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Posted: August 15, 2013

Decontented Trucks Create Aftermarket Opportunity

Taking Advantage Of The Growing Commercial Market As Dealers Sell Naked Trucks

By Tim Williams Penda Corp.

The commercial side of the truck accessory market is clearly driving the pickup surge, and the bedliner market has remained very strong. With the housing market and the economy picking up, companies feel more confident making an investment. So it’s  definitely a positive sign.

On the personal-use side, consumers feel more confident, but they’re still cautious.  We're not decking out trucks the way they used to. That presents a challenge. But there are things retailers can do. It starts with showroom displays that are set up well and organized. That reflects well on the retailer and gives professional customers confidence and trust. The retailer also has to do a  great job of discussing the features and benefits to help their customers understand why, if they install certain pieces of equipment, it will improve their company’s performance. For example, we’ve converted all of our Pendaliner and Duraliner products to our Extreme Skid Resistance, which reduces cargo shifting. It’s a significant improvement. It makes it easy for the customer to touch and feel the benefits, and has gone over well in the marketplace.

Retailers could also send out a direct mail piece. There are always companies that could be good prospects. Draw a circle 10 miles around your store, and target small to mid-size businesses. Use it as an introduction, and follow up with a personal visit to talk about the products and services you offer. Just doing that little bit would generate extra business. I also can’t say enough about the benefit of building relationships with auto dealers. Now that some OE manufacturers have decontented their vehicles to get them into the marketplace, it’s definitely an opportunity for the aftermarket. Dealerships are where all the naked trucks are and where prospects go to buy their vehicles. The fleet departments are looking to satisfy customers’ requirements as cost effectively as possible. In a lot of cases, aftermarket products will satisfy customers’ needs and help give the dealership a better price point to be competitive with a quote. Adding aftermarket content  benefits the dealership, the customer and the retailer.

Trucks have always been the most accessorized vehicles in the marketplace, and that opportunity is still there, especially in commercial. But it takes work. An owner or a salesperson has to be proactive. But unless you start, you’ll never know how much you’re missing.

Edited by Ellen McKoy

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