Repairers should invest in new diagnostic technology now in order to cash in on the popularity of hybrid and emission-conscious technology which is becoming more common in new cars.
Frank Ordonez, vice-president of Delphi, believes the movement towards hybrid vehicles and more electronics will open up new avenues for revenue in the next five years.
Ordonez said: “Right now, ‘green’ is on the minds
of every business and consumer worldwide. Diesel, hybrid and alternative fuels will all be a part of the answer to that.
“Battery remanufacturing, refurbishing and reclamation will become a huge business as the vehicle parc ages.
Reflashing of computers and diagnostic time is yet another big opportunity for garages of the future.”
However, Ordonez warned workshops that if they didn’t invest in diagnostics now and stay on top of developments in new technology, they will lose business.
He said: “There’s going to be so much more emphasis on vehicle diagnostics. Only the garages that prepare themselves now will succeed in the future.
“We’re working five years ahead of the industry with new technology, preparing for the market.
“This makes striking a balance difficult because essentially we’re working with some businesses that are five years behind. It’s a schizophrenic market.”
Ordonez said there would be a massive rise in the amount of electronics incorporated into the manufacture of cars over the next five years, and he believes 40% of all revenues for
workshops will come from diagnostics as a result.
He said: “If customers can’t get the work they need done at an independent, they will go to the dealer.
By not investing in future diagnostic equipment, garages are saying it’s OK to head for the franchised dealer.
It’s a very dangerous thing to change consumer behaviour.”
Delphi is looking to add a hybrid module to its service centre programme which was launched in the UK last year, to eventually help repairers stay on top of advances in alternative fuel technology.
The Delphi Service Centre programme comprises four specialist concepts, covering air conditioning, chassis,
petrol engine diagnostics and DieselPoint.
DieselPoint – launched in the UK last November –
gives independent workshops access to the required tools, diagnostic equipment and training to service modern diesel engines.
Workshops can take on as many or as few modules as they wish. They also do not have to operate as a fully-branded Delphi centre if they are already affiliated with another company.