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Automotive Chassis, Steering & Suspension Parts

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This forum is for automotive chassis, steering, and suspension parts related topics that are not specific enough for other forum areas. 

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    • Thank you, either of those should work. I might need to also look for a longer charging cord because it plugs into the center console right at the base of the hand brake. Thanks again!
    • New York (CNN Business) - Amazon is gunning to sell more car parts. But it will run up against fierce resistance from a small army of firmly established companies already doing just that. One of them is Advance Auto Parts. Advance has designed a vast logistics network to deliver parts to auto mechanics and do-it-yourself car owners right away. "Independent garages have got to get that car fixed as fast as possible, or you're not going to them again," said Charlie O'Shea, lead retail analyst at Moody's. "They measure delivery times in hours and minutes, not days." Speed isn't the only factor separating Advance (AAP), AutoZone (AZO) and O'Reilly (ORLY) from Amazon (AMZN). These companies have sharpened their focus on service, helping guide customers through repairs and the technical auto parts market.     Wall Street believes in the companies' long-term durability: Advance and O'Reilly's stocks have outpaced Amazon's this year.   Amazon's moves into car parts But Amazon looms. The company started the Amazon Automotive store in 2006 and has been adding services ever since. "Amazon's auto-part retail business is becoming too big to ignore," MoffettNathanson analyst Greg Melich said in a report last month.   It has recently accelerated efforts to sell car tires, batteries and accessories. The company struck a partnership with Sears that allows customers to buy Sears tires from Amazon and get them shipped to Sears Auto Centers around the country for installation. Amazon expanded a tie-up with Pep Boys earlier this month for a similar service at 1,000 of Pep Boys' stores. Amazon also has an agreement with Monro Muffler Brake. "We're pleased with the customer response to our Ship-To-Store offering," Amazon's director of automotive Adam Goetsch told CNN Business.   Amazon is adding more brands to its website and trying to get customers familiar with buying parts online. During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday stretch Amazon promoted car battery jump starters and wiper blades for the first time. They're 30% off until December 1. Goetsch said the most popular automotive products among Amazon customers this holiday season included jump starters, wiper blades, cleanings kits, and RV accessories. That makes sense because more DIY customers are shopping online for components and accessories that they don't immediately need to repair their cars. Amazon may want to sell more hard parts, like engines, crankshafts and flywheels. Online sales of components like brakes and fuel systems grew 29% in the past year, according to data from NPD Group and Rakuten Intelligence. "These categories have historically been challenging for the typical consumer to shop online for, but this task is getting easier," NPD analyst Nathan Shipley said in a report. But those hard parts sales remain in Advance's wheelhouse. Lightning-fast delivery Advance may seem like an unlikely company to thrive in the digital era, but the old-school car shop has taken steps to prepare for Amazon's encroachment. Advance has close to 6,400 stores — some of them under banners like Carquest and Worldpac — and 54 distribution centers that put them close enough to its customers to make same-day or next-day delivery a snap. It has also built larger "hub" stores in higher-traffic markets that keep more items in stock. The company makes around 58% of its sales to technicians at garages, service stations and auto dealers, who often don't know what parts they'll need until the day begins. Rapid delivery is critical.   Advance Auto Parts has bult out a rapid logistics network to meet customers' parts needs. "There's a huge need for inventory availability and quick delivery out there," said Seth Basham, who covers the industry at Wedbush Securities. Although Amazon is looking to find retail partners, it would need to acquire an auto parts seller with similar distribution capabilities to be able to match Advance's same-day network. "You're not going to use Whole Foods to deliver auto parts to a garage. A brick-and-mortar presence is critical here," O'Shea said. Auto parts experts Advance offers expert solutions in a complex auto parts market, something Amazon can't provide. Staffers consult with customers to find the right products, and Advance offers training classes and posts on YouTube to help DIYers with repair jobs. Amazon is known for its variety, but Advance sells a wider range of national brands, private-labels, and original equipment from manufacturers. "The garage owners love this model," O'Shea said. "You need somebody that has deep knowledge and knows the parts catalog backwards and forwards." Adding to its advantage, Advance has close relationships with auto parts suppliers. Many manufacturers are wary of selling through Amazon because they worry that it would help the company learn the business and one day take it over.   Analysts say carrying hundreds of thousands of different parts is ill-suited to a company without deep experience in the field. Amazon might have trouble stocking and selling bulky physical components and batteries — new engines, brakes, and exhausts — which are specific to a car's make and model. On the other hand, selling car parts and batteries make up 65% of Advance's total sales. But the company will need to keep adjusting its prices to keep up with Amazon's relentless focus on providing value. A MoffettNathanson analysis found that Amazon's prices were 29% lower than traditional competitors on 30 top-selling items. Advance risks losing its edge with such a wide pricing gap. A new Walmart deal But Advance should get a lift from its newest partner: Walmart (WMT). Advance struck a deal last month with the world's largest retailer for a specialty store page on Walmart's website. It believes the tie-up will allow it to increase its visibility online and reach more DIYers. Advance may see selling through Walmart as safer ground than Amazon. "I don't know that Walmart wants to start manufacturing auto parts," O'Shea said. The Walmart partnership is key because it will bring Advance into Walmart's 2,500 auto care centers around the country. Leveraging Walmart's store footprint will help Advance expand same-day delivery as competition intensifies and Amazon finds ways to speed up parts delivery. "The biggest challenge Advance faces is still the online channel. That's the concern investors have out there," Basham said. "How quickly do solutions by online players develop to become more material threats?"   Source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/29/business/advance-auto-parts-oreilly-autozone/index.html
