THE SHOP

December '18

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62 THE SHOP DECEMBER 2018 A dventure-seeking enthusiasts are driving a 4x4 market that continues to head uphill. The Off-Road Expo, held in September at the L.A. County Fairplex in Pomona, California, is a strong indicator of what's trending in the off-road sector. What makes this event so appealing isn't just the presence of over 270 companies, but the number of attendees, estimated between 60,000-70,000. This turnout for a two-day event tells you that the market segment is doing well, and it demonstrates that the off-road audience is as knowledgeable as it is receptive. The importance from a shop's perspective is in finding what's trending and where busi- nesses should place their emphasis. It's a place to take note of what's happening in order to be better prepared to compete and win. "I never wanted to compete on price in my history because on price, you don't always win." —Mickey Drexler "Money isn't something I play for. I want to compete. I want to win." —Dirk Nowitzki JEEP POWER The strength of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone in off-roading. The high resale value of any Jeep, coupled with incredible brand awareness and affinity, has made it the envy of the OEMs. Little wonder that JKs and now JLs are selling used for nearly the cost of a brand- new vehicle, and properly outfitted can exceed that. For every company that's manufacturing Jeep products, there are hundreds more eyeing the market to find where opportunities exist. For many shops in the Jeep market, instead of trying to load up their customers' vehicles like some car dealers do all at once, they prefer being ahead of the game with new Jeep products, offering the ability to accessorize the vehicles over time. As more Jeep owners hit the trails and take their vehicles off-road, driveline com- ponents and extraction products, rooftop campers or off-road trailers, navigation equipment and related outdoor gear are all needed for owners to get the most out of being outdoors. When you see companies in the outdoor recreation field like Yakima and Poler in the Jeep space, you know this is much bigger than the local four-wheel drive club. The 62 THE SHOP DECEMBER 2018 Go f-Roadg Join a market that's headed uphill. Story and Photos by Jason R. Sakurai This Rick Mears-driven, Walker Evans-built 1979 Jeep Honcho Class 3 race truck was restored by current owner Jeff Fur- rier, and was a standout in FOX's display at the Off-Road Expo in California.

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