For this special occasion we have decided to sit down for a special interview with a special person that contributed a lot to the success of General Motors and ACDelco in the region: Mr. Mohammed Al Fayyad, Director – Customer Care and Aftersales, General Motors Middle East.
If we want to summarize the past 100 years for ACDelco success and expansion, what would be the best words to describe it?
The first words that come to mind are quality and trust. Aside from the insights we have gained over the last 100 years, the thing that makes ACDelco stand out is its dedication to delivering high quality, durable, reliable products that deliver on what they promise. This trust cannot be bought, but earned over years and years of customers coming back to a brand that they know won’t let them down.
ACDelco is best known for servicing American General Motors’ vehicles only, can you elaborate more on this topic?
The beauty of ACDelco is that it is absolutely not only for American or General Motors vehicles. We have 90,000 part numbers across 37 categories, many of which fit not only GM vehicles but many other brands from around the world. For example, no matter what brand of car you drive, in almost any case, there are ACDelco batteries, fluids and oils and accessories in our ‘ACDelco Professional Series’ that will suit your vehicle.
What type of products does ACDelco supply for the Middle East Region?
The ACDelco range is extensive, supplying everything you need to keep your car running. These include, but are certainly not limited to, engine oils, fluids, batteries, wipers, window tint film, shock absorbers, engine and chassis parts and brakes. Our customers have access to our full ACDelco range of which there are over 90,000 different part numbers across 37 categories of products.
If we want to talk about the most sold Maintenance Free batteries in the region, how can we describe the market share growth over the past decade for ACDelco Maintenance Free Batteries?
We have experienced steady growth in market share for our batteries over the last decade. In 2005 our share of the Middle East battery market was 33%, last year we posted 40%.
What does it mean to have ‘stamp grid’ technology in batteries manufacturing?
Our latest ACDelco maintenance-free batteries utilize stamp grid technology, which make them more durable in the tough climates seen in the Middle East. The plates housed within the battery casing, (which the current flows though) are manufactured using a continuous punching process, unlike other methods such as casted grid plates, (where molten lead is poured into a mold) or expanded grid, (where lead is perforated then stretched out to create a plate).
Unlike other methods, the grid within the plates is a non-uniform design with a solid frame around the edge. This minimizes corrosion and optimizes current flow for consistent power. The structure is a lot stronger and more durable than other manufacturing methods that may fail even before 50,000km. This is not an issue with the stamp grid batteries.
When it comes to boosting ACDelco in the region, what role did you and your team play in this regard?
My history with ACDelco goes back almost a decade. A couple of years before I was the Director of Customer Care and Aftersales, I spent three years as the Sales and Marketing Manager for ACDelco batteries, working closely with our customers and manufacturing partners at the Middle East Battery Company which is based in Dammam. Over this time, we have seen the brand continue to grow, our presence expand and the demand for our products strengthen. I put this down to the power of the brand and its reputation for quality and durability, but also our focus on our customers. A few years ago, we changed our parent department’s name from ‘Aftersales’ to ‘Customer Care and Aftersales’. It really highlighted the focus that we put on providing not only quality products but also a quality customer experience. As far as I’m concerned, putting your customers at the center of what you do is key for maintaining and growing your business.
Being an ACDelco dealer since 1978, Kamal Hibri & co. recently acquired ACDelco Maintenance Free batteries in Lebanon, what added value will this agreement bring for both parties and how will it affect the ACDelco Batteries market share in Lebanon?
It is fantastic that we have a strong distributor that will help to ensure our maintenance free batteries and quality customer service are accessible for customers in Lebanon. We believe that Kamal Hibri & Co., along with our extensive network of ACDelco distributors in the region, will continue to grow the ACDelco brand and its reputation for quality even further in the region.
After this interesting chat with Mr. Mohammed Al Fayyad, we head down to Beirut and in specific to Kamal Hibri & Co. to celebrate with the team not just the 100 years of ACDelco but also their recent acquisition of Maintenance Free Batteries agreement in Lebanon and for this occasion we sat down with Issam Hibri COO of Kamal Hibri & Co. for a quick chat.
Kamal Hibri & Co. started business in 1948 and acquired ACDelco brand in 1978 thus taking part in around 40 years in ACDelco History, what can you tell us about that?
Well, it all started in 1948 with the establishment of Kamal Hibri & Co. and grew rapidly in the Lebanese market to lead eventually at acquiring in 1978 the ACDelco brand. We are proud to be one of the contributors to the success of this brand in Lebanon and in the region as well, our hard work proved to be a key in the success of ACDelco in Lebanon and that was proven many times through the various awards acquired by Kamal Hibri & Co. throughout the years and recently we have been awarded for 3 consecutive years the award of “Wholesale development program award”.
Kamal Hibri & Co. recently acquired the ACDelco Maintenance Free Batteries in Lebanon and we know that this battery have a great advantage of other brands in many different ways, how will this contribute to the continuous success of Kamal Hibri & Co. with the ACDelco brand?
As COO of Kamal Hibri & Co. I can proudly say that the strategy we have been implementing in sales and customer care in Lebanon have contributed heavily in the brand success, we are the sole distributors of ACDelco parts, Oil and Lubricants and many other items in Lebanon and this have allowed us to acquire a huge network of distributors covering the Lebanese territory. Now with the acquisition of the Maintenance Free Batteries, our batteries division armed with the right tools, network and management will make benefit of this amazing product and increase our market share in the batteries’ field and we opt at exceeding our expectations this year in terms of ACDelco sales in general and the new ACDelco Maintenance Free Batteries in particular.