DETROIT - Hyundai Motor America has created an online system to sell original equipment parts and accessories to consumers and independent repair shops.
The company showed off its Hyundai Parts Online electronic catalog during a press conference Wednesday, April 7.
Though Hyundai has not promoted the online parts catalog yet, people have found it, said Bernard Reyes, Hyundai technical analyst. Since it opened Feb. 15, the online catalog has had more than 20,000 visitors, received about two applications a day from independent repair shops that want to set up credit accounts with dealers and received about a dozen retail orders.
Frank Ferrara, Hyundai vice president of parts, said Hyundai is courting consumers and independent repair shops because higher quality vehicles mean less warranty work for dealers.
Also, the company knows that only 20 percent of vehicle owners return to the dealership for service after five years of ownership.
PICK UP NEW BUSINESS
'Our parts business is down 12 percent because of better quality vehicles,' Ferrara said. 'We know there is a lot of business in the marketplace we're not getting.'
While the site is available to anyone with Internet access, certain areas are restricted to dealers. Dealers can use the site to order parts and track deliveries.
All parts orders go to dealers, not to Hyundai. Currently, about 183 of Hyundai's 470 dealers are participating at a cost of $50 a month. Hyundai said it hopes to have at least half of its dealers enrolled by year end.
Dan Ludwick, parts manager at Hyundai of Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, Mich., said he likes the system and expects it to enhance his business with consumers and reduce the amount of time spent taking parts orders from repair shops over the phone.
'Just about every shop we do business with is online. This will make ordering parts easier,' Ludwick said. 'In the past, if the repair shop calls, we're busy and have to call them back or we call them with questions and they're busy. This will save more on the phone time.'
HOW IT WORKS
The system works like this:
The user goes to Hyundai's Web site at www.HyundaiUSA.com and clicks on the 'order parts and accessories' icon. The user types in his or her ZIP code.
The user types in the vehicle's year, model and vehicle identification number.
The user is shown parts and accessories that fit that vehicle, reducing the risk of error. The site contains about 30,000 part numbers.
The order goes to the nearest dealer, who either ships it to the customer or holds it for pickup.
Ferrara said Hyundai thinks the convenience and user-friendliness of the Web site will encourage independent shops to buy original Hyundai parts.
Also, he expects that the system will draw do-it-yourselfers who would never go to the dealership to buy touch-up paint or wiper blades but would purchase those items and do the work themselves.