spare parts?????
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Default spare parts?????

    This thread could become sensitive as most of the sponsors fall into the category I'm about to talk about.

    Having just read about a fellow froggers inability to get r16 drive shafts new here in australia, the thought occurred to me that something is a bit wrong with this picture. The same has happened with fuego drive shafts, and probably a whole stack of other cars too.
    Either they are not in the country or the shop who has them is keeping them a big secret, either way, it doesn't matter when the customer goes offshore for the parts and establishes an ongoing relationship with a supplier.

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    Are the days of the local (australian) shop that supplies new parts for old french cars numbered???
    Its starting to look that way from where I stand, or my address book is way out of date.

    Can they compete in these days of globalisation????

    Are they even trying to, or are the only people interested in these things heading for retirement or moving into more lucrative markets ???

    I'm curious to what other enthusiast have observed, and what proportion of your parts budget gets spent offshore and for what reasons.

    I'm not out to bash up the australian shops that are still supplying, as I would much prefer to spend my money at a local shop even if it cost a bit more, and being a bit of a dinosaur myself, prefer the old school service where the person on the phone knows exactly what specific brown thingy it is I need, but sadly I feel this will not happen for too much longer.

    Jo

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    This thread could become sensitive as most of the sponsors fall into the category I'm about to talk about.

    Having just read about a fellow froggers inability to get r16 drive shafts new here in australia, the thought occurred to me that something is a bit wrong with this picture. The same has happened with fuego drive shafts, and probably a whole stack of other cars too.
    Either they are not in the country or the shop who has them is keeping them a big secret, either way, it doesn't matter when the customer goes offshore for the parts and establishes an ongoing relationship with a supplier.

    Are the days of the local (australian) shop that supplies new parts for old french cars numbered???
    Its starting to look that way from where I stand, or my address book is way out of date.

    Can they compete in these days of globalisation????

    Are they even trying to, or are the only people interested in these things heading for retirement or moving into more lucrative markets ???

    I'm curious to what other enthusiast have observed, and what proportion of your parts budget gets spent offshore and for what reasons.

    I'm not out to bash up the australian shops that are still supplying, as I would much prefer to spend my money at a local shop even if it cost a bit more, and being a bit of a dinosaur myself, prefer the old school service where the person on the phone knows exactly what specific brown thingy it is I need, but sadly I feel this will not happen for too much longer.

    Jo
    Jo

    Many of the old time businesses with stock ready on the shelves, find it hard to justify stocking expensive and very intermittent demand parts, and drive shafts fall into that category. We have been fortunate in having places like Carravelle, European imports, and other specialists like Dave Cavanagh who where possible try and keep customers happy as a service by stocking what they can of such parts.

    To buy them from overseas and then attempt to hold them for retail sale is almost prohibitive as there is not enough market off the shelf, to justify the expense of substantial capital tied up in a few items, even if buying in bulk. ( which in itself is risky, as many of these cars are no longer maintained as daily users, hence less turnover of wearing parts per Km traveled) The only way to justify such inventory, is to maintain a convenience for the "must have today at your price customer", i.e. generates some profit to capital invested.

    Higher local prices for "rocking horse poo parts" as we all know, generate a real culture shock in those of us with deep pockets and short arms. We forget the store holder not only has a need to give service to those that appreciate it, but also to service his need to make some money from his investment to pay, for rising rent and other business costs as well as feed his family etc. plus the hassle of sourcing replacement stock in rising markets, and dwindling sales.

    We rush to the internet and while our Australian dollar is strong we get an instant bargain delivered to our door, we then naturally advertise to all "how good is this, and how bad is the local rip-off.

    This makes it even harder for the local supplier to hold any level of such stock, unless, he is lucky enough to source other left on the shelf stock inventories from similar businesses that went broke, from poor inventory control - rising costs and shrinking market - and thankless consumers. He can be competitive and also accommodate, by selling that slow moving stock over time but even such slow moving items, must pay their way for the space they occupy in rented business premises - fact of business.

    Over the years as a car enthusiast I have seen and bought huge quantities of old picked over parts. You just can't justify holding on to them so you usually sell off most at bargain price to cover your outlay at least. Some you would hope to sell later near the price you would like to pay, if you needed the item. Buyers though usually want it at half what you paid for it. The only place you might realise a reasonable price is on the internet, like Ebay, IF you can put up with the hassle of post pack, slow mail services, high costs and the occasional fraud by a buyer who didn't want to pay premium insured mail and always claims the items never arrived.

    Personally I could not be bothered with selling on Ebay, though I have bought items without any problems in the early days. I would prefer to sell face to face but mostly its far below what the item "should" command, but nice to see someone a car owner getting a bargain!! Such is life.

