THE SHOP

November '15

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14 The Shop November 2015 all kinds of problems, including vibration, rubbing and wear on bearings and suspen- sion parts." Bovis agrees that when the proper com- bination is selected, there shouldn't be many issues with other components on the vehicle, but in select cases there can be some areas of interference or concern. "The best way to work around these issues is to utilize a fit guide and maintain a strong relation- ship to technical support special- ists," he says. "In select situations, there may be a need to move a sway bar mount, replace the sway bar with an aftermarket kit, or similar interference concerns. In most cases, this is due to installing wider wheels, wheels with different offset spacing, or wheels with larger tires." And don't forget the brakes. "The most common question that a custom wheel company will ask a customer is what brakes are on the car," he adds. "Each brake option and aftermarket kit will likely require a small change to the wheel dimensions, so it is critical to understand what is on the car." OPPORTUNITIES If an aftermarket shop can get a handle on fitment issues, set up an attractive wheel display with room for storage and instal- lation, and recognize the common effects different sizes can have on a vehicle's per- formance, then offering wheels and tires makes a lot of sense. Everybody Wants Some There's no arguing that offering wheels and tires can increase a shop's standing with its customers—mainly because they are so popular with so many drivers. "Wheels and tires are at the top of the list when accessorizing a vehicle," notes Sneddon of Mickey Thompson. "Get that sale and there will be lots of oppor- tunities for add-ons. Plus, tires wear out. So unlike other aftermarket parts, the customer will be back ever y couple of years for a fresh set." When offering aftermarket accessories, the addition of wheels and tires can help set you up to handle all of a driv- er's customization needs, notes WELD's Bovis. "Packaging wheels and tires together can help provide the customer with a one-stop shopping experience. Shops that know their customers well can be very successful at selling wheels and tires as a package. Whether it's a street/drag race customer, a European exotic customer, or lifted truck customer, each speaks a different language with significantly different brand prefer- ences," he explains. Having personnel that are experts in the various market segments can help shops provide the appropriate fitment informa- tion, and understand the challenges with fitting a specific vehicle combination. "In very short order, a shop that was never known for wheels and tires will begin attracting a new customer, because they have the knowledge to fit 15-inch rear drag wheels on a Mustang GT, or how to install Bead-Loc wheels properly on a Ford Raptor." In general, it makes your shop more Offering tires and wheels will not only increase sales by bringing in new custom- ers, but it will help keep old customers coming back more often. (Photo courtesy Coker Tire) Educating customers is critical to ensure they purchase wheels that will meet their expectations and perform well on their vehicle. (Photo courtesy WELD) Reputable companies will have all the information aftermarket shops need to successfully update a vehicle's wheels and tires. (Photo courtesy Forgeline Motorsports) appealing to everyone, says Coker's Hoodenpyle. "Offering tires and wheels will not only increase sales by bringing in new customers, but it will help keep old customers coming back more often." Added Bonus One thing shops might not immediately think of is that, once they sell that new set of tires and wheels, there may still be a chance to turn a profit on the set they took off as well. "Used tires create a great profit oppor- tunity," Sneddon notes. "Many times the take-offs are brand-new." Some customers may want their old wheels and tires; but not all of them do. "Original equipment wheels are easy to sell," says Schardt of Forgeline. "There are lots of companies that specialize in selling OE wheels, and the shop could broker that deal for extra profit." Bovis agrees. "In some cases, this can become a busi- ness in itself. For example, there are com- panies that sell new wheels to Porsche owners while refinishing their old wheels and reselling them to consumers restoring vintage Porsches. These opportunities are few and far between, but they do exist." Hoodenpyle advises you first make sure the old wheels and tires are safe and in use- able condition. And then go for it. "There is definitely a market for used tires and wheels," he says. "There are many web- sites where you can advertise the used items." And Then Some It's been mentioned above, but bears repeating—offering tires and wheels can

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