The small company, which until 2008 consisted of ten employees, has since grown into an SME with a workforce of almost 60 people. 40 people work at the company headquarters in pfaffikon SZ, ten in european subsidiaries and eight in mexico. Until 2008, AGT was exclusively active in the import and export of premium vehicles. But then the opportunity arose to become an authorized distributor of the American brands dodge and RAM trucks. This meant that a sales team had to be built up from the existing and new employees and the company began to grow. Since 2017, AGT has been the official european importer of the two brands. For this reason, last year management spun off a dedicated business unit called AGT Europe, which currently employs 14 people. Half of the company’s sales are now generated from vehicle dealerships and half from the import of cars from the two US brands mentioned above.
Diversity is a top priority
Due to the global nature of the company’s activities, English is the most important language for most employees in their daily work, but due to the wide variety of nationalities working in the company, more than 20 different languages are spoken in the Pfaeffikon offices alone. And contrary to the stereotype that only men work in the car trade, AGT also has many female team members and managers. "our teams are mixed, which shapes the company culture and is also important for the close customer relationships," says samuel guttinger, sales planning, product& pricing specialist who has been enthusiastically working for the switzerland-based car dealer for over ten years.
Close to the customer
Although the classic import and export to more than 90 countries is basically handled via the Internet or on the phone, the direct line to customers and partner companies is the be-all and end-all for the success of the company. "we differentiate ourselves from our competitors not only through our service and quality, but also through our proximity to customers," says samuel guttinger. This means that the customer’s contact person always remains the same throughout the entire process, from the order to homologation and delivery of the vehicles. In addition, according to Guttinger, since its founding, AGT has focused on its partners rather than itself. "to complete the package of being the best independent importer, we benefit from long-standing collaboration with third parties in logistics, financial solutions, marketing and controlling."
This enables AGT to offer services that go far beyond simple car sales. "no matter whether our customer needs help with registration, technology, logistics or the procurement of the dream car for the end customer: we don’t give in until our job is done."
Solid and worldwide network of relationships
With 24 million new cars in 2017, china is the fastest-growing market in the automotive trade. AGT is therefore also very active in china. "thanks to our good relationships, our mandarin speaking account managers and our main warehouse in bremerhaven (DE) as well as smaller warehouses spread all over the world, we are able to handle large orders quickly and reliably even in countries like china."
In addition to the regular stock units, AGT also offers production orders of left- and right-hand drive units or stocks from overproductions. This, too, is proof of the company’s extensive and solid global network of relationships. Among the largest markets in europe for premium vehicles are germany, france, the netherlands, belgium, sweden and switzerland.
Challenges as an opportunity to grow
guttinger cites the many new regulations, especially in the area of emissions regulations, and of course the new technologies as the greatest challenge for the future. However, as challenges are not seen as obstacles at AGT, but as opportunities to grow further, complaining is not an option. On the contrary: "there are business models lying fallow here, waiting to be exploited by us."
For this reason, the company is currently building a new headquarters in pfaffikon SZ. "because we believe in the car business, even though the market is changing faster and faster – and we are constantly looking for motivated employees who are willing to contribute their ideas and skills and create great things together with us."
Cooperation with OBT
For the past two years, OBT has been auditing autoglobaltrade’s financial statements in accordance with the Swiss GAAP FER standard. In addition, OBT advises the company in many areas. Samuel guttinger, sales planning, product& pricing specialist, explains: "we decided to work with OBT because the consultants are not only highly competent, but their straightforward manner also fits in very well with our corporate culture."