From the Mag: Bright Skies

Like many in the restyling community, I felt like there were some products when I first started in the industry that were easy to install and I never worried about the outcome.

All that changed my fourth day on the job when I was assisting a technician. That was the day he grabbed a screwdriver and a hammer and pounded a hole right through the top of a brand-new car!

After the initial shock wore off, I realized he was being a little overdramatic just to get a rise out of me. He then proceeded to show me how to install a popup sunroof. To this day, I wonder if a little bit of that shock is still there when I see one of my techs about to cut into the metal on a new vehicle.

This was the beginning of my love/hate relationship with sunroofs.

Forecast: Sunny

I say hate because I was never that good of a technician and I struggled installing many products, sunroofs included.

I guess if I say I hate sunroofs, however, then I must also hate 12V electronics, truck accessories, interior accessories and a bunch of others as well, because I wasn’t very good at installing them, either! (That is also probably why I was soon promoted to customer service.)

Regardless, at the same time I have to say that I love sunroofs, mainly due to the success we’ve had selling and installing them over the last 30 years. Initially, it was mainly popup sunroofs, but now those are mostly out of the picture.

These days, sunroofs usually mean power sunroofs or moonroofs, including top-sliders that are installed in sports cars or vehicles with little roof space, and full internal power sunroofs that allow the glass to go back into the vehicle between the headliner and the metal top.

For us here at Auto Additions, our main business comes from those full internal sunroofs, which have been and continue to be a core product and have catapulted us into many other products and services as well.

It’s really quite easy to use sunroofs as a steppingstone to additional accessory sales—you simply tell your retail customers or dealerships, “Since you trust us to cut a hole in the top of your car, then you can trust us as we install (fill in the blank).”

Sunroof Skills

Power sunroof installation is a work of art and takes a lot of skill. The invasive nature of the systems, with no room for error, speaks to the talent, courage and outright professionalism of any company willing to take on this Mt. Everest of products.

Click here to read the full article in the September issue of the THE SHOP

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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