THE SHOP

June '19

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52 THE SHOP JUNE 2019 to manufacturers' tie-backs and demands. Most dealerships realize a 2-percent margin, which has seemed to take shape overnight. Can you imagine running your business on a 2-percent margin? Dealers can still see healthy margins on the used car side of the business. My belief is that this market will continue to get more competitive, however, with all the online resources available to consumers today. That means restylers/expeditors are needed more than ever to help provide all dealers with a much-needed source of income. Therefore, we have started to sell products through the model I described above to used car lots. With used cars, it's been traditional to start with standard chrome enhancements. A new opportunity, however, is the obvious need for safety products. Yes, I know what you're thinking—this couldn't be me writing another article dis- cussing Advanced Driver-Assistance System opportunities, right? Well, yes I am. More and more new cars are coming standard with these products, so we need to really place a focus on the used-car market. Auto Action has a very strong dealer partner that understands the importance of safety and margin opportunity on its used cars. We recently partnered with it on something very simple—a pulsing third brake light. This dealer purchases this product from us and we have trained its techs on how to install it. Collectively, we are in the process of adding this simple safety product to every used car on the lot, as the dealer will be advertising the "safest used car inventory." This not only provides the dealer an additional profit stream, but it also allows it to engage the consumer regarding all the other valuable safety items available for installation on pre-owned vehicles. A simple example is the back-up camera. Everyone thought with the 2018 new-car mandate, consumers would be knocking down the doors for this product on pre- owned inventory. Why hasn't this happened? Because they don't know it's available! Partnering with this particular dealer is allowing its sales- people to discuss not only the included third brake light, but many of these other ADAS products that are becoming more commonly known to consumers. RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING I've had the opportunity to meet and speak with a few top executives from both Hendrick Automotive Group as well as AutoNation. These companies understand the challenges outlined above and also have a keen understanding of the aftermarket opportunities available at the dealer level. Don't be afraid of this—embrace it as an expert and assist these groups in the process to help bring margins to the table and you will build stronger relationships than you've ever had with your local dealers. We need to continue to grow awareness that safety products are available today for the 280 million vehicles already on the road. The IIHS reports that in 2016, just over 20 percent of registered vehicles had a back- up camera installed, and predicts that by 2021, back-up cameras will be installed in just over 50 percent of the registered vehicles on our roadways. What does that mean? It means that half of all vehicles on our roads will still lack a simple safety solution. The numbers don't lie—we need to 52 THE SHOP JUNE 2019 The aftermarket's challenge is to educate drivers on the products available for used cars. Group Effort ADAS items can be attractive add-ons, allowing dealers to tout the safety of their vehicles. (Photos courtesy Brandmotion)

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