Ford couplingFord has announced a new aftermarket service called Parts Plus that will make it the first OEM to offer a full range of parts directly to independent repairers in the UK. The direct sales channel for trade parts is also a first for Ford globally.

The company is planning to establish 84 Parts Plus centres, with the first opening this summer. The outlets will supply Ford and Motorcraft parts, as well as the company’s Omnicraft range, which provides parts for non-Ford vehicles.

Parts Plus trade customers will also receive technical support on how to repair Ford vehicles and marketing advice on how to grow their business in an increasingly complex and competitive market, Ford said.

The company said each Parts Plus centre was being created to ensure there was customer service continuity from current Ford dealers.

Existing delivery arrangements to the network will not fundamentally change, a company spokesperson told Automotive Logistics. “Any additional deliveries required to support Parts Plus centres will be made through the existing distribution infrastructure,” she added.

Richard Allott has been appointed operations director for Parts Plus, after five years as operations director at TrustFirst Parts’ UK business, part of the OEM’s dealer network, Ford Retail.

Though Parts Plus is new for Ford, there are no firm plans at present for it to be introduced elsewhere in the world. “There are a number of factors that will affect the applicability of this business model in other markets and [they] will be subject to a case-by-case evaluation,” the spokesperson said.