    In recent years such redundant inventories have been drying up, there is less old stock and more rubbish = more rubbish carried and eventually junked so less opportunity to even get your money back or in my case, hopefully acquire parts for my personal use at a reasonable cost to justify storage and eventual use - and that becomes a moot point as you get older and less inclined to work on cars!!

    Its really a sign of the times - I try and keep buying new parts for my cars from the suppliers that do the right thing by us and stock fast moving parts, and also buy the occasional, slower to move off the shelf item they might find or be offered as that helps them carry redundant stock that some enthusiast just might need eventually. It then sits on my shelf and when I kick the bucket its still around to create a bargain find if enthusiasts are lucky and my family doesn't simply send the "junk" to the tip.

    My wife has always vowed that she will have an open sale day for car clubs to pick over everything "before the funeral" which won't bother me, but I hope she gets at least a fair price for some of my "treasures" I am sure "Australdi" will take charge of the haggling like she used to at the Swap Meets years ago - lots of fun..

    There is also a change for members of car clubs, its easy for car owners to form loose affiliations at almost no cost via the internet, but this loses the opportunity to feed back parts from deceased members into a club parts pool, or to source and make new "unobtainium" rare parts. Even that takes some dedication, organisation, and for many the effort and lack of appreciation sours the goodwill that most had when they entered such a project to benefit others (consider the many A/F threads where this sort of ill will raises its ugly head) it then gets back to everyman for himself with bragging rights for those that get in and buy up anywhere in the world.

    But even that changes, as world stocks become limited, opportunists buy up redundant stock and "unobtainium" is manufactured new under the strict dictum - you want it bad enough then pay what I ask or [email protected] off, and if you don't buy now the price will be higher tomorrow - that lasts until some enterprising business in China or India does a survey and undercuts that supplier - but by that time they have long departed the parts scheme.

    In going round the traps you get all sorts of stories that reflect that these are the issues facing us. For me its simply value and use the local supply houses so they continue in viable businesses, and buy for the future to help maintain more of the occasional use parts at reasonable prices. At least if they are in the country, they are available.

    I saw the Poms go through this with Austin seven parts, you could once go in and buy anything at the old traditional parts supply houses with huge redundant stocks held for the possibility that one day a pommy will stroll in and expect to pay the same price he did 20 years before. Then some Aussies over there for a "raid" event, actually went in and did them a deal - all that junk inventory - how much do you want for it. Bought up for a song really, and all now in Australia waiting to fall back into the hands of eager Aussie A7 owners or be exported back to pommy land (at a price).

    So look after your local supplier lest some overseas club "raid them" for all, unobtainium that we just expect our local dealers to hold at their expense just in case we might need it in 20 years...

    I am sure that others can add their experiences and opinions too.

    Ken

  3. #3
    bob
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    G'day,

    drive shafts seem to be reasonably available [rebuilt ?] from local specialists ? at least they have them on their sites & a bloke see about once a year who works in one of these places has said in the past that the fug is "no worries".

    cheers,
    Bob

  4. #4
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    I think the time has come, unfortunately, to buy all car parts, for old and new vehicles, off shore. I'm all for supporting the local guy down the road (keep it within your own economy) but when you're being shafted like there's no tomorrow, tough.

    These offshore people are starting to do well, as people amalgamate orders for multiple cars to save on freight.
    Cheers,
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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    This thread could become sensitive as most of the sponsors fall into the category I'm about to talk about.

    Having just read about a fellow froggers inability to get r16 drive shafts new here in australia, the thought occurred to me that something is a bit wrong with this picture. The same has happened with fuego drive shafts, and probably a whole stack of other cars too.
    Either they are not in the country or the shop who has them is keeping them a big secret, either way, it doesn't matter when the customer goes offshore for the parts and establishes an ongoing relationship with a supplier.

    Are the days of the local (australian) shop that supplies new parts for old french cars numbered???
    Its starting to look that way from where I stand, or my address book is way out of date.

    Can they compete in these days of globalisation????

    Are they even trying to, or are the only people interested in these things heading for retirement or moving into more lucrative markets ???

    I'm curious to what other enthusiast have observed, and what proportion of your parts budget gets spent offshore and for what reasons.

    I'm not out to bash up the australian shops that are still supplying, as I would much prefer to spend my money at a local shop even if it cost a bit more, and being a bit of a dinosaur myself, prefer the old school service where the person on the phone knows exactly what specific brown thingy it is I need, but sadly I feel this will not happen for too much longer.

