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November 29, 2022

How Alternative Parts Utilization is essential to the restoration market

Reusing automotive parts to repair new vehicles offers a lot of benefits, both economically and environmentally, and it is encouraging to see more consumers choosing that option when they need to get back on the road. However, there is another market for Alternative Parts Utilization (APU) that doesn’t get as much press: the restoration market.

Even today, many automotive restorations aren’t complete without at least one trip to a salvage yard. That’s because cars that have been out of production for well over a decade don’t often have a reliable supply of new parts still in production. And depending on the model, New Old Stock (NOS) parts can be rare, if not impossible to source.

But modern technology and the internet offer a more efficient way to source used parts. In fact, 32% of classic owners found searching for used auto parts online to be very useful. Digital platforms, such as Solera’s PartsNetwork, have several advantages over combing the aisles of a junkyard hoping they’ll have what you’re looking for. For one, there’s no need to leave your office (or home). You can search online for the parts you need in a fraction of the time it takes to do things the old-fashioned way.

Finding parts online also has the advantage of transparent and competitive pricing. Customers know what they’re getting, and how much the same part sells for from other suppliers. Perhaps the biggest advantage of modern parts-sourcing solutions is their scope. When a customer uses an online parts solution like PartsNetwork, they’re not just searching one salvage yard – they’re searching several sources all at once.

That’s a big deal, particularly when you’re looking for rare parts. Widening the scope of your search makes it more likely to find the part you need and gives you and edge when you’re not the only one looking for something that is difficult to find.

For their role, salvage yards are also increasingly embracing the online model, making it much easier to catalog and sell their stock. Instead of being on the hulk of an old wreck, that part you need may already be tagged and sitting on a supplier’s shelf. Restoring an older vehicle can be a rewarding experience, and it still presents a world of challenges to those who take it on. But by making use of alternative-parts sourcing solutions such as Solera APU Solutions’ used auto parts online inventory, you can turn one of those challenges into a simple task. APU is nothing new to the restoration market. The difference is that now it doesn’t have to be one of the more difficult aspects of bring old cars back to life.