April '20

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52 THE SHOP APRIL 2020 Therefore, there is great opportunity in adding them. Many customers are asking for them to be included or added at the time of vehicle purchase, so they work well as a preload item to help dealerships make some extra money. No consumer is going to say, "Sorry, I don't want that car because it has heated seats!" Another reason why heated seats are so great is because they are easy to inven- tory, easy to install and garner a higher profit than other products. I don't know about you, but I personally will never own another vehicle without heated seats! Leather Interiors A lot can be said about this luxury item. Even though the learning curve is a bit more daunting than with something like heated seats, adding this product to your arsenal can sometimes help when other products just aren't selling. Again, because of the lack of affordable vehicles coming from the factory with stan- dard leather, there's ample opportunity for you, the car dealer and the consumer to achieve a win-win-win. The consumer doesn't want to spend the extra money on the higher trim level of the vehicle they are looking at just to get leather (next levels can sometimes be $7,000 or more), which makes total sense if it means an extra $140 a month on their payment. Yet, they really want the comfort of leather. The dealership can help that consumer by offering them an aftermarket leather interior, which is just as good in quality and warranty as the factory for a much lower price than the next trim level (usually $1,500-$2,000, or about $30-$40 a month). The customer is happy because they can afford the leather in the car they really want. The dealership is happy because not only did it sell the customer a vehicle off its lot without having to dealer-trade or order it, but more importantly actually made money on the leather. In some cases, dealerships can make as much or more on the leather interior add-on as they do on the entire car. And the shop is happy because it made money on a product that, if installed properly, rarely ever has a warranty issue. Leather doesn't lose power or go bad and need to be swapped out as sometimes occurs with other products—rather, it gets more comfortable with time and, if taken care of, it will last as long as the customer owns the vehicle. Cooling/Massage Seats Two of the up-and-coming items at our shop are cooling seats and mas- sage seats. Even though your phone prob- ably isn't blowing up with customers asking about these two items, now's a great time to start spreading the word that you work with a quality manufacturer to offer them. In time, I predict you'll see these products gain traction as they become standard fea- tures offered by the OEs. Position yourself & Comfort Convenience Today's vehicle seats can easily be made more comfortable with the addition of leather kits, as well as heating, cooling and massaging systems. Offering leather kits can mean a win-win-win for the shop, the dealership and the consumer who wants leather but doesn't want to pay for a next-level trim upgrade.

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