The sum of its parts
One of the world’s largest sellers of parts and accessories for all Land Rover vehicles, Bearmach is celebrating 60 years of providing products that offer an unrivalled level of quality
Regarded as a British Icon, the Land Rover has been the most famous and recognisable four-wheel-drive vehicle range since it was first launched in 1948. In that time, the Land Rover has come to be seen as one of the most durable vehicles, with most of those ever made still on the road today, and part of that success is down to the quality of the parts and accessories that go into their construction. Since 1958, Bearmach Limited has been providing market leading parts and accessories for all models of Land Rover vehicles, delivering 330,000 parts per month, on average, to over 140 countries.
“The last 60 years have been an eventful time for Bearmach, with the business undergoing a great deal of change in that time,” explains Sales Director, Stuart Truckel. “The last ten years, in particular, have seen the company undergo something of a transformation, one that was partly influenced by the acquisition of Bearmach by private equity investor Grove Industries Ltd in 2007. Bringing with it immediate investment, it was they who, four years ago, brought about a restructuring of the management team and since then we have working to flip the whole business model on its head.”
Traditionally, Bearmach has specialised in the supply of parts and spares to large retailers or wholesalers, which they sell into their market, whereas now it is pursuing a model whereby it goes as far up the margin chain to work directly with end users as it possibly can in order to take greater control of profit margins. “What we have found in the past when serving our traditional B2B channels is that while the reputation of the Bearmach brand and its commitment to quality remains as strong as ever, actual Land Rover owners were not aware of how to get hold of Bearmach parts, and this is something we have been very keen to address,” Stuart states.
A major step towards solving this problem came in January 2017, with the launch of a rebranded Bearmach website including its first e-commerce service. With this, the company is now able to serve both the B2B and B2C markets. “The growth of our B2C offering has been tremendous to date,” Stuart adds. “To put this into perspective, between January 2017 and August 2018 we experienced sales growth of almost 1000 per cent, which is fantastic, and comes at a time when our B2B sales continue to be a hugely significant part of our business!”
Growth in the company’s sales has also come as a result of continued international expansion. “We have generated strong sales from the initiation of a franchise concept, which has seen Bearmach launch franchises in Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan, Botswana and South Korea,” Stuart continues. “This concept came about because we were keen to offer exclusivity of our products in several key territories to individuals and businesses that were prepared to make a commitment to advancing the Bearmach brand and deliver our product range to Land Rover owners in their respective markets.
“In Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan and Botswana there is a noticeably high population of what one might call the ‘older’ Land Rovers, those that require quality parts to remain fully operational, and each country has sizable military operations that typical utilise Defenders so the opportunity for Bearmach in these markets is massive. South Korea, meanwhile, is a market flush with newer models and is where we are now establishing a network of Bearmach Authorised Service Centres to not only sell parts but also carry out repairs. We are also excited to have recently established a service structure in China, where we have two people working on service contracts wholly focused on Bearmach sales and aftermarket solutions.”
Throughout the world, Bearmach’s customers find that its competitive prices ensure that they pay less for genuine, OEM and quality assured branded parts, and in 2017 the company took the unique step of offering a three-year warranty on all Bearmach branded products. “The introduction of our three-year warranty offer is something that has been received enthusiastically from our customers and Land Rover owners, who we actively engage with on a regular basis through the various Land Rover Clubs and forums that take place year-round,” Stuart says. “Such research helps us to identify how the vehicles are changing, where there may be gaps in our range and what owners want to see improved in their vehicles. In turn, this directs our technical people to seek out what parts we need to source, before our purchasing team go out and acquire them and our marketing team sets our advertising to said customers.”
Having successfully transitioned the business into one capable of servicing both B2B and B2C customers, while at the same time further enhancing its reputation for quality, reliable products, it is understandable that when asked about what the immediate future holds Stuart proclaims that it is about doing more of the same. “Our big focus revolves around brand recognition,” he says, “and every decision we make and action we take is about ensuring that when a Land Rover owner gets to the point where they need to source a replacement part that they go to their chosen garage or wholesaler and say, ‘I want a Bearmach part’!”
Products: Quality parts and accessories for all models of Land Rover vehicles