Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Irish auto aftermarket can be open for business

Let us all play our part in making 2021 a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

On Wednesday last (December 30th.), the Taoiseach announced that the entire country would move into “Level 5 restrictions”. This means that retailers that provide for the “repair and maintenance of all kinds of mechanically propelled vehicles or bicycles and any related facilities (including tyre sales, body repair, etc.) are designated as essential retailers and consequently may remain open”. Workshops can remain open, and parts sales (main dealers, motor factors) and logistics will remain unaffected.

The current 5km travel restriction does not apply to the collection or delivery of a vehicle or parts but people working in this area should take extra sanitising precautions. It should also not apply to those seeking essential service or repair of their vehicle(s), where it is required for essential use. A doctor or a nurse using it to get to and from work is clearly essential, but is it not essential to replace two bald tyres on a car used twice daily for the school run? Again, customers and those in aftermarket businesses alike, should take extra sanitising precautions, in addition to the general protocols.

With the right to be open for auto aftersales businesses comes the responsibility to not add any risk to spreading this deadly virus. We must operate with the greatest care for our staff and customers alike. Double your efforts for the next few weeks, while doing your essential work, and this will help defeat the virus. If we do this well, this could hopefully prove to be the third and final lockdown of this epidemic.

With Ireland at a crucial and significant juncture in the fight against Covid-19, we ask that you please ensure that all services, whether essential maintenance, parts etc. sales are all provided in accordance with government guidelines.

With a number of new Covid-19 vaccines going to be available by later this month, the vast majority of front-line health works, as well the residents and staff of nursing homes will have been vaccinated. By early February, vaccination of the next most venerable categories will have started and by June, we can expect vaccines will be freely available to all.

However, this is not a time to take any chance with your health and wellbeing, or that of others. Your proper actions, will not only save you, but your family/ loved ones, relatives, and friends, but all hose that you come into contact with.

Vehicle sales this January
January is traditionally the busiest and most crucial month for passenger car, LCV/van and HCV/truck sales in Ireland. In 2020, it accounted for 34.7 per cent of the year’s annual car sales. To ensure that this period can operate to some degree of normality, under the new restrictions, any retailers “that operate online can open to provide goods for collection” (i.e., offers a “click & collect” service).

For example, Volkswagen Group Ireland retailers (comprising Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, Skoda, Seat and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles) tells us that it will, for the most part, operate a ‘Click & Collect’ Service. It adds that it can accommodate most customer’s individual wishes, with the safety of both retailer staff and customer alike of paramount importance.