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Hella plans to expand its service network

Lippstadt, Germany. Auto supplier Hella has developed a new service concept: It plans to give active sales and technical support to both dealers and repair workshops.

The company hopes the move will help increase its number of service partners to 5,000 by 2005 from the current 3,000.

Martin Herbst, Hella’s aftermarket managing director, said that Hella focuses on four modules: climate controls, electrics, lighting and electronics.

According to Hella, the four modules are clear growth sectors. Climate control is now in 70 percent of all new cars, for example. Hella has a range of 2,500 climate-control products for all European cars.

Hella has set up a new technology hotline for its service partners and now offers self-help programs. It also makes available a database with around 14,000 articles to its workshop customers.

Participating businesses are granted direct access to technical information and also receive specialized training, based on the module categories.

Hella also offers access to current market data and market forecasts. It provides work papers and gives out information on operating modes, causes of failure and quotes for parts and components.

The Lippstadt-based company also organizes campaigns such as the "climate campaign 2004," supplying its service partners with information leaflets on service and maintenance as well as providing sales tips and technical posters.

Hella promises that, by using the "quick-check system," faults within climate control systems can be spotted quickly, in the presence of the customer.

Repair workshops can get most of the publicity material for free.

Hella said the targeted 5,000 service partners will benefit from access to an electronic order-management system by TecCom and optimized logistics for the transport of parts to their customers.

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