Apollo’s acquisition of reifen.com a ‘sound strategic extension of the value chain’
Apollo Tyres’ takeover of reifencom GmbH, operator of e-commerce sites in six European countries, has been described as part of the company’s strategy to expand its retail network in the European market. Apollo said its takeover will allow it to support the expansion activities of its subsidiary Apollo Vredestein, which include major investments in the European premium brand Vredestein. The company stated that it has major plans for growth via an expansion of its original equipment activities – the groundwork for which is being laid via the current construction of a new plant in Hungary.
Apollo added that the declining number of independent trading partners means that Apollo Vredestein “is facing a growing and increasingly complex online market.” Thus the acquisition of reifencom – a company that employs more than 400 people at its headquarters in Bielefeld and Hanover as well as in its retail stores – is considered a “sound strategic extension of the value chain.” Apollo Vredestein aims to increase sales activities, intensify customer support and make customer orientation more consistent, as CEO Mathias Heimann explains.
“The integration within our company allows us to very clearly enhance our presence with regard to end customers, creating a significant competitive advantage,” says Heimann. “We are convinced that all our recent trade partners will benefit from increased brand awareness for Vredestein. Moreover, the need for consultation with end consumers is growing. This is not only due to the new tyre pressure monitoring systems: the selection of products, in particular, has also become very complex. We can meet this high demand for advice even better in cooperation with reifen.com. Our goal is to continue growing in tandem with our partners, which makes it particularly important to bring products and customers together.” In addition, the company aims to optimise its logistics concept. This will be achieved through measures such as the optimisation of delivery times, allowing storage capacity to be decreased and higher margins to be realised at all stages.
reifencom owners talk ‘closer cooperation’
Heiko Knigge and Olaf Sockel, managing directors of the reifencom group, add: “We look forward to even closer cooperation with Apollo Tyres. Apollo’s commitment will permit us to achieve our goals in the German and European retail market faster and more effectively. We will contribute our strengths – especially in the area of customer service and logistics – wholeheartedly to Apollo, and we firmly believe that the future partnership will make both companies even more successful.”
“We have been working closely with the founders of reifen.com for 26 years, and have followed their rapid growth with great interest,” continues Michael Lutz, country manager of Apollo Vredestein GmbH in Vallendar, Germany. “We look forward to an even more intensive cooperation, which will give us excellent prospects for the further development of the business. The close links with the reifen.com network will not only permit Apollo Vredestein to develop a stronger brand presence – our established partners in the tyre sector will also benefit significantly, mainly thanks to increased price stability. Meanwhile, our tyre trading partners will of course continue to receive the maximum support they are used to.”
Lutz adds that the move will benefit Apollo Vredestein’s partners. “The experience that we can accumulate through activities such as our advertising and sales promotion measures for Vredestein products in the reifen.com network will also be brought to bear directly to support our longstanding partners in the tyre sector, improving the efficiency of all activities.”