Hofmann Megaplan Blog
As we all know, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the hot topic within the automotive industry at the moment and that isn’t going to change anytime soon – in fact, there are quite a few areas of interest for many professionals following EV development...and the dates of when all new petrol and diesel car sales will be banned is a key area!
The UK government announced some time ago that there are already (ambitious) plans in place to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030, which caused immediate concerns for garage owners and mechanics alike, relating to how that will change the face of automotive aftersales service moving forwards. One in four UK households, equating to 6.5million, plan to buy an EV in the next five years but due to the lack of consumer confidence in battery life and charging facilities, there is still a long way to go.
The European Union has announced the proposed date of 2035 for the ban on sale of all new petrol and diesel cars – including hybrids – with 55% vehicular CO2 emissions decrease from current levels by 2030. This comes as part of a package of measures outlined by the EU to help with the development of the EV rollout.
It’s clear that car manufacturers are using these dates to continue the development and progression of their EV ranges, however garages are yet to take the plunge into investing for the future (even though we are seeing more and more EVs on the roads in the UK!).
Taking the plunge into EV servicing...
It’s not unusual for independent garage operators to be hesitant about investing in new equipment. At Hofmann Megaplan we saw the same trend when ADAS diagnostics were first introduced...
However, many garages are now reaping the benefits of ADAS servicing and the select few businesses that become ‘early adopters’ and turn their hand to EV services first, will establish themselves as the local leaders for Electric Vehicle maintenance. It would be hard for any consumer to think of going anywhere else!
Our brand new range of EV servicing equipment will have you covered:
This is a genuine problem the automotive industry currently faces and the battery life of Electric Vehicles (EVs) has been in the spotlight over the last couple of months, as this is one of the main reasons there is a lack of consumer confidence.
Electric cars are still relatively new and everyone is just starting to find out a little bit more of what to expect from them in the future.
However, it isn’t just consumers that have potential issues about the longevity of EVs. Automotive professionals from garage owners to mechanics, and even parliamentary personnel, have all been raising concerns about the lack of charging stations, battery life and a lack of EV knowledge when it comes to maintenance and servicing.
So...have you ever wondered what would happen if you’re stuck in a five-mile traffic jam with an electric car that doesn’t have a full charge?
EV battery life simulation by Which?...
Consumer advocacy group Which? has attempted to address concerns that an EV’s battery would drain rather quickly if the driver used the air conditioning, heated seats, and other options while stuck in traffic.
To help with consumer confidence, Which? used the latest Volkswagen ID.4 electric and through conducting the simulation of being at a standstill for an hour with the lights on, changing the cabin temperature, streaming music, and watching films on rear-seat screens had only a little influence on energy consumption, resulting in a loss of only 2% capacity, or eight miles of range.
The test was conducted with music being streamed through the Android Auto system embedded into the infotainment system to see how battery capacity was affected by the vehicle remaining stationary.
Both front heated seats were also set to the highest temperature, the air conditioning was on full blast, the dipped headlights were turned on and a tablet was plugged into a USB connector in the back seats was playing a movie.
The VW’s battery only lost 2% of its 77kWh capacity after just over an hour and 15 minutes, equating to only eight miles of range.
Which? did note, however, that its controlled test was conducted on a hot day, and that cold temperatures will have a greater impact on the car’s power consumption and said that they would conduct a similar test during the winter.
Despite the calls from the DVSA for vehicle owners to bring forward their MOT to the Spring of 2021, it seems the backlog for MOT testing could exceed one million MOTs per month for the rest of the year, thanks to the MOT exemption.
During the months of March to July 2020, a decrease of over 5.3 million MOT tests was seen compared to the same period in 2019.
A year on from one of the craziest years of most of our lives, MOT tests have resumed, and companies such as Continental Tyres are predicting huge increases in testing throughout some of the Autumn and Winter months:
- 23% in September
- 42% in November
- 51% in December
Tracey Mortimer, Continental Tyres consumer sales director UK, said: “Traditionally, there is a fairly consistent demand for MOT testing across the year. For example, between three and 3.5 million MOTs were conducted each month during 2018 and 2019, with only slight peaks in demand in March and September linked to new car registrations, and a slight dip in tests in December.
“The postponements to millions of MOTs in 2020 has now created a new seasonal demand curve, which is likely to take over 10 years to return to pre-2020 levels.”
Preparation for UK garages...
Workshops across the UK are beginning to think about how they can prepare for an incredible increase in demand for MOT servicing, without overwhelming their staff or their garage equipment.
