Winds of change

Dec 3, 2009

Many of the tried and true business methods that have historically rewarded professional restylers with success might not be producing the expected results in the current economic climate. Now is an excellent time to consider implementing some different strategies to complement those that form the foundation of your business. Carefully chosen and executed strategies will not only grow your business, but can even take market share away from your competitors.

Being open-minded and adaptable is the key to enabling your business to flourish. Although the choices may be tough, in times like these it all boils down to Darwinism in business: adapt or die.

Packaged goods

In spite of the current situation, new-vehicle personalization packages continue to remain extremely popular. Offering dealers and enthusiasts a professionally designed, nationally marketed restyling package that dramatically enhances the appearance of ordinary stock vehicles could be the solution to helping you increase sales and profit. And by promoting additional upgrades specifically chosen to complement the base restyling package, you can further leverage the inherent opportunity this type of program offers.

Vehicle owners who choose the base restyling package will often continue to enhance their vehicles post-purchase, providing you with these additional sales.

The example for the purpose of this article is the 2009 Dodge Ram “Red Xpress Truck” restyling package. Inspired by the original 1978 Dodge Ram “Lil’ Red Express Truck,” this restyling package includes each of the essential elements necessary for success: It’s easy to install, appropriately priced and non-warranty intrusive.

In addition, the Red Xpress Truck program offers additional parts and accessories designed to complement the base restyling package post-purchase. In short, it offers the professional restyler new opportunities for enhanced sales, increased profit and repeat business.

By the numbers

One of the fundamental keys to the success of a new-vehicle restyling package is keeping the price-point within 10%-12% of the actual vehicle cost. The Red Xpress Truck base restyling package hits this sweet spot head on, with a suggested retail price of $2,700, which is 10% of the $27,000 MSRP.

Quality is vitally important, especially for the parts and accessories that provide the foundation of a base package. To that point, the Red Xpress Truck package adheres to this philosophy. Each of the items that comprise the package is produced by leading manufacturers. They include vinyl graphics by Sharpline Converting, Katzkin custom leather seat covers with the Red Xpress Truck logo embroidered into the seat backs and matching Designer Mat logo carpet mats and MGP Caliper covers. Engraved Red Xpress Truck serial number badges and inclusion into the Original Mr. Norm’s Grand Spaulding Dodge Registry add value and collectability to the vehicle.

Optional accessories include a chrome vertical stack exhaust system, polished billet Ram logo differential cover, cool-air intake, Red Xpress Truck custom wheels, tires, a Mopar accessory Ram R/T hood and a suspension lowering kit. Other components could easily be added, including a billet or diamond-wire grille insert, a tonneau cover if the stack exhaust is not chosen and a myriad of other accessories should the vehicle be built as a four-wheel drive instead of the two-wheel drive example. In addition, the Red Xpress Truck is also offered as a crew cab, opening up even more opportunities, such as rear seat mobile entertainment systems. In fact, once started, your customer, with your expert advice and installation assistance, is limited only by imagination and budget.

Build that relationship

A program like this one also presents the professional restyler with the opportunity to forge a relationship with new- and used-vehicle dealers to provide installation services for packages such as the Red Xpress Truck and the wide range of accessories your company offers.

Since many new-vehicle dealers are only interested in installing factory accessories in their service department, the opportunity to assist these dealers in meeting the needs of the vehicle purchaser who wants to purchase aftermarket accessories will result in new business for your company.

So, say goodbye to the status quo and welcome the winds of change. Those winds could provide your company with a breath of fresh air, matched with a whole new outlook on business that could provide the difference between merely surviving and thriving.