SPECIALIST: JP GROUP/DANSK
If you’ve ever purchased parts or panels for your Porsche then you’ll almost certainly have heard of the Dansk brand – likewise, you may have purchased replacement parts for more modern vehicles produced by the JP Group, or possibly even a high-spec SSI P
Porsche O/E quality from Denmark
Whilst JP Group a/s is very much a global business, the heart and soul of JP – the company behind the famous Dansk brand – is in Viborg in central Denmark where the business was started and the HQ and major warehouses and manufacturing plants are located. And, despite being a global operation, JP is very much a family business, and that personal attention and passion for the business and its products was very obvious when we visited.
Chances are that either you will have fitted (or had fitted to your Porsche) parts manufactured by or supplied via JP. However, any JP parts you’re likely to have been in contact with will almost certainly have been supplied via its network of dealers. JP has a great website and an impressive classic parts webshop, which will not only help you locate exactly what you’re after, but will also find your nearest JP supplier.
A FAMILY CONCERN
The company was founded by Johannes Pedersen (hence the ‘JP’ branding) who began his working life as a bus driver. Then, in 1965, he started to dedicate all of his spare time to producing rubber products
for cars, along with rubber hammers and ashtrays. This business provided Johannes with the finances required to invest in tools and machinery for the production of spare parts for his biggest interest: cars. That’s how the business began – through pure passion.
Johannes Pedersen passed away in 1992 at the age of 63 and was succeeded by his son, Martin. Since then, JP Group has grown to become a well-established, and strongly consolidated, business with activities worldwide and premises totalling more than 42,000m2.
Martin Pedersen, the current CEO of JP Group Holding a/s, was born in Viborg in 1958 and has been running the company since taking over from his father, having started working at JP Group in 1983, only a few years after the establishment of the company.
Exhausts and the associated hardware have long been the company’s staple diet, however, the supply of pattern parts for modern vehicles is the key area of business. That said, these guys are 100 per cent enthusiasts at heart, hence the Classic Line range of products, specifically aimed at classic VAG, Porsche and some early Mercedes models. JP provides more than 6000 parts via the Classic Line range, and we were surprised to learn just how many products are produced in-house. Yes, of course there are parts imported from Brazil and elsewhere, however, JP is proud of its inhouse manufacturing and quality control – and we were impressed by the hand-made (and machine-made) exhausts and body panels.
JP has been running as a business since 1974, hence there is literally a warehouse full of various stamping dies covering everything from VW heat exchanger sheet metal to aluminium panels for early model Porsches. JP is actually a very pro-active and forward-thinking concern and operates a family of businesses under the JP title. You’ll probably be familiar with names such
as Jopex (exhausts) and Dansk (Porsche parts), but there are many other unique businesses operated via JP. Here we’re talking about HOVWDIAUDI (a retail outlet for VW and Audi parts), Quickpot (a chain of fast-fit service centres), Billigalu (an online alloy wheel business), the aforementioned Classic Line, SSI (performance Porsche exhausts) and Garia (electric vehicles). JP also purchased the well-known Quinton Hazell brand, which expanded the range of parts for both European and Asian-produced vehicles.
The current range of Porsche body panels is extensive, covering a wide range of models, classic and modern. Recent displays at events such as Techno Classica Essen have aroused a great deal of interest, and provoked much discussion on web forums. The rumours about a full Dansk-branded 911 bodyshell quickly spread following JP’S use of an early shell fitted with all their available repair panels – people assumed that Dansk would soon be offering complete shells, in much the same way that BL Heritage sells replacement bodies for MGBS. However, that is not yet the case, as a conversation with Martin Pedersen at Essen confirmed (although that may well be a future possibility should there be adequate demand).
TAKING THE TOUR...
Walking around the HQ, it was immediately obvious that this is a very slick operation, and that the staff are all very proud to be a part of the JP family. We’d certainly heard of JP before – and the Dansk name in particular – and have seen Jp-supplied parts in just about every Porsche workshop
Rumours about a full Dansk-branded bodyshell quickly spread
and parts retailer we’ve visited across Europe (and beyond), but a shop tour helps to illustrate just how many parts are produced in Denmark – something we were not aware of before we were invited to check it out.
Efficient operations ensure that parts ordered by lunchtime can be delivered the very next day (and at a flat-rate) to recognised dealers in mainland Europe. In reality, the whole point of this shop tour was to prove just how enthusiastic and involved the JP family really is. It’s refreshing to find genuine enthusiasts working at every level of the business.
THE CAR COLLECTION
One of the biggest surprises for any visitor to JP is to find that it’s far more than just a factory – how about the car collection? The modern building houses one of the most impressive (and unexpected) collections of classic (and modern) Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles we’ve had the pleasure of visiting in quite some time. Many of the cars on show have been used to test and develop JP products over the years, but this is far more than just a storage facility for retired R&D projects. This is an impressive collection of turn-key classics (and future collectibles), which has been accumulated over time by a passionate family of petrolheads.
And that’s the key – these are true enthusiasts’ cars. they’re not just static museum pieces, as can be seen from the trickle chargers hooked up to many of the exhibits – these cars are all ready to be driven, and are regulars at car shows and local gatherings. And it’s big: the showroom covers more than 1000m2, and includes a mezzanine floor, which features a cafe/bar. It’s definitely a must-see if you ever get the opportunity when next visiting Denmark. PW
It’s refreshing to find enthusiasts working at every level of the business
JP Group’s car collection is as impressive as its parts operation
When it comes to Porsche, JP Group, through its Dansk brand, has body parts for classic 911s and other Porsches covered. Enough for a complete bodyshell? Not yet, but such a thing could be coming
You know it’s a big operation when you need to consult a map to find your way around!
JP Group also has its own in house restoration business using Dansk parts – also useful for developing new panel
Left: JP press steel body panels in house and have all the appropriate presses and jigs
As a Porsche fan, you will more than likely associate JP Group and Dansk with Porsche exhausts. Indeed, JP Group has recently purchased the SSI brand