ORLANDO, Fla. - Parts.com, of Sanford, Fla., launched an online parts exchange Jan. 23 during the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here, after signing up nine more dealership groups.
The goal of the exchange is to offer dealers real-time information on parts inventory and reduce the time it takes to locate parts.
Auto dealerships and independent garages order auto parts from middlemen such as warehouse distributors, jobbers and retail parts stores. When a dealer or garage needs a part, it may have to call several warehouses, jobbers or retailers to locate parts.
Parts.com grants dealers territories to sell original-equipment parts at wholesale to other dealers and independent garages. Because the parts inventories are posted online, the parts are easier to locate. The online parts exchange also helps dealers who wholesale parts by providing them with reports on sales trends.
Parts.com has granted dealers a total of 159 territories since it began a recruitment campaign two months ago.
The company has some of the nation's largest dealership chains on board, including Hendrick Automotive Group, based in Charlotte, N.C.; Koons Automotive Group of Vienna, Va.; and Herb Chambers Cos. of Somerville, Mass.
'Parts.com will begin an extensive trade marketing campaign in the latter part of February, allowing our suppliers ample time to ramp up their internal operations,' said Shawn Lucas, chairman of Parts.com.
As part of its expansion push, Parts.com also intends to apply for a Nasdaq listing within the next two months. The company's stock already is traded on the over-the-counter market.