A year in review
It would be an understatement to say that the past 12 months have been eventful for DENSO. Strong results have been underpinned by a number of range expansions, not to mention the arrival of the ground-breaking Iridium TT spark plug. The industry-leading plug was introduced to the catalogue with a highly ambitious 2,000 mile drive that saw it take two internationally renowned racing drivers across nine continents, culminating in a press finale at the UK’s Brands Hatch circuit.
The coming year is already shaping up to be an important one for the business. Automechanika looms large, with the UK team recently present at the first event of its kind at the NEC in Birmingham with Frankfurt not far behind in September which means a busy but exciting time during which we look forward to connecting with our valued customers as well as to welcoming a new audience to the world of DENSO.
An expanding portfolio
This year is particularly exciting as the entire product portfolio continues to expand, bringing a new range of vehicles to the carparc. As well as the Iridium TT spark plug, a sector-leading design with outstanding efficiency and performance credentials, additions elsewhere in the business have given cause for excitement among the product teams.
Thanks to growth of standard and more advanced air conditioning systems, thermal products are booming, says Ilya Sokolov, Regional Manager for DENSO Russia; “DENSO has developed technology proactively to facilitate the demand for more sophisticated climate control systems. The new compressors and sub cool condensers offer levels of efficiency that reinforce DENSO’s place firmly at the forefront of thermal technology.”
Over on the ignition side of the business, the introduction of the Iridium TT range has generated much excitement and paved the road for further spark plug innovation.
Commenting on the new product, Regional Manager for Eastern Europe Richard Rybacek said, “Iridium TT spark plugs are very much at the pinnacle of state of art technology that is DENSO introducing to the automotive industry and gave us a solid base for FY16 sales expansion.”
For the DACH region, the next 12 months will also see a focus on the promotion of the SPEED-Line range of spark plugs.
Other strong performers in the Eastern Europe region included compressors, starters and alternators and O2 sensors.
Lambda sensors have grown significantly too. Commenting on the growth of the range, Regional Manager for Export Mario Gundlach said, “We have been able to increase our coverage over the past years and will be further adding to that in the next 12 months. Our lambda sensors are widely recognised and are in high demand from customers all over Europe.”
Nico Carucci, Regional Manager for the DACH region is eagerly anticipating growth in the sensor range which will roll out in the coming years, adding that “investment in the sensor range will underpin DENSO’s technical leadership and expertise as these parts are complex, technological products and not “only” wearing parts.”
The launch of the new Iridium TT spark plug to the media was set to a backdrop which celebrated DENSO’s rich history and involvement with motorsport as we set off on our Track 2 Track adventure in winter last year.
We travelled across nine countries from Moscow to the UK with two professional racing drivers, Natalia Freidina and Rebecca Jackson. The duo, both of whom brought a befitting degree of racing pedigree to the challenge, drove a finely tuned sports car fitted with the DENSO Iridium TT Spark Plug across an ambitious nine countries in just ten days, visiting 12 historic race tracks along the way.
Richard Rybacek described the event as a “hugely exciting demonstration of the technological expertise of DENSO as well as an important glimpse into the motorsport heritage that has become synonymous with the brand.”
Overall, Track 2 Track was a fitting way to welcome a landmark product into the catalogue, bringing together key stakeholders to explore the heritage of DENSO, and the road has now been paved for exciting product launches in the future.
A growing infrastructure with a strong customer focus
With a rapidly expanding portfolio, it is important to remember that outstanding customer service is at the heart of DENSO’s brand values. Mario Gundlach says that substantial changes have been made to accommodate the increasing carparc; as the DENSO sales teams “are further localised to be even closer to our customers.
“Covering such a wide geographical area with an extensive product range means we will always be faced with different challenges in certain markets.The ongoing economic situation in Southern Europe continues to impact on the region, as well as the political environment in some Eastern European regions but in spite of adverse conditions we have managed to keep growing year on year and certainly aim to continue this trend.”
Commenting too on some of the issues faced by the business in the Eastern European region, Richard Rybacek emphasises the importance of new facilities: “We will search for possibilities to connect more and more EU countries to our Leipzig warehouse which will provide our customers flexibility in the form of faster and more adaptable delivery options”, he adds.
Gearing up for Automechanika
Much recent activity has been centred on Automechanika and the UK team has just returned from the inaugural Automechanika at the NEC in Birmingham. The impressive 36sqm stand gave customers the chance to experience the very latest DENSO technology at an event which attracts key stakeholders from across the country.
“It was great to see Automechanika come to the UK for the first time”, said UK Regional Manager Martin Pring. “Our decision to exhibit proved to be the correct choice and I am sure this will be the number one show for the UK in the future.
“The show provided a great opportunity to showcase our new range and existing product portfolio. New business was achieved and the feedback we received on the latest ranges was extremely positive from the media as well as existing and potential customers.”
Automechanika Frankfurt is hot on the heels of Birmingham, and across the business there is a real sense of excitement building for the biggest aftermarket event of the year.
Nico Carucci commented “Automechanika 2016 is an important opportunity for us to meet our customers in person and to present our new products.” Nico added that “building on the success of previous years, DENSO’s stand has been designed to reflect the innovation of our products, creating an inviting environment in which to immerse customers in the brand.”
Building the brand and adding value
Increased brand awareness and an enhanced product range have spurred growth in the sales team. The Eastern Europe team will benefit from five new sales representatives to ensure excellent coverage throughout the region.
As our catalogue grows, it’s important that DENSO retains its strong customer experience to ensure sound logistics and aftersales care, as Ilya explains:
“In the coming year we will continue to roll out improvements to our storage facilities. DENSO Russia will deliver not only to the head offices of distributors, but also to branches in many cities.
“All regions in Russia will also benefit from an increased level of technical support and product knowledge, with an extra 30 training sessions planned this year, bringing the total to an impressive 150 and demonstrating our commitment to customer care. Details will be released on an ongoing basis and we welcome all to attend.”
Looking forward, the automotive industry will continue to evolve and DENSO, as ever, will be working towards new solutions for the vehicles of the future. We thank our customers for their ongoing support and eagerly anticipate the coming year.
Find out more
For more on DENSO, visit www.denso-am.eu, TecDoc or speak to your local DENSO Aftermarket sales contact.