At a time when Sony was launching its famous Walkman portable audio player to the general public, set to revolutionise the ways in which people listened to music, our founder and Sales Consultant Stuart James was forming the company that is known as DBS Leoch today.
Much has changed in the intervening 40 years and the UK battery industry is no exception. Stuart’s Dad, Ron James, was Sales Director for Tungstone Batteries in Market Harborough in the 1970s and 1980s, and helped Stuart to set up the company on 1 July 1979.
At the time, there were over 30 battery manufacturers in UK but it’s now down to just one or two. Initially, batteries were difficult to manufacture but as they became increasingly machine-produced, it was more viable to make them anywhere in the world.
As more private enterprise was encouraged in countries such as Korea and China, market forces pushed the battery manufacturing bases out to China, the US, Eastern Europe and Far East.
When the company started, the leisure battery market was dominated by car batteries and they were used for a range of applications including cars, trucks and agriculture. Stuart was selling one out of every ten batteries sold in the UK and to gain a further competitive edge, became one of the first battery importers in the UK.
The trade price of the most popular car battery 40 years ago was around £20, whereas today, the reduced costs of manufacturing have resulted in it retaining its value at around the same price today.
As the electrical demands on batteries have got greater with more leisure, alarm, mobile power and energy saving applications, the technology has developed. Conversely, as the UK battery manufacturing market has declined, battery sales have increased as we’ve continued to ‘go electric’ with new cars, boats and battery-powered home appliances.
The future of batteries will undoubtedly be driven by the world’s green, renewable and sustainable communities. There is already a clamour for batteries and energy storage sources powered by the wind and sun, and for rapid-charging Lithium batteries to power electric vehicles and other applications.
And after that, who knows? Could we see hybrid battery/engine sources powering planes and ships in the future? Whatever the outcomes, DBS Leoch is committed to competing at the forefront of the battery market for the next 40 years and beyond!
If you have any questions related to buying leisure batteries, visit our website at www.dbsleoch.co.uk, contact us on 01858 433330 or via email at email@example.com