A Chinese supplier of parts for the automotive industry was planning to enter the German market. On various visits of delegates from the company in Germany, the company got a better understanding of the German automotive industry and its very high quality standards.
We were approached by the client to help him understand whether its products would meet the requirements of the various market segments in Germany. In addition, a partner investigated legal and compliance aspects of the potential market entry.
In the initial meeting with the client we agreed to focus on the independent aftermarket since a market entry in other segments of the market did not seem appropriate.
Initially we investigated the competitive environment of this particular product group through the following methodologies:
•Catalogue research to shortlist competitors and their prices
•Mystery shopping and calling to understand which particular products are recommended by the various sales channels and at what prices
As a result, we were able to make an initial estimate of major players and market shares.
In order to understand the German market and the specific requirements of the particular product, we scheduled interviews with several market players in the aftermarket
•Large independent service / repair centers
•Wholesale organizations and distributors
•Larger spare part shops (offline and online).
In addition, we conducted a short survey among specific car owners regarding their repair habits with respect to the particular product group. Based on our own pool of mystery shoppers and interviewers we generated results quickly.
Finally we had an almost 360-degree view of the market with regard to the particular product group, understanding market shares, market practice and product requirements. In a last step we did a gap analysis comparing market situation and the client’s product situation. As a result we were able to outline a detailed roadmap of tasks to enter the German market, as well as a risk analysis.