VTRAC Automotive streamlines Vehicle Exporation

(lifePR) (Bremerhaven, ) Regale Dan Dixon and Volkhard Jürgens of VTRAC with a horror story about exporting vehicles, and he’s undoubtedly heard worse. In fact, Dixon, chief operating officer for California-based VTRAC Automotive, says he’s heard it all throughout his career as an international automobile wholesaler. Improving the exportation process requires knowledge, expertise and a commitment to transparency, Dixon and Jürgens, Managing Partner, maintain—qualities VTRAC personnel possess. Below, Dixon and Jürgens share how VTRAC serves a niche market and improves outcomes in the global automotive sector.

What, exactly, does VTRAC do?

Dan Dixon: In addition to being a small-to-medium business enterprise, VTRAC operates as a full-service automobile dealer and homologation company in the U.S. We’re also a North American Automobile Trade Association member and work with other independent auto dealers to export vehicles from North America. We’ve been fully operational for more than eight years, although our affiliate operations have been in existence for 30-plus years.

My partners and I have more than 100 years of combined experience in the automotive sector and employ people in California, Ireland and Germany.

Volkhard Jürgens: At VTRAC, we facilitate automotive transactions whether the vehicle is for commercial use or personal use. Let’s say a customer wants to use the product as a commercial lifting crane vehicle. We can facilitate the up-fitting of the vehicle to meet their exact specifications and handle all of the homologation requirements—a.k.a. preparing the vehicle for government compliance. We also do performance customization on vehicles—for example, we take a Ford F150 pickup truck and redesign the entire vehicle for a sport-truck application. Whatever the task, we aim to give our customers a driving experience no one else can provide.

The European homologation company TÜV Rheinland, recognizes us as a certified vehicle homologation company, as well as maintaining high standards of quality.

Explain a little bit about your company’s philosophy?

Dan Dixon: Our philosophy is to maintain a high level of integrity with our clients to ensure that they understand the transaction process and feel comfortable throughout the duration of it. When we serve our customers, we go above and beyond their expectations to provide them with exceptional pricing and complete transparency, as well as to ensure that their product is fully secured throughout the entire transaction; that way, they’re less vulnerable to potential problems. We also make sure that the funds they provide us are protected and the vehicles we provide them with are exactly as they should be.

How do you ensure that quality is maintained throughout the supply chain when transporting vehicles between countries?

Volkhard Jürgens: We work with Ford Motor Co.’s export division, Emerging Market Services, as well as General Motors’ export division, International Fleet Sales. The vehicles are sent directly from the manufacturer’s facility and, through our quality inspection process, we do the homologation work to meet the various government requirements of the destination country, as well as the client’s needs for the vehicle. Basically, we take the vehicle and alter its bumpers, tires, wheels, headlights, glass, brake sensors, backup sensors, etc. We may also modify its fuel system to meet the end-user requirements, such as liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas conversions.

Dan Dixon: Let’s suppose that a new client from Jordan approaches VTRAC. We work with both the client to determine their needs and the automobile manufacturer to determine their availability, as well as the client’s various government agencies to ascertain what’s required to homologate the vehicle. We also ensure that the vehicle will be warranted and serviced by the manufacturer’s representative in their specific country.

Once the auto manufacturer informs us that everything is ready for the sales transaction and all contracts have been duly entered into, VTRAC performs the homologation work on the vehicle. We also complete the up-fitting to meet the client’s end-use requirements or work with one of our Qualified Vehicle Modifiers to perform the modifications to our client’s exact specifications. Once all work is completed and the quality is inspected, we prepare the vehicle for shipment, compile all the necessary export documents as well as the client’s certified compliance forms, and forward to the client all of the necessary additional government documents for the vehicle to enter into their country. 

What are some of the key logistical challenges of exporting cars and how do you overcome them?

The major issues we run into with vehicle sales are financially based, such as frequent changes to foreign exchange rates. Geopolitical situations are also challenging, since they change on a daily basis. To mitigate these challenges, we work with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the American Association of Importers and Exporters, as well as other automobile trade associations to stay abreast of changes among the world markets and prepare for any slowdown. We also work with long-established freight forwarding carriers that are licensed, bonded and insured. Again, we provide complete transparency and assurance to our customers that their products will arrive in a timely manner, as ordered and as delivered.

Any new developments on the horizon for VTRAC Automotive?

Volkhard Jürgens: In addition to embarking on a joint venture in Hamburg, Germany, with Marcel Ruprich – Cars and more, we’re looking to expand our motor sports division, where we offer clients outfitting in regards to performance parts and vehicle accessories (i.e. body kits, wheels, tires and suspension parts). We’re particularly interested in growing our business in Europe—although we’re waiting for the political and financial situation to stabilize in Eastern Europe—particularly Russia—so we can resume our business there. VTRAC has close ties to numerous Russian dealers, after all, since we are the only U.S. members of the Russian Automobile Dealers Association.

Dan Dixon: All things considered, we believe VTRAC’s future is very bright. We have the assistance of the U.S. Department of Commerce and are always seeking new markets to penetrate. Currently, we are looking at developing nations—particularly Myanmar, Angola, Ghana and Kazakhstan—and their need for heavy-industry type vehicles, such as those used for infrastructure building, oil/mineral collection and farming.

Kontakt

VTRAC Automotive GmbH
Geo-Plate-Strasse 1
D-27568 Bremerhaven
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