4x4Switzerland: Let’s move on to delta4x4: How would you describe your company?
Josef Loder: The family business delta4x4 consists of a collection of off-road enthusiastic employees – from the technicians to the merchants – who are always looking for and finding new ideas to build crazy four-wheel-drive cars.
4x4Switzerland: What is the specialty of delta4x4?
Josef Loder: Generally speaking, the tuna of vehicles, i.e. the lifting and attachments. Anything that makes cars more interesting, faster, more beautiful and more off-road. Currently, the focus of delta4x4 is on pick-ups in Europe, from the Ford Ranger, the VW Amarok, the Mitsubishi L200, the Nissan Navarra, the Toyota Hilux and the Suzuki Dmax.
4x4Switzerland: Who is your clientele and why do you want to change and refine your car at delta4x4?
Josef Loder: The majority, i.e. about 90% of our sales, are car dealerships and car manufacturers, which we supply with refined, tuned vehicles. However, if you look at the 10% of the turnover commissioned by end users, we are talking almost exclusively about a male clientele. Often it is customers who own a medium-sized company and owners of craft businesses. They want to have their car rebuilt because they want to advertise with the vehicle, have fun tuning and also want to increase off-road capability. For this, an increase in soil clearance is needed many times, for example for use in the forest. Here we make many conversions for pick-ups.
4x4Switzerland: What is the share of foreign business?
Josef Loder: Overall, the proportion of customers from abroad is about a quarter, so we have customers from Argentina to Iceland and from the former Soviet states to Australia.
4x4Switzerland: Which product has been a racer so far, which one has been a penner?
Josef Loder: Front brackets in polished stainless steel have proved to be an absolute racer. I would call the parts we offer for the Opel Mokka a penner. The owners of these 4×4 cars do not appear to be accessories.
4x4Switzerland: What makes tuning for you?
Josef Loder: Any way to change pick-ups or SUVs in series version. This can start with the wheels, for example, where wider or larger tires can be used. Reconstructions of the exhaust system, additional lighting for the terrain, performance improvements or winches are also in demand.
4x4Switzerland: What was the most extraordinary conversion?
Josef Loder: The current conversion of a VW Amarok with extra large wheels 305/80/17 and special Beadlock rims is a very nice example. The use of the Beadlock rims, in which the tyres are firmly clamped on the rims and these cannot be loosened, gives the vehicle even more safety off-road. The challenge is that in Germany every part has to be technically removed. But delta4x4 has to overcome this hurdle as a tuning workshop, because we want to get road approval for such special tyres and self-produced parts.
4x4Switzerland: Which conversion of a 4×4 vehicle did you enjoy the most?
Josef Loder: Basically at all car conversions for rallies, starting with my first rally Paris-Dakar. It’s fun to prepare a vehicle so that it can get through a complete rally and see that it works.
4x4Switzerland: Let’s come to your international network: You have 19 bases abroad, including Auto Stieger in Switzerland. How do you work together?
Josef Loder: We work with a highly qualified network to offer customers even more service. As a Swiss, you can go directly to our partners in Switzerland, so you don’t have to come to Odelzhausen near Munich to get high-quality tuning for your four-wheel-drive car. The pleasing thing about the cooperation between delta4x4 and Auto Stieger in Fehraltdorf, for example, is that this car dealership also takes care of the homologations for Switzerland. This means that Stieger implements the certification of the modified parts based on the German specifications. Stieger in particular is a long-standing partner company that is very well versed in the field of off-road. When registering parts, you are just as well taken care of there as with the technical subtleties and last but not least you are dealing with an enthusiastic off-roader. But even if Switzerland is stricter in terms of vehicle conversions and is much less permitted there, you can easily move through Switzerland with a vehicle registered and tuned in Germany.
4x4Switzerland: What’s new at delta4x4 in 2015?
Josef Loder: Our focus in 2015 is that our company will be 35 years old. For example, we celebrate this at the “Adventure & All-Wheel Drive”, the largest all-wheel-drive fair in Europe, where we will be exhibiting. In addition, we are working on the homologation of the Beadlock rims in order to be able to offer them for all pick-ups. Another exciting project will be the preparations for Dakar 2016, which is now taking place in South America, as we are planning to rebuild a four-wheel drive vehicle especially for the challenges of this big rally. Of course we want to participate, which means that a rally colleague and I will drive myself again.