The latest addition to AW Repair Group is preparing to open its doors early January

The fifth site is located at Beeston, Nottingham, three miles from the city centre and just 20 minutes from Derby city centre. With easy access to J25 of the M1, the branch strategically spreads the group’s coverage further to the west.

Following AW Repair Group’s business model, the new site has been purposely designed in 12,500 sq ft premises formerly occupied by Siemens Communications.

Brand new offices have been added in the company’s open plan style, with corporate blue and orange scheme and familiar brands headline the equipment.

Junair products have again been chosen including a 10m double booth with end loading skate and rail system for even faster throughput, Blackhawk pulling equipment and Minden Dust Extraction.

Founder and Managing Director Andrew Walsh commented: “While we are not adverse to acquisitions, our business model and organic growth has been successful in establishing new sites where the AW ethos takes flight immediately.

“Many of the personnel are already working within the business at other sites learning our processes and procedures in readiness for the January opening of AW Nottingham Central.”

Continued Andrew: “We have followed demand and the support of existing work partners who are seeking quality bodyshop space in this area which neatly overlaps the radius covered by our Newark and Markham Vale branches. Markham Vale, which opened only 20 months ago, is just 40 minutes further north along the M1 and Newark just 40 minutes to the south.”

General Manager of the group’s Newark site, James Dunn, will be taking the reigns at Beeston whilst continuing to oversee his current assistant Dan Gwyther who will manage the day to day operations at Newark.

Commented James: “I have seen first hand how AW Repair Group develops a culture where individuals are encouraged to move through the ranks and I know Dan is eager to take on his new challenge too.”

Continuing the trend of operating names incorporating site coverage rather than town name AW Beeston will trade as AW Accident Repair Centres (Notts Central) alongside Markham Vale (Derbs) Newark (South Notts), Denaby (South Yorkshire) and Sleaford as AW Accident Repair Centres (Lincolnshire).

 

AW Repair Group extend brand

Manufacturer’s choose AW Repair Group to extend brand

TWO new vehicle manufacturer approvals have been appointed to AW Repair Group.

Honda and Hyundai are the latest brands to join the group’s expanding manufacturer approvals portfolio, which now lists more than 10 top names including Volkswagen Group, Jaguar LandRover, Lexus and includes structural aluminium.

AW Repair Group was approached by both Boston Honda and Lincoln Hyundai who cited confidence in quality workmanship and customer service as the reason behind their new choice of approved repairer.

Both brands assessment criteria also requires BSI 10125 accreditation which is already held by AW branches.

Managing Director Andrew Walsh commented: “It is always a pleasure to be approached by dealerships seeking a quality approved bodyshop to be an extension of their own brand.
We are very conscious that not only do we represent AW Repair Group but also all those who place their trust in us to deliver a service on behalf of the brand chosen by our mutual customer.

“It is our ethos to establish at the outset what elements of the repair journey are most important to each individual and deliver a tailored response to exceed expectations. That could be from choosing their own book in date to 24 hour communication through our mobile app.”

AW Lincolnshire based in Sleaford and AW South Nottinghamshire based in Newark will be appointed the two new manufacturer approval programmes.

Final Day of the Electric Car – Day 7

Day 7

So now the children are fighting over who can go out in the Leaf next and debating if actually they could drive the car themselves! They love it. Despite the debacle yesterday, which I reiterate was all caused by my own stupidity in not switching on the wall socket, I’m still very positive about the EV. Infact the writing could be on the wall for Flash (my yellow Audi S1 Quattro). I would urge you to give an electric vehicle a try. What’s the worst that could happen (errrm, see day 6). Regular day to day driving is simply easy and practically free. A longer trip needs a little more planning but hey, once upon a time, we used to look up the route using maps before setting off!

The Nissan Leaf.. It really is plug and play! I can’t think my 9 year olds will be driving anything other than an electric vehicle in 8 years time. As one son nonchalantly put it: “At least there won’t be any wars over who owns the oil to make petrol anymore.” What more can I say. EVs rock!

Electric Car – Day 6 (Day sent to test me!)

Day 6 

Oh my goodness. Today must have posed every possible problem. Just a quick trip to Grantham on an overnight charge I thought, no problem, only to find I had plugged in the car in the garage and failed to turn it on at the switch – what an idiot! So 23 miles of charge for a 30 mile round trip. I programmed the destination on the Sat Nav which told me there was rapid charge point at the A1 Moto. No problem! Let’s give it a try I thought. So with 8 miles remaining I pulled up at the 4 plug charge point – these ones managed by Ecotricity. It was throwing it down with rain – but I braved the weather to read the instructions (well I didn’t have much choice if I wanted to get home again!) I needed to download the Ecotricity App. Fine. And unlike Chargemaster there was no minimum top up but a 30 minute rapid charge would debit my credit card with £6 and give a 75% charge. Still cheaper than fuel and with my own overnight stupidity it had to be done.

There were two different charge leads attached the machines, neither of which appeared to fit the socket on the car. Wishing I had checked that out first! After getting drenched I noticed that there is actually another charge socket next to the one I had been using at home on the car disguised with a black plastic cover. So I popped it off and with relief the charging lead socket fitted fine. The machine lit up and started a 4-step checking routine on its screen. After step one a message appeared “initiation failed”. Oh dear. I jumped back sopping wet  into the car and rang the Ecotricity helpline.

They were fantastic. They knew from the charger ID where I was and connected to the machine to find out what was wrong. I was on hold for a few minutes and then told I’d not plugged it in properly and to try again. With a phone battery now waning I asked them to call me back in a few minutes when I’d had another try in the rain.

