Tag Archive | "All Import Auto Inc."

Parts Providers Speak Out


When it comes to the parts market, there is no shortage of ideas about how it should be run, but there are some common threads that run through the whole industry. The companies that supply parts to vehicle service contract providers and administrators have built their reputations on delivering the right part in good working order,quickly, and that’s something that doesn’t change no matter who you talk to.

However, the technology that drives that process is constantly changing, and parts providers are adapting. This month, P&A asked several of those providers to offer some insights on the segment and where they think it’s going.

All-Import Auto Inc. is a family-owned business in Texas that has been around since the late 1980s. It has built it’s reputation on providing parts for higher-end vehicles, a niche it has found very profitable. Big “D” Auto Parts is also family-owned and operated, and has been since it was founded in the 1960s. It has chosen to specialize in the VSC market, with an emphasis on being a one-stop shop for all it’s customers’ needs. C&K Auto Parts also serves the VSC market, but it puts a strong emphasis on service. And VRG Automotive LLC is actually a group of recyclers across the country who share a call center, which allows them to route everything to a central location, then ship parts out from the closest facility.

While each company has a slightly different perspective on the industry, there is one common theme that runs through them – technology. The Internet and all of the automated and online processes it brought with it have radically changed the way the parts industry works on every level. And those changes are still happening. All four companies stressed that technology allows them to fulfill orders faster and more accurately, which equates to happier customers.

And the Internet has changed the business in other ways as well – it makes parts available from anywhere in the world, and makes it easy for potential customers to compare prices across a wide range of options. Some parts companies are taking advantage of that shift, looking to become the first place a customer looks, no matter where they’re located in the world; others have chosen to emphasize what else they bring to the relationship beyond price, building relationships based on service and speed. But whichever way they go, all the companies we interviewed are finding success in this new world of parts ordering and management.

To read how each company views the industry and what’s to come, click on their profile below.

Parts Provider Roundup

All-Import Auto Inc.

All-Import Auto Inc.
Keith Sturgeon, owner

Tell us about your company and the products you offer.

All Import Auto Inc. is a seller of used auto parts based in Fort Worth, Texas. We buy and dismantle vehicles and sell parts to auto repair shops and retail customers.

Auto salvage is a family business and I grew up helping out my father, Ron Sturgeon, in his auto salvage company before I started my own as a junior in high school in 1989. I have always been more comfortable working on foreign cars, so I gradually came to specialize in parts for imports.

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Big D Auto Parts

Big “D” Auto Parts
Hugh Pettigrew Jr., owner

Tell us about your company and the products that you offer.

Big “D” Auto Parts was established in Dallas, Texas, in 1963 and has been continuously owned and operated by the same family. We were a full-service auto recycler. Then, in the 1980s, an extended warranty company contacted us looking for a reliable source of alternative parts. Supplying parts to VSC companies is now our largest market. We specialize in used (like, kind and quality) and remanufactured major drive-line components. We also offer most smaller parts.

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C&K Auto Parts

C&K Auto Parts
Mitch Rand, president

Tell us about your company and the products that you offer.

C&K Auto Parts has focused on serving the VSC industry for more than 18 years. Over the years, our product offerings have grown to include a full line of both remanufactured and used powertrain assemblies, the most comprehensive selection of OEM parts (over 21 million unique part numbers) in the industry, as well as a line of aftermarket remanufactured small parts (electronics, brake components, steering components, axles, etc.).

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VRG Automotive

VRG Automotive LLC
Don Partin, president/CEO

Tell us about your company and the products that you offer.

The executive group of Vehicle Recycling Group (VRG) Automotive LLC consists of four owners of some the finest recycling facilities in the country: Nordstrom’s Automotive in Garretson, S.D., G&R Auto Parts in Oklahoma City, Okla., Spalding Auto Parts in Spokane, Wash., and Stricker Auto Parts in Batavia, Ohio. Collectively, they employ over 400 employees and they represent over 200 years in business under the same family names.

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All Import Auto Inc.


Tell us about your company and the products you offer.

All Import Auto Inc. is a seller of used auto parts based in Fort Worth, Texas. We buy and dismantle vehicles and sell parts to auto repair shops and retail customers.

Auto salvage is a family business and I grew up helping out my father, Ron Sturgeon, in his auto salvage company before I started my own as a junior in high school in 1989. I have always been more comfortable working on foreign cars, so I gradually came to specialize in parts for imports.

By trial and error and by carefully measuring my cost of goods and sales, I figured out that parts for higher-end cars like Mercedes and BMW were the right niche. Higher-end parts now make up about half of our sales.

How does your service work, and how is it different from other providers?

All-Import Auto is different because we specialize in parts for luxury European autos and because of the service that we provide. We have a zero-hassle return policy on all the parts that we sell and we offer warranties on all the parts as well.

Who are your customers? What message would you like to express to them?

We wholesale used parts to repair shops and retail to individuals making their own repairs. We sell to walk-up clients, deliver parts locally to shops around Dallas and Fort Worth and sell lots of used auto parts on Craigslist and eBay to buyers throughout the world.

The marketing messages are not as different as you might think. We want all of our clients to know that we deserve our reputation for excellent service because we will handle any issues that arise. We also want our target customers to know that we are a reliable supplier of good quality used parts.

What channels do you use to sell your services?

We are part of a nationwide network of 550 auto salvage yards that share inventory information. We broker some parts to other salvage yards through this network, although wholesaling to shops and retailing to people fixing their own vehicles is the bulk of our business.

We also subscribe to part locater services like CarPart.com and fill the requests that are profitable from them. Finally, we have a very active program to sell parts on Craigslist and on eBay. This channel is the fastest-growing part of our business.

Looking back over the past five years, how has the parts industry changed and how do you see it changing in the future?

The parts industry has changed dramatically. The arrival of LKQ has significantly increased competition and the cost of buying salvage vehicles. The companies that dispose of salvage vehicles for insurance companies are eager to get as much as they can for cars. They have made it much simpler for anyone to bid at salvage auctions. As a result, prices for salvage vehicles have increased greatly over the last few years.

The Internet has lowered prices by giving consumers the opportunity to buy parts from many more vendors, but it has also made it much easier for smaller and efficiently run salvage operations to bring niche parts that are economical to ship to a global market. I see tremendous opportunities for growth in online sales of used auto parts.

I think that the industry will continue to consolidate and that online sales will become an increasingly important part of the used parts business.

What technologies or additional services do you believe will drive your future success?

I believe strongly in knowing the metrics that drive my business. I can predict the amount of revenue that the parts from a salvaged vehicle will produce and how fast that revenue will come.
I know exactly what it costs me to fill a parts order so I can focus on the requests from parts locators that I can fill profitably.

Because I am selling more parts online, I am very interested in tools to measure and improve my e-commerce results.Technologies that improve my ability to measure All Import Auto’s performance in key metrics will drive our future success.

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