F. Katsardis (Temot): “A Darwinian evolution has begun for the ecosystem”
Between optimism and realism, Fotios Katsardis, a fine analyst of changes in the international auto parts business, gives us his vision of a future with a market that is more complex to manage and monitor.
Temot is set to end the year with 102 shareholders (98 in 2021 – Ed.) and turnover of around €14 Bn (€13 Bn in 2021). But more important than sales are the actual pertinent purchasing volumes by shareholders and the extent to which they fit in with our business partners. And Temot has made major progress in this direction, with an increase in the share of portfolio of strategically important and operationally effective suppliers.
We are likely to be heading towards a more complex secondary market that is harder to manage and monitor. The improvements expected from the supply chain have not yet materialised, and we are observing the first signs of slowdown. If this were to last, the aftermarket could enter a recession, or at least generate growth below real inflation. Coping with this complexity will be the principal asset for the key players.
Temot’s shareholders have been affected like the rest of the market. We can absorb part of the price rises, but not more. Inflation is important in this sense, because it hits low-revenue individuals the hardest, also influencing the secondary market. We are not talking only about price rises from suppliers which have been appalling and much higher than inflation, but about the general inflation of the overheads of European SMEs, the backbone of the economy. This is a clearly existential problem.
What’s for sure is that the aftermarket is seeing much higher increases than the OE market. On a rolling year basis, in September in Germany we were reporting increases of about 14% for filters, 12% on brake pads and 23% on water pumps. These rises substantially outstrip inflation, and I doubt that the suppliers could have obtained these increases from car manufacturers.
Actually, this macro economic period is the most chaotic, risky, and hard to anticipate that we’ve seen for decades. A new Darwinian phase of evolution in fast-track mode has begun, which will lead to the survival of the fittest. We will only adapt if we have a compact, uniform and sufficiently competitive organisation that fulfils its added value social and economic function.
TALENTS4AA : A vocation accelerator
Fotios Katsardis, chairman of the board: “The very essence of this initiative is a noble cause addressing the heart of the appeal of our sector as a potential employer in an environment suffering from a serious shortage of labour. Several leaders in the aftermarket have joined forces to identify the reasons behind this lack of appeal, and devised actions to solve them. Talents4AA has already contributed to raising awareness in the sector, and has brought together universities, associations and IAM professionals.
In 2023, we will have the support of all the major suppliers, or at least those who care about the aftermarket. We will reach out to domestic and European distributors, create the necessary platform and act as ambassadors for jobs in the sector. We will reach out to all the populations of potential candidates to help them grasp the career opportunities that this tremendous aftermarket has to offer as a sector.”