Vizion ignites industry interest

Some 800 delegates attended Vizion Network’s Ignite event at Donington Park which hosted 73 exhibitors and a host of expert speakers covering subjects from cybercrime to self-driving cars.

Vizion’s third annual event, hosted by bodyshop magazine editor Mark Hadaway, saw Vizion Network Ltd, managing director Chris McKie inform attendees, ‘It’s fantastic to get this support from the network and our partners. From a growth perspective it’s been another fantastic year for Vizion. Growth has always been a part of what we do because it’s difficult to drive positive changes without the magnitude of businesses and customers.’

Chris, predicted the network would carry out 265,000 repairs next year, up 18% on this year, and added that a further 64 repairers were also lined up to increase its coverage.

Chris also pointed out that technology was dictating more and more specialism within bodyshops, and that the need for collaboration had never been greater.

He said, ‘We’re starting to see an almost unstoppable advancement in technology. We’re getting to a point where certain repairers can’t repair certain models. And it’s not just high end anymore. So it’s never been more important to work together, with the changes that are coming.’

Chris spoke about the roll out of specialist Vizion hubs to support and free up the rest of the Vizion network. The first, a 15,000sqft over three floors, opened in Wellingborough at the start of this week and will employ 50 people.

He concluded, ‘This is the first hub of many and gives us substantial growth capability. Vizion is here to stay.’

Chris was followed on by celebrity automotive journalist Quentin Willson, who spelled out the irreversible drive towards autonomous cars and an entirely different ownership model. He said access would replace ownership, and that would spawn new services and new service providers.

He explained, ‘The golden age of the motor car is beginning to evaporate away. We no longer have a road network fit for transport, and epic levels of congestion. There is huge demand for stress-free transport so we will see more urban car clubs popping up, and in time we’ll have driverless pods owned by large corporations like Apple and Google.

‘The car will stop being a product and become a service. On demand lifts are just the beginning. It’s a seismic shift in mobility and will be worth £900bn in the next 10 years. The consumer as the owner of the vehicle you repair is an endangered species and will not be around much longer.’

For a full review of the event, see the November issue of bodyshop magazine.