Right to Repair South Africa and MIWA Join the Global Right to Repair Movement for Vehicles
Edenvale, Gauteng, was the first workshop within the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation, to become a fully equipped gas conversion fitment centre.
This clearly opens up an opportunity for other MIWA workshops to diversify in a similar fashion. “We already have access to an international team of trainers who are able to train our workshop owners according to International Standards,” says Pieter Niemand, national director of the MIWA, a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation.
Once trained workshop will be able to complete a full conversion on the vehicle so it will be bi-fuel, running on both Petrol or LP Gas after the conversion. “It will include the full calibration and each installation will be certified with both SAQCC Gas and the LPGSA Association,” he says.
Niemand says although this is a relatively new concept for most South Africans, Automotive Remanufacturers Association (ARA), another proud association of RMI, is definitely leading the way in exploring possibilities of autogas technology/energy in the Automotive Aftermarket Retail Sector (REMAN) arena and the developments at Bogner motors are setting the benchmark for other workshops to follow.
“With South Africa`s ongoing problems with electricity supply and fluctuating petrol prices, we know there will soon be a growing demand for autogas as consumers begin to understand the benefits. Autogas is perfect for this interim period. The technology is here, ready and easily available and autogas remains an affordable alternative in South Africa,” he says.
For motorists or big fleet owners, the best thing about the conversion is the cost saving, particularly at a time when fuel increases are crippling many motorists. The total estimated saving and return on investment can be worked out within minutes, showing exactly how many kilometres you will need to drive to reach your break-even point.
“One can expect up to 40% savings overall; an effortless switch over from petrol to gas; zero engine performance losses and a low carbon content which is beneficial for the environment. For corporate customers there is also a tax incentive and companies where corporates can claim back the VAT when purchasing LP Gas,” he says.
It is important for customers to understand that converting to an autogas kit will not change your engine performance at all or your gas or fuel consumption. The main advantage of gas is it is cheaper than petrol and your engine also runs cleaner which means a longer engine life, less components wear and cleaner emissions.
For storage, there are different cylinders or “doughnuts” available, depending on the customer’s needs and choice. “A 37-litre capacity doughnut for example will fit in where your car`s spare wheel is currently,” says Niemand.
For workshops to remain relevant and grow, diversification is something which is needed, especially with electric vehicle`s increasing, but still a relatively new venture in South Africa.
“It will be a few years before it becomes a permanent solution and electricity supply becomes stable again. We are starting to see more gas fuel stations. In Gauteng there are stations at Sasol Spartan – Kempton Park, Gas Giant – Boksburg, Sasol West Star – Pretoria West and EPG in Pretoria Central. We are hoping these will be more nationally located in time,” he concludes.
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