Tag Archive | "Garages"

HELLA TECH WORLD – THE EASY ACCESS SUPPORT SITE

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HELLA TECH WORLD – THE EASY ACCESS SUPPORT SITE


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF HELLA

The website, is free of charge to users, available round the clock and kept up-to-date, giving workshops a genuine advantage, allowing them to develop a greater level of technical competence, which will contribute to the overall success of their business. HELLA, one of the world’s leading original equipment (OE) component and system suppliers, created the easily accessible portal to provide technicians with complete online support, including the latest range extensions, which are updated monthly, technical product information and HELLA Online Training – in short – to assist workshops to future proof their businesses.

TECH WORLD also links to the company’s online catalogues enabling them to browse all that HELLA, Behr Hella Service and Hella Gutmann Solutions has to offer. In addition, briefing notes are available, which give detailed information on product features and specifications, as well as links to supporting Apps, such as the ELIVER light comparison App and Behr Hella Services Compressor App.

Technicians can also access a range of practical technical training modules for lighting, electric and electronics and thermal management, and take advantage of the detailed technical information, with access to a know-how tool in which HELLA reveals how components work.

With this insight, they are able to more easily identify the cause of a fault and through this technical background knowledge how to rectify it. What’s more, technicians have the option to view technical clips and diagnostic tips to assist with the repairing process. To optimise the whole repair process, HELLA has continued to invest to provide excellent product availability and depth of range to help technicians complete their work to the highest possible standard. HELLA’s commitment to make the workshops day-to-day business life easier, faster and ready to face the future, demonstrates that the company really is the ‘workshop’s friend.’

To experience HELLA TECH WORLD please visit – www.hella.com/techworld. For more information about the OE quality products available from HELLA, please call customer services on: 01295 662400 or email hella.sales@hella.com

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HELLA WORKSHOP CALENDAR COMPETITION 2019

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HELLA WORKSHOP CALENDAR COMPETITION 2019


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF HELLA

HELLA is looking for workshops that have ‘something special’ to feature in the company’s 2019 “Experts At Work” calendar to celebrate the dedication and commitment that technicians make to the industry globally.

HELLA, a world renowned manufacturer of automotive components and lighting solutions, is giving workshops the opportunity to enter the competition to show what makes their business extraordinary. Whether it is a team of excellent employees, working with exceptional cars or perhaps it’s in the most unusual location – HELLA wants to hear from you!

To enter, workshops simply need to send in a few photos that really showcase their premises or what makes it different, along with a short description of why they have got what it takes to be featured in the calendar.
The winners will receive a range of top quality prizes including an exclusive photo shoot by a professional photographer, as well as the international “Experts At Work” award from HELLA, with their pictures used in the calendar, which will be distributed worldwide. Last, but by no means least, the winners will also receive a fantastic package worth almost £500 for their workshops.

The competition is underway, but closes on 6th November 2017, so don’t delay, apply today! https://www.hella-contest.com/en

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DECEMBER DEBUT FOR AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI

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DECEMBER DEBUT FOR AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI

It’s beyond doubt that Asia’s automobile industry has been developing at a rapid pace in recent years. From 2009 to 2016, China alone was the world’s largest car manufacturer and benefitted greatly from having the biggest sales market. As a result, the country rose to become the world’s top producer and exporter of tyres, with production volume climbing to 150 million in 2016. Not only that, but the global tyre demand is still rising too, with the market projected to reach 2.5 billion units by 2022.

Tyres are also one of the key components in the automotive sector, and are indispensable throughout the entire automotive value chain. With tyres and their many associated products playing such an invaluable role in the continued growth of the automotive industry both domestically and globally, visitors to this year’s edition of Automechanika Shanghai can expect to find the most comprehensive range of products, innovations and news to cover the entire spectrum of the tyre sector. The fair will take place from 29 November – 2 December at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre, Shanghai, where over 130,000 visitors will meet with an estimated 6,000 exhibitors.

For the first time this year, Automechanika will welcome the brand new REIFEN Zone – a co-located area dedicated entirely to products for tyres, wheels and rims, as well as for the repair, management, sales and storage of tyres. As the world’s leading fair for the tyre industry, REIFEN has been a consistently important meeting place since its first ever edition back in 1960 in Germany.

