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Investors Relations & Haldex information

World partnership

23 August 2022

Last year, Haldex joined NEXUS, a global international trading group for automotive aftermarket. And international means just that; as a relative latecomer to the aftermarket, recognising that inside Europe a relatively well-developed aftermarket existed already, it has moved instead into the Middle East, Africa, North Americas, China and Asia-Pacific, says Janusz Zielinski, its global manager of heavy duty business.

Like every most of trading groups, NEXUS serves to bring together and facilitate greater business between buyers, which are parts distributors in a local area, of which it has nearly 2,000, and sellers (global parts suppliers) which number 75. The entire business accounts for Eur35 billion of sales. There are no hard and fast rules about the number of distributors it recruits, except that “we want to grow the community globally, but while respecting the interests of all our members,” he adds. Meanwhile, suppliers belong to one of three groups: ‘strategic’, ‘preferred’ or ‘listed’.

NEXUS now has distributor customers around the world, supported by 18 local legal entities providing business development. For example, its ‘IAMaga’ concept aims to improve the supply of parts to African countries by combining shipments to smaller members. The goods, which are sourced from a wide-ranging supply base, are combined into one shipment to a final distributor, a NEXUS member.

Other regional structures include China (Nexmento), Eurasia (Germany, Turkey, Albania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Mongolia), Central Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine) Nordic/Baltic (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Island), Adriatic (Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia) as well as single-country operations in France, Italy, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Brazil and North America. A total of 138 countries are reached.

Zielinski’s title gives away another key difference to other trading groups, a focus on commercial vehicles. Although the CV market is smaller (than the car & LCV segment), it was important when the business set up in 2014, and remains so, particularly after 2018 when Zielinski came on board.

As for Haldex joining the group, Zielinski said: “Haldex is recognised by all of the industry as a leading tier one supplier for the CV industry. Of our members, who are distributors, we are constantly running reviews and collecting information so we know which suppliers are most needed, and Haldex was in the top part of that list, so that was a clear message that we should finalise an agreement. It’s important to mention that as Nexus, we should also take care of our members and secure for them the correct portfolio of approved suppliers” – and that includes Haldex.

But he points out that its relationship with suppliers such as Haldex does not stop with merely the provision of parts from authorised suppliers. Zielinski continues: “After a few years, we noticed that the aftermarket was changing rapidly, for many reasons, so that it was not only about sales of spare parts. It was about not only delivering a product, but most importantly, and what will be the main point in the future, is delivering parts and services, and different kinds of services.

A big one is a digital platform of information: not only e-cataloguing to identify all spare parts of a particular brand, but also a digital platform that includes technical information about how to carry out repairs and perform maintenance – and in 27 languages, no less.

The organisation runs its own training platform, The NEXUS Academy. This includes some technical training for workshop technicians (and train-the-trainer sessions), as well as training for managers at distributors or suppliers. Webinar-based training has been a big focus during COVID times.

NEXUS has also developed a workshop franchise model for some markets. It provides an operating system, including a catalogue, software tools (ERP; enterprise resource planning), with promotional support from suppliers. The idea flexes depending upon needs of the market, he adds: “We had an interesting discussion with an Argentinian partner last week at our forum, for example, whose needs were very different from our Polish supplier member. In low-cost markets such as Latin America, the garage workshop is not really ready to pay any extra costs relative to the network. In Europe, it’s totally different; workshops understand that if they receive strong support, they need to pay.” Worldwide, some 100 NEXUS truck, and 700 NEXUS auto workshops are currently operating.

Based on such detailed understanding of markets, the group will continue to extend the services it offers, Zielinski predicts, because of changes driven by powertrain technologies. “We will sell probably fewer mechanical parts and more parts connected to EVs, connected to connectivity systems, parts connected to telematics. All of that is somehow connected to hardware and software, especially software, so today’s business will change to how to deliver repair and maintenance and doing maintenance and service for virtual products. For that we need to develop special new services.

“If we speak about truck, still the delivery of parts is important, but it’s the same story: the fleets that are the main users of spare parts are looking for solutions in which they can reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and finally their spare parts to a relatively low level, but they are asking and looking for good solutions and how to reduce their cost. This is related to a fuel consumption trend. We still speak about conventional ICE trucks, and they will probably stay 5-7 years without big changes. But they are really looking for services like telematics and sustainability dedicated to fleets. These might be remanufactured products or sustainable products like solar panels to charge the parked-up truck, or to charge the compressor or batteries for cooling.”

 

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