THE AUTO-REPAIR SECTION  
 

The current characteristic feature in terms of auto-repairs in the Czech Republic is not only found in the excess capacities of medium-sized companies, but also in the large number of small companies that are engaged in auto-repair activity. It emerges from this that there is not enough work for everyone that operates in this field and so the situation on the market is continually more acute. There is not enough money in the economy and one of the first things that customers are able to "save on" are the costs associated with repairs to vehicles.

In the case of major repairs, the trend of general repairs made to whole vehicles is in decline. This has been partially replaced by repairs of broken-down vehicles and moderate repairs of vehicles, with the general repair of only certain units or their parts. It is more and more common for auto-repair shops to show the need for specialisation in the regular operational servicing of vehicles. The section supports the specialisation of auto-repair shops in the quick, high-quality, and reliable operational servicing of vehicles.

The development of cars continues to make huge strides and in the process, electronics have forced their way more and more into the various control systems of cars, which is in turn accompanied by the need for new investment in the appropriate technological and diagnostic equipment. With the introduction of electronics and new technology in the production of cars, the quality of such vehicles continues to improve technically, which has a negative effect on the branch of auto-repairs in terms of the decline in work as a consequence of the continually longer number of kilometres driven between regular services.

The section sees to it that all domestic companies that are active in the auto-repair business begin the process of continual growth in terms of the standard of services provided and become modern-equipped repair shops that are able to offer a range of above-standard services. At the same time, the section takes care of the fact that all member companies in the section manage their assets as effectively as possible and focus on the continuous improvement of work productivity and the uncovering of internal reserves, whether these are found in labour content, the organisation of work, material savings, stocks, or wherever else.

The section has easy and quick access to information concerning the development and directions taken by our country's transport policy. Based on this information, it is possible to plan the right direction for individual repair shops in terms of investment and the expansion of activity. In fact it is the mission of the companies in the transport industry which the Union advises with great experience to ensure the right direction is taken so that auto-repair companies do not have problems with their existence once the Czech Republic has joined the European Union. Here it is possible to get to know how transport and auto-repair companies conduct themselves in other countries and on other continents.

In connection with the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union, it is almost standard procedure nowadays for all auto-repair shops to require an established and certified quality system for services provided in line with ISO ÈSN EN 9002 standards. The section sees to it that all member companies are promptly informed about all changes to legislation as regards its correlation with the valid regulations of the European Union. The section also considers Decree of the European Commission No. 1400/2002 from 31.7.2002 to be a highly significant regulation, which will have a profound influence on the field of auto-repairs in our country during its accession to the European Union.

The section also pays a great deal of attention to the improvement of apprentice training in the sphere of auto-repairs, an area in which a number of negative phenomena have appeared in the context of the changing economy in this country. It is for this reason that one of the aims of the section is to negotiate changes to curricula with the Ministry of Education and to so place emphasis on the improvement of professional experience and the adaptation of the curricula in such a manner as to simulate business experience to as great an extent as possible in the extremely hard market economic environment of the Czech Republic.

Another aim of the section is to generate a healthy market environment in the auto-repair industry so that operators who provide poor quality services and use non-brand name spare parts of very low quality are restricted as far as possible. This has a profound influence on traffic safety on roadways.