For almost 20 years of operating on the Russian market the Independence group of companies has turned into one of the largest dealers for the leading foreign car manufacturers. It was able to achieve this above all thanks to its high quality of client services.
For some the crisis has been a period of loss, while for others it is a period of opportunities. This statement is most clearly illustrated by the situation on the Russian automobile market. During the period of the crisis (in 2008-2009) most players experienced a fall in turnover of 40-60%. At the same time Independence managed to limit the fall to 22.5%. Further, over that period the Group immediately improved four places in the rating of automobile dealers. Its sensible approach to management, and also its development and implementation of effective anti-crisis measures under the Group’s strategy enabled it to maintain EBITDA in 2009 at the pre-crisis level of 2008, in spite of a more than 38 percent reduction in vehicle sales volumes, and also substantially increase efficiency in the business of Independence Group and the EBITDA margin at 21%. Emerging from the crisis with minimal losses, in 2010 the Independence Group signed an agreement to create a joint enterprise based on the Avtolend holding company. This transaction was the biggest in the M&A segment on the Russian automobile market during the post-crisis period. Further, at the beginning of September this year the Group announced that it would be opening one of the largest centres in Moscow for the purchase and sale of used cars.Today Independence offers the Russian vehicle market such makes as Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Land Rover, Jaguar, Volvo, Mazda, Ford and Peugeot. The Group includes nine business divisions: Avto-Ganza, a leading dealer for Volkswagen AG, Moscow Audi Centre, one of the largest official dealers in Russia for the German firm Audi AG, Avtocraft, a BMW dealer, six Independence divisions – official dealers for Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mazda, Ford and Peugeot, and also Independence-Finservice (which specialises in giving clients a full range of services for insurance, loans, leasing and expert appraisal). Today the group has more than 2000 employees, many of whom have undergone course at the training centres of vehicle manufacturers abroad. It is the high level of client services in the Independence Group which is considered to be one of the main competitive advantages which has enabled it not only to survive the crisis without major losses, but also to strengthen its market position in the post-crisis period. It was for this reason that this year the Independence Group received an award in the category "High Quality of Client Services".