|It’s a balancing act for repairers, looking after the profitability of their business and yet looking after the needs of their customer. Too often unrealistic margins and prices on OEM parts in the past have steered people away from the genuine option but now the new car industry recognises the importance of selling to the independent repairer.
Some members of the OEM have recognised that when procuring parts for customer cars, the decision is often based on the margin or profit return from the supplier. To this end they have addressed this issue by providing close pricing parity in addition to leaving a reasonable margin on the mechanical parts for the repairer.
Suzuki New Zealand is the latest OEM to join the “Get Genuine” program in an effort to drive more trade business to its dealership network.
The success of the Suzuki Swift in the New Zealand market (according to Suzuki it’s the number one selling car to private buyers) has seen reasonable growth in parts and accessories for the company, but it now wants to target the trade business and establish a better relationship between repairers and its dealer network.
Suzuki New Zealand general manager of parts and accessories Phil Cornforth says that key items are competitively priced, especially for the high turnover parts and consumables.
European Motor Distributors parts sales and marketing manager Simon Wakelin says that customer satisfaction from the brand is the most important outcome regardless of where they are getting their repairs done at an authorised service centre or an independent workshop.
“It goes without saying that original parts are the best option for any repair or service,” he says. “This is because they are designed and tested for the purpose they are intended within the environment they operate to ensure the vehicle can start, stop and turn in any situation.”
According to Simon some inferior parts may be fine for normal day to day driving but not perform well under stress so using genuine parts in his opinion is the safest and only choice.
“Volkswagen and Audi vehicles are precise pieces of machinery and to compromise this does not make sense,” he says.
“Through the NZ Volkswagen Group dealer network (tel 0800-223-221) you will get the right part first time at an affordable price and the perception that alternatives are lower cost is not always true. In a number of our pricing studies we have found the alternatives can actually be more expensive than the original part.”
For cost conscious customers the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda brands (VWAG) offer one of the best parts exchange programs in the world with a list of more than 10,000 line items.
Just as Volkswagen Group is conscious of the environment so too is New Zealand importer European Motor Distributors who were one of the first to adopt the exchange program.
Simon says that programme not only provides customers with affordable genuine parts it also allows them to be part of the wider Volkswagen Group environmental program.
In the October 2010 issue of Motor Equipment News Ross O’Dea the national parts manager of Toyota New Zealand also commented that genuine parts are those fitted in the manufacturing of the vehicle so they fit perfectly with no rework required.
Ross commented that genuine parts allow customers a peace of mind motoring experience and that the Toyota dealer network offers the trade competitive market pricing along with technical and product support.