Editor's comment: OE Trade Clubs

Independents benefit from OE links

Published:  06 August, 2014

Hyundai announcing its intention to supply independents with OE parts could be seen by some as a good move, giving customers more choice not just on the parts they have fitted but on the garage they can use to fit them.

The press release received here was from the manufacturer's point of view, talking about how a move would be good for dealers and Hyundai as it offers another revenue stream. It also acknowledged that the vehicle manufacturer realises how older cars slip into the independent workshop networks. As I've mentioned before, research has shown that dealers lose information on cars that are often 3.5 years old. What is also interesting is that Hyundai is one of the manufacturers that offer a longer warranty period, five years in this case.

For the independents however, it gives access to OE parts, alongside OE quality and aftermarket products. They will then be able to offer the customer more choice, while also being able to use the deal to ensure Hyundai drivers are happy to bring their vehicles in to them for servicing. Vauxhall already offers its Trade Club scheme, so will other manufacturers follow suit and will this be a good thing?

For me the answer is yes in that giving customers a choice ultimately gets them through their doors. Say you can offer OE parts and those whose cars are still in warranty won't feel as sceptical that their warranty will be invalidated. Once they are in you can inform them further and let them make a choice whether to go for OE, or OE quality, or other parts that will be cheaper if their warranty period has run out. As specialising in a certain vehicle manufacturer becomes more prevalent, the ability to say you are an alternative to a dealer will be a great marketing tool.

Whether other manufacturers will follow suit remains to be seen however. Hyundai sold around 75,000 cars in 2013, so the need to find other revenue streams while keeping its customers happy is essential. Manufacturers like Ford have such a large turnover anyway that this ability may not be needed.

phil@aftermarket.co.uk

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