In January 2020 this year French automotive distributor Cap V.I. joined the Bremsen Technik Group. And as the Group of businesses continues to grow, we would like to introduce you to our “Focus On” feature. Here, we will sit down with colleagues from across the Group and find out about their products, services and their plans for the future. Today we would like to introduce you to Philippe Caseau, Directeur Général Délégué for CAP V.I., who has kindly answered the following questions which will hopefully provide a better understanding of CAP V.I.
Q: How long has the company existed for?
A: CAP V.I. was established in January 2002.
Q: How long have you worked at Cap V.i.?
A: I have been here from the very first day! January 1st, 2002. Before that I was working for Laurent (CV Branch) for 2 years and before that I spent 5 working for Renault Trucks. This means that I have 26 years’ experience in the CV industry!
Q: How many employees work for Cap V.i. and in which departments?
A: We have 45 people in total with 6 outlets: Corbas (HQ and central warehouse) in the east of Lyon where we have 28 employees and then by size from the biggest to the smallest; Marseille (3),Toulouse (3), Rennes (2), Lille (2), Paris (2), and 5 sales agents on the road.
Q: What products and services do you offer?
A: We are a distributor of spare parts for the commercial vehicle industry. We sell braking parts (friction materials and related products) which makes up half of our business and the other half is made up by suspension parts, axle parts, clutches, filters, lighting systems, batteries… basically every part that needs to be replaced in the normal life of a truck and trailer. Our customers can identify the part they need by using the e-catalogue we provide, which is well known and appreciated in the market, especially for trailer axles.
CAP V.I. is also a distributor for the TEXA diagnostic box and we provide training to the workshops when they buy this from us.
Q: What do you believe sets Cap V.i. apart from its competitors?
A: CAP means “one stop shopping concept”. Some competitors are very strong in discs and drums for example but that is all they can supply. Whereas we can offer pads, calipers, air chambers etc. in one single delivery. This means less time, less transportation costs and therefore greater efficiency for the customer.
Another differentiation is the fact we are an independent player. We are not an ITG, running for one network. We are never a competitor for our customers as we never sell to end-users and this is something that is unusual in the French market. In that spirit, the arrival of BT Group has been applauded by OEM networks such as Renault Trucks, Man or IVECO or IAM leaders such as AD and GAU with whom we trade.
Q: How has the company navigated the coronavirus crisis?
A: We have been lucky that Brian Hall, aware of what was happening in China, pushed strong hygiene measures when he came in the first days of March to Corbas and Rennes. This was even before President Macron made his announcements.
We decided not to stop trading because we knew that trucks need to be repaired, even if the economy was slowing dramatically. So between the 19th of March and the 27th of April, Corbas and Marseille stayed open for customers. All employees who could work from home did so and we also used the job retention measures proposed by the government as soon as we could. This helped us economically. Since May 11th every warehouse has been open for business again and from July 1st everyone will return to work. But, most importantly, nobody in the team has been infected with the virus.
Q: Are there any new products or projects planned in the next 12 months that you are especially excited about?
A: Our strategy is to be recognised as a braking expert, thanks to our membership of the Bremsen Technik Group. This has started successfully with the introduction of BT Reman calipers and we also want to widen the offer with air chambers, actuators, slack adjusters, and valves etc. This goes hand in hand with a total inventory review of our regional warehouses in order to be more efficient for Q4 orders. We are also looking to increase our range of pads & discs for light commercial vehicles.
Finally, we plan to improve our industry renowned e-catalogue. Today, we get 17% of our orders through the e-catalogue. We would like this to be 30%. With more key accounts, web service solutions are even more important so we plan to work on this.
A lot of work but exciting!
Find out more about the CAP V.I. business by reading their company page here.