The addition of the REIFEN Zone to Automechanika Shanghai not only represents the tightening relationship between the tyre and aftermarket service segments, but also perfectly complements the existing spectrum of products available at the fair. The move will also help create new opportunities to the fair’s participants, exhibitors and visitors. Tyre dealers have the opportunity to offer even more automotive services, and car dealers and workshops looking to expand on their range of tyre partners.

At the zone, global and domestic prestigious tyre makers will showcase their latest products, designs and materials. To name a few, these include the likes of Linglong, one of the top 20 global tyre manufacturers, as well as Fangxing Rubber, who will feature various kinds of truck and bus radial tyres, passenger car radial tyres and off-road tyres at its booth.

Ms Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, says that no stone will be left unturned when it comes to highlighting the tyre sector at this year’s edition of Automechanika Shanghai: “This area of the automotive world is vital to the continued growth of the auto industry in Asia. No matter what technological improvements are made to cars, and regardless of industry trends, there will always be a demand for tyres and their related products. With that in mind, we expect the REIFEN Zone to be a huge success this year, because the industry has been calling out for it.”

Tyre industry’s strong relationship with OE and aftermarket sector reflected throughout show halls

The entirety of Automechanika’s 340,000 sqm show will also be sprinkled with the very latest tyre-related products and services from the entire supply chain. With the increasing demands of tyre services at workshops and service stations, the likes of wheel balancers and aligners, tyre changers, tyre inflators and a range of tyre repair tools can be found in the fair’s Repair & Maintenance sector, while wheels and rims, tyre difficulty relief devices, emergency tyre safety devices and repair kits, tyre lubricants and cleaners, etc. can be found at the Accessories & Customising sector. The likes of tyre pressure monitoring solutions, wheel bearings and hubs, and tyre bolts can be found at the fair’s Parts and Components sector.

For instance, exhibiting company Yingkou Dali Automobile Maintenance Equipment, a Chinese manufacturer of tyre changers, will demonstrate its ‘G-900 Pneumatic Swing Arm Centre Locking System’ with its newest BQC automatic demounting head. Elsewhere, Russia-based Techno Vector will display its 3D four-wheel aligner with its ‘Wide Angle’ technology, which is said to allow for a complete range of working heights of the lift. Tyreplus, Michelin’s Asian car maintenance service branch, will demonstrate a comprehensive range of replacement services using Michelin products during the fair. Meanwhile, Continental Automotive will show its advanced tyre pressure monitoring solutions. The company says that by integrating these functions with the chassis network, the dynamic control of driving is significantly improved. US-based ITW Performance Polymer will demonstrate its ‘Safety Spair’ tyre repair and inflation kit, which enables tyre inflation and repair times of four and seven minutes, respectively.

For more information about the show, please visit www.automechanika-shanghai.com or contact Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, +852 2802 7728 auto@hongkong.messefrankfurt.com

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TESTING TIMES: DVSA REPORT

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TESTING TIMES: DVSA REPORT


The Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published its 2017 annual review, which highlights changes to the MOT testing service and the association’s actions on tackling claims relating to MOT fraud.

According to the report, 511 garages and 483 testers were investigated by the organisation from last year while 45 garages and 111 testers have been stopped testing altogether. A statement from the review said: “With some of these cases there were administrative errors, the more serious cases involved testers who’d issued MOT certificates without actually testing the vehicle. In the most severe cases we took the testers to court, and some received prison sentences”.

In addition, the report outlines 25 new improvements for the MOT testing service with the integration of technical information made readily available for vehicles so testers can carry out the mandatory procedures correctly while being able to identify and remove any defects before retesting.

The agency will continue clamping down on illegal MOT activities within the trade and is in the process of developing an MOT Reminder service for motorists; encouraging them to get their vehicles serviced on time. The statement concluded. “We’re going to look at using new technology to provide streamlined processes for our commercial vehicle testing service. We want to improve our testers’ access to vehicle information at the time of testing, and capture and produce test results digitally. We also aim to improve the service to our customers by simplifying the current payment process, making it easier for them to make payments and view their account in real time”.

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A POINT OF GARAGE DIFFERENCE

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A POINT OF GARAGE DIFFERENCE


Sometimes it’s good to take a bit of time out to think through why a customer should choose you, as opposed to any other garage in the area.