Another member of the EV community was charging his Renault next to me and kindly came to my rescue with an umbrella. “Don’t worry,” he said. “I’ve had this before and the Ecotricity people are very helpful.” I explained they had been very helpful but I’d not plugged it in correctly. So he had a try for me and, oh dear, my knight in shining armour seemingly broke the charge handle which now wouldn’t release. I jumped back in the car and my phone rang. Ecotricity had called me back. I explained the problem. “Don’t worry, we’ll do whatever we can to get you charged up and if absolutely necessary the AA will collect any stranded EV user for free and take you to the next nearest operational point.” Wow, that is good service. I had 8 miles on the  clock and knew Marshall Nissan, with whom AW has partnered in this power adventure, was nearby with a chargepoint.

But then my Knight wound down his neighbouring window. “I’ve finished my charge now, let’s swop places and I can help you.” The man in his late 50s has had his electric Renault for about 3 months and had an amazingly large umbrella! We swopped places, started the whole routine again and bingo! Success. If this had happened first time I would have been on the same cloud as yesterday. The machine whirred up, the blue charge lights came on and we were in business. I went into the Moto for a coffee and dry off and by the time I was back in the car there were only 5 minutes left to charge. Note all power has to be off while charging so no listening to the radio or charging up your phone while waiting. The charge closed off, my app pinged to let me know to unplug. Back into the rain and, oh no, I can’t unplug the socket. This really was becoming the worst day ever but I was determined to push to my limits if only to be able to demonstrate the worst case scenario in this blog for you lovely readers! With some jiggling and wiggling of the handle (similar to a petrol pump handle) I realised the tip of the handle had slipped inside a rubber sleeve (yes Ecotricity had mentioned that earlier on the phone, I recalled). Pulling back the sleeve released the handle and the socket came unplugged.

Very wet again I got into the car, albeit somewhat satisfied I had survived and now had 63 miles of charge.

I opened up my phone notepad and typed in the following

Essential EV kit list:
Large golfing umbrella
Mobile phone charger
Both leads
Raincoat
Pen & paper

I then went into town and bought a very large umbrella!

So ok, not a great experience today, but my own fault for not checking the charger was switched on in the garage last night. I hope you had a chuckle reading this and it spares you from going through the same. Nissan have also confirmed that it is correct that the AA will collect any stranded EV driver free of charge.

Electric Car – Day 5

Day 5 

The children absolutely love the car. They are naturally environmentally friendly and think mum driving an electric car is really cool (yes cooler than the yellow Audi Quattro!) The dash is clear and spacious, there’s digital radio, reverse parking sensors, SatNav which will also tell you if you have enough charge to reach your destination and, if not, where public chargers are available en route. The boot is huge, the back seats and passenger seats are extremely spacious and its just so quiet. It’s a real thumbs up from us.

Just a word about the technicalities of driving the Nissan Leaf. It’s an automatic car, so no changing gear. Infact it doesn’t appear to change gear at all as the vehicle speeds up or slows down. I don’t know about the engineering of the vehicle, whether it actually does or not, but doesn’t appear to!

Its keyless technology so just pressing a button on the dash gets the car started. The ‘gearstick’ is simply park, drive or reverse and the handbrake is actually a footbrake. It takes a little while to get used to the position of the footbrake as its quite high but only used when parking up so not required  in a quick reaction context.

Electric Car – Day 4

Day 4

The vehicle had 92 miles after an overnight charge. Knowing I only had a 50 mile round trip today I decided to push the vehicle and drive without trying to maintain energy equilibrium. I pushed the vehicle up to 70mph (previously I’d stuck to around 52-55mph) and noticed that the energy use white dots were reaching up to 5 and six. However on slowing down and breaking the green reharvesting dots were reaching the maximum of 4 – so driving faster and braking harder equalled out and I got back to my charge point with exactly 42 miles left.

So it was exactly mile for mile. I had not been able to save any energy but I hadn’t lost any by driving a little more intensive either. Great news for when I’m next up against the clock! I’m also now confident of taking the vehicle on the motorway and I’m starting to think that there is not much need to change the style of driving or worry too much on a daily routine.

Just when a journey extension or a trip out of the ordinary is needed there is a little more preparation to make sure you either have enough charge or a place en route to charge up. I left the overnight charger in the garage this morning but on second thoughts I think I would always put it back into the carry pack in the boot (or buy a spare) just incase I ever get caught short in the middle of rural Lincolnshire and need to knock on the door of a lonely farmhouse, hoping the farmer takes pity on me and allows a quick domestic re-charge. Unlikely to ever happen but then I was in the Girl Guides so its in my nature to ‘Be Prepared’ !!

Electric Car – Day 3…

Day 3

The car had 93 miles available following a full overnight charge. I took a bit of a diversion driving out on some country roads clocking up about 30 extra miles comfortably knowing I had the availability. About 10 miles from home a ‘battery charge low’ warning indicated at 16 miles left so that still gives pretty good range.

One annoying trait which can be fixed with a change of habit is that once the vehicle is turned off the windows cannot be put up. So a couple of occasions I had to restart the car after parking to put up the windows. But by park up number three I had got into the through process of windows up then switch off.

Once again the children have found another awesome function while playing ‘what does this button do!’ As the vehicle re-harvests energy through braking there is a further ‘EcoMode’ button which applies small amount of brake pressure throughout the entire journey and enhances the re-harvesting. Great for saving more energy.

I was asking for directions from a pedestrian today, a chap of about 60. He said ‘”Oooh, is this an electric car?” “Yes, its my third day, and I love it” was my reply. “Wow, it’s the first one I’ve seen. It doesn’t make any noise!” he said admiringly. I also heard a teenager in his school uniform shout ‘Hey look, an electric car!” I felt quite proud!