Ford remanufactured powertrain units — the complete package at Power Ford
Albuquerque, N.M.—Ford remanufactured engines and transmissions come with entirely new internal parts as well as the auxiliary parts necessary to complete installers’ big work orders.
Other companies often remanufacture parts within the engine or transmission itself, said Brandon Washburn, parts manager at Power Ford in Albuquerque, N.M. Using entirely new parts, like Ford does, makes it possible for the company to offer a three-year, unlimited mile warranty on gas-powered parts, and a two-year warranty for remanufactured diesel units.
“It’s a superior product we’re offering because everything is brand new and up to Ford specifications, with no internally remanufactured parts leaving room for error,” Washburn said. “It’s basically a new engine in the core, torn down and rebuilt entirely internally. Any issues that were there in the original build just won’t be there because they’ve already been addressed with these new parts. That’s why it’s backed by such a warranty.”
Other remanufacturers offer different build levels, in which other components, such as the water pump, must be purchased separately, adding more complexity to a given job, Washburn said.
Under Ford’s reman offering, customers may go to any Ford-authorized facility to have warranty issues addressed.
“Some people prefer to go to their independent shop, and Ford takes care of them, too,” Washburn said. “That’s whether they’re replacing parts on the transmission or engine, and covering labor, or if it’s replacing and paying the installer to replace the unit.”
A strong core return policy also supports business.
“We try to charge a core, and when we get it back, we give them their refund,” he said. “It’s a no-risk core, so it doesn’t matter if the block is cracked, a rod threw it. It doesn’t matter what shape it’s in. That’s pretty unique to us.”
Ford notifies its installers of recalls and technical service bulletins, additionally offering training online with requirements through the dealer to stay up to date on new products and wholesale sales skills, Washburn said.
Sales opportunities come to Power Ford courtesy of heavy use for the most part, he said. Transmissions typically stop shifting or begin slipping gears, and the engines Power Ford’s service department sees underwent high mileage usage.
“You should see some of these cores,” he said. “They look like they’ve had 500,000 miles. That’s often true with diesels, too. A lot of our folks are independent shops, replacing them for other fleet companies. They put them to work. We don’t get newer parts in here because they’re locked up or are having issues; it’s pretty much all units that have been used to their max.”
Power Ford serves nearly all of New Mexico, working with a freight company, Keynote Express, to distribute outside of the local area, from Farmington up north down to El Paso.
“They’re a great support for us,” Washburn said. “We run a lot of parts throughout the state, and they’ve helped us get parts to our customers in a timely fashion and grow business that way.”
Power Ford takes care of its nearby deliveries itself, representing 80 percent its business within a few of miles of the facility, distributing to mechanical and body shops.
“We’re pretty spread out here, so sometimes it takes 20-25 minutes to get there for distance runs,” Washburn said. “We pride ourselves on getting there within an hour from when the customer buys the product and we pull it.”
The company averages 20-25 Ford remanufactured units a month, representing $100,000 to $150,000 in sales and requiring Power Ford to keep roughly $1.1 million in inventory.
“We’re working on implementing a GPS tracking program that uses the driver’s phone,” Washburn said. “We have six vehicles, four transit and two trucks, so we have full capability for diesel, etc., with four parts runners and others who fill in.
“We’ve grown this wholesale department from $4.5 million to $7.9 million just by getting parts to customers, especially to shops is a priority. That’s why we want that system in place to make the routes more efficient if someone is closer. We’ve done a demo already trying to get that in place so we don’t have time lags out there in the field.”
With 630 independent installers reliant on Power Ford’s services, every partnership counts, he said. Bob Melanson, Power Ford’s AER rep, helps make business seamless, he said.
“Our AER has been fantastic for us,” Washburn said. “Our biggest advocate is our outside sales rep working with our AER manufacturer so everyone knows about rebates and any issues are taken care of. They’ve always supported us in every which way and have been excellent to work with since day one, whether it’s an issue with an installer having a problem or our own service department.”