NEXUS to enhance supplier relationships with extended 'Think Global, Act Local' approach

NEXUS Automotive International is to open strategically located supplier management hubs in some of the world’s most important markets, in line with its philosophy to ‘Think Global, Act Local’.

The first two hubs will cover Germany and the United States, and will be operational by 1st November. The third will be in Tokyo, Japan, opening some time in 2020.

The decentralisation of its relationship with suppliers echoes the successful approach adopted for members, under which N! Members are part of the global alliance but act locally with support from N! Business Developers

A local structure, N! Automotive Germany, is being set up along with a supplier management office in Heidelberg. The hub will be the responsibility of Robert Kirr, who has 16 years’ experience in the automotive aftermarket sector, among which at leading German distributor Trost.

Philippe Guyot, N! Executive Director with overall responsibility for supplier relationships, said the ‘Think Global, Act Local’ approach had been a major reason why NEXUS now has 148 members in 134 countries.

He said: “It makes absolute sense to duplicate that success for suppliers, by moving from a central approach to a decentralised one through which we are setting up three hubs for local supplier management under the NEXUS Geneva umbrella.”

The hub serving the United States will be based in Chicago. It will be managed by Fernando Passos, currently Business Development Director for the Latin American region. Fernando has a distinguished automotive background, including 13 years with Valeo, latterly as General Manager for South America.

NEXUS CEO Gael Escribe said: “This is an important step forward that brings us even closer to our supplier base. We will be even better positioned to help them and our members to grow their businesses. It’s a big demonstration of our commitment ‘Wherever you run your aftermarket business in the world, NEXUS is there to support you.’”

Factory tour gives N! members chance to connect closely with leading truck parts manufacturers

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A group of Managing Directors and Purchasing Managers from 10 N! Heavy Duty members were given a special opportunity to connect closely with N! suppliers when two of the leading manufacturers in the global truck market hosted them on a factory tour.

The three-day visit took place in Germany and was organised by Schaeffler and MANN+HUMMEL, in collaboration with NEXUS.

The 10 N! members were from Algeria, Greece, Latvia, Moldova, Hungary, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.

First stop was Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket near Frankfurt, which included a fleet management workshop, followed by a visit to the Schaeffler brand Luk headquarters in Bühl, where the participants got a chance to see up close the suppliers’ premium range and expertise for heavy commercial vehicle  transmission products. The last visit stop took place in Ludwigsburg and was hosted by the strong player in filtration technology, MANN+HUMMEL.

The visit was part of an increased focus by NEXUS on strengthening the Heavy Duty sector within the N! Community so it is better positioned to respond to market trends, including digitalisation and a growth in large fleets.

Keith Leadbeater, Director Commercial Vehicles at Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket said: “We very much appreciate the personal dialogue with our customers and NEXUS. It is very valuable for us in order to develop ideas and solutions together that are of benefit for all participants of the business through to our end-customers.

Brigitte Steinbach, Director Sales IAM Key Accounts and ITGs for MANN+HUMMEL, said: “We very much appreciate the efforts NEXUS is undertaking to increase the focus of the N! Community with regards to the Heavy Duty business. The approach to combine two leading parts manufacturers and enter into a dialogue with the Nexus members from a number of different markets has provided us with very interesting insights and new concrete ideas for further business development. Thank you to everyone involved for this very beneficial event!

Janusz Zielinski, N! Heavy Duty global business developer, said: “Collaboration with global manufacturers is fundamental to gaining a full understanding of the future directions of the market, and to create a synergy between distributors and suppliers. We are very grateful to Schaeffler and MANN+HUMMEL for hosting this special visit. It was a unique opportunity for N! members to connect with N! suppliers, visit their factories and share interesting insights on the Heavy Duty business. It definitely deepened their knowledge of two of the most important global manufacturers in the truck sector.”

NEXUS strengthens leadership position in Chinese aftermarket

N! Connecting Days event in Shanghai

N! Connecting Days event in Shanghai

NEXUS’s leadership position in the Chinese aftermarket has been further strengthened with three major distributors the latest to join the progressive alliance. It brings the number of N! Members in China to 24.

