Interstate Batteries in El Salvador: It’s All About Family
The newest Interstate Batteries Distributors are working on making a big impact with great batteries and Outrageously Dependable® service.
Co-Distributors Pierre Cohen and Daniel Cohen are brothers who own a chain of automotive aftermarket parts stores they’ve been growing since their father, Claude Cohen, started distributing spare parts out of a single store in 1972.
These days, the Cohen brothers supply 14 stores with aftermarket brands of filters, sparkplugs, lubricants and more – all from a warehouse in San Salvador, the country’s capital. They have a staff of wholesale salesmen who cover a wide variety of Salvadorean industry, from basic automotive to industrial. Although the country isn’t the wealthiest in Central America, it’s also a place where the enterprising family could make the most of opportunities.
“It’s a good place to live, and a good place to work,” Pierre said.
Tucked in the middle of Central America, El Salvador borders Honduras and Guatemala with a southern coast facing the Pacific Ocean. The Latin American republic is the size of the state of Massachusetts and home to 6.5 million people. And the Cohen brothers are excited to introduce them all to Interstate Batteries, the premium battery brand.
“What interests me about Interstate is that it stands out,” Pierre said. “It’s a very dependable product and very solid with people.”
Introducing the Outrageously Dependable brand isn’t without challenges. Pierre said he and his brother studied their market and other battery brands before approaching Interstate. One specific challenge ahead of IBS of El Salvador is people’s perception of batteries.
“They think it’s just for starting the engine, that it lasts ‘X months’ and then they have to change it,” Pierre said. “At Interstate, that’s not the concept. The concept is to sell a product and expect it to do more than whatever the warranty is.”
One big paradigm-breaker that excites Pierre is the service model and the brand’s work at the point of sale. In Pierre’s research, he found that a lot of the positive reviews had to do with the service at the point of sale.
First, the Cohen family will start selling Interstate out of their stores and select customers while they tackle a typically price-oriented market. Pierre said that means a lot of training for employees that will turn extraordinary point-of-sale experiences into long-term recognition as the best battery brand.