STARCO is moving out of the aftermarket business in order to focus on its OE segments. ““We would rather win a gold medal in one discipline than get bronze in two,” comments Richard Todd
A new chapter in STARCO’s history began on 1 July 2016 when German wholesaler Bohnenkamp took over a number of the Danish firm’s aftermarket operations, including the STARCO Eastern Group and aftermarket businesses in Scandinavia, Germany and, with one or two exceptions, the Benelux countries. The businesses were divested as part of an increased focus on the original equipment sector under the company’s 2020 strategy, and STARCO has now announced the next step in its path to becoming a pure OE player. In the months to 1 April 2017, STARCO will phase out its entire traditional aftermarket activities. Today’s announcement affects the STARCO aftermarket businesses not included in the divestment to Bohnenkamp – the UK, France, Poland and the Balkans.
In future, STARCO will only retain aspects of its aftermarket operation that support the OE business. “We have customers where our aftermarket support is a deal-breaker for their business, so of course we still need this kind of aftermarket,” explains Thomas Ballegaard, chief commercial officer at STARCO. He highlights the trailer and dual wheels businesses as an example: “Customers will experience a narrower product range because the products we will have in stock, are what we have for our OEs. However, this will facilitate a much leaner and more competitive set-up.”
One further example of aftermarket activity that supports the OE business is the dual wheels STARCO will continue to supply in Switzerland. “No rule is without an exception,” adds Ballegaard. “We will continue to sell solid tyres in Poland and compact tractor tyres in France, and the UK customer will not experience mayor changes in the product range we offer today.”
As mentioned, STARCO’s chosen path of strengthening its original equipment business and concentrating on the core competences of development and production are part of its 2020 growth strategy. Here, focus is on OE customers, aligning the business, investing in manufacturing and strengthening the supply chain set-up.
“We are ready to take the final step to become a pure OE player in the market,” says STARCO chief executive officer Richard Todd. He highlights that even though a decision like this comes at a certain cost, STARCO sees it as an investment in the future. “We would rather win a gold medal in one discipline than get bronze in two. I truly believe we bring most value to our customers when we use our 55 years of experience, extensive application know-how, product development skills and unique manufacturing set-up.”
As a result of a dedicated focus on the original equipment segment, STARCO has closed various long-term contracts with OE customers this year – the latest being with Trigano, Husqvarna, Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift Europe, and GGP.
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