Thinking about your business from your customers’ perspective is an exercise worth taking. After all, we can be so immersed in what we do that we lose track and take things for granted.

Personally, I think I can safely vouch for your typical customer and tell you that most find it very difficult to differentiate between one garage and another. Many independent garages unfortunately do appear the same. They all say they do brakes, clutches, servicing; some offer air conditioning services and other’s MOTs, but there never seems to be a lot of difference between them.

This makes it very difficult for customers to make informed decisions on which garage to use. They have very little to go by. They may have driven past your premises, seen your signage, again reiterating that you do what everyone else does.

Some premises will be big and others small; in these cases, price will probably go through the customer’s mind, big = expensive (but perhaps they have more capabilities); small = cheaper (but can they work on new cars?).

LOYALTY
This could be a reason why some customers don’t stay loyal and change garages from year to year. Or, worse still, you lose out on a major repair because the customer wasn’t aware that you could do it and went elsewhere.

Very often customers are left to read the ‘signals’ that independent garages put out and to decipher for themselves who to use.

But this means for those who do reach out to their customers, who are prepared to communicate and engage with them, there are great opportunities to win them over. Customers do need more information to help them with their decisions. It’s not all about price and where you are.

To the majority, the mechanics of cars are a mystery. Most never lift their bonnet from year-to-year and as technology rapidly advances, people understand less and less. This only increases their difficulty with decisions. Who is really up to the job – can that small garage down the road really handle my particular car?

DIFFERENCE
So how can you make yourself more appealing to customers? You need to differentiate yourself from the crowd. You need to help customers with their decision making so they gravitate to you.

In an industry where this is rarely done (outside of the dealerships), there are opportunities for those prepared to put in the effort. And this is what marketing is about – it’s not necessarily about hard-sell offers and saying how great you are. It’s about helping customers, informing them and going that extra mile. It does take time and effort but it can pay off.

If you take a leaf out of other industries it might help you understand what I mean by ‘differentiation’. Take the airlines; you’ve got Easyjet, Virgin and British Airways, all fly planes and take passengers fromAtoB–butallare distinctly different and spend a lot of money communicating how different they are and evolving services to back this up. Customers know pretty much what to expect.

Then there’s the supermarkets, who do you choose Waitrose or Lidl? Extreme cases I know, but with one you know the products have been chosen with a more discerning approach, plus you can pick up a nice lifestyle magazine with hints, tips and interesting stories. Whereas the other has a more, no frills, pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap approach – both are clearly different.

It has been said that those that are too ‘middle-ground’ or too general are the businesses that are struggling. You’ve only got to look at some big high street names that have gone to the wall. In most cases, it was because they lost their way and,
in the eyes of the customer, weren’t different enough.

So how can you differentiate your garage? As I’ve already said, in most towns there are great opportunities for those who are just bothered to communicate; to actually do something like sending out regular mailings. This is because most don’t do anything.

But the key here is ‘communicating’, after all, it’s no good being good at something, or offering something different if you don’t tell anyone.

For those bookish types out there, I recommend reading any book by Jack Trout the author of ‘Repositioning’ (an updated version of his earlier book ‘Positioning: The battle for your mind’, or ‘Differentiate or Die’. These books will give you greater insight into differentiation techniques.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

  • Becoming the local expert
  • Offering guarantees
  • Providing a unique approach to serving customers
  • Specialising in types of vehicles
  • Providing more customer endorsements
  • Providing additional products and services that others don’t n Doing charitable work
  • A long track record or unique story

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RMI OPENS NEW ACADEMY IN RUNCORN

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RMI OPENS NEW ACADEMY IN RUNCORN


Runcorn academy opens on 3rd July

The Retail Motoring Industry Federation (RMIF) has announced the launch of its MOT training facility in Runcorn, Cheshire.

The new 7,000 sq ft. warehouse follows a similar set-up to the Southam site in Warwickshire, but includes a larger workshop space allowing delegates to carry out MOT Tester training before completing the final test on their work premises. In addition, this is supported by two MOT bays for class four and seven vehicles, a dedicated service ramp and three classrooms catering for industry events and seminar programmes.

