Comline has seen 30% growth on its filter products in the past 18 months and a 15% increase in its braking range, sold under the brand name Allied Nippon, year-on-year.Comline sales and marketing director Malcolm Rosher said it has ditched certain ranges in the past couple of years, including steering and belting, to focus on five core groups – filters, braking, pads and discs, clutch kits and water pumps and cv joints.
Filters and braking are its biggest markets.
Rosher said Comline was just “scratching the surface” in terms of market share, but said growth would come from being first to market new items, better catalogues and putting products on the shelf.
“We’ve also got high availability and competitive pricing,” said Rosher. “We are unashamedly keen on price.”
Comline is currently relaunching its brand, which will roll out through the remainder of 2008, firstly on packaging but also with a new website, T-shirts and bags.
“We want brand consistency, which demonstrates a really slick operation,” Rosher said. “At the moment, it’s a mishmash.”
The aftermarket company has joined the United Aftermarket Network buying group. Rosher said such groups cannot be ignored with more and more motor factors using them.
Comline struggled during June and July but has since had a record September, said Rosher.
He thought the current financial situation was having a greater impact than Block Exemption: “Customers are being driven to the independent sector because of cost savings.”