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Wendy Williamson offers aftermarket insight at Automechanika

  • Mark Field
  • Jun 15, 2017

Wendy Williamson, chief executive of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), has provided an overview of the latest challenges facing the industry in 2017 and how the aftermarket is responding to these issues.

In a keynote speech, Williamson discussed a variety of topics, following up on recent developments and a changing political landscape that have captivated interest since last year’s event.

The impact of new Type Approval legislation was highlighted and Williamson expressed IAAF’s active role to ensure the industry gets the best deal.

Over the last year, the IAAF has hosted several meetings with Dan Dalton, MEP for the West Midlands, and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) who are drafting the report, and as a result of this it has been successful in pushing through a number of key amendments, including keeping the OBD port alive for RMI information and ensuring that information continues to be made available in an electronic form.

The threat of the connected car was also discussed as Williamson conveyed that the aftermarket could potentially lose all unmonitored access to the vehicle with the extended vehicle and become solely reliant on vehicle manufacturers (VMs) for information.

The IAAF believes current proposals do not offer consumers a level playing field and with the growing number of vehicles now being connected, IAAF told visitors that it is currently raising its concerns to the legislators in both the EU and the UK.

Next on the agenda was the proposed MOT changes from 3-1-1 to 4-1-1 and the dangers this could cause. Williamson argued that although great technological progress has been made in modern vehicles, the main causes of MOT failures are still wear and tear items such as tyres, brakes and lamps, all of which would go unchecked for a further year on newer vehicles.

An insight into the automotive industry’s future was also provided including the topic of the inevitable autonomous vehicle and the challenges surrounding it, as well as air pollution with Williamson calling for a co-ordinated response across all sectors instead of just targeting older diesel cars.

Finally, the seminar ended on a positive note promoting the relaunch of ‘Your Car, Your Choice’ as Williamson urged the aftermarket to get behind the campaign and raise awareness of motorists’ rights concerning block exemption legislation.

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