A1 reports 2010 battery sales buoyed by severe winter
A1 Motor Stores, whose battery range includes the Yuasa, UK Batteries and Easystart brands, reports that 2010 was an “exceptional year for battery sales.” The company believes strong sales last year were pushed in part by a double-whammy winter that delivered severe weather both before and after Christmas: Cold weather, A1 points out, accelerates the demise of a ‘tired’ battery as the electro-chemical reaction slows and performance is reduced as the temperature plummets.
“Many in the industry conclude that underlying demand is flat, although the overall market may have reduced as a result of the ‘scrappage scheme’ of last year,” comments Neil Warren, marketing and communications director at UK Batteries. “However, with 29 million vehicles using the roads, all requiring a battery to start, the market is large and dependent on the battery to get them going. It goes without saying that the importance of providing the motorist with the highest quality product has never been more important. The specification should, at least, be equal to the specification fitted as original equipment.”
UK Batteries, whose current range includes AGM products, believes the single greatest challenge the aftermarket faces is in persuading motorists that they do have a choice – they don’t need to go back to the dealer for replacement batteries. The company says it uses A1 members as part of its distributor network as it believes A1 to be the largest independent retail group in the country. “Members of A1 are generally progressive, imaginative and are intimately involved in their business,” Warren added. “Members of A1 provide a professional, visible and viable route to market. We deal enthusiastically with A1 for all these reasons. The characteristics of the group match closely with the key drivers of our business, it’s a natural fit.”
Easystart, another brand A1 offers, carries a wide range of automotive, commercial, motorcycle, Industrial and VRLA batteries. “Easystart has just come to the end of its first year as supplier member to A1 Motor Stores and has enjoyed a steady increase in business, with new members showing interest all the time,” reports Easystart sales director Graham Flatman.
Summing up the battery portfolio available through its members’ 274 outlets, John Murray, product manager at A1 Motor Stores, opined: “In short, for the best brands, range, immediate availability, competitive prices topped with great customer service you cannot beat the A1 Motor Stores offering for batteries, pop into your local A1 branch or order online.”