The Automotive Aftermarket Liaison Group (AALG) presented its new lobbying position on European issues that affect the aftermarket in a post-Brexit Britain at a press launch at Silverstone race track, on Tuesday, May 23.
The event began with a speech by the longest standing member of the group, Dave Garratt (GEA), where he announced that: “The automotive aftermarket is often overlooked, but it plays a significant role in the UK’s economy. The AALG’s job is to bring our industries associations, societies and institutes together to work for the interests of all businesses associated with the aftermarket. Furthermore in the event of Brexit, the development of the connected car and the trend towards electric and eventually automatous vehicles we believe there has never been a more important time to work together”.
The figureheads of each association within the AALG formed a panel to discuss current European issues affecting the aftermarket and how the group plans to lobby them, then opened the floor to questions.
Dave Garratt, GEA CEO commented: “Garage Equipment Manufacturers need to provide the aftermarket with the tools required to service, inspect and diagnose tomorrow’s vehicles. The introduction of the connected car brings forward a real threat of losing diagnostic connectivity for the independent sector. As I said earlier, there has never been a more important time for our organisations to work together to protect consumer choice”.
Stuart James, IGA CEO commented: “One of the biggest issues affecting the independent sector is the ability to access vehicle manufacturers technical information, standing united with other aftermarket associations to lobby in the UK and on a European front will heighten the chances of a robust and time efficient solution”.
Wendy Williamson, IAAF CEO commented: “We are currently striving towards overcoming a number of potential industry threats and have begun to promote the Your Car – Your Choice campaign to a wider audience. Protecting the aftermarket’s rights during the development of the connected car and type approval legislation is of paramount importance to the Federation, with the aim of ensuring the independent aftermarket has a level playing field when it comes to access to technical, parts, repair and maintenance information. The IAAF strongly opposes extending the first MOT test from three years to four for new vehicles and we are playing an active role in AALG to combat this.”
Sandy Burgess, SMTA CEO commented: “As we progress towards the ‘Brexit date’, the landscape for our industry will change no doubt creating any number of situations which will generate the need for significant and potentially costly change. Acting as a strong united body the AALG will be able to use the pooled resource of the members to ensure a clear interpretation of the impacts of these changes and provide clarity of understanding to assist those within the industry to take sensible action to mitigate these impacts”.
Steve Nash, IMI CEO commented: “The AALG is a great example of the Automotive Industry working together for the common good. With such a sophisticated and multi-faceted business as automotive is, it is not surprising that we have a large a diverse mix of representative bodies, all of which have important roles to play in looking after the interests of their respective members.
“But when there are important issues of mutual interest, such as the proposed changes to the first MOT test, it makes absolute sense to work together to form a larger and more powerful lobbying group with a common goal and a single voice. The Automotive Aftersales Lobbying Group (AALG) was formed to do exactly that.”
Stefan Hay, NTDA CEO commented: “Tyres are a crucial safety component and a major contributor to MoT failure. As a result vast technological advances have been made to improve their performance in recent times, yet many motorists still have a very laissez faire attitude to basic tyre checks, with some still choosing to buy dangerous part worn tyres. We welcome the support of our fellow AALG members in raising consumer awareness of the importance of regular tyre maintenance”.
For more information on the AALG, visit www.AALG.org.uk.