Fleet News

Fleets warned of hidden aircon costs

FLEET demand for air conditioning in company cars has hidden cost implications, the RAC claimed this week, as it formed a new business partnership to launch a nationwide vehicle technician's training programme to counter a 'black hole' in the automotive service industry.

Mainstream upper medium sector company cars are now being fitted with air conditioning as standard in addition to executive vehicles due to driver demand. As a result industry forecasts expect almost 60% of new cars to be fitted with air conditioning as standard by the 2000 - up from 26.31% in 1990 and an estimated 46% last year.

While the RAC endorses air conditioning from a safety viewpoint it has warned that unless air conditioning systems are serviced correctly by specially trained and qualified technicians, strain on the compressors driving them can increase the load on the engine, causing premature wear and tear leading to reduced vehicle performance and increased fuel consumption.

Because no industry standard yet covers air conditioning unit servicing, RAC Training Services has joined with Autoclimate, the UK's major provider of air conditioning systems, components and service equipment, to launch a national training programme for vehicle technicians aligned to fleets, franchised dealers and independent garages.

Further details from RAC Training Services on 01922 721313 (ext 5523) or Autoclimate on 01743 445566.

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