Performance and Styling Retailer visits Autopart in Essex to find out more about how one of the UK's leading alloy wheels distributors do business
Around sixteen years ago Darren Stevens and Tony Stacey decided to use their considerable skills to supply Mercedes and BMW drivers with any part they needed. And things were good. Then on one fateful day a Mercedes owner made a simple request that would change the direction of their business forever. And all he asked for was a set of alloy wheels.
Fast forwarding to the present day and if you own any car and want a set of Lenso, Axe Devil, Zinik or Alba alloy wheels then you'll be speaking with Darren and Tony's company Autopart (Wheel & Tyre) Ltd. They've become one of the foremost suppliers to the trade in the country and have plenty to offer to potential and existing retailers.
Sitting in one of their four buildings in Wickford, Essex, they explain a bit more of what they're all about. One of the first things they are keen to get over is the fact that many of their alloy wheels come blank - the bolt pattern yet to be drilled into them. They invested in their own CNC machines some years back and this gives them the ability to drill the correct patterns into any wheel that has a centre cap on the front. If you need specific offsets or if you need spigot rings or even spaces machined too, then Autopart can do it. The upshot of this? If you can't find alloy wheels to fit a car the likelihood is these guys can help and get them fitting perfectly too. As if to prove the point, the pictures that Autopart use on their website and in any publicity are of actual alloy wheels on actual cars, not computer generated images. It's something that that they are rightly proud of and also echoes one of the company's key aims - to be straight forward with people. 'We're not the sort of company that will tell a retailer we can get a set of alloy wheels to him in two weeks when we know it will actually be three months,' they explain, 'there's no point in doing that. And we won't tell people alloy wheels will fit if we're not sure. We don't want to cause our distributors problems with their customers as we know it's just bad business for them and ultimately us.'
Autopart are always looking for new distributors and offer a service that should certainly be attractive. Aside from the big range of alloy wheels, the custom drilling and extremely quick turnaround times (alloy wheels from America can be air-freighted in 7-10 days) the company are always contactable as Tony and Darren both let dealers have their mobile numbers. They want their dealers to sell their alloy wheels and are willing to help however they can. With all the skills they need in-house, Autopart will even design and print leaflets for certain dealers at very keen prices and have a truck, from when they were more active in car shows, that they willingly take to dealer open days, with the only charge being their minimal expenses.
Another way is through their website, www.autopartuk.com. With the aim of making sure their distributors have customers coming to them directly, visitors to the site will be asked where they live when ordering a set of alloy wheels and they'll be taken to a mini-site (built by Autopart) for the customers' nearest distributor. There are seventeen distributors on there at the time of writing but more are being added all the time. And there's no need to worry about the prices varying massively as they actively aim to keep their prices healthy. 'We won't let dealers discount our alloy wheels too massively, likewise we won't let any dealer put our alloy wheels on Ebay unless there's an agreeable 'buy it now' price or decent reserve. There's no point our alloy wheels being sold for cheap, we want them to keep their value, as that's good for us and our dealers. If one dealer constantly tries to sell them for cheap we'll just stop supplying them.'
Autopart have five phone lines that were constantly ringing while P & S visited. They place a lot of importance on their staff, knowing that any of them can handle enquiries from existing or potential dealers. If they pick up the phone they'll also be able to deal with your request promptly - if you enquire about becoming a dealer a pack of information will be in the post the same day. 'A lot of our dealers recommend our alloy wheels to their customers first because they know we'll be truthful with them,' they admit, 'they'll get alloy wheels when we've told them, they'll fit and their customers will be happy. Basically we try hard to do our best and it seems to work.'
If you want to enquire about selling Autopart's range of alloy wheels give them a call on 01268 560126. Not only do they have a massive range of alloy wheels, can get you something to fit almost any car and have them to you in extremely quick times they also do everything in their power to make sure you give your customers the best quality and service they possibly can receive. Which is about the best you can ask for from any supplier. Spend any time with Autopart and it's clear that they think about the best ways to conduct business all the time and aren't afraid to those put thoughts into actions.
You have no items to compare.
With summer on the way, this latest post offers advice on how to get your car ready for the coming season and the improvements you could make to your ...
If you're looking to make a statement this spring then Autopart UK are the people to see. Installing High quality and stylish alloy wheels, you will t...