The following statement on continued trading has been issued by the Parts Alliance:
The coronavirus situation presents people and businesses across the world with unprecedented challenges every day and a need to make decisions in both personal and professional lives that would have seemed unfathomable just a matter of weeks ago.
The Parts Alliance’s priority is delivering both on their social responsibilities of helping to prevent the spread of this virus and in performing their role as a vital service keeping the vehicles moving that in turn provide essential workers, emergency services and critical supply chains with the transport they need.
The fast-moving developments of recent days saw the Government confirm that garages can remain open1. The group’s branch network therefore will continue to offer trade deliveries.
DVSA has provided clarification that MOT testing can be completed ‘behind closed doors’ and without issuing paper documents1 to customers where an MOT is due before 30th March before yesterday (25th March) confirming that MOTs due after 30th March would be automatically extended by six months2 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Motorists still have a responsibility to ‘keep their vehicle in a roadworthy condition’ and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has recognised garages provide ‘vital services’, adding they can ‘remain open for essential repair work’.
“We feel it’s our social responsibility to continue supporting garages across the UK at this crucial time, operating in a way that keeps our people and our customers as safe as possible,” said Neil Croxson, Chief Executive Officer of The Parts Alliance. “Our motor factor branches provide the vital link between suppliers and garages that need quality products to keep cars moving safely.
“The decision on whether garages remain open will be taken by them individually with mind to the risks involved and the needs of their communities, but the fact is many people are reliant on cars, either as key workers travelling to jobs, or to buy food and medicines.”
The Parts Alliance also supplies national accounts operating breakdown recovery, emergency service and transport delivery vehicles.
Garages are advised that service levels may be reduced to improve the safety of staff and the group has implemented a wide range of safety measures, including increased cleaning of vehicles and premises with latex gloves used on delivery routes.
Online orders can still be delivered to home addresses. The popular ‘Click and Collect’ service has been suspended to reduce branch contact, but will be reinstated shortly for essential trade and key workers only.
“There’s clearly a difficult balance to strike,” said Neil Croxson. “Safety of staff and compliance with government guidance are our top priorities, but we will maintain parts supply where possible.”
The Parts Alliance emphasises that despite speculation, there are no significant shortages of products emerging within the supply chain currently.
The Parts Alliance has further information available at www.thepartsalliance.com/covid-19 and this page will be reviewed and updated as required.