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Posted: April 26, 2013

Profiting From Bolt-On Power

We interview Craig Kohrs of Corsa Performance, about the benefits of selling truck performance parts

By TTM Staff

If  you're not already including truck performance products with your line of caps, tonneaus, and towing acessories, you're missing out on a great way to gain new customers. To find out the benefits of selling popular air intake and exhaust systems, we spoke with Craig Kohrs, VP and General Manager of Corsa Performance. In our interview, Kohrs explains what truck accessory retailers can gain, from selling these easy to bolt-on performance products to their customers.

TTM: Corsa has been an exhaust company, so what was the reasoning behind the move to also start a line of air intake systems?

Corsa has always been about delivering great technology that is focused on both airflow and acoustics.  This allows us to deliver improved power, improved efficiency, and delivering a great driving experience to the customer.  While our patented RSC Technology allows for significant power gains with its straight-through exhaust design, (allowing for improved airflow), we still focused on the acoustics of the trucks by ensuring that we eliminated drone and improved the overall sound of the truck.

Taking the knowledge we have from our exhaust technology, we saw an opportunity to improve the airflow on the front-end of the engine as well.  We worked to find a superior filtration technology that delivers some of the best airflow in the industry, while protecting the truck’s engine from dirt and debris.  Focusing on our technology and improving airflow, not only on exhaust, has allowed our engineers to find new ways to improve engine performance and efficiency.

TTM: Do you see growth in the truck performance markets, ie. exhaust systems and air intakes?

Absolutely. Trucks are a core part of vehicle enthusiasts in America and around the world. Truck performance parts like exhausts and air intakes can provide improved engine efficiency that may be important to the fleet operator focused on fuel efficiency, improved horsepower and torque that towing customers need. This, combined with all of the new platforms and engines coming to market from Detroit, create a great deal of renewed interest in the truck market.  In addition, the truck performance market is also driven by owners who put hundreds of thousands of miles on their trucks, and are always looking for ways to make them feel new again.  All of these factors are bringing about a really exciting time in the truck performance market.

TTM: Other than the obvious benefits of increased performance gains, what are the benefits to the truck accessory retailer and dealerships in offering these types of truck performance accessories?

Both air intakes and exhausts are some of the first performance upgrades made to trucks.  They are not an intimidating upgrade to make, and one that many customers can relate to.  In doing so, they can become a gateway to establishing a long-term customer that will look to continue to upgrade and enhance their trucks.  Air intakes an exhausts can lead to lifts, programmers, new wheels and so on.  Offering these performance accessories allows retailers and dealerships to truly be the one-stop-shop that customers today desire and with whom they are creating long-term relationships.

TTM: Exhaust systems are very competitive in the automotive aftermarket. Are there enough margins for the average sized, family owned truck accessory retailer to make good profits stocking and selling exhaust systems?

There is no doubt that exhaust is a very competitive market.  It is full of many exhaust manufacturers. With the access consumers have to exhausts through the internet, it has gotten extremely competitive.  The advantage that family owned truck retailers have, is the ability to provide real service and installation.  No website can put a customer’s truck on a lift and install the exhaust for them.  That is why we at Corsa spend so much time engineering the product to go on easily and quickly.  We manufacture in small batch sizes and to tight, certified fixture tolerances. This ensures the products go on correctly the first time.  In our case, installations can average 45 minutes for a cat-back exhaust on a truck and air intakes are even shorter.  This is a great way for a truck retailer to support their customers and make significantly greater profit than simply selling the system.   With such a quick and easy installation process for our products, we  provide opportunities for shop owners to connect with their customers and make additional profits at the same time.

Also, the automotive aftermarket still has a great deal of distribution options for retailers to support their customers without the risk of stocking a ton of large product in their stores. We encourage our dealers and retailers to establish a great relationship with one of the many Warehouse Distributors in the marketplace.  We have product stocked throughout the country that allows dealers to access product next day in many cases.  This makes the truck owner happy with a quick turnaround, and allows the dealer to satisfy that customer without the risk of significant inventory investment.

TTM: How do you overcome some of the common misconceptions that retailers have when they are approached to begin selling cat-back exhaust systems and air intake systems?

Exhausts are not all created equally, and neither are the customers who look to buy them.  Technology has come a long way since the time when the only exhaust options were glass packs.  While there is still a customer who wants that sound, there are a variety of options available for dealers to satisfy each customer.  Identifying what a consumer is looking for, or how they use their truck, can make a sale much easier. 

Getting over the initial hurdles of the assumptions many owners have about  what exhaust sounds like can lead to a ton of sales and much higher customer satisfaction in the long run. For example, with Corsa we have found that many people are willing to buy the system when they understand that you can have a great sound at idle and be bold when on the throttle, but cruising down the highway, they can still use their cell phones and listen to the radio.  In the past, that wasn’t an option and many customers are not informed about all of the advancements since the days of simply putting fiberglass around a tube.  Once we explain the difference, customers understand the value and are often ready to make a purchase.

For more information on CORSA products, visit www.corsaperformance.com.

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