The German automotive supplier has recognised the increasing complexity of parts and electronics used in modern cars, which increasingly require diagnostic equipment for service and repairs.
Consequently it is increasing the amount it spends on training, which will include training technicians on diagnostics, as well as software and emissions testing equipment.
“Cars have changed. It’s not just about parts any longer, it’s about intelligent parts. The market has moved on,” says Ken Ford, Bosch Aftermarket divisional director.
“Workshops need to have the not only the parts, but also the equipment to find faults on cars. To use these systems, workshops need technical information and software, as well as dedicated systems information back-up. However, it is training that is the at the heart of everything and it’s the glue that brings all these systems together.”
Bosch offers regional training as well as courses at its centre of excellence in Middlesex which range from diagnostic modules, service technician and system technician training, and even training for garage principals including modules on legal and personnel, and customer care.
Training is open to any independent workshops.
“The parts business has changed and it’s the systems that are really driving things forward. But, training is key if garages want to get the most out of things such as diagnostics,” adds Ford.
The company is aiming to grow its network of Car Service Centres in the UK, which will offer customers a full bumper to bumper service, with the backing of the Bosch quality standard.
There are currently 175 centres across the country and the company is currently looking to expand, although it says it is a case of quality not quantity, when it comes to numbers.
“The network is growing all the time in the UK but it’s not a numbers game,” says Ford. “We want a quality network as we need to maintain our high standards. The aim is to offer peace of mind to the end consumer and we do this by constantly checking the quality of work – it’s not just a sign above the door.”
The company is using trade shows, such as the forthcoming Automotive Trade Show (ATS) being held as part of the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC, Birmingham (April 5-7), to attract workshops to become service centres and it sees the concept as a long-term investment.
“We work with the garages to promote the service centre concept in their local areas. We help them market themselves while using the Bosch brand as a measure of quality,” says Ford.
Although the service centres are branded as Bosch, they are able to have partnerships with other companies, such as exhaust suppliers and tyre manufacturers, allowing them to offer a complete service.