Chrysler dealers to service rival vehicles

Features Reuters

By Deepa Seetharaman

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CENTER LINE, Michigan (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC dealers will now be able to service vehicles made by other automakers through a partnership between the parts and service divisions of Chrysler and its partner Fiat SpA <FIA.MI>.

Starting this month, Fiat's Magneti Marelli division will begin supplying 3,000 parts, including brakes, shocks and oil filters to Chrysler's parts division, Mopar.

The move allows the capability for Chrysler dealers to service 85 percent of the vehicles on the road in the United States, including vehicles made by Chrysler's rivals.

Last year, about 2.6 million customers driving vehicles made by rivals including General Motors <GM.N>, Ford Motor Co <F.N> and Hyundai Motor <005380.KS> went to Chrysler dealers for oil changes and tire rotations.

By providing more parts, those dealers will no longer have to scout for parts in other stores. Gorlier declined to describe the revenue potential of the new partnership.

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Gorlier also said there was appetite among dealers for standalone Mopar service and parts stores, primarily in major metropolitan areas in the United States. He said the timing for that project was still "on the table."

The partnership between Magneti Marelli and Mopar underscores the deepening partnership between operations at Fiat and Chrysler.

Fiat got management control of Chrysler nearly two years ago when the U.S. automaker emerged from a federally funded bankruptcy. This week, Fiat increased its stake in Chrysler to 30 percent.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; editing by Gunna Dickson)