Kirchhayn Auto Parts has been family owned and operated by the Wendtland family since 1975. We started as a body shop in an old block building with five acres of “junk cars” left by the previous owner, in a small town called Kirchhayn (which means “Church in the Woods” in German). David’s Star Lutheran Church is the 2nd oldest church in Wisconsin.
While we were running our body shop, we frequently had local people coming in and looking for used parts off of the cars we had on the premises. However, with the price of scrap being high at the time, we hauled many of our car bodies to compressing companies. With the money we made with the scrap cars, we bought more cars. Some of them we took to the compressing companies and others we kept for inventory.
Slowly our scrapping business was becoming a larger part of our business than the body shop was. It was at this time we started a car inventory system. The body shop was now just a sideline of our scrapping business and was soon phased out altogether. The parts we sold off the cars were just an extra bonus, until we crushed the car.
For the next 14 years, we were a successful scrapping yard, selling existing car parts to buy more cars for scrap. In 1989, we purchased an additional 5 acres of land to accommodate the surplus cars we purchased at insurance auctions. We also built a new building which houses our current sales area and our dismantling area.
Shortly thereafter, we were brought into the computer age with the installation of a Hollander Yard Management System, which computerized the inventory all of our cars. This leading edge system allows us to tell customers in seconds if we have a part in stock. We also have locating systems to assist in parts location should we not have the part in inventory. Typically, we can locate any part our customer may need.
As business started changing, the price of scrap cars became inconsistent and e-commerce was starting to grow. We changed some of our focus to e-commerce-expanding our eBay store (yourautopartsteam), customers being able to buy off of our website, we have added texting and messaging for our sales staff to communicate with customers.
We still do daily delivery Monday – Friday to the Milwaukee-Metro area for our wholesale customers.