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TRW to pilot network of premium centres

TRW is in the advanced stages of planning a network of premium service centres. By January it will begin a pilot scheme of between 30 and 50 retail sites, which it will grow to 100 nationwide within two to three years.

Called Auto Service, the brand will be pitched above existing soft franchises like Ferodo, Brembo and Delphi. Garages can make a choice between a full partnership or selecting from a range of modules.

These include training, diagnostics, marketing support, tools and workshop software. TRW has not ruled out multi-franchise sites.

“We are looking to develop a network of the crème de la crème of independent service centres,” says Andrew Long, TRW UK sales manager.

“We would like to see potentially 100 high profile retail sites who are forward thinking, willing to invest in training and service and looking to develop a long-term partnership.”

Phase one of its plans is the recruitment of four key UK-based distributors. They have already been identified and were being approached this month.

TRW is not actively trying to recruit workshops at this stage, as initial outlets will be the distributor’s existing customers.

The network will be managed with the distributors. They will be expected to top-fund training fees with training partner Exponentia and participate in a long-term loyalty scheme.

There will also be a dedicated Auto Service website and quarterly newsletters. All signage is to be paid for by TRW.

Auto Service is already established in Germany and its 2,300 outlets were directly re-branded last year from the old Lucas Service Centre scheme.

The move is in line with TRW’s recently stated intention to concentrate on the chassis side of its business. It also comes off the back of the successful launch of its internet-based ID diagnostic tool.

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