NEXUS’s presence in China has grown rapidly, not only with new members joining but also through increased co-operation with N! Suppliers and development of the N! ACADEMY.

In addition, following its acceptance into the World Economic Forum, NEXUS participated in the Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions, held in Dalian (1st to 3rd July). The AMNC is a global summit on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The new China partners are Deutschland Auto Spare Parts, based in Hong Kong, Henan Huatai Autoparts, the largest parts distribution group in Beijing province, and the online retailer Tianjin Baichuan E-Commerce.

All three were introduced to the N! ASIA community at an N! Connecting Day event in Shanghai, 3rd and 4th July, which attracted around 25 N! Members and N! Strategic suppliers.

Day 1 was dedicated to N! suppliers, with NEXUS announcing plans for 2020 and onwards. These feature a strong focus continuing the success of the N! ACADEMY, including plans to launch two Knowledge Centres and extending the training offer to be able to train up to 2,000 workshops in China by 2020.

The day ended with an open discussion with suppliers, followed by a joint Member/Supplier cocktail reception and dinner.

Day 2 was dedicated to N! Members and, following a plenary session, selected N! Suppliers Bosch, Valeo, MANN+HUMMEL and ZF held workshops on ‘How N! Suppliers can help N! Members to make profit on their products/ grow their business/ get better connection to workshops’. At the end of the session N! Members were given the opportunity to vote for the best supplier, won equally by VALEO and ZF.

James Zhang, NEXUS Business Developer for China, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new members to the N! Community. China is a large and extremely important market and working together we can build even greater business opportunities for all. The plans announced at N!CD Shanghai are proof that N! is not about just collecting a ‘bonus’ but is clearly re-investing back into developing the aftermarket, supporting both members as well as suppliers.”

NEXUS joins World Economic Forum to champion the automotive aftermarket

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NEXUS Automotive International (N!) has joined The World Economic Forum, the widely respected international organisation that provides a platform for the world’s leading companies ‘committed to improving the state of the world’.

The alliance will use its position to promote the aftermarket, championing key issues such as ‘the education challenge’ – the need to attract the best people and build skill levels within the industry.

Being accepted as a member of the Forum underlines NEXUS’s growing influence as a major player on the global stage.

NEXUS will take part in the Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC) taking place 1-3 July in Dalian (Summer Davos), and in The World Economic Forum in Africa, taking place 4-6 September in Cape Town. NEXUS is also invited to being an active member of the The World Economic Forum – Mobility Project India.

N! CEO Gael Escribe said that NEXUS will share its vision on potential solutions to the challenges of tomorrow, including new mobilities such as connected vehicles and driverless cars.

He said: “The World Economic Forum is the place to open doors and form new partnerships with people and companies that aim to progress together. NEXUS, as a creative and progressive company, wants to put the key issues of our industry at the heart of the education and mobility discussions of The World Economic Forum.

“We will bring to the automotive practice our vision on how to attract new talents into mature markets and address the essential question of increasing the skills and know-how in emerging markets.”

Eric Gillard, Head of Automotive Industry at The World Economic Forum, said: “The future of mobility and efforts towards the cleaner, safer and more inclusive movement of people and goods is a key challenge and opportunity of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are looking forward to working with NEXUS Automotive International to realise that vision.”

About The World Economic Forum:

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org)

N!BF 2019 sees 5th anniversary celebrations and plans unveiled for 'Shaping the Future'

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The 2019 NEXUS Business Forum took place in Abu Dhabi with the global alliance celebrating its 5th anniversary and announcing several key objectives for shaping the future of the aftermarket.

The Forum, which attracted more than 500 business leaders from around the world, kicked-off with reflections of the past five years, with N! members, suppliers and team members invited on stage to discuss the ‘DNA’ of NEXUS.

NEXUS chairman Akram Shahrour opened proceedings, remarking: “From a humble start five years ago in a small hotel in Geneva we launched NEXUS. Today NEXUS is successful, with a footprint in six continents. We have come a long way.”

