Hyundai Motor America rings in the New Year with a program that gives most of its dealers same-day parts delivery.
The company has tapped major-market dealerships to double as Hyundai Parts Centers - 'mini warehouses' that will stock and deliver parts to other Hyundai dealerships in their area.
George Kurth, Hyundai national parts supply manager, said 70 percent of Hyundai's 469 dealers can have same-day delivery by 3 p.m. at no additional cost if they place their orders by noon and if the part is in the warehousing dealers' stock.
Another 15 percent of Hyundai dealers will be able to get next-morning delivery.
Kurth said many Hyundai dealers do not have enough volume to justify carrying a large parts inventory. The new program gives those dealers quick access to parts. That means that a customer who brings a car in for a remanufactured transmission in the morning could be back on the road by the end of the day, Kurth said.
'It moves the parts closer to the customer,' he added. 'We plan to sign up at least 50 warehousing dealers in 1999.'
Hyundai has been testing the concept in Seattle, Dallas and Miami for about a year, Kurth said. Those markets' retail availability rate - having a part available the same day that a customer brings a vehicle in for service - averaged about 70 percent during the test.
Kurth said he expects Hyundai's retail availability rate to increase to 75 percent to 80 percent when the program is in full swing.
'We know that surveys don't rate Hyundai high in retail availability, but we rate near the top in warehouse availability,' he said. 'The challenge was to bring the supply chain closer to the dealers.'
Kurth said the dealers who are being asked to become warehousing dealers typically already have established wholesale businesses and delivery trucks.
Parts center dealers serve approximately three to seven dealers. They must invest $120,000 in 2,600 high-volume parts, Kurth said. Hyundai pays a warehousing dealer for the part when it is sold and pays a fee to handle the part. Hyundai handles all invoices and bills the dealer who placed the order.
Rick Case Hyundai in Planta-tion, Fla., is one of seven Miami dealerships that have been ordering parts from the pilot parts center at King Hyundai in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Darren Marshall, parts manager at Rick Case, said the program is working well. He said same-day parts availability means that customers who bring in their cars at 1 p.m. can pick up their cars by the end of the day.
Marshall said his parts department is well stocked, but he likes the idea of having access to slower- moving parts without having to tie up money to stock them.
'It's good to have the parts available locally,' he said. 'We're dealing in large amounts of money that we can use elsewhere.'