Following last month’s news that Hella had signed a distribution deal with filter brand Hengst in the UK, UFI Filters has announced that it will be investing in its own distribution network in what it described as an ‘aggressive market offensive in the UK’.
Stating a three-year goal of achieving 10 percent UK market share over the next three years, the firm has obtained a new 10,700 sq ft distribution centre in Redditch that will hold stock of over 200,000 parts, with 2,600 SKUs covering 96% of the UK car parc.
The new warehouse will be serviced by logistics company Transmec and will allow for a 5pm ‘last order’ cut-off and morning delivery for orders with a minimum value of £350.
Commenting on the new initiative UFI’s Aftermarket Europe Sales Manager, Francesco Tomasoni said: “The new warehouse and service standards will fully satisfy our existing and potential customers needs. We are confident that our offering will be well received, as a result, across the market. While the UK aftermarket is dominated by a few larger suppliers, it is also highly fragmented and there is great scope for a highly focused and innovative company such as ours to deliver something that is truly new.”
Director, Luca Betti, added: “Our filters are original equipment on eight out of 10 of the UK’s top selling cars last year, with 24 different OE filters covering the many different versions of these cars. At a press conference, CAT asked who UFI wished to take market share from in order to hit the ambitious growth targets, to which new Aftermarket Sales Manager, Karl Ridings replied without hesitation ‘Sogefi’.
For its part, Sogefi were unconcerned. “I admire their aspirations, but I’m not terribly worried about it” said Sales Director Nigel Duffield, adding that his company has a ‘clear strategy’ for distribution that it will talk more about soon.