4 Wheel Parts is gaining traction in Canada, with the California-based company opening its fifth shop in this country — and second in Alberta — last month in Red Deer County.
A distributor and retailer of aftermarket parts and equipment for off-road vehicles, 4 Wheel Parts is located in Gasoline Alley West, at 342 Laura Ave. It moved into those premises after buying Canada Custom Vehicles, the building’s previous occupant.
Brad Gilbert owned Canada Custom Vehicles and is now 4 Wheel Parts’ regional manager, responsible for Western Canada.
He said his new company, which currently has more than 60 stores in North America — including in Calgary, Montreal, Fredericton and Burlington, Ont. — expects to open another in Edmonton later this year.
“Moving forward, we will be looking at other locations within Western Canada.”
Gilbert said officials with 4 Wheel Parts asked him to join their company about a year ago.
Ultimately, they accomplished this objective by buying his business, which he had started nine years earlier.
Canada Custom Vehicles’ focus was on performance and styling products for all types of vehicles — a market that 4 Wheel Parts continues to serve, said Gilbert.
“Obviously, trucks, Jeeps and SUVs is their core market but they definitely don’t want us to lose the performance and muscle car market that we have as well.”
His staff have remained with the operation, with about 10 people now working at the Red Deer County store. They now have improved opportunities and security, said Gilbert, as well as access to greater resources.
The change in ownership has already resulted in increased products and inventory, improved operating systems, and comprehensive warranty coverage, he said.
The business is now also able to sell online, which is a big part of 4 Wheel Parts’ operations.
The shop will install anything it sells, with two journeyman mechanics on staff, said Gilbert.
“Installation is a massive part of our business.”
4 Wheel Parts will celebrate the grand opening of its Red Deer County store this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a variety of promotions, including a free barbecue.
Canada Custom Vehicles had operated in Gasoline Alley since 2008, when it moved there from 6013 48th Ave. in Red Deer.