Wheel Weight Maker Wegmann Automotive Grows in Down Market
The establishment of Wegmann Automotive in October 2009 saw some of the world’s leading wheel weight brands (Hofmann, Franken, F-Ecoline and Perfect [US]) reorganised into a single unified group. Now united under the Wegmann umbrella brand, sales and marketing director Thorsten Thom reports that the company is facing the current market challenges well and in certain cases actually gaining market share. Thom also praised the positive impact made by recently appointed UK sales manager, David Peacock. According to Thom, 2009 UK market sales have experienced double-digit growth compared with 2008.
Wegmann automotive produces as many as 1 billion balancing weights a year and production is split roughly 50:50 between the company’s Germany and Tennessee, US production bases. And what’s more the company continues to name some of the world’s leading OEMs amongst its customers (such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, VW, Seat, Ford, Opel, Fiat, Alfa, Ferrari and Porsche to name but a few). With production and OE sales credentials like this, it isn’t a surprise to learn that the company is the world’s number one wheel weight manufacturer and a leading aftermarket supplier to boot, but with numerous recent surveys reporting the average driver’s concern for their vehicle is waning due to the recession, how does the market leader propose to keep quality wheel weights in the minds of consumers?
The answer is education. In 2010 the company is set to enhance its marketing activities, explaining both the benefits of its premium quality products and disadvantages of what the company describes as “false economy” low-cost weights to the market. In doing this the company is aiming to raise customer perceptions of what can be expected from a balancing weight and therefore improve customer experiences of balancing weight products. (See December’s Tyres & Accessories for the complete story)