‘Worst of 2020 behind us’, says aftermarket data specialist as majority of workshops open

Stats show 67 per cent of workshops were open before lockdown restrictions eased

With the majority of garages now back open following the UK’s lockdown, the “worst part of 2020 is behind us” according to an automotive aftermarket intelligence firm.

In the latest GiPA analysis on the impact of COVID-19, two thirds of all British workshops were found to be open.

Quentin Le Hetet of GiPA UK said: “We can still see a clear difference between vehicle manufacturers’ networks and independent aftermarket players.

“However, with the ease of lockdown implemented on Monday 1 June, we can expect the gap to narrow.

“The lockdown ease will also bring cars back on the road and drivers are expected to be using their cars again and take it to the workshop if needed.

“As long as social distancing and new rules are being respected, we can expect the worse part of 2020 to be behind us.”

GiPA data as of 3/6/20.

The findings, which were released this week, suggests that while the number of workshops is on the increase many are operating with reduced staff.

Quentin added: “While we see a clear increase in the share of workshops that are now open, the aftermarket is not back on its feet yet.

“Indeed, most repairers are operating partially-staffed and social distancing measures suggest a potential impact on their productivity.”

Six-month MOT exemption

Meanwhile, aftermarket trade groups including the Independent Garage Association (IGA) and Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) continue calls for an urgent review of the six-month MOT exemption.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has indicated that the extension will not be lifted until tests can be “conducted safely” with the “lowest possible risk” to the health of motorists and staff.

The IGA has now launched a COVID-19 compliance certification which it will use to underpin a case to overturn the six-month MOT extension by providing evidence that garages are safe places for consumers to visit.

Further details on compliance certification are expected to be released on Monday.

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