SMMT wants standards for body builders

Robin Dickeson, commercial vehicle affairs manager for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said the society’s body builder members think the industry needs to develop some clear, commonsense quality standards, according to CV News Brief.

“Whole Vehicle Type Approval is coming and it will have a dramatic effect on the entire UK body building industry,” he said. “For those firms that are prepared, it should be quite straight-forward and help them do business. But preparation is all, and that is where the idea of industry standards come in.”

Whole Vehicle Type Approval will demand self-certification and will be much easier for firms to handle if they meet known quality standards.

“Essentially, when it builds a body, a firm will need to say what they will do, then do it and prove it,” he said.

The body builder guidelines the SMMT has in mind will help companies do that and get recognition for their efforts. Customers should benefit too, for instance from better residual values on certified bodywork. Dickeson says the SMMT plans to contact non-member body builders to get their views too, before finalising the details. He wants as many firms involved as possible but says the SMMT is committed to a clear, commonsense system.

“Anything complicated will be self defeating – guidelines need to be clear and easy to use if they are to work,” he said.

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