SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holding Corp., recently completed the third phase in the expansion of its Garage Gurus technical training centers, giving it 12 facilities across 10 states.
Federal-Mogul debuted its network of technical training and product support resources in the spring of 2015, calling it a “first-of-its-kind comprehensive technical education platform” offering “onsite, online and on-demand training” for automotive service businesses.
“It all started from this demand for training and this strategy of, if we could just take our 40-year-old Moog training center in St. Louis that was loved by many…and just somehow take that out to all these other markets, that would really be fantastic,” said Brent Berman, director, training and consumer experience, Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “So we did that, and we built out all these centers and locations.”
An element of Federal-Mogul's “Tech First” initiative — aimed at strengthening training support for automotive service professionals — Garage Gurus opened its first four training facilities in Skokie, Ill.; Van Nuys, Calif.; St. Louis; and New York City's Bronx borough.
The company's second phase of expansion included new training centers in Atlanta; Baltimore; Dallas/Ft. Worth; and Rancho Dominguez, Calif. Finally, the Garage Gurus network expanded into Detroit; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla; Houston; and Stoughton, Mass.
Mr. Berman said each market was selected based on its proximity to a large number of technicians.
“The markets were all strategically picked, not based on our distribution footprint or anything like that,” Mr. Berman said. “They were strictly based on technician- and shop-penetration demographic information. We knew that the consumer, the client…was the end technician because we identified that was the void we kept hearing about from customers.”
At the initial launch of Garage Gurus, Federal-Mogul said it was seeking to open 15 service centers by year-end 2015, with an end goal of 20 locations.
Mr. Berman said that number is still a possibility, but the company is taking time to gauge the success of its current facilities before deciding on further expansion.
“I think we're going to walk and measure, walk and measure before we run,” Mr. Berman said. “We had a very aggressive rollout last year throughout the year.”
He noted that Federal-Mogul expects to know by December where the program is headed in terms of expansion.