The Swedish company LBM Autoparts is investing in complete bearing and seal kits for manual transmissions and promises to open up a large market for small European remanufacturing specialist companies.
Millions of light transport vehicles are used in Europe, a majority of which are equipped with manual transmissions. As transmissions are subject to substantial wear and tear, there is a large market for remanufacturing services. Historically, these services have mostly been offered by OEM companies. For small remanufacturing companies, the sheer number of manual transmission models has been something of an obstacle. By investing in complete bearing and seal kits for manual transmissions, LBM Autoparts is set to simplify both the ordering process and the shop work. This means opening up a very large market, with new business opportunities, to small remanufacturing specialists.
In early 2015, LBM Autoparts began the launch of a complete bearing and gasket kit for a manual transmission (VAG) used in hundreds of thousands of European transport and maintenance vehicles. The launch was received with great interest by many small remanufacturing companies, who saw an opportunity to expand their operations quickly.
“We knew that there was a need for qualitative and complete kits that facilitate both the purchasing and remanufacturing processes for smaller companies,” explains Erik Stålebo, CEO of LBM Autoparts, which is located in Stenungsund, roughly forty kilometres north of Gothenburg.
The gradual development of remanufacturing kits for additional transmission models
LBM Autoparts and two sister companies form the STS Group, which has evolved into one of Europe’s largest technical centres for transmissions. Regardless of the make of car or transmission, the Group strives to offer a comprehensive programme, including both spare parts and remanufacturing services. LBM Autoparts is the Group’s supplier of spare parts for auto repair shops and remanufacturing companies. A majority of their customers are located around Scandinavia, but the initiative to offer complete bearing and gasket kits has met with great interest in many other European countries, as well.
“As we received such a positive response to our first bearing kit, we promptly decided to establish a wide programme, step by step, with remanufacturing kits for the most common manual transmission models in the European market. In one year, we have developed a handful of complete bearing and gasket kits. Just like for the first kit, quality requirements are rigorous, and the kits have been put together in a way that simplifies the entire reman process. We now hope that even more small remanufacturing companies will discover how easily they can expand their operations and cover new customer groups. They already have the necessary skills. We are incredibly pleased that we are able to open up a large market for these companies, and it encourages us to develop additional remanufacturing kits in coming years,” Erik Stålebo concludes.