HiQ is pumping £500,000 into an 18 month education programme to explain the benefits of impending EU tyre labelling legislation, declaring: "This will finally create a memorable tyre shopping experience for millions of motorists."
We believe that the legislation - which will come into effect in 2012 - is the biggest single development to impact upon the tyre retailing industry in the last 50 years.
The law will order every garage in the UK to display information about every tyre's performance, including wet grip, exterior noise and fuel efficiency.
It will mirror the white goods retail industry, where consumers can clearly see how energy efficient different models are, while banishing jargon and assumption based shopping at the same time.
We commissioned research - involving 2,000 motorists - through OnePoll, which revealed that 67 per cent of people want to know more about the benefits of the law, despite 87 per cent of them not knowing what it was before HiQ explained.
Retail director Peter Tye now believes the EU legislation will force garages to change their ways and is taking the lead on the issue by educating British motorists and the benefits of this legislation for them, as a consumer.
He said: "We are the only fast fit network to welcome this legislation because like Mary Portas, our sole objective is to empower the consumer and give them higher levels of service.
"Our research tells us that British motorists are with us in wanting to understand how the legislation affects them as a consumer.
"That is why we are delighted to reveal our £500,000 education programme today."
HiQ's £500,000 education programme includes:
1. Innovative point-of-sale tyre selectors at each of HiQ's 150 centres2. The first retail guide to tyre labelling available via the HiQ online website.3. HiQ Academy's new 'Tyre Expert' programme; including tyre technical training, retail selling skills and an industry first Tyre Labelling Certification module.4. Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) assessments for all 700 technicians to raise standards, through theory based modules and then practical assessments.
5. Telephone and video Mystery Shopping Programme including weekly telephone call recordings at its 150 centres.
HiQ's marketing manager Geraldine McGovern revealed that a second phase of work would take place later in the year to supplement the brand's initial steps.
She added: "We are embracing this legislation to champion our consumers' right to demand an optimised shopping experience and expert advice when shopping for their motoring needs - in particular tyres.
"Motorists can also expect Amazon style recommendation technology from HiQonline to support customer purchase decision support, an informative iPhone app and an educational radio campaign, later in the year.
"The better educated motorists are, the better the chances of buying the right tyre because despite appearances, tyres differ greatly.
"That is why tyre labelling makes such sense and is why we are putting all of our efforts into welcoming it, in the most consumer driven way possible."