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Bogner Motor City Workshop becomes the first MIWA member to embrace gas conversion

Bogner Motor City Workshop in Edenvale, Gauteng, is the first of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) members to become a fully equipped gas conversion fitment center.

Owner Andrea Bogner Botha explains that the workshop worked closely with Attie Serfontein (ARA National Director) and Frank Mac NICOL (ARA National Chairman and ARA Free State and Northern Cape Regional Chairman), who were the early initiators and current custodians of the gas project, to achieve this accomplishment which sees them taking a significant step into the future. “We’ve known for a long time that there is a clear need to diversify and specialise and as a result of the fallout of the Covid pandemic, coupled with challenges like rising fuel prices and our ever-changing economy, made this even more apparent,” Bogner says.

The Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association (ARA), also a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), first piloted its “powered by gas” programme in June 2020 at two of its workshops in Randburg, Gauteng and Virginia in the Free State.

Attie Serfontein, ARA National Director, says interest in autogas was first identified as an ARA project as early as 2017 and the ARA committee were tasked with investigating and exploring possibilities of autogas technology/energy in the Automotive Aftermarket Retail Sector (REMAN) arena. “ARA made excellent progress liaising with autogas specialists and other key industry players to the point where they were able to launch the pilot project in 2020. Covid unfortunately stalled the project but as soon as they were able, training commenced via a virtual platform from Italy.

“The training has been ground-breaking in the sense that the required skill has been transferred (virtually) to do a successful conversion on the internal combustion engine, as we know it. In South Africa a new qualification – the Engine and Fuels Systems Management Mechanic – has been developed and registered to facilitate this,” says Frank Mac NICOL, owner of Almo Engineering.

“Bogner Motor City Workshop needs to be applauded for being the first of our MIWA member to successfully complete the conversion,” says MIWA National Chairman Dewald Ranft.

Bogner believes that many more MIWA workshops will be changing to gas conversions in the coming years, especially as gas is more affordable than petrol and has several other advantages.  “It offers similar performance to petrol, for example, and has good fuel efficiency, but also assures longer engine life and high daily mileage. With this in mind, we believe there will be a significant switch over in the near future – which means that the time to prepare for this change is now,” she concludes.