In 2014 at the Automechanika Frankfurt exhibition the latest developments of car components manufacturing companies specializing in production of different groups of spare parts were presented. Info-Parts journalists managed to talk with representatives of Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG, a company striving to provide the most effective solutions for its customers by manufacturing improved car components and spare parts under their brands MEYLE and MEYLE-HD. We interviewed Dr. Karl J. Gaertner, CEO of Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG, and Marcus Winter, Sales Manager Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Info-Parts: Please, tell us about the most important events that occurred in your company this year
Karl J. Gaertner, CEO: We concentrated all our activities on our expertise as manufacturer and sold Interamerican Motor Corporation (IMC), the American subsidiary, to stress our change from being a classic dealer to a brand supplier of automotive spare parts with own production sites.
The IMC sale was a strategic step to focus more on the manufacturing of high quality car spare parts.
The buyer of IMC is AutoZone Inc. which get the right to sell the company’s shares on the stock exchange. The future corporation activity provides for sale of MEYLE and MEYLE-HD products in the American markets. We believe that the deal will contribute to a sharp increase in American market share occupied by MEYLE and MEYLE-HD products.
Info-Parts: Please, share your expert opinion on what trends at the Aftermarket can be expected in the nearest future?
Karl J. Gaertner, CEO: Nowadays it is not so easy to forecast the future development of the events. Based on my experience and given the current trends, I would suggest that in the nearest future there will be consolidation at the Aftermarket. And the concentration of activities will cover not only the manufacturing industry, but also the distribution policy of many car spare parts manufacturers. At the Automechanika Frankfurt 2014 exhibition you can see a lot of new products and advanced solutions that will set the trends for the future.
Info-Parts:What opportunities do you see at the Aftermarket of CIS countries, and does your company offer something new?
Karl J. Gaertner, CEO: For Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG, the Aftermarket of the CIS countries is still very strong and promising. Here we observe an increased demand for high-quality parts of steering and suspension, engine, brake components. And this trend continues to grow, the demand is growing.
The Automechanika Frankfurt 2014 exhibition is a great opportunity for us to present even more beneficial solutions and recent developments. This year Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG presents several new products: MEYLE Platinum Disc – brake discs with UV coating, advanced MEYLE Platinum Pads – brake pads, and improved MEYLE water pumps in HD quality.
For Eastern Europe countries Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG offers a wide range of products, which includes not only the MEYLE and MEYLE-HD steering and suspension parts, but also the brake components. We have high expectations regarding these products and we believe our customers from Eastern Europe will benefit from them.
Info-Parts: Please, tell us about the situation with MEYLE Asia Line
Karl J. Gaertner, CEO: At the Automechanika Frankfurt in 2012 we presented the spare parts range for cars of Asian origin. Today it´s not promoted separately anymore, but absorbed in the overall assortment.
Nevertheless it´s quite a challenge as a German company to make the costumers and market understand they should buy a German car part for their Asian car. We continue to expand our range of parts for Asian vehicles – the latest addition was shock absorbers.
Today our range for Asian vehicles includes a wide assortment of parts: suspension and steering, transmission, engine, brake and electrical systems.
The Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG principle of work is based on partnerships. Our philosophy is to provide the most beneficial and effective offers for the end consumer.
Info-Parts: Which trends can you observe on the truck spare parts market?
Karl J. Gaertner, CEO: Trucks are certainly a very important segment, both for transport operations and for car service. Our MEYLE Truck Line is still a small part of our business, but we want to grow in this sector as well. . The global trend is to provide spare parts of the best quality. The reliability of the parts should be the basis for the offer, and applicability and the width of the range – on the back plan.?
Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG further made an important step by providing high-quality products for trucks: This year we presented new MEYLE brake discs and brake pad sets. They were used successfully with excellent results by the Spanish vice-champion truck racer Antonio Albacete in the FIA Truck Racing European Championship. We are proud of this and take it as a confirmation for the reliability of MEYLE products.
Info-Parts: Is it necessary for service stations to have special tools to work with MEYLE-HD spare parts?
M. Winter, Sales Manager: The physical characteristics of MEYLE-HD spare parts differ from the original ones only by strength and durability. The installation dimensions of improved parts are identical to the original samples. Therefore, there is no need for service stations to buy additional special tools to work with MEYLE-HD parts.
In addition, by using the MEYLE-HD parts the service stations may improve their effectiveness in a simple way. We may take as an example the new control arm designed by Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG engineers. Its design allows to smoothly adjust the location of the ball joint (positive, zero and negative camber angle). Due to this fact the MEYLE-HD control arm can be installed instead of the original part in any BMW models of Series 5 (with F07, F10 and F11 bodies), Series 6 (F06, F12 and F13) and Series 7 (F01, F02 and F04). Such flexibility allows to meet the demand for wishbones of three Bavarian models quickly and easily. Moreover, the improved design of the MEYLE-HD control arm provides the opportunity to replace the ball joints separately.