It’s been a turbulent time for all businesses of late, with automotive industries all affected in their own ways.
“It does affect us differently to the city, there’s a lot of local backing in the country so we’re quite privileged in that way – our clients really supported us throughout the lockdowns,” said Jason Gordon of JVS Bodyworks.
“As the state and whole country has seen, we’ve definitely had our downturns to deal with too.”
Parts supply continues to be a challenge to manage, with jobs needing to be shuffled around according to what can be sourced and when.
“Most of our parts originate from, or are stockpiled in, the currently locked-down capital cities, who themselves are having trouble bringing stock in from overseas, so it really is a knock-on effect,” said Jason.
Given all the current difficulties in running an automotive business, you can’t blame owners for taking their foot off the pedal and focusing on day-to-day trade.
Not at JVS Bodyworks however, who have kept innovating throughout the pandemic and are looking to prepare for the future of vehicle body repair by investing in a new Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) calibration tool.
“We’re ready to try and structure the workshop to compensate for extra load when it takes off, plus room for the correct use of the new system itself,” said Jason.
“Like all business, it’s a gamble but we’re definitely looking forward and structuring for it – we had our eye on the ball pre-COVID because the world of car technology is changing at a rapid rate.
“We’re fortunate in the size of workshop, so have prepared an area that natural light can’t get in and there’s room for the machines, so now it’s just a matter of training.”
Essentially all new vehicles are now being equipped with some form of modern driver-assist technology, such as distance regulation, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and lane-change assist just to name a few.
Businesses like JVS Bodyworks therefore have a duty of care to ensure if windscreens, mirrors or bumpers are being altered, the radars, lidars and cameras in them are recalibrated correctly.
“Once our calibration bay is in, it’s not just apprentices and technicians who need training, we want to educate the industry too,” explained Jason.
“There are so many people putting cars back together and sending them out on the road with a she’ll be right attitude and it’s just a deadly combination – being 2mm out could add 500m to this technology, and if we’re talking about a safety feature of a car and there’s a fatality as a result, that’s when it’s going to get ugly.”
It’s a reminder of the important role our industry plays in keeping the public safe on our roads, which is why the regular updating of equipment to strive for better standards is championed by the MTA.
“If that was your family in a car, you would want it working at 100%, because that’s why people buy these cars – for the safety aspect,” said Jason.