Open evening highlights workshop opportunities from automatic gearboxes

A group of motor trade professionals recently took part in an open evening and skills gap analysis discussion at Cavan Institute, surrounding the topic of automatic transmissions and their increasing popularity here in Ireland.

Hosted on 24th February by Darragh McKiernan of Express Spares and Cavan Institute’s Leo Gunning, the event highlighted how, for the first time ever in Ireland, cars with automatic transmissions will make up the majority of newly registered vehicles this year.

With many car dealers opting to look again to Japan for stock, the volume of automatic gearboxes on the island of Ireland only continues to rise.

Darragh McKiernan said that this increase “represents opportunities which will only grow going forward for independent garages in terms of maintenance, servicing and repair”.

“This is stark contrast from just 10 years ago, where newly registered automatic cars made up just 10 per cent of the numbers,” he added.

Many important points were raised on the evening, including feedback on previous training undertaken from apprenticeship level, through to training provided by OEMs and the aftermarket, with an abundance of information being shared.

There were also several tools and parts on display from various companies such as TCMatic, Schaeffler, Laser Tools and Valeo.

A common thread across the evening was the importance of accessing information “quickly and on-demand”, and to support independent garages on educating their customers on the importance of automatic gearbox servicing.

The evening was brought to a close with a demonstration and Q&A session by TCMatic’s Ghassen Gherissi on the company’s ATF exchange machine – the ACE18.

Gherissi highlighted the importance of TCMatic’s role as an automatic transmission remanufacturer. The company uses manufacturer approved oils in its service kits, which are now available in Ireland through Express Spares and its Drive/Train initiative.

On the back of this open evening and discussion, McKiernan said Express Spares hopes to develop formal training “once feedback is considered and followed up on”.

To be kept informed of future events, training or demonstrations surrounding this area, contact Darragh McKiernan at