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IGA chair calls for industry action

Incoming Independent Garage Association chairman Jonas Zambakides has gone on the offensive against what he sees as an industry culture of buzzwords, poor communication and complacency.

And he has thrown down the gauntlet to his fellow independent repairers, urging them to support the IGA to strengthen its lobbying power with Government and European legislators.

Zambakides, owner of independent Porsche repairer JZ Machtech, takes up the chairman’s role in September and has spent the past two months shadowing interim chair Colin Parlett, who stepped in when Tim Englefield stood down.

They have been visiting current and past members to understand their needs in order to haul the IGA into the 21st century.

“The IGA is the sum of its members and has to represent their interests,” said Zambakides.

He believes one key issue for the association to highlight is the motor industry service and repair code of practice, which he describes as the “last chance for the industry to self-regulate”.

“I see this as ‘the last- chance saloon’ but if the industry embraces this properly it could reverse the public perception of our industry,” he said.

The IGA must get closer to its members in order to pass on vital information in such a manner that independent garages can understand the relevance to their business.

“Roadshows and business surgeries’ are on the agenda for the future. These meetings will form an information gathering service,” said Zambakides.

“We will be more accessible to the members and ask that they in turn move closer to us.”

The IGA has been slow to throw its weight behind the Right to Repair Campaign (R2RC) but has recently written to all its members advising them that they should support the European-wide initiative.

With leaks from the European Commission report on Block Exemption – due to be released this week – suggesting the regulations might be scrapped, the IGA will need to re-double its efforts in Europe on behalf of members.

Zambakides firmly believes that the R2RC, in which is he also involved, complements the IGA’s efforts and gives a second bartering chip.

“We’ve had a wake-up call, but it’s fair to say that we’ve woken up,” he said.

“Our association and our industry face a mammoth task but we are up for the fight.

“The IGA staff are focused and we will become your association representing your needs but – and there is always a but – don’t tell us what we haven’t done after we haven’t done it.

He added: “Be a part of this association and be a part of your own future.”

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