What does it take to become the biggest and best at what you do? A LKQ Euro Car Parts, our success began with one man’s vision, and has since been built on the energy and passion of thousands more talented people.
This is the story of how one enthusiastic young man with one small shop, but big ambitions created the UK’s largest automotive parts distribution network.
1M sq. ft. T2 opens after the consolidation of the five central distribution centres into two Tamworth sites (T1 & T2). Both sites became fully operational in 2018.
Euro Car Parts opens its first branch in Dublin, Republic Of Ireland. Omnipart becomes the company’s one stop shop for online trade customers, while Euro Car Parts’ first trade catalogue is a response to increased demand from professional technicians across the UK and Ireland.
A year of notable acquisitions sees Euro Car Parts acquire Dublin-based aftermarket wholesaler HELLA Ireland, leisure specialist Arleigh Group (trading under the Arleigh International, Nova Leisure and Midland Chandlers brands) and the business assets of Andrew Page Limited.
The announcement of Super Hubs heralds a new standard of service delivery from Euro Car Parts, with Super Hub branches offering 100% availability of an expanded choice of stock. The move is set to create over 1,000 new jobs and add more than 1 million square feet of new warehousing. One of the new Super Hubs, Moss Lane in Manchester, becomes Euro Car Parts’ 200th branch.
Euro Car Parts negotiates with administrators for Unipart to secure the future of 27 branches, saving the jobs of more than 100 ex-Unipart employees. The company partners with BEN, a charity which helps members of the automotive community struggling with stress, money worries, illness, relationship problems or bereavement. For the first time, Euro Car Parts’ parent company, LKQ Corporation, is named in the prestigious Fortune 500 list.
UK expansion continues apace, while the merger of Euro Car Parts with Sator Holdings (an established parts distributor with operations in Holland, Belgium & France) to create LKQ Euro, results in one of the biggest vehicle parts distributors in Europe. This momentous development gives Euro Car Parts a springboard for further acquisitions, the first of which are Iris Coatings and 5 UK distributors of automotive paint and bodyshop supplies.
Euro Car Parts branch 100 opens in Harrow, North London. By the end of the year the number of branches grows to more than 125.
To respond to ever-increasing demand, the business opens a 141,000 sq ft distribution centre in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, which primarily houses the Collision Repair range of bumpers, bonnets and grilles.
Euro Car Parts is acquired by LKQ Corporation, placing the business at the heart of a global auto parts success story. The company also launches its click and collect service. By year end, the business employs 3,400 people across 90 branches.
Euro Car Parts is named as a Sunday Times Top Track 250 company.
Euro Car Parts is appointed sole supplier of batteries, car parts and consumables stock to the RAC’s 1,800 patrol vans and wins the coveted Kwik Fit contract for shocks, springs and suspension components.
More openings bring the total number of branches at the start of the new decade to 80+.
The company puts a three year plan in place to double its market share and greatly strengthen its branch network, product ranges and marketing programmes.
Despite the global market crash and the worst recession for 50 years, Euro Car Parts sales grow to £187million, up 30% up on 2008.
The company opens its own diesel remanufacturing plant to produce the first ‘common rail’ pumps and injectors. With common rail diesel systems fitted in around 40% of new cars, Euro Car Parts sees huge aftermarket potential.
Euro Car Parts becomes one of 24 equal shareholders in ATR International, a group of Europe’s leading parts distributors whose combined sales exceed €3 billion.
The growing Korean car market sees Euro Car Parts introduce a wide range of branded parts for Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo, Chevrolet and SsangYong owners.
A year of further expansion; Euro Car Parts has 11 new branches and a product range that now numbers 83,000 – more than any other parts distributor. The company is keen to be more than a supplier to its customers and launches Euro Garage Solutions, a package of tools and equipment, training, data, finance, management and marketing support to help its customers grow.
The Euro Car Parts mantra of ‘any part for any car’ is born with the ‘All Makes Programme’, which launches this year. For the first time, owners and repairers of any make of vehicle are able to enjoy the benefits of being Euro Car Parts customers.
Euro Car Parts acquires the 10-branch ARE network, based in southern England, and starts to integrate it with the rest of the business.
The pace of change has never been faster. In response, Euro Car Parts creates the specialist Euro Technologies team, dedicated to keeping abreast of current and future trends in vehicle specification.
As the company continues to grow, Euro Car Parts recognises the need to maintain a pipeline of exceptionally skilled staff and creates The Euro Car Parts Training Academy to develop home-grown talent.
With more than 30 branches nationwide, Euro Car Parts truly becomes the leading national distributor of quality car parts for European marques. With Seat, Skoda, BMW Mini and Smart car added to the programme, the team look to specialise further. With the launch of a truly in depth All Makes Air Conditioning programme, Euro Car Parts breaks new ground. This successful formula is extended to “All-Makes” Batteries and Catalytic Converters.
With a proven strategy for the automotive aftermarket in place, the expansion of its services through a continued branch expansion programme makes Euro Car Parts a market leader.
Successfully introducing in-depth ranges for German and Scandinavian vehicles, 2001 sees the launch of a French programme and Peugeot, Renault and Citroen added to the portfolio.
The new millennium sees Euro Car Parts open new sites in Glasgow, Bellingham, Chessington, East London, Belfast, Southampton, Leeds and Newcastle. Its already extensive parts programme is expanded to cover Porsche, VW, Audi, SAAB and Volvo as well as the original BMW and Mercedes markets.
Having perfected the marque-specialist concept in parts distribution, the company adds an additional marque to the programme every year.
Birmingham and Manchester are the first two locations that Euro Car Parts opens; the first time the company trades outside of London and with it, the scene is set for rapid expansion
With our knowledge of automotive parts constantly growing, the team at Highway Autos sees the chance to specialise and the single most important decision of the company’s growth is made.
The concept of Euro Car Parts is born and the import and distribution of German car parts begins. Starting with in depth coverage of BMW, it was not long before Mercedes Benz is added.
After less than three years of opening its first high street shop, Highway Autos has grown in experience and is ready to expand. A second branch of Highway Autos is opened in the Willesden area and gives the company the chance to grow its reputation as a reliable parts supplier.
In just a year, Highway Autos multiples its original sales ten-fold.
A young and enthusiastic 18 year old, Sukhpal Singh, with help from his family and a small loan from Barclays Bank, raises just £5,000 to buy a high street shop in Willesden. Sukhpal begins to trade in car parts under the name of Highway Autos.
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