My Electric Car Blog

Day one 

I’ve been waiting with anticipation for the delivery of 4 Nissan Leaf electric cars to AW Repair Group. I fall perfectly into the category of driving under 60 miles and day and having off street parking and I do like to ‘do my bit’ for the environment.

Having said that I normally drive a bright yellow Audi S1 Sport Quattro so like most people I have been feeling a bit daunted by the thought of driving an electric car. But I manage to keep my iPhone from dying every day, even with Pokemon hunters using it, so keeping a car charged can’t be that difficult!

I received the car with 73 miles of charge and need to drive from Sleaford to Lincoln. It was great fun trying to keep the energy monitor on the equilibrium…too many white dots illuminated meant I was using up the energy faster while the green dots meant the energy the car was producing from braking and ‘free wheeling’ down hills was re-harvesting itself back into the charge. By 10 miles down the road the charge availability had only dropped to 68. Brilliant! I do love a challenge.

While I had enough charge to get home safely while in Lincoln I decided to check out one of the public charge points in Lucy Tower Street car park, near to the Odeon cinema on Brayford Wharf. The Leaf is considerably bigger than my S1, in fact its a lot of car. Its very spacious, particularly in the back and boot, but parking in a multi storey needed a little more confidence. Eventually after passing up a few parking spaces buried between concrete columns I found myself on the top and 10th floor of the car park. But that was a coup as there I spotted the two charge points. They had a couple of cones around them and I’m not sure if that meant out of order or just to stop other non EV users parking there. I parked a little further up and went to investigate. The charger was operated by Chargemaster and needed some kind of card to operate it so I snapped the info on my cameraphone to investigate later.

Back in Sleaford my colleague was charging up the Leaf she had been trying for the weekend. She moved on and I put mine on charge, asking her to park it back round the compound just before closing time, ready for my next trip from Sleaford to Bourne tomorrow.

Fuel Free Driving!

Electric vehicles have been added to our car fleet allowing inquisitive customers the opportunity to go green.

The 5 door Nissan Leaf vehicles are being offered to customers who drive under 70 miles a day and have off road parking facilities at home.

Jade Johnson, Business Development at AW, said: “The short time customers’ vehicles are being repaired is a great opportunity to try an electric vehicle without commitment. People worry about the practicalities but with the need for a courtesy car different to their own vehicle anyway, they are already half way there so trying an EV doesn’t seem so daunting.”

We have teamed up with Marshall Nissan of Grantham for the project who have facilitated the installation of charge points at two AW sites offering a 20 mile boost to customers & public alike.

The vehicles are fully charged using the special charge cable in a normal domestic socket overnight at the customers’ home off road parking.

Continued Jade: “We have recently upgraded all our lighting to LED and have power saving booths so this is another opportunity to lower our carbon footprint as a business while also providing a service to EV community and help change the perception of electric vehicles. Not to mention fuel free driving at a time when customers may have the unexpected cost of paying a policy excess.”

Marshall Nissan Local Business manager Edward Manu added: “We’re delighted to be working with AW Repair Group on this project and their passion to offer EV opportunities to a wider audience is fantastic. This little taster of using an electric vehicle will undoubtedly change some pre-conceptions and benefit AW, Customer, the EV community and of course the environment.”

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AW Repair Group add manufacturer approvals

AW Repair Group have gained two new manufacturer approvals.

Lexus and Toyota are the latest addition to our impressive portfolio.

Our prestige HQ in Sleaford, Lincolnshire already holds multiple manufacturer approvals including VWG and JLR with structural aluminium capability.

Nominated by Listers’ Lincolnshire, we met the approval criteria with ease thanks to the familiarity with regular unannounced regular audits from VWG and BSI. Toyota and Lexus are also both audited by BSI to ensure exceeding standards are met.

 

A bright cheerful welcome & workspace

AW Repair Group is once again demonstrating its commitment to progression and reinvestment in people and technology.IMG_0466
The reception areas at two branches have been redesigned into modern open plan working areas including branded glass screens to separate departments, welcoming drop-fronted customer liaison reception units with décor and furnishings in the company’s striking corporate blue and orange.

