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KWIK-FIT: All adds up for Kwik-Fit

Date: 15 October 2013

Jack Carfrae gets the lowdown on tyre fitter Kwik-Fit's efforts to take on the franchised dealer network at the corporate service, MoT and repair game/

In our 17 September issue, BusinessCar revealed that Kwik-Fit had begun to up its game in the corporate market by expanding beyond its traditional but basic  fast-fit and MoT services into broader mechanical work with its new Plus centres, with the intention of taking on the franchised dealer network for servicing, repairs and broader MoT jobs.

The company has tooled itself up to tackle what it calls "slow-fit" tasks - that is any mechanical job that doesn't fall under its usual tyre-fitting and simple MoT remits. It has added new equipment, trained up staff and employed "master technicians", who would previously have been spread across multiple sites, at each Plus centre, which are traditional Kwik-Fit sites that have been refurbished. The new look includes posh reception areas with wi-fi, flat-screen televisions, complimentary tea and coffee, and the ability to watch your vehicle being serviced on screen (it's a Vehicle and Operator Services Agency  requirement that the owner or operator can see testing taking place, so the new workshops are decked out with cameras and digital feeds to supplement traditional viewing areas). The new centres will also be open seven days a week and for longer hours than traditional Kwik-Fit sites.

Speaking to BusinessCar, the firm's managing director, Kenji Murai, who took the reigns of the business when it was bought out by Japanese conglomerate Itochu in 2011, explains why he thought the company, and the industry as a whole, needed a serious shake-up.