August '19

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70 THE SHOP AUGUST 2019 W e all see hundreds of cars and trucks every day, whether they are in our shops or just driving down the road. We see more in magazines and on websites, and the commonality of these experiences is that in almost every case what we're looking at is the vehicle's exterior. A great-looking exterior can be called eye candy and, just like a first date, it's almost always the part of the vehicle that we are attracted to first. But any lasting relation- ship has to be built on more than physical attraction, and our cars are no different. It's the interiors of our vehicles that keep us interested and engaged—where we spend almost all of our time as drivers. And while not as flashy as exterior upgrades, selling interior accessories can be a fun and, yes, exciting path to greater profits for your restyling shop. LOTS TO CHOOSE FROM There are dozens, if not hundreds, of inte- rior accessories that you could potentially offer consumers and dealership clients. So, how can you decide which ones to focus on at your shop? First, look at the market to determine which accessories are not being offered by the masses. For instance, how profitable would a shop be focusing on selling air fresheners if they are already available at every car parts store, gas station and even online? Obviously not very. That may be an extreme example, but it proves a point—try to focus on accessories or services that only a limited number of other companies offer to your customer base. For instance, how many people can just jump online or run to the store to get a complete leather interior kit? What about a 12-volt product like a back-up camera, HomeLink or heated seats? These are far more specialized products that few companies do well. Our shop has had great success offering all of them, along with a few others including DVD players and remote starts. And not everything needs to be a compli- cated installation. For instance, we've also had plenty of success with model-specific floor liners. They are a great add-on sale for suspension lifts, since you know the customer is going to be getting that truck dirty as soon as they leave the shop! PACKAGE PLANS Interior accessories almost always make sense as an add-on sale, such as floor liners with lift kits like I just mentioned. Another combination that works well for us is a leather kit offered with wheels and tires. Wheel upgrades almost always mean the customer is looking to improve the vehicle's appearance, and what's nicer to look at inside that car, truck or SUV than a sharp leather interior? From there you can move on to, say, window tint and other accessories that make sense. All of these small add-ons add up quickly, creating a unique vehicle for your customer and a nice profit on a vehicle you were already working on anyway for you. WHERE TO START Interior upgrades are almost always found on higher trim levels from the factory, so for dealership clients the first question to ask is "what do the newest vehicles come with that my vehicle doesn't have?" The interior products that are often the answer to this question usually fall into two categories: • Tech & Safety products – audio upgrades, back-up cameras, blind spot detection, lane departure, Bluetooth, navigation, DVR cameras, etc. • Comfort & Convenience products – heated seats, remote starts, ambient lighting, all- weather mats, HomeLink, etc.) There are, of course, many others not listed that you may have success with, but by understanding what is available on newer vehicles that people see and desire and then want to retrofit into their existing vehicles can be very good business. To do this, you and your team must stay up-to-date on the latest products and tech- nology that you can successfully install into older cars. Then you must take an active Interior accessories can be a fun, exciting path to greater profits. By Josh Poulson While not as flashy as exterior upgrades, selling interior accessories can be a fun and exciting path to greater profits for your restyling shop. 70 THE SHOP AUGUST 2019

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