Among the contributors were Gerson Prado of SK Automotive, Claudie Cahart, of ID Rechange, Peter Sephton, of founder member The Parts Alliance, Sam Wong, of G-Part, Dinesh of TVS Automobile Solutions, James Zhang, NEXUS Business Developer in China, and Alexandra Song and Yannick Decurnex, also of NEXUS Automotive International.

N!BF 2019 was hosted under the title ‘Shaping the Future’ and NEXUS CEO Gael Escribe revealed that over the next five years N! is to significantly scale-up its successful training and skills programme, declaring education as a ‘prime responsibility’ for the global alliance.  

Also, while celebrating major success in countries such as Brazil and China, NEXUS plans to further deepen its focus on fast emerging markets where ‘the reservoir for growth is tremendous,’ said Gael.

He also highlighted the multi-channel approach being taken in China, where a partnership has been agreed with leading e-commerce company JD.Com. China could be considered an ‘aftermarket lab’ for the N! Community, such is the expected growth in this market.

Finally, Gael announced that NEXUS was exploring the possibility of becoming a semi-transactional organisation, with concrete initiatives being investigated with a number of progressive suppliers.

Gael said: “This was the biggest N!BF to date and, perhaps, the most exciting. To attract so many senior representatives from the most prestigious companies in the aftermarket shows how NEXUS has established itself as a serious player on the global stage.

“It is such a pleasure for the NEXUS team to be able to bring together so many N! members and suppliers from around the world and, working with the N! Community, be a driving force for change. That is why we define NEXUS not as an ITG but as an IBD – an international Business Driver.”

Significantly, N!BF 2019 also featured the first N!BF TRUCK event, dedicated to the Heavy Duty sector, with N! Heavy Duty Business Developer Janusz Zielinski announcing that N! Heavy Duty planned to be a global leader in the Truck market in the next three years.

He also revealed the launch of N! Truck Road Assistance, which will provide 24/7 support for truck drivers in case of an accident or breakdown, along with an N! Truck Road Assistance app.

The four days also saw the holding of thousands of speed-date business meetings for N! members and suppliers and the presentation of a number of awards:

  • Annual business awards: N! Member of the Year 2018, G-PART (China), N! Supplier of the Year 2018, SCHAEFFLER.

  • Inaugural Heavy Duty Awards: N! Heavy Duty Member of the Year 2018, VIPAR (US), N! Heavy Duty Supplier of the Year 2018, KNORR-BREMSE.

  • Five year Growth Accelerator Awards, 2014-2018 (in the context of N! 5th anniversary): Best N! Member, THE PARTS ALLIANCE (UK), Best N! Supplier, BOSCH, Best CEO of N! Supplier, Jacques Aschenbroich of VALEO.

Partnership with JD.com underlines NEXUS' focus on digitalisation and emerging markets

Global alliance NEXUS Automotive International (N!) has taken another big step forward in its strategy to invest in fast emerging markets and embrace the digital world by agreeing a partnership with leading online retailer JD.com.

The China-based e-commerce giant had an estimated turnover of $55.7 billion in 2017 and plans to have a B2B and B2C car parts business of more than $1 billion by 2021, contributed by more than 300 million active users.

JD.com operates around 210 warehouses in over 50 cities in China, where it has more than 5,000 delivery and pick-up stations in approximately 2,350 counties and districts. It has sold automotive products directly to consumers for several years and successfully entered the B2B market in 2017.

The contract with JD.com, plus the significant addition of leading ‘traditional’ Chinese distributor DZF to the NEXUS Community, underline NEXUS’ strong commitment to realising the potential in what is one of the biggest automotive markets in the world.

NEXUS CEO Gael Escribe said: “Through this agreement with JD.com we are further embracing the digital world, giving NEXUS a broader perspective with an indisputable strong e-commerce channel. JD.com is the perfect symbol demonstrating NEXUS’ focus on emerging markets, more specifically on China, and also our obsession to stimulate innovation.”