Although the automotive industry has seen numerous increases in servicing demand over the past 12 months, many garages have not made the necessary steps to future proof their equipment, services or their business’ future – and now they are starting to feel the pressure. For some business owners, this is a step into the unknown but this increase could be too much for their services to handle; MOT equipment breakdowns and staff exhaustion are two key areas that will need to be carefully considered leading up to this vital point in the year.
Unfortunately, we at Hofmann Megaplan can’t manage your staff for you – however, our specialist MOT division can help you increase the efficiency of your MOT services, whilst providing expert MOT equipment.
Find out more online at https://www.hofmann-megaplan.co.uk/products/atl-mot or call our team on 01480 8-9-10-11 to discuss your requirements.
The latest concern for the government, garages and consumers across the UK surrounding Electric Vehicles (EVs), is the lack of skills to perform servicing, maintenance and repair on these vehicles moving forward.
Despite the pressures placed on car manufacturers to achieve the 2030 ambitions set by the government, there seems to be no thought about the aftermarket for EVs and how garages will be able to upskill their workforce to cope with the demand.
According to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), at the end of 2020 only 6.5% of the automotive sector was EV-ready – the IMI reported that this is leading to a lack in consumer confidence and a key reason why not everyone is convinced about the viability of EVs.
Despite this, the latest SMMT data reveals that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for more than one in 10 (10.7%) new car registrations in June 2021, followed by 8.7% for traditional hybrids and 6.5% for plug-in-hybrids.
So, with consumers seemingly turning to a greener form of transport in recent months, what is the plan to get the UK garage workforce up to speed with EVs?
Time to ramp up EV skills training...
Although the evidence and need for training & upskilling the current UK garage workforce is obvious, putting the relevant training in place is going to be huge task.
IMI CEO Steve Nash commented: “The fact that our analysis shows such a big deficit in the EV skilled workforce should ring alarm bells for government, with its big ambitions for 2030. The recent House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report into the transition to zero-emission vehicles highlighted the need to train and retrain the workforce required to service the new car fleet. But highlighting the need and actually committing to investment in the upskilling are two very different things. And the current skills gap right across the UK economy, exacerbated by a combination of Covid-19 and Brexit is adding a further dimension to the challenge.”
The institute also added that for all those who are likely to work on EVs, the relevant training must be addressed as a matter of urgency, regardless of whether they are service and repair technicians or those working in the roadside recovery and blue light sectors.
EV servicing equipment to put your garage on the map!
If you are looking to get your EV servicing off to a great start, sourcing the right garage equipment is a necessary investment – here at Hofmann Megaplan, we can get your garage kitted out for every EV eventually.
As expected, the MOT exemption put in place last year to aid vehicle owners is set to cause even more havoc this year – specifically, this Autumn. MOTs are predicted to surge once again throughout the Autumn months of August, September and October, in line with the rise from 2020.
Since the beginning of 2021, the DVSA has been urging vehicle owners who have an MOT due in August, September, October or November this year, to bring it forward into the months of April, May, June or July.
A DVSA spokesperson said:
“Last year we issued exemptions to help keep industry moving during the pandemic.
“As a result, test dates are not evenly spread throughout the year and August, September, October and November are significantly busier than usual.
“For peace of mind, we are advising vehicle owners with test dates in August, September, October and November to bring their vehicle in for test during May, June or July instead, to avoid the busier months.”
Has it worked?
It would appear not.
Despite calls from the aftermarket for more visibility of the advice, the DVSA failed to encourage vehicle owners to bring forward their MOTs this Spring – leading to another expected sharp rise in MOT services this Autumn.
Make sure your garage is ready for this Autumn...
Talk to the experts to see how we can help you deal with the expected demand (especially if you only managed to scrape by last Autumn).
The fully qualified MOT team at Hofmann Megaplan have been busy installing brand new MOT bays throughout lockdown as many garage owners seized the opportunity and made sure their equipment is up to scratch and ready to cope with the expected increase in demand.
Is it about time you did the same?
Covering five different countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, and speaking to more than 10,000 Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers from across those countries, NewMotion’s EV Driver Survey is said to be the largest and most comprehensive in the industry to date...and you could learn so much from it!
Garage owners and mechanics alike are starting to think about EV equipment and asking the questions:
- What do consumers think of EVs?
- What access do EV drivers currently have to charging stations?
- What are consumers expectations for the future?
This information is readily available for you to download now, just visit NewMotion by clicking here.
So, what are Hofmann Megaplan’s key takeaways from this survey?
