Vendor Newsmaker Q&A: Al Azadi

Jan. 1, 2020
Omix-ADA in Suwanee, Ga., founder and President Al Azadi says the company is the world’s largest independent manufacturer and wholesaler of Jeep parts and accessories.
Presented free-of-charge and open to any jobbers, installers, dealers and other industry owners or managers interested in learning more about business concepts and practices geared toward success in the Jeep and off-road lifestyle marketplace, Omix-ADA, Inc. is conducting a series of seven seminars during the Oct. 30-Nov. 2 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

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Topics include tips and tricks for maximizing sales, marketing and implementing operational strategies within the aftermarket.

The company’s booth will also have on display a customized Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4x4 called “Crush Recovery,” which is designed to be “the ultimate off-road vehicle to recover 4x4s stuck in the toughest terrain.” Builder Dave Doetsch outfitted the Jeep with more than 60 recent releases from Omix’s array of products aimed at Jeep aftermarket applications.

Established in 1992 and based in Suwanee, Ga., founder and President Al Azadi says the company is the world’s largest independent manufacturer and wholesaler of Jeep parts and accessories.

Azadi recently answered a series of questions about how he has expanded the business:

How did you establish distributors in other countries?

Omix-ADA utilizes many different tools and channels to establish international distribution with all of its brands. As the world leader for anything and everything Jeep, we take a very unique and positive position in order to assist our international distributors to the fullest extent by being a strong business partner and assisting with specific difficulties they may face in their own markets.

Was this mostly done with internal staff or did you receive help from outside consultants?

All international business at Omix-ADA is internally managed.

Which countries proved to be the most challenging to expand into?

Some countries in Africa, South America and Eurasia could be noted as being more difficult than usual to expand into, but not necessarily overly challenging or preventive to expansion.

Where did these challenges stem from (such as language barriers, strict government regulations, etc.)?

The difficulties in the regions named above can range from political factors, to underdeveloped commerce, to trade barriers with certain countries, and/or a lack of demand for specific products.

Which countries were the easiest in establishing distributors abroad?

Regions with a significant amount of Jeep vehicles, developed commerce and flexible trade policies with the United States tend to be more conductive and convenient in establishing distributors abroad.

In any instances was this due in part to government policy?

It does happen on occasion that government and trade policies contribute or deter from doing business in certain regions, but it is a situation that is not overly common.

Which countries outside of the U.S. have the greatest fascination with Jeep?

Europe generally has the largest Jeep following outside of the United States, and would also tend to best replicate the “Jeeper” culture that the Jeep is known so well for.

Is there a compelling story regarding the source of this intense enthusiasm?

A good example would be the frequency of events across Europe that are held specifically for Jeeps, which closely mirror the events held in the United States and hold true to the “Jeeper” culture.

Are there any countries that surprised you by having a thriving Jeep and off-road market?

We occasionally find areas where there is a surprising demand for our Omix-ADA, Rugged Ridge and Alloy USA brand products due to a higher number of Jeeps than expected, but this is becoming increasingly rare as we continue to expand.

Where does this high demand stem from?

Omix-ADA, Rugged Ridge and Alloy USA’s products face dependent demand, and are complementary goods. As the supply of Jeeps in a specific area increases, so increases the demand for Omix-ADA products.

How much of your total business is accounted for by markets in Mexico and Japan?

Mexico and Japan are both strong destinations for Omix-ADA.

Have you noticed any emerging trends in the Jeep market unique to either of these countries?

Increasing demand in Mexico for products for newer Jeeps, and decreasing demand in Japan for products for older Jeeps would be worth noting.

How have the recent events with Euro Zone affected you as well as the Jeep and off-road market as a whole in Euro Zone countries, if at all?

Difficulties within the Euro Zone have raised concerns with some Omix-ADA, Rugged Ridge and Alloy USA distributors, but not to an extent that sales in the region have been adversely affected by a considerable amount.

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About the Author

James Guyette

James E. Guyette is a long-time contributing editor to Aftermarket Business World, ABRN and Motor Age magazines.

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