IAAF members urged to ‘brace themselves for change’ at latest industry briefing

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The latest Industry Briefing, hosted by the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), took place at Phocas Business Intelligence Software, Middlemarch Business Park, Coventry on Thursday 15 March, with ‘sweeping change’ very much at the heart of its agenda.

Members were brought up to speed with all the latest industry developments by IAAF Membership Development Manager Mike Smallbone, who updated attendees on recent lobbying successes regarding the scrapped MOT proposals and Type Approval legislation, highlighting IAAF’s influence in both outcomes.

He also touched upon recent developments across the UK and Europe, where pressure continues to mount on the European Commission to begin work on legislation that introduces an interoperable, standardised, secure and safe, in-vehicle open telematics platform (OTP).

There was also mention of the YourCarYouChoice campaign, urging delegates to give support and raise awareness to Block Exemption regulations, providing consumers with the freedom to choose where to service their vehicle.

Smallbone then welcomed guest speakers Nona Bowkis from Lawgistics discussing General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on 25 May, and Steve Carter from Train4auto Consultancy, addressing how hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell technology will revolutionise the future.

Bowkis explained the basic principles of GDPR and some of the consequences that business owners could face if they failed to be GDPR compliant, affirming that although the topic of GDPR was vast and complicated, a fundamental grasp of the process could assist businesses in avoiding falling foul of the law.

This was followed by Carter’s compelling talk on hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell technology, signaling that the adoption of EVs is closer than most are anticipating, supported by some weighty statistics that powerfully conveyed the monumental changes around the corner for both the aftermarket and motorists alike.  

Smallbone said: “The briefing was extremely well-received and we anticipated the presentation topics would prove incredibly popular, reflected in the fact that all the spaces had been booked up weeks in advance of the event. It was clear our members hugely benefitted from learning more about GDPR and electric vehicle technology, and the impact both will have on them personally and as part of the aftermarket.

“These briefings are gathering more momentum as we go on; they’re providing real value to members in terms of industry insight. We are expecting another highly engaging session and large turnout at the next briefing.”

The session then finished at 1.30 pm with lunch, where delegates had the opportunity to network with fellow members.

The next meeting will be hosted by The Turbo Guy in Glasgow on Thursday 17 May.

As limited spaces are available, IAAF is advising members to book early to avoid disappointment by emailing Ann Silvester at anns@iaaf.co.uk.