Wednesday, 17 June 2020 12:34

Auto Dealer Parts Departments Continue to Serve Through Pandemic

Written by


Have you altered your parts delivery service and if so, how?


This was fairly evenly divided, with 49% saying yes and 51% saying no. Fortunately, for body shops, none of our respondents said they completely stopped delivering.


Seventy-eight percent of those who made a change chose to limit the number of delivery runs made per day. A few chose to limit deliveries only to select accounts, one limited delivery by mileage and one limited delivery by dollar value of the order.


One VW dealer in northern California noted, “We were allotted one driver and told to make do.” Several dealers said customers were picking up parts at the dealerships in lieu of a reduced delivery capacity. Some dealers used Uber or a taxi service.


How have your customers responded to changes in delivery policies?


Overall, respondents noted shops understood the situation and were very accepting that business changes were necessary at the dealer level.


One Honda parts manager said that because the shops were operating at reduced capacity, they did not deliver after 2 p.m., and most shops seemed to be OK with that. A parts manager at a California Acura dealer said the shops were just happy the dealership was still open and they were able to pick up parts as needed.


How much trouble have you had getting parts from your primary OE brand during the height of the pandemic?


Respondents said those OEs with the best fill rate during this time were, in no particular order, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.


However, the degree to which other OEs may have had trouble fulfilling dealer orders may or may not have been caused by the pandemic. Civil unrest or other factors outside the control of the OE may have played a factor. Also, parts manager answers may have been influenced by a particular order or two or a particular part or type of part that may have been temporarily unavailable.