During the last five years in particular, there has been a significant shift in the structure of the UK aftermarket. Buying groups have become more powerful and the ‘big three’ – GPC (Alliance Automotive Group), LKQ (ECP) and Uni-Select (Parts Alliance) – now dominate the market.
Although ELTA is proud to supply each of these groups, their buying power is naturally huge and enables them to offer their members prominent, original equipment (OE) brands, at the lowest possible prices. As a result, independent motor factors can no longer compete on price with these OE brands.
With this downward pressure, the gap between OE and premium aftermarket products closes, which forces these factors to look to own-brand offerings, exclusivity deals or more competitively priced products – albeit without compromising on quality – to maintain a healthy profit margin and keep a competitive advantage.
The own brand option offers the independent more control and is an attractive solution, but if implemented with poor quality product, a lack of resource, branding expertise or product knowledge, can be extremely damaging.
As a specialist, with a proven track record of success in both supplying and creating own brand offerings as demonstrated by such examples as the XEVO introduction, ELTA Automotive is in an excellent position to provide this solution to the independent sector and believes that it will become a large part of its future business model.
However, those that do not, or cannot, adopt an own brand programme are looking to alleviate the pressure on their resources by trying to source more products from fewer suppliers as this consolidates the ordering, monitoring, stocking and marketing processes.
To cater for the needs of this group of customers, the company sees the requirement for a well-positioned, wide ranging, premium quality, ‘off-the-shelf’ solution, which ELTA, with its diverse product portfolio, is perfectly suited to deliver.
Combined with the company’s comprehensive support services, which address the marketing/brand and stock related requirements, through its BRANDASSIST and STOCKASSIST programmes and the technical need of installers, via TECHASSIST, this new brand initiative provides a compelling offering that ticks all the boxes in terms of visibility, quality, range, price and customer service.