September '18

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18 THE SHOP SEPTEMBER 2018 HAUL IT ALL Good shops leverage cross-sell opportunities, providing customers with safe, reliable vehicles and accessories that are ready to tow. (Photo courtesy Air Lift) There are many options an installer can provide to the customer, ensuring they leave the shop ready to tow. (Photo courtesy CURT Group) able," he notes. "Towing capacities are also ever-increasing, so we've had to increase the structural design while maintaining aesthetics. In the heavy-duty segment, we have seen a trend in increasing features to make the product easier to use." OUTSIDE FACTORS As mentioned earlier, a growing number of outside factors are affecting the towing and hauling aftermarket. Feyer is among those who believe that trend is creating greater opportunity for shops. "The towing/hauling market is heading in an interesting direction," he says. "Trucks can tow and haul more weight than ever yet weigh less and have smaller engines than ever before. The half-ton pickup truck is also becoming a daily driver for many non-towing consumers, which is part of the reason I think OEMs are making them more fuel efficient and with softer suspensions. This provides an opportunity in aftermarket sales for prod- ucts like suspension helper springs or even towing mirrors. Where the truck used to be a primarily utilitarian vehicle, it's now an everyday car for many people." As in most aspects of modern society, today's connected world is also playing a role, says Brickley. "The abundance of information on the internet has had the greatest effect," he believes. "A customer can now access so much information regarding the options they have, how the product works, cus- tomer reviews, pros/cons, etc. Their ability to research the product has increased their options, allowing them to make choices that suit their needs. They can also watch videos to learn how to use and install the product, which has increased their knowl- edge of how the products are functioning and what features are most important to them." Jevanord is seeing increased demands on equipment. "Higher weight capacities have been steadily increasing over the last few years. It's a demand of our customers and we are stepping up to provide safe, tested solutions that meet their needs," he says. "Uncer- tainties of the international market made CURT's choice to continue on-shoring Where the truck used to be a primarily utilitarian vehicle, it's now an everyday vehicle for many people, creat- ing an opportunity in aftermarket sales for products like suspension helper springs. (Photos courtesy Air Lift)

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