Annette Wolford, director sales & business development at Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar, recently shared the company’s plans for 2014 with Auto Service Professional.
ASP: In 2011 you launched the Magneti Marelli by Mopar program. Tell us about the success of that program and your goals for 2014?
Wolford: The program has been very successful, it has helped the Chrysler Group dealerships expand their business by also working on competitive make vehicles, it has helped them improve their bottom line while also cutting dependency on their competition and last but not least they have increase customer satisfaction and shop efficiency by using quality Magneti Marelli products. The goals for 2014 is to make an even bigger impact into the independent aftermarket through increased communication and sales/marketing campaigns. The independent repair facilities who have tried our product, already love it and know the benefit they get from it but now we have to communicate this to many more wholesale customers so they can also take their business to the next level by using our parts.
ASP: Do you have any plans for extending distribution beyond oarticipating Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat dealerships?
Wolford: The plan is to expand into the independent aftermarket through the Chrysler Group dealerships. The dealerships are already doing collision as well as mechanical wholesale business and the aftermarket parts line allows the Chrysler dealerships to be the one-stop shop for all of the needs of their wholesale customer, for any vehicle they are working on.
ASP: Tell us about your all makes strategy? What vehicle makes are included? How deep is your coverage?
Wolford: The Magneti Marelli All Makes line includes a wide variety of makes with a strong focus on all Ford and GM family brands as well as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia and more. Especially the new brake pad expansion focused on European applications (VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc.) as well as fleet and HD applications.
The target coverage for all product lines is 85% of the VIO in the market. Some product lines make it easier to reach this target with a limited number of part number and other product lines are more complex and are in process.
ASP: How comprehensive is your program for both maintenance and repair parts? Tell us about your diagnostic tool program. Do these tools provide solutions for all makes as well?
Wolford: We have over 30 product lines now of maintenance and repair parts, it’s a comprehensive program including filters, brakes, shocks/struts, starters/alternators, water pumps, spark plugs, spark plug wires, ignition coils, batteries, chassis, and so much more. Further additions of product lines are also still in the works so next comes fuel injectors, A/C components, tire pressure monitoring systems, and much more. We collect feedback from our customers which products they desire and need and we work to fill that need.
The Diagnostic tool program is very exciting and repair shops who have tried it already like it a lot. It provides coverage for a wide variety of applications including all makes, e.g. Chrysler, GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan to align with our parts program but also here the focus is to expand this coverage quickly to include a very complete all makes solution. The Magneti Marelli diagnostic tools however also provide some unique and very functions including oscilloscope capabilities and user friendly easy to use functions. We have several models which are light weight and compact stand-alone or PC ready designs.
ASP: Tell us about your racing sponsorships with NHRA, Indy Car and American Le Mans racing series?
Wolford: We have been very excited to have received such a great exposure with Matt Hagan and his NHRA funny car in 2013. Hagan has been an extra-ordinary spokesperson for us and we are so proud and happy how well he and his team have been doing this season winning five races and finishing 2nd in the overall championship. Also co-sponsored NHRA Pro-Stock driver Allen Johnson has been doing extremely well again in 2013 with four wins and also 2nd in the overall championship. Allen has helped us build our brand by maximizing his time in the spotlight.
2013 was also exciting as the first year for Magneti Marelli to be involved in Indy Car sponsorship together with driver Simon Pagenaud and racing team Schmidt-Peterson who have been very successful going from Rookie of Year 2012 to 3rd in the championship in 2013 with 2 wins in the season. In Indy Car Magneti Marelli also provides high performance racing components to support the racing teams in their quest of the championship.
ASP: Do you have specific fleet maintenance programs available thru participating dealers?
Wolford: Mopar in conjunction w/ the Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar all makes product line offers specific fleet service programs at the dealership for oil changes as well as brake replacements for fleets with competitive make vehicles.
ASP: What new programs or products are you offering at AAPEX? Tell us about your all makes battery program?
Wolford: The most recently launched product lines are ignition coils and batteries. The battery program is unique as it is a joint program between Mopar & Magneti Marelli covering Chrysler and competitive makes combined. The program consists of a total of 30 batteries (20 Mopar branded batteries & 10 Magneti Marelli branded batteries) which both together cover the vast majority of vehicles in the market. The high quality combined with a no hassle 24 month free replacement warranty and competitive pricing will provide the dealerships an unmatched advantage to compete in the market.