Haldex on a Central European Success Story

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Source: Haldex post

LANDSKRONA, Sweden – The following article was posted by Haldex on its news website about the company’s growth in Central Europe as that region becomes economically stronger and the success of a major regional customer, Inter Cars of Poland.

Inter Cars: Inter-grated

One of the regions of Europe with the greatest growth over the past decade has been Central Europe. Part of that is about the growing importance of the region to transport within the EC region and beyond.

“On the roads, Poland seems to have the biggest transport fleet after Germany. When the fleet grows, business grows – it’s natural,” observes Miroslaw Peciak, Haldex regional sales manager, Central Eastern Europe. He points out that since 2012, Haldex sales revenue in the region has grown by almost four times. 

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It’s not by chance that this is also a region that independent aftermarket parts distributor Inter Cars of Poland has had a huge role in developing. Founded in the early 1990s after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the company listed on the Warsaw stock exchange in 2004, raising valuable funds that kick-started its expansion in terms of logistics, the branch network and product range. 

Now, Inter Cars is in the top three players in several Central European countries. Half of its 2021 revenue was from outside its home country, with a prediction that exports will, for the first time, tip the balance this year. Inter Cars is now Haldex’s biggest customer in the region, accounting for nearly a quarter of sales. 

In total, it has 574 operations in 18 countries, and has established a sales presence as far west as Italy (in Milan). Both inside and outside of Poland, the company’s distribution network relies on private companies, franchises, although every country that sets up a franchise also gains an Inter Cars outpost, too. 

A matrix organization maintains the Inter Cars focus on the individual markets — passenger cars, commercial vehicles, tires or agriculture — operating within each geographical region. Each market has its own manager responsible not only for sales but also for purchasing. Inter Cars says that the scale of the operation and at the same time its organization into smaller, specialized business segments enables it to act in an agile and flexible manner, and make it able to compete with smaller companies.

At the same time, the company has also forged strong links between the disparate operations. A few years ago, its daughter company ILS built a highly automated central distribution warehouse for the entire region employing some 1,300 people in picking, packing and other duties. It works alongside two other Poland hubs and 11 warehouses in the country, along with nine foreign hubs. The company says: “Efficient logistics is a key element in achieving success.” Its road transport distribution operation “allows us to deliver parts to the most remote regions in a very short time. The customer usually receives parts available in one of the central warehouses within 24 hours. However, those available at the local branch are available immediately.”

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