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Trade treatments firm eyes Forte's UK crown

West Bromwich-based Enviro-Solve UK has opened its first line of attack with a major recruitment campaign to establish a national network of sales staff to push its Mechanix Choice range of service-time treatments further up the choice list of franchised dealer and independent workshops.

A second wave of European marketing will see EnviroSolve launching or expanding distribution operations in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic in the first quarter of 2003. Mechanix Choice products for the European markets are developed in the UK and made in Ripley, Derbyshire.

EnviroSolve's business development manager, John Rendell - who was Forte's national sales training manager for five years - says the treatments have the potential to challenge Forte's market leadership.

"They're very high-tech and realistically priced - and they produce excellent results," he says. "From the garage's point of view Mechanix Choice also produces excellent results in terms of customer retention, customer satisfaction and profitability."

Meanwhile Forte - on record as saying there's plenty of room for growth in the sector - reports 2002 was one of its best ever years. While the company declines to say what its sales volume is, last year's rose by 28 per cent compared with 2001, despite workshops reporting a general drop in servicing business.

Sales director Bob Welch puts Forte's rise down largely to the company's championing of the Office of Fair Trading's 44-point recommended check list. "Britain's garages will service around 24 million vehicles over the coming year," he says. "If every outlet followed the OFT's list, which includes the use of treatments as the 'norm' to combat engine contamination, then there is major potential for garage owners to improve their reputations and for companies like ours to increase sales."

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