Houston, TX – Many ABPA members are familiar with the fact that the Association is based in Texas with strong routes dating back to Texas resident and late Executive Director Stan Rodman managing the ABPA from his Texas-based office starting in the early eighties. What many people may not realize is that Texas has one of the largest concentrations of ABPA members compared to other states (Florida and California rank highly as well). With a couple of days free on my schedule, I took the opportunity to take a quick trip to the Dallas area and visit four prominent ABPA members; AutoNation, New World, National Autobody Parts and TYGP.
Relatively new to the ABPA is the dealership giant AutoNation which joined the Association only a couple of years back in 2017. Once I heard that they had a large warehouse in nearby Grand Prairie I knew I had to make a visit. Greeting me at their facility was Jennifer Solis who is a long-time parts director for nearby AutoNation Chevrolet. Now working in the aftermarket division, she was generous enough to give a tour of their new facility. Professionally managed by third-party company XPO Logistics, the AutoNation facility was one of the cleanest parts warehouses that I have ever seen. Helping the situation was that it is a brand-new building with most of the inventory being freshly imported as well. After a thorough tour, one thing that was different from my facility tours at other member’s locations was the clear lack of delivery vans and office personnel such as Customer Service reps. This is due to AutoNation doing things a bit differently; the warehouse in Grand Prairie services five area hubs which are other AutoNation dealerships. The parts are then delivered from the dealerships on the same delivery vehicles as the OE parts. All incoming calls from customers are handled by the parts counter reps at the dealerships. The location here in Grand Prairie is just one of many AutoNation warehouses that are strategically located in the US for aftermarket distribution.
National Autobody Parts Warehouse
After the AutoNation tour, it was time to head over to the other side of Grand Prairie and meet up with Mike Dolabi, owner of National Autobody Parts Warehouse and President of the ABPA Board. Mike started National Autobody Parts Warehouse in the early ’90s and has built it up into one of the largest parts distributors in Texas. Located in an industrial section of town amongst many repair shops, National Autobody Parts Warehouse’s building stands out among the others and has amazing curb appeal with its clean white façade. It doesn’t stop there with his impressive facility. Once inside, customers are greeted by a large lobby with high ceilings and the ability to order parts right at the counter as they walk in. Behind the counter is the vast modern office space with glass walls. Mike was generous enough to provide a facility tour into a large building he has expanded multiple times since moving in 1998. Even though his building is much older than the previously mentioned AutoNation building, it was just as clean and well organized. Each ABPA member stores the various product groups in slightly different manners including the bumper covers, lights, sheet metal, etc. National Autobody Parts Warehouse’s immaculate warehouse showcased various methods that were not only esthetically pleasing, but also efficient. In addition to their facility in Grand Prairies, National Autobody Parts Warehouse also has a relatively new location in Pflugerville TX which is near San Antonio.
New World International
Continuing the tour of Texas brought me to New World International’s headquarters located in Irving, TX. The Tsai family, led by patriarch Peter Tsai, started New World in the early eighties and have had their headquarters located at the current Irving location for over 17 years. Joseph Tsai, ABPA Board VP and VP of New World, was gracious enough to give me a full tour
Once inside, it was apparent that they have a very robust walk-in customer business. Many of the waiting area seats were taken and the customer service reps were quite busy shuffling their attentions between counter customers and overflow phone calls. In addition, the parking lot was full of customer vehicles with parts being loaded. Each ABPA member seems to do a varying amount of walk-in business but given New World’s convenient location only 15 minutes from downtown Dallas, it is easy to see why they are so busy. In addition to their location in Irving, New World also has multiple locations throughout Texas and surrounding states. Inside their large warehouse, one can tell that New World moves a large quantity of parts based on the sheer activity of the warehouse personnel.
Tong Yang Group Products (TYGP)
For many years, Jeff Chen and Daniel Tsai of TYGP have been requesting that I visit their production facility in McKinney, TX. McKinney is a booming town located approximately 45 minutes north of Dallas. Having moved into their currently facility in 1997, TYGP has expanded their operation over the years and have two main buildings; one for production of bumper covers and the other for warehousing TYG products from both McKinney and Taiwan. Upon arrival, I was greeted by Jeff Chen who is the President of TYGP. After watching a brief promotional video in their conference room, Jeff brought me to the production facility for a tour. Leading the tour was Jeff, Daniel Tsai, Shannon Lui and Chuck Duty. At various points in the production line, various TYGP employees gave detailed product demonstrations.
Of special note to the tour is the new change in water born primer application that TYGP is utilizing on select product lines. In the very near future, TYGP will be releasing the details along with a new promotional video which will outline the exciting innovations of the new process. Stay tuned to the ABPA Website and Body Language emails for the announcement!
Once the impressive and educational tour of the production line ended, the TYGP group continued the tour to their second building which warehouses parts for their wholesale customers. Containers are imported with popular parts from their Taiwan facility and stored here for fast shipping to their North American customers. Once the tour was complete, the TYGP group were kind to take me out for a true Texas BBQ lunch experience at nearby Hutchins BBQ. I will be back!