“We need to recognize that a huge number of people are shopping online for parts and accessories,” says Mopar CEO Pietro Gorlier.
After a customer orders a part from the Mopar eStore at mopar.com, Mopar will distribute the part to a dealer, who will ship it to the customer. Chrysler dealers who want to participate need to sign up.
To make ordering friendly to customers, a dealer has 90 minutes to respond once an order is taken online. If that dealer fails to respond, the order automatically shifts to the next nearest dealer based on the ZIP code, says Jim Sassorossi, Mopar director of sales and marketing.
About 1,000 of Chrysler’s 2,352 dealers have signed up for the program, Sassorossi says. Some initially feared Mopar was trying to bypass them.
“We didn’t want them to be able to sell parts without going through the dealer. That’s what everybody was worried about,” says Jim Arrigo, owner of Arrigo Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in West Palm Beach, Fla., and former co-chairman of the Chrysler National Dealer Council.
Arrigo says that in return for handling a part and shipping it, a dealer gets paid 15 percent of the dealer’s net price for the part. “It’s a great program for dealers, adding income they didn’t have before,” he says.
Here’s how Chrysler Group’s online parts store works.
• Customer orders part at Mopar eStore.
• Dealer must respond to order in 90 minutes, or it automatically shifts to next nearest dealer based on ZIP code.
• Dealer ships part to customer and gets 15% of dealer’s net price for the part.
In a statement, Chrysler said: “All expense and infrastructure is on us. The dealer gets a percentage for handling the product. However, we pick up shipping on behalf of the customer, not the dealer.”
One who did sign up is Wes Lutz, owner of Extreme Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in Jackson, Mich. The key for Lutz is making sure somebody responds to orders in a timely manner without having to sit in front of a computer all day.
“We figured it out in sales,” Lutz says. “When we get e-mails in sales, those e-mails go automatically to the PDA” of a person on the sales staff, who can respond quickly. Lutz probably will use a similar system for electronic parts orders.
About 100,000 of Chrysler’s roughly 280,000 parts are in the online store, says Mopar’s Sassorossi. Some oversize and complex parts, such as full engines, and hazardous materials are not on the system, he says.
Says Sassorossi: “There’s no cost to the dealer body. We want them to share in the revenue, to ship the part to the customer.”