made of EPDM and Viton. The motor has an on/off switch and a four-metre-long power cable. It comes as a kit with a heavy-duty plastic manual nozzle, hoses and hose clips.

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Laser Tools Double-Jointed Long-Nose Plier

Laser Tools Crankshaft Pulley Holding Tool

How much: £24.98 (inc VAT) Where from:

How much: £92.66 (inc VAT) Where from:

These pliers are 350mm long, with a 75mm nose and 50mm jaw opening, making them ideal for use in tight spaces. The double-jointed design aids this, as the pliers can still be operated in areas where the spread of the handles is restricted, while the dipped handles are also useful.

This useful bit of kit holds the crankshaft pulley stationary while you loosen or tighten the fixing bolts. It has been designed with an angled shaft to assist access on transverse-mounted engines.

Laser Tools Non-Contact Voltage Detector How much: £19.82 (inc VAT) Where from: Doing pretty much what it says on the tin, this device lets you detect voltages without having to make contact with anything. It has audible and visual indicators for AC currents, and can be used on switched DC solenoid circuits found in, for example, fuel injectors and ignition coils.

Clarke CIR18LIC Brushless Impact Wrench How much: £137.99 (inc VAT) Where from: This brushless impact wrench from Clarke has been designed with ease of use in mind. The cordless device has three forward and three reverse gears. It also has three LED lights to help you see what you’re doing in those dark spaces.

Clarke CFTJ500 Transmission Jack How much: £203.98 (inc VAT) Where from: The Clarke CFTJ500 is a transmission jack that’s perfect for securely lifting, lowering and supporting vehicle transmissions and transfer boxes. It has a capacity of half a tonne and lifting dimensions of 310mm x 310mm.

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Incredible fire-breathing kit car that’s fitted with an F1 turbo


it cars are great for engineers and skilled enthusiasts. While all the pieces are provided for you, there’s nothing to stop you from altering the recipe as you see fit. For some, this will be as simple as an engine swap or a change of wheels. For Duncan Cowper, however, the freedom of a kit car led him to create a take on the Lotus Seven-inspired Dax Rush unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Harlow-based Cowper, who once worked at Dax and currently works with world-class motorsport engineer Geoff Page on various projects, decided to build the ultimate version of the Rush. By all accounts, he seems to have succeeded. This fire-breathing, all-carbon version, dubbed the ‘F1 Turbo 1300’, features a 1,300cc Suzuki Hayabusa engine mated to a massive turbocharger sourced from a 1986 Benetton Formula One car. According to Cowper, this combination is good for 500bhp on race fuel and more than 380bhp on regular, from-the-pump petrol. With what is by all accounts an ‘old-school’ turbo and a relatively long gear ratio, you’d expect plenty of turbo lag to become evident in Cowper’s

pride and joy. However, this isn’t the case. We had the unique opportunity to witness the car – which has achieved over 160mph at Lotus’s Hethel Test Track – performing high-speed laps at Rye House Kart Raceway, and it leapt from supertight hairpin corners with incredible acceleration. We asked Cowper how this was possible. ‘It’s down to the electronics on it. The ECU is from Life Racing, and it’s the same system they put on current Le Mans prototypes and very similar to what Nissan ran on their DeltaWing project. ‘If you watch the boost graph on gear changes, you will not see any dip in boost. ‘Because the engine’s quite high-revving and there’s a lot of gas flowing through it as a result, it keeps the turbo spooled almost all the time with no need for an anti-lag system.’ The turbo would have run five bar of pressure in the Benetton B186 Formula One car during qualifying sessions, but it produces a ‘sedate’ 1.6 bar in Cowper’s Hayabusa-engined project. However, even with the turbo having a slightly easier life in the Dax Rush, it still propels the 535kg car to some incredible performance figures. At the concrete runways of RAF Elvington,