    Jo
    I think this is the way of the global economy. Local economies have to adapt or disappear. And I think the old discussion "support local ecomony" vs support your own finances does not apply any more. Everything needs to be thought of in global terms. Local markets no longer have the power to influence outcomes. Not even big economies such as the US, Japan or the EU, etc. We all are subjects of very simple economic factors.

    And one more thing. Don't think that by buying local you support the little guy. You are supporting an industry which has imposed that we pay import duty on everything just so they remain competitive. That money I regard as wasted, as I am not interested in any of the products of the local car industry. Soon enough said industry will have a hard job arguing why we have to keep protecting them. And if we sign FTAs with everybody, then there will be no import duty on the parts and the local industry will be dead anyway.

    Running a car which by all accounts is an oddity in the local market is (and always was) an unfeasible enterprise. It only worked as long as one could find their own source of parts second hand, overseas or in niche suppliers, all of these with limited stocks and possibilites for future supply.

    But that is the case with just about everything else. Not a problem if we are talking about consumer goods like fridges or vacuum cleaners where the economics are simple. When the repair bill is highe rthan cost, simply replace. There are however things like cars where the situation is a bit more complicated. As far as I understand, local legislation makes it compulsory for cars imported to Australia to be supported for 20 years but after that you're on your own. Small after market manufacturers, suppliers, etc enter this market but for how long can they help you keep your car on the road is anyone's guess.

    Just like you I would be interested to hear from these people who have my simpathy for trying to keep their bussiness alive whilst helping us, but I don't think they can compete in a global market. As part stocks shrink worldwide though, this may not be a foregone conclusion.

    As mr Harvey has pointed out it is difficult to compete against countries where there is no tax at least as long as we do not pay import duty on goods purchased overseas. True, some of the big retailers' (like mr Harvey's shops) prices are marked up intolerably and they wouldn't win back sales even if we paid import tax, but I don't think this is the case with the small suppliers we deal with in the french car parts bussiness.

    New cars are not any different. Parts come from imports anyway.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 13th February 2011 at 02:43 AM.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default aussie suppliers

    G/DAY ALL,
    Is it time we put up a list with all known frog suppliers on it (supporters of AF first ) so if we are after a part we can exhaust locals first before going off shore ?
    Cheers Peter.

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Andrew Ch's Avatar
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    Just to provide an answer to Jo's original post without a political statement on import duties and the global economy I probably buy 50% local and 50% imported.

    Any item that the local can supply such as gaskets, heater matrix, blinkers etc are generally something I want in a hurry so I can work on the car and for the same reason I purchase from Peugeot spare parts when genuine parts are necessary or better than aftermarket.

    Generally I find prices are fairly reasonable and I like dealing locally. But recently my dollar travelled overseas to purchase online a full set of coolant hoses in silicon to replace all in my 20 year old car. The full set of hoses is unavailable from Peugeot or Aftermarket suppliers in either rubber or silicon. The full set of 10 hoses from France $300 landed.

    But at the end of the day we're all trying to keep our older cars alive and the choice is ours where we buy parts from. By the way to all the people who feel they are being " shafted " every time the have to buy something for their older car that they own by choice it's a democracy out there.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    I think that is the way it is going sadly. For R8/R10 parts my order of phone calls are usually Caravelle, followed by French Connection, Colliers then anyone they may suggest. When they are all exhausted (usually with no success these days), then I hit the internet. And we are talking about serviceable parts like balljoints and windscreen rubbers, not exotica.

    For example I just ordered two front windscreen rubbers from Neo Retro, after making at least 5 local phone calls.

    I don't do it because the dollars strong, or the convenience of the internet. I did it because I just couldn't get anything local.
    KB
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  9. #9
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    Default Adapting to an internet world? Global Economy.

    Andrew Ch

    I tend to agree with you. I'd like to see as many at least fast moving parts sold over the counter IN this country, and that means of course items returning sufficient remuneration to justify a retailer stocking them for our convenience.

    Our local car industry, can and have "adjusted" They can always get you a part imported in accordance with Australian requirements, duty and GST to be paid, but to get a better price for the end user means getting access to volume discounts, that won't happen with one off slow moving stuff. All subject to movements in currency values though.

    So an order by either dealer or retailer bought in specifically for you loses all convenience, attractive price point, and may rely on slow postal service (surface mail) unless you pay air mail and little margin for them - the only advantage for you might be in them using reputable overseas suppliers, so the part DOES arrive. .

    So probably better they get out of the whole hassle and let the small market do its own to battle with international trade. While our currency exchange is our way, thats o.k. for some, but when the exchange rate is poor, expect some shocks, particularly if the sought after part doesn't arrive or the price skyrockets because of changes in international currency or application of Australian regulations.

    Its short sighted to consider only one sides requirements, when both can work together as you say.

    Regards.

    Ken

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