Vehicle Accessorization: The Key To Selling Success In Today's Competitive Market

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Ellen McKoy - Also by this author

Looking for ways to boost sales and increase bottom-line profits? Want to position your dealership as a market leader and attract new buyers? Think vehicle personalization.

By adding restyling sizzle to in-stock units — be they new or used, import or domestic, passenger cars or light - duty trucks — you will pique customer interest, build a strong dealership identity and boost floor traffic. The more traffic you bring in, the more vehicles your customers drive out — and the more your dealership’s profits add up.

The facts speak for themselves. Vehicle accessorization is big business—a whopping $25.89 billion a year in retail sales. And an impressive 57 percent share of that, a record-setting $14.7 billion, comes from the sales of truck and auto accessories.
Style-conscious consumers, from young adults to senior citizens, are looking for personalized vehicles that stand out from the crowd and express their personal image, lifestyle and desires. Eye-catching, stylized vehicles give dealers a critical edge over the competition that sells only factory-plain vehicles. They attract new buyers of all ages and help build brand loyalty. And, best of all, consumers are willing to pay a premium for them.

In fact, consumers typically spend an average of $1,000 — and often as much as $3,500 — per vehicle annually on accessories, but dealers only capture a mere 16 percent of all accessory sales. That leaves a lot of money on the table. Money your customers should be spending at your dealership.

From a consumer’s point of view, accessorizing makes a vehicle more personal and unique, more lifestyle compatible, more comfortable and certainly more fun to drive. And there’s a vast array of accessories that can do the trick. From specialty wheels and tires, to sunroofs, graphics, ground effects and truck gear, to interior upgrades, such as dash kits, leather seating or mobile entertainment systems, there are easy styling solutions to significantly boost inventory turns and increase bottom-line profit on nearly every in-stock unit.

Accessorizing is the cornerstone to building high-margin profit centers throughout a dealership, from F&I and fixed operations to new and used car departments. But it takes more than selling a few colorful accessories to maximize your restyling dollars. It also involves fashion and science. So, it stands to reason that dealers need to team up with a restyling expert, and throughout the country, there are qualified professionals who have the skills, know-how and expertise to create appealing, high-profit accessory packages.

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