The new Alliance Truck Parts retail display, as recreated here for a press event, is the product of a redesign by shopping-experience experts.

DTNA positions Alliance to be leading aftermarket parts brand

July 18, 2018
Stand-alone Alliance Truck Parts stores will be part of a growth initiative, and the goal is to provide 'one-stop shopping' for parts customers.

YOUNTVILLE ,CA. Alliance Truck Parts has set its sights on becoming #1 in the all-makes parts segment, looking to match the market leadership enjoyed by Freightliner, another brand in the Daimler Trucks North America family, company executives explained Tuesday in a presentation to industry journalists. To get there, Alliance will leverage the DTNA network of dealers and distribution partners, add new products lines, and roll out in-dealership and standalone retail stores, optimized for an improved shopping experience.

“We understand we need to substantially up our game in the value segment of truck parts. We’re determined to be #1,” said Stefan Kurschner, senior vice president of Aftermarket for DTNA. “We are the undisputed market leader with our trucks, and we will be the undisputed market leader in parts as well.”

To grow its slice of the $30 billion aftermarket pie, Alliance will “substantially” increase the parts portfolio.  More than 15 new product lines and “thousands” of new parts from Alliance are scheduled to launch over the next several months. Additionally, Alliance will provide “one-stop shopping,” meaning parts will be available “where and when they’re needed the most,” Kurschner continued.

The key is to be able to offer a range of parts, whether they’re proprietary or nonproprietary.

“The first step is realizing that customers have specific needs for their level of quality,” said John Finn, John Finn, director, Aftermarket Marketing. “They want quality, but they don’t necessarily need something that’s going to last for 10 years. We want to give customers options.”

Of course, one-stop shopping requires a storefront, whether a building or a website. And while Alliance continues to develop its e-retail platform, the company has also brought in retail-experience experts to update and standardize the Alliance space at dealerships. And, even as e-commerce has shuttered brick-and-mortar outlets across the country, Alliance has begun a pilot program, in cooperation with area DTNA truck dealers, to validate stand-alone parts stores in under-served locations.

Finn likened the program to the introduction of the hugely successful Apple Store concept, initially criticized for going against the trend.

“We believe there’s a sweet spot,” Finn said. “There are still a lot of purchases and transactions that go through a retail environment in trucking. And a lot of customers are not going to dealerships.”

Additionally, to support both dealer warranty work and aftermarket parts sales, DTNA will open its 10th parts distribution center in the Phoenix area next year. Phoenix was selected because, together with the other parts distribution centers, it supports DTNA’s ability to provide next-day delivery to more than 90 percent of its U.S. dealer order volume. DTNA’s existing network already reaches more than 80 percent of the U.S.

“You can’t sell truck parts—or any goods and services anymore—without superior logistics,” Finn said. He also noted that “last mile delivery” is nothing new in trucking: Parts are already being delivered to some customers “two or three times a day.”

The facility in Phoenix will be the fourth parts distribution center opened by DTNA in just over two years. DTNA has also recently opened new parts distribution center in Des Moines, Indianapolis and Dallas.

“Having and delivering the right parts for our customers when and where they need them, as quickly as possible, is essential to uptime and achieving the 24-hour or less repair turnaround time,” said Kurschner. “We have the industry’s largest network, and we have an impressive depth of products and service capabilities, but we’re just getting started.

“Our commitment to all of our customers, especially Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit, Thomas Built Bus, and Freightliner Custom Chassis, drives us to keep raising the bar. And that will never end.”

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor