DETROIT -- Chrysler Group’s Mopar parts brand today announced a partnership with Fiat-owned parts maker Magneti Marelli and Shell Lubricants to supply maintenance parts and lubricants for non-Chrysler Group vehicles to the automaker’s 2,311 dealers.
In 2010, more than 2.6 million customers with vehicles from competing brands visited Chrysler Group dealerships, according to Pietro Gorlier, CEO of the Mopar brand. Gorlier wants those customers to see Chrysler Group dealerships as a one-stop-shop for maintenance. Italy's Fiat S.p.A. owns 30 percent of Chrysler and maintains management control of the automaker.
“We’re giving our dealers the opportunity to become a one-stop shop,” Gorlier said this morning at a press conference at Mopar’s distribution warehouse and development lab in suburban Detroit.
Magneti Marelli will distribute 26 product lines and 3,000 parts altogether to Chrysler Group stores from Mopar’s 20 North American warehouses.
Ten of those lines are now in stock including such items as filters, wipers, brake pads and rotors. The rest will be on sale by the end of 2011. The relationship will focus on servicing vehicles made by GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia, Gorlier said. The full line will roll out by the end of 2011.
Pietro Berardi, Magneti Marelli North America aftermarket vice president, said some customers who bring a Toyota, Honda or some other non-Chrysler brand into a Chrysler dealership for maintenance might not feel comfortable putting Mopar parts on their vehicles.
“Having Magneti Marelli helps get rid of that psychological barrier,” he said.
Asked how dealers would service non-Chrysler vehicles, Gorlier said: “We will support dealers with training.”
“Most of our dealers already have the skills to take care of competitive makes, proved by 2.6 million cars that are already being serviced in our service drive. Our Certified Pre Owned Vehicles program provides training on competitive makes too. With Magneti Marelli, we will further offer training on the new parts we are selling, according to dealer needs.”
Separately, Gorlier also said Mopar has held discussions with dealers about opening Mopar-branded service centers separate from their dealerships. But there is no timetable for those centers.
Gorlier said his priority is getting more dealership service departments open on Saturday and getting more dealers to install Mopar’s Express Lane oil change and maintenance facilities. About 600 Chrysler dealers, about 26 percent, now operate Mopar’s Express Lane service. Gorlier would like to see that number grow to 80 percent by 2014.
Some dealers have balked at opening Express Lane operations because they say it is difficult to make money competing with the quick maintenance shops.
Gorlier said 72 percent of Chrysler dealers now operate their service departments on Saturday, up from 60 percent at the end of 2009. Gorlier also hopes some dealers will be open for service Sunday in the future.