The company, previously known as the Motor Vehicle Repairers Association, was challenged on the legal grounds that it did not meet all the legal criteria required of an association. Companies House ruled that the business name was being used without the approval of the Secretary of State - necessary under the Business Names Act.
The MVRA website has now dropped all reference to the extended name and is describing the organisation as being “more than a trade association”. Mike Monaghan, MVRA managing director, says: “Regardless of its precise trading name, MVRA will continue to serve and represent its members in the way that it always has done. Nothing has changed, or could ever change, that.” He claims the challenge came from “a small minority of industry commentators” who were “suspicious” over the company's commercial relationships with work providers like Zurich and Willis Group.
It leaves the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association and the Retail Motor Industry Federation as the two trade bodies representing UK bodyshops, with the Scottish Motor Traders Association in Scotland.
The MVRA, which says it intends to continue representing members' interests to Government and other legislative bodies, has revised its divisional structure into five sections: membership, managed repair programmes, managed compliance systems, network services and inspections/standards.
“The challenge enables us to refine our status and role to members - from that point of view it is a welcome catalyst,” says Monaghan. MVRA membership has risen seven per cent in the first quarter, compared with 2001, to 2600. It is evenly split between bodyshops and mechanical repairers. Members will need to replace signage and stationary with the new logo 'MVRA - motor industry specialists'. This initiative is being funded by the MVRA and is expected to be completed over the next few months.