Centralised logistics, strong products and new markets:
“Experience better”: GKN Automotive Aftermarket is on course for growth
GKN Automotive, specialist for drive components, grows its Aftermarket business by following a clear strategy. Consolidating logistics activities close to its manufacturing and remanufacturing plant in Carcastillo, Spain, was just the first step. Other factors include a strong commitment to sustainability, the restructuring of its headquarters, including the move to a modern building complex in Troisdorf near Cologne, and, finally, the brand's extensive product portfolio. This is the basis on which GKN Automotive is creating the ideal conditions to take off as a strong international player in the independent parts market. The next stage will lead the company to the USA, where its own distribution network and high-quality product range provide high market potential.
This is how GKN Automotive's aftermarket business is positioned:
- The plant in Carcastillo (Spain) is now the central production and logistics location from which all aftermarket customers are being supplied.
- In addition, know-how and capacities for the sustainable remanufacturing process are located here.
- The company's head office moves into a new building in Troisdorf near Cologne.
- The broad product range for the independent parts market is constantly being expanded, with 143 new additions to the catalogue just in 2021 alone.
- Own warehouse capacities and distribution channels will help to develop the market potential in the USA.
Streamlined supply chain, shorter routes – logistics reorganised
High degree of flexibility, speed and availability – even in small production runs: by centralising production and logistics in Carcastillo, Spain, GKN Automotive is able to meet these customer requirements even better. With 12,000 pallet storage spaces, unrivalled short routes and state-of-the-art order picking technology with a "pick-to-light" system and partially automated industrial trucks, the location not only offers high capacities. It also provides all the prerequisites for working especially quick and efficiently. Meanwhile, in its new building in Troisdorf, GKN Automotive is fully focused on administrative and service tasks around the world with its Product Management, Commercial, Customer Service, Engineering and Finance departments.
Win-win-win situation: GKN Automotive Remanufacturing
The most important raw material in the production of new sideshafts and propshafts for GKN Automotive is steel. Steel is – especially in the current world and market situation – expensive to purchase and energy and water intensive to process. In addition, large amounts of CO2 are produced. On top of that, the actual steel parts of used shafts are often still in prime condition, as other components of the shafts degrade much quicker.
That's why GKN Automotive uses the expertise it has built up over decades in remanufacturing, or the professional reconditioning of worn shafts. For this purpose, the parts are returned to GKN Automotive by dealers in exchange for a deposit. Then, said parts are completely restored to the quality level of newly manufactured shafts in a complex process with extensive quality inspections at the Carcastillo site. Afterwards, these " just like new" shafts can be used exactly like completely new products.
In this way, you save
- 80-100 per cent of steel
- 63 per cent of energy
- 29 per cent of water required and
- 64 per cent of CO2 compared to manufacturing from scratch
and create a true win-win-win situation. On the one hand, the environmental impact is reduced, and on the other hand, the remanufactured products provide customers with premium quality at top prices. They further benefit from a very broad product range that also includes shafts for older vehicles that are no longer produced as standard.
Scoring in new markets with premium quality products
For 2022, GKN Automotive aims to leverage its successful formula for high market coverage in Europe and become a major supplier of premium quality in the US independent parts market. The US market is the largest in the world and is currently largely dominated by white label products, primarily from Asian manufacturers. This creates major potential for GKN Automotive among customers looking for OE quality at competitive prices – which is what the company is known for. Its large product portfolio of driveshafts, joint kits and boot kits is ideally suited to this and is constantly being expanded: 2021 saw 143 new additions to the catalogue.
The plan is to significantly expand the previous commitment in the USA by the end of 2022 and to switch the model from the import business to its proprietary warehouse and distribution networks. In addition, the product range offered will be expanded and tailored to the local automotive market with a high proportion of US and Asian vehicle brands.
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