3 Key Takeaways...
- Breadth and diversity emerging among EV drivers across all countries.
The survey indicates that there is no ‘average’ EV driver and urges the market to not think there is a single profile for what an EV driver looks like.
Two-thirds were aged 25-54, in the central section of their working lives. Drivers in the UK were particularly young, with 16% of them under 25, while Belgium had the strongest take-up among over-65s, at 17%.
- Drivers want more, faster, interoperable charge points
Two improvements to the charging experience for EV drivers were particularly popular; better and faster availability of public charging points, and charge point interoperability.
Better availability of public charge points came out strongly overall, with 48% choosing it – and 43% in the UK. This was beaten on average by faster EV charging, which was at the top of the list for 52% of drivers overall but only 41% for the UK.
Next in line is charge point interoperability, with 36% wanting a single charge card for every public charge point (28% in the UK).
- Financial benefits beaten by environmental reasons for consumers choosing an EV
The research also found that drivers are increasingly choosing electric vehicles for eco reasons rather than financial; a total of 58% of drivers across all markets said they had opted for an EV for sustainability reasons versus 34% for financial reasons.
Interestingly, the gap between the two was closer in France and the UK; in both markets 31% of respondents said eco reasons ranked highest, with 21% of French EV drivers selecting financial reasons and 18% of UK drivers.
ADAS has been a constant source of development over the past few years and due to the recent announcement on Automated Lane Keeping Assistance (ALKS), it seems there are no signs of it slowing down.
The government has announced that self-driving cars could be allowed on UK motorways by the end of 2021, with the Department for Transport confirming that ALKS will be the first type of hands-free driving to be legalised, with speeds limited to 37mph.
Before ALKS will be allowed to grace the UK roads however, these systems must meet four non-negotiable criteria:
- Without causing an incident, the vehicle must have the capability to safely change lanes.
- The vehicle must have the capability to safely pull over to the side of the road.
- The systems on the vehicle must be able to recognise UK road signs.
- Data must be made available remotely through a neutral server for any incident to verify who was in charge at the time of the incident.
Although the announcement has been met with some scepticism over safety (this is in relation to the fact that drivers will still need to be alert and prepared to take over controls within 10 seconds), ALKS is currently going through each stage of development and represents the future of self-driving vehicles.
So, where does that leave businesses within the automotive aftermarket?
What does that mean for your garage?
As mentioned in our previous blog, the need for ADAS calibration is increasing across the UK. With an ever-growing number of ADAS systems being fitted to vehicles, it can only mean that if you don’t offer these vital calibrations, your garage will be left behind.
Ensuring you invest in a high-quality ADAS systems is a must, alongside the specialist training for every employee that will be conducting ADAS diagnostics.
For many independent garage owners, ADAS can appear a quite daunting technological advance. But in reality, it’s little more than a camera system, often mounted in the windscreen, monitoring short to medium range activities such as changing speed limits, or white lines; and a radar system, located in the front grill area, managing active cruise control and emergency braking systems.
If, for example, a frontal impact misaligns the radar unit, or the camera is slightly repositioned when a windscreen is replaced, it’s possible that the ADAS systems won’t work correctly. This is where ADAS alignment systems come in and, it’s where some garages have embraced the opportunity, invested in equipment and are making money.
ADAS Equipment up close...
ADAS alignment rigs are typically made up of a large frame and a diagnostic tool; allowing the user to test and re-align the camera and radar systems as necessary. These are split into two main categories; Analogue and Digital. Hofmann Megaplan has been at the forefront of ADAS alignment equipment since the very early days.
Analogue ADAS Unit
Analogue systems require less initial investment than digital but are designed to get the job done all the same. By not being overly reliant on new technologies they are a highly reliable, albeit manual system, suitable for all garages. Analogue systems require pre-printed boards which are applied to the framework in front of the car to show the test pattern for calibrating the camera systems. The framework needs to be accurately positioned to ensure the pattern on the board is properly aligned to the car, which can be time-consuming. Once set up, the diagnostic tool then communicates with the vehicle’s computers, putting them into calibration mode and effectively teaching the vehicle where it should be looking.
With so many different vehicle marques in the UK, many with their own design of calibration boards, purchasing and storing these boards and protecting them from damage can be an expensive challenge associated with analogue systems.
Digital ADAS System
The digital system does away with the need for physical boards, reproducing the image of a pattern board on a large-scale high-definition monitor. A PC manages the images and communicates with a handheld diagnostic tool which, step by step, guides the user through the process to check and re-align the cameras.
