DETROIT - Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. will use a new Web site for aftermarket distributors to double its aftermarket sales to more than $4 billion during the next four years.
It will be a transactional site, allowing customers - distributors of aftermarket parts - to order parts online.
The site, the first among major suppliers, will debut in the second half of the year. Designed to handle up to 10,000 parts, the interactive site will allow distributors to conduct business in six languages and currencies.
The U.S. aftermarket was $155 billion during 1999, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association in Bethesda, Md. Delphi did $2.2 billion in aftermarket sales in 2000.
In addition to English, users of the Web site will be able to research products and services in German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian.
Delphi had been a captive division of General Motors. But Delphi, the world's largest automotive original-equipment supplier, became an independent company May 28, 1999, when GM completed the spinoff of its auto parts division.
Why the wait?
Delphi waited until this year to launch its aftermarket site because its separation agreement with GM barred it from selling aftermarket parts in the United States until 2001, said Mike Glenn, the e-business technical manager in Dephi Aftermarket Operations.
Parts distributors will be able to access the aftermarket parts site via delphiauto.com, the company's Internet address. Distributors will be able to order parts, check on orders, change orders and view product information.
A global site for the aftermarket would be unique, said Rich White, vice president of communications at the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.
'Anything that can be done to make it easier for the distributors to obtain information and learn, as well as order, is just going to improve the efficiency of the whole aftermarket,' White said.
In addition, Delphi is building the site in accordance with industry standards for catalog sites developed by the aftermarket association, he said.
'So it's not going to be out there stuck by itself,' he said. 'It's going to conform.'
`It's a big deal'
Delphi's Glenn said the company's aftermarket site will be more than just an e-catalog.
Think of it as a central repository of all the information that Delphi has about a product, he said. 'We obviously think it's a big deal.'
Sales, marketing, engineering, service and diagnostic information will be available on the site for Delphi aftermarket products. The site will be global at launch, with a startup date in the second half of 2001.
It has not been determined how many parts will be featured at the launch, Glenn said.
'We want to be easy to do business with, and we think the Internet is a key enabler for that strategy.'