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SPX quits garage trade in shake-up

SPX is to quit the UK aftermarket garage business by the end of the year. The company, whose brands include Dieseltune and Wheelforce, will offer its aftermarket operations to other companies.

Richard Hawkins, UK site general manager, said around 55 of the 75 staff would be affected in some way.

“SPX is going to withdraw from the majority of the garage equipment business in the UK,” he said. “But it will retain the Robinair refrigerant recovery activity, as well as business with vehicle manufacturers which is a service, tools and electronic products speciality operation. We will keep the technical information businesses.”

The VL Churchill brand (largely supplying original equipment), Kent-Moore and Bear brand names will also remain with SPX. Bear equipment for the aftermarket is likely to be sold in the UK through a separate distribution channel.

The SPX decision follows a sudden change in worldwide strategy. It has surprised many executives in the aftermarket as a whole, especially as the company had been making strong efforts to re-establish the high profile of the brands.

A series of new engine diagnostic and wheel alignment products have recently been introduced and the restoration of a service and repair network for SPX equipment sold into the market was at an advanced planning stage.

A spokesman said SPX was looking for someone to take on a similar role to Gemco's before its recent collapse.

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