Upfitting professional trucks and vans can offer a payload of opportunity for aftermarket shop owners who recognize the potential.
Strong fleet sales proved to be the backbone of an unpredictable new vehicle market during 2019, up 3.2% at the time of print. The aftermarket has responded in kind with a wave of innovation, advanced logistics and valuable resources to address the specific needs and challenges of this unique customer base.
Upfitting professional trucks, vans and related vehicles can be a full-time endeavor, or at least a profitable offering, for shops searching for a consistent, loyal client base that’s interested in the latest advancements and package possibilities.
According to Experian, 56% of all vehicles in operation are light trucks, with the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 holding the top two spots.
And while trucks may be running the roads, commercial vans are right on their heels—offering a payload of opportunity for aftermarket shop owners who recognize the potential.
THE SHOP contributor Stefanie Galeano-Zalutko spoke with some aftermarket shop owners already taking advantage of the work truck market for the February issue of THE SHOP Magazine.
High Caliber Motorsports
Cory Bride, the owner of High Caliber Motorsports in northeastern Pennsylvania, says approximately half of his business is dedicated to professional upfitting, including 10-15% fleet work.
Bride attributes his success and growth to accepting a diverse range of jobs, which have opened up opportunities to service entire fleets.
“One small upfit job turned into another and then another,” Bride said. “After a while, we landed a couple of bigger contracts that legitimized us as an upfitter that professionals can trust.”
Sid Beck, general manager of CampoVans, says about 50% of the Santa Barbara, California-based shop’s work is building camper vans that serve as multiuse vehicles, which they’ve attracted through a much different method than High Caliber.
CampoVans, Beck says, has used online marketing to bring in new clients. Using social media platforms, constantly updating their sites and quick, engaging responses have all helped grow CampoVans’ business.
To see all of Bride and Beck’s tips, check out THE SHOP Mag’s Digital Version.