The UK’s truck parc is around 475,000 commercial vehicles, according to licensing records from the Department for Transport; of those, 377,750 are over 3.5 tonnes gvw. New vehicle registrations of those heavy trucks amount to 45,000 per year, and their warranties last for two years. That means 75% of the heavy truck parc is out of warranty. As most heavy trucks rack up a million-plus kilometres during eight-year working lives, their owners naturally look to source replacement parts as cost effectively as possible.
In addition to selling own-brand parts, truck OEMs also remanufacture
worn-out major assemblies such as engines, clutches, alternators, compressors and transmissions. Prices are lower than new parts because they are partially offset by the value of the used component returned with the sale.
IVECO’s aftermarket director David Power explains: “Recovering the material means we can offer these assemblies in virtually as-new condition, with full tier one component replacement, for around 30% of the original equipment price. For example, engines are completely disassembled, cleaned and tested. They are fitted with new components to the OE specification and undergorigorous quality checks. This means we are confident enough to offer a two-year warranty on our Reman parts.”
This service is now an important part of all truck manufacturers’ revenue. IVECO says that its Reman programme now accounts for 12% of its parts business; it operates a dedicated remanufacturing plant in Garchizy, central France.
James Ostridge, head of customer service delivery at Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK, states that it only sells own-brand parts. “Our second-life parts aren’t reconditioned, repaired, recycled or refurbished,” he explains. “They are fully remanufactured to our stringent quality standards.” A year’s warranty is included.
As long as OEMs provided only original parts, whether remanufactured or new, less-expensive consumables and service-related parts have been offered by independent motor factors and parts distributors. This year, however, a new player – and the third truck OEM, after DAF’s TRP and Volvo’s Roadcrew operations – entered the market.
At the 2017 CV Show in Birmingham, the ‘Service Complete’ all-marques parts programme was launched by MAN. Karl-Heinz Meister, head of UK parts at MAN Truck & Bus UK, says: “Our aim is to enable our dealers to be the one-stop-shop for customers who often have a mixed fleet. It is important that we offer high quality parts and competitive prices within our all-marques programme.”
He continues: “This gives our dealers the opportunity to repair and maintain the whole fleet of a customer. Often a customer likes the workshop location, the people and the service he receives, but must go to another workshop with his mixed fleet. We have now solved this problem for our customers; they can go to the workshop they trust with all their vehicles.” Parts have a year’s warranty.
DAF Trucks’ parent Paccar spotted an opportunity in this market as early as 1995. In 2013, its TRP truck and trailer parts programme was expanded to include a series of support legs, air brakes and LED lighting for trailers. The range contains over 75,000 parts for all truck and trailer brands, as well as workshop requisites. There are now 11 walk-in TRP parts shops, plus an online presence (http://www.trp.eu/en).
DAF’s parts marketing manager Stewart Davies outlines its strategy: “Our philosophy is that we are a parts supplier and not seen as simply providing parts for DAF applications. We wanted to use our dealer network and our parts infrastructure to supply parts for any brand of truck, trailer and consumable. This was supported by a national network of dealers that are looking to develop a parts business that fully supports their growth ambitions. The TRP programme is now an intrinsic part of the entire DAF dealer network.”
Vehicle brake and control systems supplier WABCO’s ProVia budget parts brand offers more than 130 products. Philippe Colpron, WABCO’s vice president, aftermarket, says: “Operators previously had to choose between the parts in which they were confident, or the parts which fit their budget. ProVia offers a no-compromise alternative.” By the end of 2017, ProVia plans to offer approximately 25 product categories globally.
Scania also offers and promotes a range of parts for other marques and ancillary equipment, such as trailers and tail-lifts, that come with a year’s warranty. According to Graham Dale, Scania GB’s general manager for parts operations, end user net pricing of readily available competitive parts is now comparable between OEMs and the aftermarket. Scania says that its all-marques parts only come from manufacturers who supply to European commercial vehicle OEMs.
Dale says that another reason why some OEMs now offer all-marques parts is they have, over the years, invested heavily in sophisticated – and costly – parts distribution systems. He explains: “These systems have the capacity to handle much more volume, and therefore incremental costs for distributing additional parts is very low, which allows them to offer better pricing and delivery to the end customer.
“The OEMs are supporting availability and supply of hundreds of thousands of parts lines to support their product and the customers’ needs. This differs from aftermarket parts suppliers, who would usually offer the top 500–1,000 parts for each OEM’s range, selecting the high volume, highly competitive common items,” he concludes.
BOX: COMPETITOR STRENGTHENED
All-makes parts supplier Digraph has received “significant investment” from Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, founder of Euro Car Parts. Further investments have been made by Euro Car Parts and by Digraph’s managing director James Rawson. The investment will allow the Nottinghamshire-based company to expand to “all parts of the UK with wider and deeper product ranges,” says Singh. Digraph currently operates 14 branches centred around the Midlands.
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