Speaking of the launch, Stuart James, Independent Garages Director at the RMI, said. “We decided to open an academy in Runcorn because of the significant number of businesses around the area”. He continued. “Delegates at our latest facility can expect new MOT Tester training for classes four and seven vehicles. We are also doing Level 1 and 2 Motorcycle and a Pre-Mot Testing Level 3 course to support individuals who want to become MOT testers or become eligible to go onto the course”.

The federation will integrate the Independent Garage Association’s training infrastructure, with the inclusion of new courses starting later this year. RMI’s Stuart James provided further insight. “One thing we’re doing in the near future is launching the IGA’s new training regime where we will have a suite of new on-site courses. The newest addition is the ‘Oscilloscope course pilot’, which we have run and will be coming out soon”, adding that the firm’s next course catalogue will be available to the trade next month.

Although there have been discussions of opening an academy in Basingstoke, the team are focusing on getting the Runcorn facility up and running at full capacity before tackling their next project. The site is available to both members and non-members of the RMI.

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THE INTRODUCTION OF THE APPRENTICESHIP LEVY

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THE INTRODUCTION OF THE APPRENTICESHIP LEVY


The long-awaited Apprenticeship Levy for UK employers came into effect from 6 April 2017. While it’s been widely heralded, few seem to fully understand what it is, how it will operate and what effect it will have on businesses.

WHAT IS IT?
When the present government was elected in 2015, it revealed ambitious targets to significantly increase the number of apprenticeships in the UK. The plan was that these apprenticeships would be funded in large part by employers and that in turn, they would be able to access the benefits of the new system.

The government then put forward more detailed proposals for a new levy on large employers, with the aim of supporting three million new apprenticeships for people over the age of 16 by 2020. In essence, the levy will be an obligation on all qualifying UK employers in both the public and private sectors to fund new apprenticeships from May 2017.

Although skills training is a devolved policy issue in the UK, the levy will apply equally to employers in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The government has plans to work with those devolved administrations to understand how they intend the levy to operate in their particular areas, but it appears that they plan to utilise the additional funds as a supplement to existing funding arrangements, rather than operate any centralised digital system comparable to that being set up in England.

HOW WILL IT OPERATE?
The purpose of the levy is to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes and to raise additional funds to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. The levy paid by employers can then be accessed by those same employers to fund apprenticeship training in their business.

In England, control of apprenticeship funding will be put into the hands of employers through the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS), an online service that:

  • allows employers to access funding for apprenticeship training;
  • choose the type of apprenticeships they want to run;
  • choose the number of apprentices they take on;
  • choose the training provider that suits their needs.

The levy will be charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill and will only be paid on annual pay bills in excess of £3 million. In reality, this affects less than 2% of UK employers. The levy will be collected by HMRC through PAYE, alongside income tax and National Insurance Contributions. The pay bill will be calculated with reference to total employee earnings (not additional payments, such as benefits in kind) and will be payable by the employer on a monthly basis. It will be up to employers to notify HMRC each month as to whether they are eligible to pay the levy.

When the money goes into the DAS, it gains a 10% top up from the government. This means that for every £1 that enters a business’ digital account, it gets an additional 10 pence. For example, if a company has a payroll of £3 million, they will pay £15,000 in levy payments throughout the year which will gradually appear in their digital apprenticeship account, and they will also gain an additional £1,500 (or 10%) from the government for the same period. Therefore, the company will have £16,500 in their digital account to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment.

A further aspect of the levy proposals will see each employer receive an annual allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. If the employer has more than one payroll reference, it may apportion the allowance between them. The levy allowance is spread evenly throughout the year, so that the amount offset against each monthly levy liability is one-twelfth of the total allowance for the year to which the employer is entitled. Any unused allowance from one month is carried forward to offset against subsequent months. At the end of the tax year, the employer may reallocate any unused portion of the levy allowance for one payroll against the liability for another. If the levy has been overpaid, the employer must offset the overpayment against its other PAYE liabilities, before making a claim to HMRC for reimbursement of any remaining excess.

If an employer starts or stops trading during a tax year, the pro-rated share of its allowance for the earlier or later months (as appropriate) is added to that of the month of commencement or cessation (so the full annual allowance still applies). If an employer chooses to adjust a previous month’s pay bill, it should account for the change in its next employer payment summary (EPS). If, at the end of the year, it determines that the National Insurance Contributions reported to HMRC are incorrect, it must submit a correcting EPS.

