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GM launching site to sell parts directly

Other digital offerings in pipeline by Tribune News Service | January 19, 2022 at 2:04 a.m.

In its drive to add revenue from sales of software and services, General Motors is launching an online parts store that will give GM vehicle owners the ability to buy parts direct.

The automaker said Tuesday the store is just one of many new digital offerings coming to car buyers in the future. Those include buying accessories, over-the-air upgrades and subscriptions digitally, as well as the option to shop, purchase and finance electric vehicles entirely online.

"We are placing software and digital services at the center of every part of our business," said GM Chief Digital Officer Edward Kummer. "The future of GM retail lies at the intersection of digital and physical e-commerce."

GM's new online parts marketplace will make 45,000 repair and maintenance parts, such as oil filters, engine and cabin air filters, batteries, brake pads, accessory belts, cooling hoses and windshield wiper blades, available to Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac owners.

A GM spokesman said the automaker is not providing a launch date for the online parts store yet.

It will give customers the convenience of online shopping and physical retail all in one place, GM said. Customers can choose home delivery or to pick up their order at one of 800 participating GM dealers, where staff is available to answer questions.

But not so fast, said one Chevy dealer. He supports offering customers the convenience of e-commerce and an ability to research parts before purchase, but he said there might be some "kinks to work out."

"On the service end, I appreciate the offering for a customer to do research," said Paul Zimmermann, partner in Matick Automotive, which owns two dealerships in the Detroit area. "Yet with the complexity of vehicles and what a vehicle specifically needs ... I shudder to think of a customer ordering an oil filter and they come to pick it up at the dealership and we have to say it's not the right one."

Zimmermann said Matick Chevrolet will participate in GM's new online parts marketplace to support the growing interest in digital shopping among car buyers.

"The more information you have access to is always a good thing regardless of the industry," Zimmermann said. "How much of a game changer this is for a customer? I think it's a tool they can do research with, but more folks will still want to have access to an expert on what goes on what."

GM launched online accessory sales in 2015 and currently sells all of its 5,000 accessory products online.

This latest initiative goes toward GM's revenues targets outlined on Investor Day in October. At that time, GM projected it will reach annual software and services revenue of $20 billion to $25 billion from an estimated 30 million connected vehicles by the end of the decade.

GM also plans to offer parts, accessories, digital products delivered over-the-air and subscriptions through a single digital storefront.

GM said in the future its digital retail platform will allow customers to shop, purchase and finance electric vehicles either entirely online.

GM is also extending its subscription services platform, but it is not yet offering details, Tingwall said.

Print Headline: GM launching site to sell parts directly

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