Parts supplier Diesel Technic is looking to double its warehousing capacity in the UK early this year as it targets 30% growth.
The German equipment manufacturer - established in northern Germany in 1972 and with a presence in seven countries worldwide - started trading from its Kingswinford, West Midlands site in 2015, and is not slowing down.
Mark Boden, general manager, Diesel Technic UK and Ireland (pictured), told CM: “We have an agreement in place to take on the unit next to us. That will take us to 20,000ft2, which will double the warehouse capacity. We’d also increase office space as well. We are in negotiations to do that as early as possible.”
Boden described Diesel Technic as “producing and selling commercial vehicle, trailer and LCV products manufactured to OE quality and specification”. It covers the seven major truck manufacturers and has 36,000 items in its portfolio, 17,000 of which are specific to right-hand-drive vehicles.
In the UK it has 11,000 parts available, and the remaining 6,000 are available on a very short shipment from Germany. “Our typical sales outlet will be a reseller of commercial vehicle products, so we are a pure wholesale business that does not deal with end users,”
Boden explained. “All of our business goes through a third-party that is selling it onto the major fleets. From a UK perspective, we increased our customer base by 30% last year and we will go for a strong growth plan this year. We are looking to increase the product range we have got on the shelf, the range we have in Germany, and our customer base,” he said.
If an operator was to go direct to the business to buy spares, it would be contacted and qualified by Diesel Technic before being referred to a local partner and official reseller in its area. “Our goal is to build on that sales channel; to try and do the reverse sales so operators that are maintaining their own fleets are asking our partners for our product,” said Boden.
He added that there is still a large market of operators maintaining their own fleets, despite the numerous options in the market to outsource such work. And with the average age of an HGV in the UK now standing at 7.5 years, the market for spares is strong.
When CM visited Kingswinford, Brexit negotiations were reaching a peak. Boden said the majority of concern is coming from its Irish partners, given the potential for the restrictions to cross-border trade, and - from a company perspective - Diesel Technic was happy the UK and Ireland subsidiary was up and running before any discussions of Brexit.
“We see it as a positive to have this business here,” said Boden. “There is a possibility that we will have to improve on our depth,” he said to the possibility of having to increase stock-holding in the UK to reduce delays on imports from Germany. “But we ship to Dubai and Singapore as a business. We are already custom and excise-approved in Germany. It would mean that area in the German factory would be filled with products destined for the UK.”
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