AutoNation Inc. has started offering performance upgrades at its 27 Chevrolet dealerships this month via collaboration with aftermarket tuning firm Hennessey Performance. Ron Frey, AutoNation’s chief strategy officer, told Automotive News in an interview that the company will arrange vehicle shipping to Hennessey’s sites in California or Texas.
The package will be first discussed between the customer and Hennessey Performance before the tuner starts it works on the vehicle. Once the upgrade is completed, the vehicle will be sent back to the customer. Hennessey upgrades can be availed for the Corvette, Camaro, SS, Tahoe, Silverado and Suburban.
Frey remarked that AutoNation is a big fan of Hennessey, since the tuner offer customers with performance upgrades across multiple brands through a single provider. Hennessey chief executive John Hennessey disclosed that the tuner intends to launch another operation near AutoNation’s headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., within 2015.
Hennessey disclosed that his link AutoNation started in 2012 during the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. He was looking for tickets for the event and a Four Seasons hotel concierge pointed to AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson and Senior Vice President Marc Cannon who were standing nearby. It was then that Hennessey were able to know Jackson and Cannon, and they stayed in touch.
After attending an AutoNation leadership conference in January 2014, Hennessey became convinced him the retailer was best for the alliance. Hennessey remarked he has taken a liking to AutoNation’s business culture, saying they operate as an “entrepreneur family tech business.”
Hennessey quipped a partnership with AutoNation gives his company a distribution chain it “can’t do on [its] own.” AutoNation intends to expand the partnership to its 37 Ford stores in 2015, with plans to offer performance upgrade programs for the new Mustang and aluminum-bodied F-150 pickups. [source: automotive news - sub. required]