December '21

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50 THE SHOP DECEMBER 2021 DECEMBER 2021 Products p.62 It's a Party p.68 Promo Vehicles p. 76 Vision Zero p.86 Technology Products p.90 Powersports p.92 Work It Out T he commercial work truck and van industry continues to show resiliency—consis- tently overcoming extraor- dinary challenges presented by the global pandemic. As carmakers develop the next generation of work-capable vehicles, they are eyeing an electric future and increasingly sophis- ticated technology. It will take determina- tion and dedication for the aftermarket to keep pace. "Yes, OEMs will make it more difficult in the future to integrate aftermarket products because of the liability, but it's not a door closing—it's a door opening," says Jared Cohen, CEO of restyling and 12V company Auto Action Group. "We have an opportu- nity to be part of a revolution. Who is going to integrate, calibrate, implement, install and maintain that technology? We will." Cohen points to a nimble aftermarket ready to respond with a number of innova- tive solutions to complement rapid vehicle evolution. Meanwhile, he's watching savvy upfitters capitalize on traditional revenue streams while preparing for a changing tide. Cohen and other industry insiders are optimistic about the future possibilities of work vehicle upfitting and accessoriza- tion. Following are the thoughts of Steve Latin-Kasper, senior director of market data and research at The Association for the Work Truck Industry (NTEA); Christopher Lyon, director of fleet relations at NTEA; Jeff Perez, director of business development at LUVERNE; Greg Chumchal, president of Bedrock Truck Beds; Jessica Franklin, segment marketing manager at 3M; Greg Sarkozi, product manager – towing & electrical products at Horizon Global; and Thomas R. Herrington, sales manager at Trim-Lok Inc. Fleet sales were hit hard during 2020. What is the cur- rent state of business? Latin-Kasper, NTEA: Work truck and truck equipment industry sales have bounced back from the 2020 recession, with truck chassis sales growth 50 THE SHOP DECEMBER 2021 Industry insiders are optimistic about the future possibilities of work vehicle upfitting and accessoriza- tion. (Photo courtesy A.R.E.) We Can By Stefanie Galeano-Zalutko Finding success in fleet & commercial vehicle upfitting.

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