on road tyres, the Rush completed a quarter of a mile in 10.9 seconds, coming across the line at 140mph. The car has also been clocked from 0-100mph in just 5.6 seconds, which is only a tenth of a second slower than the Bugatti Veyron. Of course, all of this straight-line performance needs to be matched with handling and braking ability. Cars such as the Rush are usually very light on their feet, but with the incredible level of power solely going to the rear wheels, Cowper felt that aerodynamic aids were necessary. The rear and front wings, the latter of which wasn’t present on the day we took a look at the car, are self-developed, while stopping power is provided by a set of Formula Three brakes. With a unique set of assets and mind-boggling performance, the Dax Rush F1 Turbo 1300 is perhaps the most impressive ‘Seven-esque’ kit car in the world, and certainly one of the most spectacular road-legal cars in the UK. With expertise from Cowper’s vast list of engineer comrades evident throughout the car and its highly fettled Hayabusa engine, it’s a formidable feat of engineering and a symphony of turbo-whistle and tyre-squealing.

What a car! Incredible levels of power plus great handling and braking ability

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The challenges that lie ahead if autonomy is to face the flag S eismic change is afoot in motorsport. ‚RoboRace’s Even the most casual follower will concept know about Formula E’s autonomous full-electric efforts race car and the increasingly hybridcentric climate in many other forms of the sport. The talk of autonomous motorsport is quieter, but it’s still a topic worth looking at in detail. While drivers will almost certainly always have a place in racing, a desire to pit autonomous technologies against each other is inevitably bubbling. The leader of on-track autonomy is RoboRace – a firm that’s currently developing a full rotating too much so the rear of the car becomes championship for autonomous cars, which is to unsettled (oversteer) is usually a good indication be featured at Formula E events. The design for that the front or back of the vehicle is too stiff the RoboRace car has been revealed, while the – meaning it’s time to adjust the anti-roll bars, technology has been proven with several on-track dampers and springs. tests using a Ginetta-based test mule. Understeer and oversteer can be seen at their There are some obvious difficulties involved most pronounced from trackside or on TV, but it’s with the project, most of which are shared with usually down to the driver to provide feedback. standard autonomous vehicles, namely, making These changes will often be the difference sure they don’t crash into people, roadside between starting high up the grid objects and each other. Programming and fighting for victories instead of artificial intelligence to understand struggling further down the order. the finer details of racing, however, So what happens when there’s is entirely more complicated, no driver? Is it possible to find the particularly as humans will optimum set-up without a driver’s still have to be involved in the feedback? I spoke to long-time engineering process at the tracks. Formula One engineer and current In most racing series, there are Techeetah Formula E team principal plenty of practice sessions for drivers to acclimatise to their cars and make Mark Preston and founder of Preston EV Mark Preston to ask just that. any adjustments they need to create ‘No, you can’t find the optimum an easier, faster driving experience. This can be set-up on data alone,’ he said. ‘What makes everything from suspension setting changes to motor racing a sport is the variables; the nonaltering the angle of the wings and aerodynamic regularities. If it were just a science, you could devices to either increase or decrease their effect. model tyres, engines and everything correctly, The issues a driver faces on track are usually then theoretically you should be able to figure it variations of understeer or oversteer. The issue of out. But because that’s not the case, it’s never just a car either not rotating properly (understeer) or

a matter of turning up and everything going smoothly. In F1, where the cars are more defined by the aerodynamics, you can certainly get yourself a long way down the path to finding the right set-up, but there’s still a lot to consider: tyres, temperatures of the day, track condition and so on.’ And how will on-track conundrums be solved, beyond the obvious issue of making sure the cars don’t form the world’s most innovative junkyard going into the first corner? ‘We actually had some discussions on this one, and we talked about having a driver as an adviser. Let’s say the AI was having trouble with getting the tyres to warm up or experiencing excess tyre wear over the race. How do you teach the AI what to do then? Potentially, you’ll need a good test driver to coach the AI on its driving.’ And engineers should be excited for potential new employment opportunities and a new challenge, as Preston explains. ‘There will be more jobs out there if the series [RoboRace] takes off. The funding for the racing comes from sponsors, so it will have to be interesting enough for people to want to sponsor it.’ Certainly, it will still be a while before there are legions of race series for autonomous vehicles, but when the time comes, it will be very interesting to see whether autonomous race cars will still feature a driving seat to help the AI on its way.

