Tag Archive | "OE"

UP-SELLING ON OILS AND LUBES

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UP-SELLING ON OILS AND LUBES


There’s a profit to be made on oils and lubes if you have the right strategy in place

comma-oil

A market trend has started to form with the introduction of very low viscosity oil grades, designed to improve fuel efficiency and oil change intervals; opening up-selling opportunities for oils providing you can find exactly the right grade.

MARKET TREND
Mike Bewsey, Comma Oils Sales & Marketing Director, says that while 5w-30 remains a popular grade; this could be subject to change. “5w-30 products remain dominant as OE spec, but the future market trend as signaled in applications for the latest fuel efficient and hybrid engines is moving towards even lower viscosity oils in the 0w-20/- 0w-30 range” he said.
Chris Wall, Marketing Manager at Total Lubricants, concurs, saying: “It’s all about optimising engine efficiency: a balance between engine performance, engine protection and even fuel saving”.

INCREASING SALES
Our oil experts suggested a couple of ideas that will sweep those products off the counter and into the customer’s hands. Bewsey advises technicians to offer top-up cartons when the vehicle is being serviced, so the motorist will have a litre of the correct grade handy for service intervals, by recommending a ‘top up’ with the correct specification. He said: “As far as engine lubes are concerned, the most straightforward and profitable method is to offer your customer the correct top-up oil for their vehicle. Sell your customer the appropriate 1 or 2 litre top up oil pack (s) at the time of the oil change service interval, and urge then to check their vehicle’s oil level regularly, whatever its recommended oil change cycle”. Steve Dunn, Sales Director of Exol Lubricants, agrees, suggesting that workshops should be stressing the importance of buying high quality oil grades to customers. After all, the last thing a technician needs is a dissatisfied motorist returning a few weeks later to find they have poured in the wrong formulation, causing damage to the engine. “Garages should ensure customers check their oil regularly and raise the awareness to some of the pitfalls of incorrect oils”, said Dunn. “By encouraging garages to promote the importance of good quality oil, motorists are more inclined to use premium products of greater quality that offer long- term benefits rather than a cheaper alternative”.

OIL SELECTION
The influx of oils and lubricants available for petrol and diesel engines can cause a cloud of confusion among technicians when distinguishing the correct specifications for the job, particularly for businesses servicing a diverse range of vehicle models. To jump over this hurdle, most suppliers have a VRM look-up system in place to help choose the correct formulation first time round. Martyn Mann, Technical Director at Millers Oils, elaborated: “Our website has a facility called Which Oil? Users can enter the vehicle’s details in to find out the correct oil and quantity for the engine in question”, Mann continued: “We also have helplines where people can speak to a member of our technical team or alternatively, e-mail their query to us”. Similarly, Chris Wall from Total Lubricants says the supplier utilises a tool called ‘LubAdvisor’, what does what it says on the tin. He explained: “This easy to use tool allows technicians to look up the specific make and model in an instant, enabling them to make the right choice with confidence every time, with the information also available through industry cataloguing systems adopted by some of the big motor factor groups”. Les Downey, Managing Director of Lucas Oil adds: “The garage only needs the VRM, a PC and access to any one of a wide range of online tools and the specification is there on the screen. Alternatively, the motor factor can provide the advice”.

DEVELOPING ADDITIVE PACKS
Developing additive packs in house is a very expensive and time-consuming business, but as the number of VM-specific oil references grows it is necessary for oil blenders to either develop their own additive packs (which then need to be approved by the VM) or buy directly from additive suppliers. One company that buys ad packs in this way is SCT, which produces and distributes the Mannol brand in the UK. Jevgenij Lyzko from the firm says: “Our factory uses Infineum as additive supplier, as we highly trust their quality and professionalism”. He notes that his firm now produces various VM-specific lubes, which are easily identifiable by the black packaging, which have seen strong sales in the UK since being introduced two years ago.

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HELLA RE-ENERGISES ITS BATTERY PROGRAMME


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF HELLA 

hella-battery-range

As one of Europe’s leading original equipment (OE) manufacturers and system suppliers for the passenger car, commercial vehicle (CV) and agricultural industries, HELLA also offers a huge range of aftermarket products that naturally reflect the quality implicit in a major OE manufacturer.

Battery related issues remain the root cause of most vehicle breakdowns with battery performance reduced by as much as 35% as temperatures hit freezing. Therefore, batteries are a particularly important product across all sectors, so as would be expected, the HELLA range is designed around quality.