    • A six-year old startup has gotten the attention of a 93-year old industry stalwart. PartTech has announced that it is partnering with NAPA Auto Parts, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC), to open e-commerce sales distribution channels to an industry that is heavily reliant on retail location, aftermarket shops, and dealership sales. Led by co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Erik St. Pierre, PartsTech is taking head-on the complexity of selling auto parts and making waves in the $73 billion-per-year wholesale auto parts industry. While most anything can be purchased online these days, online automotive parts sales have been only started gaining traction in recent years. St. Pierre attributes that to the complexity of the business.  “Unlike most product categories that are relatively simple to describe and display online, auto parts are unique due to their complex relationships to particular vehicles, and often to other parts," St. Pierre said. "For example, a brake rotor may only fit your Jetta if the car had been manufactured in a certain date range and came with the sport package. Auto parts sales are esoteric enough that even online-retail giants have struggled, and continue to struggle, with automotive parts." According to PartsTech, 75 percent of commercial parts orders are still placed over the phone. PartsTech allows buyers to log in and search for needed auto parts and find which stores closest to them have the part in stock and, if possible, can deliver it to their location. Using PartsTech’s search functionality speeds up the process because one search replaces many phone calls. PartsTech isn’t the fronting page most consumers will see when they access NAPA’s online shopping site. Instead, PartsTech works like a site that aggregates travel deals, but for auto parts, connecting repair shops and parts suppliers to the parts they need in their local area.  “In the same way that Expedia acts as an aggregation platform that brings together providers like Delta or American Airlines so that you don't have to waste time visiting 10 airline websites to book a trip, we help aggregate over 20,000 parts stores across the U.S. so that repair shops can search once, and find the parts they need to repair your car,” explained St. Pierre. There are 160,000 repair shops in the U.S. Since PartsTech's 2012 founding they have added 55 percent of those stores to their parts catalogue. Their technology also has integrated their parts ordered system within 25 shop management systems, allowing for parts to be purchased using existing work orders. PartsTech’s data shows that users who are integrated via SMS order 64 percent more parts than those working only with PartsTech.com.  With its NAPA Auto Parts and Advance Auto Parts partnership among others, PartsTech aims to help vehicle owners get back out on the road sooner. “We originally built the PartsTech system for professional repair shops, but professionals and enthusiasts share a common pain point: not having a central source to track a particular car part, which is often identified while the car is torn apart," St. Pierre said. "To get cars back on the road, time is of the essence." PartsTech estimates that most parts stores deliver parts to their commercial customers in 30 to 45 minutes. As generational turnover of auto repair shops continues to evolve the industry, PartsTech sees room for expansion. Additional partners will be announced in 2019.     Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2018/12/13/automotive-minute-napa-auto-parts-partners-with.html
    • Plastics are various monomers based on petroleum, natural gas and coal, which are produced by complex chemical reactions such as polymerization, resin bonding, resin addition and condensation. Its properties are light material (1/8 of steel), with high strength, good chemical stability, corrosion resistance, good insulation, good wear resistance, good noise and shock absorption, easy processing and forming. In automobiles, it is mainly used for the manufacture of interior fittings, such as dashboard and liner, sundry box, steering wheel, joystick, interior panel, seat armrest, door liner, various filling materials, etc. There are also car accessories, such as seals, bumper panels, fenders, skirts, decorations, hoses, shock absorber gaskets, handles and so on. Plastics are also used in other applications, such as air filter housing, fan blades, various sensor electrical housing, and some gears. With the continuous improvement of the performance of advanced engineering plastics, they are being developed and applied in the parts of engine hatch, roof and luggage rack of automobiles. Plastics are divided into thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. Thermoplastic softens after heating, which is plasticity and processability, and hardens after cooling. If it is softened after reheating, it hardens after cooling. This process can be repeated without affecting its structure and performance. For example, polyfluoroethylene, polystyrene, polyamide (also known as nylon) and so on, they have simple moulding process, high production efficiency and certain mechanical properties, but low heat resistance and rigidity. Thermoplastics are most widely used in automobiles. Commonly used are: ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene), PP (polypropylene), PE (polyethylene), etc. Chongqing Feilong Jiangli thermoplastic products are mainly body cushion, shock absorber bracket, sealing ring and so on.
    • Very informative. We hoped that some car battery manufacturers can innovate for having resistant to extreme climate like summer or winter.
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