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Posted: December 16, 2012

Jumping On Hot Trends Can Lead To Increased Business

Seth Gortenburg of Chux Trux shares the hottest trends he sees in the next year.

By Ellen Mckoy

Everyone is looking for revenue these days, so we’ve been even putting more emphasis on cars. When the new Mustang came out, that prompted us to take a harder look, because that car is perfect for restyling. When the Challenger and Camaro came along, it made things even better. We do a lot of body kits and spoilers, graphics, tinted windows, suspension -- lowering springs, sway bars or different shocks -- wheel and tire packages, and an occasional supercharger. We’ve had great luck with those cars.

On the truck side, black is huge. Black emblems, blacked-out grilles, smoke-color headlights and taillights are super hot. Black wheels account for more than 40 percent of our wheel sales. We’ve also added vinyl graphics and wraps. We’re using them more on cars, and for fleet and contractor customers.

We always dabbled in dealer business, but we got more aggressive six years ago. Car manufacturers were putting more emphasis on accessories, so it was apparent that we needed to partner with dealers to maintain market share. That business has grown every year.

Most of our dealers sell needs -- side steps, bed covers, towing. But our strongest dealers have embraced preloading. We design packages that set them apart from the competition. The new F-150 Crew Cab with a 6-inch lift, 35-inch tires and 22-inch wheels is very popular. We’ve also had luck with small cars like the Fiesta with a body kit, wheels, tires, suspension and a half-vinyl wrap to create a two-tone look.  Dealers realize they make more money on those vehicles, and they create traffic in the showroom.

Energy costs are still a challenge, and we really need housing to come back. Online sales also present challenges when it comes to margins, because so much information is available on the Internet. But fleets are a great opportunity.  Many fleet owners who held off on replacing vehicles now have to replace them. So there’s some great business there. Small cars also have potential. We just have to show people that smaller cars can look good, too. And there will always be trucks. There may be fewer chances today, but still plenty of opportunities.

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