FCA US LLC intends to spend almost $23 million to construct two massive Mopar distribution centers this year as it looks to speed the delivers of parts and accessories to dealers working to meet the growing number of consumers who want to trick out their rides.
The Winchester, Va. facility, which cost $12.2 million and employs 70 people working on two shifts, opened this spring. The Romulus, Mich. site is slated to open in the third quarter and employ more than 100 workers. Combined, the two centers are expected to churn out 54 million parts annually.
The right part at the right time
The expansion comes at the intersection of two trends. Consumers want to customize their vehicles with more features that fit their lifestyle. Those features range from rooftop bike racks to all-weather floor mats.
Mopar, meanwhile, continues increasing the number of accessories FCA drivers can buy for their vehicles. For example, more than 90 different “personalization” parts are being offered for the all-new Jeep Compass alone. Some of the parts include custom-molded splash guards and a “bright pedal kit” for the brake and accelerator pedals.
The Compass is just beginning to roll into North American showrooms.
“Every time a customer brings his or her car to one of our dealerships, they expect prompt and efficient service, with minimum downtime and disruption in their lives,” Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global, said in a speech at the opening of the Virginia facility. “A key element to achieve this goal is to deliver the right part at the right time.”
The Virginia location covers 400,000 square feet and will house more than 50,000 different parts. The parts will be distributed more than 200 FCA US dealerships located primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region as well as some locations in the East Coast, Midwest and South. The Michigan facility will encompass 500,000 square feet and employ more than 100 workers. Preliminary construction work has already begun with a targeted opening in the third quarter. The two facilities will increase the number of parts distribution centers to 23 in North America.
Mopar – a contraction of the words “motor” and “parts” is currently celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. The brand started as the name of a line of antifreeze products and has now evolved to encompass service, parts and customer care around the world.