This question is often asked of Michael Harris, President of MACPartners, the European Trade Association for vehicle air conditioning (or ‘thermal management’ as it is more often referred to). Michael’s stock answer is: anyone who is involved in servicing a vehicle today. CVW finds out why.
Sealed circuit cooling systems are now fitted to nearly 100% of vehicles being produced and sold into the UK market, and with the increase of hybrid and electrically powered vehicles, cooling has become an essential part of the vehicle.
‘What’s in it for us?’ or ‘why do we need to join?’ are usually the next questions. Michael explains that MACPartners represents all sectors of the vehicle cooling market in Europe, from tool and parts manufacturers to training institutes, but especially looks after the interests of workshops and vehicle technicians in the aftermarket.
At present, the face of the refrigeration industry is changing rapidly:
- So much more A/C service potential that cannot be ignored or referred to ‘specialists’.
- A wide variety of new alternative refrigerants – it remains critical that technicians are aware of the challenges posed by the new refrigerants.
- What tooling and equipment is best suited to your needs?
- What accreditation do you need, at the most competitive cost?
- Probably most importantly – environmental concerns. MACPartners remains at the forefront in representing its members’ views with the F-Gas regulators and monitors of refrigerant quotas, both in Brussels and London.
What is MACPartners?
Founded in June 2004 by and for its members, MACPartners is a non-profit association, working for the benefit of the international air conditioning industry. Its members are mostly comprised from the European market, although it does have a few members from other parts of the world.
The association strives to coordinate and defend the interests of the mobile air conditioning industry and to serve its members with top class information and support. Its mission is to achieve the highest standards for the quality of service to vehicle air conditioning systems, in order to protect the environment and to satisfy customer expectations. The organisation says its primary ambition is to achieve a pan- European standard to the highest professional level of service provision offered to the end customer.
Working in conjunction with other trade associations, MACPartners upholds the aims of the environmental objectives of the UK Government and European Commission in support of the Kyoto and other protocols in order to reduce refrigerant emissions. The question that Michael concludes with is: ‘If not MACPartners, then who else is better placed to stand up for you?’ The organisation argues that membership offers very good value for the very competitive subscription fee.