Written on December 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm
Manbat – The Future’s Bright
2013 was a busy year for Manbat, as it introduced a new leisure battery range, took the initiative to move into new markets, won the group’s own-label business and grew its unit sales and operating profits to boot.
After a couple of challenging years for the battery market as a whole, Manbat’s battery sales grew significantly in 2013, particularly with its brands at the premium end of the market, such as VARTA® and Lucas.
This growth came partly as a general improvement in the sector, but largely because Manbat has continued to invest in its stock, branch network and staff to ensure that it can provide the very best in support services, like marketing and training, to back up its high quality product offering.
This approach has paid dividends with GROUPAUTO members looking for a long-term battery partner on whom they can truly rely. Many members will testify that the level of customer service provided by Manbat sets it apart from any other battery supplier, and it does it all year round, not just when the demand for batteries is low!
When it comes to developing business in new markets, Manbat was very active, exhibiting at events at home and abroad. In the UK it was present at IMHX with its industrial division, Naidex, the country’s largest mobility focused show and the Motorhome & Caravan Show, where it took the wraps off its latest high performance leisure battery, the Numax DCXV27.
Manbat also continued its export push by making its first appearance at Equip Auto in France, where it generated a great deal of interest from both an automotive and leisure perspective, for the Lucas and Numax brands respectively.
As members will be aware, in 2013 Manbat was awarded the supply contract for the Powerstart brand, an exclusive arrangement with GROUPAUTO among the buying groups.
Available through the G-Logix distribution centre, the Powerstart range provides members with a quality product at extremely competitive prices and also comes with the benefit of a two-year warranty. As a result, members have a brand that will allow them to react to the demands of their customers when price becomes the central issue.
Powerstart batteries are supplied directly to members via the Manbat branch network in the same way that it delivers orders for its existing brands. This is primarily because of the health and safety issues surrounding the storage and distribution of more hazardous products like batteries, but also because the group as a whole recognises the excellent level of service that Manbat provides to the members on a daily basis and therefore knows that the product distribution is in safe hands.
As well as developing the range, which now sits at 14 part numbers, and increasing its specification, product availability is high and members are able to vary their orders from pallets to single orders, depending on their requirements.
When it comes to 2014, Manbat is already implementing a growth strategy that will bring benefits to its customers and its commitment to GROUPAUTO members is central to these plans. The member and AutoCare trade exhibitions remain important elements in the process and will again be focal points through which to communicate with members and to develop even stronger relationships for 2014 and beyond.