“There are a handful of large wholesalers in the Wisconsin area that have their own facilities but we have parts for the Big Three in one location—General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler,” said Dean Renteria, the wholesale parts manager.
The family-owned and operated business was established by Jack Griffin. In 1960, he opened Griffin Ford in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His son, Jim, who now owns the Griffin Automotive Group, purchased an Oldsmobile and Dodge dealership in 1997. When General Motors shut down the Oldsmobile line in 2004, the automotive group was without a GM franchise. Jim eventually acquired a Chrysler Jeep franchise in Milwaukee to combine with the Dodge franchise, which is now called Griffin’s Hub Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM. In 2015, Jim purchased a Chevrolet franchise and this past year the company acquired a Ford Lincoln dealership in Fort Atkinson.
The company also set up a parts warehouse in 1995 that initially sold Ford parts. As the company grew over the years, so did the parts inventory. Consequently, Griffin rented an additional building to house parts. In 2006, they combined the Chrysler warehouse and Ford warehouse together. Once the Chevrolet dealership was purchased, they decided it was time to ramp up and expand the parts warehouse.
While planning what it would include and how it would be built, Renteria said the team visited other facilities.
“We toured a large wholesaler in Illinois to see their set up and a Chrysler parts distribution center in Milwaukee,” said Renteria.
They also needed to pay close attention to the fire code and design accordingly.
“It’s really about size constriction and trying to get as much inventory into the building as possible,” he said.
In 2016, they broke ground on a 50,000-square-foot expansion and took occupancy of the building in early May. After three weeks of moving all parts into one location, Griffin Automotive recently opened the facility.
“We now have a large inventory of all three lines here to satisfy the needs and take care of our customers,” said Renteria.
In addition, he said they have special access to the entire catalog of Mopar parts as well as accessories for all manufacturers.
“Our team either has it in stock or can order it quickly,” he said.
They currently provide product to approximately three-quarters of the state and continue to expand.
“We are in the growing phase right now, adding trucks as we go along,” said Renteria. The goal is to operate 30 vehicles on the road, which will cover the local area as well as travel twice a day to outlying areas.
With the convenience of having all three lines in-house, Renteria said that the same truck will be able to bring customers all parts needed for a repair rather than having deliveries at different times of the day and week.
“We’re competitive on price, offer quick delivery for our customers and have a knowledgeable and experienced sales staff,” he said. Some of the Griffin employees have 40 years of experience.
“We take pride in ensuring that we can handle our customers’ vehicle needs throughout the lifespan of owning their vehicles,” said Renteria. Griffin Ford was named Wisconsin’s #1 Ford Dealer for the past 10 years and Griffin’s Hub Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM earned the title of Wisconsin’s #1 Chrysler and #1 Dodge dealer in 2016.
Renteria said by having a dedicated parts department and easy ordering by phone, fax and through Collision Link, customers are able to obtain the parts they need.
“Part of being in a crash is to ensure that everyone is as safe as they can be and is going to get their car back properly repaired, hopefully with factory OEM parts that we are able to supply,” said Renteria.
“We are committed to providing superior customer satisfaction.”
For more information and to order parts, call 262-542-8058 or 800-242-2240; fax 262-542-6088 or 800-547-3649; email email@example.com or access Collision Link.