Because the patterns are created digitally, they make setting up and calibrating easier and faster than the analogue counterpart. The frame can be raised or lowered at the press of a button to reach the perfect height and no manual measurement is required. Laser measurement units accurately show the exact frame to axle distance and the system uses these figures to ensure the vehicle sees a perfectly aligned image, even if the frame has not been set exactly true with the vehicle.
Which system works best is a matter of personal choice and circumstance but if you’re considering extending your garage services, you should consider ADAS alignment. These systems have been in use in vehicles for many years now and there’s a real opportunity for independent garages outside of franchised dealerships.
There is no denying that the automotive industry as we know it is changing – developments in technology, fewer passenger cars on the roads due to flexible working, and now, the highest-ever total of van registrations in the month of April since records began.
A grand total of 30,440 vans were registered in April 2021 (23.2% up on the 5-year average), taking the sector back to the same levels of registration as they were in 2019, before the pandemic was announced. The huge uptake of vans supports the growth of the LCV sector, showing signs that business owners are more optimistic and confident in the current and future economic situation.
There is a feeling amongst the industry that many garages are ill-equipped to deal with LCV’s, including tyre fitting, bodywork and specialist internal work.
A change in direction for garage owners?
For many garage owners, it’s difficult to consider change, which could lead to an uncertain future for their business. With so many new areas of servicing to consider, it can be difficult to prioritise one over the other.
The demand for light commercial vehicle servicing is clear. With even more vans on the roads, a focus on LCV repair and maintenance could lead some garages down the road to commercial success with light commercial vehicle services. The next step for any business owner brave enough is to ensure their team are fully equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed, including investing in specialist equipment and signing up to CPD training.
Take a leap, choose the right LCV equipment for your services...
Over the years, our range has continued to develop into one of the most comprehensive offerings available in the UK market. In fact, Hofmann Megaplan have one of the largest choices of alignment and balancing products the industry has to offer.
Last year, the company invested in a further 20,000sqft of warehousing to be able to accommodate an expansion of the range; an expansion that saw several new wheel alignment products added and an increase in the availability of the product that cemented our popularity across the industry and is still to this day our best-selling line – wheel balancers.
One of the most significant introductions in 2020 was the new Logik 6 CCD wheel aligner, which can work on a 2-post lift or short platform scissor lift; a feature that has opened up the opportunity of wheel alignment to a whole new market.
A word from the VP...
Hofmann Megaplan’s Head of Product Development & Vice President of ISN Europe, James Boon commented...
“Many customers simply don’t have room for a 4-post lift or large scissor lift, or the ability to carry out alignment on a 2-post lift; but thanks to significant software and hardware developments, we can now offer 2 post alignment making this a real game changer especially for smaller garages”.
All of Hofmann Megaplan's alignment equipment is managed by 5 dedicated geometry experts, further supported by another 55 regional technicians across the UK handling the full range of product including tyre equipment, lifts, MOT and diagnostic products.
Focusing on the right balance
Despite a huge emphasis on alignment in recent years, Hofmann Megaplan continues to focus heavily on wheel balancers, where an enviable history has seen us become a clear market leader.
By far the most popular is the megaspin 420, which is a high-performance balancer offering the fastest floor-to-floor balancing time in the industry. This is achieved through the patented OWB (One Weight Balance) software, whereby the balancer can achieve both a static and dynamic balance with the application of just one single weight. To speed up the balancing process even further, the megaspin 420 has a ‘No Check Spin’ function, so the traditional zero/zero check spin simply isn’t required.
ADAS has become a bit of Buzz word in the motor industry recently but, in reality, we’ve all been living with various forms of it for many years.
From Anti-lock braking (ABS) and electronic stability programs (ESP) to adaptive cruise control using radar technology, our vehicles have been silently assisting us to enjoy a safer driving experience for years.
So, what’s new about ADAS then?
ADAS Technology in 2021...
ADAS is not new, it’s the way it’s been integrated with other systems in vehicles to take safety and comfort for drivers and other road users to another level that’s the interesting part.
Building on the technology that has been stealthily increasing in our vehicles, ADAS is now able to bring together those systems to allow the car to warn the driver or even take control of braking and steering systems, intervening when a driver has not responded to a perceived danger.
Camera systems often mounted in the windscreen can read road signs and alert the driver to changing speed limits. They also monitor the white lines that make up the road lanes to warn or even help correct a car’s course if the driver strays out of the lane.
