The main purpose of the project is to test and run through the implementation process and the new trade parts management software, which will be used by the 60 Volkswagen Group Trade Parts Specialists.
These specialist outlets are scheduled to be up and running between May and September 2007, and will be established from current authorized repairers within the existing retail network.
Angus Fitton, press officer at Volkswagen, says: “The result of this focus is a massive reduction in costs and less duplication within the authorized repair network.
“For instance, it makes little sense to have two separate facilities within the same town with two sets of parts stocks plus two sets of staff and overheads.”
Volkswagen says updating its trade parts network is necessary due to an increase in demand for parts.
The network restructure is similar to Volvo’s new supply concept, which aims to set up 10 local distribution centres by the end of September 2007.
Peter Smith, product manager – ownership at Volvo, says: “Currently around half of our 145 dealer network sites have access to these centres, which are located in Luton, Bristol, Southampton and Crawley.
“A further centre opened in Wakefield at the end of September, and over the coming months we will be opening hubs in the north east, north west, Scotland and Birmingham area.
“We hope that this solution will deliver higher standards of customer service, which will eventually lead to increased sales.”
Volvo only sells directly to its franchised dealers, meaning these can continue to supply parts to trade.
Meanwhile, Ford has decided not to localize its parts distribution following a trial scheme in Wakefield.
A spokesman told AM: “Ford is always looking at different ways of doing things. But localizing our parts distribution is not something we’re considering at the moment.”