In the case of a group of employers, only one annual allowance of £15,000 will be available and it will be for the employers themselves to determine how this is apportioned between them.

Each apprenticeship framework will have a maximum funding band and the government has set 15 different bands. Employers can then negotiate an appropriate price with their training provider – for many larger businesses which have a training department, they may be able to make the levy go further by offsetting some of their own training input.

HOW WILL IT AFFECT FIRMS?
Companies which qualify to pay the levy will need to consider the impact that it may have on their business, including:

  • any changes that need to be made to the payroll system;
  • dealing with associated payroll administration;
  • seeking advice on financial (re-)modelling; and
  • potentially mitigating the impact of the new costs incurred.

The government has announced that any unused levy funds (i.e. those that have gone beyond the 18-month expiry date) will be used to fund apprenticeship training for small and medium sized businesses, which do not reach the threshold to pay the levy in the first place. It is expected that the levy will raise approximately £2.5bn per year for training in England and that this will cover all employers who take on apprentices, regardless of their size, as there will be many employers who do not use all the money in their digital accounts. This means that non-qualifying businesses will not miss out.

Non-levy paying businesses with over 50 employees, or businesses that have used up their levy pot, will have to make a contribution of 10% towards the cost of apprenticeships. The remaining 90% will be paid for by the government. Smaller businesses will not have to make a contribution for apprentices up to the age of 23. For all employers who take on apprentices between the ages of 16-18, they will receive a £1,000 bonus payment from the government. However, it is also worth noting that the levy can be used to fund apprenticeships for new or existing employees of any age or position, as long as there is a genuine need for training. Employed adults can undertake apprenticeship training – they do not need to be in entry-level job roles and they can continue to be employed on their existing terms and conditions.

In light of these upcoming changes, therefore, it is important that businesses consider their strategy for dealing with the new levy. Although it may focus primarily on lower-level staff, it should also reach up to include leadership and management programmes and in some cases might also include professional pathways.

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REMOVING EXHAUST MANIFOLD BOLTS WITH EASE

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REMOVING EXHAUST MANIFOLD BOLTS WITH EASE


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF INDUCTION INNOVATIONS

Removing exhaust manifold bolts is often a lengthy, difficult and frustrating task. The nuts securing the bolts rust easily and as they are usually placed in inaccessible areas, it’s very hard to remove them. Heating the part with a naked flame in this area is not advised either!

Fortunately, a safe and efficient tool is available to make the job easier. The innovative Mini-Ductor® Venom™ handheld induction heating tool uses invisible heat which heats ferrous metal (containing iron), and some non-ferrous metal parts in seconds. This allows all types of adhesives bonded to metal, bonded with thread lock compound and seized hardware to be removed and released much quicker and more safely than by traditional naked flame heating.

Made in the US by Induction International Inc., the Venom™ is becoming known as a ‘must-have’ tool for professional mechanics.

Why use induction heat to remove an exhaust bolt instead of the naked flame method?
The Mini-Ductor® Venom™ tool has multiple benefits that keeps technicians safer and it helps remove problem parts quickly and easily:

  • Safety – The coil itself doesn’t get hot; instead the energy is created by an electromagnetic field between the two sides of the coil which creates a friction in the molecules of the metal which causes it to get hot. Induction heating is a much safer alternative to an oxy-acetylene powered naked flame, which often cannot be used in sensitive areas, such as exhausts
  • Works fast – typically, the rust and corrosion is broken down in 15-20 seconds.
  • Parts can often be reused and there’s no costly collateral damage to the area surrounding the problem part, which would happen with a naked flame.
  • All of the above leads to increased productivity and profits

6 easy steps to remove tough Exhaust Manifold Bolts

Induction International Inc. has produced a series of step-by-step video guides to demonstrate some key applications for the Venom™

You can watch this video at www.youtube.com/user/theinductoruk and here’s the key steps you need to follow to remove rusted and inaccessible exhaust manifold bolts.

Equipment needed: Heat resistant gloves, overalls, goggles and a respirator mask (if smoke will be produced from heating).

Knowledge required: A well-reviewed proficiency of the tools safety and operating instructions.

Step 1


Select Correct Coil
Bendable coils come in various sizes.

