THE sheer scale and size of the automotive aftermarket were emphasised at last night’s inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards.
The awards, which were created to celebrate the best of the best in the UK’s massively important automotive aftermarket sector, were presented at a glitzy black tie ceremony in London hosted by British F1 legend Johnny Herbert (pictured).
The industry is now worth a colossal £21.6 billion each year – £12.5 billion of which contributes directly to the British economy – and supports a whopping 347,000 jobs.
As we report today in our roll of honour, Honda was the evening’s big winner, taking home two of the most hotly-contested awards – Manufacturer of the Year and Car of the Year for the Jazz supermini.
Votes in the Manufacturer of the Year category were open to anyone and could be made in recognition of new or older used models.
But Honda stood head and shoulders above the competition with the judges saying the brand did more than any other to support those working on its models.
This was underlined when the Honda Jazz was named Car of the Year.
Easy to source
The judges said technicians would ‘breathe a sigh of relief’ whenever a Jazz rolled into their workshop as its logical design makes it easy to diagnose faults and simple to repair while parts are easy to source.
Meanwhile, the award for Most Reliable Car of the Year went to the ‘strong and stable’ Volvo V40 – a car the judges found would rarely be found in a workshop for anything other than a routine service.
The Manufacturer Warranty Scheme of the Year title went to Kia for its now famous seven-year warranty. The judges found it to be a ‘solid’ warranty held in incredibly high regard by workshops for the speed at which the manufacturer would process claims and the availability of parts.
And on the subject of parts, Nissan was named OEM Parts Supplier of the Year. A favourite of parts managers everywhere, the brand was recognised for the speed and efficiency with which it could get parts to workshops.
Finally, the Workshop Innovation of the Year award went to Hyundai Workshop Automation, a system combining key workshop processes to make the customer journey more seamless, enhance transparency and improve communication.
James Baggott, founder and publisher of Workshop Magazine, said: ‘The aftermarket industry is massively important to the UK economy, servicing more than 30 million cars every year at an average cost of £706.
‘It’s therefore fitting that the Workshop Magazine Awards celebrate the incredible work that goes on around the country every day to keep this success story going.’
He added: ‘Brexit is looming large on the industry and experts warn that without the right deal the cost of the average service could rise 10 per cent.
‘But whatever Brexit brings there’s no doubt the aftermarket industry will continue to work in the tireless and professional manner our awards judges have seen first-hand.’