Amerigo International: “International acceleration in 2024”

Caroline Ridet
ABERGEL Sylvain Amerigo2

2023 was a year of transition and fresh impetus for the newest international trading group, following a change of ownership and leadership at the end of 2022. It was also a year that saw a complete overhaul of the group's fundamentals, with the aim of setting about 2024 on the front foot. 

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"Our vocation is to be international. And we are fortunate to have a huge playing field, provided we are willing to stop thinking exclusively in terms of the major markets of the European Union." For his first year as chairman, Sylvain Abergel wanted to replace Amerigo International's founding mission into perspective: to offer distributor-importers in medium-sized emerging markets - with turnover of between €5m and €100m - operational solutions granting them access to a pool of suppliers that meet the specific needs of these different markets, even if this means straying off the beaten track... taken by its industry colleagues. Consequently, 60% of its portfolio is made up of Tier 2 suppliers, in tune with the expectations of many markets and who need to raise their profile, complemented by Tier 1s looking to penetrate new countries. This mix gives Amerigo International a unique positioning outside the current Western battle over private labels, which " don't match the expectations of emerging markets looking for more competitive brands. And I actually think that we will even strengthen our European positions with these tier 2 brands."

2024 under the banner of expansion

Because while Europe may not be its priority playground, it is still building up its positions there. In January, Spain's Unio Sinergy Group (six partners with 18 outlets and a total purchasing volume of €9m, having broken away from the Andel group) joined its Iberian colleagues Zoel Auto Parts and Comercial SIA in the "Amerigo Club", as did Greece's Liakopoulos. And this year, Central and Eastern Europe, where "demand is very high" will be the key focus for Damien Jeanney who was recruited last June to head up the international trading group The Middle East and Africa, where Amerigo International is already represented, will also be targeted as "these are very dynamic up-and-coming markets, with a strong desire to grow". "Generally speaking, we are keen to support emerging markets, where there is a need for services", adds Damien Jeanney, Deputy Director of Amerigo International.

In 2024, the team will therefore be working to expand the Amerigo International community, which currently has 48 members in 25 countries, generating €800 million in cumulative sales with the 25 listed parts suppliers.


Spare parts portfolio and training: the lever of new developments

Another avenue for development is the catalogue. Focused mainly on mass-market products, it is set to be significantly expanded, with the addition of "suppliers with the depth of range to cover recent European fleets, as well as older fleets, in particular to provide quality service to members outside Europe".

And because it describes itself as a group, Amerigo International could not do without a structural service: training. Whether in digital or classroom format, training courses will be provided by suppliers to distributors and their teams. "We sell best what we know best!"

A digital revolution at Amerigo

The digital service offering has also been overhauled and is set to be rolled out more widely across the new Amerigo Digital Solutions division. As part of this new, broader, e-reliable strategy, the online catalogue launched in 2019 (188 car brands, 46,000 models and 3 million part numbers) is taking on a new dimension. It is now a service solution combining the catalogue function, "the first to cover all fleets worldwide with well-documented parts numbers", with an e-commerce tool and a technical data platform. Above all, while previously it was exclusively dedicated to Amerigo International members, it is now open to the entire aftermarket in the form of a white label (which means it can be customised).
These strengthened fundamentals should enable the challenger to gain a significant foothold on the highly competitive ITG playing field. To stand out, it is counting on the pertinence of its targeting of the smallest distributors, who are rarely 'hunted' by its peers. "While doing business is a distributor's top priority, it's also important to belong to a club so you're not on your own. Drawing on the best practices to optimise your own organisation is more vital than ever in today's fast-moving environment. It's all about support", concludes Damien Jeanney.

Caroline Ridet
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