The time is long past when a parts department's near-exclusive role was to keep the dealership's service bays well stocked. Dealers increasingly are relying on external sales of parts and accessories — retail and wholesale — to shore up their fixed ops profits as new-vehicle sales stall.
This issue of Fixed Ops Journal includes a special report on dealership parts sales, both online and at the stores. Our cover story offers examples of dealerships that have built robust parts businesses by working with Internet goliaths such as eBay and Amazon and expanding their own Web sales efforts.
We look at service departments that are selling more parts and accessories by partnering with financial institutions to provide no-interest loans to their customers. We tap the experience of fixed ops directors and parts managers who offer tips on boosting parts sales.
We also report on the eternal battle — with automakers and dealers on one side and car insurers and aftermarket suppliers on the other — over the use of factory vs. aftermarket parts in collision repair. State laws are requiring more original-equipment parts, and that trend appears likely to continue.