Amazon's involvement in the aftermarket parts trade is about to get a little bigger.
Aftermarket suppliers and automotive parts retailers say Amazon's same-day delivery service and status as a widely popular research portal may help the company carve out a larger place in the aftermarket.
Rather than being a threat, that growing role could help parts companies.
The need for quick access to parts for repair was a major reason the aftermarket once sat outside Amazon's reach. But its same-day delivery abilities now make Amazon "much more compelling because one of the big issues is quick availability," said Dan Ninivaggi, CEO of Federal-Mogul Motorparts, the aftermarket parts division of Federal-Mogul Corp.
Changes in Amazon's delivery practices could shake up the competition, suppliers believe.
There are two types of aftermarket parts customers: do-it-yourself customers and commercial customers. The DIY-ers traditionally account for most online parts purchases. But Amazon's same-day delivery opens the door to commercial customers, such as professional installers, Ninivaggi said.
AutoZone Inc. spokesman Ray Pohlman said most consumers want "uninterrupted" transportation. "They can't afford to have their car sitting on blocks for a couple days" waiting for repair parts, he said.
Eighty percent of AutoZone's business goes to DIY customers and 20 percent to commercial ones. AutoZone firmly established itself in the DIY market and now is growing its commercial business, but Pohlman said Amazon's same-day delivery service "gets closer to our wheelhouse."