WHO IS ADAM WELLER? A self-confessed motorsport addict, Adam is a member of Blackball Media’s talented writing team, providing content for Workshop Magazine, sister title Car Dealer and various other publications and outlets.

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Ford Thunderbird Holey ‘Flair Bird’! Rebecca fights back the tears over a heap of hidden horrors


uying an American car from a dry state is a really good way to get a solid classic with hardly any rust. Buying one from New Jersey, as I did, isn’t quite so clever. When it comes to identifying places in the US, my expertise went as far as California, Florida and Texas – until a few weeks ago, when I realised that New Jersey is basically in the sea. You’ll remember from when it first arrived on the scene, the Thunderbird’s origin and the state of the boot were news to me. All I’d seen was some sketchy pictures, and the big reveal – once I finally got the boot open – just showed some crusty metal underneath. Local American car experts at Hard-Up Garage have taken it in now, so things are looking up. When it arrived there I went over to chat with owner Sam, who was preparing to start cutting the rust out. The plan was simple: he’d pull together a shopping list of all the bits it needed, order them

The‘Flair Bird’ leaves Workshop Towers to have some serious work done on it from America, weld a new boot floor in and check there were no holes in the fuel tank. As it turns out, though, there were quite a lot. When Sam went through it, there appeared to be more and more holes, and now the shopping list is a lot longer. In fact, under a tonne of filler there was rust, rot and a whole lot of stuff I don’t even want to think about. Fortunately, I took it in at the right time, so Sam and his team have been able to get a decent chunk of welding done before all of the parts arrive. Right now it looks so bad that I could

Model: 1966 Ford Thunderbird ‘Flair Bird’ Owned by: Rebecca Chaplin Engine: 6.4-litre V8 390 Bought for: £4,250 Mileage: 24,043 + seven miles on a flatbed Money spent this month: £2,000 Lowlight of the month: The realisation of just how much work will need to be done. cry. However, I’m focusing on next year and the increased chance of me actually enjoying my Ford V8 in the spring.






by Tom Wiltshire Staff writer, @mctreckmeister

by Rebecca Chaplin Head of editorial, @believebecca

by Ryan Hirons Staff writer, @RyHirons

by Rebecca Chaplin Head of editorial, @believebecca

Tom’s got big plans for his car. It ticks a few boxes for him but isn’t exactly fun to drive, as he reports on the next page.

The list of things Becca should have fixed about six months ago continues to affect its performance. It’s currently a total non-starter.

One year after getting his driving licence, Ryan has finally been able to afford to buy a car. And what a delight it is, as he relates above.

With the T-bird hailing from New Jersey, the sea has taken its toll on the old girl – much to Rebecca’s chagrin, as detailed above.

Audi A2

Suzuki Swift Sport

One of two new additions to the fleet pages, owned by writer Tom Wiltshire

Introducing Taylor, owned by Workshop Magazine staff writer Ryan Hirons


hen I changed jobs at the start of 2017, I suddenly grew a commute out of nowhere and my Mercedes C180 wouldn’t cut it any more. So my hunt began for a small, economical diesel – not the most inspiring of purchase criteria. Long story short, I ended up with a shiny silver Audi A2 with full service history and fresh MOT. Pricey but worth paying for the stacks of service history – which included replacements for just about every part that could have worn out. Fun to drive? Not really. The engine is practically an insult to internal combustion with its noise and roughness, while the ride is hilariously firm. What it is, though, is economical – I’ve never averaged less than 58mpg, even when I was commuting 30 miles daily into central London. However, my car isn’t perfect, and my new year’s resolutions do revolve around getting it fixed. It’s overdue a cambelt – bad oversight – and it has a noisy front driveshaft, which could be quite a hefty job. There’s an irritating dent on the rear bumper, too, as well as a chip in the windscreen, and as a 140,000-plus-mile commuter car, it’s looking its age inside and out. I have plans for this A2 – and as long as my bank account agrees, I intend to carry them out.