With camera technology taking care of the short to medium range activities, it’s down to the radar system to take the longer view. The radar unit is often mounted in the front grill area and uses its long-range abilities to manage active cruise control (by matching the speed of cars ahead) and emergency braking systems (by recognising pedestrians and vehicles which may be in the cars path). Once detected the system can alert the driver to the potential danger ahead, reduce the speed, or even stop the car in emergency situations.
Rear radar systems work in tandem with rear view cameras and parking sensors to warn of vehicles or objects that are about to cross your path when reversing. Often out of view of the driver, the reversing camera and even the parking sensors, the long reach of the radar can stretch the driver’s awareness area warning of these potential dangers.
How critical is performing maintenance on ADAS Systems?
With so much good built into these ADAS systems, giving us the possibility to reduce accidents and save lives, it’s crucial to ensure they are working effectively. And for the systems to work correctly, they need to be accurately aligned to the path of the vehicle.
We all accept that wheel alignment is just a normal part of repairing and maintaining vehicles – if left unchecked and the geometry falls out of tolerance, the car may not drive correctly, and the tyres might wear out quickly.
The same principle applies to ADAS, if you make a change to the car that affects the angle the car presents whilst travelling, it’s possible that certain areas of the driver’s view may not be covered by the system’s camera and radar, potentially missing out on vital information. Conversely, a misaligned system could pick up dangers and react to them when they are not in the cars path. Windscreen replacement is another area to be considered; if the camera was removed as part of the process, ensuring the camera is correctly aligned after repair is vital.
After any repair that could affect the alignment (or view) of these systems, it’s important to ensure they are working correctly and that they are correctly aligned. For this you need an ADAS alignment rig; typically made up of a large frame and a diagnostic tool, this equipment allows the user to test and, if necessary, re-align the camera and radar systems.
The right ADAS Calibration machine for your services...
There are a number of ADAS alignment rigs on the market today and these are split into two main categories: Analogue and Digital.
Analogue systems require pre-printed boards which are applied to a framework in front of the car to show the specific test pattern for calibrating the camera systems for that car. The framework needs to be very accurately positioned to ensure the pattern on the board is suitably aligned to the car; an often time-consuming process requiring care and attention to get right. Once set up, the diagnostic tool then communicates with the vehicle’s computers, putting them into calibration mode and effectively teaching the vehicle where it should be looking.
With so many different vehicle marques in the UK, many with their own design of calibration boards, purchasing and storing these boards and protecting them from damage can be an expensive challenge associated with analogue systems.
The digital system does away with the need for physical boards and utilises keystone technology to reproduce the image of a pattern board on a large-scale high-definition monitor. A PC mounted to the monitor stand manages the images and communicates with a handheld diagnostic tool which guides the user through the process, step by step, to check and if necessary, re-align the cameras.
This keystone technology helps to reduce set up time, quickly building confidence in the user through simplicity of operation, but the system has another trick up its sleeve. Some vehicle manufacturers employ multi-stage camera calibration processes where the system needs to see the alignment pattern at multiple distances from the vehicle. No problem for the Digital system; it simply shrinks the image shown on the screen to allow the second or third calibration points to be taken without even moving the frame. With radar alignments being carried out with the same ease using the same accurate laser measurement process combined with a mirror on the frame to give the positional feedback to the vehicle, Digital ADAS alignment equipment is the real deal.
Who should be in the market for ADAS alignment?
Anyone who’s serious about providing garage services.
You would be hard pushed to find a car being built today that didn’t have some sort of ADAS system and considering that these systems have been in use in vehicles for many years now, looking after them falls squarely into the remit of garages outside of franchised dealerships.
ADAS alignment was once perceived as a bit of a dark art, only for specialists. But with the simplification of the processes brought about through digital alignment systems, the process is set to become as common place as checking wheel alignment.
Everyone has started to notice them popping up in their local town or village and they’re even more popular with those living in the city. Electric Cars or EVs, is the hot topic in the automotive industry and also a subject widely debated in parliament.
For those of us who work within this sector, it is clear to see where the automotive industry is heading so for garage business owners, being one step ahead of the curve isn't a bad thing.
The basics of an Electric Vehicle…
We’ve seen the ads – Tesla, Volkswagen, Jaguar…the list goes on! But what truly is the difference between the cars we have come to love, and the new electric models deemed to be the future?
The simple answer is that these cars practically run themselves.
Electric vehicles involve fewer moving parts, emissions and liquids for your car to function so there is less to go wrong on a daily basis. Periodic software updates can also be remotely configured without a car dealership, so this begs the question, what actually needs maintaining?
