The company has traditionally supplied OE aftermarket parts only for German, French and Scandinavian car marques. From January, its partnerships with parts manufacturers, such as ATE brakes, Bilstein suspension and Hengst filters, will be expanded to encompass the range across all car brands.
Chris Barella, sales director, says there will be a “significant investment” in launch promotions and marketing in order to get independent garages on board. Trade sales currently account for 80% of Euro Car Parts’ business. Turnover is £70m, but Barella expects that to reach £85m next year, and £100m in 2007.
“We have to accept that we’re the second call for traditional garages right now. If a garage repairs all types of vehicle it will ring its local motor factor first and then give us a call for any other parts the factor cannot supply. But if it is a specialist repairer for German, French or Scandinavian cars, it will call us first. We want to be the first call for all repairers,” he adds.
Last year, Euro Car Parts gained a Citroën Approved Parts franchise for its Wembley site.
However Barella isn’t actively looking to take on other manufacturer franchises. The bulk of Euro Car Parts range is sourced from outside the UK, enabling the company to sell components cheaper yet still at a higher profit margin than franchised dealers’ parts operations can achieve.
Euro Car Parts currently has 35 outlets, and Barella expects five more to open by the end of the year.