Tim Lomas, Operations Director at Vasstech, an independent specialist service centre for Volkswagen Group vehicles, discusses how they have joined the Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution by adding two Golf GTEs to their vehicle fleet.
Vasstech, which began in 2009, operates across five locations: Northallerton, Teeside, Darlington, Knaresborough and Durham – the latter the most recently opened site.
The Golf GTEs are available for customers across all sites and provide an opportunity for those unfamiliar, or even sceptical of EVs, to find out what they are all about.
Tim tells us more about these new additions that have sparked interest with their customers.
“We have always sought to keep on top of the trends in the industry and that’s why we have the GTEs. They represent the ‘now’ along with the ‘future’ and we want to be part of that. We also want to be among the first to offer EVs to customers.
The Golf GTEs have been with us for the last few months and we have had a really positive reaction from customers to them. They have become a real talking point and have helped distinguish us from competitors in the area.
For instance, we are the only service centre to offer EVs in this way and one of only two companies in the Northallerton area to install charge points for customers. It’s really helping attract customers to us.
We offer the EVs as courtesy cars to customers to use while their main vehicle is in the workshop. It’s all about breaking down the barriers, giving people the opportunity to discover more about them and enabling customers to ease anxieties they may have built up over the range, reliability and driving experience.
For a service centre they are also a great learning curve for us as a team. By owning EVs, we get to drive them, to service them and ultimately to understand them. They are a testbed for learning about the technology in general and it helps build our knowledge across the team.
We also have plans in place to implement a full training programme with our staff, which is all part of preparing for expansion in the market.
Any such expansion may potentially represent a hit to our business given the reduced servicing requirements for these vehicles, but they do represent the future. We therefore need to prepare for this and ensuring we are the go-to EV experts in our localities is a good way to future-proof our business.
It’s also about being sustainable and knowing you are contributing to the collective good of the environment. If we all do our bit, and driving an EV can be part of that, it all adds up to making a big, collective difference.
We anticipate a tipping point being reached in the next three or four years, and with it a hugely increased demand for this type of vehicle.
The future will be Electric Vehicles, the government regulations, manufacturer programmes and market conditions will ensure that. As a business we need to be ready for that and have our customers ready for it as well.”