Mazda vehicles arriving from Japan into the US West Coast are now being prepared at WW Solutions’ processing centre (VPC) in Los Angeles before delivery to dealers.

The new business began in November and all facets of the pre-dispatch work are overseen at the VPC, including placement and inspection of vehicle protectors, floor mats, splash guards and tow hitches, before they are delivered to dealers by rail and truck.

The majority of Mazda’s current vehicle line-up produced in Japan will be serviced at the VPC. WW Solutions will also oversee storage and maintenance.

The company, part of Norway’s Wallenius Wilhelmsen shipping line, says the Japanese carmaker turned to it to ensure a consistent flow of vehicles for dealers and customers in California as speed is paramount when it comes to resupplying dealers with the right vehicles at the right time. 

Rob Milne, senior director of the supply chain management and technical services division at Mazda North American Operations, added: “Thanks to its rail capacity to central US markets and local truck distribution to southern California dealers, the VPC offers us a competitive advantage.

“We need to remain flexible in these changing market conditions and the processing centre in LA provides us with the agility we need to react to the market and customer needs.”

WW Solutions’ operations manager Andrew Prior commented: “We are well placed to meet Mazda’s quality standards and ensure on-time delivery to the dealer/customer for optimal inventory efficiency.”

To make the process as streamlined and cost-effective as possible, the VPC is using Mazda’s vehicle inventory management system, E-port, to gather real-time status information and generate reports to support WW Solutions’ processing efficiencies, he said, adding the OEM benefits from seamless operations from receipt to departure because the VPC manages the full scope of vehicle processing and accessorisation,

WW Solutions says close collaboration between the companies has enabled them to develop a robust supply chain.

Before arrival of the first vehicles in November, Mazda sent a team of accessory installers, engineers, dealers and quality assurance specialists to the VPC to provide training and ensure that WW Solutions had all the support needed for a successful launch.

“Maintaining a mutual understanding with open lines of communication is key to continuing to develop an efficient and cost-effective process,” Prior said.

WW Solutions is expecting to prepare around 55,000 Mazda vehicles a year at the Los Angeles VPC. The Los Angeles area is carmaker’s largest Californian market.