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Who Should Do Repairs?

30th June 1944, Page 21
30th June 1944
Page 21
Page 21, 30th June 1944 — Who Should Do Repairs?
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Keywords : Manufacturing

It is of Considerable, Importance That This Matter Should Receive the Joint Consideration of the Vehicle Manufacturers and the Repairing Side of the Industry

By G. James Ailday,


OWING to pressure of wax contribution, 1 have only

recently had an opportunity of carefully reading the extremely interesting views expressed by Mr. J. Lovell Browne, M.I.Mech.E., in an article entitled " Engine Reconditioning," in your issue dated April 14, 1944.

Mr. Lovell Browne brings out certain fundamental issues which, in my considered opinion, will have to be dealt with jointly by the automobile manufacturers and their repairing friends, for the issues concerned are obviously of mutual interest.

I would like to advance the following observations , for the consideration of those who are so keenly interested in this -comparatively fundamental issue :— (a) That the repairer has, due to his desire to contribute his maximum to the war_ effort, become in many cases an engineering producer in the broadest sense of the word and, in many cases, his understanding has assumed, an aspect of precision engineering to the closest possible limits.

(b) In achieving the above he and his staff have educated 'themselves not only to think in engineering terms, but also to make engineering products which have passed the extremely high standards set by Part 1 A.I.D. It is, therefore, obvious that, when the present emergency situation ceases and that war contribution to which so many garages and motor trade undertakings have contributed a Very substantial output is no longer required, these undertakings will be searching for fields wherein the can continue the full and proper employment of their skilled artisans and, equally, the full and proper utilization of their skilled knowledge and

• machine-tool equipment.

(c) It. must also be borne in mind that, apart from a war contribution covering aircraft and similar close-limit components, many motor trade undertakings have, thanks to the encouragement of T.T.3, Ministry of Supply, developed their facilities to a very high degree in relation not only to reconditioning of vehicles as such, but also to the thorough reconditioning of vehicle units to a high degree of perfection.

Skilled Labour and Facilities Should Not Be Lost

Having regard to the above, it would seem reasonable to assume that an outlet must be created for the retention of the skilled labour concerned and the utilization,* in the best national interests, of the facilities which have been created. It undoubtedly appears that, as a straight sequence of common sense, it is desirable that the use of these relatively efficient repair units localized throughout the country should be at the disposal of road users of Ell types, i.e., hauliers, commercial users and privatevehicle users.

This, therefore, brings up the fundamental issue as to whether the manufacturers on their part will be disposed to maintain that it is their privilege to recondition engine and other units. My own view is that my manufacturing friends are solely concerned with the building and producing of better and better vehicle, and that they would be relieved to feel that they would be free from the onus of trespassing into the field of vehicle repairing in order to ensure that their own goodwill is maintained at the requisite high level.

It will, of course, be appreciated by all thinking people that the manufacturer has, quite rightly, jealously guarded his goodwill by ensuring, on the one ' hand, that no spurious parts have ,been built into his vehicles, and, on the other, that no reconditioning of his vehicles has been accomplished at a level -lower than he himself would consider as being proper and correct.

Repairers Have Enhanced the Reputation of Makers

With this viewpoint nobody can qu. arrel, but the manufacturers, on their part, will also appreciate that during a period when the whole of their efforts have been devoted to a really magnificent contribution to the war effort, the maintenance of the vehicles which they have produced, and consequently of their individual goodwill, has been borne by the repairing side' of the industry. I think that facts will prove that in vehicle maintenance throughout the country during a time of great stress, when spare parts have been in short supply and facilities have been greatly stressed, the repairing side of the industry has undoubtedly achieved the objects of (a) maintaining these vehicles 'and keeping them on the roads for essential work'and (b) in so doing maintaining the individual manufacturer's good name and goodwill.

If this be agreed, and I think it will be rightly considered as being a correct statement, then I cannot conceivethat our manufacturing friends would desire to draw back to themselves, purely from a profit motive, this side of our business, which is undoubtedly the prerogative and burden ofthe repairing side of the industry, but it is quite obvious that a statement from the manufacturing side as to its views and intentions is now very desirable.

From my own knowledge, our manufacturing friends would be happy to be relieved of this burden upon their organizations when they are obviously intent upon a concentration of the whole of their facilities into their manufacturing 'programmes. I feel equally satisfied that, provided they, on their part, can be assured that the wofk concerned can be capably and thoroughly, undertaken by the repairing side of the industry to a standard which will ensure the retention of their goodwill (if not its enhancement), then they would be more than relieved to inform the repairing side of the industry that it was not. their intention, in the future, to burden their own organizations with repair work of this nature.

I would suggest that, in order to clarify the position, this is a matter Which should be placed upon the agenda fol.. discussion between manufacturers and repairers through the medium of the existing S.M.M.T. Joint Committee. Of, course, if general .agreement were to be signified throngh your columns by the Manufacturers to the effect that they were in accord with the suggestions indicated above, then the work of the Joint Committee would be materially Simplified.

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