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Pete Marden, Fleet Director, Halfords Autocentre
HOBBY: Classic cars (and fixing them)
DRIVES: Tesla M3P / TVR Tuscan
LIKES: City breaks with the family
FAVOURITE SONG: Californication (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)
FAVOURITE FOOD: Chinese
What's your role at Halfords?
I’m Halfords’ fleet director, with responsibility for our business accounts across both Halfords’ Autocentres as well as the McConechy network.
What was the impact of the pandemic?
When the pandemic hit, Halfords took an active decision to keep our garages and stores open. As an essential retailer, we were responsible for ensuring many key workers could continue their essential journeys with minimal disruption.
How did you respond?
From the start, we ensured that we had colleagues’ buy-in and have consistently placed an emphasis on their safety – and they’ve been working tirelessly throughout. In addition to installing cleansing stations, we’ve provided remote training sessions about sanitising customers’ cars.
A huge proportion of the work we undertake for fleets is on a collection-and-delivery basis and we quickly ordered more pool cars to keep up with increased demand.
Our mobile division – Halfords’ Mobile Expert – has also boomed over the past year as an ever-increasing number of fleet drivers discover how convenient this service is. We’ve already grown the number of vans we operate from 80 to 130 to accommodate this.
What does Halfords do for large fleets when it comes to service, maintenance and repair (SMR) work?
Halfords is a SMR specialist – and not a fast-fit – and we have the size and scale to cater for large fleets. We invest in the right equipment and pride ourselves on the quality service we provide. All our technicians are trained to the highest standards and possess an IMI Level 2 certificates in automotive maintenance as standard.
Do you have any plans to extend your SMR service for fleets in the future?
Halfords currently operates 370 Autocentres nationwide and we’ve every intention of growing further. Similarly, Halfords Mobile Expert currently has 130 vans and we expect this number to increase
drastically too. In short, we want to ensure that every corner of the country can enjoy our full range of services.
Are LCVs a growing market for Halfords?
Halfords has the largest independent LCV-capable network in the UK. It’s a huge growth area for us – 180 of our centres are able to work on LCVs with up to five-tonne capability, meaning that they can handle long wheelbase vans. What’s more, more than 80 of our centres can now carry out Class 7 MOT testing.
How are you preparing for EVs?
Over the course of the next year, Halfords will have an EV-qualified technician in every one of our Autocentres in response to the constantly increasing popularity of these vehicles. Our technicians have traditionally undertaken the IMI Level 2 Award in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Operation and Maintenance and we’re now complementing this with the IMI Level 3 Award in Electric/Hybrid Vehicle System Repair and Replacement.
Basically, this means that they’re at the top of their game in all matters related to EVs and hybrids. We’re also a founding member of the IMI Techsafe working group which ensures technicians meet the strictest set of EV professional standards.
Phone : 01527 868535 ● Email: firstname.lastname@example.org