Model: Audi A2 1.4 TDI Sport Owned by: Tom Wiltshire Engine: 1.4-litre three-cylinder turbodiesel Bought for: £2,995 Mileage: 142,960 Money spent this month: £0 Highlight of the month: Achieving 65mpg on the drive home.


Taylor has the proud distinction of being Ryan’s first car


or most people, a first car means a £500 Vauxhall Corsa or Ford Fiesta boasting a tiny engine and bags of cheap running costs when they’re 17 or 18. But for me, that wasn’t the case. I was something of a late-comer when it came to getting my hands on a full driver’s licence (the joys of living on a student loan and part-time retail wages), passing at the ripe old age of 20. Fast-forward just over a year, and I was still without a car but had now come into a job with a salary that covers more than just the rent and Super Noodles. The time for my own pair of car keys had finally come. Now, as a child of the Gran Turismo era, I needed something to scratch a JDM (Japanese domestic market, for the uninitiated) itch from my childhood. Skylines or Imprezas were, of course, out of the question, but anything from the Far East would’ve done nicely. The Suzuki Swift appeared to be the car to fulfil my needs, with far too much of my spare time spent searching the classifieds for a 1.3 GLX. It wasn’t until I started looking at insurance quotes that I began to think bigger



and, more in hope than expectation, I checked quotes for a Sport. Surely a first-time car buyer would struggle to be covered for a ‘mighty’ 1.6-litre motor, right? Well, no actually, I was quoted for the same amount as the smaller engine. That set me off on a two-month search until, one morning, a quick look on a popular used car marketplace’s app revealed a low-mileage, well-priced, 2010-reg example just an hour away from my house. A phone call later and I was on my way for a look. As you can now probably guess, I parted with my cash that day. Pictured above is Taylor – my little red Suzuki Swift Sport. Three months into ownership and things have been a breeze so far. Will that continue? Time will tell…

Model: Suzuki Swift Sport Owned by: Ryan Hirons Engine: 1.6-litre petrol Bought for: £3,995 Mileage: 31,970 Money spent this month: £0 Highlight of the month: All fun, no problems. Yet.



by Jon Reay Multimedia manager, @JonReay

by Jack Evans Features editor, @jackrober

by Christian Tilbury Staff writer, @Christilbury1

by Darren Cassey Senior staff writer, @DCassey

by James Baggott Chief executive, @CarDealerEd

No news from Subaru Land and, crucially, no more money spent – leaving Jon with enough cash for a drive out to play in the snow...

Jack’s put some air in the tyres and made sure there’s anti-freeze in the washer bottle for winter – exciting times indeed!

The Metro has kicked off 2018 by developing a saggy rear end. However, Christian’s ready and armed with the Hydragas pump.

The trip to the electrics expert is definitely this month’s job. It’s not a proper project car without a healthy dose of procrastination, after all...

Like a big brown bear, the 205 is hibernating for winter. Which, as you know, is good news, because otherwise it’ll be ravaged by rust.

