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Autologic switches emphasis to technical support

Autologic will switch away from its commodity supply business and move towards automotive service supply, following the arrival of a new management team brought in last year and the hike in fuel prices.

Currently, 60% of its business is logistics but Avril Palmer-Baunack, Autologic chief executive, wants this area to make up only 30% while technical support such as vehicle refurbishment will make up the remaining 70%.

Walon, its logistics business,  has become “a commodity marketplace”, said Palmer-Baunack. She added: “We will focus on technical support in the future – we want to offer added-value services.”

The company has a centre of excellence for customisation, PDI and refurbishment at Bristol port, where cars can be customised in five to eight days – much less than the average 40 days it takes a manufacturer to do the same job, said Palmer-Baunack.

“Rather than doing it in-house we do it, while a dealer can focus on selling vehicles. It also saves movement, because we complete the whole process. You don’t have the vehicle coming in, then going to a third party for technical work, then moving it on to a dealership.”

She added: “The market will soften due to the credit crunch but we believe in the long term. For us, this means we will grow towards the fleet and used car business and insurance companies.”

Palmer-Baunack expects 2008 to be a break-even year following the management restructure, which has seen the implementation of a five-year turnaround plan for the business.

Autologic clients include Helphire, Pendragon and manufacturers such as Fiat, Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen.

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