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Posted: February 01, 2013

Why Aren’t You Selling Truck Performance Products Yet?

Truck performance products are huge, yet many truck accessory stores are reluctant to stocking parts that are proven to fly off the shelves.

By Dan Sanchez

Truck performance air intake systems.When you own a truck accessory shop, it’s difficult to watch a customer walk out of your store without making a sale. But that’s what happens when a truck owner wants to add more horsepower and torque, and comes to you for product and advice. At a time when most jobbers need every customer they can get, it’s important to carry a full line of truck accessories, including performance products that can help to reach your monthly sales goals. 

But not all truck accessory stores agree. Some think that carrying performance truck products will hurt their store’s overall sales.  “I have always been personally involved in performance for my own vehicles,” says Dave Mihelich, manager of Fuller Truck Accessories in Riverside, California. “If we were to carry performance items, however, it would detract from our main line which is truck caps and tonneau covers.” Many other retail stores feel the same way, and some go so far as to not even promote truck performance products at all. “Since we have access to performance parts through warehouses such as Keystone and Competition Specialties, we would not turn down a sale on a performance item,” explained Mihelich. “But overall, we would have to see a significant increase in business for us to start carrying them. That may allow us to hire someone knowledgeable in that field, to best serve the customer.” Those sentiments are shared with many truck accessory retail stores who don’t, or feel they have the resources, to sell performance products. Yet these same stores are in a constant struggle to get as many customers as possible to stay in business.

Truck Owners Want Performance Accessories
Despite reservations, shops that don’t carry performance items are missing out on potential revenue. “There seem to be a lot of misconceptions regarding the performance market,” says Chris Mitchell, operations manager for Wes-Coast Marketing Inc. This rep firm sells popular truck accessories such as Extang and TruXedo, as well as performance products including Diablosport tuners, Pacesetter exhaust systems, K&N air filters and more. As a firm that visits and sells to hundreds of truck accessory retail stores across the west coast, Mitchell claims many are missing out on a potentially profitable market. “Performance exhaust is huge right now,” he says. “Despite that, we see many jobbers who are afraid to put the money out for them, thinking that the product won’t move off the shelves. The fact is that no product moves itself, and retailers have to do the work and sell it to the customer.” 

According to an Automotive Accessory Market Study done by the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association, products such as performance air intakes, tires, programmers/tuners, brakes and exhaust systems are the most frequently installed performance accessories among new car and truck buyers. The study also showed that 50 percent of the respondents indicated they were planning to install performance accessories shortly after their new truck purchase. Given the fact that many popular performance accessories also carry 50-state emissions legality and won’t void factory warranties, the sales of these items remain consistent, and show that the opportunities for additional sales are out there.

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