Ford Motor confirmed that it will be expanding its customer service division with their new Omnicraft brand of aftermarket parts to cover other vehicle brands. Officials said that the expansion will allow dealers to service between 85 and 90 percent of competitive makes, providing more business. Also, this will be the first time that the automaker's service division will be adding a new brand in 50 years.
President of the automaker's customer service division, Frederiek Toney, mentioned that the global business for automotive parts, which is now more than $500 billion, and service will increase by 70 percent in the next six years or so. Toney didn't mention how much the global market the automaker wants to get, but said that in the coming years, the company would be happy if 10 to 15 percent of its auto parts sales were from Omnicraft.
Suppliers will be producing the parts, and Ford will sell them at a profit but said that they will be competitively priced, in part to attract several independent repair shops and its own dealers. This plan will surely allow dealers to expand repairs and service business, as well as offer a chance to persuade owners to look over the company's new cars and trucks while they are at the dealership.
Omnicraft parts will be first sold at the automakers and Lincoln dealerships. Currently, there are 3,200 in the United States and 10,500 globally. Toney added that Omnicraft will be very active in the company's major markets around the world.
The numbers of vehicles will increase, so as the need for more auto parts, Toney said. Especially in mature car markets such as the United States and Europe.
Executive director of North America Ford customer service division, Brett Wheatley, said the decision was focused on growth. "It's something where we have a parts pie, and we just want to have the largest slice of that," he said. "We're very, very bullish." In the U.S. market today, the average age of every car on the road is more than 11 years.