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02/07/2012
NEW ITALY-GERMANY AXIS

UNIWHEELS TRADING (ITALY) SRL

With the opening of the Italian subsidiary the Uniwheels Group’s has expanded its range of action. With increasing consolidation at international level, the Group is now even closer to the specific demands of local markets for prompt response to distribution requirements.

Duilio Damiani

GERMANY'S UNIWHEELS has expanded the commercial side of its business with the end-2011 opening of the new Italian subsidiary Uniwheels Trading (Italy) Srl, based at Trofarello near Turin. Operating at national level, the new company handles only the wide range of ATS and ALUTEC light alloy rims, the dynamic brands that are made in Germany and have always been part of the original equipment and aftermarket segments as well as being actively involved in major motorsport competitions. 

The new company’s flexible structure provides individual customers with solutions to fit specific commercial and product requests because of its extensive range - from good-value-for-money entry level models made with low pressure casting processes and destined for the widest distribution, to the more sophisticated hi-tech, forged and FlowForming models dedicated to high-performance super cars. By operating in the territory of destination, Uniwheels Trading Italy can  fulfil orders in 24 or 48 hours maximum, through rapid local warehouse management and a potential stock of up to 10,000 pieces from outsourcing. This is the strategy for consolidating an efficient service that is available for retailers and garages specializing in tuning and offers the quality standard that has always distinguished ATS and ALUTEC products: “The wheels distributed through Uniwheels Trading Italy naturally come with TÜV certification and KBA homologation, which will soon be compulsory also in Italy, and our Italian distribution company guarantees Uniwheels brands for two or five years” said CEO Simone Maier-Paselk. The Italian structure, which joins the local companies already set up in Switzerland and Russia, was followed recently by another two subsidiaries with operations centres based in Sweden and in Beijing for the important Chinese market.

The current structure of the Uniwheels Group was set up in 2008 with the acquisition of ATS from Tiger Wheels of South Africa. The company declares that in 2011 it produced 6.9 million wheels, 75% of which as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in synergy with all the main makes of cars on the world panorama, and the remaining 25% for the changeover market, with total revenues of 345 million euros, 17.6 % higher than the previous year.

 

Quality über alles

The company’s entire production is currently carried out at one factory in Germany and one in Poland, which are both ISO 9001 and TS 16949 certified and make a range that is 100% TÜV and KBA (the German Ministry of Transport) homologated. Sector regulation is also being urged in Italy.

With a view to increasing the optimization of logistics, by next summer the German company will have completed its modern centralized warehouse structure near the commercial district in Bad Dürkheim. In a total area of 33,000 square metres, which will also host the administration offices, state-of-the-art technology will be used to handle over 500,000 alloy wheels, representing 2,000 different types, with potential daily deliveries of over 20,000 wheels from 18 loading bays equipped with lifts. “The consolidation of three different warehouses in a single logistics centre …” stated Uniwheels Group financial director Eckehard Forberich “…will enable us to optimize efficiency and costs and increase new synergies that are always oriented towards improving our competitiveness on the market”.

 

Hi-tech range

ATS, the jewel in the group’s crown also used by Team Mini Prodrive at the World Rally Championship, is the “high technology” range with a strong vocation for sports. It was used in maximum Formula 1 competitions between 1977 and 1984 and was the winner of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) with Chevrolet.

The latest developments presented at the Essen Motor Show last December included the new Twinlight line that takes full advantage of the resources offered by the ATS factory to create an exclusive forged alloy wheel that is both strong and weight-saving. The five pairs of spokes give the overall design a refined look with 5-hole connections for Lamborghini and Porsche. Dimensions are 9x20, 10x20 and 11x20. 

The Essen Motor Show was also the occasion for the premiere of the Crosslight range, the one-piece wheels manufactured with FlowForming technology and destined for more sporty GTs and SUVs. In sizes 8.5x19, 9.5x19, 10x19 and 11.5x19 with rim offsets between ET 28 and ET 60, they will be available for such vehicles as the Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar, Audi, VW, BMW, Porsche and Japan’s high-performance SUVs.

The ATS is the most dynamic brand in the group, but the ALUTEC brand isn’t lacking in sportiness either. Established in 1996, it is the official supplier for the European Drifting Championship and the International Drift Series. A shining example is the new Black Sun, a wheel with twenty convex spokes in racing black with a high-gloss polished flange. With five-hole connections and rim offsets between ET 30 and ET40, it comes in sizes from 17 to 19 inches by 8.0 or 8.5 for a variety of applications.

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