How to be successful in restyling as technology, products change

Aug 10, 2012

Jerry Husdon, with more than 35 years in the restyling retailing business, is co-owner of Seattle-area-based Auto Trim Design. Here are ideas he shares with his collegaues:

“First and foremost, there’s always competing companies who are selling cheaper, inferior products and imitations,” he says. “We spend a great deal of time helping dealers to appreciate that saving $100 on a car can be very expensive in the long run. That’s especially true in terms of their customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.”

Secondly, and possibly presenting an even greater challenge, is the effort required to keep up with the quickly advancing technology in factory vehicles and in the aftermarket.

“Everything is just changing so rapidly,” says Hudson. “Because of that, you have to work hard to be a better company and to stay up with what’s available.

“It’s really important that you’re up to speed on how change is occurring and keeping your customers informed, as well. That can affect customer satisfaction and trust, but it can also be a safety issue with some products.”

At the end of the day, despite all the challenges, Hudson says he still loves the work and service he performs.

“Being in the business for as long as we have, both Bob and I still appreciate what we do. We enjoy the work and we love the relationships we’ve built with our customers and our partners,” says Hudson. “That is what keeps us going.”

In the future, Hudson plans for more of the same great service, products and relationships that they’ve offered for the past few decades.

“Our goal for the future is to continue to help our customers to love their vehicles and take happiness from that, and to help our [car] dealers to grow their business and make the maximum profit on each aftermarket accessory we provide.”