The agreement with NEXUS includes its B2B entity Qiguangxing (Beijing) Information and Technology and the B2C affiliate Jingdong Century (Beijing) Trading Company.

Gael also extended a warm welcome to DZF as the latest N! Member in China. DZF Trading (Guangzhou) Co Ltd is a national autoparts distributor dedicated to supplying OE and premium quality parts to its 146 shareholder customers in 30 provinces. DZF specialises in chassis and engine parts, electronics, thermos and cooling systems, and oil and other lubricants.

Gael said: “By developing digital sales channels, and extending our N! Membership, NEXUS is keeping its promise to build on the foundations we have established in the China/Asia region. Given its amplitude, this approach is not feasible in mature markets, where distribution channels are much more established and where such a partnership would create more turbulence than anything else”.

NEXUS adds further weight to its Heavy Duty focus with appointment of senior business developer

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NEXUS Automotive International (N!) has strengthened its support for the Heavy Duty sector with the senior appointment of Janusz Zielinski as the alliance’s first Truck Business Developer.

Janusz, Polish native, has more than 20 years’ experience in the international automotive aftermarket, particularly in Commercial Vehicles in Europe, the Middle East and Africa within the global manufactures Meritor and Schaeffler.

NEXUS has recently increased its Heavy Duty focus, unveiling initiatives to accelerate the growth of the NEXUSTRUCK workshop concept while also seeking more generally to build business for all its suppliers and members.

A major task for Janusz in his new role will be to guide the setting up of the first NEXUS HEAVY DUTY Business Forum (N!BF Heavy Duty), which will take place in Abu Dhabi in March.

Gael Escribe, CEO of NEXUS, said: “Heavy Duty is an important segment of the aftermarket and we are already achieving considerable success. The NEXUSTRUCK network is well established in Spain and Portugal and our inaugural N! Workshop event in Madrid was well attended by N! members from North America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. “We are delighted to have someone of such high calibre as Janusz joining NEXUS as our first dedicated Truck Business Developer. His experience will be invaluable as we seek to develop even more opportunities in Heavy Duty for our N! members and suppliers.”

A qualified ski instructor and Alfa Romeo classic car enthusiast, Janusz speaks English, German, Polish and Russian. He said: “Having had some experience of NEXUS in my previous posting, I know it to be the most dynamic and forward-thinking international trading group in the world. It’s a role and a challenge that excites me.”

Today’s N! heavy duty community is made up of 42 N! members and 47 heavy duty parts suppliers, with a collective turnover of more than 3,300M€ covering 20% of N! volumes.

China: the new 'El Dorado' of the aftermarket

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Senior figures from some of the world’s leading parts manufacturers and suppliers met in Switzerland last week to hear why China has the potential to be ‘the new Eldorado of the global aftermarket’.

Organised by NEXUS Automotive International (N!), it was the fourth meeting of the alliance’s Prospective Council, the high-level forum of CEOs and company Presidents that debates major issues affecting the industry.

The invitation-only event included presentations by Wayne Yao, MD China, Asia, for Wolk Aftermarket, who presented the latest market data, and Geng Wu, Associate Partner with management consultants McKinsey, who shared his analysis of the Chinese aftermarket.

They were followed with commentary from Andreas Andorfer, Regional President China, for Bosch, and Bas Donders, N! Business Development Director, Asia, together with Sam Wong, from N! Member G-part, who provided further insights into China’s aftermarket.

NEXUS CEO Gael Escribe said: “Since the very beginning, NEXUS identified China as a major emerging market and a central priority. It has the biggest automotive market in the world, yet its aftermarket is not yet fully developed; the potential is huge.”

NEXUS has placed a strong focus on developing its activity in the region, just two weeks ago hosting more than 150 N! Members and Suppliers from all over the globe at its highly successful annual pre-Automechanika Shanghai dinner event.

In addition, it has built an experienced business support team in the region, expanded the N! Academy with the committed backing of N! suppliers and supported G-part in establishing the NEXUSAUTO concept in the country.

