Thursday, January 07, 2021

Farewell to the Haynes manual


According to my Practical Classics magazine, the new owners of Haynes, Infopro Digital, are to stop publishing paper versions of the famous manuals. 

Apparently, they don't see a future in printing the guides. 

If I'm being generous, and not using the phrase "asset stripping"*, then I'd say they don't know their market. 

No classic car owner wants a digital copy of the guide, or at least they don't want it to be their only copy. Does anyone seriously expect the owner of an Austin Maxi to take an iPad under the car? Have they seen how mucky these things get? 

I usually have two copies - a clean one and a garage one. The clean one could be digital, but the dirty one? No chance. 

I've even got manuals for cars I don't own. Picked up cheaply, they are there for use "one day". I might never own a Type 25 van, but I could take it apart if I did buy one.

OK, Haynes manuals aren't perfect - the VW Type 2 fusebox photos are of a Beetle - but they have been part of my motoring life as long as I can remember. When a new (to us) car arrived, we went to Halfords and bought the book to go with it. Not having this option is very sad.

Now, I know that modern cars and their owners aren't quite so keen on tinkering, but the classic car market is massive, so if printing inventory is bad, why not offer a Print On Demand option? Very few people couldn't wait a few days for their copy to arrive. 

*According to the magazine "a fire sale" of the workshop has already taken place.


Nick Brad said...

A very sad day indeed, if it was digital only, then I have no use for it. If I need to go online, then i'll just go to the relevant owner's group online forum and ask for assistance there. It makes no sense to pay for the same service offered for free by like minded enthusiasts.
Having a physical book means I can grab the info from the pages in front of me and compare with with the physical car. I cannot do that with my desktop pc.

Ian C said...

I think the issue is that modern cars don't lend themselves to DIY repairs. They are just so complicated. Any the manuals for older cars are readily availsble second hand (ignoring the oil stains!). Things are just different today. Back in the day when I had my old MK2 escort, I might strip off the cylinder head and clean it all up just for fun on a Sunday afternoon. Not any more. a great pity the hard copy ones are going, but I imagine the market has disappeared. maybe that's why they have branched out into the more esoteric subjects recently.

Ian C said...

I read it as this.."A statement issued by the brand read: “We can confirm we’ve taken the commercial decision to cease publishing any new printed Workshop Manuals. However, we will continue to print and publish out extensive back catalogue of automotive and motorcycle titles."

James said...

Could it be that there are so many copies available second hand of the manuals that new sales have slumped?

I bought a copy for my mum's car, an MG ZS, for 60p off Amazon, plus postage, very easily without having to pay full price. I suspect many other people do the same.