ADAS: Seize the day
After what has been a tough few years for the independent aftermarket, there is cause for optimism as we move into the second half of 2023.
More than two-fifths of consumers (43%) are now shopping around when choosing garages, with a quarter already switching from dealerships to a local, better value alternative. While this presents a huge opportunity for the aftermarket to tap into a new potential customer base, garage owners will only be able to take advantage if they are equipped to service the latest vehicles.
This is why it was concerning to see the UK’s chronic shortage of ADAS-certified technicians laid bare by the IMI’s latest training report.
The ADAS issue
Despite 5% of the UK car parc featuring level 2 autonomy – a number that is only set to increase – there is already an estimated shortfall of 6,000 technicians qualified to deal with ADAS technologies. The IMI estimates that if current training trends continue, this shortfall will increase to 51,000 qualified technicians by 2030, when 44% of cars on UK roads will feature ADAS.
A failure to address this skills gap will leave large numbers of workshops unequipped and unable to benefit from what can be a huge revenue driver – not to mention the implications for road safety, with even the slightest misalignment in a vehicle’s autonomous capability increasing the risk of a potential crash. Of course, conversations are also ongoing about if and when ADAS calibrations become part of the MOT.
Learn to earn
The appetite to learn is certainly there – and we saw it for ourselves at Automechanika Birmingham recently, where it was great to see so many garage and bodyshop owners get stuck into the seminars, stands and events with a focus on how the sector adapts and evolves in the coming months and years.
It is important that we all play our part in harnessing this enthusiasm. At LKQ Euro Car Parts we are supporting ADAS training by offering our ADAS Technology and Theory Course for free through our LKQ Academy in 2023. It is a practical course, designed to help garage owners and technicians understand the impact of ADAS on the workshop before they invest in upskilling.
Of course, we are of the view that technicians should upskill, which is why we offer a selection of ADAS courses through the LKQ Academy, as well as the chance for technicians to gain their AOM230 accreditation for ADAS calibration.
This is a pivotal moment for the sector. With the right training, guidance and technology, independent workshops can position themselves to win new customers from competitors who don’t embrace change as quickly. By completing ADAS recalibrations as standard on every job, garage owners can also make sure customers leave satisfied and likely to come back next time.