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The ‘hit targets at all costs’ approach is totally unethical I f there’s one thing in this business that really grinds my gears, it’s the bad reputation that the less scrupulous people in the trade give to the more honest among us. I run a small garage in a rural market town, where most of our customers are locals, and from where most of our trade comes via word of mouth. I have never once in my career knowingly ripped a customer off. It’s bad practice, bad for your reputation, and not fair on others. I firmly believe in treating people as you’d wish to be treated yourself, and in my book that means fairly. And, despite perceptions, it’s not the one-man ‘under the arches’ brigade that are doing our profession harm. Far from it. No, some of the biggest crooks out there are the ones running household-name, fast-fit franchises. I won’t name names, but I encountered the effects of one recently via an old chap who came to us in a bit of a tizz after his beloved Rover 45 failed its MOT. The fail sheet he presented to us was pretty long, and came attached to a quote for £550 to carry out all of the work that his car ‘required’ in order to see another 12 months on the road. Luckily, his son-in-law had seen the situation for what it was, and being a customer of ours had recommended that father-in-law make the 20-mile journey to us for a more level opinion. The fail sheet threw up the following problems, which those of you who’ve seen the fast-fit fiasco before will recognise instantly: all four tyres perished; front exhaust section has major leak of gases; front brake pads below 1mm thick; exhaust emissions excessive; headlight output below statutory requirements. Attached to the fail sheet was a quote for four budget tyres, an exhaust front pipe, two ‘high-intensity’ headlamp bulbs, some front pads and a bottle of catalytic converter cleaner which, for £15, would get those emissions down to where they should be. I was so convinced that the fast fitters had seen the old boy coming that I deliberately got my colleague, Nick, to carry out an MOT on the car rather than do it myself. That way, his opinion (for that’s genuinely all an MOT test really is…) wouldn’t be skewed by the back story. The car passed, with one advisory for a smeary wiper blade – ironically, one of the few ‘quick-fix’ things that the original test centre had overlooked. With the Rover now legitimately MOT’d, I took

the owner to inspect the vehicle with me so I could give him my own view of the faults. Starting with the ‘perished’ tyres, this really incensed me. All four were budget brands, but they were date-marked 2015 – they easily had 5mm of tread left and absolutely no signs of tread or sidewall deterioration. Likewise, the exhaust front pipe, which had a slight amount of surface rust around the flexi section, but was completely gas-tight and fully road-legal. We could find no problem at all with the headlights and as for the brake pads, it was quite clear to us that they had more meat on them than last week’s Sunday joint. Probably because the unfortunate owner had paid for them to be done at a previous fast-fit MOT just 3,000 miles ago, if the car’s online test history were to be believed. Indeed, the only thing we could really find wrong with the car at all was that it was a Rover 45, and that’s not an MOT failure point, at least not yet. Joking aside, simple cars like that make a lot of sense for motorists on a budget… After chatting with the owner, it turned out he was about to scrap the car as there was no way he was prepared to spend £550 on an old banger that was worth less than that to start with, and because his funds were tight he’d probably have swapped his independence for a bus pass. And that, my friends, is why I find this ‘hit targets at all costs’ approach to franchising utterly unethical. There’s a human side to it. So much so, that on this occasion I let the old boy have his MOT test for free on the basis he’d come back again next year. He’d suffered enough anxiety for one year, and he’d had to fork out £50 for the ‘bad news’ in the first place. Happy motoring, sir, and we look forward to seeing you again in 12 months’ time.

WHO IS OUR KEV? If we told you, we’d have to kill you... What we can say is he’s been around for longer than he cares to remember so certainly knows his stuff...

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It turned out that he was about to scrap the car as there was no way he was prepared to spend £550 on an old banger.



Welcome to your essential guide to leading suppliers

WORKSHOP Magazine is proud to publish the contact details of some of the key suppliers of products and services to the automotive repair industry – from components and parts providers to companies specialising in garage equipment, web design, online solutions and even legal advice for when a transaction goes sour.

Our guide to the industry’s must-have partners follows on from the success of a similar resource in our sister publication, Car Dealer Magazine. This automotive repair, service and maintenance industry version will become just as indispensable. Keep an eye on this space each month as we include more and more leading suppliers.

Diagnostic Equipment

Aftersales Software

Approved Schemes


RAC Approved Dealer Network

Garage Equipment

Garage Equipment

Garage Equipment

Butts of Bawtry



Garage Equipment

Garage Management Software

Legal & Compliance




Parts Suppliers

Parts Suppliers

Trade Bodies

Blue Print

Febi Bilstein


W: T: 0845 413 0000 E: Info: eDynamix offers web-based applications providing a connected and simple-to-use platform in which dealers can manage a customer throughout the service lifecycle, including service plans, electronic vehicle health check, repair and finance plans, proactive follow-up, online bookings, MOT cleanse, VIDEO1st, aftersales surveys, and automated confirmations and reminders.

