We started devoting an issue to the reman unit business about 20 years ago. At that time, transmission shops were still loath to use a transmission built by what we then called a production rebuilder. We now simply call these large-scale transmission builders: remans. In the early 2000s, nearly every shop dipped a toe into the waters of R&R rather than rebuilding, as Chrysler offered a very inexpensive, authorized, remanufactured A604 unit that was in great demand due to some design flaws.
Reman Suppliers and Product Matrix
At that time the lion’s share of Transmission Digest subscriber shops described their operations as rebuilding in-house all, or nearly all, units encountered in their service bays. Today, such a shop would be an exception rather than the rule. Most shops with a transmission repair volume, that is to say, those that perform more than a couple of transmission jobs a week, are likely to be using reman units to fill in where their builder either hasn’t learned a unit or lacks the time to build certain units. There, too, are the cases where a vehicle’s transmission fails far from home and a reman unit allows the owner to have a warranty that’s good nationwide.
Over the past couple of decades, what started as a rather minimal slice of the powertrain aftermarket pie has grown into a very important business for remanufacturers, for specialty parts distributors that now also carry remanufactured units and, most notably, for retail shops, satisfying motorists’ demands.