Roto is committed to presenting itself as a German company, in the UK and throughout the rest of the world, despite its transition from a European to a ‘global player’, with production facilities in Brazil, China and Canada, as well as Germany, Russia, Austria, Hungary and Poland. That was one of the hardware supplier’s key messages to some 60 journalists, from 18 countries, that recently attended the 8th International Roto Trade Press Day, in Brussels, Belgium.
With the Roto brand present in 43 countries, the term ‘German made’ is said to stand for the company’s ‘global commitment to German quality standards and values as the fundament of all Roto processes, products, systems and services’.
A ‘German made’ label has been specially created to emphasise these standards and values, which are, according to Roto: ‘continuity, consistency and reliability’; ‘experience, commitment to success and vision’ and ‘knowledge, ability and German engineering skills’.
Closer to home, the company forecasts ‘major growth for Roto’ in the UK in the coming years, following the first signs of an upturn, as we emerge from recession.
Speaking at the recent Trade Press Day in Brussels, Roto Western Europe managing director, Mike Piqeur, said: “Over the years ahead, many things will change in the UK. The market is still dominated by open-out windows and there has been, up to now, a limited use of open-in hardware.
,“A big bubble in recent years has been the introduction of the folding door systems and other large opening elements. We can see that the islanders are slowly but surely adopting many of these continental ideas. But importantly, their lifestyle is changing in other ways.
,“The cost of energy, which up to now has been lower than in the rest of Europe, is increasing very fast and extra eco taxes make the expense for consumers even greater. Already there are 10 million people on fuel benefits, and five million of these are classified as being in fuel poverty.
,“Some of the key trends are the move to larger and heavier, burglary-resistant windows and doors, an ageing population and increased demand for green and affordable houses. All of these things are shaping the market in Roto’s favour.
,“Also the adoption of CE certification has opened many doors and will lead to a more informed choice of hardware and services. This is creating many new opportunities for Roto to extend our number one position in window and door hardware.”
Piqeur also identified the increasing popularity of direct Internet sales as ‘a very strong factor’ in the UK market. “The fact that ordering online is now second nature to the British,” he said, “is one of the reasons we have launched the Roto WebShop; it exists to supply spare parts and low margin hardware. A large part of the UK market is dominated by low-cost imports from the Far East and other areas. Roto wants to offer ‘German made’ online at an affordable cost, taking away the need to compromise on quality.”
He continued: “In the UK, this online service will complement, but not compete with, distribution partners, who will still be the main suppliers to the bigger players in the market. This will allow our partners – and also ourselves – to concentrate on bigger projects, using our major product systems, which usually have a higher consultation requirement. These kinds of contracts are where our future is in the UK.”