The wiper blades season is upon us: heavy rain, road spray, snow and ice all result in poor driver visibility. This is when drivers’ thoughts and eyes are focussed on the problems that come with poor visibility which, according to Government figures, is the cause of one in ten UK road accidents. So it’s clearly time to make sure you are stocking the best range of wiping products.
As the UK market grows and new wiper motor technology comes to market, it makes sense for motor factors to consider the strong commercial opportunities of selling replacement wiper motors. Wiper motors are known to fail for numerous reasons, such as:
• High levels of corrosion: as it is positioned below the windscreen, water can collect around the motor
• Lack of use: can cause grease to set and harden inside the motor
• Heavy loading: when drivers attempt to clear snow and ice from the windscreen
More than 66% of wiper motor sales go via the main dealer*, leaving a significant opportunity for the independent aftermarket. This makes wiper motors a popular replacement product during a harsh winter season.*Source: Valeo
Valeo believes its range of OE wiper motors for the aftermarket presents a significant opportunity for motor factors. One in three vehicles in the UK are equipped with a Valeo wiper motor, the three most common are:
• Continually rotating motors operate a wiper arm in a 360° circular motion, with the reversing action produced by the linkage mechanism.
• Single reversible motors drive the wiper arm in a clockwise and anti-clockwise arc and the linkage design translates this movement into the sweep of the two wipers.
• The new dual reversible technology presents increased opportunity for motor factors; as it operates a single blade and arm directly, a motor is required for each individual wiper blade. The advantage of this technology is that linkages are no longer required.
Valeo has recently added 11 new references to its expanding range of wiper motors, increasing the total part count to 120 wiper motors, all of which come from Valeo’s OE production lines. Valeo’s new rear wiper motor references cover Audi A1, A4, A6, S4, RS4 Quattro, Q5 and SQ5; Seat Exeo Sportourer and Ibiza IV; VW Caddy III, IV and Touareg II and Porsche Cayenne.
• Like-for-like replacement guarantees 100% fitting accuracy
• Minimised risk of incorrect mounting
OE Quality Assurance
All Valeo wiper motors undergo rigorous testing and various factors like the measurement and monitoring of wiping angle, power, voltage and speed are considered. Tests are also carried out in pre-defined climate profiles such as winter and humid temperatures. This guarantees optimal performance can be achieved during varied weather conditions.
The Magneti Marelli wiper motors range that was once focused only on Fiat Group applications is much wider nowadays and includes products for Citroen, Ford, Renault, Seat, Skoda, VAG, Vauxhall and Volvo.
• Produced to the exacting standards of European vehicle manufacturers
• OE quality, perfectly interchangeable from the original
• High resistance to harsh weather conditions
The RHD range is made of 122 references, integrating front and back wiper motors.
When replacing wiper motors, fitters should check for wear and damage in the wiper linkage if a continually rotating or single reversible system is in use. It is also recommended that the blades are changed at the same time.
Reduced visibility accounts for 42% of all collisions and bad weather increases the likelihood of an accident significantly. Like any mechanical product, wiper blades wear out with time but their replacement is often overlooked. Most people fail to realise that wiper blades are considered a core safety product and they can compromise driver, passenger and vehicle safety. In fact up to 40% of vehicles on the road at any given time need a wiper blade replacement.
Studies show that 7 out of 10 consumers take the recommendation of a reseller and replace wiper blades when the need arises. It is therefore important to educate customers on the condition of their wiper blades, which improves sales, profits and most importantly, their safety.
It is worth remembering that not all blades are created equal and quality should be a dominant factor when choosing the right blade. The Michelin® Stealth® Hybrid Blade is an advanced wiper blade and was awarded the Auto Express product of the year 2014 stamp due to its several high tech features, enabling a clear wipe. Compared to traditional or beam wiper blades, Stealth blades maintain optimum contact for improved visibility.
• Smart design evenly disperses wiper pressure outward across the entire blade
• Actively responds to the windscreen shape, offering consistent wiping performance
• Soft cover gives blade protection from extreme weather and debris
• Patented EZ-LOK connector system eases the process of removal and installation
Experts recommend checking blades for wear every six months and replacing if damaged or worn.
20 million blades sold every year in the UK and projected sales due to rise further. Champion offers a premium range of wiper blades that deliver quality and enhanced margin opportunities.
The Aerovantage® OE quality flat, conventional and hybrid blades provide almost complete coverage of the European vehicle parc and reaches nearly 95% of the fast-growing flat-blade market. This type of blade alone accounts for 40% of cars in the UK. Flat blades are now available as singles and also in a programme of 80 different kits, all matching OE specifications.
• Aerodynamic design reduces wind lift and improves water clearance.
• Unique low friction rubber formulation ensures screen contact and low noise performance even in extreme temperatures.
Standard blades fit 99% of cars with traditional hook-fitting wipers, offer extended service life and increased abrasion resistance along with reduced noise, lateral movement and judder. Hybrid blades combine the features of both flat and standard blades and include an aerodynamic spoiler for less lift and enhanced water clearance. This type of blade is fitted as OE on many Asian and some US and European marques.
The latest wiper kits launched continue to extend the Champion blade coverage, including some of the most recent models for example the Nissan Pulsar (10/2014), Renault Twingo (09/2014), VW Passat Saloon and Variant (08/2014) and Ford Mondeo V (09/2014).
Our multi-branded offering covers wiper motors from Valeo, Magneti, febi, Blue Print and Vemo, which sit alongside wiper blades and arms from Champion, Michelin, Pearl, febi, Blue Print and Vaico; a range of ‘dealer only’ parts also features within the wiping category.
• Multi-branded same/next-day offering from FPS to aid winter sales.
• Wiper motors range includes Valeo, Magneti, febi, Blue Print and Vemo.
• Wiper blades and arms from Champion, Michelin, Pearl, febi, Blue Print and Vaico.
• Regular new-to-range developments provided across brands.
• Point of sale support and marketing collateral also available upon request.
All of these brands and parts are fully supported by FPS’ stockholding and logistics across 19 branches, meaning customer demands can be met on same/next-day basis. Speak to your local FPS representative to know how best to make use of this opportunity.