AROC Parts Service – Important Announcement

David Faithful
30 November 2019
Club News

Statement from the Board

You may have seen that the AROC Parts Service has been suspended with effect from the end of the month. The chief reasons for this are the need to comply with the Club’s mutual (and non-profit) status, and that the service was facing an unsustainable rise in storage costs, but we intend to resume the service when we can find a viable solution. The Board wish to thank the Parts Service provider, Racheal Whitehead for her tireless efforts in building up and running the service which went far beyond the call of duty. We recognise and share her deep disappointment that we could not at this time find a way of continuing the service.

A more detailed explanation follows:

The Board established the Parts Service some three years ago when it became apparent that some dealer parts stock was effectively being scrapped, and we determined that this was an opportunity to preserve some parts to enable members to maintain and keep on the road older Alfa models as parts availability diminished through the dealer and specialist network. It was not envisaged as primarily a provider of service parts for the more modern vehicles, nor to be a profit centre, or compete with other specialist providers.

Recently it has become apparent that our trading model of this as a member benefit, with reduced prices for members, is incompatible with the Club’s status as a Mutual, which HMRC require to supply only to members, and potentially in breach of our “not-for-profit” status, so we had to reconsider how we could maintain the service in the longer term.

Additionally the rental for the parts storage was doubled at a month’s notice, which completely derailed the financial model on which the Board had approved the project. It was not intended to be profitable – certainly in the short term, but whilst we were prepared to finance costs for the Service including stock purchase and running costs over a medium term, the ultimate aim was break-even. The increased storage costs rendered this unattainable.

Accordingly the Board has decided to suspend the Service temporarily and relocate the parts to a cheaper storage location, pending a decision on the longer term solution. No parts will be disposed of, and we hope to have a revised version of the scheme, compliant with HMRC conditions and our own longer-term financial considerations in the near future.

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