Vendor Affinity Program Spotlight: DealerShop USA

by Alana Quartuccio

Collision repair shops and dealerships know they can rely on DealerShop USA for just about everything they could possibly need to run their operation.

DealerShop USA is the one-stop shop for everything from paint to equipment and any other ancillary products shops and dealerships may need outside of the OEM space. 

“We are the supplier of all sorts of products and services to collision shops and car dealerships throughout the northeast all the way through the midwest,” shares Ken Grove, vice president of sales. “The best way to define what our business offers is ‘everything outside of the cars and the car parts,’ so we don’t do anything that the OEMs do.”

Although the DealerShop USA brand is relatively new, it ties back to a larger entity known as Lead Auto Resource (known as LAR for short) – the largest co-op in North America – founded in Canada in 1980. LAR expanded throughout Canada and into the US in 1999. Although it didn’t grow as quickly as it did in Canada, the business grew in the US over the next 20 years. “Fast forward to 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, and a group of private equity investors came together to buy the US division and a good chunk of the Canadian group as well. They took the opportunity to rebrand it as DealerShop.” The company still has a close affiliation with LAR, using the same vendors to provide products and services to car dealerships and collision shops in the US. Since the DealerShop brand was born, they also acquired the Albany-based company, Total Tool, which has expanded the equipment side offering of the business even further. They offer shops whatever they need for servicing and repairing vehicles such as vehicle lifts, wheel and alignment equipment, high-volume low-speed fans, waste oil heaters, compressors or “just about anything used in the collision industry and the service side at dealerships,” Grove explained.  The company’s New England presence continues to grow as they serve about 100 miles surrounding the Boston area. Regional Sales Manager Rob Lemieux is the point person for the New England market. He’s focused on providing body shops with a full array of products to suit their equipment and paint needs. 

DealerShop USA’s offering goes much further than placing products into their customer’s hands. “Offering everything outside of the cars and the parts for the cars is pretty unique,” Grove states. “And that really stems from our parent company, the original LAR, which is a fairly large group that represents nearly 4,000 dealers in total. They have a long history of over 45 years growing their products. We have inherited that and expanded it further. We have the ability to access and provide solutions for everything that the dealerships and collision repair shops can use.”

Since the rebranding, DealerShop also enhanced its e-commerce platform. “We have a fantastic product offering and have had nothing but great success with our e-commerce. We are able to sell products all throughout the US.”

As a commitment to growing their Massachusetts market and their ability to interact with more shops in the area, DealerShop USA came on board as a Bronze-level sponsor of AASP/MA’s Vendor Affinity Program. The company was introduced to the Alliance via Doug Begin (Vendetti Motors; Franklin) who they have a great customer relationship with. Grove says the company hopes to meet more like-minded shops by networking via the Alliance. 

The company’s business philosophy goes beyond offering products as they really strive to provide solutions for their customers. 

“Our biggest role is building relationships. We will bring in the industry’s best and leading vendors to do training for our customers. For example, we have great relationships with some of the biggest paint vendors. So anytime a customer has needs for training or any concerns, we have the ability to bring the vendors in to do that training and provide those resources for them. We have quite a bit of pull as we represent so many customers.”

They are also focused on helping the businesses they work with prepare for the future. 

According to Grove, the company recently hosted a vendor showcase for their Cleveland customers, exposing them to some new connections and also to some on-site I-CAR training. As technology continues to take hold of this automotive industry, the company is also looking into payment programs and credit cards fee surcharges solutions to make business life easier. With ADAS safety features at the forefront of most repairers’ minds, DealerShop also works with training facilities like Hunter Engineering who can educate shops on the repair side. 

Want more? Check out the April 2024 issue of New England Automotive Report!