Diana Gauthier, Parts Manager for Stew Hansen Dodge Ram Chrysler Jeep in Urbandale, Iowa, wrote an open letter intended for all collision repairers in the state of Iowa.
All who may be questioning our intent can rest at ease. Stew Hansen Dodge Ram Chrysler Jeep will not participate in PartsTrader.
I’ve been involved in the collision industry since the mid-'70s, and what I’ve witnessed is the systematic takeover in the industry by insurance companies. We all know insurance companies are not insurance companies. They are, in fact, investment companies that use insurance as a tool to fund their investments, right? Chrysler’s answer to the insurance companies’ demands on the body industry was to step up with price-matching the aftermarket parts. But their response is limited to a few of the body items that are most consistently replaced, and not really a stand that can be taken with the insurance companies insisting on less quality, non-fitting aftermarket parts.
We at this dealership have taken a stand. We will not participate in this blatantly biased program and reduce the collision centers’ profit even further with parts bidding. To those collision centers that will be forced by State Farm to take part in the bid process for their parts, you have our support should you refuse—we will continue to conduct our parts business as we have done historically. If our refusal to participate in PartsTrader means you cannot buy parts from our store, we will surely miss talking with you and servicing your business—but we will not have a hand in the further demise of the independence of collision centers across the state of Iowa.
I make a statement on most of our mailings and Mopar Magazine that the success of your business is our business. We can’t succeed without all of you; we have a vested interest in making your store as successful as possible.
The insurance companies like State Farm are on their own—I refuse to help them take control of your businesses and the industry in general. For what it’s worth, that’s the line we’ve drawn in the sand to help support your stand against this program.”