Tag Archive | "Automechanika Frankfurt"

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AFTERMARKET LIVES: VISIT TO NGK


Mark Hallam invites CAT up to NGK’s distribution hub in Hemel Hempstead.

Most workshops will know the NGK brand through its BoxClever scheme, where customers can trade in their empty lambda sensor boxes in exchange for reward points to spend on an array of gifts at the firm.

Besides this loyalty programme, the manufacturer has had a strong foothold in the aftermarket for many years; beginning its operations in Nagoya, Japan 81 years ago. Eventually, the firm expanded its footprint overseas by building spark plug factories around the world. Presently, the network totals 11 factories, four development sites and over 20 sales offices worldwide.

LOGISTICS
However, today’s visit brought us to its UK headquarters in Hemel Hempstead, which was previously located in Hendon (North West London) before relocating nearly two decades ago. “The transition of NGK’s UK HQ to Hemel Hempstead was due to the requirement for more space for a rapidly growing business”, said Mark Hallam, UK Marketing Manager at the firm. “The Hemel Hempstead site was purpose built in a location with transport links ensuring an efficient delivery service to our customers”, adding that the warehouse had previously been extended to stock its core ignition lines with plans in the pipeline to expand it even further due to company expansion.

The current premises houses 100 staff and a large warehouse space where parts are sourced from Japan and distributed to trade and supply chain customers across the country. The site contains a finance and marketing department as well as its sales office and OE division where a team of staff are employed to communicate directly with vehicle manufacturers. Hallam elaborated. “NGK work directly with all of the major VMs around the world”, he continued. “NGK Spark Plugs and lambda sensors are the world’s number one OE fitment”.

BRANDING
Despite the firm’s bread and butter being in in glow and spark plug sales, this is not the only part of the business. “NGK are more than just a spark plug company,” remarked Hallam. “We also sell glow plugs, lambda, NOx, EGT, MAF and MAP sensors as well as ignition coils and spark plug covers. Under our NTK brand we also operate a specialist Technical Ceramics division from Hemel Hempstead specialising in ceramic cutting tools and IC packages.”

Hemel Hempstead DC

To communicate its ‘more than spark plugs’ message to garages, the firm recently launched a range of aftermarket products under the NTK division with over 150 part numbers, including 87 Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensors and 69 Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensors that have been ‘well received’ so far. In addition, the company updated its logos to bring awareness to both businesses. “In 2016, NGK developed a new brand identity with two new logos. “All ignition related products come under ‘NGK’s Ignition Parts’ with all sensor products coming under ‘NTK Vehicle Electronics’”, noted Hallam.

STAFF RETENTION
Staff longevity has played a crucial role in business expansion with most employees possessing over 20 years experience The standard setup involves a team of reps that are sent out to different regions in the country to work closely with existing customers by developing and keeping their stock holdings competitive as well as scouting out new leads to grow the firm’s UK footprint. “The NGK sales representatives are an asset to the company offering our customers market leading sales, product and technical support across the UK”, said Hallam. He adds that staff loyalty has played a big contribution towards the receiving its A1 Motor Stores Award, which proudly sits behind a glass trophy cabinet in the foyer area.

Going into the autumn and winter months, the team at Hemel Hempstead will continue growing the UK base organically through customer retention while hammering home the message of NGK and its various subsidiary brands. Although there are some new developments on the cards, everything is being kept top secret until a big reveal at Automechanika Frankfurt next year.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Out and About with CAT, Retailer News, Sensors, Spark PlugsComments (0)

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TRW LAUNCHES SEMI-COMPOUND BRAKE DISCS


PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF TRW AFTERMARKET

trw-aftermarket_brake_discTRW Aftermarket has introduced a range of high-performance two-piece (Semi-Compound) brake discs, designed to enhance safety and performance and extend endurance levels in heavier, more powerful vehicles.

This news was announced at this year’s Automechanika, Frankfurt. It further strengthens TRW’s position as the leading supplier of Corner Module (braking, steering & suspension) parts and systems by highlighting its commitment to offering a safer drive across all classes and weight of vehicle.

The initial range of Semi-Compound discs totals 24 part numbers and caters for various BMW models (Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, X5 and X6).

Semi-Compound brake discs consist of a corrosion resistant aluminium hub, joined to the grey cast iron friction ring by special steel pins. This construction allows the heat generated when braking to spread freely, preventing the disc from distorting due to thermal stress.

The use of aluminium also makes the part lighter. This reduces the unsprung mass which decreases fuel consumption and makes the vehicle smoother to drive and easier to handle.

Kevin Price, Marketing Manager, TRW Aftermarket explained: “As a global leader in automotive braking, we strive for the perfect solution for every class and weight of vehicle.

“As vehicles become ever faster and more powerful – as well as heavier due to the increasing number of additional mechanisms to aid safety and comfort – the braking system is subjected to greater and more exacting demands.”

With the consequences of brake discs overheating ranging from reduced performance through to total failure, intelligent thermal management is playing a key role in brake disc development.

