‘With our one stop shop offer, we want to consolidate ourselves as the market leader whilst continuing our excellent range development and technical support’: That’s the message emanating out of Autoelectro, as the British company intends to begin 2018 in the way 2017 ended.
During the final few months of last year, the rotating electrics remanufacturer unveiled a small but important range of non-exchange units. Initially consisting of more than 120 individual references, the surcharge-free NEX range of starter motors and alternators covered 70% of the UK car parc and the fastest-moving references.
Autoelectro UK Sales Manager, Nick Hood, revealed that feedback from the company’s network of motor factors customers has “far exceeded” the company’s expectations. So much so that the decision has been made to stretch the number of references from 127 to 150, and it’s likely that number will increase further over the coming months.
Nick said: “In recent years, surcharge-free units have become more accepted in the automotive aftermarket. NEX has allowed us to enter the market with a sensible net price, not hindered by complicated commercial rebates and, therefore, shows how competitive we can be in meeting the market price point but maintaining a quality product.
“Ironically, the current attitude in the market to new units has devalued the old core for these imported references to a point where we can factor the core cost into the overall price and support a surcharge-free offer. Today, Autoelectro is the only UK-based volume remanufacturer and supplier to offer a surcharge-free range.”
Leading from the front
Range, availability and quality are three key attributes for Autoelectro. It’s a motto that has served the company well for over a quarter of a century and, today, sits as the UK’s largest independent remanufacturer of starter motors and alternators.
The challenge is to maintain the high standards set as a precedent and improve, but Nick explained how the senior management team will continue with its formula which has stood the test of time:
“A few years ago, they (brothers Tony, Paul and Nicky Bhogal) used their considerable experience to predict the direction of market price and range, and they spotted an opportunity outside of chasing price on the popular part numbers.
“In focusing our efforts, we created a unique selling point and raised our brand profile. This is a path that has taken time to build and succeed, but we have done it and are at the forefront in this particular market.”
Impact of Brexit – but no concerns for Autoelectro
Brexit is never far from the headlines; many businesses have expressed their concerns, with some announcing that they may have to relocate to EU-friendly nations to guarantee security. In the automotive aftermarket, Autoelectro assured its customers that Brexit – whenever it becomes official – would not harm its business model.
The company was unequivocal, despite admitting ‘unchartered waters’ for the majority of the UK, that it had the ability to steer its customers through potentially challenging times; in fact, at the time, Nick insisted that Brexit could signal new opportunities for Autoelectro as it wasn’t a net importer.
More than a year later, heading into a pivotal 12 months of Brexit negotiations, Nick is fascinated to see how companies, which rely on the ‘pound to the dollar value’ to entice customers with low-cost imported products, fare. He added: “Let’s see how the progression of the UK’s exit from the EU unfolds and affects imported market prices, but I am confident Autoelectro will continue to thrive because we are not a net importer and have total control over all aspects.”
More importantly for Autoelectro, though, said Nick, is the introduction of a new surcharge and inventory management concept: “Based online this new service will give our customers the ability to view and manage their surcharge account, dispelling the myths of core discrepancies, whilst at the same time, helping us to manage their stock investment through regular profiling and inventory management.
“We know this is an area that, with continuing part number proliferation across all products, will become more important. It will ensure the best return on stock investment and the best stock return.
“Customers can expect more information on this new online concept shortly.”