How 'after market' sector is creating more jobs
Those in the vital background and backup sectors of the motor business enjoyed their just rewards at a mega Auto Trade exhibition and awards ceremony at the weekend.
They were part of the largest exhibition of its kind for the auto after-market here or in the UK, this year.
The 160+ exhibitor stands were staffed by more than 800 people representing nearly 1,000 brands, including most leading names in auto after-market parts, tools, equipment and services.
The organisers estimate visitor numbers were 1,700 higher than their 4,000 target. And there was plenty of business done. Even the rugby on Sunday didn't dent enterprise as a large screen (and several smaller ones) kept everyone up to date at the Citywest Exhibition Centre and Arena. There was a real sense of growth in business and recovery.
The after-market sector accounts for 80pc of the industry's total job numbers. Indeed, so far this year it has been responsible for 10pc of all jobs created with more growth projected over the next two years.
And it was fitting, not to say impressive, to see those who often operate behind the scenes in main dealerships, independent garages, bodyshops, tyre centres etc being acknowledged later at a special Auto Trade awards dinner attended by 550 guests.