Chrysler expands parts & service division

April 6, 2010 at 11:20 AM

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 6 (UPI) -- U.S. automaker Chrysler LLC is building up its parts and service division in the wake of a prolonged sales slump, executives and industry analysts said.

The company's parts and accessories company, Mopar, is a "huge asset, if managed properly," said Gary Dilts, senior vice president at J.D. Power and Associates, an industry research firm.

"When there is no longer traffic in the showroom, dealers turned their attention to parts and service in a way they never had before," Pietro Gorlier, a former Fiat executive who runs Mopar, was quoted as saying in an article in The Detroit News Tuesday.

Chrysler has set a goal of bumping its average of $400 in accessory sales per vehicle to an average of $600 within five years.

Mopar now handles 10,000 accessories and has opened on online store.

"I want to sell everything that can be used by someone driving a car," Gorlier said.

Chrysler is also pushing dealerships to add more express lanes for oil changes and expand hours of service.

The company also faces the inconvenience caused for many customers seeking service when it closed 789 dealerships last year as part of its restructuring plan.

"We need to overcome the bad perception customers have of our dealers as not convenient," Gorlier said.

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