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ABS to woo franchised dealers to join its body repair network

Franchise dealers with manufacturer-approved or specialised body repair facilities could be invited to join accident solutions company ABS' 240-strong repairer network; it believes the recent block exemption changes will make it easier for them.

Alan Hodgkinson, chief executive at ABS Accident Solutions, said that most commentators expected the BE measures to open the door for independent repairers to work closely with manufacturers and franchisees - but the opposite was also true: "Block exemption clearly means that franchises dealers who are able to meet our standards could become part of the ABS network of repairers, and this is an issue that we will be paying some attention to over the coming weeks and months.

"There are some very high quality franchise dealer repairers out there who would be an asset to the network, and it is very likely that we will be talking to some of them."

Hodgkinson added that franchise dealer repairers with specialist skills such as aluminium working could prove especially valuable in the future to the ABS network: "There are a few specialist areas where skills are more easily available within certain franchise dealer networks than in the body repair industry as a whole. These repairers could certainly help to increase our capacity as demand for these specialist repairs grows in the future."

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