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Uncertainty over Fix Auto agreement

Allegations that North American bodyshop franchisor, Fix Auto, is asking repairers to sign one- sided agreements have been refuted.

John Matthews of Fix Auto in the UK says that bodyshops should have nothing to fear by signing the contract and welcomes current scrutiny being undertaken by lawyers representing leading bodyshops. “I am aware of the negative press floating around, but we are an open, honest company,” said Matthews.

The company has been successful in recruiting 350 bodyshops across Canada and the US and entered Europe via the UK eight months ago. Since then, Matthews says he has been busy talking to insurers and repairers “who have been very positive about the concept”, although he declined to provide AM with details of the scheme’s supporters.

Meanwhile, repairers have approached the Auto Body Professionals Club (ABP Club) with concerns about Fix Auto’s contract terms. The ABP Club asked its barrister Andrew Moody of Retail Motor Law (RML) to review the agreement on behalf of members: “It is a one-sided contract in favour of Fix Auto,” says Moody, who is concerned that Fix Auto asks to pay a percentage of turnover at a time when industry margins are being squeezed by insurers.

ABP Club chairman David Cresswell has invited Matthews to attend a Club meeting, which he has accepted. “I urge anyone who would like an independent view of the agreement to contact RML on: 01832 293003,” says Cresswell.

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