Since its launch in 1984, HGV Direct has grown rapidly to become one of the UK’s largest suppliers of parts and consumables to the CV market. CVW speaks to Managing Director Simon Smedley to find out how.
“Our formula is not a secret or rocket science, but it does take commitment. We provide an extensive range of quality products at competitive prices and have invested in IT systems so that when a customer calls, we just require the vehicle registration to provide advice on the parts available for that vehicle.
“Our motto is ‘Genuine Parts, Genuine People’ so our knowledgeable staff are always on hand to provide general advice and details about items for a specific vehicle. Our product range includes air brake and friction products, auto electrical, transmission, engine, consumables, lubricants, tools and garage equipment.”
Genuine parts – what does it mean?
“We source products directly from the original equipment manufacturer, and distribute into the market. We always ask our customers ‘what’s in the box?’ This is always an interesting question as products are marketed in so many guises. We feel that we don’t have to explain ourselves, the original equipment product speaks for itself – we sell the original equipment product wherever possible and we back our customers with a guarantee that only comes with a genuine product. This gives our customers comfort, as we all know these are the products assembled on the majority of today’s new vehicles.
“Supporting our product offering with experienced staff is essential for us to build long standing relationships within the industry. Our business has been instrumental in providing the first apprenticeship scheme in the UK for the commercial vehicle aftermarket, to provide talent for the future. This was first started back in September 2017 when candidates from all over the UK came together at Rease Heath College in Cheshire to start their career as commercial vehicle parts advisors, and the journey takes candidates through understanding of moving parts and how best to identify, distribute and stock effectively. There are great opportunities for candidates, who have the option of three stages taking them through management training and to achieve degree status for those who apply themselves and wish to carry on through the educational journey.
“Independence in the automotive aftermarket is becoming a precious status now, with recent consolidation in the marketplace, we have worked within the IFA buying group with like-minded businesses for over 15 years, building a network of independent businesses that pool buying resources to provide customers with best whole life cost products. We are proud to be part of what we believe is the ‘biggest and best’ independently owned CV parts distributors in the UK, and as independents we can offer flexibility of pricing, service and relationships. This allows us to provide our customers with a helping hand, whether it be 24/7 emergency cover, pricing support or our one-to-one relationship.”
HGV Direct continues to show its desire to keep moving forwards with its expansion into Liverpool, as well as opening a Heathrow branch a few months ago.
“E-trading is here, we have embraced this and will continue to enhance our online offering, we have a parts lookup function, online ordering for same day delivery, and a click and collect service. We have been at the forefront of ecommerce within our sector for some years now, and our website is a great tool for our customers, with helpful tips, registration plate identification and multiple delivery or collection options.
“None of the above would be achievable without the support of our customers and people, together with a mix of hard graft by all, we have been privileged to make a success of HGV Direct to date, and thanks to those involved, we are sure this will continue independently into the future.”