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September 12, 2022

Celebrating five decades of dedication to innovating repair shop operations

It’s our birthday, 1972 certainly doesn’t feel like 50 years ago, but it’s been a journey of constant evolution. We have never sat back and been satisfied that our job was done, so while we wish ourselves ‘happy birthday’ it’s an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved, how we have changed and how we can shape the future.

While vehicles and technology continue to change, our mission has always been the same, we work every day to deliver the most innovative, accurate and comprehensive technical information for the automotive aftermarket.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane

For fifty years our solutions have always been groundbreaking, so let’s see how things have changed.

Autodata was established in 1972 in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Back then we were producing printed car manuals for owners and enthusiasts to work on their own vehicles. These publications became popular during the 1970s and 1980s, allowing the business to expand internationally.  Although the owners’ manuals continued to be printed up until early 1990s, Autodata had already started onto professional repairers, producing numerous publications for workshops and garages. Even the books evolved and instead of focussing on one vehicle with each book, they would cover hundreds of vehicles, but for one task such as replacing timing belts.  This step change soon led to Autodata growing internationally, with our professional technical data and guidance becoming used across Europe, the United States and Australasia.

Part of the electronic revolution

As books became cumbersome, it was time for a change and in 1991 Autodata produced its first electronic media, workshop technical information on floppy disk (who remembers those?). This soon moved to CD, which continued in production until 2014.  CDs were a technology gateway as in 2006, (alongside the CDs), Autodata launched its first online product. 

Using the internet was a gamechanger as vehicle technology was changing so quickly and becoming ever more complex. As a business, if you weren’t part of that change, you wouldn’t be around for long.

In 2007 Autodata began a more concerted push outside of its base in the UK, starting the roll out of its newly developed approach across a number European countries.

2015 was yet another key date in Autodata’s evolution. A major migration moved all customers using older online and CD product onto our new purely online software, a robust cloud-based solution that harnessed the power of a faster, more stable internet. And, up to today, we continue to add new makes, models, advice and features to Autodata, ensuring that the information you get is easy to find and use – that’s so important when you’re up against the clock.

So what’s next?

This is a game changer. We’re introducing world leading diagnostic and training videos as an integrated product feature within Autodata. Not only do you get extra advice from our experts in video format, helping you to diagnose an issue, but you also get up to 350 on demand videos to help the workshop stay up-to-date with your training requirements. 

For Autodata, it’s been 50 years of evolution, revolution and innovation, and it will not stop there. There will always be a challenge for vehicle repairers. With the drive towards net-zero and the inevitable changes this will bring. 

Exactly what the future looks like is uncertain, it really is a moving feast. But throughout, Autodata will continue to innovate and change. We have our eyes on the horizon, but also on the here and now, our solutions will continue to deliver the most innovative, accurate and comprehensive technical information and will adapt to the challenges that the automotive aftermarket faces just like our customers do. We’ve had 50 years of innovation and we can see a lot more coming our way.

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