To ensure its entire range remains at the very top of division when it comes to performance and durability, HELLA has recently reviewed, updated and expanded its range to provide the most appropriate solution for the varying needs of drivers.

The renewed car, light commercial vehicle (LCV) and CV battery ranges are included in HELLA’s latest Power Promotion, which runs until the end of the year and means the more batteries that a wholesaler orders, the greater their rebate.

As well as high quality products supplied by a reputable OE manufacturer, another major benefit for wholesalers distributing HELLA batteries is the no minimum order quantity stipulation and with next day delivery, factors only need to order what they need, when they need it.

The re-energised battery range consists of four models: Classic, Premium, Supreme and AGM, to cater for every conceivable application, from passenger car and LCV to heavy duty and agricultural.

The Classic range is designed for smaller capacity engines and older vehicles, providing a cost effective solution for these applications because of its reliability and maintenance free convenience.

For general purpose applications, HELLA has designed the Premium range for all classes of vehicles. It is one of the top selling models in the range and offers matching OE performance and a long service life, which is why the range proves so popular.

With the Supreme, HELLA provides a higher than OE specification solution for vehicles with extremely high energy consuming demands. Particularly ideal for diesel engines and vehicles with a large number of electronic devices and energy sapping additions, its robust design and optimised performance ensures reliability and a long service life.

The HELLA AGM range is ideal for the growing number of vehicles featuring stop-start functionality, as it is designed to cater for this technology due to its excellent cyclic capacity as well as providing up to 50% more starting power.

For more information about the OE quality products available from HELLA or for BEHR HELLA SERVICE, please call the sales team on: 01295 662400 or email: hella.sales@hella.com

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GO OE THIS WINTER FOR SAFE BRAKING


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PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF PAGID PROFESSIONAL

The winter can be harsh. Treacherous conditions are rife, and driving in the rain, snow or ice can bring about many accidents. While driver skill plays a part, equipment often plays a bigger role. There’s no point in having the reaction speed of a caffeinated fox when the vehicle’s brakes are shot.

To help explain this to your customers this winter, Pagid is working with garages across the UK to help them give the best care and advice to their customers, whilst also providing upsell opportunities. One such opportunity is for brakes, and ensuring brake pads are up to scratch for those awful winter conditions.

Sludge, dirt and salt, during winter, are not a brake’s best friend. They can all build up inside vital brake parts, affecting performance and corrosion. So, the best friction is required to prevent this from happening, and ensuring brakes work effectively, even in the wet, snow and ice.

Pagid’s first recommendation is to ask customers if they have felt or heard any symptoms that may alert you to worn or damaged brakes. Squeaking, clicking or grinding noises can all point to issues, as would a shuddering or pulling sensation when braking. These are clear signs that brake maintenance (and likely replacement) is in order.

Another opportunity to ensure customers are ready for anything this winter, is to offer to check through customer brake parts as part of a winter check. Looking especially close at the condition across the axle to avoid a potential spin. Ask your customers if they’d like a full brake check when they come in for other work, to help make sure they are as safe and ready for winter elements.

Of course, if new parts are required, always choose the OE-approved braking solutions, such as Pagid. These will ensure that your customers will be best placed to avoid or safely negotiate hazards during the tricky winter conditions. They’re OE-approved for a reason.

With cover for 99% of vehicle makes and models, and have excellent availability, service and support, Pagid delivers the complete braking solution for winter brake parts. Explaining this to your customers will reassure them that Pagid is the best choice for winter braking. For more advice on winter braking, visit www.pagidprofessional.co.uk.

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NTN-SNR ENTERS THE AFTERMARKET


Firm launch range of aftermarket parts

Firm launches range of aftermarket parts

Transmission product maker NTN-SNR has launched a number of products designed to capture a segment of the aftermarket.

Previously, the Japan and France-based firm has concentrated on OE contracts, but it has decided that the time is right to cater for a part of the market currently dominated by remanufactured products.

The company used an event in France to launch the new items ahead of last month’s  Automechanika. Initially the range will consist of a number of driveshafts and boot kits.

Christophe Espine, Marketing at the company said: “Innovation, whether it comes from OEM development or is specific to the aftermarket, is there to enhance our offer”.

The firm won the prize for product innovation for the compact design of it’s driveshafts during Equip Auto 2015.

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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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REMANUFACTURER CALLS FOR CLEAR BUILD SPECS

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REMANUFACTURER CALLS FOR CLEAR BUILD SPECS


Poor quality reman still available say FDS

Poor quality reman still available say FDS

A remanufacturer has hit out over a lack of defined specs from OEs, resulting in mixed quality between reman suppliers.

