ATR (Auto-Teile-Ring, English: “Spare Parts Pool”) is the corporate umbrella of one of the world's largest independent trading cooperations for automotive spare parts and a service center for four garage service concepts. The headquarters of ATR is located in Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg). ATR companies provide auto shops and spare parts dealers with original spare parts and garage equipment.
During the 1950s, a large number of major automotive spare parts dealers in Germany came together to publish a joint catalog of automotive spare parts. From the mid-1960s on, a small group of service stations began selling automotive accessories: This created competition for wholesalers that had been generating high revenues through sales of accessories. For that reason, several dealers decided to combine their purchase operations. For this to occur, a joint legal form had to be created. This is how ATR GmbH came about in 1967. ATR founding members included wholesalers Auto Merkur, Auto Staiger, Matthies, Stahlgruber und Wessels. ATR is the oldest trading cooperation for automotive spare parts in Germany. Founding members Johannes J. Matthies GmbH & Co KG in Hamburg and Stahlgruber GmbH in Poing, Bavaria have remained company partners until today.
ATR launched its private label brand Cartechnic for garage products and accessories in 1990. Today, the range includes more than 700 items. The wholesalers involved in ATR pushed on with development a joint catalog after that, though these efforts only gained momentum with Electronic data processing. The ATR partners first showcased their electronic spare parts information system ARTis at the Automechanika trade show in 1992.
As sales and purchases of automotive spare parts and accessories in the 1990s gradually turned into a global business, ATR moved with the times and aspired an Internationalization. Its first non-German partners were French parts dealer Groupe Laurent (1991) and Spain’s Gerstenmaier (1992). The foundation of ATR International AG in 1999 created the legal framework for the group-purchasing cooperation’s international expansion.
Today, 32 partners along with 224 trading companies in 53 countries form part of ATR International AG. These include members in the USA, South America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. This means that ATR is present in more countries than any other comparable trading company in its market.
ATR partner companies employ more than 115,000 employees and operate approx. 8,190 local sales points. All in all, members of ATR International AG generated external revenues of 9.3 billion euros in 2014. ATR is one of the largest revenue generators among purchasing cooperations serving the independent automotive spare parts market globally. The non-listed AG’s 32 partners hold the company’s capital.
In 2008, ATR consolidated independent garage and specialty store service concepts Meisterhaft, AC AUTO CHECK and autoPARTNER into ATR SERVICE GmbH, which now comprises more than 1,500 owner-operated workshops in Germany (as of January 2016). This makes ATR SERVICE GmbH the largest franchiser of independent multi-brand garages in Germany. With its 231 workshops located in Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Romania and Turkey, international garage service concept ACC AUTO CHECK CENTER also forms part of ATR.
ATR suppliers encompass both spare parts manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers such as Bosch, Continental, Hella, Mahle, Schaeffler und ZF Friedrichshafen AG. All in all, ATR works with around 150 suppliers, including companies servicing product groups such as automotive electric equipment, auto-chemicals, automotive accessories, auto body parts, wear parts and tools & workshop equipment.