By offering the Electric Verified by EV VAST program to all shops in its network, Groupe Del Vasto is supporting them in the shift towards electric vehicles, allowing them to service customer electric and hybrid vehicles.
This new value-added brand, supported by a structured training and promotion program, is being deployed throughout Quebec in group vehicle service shops: M 360 Mechanic, Auto Value Certified Service Centres, Auto Mécano, OCTO Auto Service Plus and Mister Transmission.
Each service shop where managers have expressed willingness to subscribe to the program must place at least one electric charging station at their customers’ disposal within the year.
In terms of training, a technical advisor will have to complete an electric vehicle parts and safety program. Plus, at least one facility technician will be required to have completed Level 3 of the electric vehicle maintenance and repair EV Skills training and be committed to completing Level 4. The organization strongly encourages technicians to complete the entire program to obtain their certification. Furthermore, the facility will have to acquire the required safety equipment for work in high-voltage environments.
A strong signal
Many facilities not only took interest in the program, but also went on to complete the entire Electric Verified certification. That sends a strong signal to the market.
Anne Charlebois, co-owner of Garage Pierre Mondou under the Auto Value Certified Service Centers banner in Sainte-Thérèse, supervises two shops that are 2.5 kilometres apart. The company’s seven technicians service a variety of vehicles ranging from subcompacts to luxury cars.
“The mechanics here are jacks of all trades, it’s what we expect of them,” explains Charlebois. “We want customers to know that they don’t have to take their car to the dealership for maintenance. This requires a continuing training strategy, which we have always applied.”
Though, electric and hybrid vehicles do not yet represent the bulk their volume, it’s out of the question that they not adapt to trends and Charlebois wants to make sure that shops have the skills and equipment necessary to service the growing influx of these customers.
“The Groupe Del Vasto initiative with the Electric Verified program is an extension of our best practices,” she explains. “It’s a smart program that will allow us to position ourselves. Our shop technicians are really enthusiastic about new electric technologies, they’re loving it!”
She also stresses that network visibility as a program member is perfectly in line with the ongoing narrative being presented to existing customers. “Displaying Electric Verified certification modernizes our image and will most certainly attract new customers.”
Jonathan Labrosse of Garage Labrosse Auto Mécano in Saint-Jérôme is the third generation to operate this family business founded in 1930. We’ve experienced many technological developments over the years. This is just the next one and we’ve positioned the shop to be able to accommodate electric vehicles alongside all other customer vehicles.
“We’ve always liked keeping abreast of things and as we’ve gradually been seeing more customers bringing in electric and hybrid vehicles, we decided to take the plunge,” explains Labrosse. “We currently have around 70 EV customers and that number is growing. We’d already completed the EV Skills program, but the Electric Verified certification will update our knowledge. Specialized training in the service and maintenance of these new technology vehicles is key to employment retention for technicians. The expertise they’ll gain in the program will also prove useful for the servicing of all modern car systems. Additionally, with training now available to technical advisors, they’ll be able to better answer customer questions.”
For Labrosse, Electric Verified certification means that the shop has the expertise and equipment to serve this emerging clientele. “We have to show that we have the know-how, this positioning is valid across the entire Groupe Del Vasto.”
Patrick Simard of M Mécanique 360 in Sainte-Foy concurs. “We’re not afraid of technology,” says the manager of this shop, which has been around for almost 50 years. “We’ve always relied on banner support for skills development. With the Electric Verified by EV VAST recognition program, the Group is giving us a push in the right direction. This extra boost that will allow us to evolve within our market and distance ourselves from the competition.”
The manager praises program consistency, highlighting regular knowledge-base updates, as well as facilitated access to professional-grade high-voltage safety equipment necessary to carry out tasks.
“Getting ready to position ourselves for electric vehicles, which currently only represent approximately 5% of our volume, is part of evolving our service offering,” says Simard. “There will undoubtedly be much more demand in that sector in the future. I want our shop, which my son Marc-Antoine will take over in a few years, to be able to meet the demands of all of our customers.”
To learn more about the Electric Verified by EV VAST recognition program: electricverified.com