Internal restructuring has already been completed, and now Unipart’s management is focusing on the customer-facing aspects of the business. During the next two to three years, all its 2,000 delivery vans will be re-branded with the Unipart Automotive logo and the signage at all Partco and Brown Brothers outlets will be replaced. Other brand names being replaced include Garage Equipment Services and Serck.
Andrew Daly, marketing director at Unipart Automotive, tells AM: “What we’ve done in the past has tended to be as Brown Brothers or Partco, but we’re looking to change that. Until now lots of our products have had brand differentiation. We’ve restructured the business to make it one company, one that is more efficient to operate, and one which is easier for our customers to understand.
“We’re positioning ourselves for growth, and will build on the Unipart Automotive brand and the Unipart brand.”
The changes, described by Daly as “a significant investment”, will also bring greater efficiency to Unipart’s marketing spend – it has begun promotions already by sponsoring Leo and Greg Mansell, sons of former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell, in this year’s Formula BMW series.
Daly says the staff and infrastructure of the Brown Brothers and Partco networks will not be affected. The changeover will be gradual because the company wants to do it as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, such as coinciding re-branding with the renewal of its distribution fleet.
Unipart Automotive has now launched a secure website for the 1,400 independent garages which are members of its Unipart Car Care Centre network. This follows a consultation with members last November, during which they requested clearer communication with the company. The site includes a forum for garage owners to share advice and discuss issues. The site also provides Unipart Car Care Centres with support on training in order to achieve the BSI PAS 80 Kitemark for the vehicle repair sector.
Unipart Automotive is a supporter of both the BSI Kitemark and Automotive Technician Accreditation initiatives, and provides training support for independent workshops.