ELTA MBO leads to Lucas change

Published:  14 September, 2018

Changes  in the way the Lucas brand reaches the market in the UK and Ireland were announced at Automechanika Frankfurt this week.

ELTA Automotive has recently been the subject of a management buy-out, and as part of the new set-up the company has expanding its Lucas licence agreement for bulbs, wipers and switchgear to include continental Europe, as well as the UK and Ireland, while relinquishing its UK and Ireland Lucas licence for engine management to  Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE), the brand's existing European licence holder.

ELTA

The ELTA MBO was formally agreed on 11 September, and sees managing director Ian Hallam, who has worked with ELTA since the company was incorporated 25 years ago, become the company’s co-owner, alongside long-term European partner Luxline spol. s r.o – lead by Vladimír Palacka. Ian Hallam and Luxline become equal shareholders of a new holding company, ELTA Investments replacing the previous holding company, Claverdon Fields.

“During a year of notable milestones, which has included our 25th anniversary, the launch of the PRO brands in the UK and now into the European market, “ said Ian Hallam, “the MBO is the highlight, not just from a personal perspective, but for what it brings to the overall package and what the company can deliver to its customers across all regions.

“We are collectively very proud of what the company has achieved so far, but in order to continue our upward trajectory over the next 25 years, there needed to be a fundamental change and that was only possible through a negotiated MBO, which although respectful of the successes of the past, is completely new and therefore able to move in the direction we believe is necessary.”

 On the Lucas shift, Ian observed “Although the PRO brand addition will provide many new opportunities in new territories throughout the world for ELTA, our relationship with the iconic Lucas brand remains extremely important and will be a cornerstone of our European offering. However, as would be expected, a change of ownership inevitably requires a new licence agreement with the brand owners, which is why we are particularly delighted to be able to announce that this has been secured and on a mutually positive basis for both parties. As a result, we are thrilled to have secured a new UK, Eire and continental European licence for automotive bulbs, wiper blades and switchgear. . “By ensuring the continuity of our product specialisms, with the added benefit of a significantly wider territory, allied to the ability to control our own destiny, not only with our own brands, but through a new corporate mind-set, we are on the cusp of great things.

“We can therefore, look to the future with confidence and optimism as it will allow us to continue to grow and launch into new markets, introduce more products and consequently make the ELTA proposition an even more powerful and effective offering for the changing face of the aftermarket and in so doing, ensure success for the next 25 years,” concluded Ian.

SMPE

As a result of the changes, Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE) is becomes the official UK and Ireland licensee for the Lucas brand of engine management.

Since acquiring the rights to distribute the Lucas brand in Europe, SMPE has invested considerable resources in range re-profiling, packaging and cataloguing. Now, as part of this new, wider agreement, motor factors and garages throughout the UK & Ireland will have access to the programme under the Lucas brand image.

There will now be a period of transition as customers migrate over to the SMPE managed Lucas engine management programme, which includes Ignition coils, cam/crank sensors, air mass meters, lead sets, coolant temp sensors and oil pressure switches, engineered by SMPE in the UK and Poland.

SMPE Commercial Director Richard Morley said: “This is fantastic news for the UK and Ireland aftermarket, home of the Lucas brand. Through our continued success in developing the Lucas brand to customers throughout Europe, we are delighted to be able to offer UK and Ireland stockists the same benefits as we look to grow their sales of engine management products.  

“With the range at its best, our wider plans are to ensure the Lucas brand builds on its heritage and remains synonymous with quality and performance. Under SMPE’s stewardship, we are confident of achieving this.”

SMPE were also the principal suppliers of Lucas branded engine management during the 1990s. Going forward, SMPE will also be working closely with other Lucas licence holders of complementary product programmes.

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