Cars & Cores
Combination Business Strategy Caters To Customers
Kenneth Grainger Jr. and Ansley Grainger Johnson diversified their Savannah, Ga. self-service facility to include core buying.
PHOTO: KIMBERLY THOMSON
Cash-n-Carry in Savannah, Ga. supplies used auto parts to do-it-yourselfers and local shops. Now, with its new division, Cars & Cores, those customers can also sell their parts and vehicles.
"The self-service facility and Cars & Cores go hand-in-hand," president Kenneth "Kenny" Grainger Jr. explained. "The two promote each other very well. Basically, they are two divisions of the same product. Retail customers, who buy parts from us, need to sell parts to us. Local shops who buys parts, also need to sell parts."
Cars & Cores (ILuvUsed.com), open since April 2011, pays top dollar for anything automotive: engines, transmissions, wheels, brakes, interior and exterior parts, starters, alternators, etc.
"If it came from a motor vehicle, we will buy it," acknowledged Kenny Jr., who runs the company with younger sister, Ansley Grainger Johnson. "I know many self-service yards that buy all types of scrap, but we only focus on automotive cores."
Similar to a scrap recycling facility, the business buys auto parts piece-by-piece or weighs them on a scale. It also removes parts on site.
Cars & Cores operates out of a 70-by-125 foot warehouse adjacent to Cash-n-Carry. Three employees handle all of the cores from the self-service side, street peddlers and business-to-business sources. Two employees process the material and one buys and determines prices.
The parts are then sold to auto recyclers that specialize in cores. Vehicles are transferred to the self-service yard.
"We want to buy as many vehicles as possible," said Kenny. "This gives us two companies to accomplish that."
The idea to open Cars & Cores grew from demand. The vendors who bought Cash-n-Carry's existing cores wanted as much product as the company could supply.
"At the time, we started looking at different avenues to achieve this," explained Kenny Jr. "At the end of the day, our due diligence paid off and we felt there was a need for a visible, local company that would pay a fair market price for automotive cores."
Cars & Cores is just the latest venture for the Grainger family.
"The Grainger family has been involved in the auto business for more than four decades here in Savannah, first as an auto parts store and finally the self-service auto business it is today," said Kenny Jr. "We keep fine-tuning it so we can better accommodate our customers."
Kenny and Ansley's grandfather, Levi Grainger, bought Simply Simon Auto Parts in 1966. The name later changed to Grainger Auto Parts. Their father, Kenneth Grainger Sr. and uncle Bill Grainger took over in 1971. The brothers purchased Cash-n-Carry in 1985 and turned it into a self-service facility. Kenneth Sr. eventually took sole ownership of Cash-n-Carry. LKQ Corporation (LKQCorp.com) purchased Grainger Auto Parts in 2000.
Kenny Jr. joined the family business in 1993. He took over the day-to-day operations at Cash-n-Carry in 2005. Ansley started in 2008 and now manages accounting and sales.