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ZF Tells Workshops Develop Unique Position Now to Meet Demands of Next Generation Aftermarket

  • Increase in customer expectations driven by advancing technology, globalisation, price transparency & online sales
  • Workshops need to differentiate themselves – attracting & sustaining customers and skilled employees
  • Launch of new online hub for repair businesses as part of TRW ‘True Originals’ campaign. Showcases innovative workshops, provides useful resource & communicates pivotal customer service excellence messages

Continuing on its journey towards the next generation of mobility, ZF Aftermarket explains how advancing technology, price transparency and rising online purchasing power are changing the face of the aftermarket and driving an increase in customer demand & expectation. Add to this a number of growth-affecting trends such as: distributor consolidation & the rise in electric vehicles and it is apparent that workshops need to work significantly smarter now; creating a unique position to differentiate themselves to underpin sustained growth and ensure future success. In line with this ZF Aftermarket brand TRW has directed the next phase of its ‘True Originals’ multi media campaign at the workshops. The launch of a new online hub showcases innovative global workshops, provides a useful resource and – backed by recent studies highlighting the staggering effect that poor customer service can have on business – communicates this pivotal message to repair businesses to ensure they in are in pole position.

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ZF Tells Workshops Develop Unique Position Now to Meet Demands of Next Generation Aftermarket

“Increasing technology and purchasing power driven by online sales mean that the global customer expects its demands to be met 24/7. Anything less is no longer acceptable and you will lose business. If the customer doesn’t get what they want, when they want it, in the right way and at the right price – they will go elsewhere. And once they have gone, statistics show that they won’t return,” explains Markus Wittig, Head of the Independent Aftermarket Business Unit (IAM).

Market Size, Make-Up and Service Profile

The overall market is changing (growing at approximately 3 percent p.a. and expected to reach EUR 1,200 billion by 2030), but disruptive trends mean this growth won’t be linear across the aftermarket. An annual increase in shared-mobility maintenance costs will benefit the aftermarket, but may be offset by fewer vehicles on the road. Less wear and tear parts mean maintenance costs for electric vehicles could be 40 percent lower than for conventionally powered vehicles, but again these losses can be offset by opportunities in investment in skill sets and offerings which match the growing call for sustainability.

By 2030 cars will recommend location servicing and 58 percent of global customers would obey posing a significant threat. In addition, crash repair spend on Autonomous Vehicles (AV) is expected to be low. Lastly, we operate in an increasingly competitive market, ruled by fewer and more powerful players. Figures show that 9/10 of the largest European IAM distributors have been involved with mergers & acquisitions and consolidation over the past five years.

“This all means that to maximize the opportunities of the next –generation aftermarket, workshops need to look at their business models, attitude towards customer service and access to their services,” Markus Wittig explains.

“They need to adapt and professionalize; investing in recruiting, training and equipment to cope with increasing complexity. On the customer-facing side, they should invest in enabling a digital customer journey and, at the same time, consider their customer service offer from the grass roots level up; finding ways to clearly position them versus competing networks. They need to they need to create a unique customer experience, to attract and keep both customers and skilled employees.”

TRW – the ‘True Original’

Under #ORIGINALWORKSHOPS the next phase of TRW’s popular ‘True Originals’ campaign is aimed at the workshops and will comprise of four parts, focusing on: Customer Service, Digital Marketing, Sourcing Parts and Business Success. The long-running campaign is based on the concept that everything about the TRW brand is a true original; from the OE quality product, to the engineering, and manufacturing expertise used; through to the employees and customers – people with real passions and values that drive them in both their private and working lives and enhance everything that they do.

The first part of the campaign gives details on how workshops can improve their services and highlights interesting facts about changing customer expectations, such as:

  • 68% of customers say they’ve switched service providers because of poor customer service (Accenture)
  • 95% of dissatisfied customers tell others about their bad experience (Zendesk)

In preparation for the launch of #ORIGINALWORKSHOPS research carried out by the business revealed the main determiners of workshop customer satisfaction. In no particular order, these are: customer interaction – which should be mirrored online with a user friendly and informative website; the garage environment and the work.


To celebrate aftermarket workshops around the world that share its dedication to excellence, and that use original ideas and solutions to build their businesses, TRW has launched a new online hub. This is an ever-growing hub of useful advice, tips, blogs, videos and more to help installers and garage owners to offer great service, work efficiently, promote themselves to customers and build a strong and successful business.

The workshop chosen to launch the site is AH Almeida, Bobedela, Portugal, a successful inherited family business, now run by Rui Almeida. To showcase best practice TRW is looking for more workshop owners to tell their stories and volunteer to be a part of the campaign, which could mean starring in a short film and being interviewed for publication on the hub.



Jessica Seufert

Aftermarket Communications D-A-CH

+49 9721 4756-728

Fabiola Wagner

Head of Aftermarket Communications

+49 9721 4756-110