Kevin continued: “We utilise a multitude of methods to dissipate heat in a deliberate and controlled way. This is vital to prevent the heat being transferred to other components or the brake fluid.

“By designing and developing a wide range of OE technologies, including braking systems, for the majority of vehicle manufacturers including braking systems, we understand how each component within a system can affect the others. We therefore appreciate that for maximum benefit and performance, all parts have to be developed to work in harmony.”

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TRW RETAINS ‘TOP’ POSITION FOR PAINTED BRAKE DISCS


PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF TRW

Frydlant_Plant_Image

Following the launch of its latest ‘True Originals’ product campaign, which this time is focused on brake discs, TRW Aftermarket’s UK Marketing Manager, Kevin Price explains to CAT online how through innovation and R&D, a first to market approach and an unrivalled understanding of the market, the business retains its position at the top of the table for painted brake discs.

Almost a decade ago, TRW led the market by introducing a small, niche range of black painted discs. The special paint used was developed in-house, in conjunction with a major VM to reduce corrosion.

Fast forward to today, and as a direct result of customer demand, every one of the 12 million brake discs supplied each year by TRW is black painted, as standard.

The idea for painted discs for the aftermarket was born after research showed that IAM customers wanted an offer which mirrored that of the Original Equipment Supplier (OES) channel. TRW already manufactured painted discs at OES level – grey discs for Volvo and black for Ford.

By reflecting this in the aftermarket, we raised our credibility and forged a closer link to OE.

The niche programme was launched in 2007, but it became quickly apparent that there was a gap in the market – motorists and garages alike wanted this product. Only a year later and we had converted 60 percent of our range, and at Automechanika, Frankfurt in 2008, we not only announced our intention to offer a bigger range, but in effect, in due course to offer ONLY painted discs.

Making the decision to be the first aftermarket supplier to offer a painted-only range not only strengthened our braking portfolio, it reinforced our position as an innovator across Europe.

The brake discs are coated in a special black paint. This was specifically developed by TRW to create a unique surface that adds a protective barrier against rust. Aesthetically, the paint has a special finish, which was pitched at the more ‘discerning motorist’. This was important in 2007 and is a vital differentiator nearly 10 years down the line as drivers are more and more aware of the ‘look’ of automotive parts.

As a leading automotive safety expert, it’s important to TRW to retain as much control over the manufacturing and testing processes as possible. In line with this, the business manufactures more than 70 percent of TRW branded discs in-house at TRW’s global manufacturing plants, including its leading European facility in Frydlant, Czech Republic. Every disc is rigorously tested to the highest standard. Tests include: Dyno tests, salt spray tests and car tests.

The discs are packaged in a special VCI (Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor) paper which takes the place of an oil film coating. This eliminates the need to laboriously degrease them prior to fitting, saving time in the workshop.

As a pioneer in the design, development and manufacture of complete braking systems for vehicle manufacturers (VMs), the TRW brand has more than 100 years’ experience; and for the past 20 years, we have directly transferred this knowledge and experience into our aftermarket offer.

Our OE experience affords us innate knowledge of how each part operates within a system and how systems interact with each other. By manufacturing parts that work in harmony with each other, and within that particular system, we are able to provide the perfect braking solution every time, for every class and weight of vehicle.

All of this has made us the aftermarket partner of choice for the past 20 years. With a philosophy to forever push the boundaries of innovation, in order to best serve the customer, TRW is always one step ahead. Always the one true original.

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ZF SET TO COMPLETE TRW INTEGRATION


‘Single aftermarket structure’ completes plan. TRW to remain as a product brand

ZF CEO Stefan Sommer

ZF CEO Stefan Sommer

Following the acquisition of TRW last year, ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF) has announced plans to integrate both companies.

The exact details, which will include the brand portfolio structure will be announced at the Automechanika show in Frankfurt in September.

While the current information is vague, ZF have confirmed that the TRW name ‘will be retained as a product brand’ and will sit alongside Sachs, Lemförder, Boge and Openmatics. The firm says that the new structure will make ZF the second largest service organisation in car parts supply.

“Our aftermarket business partners will now benefit from this successful integration,” said ZF CEO Stefan
Sommer, who confirmed that sales and purchasing on the OE side had already been integrated. “With its aftermarket activities, ZF ensures that its products perform powerful and reliable throughout their entire life cycle and a professional diagnosis and repair with original equipment spare parts is provided in the workshops. It is important to us to speak with one voice in this segment and to ensure that our products and services are available in all
markets worldwide.”

ZF acquired TRW Automotive on May 15, 2015 and the new single aftermarket structure will take effect from January 1, 2017. The new structure and the management team will be headed by Helmut Ernst and Neil Fryer.

In other TRW news, the firm’s single shock absorber range will now be stocked by Andrew Page. Stephen Willis, a Manager at TRW said: “TRW has been working with Andrew Page for a number of years now, and this relationship helped us bring our TRW single shock absorber range to market”.

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