- Fluid Top Ups
- Cabin Air Filter
Electric Car Battery Maintenance
Possibly the most important element in an EV, the battery is the largest and most expensive single component and requires more maintenance than any other on an electric car.
As a garage business owner, it is important to know that a visual inspection will not be enough to service a battery. This will only confirm that there is no obvious damage, leaking or corrosion – but any potential faults after a service need to be identified by undertaking the relevant testing. Just like any other electrical item, the charge of your electric car’s battery will deteriorate over time and can take 10-15 years to notice.
Replacing such a component due to lack of maintenance can be a serious investment for the vehicle owner!
Brake Wear on an Electric Vehicle
Did you know that there is no combustion engine in an EV? That means that the brakes and suspension are the largest mechanical part on an electric vehicle.
As with petrol and diesel cars now, the brakes need to be periodically assessed to ensure there is no wear and tear that can compromise the safety of the driver and any passengers.
That being said, once the driver takes their foot off the accelerator, the motor will react in a way that is similar to applying the brakes in a normal car – meaning that most electric cars will use their brakes far less than petrol cars, but when they do, they have to stop a much heavier vehicle.
Tyre Wear is the big difference
The pure size of an EV’s battery pack means that compared to a petrol car, electric cars weigh between 20-30% more on average. That has a massive impact on the wear of a customer’s tyres.
When considering your electric car services moving forwards, you need to be aware that you will be seeing electric car drivers much more often for replacement tyres. They need to be checked more consistently by owners and more thoroughly by garages – ensuring you have capable tyre fitting equipment could make a massive difference to your services moving forwards.
Other maintenance services to properly check over the tyres such as wheel-balancing, alignment and rotating the tyres will certainly make them last much longer.
Traditionally (pre-covid), March & September are the busiest months for MOT testing. April is usually quiet and we don’t see that changing this year.
The MOT extension which was introduced last year when the first lockdown was announced, meant that many vehicle owners postponed their MOT test and they will be waiting the full 12 months before needing another. However, for garage owners across the UK in need of additional revenue to support their business, any April lull will be unwelcome.
It isn’t all bad news though; vehicle owners are being encouraged to forward-think and book their MOT tests in good time, meaning the lull may not be as bad as first anticipated.
So, how can your garage make the most of a quieter period?
Our steps to MOT servicing success in 2021...
Here at Hofmann Megaplan, we have been keeping a close eye on the peaks & troughs throughout the entire pandemic, and we have come up with some suggestions to make the most out of a potentially quiet month in April...
Personal Development & Training
Step one involves getting your team up to speed with the latest MOT CPD and annual assessments, together with training any non-testing staff to help them get up to speed. Ensuring your entire team are up to scratch can make all the difference when the busier months inevitably return later in the year.
There really is no excuse – now that remote learning is at the forefront of training and development in every industry, there are no obstacles in terms of travel to and from training sites; your employees can develop their skills from the comfort of their own home.
MOT Equipment Maintenance & Improvements
Another area for improvement is the efficiency of your MOT equipment. Making sure that your MOT bay receives the proper maintenance and love it deserves, can help to ensure the longevity and reliability of equipment in the long run.
While your essential kit is potentially under-used throughout April, it may be the best opportunity you will have in 2021 for a thorough inspection and maintenance programme. Alternatively, if you feel now is the time to upgrade your MOT bay completely, call our specialist division on 01480 8-9-10-11 to ensure you get the right advice, equipment and support for your MOT services.
Garage Business Planning
When covid struck the UK last March, many garage owners had to draw up a forecast for their business throughout lockdown 1.0 and the remainder of 2020.
A year later we are still dealing with restrictions, so April is the perfect time to review and develop your business plans and forecasts to incorporate long term goals for your garage and services. Having a realistic approach to what you can achieve in 2021 can help to keep you and your team focused on providing an excellent garage repair and maintenance service for your customers.
Where have January & February gone already?
With the first two months of 2021 passing us by in a flash, we look back at some of the best tyre fitting equipment installations that have been completed by our specialist team at ISN Garage Assist. In such a short space of time, we have combined to produce some amazing garage looks and spaces – but there is so much more to come...
Take a look at all our latest installs below.
We have covered everything from tyre changers & wheel balancers to specialist vehicle lifts & MOT equipment. Our vast experience and the location of our certified industry engineers, allows us to perform a wide variety of installs up and down the country – so you know that no matter where you’re based, we have an industry specialist near you.
Choose the Hofmann / Garage Assist mix!
