July 2018 – In its domestic market of Germany LIQUI MOLY is considered the best oil brand and has a significant market share. The company wants to repeat this success abroad. The new export director Salvatore Coniglio explains how that is to work and how the automotive aftermarket is currently changing.
How does the sales model of LIQUI MOLY look in the export department?
Salvatore Coniglio: "We are very successfully working together with local importers. They are the ones who know their markets and their particularities best. These local expertise is exceptionally helpful. Unlike other brands that give their partners a very tight corset in terms of marketing and sales model, we very deliberately give our importers a great deal of freedom. It is only in North America, the Iberian Peninsula and in South Africa where we take care of sales ourselves."
How is international sales changing?
Salvatore Coniglio: "International trading groups are becoming ever more important. This plays into our hands as we have already worked closely with them for many years. We are also observing a pronounced concentration process in wholesale. LKQ and Genuine Parts Company are just two of the best-known names. This all leads to an increasing blurring of boundaries in trade. Nation states no longer have the same importance as distinct sales regions as they did ten years ago. This has effects on range creation and pricing policy."
Everything is always getting bigger; most of the competitors are multinational corporations. How can a relatively small company such as LIQUI MOLY assert itself?
Salvatore Coniglio: "How did David beat Goliath? Just being big isn't everything. We try to be better than the others: Better service, more flexibility, more individual concepts. With LIQUI MOLY you not only get motor oils and additives made in Germany, but also a complete service and marketing package all about our products. This added value is the reason why many customers choose us."
How should the further growth in export look?
Salvatore Coniglio: "Russia is traditionally our most important export market. We have a very good standing there. The emphasis for greater growth is of course in the countries with the greatest sales potential. From a global perspective, the USA, China and India offer the greatest opportunities. In Europe we want to make significant strides in Italy, the UK and Spain. But we also go into small countries that some competitors ignore. The Seychelles, for example, or New Caledonia. We want to significantly expand the range offered in individual countries on the product side. And, alongside our most important pillar of automotive, we also want to conquer the areas of motorbike, commercial vehicles and marine. There are so many entry points overall that our opportunities are almost limitless."