With winter comes all manner of changeable weather. Our vehicles take on a lot during this time, and that includes our brakes. With a vital role to play in keeping us safe on the roads, and a volume product for factors, we catch up with Colin Smit, Managing Director of Lumag, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of OE quality brake pads, to find out more about the seasonality of these commodity products.
“Surprisingly, when it comes to seasonality of sales, brake pads tend to stay quite steady all year round,” Smit said. “The only obvious spikes tend to be around ‘MOT time’ as new cars enter the aftermarket. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for factors – and garages – to maximise sales and upselling potential during the colder winter months.With winter throwing everything it has at our vehicles, it represents a perfect time to ensure that brake pads are up to the job, and that your garage customers have the right products at the right time.”
Winter is coming
With sludge, dirt and salt forming the main composite of our roads during winter, as well as many vehicles left immobile for long periods of time, it would be easy to understand how brakes can become compromised. It is not however the brake material that is affected, instead the build-up of grit, dirt and salt can infiltrate brake parts, reducing friction and causing slower performance, and even corrosion in extreme conditions.
The first sign of brake problems during the winter month will show itself as a noise such as grinding or squeaking, often accompanied by a shuddering or pulling sensation when the brake is applied. Together, these elements point to the fact that maintenance or a full replacement is required. With more replacement work taking place, it is vital that factors bring their ‘winter stock’ to the fore to ensure maximum visibility.
Unlike other brake suppliers, Lumag offers an unrivalled logistics programme – which means they can deliver the parts that are needed, when they are needed most. From the company’s headquarters in Doncaster, they offer a 99.1% pick rate, and can place daily orders on the manufacturing facilities in Poland, if required, meaning replenishment stock can be deliveredto the warehouse within just three days. Not only does this mean that seasonal product demand peaks can be met head on, but it also means that there is no reason for factors to tie stock, and therefore cash, up in inventory.
Get it right first time, buy the best
As with any product, you get what you pay for, and this is just as true with brake pads. With counterfeit parts flooding into the UK aftermarket from the Far East, it is easy to be caught out. But it’s not just fake parts that can fail when you need them most.
A recent benchmarking exercise, undertaken by Lumag, threw up some concerning findings. Testing the advanced LU 701 brake material in comparative dyno tests with other brake pads from different reputable friction material manufacturers – including a true OES provider – the findings demonstrated the importance of quality above all else.
Three core areas were investigated during test were brake efficiency (according to SAE J2522), wear (of friction material and brake disc – according to SAE J2707), and noise (propensity to generate the squeals – according to SAE J2521).
Placed against four competitor parts, the LU 701 material, consistently out-performed the others, with one well-known aftermarket brand ranking bottom in all but one test.
Colin Smit, said: “With safety the paramount concern during winter, it offers factors and garages customers with the opportunity to drive sales of brake parts. However, the parts themselves must be up to the job, and many suppliers are compromising longevity and performance in an attempt to keep prices low. Whatever the weather, at LUMAG we pride ourselves on ensuring our parts provide consistent and high-quality performance. Our own tried-and-tested formulas and a repeatable manufacturing process underlines our commitment to quality; our vigorous R&D activities enable us to offer safe, modern and high-quality products to our customers; products that deliver time and time again.”
Find out more
For further details on Lumag’s range available to the aftermarket, please call 0121 520 1160 or email [email protected]k. Alternatively, visit www.lumagltd.co.uk to find the latest products, as well as the latest BRECK e-catalogue.