The Newark (Notts) and Denaby Main (South Yorkshire) branches now match the welcoming customer experience extended at Sleaford (Lincs) and Markham Vale (Derbs) including refreshments and free wifi.

As well as front of house investment both branches have had new LED lighting installed throughout the offices and workshops and a new Junair Series 3 Spraybooth at each site.

Managing Director Andrew Walsh commented: “Our corporate branding is very important to us and I’m so pleased with the modern open plan work areas that have now been created. To have a welcoming entrance is of course important but equally a bright and cheerful working environment for the customer liaison team radiates through to the customer experience.
“The LED lighting through the workshop areas has also been very welcomed by the technical team along with the two new Junair booths. We installed the Series 3 at our new Chesterfield branch which opened in March 2015 and it hasn’t disappointed. It is an excellent product, particularly their LED and energy saving packs so I had no hesitation in placing an order for a further two.”

REFURBS RECEPTIONS

AW Repair Group moved their Lincolnshire Prestige HQ into a purpose built bodyshop in 2012 and in March 2015 opened the fourth site at the popular Markham Vale Enterprise Park, Junction 29A of the M1 where both branches carry the company’s bright corporate branding throughout.

Staff serve 142 years with AW (and that’s not a typo!)

LOYAL employees at AW Repair Group have been congratulated for clocking up more than 142 years’ service!

Team members, who have been with the company for more than 10 years,were recently invited to the company’s first long service ceremony and presented with a specially commissioned long service badge, certificate and AW’s own bottle of fizz.Long Service Awards

Proud Managing Director Andrew Walsh said: “We don’t live in a world anymore where people have a job for life so for 11 employees to reach a cumulative total of 142 years is remarkable.”

The longest serving employee Niel Harmston started working for AW in April 2001, closely followed by Steve Hoe who started in May 2001. Niel started out as a parts advisor at the Sleaford site and is now a senior ATA Vehicle Damage Assessor, whereas Steve started life at AW as a “very well groomed” painter, progressing through to workshop controller and is now the General Manager of the Prestige HQ in Sleaford.

Two members of the Yorkshire branch team joined as friends from school and are now Assistant Manager and Group Compliance Manager.

Added Andrew, who gave a poignant speech about each individual before presenting their award: “We will always promote company progression before advertising outside the business and we are very proud of our loyal team and staff retention. We will now make this an annual event to reward our dedicated team.”

Grab a coffee and click here to view ceremony highlights on our YouTube channel

Steve + AndrewNiel and AndrewKim and AndrewCraig + AndrewLorren and AndrewSimon + AndrewGemma and Andrew

AW Long Servers Edit

 

 

Markham Vale turn 1!

USEYes, already a year has passed since AW Repair Group’s Derbyshire branch opened at Markham Vale, near Chesterfield.

And we couldn’t let the first anniversary pass without a celebratory cake!

March 2015 saw the company expand its geographical area with site number four in prime location alongside Junction 29A of the M1, sitting perfectly in between branches in Newark and near Rotherham.

Already surpassing targets and is near capacity within this first year.

The 15,000 square feet facility is British Standard BS10125 licenced and boasts two 8 metre drive through Junair spraybooths, incorporating LED lighting and QUAD drying technology,  and PPG refinishing systems.

website outside image

 

The bright corporate-coloured open plan reception offers free wi-fi and refreshments for customers on-the-go and is driven by a wealth of knowledge and experience with the AW Repair Group customer experience at the forefront of all we do.

Along with the prestige site and company HQ in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, AW Repair Group offers a comprehensive accident repair solution across South Yorkshire, North East Derbyshire and the East Midlands.

AW launch new website

AS part of AW Repair Group’s on-going brand awareness the business is pleased to launch its newly designed website.

The site aims to send out a strong message to promote the company’s slogan – Keeping you moving – and illustrate their commitment to a customer centric approach delivered by the positive and friendly front line teams.