“The root cause of the problem is the lack of universal build specifications from the OE manufacturers,” said Steve Smith, Managing Director of remanufacturer Feather Diesel Services (FDS). “They don’t define what should be done when their products are remanufactured, and the market can fall into the trap of assuming it’s all the same.

“It’s just easier for people to look at a price, rather than the processes involved in top-quality remanufacturing.”

FDS have identified four key areas where it believes costs are being cut in diesel remanufacturing. These are first, not replacing some components, secondly, not cleaning properly, thirdly, not testing and fourthly, through use of non- genuine components. All of these directly impact quality and reliability.

Smith cited an example of a poorly remanufactured pump that was available to purchase in the UK, but the most expensive part of the pump known as the ZME valve had not been replaced.

* Read the diesel system feature in CAT next month.

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GETTING A WARM GLOW IN SLOVENIA


Jernej Kusterle shows us around a glow plug factory in central Europe

Jernej Kusterle

VITAL STATS
Hidria
LOCATION: Tolmin, Slovenia
PRODUCES: Glow plugs, Electronic components and aluminium castings
STANDARD WARRANTY: Five years
REVENUE: €260m (2015)
EMPLOYEES 1,800 (over three locations)

There are worse places to have a factory than the lush green Soca valley. Crystal clear steams trickle down from misty mountains, while vineyards stretch out towards the Italian border, punctuated only by medieval walled citadels.

However, we’re not here on a sightseeing trip. The purpose of our trip is to visit Hidria, a company you might be forgiven for not having heard of. Hidria is a major OE component producer, notably of glow plugs. While it has had an aftermarket range in Europe for some time it is about to launch in the UK having just signed a major distribution agreement with ECP – and we were keen to find out more. The firm’s range of glow plugs will be stocked by ECP and will cover a wide range of references, including a few that are not in anybody else’s catalogue.

Hidria’s history dates back to the 1950s when it started producing parts for central heating systems. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that the firm relocated to it’s current site and started producing car parts (apart from glow plugs, the company produces mechatronics units and die castings). In 2015 the company announced that it was disposing of it’s subsidiary called Gif and that it had agreed a finance arrangement with its banking partners to allow ‘profitable growth and develop breakthrough innovations’. It plans to increase revenue from €260m to €350m by 2018.

One of the first things to understand about glow plugs is that there is no cheap ‘price fighting’ brand in the market. There are only half a dozen or so companies producing glow plugs and all of which have OE contracts. There are several reasons for this, most significant is that diesel components need to be precisely engineered and if a glow plug was even fractionally too long it is liable to touch the piston crown, resulting in significant damage to the engine.

This is one of the reasons, according to Aftermarket Sales Manager Jernej Kusterle, why the VMs are particularly discerning regarding the development and spec of the glowplugs. He took us to the development centre in the Tolmin HQ where he was delighted to show us around on the provision that we put on clean-room compliant clothing.

Kusterle is under no allusions that the firms product for the aftermarket is only likely to sell in scale at various points of the year. “Many more are needed on the market when the first cold mornings of the year happen from September onwards” he said.

DEVELOPMENT 

One of the plant buildings at Tolmin, Slovenia

One of the plant buildings at Tolmin, Slovenia

Developing glow plugs is a pretty torturous business as it turned out. On our visit a machine was heating plugs up to an ambient temperature above 40 degrees C, before plunging them back to a freezing -40 degrees in a matter of moments. There were also machines that simulated extreme vibration as well as microscopes, spectrometers and an X-ray machine. In another room, complete engines were running in test cells, which we’d love to tell you more about, but we are sworn to secrecy.

Going down to the production area,we were surprised at the comparative lack of people. “We design the production machines ourselves – and obviously we don’t disclose what we build to the outside” said Kusterle. Like the 1980s kid’s TV programme Bertha, raw materials go in at one end and the finished product comes out of the other on most lines, although curiously, packing is still done manually.

PYRO LINE
Inside the line, each plug is coded for traceability and tested using a device called a pyrometer. Robots weld the tiny heater cold together with astonishing speed and accuracy. “We make the wiring for the inside of the plug in house” Kusterle explained. “It’s an advantage for us, because we can develop new applications faster and more easily” he said, adding that it was common practice among competitors to buy this wiring from external suppliers.

There was much more to the plant that we don’t have time to describe, such as the pressure- sensitive assembly, but we’re sure we’ll see a lot more of the Hidria brand in the UK soon.

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