Magazine article Marketing

Business - to - Business

Magazine article Marketing

Business - to - Business

Article excerpt


It could be seen as an achievement that a company that began in the 1960s as a small family scrap dealer was able to go public in 1995. In fact, that was the start of its troubles. The flotation was greeted with indifference by the City, and by 1997, as its customer base shrank, Universal Salvage had slipped into the red.

Today's operation represents a complete transformation. With an annual turnover of more than [pounds]87m, the company is market leader in its sector, handling 140,000 vehicles for disposal each year for fleet operators, insurance companies and car manufacturers. Its share price has risen from 48.5p in early 1999 to 350p late last year.

Under new management, Universal Salvage repositioned itself from mere scrap dealer to an operation able to supervise every aspect of the safe and cost-effective disposal of end-of-life vehicles (ELV). A clean, new logo has been launched, and the company's 140 transporters and seven auction sites given new livery and signage.

The appointment of Midlands PR agency Haslimann Taylor produced immediate benefits. For example, a story in Motor Trader led directly to three car manufacturers appointing Universal Salvage to handle their ELVs.

Corporate literature has been introduced for the first time, explaining the company's services to prospects. It was the first in the industry to produce a detailed brochure explaining EU legislation on scrap vehicles. And the development of the country's first ELV processing plant at Corby, designed to meet and exceed EU recycling targets, led to the company winning the motor industry's environmental award for 2000.

The new, consistent marketing approach has been used across all communications, including advertising, posters, direct mail, the web site and e-marketing. The latter is used to inform specialist buyers of particular vehicles coming up for auction, enhancing the prices obtained at sale. …

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