Bosch signs agreement with Supercheap Auto to establish full service auto workshops

Bosch Australia has announced an agreement with Supercheap Auto, Australasia’s largest speciality retailer in automotive parts, accessories and fitment solutions, and part of leading Australasian retailer Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL), to establish a joint venture to open full service auto workshops, initially in the Greater Sydney area.

The first ‘AutoCrew – Powered by Supercheap Auto’ pilot workshop is planned to open in Western Sydney in early 2018, and will offer drivers a full automotive service powered by Bosch’s superior diagnostic and workshops technology. The workshops will offer independent fast-fit services with genuine Bosch parts and equipment, known for their reliability and high quality. Bosch will also provide diagnostic and service training for the workshops. This will be supported by Supercheap Auto’s reputation for service excellence and quality, reliable automotive products, extensive market knowledge, and customer insights.

The joint venture is a natural evolution of the existing long-standing relationship between Bosch and Supercheap Auto. It recognises the market opportunity created by the increasingly complex and digital nature of automotive systems and rise of the ‘Do-It-For-Me (DIFM)’ customer market in Australia, for an independent, technology-driven, full service auto workshop offering in locations that are convenient for commuters, shoppers and drivers in general. This venture will benefit from the technology, equipment and technical knowledge Bosch offers, and connecting that directly with consumers through Supercheap Auto’s market and customer expertise.

The venture will also bring to the Australian market revolutionary ‘connected workshop’ smart technology powered by the Internet of Things, digital process integration and data exchange to improve workshop and vehicle operating efficiencies, offering a new standard of efficient and reliable auto services for today’s time-poor, convenience-focused customer.

Commenting on the benefits the new independent ‘AutoCrew’ workshops will offer consumers, Chris Wilesmith, Supercheap Auto Managing Director, said:

“In past years, we have seen strong growth across our fitment and solutions offering, and see a clear trend towards customers expecting more when it comes to servicing their cars. The diagnostic and digital components of cars today demand technology solutions often not commonly available in your average workshop – and at the same time, customers feel there should be a better solution than having to change their own wiper blades and that should come at a fair price. We are excited to have signed this agreement with Bosch, which is the natural extension of our existing fitment services and will enable us to provide customers an end-to-end solution across all their servicing needs. We look forward to working closely with Bosch over the coming months to finalise the launch of the first pilot workshop.”

President of Bosch Australia, Gavin Smith, reiterated the potential in the Australian market for the new ‘AutoCrew' workshops, commenting:

“We are pleased to be working with Supercheap Auto in what is a logical extension of our ongoing relationship formed over many years’ collaboration. Bosch is proud to be Supercheap Auto’s technology, equipment and technical partner in this exciting new venture.”

According to data from IBISWorld, the ‘Do-It-For-Me (DIFM)’ market in Australia is fast growing, with a total present value of around A$24 billion, while the servicing and parts market remains highly fragmented. With newer cars increasingly built with more durable parts along with electronic systems to improve reliability, basic servicing will continue to grow as the major segment contributor to the overall servicing market. At the same time, the industry is predicted to become more focused on technology over the next five years in response to these trends.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The agreement is subject to approval by European anti-trust authorities.