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Slashed Rivus network could be opportunity for franchised dealers

A decision by fleet maintenance operation Rivus to close 48 of its 78 light commercial vehicle garages could provide opportunities for franchised dealers seeking technicians.

Rivus has been forced to cut costs after losing a contract with BT Group, and while some employees may be able to transfer to BT's new contractor, others will be affected by its restructuring.

BT, which operates 41,000 vehicles, is transfering the management of its company cars to Arval UK, while the maintenance contract for its commercial vehicles has gone to Holman, Fleet News reports.

Rivus, which was known as BT Fleet Solutions until its sale by BT Group in 2019, has secured new contracts, including with the Metropolitan Police Service, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

In March Fleet News was told that Rivus had no intention of relinquishing the leases for its network of garages and it was confident of filling the freed-up capacity.

Recruiting and retaining technicians has been a lengthy issue for many franchised dealers and the Instiute of the Motor Industry recently warned that by 2030, 103,000 IMI TechSafe qualified technicians will be needed to work with EVs, increasing to 124,000 by 2032.

However, the adjusted forecast warns of a potential shortfall of 4,500 qualified technicians by 2029, increasing to a skills gap of 16,000 by 2032.

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