Survey reveals 50 percent of garages operating at half capacity

More than 50 percent of automotive garages in the UK are running at half their normal capacity, according to a survey carried out by automotive aftermarket PR and marketing agency Impression.

The survey of garages was conducted to assess the current state of the marketplace as restrictions to halt the spread of the coronavirus ease.

The survey also found that 56 percent of garages are operating with a reduced workforce with the remainder of staff on the government’s furlough scheme.

In relation to government support, 87 percent of all garage respondents have received financial support.

The survey asked what social distancing measures had been put in place and 85 percent are carrying out vehicle sanitisation, while 73 percent of garages are offering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff and customers.

Areas of work were also explored by the survey, with repairs being the largest part of the business, followed by servicing and then MOTs.

Thirty percent of garages were also buying more parts online and seeing motorists do the same, with some garages pointing to a breakdown in communication with their parts suppliers.

On the subject of sales visits, 53 percent of garages were not accepting a visit and 31 percent of garages were accepting visits but only with an appointment.

Finally, when asked if they would be confident with dealing with the increased level of MOTs when the extension ends, 72 percent of garages said yes.

Mark Field, Impression director, said: “The survey shows a more gradual return to normality for the automotive aftermarket and also highlights just how tough it has been for garages throughout the UK. Garages have also been very effective in putting in place social distancing measures to protect both employees and customers. With confidence growing, the sector is more than able to cope with an increase in MOT demand when the extension ends.”

Impression is holding “Communication surgeries” for companies during the Covid-19 outbreak. The surgeries are open daily, including weekends. Those interested simply need to post a question on any of Impression’s social media feeds below or contact Mark Field on email [email protected]

The PR agency is also sharing best practice for businesses operating in the automotive aftermarket via its social media platforms.

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