DETROIT -- Under new management, Chrysler Group's Mopar parts brand has opened an online store to sell parts and accessories electronically. Dealers, though, will ship the parts to customers and get paid for handling the sales.
"We need to recognize that a huge number of people are shopping online for parts and accessories," says Mopar CEO Pietro Gorlier.
After a customer orders a part from the Mopar eStore at mopar.com, Mopar will distribute the part to a dealer, who will ship it to the customer. Chrysler dealers who want to participate need to sign up.
To make ordering friendly to customers, a dealer has 90 minutes to respond once an order is taken online. If that dealer fails to respond, the order automatically shifts to the next nearest dealer based on the ZIP code, says Jim Sassorossi, Mopar director of sales and marketing.
About 1,000 of Chrysler's 2,352 dealers have signed up for the program, Sassorossi says. Some initially feared Mopar was trying to bypass them.
"We didn't want them to be able to sell parts without going through the dealer. That's what everybody was worried about," says Jim Arrigo, owner of Arrigo Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in West Palm Beach, Fla., and former co-chairman of the Chrysler National Dealer Council.
Arrigo says that in return for handling a part and shipping it, a dealer gets paid 15 percent of the dealer's net price for the part. "It's a great program for dealers, adding income they didn't have before," he says.