THE SHOP

Recognized Supplier Guide '19

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76 THE SHOP AUGUST 2019 A uto Action was built over 40 years ago selling aftermarket 12-volt accessories to new car dealers. We expanded our product offerings over the years to help grow. One of those growth areas was leather kits. The restyling leather interior business is a category that has been lucrative for us over the last 10 years. Similar to my previous articles, I am going to focus on opportunities with new car dealer partners. While the 12-volt (elec- tronics) business is shifting to more and more of a factory option and/or included products, we feel the opportunities are still huge with leather interiors. The reason the electronics business is continuing to diminish is that these prod- ucts (remote starts, Bluetooth, back-up cameras) have become very cost-effective to include at the factory level. In addition, a lot of these items are safety-related and the OEs are feeling the pressure from outside sources to include them as standard items. (Think about airbags and seatbelts, as these were options at one time as well.) Meanwhile, leather interiors have been added by the OEs for years, but usually only on higher-priced trim levels. This opens up plenty of aftermarket oppor- tunities for shops to provide leather kits for the lower trim levels, providing added profit potential for dealerships looking to move a certain number of vehicles each month while maintaining a positive CSI score. CUSTOMER FAVORITE One of our leather manufacturer partners has been running a pilot program in our market where it solicits end-consumers directly to sell them leather interiors. The company has been experimenting with financing options, giving customers up to 24 months to make monthly payments. The pilot program has been working extremely well. Auto Action receives the sold transaction order and simply contacts the customer and set ups an appointment for installation. We then offer one of our loaner vehicles and provide the white-glove service we strive for. The Google reviews on our website show just how much customers enjoy and appre- ciate the experience. Love Those Leather Interiors Drivers & dealerships are easily sold on these popular upgrades. By Jared Cohen 76 THE SHOP AUGUST 2019 Leather interiors have been added by the OEMs for years, but usually only on luxury models. This opens up plenty of aftermarket oppor- tunities for shops to provide leather kits for lower trim levels.

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