We headed to ASWR, an independent BMW dismantler and parts supplier based in Openshaw, Manchester to find out how a smaller set up operates within the industry.
Situated opposite the Man. City football club training ground, on first impressions, the opening to the yard was not showy in any way, just a large corrugated rolling shutter door entrance with their sign above, a small cafe to the left (The Butty Hatch, which we later discovered is run by Steve’s wife, Sue) and a small reception counter to the right, we wondered if we had come to the wrong entrance. After ringing the bell, ASWR’s MD, Steve Murphy, appeared.
Steve invited us in to what can only be described as a deceptively spacious and immaculately tidy yard all inside an old terraced industrial unit in an area covering 6000sq ft. Second impressions, ‘overwhelmed’ with the set up. We were intrigued to find out about the service Steve and his team provide.
In the past, Steve worked for BMW in bodyshop and he saw how parts and bumpers were scrapped and noticing a gap in the market, he decided to set up his own business, which has now been established for 15 years.
He started in 2003 from a terraced house but soon filled it up from cellar to first floor with bumpers and body parts which required repair. He soon realised that space was important for the business to grow so they purchased the current site at Openshaw. He bought a car, dismantled it, made a profit and started from there.
The business consists of five staff, including Steve, Managing Director. Ian Farrington – Dismantler, Nathan Hackin – Parts labeller and Paul Blezzard and Neil Brennan make up the Sales team and their set up is efficient. Vehicles are tested first before dismantling to show if there are any faults, then every part of the vehicle is removed and either sold for parts or sold as core. It’s like a milking parlour, with vehicles perched on the car trees and literally being milked for parts. Once stripped, parts for storage are then labelled and placed in the immaculately laid out, two storey section where every space of the building is utilised right up to the eaves. Steve pointed out that they use DH Systems, software which they are more than satisfied with.
Although only a small business, they still manage to dismantle around 100 cars in a year, specialising just on BMWs. Parts are advertised through their own website and they are proud to have customers from all over the world, in places such as New Zealand, Japan, Iceland, Brazil, Argentina and Mauritius and in the UK, ASWR are also proud to have some prestigious customers including Geoff Steel Racing, Red Bull F1 team and West Surrey Racing.
As an aside, Steve mentioned that along with the ITV and BBC, they were involved with the mechanics of a car door flying off in Peter Kay’s comedy series ‘Car Share’ – click here
Steve said they would like to expand their business but space in the current site is limited but he said there is an option of purchasing another unit backing on to theirs, which is something they are considering in the future.
As for the future of the industry with regard to the EV revolution, Steve told us that he hadn’t really thought about the transition but he is willing to keep up to date with legislation and consumer demand. At ASWR they are proud “that they are the first choice of BMW specialists because they get it right first time – every time’.
They will do what is necessary to maintain a good reputation and as a dismantler and parts supplier, reputation is everything – which is more than evident at ASWR.
Visit their website at www.bmw-carparts.co.uk