Sales of diesel cars were down 6.4% over the first four months of 2017 compared to 2016. However this is just a reversal of the trend in recent years which saw diesel-powered cars make up to 50% of car sales. Iain Procter, a Diesel Product Specialist with Bosch, offers some insight into what is still an important area for garages when it comes to service and repair.
When it comes to diesel what technological changes has the aftermarket seen and can we expect to see in the future?
There has been an increase in diesel vehicles fitted with common rail systems as opposed to the older conventional type systems. This balance shift to common rail will continue and accelerate over the coming years as the older systems phase out. As a result, and looking into the future, garages could miss out on up to 50% of the market if they’re not prepared to tackle diesel repair work.
Are there any additional challenges for technicians facing diesel engined vehicles?
Working on diesel systems can seem daunting, but with the proper training and the correct tools it can be understood and embraced. Bosch offers a full range of replacement parts, diagnostic tooling (both electronic & mechanical) and training courses for the diesel arena, available all of the time. The advance of diesel technology means a garage could find itself left behind in terms of skills and training. You can no longer repair a diesel system by merely substituting components; electronic and mechanical diagnosis is by far the safer route. Most modern diesel vehicles rely heavily on sensors, which in turn work on data from other sensors and relay information back to an ECU, so it’s easy to draw the wrong conclusion. Being able to quickly and accurately find the underlying issue is essential in delivering cost effective repairs that keep customers happy.
Has there been any trends or changes in the remanufacturing sector for diesel parts, and is there any special tooling or procedures garages should undertake before tackling diesel work?
Garages want to fit quality products from trusted brands, however, sometimes the price difference between an OE genuine unit and a cheaper non-genuine unit is often a deterrent. Our task is to be one of those trusted brands and educate the market as to why quality products may be more expensive but provide added value for them and the customer.
The Bosch eXchange range of factory-remanufactured diesel products provide the independent aftermarket with a route to keep costs under control and customers happy. Bosch has the ability to factory-remanufacture genuine OE units to reduce the overall cost of new parts used in production. This means that they’re identical in quality to a brand new product, but at a fraction of the cost.
This is also much kinder to the environment. As part of the eXchange programme, 100 per cent of all worn parts are replaced, a figure consistent across all injectors and pumps in the Bosch BX range. All of the finished products are tested to exactly the same specification, on exactly the same machines, and are even assembled on the same production lines as brand new products. As a result, when you fit a Bosch eXchange part, you’re potentially fitting a brand new product with a recycled body.
Is there any advice or additional profit opportunities for garages to take advantage of in these sectors?
Diesel systems may remain an enigma for many technicians but, with the right training and the right mind-set, garages can open up this missed income stream and potentially double their customer base.