Auto Recycling World spoke to Ayton Kempers, co-owner of Autorecycling Kempers GmbH based in Germany about their venture setting up a hub in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) providing German vehicle parts.
Tell us about how Kempers Autoparts UAE came about?
We have a warehouse and a showroom in Sharjah, north of Dubai, which we opened in October 2020. The reason for this expansion to UAE is that over the past few years, we’ve had more and more requests for high-quality body parts there. Because we specialise in German vehicles, we supply parts from German test cars, for example from VW, BMW, Mercedes, directly from factories and from our yard in Germany.
Requests for parts there come down to problems with bodyshop work in UAE, in particular, the paintwork. So they’re always after high-quality body, parts to swap directly onto vehicles without the need for painting or any other required work. This is what we can supply.
Why open a hub? Is it not easier to export parts directly to customers from Germany/Holland or is there a need for a physical presence there?
People like to do it the old fashioned way. There are dozens of yards in one place where they just walk in and look for what parts are available. If it’s good, they pay cash and collect it – similar to how it was in Germany/Holland 20 years ago.
What is the legislation for auto recycling like? Is it strict?
There are rules, and they are strict. But compared to Europe it is very different.
In what way different? Do you have an example?
Vehicle recycling doesn’t seem to be a priority but there are rules, such as parking your car on the curb or dealing in stolen parts, which, if broken, the operator can expect a period of closure to their yard, or worse still, their licence can be taken away permanently.
Standards are high, but the actual infrastructure, when dealing with waste is a little bit behind; the circular economy is not there yet.
When it comes to trading parts, it has to be conducted properly and there must be no misinterpretation when trading.
Our aim is to bring the German standard there. It’s something they don’t know. It’s new, but I’m sure it will be well received.
Were you faced with any challenges with the local market when setting up?
Due to cultural differences, the process was complicated. We needed a local mentor to assist in setting up, and there were many factors which needed to be addressed in enable us to open a site there.
What’s your primary market?
The local market.
We are in a prime location for supplying parts easily. Cars from all over the Middle East are brought to Sharjah to be scrapped or repaired, and Sharjah is where all the bodyshops are, and so are we.
Our business model is to send parts only and not complete vehicles to the UAE and this is achieved by controlling it from our site in Germany, with details provided by us to the operator to run the site in the UAE.
What vehicle parts and what volume have you supplied or intend to provide?
This is new for us. We recently shipped the first container, mostly BMW parts, and primarily the higher classes – five, seven and eight series as the demand for parts for these types of vehicle is high. As for volume, in this first container we sent 500 parts, but the intention is to increase to two containers per month by the new year.