2017 in pictures: the biggest industry headlines of the year

From controversial MOT rule changes to workshop mishaps, we reveal the biggest stories that got you talking

2017 in pictures: the biggest industry headlines of the year
GW rounds up the biggest stories of the year for independent garages.

With government pledges to spend hundreds of millions to encourage the development of electric and autonomous cars and news that the government will end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040, 2017 has been a big year for motor industry developments.

GWTV attended HELLA GUTMANN SOLUTIONS course on advanced driver assistance systems earlier this year and it turns out that many of the individual components required for autonomous vehicles already exist in cars that you’re likely to find in your workshop.

We’re talking about the likes of VW Golf, Ford Focus and BMW 3 Series from as early as 2013.

This year’s government announcements have prompted 20 per cent of independent garages to invest in training and equipment for alternatively fuelled vehicles, according to a GW reader survey.

It’s encouraging to know that another 26 per cent said that they’ll “be here to service vehicles, no matter how they are powered”.

Following the Autumn Budget, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) urged the government to take action and encourage more people to join the automotive sector, “particularly in light of the millions of pounds they have pledged to spend developing electric vehicles and driverless technology in this budget.”

2017 has also brought news of yet more MOT change.

Among the many changes that have been announced, it is classic car MOTs that have been particularly controversial.

It was announced in September that unmodified vehicles over forty-years-old will become MOT exempt from May 2018 on a rolling basis.

The change will come despite a government consultation in which 1,130 respondents opposed MOT exemption for vehicles over forty-years-old.

Just 899 supported the plans.

Commenting on GW, Peter Miles of Polson Hill Garage in Crediton, said: “If decisions like this are to be made then they should be made by people who have some idea of what they’re doing.

“I recently tested a 44-year-old Rover 3500S and it was a complete, rotten mess to the point where it was hard to tell how the front suspension was remaining attached to the body.

“The thought that a car like that would now be considered automatically fit to be on the road is terrifying.”

Similarly, an anonymous GW reader commented: “I remember what poor quality they were from new.

“Now they are low-priced classic cars often in the hands of amateur mechanics, I can’t help wondering how well they will be maintained without a regular MOT check.”

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