Posted: November 21, 2014
Auto Trim Restyling Center Strives To Exceed Customer Expectations
Kevin McGowan and Michael Sinclair of Auto Trim Restyling Center in St. Louis, explain how they focused their efforts to create unique vehicles that fill a customer need.By Ellen McKoy
With more than 90 percent of our business direct to dealers, our philosophy is to create unique cars and trucks that fill a void in inventory or customer need. What sets us apart is our commitment to quality and service. Our techs are ASE certified, and our goal is to deliver showroom-ready, finished products.
The type of cars we work on has changed over the years. Sunroofs and leather used to be big sellers for Toyota cars and trucks. However, the manufacturer has changed the way cars brought into port are equipped. But, we do a lot of leather, window tint and remote-start packages for the Honda Accord Sport. And we have seen a big surge for all our truck products. The Tahoe/Yukon have been great for sunroofs, leather and mobile video.
Recently, GM has had a difficult time providing fully loaded SUVs. We worked with some dealers to fill that void by taking basic trucks and installing a sunroof, leather, heated seats, DVD player and our limited-edition ATR badge. The package has been quite successful, because it provides the right product, For other truck accessories — lift kits, truck caps and lids — we partner with more retail-oriented businesses. We would rather specialize in our core products, and let those companies install products in which they specialize.
Electronics is ever-growing and best sellers change all the time. Keyless entry is almost extinct, but remote-start sales are off the charts. Navigation, backup cameras and blind-spot monitor sales are really strong. Our biggest challenges are multi-faceted.
The vehicle manufacturers have seen accessory demand grow, so although they have decontented cars in some areas, they have added some features that used to be only available in the aftermarket. So we are constantly trying to stay ahead of them. The OEMs have also started pushing their own accessory programs to the dealer. With the correct management, this can work well for a forward-thinking dealer and restyler. By taking accessories from both manufacturer programs and our programs, it’s easy to make unique cars and trucks.
We are best known for being the guys that make things happen, whether it’s our expertise in complicated electronics, a quick turnaround to help a dealer close a sale, or where someone tried a competitor and the customer’s expectations weren’t met, and we were called to make it right. Auto Trim’s work is a reflection of the dealer and the dealer’s CSI. Customer expectations are that aftermarket isn’t as good as factory. We not only try to prove that wrong, but to exceed customer expectations every day.