High quality garage equipment from Hofmann Megaplan, coupled with the first-class support of our combined ISN Garage Assist service team could change the dynamic of your business forever. You’re just one call away…
Contact us online today or call 01480 8-9-10-11 for more information on any of our products or services.
We always knew that the service we offer our clients is good but now it’s even better! Hofmann Megaplan have partnered with garage services provider ISN Garage Assist.
Formerly trading as AMN Garage Assist (and AMN Garage Services before that), ISN Garage Assist has become a growing (and glowing) force within the ISN Europe group; offering unrivalled garage equipment installation, service and maintenance, plus MOT bay design, installation and management... the list goes on!
This alliance will see the integration of Hofmann Megaplan’s incredible customer service, especially within the wheel alignment arena, and ISN Garage Assist’s installation and equipment maintenance services for the entirety of the UK.
A word from the Chairman...
James Boon, Executive Chairman, ISN Europe explained;
“This transition means so much more than just a change of name. ISN Garage Assist represents the coming together of the original AMN business, which provides multi-brand installation, service, maintenance, repairs and calibrations, with the aftersales division of Hofmann Megaplan, the market leader in garage equipment.”
What you can expect...
Based out of the ISN Europe office in Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire, this new-look operation will be bringing together two administrative support teams and two groups of highly skilled engineers; creating a new, higher level of efficiency resulting in even better response times and coverage.
59 engineers, including 12 specialist Wheel Service technicians and a dedicated large-project installation team, will support the various equipment brands ISN are able to offer, including names such as Rotary, Hofmann Megaplan, Cascos, Ravaglioli, Crypton, and Atlas Platinum.
This truly is a service like no other!
Specific trends are beginning to emerge, and it is easy to see that 2021 will be the year of vehicle servicing. Throughout a period of decreasing new car sales (down 29.4% in 2020 compared to 2019), vehicle owners are sticking it out with their old and high-mileage cars which are often in dire need of a good service.
So, it is a simple question right...
Are you able to cope with increased demands for vehicle servicing?
We're not just talking about the ability of your team to work faster or more efficiently (of course, they still matter too!), but also the capability of your garage equipment to deal with even more stress and work to plough through, day in and day out.
Garage Equipment & Maintenance to keep your business running!
Your customer’s car is beginning to experience some start-up issues. Instead of getting it checked right away, the owner continues to travel to and from work – literally running the vehicle into the ground. Suddenly, the car won’t start. They finally bring it into the garage, only to find that they will have to pay through the nose to fix it.
How many times have you heard this? Does this sound familiar?
We are the experts...
Just as you are there to help your customers, we are there to help you. Ensure that your garage equipment is running as smooth as possible with periodic maintenance from our specialists, before you hit a breakdown on any of your vital equipment.
With highly trained engineers based across the UK, our response time and ability to fix first time sets us apart from other garage service providers.
Our aftersales service is one of the main reasons why garage businesses choose us in the first place – not only for the amazing tyre machines we have on offer!
Despite a year that has be tainted by the coronavirus pandemic and many businesses taking a heavy hit, here at Hofmann Megaplan, we have continued to go from strength to strength. And we have always been there for you throughout what has been a challenging 12 months so far.
By no means are we saying it has been easy, but we have seen exciting developments take place across the company. So, in case you have missed anything, here is our round-up of everything you need to know...
All-new National Distribution Centre (NDC)
One of the highlights of our 2020, was the introduction of our brand-new National Distribution Centre; a great addition to our constantly evolving business (another EXCITING announcement coming soon).
Our NDC team build, test and calibrate every Hofmann Megaplan Tyre Changer and Wheel Balancer before dispatch, making sure they’re up to the recognised Hofmann Megaplan standard...and are ready to serve you!
Approvals & Accreditations from globally recognised brands...
Boasting approvals & recommendations from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and now Lamborghini, our range of OEM products are must-have for any premium garage services provider.
From tyre changing to revenue-boosting alignment machines, our Hofmann Megaplan accredited machines are the pinnacle of garage equipment and have been developed to enhance your garage services to a truly premium standard.
The MOT fightback!
Everyone working within the MOT sector knew there would be an influx of the number of tests that were needed to be completed, once the MOT extension had expired.
The end of Q2 and all of Q3 was completely focused on fighting back strongly to ensure the survival of numerous garages & workshops. As expected, the beginning of Autumn saw the obvious demand for MOT servicing increase as the number of vehicle users returning to the roads for work, also rose to an alarming level.
Some garage owners saw an opportunity and realised that their old, battered MOT equipment wouldn’t be able to cope with such an increase in demand – Hofmann Megaplan were there to help. We completed some of the best-looking MOT bays we have EVER produced. We've received great feedback on how good our MOT bays look and operate once they’re complete.
