EVIAN, France The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance and Temot International have formally agreed to share current technology, purchasing and marketing solutions. A major objective of this collaboration will be directed toward mutual shareholder global growth outside their current established marketplaces in Europe and North America. The agreement was formalized at the Temot International Annual Spring Meeting and Executive Suppliers’ Event today when the Alliance became a shareholder in Temot International.
Temot International has been an Alliance member since 2002. It is the largest independent program distribution group in Europe, with 32 members selling upward of $5 billion in 40 countries. Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance enjoys similar status in the fragmented North American market with sales of its 53 members approaching $2.5 billion. The groups have shared a great deal of knowledge and best practices through interaction in each other’s meetings and regular communications.
“In the course of our planning, it became clear that it was time to take things to the next level,” said Fotios Katsardis, president and CEO of Temot International Autoparts GmbH. “Market conditions, shareholder needs and new leadership at both groups have aligned to make now the time.”
“We’ve studied the technology efforts of both groups and it’s clear that we can help each other in several areas. One of those is our mutual desire to expand our groups beyond their current trading areas. These expansion plans make collaboration on technology and marketing very attractive,” said John Washbish, president and CEO of the Alliance. "North America and Europe will continue to be strong markets for automotive parts. Vehicle populations on both continents will continue to grow steadily but slowly for the next few years. We plan to use our shared technology to optimize our efforts in mature markets and to provide the necessary infrastructure to penetrate areas where vehicle populations are growing by double digits each year."
As an example, Washbish cited the situation in South America, in which both Temot and the Alliance are considering entry. "In parts of South America, the heavy-duty business is mostly equipment of U.S. origin, while passenger cars are predominantly European. The advantage of collaboration is obvious. In other places, Temot’s Commercial Vehicle Division will help the Alliance and our supplies, accessories & tools catalog will help them."
Both group leaders stressed the critical role of their supplier channel partners in this strategy. “In many cases, collaboration with our suppliers will be as important as inter-group collaboration," said Washbish. "Our growth will mean growth for our supplier channel partners as well, but it will not come without a great deal of work.” Katsardis also talked about the need for a collaborative approach with suppliers to detail and pursue the global expansion plan.
Both men spoke of the collective knowledge and expertise the two organizations can bring to new members regardless of their location. "We have a lot of marketing and technology prowess to offer distributors in these growth markets," said Washbish.
According to Katsardis, “The concept of collaborating with supplier channel partners beyond our traditional geographical boundaries is exciting, too.” Washbish agreed that the upside of this global strategy is nearly limitless and that the opportunity is one that few other independent groups are even thinking about.
Although simple in nature, this new relationship comprises many details that will take some time to work out. The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance summer meeting will be held in San Francisco in June and Washbish is looking forward to his first opportunity to talk with shareholders at large. "Our board of directors deliberated very thoughtfully since late last summer about this opportunity." An executive board meeting was held with the Temot Supervisory Board in London, England, this past February, to complete the understanding of the future together. "As they learn more about it our members are going to appreciate their efforts. It also will add quite a dimension of value for new North American shareholders as we bring them on board."