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Shop Management/Marketing

Reman: A Growing Presence

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.

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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.

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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.

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