Theo Rappoldt – Senior Director After Market Industrial Solutions (AMIS) Business Unit, DENSO Europe
Q: How has the After Market business unit performed over the past 12 months?
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 entire product portfolio has continued to expand, bringing many new vehicles to the carparc DENSO covers. The introduction of the Iridium TT spark plug in particular has generated genuine excitement and paved the road for further spark plug innovation.
Further additions to our Thermal, Rotating parts and Lambda Sensors product lines has ensured DENSO consistently provides the most advanced technology in the aftermarket, providing customers with ranges that can cater for their every need.
Substantial changes have been made to accommodate this increasing carparc; as the DENSO sales teams are further localised to be even closer to our customers and provide the outstanding customer service we strive for.
Q: What has DENSO done to ensure its position as a leader in the industry?
The short answer is we do as much as we can. As a global business, we have always focused on customer satisfaction, constant product development and business expansion. One of our key goals is to make more growth opportunities available to our customers by focussing on high quality DENSO Parts and an ever wider product offering; this has the knock-on effect of helping customers save time and space required for stock. We have a dedicated Product Team based in our European Headquarter in Weesp in the Netherlands which works closely with our Japanese colleagues to improve our aftermarket product offering.
We have taken big steps towards achieving these commitments and we are proud of our growing and healthy Independent After Market business.
Q: What is the extent of DENSO’s expertise as a global brand?
As one of the biggest global automotive suppliers of advanced technology and components across thermal systems, powertrain control, electronics and safety, we have acquired expertise in a number of fields and have made a profound impact in the automotive and technology industries. And the same applies across other industries DENSO operates in, such as consumer and industrial products. We have been working directly with some of the largest organisations and suppliers in the world for many decades, inspiring innovation and quality in almost everything we do.
DENSO’s array of world-firsts spans the in-vehicle wireless cell phone charger to the QR code itself. As a brand, DENSO tries to produce world-first technologies and products that increase security and safety while minimising any environmental impacts; we are highly committed to our investment in ground-breaking research and development.
Q: How does DENSO’s expertise as an OE manufacturer aid its After Market product lines?
We have long-standing, global OEM heritage running through our veins courtesy of the fact we have partnerships with almost every car manufacturer in the world. We are able to offer high quality product ranges featuring many DENSO world-first innovations which directly trickle down into the aftermarket sector. DENSO’s focus on OE R&D means that we are able to offer the same level of advanced technologies to aftermarket customers, which ultimately means more satisfied end users, translating to greater trust and loyalty.
Our OE pedigree provides a wide selection of products for introduction to the After Market. Our strategy is to expand OE product availability in the After Market and have full market coverage.
Q: How does DENSO support the differing distribution channels across its many European markets?
In Europe, the cornerstone of our approach to supporting our customers is understanding their local markets; speaking to them in their own language and ensuring the widest range of products are available for delivery as quickly as possible are the key pillars of this process.
This has meant investment in localisation. DENSO Europe After Market sells to 40 European countries, with an expanding sales team based at offices in 10 countries across six regions with local sales representatives working in most European countries, not to mention local support covering customer and technical services, product marketing and communications.
Our investment in a more extensive warehouse network is also helping to meet distributors’ logistical requirements more efficiently and flexibly, including, most recently, locations in Leipzig (Germany) and Moscow (Russia).
Q: How does DENSO support its customers with technical know-how?
Our engineering group and data specialists are continuously working on vehicle application linkage, cross referencing, product pictures, illustrations and general technical support.
We know how important this is to customers, so we work hard to ensure all product and vehicle information is mapped within the DENSO After Market ‘eCat’, as well as in all leading European electronic catalogue systems such as TECDOC and MAM. All technical information is provided in European catalogue systems and the DENSO AM website.
Customers can also benefit from frequent product training seminars and events. This extra support ensures each customer has the fullest knowledge on our product ranges and the sales opportunities available to them. We also offer customer training at both distributor and garage level, and regularly publish ‘Product Bulletins’ and technical news releases including new part numbers and application linkages.
Q: How is DENSO preparing for particular changes in the automotive landscape? (e.g. autonomous driving and connected cars, electric cars etc.)
This is an exciting but challenging phase of the development of the automotive industry. The sector is entering a new phase in its efforts to limit global warming, conserve fossil fuels and achieve cleaner emissions, and DENSO is committed to delivering energy-saving technologies. The global automotive market is undergoing further growth with greater access to vehicles in emerging markets, so it is therefore our duty as a leading supplier of automotive components and technology to ensure that we do our part to protect the environment and contribute to improving road safety.
To meet stricter regulations, manufacturers must find revolutionary new ways to reduce fuel consumption, which also reduce emissions. In response to the worldwide demand for more eco-friendly vehicles, DENSO is busy developing new innovations in Europe. Connected cars are a good example, and we are helping OEMs develop technology which can anticipate road conditions and make smart adjustments in advance. For example, when a downhill slope is coming up, the engine can be switched off to reduce fuel consumption while driving downhill, improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. Predictive driving can also improve the efficiency of air conditioning saving fuel and reducing emissions.
Find out more
DENSO After Market 2016/17 printed catalogues, product leaflets and informative wall posters - including product cutaways and trouble-shooting photo guides – are available to customers and workshops on request. Details of the continually expanding programme are also available online at www.denso-am.eu, on TecDoc or by contacting DENSO Europe B.V.’s Business Unit After Market on +31 (0) 294 493 493.