IMG_3654The modern and mobile friendly website launch coincides with strengthening the AW branding across its four sites. This includes a redesign of the reception areas with the striking corporate blue and orange seating, branded glass screens and welcoming drop-fronted customer liaison reception units.
Jade Johnson, Business Development, Marketing & Communications at AW said: “We had a lot of information on our website, perhaps too much, and monitoring our web tracking statistics helped us to decide which areas the customers need most frequently and quickly.

“It is now divided into four main sections – About us, Customer Services, Locations and Partners – which is streamlined, user friendly and information can be located easily.

“About us provides an insight into the background of AW. We have chosen to promote our services under the general banner Customer Services where our ‘Quick Quote’ feature can be found. The Locations page helps users locate their nearest AW site and our Partners section promotes the manufacturer and insurance approvals across our group.”123

The website redesign, which follows on from the launch of the AW Crash App in 2015, has all the functions of a fully integrated mobile device platform.

A streamlining of digital communication processes during autumn has also increased customer interaction.

“Our customer post-repair email encourages customers to give feedback and we now receive the majority of our CSI scores from this email link, the App and the website, compared to the previous freepost cards,” added Jade.

AW Repair Group pass Volkswagen Audit with flying colours!

AW Repair Group is pleased to announce they are still among the elite 33 bodyshops across the country to hold Volkswagen full structural aluminium approval.

And today, the group’s prestige repair centre in Sleaford, Lincolnshire has passed their full Volkswagen audit with no minors. The audit took just over 3 hours, and was the quickest audit ever undertaken at the site with everything in its rightful place.

The Lincolnshire site has 2 apprentices on the Volkswagen paint and body programme who are enjoying their ‘on-the-job’ training experiences. Kane is on the first year of his apprenticeship and James is on his second year, both are progressing well and the company is looking forward to watching the young technicians develop their skills over the next few years under the guidance of two senior Volkswagen members of staff, who have both been with the company many years.

Congratulations to all the team in Lincolnshire for their hard work and effort put into the Volkswagen programme.

VW Audit image

(Pictured above: L-R. Branch general manager, Steve Hoe. Karl Summers, Paint and body performance manager. Michael Leaning, Volkswagen group standards assessor.)

AW have opened site 4!

AW Repair Group is proud to have opened the doors at branch number four this morning (Monday 2nd March)

AW Accident Repair Centres (Derbyshire) is a 15,000sq feet bodyshop located on the Markham Vale Enterprise Park, just off Junction 29A of the M1.

Managing Director Andrew Walsh commented: “I am extremely pleased to announce the opening of our latest site. We took possession of the building in December with equipping and installation a very smooth process.

“The site neatly links together our existing branches while expanding our geographical coverage to the Chesterfield area.”

The branch will operate under the watchful eye of Ian Pearson, existing manager of the group’s Yorkshire branch where his assistant Chris Keast will be taking on a more active role.

At Markham Vale, Ian is ably supported by a wealth of knowledge from former paint demonstrator Simon Pratt and customer liaison advisor Amy Baines who has been working at the Yorkshire branch for the past six months.

The £450,000 project includes two drive through Junair booths, three bay Blackhawk Korek pulling system with Shark measuring equipment and Car-O-Liner jig and purposely designed open plan offices in the company’s corporate blue and orange.

“We are very pleased to offer this extended coverage for our existing work partners who are seeking quality bodyshop space and customer service here in the Chesterfield area,” added Andrew. “Along with renewing relationships with some of our former insurance partners.”

Derbyshire Staff

Pictured (L-R) Andrew Walsh, MD. Ian Pearson, Group General Manager. Amy, Simon and Chris.

To contact AW Accident Repair Centres (Derbyshire) please telephone 0844 8486650, email derbs@awrepairgroup.co.uk.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE Re: Accident Compensation Nuisance Calls

[Update at 25th February 2015]

Scam Telephone Calls – Faulty Repairs

Several sources have identified a scam currently being conducted on bodyshops across the country in relation to rectification works.

As reported by RMI NAB and the VBRA, bodyshops are receiving telephone calls where the caller poses as a customer, their agent or an insurer. Their call concerns repairs which have been completed at the bodyshop.

Read more