Thought Halfords was the obvious place to buy bits for your motor? Think again. Jack Carfrae chats to David Bevan, Director of the UK’s biggest car parts supplier – Euro Car Parts – to find out more.
WHAT’S EURO CAR PARTS ALL ABOUT?
It’s the largest distributor of car and van parts in the UK. We buy products direct from the supplying factories worldwide, so all our stock is original equipment or of equivalent quality. Most of our parts go to independent dealers and specialists, but we have a healthy retail business, too.
HOW DID THE COMPANY START OUT?
It was founded by the current owner, Sukhpal Singh, in 1978. He and his family were evicted from Uganda, so he came to the UK as a refugee. When he was 18, he bought a small retail motor shop, which soon evolved into a German car parts specialist – and it simply grew from there. We were European car specialists for many years, but around four years ago we had developed into a supplier of parts for vehicles of any nationality, but obviously we had to keep our name!
WHY SHOULD BUYERS COME TO YOU?
We have a much wider range of parts in stock than anyone else in the country and we always try to supply top brands at realistic prices. The company also has a great reputation for consumer service, too.
HOW MANY LOCATIONS DO YOU HAVE IN THE UK?
There are currently 70 sites in Britain and we plan to expand that over the next two years. We’ve opened nine new branches in the last six months.
WHAT IMPACT HAS THE INTERNET HAD ON YOUR BUSINESS?
A huge one. We spend an awful lot of time working on our website to keep it as up-to-date and userfriendly as possible for the public. We relaunched the site six months ago, and there are a number of changes on the way soon.
HOW MUCH DEMAND DO YOU HAVE FOR DIESEL OR HYBRID RELATED PRODUCTS?
There’s very little demand for hybrid specific products at the moment. It’s a slow movement, but we’re anticipating a lot more activity from that area within the next two or three years. Diesel has been our fastest growing product area for the last two years – turbochargers in particular. We have accounts with all the major diesel component manufacturers such as Bosch and Delphi.
SPEAKING FRANKLY, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU THINK YOU COULD DO BETTER OR IMPROVE ON?
I think we’ve got most things right, we just need to do more and keep growing – there’s certainly a lot of potential to expand with diesel products. We also have to strive to keep the cost of motoring down and keep delivering top quality parts at low prices.
WHAT ARE THE COMPANY’S PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
We will continue to open branches and establish ourselves further across the country. We want to be able to deliver to 98 per cent of the UK and increase our speed of delivery so that 75 per cent of customers have their parts within the hour.