October '21

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Page 23 of 103

18 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2021 lucrative," notes Michael Naish, vice president of sales for Yukon Gear & Axle. "There are so many stories of brand-new vehicles being delivered to a shop for lighting, suspension, drivetrain, wheels, tires, sound, tuning—you name it. This is the aftermarket at its best and shop cre- ativity at this level is what turns heads." WHEELS KEEP TURNING Technological advancements continue to drive the drivetrain market, as products keep pace with new vehicles and industry innovations. Matthew Linko, channel manager for Dana Inc., points to the company's AdvanTEK ring & pinion gears as a prime example. "We have changed the angle of the pinion for optimum performance and strength," he explains. Dustin Waterfall, drivetrain category man- ager for Transamerican Auto Parts/4 Wheel Parts, says the biggest change in the perfor- mance drivetrain market over the past 10 years is the availability of bolt-in upgraded axle assemblies from companies like G2, Dana/Spicer, Currie and Dynatrac. "This allows the customer or shop to have a vehicle trail-ready in a day without any additional fabrication or installation surprises," he explains. Never before has the industry had this much access to information or such a reduced time to market with new prod- ucts, Naish notes. "This is all one big ball of opportunity to get products to the shops faster and faster," he says. "When we can access OE specs, draw the parts and feed our cutting machines around the world direct from our engineers' desks, we are cutting months of R&D out of the process. We can design, manufacture and Q&A at such a rapid pace that final inspections at our facilities allow us to greenlight products at a much more rapid pace." FOCUS GROUPS As recognized experts, shop owners, managers and installers should always be advancing their education when it comes to drivetrain products and the challenges they face. Asked about common questions, Linko doesn't hesitate. "Gearing! It feels like a mystery to so many people," he says. "The most common T Off-Road Dritra Mket Educate the customer based on what they intend to do with their vehicle. (Photo courtesy 4 Wheel Parts) 18 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2021 The drivetrain market offers shops the opportunity to serve passionate off-road customers. (Photo courtesy Yukon Gear & Axle)

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