W: T: 01302 710868 E: Info: Butts of Bawtry is literally a ONE STOP SHOP for the garage or workshop. Offering a comprehensive range of Quality Garage Equipment from leading manufacturers, backed up by our team of trained and certified service and repair engineers. From a trolley jack to a complete workshop installation, Butts have the answer.

W: T: 01909 480055 E: Info: Straightset is the UK’s leading independent garage equipment company, providing best-in-class design, supply, installation and service of car and commercial workshops for nearly 30 years. We carry a vast range of quality equipment carefully sourced from top manufacturers within the EU and US and offer one of the most comprehensive aftersales services in the market.

W: T: 01622 833007 E: Info: As part of the Bilstein Group, Blue Print supplies OEmatching quality vehicle components, with strong Asian and American coverage. With more than 23,000 different parts in its range, from braking and clutch components to filtration, Blue Print covers a huge portion of the vehicle parc. Want to get it right first time? Think Blue Print.

Approved Dealer

W: T: 0330 159 1111 E: Info: Being authorised to use the RAC name as a badge of quality creates strong consumer confidence and increases profitability. As an RAC Approved Dealer, you have access to one of the UK’s most respected motoring brands. There’s a range of RAC-backed products and services at your disposal, as well as a customer reach of more than 8 million RAC members to promote your dealership.

W: T: 01604 828500 E: Info: GEMCO is the UK market leader and your one-stop shop for the supply, delivery, installation, training, calibration and maintenance of garage equipment. With the largest comprehensive range of equipment brands available for both car and commercial vehicle workshops, GEMCO provides top-quality garage equipment products and services to car and commercial vehicle workshops.

W: T: 01327 222 333 E: Info: Dragon2000 supplies garages and car dealers with a multiaward winning Dealer Management System, time and efficiency monitoring and integrated websites for online service bookings. Includes free APPraise mobile app for all users – for sending personalised VHC images & videos to customers’ phones to help increase upsold work and customer trust.

W: T: 01977 691100 E: Info: As part of the Bilstein Group, Febi Bilstein supplies a range of more than 25,000 different articles for all popular European vehicle models. From steering and suspension to rubber, metal and electrical, Febi Bilstein provides OE-matching quality components with first-time fitment and long service life. For quality, choose Febi Bilstein.

Nebula Systems

W: T: 01280 816333 E: Info: Nebula Systems specialises in the development of advanced technologies for the automotive and future mobility industries. We make vehicle data and systems more accessible so that a vehicle’s health, status and utilisation can be monitored, analysed, diagnosed and maintained, faster and more effectively, anytime and anywhere.

W: T: 01327 323007 E: Info: Dedicated wheel alignment specialists, supplying, supporting and servicing the world-leading Hunter brand nationwide: Hunter aligners – Fast, accurate, reliable, unlocking business opportunities, delivering major income stream and rapid ROI Road Force balancer – A new service very few workshops deliver Tyre changers – Easy service perfection

W: T: 01480 445500 E: Info: The motor trade’s leading legal firm, giving help and advice to our members and the industry in general. Passionate about fairness under the law. Our legal team are there to protect your interests. Not anti consumer, just pro trader. Don’t miss our advice, which is published every month in Workshop Magazine. See pages 50 and 51 for The Judge’s contribution to this month’s issue.

W: T: 0845 305 4230 E: Info: The Independent Garage Association is the largest and most prominent representative body in the independent garage sector. We are the voice of the industry in matters arising in UK and EU Government, and we help independent garages to thrive in all aspects of their business by offering advice, information and services.


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Facebook: GEMCO Sales & Service Twitter: @GemcoEquipment LinkedIn: GEMCO Sales & Service Youtube: GEMCO Sales & Service





Experts in the Garage Equipment Industry

SALES 0844 249 8104

SERVICE 0844 249 8100



garage equipment








SPARES 0844 249 8102

experts. . .





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Workshop Magazine Issue 28  

Workshop Magazine Issue 28

Workshop Magazine Issue 28  

Workshop Magazine Issue 28