Step 2


Bend Coil to Fit
For easy access to the nut. The coil provides good access to the nut and fit around the part without touching it.

Step 3


Attach Coil Using Twist Lock™

Step 4


Heat the Nut for 15-20 seconds
Be cautious not to overheat or turn red hot.

Step 5


Use a selected tool to unscrew the bleeder nut, such as a spanner
Dispose of excessively heated hardware.

See the Venom in action at Automechanika Birmingham

If you’re attending this year’s show, pop along to the Sykes-Pickavant stand, 17A9, for a live working and controlled demonstration of this highly innovative tool.

To find out more, visit www.theinductor.co.uk call 01953 859138 or email info@theinductor.co.uk

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MOT CHANGE: IS THE TRADE IN AN ECHO CHAMBER?

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MOT CHANGE: IS THE TRADE IN AN ECHO CHAMBER?


Mixed responses for 4-1-1 proposition

A YouGov poll for SMMT indicated that 76 percent of motorists want to keep the interval for vehicles’ first MOT at three years, rather than increasing it to four as proposed by the government.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The MOT is an essential check on the safety and roadworthiness of vehicles. Extending the first test for cars from three to four years is not what consumers or the industry wants given the serious risk posed to road safety and vehicles’ environmental performance. The latest vehicles are equipped with advanced safety systems but it is still critical that wear and tear items such as tyres and brakes are checked regularly and replaced. We urge government to scrap its plans to change a test system that has played a vital role in making the UK’s roads among the safest in the world.”

However, a story in the Telegraph suggests that the motor industry might be living in its own echo chamber. Under the headline ‘Car industry battles changes that could save drivers £100m a year’, the story mentions the SMMT report and counters it with a similar survey conducted by the AA, which asked the same question but phrased differently. In this survey, only 26 percent wished to keep the current regime, with 44 percent keen to change to four years and the remainder ambivalent. Luke Bodset of the AA press office was quoted as saying: “Cars now have the ability to ‘squawk’ and tell drivers if there is a problem with the tyres or battery as well as more fundamental mechanical maladies” he told the paper.

Neither tyre pressure nor states of battery charge are part of the MOT, but his sentiment seemed to chime with a high number of the readers that responded in the the below-the-line comments. “Ridiculous arguments by the motor servicing industry and a change that is long overdue” wrote reader Richard Bassett. Andrew Blowers concurred, writing: “A healthy dose of self-interest from the motor trade then. Modern cars are so well put together and safe that a four years makes perfect sense!”

Not all readers agreed. “South Africa had roadworthy checks only at change of ownership. I don’t recall any checks during 18 years in Botswana” wrote Charles Guerin. “Makes me appreciate the British MOT. At least I have a statistically reasonable chance that the vehicle coming towards me will be able to avoid me”.

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J S AUTOS UP IN FLAMES

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J S AUTOS UP IN FLAMES


Fire at Empress Road, Southampton. © Daily Echo/Solent News & Photo AgencyUK

Family-run garage J S Autos, along with three other car repair businesses, were engulfed in flames after a fire broke out on Thursday morning.

The incident took place on Empress Road, Southampton where 79 fire fighters rushed to the scene to battle the blaze. No casualties were reported while police and ambulance services offered support to local residents and bystanders.

The family business, which has served the area for over 40 years, took the brunt of the fire suffering from smashed windows and broken vehicles when the roof collapsed in on itself.

Speaking to the Southern Daily Echo, Jhalman Rai, owner of JS Autos said. “It’s 40 years of business down the drain. It’s a family business and it happened so fast. I was coming back from a test drive and the business next door, people were working on a car,” he continued. “Smoke started coming from it and then all of a sudden it just went up, flames everywhere and we had to get out.”

Also speaking to the newspaper, Kevin Evenett, Incident Commander added: “There were multiple businesses affected and it appears that they were all interlinked. We had 79 personnel on scene and ten pumps and fortunately everyone was out and okay wn we arrived”.

“It’s definitely a reasonable size incident and that thick black smoke is tyres, grime and oil. Cars were involved in the fire but we don’t know how many, and the roof of the building has collapsed in on itself”.

The fire services  deemed the area ‘safe’ the next day (Friday 21st) at 9:25am.

The cause of the fire is still not known as the Hampshire Fire and Rescue continue their investigation.

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