Opel wants to grow its aftermarket business

Ruesselsheim, Germany. Opel plans to increase profits from its aftermarket business.

The General Motors Europe subsidiary can make more money from selling spare parts and accessories, said Jean-Marc Gales, Opel's executive director for sales, marketing and servicing.

He noted that there are five million Opel cars on Germany's roads. "We are giving away potential," said Gales.

Opel is still working on the details of the new strategy. Specifically, spare-parts logistics should be optimized. Opel is working on a new support warehouse concept and is looking into cooperating with Fiat to be able to supply dealers several times a day.

Gales, who has been in his office since October, has introduced a new way distributing parts at Opel.

"My philosophy is simple: I do not argue with customers," he said. "And each dealer is a customer."

In the future, all programs will be developed, adjusted and realized jointly, Gales said. His first priority is "simplification, continuity and transparency."

Gales said he plans to personally visit all 493 authorized dealers by the end of the year.

He demands a similar approach from his employees. "Each one of my 400 employees has to visit at least three dealers a month."

Gales also wants more personnel to do field work rather than office work and plans to hold regular roundtable talks with the largest dealers.

Gales also is studying the fleet business more closely. Opel executives have said that outline agreements with Linde and MAN are to be finalized soon.

"Nothing is definite yet," a spokesman said.

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