Less than a year after the announcement of its launch, and right on schedule with the initial development plan, AMERIGO International is now operational. Set up in August, the international service provider convened its 22 founding shareholders at the Automechanika trade fair in Frankfurt. The event has also been an opportunity to present RELIABLE – the first parts and services e-catalog designed especially to meet the needs of clients all over the world.
The 22 founding shareholders gathered in Frankfurt AMERIGO International is the brainchild of Olivier van Ruymbeke, President of AMERIGO International and AUTOMOTOR France. He describes it as «an international, network-based service provider backed by 45 years of expertise in emerging markets». The firm’s DNA is easy to sum up: «Delivering innovative services to partner suppliers and clients alike». It also has a particular distinguishing feature: while AUTOMOTOR France owns 51% of its share capital, the other 49% is owned by distributors. «This equity structure is deliberate», explains Olivier van Ruymbeke. «It ensures each distributor can have a real influence on decisions made by the company».
By the time Automechanika opened, 22 distributors had already signed up as shareholders in the firm, operating on a total of 18 markets spanning 4 continents.
Actively engaged shareholders The typical profile of these shareholders? «All of them are parts importers, with annual revenues of anywhere between €5 million and €60 million. All of them are independent, and most of them are family-owned», says Olivier van Ruymbeke.
And what do AMERIGO International’s shareholders expect, primarily? «Access to new high-quality suppliers, improved terms of purchase, and services that are ideally suited to the constraints and expectations typical of emerging markets», he explains.
The shareholders are thus anything but sleeping partners sitting back waiting for better terms of purchase to present themselves. «We’ve been keen to enlist active shareholders who can be part of our project and make a positive contribution in their own right. The first working meetings have exceeded all expectations, confirming our shareholders’ extremely detailed knowledge of their respective markets – and their very high degree of commitment», he adds.
Suppliers ready and waiting Supplier selection is another key factor in the success of AMERIGO International. Some fifteen suppliers have already made a formal commitment for the next three years. All of them are OE suppliers – traditionally located in Europe, but also in emerging countries (Asia, Turkey, North Africa). «AMERIGO International will be a fantastic business accelerator for these OE suppliers: they have impeccable technology and product quality, but often lack structure and local presence when it comes to spare parts», says Olivier van Ruymbeke.
«Our purchasing strategy is clear: to limit our number of approved suppliers to two per product line, or three if we have to address specific needs such as those relating to premium vehicles from Germany and Asia», he explains.
AMERIGO International’s partner suppliers will benefit from access to a committed network of importers and from local sales operations. These are two decisive factors in successfully dealing with the regulatory, logistics, and financial considerations inherent to international trade.
The partner supplier network is coordinated by Fabien Moebs, AMERIGO International’s Business Development Manager. Moebs (45) brings a wealth of career experience with international suppliers such as Sogefi (Purflux) and Hutchinson; his task is to lead discussions with partner suppliers and ensure coordination with shareholder distributors.
One of the solutions AMERIGO International offers suppliers is a listing in its electronic catalog RELIABLE, dedicated to emerging automotive markets.