Fleet News

Repair centres close in major AA revamp

THE AA has announced major changes to its business including the closure of its loss-making mobile tyre fitting business used by UK fleets.

It is also closing its 122 car repair centres and selling nearly half of them to the UK’s biggest garage chain, Nationwide Autocentres.

The move gives Nationwide a network of 225 centres with all of them becoming AA-approved service providers for its members.

AA Tyre Fit provided national mobile tyre fitting through a fleet of 130 vehicles and the business has now ceased trading. Bosses are now holding a 90-day consultation with staff and union officials.

The announcements come four months after the AA was sold in a £1.75 billion deal to private equity firm Permira and buy-out specialist CVC Capital Partners, the same company which bought Kwik-Fit from Ford two years previously.

A total of 1,300 staff members will be affected by the changes and Nationwide hopes to take on 400 of them at its 50 new sites. The AA said it will make every effort to redeploy as many staff members as it can within the business.

Announcing the move to close its service centres, AA chief executive Tim Parker said: ‘Currently, with our 122 service centres, we are unable to provide a comprehensive service across the UK.

‘Through this new partnership, more of our members will have closer access to nearly double the number of sites and a service that is audited to AA standards.

‘The AA centres have not been profitable and we believe that the arrangement we are proposing is the best long-term solution for our members and customers.’

The link-up with Nationwide Autocentres was welcomed this week by the Retail Motor Industry Federation.

Ray Holloway, director of the independent garage and fuel division of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) said: ‘Standards of service in the fast-fit motor sector will increase as a result of the new link up between Nationwide Autocentres and the AA.’

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