Successful meeting held to canvas industry on the ‘next steps’ for the Performance Racing Tuning Council

The Performance Racing and Tuning Council (PRTC) held a Networking Event on November 16 last year at the Auto Innovation Centre to canvas industry on the ‘next steps’ for the sub council.
The Performance Racing and Tuning industry has evolved significantly since the PRTC was formed and the AAAA wanted to hear from interested members about the specific current needs and issues for businesses within the sector.
Former PRTC Chairman Graham Scudamore-Smith, from Fulcrum Suspension, addressed the large group of interested parties via video link to get the discussion started. Discussion was then facilitated by AAAA Director of Membership, Marketing and Events, Tiffany Conway, and AAAA Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Charity.
The meeting was a huge success with a number of key outcomes arising from the enthusiastic and highly productive discussion. These were as follows:

Promote the Performance Racing and Tuning profession
The sector is keen to promote its value in terms of public/customer service and economic value. It was suggested that the Council conduct a research study into market size, value, and key trends. It was also suggested that the PRTC could promote and protect customers, the industry, and the public good.
Those in attendance agreed it was paramount to work within regulatory limitations and to be proactive in showing that member businesses respect their responsibility to upholding regulations, especially emissions testing.
It was also discussed that being proactive would enable the PRTC to stay aligned to political and social influences, and to better articulate the value of the PRT industry to government and other stakeholders.
Other ideas also raised included developing a suite of PRTC communications (such as flyers, a webpage, articles in Aftermarket magazine and so on) and the creation of a PRTC showcase to bring stakeholders together at upcoming industry events.

It was agreed that creating a network of tuners, with a public education campaign and a voluntary code of conduct, would be highly desirable. Such a network could share information with other similar bodies, such as SEMA.
The discussion also highlighted the following points about Tuning:
• This specialised area of the industry can be undermined by ‘backyarders’ and ‘dodgy’ service providers who operate in what is largely an unregulated area;
• There is opportunity for PRTC to encourage and promote quality, and showcase the skill and benefits provided by Tuners; and
• The PRTC could highlight what good quality looks like in communications and potentially set up a self-certification process that can be used as a point of differentiation for good quality professionals.
According to those in attendance, the PRTC should find a way to differentiate the businesses that are doing the right thing; educate consumers about what quality tuning is and how to identify quality tuners; and promote reasons why it is worth investing in quality providers instead of just going to the cheapest.

Emissions testing
The discussion noted that emission testing is difficult and costly to undertake due to a lack of testing infrastructure and inconsistent state regulations; with state-based differences noted as being highly inefficient to work with which compromises customer satisfaction and commercial sustainability for these businesses.
It was agreed that the PRTC could help to foster clarity and consistency in this area, noting that attempting to achieve consistency across States is a large and complex goal, and therefore multiple possible solutions need to be explored.

It was pointed out that highlighting examples of how PRT businesses are using AASRA could promote AASRA membership take-up and the value of access to AASRA information to PRT businesses.
It was agreed Tuners should be encouraged to use AASRA and test access and capability through data.
Other outcomes
The following other potential activities of a re-invigorated PRTC also included:
• exploring and understanding the impacts of EVs as performance vehicles;
• help align a diverse range of businesses involved in a range of track days;
• involving PRTC in providing input into the upcoming review of vehicle modification code (VSB14);
• lobbying for low use registration (similar to classic car club permits) for modified ‘hobby’ vehicles.

For more information on the PRTC and updates on its activities, please email Tiffany Conway at