As one of the most momentous years in recent history for the UK and Ireland aftermarkets draws to a close, TRW Aftermarket is taking the opportunity to thank its customers for their loyalty, reiterate its market achievements and product developments and set the scene for an equally positive and successful 2017.
TRW’s UK marketing manager, Kevin Price, explained: “It’s been an eventful year all round. There have been legal and technological advancements which further support product and vehicle safety, and interesting market announcements which will change the face of the UK aftermarket and encourage the IAM to examine existing business strategies.
“Alongside all of this, the TRW brand continues to go from strength to strength. In the UK and Ireland, to date, the business has introduced a record 436 new parts in 2016.”
In February, TRW Aftermarket launched a new and improved version of its website: www.trwaftermarket.com. This has enriched user experience through improved navigation, enhanced functionality, more efficient filtering options on the web based integrated catalogue and easier access to its free online technical resource, Tech Corner.
From a joint ZF TRW stand at the first UK Automechanika, which was held in June at the Birmingham NEC and attracted some 12,000 visitors, TRW further raised the profile of its braking, steering & suspension parts, which are collectively known as the ‘Corner Module’.
Describing TRWs field of expertise within the corner of the vehicle, reflecting its OE engineering pedigree and allowing a single source for these products, the term ‘Corner Module’ is fast becoming synonymous with the TRW brand.
Over the course of the year, TRW’s ‘True Original’ multi-media product campaign has covered linkage & suspension, brake discs and its TRW-Lucas branded motorcycle parts. With its unique stance of featuring real TRW employees and its adventurous use of new media, the entire campaign has really struck a chord with the market. At the last count, the number of campaign video views on YouTube in the UK had reached more than 445,000 hits.
Aimed at all levels of the European supply chain: distributors, garages and the end user, the idea behind the campaign is to refocus on the term original, as the business concluded the OE acronym was overused and had become distorted.
In terms of part product development, the billionth Colette brake caliper was produced, and a range of Semi-Compound brake discs introduced to enhance the safety and performance of heavier, more powerful vehicles. TRW Aftermarket’s heavy commercial vehicle (HCV), brand TRW Proequip extended its boxed steering gear programme and introduced a full OE quality remanufactured programme of HCV Air Brake calipers; further supporting the business target of completing its HCV braking portfolio by the end of this business year.
As well as being a year of progress and opportunity, it was a year of reflective recognition for TRW. Its leading remanufacturing facility in Frydlant, Czech Republic, received a Volvo Cars Quality Excellence (VQE) award for outstanding achievements in safety, quality processes, customer focus and environmental integrity and the business was awarded TEMOT International’s title of ‘Supplier of the Year’ for the previous 12 months.
At the start of 2016, the global market was digesting the fact that the ZF Group had acquired TRW Automotive and was to integrate the two businesses into one strong and powerful parts, systems and technology entity, for the benefit of its current and future customer base. When the newly created ZF Aftermarket, which encompasses: TRW Aftermarket, ZF Services and its brands Sachs, Lemforder, Boge and Openmatics officially goes live on 1st January 2017, it will create the World’s second largest automotive supplier operation.
Kevin continued: “When this announcement was made at Automechanika, Frankfurt, from a joint ZF TRW stand, together with the message that all existing brands would be developed, marketed and sold in line with market demand, it confirmed the joining together of industry greats and opened up a whole world of possibility and opportunity for a stronger, more cohesive global aftermarket.
“Following the exhibition, eminent UK publication, CAT, commented on the good will between ZF and TRW, and long may it continue. We wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment and look forward to a successful and prosperous 2017 – working together to explore the opportunities which the future will bring; to our brand, customers and the aftermarket as a whole.”
Finally, a reminder that it was only last year that ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology (as well as active and passive safety technology) acquired TRW Automotive. In the interim, it has integrated within the organizational structure as the Active & Passive Safety Technology Division. The combined company reported sales of €29.2 billion in 2015 and now has a global workforce of around 135.000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries. ZF annually invests approximately five percent of its sales in Research & Development (€1.4 billion in 2015) ensuring continued success through the design and engineering of innovative technologies. ZF is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide. So onwards and upwards…