Gael said: “It’s truly exciting that through the Prospective Council we were able to bring leaders from across the entire industry together with industry experts and a selection of NEXUS members to debate opportunities in this new ‘Eldorado of the global aftermarket’.”

Bas Donders added: “The top level representation at the Council meeting plus the high number of delegates who attended in Shanghai, along with the positive feedback we received, clearly show the programme implemented by NEXUS in the China region is the right one. It has provided firm foundations for the strategic development of the country’s aftermarket.”

Global academy programme gathers pace

The NEXUS Academy training programme has gathered pace with events taking place in India, China and Argentina. Further sessions are planned for Slovenia and Ukraine, with the first dedicated NEXUS training centre also due to open later this month.

Two Academy sessions were held in Chennai, led by N! India member TVS Automobile Solutions. One was dedicated to executive directors of NEXUS members in the Asia Pacific region. The other was a Train the Trainer course for N! Asia Pacific member technical co-ordinators.

TVS is leading the Academy project in India and will launch the first NEXUS Academy Training Centre on 23rd November in a brand new building, which will also be used to train TVS employees.

The sessions in China were hosted in Shanghai with more than 40 workshop technicians taking part in two days training on diagnostics and clutches. Meanwhile, some 15 executive directors and managers from Latin America participated in a three-day NEXUS Executive Seminar in Buenos Aires.

A middle management session in Ukraine will take place on the 20th and 21st November, while the session in Slovenia, 27th to 29th November, will see the participation of the European N! Members’ technical coordinator.

Thierry Mugnier, who is leading the Academy project for NEXUS, said: “The Academy programme is now firmly established as an important international educational resource. It is helping to raise skills, knowledge and understanding, not only across the N! Community but feeding into the automotive industry as delegates put into practice what they have learned.

“The calendar for 2019 is already set up with more initiatives all over the world, involving new regions and N! members. We will be releasing details before the end of the year.”

NEXUS unveils heavy duty support for expanding truck network

The Lion racing team, sponsored by NEXUSTRUCK, in action in Madrid

The Lion racing team, sponsored by NEXUSTRUCK, in action in Madrid

NEXUS Automotive International has unveiled a ‘heavy duty’ series of initiatives to accelerate the development of its growing truck network.

The programme, including a truckers’ app, a Train the Trainer scheme and dedicated road assistance, was revealed at the first N! Workshop event.

The two-day event in Madrid was attended by 15 N! members from all over the world: from North America, to the Middle East, to Europe and Africa.

The NEXUS team presented an overview of proposed and current truck activities, including:

  • a dedicated app for truckers that combines telematics and assistance

  • a strengthening of the N! Academy training courses, with a Train the Trainer programme dedicated to the truck aftermarket, and

  • NEXUSTRUCK road assistance with a ‘24/7’ call centre for truck drivers matched with network members in various countries.

A number of selected heavy duty suppliers were also given the opportunity to host a 40-minute workshop in which to showcase their companies and their products to N! members.

The Forum was also attended by the Lion Truck racing team, supported by the NEXUSTRUCK network, which went on to compete in the final round of the prestigious FIA European Truck Championship at the Spanish city’s Jarama circuit.

Today’s N! heavy duty community is made up of 42 N! members and 47 heavy duty parts suppliers, with a collective turnover of more than 3,200M€ covering 20% of N! volumes.

Gael Escribe, CEO of NEXUS, said: “This first event dedicated to the truck aftermarket was an unqualified success. A lot of hard work has been put into developing the truck network and creating new initiatives that will accelerate the N! heavy duty business. Like our members, suppliers and their customers - we are in it for the long haul!”

Baltasar Trenco, NEXUSTRUCK workshop concept project manager, said: “NEXUSTRUCK workshops are now well established in Spain and Portugal, and around the world other countries are also adopting the concept. Another exciting development, in Lithuania, is the creation of a NEXUSTRUCK shop network. Since we launched the concept it has gone from strength to strength, and it will only get bigger and better.”