The Route 66 dealer network has severed its ties with national parts distributor NTP-STAG, effective immediately.
“The inability to secure competitive dealer pricing to enable our dealers to compete with today’s online retailers, as well as with NTP-STAG’s own drop ship, online sales strategy, makes it necessary for us to abandon this partnership and develop other options that will better fit with the overall interests of our member dealers,” Route 66’s management team said in a brief news release explaining the organization’s decision. Route 66 didn’t elaborate on what other options it might pursue in place of its former relationship with NTP-STAG.
“Route 66 is first and foremost a member dealer-centered organization established to serve both the bricks and mortar and expanding online opportunities for today’s RV dealership,” Route 66’s management team added. “All network partnerships must provide mutual benefit to the dealership, their customers and the network partner.”
In response to Route 66’s announcement, NTP-STAG General Manager Bill Rogers provided the following response to RV PRO: “We worked in good faith to reach an agreement with RT 66 Corp. for 2018 that was ultimately not accepted. This, however, will not in any way detract us from serving the needs of the dealerships that are part of the group and operate independently from RT 66 Corp. We will continue to support our customers as we always have, providing the industry’s best fill rates, training, delivery schedules and a host of marketing, merchandising and technology tools to help them grow their business.”
Rogers added, “Our wholesale business strategy has not changed, other than to develop new programs aimed at pushing online business, which typically goes around our customers, into traffic and sales for their brick-and-mortar locations. The fulfillment services we offer to brick-and-mortar locations and dealers who have an online presence have not changed and are the same as all other parts distributors try to offer.”
Rogers concluded, “We really tried and we are disappointed it came to this. We will be reaching out to these customers with direct programs geared toward providing the benefits they are accustomed to receiving tailored specifically for their businesses.”
Overland Park, Kan.-based Route 66 noted that its relationship with the parts distributor dates back 15 years, beginning with Stag-Parkway and continuing through the acquisition of NTP, Stag-Parkway and Coast Distribution by Keystone Automotive Operations, which merged the former rival parts distributors into one large national operation.