Mexicolven: a Success Story on AdaptabilityBy Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 12/21/2020 - 06:00
Q: What role does Mexicolven play within Colven’s operations?
A: Colven was founded in 1972 with the mission to provide maintenance for tractor and pickup truck engines. Mexico is one of four Colven subsidiaries alongside Brazil, Spain and Italy. We chose Mexico due to its potential after our venture with our first dealership in 1992, which focused on heavy vehicles for passengers and paved the way to open our first subsidiary in 2003. Soon, we started to focus on heavy vehicles for cargo transportation. Today, 95 percent of our portfolio is focused on heavy vehicles for cargo.
Each market is different for us. In Europe, our bestselling products are our Viesa cooler and heating systems for the cabin. In Brazil, our engine protection systems are our bestsellers. In Mexico, our portfolio is very well-balanced. The product that had the best performance until a year ago was the Vigia self-inflating system for heavy vehicles. Around a year ago, we saw that cooler systems were gaining in popularity, especially among last-mile delivery vehicles. PEPSICO acquired a great number of our products to equip its trucks for the northern region. Given that our system is affordable, energy efficient and easy to install, it is a feasible solution to improve cabin conditions.
Q: How do you support companies in different data analysis processes?
A: We are aware that the data analysis market has some experienced players. Our target in this regard is the middle segment: companies that can afford these solutions and that require information. We conduct performance test with our Gestia brand but we are also using our engine protection products to provide an additional service for preventive maintenance in agricultural engines through data analysis. The agribusiness sector is particularly important for us. We have experience in the sector and companies are interested in preventive engine maintenance and efficient diesel consumption, among other needs. We customize these solutions according to the clients’ needs. Data has become essential for better decision-making and companies need it to remain in the market.
Q: How have your sales and service channels adapted to the needs of the Mexican market?
A: When we arrived in Mexico, we introduced the system we had in Argentina. Soon, we realized we had to adapt to the Mexican market. During the 2008-09 financial crisis, we redesigned our distribution strategy. We have created a variety of partnerships with truck dealers from different brands, fleet management companies and tire manufacturers. The nature of the partnership allowed us to show the final user what our products can do. For instance, our partnership with Volvo Buses, Marcopolo and DINA includes an agreement to place our products in the vehicles directly at the production line. With some OEMs, such as MAN or Freightliner, we share common customers that also allow us to install our products at their patios.
Today, we have a dealership network throughout the country that con provide service for our products, either directly or indirectly. It is important to note that our prices are transparent. Wherever you find any of our products, you will find them at the same price.
Q: How has Mexicolven covercome the adverse effects of the pandemic?
A: Having a diversified product portfolio has allowed us to brave the pandemic successfully. As mentioned before, we learned to broaden our customer portfolio from passenger vehicles to include cargo trucks and agribusiness units. Particularly, the agribusiness sector was among the few that was not affected by the pandemic. In fact, in some regions and product lines, production has grown. With these signals in mind, we have a clue of where the market is heading. Some sectors have fallen around 40 percent but others have grown beyond 40 percent. Our approach toward different sectors allowed us to sort out this situation.
Q: What are Mexicolven’s plans for the coming years?
A: Expansion is top of mind. We are planning to grow our consulting and aftersales service in the midterm. Our goal is to homologate our service across our third-party providers while providing faster support for our customers anywhere in the country. I am confident that our products meet clients’ expectations but differentiators are key to success. Training, both internally and externally, is a top priority. Moreover, a customer-oriented philosophy is easier said than done, which is why it should be visible for any customer and rooted in facts.
The pandemic has allowed us to ponder our strategies. We are focused on efficiency and we will emerge from the pandemic with a reinvigorated vision. Some will adapt faster than others and as the industry rearranges the rules of the game, we will make sure to remain strong players.
Mexicolven is a subsidiary of Colven, an Argentinian company focused on cooling, heating, engine protection, and automatic tire pumping systems, among others. The company has been present in Mexico since 2003 and has agreements with Volvo Buses, Freightliner and DINA