Choose us and receive the full MOT package, combining our excellent end-to-end installation service with a great finished look.
What will happen in 2021?
The short answer – who knows!
One thing is for sure though, our dedicated team will always be there to help you with your garage equipment needs – especially with yesterday’s announcement, we could be looking at a similar year to last.
Anyone who has worked within the automotive garage industry will know exactly what the brand Hofmann Megaplan means. A premium status doesn’t just come for free, and our many years of experience and willingness to perfect high-quality garage equipment has well and truly paid off.
For numerous years now we have been the UK’s premium garage equipment supplier of choice; providing complex, top of the range tyre machines up and down the country – with customer service that any global brand would be proud of.
Day in and day out, our team have been amazing!
However, to further our cause even more as no.1, when we receive accreditations and approvals from some of the most recognised global brands from across the automotive sector, we know we have reached the top.
Lamborghini. BMW. Mercedes-Benz.
An investment is us, means that you receive only the best:
- Slick design features
- Completely automated processes
- Reliable, intelligent safety features
- The finest technology available on the market
Only the Best will do...
Synonymous with everything premium and high-quality, our latest approval from Lamborghini on our X-Boss Tyre Changer, joins BMW and Mercedes-Benz on endorsing the incredible features this machine has to offer...
Our team are always on hand to help you find the perfect machine for your garage services!
Development takes place in every industry. It is inevitable. And for business owners, it is highly welcomed to enhance the prowess of their services – the automotive garage sector is no different.
The past few decades have seen some of the most advanced technology come to the forefront of the automotive industry; the introduction of electric/hybrid vehicles, the use of ADAS systems within a vehicle to make driving even easier for road users, the development of garage software to complete routine services...we could go on.
But these developments combined with the increasing need to service brand new technology, poses many questions and issues for garage owners and garage equipment providers.
It is easy to see how the garage services sector needs to keep up with the constantly evolving face of technology available to customers – and so far, we have met their requirements:
So, what can you do to make the transition easier?
Take action to become digital!
Obviously, there will be some scepticism about the impact of digital aids within a garage environment. However, without taking the necessary steps to help the move into the digital age, many garages will find themselves being left behind by their more adventurous competitors.
Here is our advice:
Making sure your employees are aware of emerging technology and then fully trained to cope with using such tools, will not only help your garage become more knowledgeable about the garage services sector, but also will help them hit the ground running when you decide to invest in digital garage equipment.
Choosing the right training supplier can be difficult – many garage equipment providers now offer training with the purchase of any equipment. Our ADAS specialists offer a chance to run through how to use your ADAS system effectively, before you start working on customer vehicles.
Welcome new digital tools with open arms
We understand the difficulty of changing the way your garage operations run and therefore, altering your mindset to welcoming emerging digital aids.
This is the key to succeeding in an age where everything is turning digital though. Opening your eyes to investing in the future, will not only increase the efficiency of your services now but set you up for success in the future.
Trust us – your customers will appreciate it!
We are proud to introduce and be operating out of our brand-new National Distribution Centre in Ramsey – all our incredible premium garage equipment is assembled, packed and shipped out from our site...directly to you!
Our team of engineers have been working hard before, during and after the first wave of the global pandemic to ensure the efficiency of our operations at this new site. And despite COVID completely ruining the year for many industries and businesses, the automotive sector has boomed, and our team has been busier than ever.
Setting the standard...
Making sure every tyre fitting machine is up to the recognised standard of Hofmann Megaplan garage equipment, is exactly what our engineers are specialists at.
Fully trained and with years of experience behind them, our team have the ultimate combination to make sure your garage services succeed.
All our garage machines are freshly built on-site and ready to send out to all our customers in the UK & across Europe. No matter where you are located, we are ready to serve your business and offer the same high-quality tyre fitting machines.
We can’t wait to see all the latest machines in action...
Quality equipment deserves quality photography!
Our National Distribution Centre is more than just a site to build and ship premium garage equipment to your businesses.
It is the home of our resident engineer/photographer Terry and his studio.
Dealing day in, day out with our premium garage machines, it would be rude not to take some amazing snaps of our incredible equipment – showing the quality, aesthetics and impeccable design features that comes with Hofmann Megaplan machines.
We love to show you some behind the scenes here at Hofmann Megaplan and what we are working hard to achieve at our National Distribution Centre. And this is just another reason why you should be investing in our premium garage equipment.