Following the appointment of our Group Marketing Manager in February 2018, we have developed our in-house marketing function and now manage communications across all platforms centrally. The initial focus for our new dedicated in-house marketing resource was to improve how we communicate with our trade and distribution network to help us maintain our valued relationships and ensure our support is accessible to those making our partnerships a success.
In addition to this new appointment, and to help us meet the growing demand for our product across the world, we have upgraded our back-office systems, thus improving the efficiency of our order fulfilment, accounting and communication processes. As always, we strive for process excellence and continue to make improvements to our production and distribution processes to enable us to service our valued trade network.
This year, we invested in new, emerging technology to improve the quality, accuracy and efficiency of our manufacturing process. Through significant investment in new robotic technology, developed to accelerate production times, we have doubled our production capacity. These new developments will strengthen our ability to service customer and trade demand. We have also developed our quality assurance processes to accompany this new technology and remain committed to ensuring we provide our customers with the best in wheel protection.
In Q2, we extended our international patent footprint, enabling us to expand our global reach and begin exploring new territories. We are delighted to be introducing our award- winning wheel protection to new markets and look forward to developing our presence in these markets over the next twelve months. We continue to work to secure strong business partnerships that meet our strategic objectives across Europe and the wider world and to investigate overseas manufacturing opportunities to enable us to improve our international service offering and increase our distribution capabilities.
In Q3 we said goodbye to our Original AlloyGators. Our customers value robust, durable wheel protection that also enhances their wheels, discretely or with styling. The Exclusive AlloyGator was developed in response to market research within the end user group, vehicle manufacturers and automotive dealers. The Exclusive AlloyGator is a re-engineered improvement of our Original profile. The Exclusive is a visually softer wheel protector, developed in partnership with UK Automotive Manufacturers for a more Original Equipment look that blends in with the wheel and tyre combination.
AlloyGator Exclusive profiles are the very latest offering in wheel protection. The protectors have a matt finish, compared to the gloss finish of the Original profiles and fit an increased range of wheels from 12 to 24 inches in diameter. The profile has been re-engineered to incorporate more fitting applications for a more secure fit, ensuring AlloyGator remains the number one wheel protection product on the market. Finally, the joining clips on the Exclusive profiles are embossed with the AlloyGator logo, providing a quality seal of approval. The decision to discontinue our Original profiles follows the release of our new and improved Exclusive AlloyGators and the extensive positive feedback about the new offering. Demand for our Exclusive profiles has grown rapidly since their release, and we hope our valued distribution network will join us in nurturing this demand and providing the best in wheel protection to vehicle owners across the UK.
2018 was a great year for AlloyGator. We launched our new e-commerce website in December, featuring a new blog and gallery to allow our customers to stay up to date on the latest in wheel protection and share pictures of their AlloyGators.
Alongside our new website, we launched a Five Star Fitter Program in the UK. We now offer our product with five star local fitting to our customers and manage this process centrally. Following the website’s launch and the growing success of our new Five Star Fitter Program, we will be recruiting a new website developer whose primary focus will be bringing our evolving marketing vision to life.
In December we launched our partnership with Euro Repar Car Service. Technicians in the participating service centres and dealerships are trained to fit AlloyGator wheel protection and will be offering our Exclusive sets to customers as part of their initial sales offering, when servicing and in aftersales. This nationwide partnership is a remarkable achievement for the UK strand of the business and will support our efforts to closely align ourselves with key players in the automotive industry. We continue to devote additional resource to the marketing, sales and operational functions of our business to help us achieve our strategic growth objectives. We continue to enjoy year on year growth and have appointed a number of new international distributors in new territories, strengthening our position as a global supplier of a leading alloy wheel protection system. We work closely with our existing distributors and are committed to providing our partners with the tools they need to grow brand awareness amongst their target customer base and achieve sustainable sales growth.