New call to stop shoddy spares

New call to stop shoddy spares

by classic-car-weekly |
Published on

The Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance is spear-heading an initiative to improve the quality of parts being supplied to the classic car industry.

The Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance (HCVA) is forging ahead with its scheme to certify quality parts and flag up below-par items. Its online form allows business owners, mechanics and restorers to report issues with parts, which can then be fed back to suppliers.

This follows calls from HCVA members with many stating that they would be more than happy to pay more for a better quality part and avoid the hassle associated with poor quality items.

'Buying three parts to get one good one'

Jon Crocker – group sales manager for Web Engineering and British Classic Car Parts –revealed the demand for part quality assurances and the value that a charter mark means for the industry: ‘Some at the organisation’s Heritage Matters conferencee workshops say that they are “buying three parts to get one good one” and similar concerns were raised against new-old stock and deteriorated older parts. This is about working with the industry to ensure a better practice for all.

‘Getting quality parts fitted the first time around benefits everyone. Happy customers are returning customers. Equally, returning faulty parts costs money and it costs even more to shops and restorers when they have to re-fit parts at their own cost.’

The HCVA’s online form offers plenty of scope for detail and asks contributors to include images of parts, drawings, and as much information as possible when submitting details so that it can provide practical feedback further up the chain. It is also looking to produce a seal of quality on known parts and said that a charter mark could instil confidence in customers and vehicle owners.

When Jaguar specialist William Heynes asked if a scheme similar to ‘Red Tractor’ food labelling could see the HCVA support repair shops when fitted parts go wrong and customers come back the HCVA’s executive director, Guy Lachlan said: ‘We will take that idea on board but the problem is that under UK consumer law, the liability is on you as the end person in the chain to rectify issues.

‘We appreciate that this clearly puts a massive load – and an unknown and uncontrollable one at that – on your business so we’re hoping to alleviate some of that uncontrollable risk by certifying good parts and equally flagging bad ones’.

CCW VIEW: ‘Time is money when it comes to poor parts'

Jesse Billington: ‘I find myself constantly deliberating over parts quality when shopping for spares. Like many of the members of the HCVA who were polled on this scheme, I’m happier to pay more in the assumption that I’m getting a quality item instead of scrimping and just having to re-do the job down the line. While it’s not such a problem for me in my garage on my own time hours spent on a repair or replacement can add up for businesses where time is money in an all too literal sense. Seeing the HCVA taking steps towards shoring up this aspect of the industry is absolutely fantastic and a brilliant example of the work that they do with their ear to the ground, listening to what the people who keep our cars on the road need.’

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