The PVD Trade Association was launched at the inaugural Waxstock in the summer of 2012 at the Peterborough Show Ground. Originally it was more of a small co-operative with only thirty members pooling expertise and resources, as well as sharing the belief that car care professionals should be skilled, proven, and insured.
2012 - Formative Steps
The early years were extremely difficult - externally it was viewed with suspicion and scepticism by both the service and product suppliers in the trade. Internally it was equally as fraught - there were plenty of different opinions as to how the association should be operated and who had the right to be involved. It was also not self-funding, relying on six-figure investment to maintain momentum.
These early years were a vital rite of passage and due to the energy, determination and faith of the original members, the group stayed together and started to expand, hitting 100 members in early 2014. Our early supporters also played a key role - Coversure and Dodo Juice where there from the beginning, willing to put their name and reputation behind us.
2014 - Making Waves
By Waxstock 2014 the remit of PVD had grown significantly, it was no longer a little co-operative but a tangible trade body. Companies and individuals who had previously shunned us started to see that our motives were good and that we had created a genuine opportunity to help the industry at large.
From the start we had formed relationships with vast media companies, working with both their advertising and their editorial departments. As a result of being a more significant entity, we were able to grow these relationships yet further, giving us a voice to the public at large thanks to the help of Future Publishing, Haymarket, and Bauer Media. Without the help of various dedicated individuals within these organisations we would have struggled.
2015 - A Little Magazine
As 2015 approached we expanded rapidly, exceeding 200 members and over twenty supporters. While significant investment was still required to keep it together, it became clear to many that we needed to evolve and develop in order to keep up with expansion. One key element was the magazine, which we found quite by accident. Over the course of 2014 and 2015 we had been writing a series of guides for 911 & Porsche World Magazine and as Waxstock approached we sought permission to reprint the guides in a single booklet.
The little twenty-page A5 booklet we envisaged swelled into a 50-page A4 magazine, which to our great surprise proved extremely popular among both professional and enthusiast readers. Profits from the first edition went to Help for Heroes, raising over £2,750. Subsequent issues have helped bring the association onto an even footing, but we still raise significant amounts for charity by auctioning off products donated for reviews.
2017 - The End of the Beginning
By the end of 2016 we had released four magazines and had just over 300 members, allowing us to make another significant change introduced with this website. We had always wanted to keep the association inclusive - it was never conceived as an elitist group for those who could afford it, despite some internal pressures to make it one. However, this inclusive approach presents its own challenges: on the one hand we are there to help new businesses grow and develop, on the other, we need to represent the established businesses with hard-earned reputations and expertise. Putting these two on a common directory always caused friction.
Thus we have introduced the new three-tier system, which includes practical and theory assessment for the two Certified levels. This way the association is still inclusive, but those who wish prove their skills and abilities above and beyond the standard entry criteria can do so. The assessment criteria and process has been put together with help from the newly formed PVD Board and is both rigorous and objective.
With the help of members and supporters we hope to build on the last five years and continue to move forward as a unifying force within the car care industry.
One of the benefits of having a trade association is national representation in an ever more globalised world. The UK is one of the world leaders when it comes to car care - some of the oldest manufacturers are British, while our country's top detailers stand side-by-side with the best in the world. Since 2015 we have been forming and reinforcing links with our counterparts around the world to share knowledge and experience, driving technologies and methodologies forward at an accelerated rate.
Late in 2015 we were contacted by the Federatie van Ondernemers in de Carrosserie- en Wagenbouw en Aanverwante (FOCWA) - our counterpart in the Netherlands. It was fascinating to find out that they had taken a similar journey to us in some respects, and in others they had found an entirely different way of operating. Though smaller in terms of members, they are part of a much larger entity catering for many different aspects of the motor trade, and operate out of a very smart HQ not far from Amsterdam.
The Bundesverband Fahrzeugaufbereitung (BFA), our German counterpart, has been working with FOCWA for a while - and it was through FOCWA that we were introduced. Like the Dutch model, the German association is part of a larger group and has taken yet another approach to serving their trade.
In October 2016 we were invited over to Holland for a day to introduce ourselves, and essentially compare notes. It was a real eye-opener and after spending several hours around a boardroom table it was clear that we all were taking slightly different courses to achieve similar ends.
In 2016 we also made contact with the International Detailing Association (IDA). Up until recently it had essentially been the US association for car care professionals, but was keen to expand internationally. As we found with our European counterparts, the IDA share many of our own values and ambitions, so efforts were made to work together.
The end result was the forming of the UK IDA Chapter - the first Chapter to formally assemble outside the US. While developments in Europe and the Far East are no doubt pioneering, the States are world leaders when it comes to car care - they are the biggest market with the biggest investment, and home to some of the world's most respected detailers.
We believe that the car care industry is stronger as an internationally united force - regardless of external or political forces - thus we are always looking for international partners to work alongside.