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Moveable feats


STARCO was founded as P. Ejlersgaard A/S in 1961 as a trader of wheels for a variety of vehicles and products, including steel balloon wheels, support wheels, wheelbarrows and casters. The company soon moved into agricultural tyres and wheels for passenger cars. The 1970s saw STARCO outgrow its capacities and acquire a new facility in Aarhus, Denmark.

Just a decade later, STARCO began to experience its first considerable expansion of its tyre and wheel program. Then, in 1990, P. Ejlersgaard A/S and the Norwegian firm Inter Contact came together to form STARCO Europe, with each company owning 50% of the new entity. Further expansion followed in the years to come, with STARCO adding Dutch, German and other smaller firms.

By the end of the millennium, STARCO had set its sights on segmentation and had decided to focus on five specific areas of production. The group entered the Eastern European market in the early 2000s and began production in its new factory location in Croatia. STARCO merged with its long-standing competitor, Segers in 2004 and has since moved strongly into the global arena with new factories in Italy, Britain, Slovakia, Belarus and the Ukraine.

“Our motivation is not just to sell products and increase turnover, but to supply products and services in line with our vision,” says Brian Lorentzen, marketing manager for the STARCO Group since 2009. Mr. Lorentzen, who has been with STARCO for 11 years, started as the company’s sales manager for Scandinavia and has also worked as its business developer. “We have a burning in our souls to find good solutions for our clients and to satisfy their needs in this business.” Today, from its headquarters in Galten, Denmark, STARCO achieves revenues in excess of 150 million EUR and employs 580 people around the world, including 350 in sales and administration. It has outposts in 23 countries, 29 locations in all.

STARCO began as a distributor of tyres and wheels but has been a major tyre and wheel producer since 2005. “There is a small niche market for specialised wheels if you exclude wheels made and used in the automotive industry,” Mr. Lorentzen explains. “This is quite a big niche for us, including special wheels for original equipment manufacturers, tractors and other non-automotive vehicles,” he says.

For STARCO, production breaks down into five segments: internal transportation, horticultural, agricultural machinery, trailers and caravans, and industrial wheels.

STARCO’s internal transport segment supplies wheels for wheelbarrows, pallet trucks and trolleys. The company is Europe’s leading supplier in this area and delivers more than four million wheels and tyres to internal transport equipment manufacturers each year.

The company’s horticultural machinery segment supplies manufacturers of riding lawnmowers, garden tractors, single axle tractors, implement carriers, golf carts and the like. Lightweight, durable, lawn-friendly and easy to care for, these STARCO products are dependable and tailored to their uses in these areas. STARCO agricultural products find their way to tailed implements, tractors, combine harvesters, ATVs and forestry machines. Tyre design is especially important in this field.

The company’s trailer and caravan wheels are durable solutions designed to serve the needs of this market. Where no market solution exists, STARCO steps in to create one.

STARCO’s industrial machinery wheels are implemented in the use of micro-diggers to large construction machines including forklifts, dumpers, loaders, backhoes, skid steers and telehandlers. It works with large, multinational manufacturers and small specialist machinery builders alike.

STARCO has extensive active-market sales and fosters a network of 20 warehouses to promote short delivery times on non-stock items. STARCO’s expertise derives from this passion and its integrity. The company organises training seminars and workshops twice a year out of its belief that all employees must understand the technical aspects of its products in order to be of service to its clients.

“We live by our understanding of our products and our open communication,” Mr. Lorentzen says. “We believe firmly in expanding our employees’ know-how and experience and adding to our expertise as a whole.”

Though it did experience something of a downturn amid the global economic crisis of 2008 to 2009, STARCO has continued to invest internally in growth, new markets and new products, regardless of the cost. “We are more conscious of profitability now, and we reorganised accordingly,” Mr. Lorentzen says.

STARCO’s revenues and production recovered by 2010, and its export figures, at 97%, are strong. The company has made the firm strategy to become not just the first supplier of specialised wheels for Europe, but to become the global market leader in special wheels.

STARCO has much to look forward to. In anticipation of the company’s 50th anniversary, it is planning a midsummer party at the owners’ farm and is inviting 350 of its employees from around the world to celebrate its global successes in a family environment.

“The spirit here is very family oriented,” Mr. Lorentzen says. “A lot of our employees have been working for us for a very long time and feel like they are part of our family. We pride ourselves on this approachability.”

The company is actively focusing on its products for the agricultural segment and expects 50% of its turnover to be achieved through aftermarket sales by 2014. With a great track record, STARCO should be rolling into the future unhindered.

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