Customers value independent workshops and all the more if their vehicles are older than five years. One major reason is the systematic professionalization, not least due to workshop concepts such as ZF Services [pro]Tech. Almost three years after its launch, the scheme has won over around 5,300 "independents." These workshops will benefit even more from the combination of the aftermarket organizations ZF Services and TRW Aftermarket. The workshop concept is extending its offering with technical training courses and information about the TRW product brand.
From January 2017, the official start of the new ZF aftermarket organization, the partners of the ZF Services [pro]Tech workshop concept will receive all the relevant information on the entire ZF product portfolio. In this way they can provide drivers with professional diagnosis, maintenance and repair of driveline, chassis and safety technology from ZF. Brake systems and steering in particular account for more than 20 percent of a workshop's repair work. The ZF Services [pro]Tech workshop partners will therefore receive real added value with technical information on these TRW products, and newly designed practical training courses.
“Every centimeter counts during emergency braking – drivers know this and therefore refuse to compromise when it comes to safety. Workshops, which then provide efficient fault diagnosis and professional repairs, will see an increase in their bottom line in any case,” explains Markus Schmitt, head of Workshop Concepts at ZF Services. “We are looking forward to soon offering our partners a training course focusing on the overall expertise of the new ZF aftermarket organization. “The previous modules on clutches, chassis, high voltage, and commercial vehicle topics will naturally continue to be extended. The focus here is always on the overall system rather than individual products.”
New Training Course For The Electric Park Brake (EPB)
Electric Park Brake is a caliper with an additional motor (motor on caliper) that operates the parking brake. The system is electronically controlled and consists of the EPB switch, the EPB caliper and the electronic control unit (ECU). Participants will be able to learn about these Electric Park Brake (EPB) functions during a two-day practical training course on a VW Passat as of 2017. This brake system shows how closely the various components in the vehicle are networked with each other: The EPB system is networked with the ABS system (vehicle stability control) in order to e.g. perform a safe emergency braking with support of the ABS. Therefore the training particularly conveys knowledge about diagnosis and system understanding since other fault sources, such as faulty signals from the wheel sensors, can be excluded in many instances from the start. Even changing the brake pads can cause a fault, if new brake pads are fitted to old brake disks.
More Know-How For Growing Requirements
“In our view, comprehensive know-how is one of the most important factors that allow independent workshops to improve their competitiveness and attract new customers,” says Schmitt. “In the context of ZF Services [pro]Tech, their staff receive valuable practical knowledge at first hand and geared to everyday workshop needs.”
Since its launch in April 2012, ZF Services has attracted some 5,000 partners in Germany alone with this detailed, product-focused concept. Austrian workshops have also shown above-average interest: The aftersales specialist expects could triple the partnership here to more than 200 [pro]Tech or [pro]Tech plus partners. At the same time, activities in the other [pro]Tech countries are being intensified. More than 100 workshops have decided to join the concept in the UK and Switzerland. As of 2017, [pro]Tech will be launched in Poland and Spain and further international rollouts are planned over the next few years.
Tailored to Requirements: ZF Services [pro]Tech and ZF Services [pro]Tech plus
Even the [pro]Tech basic package provides a comprehensive service package for independent workshops. For a one-time fee of EUR 150 for new customers, dealerships receive access to vehicle-specific installation instructions for products such as clutches, shock absorbers, chassis parts, steering components and brake systems. The package also includes access to the online WebCat parts catalog. The portfolio is supplemented with an installation and product telephone hotline, a helpline via e-mail and an option for ordering advertising material. The training modules together with database access to vehicle manufacturer service campaigns can be booked separately at an additional cost.
These service packages are already included in ZF Services [pro]Tech plus – for an initial fee of EUR 100 and an annual system fee of EUR 400. On top of this, there are the vehicle manufacturer service campaigns and the personal on-site support provided by regional field service personnel from ZF Services. Attendance at a two-day ZF Services [pro]Tech plus start-up event is obligatory.
The ZF Services [pro]Tech workshop concept is not restricted to the passenger car sector. Particularly for commercial vehicle workshops, ZF Services offers practical [pro]Tech training courses covering transmissions, chassis components and 4-point links. The two-day basic training course is aimed at commercial vehicle specialists working predominantly with trucks, vans, construction machinery and buses.
In-depth information on the scope of ZF Services [pro]Tech as well as the differences between the basic and plus packages is available online at www.zf.com/protech.