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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

GiPA President spearheads IAAF Industry Briefing Session

Date: 03-Jul-2019

The second Industry Briefing of the year, hosted by the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), took place at Involution’s new premises in Leeds on Thursday 20 June, which welcomed special guest speaker, GiPA President Eric Devos.

Involution’s Business Development Director Tim Rahill greeted the full room of members, before IAAF Head of Membership Development Mike Smallbone brought them up to speed with a review of the federation’s latest developments including policy and lobbying activity across the UK and Europe, as well as Your Car Your Choice (YCYC), involving the recent pilot project launch in Chesterfield. 

Smallbone reported on the success of the campaign launch, which took place at the Bilstein Group, Markham Vale on 16th May, aimed at raising awareness of the YCYC campaign which emphasises the importance of BER, due for renewal in 2023. Over 100 people attended, approximately 40% of whom were from garages, with Smallbone acknowledging the positive support from suppliers and motor factors in the area.

Guest speaker Eric Devos, President of GiPA Group then took to the stand, who had travelled from Paris specially to address IAAF delegates. He covered what the next 5 years might have in store for the independent aftermarket, highlighting the development of mobility, PHEVs and the VMs’ strategy as key influential factors. He stressed that while independent motor traders had to show the capacity and flexibility to adapt, there were plenty of opportunities for them to seize in order to thrive.

This was followed by Ben Stockton, Managing Director of Our Virtual Academy, discussing a new approach to technical training, with a talk on upskilling vehicle technicians using video technology to reinforce their knowledge and expertise.

Mike Smallbone then summarised proceedings, also updating Leeds attendees on one of the new IAAF benefits exclusively available to members, HR Manager Lite, aimed at assisting employers with legal matters relating to Employment Law, HR, Health & Safety and Data Protection.

The session then finished at 1.00pm with lunch, where delegates had the opportunity to network with fellow members. Afterwards members were given a tour of Involution’s new modern facilities at Park House which showcased the brand agency’s creative hub for its marketing team.

Smallbone said: “We’d like to thank our guest speakers, especially to Eric for specifically making the trip from Paris to address our members. The content and insight being shared at these sessions by some of the industry’s leading expert speakers is giving our members unrivalled insight which is arming them with invaluable knowledge for the future. These Industry Briefing sessions are exclusive and completely free of charge to our members.

“The benefits from joining IAAF are becoming more evident and this is why we are seeing a steady increase in our membership.”

The next Industry Briefing Session will take place on Thursday 31 October at Haynes International Motor Museum, Yeovil. There will be networking and coffee available from 9.00am, with the session promptly starting at 10.00am before finishing at 1.00pm with lunch, followed by a tour of the museum. Venue details are: Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7LH.

Places are limited and therefore IAAF is advising members to book early to avoid disappointment by emailing Ann Silvester at

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