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The ball’s in your court!

green parts
LKQ's recent purchase of Euro Car Parts may point the way to a big increase in the use of green parts in the not too distant future!
Anyone whose business includes used car parts (green parts) should take a long hard look at the recent news that American company, LKQ Corporation has acquired Euro Car Parts. This is the largest distributor of automotive aftermarket parts in the United Kingdom. Since its start in 1978, Euro Car Parts now has over 3,500 employees serving more than 120,000 commercial customers from 89 locations throughout the UK. This is an impressive player in the aftermarket parts business in the UK.

So how does that effect the dismantler?
To answer that we have to take a closer look at LKQ Corporation. This company is a big player in the States in the aftermarket parts business, but their business doesn’t stop at new parts. Oh no, they sell anything from used green parts to new, with everything in between. According to their website, this is what they specialise in:
  • Recycled OE auto and truck parts.
  • New aftermarket replacement parts.
  • Reconditioned OE replacement parts.
  • Remanufactured engines and transmissions.
  • Rebuilt OE replacement parts.
  • Heavy truck and equipment parts and used trucks.
  • Paint and body shop supplies and equipment.
  • Salvage vehicle disposal. national part purchase programs and insurer services.
  • Bulk Sales.

So what do they plan to do with their acquisition which at the moment specialises in mechanical new parts? A dismantler I know who was over at the ARA conference in the States recently spoke to LKQ about their plans. This was a casual conversation so we can’t draw too much from it but the impression was that once the business had been integrated into LKQ, the area they would most likely look at for growth was body panels. This is a product line that they handle in the States successfully that Euro Car Parts do not presently cover. The indication was that there would be no moves into the green parts market in the near future.

I am sure LKQ will be looking to grow its business here so I assume that, although it may not be short term target, sooner or later, they will turn their attention to green parts. After all, this is good business in the States for them, they already have systems and methodology in place for handling and processing green parts, and most importantly, they have a great deal of experience with the insurance and repair industries over there. So the way I see it, they have every reason in the future to exploit this market which could well be the push this industry needs.

On the plus side, we would have a standard bearer who knows how to meet the needs of the repair and insurance markets when it comes to green parts but on the minus side, if you don’t move your business into a position that will be able to capitalise on what could be a very big opening for your parts, then you could find that your business could be out in the cold rather than flourishing.

It is worth remembering that a few year’s back, LKQ visited a number of key UK dismantling operations. Some may have thought they would have the cheque book open but that wasn’t the case. Be under no illusions though, they were not here to waste time. They have bought a significant outlet in the UK and as with other USA companies who have come into the market, they are here because they see potential and they plan to grow those markets.

It’s up to you if you plan to grow your business, knowing the potential that’s out there. LKQ may just be the master key that unlocks the door to green parts business in the UK. If, in the future LKQ do decide to open up the insurance sector in the UK, then those of you who are forward thinking and have the professionalism to match should find your own way through that open door, allowing you to grow and prosper in what could be the greatest opportunity this industry gets - the ball’s in your court!

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