Selected UK repairers have been approached by Standox and more than 50 are expected to have signed up to the association by the end of the year. The target is a network comprising 500 premier independent refinishers covering Britain and most of Western Europe by 2005.
Each country will have a Repanet Service Centre offering consultancy services and advice, and in Britain that will be operated jointly by Standox UK and bodyshop industry analyst Robert Hadfield who also runs the Auto Body Projects intelligence service and internet forum.
Rapanet replaces the Standox Partners in Colour lobby and support organisation and similarly all existing Standox select repairer programmes across Europe will be switching to Repanet membership. “The refinishing market is changing rapidly across Europe and around the world,” says Neil Marcus, national sales and marketing manager for Standox UK. “It is no longer good enough to be part of a national organisation when the decisions that affect the future are being made internationally.”
Marcus points out that Standox has a vested interest in ensuring the survival of Britain's bodyshops. “It's our business,” he says. “The independent bodyshop needs support not just in everyday items but also more intensive help in developing their businesses and in developing a voice across Europe.”
Entry criteria for Repanet in the UK are full European legislation compliance and membership of either the RMI at QC level or VBRA. Incentives include free or reduced rate consulting services, marketing support and discounts on RMI and Auto Body Projects fees.