DETROIT (Feb. 27, 2017) — Ford Motor Co. expects its new Omnicraft brand of aftermarket parts for non-Ford and non-Lincoln vehicles to boost business at the company's franchised Quick Lane service centers and potentially entice more dealers to open a Quick Lane outlet.
On average, vehicles other than Ford- and Lincoln-brand cars and trucks account for about a fourth of the service volume at the nearly 900 Quick Lane centers in the U.S. and Canada, but that figure is as high as 50 percent at some stores, according to Brett Wheatley, executive director of Ford's customer service division in North America.
"Up to this point, we haven't had the parts" for other brands beyond such basics as wiper blades, filters and oil, Mr. Wheatley said.
Before the auto maker launched the Omnicraft parts brand in January, Ford and Lincoln dealers had to buy non-Ford parts from other suppliers, a process that was inefficient and probably more expensive, Mr. Wheatley said.
Ford launched Quick Lane in 1997 as a pilot program. There are now 815 Quick Lane centers in the U.S., some as stand-alone stores and others integrated into some of Ford's 3,200 U.S. dealerships.
Some Ford dealers have complained it was tough to make the business case for a center that mostly sells low-margin, basic replacement parts and routine maintenance service, especially in a stand-alone store.