AA Silencers Ltd is a family run business based in Cheadle and has been a specialist M.O.T service and repair centre since 2002. As an expanding operation with plans to supercharge its future through the electric vehicle market, we caught up with owner Simon Grocott about why AA Silencers has got plenty to shout about.
Q: How did the business begin and in what ways has it evolved?
A: We acquired the business 17 years ago and since then we have built it up into a specialist MOT and repair centre. We offer the full range of MOT and repair services and tyres as well.
Q: Tell us more about being a specialist centre?
A: We still offer the regular day-to-day vehicle services but are investing in the business to enable us to become more specialised in the future. We want to focus on key brands including of course, Volkswagen Group. It’s very much in response to the increase in electric and hybrid vehicles we see taking place. Setting the business up to deal with the demand for electric and hybrid cars requires major changes in how we are structured, including investment in new kit and staff training. By concentrating on specific brands, it will enable us to manage that change more efficiently.
Q; Have you invested in the business recently?
A: In the last few years we have invested around £50,000 in new machinery. The new 4-wheel alignment system we have is as good as it gets. We also have a new DPS filter machine that allows us to work on and off the car. It means we can offer services that others can’t and as a result, we get a lot of referrals - both trade and retail - into the business.
Q: Any other intriguing facts about the business?
A: Another big investment recently has been in digital. We have our own YouTube channel, where we post videos giving technical advice and tips. It’s proving very popular, so much so we had a customer recently bring in their Mazda DX5 on the back of watching one of our videos. We also had LED screens installed and they have been a huge success in making customers aware of the diverse range of services we offer.
Q: AA Silencers certainly don’t stand still. Is there anything else?
A: We sponsor a number of local sports teams, a local boxer and a local para-athlete, Shaun Burrows, who is looking to qualify for the next GB Paralympics team. There are also the tyre safety events, at which we conduct free tyre safety checks on-site for companies that include Alton Towers, JCB and Tesco. It’s all about getting across the tyre safety message and the events are well received by everyone involved.
Q: Describe your relationship with TPS. How do they help you as a business?
A: TPS is one of our key suppliers. What we get with them is peace of mind. We know that with their scheduled deliveries we will always get the parts we need on time and ready to fit first time. We also stock almost their entire range of Quantum engine oils, which allows us to service around 95 per cent of the UK vehicle parc. We have a really good relationship with our local Stoke centre and we can’t speak highly enough of them.
Q: What’s the future vision for AA Silencers?
A: We just want to keep on moving forward all the time, always looking to evolve the business where possible. Becoming a more specialised business is the key priority in the next couple of years. This will include having all staff Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) approved to work on EV and hybrids.
Q: What’s your favourite Volkswagen Group vehicle?
A: Well, given the switch to electric vehicles, it’s got to be the Golf GTE. It combines all the classic Volkswagen Group styling with the technology of the future.